Wednesday, 20 February 2013

City of Lost Souls - Chapter 17

As I strolled down along the quay
All in the lateness of the day
I heard a lovely maiden say:
“Alack, for I can get no play.”
A minstrel boy heard what she said
And straight he rushed to her aid…
“Do we have to keep listening to this wail-ey music?” Isabelle demanded, her booted foot
tapping against the dashboard of Jordan’s truck.
“I happen to like this wail-ey music, my girl, and since I’m driving, I get to choose,”
Magnus said loftily. He was indeed driving. Simon had been surprised that he knew how,
though he wasn’t sure why. Magnus had been alive for ages. Surely he had found time to
squeeze in a few weeks of driver’s ed. Although Simon couldn’t help wondering what birth
date was on his license.
Isabelle rolled her eyes, probably because there wasn’t enough room to do much else
in the cab of the truck, with all four of them crammed together on the bench seat. Simon
honestly hadn’t expected her to come. He hadn’t expected anyone to come to the farm
with him but Magnus, though Alec had insisted on coming as well (much to Magnus’s
annoyance, as he considered the whole enterprise “too dangerous”), and then, just as
Magnus had revved up the engine on the truck, Isabelle had come banging down the
stairs of his apartment building and thrown herself through the front door, panting and
out of breath. “I’m coming too,” she’d announced.
And that was that. No one could budge or dissuade her. She wouldn’t look at Simon as
she insisted, or explain why she wanted to come, but she did, and here she was. She was
wearing jeans and a purple suede jacket she must have stolen out of Magnus’s closet.
Her weapons belt was slung around her slim hips. She was mashed up against Simon,
whose other side was crushed against the car door. A strand of her hair was flying free
and tickling his face.
“What is this, anyway?” Alec said, frowning at the CD player, which was playing music,
although without a CD in it. Magnus had simply tapped the sound system with a blueflashing
finger, and it had started playing. “Some faerie band?”
Magnus didn’t answer, but the music swelled louder.
To mirror went she straightaway
And did her ebon hair array
And for her gown she much did pay.
Then down she walked along the street,
A handsome lad she chanced to meet,
And sore by dawn were her dainty feet,
But all the boys were gay.
Isabelle snorted. “All the boys are gay. In this truck, anyway. Well, not you, Simon.”
“You noticed,” said Simon.
“I think of myself as a freewheeling bisexual,” added Magnus.
“Please never say those words in front of my parents,” said Alec. “Especially my father.”
“I thought your parents were okay with you, you know, coming out,” Simon said,
leaning around Isabelle to look at Alec, who was—as he often was—scowling, and
pushing his floppy dark hair out of his eyes. Aside from the occasional exchange, Simon
had never talked to Alec much. He wasn’t an easy person to get to know. But, Simon
admitted to himself, his own recent estrangement from his mother made him more
curious about Alec’s answer than he would have been otherwise.
“My mother seems to have accepted it,” Alec said. “But my father—no, not really. Once
he asked me what I thought had turned me gay.”
Simon felt Isabelle tense next to him. “Turned you gay?” She sounded incredulous.
“Alec, you didn’t tell me that.”
“I hope you told him you were bitten by a gay spider,” said Simon.
Magnus snorted; Isabelle looked confused. “I’ve read Magnus’s stash of comics,” said
Alec, “so I actually know what you’re talking about.” A small smile played around his
mouth. “So would that give me the proportional gayness of a spider?”
“Only if it was a really gay spider,” said Magnus, and he yelled as Alec punched him in
the arm. “Ow, okay, never mind.”
“Well, whatever,” said Isabelle, obviously annoyed not to get the joke. “It’s not like
Dad’s ever coming back from Idris, anyway.”
Alec sighed. “Sorry to wreck your vision of our happy family. I know you want to think
Dad’s fine with me being gay, but he’s not.”
“But if you don’t tell me when people say things like that to you, or do things to hurt
you, then how can I help you?” Simon could feel Isabelle’s agitation vibrating through her
body. “How can I—”
“Iz,” Alec said tiredly. “It’s not like it’s one big bad thing. It’s a lot of little invisible
things. When Magnus and I were traveling, and I’d call from the road, Dad never asked
how he was. When I get up to talk in Clave meetings, no one listens, and I don’t know if
that’s because I’m young or if it’s because of something else. I saw Mom talking to a
friend about her grandchildren and the second I walked into the room they shut up. Irina
Cartwright told me it was a pity no one would ever inherit my blue eyes now.” He
shrugged and looked toward Magnus, who took a hand off the wheel for a moment to
place it on Alec’s. “It’s not like a stab wound you can protect me from. It’s a million little
paper cuts every day.”
