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Last chapter of this segment - oh my!
"You cannot do this," the Inquisitor told her with a surprising hint of panic. "If not for yourself, think of Jonathan. He's on such shaky ground with the Clave already. They'll see this as an act of rebellion, as you two breaking your connections with them!" She slammed her hands on the desk. "This is not the time to be making rash, immature decisions!"
"You really want to talk about rash, immature decisions?" Chloe wanted to know as she slammed her own palms down on the desk, bringing herself to eye-level with the woman. "When yours nearly killed us?"
The Inquisitor flinched, her gaze went to Jace oddly before she stood and cleared her throat. "I… I cannot say how much I regret my past actions. I was swayed by my own feelings, and that is why I cannot allow you to make the same mistakes that I did. The Clave are not happy. You've ignored their summons for far too long. If you continue to disobey them, to defy them this way, they will have you arrested and taken to Idris. Believe me when I say that you do not want them to see you as a traitor."
"I never swore allegiance to the Clave," Chloe informed her. "I don't have to listen to anything you say."
"Jonathan did," the Inquisitor reminded her harshly. "Think about him and how this will affect him!"
"He is right here," Jace finally spoke, his voice low and expression annoyed. "And will you stop pretending like you give a crap about what happens to me?"
The inquisitor flinched once more, her voice low. "I know it is hard for you to believe, Jonathan, but I do care."
"You can't use me against my father, he's proven that already, so respectfully I'm going to ask you to mind your own business." Jace's voice was low, his eyes narrowed, his fists clenched. "I'm still an agent of the Clave, if they have a demon they want me to vanquish or a Downworlder who needs punishment, I am there in a heartbeat. Alec is also my parabatai and brother, I would not abandon my family at the Institute." He stood tall. "But I am going to move out with Chloe."
"No, you're not." The Inquisitor's eyes narrowed. "You're still a minor in the eyes of the Clave, Jonathan. Your guardianship is still in the hands of Maryse and Robert Lightwood, and the Clave will order that they not allow you to leave the Institute."
For the first time ever, Jace hesitated. "It's none of the Clave's business what I do in my personal time. They only own me when I'm on duty."
"That's not how they see it and you know it. For them a Shadowhunter is always 'on duty' as you so put it." The Inquisitor stared at Jace, meeting his narrowed gaze. "Until you are twenty-one you will be considered a ward of the Clave's, and they will have last say in anything that happens to you." She turned to Chloe. "They removed your guardianship from Jocelyn Fairchild and have taken you into their hold as well. You will be lucky if you are not remanded into their custody in Idris within the fortnight. Just because you do not feel they have a right to you does not mean that they agree." She raised her chin. "And considering you are below the Shadowhunter age of maturity, you will have little say in what happens to you for the next couple of years."
"Isn't it funny how we're old enough to fight demons for them, die for them, but we're not old enough to make any choices regarding our own lives," Chloe declared with venom.
"The Law is hard but it is the Law," the Inquisitor quoted.
"The Law is only binding if we let it be," Chloe hissed rebelliously. She could feel her anger and resentment bubbling up inside of her, and it was all she could do to keep her eyes from flickering.
The Inquisitor went pale and looked around her before she leaned in, voice hissed. "Do not say those kinds of things! The Clave will see it as treason! You do not want to give them more reason to keep you under lock and key!" She leaned closer, voice even lower. "If you want to survive the debriefing with some hope of freedom, keep those thoughts to yourself!" She glanced between Jace and Chloe before she took in a deep breath. "That goes for the both of you."
It hit Chloe then and there that the inquisitor actually was, in her own way, trying to help them. The realization shocked her, and then made her hella suspicious because what was behind the woman's sudden 180? It wasn't out of the goodness of her heart, so maybe it was out of guilt?
"You speak about the debriefing as if you when it is to happen," Jace noted, eyes narrowed. "Are they calling us to Idris to debrief us on what happened aboard my father's ship?"
The Inquisitor nodded. "I received the summons an hour ago. We're all to travel to Idris by Portal tomorrow morning so that the Clave may ascertain what has happened." Her gaze found and held Chloe's. "You are to come as well." She hesitated before she took in a deep breath. "Maybe, if they feel that you are on the right path they will be more lenient and will consider the option of allowing you to live off of sanctioned ground."
Chloe's eyes widened. "You're saying I should bluff my way to freedom."
"I would never say any such thing," the Inquisitor assured her. And yet… "All I am saying is that the two of you need to be smarter than you have been in the past. That is all." With that she sat down and clasped her hands together over the desk. "Now you are excused to go and pack for tomorrow's trip."
