So, I apologize for taking so long to update this. I honestly forgot that it existed. I've been pretty excited about Twisted lately, but I promise to get back with this story more consistently soon. As soon as I've finished Twisted, this story will be top priority.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this. It my be a bit off from the other chapters just because it was a little hard for me to get back into the mood and plot of this one.


The next day, I pulled up to Clary's house around twelve-thirty. I got out of the car with a slight yawn. Sebastian had stayed until late the night before, and I'd stayed up for hours more after he left. Not to mention we'd had a few drinks. Not enough to be drunk, but enough to leave me with the threat of a headache hovering over my skull since I'd woken up this morning. Considering that had only been half an hour ago, though, it could be worse.

I covered my mouth and rubbed at my eyes as I rapped my fist against the front door. I wondered what kind of mood Clary was in today. Every time I had seen her she'd seemed to be different, although there was always an underlying bitterness.

When the door opened, Jonathan was standing behind it, dressed in sweatpants and a t-shirt. He raised a brow, gesturing for me to come in. He closed the door behind me and passed me on his way to the kitchen. "You want something to drink? Clary's being moody, so she's insisting that she's not ready to leave yet, even though I'm perfectly aware that she was up at eleven and all she had to do was get dressed. I honestly think she's sitting in her room right now and waiting until you've had to wait for at least five minutes."

I chuckled. "So that's how she's going to be today."

Jon smirked as he turned to the fridge, pulling out two bottles of water. "I would offer you something stronger, since you have to deal with my sister at her best in a little bit, but you're driving, so I'll just offer you some when you get back."

I grinned, taking the water from him. "Is that a promise?"

Jonathan laughed now, stepping out of the kitchen to smack his palm against Clary's door.

"Clary, come on, don't be rude when he's doing you a favor!"

I heard her shout something back, but couldn't understand it. Jon just shrugged and moved to sit on the couch. I leaned my hip against the back of it while I waited, wondering just how long Clary actually planned to make me wait. Suddenly, her door flew open and she stepped out with one shoe on, glowering. "Jon, did you even listen to me?"

He tipped his head back on the couch to look back at her. "Not really."

She huffed, turning back around and going back into her room. Jon sighed, standing up with a shake of his head. "Was she only wearing one shoe?"

I nodded. He rolled his eyes. "I thought that was what she said."

I frowned as he followed her into her room. I could hear them bickering, but I didn't know exactly what was being said. When May padded into the room, I took it as a distraction from the ever-constant arguing. I crouched down as she approached me with her tail wagging. She sat down in front of me as I reached out to scratch behind her ears. She thumped her tail happily against the ground as she inched closer until she was nearly in my lap.

I chuckled as she looked up at me, her tongue lolling out of her mouth. She was wearing an orange vest today, with a little pocket holding some papers and the words 'SERVICE DOG' in big black letters.

I continued to pet her until Clary and Jon reemerged from her room, Clary now wearing both boots.

"Maybe if you hadn't thrown them in opposite corners when you got home, you could've found them," Jon said, sounding a lot like a parent.

Clary scowled at him. "Maybe if I could see, I would've found them," she snapped back, her voice acidic. I looked over her outfit with a sudden curiosity. She was wearing jeans and a long sleeved gray shirt with gray boots. I wondered how she matched them on her own. How did she know that she wasn't leaving the house wearing something atrocious?

Then, I raised my eyes to her face again to see she'd pulled her hair up in a messy bun. I realized for the first time that her whole right ear was lined with silver studs. I raised my brow. "Nice earrings. I didn't know you had that." I managed to keep myself from commenting on how sexy it was to see so many piercings on a girl.

She shrugged. "You didn't ask." Her voice wasn't necessarily cruel, it was just cold and borderline angry. I huffed at her reaction. The piercings may be sexy, but that attitude definitely wasn't.

"Why are you wearing sunglasses? You never have before."

The dark shades over her eyes didn't look bad on her, especially paired with her piercings, but it was a bit odd since it was an overcast day. I understood that some blind people wore them, but Clary had never donned them before.

"Because I'm going somewhere where it's easier if people know I'm blind without me having to tell them," she said shortly, her voice sounding irritated at having to explain.