“Alec,” Isabelle began, but before she could say anything more, the sign for the turnoff
loomed up ahead: a wooden placard in the shape of an arrow with the words THREE ARROWS
FARM painted on it in block lettering. Simon remembered Luke kneeling on the farmhouse
floor, painstakingly spelling out the words in black paint, while Clary added the—now
weather-faded and almost invisible—pattern of flowers along the bottom.
“Turn left,” he said, flinging his arm out and nearly hitting Alec. “Magnus, we’re here.”
It had taken several chapters of Dickens before Clary had finally succumbed to exhaustion
and fallen asleep against Jace’s shoulder. Half in dream and half in reality, she recalled
him carrying her downstairs and laying her down in the bedroom she’d woken up in her
first day in the apartment. He had drawn the curtains and closed the door after him as he
left, shutting the room into darkness, and she had fallen asleep to the sound of his voice
in the hallway, calling for Sebastian.
She dreamed of the frozen lake again, and of Simon crying out for her, and of a city like
Alicante, but the demon towers were made of human bones and the canals ran with
blood. She woke twisted in her sheets, her hair a mass of tangles and the light outside
the window dimmed to a twilight darkness. At first she thought that the voices outside
her door were part of the dream, but as they grew louder, she raised her head to listen,
still groggy and half-tangled in the webbing of sleep.
“Hey, little brother.” It was Sebastian’s voice, floating under her door from the living
room. “Is it done?”
There was a long silence. Then Jace’s voice, oddly flat and colorless. “It’s done.”
Sebastian’s breath drew in sharply. “And the old lady—she did as we asked? Made the
“Show it to me.”
A rustle. Silence. Jace said, “Look, take it if you want it.”
“No.” There was a curious thoughtfulness in Sebastian’s tone. “You hold on to it for the
moment. You did the work of getting it back, after all. Didn’t you?”
“But it was your plan.” There was something in Jace’s voice, something that made Clary
lean forward and press her ear to the wall, suddenly desperate to hear more. “And I
executed it, just as you wanted. Now, if you don’t mind—”
“I do mind.” There was a rustle. Clary imagined Sebastian standing up, looking down at
Jace from the inch or so that divided them in height. “There’s something wrong. I can tell.
I can read you, you know.”
“I’m tired. And there was a lot of blood. Look, I just need to clean myself off, and to
sleep. And…” Jace’s voice died.
“And to see my sister.”
“I’d like to see her, yes.”
“She’s asleep. Has been for hours.”
“Do I need to ask your permission?” There was a razored edge to Jace’s voice,
something that reminded Clary of the way he had once spoken to Valentine. Something
she had not heard in the way he spoke to Sebastian in a long time.
“No.” Sebastian sounded surprised, almost caught off guard. “I suppose if you want to
barge in there and gaze wistfully at her sleeping face, go right ahead. I’ll never
understand why—”
“No,” Jace said. “You never will.”
There was silence. Clary could so clearly picture Sebastian staring after Jace, a quizzical
look on his face, that it took her a moment before she realized that Jace must be coming
to her room. She had only time to throw herself flat on the bed and shut her eyes before
the door opened, letting in a slice of yellow-white light that momentarily blinded her. She
made what she hoped was a realistic waking-up noise and rolled over, her hand over her
face. “What… ?”
The door shut. The room was in darkness again. She could see Jace only as a shape
that moved slowly toward her bed, until he was standing over her, and she couldn’t help
remembering another night when he had come to her room while she slept. Jace standing
by the head of her bed, still wearing his white mourning clothes, and there was nothing
light or sarcastic or distant in the way he was looking down at her. “I’ve been wandering
around all night—I couldn’t sleep—and I kept finding myself walking here. To you.”
He was only an outline now, an outline with bright hair that shone in the faint light that
filtered from beneath the door. “Clary,” he whispered. There was a thump, and she
realized he had fallen to his knees by the side of her bed. She didn’t move, but her body
tightened. His voice was a whisper. “Clary, it’s me. It’s me.”
Her eyelids fluttered open, wide, and their gazes met. She was staring at Jace.
