Random Fact: while I love writing stories like these, I don't actually want to be an author. I mean, yeah it'd be cool and whatnot to have books published, but I don't think I could actually ever finish a book. I have a friend who wants to be an author though. So far, she's the only person who knows that I write stories, but she doesn't like The Mortal Instruments (*gasp*) so she hasn't read my stuff. So, as ever, I rely on you guys to tell me what you think.

While Isabelle was busy with her makeup and wardrobe, I was left to my own devices. I had already finished my makeup and now I was looking for something to wear. This seemingly easy task was proving to be a problem. I flipped through Jace's collection of my clothes for the second time- he had brought them to me then left without a word- but the search was useless. I ended up with the same result. There was nothing here I wanted to wear, nothing that would help my purpose tonight.

I wanted something that would catch Jace's eye, something to tease him to pay him back for all the pain he'd caused me in the last few days. Maybe I could find a guy at Pandemonium to tease him with. Making Jace want me and making him jealous wouldn't go a long way, but together, they would definitely be a start. If only I could find something to wear.

As I looked a third time, my eyes fell on a purple dress, the purple dress that I had been wearing on one of the worst nights of my life. It was pretty and attractive, but I didn't think that I could bring myself to wear it again. Instead, I went to raid Isabelle's closet.

Her door was closed. Opening Isabelle's door unannounced was the same as sealing your death warrant, so I knocked. "Don't come in, I'm not ready!" she called through the door.

"It's just me, Isabelle." I informed her.

"Oh, sorry, I thought you might be Simon." She said. "You can come in."

As I came into the room, Isabelle didn't look up from her mirror where she was doing her makeup. She had on a halter top and a cute skirt that accentuated her long legs. She also wore her signature high heels. And by high heels, I mean high heels. In reference to shoes, her motto was "Nothing less than seven inches". I preferred heels I could actually walk in, and I was hoping she had a pair I could borrow.

"Hey, Izzy. Could you help me with something?"

"Depends," she responded, leaning closer to the mirror. I could see her face reflected in the mirror as she ran her mascara wand over her eyelashes twice before putting it up. "What do you need help with?"

"I want to make Jace jealous." I said bluntly.

Her eyes widened in the mirror and a smirk slid over her face. "Got a little revenge up your sleeve?" she asked shrewdly without turning around. Her eyes met mine in the mirror.

I nodded. "But I can't find anything to wear, and there's really no point otherwise."

"Well, let's see if we can fix that."

Because of our height differences, most of Isabelle's clothes were too big for me. The few things we found that fit totally clashed with my vibrant hair (a problem I run into often). "Here, try this," Isabelle handed me a cute shirt. I help up the adorable flowered Marc Jacobs tank top, but it was at least a size too big. I handed it back to her, and she surveyed the closet thoughtfully for a moment. Then, she gasped and promptly dropped the shirt she was holding on the floor.

"Don't move." Isabelle ordered me. "I'll be back in a minute." Then she rushed out the door and down the hall. She came back not a minute later with a bag in hand. "Okay, close your eyes," She commanded excitedly. I complied. I heard rustling noises and I could only assume she had found the outfit we were looking for. "Now open them!"

I opened my eyes to see a dress that rivaled dresses worn by models. It was short and black. Classy and simple. The length might bother me if not for the fact that I was going to look amazing in it. Sure enough, when I tried it on, it fit perfectly.

"I love silk-tiered dresses." Isabelle told me. As an afterthought she added, "And the bow is tres mignonne."

"Translation please, Isabelle." I knew only enough French to recognize that she was speaking it. "Not all of us had French tutors growing up."

"The bow is very cute." She clarified. "And you, my friend, are gorgeous." I looked into the mirror again. Wearing this dress that emphasized the good parts and fixed the bad, I actually felt gorgeous. The dress had thin spaghetti straps and a decorative bow on the chest. The tiers on the body of the dress emphasized its shortness, making my legs look much longer.

To go with the dress, Isabelle pulled out a pair of wedge-heels that tied around the ankle. "You look amazing." Isabelle assured me when I was fully dressed. I left my hair down to flow wildly down my back that way I knew Jace liked it best. "Jace is going to be too busy drooling over you to look at another girl. Even Aline."

