A/N: Hi everyone! Hope you guys are all doing well! I'm back again with another chapter :) Sorry it took so long to update, I had a lot of heavy writer's block and I had to go out of town twice in the past two months so there wasn't really much time for me to write in the first place. But I'm back home and I had a couple of days to put my thoughts together, so here's your new chapter XD
We left off last with the big news that Clary has the chance to stay in France with Sebastian and the Penhallows. Additionally, Simon has found out about the Shadow World, so you'll be able to see how he handles things with the gang here on out.
And ahhh I'm so excited for Season 2! The cast started filming this week, and I'm beyond ready to see the new season :) There were some behind-the-scenes pictures on Instagram, one of Clary and one of Isabelle, and I noticed that they now have black runes! In season one, they used to be this red color, but the pictures are showing them as black, like the books originally describe them, so that's a good sign!
Anyways, let's get things started shall we?
Disclaimer: I don't own the Mortal Instruments, all rights go to Cassie.
"Where the hell were you?"
Crap, Clary thought, wacking herself mentally in the head. Crap, crap, crap. She had just been dropped off by the cab at Luke's apartment after spending the night at the club with Simon and Isabelle and the demons that had decided to have a little...fun...with Simon, and she had completely forgotten to text Luke where she was headed after going to the Institute.
She stared at him guiltily from the doorway, and slowly closed the door behind her.
"You told me that you were stopping by the Institute after school, but that was hours ago." Luke stared at Clary with disappointment. "I called Maryse and she said that Isabelle had also disappeared."
"I know, I..." Clary closed her eyes and smiled sheepishly. "I went out with Simon and Isabelle after stopping by the Institute, but we didn't even stay out for that long."
"Why? Where did you guys even go?"
"This club," Clary mumbled, walking into the living room, and sitting down on the couch. "I wanted to relax with Simon and Isabelle, but we ended up leaving because we ran into some...trouble."
"Trouble? Which club were you at?"
"You're kidding me. You ran into demons, didn't you?"
Clary lowered her eyes. "It wasn't that big of a deal—Izzy and I fought them off and..." she trailed off.
"And what?" Luke prompted. "What about Simon? Did he see the whole thing?"
Clary didn't respond, and Luke groaned. "Clary, please listen to me. Do you know what kind of trouble you've put yourself into—"
"Simon is my best friend, Luke! I trust him with my whole heart—"
Luke knelt down in front of Clary, "I know you do, I don't doubt that. But it's the Clave you can't trust. If they find out that you told a mundane about the Shadow World—"
"They won't," Clary shook her head. "I promise." Luke shook his head and sighed before getting up to leave the room.
"Wait," Clary stopped him and stood up. "There's something I have to ask you."
"What is it?"
"It's about the student exchange trip to France," she started. "I wanted to ask for your permission to go."
"Go to France?" Luke repeated. "Absolutely not."
"What? Luke!" Clary gave him a pleading look, but he was already walking out of the room and down the hall. "Wait!" she called out after him. "My mom's in Paris!" She said desperately, trying to attract his attention back.
Sure enough, he stopped short and turned around. "How do you know?"
"I had a dream," she responded, and quickly told him what happened. Luke just listened quietly and his eyes lowered to the ground when she finished.
"I was right about the Seelie Court dream, and I know I'm right about this one," Clary finished. "You have to understand, Luke. I need to get to my mom."
"I can't let you go by yourself," Luke said softly. "You put yourself in danger just today, and now you want to go to France, where there's not going to be anyone there to protect you—"
He was interrupted by Clary's phone vibrating. She pulled it out of her bag and read the text that had just arrived from Isabelle. As she read the words, a grin spread across her face.
"You're not going to believe this," she said, staring at the screen with excitement. "Isabelle just texted me, and apparently the Penhallows have decided to stay in the Paris Institute with Sebastian Verlac until Elodie is found." She looked up at Luke with a big smile. "This changes everything! I can just stay with all of the Penhallows, and nothing bad will happen, right?"
Luke's uncertainty didn't go away.
"Oh come on! Don't you trust the Consul and her family?"
"Did you not just hear what I said about trusting the Clave?" Luke replied wearily.
"Luke...please. I'm begging you, I need to save my mom from Valentine," Clary reasoned. "I hope you know that I can just forge my mom's signature on the form since she's my parent guardian, but I don't want to because I want my permission to be granted by you. I don't want to leave with you mad at me."
After a long pause, Luke said, "You're not going to let this go, are you?"