"You're just a ray of sunshine today, aren't you?" I walked over to her and put my hand on her back. "Let's go."

She pulled away from me with a glower, moving easily to the door on her own. I raised my hands in defense, rolling my eyes. I said a brief goodbye to a smirking Jonathan before following Clary out the door.

May was all business now, sticking right to Clary's side and pressing closer when they reached the end of the walkway. Clary stopped, waiting for my hand to rest on her arm before she moved forward with me, turning to walk a bit down the sidewalk before I told her we'd reached the car. I pulled the door open for her and took May's leash that she handed to me before helping her into the passenger seat.

By helping, I mean standing there and watching while she slowly felt for the car with her leg and lowered herself into the seat, a hand on the door to keep her balance. I shut the door carefully once she was seated and pulled open the back door for May to jump in. She looked at the jump briefly before looking up at me.

I frowned. "Get in?"

I heard Clary make a noise somewhere between a laugh and a scoff. "May, jump on."

The dog didn't hesitate at her owner's command. She jumped right up into the seat and moved to the center so she could see Clary.

I shook my head at the dog's behavior as well as Clary's and crossed around the car to the driver's side.

I got in and checked over my shoulder before pulling out onto the road. "So, do you know the address to get to the store you want to go to?"

Clary turned her head towards me briefly, and I could almost feel her eye roll. "It's literally the Shoprite two blocks down."

I nodded, biting back a nasty reply to her attitude. I just bit my lip, staring ahead and turning to wrap around the block so that I could pull into the store.

I came to a stop pretty sharply when I lined up in a parking space. Honestly, it was probably a dick move considering she had absolutely no idea I was about to stop, and her forward momentum was stopped only by her seatbelt locking up.

For a second, I saw something like fear flash across her face, the kind of fear that makes somebody freeze up, their body becoming numb and immovable. Then, before I could even give any credit to what I thought I'd seen, she made a sound something like a hiss, her head snapping around to dagger me with her eyes, considering her glasses had fallen halfway down her nose with the sudden movement. "You're such a fucking asshole," she snapped before fumbling with the door handle for a moment before flinging it open. I was suddenly very glad that I hadn't parked next to anyone, because she would have just scratched the shit out of their car.

She threw herself from the car, shoving her glasses up back over her eyes and reaching back in the grab her bag, only searching for a moment with her hand before I took pity and nudged it into her hand silently. She grabbed it without realizing I'd helped her, which was good considering she probably would have bitten my head off.

When she shut the door, she searched for the handle to open the back door for a minute as I turned the car off and got out. When she finally found the handle, she pulled it open, calling May out

The dog leaped down obediently and Clary grabbed her leash from where it had dropped to the ground, reaching up to shut the door before standing back up.

I was beginning to think it had to be exhausting to be blind. Everything she did, even simple things that most people wouldn't even think about, was a multi-step process for her.

Just getting out of a car was a hassle.

I frowned, suddenly feeling awful for making it more difficult for her.

I put a hand on her shoulder when I passed her to help guide her. She let me, although I could feel her irritation at needing the help. She stopped suddenly as May pressed against her side and I frowned as I lost my grip on her shoulder. I looked down and realized what I'd forgotten.

Clary carefully placed her foot forward, moving it up and over the curb that I had forgotten to warn her about. "That's why I need the dog," she muttered as she reached my side again.

I sighed but didn't reply, keeping my hand on her arm as we walked to the doors. "There's a doorway coming up," I warned her hesitantly, unsure if she really needed the warning with automatic doors. "They're automatic, but I don't know if there's something on the floor, you know?"

She nodded briefly. She slowed our pace a little at my warning and we made it through the doorway without issue. May stuck close to her side and I felt the eyes on us as soon as we stepped through the doors. I was certain Clary felt them as well, by the way her head ducked slightly.

She didn't say anything, although I knew it bothered her. I remembered when I'd first met her and Jonathan. She had been complaining that she didn't like putting May's vest on because everyone stared. I let out a silent breath. "Do you want to grab a cart?" I asked her carefully.

She shrugged. "That's what Jon usually does, just so that he doesn't have to hold onto me the whole time."

