Disclaimer: I don't own any of it sadly, Cassandra Clare does.

AN: It's the night before Clary's eighteenth birthday...

Clary braced herself, her stele the only weapon left on her belt. If this is it, I'm going down fighting, she told herself. She crouched down, readying herself to jump at the opportune moment. Even with two years' training, Clary was nowhere close to the type of Shadowhunter Jace was, and her body was showing the signs of it. Her muscles ached with an unfamiliar pain and her chest heaved in great effort to pull in enough oxygen.

She was not prepared for this; no matter how many times Jace assured her she was. And now she had proof that she needed more time, more combat lessons, and she didn't even know if there would be a time for her to ask for more. She scolded herself for leaving her sensor at home.

The Foresaken stood ominously across the street from her, seeming to taunt her frailty. Her lost seraph blade stuck out of its chest, unnoticed by the demon. If only I hadn't panicked and thrown it half-hazardly. But there was no chance of her regaining the blade without taking another violent blow to her body. There were slashes across her shirt and jeans, blood slowly dripping out of multiple wounds. If her hand wasn't so unsteady she would have drawn and iratze to heal her minor wounds. Now there was no time.

Gripping her stele firmly, Clary waited for her foe to attack. She had learned enough over her short training time to know to wait for the right moment, to take whatever time she had to judge her situation. Closing her eyes briefly she could see the face of the one boy she would always love, and she smiled. She wondered when he would start to worry about her arrival. She was never more than five minutes late whenever she met up with him, and took to the habit of texting when she was behind. Perhaps he wasn't worried yet because it was the night before her birthday and Isabelle had told him she wouldn't let Clary leave the house without look fabulous. She could imagine Jace sitting at the same booth they liked to eat in at Taki's, flirting with the waitress, Kaelie, and a sudden rage filled her mind. She would not be going down this night, she still had to turn eighteen.

When she opened her eyes she had just the right amount of time to side step the Forsaken warrior, allowing it to run at full speed into the wall behind her. She moved without thinking, using her stele to draw a simple, yet powerful rune on the ground behind the Forsaken. The lines were straight, yet never ending in nature. When she looked back up at the warrior, it was frozen in its spot; one foot was off the ground as if it was beginning to run at her again. Infinity, the rune said to her. It was one for more time.

Not worrying about the time she may have stalled, Clay charged the Forsaken warrior, grabbed the handle of her seraph blade, and yanked it to the right, successfully cutting into its heart. There was no movement from her opponent for a second, and then feeling it, Clary knew the rune had dissipated, and the demon fell to the ground dead.

When she replaced the blade to her belt dark blood smeared the bottom of her shirt, staining the already ruined garment. Clary turned around only to find Jace standing on the other side of the street, awestruck.

She said the first thing that came to mind: "I guess a thigh sheath would have kept my shirt a bit cleaner."

"Yeah," Jace said quietly. "And it really is more sexy."

Clary laughed then. She laughed at the absurdity of the situation. Of Jace coming only moment before she finally killed the Forsaken. Of ruining the new clothes she bought for her date with Jace. It was all too much. Her laugh turned hysterical, then she found herself enclosed around a strong set of arms, crying her heart out. "I thought I was going to finally die," she managed to sob.

Jace only held her tighter. "You know that would never happen," he told her soothingly.

Clary lifted her face off his chest, looking into the eyes of her love. "It may still one day. I'm not as strong as you, or as quick as Isabelle, or as brave as Alec. I'm just not made out for this." Clary rubbed at her eyes, the eyeliner that Isabelle had put on for her coming off on her fingers "You know it better than most of us, we don't have long life spans. Look at Max..." Clary dropped off her last words as she felt Jace stiffen in response, dropping his arms from her. He was still a very sore spot. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have mentioned him," she tried to apologize.

"No," Jace said quietly, "I understand what you mean. Life is short for mundanes, and even shorter for Shadowhunters. It doesn't mean we should live life any less."

Clary nodded her head in agreement, feeling silly for her outburst. Isabelle never broke down after a fight with a demon. She would have walked away laughing about how much worse for wear the demon was compared to her. Isabelle would have looked fabulous with ratty, cut up clothes.

A cool spring breeze filled the night air, causing goose bumps to raise the hairs on Clary's arms. She realized how exposed she was. Her shirt lay in tatters across her torso, revealing a large portion of her black bra and she blushed immensely at the acknowledgment. Jace must have noticed her awkwardness and shrugged off his jacket—not before raising one of his perfect eyebrows in amusement. She took it without a second thought, revelling in the immediate warmth it brought her cool skin. A small sigh escaped Clary's lips.

