Jace walked into the weapon room and found Clary and Alec at a table, lining up weapons. Clary looked up as he came in them promptly looked away. Alec meanwhile was glaring at him
"You know I always liked a girl who knew how to handle long things." Jace said, sauntering over to Clary. "It makes this so much easier."
Clary stood and spun just as he neared her, grabbing the front of his shirt. She was surprisingly strong. "That's not very clever, considering I wouldn't hesitate to skin you alive. You're in a weapon room, idiot."
"Mmm. I knew you couldn't keep your hands off me, shorty." Jace said, laughing.
Clary shoved him away, which only made Jace laugh further. Alec meanwhile was squaring up to Jace, grasping his shoulder.
"I think maybe you should just leave." He said.
Jace picked Alec's hand off him. "Great idea. Actually, Hodge said I could go home. But I need Clary to take me."
"What?" Clary burst.
Jace folded his arms over his chest. "I wanted to look through my Mom's things, and he said Clary had to escort me."
Alec narrowed his eyes. "I'll go too."
Jace shook his head. "No way. He was very specific. Clary only."
"Look you don't get to tell me what to do-"
"Its fine, Alec." Clary cut in, stepping between the boys. "If we leave now there should be about three or four hours of daylight left. We can handle this on our own."
Alec stared incredulously at her. But said nothing, and refused to meet Jace's gaze either.
Clary grabbed a set of Seraph blades, looping them into her belt.
"Down the rabbit hole we go." Clary said and she left.
Jace followed her, admiring her quick pace. Most girls struggled to keep up with him. But Clary was different – though short. He kind of liked it though.
"Do you have your house keys?" Clary asked.
"I sure do." Jace said.
"Not that I couldn't have gotten in without them … but it'd just draw less attention with them." Clary said.
"You know you can break into my room anytime you want." Jace said, wiggling his brows at him.
Clary just sighed deeply, wondering why she had even agreed to go. They got into the bird cage elevator and stood while they waited for it to lower.
Jace leaned against the mirrored wall. Clary simply glanced at him from the corner of her eye.
"What do you think you're doing, Mundie …?" She asked.
"Just making the most of the view." Jace said, glancing down at her.
He was promptly slapped round the face. Jace stumbled back, rocking back on his heels. He grasped his face which stung.
"Jeez. What was that for?" He asked.
She sniggered. "The price for the view."
Jace spent the train ride to his place in an angry silence. The red mark from her slap was glowing across his cheek. Clary stood silently beside him. She turned to him.
"I think you have a fan club." Clary pointed to a group of girls giggling and looking at him.
"Of course I do. I am stunningly attractive." Jace passed them a suave smile and their laughter grew.
Clary sighed as if weary. "Don't you know that modesty is an attractive trait?"
"Only from ugly people," Jace confided. "The meek may inherit the earth, but at the moment it belongs to the conceited. Like me."
Clary rolled her eyes.
"Aww what's the matter, are you jealous?" He asked, and then blanched at her glare.
"You know … I could kill you and say the demons got to you." Clary said, a wicked smile across her face, her green eyes glinting. "They'd believe me too."
Jace swallowed. He studied her. Her hair was still loosely tied behind her. He decided that there was a ninety percent chance her threat was real. Judging by what he had seen … he thought maybe he should make it one hundred percent.
"Wait … can those girls see you?" Jace asked, trying to change the subject.
"Glamours are a pain to use. Sometimes we don't bother." Clary said. "It's not like this is a covert operation or anything.
They got off the train and made their way up the hill to Jace's apartment. Jace started humming.
"Do you have to do that?" Clary grumbled.
Jace simply started humming louder.
Clary whirled quicker than Jace had seen her move, and thumped him between then legs. Jace doubled over and she kept on walking, unceremoniously leaving him behind. He grunted.
"I knew you liked me …" He managed.
Clary simply flipped him her middle finger and carried on walking until he could catch up with her.
"So …" He said, trying to start into a conversation. "What's the deal with you and Alec … are you … you know … a couple? Is that why he hates me?"
"Alec and I are like brother and sister. His father and mine were parabatai, and his father is my God father – that's why I live with them."
"Para – what?"
"Parabatai. It means a pair of warriors who fight together – who are closer than brothers. The Lightwoods are my adopted family."
"Oh. So your guys don't have the same surname."
She shook her head. "No."
They got to the apartment and it looked much the same.
"God … I expected police tape and broken glass … or rubble. But it looks perfect." Jace said.
"On the outside." Clary reminded him, and she reached into her pocket and drew out the Sensor.
