Disclaimer: I own no identified Mortal Instruments Characters. No copyright infringement intended.
*WARNING, this chapter is written from a different perspective in order to grasp all the feelings and events.*
"Clary." Jace started and I shifted my eyes to look at him and noticed the pained and guarded expression he wore. "I think we need to talk."
He shot me a look that said he didn't want to play games. "You know what. We can't keep pretending nothing happened between us, we'll never live a life of happiness if we do. We'll never move on." He moved and placed his elbows on his knees, leaning his weight on them. "I can't imagine how you felt after that night, scared, angry, hurt, confused, I can't imagine the war you waged on yourself trying to figure out my actions. And I can't imagine you ever did find out my intentions." He said, looking into my eyes deeply and I could see so much flickering like flames in his. He reached out and cupped my cheek, his thumb smoothing over my cheekbone and ultimately wiping away a tear as it fell. "I'm ready to tell you what happened, Clare. I'm ready to face I did." He whispered, his voice only barely loud enough for me to hear.
I nodded my head at him, moving my hand up to grab his from my face and hold. "Okay. I'm listening." I answered with a shuddering breath. And I was, I was prepared to take on the onslaught of emotions his next words would inflict, I was ready to finally hear why I had tore myself apart. UI was ready for the truth.
The small and cramped classroom reeked of chalk and Lysol and stung her nose as she inhaled. She stood there, feeling more awkward than she ever had in her life, clutching her bag with a deathgrip as the stocky teacher introduced her to the class of peers. Her fiery hair had been straightened and hung around her neck and shoulders in pin-straight pleats, her face had more makeup caked on it than she had ever worn in her life, and she was wearing a pair of bootcut jeans that her mom had pulled from her closet and a love conquers all tee with flip flops. She was sure that not only was she trying too hard in appearance, but she also looked very much like a girl from Florida. She was greatly regretting letting her mom help her get dressed for the first day.
To say that she was both nervous and peeved about starting a new school would be a huge understatement and she resented her parents for following their dumb dreams to the heart of Idris, New York and ultimately to this absurd excuse of a school. The town was small and full of snooty looking rich people and she was loathe lo live there.
"Class, we have a new student today. I want you all to welcome, Clarissa Fray to our school." The nasally voice of the teacher who's name she had already forgotten was doing nothing to excite Clary about being there either. In fact, she really wanted to make a mad dash for the exit. The woman gestured with one of her hands for her to come up to front of class, but she just stood there staring at the teacher as if she had grown a second head. "Come on, Clarissa, tell us about yourself."
Upon hearing the name she so detested fall from the ruby red lips of the woman made her stomach churn. She hadn't ever figured into her plans that she would, once again, have to tell people to call her the name she preferred over the one on her transcripts. Slowly, she walked the necessary steps to stand directly in front of her new classmates and turned to look out at the wondering faces of her new classmates. "I go by Clary and I really don't want to be up here." She stated in a small voice, staring holes into the floor. The teacher told her she could go sit down and as she made her way to the empty desk in the back, Clary could feel the eyes and stares following her. She sat down and immediately pulled out a notebook, writing the rhymes that were filling her head as she tried to push back the anxiety swelling up in her chest.
"Hi, I'm Isabelle." A girl's voice broke through her concentration.
Clary's piercing green eyes zoomed in on a girl with inky black hair that was curled in the simplest of waves. Her sky blue eyes were warm with welcome. Clary returned the girl's smile and the two of them began chattering animatedly about various things from clothing and guys to books and music. Clary listened to the melodic voice of Isabelle as she filled her in on the school's people, she could tell that Isabelle would be a good friend to have in the long run and since she was in no place to deny herself the pleasure of having a confidante, she let Isabelle into her shell.
The two girls had every morning class together and they talked for most of them since the teachers and students were too absorbed in their wonderings about Clary Fray and who she was. When the bell sounded for lunch, Isabelle all but dragged Clary to the cafeteria in a rush. Once they had arrived, Isabelle dragged Clary to a table that was nearly filled with people. "Clary this is Maia, Jordan, and Simon." She introduced them all and they all smiled and nodded at Clary. "At the end there is my brother Alec and his best friend Jace. They're total douches, but you'll learn to love them." Isabelle said, waving her hand in the direction of two of the most attractive guys Clary had ever laid eyes on.