"Why didn't you bring your jacket? It's cold out."

"I was in a hurry," Clary answered blandly. "I almost forgot to bring my stele."

"Let's not dwell then," he replaced an arm around her tiny waist. "C'mon, I'll hail a cab."

The ride back to the Institute was quiet. Jace kept a hand on Clary at all times, whether it was on her thigh, in her hair, or in her hand, he was touching her. Whether it was for his or her own benefit, she wasn't sure.

Jace paid the driver swiftly; not letting Clary even put a hand in her pocket for the crisp twenty she had managed to stuff in her pants. She wondered why they had come to the Institute; she still lived with her mother and Luke over in Luke's bookstore house. They would need permission from both sets of parents for her to sleep over, despite almost being eighteen, and even then she wouldn't be allowed in Jace's room after ten. Parents.

"Jace..." she began.

He just placed a finger on her lips. "Maryse and Robert are away for the week. No one is going to bother us. Besides," he added with a wicked smile, "the others will be too preoccupied in their own business to hear any noise we're going to make."

Clary blanched at his suggestion.

Jace just laughed lightly for the first time that evening. Clary had to smile at his happiness. She was beginning to worry that she had ruined their evening with her breakdown. "I'm sorry Jace," she blurted out. "I didn't mean to ruin the evening."

Jace looked at her, seeming to take in her emotional state. "It's not over yet," he said huskily, his voice lower than normal, his golden eyes smouldering. He blinked, then the look on his face was gone, and he was just normal, charming Jace. "Besides, that ruin you drew, it was amazing. What was it?"

Clary hesitated. "Infinity."

"We'll have to tell the others." Jace said nothing more, just put his hand in hers and pulled her into the Institute.

They stood silently in the elevator, avoiding each other's eyes. Neither of them seemed to want to bring up the idea of what could go on between them without parental supervision. Clary blushed just thinking about what Jace had in mind. She caught his eyes in that moment, knowing she'd been caught and flushed an even deeper pink.

"And here I was beginning to think my sex appeal was wearing off," he simply stated before the elevator stopped moving.

The doors to the elevator creaked open and Clary had no time to react when she was ambushed with an onslaught of balloons, followed by a loud chorus of Happy Birthday. When she managed to get the balloons out of her line of vision she saw Isabelle, Alec, and Magnus all standing in the entry way, smiling.

Isabelle was the first to react to Clary's condition. "What by the Angel has happened to you? I took a lot of time doing your make up and now it's all over your cheeks!" She didn't seem to notice Clary's clothing.

Alec put a hand on Isabelle, pointing to Clary. "Before you go off in a huff, perhaps you should look at her, Iz."

Magnus nodded in agreement. "You look like crap."

"Thanks for the compliment," Clary mumbled.

Isabelle's face dropped when she took in Clary. The jacket she had been wearing was now open, exposing her chest through the ripped shirt she wore overtop. Blood still plastered her skin, and she had yet to heal her wounds. "Oh, Clary," Isabelle lamented, "I was just so caught up in your arrival, and, you know... I'm so sorry."

"It's nothing, really," Clary tried to downplay it. "I was just going to place an iratze on my wrist when we stepped inside, and grab some new clothes to wear. I'm fine." She shrugged her shoulders, as if she were demonstrating just how fine she felt, but groaned when she remembered that there was still a large gash across her back.

Jace pulled his jacket off Clary. Before she could protest there was a burning sensation on the nape of her neck and the pain in her shoulder began to lessen immediately. When Jace was done healing her skin he kissed the spot where he marked her, sending a different kind of shiver down her back. "I'm sorry. I should have done that right away," he whispered in her ear. "I'll be right back."

Jace was gone before Clary could protest, leaving her there with three awkward friends.

Magnus sighed loudly before turning to address Clary, "I'm sorry dear, but I have had a long day. I hope you get everything you want for your birthday and I will see you sometime soon." He placed a warm hand on her cheek before turning to Alec. "Coming Alec?"

Alec flushed lightly and nodded. He walked to the elevator to join Magnus, mumbling "Happy Birthday," before descending back down to the streets on Manhattan.

