"Jace! By the Angel, you coming or not?"

Jace looked over himself for the third time. He had on a black long-sleeved shirt, a pair of low-rise jeans, and leather boots. He reached down for his belt, his fingers edged toward his seraph blade, and they slowly grazed along his naginata. Earlier, he had traced on some protection runes on his arms and shoulders. The markings were so familiar, like Braille, engraved upon his blade. In the mirror, he caught a glance of his light blond hair that dangled above his broad shoulders. His pupils were like golden discs amid his pearly irises.

Among those features, deep down, he saw his father. The same sandy fair-headedness, a distinct amount of scars around the eyes and chin, high cheekbones, and long lashes. Jace clenched down on his teeth, his jaw tautened, and he forced himself to look away from the mirror.

His bed was made, and the room was in good order other than the few loose articles of clothing on the floor and hanging from the bathroom door. His favorite jacket was lain out across the pale white bedsheets. Jace strided across the room to grab it off of his mattress and slipped it on. He felt for the witchlight rune-stone his dad gave him for his twelfth birthday, coming across a small protruding bulge in his left pocket.


Irritation swelled up inside him. "All right! Keep your glamorous hair on!" he snapped, and he moved swiftly out of his room with a small click of the door. Jace stepped into the long corridor, dim, empty, and always obscured by heavy shadows. He reached the elevator at the end; Isabelle stood watching him, while Alec absentmindedly tossed a guisarme in the air.

"Ready to go?" Jace said.

"For a while now," said Isabelle with a growl. Jace saw that she wore a long white gown with embroidered sleeves to cover her scars, the skirt of her dress drifted behind her like a stream of water. She wore boots, too, but thigh-high, and a red amulet hung down from her neck. Her ebon elongated hair dangled like silk against her slim figure. Isabelle's eyes, small but sturdy, were like her brother's. He wore the same black shirt with navy blue sneakers. Alec, unlike his sister, was muscular; he had dark hair with blue eyes, and was equally as gorgeous as Isabelle.

Alec wrenched the elevator door open. It gave off a high shriek in protest, then gave up, and it slid open. They filed in and shut the gate behind them. Jace punched the floor button; there was a small jerk, and it started downward. The elevator was as old as the Institute; they've been around for many Shadowhunter generations. Its walls were starting to crumble, paintings that hung on the walls were fading, and the foyer was gathering up dust. From outside, if you could see past all the glamour, it was apparent the Institute was aging.

"Where's your whip, Isabelle?" Jace asked.

"Around my thigh. So no one can see it," she said with a smirk. Jace snorted, and she scowled. "Where's your weapon, then, Jace," she said disdainfully. He extended his arm for the blade hidden underneath the flap of his jacket and waved the blade in her face. She rolled her eyes, and he pocketed it where his witchlight was. "If I were you, I'd leave the belt. It'd give us away if the Downworlder saw you with it. I have weapons you can use."

Jace shrugged. "Fine. But you better not let me catch you take them out from under your skirt."

"Have you ever heard the term, 'thigh sheath', before?"

He opened his mouth to reply, but was interrupted by the final lurch as the elevator landed, and the doors opened with a groan.

Alec unlatched the gate, and said, "Come on, you two. It's time." Jace was surprised at the seriousness of his tone. Maybe he was nervous, the reason that he was so quiet. Jace was never nervous, not ever since his father taught him not to show it.

The foyer, as he remembered, was layered in dust and footsteps were imprinted upon it. Every piece of furniture was blanketed with ghostly tablecloths, making the room look abandoned and haunted. The portraits along the wall were dilapidated and weary; pictures of significant men and women made him shiver, feeling their gaze follow his every movement. "Where's Hodge? Does he know we're leaving?"

"I informed him, yes. The last I saw of him was in the greenhouse," Isabelle replied. Jace sighed. Poor Hodge, he thought. Ever since that curse was enforced upon him, the greenhouse was the only thing he had left of the outside world. No one talked until they were all outside. It was dark, starless; the streetlights weren't ignited yet, even if it was programmed to turn on around dawn.

Jace hugged himself tightly; his breath came out as thick mist. You might've thought it was unnatural to see three people walking at the side of the road dressed in black and white, armed with knives and daggers. But if you cruised down this road, you saw many others, red-haired, blue-haired, adorned in rags and glitter and jumpsuits for costumes. Everyone carried props like plastic wands, rubber stakes, and even crystal balls made of Styrofoam and glitter. And they all were headed for Pandemonium, the new all-ages club that opened up a few blocks away.

The three of them turned onto a parking lot, unsurprisingly full, and made out a small building several yards away. It was made of worn out brick and cement, spruced up with a variety of fluorescent lights, and flashy neon signs. A line formed along the entrance and followed itself around the back of the structure. There was a bouncer that blocked the club entrance, the red velvet rope in his hand, staring a blue-haired boy, around sixteen, down with disbelief.

The three unseen teenagers eased their way through the door, wedging themselves between the angry bouncer and the doorframe. They were in.

I'll try my best to update as soon as I can :) I, myself, love this chapter, and I hope you guys do, too. And I'm begging, plz comment. I want to know what you think so I can fix it up in my next chapter. I'm serious, I'll listen. Just tell me. Tell your friends to do the same. I just need to know.

-Jenna, 14