I woke up and all I knew was that my head hurt and my lips tasted like whiskey mixed with honey. Not the worst combination in the world actually. Thought it wasn't all that pleasant either.

And I was in Jace's arms. Also, definitely not one of the worst places in the world to be. I just stayed there, watching him. He looked so utterly innocent when he was asleep. Not at all Jace like but even more angelic than he normally looked.

I shifted slight and his golden eyes opened in a second, looking straight at me. I opened my mouth to speak and he put a finger to my lips. "Shh, everyone's still sleeping."

My eyes darted around the room at my friends? Is that what they were now? I guess so...and if Jon ever heard me say that he'd skin me alive.

But then again, if he caught me lying in Jace's arms, he'd probably do something much worse to the both of us. I didn't like to tempt fate...at least not when it's that early in the morning and I have a hangover. Maybe later when my head doesn't hurt I'll start pissing off things like fate.

He pressed his lips to mine and nothing else mattered again. To hell with Jon and everthing else. Even if he did try and kill us. His lips on mine...nothing else in the world felt as wonderful.

But he pulled away when about ten different phones went off in the room. Gossip Girl blast. Had to be. Everyone around the room slowly started moving towards their phones and I, regretfully, slipped out of Jace's arms and grabbed my phone.

Morning, Kiddies.

Hope you all had fun last night. And I hope your heads aren't spinning still because have I got some dirt for you.

It was mainly a list of people who were caught hooking up in storage closets or the bathroom. Names I didn't really know or care about. But then it mentioned something about Jace. With a mystery girl. With red hair.

'Oh god...'

Isabelle was running around the suite five minutes later like an overly energised bunny rabbit, shouting about showers and painkillers. Then she was throwing clothes around the room. Then at me.

"Here! Unless you want to catch a cab in your underwear..." I shook my head and pulled the t-shirt and jeans on (They were designer of course, because what else would Isabelle own?).

How was it that none of them cared about being Gossip Girl blasts? I mean I still got mad every time she mentioned me. And none of them seemed to care! Maybe after a while they just got used to it...

It took a decent two hours to get Jon anywhere near the door. He got distracted. Then he found something to drink. Then he got distracted again. Then Spongebob came on the TV and everyone got distracted.

...Spongebob is cool, okay?

And then there was that awkward conversation with my brother about what we did last night...

"How's your memory?" He asked me, still looking pretty wrecked.

"Well...everything after making out with Maia is fuzzy."

"...You made out with Maia?"

I deadpanned at him. "Maybe we should be more concerned with your memory..." I mumbled.

As it turned out, my memory and alcohol weren't as un-mix-able as I thought they would be. I remembered most of the evening. And just thinking about it brought a silly smile to my face and would make me look over at Jace. And every time I did, his eyes seemed to already be on me. Which made me smile even more.

Though I did get him there eventually. It was a long process but yeah. There were a couple of half hugs, pecks on the cheeks as we finally left, and then...as I gave Jace a quick hug, not entirely sure whether or not acting affectionate in front of Jon was a good idea, he slipped something into my hand and whispered into my ear not to look at it till I was at home and by myself.

After shoving Jon into a cab and then having him disappear again ten seconds after we got home, I finally unclenched my fist and looked at whatever was there. A note.

Clary,

Meet me by the fountain in the park at two.

Jace.

I wish I could have swooned about the romance of it all, but really I was more confused about how Jace had managed to scribble out a note, in his ridiculously pretty handwriting, when he'd been surrounded by people for the last few hours.

And so I changed back into my own clothes (Izzy's just did not fit properly), jeans, an old shirt of Jonathans, then skipped out of the apartment without another word. Though the thing I found about meeting someone in a public place is that...well...knowing where it is generally helps. And as it turns out, people in New York do not give good directions.

So after a very long session of 'excuse me, can you tell me where the fountain is', I ended up finding it all on my own. And there he was in all his messy haired glory, facing away from me on a bench. So naturally, I went up behind him and covered his eyes.

"Guess who?"

"Magnus. No, no, definitely Simon."

I rolled my eyes and peeked over his shoulder with a smile. "You suck at this game. Like, really really bad. Did my brother teach you how to play?"

It was his turn to roll his eyes. "Whatever, Miss Can't-Handle-Her-Whiskey."

I felt my cheeks burn. "Shut up. I handled it fine." Well, better than I thought I ever would. It's not like I spent a lot of time drinking, in fact before the other night, I couldn't recall ever drinking in my life.

"Yeah, yeah. Come on. Let's take a walk."

I don't really know how proper dates are meant to work, seeing as everyone I've ever been on was either a joke or crashed by my protective older brother (Or sometimes, both). But a stroll through the park, complete with hot chocolate from the coffee cart by the pond, seemed about right.

"So, any particular reason you've decided sneaking me around is a good idea?" I asked, walking a little quicker than usual. His legs were long, and pretty darn hard to keep up with.

He offered a shrug in response. "I don't know, you seem interesting. The most interesting out of everyone I know who isn't like a sister to me."

"Isabelle told me she doesn't really have a whole heap of close friends."

"She doesn't. None of us do. But I've known her and Alec and Max for as longer as any of us can remember. So, it's like a family thing now." He looked over at me. "By the way, thanks for helping Alec out before. With that whole thing about Magnus."

I offered a smile. "He seemed like a nice guy, Jon said he was cool and he really needed the help, at least for the moment. So...it seemed like the thing to do, you know?"

Jace snorted. "But see, that's part of what's got me so interested in you. People here don't just...do each other favours for the sake of helping out a friend, especially not one you barely know. We do it to gain the upper hand."

"We? So you do it too?"

"Clary, no one here is innocent of manipulation. Not me, not Isabelle, and not Jonathan."

A frown found it's way onto my lips. Jonathan? I couldn't accept the idea that my brother was a part of those people he was always warning me about. Manipulating people, lying, cheating. There was no way he'd do that. There was just no way...

"But enough about that. Tell me about you, cus really all I know is that your name is Clary and you're Jon's sister."

I quickly found out that Jace is a lot more curious than what's good for him. He wanted to know EVERYTHING. And I actually told him just about everything. I really didn't have all that many secrets to hide, from him, or anyone. When he walked me back to the penthouse almost three hours later (How I managed to talk about myself for three hours, I will never know), I was gifted with a single quick kiss and an aftermath of wobbly knees.

"Hey, Jon! I'm home!"

Author's note: On a scale of one to ten, how much do you guys hate me? Actually, please don't answer that. I'm gonna give this story another shot, please be patient with me. I promise that there will never be a gap this long between updates again.

Much love,

-Kit