Clary was left standing alone with Isabelle. Isabelle was texting on her cell phone, a small smile on her lips."I'm sorry too," she told Clary. "But I already had plans with Simon—he says 'Happy Birthday' by the way—and I figured you and Jace would want to celebrate on your own anyway..." Isabelle trailed off. Clary got the point, blushing again that evening.

She hadn't noticed that Isabelle was dressed up more than usual, swapping her heavy boots for dainty heels. Her hair was plaited nicely, and her makeup was done to perfection.

"Thanks for the balloons," Clary said lamely. She hugged Isabelle quickly before she, too, entered the elevator and was gone.

Clary stood in the entrance for a moment longer, wondering where Jace had taken off to. She felt like a bearer of the black plague, no one wanting to be near her for too long. Instead of mourning her lack of friends, she headed to Jace's room, knowing that there was a hot shower just waiting for her.

Reaching his room she found it in the same condition it always was in. Empty, neat, and very bland. She had tried to convince Jace to paint the walls once, just to liven up the place, but he flat out refused. He wouldn't even put up a picture on his bedside table, and she knew that he had a picture frame hidden somewhere in his room of the two of them.

Not wanting to sulk, she undressed quickly and left her garments in the middle of the floor. The heat of the shower relaxed her tense muscles, allowing Clary to properly wash off the blood from her skin. The iratze may have healed her skin, but it didn't remove the dirt and grime.

Content with her body, she used a bar of soap to properly remove the remains of her eyeliner and mascara from her face, revelling in the clean feeling it brought. Finished with her face, Clary stood under the heat of the water, only turning it off once the water ran cold. Shivering again from the cold, Clary pulled a towel around herself and stepped out of the bathroom.

"I did say I wouldn't be long," Jace told her. Clary jumped so much she almost let go of her grip on her towel.


"I've got some clothes for you, I found them in a bag you left in the closet. You used to wear them last year," Jace informed her, smiling slightly. "But you could just stay in that towel, or better yet," he grinned wickedly, "nothing."

Clary wanted to hit him. "I like clothes."

She reached out for her clothes, then realised that her previous undergarments were not the same ones lying on Jace's bed. "How did you..." Clary let her sentence trail off, not wanting to know the details.

Jace shrugged and sat down on his bed, waiting. Clary went into the bathroom again, quickly changing into an old tank top and jeans. She looked plain, but it was comfortable enough that she wouldn't complain. Clary could almost hear Isabelle tsking at her outfit, complaining that she was too covered up. She smiled as she stepped back into Jace's room. She hadn't noticed before the two slices of cake sitting on his bedside table, with pink icing and chocolate filling.

Clary plunked herself down beside Jace, picking up both pieces of cake, handing one to Jace before digging into her own. They both moaned in unison as the food reached their stomachs. Clary laughed. "I guess skipping dinner was a bad idea," she joked.

"Yeah," was the only reply she got from Jace.

"You seem so unlike yourself right now. Where's the witty remark? Surely you haven't run out of sarcastic things to say."

Jace placed another bit of cake in his mouth before speaking. "Does everything I say have to be smart?" he countered, raising one eyebrow. Clary hated it when he did that.

"No." She felt stupid. Clary put her empty plate back on the side table in frustration, her hunger gone. "This has been the worst birthday ever," she grumbled.

"It's not even your birthday."

They both looked over at the clock on the wall, watching the time turn over to midnight just in time.

"It is now," Clary sighed. "I might as well head home, my mother is going to freak out." She stood up to leave, but Jace quickly grabbed her arm, pulling her back down beside him.

"Stay. She won't worry, not when she knows your extremely handsome and multitalented boyfriend is with you."

"Not to mention overly vain..."

"That's not fair!"

"It's my birthday, I can get away with that."

"True," Jace agreed. "Happy Birthday. And before I forget, I have a present for you—which was why I left in the first place, I should have you know."

"Yeah, yeah," Clary mused.

Jace shifted his weight and pulled out a small flat package. It was wrapped in plain paper, no card attached. Clary made quick work with the wrapping and gasped at what she found. It was a framed picture of the two of them from the winter. Isabelle had gone through a very short photography stint and had insisted on following them around Central Park all afternoon one wintery day. Clary was holding a snowball, smiling as Jace kissed her cheek. Moments after the picture had been taken she's smashed the snowball on Jace's head.

"Jace," Clary whispered, "I love it. I love you," she added, throwing her arms around him. Jace returned the hug, pulling away quickly before Clary could properly thank him with a kiss. "What's wrong?" she asked in frustration. "You haven't been this withdrawn with me in a long time."