"No, I'm not," Clary shook her head.
"...Fine, you can go," Luke caved. Clary's jaw dropped and she ran forward, giving him a hug.
"Thank you so—"
"Promise me," Luke interrupted her and pried Clary off of him, holding her arm's length away, "that you'll call me every single day and give me updates, okay? And I'll tell the Consul that you're not allowed to go anywhere without her permission and without anyone else with you."
"I promise," Clary nodded earnestly.
Luke gave a grim smile. "Please be careful," he said softly. "I've already lost your mom, Clary, and I don't think I could live with myself if I lost you, too."
Clary's felt her stomach drop and she nodded.
"It means that Clary's allowed to go to France and live with the Penhallows and Sebastian," Alec finished.
"What?" Jace's voice rose several octaves.
Isabelle hurriedly pulled out her phone and sent Clary a text of what she'd just learned. She turned back to her brothers and asked Alec, "Did Mom specifically say she could?"
"No," Alec admitted. "But I don't see why she wouldn't let Clary now."
"She has to," Jace sputtered. He pushed past Isabelle and Alec and headed for Maryse's office.
"Jace!" Isabelle shouted and ran after him, Alec on her tail. They entered the office just as Jace did, Maryse sitting at her desk on her computer.
She glanced up over the rims of her glasses, eyeing the flustered teens curiously. "What's the matter?"
"Are you planning on sending Clary to France?" Jace demanded.
"I'm not making her do anything, Jace," Maryse sighed and took off her glasses. "Yes, the Penhallows have agreed to stay in the Paris Institute, and that does sway things in her favor, but it's ultimately Clary's decision if she wants to go or not."
"You know she's going to go," Jace said. "Please, you have stop her."
"Stop her? You know, I have no jurisdiction to do that," Maryse stated the obvious. Jace groaned and Isabelle came forward sympathetically.
"Jace, you can't control Clary. I'm sure she'll be fine staying with the Penhallows," she reasoned with him.
"Alright then," Jace looked up. "She can go. But I'm going, too."
"Absolutely not," Maryse said immediately.
"What?! Why not?"
"There is no way I am sending you to France," Maryse closed her laptop. "It's too dangerous."
"But it's not too dangerous for Clary?" Jace pointed out. "You can't risk her life—"
"Clary is not my daughter," Maryse shook her head. "I have no reason to care for what happens to her—"
"You're right, Clary isn't your daughter," Jace shot back. "And I'm not your son either."
"Maybe not by blood," Maryse said. "But you have been a part of this family since you were ten years old."
Jace lowered his eyes, and Isabelle shifted uncomfortably. She knew that Jace had always had trouble finding a family all of his life ever since he found out that his parents were dead, but she had always thought that Jace had thought of the Lightwoods as his first family.
Maryse sighed and sat back down at her desk, opening her laptop. "Jace, I suggest that you talk to Clary about this. There's nothing I can do about the situation. Whatever you have against this trip," she gestured to Jace's frustrated state, "is clearly between you and Clary."
Jace just stared at Maryse before turning to leave the room. Maryse went back to her work, and after Isabelle and Alec shared a look, they followed Jace, several steps behind him, to give him some space.
The next morning, Clary gathered all the permission slips that she and Luke had spent the night going over together and shuffled them inside a manila folder. She gave Luke a wave before heading out the door, a bagel in hand.
By the time she reached school, the hallways were already filled with students. Clary made a beeline towards the office and ducked inside, heading to the receptionist's desk. She walked up to the secretary, who was jotting something down on a Post-It Note while balancing a phone between her ear and shoulder.
"Hi, I want to turn these in..." Clary began, but the secretary didn't answer and merely pointed towards the guidance counselor's office on her right.
"Oh..." Clary smiled and nodded, and as she turned to enter the counselor's office, when she heard a voice behind her.
"You're really going, aren't you?"
She whirled around and came face to face with Jace, who was standing in the doorway of the office, his hands stuffed into his jeans' pockets.
Clary's expression sobered and she nodded. "Yeah, I am."
"And there's nothing I can say to make you change your mind?"
"Jace," she began, walking towards him. "I really do appreciate the fact that you're looking out for me, but..." She paused and then sighed. "You have to let me do this," she continued. "I need to find my mother."
"I know," Jace nodded. "I know—I realize that now."
He said that, but Clary noticed that the anxious look on his face didn't seem to soften.
"I should go turn these in...we'll talk more during class, okay?" Clary assured him.