"What does it do?" Jace asked, pointing.
"It picks up frequencies, like a radio does. But these frequencies are demonic in origin."
Clary nodded. "Something like that."
She held the Sensor out in front of her as they approached the house and it clicked faintly. They walked inside and climbed the stairs.
"Are we in the clear?" Jace asked, gulping.
"It's only picking up trace activity, probably just left over from the other night. But it's not strong enough for anything to be here now."
Jace sighed with relief. He took out his keys and unlocked the door. He swallowed hard when he saw the long deep claw marks in the wood of the door, something he hadn't noticed before and his body grew cold.
Clary's hand was on his shoulder. "I'll go first."
Jace wanted to say something about 'ladies first' but he couldn't. He remembered the terror he had felt that night, and what happened suddenly became so fresh and raw in his mind. Clary stepped inside, waving the Sensor in front of her. Jace followed blankly behind her.
The skylight was filthy dirty and the bulb over head had blown casting heavy shadows around them. Jace glanced to Madame Dorothea's door, and it didn't look like anyone was home. No light showed beneath the door. Jace wondered if anything had happened to her. He'd never liked the old bat much, but he didn't think she deserved to be attacked by demons.
They made their way up the stairs. Clary raised her hand along the banister and it came away wet, streaked with something blackish-red in the dim light.
"Blood." She said.
"Maybe it's mine."
She shook her head. "It'd be dry by now if it were. Let's keep moving."
Jace was closed behind Clary. It was dark and his mind was getting fuzzy remembering what had happened, and he was trying hard to hold back the tremors in his body. If Clary could hold it down, he could be a man and hold it too.
"Stop breathing down my neck." Clary snapped at him.
Jace swallowed, and didn't say anything back. His hands were fumbling with his keys. Clary stood back to allow him to get to the door. He slid the key in and twisted it open. Clary then slid in front of him, her back pressed tight against his chest. She grasped the handle and twisted it open, slinking inside.
Jace followed behind her. He sucked in a cold breath as he saw the whole place was empty – like when they had first moved in. Everything was gone. The furniture. The appliances. The floor was bare. There were lighter squares on the walls where the paintings had been. Even the curtains had been torn down.
Jace wandered into the kitchen. Even the cabinets were empty.
"What would demons want with our microwave?" He asked.
Clary shrugged. "I don't know. But I'm not sensing any demonic presence tight now … so I guess they're long gone by now."
Jace paced around, noting that the Tabasco sauce had even been cleaned up.
"Are you satisfied?" Clary asked, folding her arms over her chest. "There's nothing here."
Jace shook his head. "I want to see my room."
Clary sighed. "If that's what it takes … come on."
Jace managed a chuckle as he grasped the handle to his room. "That eager to get into my room are we …?"
Clary scowled at him as he twisted the handle, but it was sticky. Just as Clary was about to retort, the door blew outwards, knocking him off his feet. He skidded across the hallway floor and slammed into the wall, rolling onto his stomach.
Clary, pressed against the wall was fumbling in her pocket, her face a mask of surprise. Looming over her was a Forsaken. Clary grasped a seraph blade in her hand and raised it.
"Sansanvi!" She called.
The blade shot out of the tube, and Jace was reminded of the old movies where bayonets were hidden inside walking sticks, released at the flick of a switch. But this blade was clear as glass, with a glowing hilt and almost as long as his forearm.
Clary struck out, slashing at the Forsaken, which staggered back with a bellow.
Clary whirled around, racing towards Jace. Her fingers wound around his arm and hauled him to his feet with a strength that didn't seem to fit somebody of her size. She dragged him down the hall. Jace could hear the Forsaken behind them, its feet thudding on the floor.
The two sped through the entryway and out to the landing. Clary shoved Jace through and whipped around the slam the door closed. The automatic lock clicked closed. The Forsaken must have slammed into the door because the door shook on its hinges.
Jace was backing away. He looked to see if Clary was behind him, but she stood where she was.
"Get downstairs!" She shouted, her eyes alight. "Get out of the-"
Another blow came, and this time the hinges gave way and the door flew outwards. Jace gasped thinking it was going to knock Clary over, but she moved so fast Jace barely saw it. Suddenly she was on the top stair, the blade burning in her hand like a fallen star.
Jace heard Clary shout something to him, but he couldn't make out the words over the din of the Forsaken that burst out from the fallen door. Jace flattened himself against the wall and the Forsaken swept by him. Jace wrinkled his nose at the smell. It was whirling its axe at Clary, aiming for her head.
