Clary POV

"You're doing what?" I ask incredulously, still not comprehending what my best-friend has just told me. Jace grins at me with childish excitement, before looking around the small room that our group of friends has gathered in.

"We're starting a band. And you," he pauses to point at me. "are going to be a part of it." He finishes off with a mischievous smirk. I rapidly shake my head and stand up to start pacing across the small space that is in front of my bed.

"No." I state, my tone firm and final. Sadly though, with Jace, I never get to have the last word. On anything.

. . .

Shall I explain? I think that I shall.

Jace and I have been best-friends ever since he moved into my apartment building when we were both 10. He had been recently adopted by the Lightwood's, so he was really closed off for a while. Eventually though, I got him to open up with my 'kind words'.

(Flashback)

"Suck it up. Be a man. I'm getting tired of your constant whining." I said unkindly to the blonde-haired boy in front of me. He startles up from his bed and glares at me, sniffling slightly and wiping his nose with the sleeve of his shirt.

"H-how'd you get into my room? Who are you?" he demands, walking around his bed and standing in front of me. I look up into his eyes and set my jaw with a child-like stubbornness that I am known for.

"I've lived here all of my life. My friend Simon used to live in this room, but he moved away two months ago for his dad's job. I used to climb across our balconies and have sleepovers with him. I live in the apartment that's next to yours." I explain while sitting down onto his bed and lying back until I am in a comfortable position. "Besides," I start again, still speaking as the blonde-haired boy sits down next to me warily; as if I am diseased. "you left your door unlocked. You were basically inviting me in. If you really wanted me out so badly, you wouldn't've been moping around on your bed like a toddler and would've been locking your door and acting your age." I state tiredly, as if my job of being a nine-year-old is extremely exhausting. The blonde-haired boy's wide, golden eyes stare at me blankly throughout my entire speech, causing me to glare up at him in annoyance. I sigh dramatically and let my head fall back against his mattress heavily, causing him to fight back a smile and sniffle again. I grin up at him and sit up. He eyes me curiously for a moment, before seeming to remember exactly what his priorities are.

"Who are you? Why are you here?" he asks, his tone slightly hoarse from crying. I stare at him intently for a moment, before grabbing his hand and playing with his first, he tries to pull his hand back, but soon gives up after realizing that I'm not going to let go.

"I could hear you crying from my room. I live across from you, ya' see." I say distractedly, pointing towards his window and at my balcony that is directly across from his. He sits up straighter with interest and looks down at where our hands are, me making his form shapes and his laying limply in my grasp, letting me play with his hand to my heart's content. "It was starting to annoy me, so I decided to come see what's that matter with you." I state, dropping his hand down onto his lap and looking up into his slightly swollen eyes. "Are you okay? Because you moved here about a week ago, and all that I've seen you do is cry in here. Did you hurt yourself? Can I help?" I ask, my tone taking on a slightly worried one towards the end. He smiles slightly at me and ducks his head down.

"No, I'm not hurt. I'm just sad." He sniffles again and his eyes start to get watery. "I miss my mom and dad." He mumbles quietly, but loud enough so that I can hear. I furrow my eyebrows at him and scoot closer to his trembling form, trying to comfort him.

"What happened to them? Where are they?" I ask softly but curiously, brushing a hand over his hair lightly like Mommy does when I'm sad. A tear slides down his face and he wipes at his cheeks harshly, before leaning into my touch slightly.

"Maryse said that they're in Heaven now. I'm not so sure, though. They died in a car-accident about three weeks ago." he tries to explain bravely, but the tears continue to come and soon he is crying quietly again. I wrap my arms around him and pull him to me gently, surprised when his arms wind themselves around my smaller form and he buries his face in my chest.

"Sh, it's okay." I whisper calmly, trying to comfort him like how Mommy has done to me so many times. Eventually, he stops crying and pulls back from me. He gives me a weak smile and I smile back widely.

"Now that that's taken care of, do you wanna play with me and my brother? We were going to play Hide-and-Seek in our apartment. It's really fun. We build forts and sometimes my Dad plays with us." I ask hopefully. His eyes brighten up and he nods vigorously at me with a wide smile.

"Sure." He exclaims excitedly, jumping up from his bed and pulling me with him; his earlier sadness forgotten. We start towards his balcony, but before we start climbing across the 1-foot gap that separates our rooms, he grabs the sleeve of my T-shirt and pulls me to a stop. "What's your name?" he asks curiously. I smile and hold out my hand like Daddy does when he meets with people from work.