Jace stormed out of the room first only to stop at the door and peer back at Chloe curiously when she didn't move.
Chloe eyed the Inquisitor in silence before she followed after Jace, and once her hand was in his, allowed him to lead her out of the room.
"So, why are they only asking for Shadowhunters to come to Idris and not the Downworlders who helped us?" Lois wanted to know as she curled up on Luke's sofa. She'd gotten a text from Chloe earlier on, and while she'd been relieved that her cousin was talking to her again, she'd been worried at the contents. At least Chloe's text had given her the heads up so that when the official summons was given to her she hadn't looked so shocked, which was probably a good thing.
"Because they don't trust the word of Downworlders the same way they do Shadowhunters," Luke replied honestly from his lazyboy. Even though his werewolf healing abilities had finally been activated via magic, he still flinched once in a while due to his injury from the Greater Demon. He was on strict bed-rest (or, er, lazyboy rest), and Lois was here to bully him into actually doing as the Warlock at the hospital had told him.
"It's amazing how much I don't like these people despite never having met them," Lois mumbled before she paused when she noticed Luke's gaze on her. "What?"
He tilted his head to the side. "What did you see Agramon as?"
"My father," she admitted, still unconvinced that she'd actually killed a Greater Demon. It couldn't be that easy! "He told me he was an agent of Valentine's, and that I would be too, that I'd betray Chloe just like he had Aunt Moira." She shifted uncomfortably in the sofa. "What about you?"
Luke hesitated. "I saw myself as a Shadowhunter."
Lois frowned. "That's all?"
"Valentine was my parabatai, Lois," Luke reminded her softly. "I was deep into the Circle, I believed everything Valentine preached, I followed blindly. I—I killed many innocent lives because of him, and it didn't phase me. I turned against my friends – I didn't believe Jocelyn when she told me she was scared of him, I didn't hesitate to tell him any worry my friends came to me with in confidence regarding him." He licked his lips. "When I look back at who I was it terrifies me."
Lois hugged her knees tighter to her chest.
"Sometimes I think the best thing that could've happened to me is that I became a Downworlder," Luke admitted. "It forced me to see the truth for what it was, forced me to see Valentine for what he was… forced me to see myself for what I was – what I had become. I was a murderer, a monster."
It was obviously so hard for him to admit that.
"I don't think I will ever be able to atone for all of the horrible things I did at Valentine's side." He took in a deep breath. "I deserve for all that I have done to haunt me for the rest of my life. I don't deserve a moment's happiness."
"That's not true," Lois hissed as she rose and went to bend to her knees in front of his chair, her gaze up at him. "You did wrong, a lot of it, but you've also done so much good. And you've got more good to give." She squeezed his knee encouragingly. "So buck up, because we all need you, okay?" She hesitated. "I need you."
Luke cleared his throat and looked resolutely away, but his hand lowered on top of the one she rested on his knee.
A blush heated Lois' face and she suddenly found herself looking away as well, but she kept her hand there, and couldn't stop the beginnings of a small smile on her lips.
"So, what now?" Chloe wanted to know, kneeling on his bed.
"We prepare." Jace peered inside his closet at his clothes, which basically consisted of black and leather. "The Clave might not have the Mortal Sword anymore, but don't think they don't have other ways of forcing the truth out of you."
"Lovely." She threw herself back on his bed and sighed. "I don't want to go."
He glanced over his shoulder at her in silence. He didn't exactly want her to go either. It wasn't safe for her in Idris. The Clave had already tried to lock her away in an ivory tower once, and he didn't trust them not to try the same trick twice, just with improvements on their previous plan.
"What's with the Inquisitor?" Chloe peered up at the ceiling. "Is it me or is she acting weird?"
"She's trying to soothe over our anger so that we don't completely decimate her when we give our statements on what happened," Jace informed her. "It's sickening, really."
"Will you go with me to Jocelyn's to pack?" Chloe asked softly. "She's going to ask me… if you're there she won't."
Jace nodded. "I was going to go with you anyway."
"Thanks," Chloe whispered softly.
Jace's grip tightened on his wardrobe. "Jocelyn and I are working together now, as well as with Lois, to get your mother back." He felt her stiffen behind him. "I know you won't approve, you'll think we're putting her and ourselves in danger, but Jocelyn got through to her on the ship, and we believe that if we work together we can get your mom back." He waited in silence before it grew too much for him and he hurried on. "I promised, no more secrets – no matter how much you mightn't like the truth I'm going to tell you it."