Kneeling beside her bed, his eyes were level with hers. He wore a long dark woolen coat,
buttoned all the way to the throat, where she could see black Marks—Soundless, Agility,
Accuracy—like a sort of necklace against his skin. His eyes were very gold and very wide,
and as if she could see through them, she saw Jace—her Jace. The Jace who had lifted
her in his arms when she was dying of Ravener poison; the Jace who had watched her
hold Simon against the rising daylight over the East River; the Jace who had told her
about a little boy and the falcon his father had killed. The Jace she loved.
Her heart seemed to stop altogether. She couldn’t even gasp.
His eyes were full of urgency and pain. “Please,” he murmured. “Please believe me.”
She believed him. They carried the same blood, loved the same way; this was her Jace,
as much as her hands were her own hands, her heart her own heart. But—“How?”
“Clary, shh—”
She began to struggle into a sitting position, but he reached out and pushed her back
against the bed by her shoulders. “We can’t talk now. I have to go.”
She grabbed for his sleeve, felt him wince. “Don’t leave me.”
He dropped his head for just a moment; when he looked up again, his eyes were dry
but the expression in them silenced her. “Wait a few moments after I go,” he whispered.
“Then slip out and up to my room. Sebastian can’t know we’re together. Not tonight.” He
dragged himself to his feet, his eyes pleading. “Don’t let him hear you.”
She sat up. “Your stele. Leave me your stele.”
Doubt flickered in his eyes; she held his gaze steadily, then put her hand out. After a
moment he reached into his pocket and took out the dully glowing implement; he laid it
in her palm. For a moment their skin touched, and she shuddered—just a brush of the
hand from this Jace was almost as powerful as all the kissing and tearing at each other
they had done in the club the other night. She knew he felt it too, for he jerked his hand
away and began to back toward the door. She could hear his breath, ragged and swift. He
fumbled behind himself for the knob and let himself out, his eyes on her face until the
very last moment, when the door closed between them with a decided click.
Clary sat in the darkness, stunned. Her blood felt as if it had thickened in her veins and
her heart was having to work double time to keep beating. Jace. My Jace.
Her hand tightened on the stele. Something about it, its cold hardness, seemed to
focus and sharpen her thoughts. She looked down at herself. She was wearing a tank top
and pajama shorts; there were goose bumps on her arms, but not because it was cold.
She set the tip of the stele to her inner arm and drew it slowly down the skin, watching as
a Soundless rune spiraled across her pale, blue-veined skin.
She opened the door just a crack. Sebastian was gone, off to sleep most likely. There
was music playing faintly from the television set—something classical, the sort of piano
music Jace liked. She wondered if Sebastian appreciated music, or any sort of art. It
seemed such a human capacity.
Despite her concern about where he’d gone, her feet were carrying her toward the
passage that led to the kitchen—and then she was through the living room and dashing
up the glass steps, her feet making no noise as she reached the top and sprinted down
the hall to Jace’s room. Then she was jerking open the door and sliding inside, the door
clicking shut behind her.
The windows were open, and through them she could see rooftops and a curving slice
of moon, a perfect Paris night. Jace’s witchlight rune-stone sat on the nightstand beside
his bed. It glowed with a dull energy that cast further illumination through the room. It
was enough light for Clary to see Jace, standing between the two long windows. He had
shrugged off the long black coat, which lay in a crumpled heap at his feet. She realized
immediately why he had not taken it off when he’d come into the house, why he had kept
it buttoned all the way to his throat. Because beneath it he wore only a gray button-down
shirt, and jeans—and they were sticky and soaked with blood. Parts of the shirt were in
ribbons, as if they had been slashed with a very sharp blade. His left sleeve was rolled
up, and there was a white bandage wrapped around his forearm—he must have just done
it—already darkening at the edges with blood. His feet were bare, his shoes kicked off,
and the floor where he stood was splattered with blood, like scarlet tears. She set the
stele down on his bedside table with a click.
“Jace,” she said softly.
It suddenly seemed insane that there was this much space between them, that she
was standing across the room from Jace, and that they weren’t touching. She started
toward him, but he held up a hand to ward her off.
“Don’t.” His voice cracked. Then his fingers went to the buttons on his shirt, undoing
them, one by one. He shrugged the bloodstained garment off his shoulders and let it fall
to the ground.
