Fantasies Come True
Jace stood across the room from me with his hands in his pockets, looking me straight in the eye.
"I know how you think you feel about me," he began smoothly, ignoring my wince at his bluntness. "But you're wrong."
You're wrong. Unbidden, Sebastian's voice echoed through my head, taunting me—you're disgusting. Why is it so wrong for me to want what I want? Why don't I deserve to be happy?
Jace continued, his scorching gaze sending shivers through my body. "You only like me because I'm safe," he announced with such authority that I had to wonder how many people he could persuade to see things his way using only confidence and charisma.
No Jace—that's not why I like you, I thought mournfully. I like you because you've been my best friend since we were ten. I like you because you've always had my back. I like you because you would put your own life on the line to save others. I like you because when we're fighting side by side, I know you trust me. I like you because you are so brave and fearless in battle but when we're alone you show that you are vulnerable like everyone else. I like you because you always remember the little details, like an adventure we had when we were twelve. I like you because you always know what you want, and you never do anything halfway. I like you because when I jumped between you and the Greater Demon to save your life, you held me in your arms all the way to the hospital. I like you because you are the most beautiful man I've ever met. I like you because when you first wake up, your hair is a mess and that frustrates you more than anything else and you don't even know how adorable that is. I like you because you make me want to try harder, to be better. I like you because you taught me courage and I know I am a stronger person now because of you. I like you because you said you'd always be there for me no matter what—brothers until the end. I like you because I fall faster and faster every time you even look at me, and know I've never felt this way about anyone before. I like you because you don't make me feel safe—I feel scared, and confused, and flustered, and nervous whenever you're around. I like you because no matter how much you hate yourself, you are absolutely perfect to me.
But I couldn't say all this. Trying not to sound utterly pathetic, I said quietly, "I don't like you because you're safe."
Jace cocked an eyebrow tauntingly. "Okay then," he challenged. "Kiss me."
My heart slammed to a stop in my chest. I felt my ears ringing and wondered if I had heard him correctly. He couldn't possibly be suggesting…
"Um, what?" I managed to choke out. It was amazing that I was able to speak at all.
His golden eyes bored almost painfully into mine. "Kiss me right now and prove me wrong. Otherwise, I'll know that I was right."
I tried to swallow. By the Angel, I've wanted to kiss Jace for years, but I knew it would never be possible. But now I'm here, at the threshold of everything I've ever wanted and I hesitate. What if he's not serious? What if he's just mocking me and wants to see me fall for it so he can laugh at me? How much more damage can my heart handle before it breaks?
Somehow, my feet moved of their own accord and brought me toe-to-toe with Jace. He still wore a challenging smile on his face, but my heart pounded at the sight nonetheless. Knowing it was now or never, hoping against hope that he wouldn't change his mind, I leaned forward and crushed my lips to his.
At first, nothing happened. Well, besides my breath hitching in my throat, my heart threatening to leap out of my chest, and my blood rushing through my veins. He wasn't pushing me away. I didn't know what to do—I shouldn't have done this, this was a mistake—
Then, something did happen. Something I had not accounted for, something I couldn't begin to imagine was possible.
He was kissing me back.
It was so slow I almost didn't notice. But all my senses had been heightened the second we touched, so I felt it as his lips began to move to lock in place against mine. My head was swimming, but he didn't stop there. His mouth ground harder against mine and my knees nearly gave out when he caught hold of my bottom lip and gently raked his teeth across it.
I couldn't help it—I felt like I might pass out. I reached out my hands for something to hold onto and grabbed onto his shirt, clutching as hard as I could, pulling him as close as possible.
His body pressed flush against me so I could feel every muscle, every heartbeat. I felt myself grow hot, like I had descended into Hades. Every inch of us was touching, and I felt his hands on my waist, holding me in place. I knew that if I didn't get oxygen now, I might faint. Unthinkingly, I parted my lips to breathe.
I tasted his hot breath in my mouth and suddenly his tongue shot through, causing an electric current to course through my whole body. Unsure of how to react, I tentatively moved my tongue to meet his, and we clashed with a sudden fierceness that threatened to take control of whatever sanity I had left.
We both struggled for dominance, but if there was one thing I knew about Jace—he never lets anyone control him. He always needs to be in charge. So I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when I felt his hands move to my chest and push me backwards so that I landed squarely on the bed.
