The sun was splintering down through the clouds in brilliant, pyrotechnic shards of bright light as I hurried through the busy New York streets. Simon loved the sun now that he could stand it. He was probably outside right now, sprawled out beneath the sun, watching the rays graze over his long arms… Stop thinking about him, I commanded. Stop thinking about that vampire, he's… Perfect. Gorgeous. Wonderful. I groaned loudly, startling a family walking near me, and started walking faster.

Simon and I had been dating for a couple of months now. I felt slightly guilty for thinking about him, but I couldn't stop. I spent every day with him- my first real boyfriend, I guessed, my first real relationship. Usually, I went out with a guy for a few weeks and then dumped him when he got boring. Simon, however, never got boring- or maybe he'd changed me. That was what I was really afraid of.

Finally, I reached Jace's apartment and knocked on the door, panicking. The door opened quickly, and I came face to face with my "brother", Jace Lightwood. "Hi," I said breathlessly. He looked amused.

"Good morning, Isabelle." I walked in and closed the door. He stared at me incredulously. "Come in, don't just stand out there," he continued sarcastically, backing away from the door.

"Where's Clary?" I asked desperately, not bothering to hide my distress.

"Why would she be here? This is my apartment," he answered too quickly.

"Oh, please," I replied, rolling my eyes. "Stop pretending that you two don't live together."

"You're right. Clary!" he called over his shoulder. "You can come out!" Clary skipped into the room, looking slightly confused.

"I wasn't hiding," she replied.

"Good. You didn't have to. Isabelle knows that we're living together," he said to her, looking a tiny bit abashed.

"Actually, Jace, everybody knows," I corrected him. He spun around.

"What?! How did they find out?" he yelped, looking shocked.

"Well, it was a little odd when Clary changed her phone number to the same as yours," I answered a little sarcastically.

"Hi, Izzy!" sang Clary cheerily. "What are you doing in our apartment?"

"Shh!" chastened Jace half-heartedly.

"Well, I… Jace, could you leave?"

"What? Why?" He turned to Clary, but she was just staring at him with her arms folded. "You can't kick me out! You know, it's still technically my apartment, you can't just… Clary!" We were silent for a moment, and then he stomped out of the apartment. Clary smiled and flopped down on the couch, patting the spot beside her invitingly. I sank down beside her.

"Well, I've never actually had a girl-to-girl conversation before," she admitted, "but should we get ice cream or tissues or something?"

"No," I said, shaking my head. "It's about Simon."

"Again, you're my first close girl friend, but I think that's what the ice cream and tissues are for," she said, smiling. I smiled back ruefully.

"Silly Clary. Ice cream and tissues don't work on vampires; you need garlic and holy water." She chuckled a little at my weak joke, and then became serious.

"What's up?"

"I think Simon's changed me," I blurted. Her eyes widened.

"He… he bit you?" she gasped.

"No, not like that. I mean… I think he's made me go all soft and stuff." I frowned.

"What are you talking about?" she asked, her brow crinkling in worry. "You killed, like, four demons last time we went out." I nodded slowly.

"Yeah, but I don't mean about killing. I mean… I used to be this strong, beautiful, 'toying-with-boys'-emotions' kind of girl. And now, I'm this lovey-dovey 'whatever-you-say-dear' kind of girl. And I don't like it." Clary smiled. "Quit smiling; it's getting annoying," I said irritably. She only smiled bigger.

"Aw, look at you, Izzy. You're in a real relationship now," she commented. I slumped into the couch.

"It's disgusting!" I ranted. "He changed me! God, I hate this! I could kill him!" I growled.

"Don't say that," she said, patting my arm. "I mean, it's technically true, but you two are such a cute couple. Don't go all homicidal on my Simon." I jerked away and pouted into the couch. There was a knock on the door.

"Can I come in now?" came Jace's muffled voice from behind the door.

"Yeah," I answered. "I was just leaving." Clary sighed as Jace reentered the room.

"Remember," Clary reminded me, "Don't get homicidal!"

"What the hell were you talking about before I came in?" whispered Jace, sinking onto the couch. I sighed and left, sulking all the way back to my apartment. Simon was waiting for me, leaning against the wall, tall and dark and handsome.

"Why didn't you go in?" I asked, appraising him.

"I don't have a key," he replied.

"Oh. Well, here." I dug around in my purse until I found my spare key and handed it to him.

"Wow," he said quietly, examining the jagged piece of metal while holding it at arm's length. "Isabelle Lightwood just gave a man the key to her apartment." I chuckled ruefully.

"Look at what you do to me. It's disgusting."

"That's love, Izzy," he laughed, kissing me lightly. "Get used to it." He was still smiling as he unlocked the door.

"I think I might." He beamed at me one more time before bounding into my front room, leaving the door swinging open. I stepped in after him, smiling slightly as I watched him carefully remove his shoes and hang his jacket up on the coat rack. He knew me so well, knew my little pet peeves and likes and dislikes. He really cared about me, and I cared about him, too.