Author's Note: Alright, let's see if I can manage to complete a multi-chapter fanfiction without starting a new one in a spur-of-the-moment inspiration... Not gonna happen...oh well.

Better explain myself, eh? This fanfic is set in a world that I made up. Sorta mideval, but not really... I'll explain it more in the story. Alec is forced to marry a rich girl that has taken a fancy to him.

Disclaimer: I don't own these characters.

Alec felt like he was suffocating. In his troubled mind, the walls closed in; he was standing in the middle of a crowded room, screaming, but no one looked his way. He didn't know what to do.

Alec sunk down in the plush bedding of the seemingly expensive room that was now his. He hated this. Back home (because this could never be home, no matter what his mother said) he had never had such fine sheets and decorations. It didn't matter to Alec. He would trade anything to be back home.

The boy reached down to twirl the silver ring on his left hand fourth finger. He wanted to rip it off and throw it at the wall, but he couldn't bring himself to remove it. It was what had sealed his fate and it stayed where it was. Alec hated it. Wasn't an engagement ring supposed to represent joy and hope? It wasn't supposed to bring that sick feeling and remind you of impending doom.

Alec felt the raw emotion building up like a high tide in his chest again. This time, he let it out. For the first time since he had donned the ring on his hand, Alec broke down his facade of happiness and let the remorse and helplessness have its way with him. He turned onto his stomach, letting his face fall into the down-feather pillows to stifle his cries as he sobbed freely. It felt awful as he was hurting and trying to make sure no one heard, but it also felt good to get all of the remorse out of his system...for now.

After he had worn himself out and his throat was raw, the young man curled up on the silken sheets and fell into a restless sleep with his damp cheek pressed against the cold silver band on his finger.


Isabelle Lightwood could hear her brother softly crying in the room next to her. She couldn't, however, bring herself to feel sorry for him. It was his responsibility to do this and he had to suck it up and go through with it.

Ever since Dad had died, it was Alec's duty to take the place of the head of the family. He had to make sacrifices for the rest of them, much like this one.

What he had to do wasn't even that bad. His getting married to Countess Maria Kenneth would save the whole family from starvation, labour and many other awful things. All Alec had to do was say "I do" and all their problems would dissapear.

Isabelle remembered when the Countess had taken a liking to Alec, against all odds regarding their poor standings. It was a miracle, but Alec didn't like having to lie to Maria. He was gay and was not comfortable with marrying a girl he barely knew. Isabelle and her mother had convinced him to go through with it, though. He had to support both women as well as young Max. They couldn't do that without aid and this was their only hope. Besides, Alec would get over it. Homosexual people married the opposite gender all the time to hide it. And, the benefit would outway the negative in the end.

Isabelle put down the smooth hairbrush after brushing her hair in the mirror so much that it gleamed. It had been so long since she had felt this comfortable, clean and beautiful. She gently slid back the chair and got into the huge, four-poster bed. Her silken nightgown felt cool against her legs. Maria had let the whole family move in to her castle in celebration of the engagement. Isabelle could get used to this.

Finally, her brother's cries subsided through the wall and Isabelle slipped into a blissful sleep.

Author's Second Note: Poor, poor Alec. And, yes, Isabelle and Maryse are not-so-nice. Magnus will be coming soon and making Alec happy, but not the rest of the family. Also, Jace is gonna make an appearance. Stick with me? Oh, and review? Every single one makes me happy.

Take care.
-Patricia Sage