The silence continued to drag on, and then a soft: "Okay."
He turned to face her in shock. "Okay?"
"Okay." Chloe nodded, once more kneeling on his bed. "If I can help in any way then let me know."
Jace nodded wordlessly, still shocked at how well that had gone.
Chloe's gaze met his. "I know you don't want me involved because of Valentine, but she's my mother, Jace. She's worth the risk." She pulled a strand of blonde out of her face and behind her ear. "If Jocelyn can handle it alone, then I'll stay out of it. The Angel knows I need to stay away from anything to do with your father right now…" she laughed shakily. "But… well… you know what I'm trying to say."
He did. Jace returned to the bed and sat down, pulling her to him in a tender hug. Resting his chin on the crown of her head, he took in a deep breath. "I won't let him hurt you ever again."
"Please don't promise me anything," she whispered. "We don't know what… what it did to me. I could wake up one day a different person."
He wouldn't let that happen, but he knew she wouldn't appreciate his "cocky assuredness", so he kept that to himself.
Sighing, Jocelyn peered at the painting of Lake Lyn. This was the same painting Chloe had fixated on the first day they'd met, the same picture she'd quite complimented Jocelyn on by wondering whether the lake was an actual lake hidden within the canvas. With the summons everyone was being forced to go to Idris, and she wondered whether they'd have time to show Chloe the lake she'd thought she'd seen before.
Jace had texted to let her know Chloe was coming over soon to pack up some of her things for their trip to Idris, and when she did Jocelyn was going to do her best to convince the girl that she didn't need to move out.
She turned on her seat and once more peered at the picture of her son and her parabatai's daughter, the picture standing between her and Moira's matching boxes. With a sigh she pushed to her feet and went to rest a hand over Moira's box. "We'll get you back," she whispered as her free hand caressed her Parabatai Rune. "I promise."
"Meliorn?" Chloe asked in surprise as the Fae emerged from the darkness the alley in front of Jocelyn's apartment. She could feel Jace tense by her, his grip on her hand tightening, but she ignored that as she pulled her boyfriend behind her towards Meliorn. "What are you doing here?"
"The Queen has received word that you will be heeding the summons to stand before the Clave tomorrow," Meliorn responded in his usual monotone fashion. "She wishes you know that should you desire it, the Fae Realm will be awaiting you upon your return."
"Thank her for me please." Chloe smiled at him. "And let her know that once I return from Idris I will seek an audience with her."
Meliorn nodded, hand to his chest as he gave a mid-bow. "Will you still be coming tonight?"
"As if I would miss seeing these famed moves I've heard so much about," Chloe teased.
A faint glint of amusement passed his eyes, for a second, before he nodded to Jace and left.
Jace watched him go before his golden gaze shifted onto Chloe. "What was that about?"
"She doesn't want me to leave," Chloe informed him. "I didn't want to outright deny her through Meliorn… I'll talk to her in person when I come back."
"No, I meant about what he said afterwards," Jace clarified. "Where are you going?"
"I was invited to go to a pixie nightclub downtown, it's called Hot Wings, and I've been curious about it for a while now," she informed him casually. "It's where Isabelle and Meliorn met."
He eyed her oddly. "Were you going to invite me to come along?"
She hesitated before telling him the truth. "I can't imagine you having fun amongst Downworlders."
"Isabelle obviously enjoyed her time," he muttered. "It cannot be horrible." He raised an eyebrow. "And if you remember, I met you because of a nightclub associated with, and frequented by, Downworlders."
"You only went there to kill a demon," Chloe reminded him.
Jace's golden eyes narrowed on her. "Would you prefer it if I didn't go?"
The question surprised her. "I wouldn't ever ask you to do something that you aren't comfortable doing."
"You sure that's the only reason?" Jace asked softly, and when she nodded he searched her face before grinning. "So, a pixie nightclub."
"A pixie nightclub," she responded.
Slinging an arm around her shoulder, Jace leaned in, expression disturbed. "You don't think they play Taylor Swift on repeat, do you? That seems like something the Fae would do."
Chloe's eyes widened and her lips parted in shock. "How can you know who Taylor Swift is – and yet have no clue who Harry Potter is?"
"Wait, is this Harry Potter guy you keep mentioning a musician?" Jace asked in surprise.
Chloe stared at him in horror. "That's it, as soon as we come back from Idris we are having a movie marathon."
Jace's eyes widened in understanding. "So Harry Potter is an actor."
Sighing in despair, Chloe shook her head as she pulled her boyfriend behind her towards his mother's apartment.