"Aline?" I asked, alarmed at the thought of seeing her with Jace. "She's going?"

"Sorry," Isabelle apologized. "You know I never would have invited her, but she kind of overheard us talking about it and invited herself." When I didn't answer, she added, "Are you okay with that? Because we don't have to go."

"I'm fine." I said in what was hopefully a convincing tone. "And you look great too by the way. But then, you always do. I swear, Izzy. You could make a paper bag look good." I said it mostly to change the subject, but there was no denying the truth in the statement.

Isabelle twirled around in front of the mirror preening. "I know. Now you go get the boys while I put on the finishing touches."

I walked down the hall searching for 'the boys' as Isabelle called them. Alec, the oldest, was almost twenty. Simon and Jace weren't that far behind. They were more men than boys. I planned to go find Simon first, figuring he would be in the library or the kitchen. But my feet betrayed me and I found myself standing in front of Jace's door. I help up my hand to knock but couldn't bring myself to do it. I was just about to leave when the door swung open.

"Clary?" Jace seemed surprised to find me here. He leaned against the doorway only inches away from me.

"Um, hi." I said nervously, ignoring the fluttery feeling in my stomach. Slightly thrown off by his proximity, I took a step away from the door.

"Is it time to…" He trailed off, his eyes running slowly up and down my body in a way that made my face heat up. The warmth spread throughout my body as his gaze took in the dress, my legs, and the heels that accentuated them. A lazy grin spread over his face.

This was the first time we had been alone together since our breakup. My heart beat faster and my pulse raced as he lifted his eyes to my face. He looked frustratingly impassive. "You look gorgeous, Clary." If it weren't for the small hitch in his voice and the slightly covetous way he looked at me, I would think he was unaffected. But I knew him better. My plan was working.

"It's time to leave." I announced to break the silence. Luckily, my voice betrayed none of the emotions I was feeling.

Jace didn't move. He just looked at me and looked and looked. I figured that said something about my appearance in and of itself. I bit my lip, drawing his attention to my mouth. His eyes settled there for a minute before continuing their roaming. Jace had a way of gazing at me that seemed as physical as if he were touching me. "Jace?" I waved my hand in front of his face. "My face is up here."

"I know where your face is, Fray." He met my eyes with a cat-like grin. "After all, those talented lips of yours just happen to be on it."

"Well, you seem to have forgotten that it's impolite to stare." I snapped. I had to seem as unaffected as he pretended to be. "Are you ready to leave or not?"

His grin grew wider. "Give me one second." He disappeared into the room, leaving the door open just a crack. "And I'm back." He said as he reappeared holding something behind his back. "Did you miss me?"

"Terribly." I retorted sarcastically. It wasn't until the word came out that I realized how true it was. Every second without him was torture. I wanted to grab that lithe, beautiful body of his and crush it against mine, but I managed to resist by sheer will power.

"I have a present for you," he pulled the thing he was hiding out from behind his back and placed it in my hands.

"A knife?" The knife was beautiful; there were Shadowhunting runes on the sheath for protection and speed. I pulled out the blade to study it.

He nodded. Looking into his eyes, I could see sincerity there. "It's a Seraph blade."

"I know it's a Seraph blade, Jace. I have used one before you know." I just didn't get why he was giving me one now.

"I know." He said. His tone was completely serious. "I'm sorry, Clary. I'm sorry for disappointing you. I'm sorry for acting this way. I don't even know what came over me." His eyes were pleading. I knew Jace well enough to know that apologies didn't come easy to him. Judging by the sad gleam in his eye, I knew he was thinking about the lesson Valentine had taught him from an early age. "To love is to destroy," Jace said, confirming my suspicions. "I just hope I haven't hurt you beyond repair, Clary."

I felt my eyes fill up with unshed tears. He was being so sweet. It hurt me to say what I did next. "It's time to leave." I repeated. I tried to hand him back the knife.

His face filled with hurt, but he tried to pretend that he didn't care. "Take the knife, Clary." His chin tilted stubbornly.

"I don't have anywhere to put it." I protested.