"Clarissa Adele Morgenstern at your service, but my friends just call me Clary for short." I state formally, shaking his hand when he holds his out to meet mine.

"Jonathan Christopher Herondale, but Maryse and Robert call me Jace for short." He says with a wide smile that shows childish dimples in each of his cheeks. I smile wider when I hear his name, before starting to climb across the small gap.

"You have my brother's name, Jace. I think that we're going to be best-friends." I announce proudly when we stand firmly in my bright-green bedroom. His eyes widen slightly at the difference from his plain white bedroom, but his grin is still in place as we set off to find Jon to start playing.

(End of Flashback)

Jace and I immediately became best-friends from that day onwards. He knows my every secret and I know his. He and I basically formed our group of friends between the two of us, with us being in completely different 'clicks' if you will. His additions to the group were Jordan Kyle; the high-school drop-out, Alec Lightwood; Jace's adoptive brother and best-guy-friend, Sebastian Verlac; one of Jace's friends from football and also my brother's best-friend, and Jonathan Morgenstern; Jace's friend and also my big brother. My additions to the group were Isabelle Lightwood; my sister-from-another-mister, Maia Roberts; Jordan's girlfriend and also one of my only girl-friends that likes gaming, and Simon Lewis; one of my closest friends and hardcore geek. When you add up all of the different personalities that make up our group, you either have complete compatibility, or you have a thermonuclear weapon that is just waiting to be set off.

One of the hardest things that we have had to deal with is our age differences. You see Maia, Izzy, Simon, Jace, and I are all sixteen, when Jordan, Alec, Seb, and Jon are all seventeen. We all seem to make it work, despite the thousands of arguments that Jon and I have had about him being older and more 'responsible' when it comes to who is in charge. Jace always seems to win our arguments though; even the ones that he isn't even a part of.

He, somehow, always knows where we are in our apartment. Like, Jon and I will be watching TV, and he'll just appear out of nowhere and make himself comfortable on our couch after he has pushed both of us off of it. Sadly, my entire family has had to accept Jace's lack of personal space, so he has free reign over my entire apartment. More than once, have I regretted letting him know about our balconies and not being able to lock my window securely. Trust me, I've tried. I even once put several pad-locks onto the latch that secures my window shut, but he still figured out how to break those off and sneak into my apartment. It is kind of amusing to think about, but mostly frustrating because I have no privacy. None. At. All. One time when we were 13, he decided that it would be funny to barge into my bathroom while I was showering; he climbed through my window, came into my bathroom that is connected to my room, sat down onto the toilet, and then proceeded to tell me all about his day while I was screaming for him to leave. Jon thought that it was hilarious, so he didn't really help at all.

Of course, Jace isn't the only one who uses our crappy locks to his advantage. After the 'Shower Incident', as I like to call it, I decided to get a little pay-back. I basically went into his room while he was in the shower and stole all of his clothing. I had then proceeded to leave a bright red thong and a matching bra that Izzy had lent me on his bed. The only problem with my evil-plan was that I had forgotten that it was Jace whom I was dealing with. I almost died when he showed up in my bedroom at around 2:00am later that night; wearing only the thong and bra that I had earlier left in his room. I swear, that man has no shame whatsoever. He ended up hysterically laughing while I was hiding underneath of my comforters and quietly yelling at him to go home. It was, after all, 2:00am and my father would've killed both of us slowly for waking him up when he had to work the next morning. We have made some very inappropriate memories together, that's for sure.

Jace and I have always been close for as long as I have known him. Well, except for when Simon moved back into our apartment building and made Jace extremely worried that I would leave him for Simon. Of course, I didn't, but Jace really made a big deal out of me being friends with Simon. I eventually got him to agree to be friends with Simon as well, but he still teases him relentlessly for having a crush on Izzy. Sometimes I wonder where Jace's personality came from, but then I remember that I was one of his prime examples as a child, so I can't really talk. Insert unabashed smile here.

. . .

I look around my small bedroom and take in my surroundings as I pace. Maia and Jordan are sitting together snugly at the top of my bed, acting as if nobody matters except for the two of them. Lucky pieces of shit. Izzy, Simon, and Seb are all splayed out onto the floor in front of where I am pacing, eyeing me warily. Alec and Jon are talking quietly amongst themselves, most likely about this so-called 'band'. And finally there's Jace, who is staring at me with puppy-dog-eyes and slowly starting to get up from his spot of the edge of my bed. I stop pacing momentarily to watch him as he makes his way over to me. I stare up into his familiar golden orbs with defiance, only to sigh in defeat after a moment. I drop my gaze to the ground when I see his shit-eating grin take over his features and sigh heavily again.