Clary stared. Lilith’s rune was still in place, over his heart, but instead of shimmering
red-silver it looked as if the hot tip of a poker had been dragged across the skin, charring
it. She put her hand up to her own chest involuntarily, her fingers splaying over her heart.
She could feel its beating, hard and fast. “Oh.”
“Yeah. Oh,” Jace said flatly. “This won’t last, Clary. Me being myself again, I mean.
Only as long as this hasn’t healed.”
“I—I wondered,” Clary stammered. “Before—while you were sleeping—I thought about
cutting the rune like I did when we fought Lilith. But I was afraid Sebastian would feel it.”
“He would have.” Jace’s golden eyes were as flat as his voice. “He didn’t feel this
because it was made with a pugio—a dagger seethed in angel blood. They’re incredibly
rare; I’ve never even seen one in real life before.” He ran his fingers through his hair.
“The blade turned to hot ash after it touched me, but it did the damage it needed to do.”
“You were in a fight. Was it a demon? Why didn’t Sebastian go with—”
“Clary.” Jace’s voice was barely a whisper. “This—it’ll take longer than an ordinary cut
to heal… but not forever. And then I’ll be him again.”
“How much time? Before you go back to the way you were?”
“I don’t know. I just don’t know. But I wanted—I needed to be with you, like this, like
myself, for as long as I could.” He held out a hand to her stiffly, as if unsure of its
reception. “Do you think you could—”
She was already running across the room to him. She threw her arms around his neck.
He caught her and swung her up, burying his face in the crook of her neck. She breathed
him in like air. He smelled of blood and sweat and ashes and Marks.
“It’s you,” she whispered. “It’s really you.”
He drew back to look at her. With his free hand he traced her cheekbone gently. She
had missed that, his gentleness. It was one of the things that had made her fall in love
with him in the first place—realizing that this scarred, sarcastic boy was gentle with the
things he loved.
“I missed you,” she said. “I missed you so much.”
He closed his eyes as if the words hurt. She put her hand to his cheek. He leaned his
head into her palm, his hair tickling her knuckles, and she realized his face was wet too.
The boy never cried again.
“It’s not your fault,” she said. She kissed his cheek with the same tenderness he had
showed her. She tasted salt—blood and tears. He still hadn’t spoken, but she could feel
the wild beat of his heart against her chest. His arms were tight around her, as if he
never meant to let go. She kissed his cheekbone, his jaw, and finally his mouth, a light
press of lips on lips.
There was none of the frenzy there had been in the nightclub. It was a kiss meant to
give solace, to say everything there was no time to say. He kissed her back, hesitant at
first, then with greater urgency, his hand stealing up into her hair, winding the tresses
between his fingers. Their kisses deepened slowly, softly, the intensity growing between
them as it always did, like a blaze that started with a single match and flared into
She knew how strong he was, but she still felt a shock as he carried her to the bed and
laid her down gently among the scattered pillows, sliding his body over hers, one smooth
gesture that reminded her what all those Marks on his body were for. Strength. Grace.
Lightness of touch. She breathed his breath as they kissed, each kiss drawn out now,
lingering, exploratory. Her hands drifted over him, his shoulders, the muscles of his arms,
his back. His bare skin felt like hot silk under her palms.
When his hands found the hem of her tank top, she stretched her arms out, arching her
back, wanting every barrier between them gone. The moment it was off, she pulled him
back against her, their kisses fiercer now, as if they were struggling to reach some hidden
place inside each other. She wouldn’t have thought they could get any closer, but
somehow as they kissed, they wound themselves into each other like intricate thread,
each kiss hungrier, deeper than the last.
Their hands moved quickly over each other, and then more slowly, uncovering and
unhurried. She dug her fingers into his shoulders when he kissed her throat, her
collarbones, the star-shaped mark on her shoulder. She grazed his scar too, with the
backs of her knuckles, and kissed the wounded Mark Lilith had made on his chest. She felt
him shudder, wanting her, and she knew she was on the very brink of where there was no
going back, and she didn’t care. She knew what it was like to lose him now. She knew the
black empty days that came after. And she knew that if she lost him again, she wanted
this to remember. To hold on to. That she had been as close to him once as you could be
to another person. She locked her ankles around the small of his back, and he groaned
against her mouth, a soft, low, helpless sound. His fingers dug into her hips.
“Clary.” He pulled away. He was shaking. “I can’t… If we don’t stop now, we won’t be
able to.”