I nodded. "Okay. Stay put, I'll grab one."

Clary's face flashed in annoyance, but she nodded tightly. I huffed. I would never win with this girl. I had thought we'd gained some ground when she came over to my house, but apparently I was wrong.

When I came back with the cart, I slowed my steps for a minute. Someone had come up to talk to Clary, and the way her posture had stiffened since I left, she either didn't know him, or didn't like him.

He seemed to be around my age. he was tall and skinny, his skin pale and his hair a solid black. It was messy and nearly concealed his blue eyes.

He looked seriously at Clary, but she wasn't even lifting her head to pretend to be listening.

I was suddenly grateful that, however Clary treated me with contempt most of the time, she didn't act like that with me.

I saw her finally open her mouth and snap something at him and moved more quickly, wanting to hear what she said.

"You made it perfectly fucking clear how you felt about me, Alexander. Years ago, you made it obvious. I won't let you take your word back now just because I can't fucking see. I've had enough of people trying to make amends with me just because of my eyes. I've had about enough of that as I've had of people burning bridges for the same reason."

"Clarissa-"

"Don't you dare 'Clarissa' me. You've hated me since you met me, for petty shit. Guess what? I haven't changed any since my eyes shit out. You're still looking at the same person as before, and everything you hate about me is still here. I haven't changed."

I blinked in shock, stopping a few feet away from them. I saw May's ears twitching nervously between her owner and the man she was arguing with. He shook his head, looking aggravated.

"Of course you've changed. You won't even speak to anybody anymore. You locked yourself up in your house and made your brother do your dirty work, made him send everybody who came to see you home. As far as I'm concerned, the only thing that hasn't changed is how pathetic you are." I flinched at the words as though they'd been directed at me.

Clary simply scowled, her lip curling up in contempt. "They only wanted to see me to avoid the guilt they'd feel later for leaving me alone. You all would have left just like he did, and you know it," she hissed, her voice more venomous than I'd ever heard it.

I saw the exasperation on the man's face just as I recognized the pure anger on hers. My mind began to race as I tried to figure out what she'd meant. She had alluded to her brother's friends treating her differently after she went blind, but this seemed different. The way she said 'he', it was like this man knew exactly who it was she was speaking of.

"He was a coward, like he's always been!" the man burst out, throwing his arms out to the side in frustration. "You know how badly he reacts to things changing. He didn't realize what he was doing when he did what he did, and you know it. he would have gotten over it, and he has! He regrets it every single day! He was just having trouble with the sudden changes."

I saw the blank look on her face and recognized it as the one she gave people when they said something she found to be exceptionally idiotic. "He was having trouble with the changes?" she said in a flat voice.

I saw the man wince. "I didn't mean it like-"

"He had trouble with it? I was the one that went blind fucking overnight, but he couldn't deal with the change?"

I knew that I should be a decent person and either interrupt or stop eavesdropping, but this was the most I'd learned about Clary since I met her. Before I could make the decision, however, the blue-eyed man noticed me and stiffened.

"There's a man staring at us," he said bluntly. I scoffed, stepping forward with the cart until I was by Clary's side.

She tilted her head towards me and I looked down at her. With her head tilted like that, I could just see behind her glasses to see that her eyes were narrowed in a cold fury, presumably from her argument with the man-Alexander.

"I'm Jace," I introduced, careful to keep my tone from being too friendly. I didn't want to piss her off by being nice to someone she obviously hated. The man just stared at me, his eyes slightly shocked at how she had accepted my presence.

I had a strong feeling that this had something to do with those old friends that Jon said she was too afraid to talk to.

Clary inched closer to me, which went unnoticed by Alexander, but not by me. She turned her face away from both of us, clearly showing that she was done with this conversation. "I think we're done here, Alec," she said icily. "I have things to get done, and I'm sure you do too."

"That's why you won't even think about going back to him then," he said, his voice deadly. "You found someone to replace him."

She huffed, a sound somewhere between amusement and incredulousness. "I thought I was pathetic, Alec? Why on earth would someone want someone as pathetic and useless as me?"

