I practically flew down the stairs, out of my brownstone and onto the sweltering New York streets. Summer had come quickly, the dense, humid air making my red hair explode in a ball of red frizz. I tried calling for a taxi, but it was like the Fates were working against me. After bouncing impatiently on the balls of my feet for a few, indecisive seconds, I took off down the street in the direction of Jace's apartment.
I love you I love you I love you. The words were a mantra in my head.
My tears were still drying on my cheeks by the time I reached Jace's building. I rang the bell and Dorothea let me up. I took the stairs two at a time, huffing and puffing. Dorothea let me into the apartment silently, her eyes appraising my frazzled appearance.
I love you I love you I love you.
I made my way to his bedroom door, taking time to collect myself before I knocked. I attempted to smooth down my hair a little and straighten my crumpled and sweaty clothes. I suddenly wished I had at least bothered to put on a semi-decent shirt, instead of the old, holey BATMAN shirt that I used as a pyjama top. At least I put some clean jeans on.
I love you I love you I love you.
Slowly, I raised my fist and knocked firmly on the door. I think I stopped breathing in the ten seconds it took for the door to open and Jace's face to stare at me from the doorway.
His eyes widened fractionally in surprise when he saw me, before settling back into the same blank coldness I had witnessed yesterday. As my eyes took him in, I couldn't help the sharp intake of breath. He was still wearing the same, paint splattered clothes of yesterday and the paint was still covering his face and hair and arms.
I love you I love you I love –
His voice crashed down around my ears, cold, unfeeling, dead, whatever you want to call it. My heart seemed to shrivel up inside my chest, all half-formed hopes crumbling into oblivion. Because this was the voice he spoke to people like Jonathan Morgenstern with.
People he hated.
I stared at him, wide eyed, my chest barely moving. I suddenly became painfully aware of the fact that my eyes were red and puffy, my cheeks stained with dried tears. And then Isabelle came up behind him, flashing me a brilliant smile.
'Hey, Clary,' she gushed, shoving Jace out of the way and giving me a quick hug as she wandered on down the hall. I barely moved, my mind blank.
I stared at Jace, who was leaning against his doorframe, stony and dark and unreachable. I don't really know how he was able to look so cold and unfeeling when he was covered from head to foot in paint, but he managed.
'You look terrible,' he stated when I didn't speak. His words cut into me with their drawling sharpness and before I could stop myself I said,
'Oh yes, because you look like the freaking cover of a magazine at the moment, right?'
Jace's eyes flashed, whether in amusement or contempt or both I wasn't sure.
'What do you want, Clarissa?' He asked in a bored tone. I couldn't help but wince when he said my full name and he saw. Of course he bloody well saw, the bastard noticed everything.
'I wanted…' my voice seemed to shrivel up in my throat. I cleared my throat. 'Can I come in?'
Jace shrugged away from the doorway and I stepped inside, this time managing to not let out a gasp. The room was in the exact same position it had been in last night, only now the curtains were closed, the lamps making an artificial light. Music played and I realised it was the same song over and over.
'…let's dance to Joy Division and celebrate the irony…'
'Jace…' I began when I turned to look at him, but once again my words caught in my throat under his stony gaze.
'What?' He prompted, almost mockingly.
'I was listening to this before,' I blurted, suddenly unable to stop talking. 'I thought it would work, but it didn't.'
Jace raise a dark pink eyebrow, a small smirk (not a smile) twisting his lips.
'What did you think would work, Clarissa?'
Again with the name.
I couldn't hold his gaze any longer. 'It's what the Wombats said. Dance to Joy Division, right? Let yourself forget the heartbreak, I s'pose. It didn't work.'
Something flittered through Jace's eyes when I said that, something that lightened the deadened look and made him look, well, like him again.
'Because Simon's with Isabelle?' He said, a little bit of hope underlying his cynical tone. I swallowed. Now or never.
