"No, no, no, no, no! This cannot be happening!" I yanked on the handle of my car repeatedly, wishing the lock open. A car had sped past me about two minutes ago, while I was in the middle of putting my bags in the passenger seat. I had already put the key in the ignition, ready to let it warm up a bit before I drove the forty minutes back home, but I ended up jumping to the side and slamming my door shut to prevent the entire thing getting ripped off. Unfortunately, the doors locked when I shut them. Now I'm stuck in the freezing cold, with heavy, wet snow soaking through my coat and chilling me down to the bone. After confirming there were no cabs around, I began walking home.

"I just had to get locked out of my car when Maia's out of town. At least I hadn't started the car yet." My muttering to myself earned me odd looks from passing people, which I met with a rather rude glare, but I was past caring.

I was about thirty minutes away from my car and any other living person, and embracing the fact I might have hypothermia when I get home, when a hand landed on my shoulder. My hand sought the knife stashed in my boot, as I spun away from the creeper behind me.

"Impressive speed for someone who looks like their almost frozen through. You can put the knife away though, I'm friendly." I felt my eyebrow go up, twisting my face into an exasperated expression.

"Jace. What the hell do you want?" I let my now-soaked hair fall in front of my face while I shoved my knife back in my boot. I cringed at the glimpse I got of my hair, already feeling the pain of trying to untangle it later.

"Still feisty I see- I'm glad. I always liked feisty Clary. As for what I'm doing, I noticed you walking about five minutes ago, and saw you were soaking wet. I figured I would do the honorable thing and see if you wanted a ride home."

"What's in it for you?"

"Really Clary, you hurt my feelings." Jace had a fake injured looked on his face, his hand clutching his chest. The expression slid off his face, a more serious one taking its place.

"Seriously though, do you need a ride home Clary? You're gonna freeze to death out here." I'd never seen Jace this serious before, but I wasn't going to let my guard down. I still remember the day he 'accidentally' spilled a vial of some sort of animal blood on me in science our Junior year in high school.

"No, I'm fine. My apartment's just another five minutes ahead." I started to walk again, until my feet completely left the ground.

"Jace! Put me down! I told you I can get home on my own!" I felt Jace laugh, while my frustration only grew.

"I know that, but you don't need to get sick or develop hypothermia. Your fingers already look white like the beginnings of severe frostbite. I'm driving you, whether you like it or not." I bit back a retort and lifted my hands to look at them. They were white, and I grudgingly accepted the fact I needed Jace's help.

His car was warm, and clean. Very clean. I felt bad even sitting in it, seeing as I was soaking wet. Jace fiddled with the controls on the dash, concentrating the heat on me. I sunk into the seat, feeling my tense muscles finally relax from the heat.

"Hold on a sec." Jace's voice snapped me out of my trance, bringing me back to reality. Jace was outside digging around in the trunk of his car, and I was back to sulking. When he climbed back in he spread out a soft, thick blanket on me and handed me a navy blue towel.

"There, that should keep you warm until we get to your place. Use that towel to dry your hair; I'm not letting you back out of this car until it's dry." He gently grabbed a strand of my hair, showing me the ice in it much to my surprise. I was staring at him, actually at him, when he shook his head slightly and dropped the strand.

I was carefully running the towel through small sections of my hair when I realized something.

"Damn it! They're on my key chain!" Jace swerved slightly, skidding momentarily on the slick roads before regaining control. He looked over in surprise at me.

"The reason I was walking is because I was putting my bags in the passenger seat of my car, when an idiot driver almost took my door off. I jumped against my car and slammed the door shut, but when I went to open the door back up, it was locked. So was the passenger side and both back doors. My keys were in the ignition ready for me to start the car."

"At least you didn't start it, other wise that could have been pricey with an empty tank of gas and possibly a ticket from that meter maid with the stick up her ass. What about a family member or room mate? Does no one else have a spare key for you?"

"Yeah I've got one in my apartment and my room mate Maia has the third one, but she's out of town for the next two weeks. She actually just left this morning. Maia also has the second apartment key. My Mom lives in Montana with my Dad, Luke." I put my face in my hands, abandoning the task of drying my unruly curls.

"Let me guess, your key is in your car." I nodded, keeping my head in my hands.

"Simple solution. I'll pay for you to stay in a hotel until we can get your car unlocked." My head shot up, a look of disbelief crossing my features.

"What? Absolutely not, Jace! I'm not letting you do that!"

"Okay then, you can just stay with me then. Yup, it's decided." My jaw dropped, and I just stared at him again. I saw him glance out of the corner of his eye and grin.

"I know I'm pleasant to stare at, but I don't think my ego could get any bigger. Your going to make it explode." I gritted my teeth, but was secretly thankful for the obnoxious comment; it kept me from having those thoughts where I mistake Jace as a nice guy.

"I'm not letting you pay for me to stay in a hotel, and I'm not going to stay at your apartment."

"Sorry Clary, but I'm not giving you a choice. I know as well as you do, that you have exactly zero options besides the ones I'm offering at the current moment. I'd say take it or leave it, but I'm making you take it."

"Great. Just great."