I saw his exasperation as he looked at me helplessly. I almost wanted to help him, knowing what it felt like to be on the receiving end of Clary's cynicism. But her reminder of the way he'd spoken to her held my tongue.

Whether she had been rude or not, whether she'd done something wrong in the past or not, there was absolutely no reason for him to have spoken to her like she was nothing.

I just shrugged at him and placed my hand on Clary's shoulder. "We have shopping to do, Clary," I said, keeping my voice light.

After one more glance in Alec's direction, she nodded. "Yeah, we do."

Without even saying a single word to the man, she had found the cart after a carefully disguised fumble. I nodded briefly to Alec before pushing the cart forward beside Clary. She took her place behind it easily as I pushed it along towards the pet aisle. May trotted along beside her, watching their surroundings like a hawk.

We were completely silent until we stood in front of the dog food selection. "So, what kind do you want?" I asked, glancing at her warily. She had been silent since the encounter with Alec, and it made me uncomfortable. It wasn't an angry silence, or even an awkward silence, and I had no idea what to make of it. All I knew was that it made me uncomfortable.

Her head jolted up suddenly as though pulled from her thoughts. "Purina," she answered with a slight frown. "It should say large dog formula on it. It's red, if I remember correctly."

I nodded without thinking, moving forward when I spotted the one that had a picture of a labrador on it. The bag was blue, but I wasn't going to correct her about what color her dog food bag was, since she clearly didn't realize that the color had changed since she could actually see what color the bag was.

I picked up the large bag effortlessly, thanking the time I spent in the gym a few times a week with Sebastian. I had grabbed the largest bag they had in the variety she had asked for, figuring that it was better to stock up while I was helping her than have her picking another bag up sometime when Jon or I weren't here. The bag was literally double the size of most other bags, but I lifted it without too much of a problem.

It was sheer willpower though, that kept me from letting it hit the cart loudly. I refused to let her realize that I had the tiniest bit of trouble putting it down without dropping it.

"Okay," I said, once I placed it in the cart. "Anything else you need?"

Clary chewed her lip for a moment in thought. I saw a devious look cross her face and was suddenly wary. "I need ta-"

"Please don't say what I think you're going to say," I said, feeling my face pale drastically.

Her head cocked to the side a bit, a playful smile crossing her features. The light-hearted expression took my breath away. She was pretty every day. She was pretty even when she was scowling. But when she smiled like that, she was absolutely gorgeous.

"What is it? I just need some t-"

"Shh," I hissed, looking around as another man passed by us, glancing for a longer time than decent at May, sitting by Clary's heels patiently. I scowled at him and he scrambled past us rather quickly.

Her smiled had dimmed a bit, as though she had felt the boy's eyes on her, but she brought it back within a second, although it was noticeably weaker now. I decided I would have to sacrifice to see her full smile come back.

"Do you really need...those?" I asked, the dread apparent in my voice.

Clary laughed under her breath now. "That depends on what you think 'those' are, Jace."

I looked at her blankly. "I think you know."

She stooped down a little, resting her elbows on the cart handle. "Do you mean tampons, Jace?"

I felt my face scrunch up involuntarily at the word. I looked around again to make sure nobody was overhearing our conversation. "Yes. Do you really need them?"

She looked at me seriously for a moment, her smile having disappeared. "Oh god," I coughed out. "I-how-" I was stuttering so badly that I couldn't believe that any sound was making it out.

Clary's raucous laughter startled me. I stared at her as she just about collapsed against the shelf behind her.

"Your reaction was priceless," she gasped out, her sunglasses slipping down her nose as she tried to catch her breath.

I tried to be irritated. I really did. But I couldn't manage to keep a serious demeanor seeing her crack up like that. I began to laugh with her.

My reaction encouraged her further, and I saw her eyes lighten more than I'd ever seen them. She looked at me as we began to calm down. I could see something different about them now, almost fond.

She smiled at me. "Sorry. I saw the opportunity and I just kind of took it."

I chuckled, shaking my head. "Naturally. I should've seen that coming."

She grinned, standing up straight again and adjusting her sunglasses. "I don't really need anything else. So if you don't have anything you need, we can head out. Maybe pick up lunch?"

