"I present Ms. Clarissa Fray" Isabelle said to the foyer filled with the Shadowhunters and mundane. "Izzy can we just go- Alec's voice shuddered to a stop as Clary came into view. Clary couldn't see very well through her lashes coated with layers of mascara but she could see the surprised look on Alec's face, the slightly horny one on Simon's, the proud look Isabelle was giving her and the outraged face Jace was making. She carefully treaded down the stairs holding on to the railing for dear life. Each one was silent except for Isabelle who squealed with glee. Jace on the other hand looked the furthest from happy. He stormed up to her spewing rage with each step. "I cannot as your brother" Jace spat taking in the outfit yet again, "allow you out of the house like that." "Why" Clary asked innocently but knew the amount of chest she was showing was nothing close to innocent.
Clary had no idea why she'd let Isabelle dress her like this. In a number, red and clinging slit from collarbone to navel and short- unexplainably short. But she also knew that she couldn't change out of it now. The look Jace was giving her set her bones to steel. She knew that she was dressed and probably looked like a tramp but she remembered his face as she'd come down the stairs. The way he'd totally lost his cool then had to quickly but on a false face. For a moment he'd looked at her like she was sexy, like he wanted her, then in a very brief second it was gone. But she hadn't forgotten. So she would suffer the outfit and the strappy heels that laced up to her knees so long as she could get Jace to look at her like that again. Totally unguarded.
"Clary" Jace whispered to her, his voice was low so none of the others watching the conflict would hear. Simon as always, was near Clary's side, eyes bugging out at her outfit too but curious as to what Jace would say to her. "I can't let you out like that." Jace's eyes were even more golden tonight than normal and his hair smelled clean and fresh like he'd just washed it. His body was scented lightly of soap and a little like he'd dabbed on cologne. The smell was intoxicating and warm, Clary wished she could breathe and melt into it. Her body stayed firmly rigid and she blinked realizing that she'd actually closed her eyes to allow the smell to arouse her senses. Clary's mouth red as her dress and hair was in a hard line, "You're always telling me I don't fit in when we go out" she hissed. "Now I will" she said determinedly. Jace frowned, "You want to fit in by dressing like the Underground Elite" he sneered at her. Clary ignored the jibe. She knew- only from a joke between Alec and Jace that the Underground Elite were a league of succubus women whose only goal in life was to seduce and steal the soul of their mortal lovers. Clary was only trying to do the former. And Jace knew it.
"Please Clary" Jace said and in his eyes she could see the desperation, the weakening strength of his resolve. This was just as hard for him as it was for her. Desire was hot in his eyes making them smolder. She could feel his hand shake as he pressed one to her face. "Don't" he said, his voice was rough and her body screamed at her. Told her to jump into his arms, to kiss him, devour him the way she wanted. She knew he was fighting the feeling too. The muscles in his hand jumped as he held her face. Clary sighed and stepped sadly away from his touch. "What are you doing" Isabelle asked mournfully as Clary mounted the steps. "Changing" Clary said the word like it was dirty but knew that both she and Jace's hearts were thankfully slowing down their rapid beating. Happy for the moment that no one would test the weakening determination of the other to be good. Isabelle frowned at Jace, "what did you tell her" she demanded. Jace shrugged casually all signs of discomfort gone. "Just that she'd break her leg in those heels" he said. Isabelle frowned further but didn't say anymore as they waited a few moments longer for Clary to reemerge.
When she did she'd kept the makeup Isabelle had done, only removing the excess with a semi-damp towel. Her hair was out like she knew Jace liked and she wore a skirt- denim with small embroidered flowers in the corner along with a gray cashmere top that Isabelle insisted she buy on a forced shopping trip. The top was snug and cozy, fitting her nicely. She felt Jace's eyes rove over her appreciatively. His gaze on her legs the only part of her flesh exposed. Isabelle's lips puckered in a sour moue. "I guess it'll have to do, honestly Clary the other outfit was fine," she said grumpily then stomped into the elevator, Alec followed quietly trying to calm his sister's disgruntled mood. Simon went after them with a last look at Clary. Clary was about to step in with him when a familiar voice tickled her ear. It was Jace. He whispered casually to her as he went by but the blush stayed with Clary the whole trip downstairs.
"You okay, you're kind of red" Simon said next to her. "Yeah fine" Clary said still smiling to herself at Jace's words. 'You're just as beautiful in this.' Maybe there was some hope for them after all.