"Right," Jace took a step back. "I'll wait for you outside homeroom."
Clary nodded with a smile and watched as Jace exited the office and went down the hall, out of sight. Clary sighed and turned back to the guidance counselor's office, knocking on the door before entering.
"Hello!" The counselor looked up from her computer. "How can I help you?"
"Hi, I'd like to turn in these forms. They're for the student exchange trip to France." Clary handed her the folder.
"Oh, you're just in time," The counselor opened up the folder. "I was going to turn in all the forms to the administration in a couple of hours." She scanned the forms, "Clarissa Fray?"
"Yup," Clary nodded.
"Alright, I'll get these turned in, and we'll send you further forms with information about plane departures and luggage, and all that, okay? Sounds good?"
"Yeah, sounds great." Clary nodded again. "Thank you." She left the office and stepped out into the hallway, where she saw Simon coming towards her.
"Hey!" he grinned as he jogged up to her. "How's it going, Shadow...warrior?"
"Hunter, Shadowhunter," Clary corrected with a smile.
"Right," Simon said sheepishly. He looked over Clary's shoulder and realized that she had come out of the counselor's office. "Did you turn in your forms?"
"Yeah, I'll be leaving in a couple of weeks," Clary replied as they made their way to homeroom. "Were you able to sleep well yesterday after...what happened?"
"Uh, yeah actually, I was fine," Simon chuckled. "You know, I never got to say this yesterday, but..." He trailed off and Clary raised her eyebrows.
"I wasn't that surprised when you told me about, you know, the whole 'you being a Shadowhunter' thing," Simon continued.
"Really? Why not?" Clary frowned, intrigued.
"I always had this feeling that you were meant for something bigger than a normal, human life," Simon explained. "I didn't exactly think you'd be saving mankind and slaying supernatural creatures, but it definitely suits you."
Clary laughed and rested her head on Simon's shoulder as they reached the entrance of their classroom. Jace stood outside and his face lit up when he spotted Clary.
"Hey Simon, Isabelle's inside already," he said, nodding in the direction of the open door to the classroom.
Simon nodded and gave Clary a squeeze before entering the classroom. Clary gave a small smile to Jace and shifted uncomfortably.
"So, we're all good, right?"
"Yeah," Jace nodded.
"Jace," Clary began, knowing that Jace was the type of the person who frequently lied about the way he truly felt. "Are you sure? I know I said the other day that I would go on this trip regardless of how you felt, but I'll be honest with you, I'd feel terrible if I left while you still didn't like the idea."
"Of course I don't like the idea," Jace took Clary's hands. "But I'm going to have to deal with it."
His eyes lifted up to hers and Clary's breath caught in her throat when Jace leaned in and kissed her, his hands going up to caress her face. They stood there for what had seemed like a few seconds, but clearly had not been when someone cleared their throat.
"Ahem." Jace and Clary jumped apart and stared at their homeroom teacher in embarrassment.
"The bell has already rung, so unless you want to be marked late, I suggest you come sit inside, kids." The teacher crossed her arms and gave them an annoyed glare. Jace and Clary sheepishly nodded and hurriedly entered the classroom.
When the bell rang, signaling the end of class, Alec made his way to the front parking lot, where his car was. As he stepped onto the black cement of the lot, his car parked several feet away from him, he stuck his hand into his backpack, fishing around for his car keys.
Where are they? I could have sworn I put them in here—
"Looking for these, Alexander?"
Alec glanced up and saw Magnus leaning against his car with a smirk on his face, keys dangling from one finger.
"Magnus?" Alec frowned, but smiled on the inside. "What are you doing here? And how did you get—" he looked into his backpack again, and then up at Magnus.
Magnus just smiled, wiggling his fingers as blue sparks flew out of them. He pushed himself off of Alec's car and threw the keys at Alec, who caught them midair.
"Just thought I'd surprise you—make your day more exciting," Magnus shrugged. "From that day where I subbed your homeroom class, I know that this school of yours is dreadfully boring."
"Well, you wouldn't be wrong," Alec nodded. "I was just going to wait for Jace and Izzy to show up and we were going to go back to the Institute. Do you wanna come with?"
"How about we leave without them?" Magnus smiled coyly. "Jace and Isabelle are smart kids, I'm sure they can find their way back home."
"I can't just leave them—"
"Oh come on," Magnus gave him a look. "Live a little, Alexander."
Alec chuckled and thought for a minute. "Okay...fine."
Magnus whooped and made his way to the passenger side of the car.