"It's weird for Lois not to be here," Alec admitted as he rubbed Chairman Meow's fur, the tiny cat purring contently on his lap as he lounged on Magnus' sofa. "Seems really quiet."
"Are you insinuating that Lois is loud?" Magnus asked in amusement as he arrived with two glasses of wine and placed them on the small coffee table in front of the sofa.
"I'm not insinuating anything," Alec snickered.
Magnus smiled as he eased himself down next to his unofficial boyfriend and his completely whipped cat. Chairman Meow had never liked any of Magnus' other paramours, and Magnus had to admit he was very attached to Alec as well, more than he would usually be with someone. He'd thought that after Camille he'd never allow himself to be vulnerable for someone else again, but he could feel himself slipping deeper and deeper into whatever this was that he shared with the young Shadowhunter. The man who'd been burnt one too many times wanted to pull away out of self-preservation, but the helpless romantic in him just wouldn't allow him to.
"I don't want to go to Idris," Alec surprised him by admitting with a heavy sigh. "Who knows how long they are going to have us there so they can question, and cross question, and just try and get us to slip up and admit the guilt they obviously think we have?"
Magnus eyed his unofficial boyfriend in silence.
"And with everything that's been going on I haven't been able to see you in so long…" He flushed darkly and wouldn't look Magnus in the face.
Not for the first time, Magnus was shocked at just how adorable the boy was. How had Alec managed to be raised by the Lightwoods and yet be so… so… innocent? Magnus knew so much about the Lightwood family, especially considering their faithful service to Valentine during the Uprising. He knew their superior attitude, had had it directed at him, had felt the bite of their prejudice. How could that family have given birth to someone as precious as Alexander?
Biting down on his bottom lip, clearly nervous, Alec cleared his throat as he placed Chairman Meow on the sofa's armrest and slid over to be seated next to Magnus. His blue eyes stared deep into Magnus' as if he was trying to find something, and the Warlock didn't know what he was searching for, but Alec suddenly smiled adorably. "I was jealous."
He tilted his head curiously. "I know, although, you are adjusting to her better." He reached for his cup of wine and took a long sip of it, unable to believe that they were talking about the Jace-And-Chloe saga right now. "It's only natural that you'd still feel a way about her, especially considering that she's taking someone important from you."
Alec suddenly frowned. "What?"
Magnus finished the glass of wine and put it down on the coffee table. "I understand, you know, I mean, I have a really soft spot for her given everything, she—."
Alec reached for his own glass of wine and downed it in one go.
Blinking in shock, Magnus cleared his throat before he continued, trying not to feel depressed at how affected Alec still was concerning Jace-And-Chloe. He'd hoped that Alec was slowly starting to get over his attraction to Jace and had started seeing the upside to having a Warlock as a boyfriend - hopefully official. "I don't mean to be mean-spirited Alexander," no, he was not hurt or resentful or jealous of Alec's feelings for Jace - he was not! "But I don't think it can be any more obvious that she's here to stay."
"She left." Alec eyed Magnus oddly, annoyance creeping into his face.
"Yes, but you yourself gave Jace the means of getting her back," Magnus reminded. "That's truly counterproductive if your goal was to—."
"Wait." Alec lowered the glass onto the coffee table. "You're talking about Chloe."
Magnus' cat eyes narrowed. "Aren't you talking about Chloe?"
Alec suddenly grinned. "I was talking about Lucy!"
Magnus' cat eyes widened as he leaned in, scandalized. "Did Lucy make a pass at Jace too?" He made a face. "What do everyone see in that boy? Sure, he's attractive enough, but you're clearly the better looking one, you're also by far the best catch, so it's got to be some sort of rune that he wears that bewitches—." He didn't get to finish his confused rambling because Alec was kissing him. Yellow cat eyes widened in surprise at the kiss, especially when Alec's weight pushed him backwards down onto the sofa. He had no clue what exactly he'd done to get kissed like this by the usually shy and reserved Shadowhunter, but he had to figure it out quickly so he could do it again!
As Alec gripped Magnus' hair and yanked down enough to angle Magnus' mouth better so the Shadowhunter could take the kiss deeper, Magnus felt something he hadn't felt in so long he didn't recognize what in the hell it was. It would take him a couple of days of wondering, bewildered, before he'd realize in shock that he'd fallen in love.
When Chloe stepped into Hot Wings she glanced around the Downworlder nightclub and felt something inside of her hum. She could feel surprised looks from some of the Fae there, but she didn't blame them really. Here were two people who were very clearly Shadowhunters, their runes bright and visible against their skin, and usually Shadowhunters and Downworlders did not mix unless it was absolutely necessary.
