Disclaimer: I do not own the Mortal Instruments series or any recognizable characters. Their rightful owner is Miss Cassandra Clare = the Goddess of all literature.
This is dedicated to the amazing Jenny, whom I have known since fourth grade, and has been my best friend ever since I accused her of being 'Chalk Woman' when she sketched on me with a piece of the teacher's chalk. Ha-ha. Love you, girl.
You Have My Heart
Jace picked absently at his short nails; his eyes were upon the bedroom door.
He stared fixedly at the pure, blinding white paint, the polished silver knob, the bolt - which was securely in place against the frame. He hardly dared to blink. Because why would he choose to refresh his eyes if it meant taking his eyes off the door and perhaps missing the tiny tremor that would run through it when Clary's fist tentatively met the other side?
Just the thought made Jace shift more comfortably on the white matress, putting his back against the matching white wall, preparing himself to launch off the wall with his shoulders to quickly pull open the door if she did knock too quietly to hear.
Jace's acute, watchful eyesight was focused on the bolted door for one, simple reason: Clarissa Fray.
The trim, tiny girl had finally agreed (after much persuading from Jace himself) to come and see him in his room that afternoon. He had announced that he had an urgent question that could not have been spoken around the others, who had indeed been gathered with them in the kitchen at that exact moment - including Clary's nerdy Mundane friend. What was his name? Seamus? Steven? Ah, who cares. Jace just needed to see Clary herself. Not some utterly oblivious Mundane.
It was now three-o'-one; exactly one minute after Clary had agreed to meet him. Jace would be damned if she thought she could be 'fashionably late' to something that required such heavy duty protection (a silencing Rune over the door for when she did arrive; a locking Rune over the door that would let it only be opened from the inside - just in case someone tried to kick the door down and the bolt wouldn't be enough lock-age) and a serious amount of time in the bathroom that morning. Jace had spent almost twenty minutes picking out a suitable outfit -crisp white T-shirt and his best blue jeans- and fixing his hair into just the right windswept 'do. He would also be damned if Clary wouldn't be impressed by his crisp, effortless-looking (psh) appearance and charming smile.
Jace almost jumped out of his skin when something hard hit the other side of his door with an audible bang. It took him a moment to realize that someone was knocking. But when he did, he leapt off the bed and landed just inches from the door; the ends of his shaggy blond hair actually brushed the surface.
His hand was on the knob before the person on the other side could knock again.
Jace wrenched the door back - or attempted to anyway, but the bolt was still firmly in place and he only succeeded in nearly ripping his arm from its socket.
Ignoring the blinding pain coursing through his shoulder and down his arm, he swiftly slid the bolt out of its holster and let the little knob that locked it into place thump back against the door with a tiny pop. Then he grabbed the highly polished silver knob and twisted, throwing the door open to reveal the hallway - and the short, shadowy figure residing within it.
"Clary," Jace greeted breathlessly. A smile was in place on his face now, but it wasn't the slow, charming smile he had been practicing in the mirror for over an hour. It was more a ghost of that smile, something absentminded and goofy that crinkled the corners of his golden-irised eyes and made the molten liquid of them look alive with humor.
Clary, who was standing about three feet away from the door, her slim figure bathed in shadows, nodded slowly. "Jace," she replied uncertainly, and then coughed. "Um- hi."
He grinned more widely than before as he stepped out into the hallway to place his hand against her bare upper arm. "Hey." And then he tugged at her arm and nearly sent her toppling into his pristine white bedroom, following closely behind.
Jace slid the lock back into place once he had closed the door behind himself, taking care to turn the bolt sideways and lock it into place inside its holster, even if there was a heavy-duty locking Rune sliced across his door for now. He figured he could never be too careful to take precautions when something like this was taking place. Nothing, he decided, would ruin this for him. Not even his nosy siblings.
Turning back around, Jace found Clary observing his room with a look of incredulity upon her delicate features. She couldn't mask the amusement in her eyes, though. "Looks more like an asylum cell than a bedroom," she chuckled.
As Clary turned to observe his tiny bedroom, Jace took the chance to observe Clary.
She was standing beside his unmade bed with her arms folded over her small chest; a look of amused skepticism was etched into the thin lines between her eyebrows and forming prematurely around her mouth; her eyes, which were the captivating emerald color of fresh-cut morning grass, were wide as they peered into every corner of his room, obviously trying to be subtle about catching a glance at some of his Shadowhunter weapons; her short, flaming-red hair was pulled up into a messy bun on her head; free wisps of the scarlet strands curled close to her temples and behind her ears.
The petite girl chose that moment to look back at him, and Jace quickly averted his eyes to the far wall, trying to seem as though he had been studying a glass display case holding most of his seraph blades and even a spare stele.
He could have sworn he heard her mutter something about 'men' and 'staring oafs,' but when he stole a quick glance at her, she was bent over the bedside table and studying one of his seraph blades.
Jace supressed the urge to roll his eyes at her none-too-subtle haughtiness. He had only known Clarissa Fray for about a month, but if he had one thing to say about her, it was that she was a tempermental, stubborn brat who repeatedly refused his near-desperate pleas of-
"Clary, will you go out with me?" he asked quietly.
There was an odd gasping noise from the red-head, and then she froze. All time seemed to suddenly stand still. The clock on Jace's bedside table was the only sound in the tiny bedroom; a dull, dying tick-tocking noise as the seconds dragged sluggishly by.
