A/N : Do keep in mind-this is my first ever fanfiction. I've had this idea for a while, and I wanted to share it with everyone on here to see what you all think. I appreciate ALL feedback, and hope that you reply if you decide to read. =) P.S. Keep in mind that this first chapter is just setting the stage, and that the more interesting chapters are to come.
Disclaimer: I do NOT own the Infernal Devices plot or characters. … Thought, I wish I did. . .
It had been a solid three weeks since Tessa and Will's argument on the roof, not a word past the boundaries of pleasantries passed between the two. Even through the studious attempts to ignore him, Tessa had been having difficulty keeping her mind from drifting to the inevitable string of events. At first, she didn't know how to react. It had been an odd first few days, her moods ranging from hurt to a deep, incurable discomfort . On the other hand, William hadn't been faring any better. The most awkward of times seemed to be the spontaneous passing of each other in the numerous institute hallways. One would nod or speak of the weather while the other either answered or deflected, pasting on a false feel of being at-ease. Neither realized exactly how the other thought or felt, the endless spiral of confusion reaching in to every aspect of their lives.
Even now, as they sat down to share a meal with the rest of the house's inhabitants, their thoughts haunted them.
"You're so infuriating." With a huff, Jessamine clenched the napkin draped across her lap.
William merely folded his hands under his chin with a half smile, his eyes a deadened shade of navy. Seated next to him, Jem fiddled with his fork and ignored the growing tension.
"Oh Jessie, you wouldn't understand the meaning of infuriating if not for me. For this, you should be thankful for once in your life."
Tessa shook her head in exasperation and glanced sidelong at Charlotte, who seemed to be oddly interested in her stuffed-pork.
Jessamine went rigid, her face flushing a quite unlady-like shade of red. It was obvious from her expression that the comment has struck a nerve. Deciding to keep her composure, she deflected the comment to turn to Charlotte. "Excuse me." she said stiffly, rising from her chair. "Tessa, please escort me out. I'd like to take a walk."
Looking down at her half full plate, Tessa groaned internally. She'd spent the day penned up in the library, nourishment pushed to the back of her mind. However, in light of the current situation, she didn't see it wise to decline. With a curt nod, she gathered herself and rose from her chair.
"Jessie…" Charlotte mumbled, splaying her hands on the table as if preparing to follow them. "I don't think you two should be out at such a time, it's nearly nightfall."
Jessamine waved her hand dismissively, turning her back on the women. Tessa felt a pang of guilt, watching the obvious worry etch itself across Charlotte's face.
"I'll go." Jem volunteered, setting his silverware aside.
Tessa grinned in relief, pushing in her chair. Jem was the friendly in-between that she needed whenever she was with Jessamine.
"I think not." The girl retorted, sinking Tessa's happiness like a stone. "I can handle myself." Without another word, she shot Tessa a look and spun towards the exit. Her olive gown tickled the floor as she neared the door, swinging it open and sweeping through it theatrically.
"That woman has enough pride to rival the devil." Will spoke, his expression indifferent.
"William." Charlotte replied, warning lacing her tone.
"What, she isn't here. Not that I'd mind if she was."
Tessa avoided his sudden glance in her direction, nodding her head at Jem. "Thank you, Jem. I don't imagine we'll be going far, so please don't worry."
He nodded, apology in his eyes. "Do be careful, Tessa."
She smiled at that, looking down at her toes as she followed Jessamine's heel prints to the door.
"Tessa…" Jessamine muttered, her voice low. They had since left the institute, arriving at the street corner a half block away. "I'm sorry for taking you away from your dinner."
Slightly taken aback, Tessa took a seat next to Jessamine on the wrought-iron bench that perched itself on the overgrown curb.
"I don't mind."
They sat in silence, watching as the sun lowered itself from sight. The sunset reflected itself off of the trees lining the street in front of them, sending a breath-taking array of shadows across the gravely pavement below. A warm breeze blew from behind them, coppery tendrils of hair escaping the loose bun tied at the back of Tessa's neck . It was beautiful, and a quick suppressant to Jessamine's dark mood. They may have found themselves a little oasis.
The sound of a carriage caught Tessa's attention as Jessamine began to gather her dress and stood.
"I feel a bit better now, so we can start walking back ."
"Mm." Tessa mumbled, her eyes drawn to focus as the suspected carriage lurched into view and slowed to a stop across the street from their corner.
Curious as to what had taken her attention, Jessamine turned to look over her shoulder. "What…"
It felt like an eternity as the two assessed the rugged exterior of the carriage, and what seemed to be a man seated on the cushion up front. He made no move to loosen the slack of his reigns as he stared ahead stonily.
