**ALL CHARACTERS AND EVERYTHING MORTAL INSTRUMENTS RELATED IS OWNED BY CASSANDRA CLARE**
The amount of time indicated at the top of each scene is from when the end of Chapter 5 took place. (i.e. "The morning after" is the morning after that night; "3 months" is 3 months from that night... so on and so on.)
~The Morning After~
Clarissa woke up in Jace's bed tangled in the bed sheet. The curtains were drawn shut but she could still see the light shining through them. Pushing back the mess, she got up and tried to make her way to the bathroom that was connected to the bedroom. However, a combination of being too tangled up in the sheet and her surprisingly unsteady legs, sent her falling to the floor. It was at that moment Jace decided to make his entrance. He was holding a tray filled with food.
"What are you doing on the floor, babe?" One of his eyebrows was raised and he had a smirk on his face?
"I was trying to get to the bathroom."
His smirk widened to a grin, "Legs a little sore, huh?"
Using the bed to support her, Clarissa climbed back in bed. "You think? How many times did we go at it last night?"
"I lost count around 5, or 6." He moved to sit on the other side of the bed, putting the tray over her lap. "What happened to going to the bathroom?"
She waved her hand casually, "It can wait, I'm starving." Clarissa looked at the tray in front of her, full with pancakes, bacon, two omelets, and even a waffle. "What the… How did you… Why the hell did you get up so early to make all this food? Coffee would have been fine."
Jace chuckled, kissing her on the cheek, "I wasn't sure what you wanted to eat. And Clary, it's a little past one in the afternoon, so I didn't actually get up that early."
"Oh. Well, thank you." Clarissa looked from her food to Jace and smiled, "You know, I just might like this whole relationship thing."
"I was thinking the exact same thing." Jace leaned over and kissed her full on the lips. It was soft and warm. Although Clarissa wanted nothing more than to continue, her stomach had other plans. It grumbled loudly, causing Jace to break away. "You should eat."
Stubbornly, Clarissa protested, "I'm not hungry."
"Your stomach says otherwise," Jace laughed at her childish pout, then added, "Okay, just eat a little of the delicious food I made you before it gets cold. Then we can see where things go," he winked at her, bringing back memories of the night before.
As she began eating one of the blueberry pancakes in front of her images from the previous night flooded her. After the exhibition they wasted no time falling onto Jace's bed. She remembered rolling around, with him on top…then her on top.
All of a sudden she wasn't hungry for food any more. Clarissa put down her fork and looked at Jace.
"What's wrong? Is it not good?" Jace asked, clearly confused.
"Oh, it's really good." She grinned at him, "But I can think of something better that I want."
"And what would that be?" Jace was already standing up and removing the tray of food from the bed.
"Get over here and find out."
Clarissa moaned lightly as Jace brought his lips to hers. As the kiss deepened Jace placed his hands on her waist and moved her so that she lay beneath him. Their heated kiss continued until she pulled back, needing air.
"We aren't getting out of bed today, are we?" She knew the answer, but that wasn't enough to keep the hopefulness out of her voice.
Jace, who was busy kissing and sucking on her neck, pulled back and looked at her. "Nope," he smiled and claimed her mouth with his once more.
"Finally," the door to Jace's door was unlocked and they stumbled in, Jace first with Clarissa behind him. It only took them a few moments before their lips returned to each other. Jace threw his keys absently on a side table while Clarissa went to work on his shirt. After his shirt was on the ground, Jace moved his mouth to a sensitive spot behind her ear and sucked on it a bit. Her skin felt like it was on fire as he moved his hand up under her shirt. It was a slow ascension and Clarissa let out a moan when his hands found her breasts and began kneading them through her bra.
"Hmm?" Jace's face was still attached to her neck.
"My shirt. I want it off." She couldn't take having barriers between them anymore. "And the rest of our clothes as well."
"My pleasure," she felt him grin and his hands moved back down her stomach to where the hem of her shirt was. He quickly removed her shirt and bra, then his own, leaving them both bare-chested.
Clarissa started to move backwards, toward the bedroom, when Jace caught her by the waist.
"Where do you think you're going?" His grin was arrogant and his golden eyes were a few shades darker than normal.