She sat down opposite of the one Izzy had said was her brother and next to Jace. She ran her eyes over both boys again, taking in Alec's sophisticated looks, same blue eyes as Isabelle, and shaggu dark hair that fell into his eyes along with Jace's tanned and rustic appearance that was framed in golden blonde waves that dusted along his neck and his warm hazel eyes. Jace shot her knowing look from the corner of his eye, letting Clary know he saw her checking them both out and she felt a heated blush cover her face.
Nearly two years had passed since that first day of school and all of their relationships had grown stronger and each one called the others their best friends. The two boys of the group were now seniors while the girls trailed behind as juniors. The end of this year was coming to an end and each of them were stressed out beyond belief. Alec and Jace stressing due to exams and graduation and Clary and Isabelle freaking out because the boys would be leaving them alone at school.
"Jace, please?" Clary whined to her closest friend of them all.
Jace gave her a stern look of resolve. "No."
"Why not? It's just one favor, one. And I'll repay you for it. Please?"
"Why me? Have you asked Alec? I'm sure he would do it."
Clary scoffed and made a sound of disbelief. "Jace, pretty pretty please? I can't go alone and be surrounded by couple-o-rama. I already feel lame enough without feeling like a lonely loser. Please, just go with me to the fair and I'll talk to my dad about recording your song." She looked at him with pleading eyes as she nibbled on her bottom lip. His honey colored eyes locked onto hers and he sighed.
"Be my 'date' to the lake with the others and you have a deal."
She let loose a squeal of delight and flung her arms around his neck and kissed his cheek. His arms locked around her waist and held her to him in a deathgrip as they fell backwards into the plush cushions of her couch. Something in him never wanted to let go and he could tell she didn't want to either, but the sound of the garage opening broke them apart and she scurried over to the chair she had been in previously. He watched her as she continued to bit on her bottom lip and watch the t.v. and to all eyes it would have seemed like nothing had happened, except he could see the burning traces of her blush and smiled to himself at how adorable she looked.
The next day Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon, Maia, and Jordan all went to the fair and partnered off as they went separate ways. Clary and Jace ventured off towards the rides, talking idly about nothing in particular and sharing a few stolen glances every now and then.
The day was spent unwinding and relaxing as well as trading teasing remarks and Clary found herself really enjoying her one on one time with Jace in a different way than she ever had before. Usually, she saw him as her very best friend, but since last night's lingering embrace and the dream that followed,she just couldn't help but notice how attractive he was and how badly she wanted to be able to call him hers. The glances she stole all day seemed longer and more passionate than and every single time he caught her looking and her cheeks would flare with color. She didn't know that every rush of blood that stained her face drove him crazy and tested his self control.
As the day wound down and the fair slowly began closing, Jace dragged the petite redhead towards the ferris wheel. As she looked up at the towering and offending machine she shook with fear. "Jace, I can't go up there."
His tawny eyes locked with hers and he placed a comforting hand in hers, their fingers lacing. "I know that you're terrified of heights, but Clare, I promise I won't let you fall."
"You promise?" She repeated.
He smiled and nodded. "I swear on my life. Now, come on." He pulled her hand and led her to the small line.
Before Clary knew it, they were in a bright yellow basket and ascending towards the stars in a slow circle. Her hand was still clinging to the blonde boy's tightly and she reveled in the warmth of it. Once the wheel had reached the top for the third time it stopped and their basket swayed slightly. "What's happening?" Clary asked as her voice trembled and she braced herself against the sides. She risked a look over the edge of the plastic and was overtaken with the sense of free falling and instantly recoiled into Jace's chest.
"Clare, they're just releasing people from the lower baskets. Nothing to worry about." He spoke in soothing tones as he ran his fingers through her long tresses of hair. He loved how soft she was though none would think someone as temperamental as she was could be soft, but she was like silk to his fingers. She had pulled back slightly and was staring into his eyes with a look of gratitude tinged with something he couldn't quite pin down. He was beyond aware of how close they were and of the fact that they were still tangled together. Her warmth was nearly searing him with her close proximity and he unconsciously shifted even closer to her, as impossible as it seemed.