He eyed my chest. "Use your creativity. I'm sure you'll find somewhere to put it."

The handle on the knife was short and the blade sturdy but small. The knife could definitely fit where he was suggesting I put it, but I didn't know if I could draw it from there. Instead, I pushed the knife into the lacing of my right shoe. "Let's go." I said. And with that we were off.

From down the hall, we could hear Isabelle, Simon, and Alec talking as they waited for us. I assumed Aline was with them, too. I was so focused on my proximity to Jace that I didn't see the person in front of me until I crashed into her.

"Hello, Jace. Hello, Mary." She said absently after righting herself.

"Hello, Mrs. Penhallow." We said in unison. She never did manage to get my name right. She was wearing a simple blue taffeta dress that was too fancy for a night at the Institute. "What are you all dressed up for, Mrs. Penhallow?" Jace asked politely. He turned on the charm, earning a smile from her.

"Oh, I've got a date tonight." She said, practically blushing. She had been married for at least twenty years, but she thought nothing of publicly announcing that she was cheating on her husband. Everyone who knew the couple knew that both of them were unfaithful and the only reason they stayed together was their work for the Clave. It was almost enough to make me feel sorry for Aline. Almost.

"Who's the lucky man?" Jace asked. I thought he was laying it on a bit thick, but Mrs. Penhallow looked thrilled that he cared.

"Oh, I doubt you know him." She said. "His name is Jay. Jay Rivera. And he is absolutely dashing."

"Oh, we know him alright." Jace muttered under his breath.

"What was that?" Mrs. Penhallow asked.

"Nothing." Jace smiled charmingly and we said our goodbyes. But when she was almost out of earshot, he called, "Rivera's office is pink!"

"Now, Jace." I said mock-reprovingly. "I believe the room is purple." And we laughed together for the first time in what seemed like ages.

By the time we finally got to Pandemonium, I was ready to do some damage. We didn't find any demons right off, so I took this time to begin my plan. Simon, standing beside me, saw the devious grin on my face. "Oh, no." He said. "Please tell me that expression's not for me." He knew from experience that I was planning something.

I didn't answer. I also pretended not to see as he spiked his drink with blood the way he always did. I really didn't see how Isabelle could stomach kissing him when his breath smelled like blood. I turned my attention back to Jace. And caught him staring again. I winked at him before turning to strut away.

I made it all the way to the bar, knowing he was following me before I let myself turn around. "Jace," I greeted him coolly.

"Clary." He seemed as if he wanted to say more but wouldn't let himself. I turned to the bar tender and ordered the first drink I saw on the list, ignoring Jace's attempts to figure out what he wanted to say.

"Hey, Jacey." Aline called. She stood pressed against him. I eyed her distastefully and pretended not to care. "Don't you want to dance with me?"

"Don't call me that." He snapped as he turned back to me.

"But…" She pouted and flipped her dark hair over her shoulder in a way she must have thought was attractive.

"Can't you see I'm trying to talk to Clary?" He demanded and she marched off offended.

"What if I don't want to talk to you?" I asked snarkily.

"I think you do," his chin was set in that stubborn way that made me want to grab him, haul him off his feet, and kiss him as long as I possibly could.

"Well, I think I don't." I retorted.

"Clary…" He tried again.

I had to make him shut up. There was only one way to do that that I was positive would work. I weighed the advantages and disadvantages in my mind. Advantages: 1) I would finally get to kiss him. 2) He would shut up. Disadvantages: Who cared? I really really wanted to kiss him.

I grabbed the collar of his black t-shirt and pulled him to me. I didn't have time to fully appreciate the shocked look on his face before my mouth connected with his. I pressed closer to him, moving my hands to cup his face and keep him from pulling back. Not that he showed any signs of withdrawal. Instead, he let his lips part in shock as I kissed him fiercely. When I finally pulled away for air, his lips were still parted in shock. His eyes were wild and I pretended not to see the raw desire in them. I patted him twice on the cheek before turning to walk away.

Another very long chapter. Hopefully the length of the past two chapters will make up for the fact that I won't be updating for a few days. I'm going to the beach Tuesday-Friday and I won't have access to a computer.