Jace sighed and stood up. His eyes were a blazing golden hue, matching his golden curls perfectly. When he shook his head his hair bounced slightly. "I can't keep fighting with myself Clary," he told her. "One part of me want to court you properly—take you on nice dates, return you home every night to your parents. But the larger part of me want to just ravish you right now—without your permission and with complete abandon. This isn't fair to you."

"It's not fair to me?" Clary questioned, not quite sure of his meaning. "So when you kiss me and it gets heated, you think that it's only you wanting more, needing more?"

Jace looked at Clary, as if he were seeing her properly for the first time in a long time. "It's different for me. I've been through this before—"

"And by the fact that I'm the only virgin in the room, you think you're the only one with impure thoughts. That because I haven't been with any man makes me so much different from you?" Clary cried out at him, anger boiling over. "Do you think I like the fact that you've been with other girls? That I have to worry about how you compare our time together with them?"

"I don't compare you to anyone, Clary. You're the only woman I think about."

"I..." Clary was a bit flabbergasted at his response.

"I only want you," he told her.

"Then take me," Clary told him, finding her voice again.

Jace took one long, graceful step before he was standing in front of Clary. She moved back on the bed a bit, making room for Jace between her knees. He knelt down on the bed, placing his hands on either side of her waist, before taking her mouth with his in one swift movement.

Kissing Jace was unlike any other sensation Clary ever experienced. She couldn't believe that there was anything more euphoric than the feeling of his lips on hers, moving in perfect unison. This kiss blew all their other heated make-out sessions out of the water right away. Perhaps it was because they were uninhibited, no one was nearby to interrupt them before things became too serious. Now Jace held nothing back, kissing her lips with such a force that Clary moaned at the feeling.

Her fingers twined in his hair, in the nape of his neck, where she loved to place them. The hair was the softest there, and she tugged on it lightly, pulling a groan out of Jace's throat. Clary took the opportunity to deepen the kiss, opening her mouth to his, letting their tongues battle for dominance. She could feel heat forming deep within herself, spreading below her stomach.

Jace moved his hands from Clary's waist, placing one on her face, and using the other to lower them completely onto the mattress. The springs groaned in objection to the weight being shifted into one spot, but they both ignored it. Lying completely on top of Clary, Jace pulled back for a moment, drinking in the sight of the woman below him. Clary took the opportunity to admire Jace, stilling when she took in the bulge in his pants, straining against the fabric of his jeans.

Clary blushed involuntarily, moving to cross her arms in front of her chest, where the worst of her flush would gather. Jace stopped her arms, instead reaching down and kissing the soft skin about her heart. Clary could feel her skin darkening even more.

"Jace, please..." she whimpered.

"What? Stop?" Jace looked worried. He moved off her. "You're not ready. I understand."

"No!" Clary cried out. "I'm ready, it's just that I'm scared." She lifted herself back up onto her elbows. "I just need to know, have you..." she trailed off, not wanting to ask the one question that bothered her the most. She looked away from Jace, tears forming in her eyes. She blinked hard to keep them from falling.

Jace moved back to her, taking her chin into his hand, forcing her to look at him. His eyes were dark with lust, Clary realised. "I've only been with two other girls, okay? It was long before I met you, too. They don't mean anything to me, they never did." Jace kissed her lips chastely.

Clary relaxed, only slightly. She closed her eyes and took several deep breaths. She was ready for this. I'm ready, she told herself. Opening her eyes, Clary took advantage of her position and pulled Jace back on top of her.

Their mouths crashed together in passion, sending another shot of heat between her legs. Clary hitched one of her legs up around Jace's hip and could feel his own excitement pressing into her. She couldn't think of anything more erotic at that moment, and went to pull his shirt off. Jace had the same idea for her, and as they broke apart for a moment they both helped one another remove the unnecessary clothing from their upper torsos.

Clary watched Jace eye her small chest, still concealed in her bra. He had a small smirk on his lips. "This," he pointed to her bra, "has to go. I'm topless, and this is hardly fair."

Clary didn't object when Jace expertly reached behind her back and undid her clasp. She couldn't help herself from blushing for the millionth time that day, when her breasts were fully exposed. Jace experimentally took one of her breasts into his hand, squeezing on it lightly. He was satisfied with himself when Clary let out a low moan.

"You are truly beautiful, Clarissa Fray. I am honoured to be yours." Jace bent down once again to capture her mouth in his, keeping one hand on her chest, firmly holding her other breast. His other hand found its way back into her long red curls.