I didn't miss that she had just offered an idea that would require her to spend more time with me. It could also be free food that motivated her, but I chose to go with her wanting to spend time with me.

"Sure. Let's go then." I stepped next to her, pushing on the cart after making sure she had her hands on it. It was a genius idea and it made it ridiculously easy to help her through the supermarket safely.

The cashier was a teenage boy, probably still in high school. His eyes were stuck on Clary even as he scanned the dog food and candy bars Clary and I had decided on last minute.

I cleared my throat, glaring at the boy with everything in me. He quickly averted his eyes, mumbling the total to me. Clary seemed to balk. "Jace what-"

"I got a bigger bag. It's fine," I said, seeing her objecting look. I waved her off as she pulled the cash for the bag from her pocket. "Stop, it's fine," I said determinedly. I handed the boy my card before she could demand I take her money. She slapped my arm when the boy handed me the receipt.

"Why would you do that?" she asked, sounding genuinely bewildered. I huffed with a slight eye roll as we exited the store, still pushing the cart.

"Because I'm a fucking gentleman," I joked, receiving a scoff in return. When I looked at her, however, she was smiling slightly. When we reached the car, I guided her to the door before moving to put the bag in the trunk.

Once I had tossed it in, I shut the trunk and made sure Clary and May were both situated in the car before returning to the front of the store to replace the cart. When I returned, Clary turned to me as the door opened.

"Ready?" I asked, just to break the silence. Clary had taken her sunglasses off and her pale eyes were a little eerie as they seemed to latch onto mine.

"Yeah," she said slowly. "So, did you want to go to lunch, or…?" She trailed off, raising her brows questioningly.

I looked at the dash to see the time was nearly two. A little late, but I hadn't eaten today and I doubted that she had. "Sure," I said lightly, trying to hide how pleased I was to hear her asking me to spend more time together. "I know a good diner a little ways away if you want to go there."

She nodded, glancing back at May. "You don't think they'll give me trouble, do you? Some places don't like when I bring her in."

I frowned as I backed out of the parking space, remembering what I had discovered when I had been looking up detais about blind people. "Isn't it a law that they have to let her in?"

She shrugged. "Yeah. But a lot of places don't like it anyway. They give me just enough of a hard time that they can't be sued but it's enough to make it very clear that we're not welcome."

The bitterness that had been lacking in her voice for a while had reappeared. I pursed my lips as I pulled out onto the street again. "Trust me, they won't give you a hard time where we're going. I've known the people at Taki's since I was a kid."

She glanced at me curiously before seeming to forget about it, tapping her fingers against her knees.

I looked at her from the corners of my eyes as we pulled up to a stop light. "So…" I hesitated, trying to find the words to ask about what I was thinking. "That man-Alec? Who was he exactly?"

She stiffened, her eyes straight ahead as her hands stilled on her legs. She didn't seem to be anywhere near answering me, so I turned my head back forward. I moved ahead with the rest of the cars behind me, crossing the intersection.

When she spoke, her voice had an edge to it. "He was a friend of a friend a long time ago," she said simply. "He was a dick when I knew him, and I don't quite believe he just had a change of heart out of nowhere."

I chewed the inside of my cheek in thought. Maybe, if I could reconnect Clary with her old friends, she wouldn't be so hostile all the time. Maybe I could start with Jon's friends, to kind of ease her into being around people she'd known before.

I remembered the way she had reacted when I'd suggested she go hang out with them then, and decided that it would probably be an awful idea to start with people she already seemed to hold a grudge against.

Now that I really thought about it, maybe she would do better if I set her up with new friends, people who didn't have expectations already formed of the girl they used to know.

And the only people our age that I really knew, other than girls who I'd slept with and were more likely to screw with Clary than help her, were Sebastian and Gabriel.

I cringed at the thought of my friends being around Clary. No way would I be encouraging her to spend time with those assholes.

The idea that they may be my only option made me want to dig a deep hole to hide in.

By the time I had pulled up to Taki's, I had gone back and forth with the idea about eight times.

I parked carefully this time, thinking back to how she had reacted before when I had just slammed on the brakes. We got out together and this time I let May out, catching her leash and handing it to Clary so she didn't have to scramble for it.