'No,' I said, taking a single step towards him. He didn't speak, his gold eyes trained on mine. 'Because the boy who loves me thinks that I don't love him back. Do you know how much of a horrible person that makes me feel? To think that I might have broken the heart of the boy I love, because I had verbal constipation and couldn't speak for the life of me. It's the worst feeling in the world, Jace, like your heart is twisting inside your chest, blaming you with every beat.'
With every word, it was like the hard wall he had constructed around himself crumbled, until it was Jace that I was seeing, and not some blank wall. His gold eyes drilled into me, looking for any chance of a lie. And then a smile, a real, shining, beautiful smile lit his paint covered face and I was running towards him or he was running towards me but suddenly I was caught in his arms and pressing my lips against his. For a moment, everything hung in a dizzying kind of bliss. Jace's arms lifted me almost off the ground, crushing me against his chest so I could feel his heart pounding beneath mine. The world spun, my heart pounded and my body was filled from head to toe with the electrifying warmth that only Jace could offer.
When we pulled apart for air, I pressed my forehead against his, gasping a little for breath. I moved my hands from where they gripped his shirt (I didn't even remember moving them) to cup his face. Looking him straight in the eyes, I said what I should have said yesterday.
'I love you, Jace Wayland.'
I felt his gasp, rather than heard it and he brushed his lips softly across mine once again.
He ran his fingers tenderly across my cheeks, soft kisses following their trail. He knew I had been crying; I could feel it in his touch, in the way his kisses were almost apologetic. I could feel his lips murmuring against my skin. When they reached my ear, I finally understood what it was he was saying.
'I love you too, Clary. I love you I love you I love you.'
I've always wondered about how people fall in love. I mean, I was in love with Isabelle for nearly five years and then along came Miss Clarissa-goes-by-Clary, who could barely stand to be near me and turned everything I thought I knew upside down. When she turned up in my house that day, sweaty and hot and teary eyed I had thought I was delirious.
And when she had said she loved me, I was positive.
Now, Clary and I were lying under the stars, T. Rex playing softly in the background.
'They're so beautiful,' she whispered, reaching up a finger to trace patterns through the stars.
'So beautiful,' I agreed, but I wasn't looking at the stars. She turned her face to look at me, a wonderful, dazzling smile curving her lips. I leaned forward and brushed my lips across her, revelling in the shock of warmth that accompanied the touch. It was New Years Eve, and the fireworks were starting. The boom and crackle as they shot through the night sky had an almost dizzying effect on me, my lips still softly pressed against Clary's.
We pulled apart and she nestled against my chest, my arms looped around her. We were lucky her mother had let her out tonight to be with me. Once Jocelyn found out we were together (really together, not faking) she suddenly became less lenient with having Clary come to my house.
'What's your New Year's resolution?' Clary asked me, her hair tickling my chin as she tilted her head up to gaze at the fireworks.
I thought about it for a moment, pressing my mouth against the top of her head.
'Probably to get you to be a bit tidier. It's like whenever you're here, my room magically becomes a bomb-site.'
She laughed, her fingers threading through mine.
'Fair enough,' she replied, and he could hear the smile in her voice. 'Although I wouldn't count on you succeeding.'
'And what's yours?'
'To have better time management skills.'
I laughed at that, and she joined in.
She sighed and turned her chin so she could look up at me, the back of her head now resting against my shoulder.
'I love you,' she said softly, so softly I almost didn't catch it.
I smiled down at her, taking in her fire red hair and soft, freckled skin and forest green eyes. I held in my arms a girl I never wanted to let go of, a girl who was flawed in the most perfect of ways, a girl whose laugh made my heart pound and made my palms sweat.
I held in my arms a girl who loved me.
And it was a feeling I would never get used to, never get bored of, never throw away.
'I love you too, Clary.'
Ta da! I hope you guys all loved this, I really do! It's the first multi-chapter story I have completed and I am very proud of myself :)
I just wanted to say thank you to every single person who has reviewed this story, or favourited it, or alerted it, or just read it! You are all absolutely fabulous people and I love you all very much :)
DISCLAIMER: I do not own the Mortal Instruments Series...gosh...