Meliorn and Isabelle were dancing on the dance floor, and when Chloe noticed them she was shocked. Isabelle was right, you couldn't tell by just looking at him, but Meliorn had moves. The female Shadowhunter seemed completely oblivious to the glances at her, just enjoying herself. Chloe decided to follow her lead and ignore the Fae watching them. Instead she focused on her boyfriend and allowed herself a minute to ogle him.
While he was in black, like usual, Jace looked a little less like he was about to kick demon ass, and a little more like a the stereotypical bad boy in a movie who made every single girl (and some boys) in the audience sigh in lust. He quite obviously knew how good he looked, and the reaction he got from people, and enjoyed it. His smirk was pure sin as he reached for her, pulled her close with the excuse of speaking into her ear to be overheard by the music, his hands on her possessive, claiming. "I'm going to get us something to drink." When she nodded silently he pressed a kiss to her forehead before he moved off towards the bar.
Scratching the rune on the inside of her wrist, Chloe peered around her at the different types of Fae dancing, enjoying themselves. Some still peeked at her and Jace, but most of them had seemed to realize that the Shadowhunters weren't here to make trouble, that like Isabelle, they were here to have fun. The music playing definitely wasn't pure Taylor Swift, it was more like electronic remixes and mashups of many different songs. Chloe found herself moving to the beat, closing her eyes, feeling the same enthrall, the same loss of care, fall over her like it did at the parties in the Fae Court. There was something almost addictive to this.
Before long she found herself in the middle of the dance floor, dancing by herself, shaking her head, body undulating to the thumping rhythm of the music, and her hands in her hair. She didn't know when she felt it, but the heat, the gaze, was on her. Her green eyes opened, she felt drunk yet not as she glanced around her, trying to find the source of that stare, but whoever it was was lost in the dark corners and blindingly flashing lights. Chloe's lips parted, her runes beginning to burn in a way that sent shivers of pleasure down her spine. That gaze grew stronger, more intense, more physical. It was as real as a touch against her skin. A fever burned deep inside of her and left her breathless, left her mouth dry.
"Are you okay?" Jace's voice asked behind her.
Twirling around to face her boyfriend, the fever was almost too much for her. Chloe could feel her eyes tingling and it brought a wave of panic through her as she stared up at him wordlessly.
She didn't know what Jace saw on her face, because he downed his shot, downed hers, and then kissed her. She could taste the sweet liquor on his mouth, each flick of his tongue caused a whimper to escape. Chloe's body swayed, Jace's followed, her hands deep in his hair as he gripped her hips. They danced together, their mouths battling, their bodies brushing torturously. When they finally parted she could see the same fever on his face, the same haze in his eyes.
Jace grinned, something wicked in his expression as he twirled her around and then yanked her back against him hard as he plastered himself against her back, his body moving sensually against hers.
Chloe's lips parted, her eyes slipping closed as she reached up behind her, gripping his hair as he nibbled on her earlobe. Her hips rolled back against him, able to feel his erection behind her. Shivers raced up her body, one second she felt cold, the next she was hot. Honestly, if she'd drunk something she'd have thought she'd been slipped something for how all over it she was, but she hadn't done anything, drunk anything, nothing. Was it the music? It usually was enthralling, but this was different than usual.
The song changed as Jace's hands wandered, Chloe's whimper lost in the loud beat. When Jace's lips touched the curve of her neck a jolt of desire, hot and heady, raced throughout her, and Chloe cried out as her eyes flew open. She bit down hard on her bottom, almost drawing blood as she rested her head back against his shoulder. Everyone around her were nothing but blurs, even the song really didn't stand out. All that she could concentrate on was the heat, was Jace's touch, was her need. Something in the darkest corner of the room caught her attention for a second, it was quick, it was stark, it was all sorts of confusing. The corner was so dark it was nothing but vague shapes only momentarily lit by the blinding, flashing lights. You couldn't really see anything, anyone, clearly, but Chloe had the feeling that someone was there, watching them intently. She felt as if her green gaze met someone else's but in the haze, and with the mixture of blinding lights and darkness all around, she couldn't be sure of anything.
Her eyelids were heavy and she closed them, intensifying the sensation, the pleasure, of feeling Jace's rough hands against her.
A face flashed in front of her closed eyelids, jolting her as she pushed away from Jace and brought a hand to her head. "I… I have to go to the bathroom."
He nodded, concern visible on his face as he followed her towards where the bathrooms were, and leaned outside of the door.