"Uh, the bedroom…?"
He just shook his head and glanced over her shoulder. Turning around, she saw what Jace was looking at. It was his kitchen table.
She should have known. They hardly ever made it to the bedroom the first time. In fact, she wasn't that surprised. It made sense; the kitchen table was one of the few places they haven't had sex on yet.
Before she had the chance to turn back around, she felt her knees go out from underneath her and a warm hand support her back. Jace carried her over to the table and laid her down on it. He kissed her up and down her stomach as he readjusted her, pulling her – by her legs – closer to him so that her legs dangled over the edge of the table.
His mouth never left her body and he started working on taking her pants off, along with the lacy panties she wore underneath.
"Mmmm, I like these," he fingered the material before removing them, leaving Clarissa completely naked on the table in front of him.
Jace started kissing her body again, and instead of going back up, he continued downward.
"Jace…" Clarissa sat up slightly to look at Jace – whose face was very close to her most sensitive area.
"Shh," he pushed her back down, "Relax babe."
She lay back down on the table and she began taking short shallow breaths as Jace's tongue licked her slick entrance. As he worked her, bring her closer and closer to the edge faster than she thought possible, she grasped the table while his steadied her wriggling hips.
His mouth did wonders for her and before her orgasm passed he was suddenly inside her. Clarissa cried out loud at the sensation. She was recovering from one orgasm and was quickly progressing to the next. She wanted to ask how Jace got his pants off, she didn't even notice that they were gone until, well… But when she opened her mouth all that came out was a series of moans. Her mind was too clouded with pleasure to move her hips, but Jace seemed more than happy to do all of the work this time.
She felt her muscles contract and walls clamp down around him. With one last cry, she let herself go – along with Jace. He remained in her as they both caught their breath.
Once Clarissa felt confident enough to speak, she asked, "How'd you get your pants off so quickly?"
Jace just shrugged and smiled, "I can multi-task."
Jace stared at the large portrait in front of him. It was him, painted in shades of black and gold done by his Clary. She painted his features in a way that masked his identity somewhat, but anyone who got a close look at Jace would be able to tell that it was him.
"That's a good one," an older woman standing next to Jace pointed out.
He could only smile proudly and say, "Yes, yes it is."
He watched as the woman glanced from the painting to Jace then back to the painting again. She studied it for a few moments before turning to Jace with a knowing smile. Nodding she turned and continued through the exhibition.
Still smiling to himself, Jace stuck his hands in his pockets and went to go find his girlfriend. Even after six months, it never got old to him. He still couldn't believe that they had actually pulled a relationship off, but at the same time he couldn't remember his life before her.
He wanted to find Clary. He didn't know she painted him until just a few minutes ago and he wanted tell her how proud and happy he was. Jace found her around the corner talking to an older man, probably a prospective buyer. Once he left, Jace approached her.
Wrapping his arms around her from behind, he leaned his head down to her ear, "Hey, there." He chuckled when he felt her jump a little in surprise.
Clary turned around and put both her arms around his neck. "Hey, you're here." She was smiling brightly at him. Jace didn't say anything, but watched her head tilt upward and lips part. Knowing what she wanted, he lowered his head and their lips collided.
Before they had a chance to deepen the kiss, someone cleared their throat loudly. Jace and Clary broke apart and found Simon standing next to Clary.
"Come on guys, keep it G-rated in public. Please?"
Jace scoffed, but Clary answered. "Hey now, remember what I walked into last exhibition?"
Simon's cheeks turned red, "At least it was in a room, Clarissa." He mumbled then walked away.
Clary's arms never left Jace's neck and when she turned back to him she asked, "Now where were we?"
Jace smiled and placed a soft kiss on her lips. After a brief moment he pulled back, however. He ran his thumb over Clary's lips which turned into a pout when he broke the connection. "Don't pout, babe. There will be plenty of time later to get carried away."
"Well, in that case…" she dropped her hands from his neck and turned to walk away. She barely took three steps when Jace caught her around the waist and pulled her back.
"That doesn't mean I can't hold onto you now." His eyes bore into hers and he was perfectly content to stay that way for the rest of forever.