Jace moved his mouth from Clary's, keeping his lips attached to her skin, kissing her cheek, her neck, the place above her heart again, her smooth stomach. He seemed to not be able to get enough of her skin. Clary lay on the bed under him, soft moans and whimpers escaping her lips whenever Jace found a sensitive spot on her skin—which happened to be almost every part of her skin. She ran her fingernails down Jace's shoulders, onto his back, feeling his scars at the top of his jeans.

Feeling brave, Clary moved one hand down to his flat stomach, eliciting a moan from him this time. She grasped him, finally feeling his manhood in her small hand, and Jace froze above her. "I think these need to go—now," Clary informed him.

There was no argument as Jace and Clary removed their jeans and underwear at the same time, getting all tangled up in each other in the process. They were both completely naked—except for the Morgenstern ring Clary still wore—and Clary could feel the full thickness of Jace on her thigh, as he lay on top of her, kissing her mouth again. She snuck a look at him as Jace repositioned the two of them on the bed so they were no longer sideways. She gasped loudly at the sight.

"Jace I didn't know..."

"That I was so well-endowed? Yes, that's why I once suggested the code name Baron Hotschaft Von Hugenstein. It is quite fitting, don't you agree?" Jace mused lightly. Despite his teasing tone, his eyes smouldered darkly.

Clary swatted at his head, only slightly annoyed at his arrogance, and more so turned on. "Jace, I'm ready," she told him, changing the conversation.

Jace, apparently, was having none of it. "Ready for what, my lovely?"

Clary groaned in frustration. The heat between her legs was only making the situation harder. "Fuck me, you moron," Clary dared him.

Jace's eyes narrowed at her use of profanity. "Clary... are you sure? This is a huge step."

"I'm as ready as I'm ever going to be," she whispered, a bit scared again, her brashness gone.

Jace kissed her quickly before moving her legs apart with his hand. He placed one finger on her mound experimentally. When Clary moaned in response he moved himself in between her legs. "This will probably hurt," he whispered. "But I love you and I wish it were easier for you."

Clary nodded in consent, not wanting to say anything.

Jace moved inside her slowly, creeping up into her boundary, intruding her walls. The feeling was overwhelming for him and he couldn't help but plunge into her completely. Clary let out a loud whimper, stilling Jace. "Oh God, Clary. I'm so sorry, I'll pull out—"

"No," Clary breathed out through clenched teeth, gathering the fabric underneath her into her fingers. The pain was nothing like she had ever experienced. No demon lashing had caused pain this way. No scratch on her skin ached this way. She was consumed in her pain, but she wouldn't give into it. "No," she said again. "It's getting better. Just wait a moment," she let him know as the pain began to subside.

Jace was valiant, waiting as still as humanly possible, murmuring quiet nothings in her ear. It wasn't much longer before pleasure started to roll over the pain, the ache between her legs returning to one of pleasantries. Clary let out a sigh, and moved her hips up to meet Jace's in experimentation. Jace took it as a good sign and began to rock back and forth in Clary, moaning in satisfaction.

They kissed again, this time one of complete bliss and harmony. They were connected in the most intimate of ways, their bodies as close together as humanly possible.

Needing more friction between them, Clary laced one leg around Jace's hip. It helped, but she wanted more. Jace caught on quickly and moved his hand to encompass part of her thigh, pulling it up and around his other hip. They both moaned loudly at the changed position, allowing Jace further entrance into Clary's heated center.

Clary revelled in the pleasure she was receiving, the hot, wet kisses Jace placed on her face, combined with his deep, fast thrusts, and felt the beginnings of her first orgasm start to rock her body.

"Jace," she moaned in between kisses, "I'm almost there..."

Jace quickened his movement inside her, filling her to the brim with his size. "Wait for me, Clary, I'm almost there too..."

He continued to rock within Clary, only bringing them both to their anticipated climaxes once he caught her lips in a long kiss. When it seemed too much to hold onto it, Clary let her orgasm release, riding hers out at the same time Jace spilled his seed into her. The waves of pleasure rolled over her body and soon she felt herself floating down back into reality, into the small room in the Institute.

Panting, Jace rolled off Clary and pulled her on top of him. He kissed her long and slow this time, keeping his lips closed on top of hers.

This was nothing like Clary had planned her birthday to be. She smiled when Jace pulled his face away from hers. "Thank you."

"Happy Birthday Clary. I love you."