Her breathing hitched as Jace slowly closed the tiny distance between them and her eyes fluttered closed as her lips parted. She was instantly rewarded with the soft steel of his lips on hers and found herself drowning in the taste of him. The kiss held a tangible amount of sweetness as well as a fair bit of passion within it and she couldn't help but moan softly as all her pent up feelings flooded her body and channeled out through her lips. Her need for air interrupted them though and she pulled back slightly and looked back into his eyes. There was a guarded emotion lingering in their depths that disappeared as quickly as it came.
The Friday following her kiss with Jace, Clary found herself changing into her rarely used swim suit. She pulled on the modest black two piece and tied the top around her shoulders before pulling an old NY tee over and a pair of shorts and slipped her feet into her flip flops. Walking out of her bathroom and back into her room, she found Izzy waiting for her on her bed in a multicolored bikini set that showed massive amounts of skin and the top looked, to Clary, more like a bra than a swim suit. Clary found herself staring at her only real girl friend, wishing that she could have the amount of confidence as Isabelle and show her body off without care.
Isabelle, seeing her standing in the doorway, sat up and dropped the magazine she had been flipping through back onto Clary's desk, and stood up. She pulled on her white cover up and threw a Clary one of the two towels that were set on the foot of the bed. "Ready?" She asked, tucking her hands under the fluffy towel in her hands. After a nod from Clary, they both made their way out to the living room to get the boys that were accompanying them.
A quick twenty minute car ride later and they were spilling out Isabelle and Alec's cars, shedding clothes, and running to get in the water. Clary held back and watched her friends as they fought in the water, Simon and Alec splashing Isabelle with handfuls of water. A huge grin split her lips as she listened to Isabelle's shrieks and the laughter that roared from the two boys, but she stiffened as she felt Jace's presence behind her and felt his hands lifting up the edges of her shirt. She allowed him to pull it from her body and quickly stepped out of her shorts, taking his hand as he led her to the water's edge.
Clary waded in until she was up to her hips in the warm water and hesitated before going further, not wanting to get her hair wet and risk it going crazy. Pulling the hair-tie off her wrist and grabbing her mass of curls with one hand, she started pulling it up only to stop halfway as she felt hands slide under her legs and knock her off balance until she was being held in the traditional bridal style. She squealed and fought the urge to hit Jace as he carried her further out into the lake.
"Let me go!" She yelled.
He raised an eyebrow at her and smirked. "If that's what you really want." He replied smoothly and dropped her.
She fell into the water, submerging completely and gasping for air. When she broke through the surface, she launched herself at Jace, sinking him down into the water, her body weight shifting both of them under the water. She felt his hands circle around her waist, his thumbs resting against her hipbones and just above the edge of her swim suit bottoms.
Both of them seemed to realize the extent of their closeness and Clary pulled back as though she'd been burned at the same moment his hands fell free of her skin. She swam away hastily, making her way over to where Isabelle was exacting her revenge on the other members of their party.
Later that night as the others dried off and roasted s'mores and such around the campfire they had built, Clary snuck away to sit on top of Izzy's car, her eyes fixated on the stars as she hummed a tune. Jace sidled up next to her, playing with her half dry curls as they sat in silence. She turned to look at him, mainly to tell him to leave her hair alone, but no words were spoken as Jace claimed her lips with his. It took only a second of surprise and Clary's mouth had slanted over his while his hands slid up into her and pulled her closer. Her tongue danced with his tantalizingly and she smiled against his mouth as he groaned at the feeling. In that moment, she had decided that she really wouldn't mind kissing Jace Wayland for the rest of her life.