"But I have to go home, my mom's expecting me," Alec explained as he opened the car door and sat in the driver's seat.
Magnus looked at him with a glint of mischievousness in his eyes. "How about we take a little detour instead?"
Jace's hand was in Clary's when they were walking out of their last period, Isabelle walking alongside them. Simon was supposed to meet them by the office before Jace and Isabelle left with Alec to go home.
"Do you wanna stop by the Institute?" Jace looked down at Clary.
"Um...I don't know," she answered truthfully. "I was thinking that I would try to spend more time with Luke before I leave on the exchange trip."
"Of course," Jace nodded. "I understand—"
"Hey guys," Simon bounded over, throwing his arm around Isabelle's shoulders. "How was Gym?"
"Pretty neat, actually," Jace replied. "Clary drew a speed rune on the bottom of her foot and aced the two-mile."
"Really?!" Simon's eyes lit up, staring at Clary in wonder.
"Sadly no," Clary shook her head with a smile. "He's kidding. But I do wish it were true."
Simon narrowed his eyes at Jace for getting his hopes up and Jace just smirked back.
"But there still was some fascinating stuff going on in class," Clary cut in, turning to Isabelle. "Izzy forgot her running shoes at home, but she still completed the mile," Simon gave her a questioning look, "in her heels."
"What?" Simon eye's dropped down to the seven inch heeled boots Isabelle was wearing and stared at them in wonder. "How is that even possible—"
Isabelle just flipped her hair over her shoulders nonchalantly. "Well, I would have run it barefoot, but apparently the school has a 'closed-toed shoes only' policy."
"She still got an 'A'," Clary piped up.
"And this is why I love you," Simon pressed his mouth against Isabelle's cheek, and she laughed.
"Okay, that's enough," Jace nudged Simon aside. "I'd rather not see you making out with my sister in front of me."
"We should get going, anyways," Isabelle glanced at her watch. "Alec will freak if we keep him waiting for over ten minutes."
"Walk me out?" Jace asked Clary and she nodded, following him, Simon, and Isabelle out of the school building. They stepped out onto the parking lot, Clary scanning over the rows of cars, looking for Alec's dark grey sedan.
"Do you see him?" Isabelle put a hand over her eyes as the bright sun shone down on all the cars, casting blinding glares.
"No," Jace shook his head, reaching into his pocket to pull out his phone. "Let me call him." He stepped aside, while Clary and Isabelle continued searching the parking lot.
"I can call a taxi for you guys," Simon offered, and Isabelle sighed, defeated.
"Could you? Thanks," she turned to Jace, who was walking back towards the group shaking his head.
"He didn't answer."
"Try 'Find My iPhone'," Clary suggested.
"What?" Jace gave her a strange look.
"'Find My iPhone'?" Clary repeated. "He does have an iPhone, right?"
"Yeah..." Jace looked down at his own phone, unsure of what to do. Clary smirked and took the phone from Jace, glad that for once she knew how to do something he didn't. She downloaded the app form the App Store and clicked on it, asking Jace to enter his login information for his iTunes account.
"Login information?" he echoed, giving her a blank look. Clary raised her eyebrows, and he threw his hands up in the air. "I don't know! Maryse set all of our phones up for us!"
"Oh my god, here," Isabelle took the phone from Jace and entered their account's username and password. She squinted at the screen and after a few seconds, her eyes widened.
"Where is he?" Clary asked.
"Um," Isabelle gave a weary laugh. "I'm not going to say."
"What do you mean?" Jace tried to take the phone away from her, but Isabelle held it away.
"Nothing! Trust me, he's safe, but I don't think he'd want the rest of you to know where he was," Isabelle quickly logged out of the 'Find My iPhone' app before Jace could try to steal the phone from her again. She gave Jace an innocent smile and handed the phone back to him.
Jace gave her a dirty look and took the phone from her, pocketing it. Isabelle turned to Simon, "Should we call a taxi?"
"Yeah sure," Simon took her hand and walked to the edge of the school grounds, where the main street was. Jace and Clary followed behind them.
Clary looked at Jace with a smile, "You can trust Izzy, right?"
"Probably not," Jace sighed, "but I know Alec can take care of himself, so I'm not that worried."
"Ah I see," Clary nodded.
By this time, Simon had flagged down a cab, and Isabelle was already getting into the car. Jace turned to Clary and gave her a small peck before jogging up to the cab and climbing in alongside Isabelle. He closed the door and gave a short wave as the cab pulled away from the curb and into the passing traffic.