“Don’t you want to?” She looked up at him in surprise. He was flushed, tousled, his fair
hair a darker gold where sweat had pasted it to his forehead and temples. She could feel
his heart stuttering inside his chest.
“Yes, it’s just I’ve never—”
“You haven’t?” She was surprised. “Done this before?”
He took a deep breath. “I have.” His eyes searched her face, as if he were looking for
judgment, disapprobation, even disgust. Clary looked back at him evenly. It was what she
had assumed, anyway. “But not when it mattered.” He touched her cheek with his
fingers, feather-light. “I don’t even know how…”
Clary laughed softly. “I think it’s just been established that you do.”
“That’s not what I meant.” He caught her hand and brought it to his face. “I want you,”
he said, “more than I have ever wanted anything in my life. But I…” He swallowed.
“Name of the Angel. I’m going to kick myself for this later.”
“Don’t say you’re trying to protect me,” she said fiercely. “Because I—”
“It’s not that,” he said. “I’m not being self-sacrificing. I’m… jealous.”
“You’re—jealous? Of who?”
“Myself.” His face twisted. “I hate the thought of him being with you. Him. That other
me. The one Sebastian controls.”
She felt her face start to burn. “At the club… last night…”
He dropped his head to her shoulder. A little bewildered, she stroked his back, feeling
the scratches where her fingernails had torn his skin at the nightclub. The specific
memory made her blush even harder. So did the knowledge that he could have gotten rid
of the scratches with an iratze if he’d wanted to. But he hadn’t. “I remember everything
about last night,” he said. “And it makes me crazy, because it was me but it wasn’t. When
we’re together, I want it to be the real you. The real me.”
“Isn’t that what we are now?”
“Yes.” He raised his head, kissed her mouth. “But for how long? I could turn back into
him any minute. I couldn’t do that to you. To us.” His voice was bitter. “I don’t even know
how you can stand it, being around this thing that isn’t me—”
“Even if you go back to being that in five minutes,” she said, “it would have been worth
it, just to be with you like this again. Not to have it end on that rooftop. Because this is
you, and even that other you—there’s pieces of the real you in there. It’s like I’m looking
through a blurred window at you, but it’s not the real you. And at least I know now.”
“What do you mean?” His hands tightened on her shoulders. “What do you mean at
least you know?”
She took a deep breath. “Jace, when we were first together, like really together, you
were so happy for that first month. And everything we did together was funny and fun
and amazing. And then it was like it just started draining out of you, all that happiness.
You didn’t want to be with me or look at me—”
“I was afraid I was going to hurt you. I thought I was losing my mind.”
“You didn’t smile or laugh or joke. And I’m not blaming you. Lilith was creeping into
your mind, controlling you. Changing you. But you have to remember—I know how stupid
this sounds—I never had a boyfriend before. I thought maybe it was normal. That maybe
you were just getting tired of me.”
“I couldn’t—”
“I’m not asking for reassurance,” she said. “I’m telling you. When you’re—like you are,
controlled—you seem happy. I came here because I wanted to save you.” Her voice
dropped. “But I started to wonder what I was saving you from. How I could bring you
back to a life you seemed so unhappy with.”
“Unhappy?” He shook his head. “I was lucky. So, so lucky. And I couldn’t see it.” His
eyes met hers. “I love you,” he said. “And you make me happier than I ever thought I
could be. And now that I know what it’s like to be someone else—to lose myself—I want
my life back. My family. You. All of it.” His eyes darkened. “I want it back.”
His mouth came down on hers, with bruising pressure, their lips open, hot and hungry,
and his hands gripped her waist—and then the sheets on either side of her, almost
tearing them. He pulled back, panting. “We can’t—”
“Then quit kissing me!” she gasped. “In fact—” She ducked out from under his grip,
grabbing for her tank top. “I’ll be right back.”
She pushed past him and darted into the bathroom, locking the door behind her. She
flicked on the light, and stared at herself in the mirror. She looked wild-eyed, her hair
tangled, her lips swollen from kisses. She blushed and pulled her top back on, splashing
cold water on her face, twisting her hair back into a knot. When she had convinced herself
she no longer looked like the ravished maiden from the cover of a romance novel, she
went for the hand towels—nothing romantic about that—grabbing one and wetting it
down, then rubbing it with soap.
She came back out into the bedroom. Jace was sitting on the edge of the bed, in jeans
and a clean, unbuttoned shirt, his tousled hair outlined by moonlight. He looked like a
statue of an angel. Only, angels weren’t usually streaked with blood.