"Tessa, let's go." Jessamine directed, her tone flat. Tessa only nodded, her eyes sliding from the driver as they clicked along at a quickened pace back down the street. She couldn't be gladder that they hadn't gone more than a block from the institute. Not that there was any reason to be excited, was there? The two stared straight ahead of them, intently counting the steps as they neared the main gate.
They were approximately three quarters of the way back when Jessamine suddenly grunted, swaying forward.
At a loss for words, Tessa stumbled to catch her, freezing as her eyes caught sight of what seemed to be a hilt protruding from her mid back. Her eyes darted to look behind them, her blood running cold. The man who had been sitting up front of the carriage now stood past the street corner, fifty feet away from the two. His arm was poised forward; his stance alerting Tessa to the fact that he had been the one to throw whatever it was that was now sticky with Jessamine's blood.
"Tessa, Tessa…" Jessamine coughed, her voice raw with pain. An icily pale hand reached behind her, groping for the handle she couldn't reach.
Tessa knelt, her mind whirling. "Jess, we have to move; we're almost there." She stammered for words, careful not to nudge the hilt as she slung an arm across Jessamine's back and hoisted her up. Glancing behind her, her breath caught. The man had begun walking at an eerily slow pace, his arms limp at his sides, towards them.
Jessamine groaned in pain, hanging her head as she began trudging forward. Blood dripped from the puncture, painting a horrific picture as it stained her dress and trickled onto the sidewalk. "Tessa, go, you have to run to the gates." Her voice caught, and she dragged in a breath.
"No, I won't, just keep up with me." Tessa helped the girl forward, keeping her steady as they limped their way towards the gates. Just as she was sure they would make it, she craned her head to look behind them. The shadow of a man had hunched itself over the residual puddle of Jessamine's blood, it's hands and arms dragging along the ground.
'It's going to be able to get in.' her thoughts pieced together as she slouched against the bars, fumbling with the lock. A pair of hands shoved hers out of the way, easily unlocking it.
"Thank you." Tessa breathed, earning a disapproving look from Jessamine as they fell through the gate. After lowering Jessamine to the ground, Tessa spun to re-latch the thick chains. Turning back towards the institute, she realized that Jessamine was no longer with her. The girl had crawled her way up the steps, slouching against the wall as she tugged at the solid gold chain beside the door. A booming echo could be heard through the walls of the institute, even as Jessamine wailed at the sudden jolt of pain caused by the fading of her adrenaline.
Tessa risked a final glance through the bars, stumbling backwards with a shriek as a hand clawed its way towards her. The memories of a similar situation sent a chill to the soles of her feet, numbing her toes. Jessamine's cries had sparked the anguish of what had once been Jem's. That had been the night of Thomas and Agatha's downfalls, and just as nearly, hers. The thought of her losing any of the other's spun her around and threw her up the first few stairs.
Just as the sound of metal hitting pavement reached her ears, the institute doors boomed open. Jessamine gurgled unintelligibly, her eyes lolling to the side as William darted across the threshold.
Everything past that seemed to be thrown into slow motion.
Tessa remembered feeling a hand close around her throat, the pressure of it spotting her vision almost immediately. She could hear someone shouting her name as if from a far away, the fear tangible in their tone. Her fingers scraped fruitlessly at the cuff around her neck, breaking loose only when her captor heaved her to the side. Her body whipped through the air, hitting the ground with a sickening thud. She rolled to the side, having landed mainly on her head and shoulder.
It felt as if hours had went by as she remained like this; drown in the overwhelming sense of pain, she tried to move. Struggling, her fists dug into dampened ground as she attempted to right herself. It felt as if all of the breath had been knocked out of her, her neck tightening painfully as someone grabbed at her shoulders and twisted her onto her back.
Their lips shaped words she couldn't hear, couldn't understand. Liquid sapphire eyes burned into hers as a hand swept the loosened hair out of her eyes. Noises began to buzz at the edge of her hearing, shouting, screaming. She could feel a burning sensation begin on her hip, tingling until it had reached her shoulder. Unconsciously, her eyes began to fill in anguish.
The eyes widened, fear evident in the glaze of emotion.
With the next wave of sensation, all went black, and she saw nothing.
So… what did you think? =) I have something to ask-if you believe that I should continue, that is. Though I have decided that Tessa should /temporarily/ loose her memory, I haven't quite landed on exactly what she should forget. So, you have two choices! =D
1)Tessa forgets about everyone and everything involved in the incident. This only includes Jessamine, Will, and the Driver of the Carriage.
2)If you are like me and love fluffiness, and lots of it, Tessa can forget everyone and everything except that pair of sexeh eyes at the end. ;) Now, yes, this means she forgets Will too-but since she only remembers his eyes-interesting things happen when they meet each other again.
It's up to you my dear, dear readers-majority wins!