Simon shoved his hands into his pockets and trudged over to Clary, "Wanna start walking home?"
"Yeah," Clary smiled and looped her arm through Simon's as they walked off in the opposite direction.
Jace leaned back in his seat inside the taxi as the car wove it's way through the streets. He closed his eyes, only to open them a minute later and turned to Isabelle.
"Now that Clary and Simon are gone, can you tell me where Alec is?"
"Nope," Isabelle shook her head.
"Are you serious?" Jace gave her a look of disbelief. "I'm his parabatai."
"I know," Isabelle grinned.
"You're impossible," Jace shook his head. "Fine. Two can play this game. I guess I just won't tell you what Simon said about you while you were using the bathroom during lunch."
Isabelle narrowed her eyes. "You're lying. He didn't say anything."
"And how would you know that, you were in the bathroom."
"Simon wouldn't say anything about me behind my back."
"You can ask Clary, she was there."
"I don't believe you."
"All I'll say is that it had to do with a certain...feature of your body."
Isabelle's cheeks turned red and she remained silent. But Jace could see her biting her lip, trying to fight her own curiosity. He smirked and turned to his right to look out the window.
"Okay, you win, tell me!" Isabelle said exasperatedly.
Jace laughed, and leaned in to whisper Simon's statement into Isabelle's ear in case the taxi driver heard something he shouldn't have.
"He said that?!" Isabelle looked flustered and she blushed furiously. "Not that it's a bad thing, though," she admitted as an after thought.
Jace rolled his eyes, "Okay, well now it's your turn to give your end of the bargain. Where's Alec?"
Isabelle chuckled. "He's at the Shaker & Plume."
"Wait..." Jace frowned. "Isn't that a popular bar for warlocks to hang out in? And isn't it all the way Queens? Why would he be there—Ohhhh..." His widened in realization and Isabelle giggled out loud.
When the two reached the Institute, they walked inside to see a pile of suitcases sitting in the foyer, and when Jace's gaze followed the suitcase, he noticed four people standing together talking to Maryse, who was facing Jace and Isabelle. The group heard the Institute doors open, and they all turned, facing the two teens.
"Aline?!" Isabelle broke out into a grin and hugged the girl. As Aline stepped away from Isabelle, she turned to Jace and gave him a bashful smile.
"Hi, Jace...it's really good to see you."
"Hey," Jace just nodded. "It's good to see you, too. How's...everything going?"
"Good, I guess," Aline said, turning back to the three other people. Jia Penhallow stood with her husband, Patrick, and they were accompanied by Amatis Herondale. Jace was surprised to see Amatis back at the Institute so soon. The adults just glanced over at Jace and Isabelle and continued on with their conversation with Maryse.
"What are you doing here in New York?" Isabelle asked Aline.
"Well, Mom just wanted to come by New York before going to the Paris Institute," Aline explained. "She also wanted me to meet Clary before she came to France as well...is she here?"
"Uh...she's at home," Jace said. "I can tell her to come by tomorrow."
"Oh..." Aline looked disappointed. "Okay...it's just that, Mom and Dad wanted to leave to France by tonight, so..." she looked over her shoulder again. "Hold on, let me tell Mom." She went over to her parents and told them about Clary's availability.
"Is that so?" Patrick looked up at Jace and Isabelle, and then back over at Maryse. "That's unfortunate—Jia and I were hoping to go over to the Paris Institute by tonight."
"I see," Maryse nodded. "Well, what if you traveled to France tonight and Aline stayed here at the Institute overnight to meet with Clary tomorrow afternoon? Afterwards, she could Portal to Paris."
Jia turned to Aline, and gave her a questioning look. "Is that okay with you?"
"Uh...yeah, sure," Aline nodded hesitantly.
"I can accompany her," Amatis offered. "Just to make sure nothing happens."
"Thank you Amatis," Patrick nodded. "That would be very helpful."
"That's settled then," Maryse smiled, and turned to Isabelle. "Isabelle, why don't you show Aline to a room she can stay in upstairs?"
"Yeah, of course," Isabelle nodded. "Do you wanna bring your stuff upstairs?"
"Yeah, they're just over here," Aline walked over to the pile of suitcases next to the door, and picked up two large suitcases.
"Here, let me get that for you," Jace offered, taking the luggage from Aline.
"Oh thanks," Aline blushed and hurriedly followed Isabelle upstairs. Jace frowned at Aline's awkwardness around him. Sure, he'd seen girls here and there get a little flustered when they saw him, but Aline was at a whole other level.