After Jace and Alec graduated, they coaxed the girls into going with them on a vacation. Clary was easily swayed, but Isabelle was more reluctant to agree to going this adventure that she said was sure to result in someone getting hurt. In the end they all left for a week long road trip that would take them to the Dismal's Canyon in Alabama and back. They rented out a cabin and each were given their own room. Isabelle and Clary had rooms next to each other, but on the second night there Clary switched rooms because of the supposed ghost that Isabelle had claimed was in her room. Clary soon discovered that her 'ghost' was the sound of the air conditioner as it kicked on.
The day they left to head back to Idris, Clary was cornered by Jace. She had avoided him at all costs over the weeks after the lake and hardly spoke to him. She was afraid of what she was beginning to feel for her best friend and was so unsure about if Jace felt anything for her or just lusted after her that she had been too much of a coward to even talk to him.
"Are you done pretending that I don't exist, or do I need to walk by again?"
Clary felt a small dose of guilt rise up in her at the sound of his angry and hurt voice. "I-I haven't been pretending that you don't exist, Jace. I've just been busy." She stuttered, knowing she was lying through her teeth.
"Busy, huh? So busy that you haven't noticed my glances? You know the ones that are always followed by a blush from you." He was mere inches away from her by now. "Why. Are. You. Ignoring. Me?" To punctuate each word, he moved closer and closer to her and now there was barely any room between them.
Clary swallowed and forced her eyes up to meet his and placed a warning hand against his chest. "Jace, please-" The words flowing from her mouth were cut off as his lips crashed down on hers. She was more than shocked by the intrusion at first, but soon relaxed and moved her lips in sync with his. He moved an arm to hold them against the wall, which also effectively caged her into his embrace even more. This kiss was unlike the other two they had shared. The first kiss was sweet in nature and the second was full of want, but this kiss was hungry and held a deep-seated need and was nearly savage. Clary was sure her lips would be bruised when he pulled back.
As the kiss lessened in passion and raw need, both Jace and Clary steeled themselves for the consequences of letting their guards down. Clary was confused even more about how to react to the actions that had passed as well as the warm feelings that Jace spurred inside of her. Jace was angry with himself for losing his control and was warring with himself as to proceed, but came up blank.
They broke apart and Jace released her to finish packing and the next few days were spent in agonizing silence once again, but both parties realized that there were underlying emotions that lined their lust and angst. An emotion that seemed to scare each of them more than anything they had ever faced.
As the last year of high school wound down and prom came around, Isabelle joined the decorating committee and was constantly nagging the redhead about what she was going to wear and who she was going to take to the dance. Clary simply appeased her friend by letting her pick out Clary's dress and told her that she was just going to go alone. In all honesty, she didn't even want to go to the dance, but had agreed because she figured it would help keep her mind off of Jace.
A few more kisses had been stolen by the boy over her senior year, the latest of which happening only days ago after they had gone to the mall. It had been an accident, as she had sworn to herself after the time before that that she wouldn't kiss him again without questioning his intentions first, but she couldn't bring herself to regret giving into the temptation.
As she stepped into the high school's gym and saw the drastic changes the prom committee made was intense and surreal. The theme for the year was 'Heaven on Earth', so the committee had put up pillars and painted sceneries of clouds and rays of light on old backdrops the drama department used and hung them up along the white walls. The committee had also placed smoke and fog machines around the vast gym to create the look and feel of being up in the clouds.
Clary had to admit that the place looked nice and found that she was actually pretty happy to be there. Though, she would have been much happier if she could have scrounged together a date. She was swaying to the music in the back corner when she felt a warm hand on her bare shoulder. She turned and looked into the copper eyes of her best friend and instantly smiled. "Jace, what are you doing here?"
The blonde boy shrugged and smiled. "I came here for you."
The answer was simple, but implied so much more and had Clary's heart swelling. "How did you even get in? This is student's only and seeing as you're not a student, you shouldn't be here." She was rambling, she knew she was, but she just couldn't help it and blamed it on the fact that she now felt nervous around Jace whenever he was present.
A low chuckle escaped from Jace as he placed his hands around Clary's waist and pulled her into a dance. "People can't resist my flair and charm, Clare. I thought you of all people would know that I get what I want." The last bit was said as a tease, but brought a warm flush to her pale face. "I'm actually a little wounded. Do you not want me here?"