But they were interrupted, yet again.
"That's a fine man you've got there, Ms. Morgenstern." It was the same woman Jace saw looking at his portrait a few minutes ago.
"Thanks. And yeah, I think he's a keeper – for now at least." She shot Jace a teasing grin.
"Hey now," he wrapped a hand around her shoulders.
She hugged him lightly around his waist, "Kidding, of course."
"You better be."
The woman smiled genuinely and seemed intrigued by the young couple. "You two will go far. Wonderful work, yet again, Clarissa. Now, where is Ms. Lightwood? I plan on adding to my collection tonight."
"Thank you, Amatis. Izzy should be around here somewhere. Good luck finding her." Clary smiled at the woman – Amatis – as she walked away. "She's one of my Dad's clients," she informed Jace. "She always buys one of my works and is always nice."
"She seems it," they started walking around the exhibition. It wasn't a formal night, but Jace saw several men in suits and assumed that they were more clients. "Speaking of your paintings…"
"Yes? See something you like?" Clary seemed to know what he was going to bring up.
"Yes, I did. But I didn't know that you were even working on painting me. I told you, if you wanted to paint me I would model for you." He winked, remembering their first conversation. It seemed like such a long time ago, years rather than months.
Clary laughed, "Well it wasn't planned or anything. I just started it one day and it turned out to be pretty decent."
"You're only saying that because it's you."
Jace shrugged, "Well sure, but also because it was painted by such a wonderful artist."
"Thank you," Clary leaned up and kissed him lightly. Before he could really kiss her, she stepped back out of his grasp and started walking away.
"No fair," Jace called after her and followed her towards a familiar hallway filled with mostly vacant rooms.
"Hey, how do you feel about going out with Sebastian and Aline tonight?" Clarissa called from the bathroom to Jace, who was sprawled across her bed.
"Depends on what we're doing. Last time we went out with them we ended up making out at a movie. I felt like a horny teenager."
She stepped out of the bathroom and stood at the end of her bed with her hands on her hips, "If I remember correctly you weren't complaining about it." She had a teasing grin on her face.
"Yeah, yeah whatever. Go finish getting ready." He pulled her down for a quick kiss before lightly swatting her ass when she turned to go back to the bathroom.
Back in the bathroom, Clarissa pulled off her loose t-shirt and replaced it with an off-the-shoulder baby blue shirt that fit her snuggly. She matched that with a white skirt that stopped mid-thigh and white flats. Satisfied with the outfit she began to sort through her makeup.
It usually didn't take her long to get ready, she knew Jace thought she looked great no matter what she was wearing – and even more so when she wasn't wearing anything. But tonight she was anxious, jumpy, a little nervous even. She didn't know why, but there was a fluttery feeling in her chest and as she applied some mascara, she noticed her hands shook slightly.
What was going on?
She looked back to her bed where Jace was casually laying on with his arms behind his head. His eyes were close and Clarissa took the moment to just stare at him. At how gorgeous his body was, even with clothes on. At how relaxed he seemed to be. At how right he looked, just lying there, like it was an everyday occurrence. Clarissa envisioned them 10 or 20 years down the line as one of those cute older couples who never lost that spark that lived inside them. The spark that fueled their relationship and – dare she think it – their marriage.
Clarissa wanted to be with Jace for as long as possible. Time moved so fast and super slow all at once when she was with him. During the day, when she wasn't with him, she didn't know what to do with herself. Sure she painted and did a little paperwork here and there, but time dragged on. Then at night, when they had a few hours to themselves time flew by, leaving them exhausted. Most times she hated wasting the time she had with him sleeping. Looking back to the day they met, she realized that this relationship worked better than she could have ever imagined. Watching Jace, she knew and felt how right everything was, right at that moment.
Jace opened his eyes and looked right at her. He smirked, knowing he caught her staring at him. She smiled back and turned to face the bathroom mirror again. Looking at her reflection she saw that her eyes were brighter, like a green fire. The feeling in her chest only increased, but now Clarissa didn't fear it or question it.
She was in love. With Jace. But it was still early, she couldn't tell him just yet.
. . .
