The meaning of life. It was a concept that even the all-knowing Will Herondale was not sure of its answer. Books have morals, tales have broad truths, but where stories had a main thought life had no certain meaning. Or so Mr. Herondale believed. Yes, his drunk escapades were fun and his strange quests with Jem were more than to his liking but there had to be more than just this... sufficient existance. What was life if there was no worth?

Tessa. She had to be a large part of it. She made him feel alive. Or more like awaken from a haze. Will digressed with this thought, knowing thinking of her would not only be foolish but painful due to the fact that he could not let her love him though he loved her like he had never loved anything before. Except maybe Jem.

He walked to breakfast with this depressing thought burried in his mind but he quickly disguised it with a mellow air of arrogance as faces turned to him. Henry, at the head of the table, looked up at him with blank eyes. Most likely because his mind was on something of clockwork or the like. Charlotte, on Henry`s left, looked at him with a motherly disaproval for him being late to breakfast and Jessamine, on Henry`s right, looked at him with much distaste. He looked over at Jem and smiled widely as Jem shot Will a toothy grin. Will sat next to Jessamine, who was still looking at him like he was some sort of slimy slug sliding up her covered leg onto her peticoat, and looked across from him to see his gray-eyed beauty. Her gray eyes were shining bright as she looked at him then flashed away with concealed confusion at his passionate look. He had wished more than anything to stroke her chocolate hair and porcelain face and sighed.

He decided to change his train of thought and looked sideways at Jessamine."Why do you look so disgusted? Did you just recently see your reflection?"asked Will who directed this at Jessamines face. He sighed with over-dramatic sympathy. "I would not wish that god-awful face on even the cruelest of bastards."Will paused for the minute then chuckled."I lied. Gabriel deserves worse. I have been praying to the Angel that he catches a slowly growing and fatal case of Demon pox in a certain spot on his body,"He comments, winking at Tessa suggestively," so he will be just as undesirable on the outside as the inside."Finishes Will, grinning madly. Will glances over at Jem and then leans over the table to whisper a thought in his ear. Will then straightens up as Jem smiles lightly at his parabatai as Jessamine begins to grow anxious.

"What did he say James!" Jessamine asked, curiosity bleeding from her words.

Jem looked over at Jessamine and cleared his thoat awkwardly."He believes that you are related to the snake-haired Medusa because your face would turn any man to stone and that is why you have none."Jessamine`s nose flares as she grabs for her parosol but at the same moment Charlotte cleared her throat and gets to Jessamine's parasol faster.

"Stop provoking Jesse, Will. It is Christmas Eve so you will cease in your conquest for distubing the peace and just give the Institute and its inhabitants some rest to prepare for your fun and games the day following Christmas."Declared Charlotte, standing up to show more authority.

Will sighed in agreement and grabbed a few roles and sulked off to his room to read. As he entered his room, walking around the hoards of books and jumping onto his bed he grabbed his newest started book from his night stand and looked it over. Though Will had decided he was not very fond of this book with its depressing character Scrooge and bashed it repeatedly in front of Tessa, Tessa`s words made him reconsider Charles Dickens`s tale The Christmas Carol. He began to read it but his mind kept drifting to the person who made him read it in the first place. Tessa.

Will got up, ruffled by his unsettled mind, and began pacing his room, kicking books out of his way as he did so. Tessa never stayed out of his head! Bloody hell it was like trying to keep a magnet from metal, his mind kept coming back to the one subject no matter how much he kept trying to keep it away. He suddenly felt like an idiot. It was Christmas Eve and he had no gift for Tessa. His Tessa.

He started looking through his things,leaving a trail of garbage behind him until he settled on a book. His now favorite book. He flipped it open and went though the pages to find the book without a scratch. He layed it delicately on his bed and looked for a box and string or ribbon of some sort to put it in. When he found none he dashed to Jesse's room, armed of course, and grabbed a black box and some sapphire ribbon for her dresses and hair then dashed to his room before he could let Jessamine give him a blade in his back as her own gift to him. He scrawled a small note and slipped it into the book and then wrapped it tightly.

He decided to stay in his room all day, anxious to give the book to Tessa but wanting to do it when they were alone, so he decided he would give it to her tonight. As the hours ticked by and the chapters in his book passed so did the daylight. Jem had visited him once to see why he did not come out but once he had seen the book in Will's hand he knew there was no problem and that Will was just getting lost in a world of his own, or I supose Charles Dickens world.

Before Will knew it, it was supper and he decided to pay everyone a visit. He walked to the dining table and sat down, not paying attention where he sat but just focusing on the seasonal food. He looked up to see only Henry who was fiddeling with his silverware, unaware of anyone else, and Tessa here, with Tessa sitting across from him. He cleared his throat to get her attention and when she looked up he could not help but smiling at her beautiful face. She smiled with uncertainty but it was a smile just the same.