She took it carefully, allowing me to take her arm and guide her to the door, May assisting only when I missed something. I warned her about the doorway and held the door for her, a hand on her back to guide her through. She reached up as we stepped into the warm diner to tuck a piece of hair away from her face, her hand freezing. "I forgot my glasses," she mumbled to me.

I frowned. "That's fine. You don't need them."

She ducked her head a bit, shrugging. "I don't like people staring at my eyes," she said softly, almost whispering. "I know they stare. I can't blame them, I'm odd-looking." I rested a hand comfortingly on her shoulder. She turned towards it as though contemplating shoving it off, but didn't make a move to.

"Nobody here will stare, I promise. Just about everyone here has turned up looking a little odd themselves. Most of them look odd naturally, so don't worry."

She chewed her lip still. "I'm not worried," she said, tensing her shoulders as though trying to hide her moment of weakness. "I just don't like it."

I didn't say anything, just waited for the waitress to appear. Kaelie smiled at me. "Hey, Jace. Nice to see you, hon. I'll get to you in a second. Taking the usual booth?"

"Of course. Take your time, Kaelie. There's no rush."

She smiled, waving quickly before ducking away into the kitchen. I led Clary over to the corner booth, seating her across from me. May laid down by her feet, just under the table and out of the way of anyone passing by.

I looked around briefly, seeing familiar faces. My parents had taken me here as a child, and I still frequented it now. I could see a couple curious looks shot my way as people realized that I was with someone other than Sebastian or Gabriel. Nobody kept their eyes on us for too long, thankfully, and my companion didn't seem to notice their looks.

Clary's head was tipped to the side slightly as she listened to the sounds around her, her face appearing focused. I cleared my throat quietly enough to be subtle, and she turned to me, blinking.

"So, this is Taki's. My parents used to bring me here when I was a kid." I didn't know where I was going with this, but I knew that I wanted to tell her something from my past. Maybe if I opened up a bit, I could get some of the facts about her old friends. "I've known most of the people in here since then."

She nodded, looking contemplative. "The hostess seemed to know you. Kaelie?"

I nodded. "Yeah. She's worked here for quite a while. I knew her before that, though, from high school."

She looked curious now. "How old are you anyway? Jon never told me. I mean, for all I know you could be some old man following me around."

I tried hard not to be insulted, but I couldn't help but cringe. "Do I seem like an old man?" I asked, failing to hide my offense.

She smiled a bit, shaking her head. "No. I know you're young, I just can't quite tell how young. I think you're older than me, but I don't know by how much."

I pursed my lips. "Well, that depends on how old you are."

She huffed with an eye roll. "Would you just tell me? You're such an asshole."

I chuckled under my breath. "I'll be twenty next Thursday." I saw her lack of surprise and figured that she'd been spot on.

"I'm only a year younger then," she said. "I turned nineteen a few months ago." I looked at her in surprise.

"Really? I thought you were younger."

She scowled at me then, her fingers tapping against the table in irritation. I pressed my lips together to keep from laughing. "Do you realize how often I get that?" She crossed her arms over her chest, leaning back in her seat. "It's just because I'm short," she huffed, pursing her lips.

I couldn't help the smile I reacted with. I was startled when Kaelie approached, smiling warmly towards us. "And how are you today?" She glanced at Clary, who had turned to look at her. "And who's this? I've never seen you bring a girl in here, Jace," she said excitedly.

I saw Clary's cheeks flush slightly as I glanced at her. Kaelie smiled at her, and I was suddenly nervous about exactly what my old friend would bring up. She had always lived up to her blonde hair, never realizing when to keep her mouth shut.

"This is Clary," I told her, waving a hand towards the girl across from me. "Clary, this is Kaelie. I graduated high school with her."

Clary nodded politely, saying a short hello to Kaelie, who beamed at her. "And how did you two meet?"

Clary blushed again. "We're just friends," she said, her eyes flicking to me. "My brother kind of made us hang out."

I raised a brow, thinking that it wasn't Jon who had come up with a plan for us to go to lunch together. Kaelie frowned at me.