She moved to stand in front of him. “All right,” she said. “Take off your shirt.”
Jace raised his eyebrows.
“I’m not going to attack you,” she said impatiently. “I can take the sight of your naked
chest without swooning.”
“Are you sure?” he asked, obediently sliding the shirt off his shoulders. “Because
viewing my naked chest has caused many women to seriously injure themselves
stampeding to get to me.”
“Yeah, well, I don’t see anyone here but me. And I just want to clean the blood off
you.” He leaned back obediently on his hands. Blood had soaked through the shirt he’d
been wearing and streaked his chest and the flat planes of his stomach, but as she ran
her fingers carefully over him, she could feel that most of his cuts were shallow. The
iratze he’d put on himself earlier was already causing them to fade.
He turned his face up to her, eyes shut, as she ran the damp washcloth over his skin,
blood pinking the white cotton. She scrubbed at the dried streaks on his neck, wrung out
the cloth, dunked it in the glass of water on the nightstand, and went to work on his
chest. He sat with his head tilted back, watching her as the cloth glided over the muscles
of his shoulders, the smooth line of arms, forearms, hard chest scarred with white lines,
the black of permanent Marks.
“Clary,” he said.
The humor had gone from his voice. “I won’t remember this,” he said. “When I’m back
—like I was, under his control, I won’t remember being myself. I won’t remember being
with you, or talking to you like this. So just tell me—are they all right? My family? Do they
“What’s happened to you? A little. And no, they’re not all right.” His eyes closed. “I
could lie to you,” she said. “But you should know. They love you so much, and they want
you back.”
“Not like this,” he said.
She touched his shoulder. “Are you going to tell me what happened? How you got
these cuts?”
He took a deep breath, and the scar on his chest stood out, livid and dark. “I killed
She felt the shock of his words go through her body like the recoil of a gun. She
dropped the bloody towel, then bent down to retrieve it. When she looked up, he was
staring down at her. In the moonlight the lines of his face were fine and sharp and sad.
“Who?” she asked.
“You met her,” Jace went on, each word like a weight. “The woman you went to visit
with Sebastian. The Iron Sister. Magdalena.” He twisted away from her and reached back
to retrieve something tangled among the blankets of the bed. The muscles in his arms
and back moved under the skin as he took hold of it and turned back to Clary, the object
gleaming in his hand.
It was a clear, glassine chalice—an exact replica of the Mortal Cup, except that instead
of being gold, it was carved of silvery-white adamas.
“Sebastian sent me—sent him—to get this from her tonight,” Jace said. “And he also
gave me the order to kill her. She wasn’t expecting it. She wasn’t expecting any violence,
just payment and exchange. She thought we were on the same side. I let her hand me
the Cup, and then I took my dagger and I—” He inhaled sharply, as if the memory hurt. “I
stabbed her. I meant it to be through the heart, but she turned and I missed by inches.
She staggered back and grabbed for her worktable—there was powdered adamas on it—
she threw it at me. I think she meant to blind me. I turned my head away, and when I
looked back she had an aegis in her hand. I think I knew what it was. The light of it
seared my eyes. I cried out as she drove it toward my chest—I felt a searing pain in the
Mark, and then the blade shattered.” He looked down and gave a mirthless laugh. “The
funny thing is, if I’d been wearing gear, this wouldn’t have happened. I didn’t because I
didn’t think it was worth the bother. I didn’t think she could hurt me. But the aegis burned
the Mark—Lilith’s Mark—and suddenly I was back in myself, standing there over this dead
woman with a bloody dagger in my hand and the Cup in the other.”
“I don’t understand. Why did Sebastian tell you to kill her? She was going to give the
Cup to you. To Sebastian. She said—”
Jace expelled a ragged breath. “Do you remember what Sebastian said about that clock
in Old Town Square? In Prague?”
“That the king had the clock maker’s eyes put out after he made it, so he could never
make anything as beautiful again,” Clary said. “But I don’t see—”
“Sebastian wanted Magdalena dead so she could never make anything like this again,”
said Jace. “And so she could never tell.”
“Tell what?” She put her hand up, took hold of Jace’s chin, and drew his face down so
that he was looking at her. “Jace, what is Sebastian really planning on doing? The story
he told in the training room, about wanting to raise demons so he could destroy them—”
“Sebastian wants to raise demons all right.” Jace’s voice was grim. “One demon in
particular. Lilith.”