Before I could register a single thought, he was on top of me, every angle of his body matched up with mine—like two puzzle pieces. Some part of my brain that was still coherent realized with a surge of triumph that he was as incredibly turned on as I was. Impossible.
His callused hands reached under my shirt, fingernails raking across my skin. I must have been fully out of my mind at that point, because the next thing I knew, my shirt was off and so was his. Our body heat sent flames racing through my veins.
I could feel him smirking mischievously against my lips before he roughly ground himself against me, causing me to cry out. He quickly captured my lips again and I trembled violently. This wasn't the way I imagined this to be at all.
This was so fucking better.
The silkiness of his hair brushed against my cheek as he bent his head to kiss my neck. He alternated between gently nibbling at the skin there and flicking his tongue over the sensitive spot. I was sure to have the world's most incredible bruise, but this didn't bother me in the slightest. I twisted my neck so I could reach his chest.
Reaching forward, I repaid him the same favor and kissed the smooth, chiseled planes of his muscular chest. Every scar, every Mark on his body was sacred, and only made me love him more.
A guttural sound issued from the back of his throat as my tongue trailed down his sternum, making my way to the top of his jeans.
I reveled in this strange noise. I never imagined that Jace could ever sound so unguarded, so taken by surprise. But mostly I never imagined that I could be the cause of this.
His hands tangled in my hair as my fingers undid the buttons of his pants. Slowly, excruciatingly, I tugged on the zipper, half-mad with anticipation.
Jace growled in my ear and in one swift motion, tore my hand away and shrugged out of his jeans himself. I was speechless at the sheer beauty that was Jace as he revealed himself to me. My mouth went dry and I felt a moan building in my chest that released when he hooked his finger around the belt loop of my jeans. His hands were much quicker and less hesitant than mine had been—clearly, he was just as anxious as I was to be relieved from this torment. Without further ado, my last remaining shred of clothing was stripped away, along with all my defenses.
"I want to touch you," he spoke breathlessly for the first time. Our eyes locked as if he was asking for permission. I gulped and nodded. His hand trailed down my chest, past my hips—right to where I wanted him to be.
Tremors racked my body as he grasped me. I was so close—already, I could see stars behind my eyelids. I gasped for breath and said his name—repeatedly.
He was just as affected as I was. Taking advantage of this fact, I reached out and took him in my hand, causing his breath to come out in a hiss and turning to a moan. At first, it was unintelligible. Then I could hear it—he was saying my name.
"Alec," he whispered huskily, his breathing coming faster now. "Alec…"
I could've cried from the amount of emotion flowing through me. My eyes fluttered closed, and I whispered his name back to him, along with what had been on my heart in secret for years. "Jace—I love you."
My whole body jolted as I opened my eyes. The lights were off, as they had not been a moment ago. Feeling my brain going all fuzzy, I glanced around the room, my eyes adjusting to the dark. I saw several shapes hunched over against the wall—Isabelle with her whip resting on her lap, Clary curled up in a ball under a fleece blanket, Simon next to her with his arm gently draped around her shoulders, Magnus with his head leaning against the couch. They were all very much asleep.
Confusion surged through me as I realized I was fully clothed, and on the ground instead of on a bed. I glanced up and saw Jace kneeling next to me and looking into my eyes, a strange expression on his face. Suddenly, everything came flooding back to me.
The attack on Alicante. The evacuation. The retreat into Magnus' apartment—the only safe place left. The group of Shadowhunters who volunteered to stand guard in case of another attack.
"You were talking in your sleep," Jace commented, matter-of-factly. My pulse raced as my jaw dropped.
Jace shrugged. "Just thought I'd let you know before you take my watch." He stood up from where he had crouched over me. "It sounded like a nice dream, though," he added as an afterthought.
Memories came flooding back with the biting realization that they were not real. "Yes," I whispered. "It was a nice dream."
I watched in dismay as Jace strode over to the window, where he sat down and leaned his head against the ledge.
"Goodnight," he yawned and closed his eyes.
I fought back the tears—fought the urge to scream. I could feel the visceral pain of disappointed hopes and unfulfilled desires. I wondered if my anguish would ever end.
I whispered into the dark, "Goodnight, Jace."