Chloe would've smiled at his protectiveness if it wasn't for the queasy feeling in her stomach as she stumbled into the bathroom. She headed immediately for the sink and turned on the water, washing her face, the cool water freezing to her burning skin. Taking in a deep breath, Chloe gripped at the sink and stared at her reflection.
"You have grown so beautiful," a voice whispered behind her.
Seeing the reflection of a woman behind her, Chloe twirled around to face the woman whose face had jolted her out of her trance-like dance with Jace. She was incredibly beautiful with illustrious long black hair. She was slim, beautiful to behold with porcelain white skin. "Who are you?"
"Do you really not know who I am?" The woman asked as she moved closer. There was something odd about her eyes, but Chloe couldn't quite put her finger on what. "You felt me. I know you did."
Backing up into the sink, Chloe narrowed her eyes. "Lady, I don't know who the hell you are, but if you don't back off—."
"Your eyes." She reached up and touched Chloe's cheek. "They're mine."
Chloe's eyes widened when she realized what had bothered her, this woman had her exact eye color. "Who are you?"
"That woman took you, hid you, from me." The woman glared. "She had no right!"
"What woman?" Chloe was confused. Was this another Downworlder, like the Fae Queen, who seemed to think they had some sort of claim to her? "My mother?"
Anger flashed over the woman's face. "She is not your mother." She stepped closer. "It was never meant to be her." Her anger shifted to tenderness as the hand she still had to Chloe's cheek moved so that she was lifting Chloe's chin so as to better look at her face. "You really do have my eyes."
Chloe understood what the woman was insinuating, but it was impossible. This was some crazy—.
"I told Valentine you would be different, that you would be the one strong enough to survive that woman's womb," she whispered, completely shocking Chloe still. Those green eyes found and met, held, Chloe's. "He didn't believe me, I still do not forgive him for his ego, his hubris." She cupped Chloe's face. "If he had only truly looked at you he would've seen me looking right back at him. The eyes do not lie."
"No." Chloe shook her head. "My mother's Moira Laneara. My father's Michael Wayland. I-I d-don't know w-who you are but—!"
"Moira Laneara was weak, was desperate, and was exactly the guinea pig Valentine needed." The woman stared at Chloe as if she were someone precious, she stared at her the way Chloe always hoped her mother would one day do. "She doesn't deserve to be called your mother, not when the reason you're alive, the reason you're standing here tonight, a beautiful young woman, is because of me."
Chloe shook her heard, emotion clogging up her throat. "Why are you telling me this? I'm Moira and Michael's daughter. I'm the last Wayland. I'm—."
"Why do you think Moira betrayed Valentine? Why do you think she kept her pregnancy a secret from us all? Why go as far as faking her own miscarriage?" The woman wanted to know. "Because she found out the truth of what Valentine had done, and despite her vow of loyalty to him and to his cause she wanted to be a mother to you too much to stay true to her vows. She knew that once you were born she wouldn't be your mother anymore, I would." Her green eyes fixed on Chloe. "Just like I was always supposed to be. Just like Valentine promised me years ago when he came to me with his plans."
"Who are you?" Chloe didn't recognize her own voice.
"Because of me you're alive, because of me you survived Moira's hostile womb." The woman moved closer. "I'm your real mother."
A sob escaped Chloe's lips as she stared up at the woman, emotions overwhelming her to the point that she didn't realize her eyes were shifting until they were already black.
The woman stared at her in shock, and then she smiled and cupped Chloe's face, kissing her forehead. "Look at those eyes, darling." She pulled away as Chloe felt her eyes returning back to the same shade green as the woman in front of her. "You will need time to process this. When you're ready to speak, I'll be near." She motioned to the door. "Go, your boyfriend's growing worried since you've been in here so long."
She didn't need to be told twice, Chloe scrambled out of the bathroom and grabbed Jace's hand, yanking him out with her in terror. He kept asking her what was wrong, what had happened in the bathroom, if she was hurt, but she didn't answer, she couldn't find her voice.
It was only once they were outside that she turned to him, threw herself in his arms, and sobbed.
Maryse combed Max's head and wondered whether she should let Jace know she knew he wasn't alone in his room. Had the situation with the Inquisitor never happened Maryse wouldn't have thought twice about busting the kid's balls, about giving him that 'I've got my eyes and ears on this room' speech, but ever since the Inquisitor had come things had become awkward between her and the boy she loved as a son. It was only one of the many reasons why she resented the Inquisitor and wouldn't be holding back once she was debriefed in Idris.