“But Lilith’s dead. Simon destroyed her.”
“Greater Demons don’t die. Not really. Greater Demons inhabit the spaces between
worlds, the great Void, the emptiness. What Simon did was shatter her power, send her
in shreds back to the nothingness she came from. But she’ll slowly reform there. Be
reborn. It would take centuries, but not if Sebastian helps her.”
A cold feeling was growing in the pit of Clary’s stomach. “Helps her how?”
“By summoning her back to this world. He wants to mix her blood and his in a cup and
create an army of dark Nephilim. He wants to be Jonathan Shadowhunter reincarnated,
but on the side of the demons, not the angels.”
“An army of dark Nephilim? The two of you are tough, but you’re not exactly an army.”
“There are about forty or fifty Nephilim who either were once loyal to Valentine, or hate
the current direction of the Clave and are open to hearing what Sebastian has to say.
He’s been in contact with them. When he raises Lilith, they’ll be there.” Jace took a deep
breath. “And after that? With the power of Lilith behind him? Who knows who else will
join his cause? He wants a war. He’s convinced he’ll win it, and I’m not sure he won’t. For
every dark Nephilim he makes, he will grow in power. Add that to the demons he’s
already made allegiances with, and I don’t know if the Clave is prepared to withstand
Clary dropped her hand. “Sebastian never changed. Your blood never changed him.
He’s exactly like he always was.” Her eyes flicked up to Jace’s. “But you. You lied to me,
“He lied to you.”
Her mind was whirling. “I know. I know that Jace isn’t you—”
“He thinks it’s for your good and you’ll be happier in the end, but he did lie to you. And
I would never do that.”
“The aegis,” Clary said. “If it can hurt you but Sebastian can’t feel it, could it kill him
but not hurt you?”
Jace shook his head. “I don’t think so. If I had an aegis, I might be willing to try, but—
no. Our life forces are tied together. An injury is one thing. If he were to die…” His voice
hardened. “You know the easiest way to end this. Put a dagger in my heart. I’m surprised
you didn’t do it while I was sleeping.”
“Could you? If it were me?” Her voice shook. “I believed there was a way to make this
right. I still believe it. Give me your stele, and I’ll make a Portal.”
“You can’t make a Portal from inside here,” said Jace. “It won’t work. The only way in
and out of this apartment is through the wall downstairs, by the kitchen. It’s the only
place you can move the apartment from, too.”
“Can you move us to the Silent City? If we go back, the Silent Brothers can figure out a
way to separate you from Sebastian. We’ll tell the Clave his plan so they’ll be prepared—”
“I could move us to one of the entrances,” Jace said. “And I will. I’ll go. We’ll go
together. But just so there won’t be any untruth between us, Clary, you have to know
that they’ll kill me. After I tell them what I know, they’ll kill me.”
“Kill you? No, they wouldn’t—”
“Clary.” His voice was gentle. “As a good Shadowhunter I ought to volunteer to die to
stop what Sebastian is going to do. As a good Shadowhunter, I would.”
“But none of this is your fault.” Her voice rose, and she forced it back down, not
wanting Sebastian, downstairs, to hear. “You can’t help what’s been done to you. You’re a
victim in this. It’s not you, Jace; it’s someone else, someone wearing your face. You
shouldn’t be punished—”
“It’s not a matter of punishment. It’s practicality. Kill me, Sebastian dies. It’s no
different from sacrificing myself in battle. It’s all well and good to say I didn’t choose this.
It has happened. And what I am now, myself, will be gone again soon enough. And,
Clary, I know it doesn’t make sense, but I remember it—I remember all of it. I remember
walking with you in Venice, and that night at the club, and sleeping in this bed with you,
and don’t you get it? I wanted this. This is all I ever wanted, to live with you like this, be
with you like this. What am I supposed to think, when the worst thing that has ever
happened to me gives me exactly what I want? Maybe Jace Lightwood can see all the
ways this is wrong and messed-up, but Jace Wayland, Valentine’s son… loves this life.”
His eyes were wide and gold as he looked at her, and she was reminded of Raziel, of his
gaze that seemed to hold all the wisdom and all the sadness in the world. “And that’s
why I have to go,” he said. “Before this wears off. Before I’m him again.”
“Go where?”
“To the Silent City. I have to turn myself in—and the Cup, too.”


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