"Jace, you aren't going to try and go for this lovely little thing? I don't think I've ever seen you be just friends with a girl befo-"

"You're exaggerating," I said quickly, seeing Clary's eyebrows furrow. "I was friends with you, if I remember correctly."

Kaelie grinned at me. "Yeah, sure, but we also had a bit of fun between classes."

I grimaced, looking pointedly at Clary, who was looking down at the table top now with cheeks brighter than her hair. Kaelie's eyes widened, a manicured hand covering her stained lips. I groaned internally, seeing how Clary's face had gone blank when she looked back up.

"Well," Kaelie said, a little awkwardly now. "I'll just leave you two to think over what you'll have. I can take your drink order now, if you want," she offered, looking to Clary, who continued to stare at the table top, not realizing that Kaelie was talking to her.

"I'll have my usual," I said, prompting Clary to look up briefly, asking for a water.

Kaelie smiled a bit hesitantly before fleeing the suddenly tense atmosphere. I almost swore when Clary remained silent after Kaelie left. We had been talking easily before, and now she had gone quiet again.

"So, Kaelie is a little...enthusiastic," I said rather weakly.

Clary's brows went up. "Uh-huh. Apparently, you're into that." I huffed.

"What, jealous now are we?" I nearly balked when I realized that I had said exactly what I thought without meaning to let it pass my lips. Clary scowled at me, her delicate hands fisting on top of the table. I eyed them warily, almost afraid that she would make a scene and slam her hands down dramatically.

I should have known by then, of course, that Clary wasn't one to do anything to draw attention to herself, meaning she would most definitely not be acting outrageously. I watched as her fingers relaxed again, my eyes suddenly catching the silvery lines running up and down her fingers and the back of her hands. There was one particularly nasty looking scar that ran from her left ring finger to her wrist. It was darker than the others and thicker. It looked painful, and I felt another wave of sympathy for the girl before me.

Her fingers tapped impatiently against the table. "In order for me to be jealous, I would actually have to give a shit about you, wouldn't I?" Her words were harsh, and her face showed no signs of the words being empty. I wasn't really surprised that she'd said it. She seemed to say a lot of hurtful things. But the way her eyes seemed entirely flat when she did hit me. There wasn't even a question. She honestly didn't care that she'd been so cruel.

I tried not to let the words bother me, but they did regardless.

I lowered my eyes away from the harsh emotions behind hers, sighing. "And here I thought we were making progress," I muttered, ignoring the glare she shot me.

I saw her turn away from me, her fingers twitching erratically and drawing my attention back to the scars worn into her skin like a gruesome tattoo. They reminded me just how little I knew of this girl. Could I really say anything about her attitude when I had no idea what kind of pain she'd been through? Beyond the obvious, at least.

From what I'd picked up so far, she had lost her sight abruptly and been abandoned by at least one or two people who hadn't adjusted well. Her brother's friends had apparently done something to hurt her, and she had lost an important part of her when she lost her sight.

Okay, maybe I knew more than I had really realized. But the part that was driving me nuts was the scars. How did they play into anything I'd learned?

For probably the hundredth time today, I spoke without thinking. Without meaning them to, words began to slip past my lips, forming a question that was sure to get me slapped. "Where did you get those scars?"

Clary froze where she sat, her body stiffening. She sat staring ahead blankly for almost a full minute before turning to look at me, her eyes hard like diamonds.

Well, fuck.


In light of the previous sentence, I wanted to let you guys know that this story may have quite a bit of swearing and...edgy? scenes. I mean, nothing full-on with the details because it wouldn't fit in with the nature of this story, but there will be some scenes that you may blush at if you're uncomfortable with that kind of thing.

All of the characters are in their early twenties-the party years. So, they'll be participating in all kinds of naughty behaviors, including drinking, swearing, sex, ect. If this offends you, this probably isn't the story for you. I know it all seems fairly innocent now, but it's only the beginning and you haven't really seen a lot of their inner lives yet. You'll be seeing a bit more soon, so be ready for that.

I don't believe any of this will go to the excess that I need to change the rating, so this is just a small warning for those easily offended.

Now that that's out of the way, let me know how you guys are liking the story in a review! I love to hear from you all!

-Cassidy