"Is that girl okay, mom?" Max wanted to know, proving he'd seen Jace sneaking Chloe Wayland into his room as well. "She looked like she'd been crying."
Yes, Maryse had noticed that as well. It was yet another reason why she hadn't made her presence known. "I'm sure she's fine."
"Jace will make her feel better," Max assured his mother innocently.
Oh, I'm sure he will… Maryse sighed and hoped that Max could stay this innocent forever.
"This is the one," she moved behind him, gaze on the fertilized egg in the runed container. "She will survive."
Valentine eyed her silently before he turned his attention back to what he was doing. There were jars of blood all around him, and he was using a mixture of science and magic to intertwine them, to splice them into what would soon develop into a fetus and then die a couple of months (if he was lucky it lived that long) thus allowing him to study its remains and see what sort of effects the things he was doing would have on a Shadowhunter body. He'd done this so many countless times, and it was why he'd been able to get as far as he had on this test subject. As soon as he was finished with his splicing, with his runing, with his summoning, he'd return the egg to Moira and wait for it to eventually die, just like all the others before it.
"She's strong," the woman whispered as she came to stand next to Valentine. "Any daughter of mine would have to be."
"She's half yours, half his," Valentine reminded.
The woman made a face at the reminder. "Yes, well, I do not hold that against her."
Amused, Valentine took a step back and gazed at his work. "It's a girl, you say?"
"My daughter," the woman assured him.
"I need a girl," Valentine mumbled to himself.
"Remember what you promised me, the minion of yours will incubate her, but once she's born she's mine," the woman reminded as she trailed her fingertips against the runed box. "I will raise her until she is old enough, until she is a woman, and I will ready her."
"Sure, of course." Considering this egg would die just like all the ones before it, Valentine really didn't see the problem in agreeing to this. "But when she's of age—."
"That was our agreement," the woman agreed.
Amused that she was so fixated on this one egg, Valentine held back his chuckle and moved towards the cages where his donors cried, leaning hard against the opposite side of the cages in fear, trying to get away from him. He walked tranquilly, not taking notice of the cries of agony or the whimpers which pleaded for him to show mercy. He ignored most of the Downworlders trapped in cages made specifically to trap their kind, and instead gazed into one cage in particular.
This was his crowning achievement when it came to captures. The Fae within this cage wasn't just any random of his kind, no, just looking at him one could tell who, and what he was. The male was visibly indignant and furious, yet also very afraid. His gaze went to the table where magically protected jars of blood stood as an open mockery to those in the cages, a constant reminder of what their fates were.
"Filthy things." Valentine moved closer to his cage and stared inside. "And yet you were given strengths and abilities we, the Children of the Angel, could never dream to possess." He bent to his knees to stare into the cafe. "How is that fair? Or right?" The far might've answered had he still had his tongue. "Wretched, cursed things. All that you are good for is your blood." Valentine stood. "And I will drain you all of every last drop." He walked away, walked back to where she was with the egg. "Do you want the honors?"
The woman glanced back at the cage with the fae and then turned back to Valentine with a smirk. "I thought you'd never ask."
Chloe awoke screaming. If Jace hadn't already been awake (one arm under his pillow, the other curled around his girlfriend as she slept with her arm around his waist and her cheek against his heartbeat), he would've awoken in terror thinking a demon was in the room about to kill them. He'd have been confused, as well, by Chloe screaming in a daze, brushing her body off as if trying to wipe something off of her. And then it wasn't just her fingers, it was her fingernails, and she drew blood, and the sight of it made her scream even louder.
In seconds he wrapped his arms around her, pinning her arms to her body and using his strength to force her to keep still. Chloe struggled, she screamed, she pleaded, but he held on, whispering in her hair that everything was okay, that whatever had happened had been a dream. It took him a couple of minutes to realize she wasn't even actually awake. This was a nightmare. She was still very much asleep.
His door flew open and Isabelle entered, looking worried, Max right behind her. He could hear Maryse and Robert close behind. Alec was no where in sight.
"What happened?" Isabelle asked, visibly confused.
"She's having a nightmare," Jace grunted as he tightened his grip on Chloe when she, surprisingly enough, nearly got free.
"That's no nightmare," Robert announced as he stood in the doorway. "That's a night terror. Usually only kids get them."
"Don't wake her up," Maryse ordered as she stormed into the room behind her husband. "You shouldn't even be restraining her, you could cause it to be worse." She then apparently saw the blood dripping down Chloe's arm and paused in realization. "I see." Her gaze went to Jace. "Has she had an experience like this before?"
"I don't know," he admitted, feeling useless.