"Jace?" Someone called out from the foyer. He turned and saw Amatis giving him a hopeful look. "Can I talk to you when you're available?"
Jace didn't say anything for a few seconds and eventually he swallowed hard. "...Sure," he answered.
"Okay," Amatis smiled and Jace turned and quickly went after Aline and Isabelle. When he reached the bedroom that Aline was staying in, he found her and Isabelle deep in conversation. He just dropped the bags off and left before they realized he had come by.
Jace went down the hall and found Amatis standing in the doorway of the library. She had a small brown box in her hand, and was looking through it's contents when Jace came up to her. She gave him a wary smile and motioned to him to have a seat inside the library.
"This talk may be a little uncomfortable to you, but I don't know if you know who exactly I am besides being Lucian's sister," Amatis began as she took a seat in one of the armchairs across from where Jace sat. "However, judging from the look on your face, I think you do."
Jace slowly nodded. "You were married to my dad once," he managed to say.
"Yes," Amatis confirmed. "I was, a very long time ago." She looked back down at the box she was holding before looking up at Jace again.
"Your father was born in London, and we were both married in Alicante. Although it may upset you to hear this, I loved him more than life itself. Valentine offered Stephen a vacant position of second in command in the Circle, and against your grandmother's wishes, he joined, and I reluctantly followed. He was infatuated with the Circle's cause and often turned his back against his Law-abiding family, and myself.
"When Lucian was bitten, he came to me asking for help," Amatis grew quiet, "I hate to admit that I was disgusted with him. I remember telling him to never return until he was sure he hadn't become a werewolf. Of course, he did end up Turning, and I only saw him once again right before the Uprising up until now.
"Just like myself, Valentine was also disgusted with Lucian becoming a werewolf as he hated all Downworlders. Because I was Lucian's sister, Valentine saw me as an unfit wife for his lieutenant. He promptly set Stephen up with Céline," Amatis paused and studied Jace's reaction. "Your mother."
Jace blinked rapidly, trying to hold back his rage. His whole life, he grew up thinking that his parents had been married by choice, out love, and now for the first time he was hearing otherwise.
"Did they even love each other?" he said quietly, not making eye contact with Amatis.
"I will be honest with you," Amatis began, "and I'm not saying this out of spite, I promise...Not at first," she sighed. "Eventually, he did grow to care for Céline, in his own way...but—"
"But he never loved her like he loved you." Jace said bitterly. "That's what you were going to say, isn't it? I'm not stupid, you know."
Amatis just looked at Jace sadly. "There was a reason I said that this conversation would be uncomfortable."
Jace just shook his head rancorously and got up from his seat to leave the library.
"Jace, wait," Amatis called out. "I know you must hate me for telling you all this, but there's a reason I had to tell you." She extended the box she was holding out to Jace, her hand shaking.
"These are some things of his that I saved over the years. Photographs, a family tree, his witchlight stone...and a letter," she looked up at him with kind eyes, "that he wrote to you."
To me? Jace thought. He reached out hesitantly and took the box from Amatis.
"I'm sorry if you finding out who I am was the worst thing that has happened to you in months," Amatis said. "But Stephen entrusted me to give you these, and I firmly believe you deserve to know the truth about your family's past. I'm sure you already know how your parents died and who was behind it..."
"Sorry," Jace said darkly. "I don't want to say the V-word."
Amatis bit back a laugh, and for the first time during their conversation, Jace saw the light return to her eyes.
"You're just like him, you know?" She said, staring at him fondly. "Same blond hair, same personality." She smiled to herself. "Lucian used to say that Stephen was everyone's golden boy. He was good at everything and unfailingly ice without being boring...everyone loved him."
Jace glanced down at the box in his hands, and his eyes caught the sight of his father's loopy handwriting peeking out from a folded piece of paper. The letter, he remembered.
"I should get going," Amatis seemed to notice Jace's sudden anticipation of going through his father's belongings. "I leave you to it." She turned to leave the room, and just as she was about to exit through the doorway, Jace called out to her.
Amatis turned and gave him a smile. "You're welcome, Jace."
Jace took the box and sank back into the cushions of his chair. He stared at the box for several minutes before reaching into his pocket and taking out his phone. He scrolled through his contacts before selecting a name and clicking 'Call.'
After a few rings, the person on the other end picked up the phone.
"Is everything okay?"