"What are you planning, Jace?" I mumble half-heartedly, still staring at the hard-wood floor beneath me. I feel his thumb take my chin and lift it up o that I am staring at his face, before he starts speaking.

"Well," he starts, basically letting me know that this is a bad idea before he has even started telling me. "Jon, Seb and I were brainstorming the other day, and Jon mentioned how Simon is in a band, so naturally I had to look into it. Apparently they suck ass," he is cut off by Simon's angry voice echoing through my room.

"Hey!"

"So," Jace continues as if Simon never said a thing. "I checked with everyone to see if any of us could play instruments. Turns out, that enough of us are musically gifted to form a band. Jon kicks ass on the guitar, Jordan plays guitar too, Alec agreed to be our bass-player, Seb has been taking drum lessons since he was like five, and I, of course, will be providing the heavenly chorus to bring us all together. It's ingenious really." He explains, sounding extremely proud of himself. I stare at him, momentarily stunned, before slowly leaning back against the wall and sliding down so that I am sitting in front of my bed on the floor.

"And why, do pray-tell, am I needed for this?" I ask tiredly, slight confusion laced into my voice. Jace squats down in front of me so that we are at eye level and grins.

"You, my dear dumpling, are going to help us come up with a name, logo, help book us at gigs, and pretty much be our manager. We've all discussed this, and agree that you are the most trustworthy out of everybody that we know. It really wasn't up for discussion, I mean," he pauses his speech to stand up again and start looking around at the group, who has gone silent sometime during Jace's earlier speech. I stand up as well and look at Jace in panic.

"What?! I can't be your manager! I don't even like the idea of you guys being in a band. Let alone being in control over it!" I cry incredulously, quickly scanning all of my friends' faces to see if they all agree with this. Sadly for me though, they are all smiling at me encouragingly. Mother-fucking traitors. Jace walks over to me and grabs me by my shoulders, shaking me softly.

"Well, you could be in the band. There's always that option, but you are being a part of this. No if's, and's, or but's." he says gently, but his words are final. My eyes widen and I shake my head at him in disbelief.

"What would I play?! I can't even play the triangle without causing bodily harm to the bystanders. There's no way in hell that I'll be able to learn an instrument that consists of possible weaponry. I couldn't even play the tambourine because I accidentally let go of it while trying to use it and it went airborne through the window in Mrs. Penhallow's classroom. They literally banned me from the music department. Permanently." I list off exasperatedly. Jace grins down at me deviously, before moving away from me and facing the rest of the group again.

"Well, that settles it then. Clary's going to be our little Flame in the band. You'll really light things up." He says smugly, snickering to himself quietly when I glare at him.

"Careful, Herondale. I know where you sleep." I threaten, not emptily. He smirks and wiggles his eyebrows at me.

"Is that an invitation?" he asks innocently, despite the devilish glint that seems to have taken shelter within the depths of his eyes.

I roll my eyes as he whole group laughs at his joke and playfully punch his shoulder. He dramatically drops to the ground and starts vibrating, resembling someone who is having a seizure. I giggle into my hand, before going to the ground and poking the soft spot that is located on the side of his ribcage. He knows that I know that he hates it when I do that, so I continue to do exactly that. He chuckles breathlessly and sits up, making me stop my assault on his ribs and back away. His eyes get a mischievous look in them, warning me to 'run now', but I never get a chance to listen to my instincts.

He lunges towards me and tackles me to the ground, tickling me until I am almost in tears from laughing. His smile is wide and genuine when he finally stops tickling me, causing my breath to catch slightly. He almost never smiles genuinely anymore. It's always smirks and grins, but he always seems to give me one genuine smile every day. It's almost like a goal of sorts.

I am brought out of my thoughts by Jace standing up and pulling me with him. once I am steady o my feet again, he grabs my hand and pulls me towards the bed. We plant ourselves at the end and look at everyone.

"So, what do we do first, Flame?" he asks me, seriousness and teasing mixed together in his tone. I groan and let my head fall down against his shoulder.

"I don't know." I mumble into his t-shirt, causing him to chuckle.

"Okay, so…" he starts to explain something to me, but I'm not really listening. I'm only hearing my own thoughts, really only one in particular. What the hell did Jace just drag me into?

Hello, lovely readers. So, this is the beginning of my new story. Yay! I really like where I have this story headed, so I will be updating soon. Very soon.

As always, Cassandra Clare owns all, except for the plot and my ideas. :D

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