"Is that why you asked me to come to your room?" Clary asked. Her voice was dangerously calm. "'Cause I was sure it was actually something important this time." A scoffing laugh issued from her sneering mouth before Jace could get a word in. "But why-oh-why would I ever even consider that the oh-so-great Jace Wayland could actually be serious about something besides how many girls he beds in a month?"
Her words were harsh. They stung as though Clary had lashed at him with Isabelle's golden whip instead of simple accusations. She continued steadily onward with her insults.
"And here I was, actually starting to become friends with Isabelle and Hodge and Alec, and maybe even you, too, and then you had to go and ruin it all by strutting your pretty-boy stuff around and trying to get every girl within a ten-mile vicinity to fall for you! Well, guess what? Not this time, Jace Wayland, you can count on that!"
Jace felt something cold and bitter wrap around his insides and squeeze; he paused and tried to smooth over his expression, but he felt sure that Clary had seen the brief flash of hurt that had hurtled through his golden eyes and then back out of sight.
He stuffed his hands into the hip pockets of his low-slung jeans and scuffed his boots against the white carpet in an uncharacteristic moment of miserble silence.
Jace didn't even bother to look up when he felt a presence shuffle nearer to him, and something against his arm, cold fingers trying pathetically to coax him back into reality. "Jace?" Clary's voice came soft and low this time, and it would have been music to his ears had his heartbeat not been pulsing erratically in his temples with the pressure of trying to force back the burning that had begun behind his eyes. Jace Wayland did not cry, no matter how sad or pathetic he felt.
"Jace?" Clary tried again, her hand tightening around his bicep this time.
Jace finally looked up, and instead of the exuberant, charming mask that had been carefully adjusted over his features just moments before, there was now a tight, frowning mouth and golden irises blinking rapidly against the sadness welling within their molten depths. He forced on a thin smile and, rather hollowly, sighed her name. "Clary," he said again, closing his eyes finally now to save himself from having to see the disgusted expression more than likely taking residence upon her pretty face, "If that's really how you feel about me, you can go. I won't bother you ever again; won't look at you, or speak to you, or even think about anymore after today if that's what you wish." He inhaled deeply, trying to calm the suffocating sadness clenching around his thrumming heart. "I understand. But," he added, finally turning his head to look at her, his fingers instinctively coming up to touch the back of the hand on his arm, "Just know that I have and always will - be here for you."
Clary had the distinct impression that another ending had been resting on the end of his tongue; her suspicions were only confirmed when embarrassment flushed through his cheeks for a mere second before he shook it quickly away.
"J-Jace," Clary faltered halfway through the familiar name due to the lump forming in her throat. Her eyes were burning with tears, but she wasn't as experienced as Jace as holding back emotion, and the streams of salty tears began flooding down her cheeks and over the corners of her twisted mouth.
Jace's golden eyes widened despite the absolute misery that were residing in their own liquid depths, and he raised his hand to brush his curled knuckles along Clary's wet cheekbone. "Cla-" he started, but was cut off by the sudden pair of arms thrown around his neck and the lips forced to his own.
Jace froze, hands going still in midair as Clary's wound themselves tighter still around his neck and pulled his immobile mouth more fully down to meet her own.
The stone that had seemed to have wound itself around Jace's joints melted away instantly at the eager passion behind Clary's unyielding lips. His hands slid down her back to come to rest in the hollow directly above the waistband of her ripped blue jeans. She smiled slightly against his mouth.
The kiss tasted like bitter salt from the remnants of Clary's tears combined with the minty aftertaste of her toothpaste. It was an odd combination, but highly intoxicating on Jace's part. He felt himself going light in the head due to utter shock at what was happening, along with the fact that Clary was stealing the breath from his lungs with her greedy mouth.
That didn't stop Jace from attacking her mouth just as forcefully. He stooped slightly so that he could move his hands around to hold her subtly curvy hips between his worn palms; one of his hands continued its journey upward, though, until Jace's fingers were splayed lightly along the back of Clary's neck. He helped to tilt her head to just the right angle, then plunged back in for an impossibly deep, breathtaking kiss that ripped all traces of oxygen from his lungs and filled him with a lightheaded giddiness.
Clary seemed to be feeling about the same, because she had to sag against Jace's chest to stop herself from falling when her knees buckled. Her cheeks were infused with rosy warmth, eyes closed lazily, twined wrists limp against the back of Jace's neck as her fingers played with the shoulder-length strands of white blond hair falling silkily between her fingertips.
The kiss seemed to last an enternity, and yet they both felt as though they had to pull away after only a few seconds. Both Clary and Jace's cheeks were deep scarlet with sated pleasure, their eyes hooded, and Jace's hands falling back into place on Clary's lower back, pulling her in close to him while her fingertips instinctively tightened on the wintry strands twined around them.
Clary let out a content, purr-like sigh that swept across Jace's face like minty heaven. "Did you like it, then?" Jace asked teasingly.
Clary grinned lazily. "Trust me," she whispered softly against his open mouth, "You have my heart."
"Then...." Jace paused before he could finish; his fingers, which had been drawing gentle circles on Clary's sides through her shirt, stilled. Her trim red eyebrows lifted simultaneously in silent question. Jace offered up a sheepish smile. "Will you go out with me, Clarissa Fray?"
Clary couldn't stop the high laugh that escaped her throat almost involuntarily. "Sure," she sighed against his face again. Bringing her face once more close to his, she pressed her mouth in close enough so that she felt the silky brush of Jace's abused lips just barely against her own. "As long as we get to do this more often."
Jace laughed and nodded. "Uh-huh," he agreed lazily, and swooped in to steal another hearty kiss.