Again he had a teasing tone, but when she peered into his endless depths she saw the insecurity flicker through them. The answer she produced flowed from her effortlessly and held an air of that unknown emotion that warmed her whenever he was near. "There's no place I would rather be than here in your arms."
The words surrounded his heart and nearly brought him to his knees with the amount of sincerity burning through them. He gazed at her openly, taking in her strapless and slightly revealing dress that hugged her greedily, and he wasn't sure if he wanted to thank Isabelle or shoot her for picking it out. It was crème colored and lacy with a middle black overlay and flared over her hips to make her seem more womanly in her curves. He had secretly always loved whenever Clary wore heels and the black ones she was towering in made her legs seem long and slender. Around her neck, he noticed, was the horseshoe necklace he had given her as a good luck charm for her eighteenth birthday.
"You're so beautiful, Clare." He whispered and hugged her closer.
They continued dancing until the last song was announced and he swept back onto the dance floor. As the music sounded in her ears, she realized that she knew the love song well, but what really made her knees weaken was that Jace was singing it in her ear, his breath fanning over her.
Halfway through the song he paused and pulled away slightly, staring in her eyes. "This is our song, Clary. Whenever I hear it, I'll always think about holding you here, dancing in heaven with you. Always." He murmured and began singing again as the lyrics sounded around the gym.
You're the fire
That warms me when I'm cold
You're the hand
I have to hold as I grow old
You're the shore
When I am lost at sea
You're the only thing
That I like about me
And in this world
Where nothing else is true
Here I am
Still tangled up in you
I'm still tangled up in you
How long has it been
Since this storyline began
And I hope it never ends
And goes like this forever
As he murmured the lyrics into her ear, she gazed up at him and understanding filled her as the warmth Jace brought her washed over her like gentle waves crashing on shore. She was in love him.
The next few weeks were trying her patience and wearing her down to almost nothing The profound epiphany of what she felt for Jace was overshadowed as he told her that he was signing a music contract and moving to California as soon as summer arrived. To her complete dislike, summer was once again settling in and her time with him was quickly coming to an end.
As if she wasn't stressed out enough with that, her stress level increased as she was named valedictorian and she had to write a speech for the graduation ceremony that was taking place in three days. Clary was unprepared and irritable because of it and just on edge altogether. But, as fate would have it, she didn't even need to write the speech because her Isabelle and Alec pieced it together for her as a surprise graduation gift. She had never been more thankful to them than in that moment when they read it out to her.
The ceremony itself went by in a blur and was over before she could process it and she was now being hugged by various people. Each person congratulated her and wished her the best of luck with her life. The last one to embrace her was the love of her life and his arms seemed to linger longer than necessary, but everyone beside Clary seemed oblivious to that fact. She was in a blissful state of mind as his strong arms wrapped around her body.
"I'm proud of you, Clare." He whispered to her and she looked up into his eyes as she had so many other times. "I'm glad that I got to see this before I left." He finished and it was like a cold shock to her body as the words tumbled off his tongue.
"I have to leave in the morning. I'm sorry I didn't tell you sooner, but I didn't want to take away from your big day."
Air was alluding her, refusing to come to her lungs where she needed it most. Tears were stinging her eyes and she felt as though someone had taken her heart out and jumped down on it. She couldn't breathe, couldn't see, couldn't think as pain overwhelmed her. She honestly thought that if she could, she'd choose death in that instant to rid herself of the sick feeling roiling in her. "I-I can't." She gasped out as tears began leaking down her face. "I can't do this." And with those words she ran away from him, away from everyone.
He found her in her house, crumpled up on the floor of her bedroom. She was staring blindly at pictures that lay around her in scattered piles. Her hair was falling free of the updo she had pinned it in for the ceremony and her dress was wrinkled and the straps were falling free of her arms, but she didn't move to fix any of it. Her eyes were red and bloodshot, tears still streaming free. The sounds of her sobs were the only noise that pierced the air around her and all of it broke Jace's heart.