After he caught her staring at him, he smiled at the blush that crept across her cheeks. He watched her get ready for their now double date. She was using some sort of hair product to try to tame her wonderful red hair.
Images of himself and Clary in the future came all too easily to him. He saw them living in an apartment or house together, possibly with real jobs. Thoughts of waking up next to Clary every morning, eating meals, watching TV, or whatever had his head spinning. If only they could jump years into the future and be settled down.
Wait – they haven't even been dating a whole year yet. How could he be thinking about their future? Weren't they just trying to live day-to-day?
But he couldn't help himself. He wanted Clary. He wanted her by his side for years and years and years. What he didn't want was this irrational fear that their relationship seemed casual to her.
The words "long term commitment" came to his mind. Even though the words sparked a bit of fear in him, excitement and determination overpowered it. He never experienced anything like the feelings he was having now. His mind thought itself in circles. His emotions went from fear to excitement to confusion to determination. In fact, he couldn't describe what he was feeling, there wasn't a word for it.
But deep down inside of himself, he knew a word that would describe everything perfectly.
Now what was he supposed to do?
It was exactly one year since they started dating. And of course Izzy decided to have her rehearsal dinner that night. But when she asked if Clarissa or Jace minded, they both said no. Even now, Clarissa didn't mind. The rehearsal went perfectly and the dinner was almost over. They were at a fancy restaurant, the main entrée was finished and everyone had just ordered dessert. The night was young; they still had a few hours left of their one-year anniversary.
A movement from her side caught her attention. Jace ran his hand threw his hair for what seemed like the 5th time in an hour, and his leg was slightly shaking. All night he seemed a bit jumpy to her, but now he looked… nervous.
Clarissa put a hand on his knee and felt him flinch. She whispered in his ear, "Jace, what's wrong?"
He didn't look at her. He stared at his half eaten plate as he said, "Nothing. I'm… it's nothing. Don't worry, okay?"
"Bullshit. Please talk to me, Jace." The pleading tone in her voice made him look at her. It was start.
He stared at her for a few moments, thinking about what he was going to say. She got caught up in his gaze and the rest of the crowd around them disappeared.
Jace must have realized they were still around people because he said, "Let's go somewhere else."
Clarissa nodded as Jace stood up and grabbed her hand. They're abrupt movements caused Izzy to speak up.
"Ooh, where are you two going?" She winked at Clarissa.
"We're just going to talk," Jace mumbled as he led her away from the dinner table.
"Uh-huh, hurry up. The dessert is coming out soon!" They heard Izzy call after them, followed by a few laughs and snickers.
Once they were away from the group and in a seemingly secluded hallway, Jace let go of Clarissa's hand and began pacing in front of her. His hand ran through his hair a few times, she assumed that he didn't even realize he was doing it.
As much as she wanted to give him time to collect his thoughts, the more time that passed the more nervous it made her. So she decided to cut his thinking time short. "Okay, Jace. What is it? You're making me nervous here."
Jace stopped pacing and came to stand right in front her, his hands still at his side. "I love you."
She blinked at him. "Wh – What?"
"I love you, Clary." He blurted out again. From the look on his face she could tell that he didn't have total control over what he was saying. But she didn't doubt the truth of the statement.
She opened her mouth to asked why, when…hell to say anything at all. But what came out of her mouth surprised her just as much as it surprised him. "I love you too, Jace."
Clearly relieved, he smiled down at her and his hands came up to cup her face. Without hesitation he lowered his head and kissed her fully and deeply. She wrapped her arms around his neck, her hands snaking up into his hair, and felt herself melt into him.
The kiss was slow, sweet, sensual. It spoke words, words that didn't need to be verbally communicated for both of them to know that they were true. With that one kiss they repeated the phrase over and over. The phrase they somehow knew they wanted to repeat for the rest of their lives. I love you.
A/N: Oh goodness... well for starters: I'm sorry I made you all wait for such a long time. This chapter just did not want to be written.
Anyway - this is the last chapter for this story and I just want to say THANK YOU SO MUCH to everyone that read, reviewed, and added it to their favorites/alerts. You all motivated (and continue to motivate) me to keep writing! So thank you again! :D