"Yeah...I just..." Jace let out a shaky breath. "Amatis and I talked...about my dad."
Clary was quiet on the other end, and Jace continued.
"She gave me this...box...that had some of his belongings in it. In it, was a letter that he wrote to me—I have it in my hands right now, but...um..." Jace wasn't someone who usually shared his feelings with people, but since he ever since he met Clary, he found it easier to admit the truth to her. "I'm too nervous to read it."
"Jace," Clary said softly. "There was a reason for Amatis wanted you to have this letter. How about you read it to yourself right now, and I'll stay on the line with you?"
Jace didn't immediately answer, and Clary stammered, "Or I mean...if you want to hang up...t-that's completely fine—"
"No, no, I'll read it, hold on," Jace quickly said, and reached down to pull out the letter. He took a deep breath and started reading it, his eyes flying through the words, trying to absorb all of the letter at once.
After several minutes had passed, Jace put the letter down and clenched the phone in his hand tighter. "This is complete bull—anyone could have written this," he said angrily. "They're just vague sentences written one after the other..."
Clary sighed. "Our dads are the worst, aren't they?"
Jace cracked a grin, surprised at Clary's statement. "Yeah...I guess so."
"Listen, as much as I'd love to continue this conversation and list the large number of reasons why my dad royally sucks, I really have to get started on my history paper," Jace could hear her shuffling things around on the other end. "I'll see you tomorrow, okay?"
"Clary?" Jace said before she could hang up.
"Thank you, for listening to me."
"Of course," she said softly. "I'm always here for you."
Jace smiled, "I know."
"Goodbye, Jace." He could sense Clary's smile through the phone.
After Aline had gotten settled into her room and had said goodbye to her parents, Isabelle checked in with her Mom to see if Alec had returned home. She said no, so Isabelle went searching for Jace. She found him sitting in the library, dozing away, a small box in his lap.
"Jace," she said, shaking him. "Jace, wake up!"
He woke up with a start, nearly spilling the contents inside the box he was holding.
"Whoa, easy there," Isabelle caught the box before it slid off of his lap. "What is this?"
"Huh?" Jace mumbled, staring down at his lap. "Oh...um, it's a collection of stuff that belonged to my dad."
"Where did you get this from?" Isabelle picked up a witchlight that was sitting inside the box and held it up, examining it.
Jace paused before answering. "Amatis gave it to me."
"Amatis? Oh, of course, she was his previous—yeah..."
"Yeah," Jace repeated, looking around while yawning. "What time is it?"
"It's almost eight. Look Mom's a little busy, so she asked us to pick up dinner from Taki's with Aline. Alec still hasn't come home yet."
"Oh...yeah sure," Jace stood up, fixing his hair. "I need to drop this off at my room, and then I'll meet you downstairs."
"Okay," Isabelle nodded and headed to Aline's room to tell her where they were going. After a while, all three teens were walking through Manhattan, heading towards Taki's. When they arrived at the diner, they hurried inside, grateful to be out of the cold air.
"Oh wonderful...look who it is," Jace said darkly, rolling his eyes.
Crap, Isabelle groaned to herself. I completely forgot she works here.
"What's wrong?" Aline asked curiously, noticing Jace and Isabelle's glares.
Isabelle just stared at the girl standing at the other end of the diner behind the main counter. Kaelie stood in a white apron over her clothes, smiling at the three Shadowhunters from behind the cash register.
"Well, hello there," she grinned wider. "Welcome to Taki's."
Even though Kaelie had left St. Xavier's for good, not caring about attending the silly mundane school anymore after Jace and Clary confronted her, she still came to work every afternoon, just like usual. In the mornings, she would spend time in the Seelie Court, and then during lunch, she'd head over to Taki's to work her shift until the night.
That afternoon, Kaelie was in the Seelie Court just getting ready to leave for work when a water sprite came up to her, telling her that the Queen was requesting her presence. Kaelie nodded and headed to the throne room, where the Queen was sitting in an elaborate marble throne, wearing an icy white gown that cascaded onto the floor and spread around her.
"My Lady," Kaelie curtsied and the Queen quickly allowed her to rise.
"I have something important to discuss with you, Kaelie," she said airily. "Our plan to separate Clarissa Fairchild and Johnathan Herondale has failed. The two love-struck teens seem to be attached to each other like glue."
"What do you suggest we do know, my Lady?" Kaelie asked.