Clary gave a devilish grin, which seemed to further enrage the creature, and it abandoned its axe and lunged for her. Clary swung the seraph blade in an arcing sweep, burying it to the hilt in the creature's shoulder. For a moment the giant stood swaying. Then it lurched forwards, hands outstretched and grasping.
Clary stepped aside, but not quick enough. The Forsaken caught hold of her and the giant staggered and fell dragging Clary in its wake.
Jace cried out in panic, scrambling to his feet and racing down the stairs.
Clary lay sprawled at the foot of the steps, her arm bent beneath her at an awkward angle. Across her leg lay the Forsaken. Her blade protruded from its shoulder and it was not quite dead yet. Jace swallowed back past the rising bile in his throat. Clary was still, unmoving. He sank down, his hand touching her shoulder.
"Clary …?" He said, his voice a little too shaky for his liking.
Clary's eyes opened slowly. "Is it dead?"
Jace smiled loosely. Not the kind of thing a damsel was supposed to say when she woke. But then, she was no damsel. "Almost. It's still moving."
"Damn." Clary said, hissing. "My legs …"
Jace licked his lips. "Hold still."
Clary rolled her eyes. "I'll try."
Jace crawled around to her head, and slipped his hands under her arms. He pulled her out and she made a groan of pain as her legs slipped out from beneath the spasming Forsaken. Jace let go and Clary struggled to her feet, her arm across her chest.
"Is your arm okay?" Jace asked.
"It's broken." Clary informed him calmly. "Can you reach into my pocket?"
Jace hesitated. "Which one?"
"Inside jacket, right side. Take out one of the seraph blades and hand it to me."
Jace gingerly set his hands inside, trying hard not to touch anything he shouldn't. He didn't doubt she could probably castrate him even with a broken arm. He slipped his fingers into her pocket. It was strange to this close to her. He could smell the scent of her. She had the slightest hint of something citrus. Her breath tickled the back of his neck. His fingers enclosed around a tube and he drew it out.
Clary grasped it from him.
"Thanks." She said and then she spoke softly the words Sanvi.
Just as before a long blade slid out, illuminating her delicate face. She moved to stand over the Forsaken.
"I wouldn't watch if I were you." She said. "This part isn't pretty. You have been warned."
Jace swallowed but he didn't look away. Instead he watched as she drove the blade down. Blood sprayed over her booted feet. The Forsaken gurgled one last time and then fell still. Jace looked to Clary. She looked a little white face, her mouth drawn into a grim line.
"It doesn't make you a tough guy … if you stay and watch you know." Clary said.
"No … it's not that." Jace said. "In thought it would vanish – like that guy in Pandemonium. You said demons go back to their own dimension."
"Yes. I did. And demons do. But this was no demon. " Clary pulled out the stele in her belt. She touched it to an inked mark just below her shoulder, and connected it up.
"What are you doing?" Jace asked.
"This is a stele. And this is what happens when Shadowhunters are injured." Clary said, hissing lightly as she connected the points of the star rune. Slowly the look of pain left her face and she moved her broken arm, flexing her fingers. Obviously it was no longer broken.
"Awesome trick." Jace said. "What is that?"
"It's an Iratze. A healing rune." Clary said. "Finishing the rune with a stele activates it." She slid the stele back into her belt, and then glanced at the Forsaken. "Hodge is going to blow a gasket when he hears about this …"
"What is it anyway?" Jace asked, staring at it. "Why didn't your Sensor pick up on it? If it wasn't a demon, what was it?"
"A Forsaken. You see those marks over its face, right? Well … this is what happens to when Marks are carved into someone who doesn't have Shadowhunter blood. Just one mark will burn you but lots … will make you one of these." Clary watched as Jace swallowed. "The runes are agonizingly painful, and the Marked ones go insane – the pain drives them out of their minds. They become fierce mindless killers. They don't sleep or eat unless you make them, and they usually die quickly. Runes are very powerful and can be used for great good – but also for great evil. That's all the Forsaken are. Evil."
Jace shook his head as if he could get rid of the sight of the grotesque thing. "Why would anyone do that to themselves?"
"Nobody would. It's something that gets done to them. By a Warlock maybe, or some Downworlder gone bad. The Forsaken are loyal to the one who Marked them. They can obey simple commands too. They're like a slave army." Clary turned and started up the stairs. "I'm going back up, you stay here."
"But there's nothing up there." Jace said.
"There may be more of them up there." Clary said.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you." Came a familiar voice. "There are more where the first came from."