OKAY GUYS…Hi again! I'm sorry that it's been so long since the last time I updated; I got several PMs about how I haven't updated, and I'm really sorry. As a student, I've been crushed by unending amounts of homework and extracurricular activities- even so, that gives me no excuse for the long absence I've taken.
This is the last chapter of this fanfiction. Thank you so much to the people who have supported me for nearly 2 years, and have put up with my slow updates and horrible writing.
After I finish my other Casi Clare fanfiction (the one about the Mortal Instruments- please read it if you've got the time), I'll be accepting requests for new stories. It doesn't even have to be about this series as long as I've read it; I'd love to write something for someone! So yeah, please PM me any requests.
Silence rested above Will and his companions as they sat around the Institute's dinner table, none of their lunches touched. For once, he could not think of a humorous comment to lighten the mood. After all, he thought to himself, he was in no more of a better temper than the others.
Jem, God bless him, was the first to dissolve the uncomfortable atmosphere. "So I believe that the case of Hansford and his evil misdoings has finally resolved," he murmured quietly. "But I am afraid that the issue of internal conflict within our house has not."
A dozen pair of eyes, Will's blue ones included, moved to glance at Cecily, who sat quite unobtrusively for herself in the corner of the room.
"Cecy…" Will started.
"Don't say anything," Cecily whispered. "I am aware of what you have to say- I have already made arrangements to leave your hospitality tomorrow morning."
"That is not at all what I meant for you to do," Will said, alarmed. "I only wish for your hatred towards Downworlders- and Tessa- to dissipate." (A/N: clearly, Will didn't notice that Cecily tried to kill Tessa.)
"I'm afraid that that is not a possibility," Cecily said, her voice cracking at the end of the last word. "Perhaps I do not wish for the wretches to disappear anymore, but—"
"Perhaps you should have this conversation outside of this room," Charlotte interrupted. "As I am sure that you have many things to discuss with Tessa and Will."
A most uncomfortable quiet shrouded the two girls and Will outside the library. When Cecily ended it, Will was unsure of whether he was relieved or anxious.
"As I was saying," Cecily began, her voice shaking like a little girl's, "I cannot simply cease a belief that I have harbored since I was young. Nor can I erase my resentful intentions toward her—"Her eyes darted over to Tessa, who had her eyes fixed on Cecily, never wavering, "because of how you feel for her, Will."
Will was about to answer Cecily when Tessa managed to reply before him. "I am truly sorry for your loss," Tessa said quietly. "I, too, know that the loss of a loved one can leave immortal wounds in its wake. But that should not allow you to burden your soul with hatred that will bring you nowhere."
After hearing Tessa's words, Cecily—Cecily, who never apologized out of true intention, Cecily, whose heart was stronger than the hateful chains that bound her to what she despised—began to cry. Will could not tell what the emotions behind those teardrops were, yet he was alarmed to see his childhood friend exhibit such…such…weak behavior.
"I despise you," she said in between sniffs, "And there is no way I could put up with you if I were to live here." She turned her back to Will and Tessa.
"I shall leave this place upon my own wishes, not anyone else's," Cecily declared, her voice regaining some of the confidence it had possessed when she had first come to the Institute. Her trembling ceased and she began to walk down the corridor away from Will and Tessa.
Will began to walk after her, but Tessa grabbed the sleeve of his shirt and shook her head violently. Perhaps, as perceptive as she was, Will realized, Tessa knew that Cecily's desire now was to be left alone.
Cecily suddenly stopped in front of a window, and turned around. The light made it unclear what her expression was. "Also," she added. "I beg to differ about what you have said, Tessa." With that, she quickened her pace and disappeared around a corner.
"Is she all right?" Tessa asked in a meek voice to Will. She tried to ignore the ache in her heart as she looked into his eyes. She wondered if his charm would ever cease to affect her in this manner. Focus! She demanded of herself. What good would it do—for her, for either of them—for her to continue this hopeless love for him?
"Most probably," Will said, uncertainty bleeding into his usually confident voice. "She did fall off of a cliff when she was younger, she is quite durable." His feeble joke did nothing to appease Tessa.
"Wounds of the heart are different from those on the body," she said, her gray eyes clouding with sympathy. How well she knew that after coming to the Institute! "I am sorry for stopping you before," she continued. "Please- she needs to be comforted by someone who loves her- she suffers from pain that could only be healed by someone like you." If I truly love him, I should allow him to be with the one he loves, Tessa thought to herself. If I love him, I should be willing to put up with the agony of rejection for a little while.
Will looked at Tessa, his eyes a most peculiar mixture of emotions that Tessa could discern nothing from. "Tessa," he said quietly, "you are quite mistaken."
"What are you implying," Tessa retorted with forced annoyance, hoping it would cover her pain and wavering heart that coaxed her to confess her selfishness. "Do you not return her most obvious attraction for you?"
"Not like that," he said, his voice strengthening with every syllable. "She is someone that I treasure dearly, yes—but she is not the one whose name echoes in my mind when I go to sleep at night. Nor is she the one I imagine by my side if she would be willing to walk aside me. That one—"his voice broke, and he struggled to finish his words.
"That one is you, Tessa." He finished, with his eyes on the floor. He could not stand to look into those eyes, fearing what he could see in them. He was shocked to hear the sound of her skirts drop to the floor. He raised his eyes instinctively to find his love on her knees, tears flowing down her cheeks.
"I must be dreaming," she whispered. "I must be quite in love with you to be having delusions as strong as this one."
"This is not a dream," Will told her, his eyes fiercer than Ithuriel's fire. "I love you Tessa, and I always have and will continue to do so."
"No," Tessa stammered, "If I were to believe your- no, a figment of my imagination's- words, it will hurt more when I awake to witness you with Cecily."
Anger flashed in Will's eyes, turning them a darker hue matching those of a stormy sea. "I shall prove to you that this is no dream," he swore, and knelt down to wrap his arms around Tessa's shoulders. Then, after a split second pause, he pressed his lips against hers.
Tessa froze under the pressure, her thoughts incoherent. Just as her mind began to function slowly after an indeterminable time, Will pulled away, his breath coming in short pants.
"Do you believe my words now?" He asked, almost pleadingly.
"Almost," Tessa replied, her breath short as well, "But not quite."
"I suppose I shall have to try again, then," Will said, his lips turning up in a genuine smile. Tessa gasped- Will had always been handsome, but the cold walls that he had built to keep out others had marred some of it. When he smiled, his beauty even bested that of the heavens.
As she closed her eyes as Will's lips again warmed her mouth, Tessa murmured her love to him again and again.
"I love you, Will," she said against his lips.
"You have no idea how long I have waited to hear those words from you," Will replied, his love embodied in every word. "Stay with me forever."
I will, Tessa promised him silently. For the rest of my life, and beyond that if there is a world after this one.
So…that's the end, guys. :') Thank you, again, for everyone who has stuck with me through the years…I couldn't have done this without you. I know the ending is a little cliché, but I wanted to end on a truly happy note. PLEASE REVIEW and tell me how you felt about the story- feedback would be greatly appreciated.
Again, I am accepting requests, so please PM me.
And again also, THANK YOU SO MUCH! 3