"Just, talk to her calmly, soothe her," Maryse instructed before she turned to her husband. "Get Max out of here."
"But mom!" Max complained.
Robert merely grabbed his youngest and ushered him out of the room.
Maryse turned to Isabelle. "Go on now, you need your rest for tomorrow."
Isabelle hesitated, her gaze going to Jace questioningly, and only when he nodded that she should go, did she do so. Jace had a feeling this incident was going to be texted to Clark. Damn it. But right now he didn't have time to think about the Downworlder and instead continued whispering in Chloe's ear until she went limp in his arms, back to a restful sleep. Jace moved, slipping her into his arms, relieved to see a peaceful expression on Chloe's face as she snored softly, her cheek resting against his heartbeat once more.
"Robert wasn't wrong when he said that night terrors usually only happen to children," Maryse broke the silence, her voice odd. "Jace, I need you to be truthful with me. I need you to tell me whether Valentine did anything to Chloe when he had."
Jace grip on his girlfriend tightened and he forced his expression neutral when he finally glanced over at the woman who had raised him. "I don't know what you're talking about."
"Your mother will," Maryse responded. "This was exactly what she told her friends in the Circle she was experiencing while pregnant with you."
Jace froze, his golden eyes wide in horror.
"Did Valentine…" Maryse looked sick. "Did he hurt her?"
Maryse took in a deep breath. "He obviously did something, Jace." When he wouldn't answer she sighed yet didn't pry. "I know things have been tense between us, but I need you to know you can come to me, you can trust me."
Jace nodded, not having realized just how much he'd actually needed to hear that. "Thank you."
Instead of leaving, Maryse folded her arms over her chest and eyed Chloe. "So, Michael's daughter, huh?"
A little awkward at talking this stuff with the only woman who'd actually been a mother to him, Jace lowered Chloe onto the bed. "Yeah." He turned towards Maryse and cleared his throat, unable to meet her gaze. "I am sorry Valentine tricked you into raising me instead of Michael's son. I didn't know, but—."
Maryse moved towards him and pressed a kiss to his forehead. She then pulled away and sighed. "Get to bed, we've got a lot to do tomorrow." Her gaze shifted to Chloe. "If anything else happens, let me know." She moved towards the door and stopped with her hand on the frame as she turned to face him, pointing at him. "I expect to be introduced properly to your girlfriend tomorrow, and the next time you want a little sleepover you better give me a heads up, you hear me?"
"Yes ma'am," Jace responded instinctively as he straightened.
Maryse smirked, apparently quite pleased with something as she left.
Jace watched her go and waited until he heard her footsteps leaving down the hallway to slip into bed with Chloe. He stared down at his girlfriend, worried about what other consequences the Infernal Conversion might have on her. I can handle them, whatever they are. His father had done this to her because of him. Hadn't Chloe said that Valentine knew Jace was staying on this side because of her? This was obviously a part of his plan, and an integral part of that plan was having Jace at his side.
Sighing, Jace got comfortable on his back, but before he could coax Chloe to come back into his arms she shifted on her own, groaning in her sleep as she curled around him and sighed in contentment.
His lips twitched and he didn't even try to fight the smugness he felt. Twisting his body slightly, he pressed a kiss to her forehead and then settled back for hours of staring up at the ceiling and listening to his girlfriend's soft snores. There was no way he was going to sleep tonight, but that was okay. This way he'd be awake in case she needed him again.
He wasn't exactly sure how he'd handle the Clave tomorrow on no sleep, but he'd figure it out.
The Seelie Queen leaned in the doorway of the vacated room and merely stared at it in silence. Tomorrow Chloe would be heading to Idris, and if she hadn't had her eyes and ears there the Faerie monarch would've been anxious. The Fae was smart enough to take things slowly, to entice and not prod. If Chloe felt threatened or forced she would break away, the Queen had learnt that during the girl's stay. She learnt a lot during Chloe's time in the Faerie Realm, especially that Chloe felt at home here. No matter how much the girl might deny it, the Fae blood inside of her connected her to this realm, to the Queen. The blonde had already chosen once to stay here amongst them instead of with the Shadowhunters, and the Seelie Queen was more than sure that in time Chloe would return.
Taking in a deep breath as she caressed the ring on her hand, the Queen rested her head against the doorframe and told herself impatience was a Shadowhunter trait. She'd get what she wanted, like she always did, all she needed was patience.
Hope you've all enjoyed my version of "The City of Ashes"! Thanks for sticking around!
Also - who are you imagining by this point: movie Jace or series Jace?