At the sound of his voice, her head snapped up and more tears threatened her eyes. She pushed them back and threw herself into his arms. "You can't go. Please, you just can't." She sharply inhaled and trailed her hand over his neck, smoothing his hair down as she did. "I love you." She confessed, her voice cracking as she clung to him. "I love you and I don't want you to leave. I want you to stay here with me, Jace. Please." Clary begged, chest heaving with emotion and tears staining her cheeks and falling onto Jace's shoulder.
Jace stood still as stone in her embrace, hands limply at his side. His mind was whirring around the echoes of her words, her affection. He felt as though he were dreaming, that something as wonderful as what had just happened couldn't be real by any means. He was also beginning to feel dizzy with the dawning realization that he also loved her. Love her more than he ever thought he could love anyone or anything.
He wrapped his arms around her and crushed her body to his as tightly as he could, terrified that if he let go, he's wake up. Their lips clashed and he led her to her bed, tearing away the clothes that shielded her from him. They sank into the mattress together, his hands, lips, and body showing her extreme care and adoration. He was loving her in the only way he knew.
He was laying in her bed with her asleep in his arms and his hand was running through the sprawl of curls that covered his chest. He was thinking and reflecting on what had just transpired, the words and the actions that followed them. Jace knew he loved her, but could he actually give her what she wanted? Could he be enough for her? Those were the questions plaguing him and the answer to them both was a firm and resound no. He didn't think that she could be as happy as she claimed with him, that it was just a childhood crush that would never last. He didn't think he could possibly be what she needed, let alone wanted.
Those were the thoughts that drove him to silently leave the bed, made him pull his clothes on, and ultimately call his best friend to tell him they were leaving a little earlier than planned. Those were the thoughts that had pushed him to leave her without a goodbye or a note to explain. He wanted to give here a clean break. She deserved a clean break.
Clary rolled over the following morning as the light assaulted her and was surprised that there was no warmth next to her the way there had been when she went to sleep. She opened her eyes immediately and sat up in bed, ignoring the protests of her sore body and clutched the sheet to her naked form. She scanned the room and saw that his clothes were gone and she was undoubtedly alone.
She stood up from the bed and wrapped the sheets around her before sinking down to her knees as sobs rocked through her. He had left her alone the morning after she had professed her love and given him her body. She had been reduced to a simple one night stand and was given no extra thought than the others she had seen him date.
She closed her eyes against the pain and walked into her bathroom to clean herself up. Clary gripped the edges of the sink, staring with disgust at her reflection. The girl she saw there was bleary eyed and had frizzy hair that sprouted out in every direction. She was pale and so short she looked like she honesty belonged in middle school. It wasn't any wonder to her that he left.
Splashing cold water her face, Clary turned to grab a towel and dry her face. A glint of silver caught her eye and she bent over, grabbing the razor that was sitting on the ledge of her bathtub. She had never been a person to believe or rectify self harm, but at that moment she understood wanting to release the despair that would drive someone to such extents. She didn't know how to do it, so she went off what she thought would work and pressed all five blades against her forearm as hard as she could and yanked her hand to the side.
Small red lines surfaced and as she stared at the trickled of blood that dripped down her arm, Clary screamed out to the world of how brokenhearted she felt. The person she was in love with, the one who made her melt with happiness, had left her alone after she had made love to him. She was nothing more than a whore. And she certainly wasn't enough to keep him in Idris.
Those two words floated around in her head like ghostly whispers; not enough. Yes, she wasn't enough for Jace Wayland and she had been a fool to think otherwise.
Yep. I still cried while I wrote that last scene. I've been in that position and it is heart wrenching to realize how much you mean, or rather, don't mean. I took away my own emotions of dealing with it to put into the story to make it more believable and even some of the actions that followed (fumbling with the razor due to uncertainty and such) but yeah..
Anyhoot, I hope you enjoyed reading it and the song I was listening to while writing the last scene helps create an air of sorrow and you can really connect. It's called If We're All Alone Aren't We In This Together? By October Fall. It's truly beautiful and makes you want to just cry your heart out.
Outfits are up for this chapter and the last. You can look if you want, the link is on my profile.
Kisses and hugs.
*Lyrics used above belong to Staind