The Queen raised her hand and a wood sprite flew in, hovering by the Queen's side. It was holding a glass platter and on it was a small dark blue bottle. The Queen took the bottle from the platter and the sprite zoomed away. She extended the bottle out to Kaelie, who took it from the Queen's hand.
"What is it?" Kaelie lifted the bottle up to her eye level and examined the contents.
"A potion, of sorts," the Queen smirked. "Once consumed, it can...alter the subject's personality, opinions, and lifestyle to an extreme level."
Kaelie's smile slowly grew, as she could see where this was going. "What do you want me to do with it, my Lady?"
"Give it to Johnathan Herondale," the Queen ordered. "Make sure he swallows every last drop. I don't care how you give it to him, but make sure he consumes all of it, understand?"
"Yes, my Lady." Kaelie bowed her head respectfully, her mind buzzing, trying to find a way that she would get the potion to Jace.
"This potion will move the pieces of our game plan into place," the Queen continued. "Once Johnathan and Clarissa are separated for good, nothing will stop Valentine from getting his hands on her and raising hell on the Nephilim."
"I look forward to it," Kaelie flashed a wicked smile and curtsied before leaving the throne room. She collected her belongings and left the realm to head to work.
She reached Taki's about fifteen minutes later and started her shift as a waitress. Usually work was fairly boring, but Kaelie did it mostly because she had nothing better to do. Throughout the evening, multiple Downworlders of all sorts came and went, and Kaelie was just calculating her latest customer's total at the cash register when the familiar ringing of the door opening sounded through the restaurant.
She looked up and felt her spirits lift instantly. There, standing at the entrance were Jace, Isabelle, and another Asian Shadowhunter.
Just my luck, Kaelie grinned, her eyes landing on Jace. "Well, hello there," her smile grew. "Welcome to Taki's."
Isabelle scowled and walked forward, picking up a laminated menu off of the front counter. She narrowed her eyes at Kaelie before turning and walking back to Jace. They stood together, going through the menu and deciding what they wanted to eat.
Kaelie reached down into the pocket of her apron and pulled out the little blue bottle, turning it over in her hands. She heard footsteps and looked up to see Isabelle walking towards her.
"We'll take two grilled chicken sandwiches, a cheeseburger, a ceaser salad, and a BLT," she rattled off.
Geez, how many people are they feeding?
"Any drinks?" Kaelie asked hopefully.
Isabelle gave her an annoyed look and then added, "Two vanilla lattes and one hot chocolate."
"One hot chocolate?" Kaelie repeated, trying to figure out if that was Jace's drink.
"Jace, you're okay with a hot chocolate, right?" Isabelle turned to the boy.
"Yeah," he nodded.
So far so good, Kaelie thought to herself.
Isabelle turned back to Kaelie and pulled out her wallet, "We'll take everything to-go."
Wait, Kaelie realized. What if something happens to Jace's drink on the way home and he never drinks the potion?
"You should just drink your drinks here," she advised. "They could get cold by the time you go home."
Isabelle narrowed her eyes at her but eventually relaxed. "Fine," she said. "But the food is still to-go."
"Of course," Kaelie murmured. "Your food will be right out." She disappeared into the kitchen and gave the order to the chefs, coming back out to take Isabelle's money for the food.
Afterwards, the Nephilim were seated at a small table in the center of the diner. It wasn't long when one of the chefs—who happened to be a werewolf—called Kaelie to come to the kitchen and get the three drinks.
Bingo, Kaelie thought and took the three drinks. She stood on the counter, facing away from the three Shadowhunters, unscrewing the lid of the bottle and discreetly pouring the contents into Jace's hot chocolate, using a small teaspoon to mix the liquids together.
"Two vanilla lattes, and one hot chocolate," Kaelie smiled innocently as she served the teens their drinks. "Your food will be ready shortly."
Isabelle and Jace didn't say a word, but the Asian Shadowhunter, who looked awfully similar to the Consul, smiled back.
"Thank you!" she said, and Isabelle and Jace immediately glared at her. Kaelie smirked and walked away, taking her place behind the front counter.
She watched, amused as Jace reached forward, and brought his cup to his lips, taking his first sip. And then another, and another, and another one, until the cup was sitting back on the table, empty.
Enjoyed your drink Jace? Kaelie thought. Not as much as I'm going to enjoy your downward spiral these next few days.
"So long, Jace Herondale," she whispered.
A/N: *Gasp* What's gonna happen to Jace?! You'll have to read the next chapter to find out :) Thanks everyone for reading, and I hope you enjoyed this chapter!
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I'll see you in Chapter 14!