"Ten minutes before Chrstmas meet me in the library." She opened her mouth but Will muttered quietly,"Please?" She looked like she was going to reject him but something changed in her eyes as he murmured his please. He felt weak to say it but he really wanted to give her her gift alone.

"Will... yes, I will be there." Tessa said quietly. She looked like she were to say more but others came into the room and she stopped as Will put up his guard. The night went on peacefully to Will's dismay and the food was exceptional. Only once did Charlotte have to reproach Will for inapropriate behavior though he knew that speaking of brothels was not inapropriate considering Tessa was found at one and Jessamine belonged in one.

After dinner he went to his room to read a little more but before he knew it, the event was nigh and he grabbed the gift and left. He was slightly early to the library so he settled into an armchair and fiddled with his cufflinks. When he heard the door creak open and heals clack against the floor he jumped up grinning widely.

"Tess?" he questioned hopefully, holding the gift behind his back to suprise her.

"It is me Will."She assured him, walking out of the shadows and into the witchlight covered parts of the library."Why did you want me to come here? Is there a book you would like to discuss with me? Because I can already tell you any book I recomend you will have already read it and will criticize it. I do not need to be a fortune teller to know that."Said Tessa matter-of-factly.

"No, I wanted to give you a gift Tessa."He said calmly, taking the gift from behind his back and holding it forward for her to take. She objected saying she had no gift for him but he shrugged it off and told her to take the gift. She held the gift and looked at the box murmuring something about how the sapphire ribbon looked like his eyes though he could hardly agree. She slowly pulled on the ribbon and pulled the top of the black box open to reveal a book he smiled widely as she pulled the book out and looked at it in wonder.

"'It is a far, far better thing that I do than I have ever done...'" Will began to quote but slowly stopped as she looked up at him and her gray eyes were burning into his. He was lost in her stormy eyes until the clock began tick midnight.

"Thank You, Will. You know I love this book. It is most likely my favorite." She informs him, admiring the title, A Tale of Two Cities.

Will slowly began to walk over to her, his eyes never leaving her and he noticed that she stayed rooted to where she was standing. He smiled slightly as she looked up at him and her eyes held something he could not recognise. "Will, what are you doing?" She asks as he got close enough to touch her, though he did not. She set the book down on a table near an arm chair and stepped over to the loveseat in front of the fireplace and motioned for Will to sit next to her.

Will nodded slightly and sat next to her. "Will, I would like to thank you for not only getting me the book but for...everything you have done for me. I would be dead or worse, in the hands of Mortmain, if you had not saved me from the Dark sisters."She paused at that thought and Will slowly lifted his hand to her face, noting that sparks flew from her skin as he did so. She looked up at him in surprise but did not shrug it off. Instead she put her hand ontop of his, keeping his hand on her face, even though she knew he could not really love her.

Will removed his hand silently and leaned in slowly until his lips were nearly touching her ear and then he whispered a small message,"Merry Christmas". She shivered and as he leaned back he pulled her with him so she was laying on top of him. He looked at her almost expectantly but when she did not move he leaned upward and pressed his lips to hers. She gasped but put both her hands on the side of his face, leaning in for more. He smiled against her lips and slipped his hands around her back pulling her closer to him.

When he pressed his tongue against her bottom lip she opened her mouth letting him in. They fought for dominance for a while until she let him win and just enjoyed the bliss. Suddenly he flipped her over, putting her beneath him, and put his hands onto her waist as she knotted her hands in his hair. There legs got twisted together as things began to get more heated. Tessa pulled at Will's buttons as he kissed down her neck, finally ripping off his shirt and her hands roamed his well-muscled torso, stopping at his abs. She grinned and pushed him back with force so he was on his back, bewildered, and she got up on him, straddling his hips. She stared at his abs in awe and her hands ran up and down them. She was brought back to attention when Will's warm hands began to travel up her thighs. She moaned then realised what was going on and jumped off of him, straightening herself as Will looked up in a daze.

"That was wrong and you know it William. I know you think of me as a toy for you to have your fun with but I will not allow you to break me."She says feeling like a fool. Will felt like she hit him in the stomach when she said this and let out a breath he did not know he was holding. He tried to argue but she dismissed the attempts."Tell me, you did not mean a word you said on the rooftop. That... you were just saying meaningless things." He wanted to say the words were meaningless but she could not love him. He would not allow it. He simply shook his head and without a word she grabbed her gift and left the room, her dress moving in a swift motion.

Will silently put his shirt back on and did not bother to do the buttons as he walked out of the library and straight to his room, hearing a haunting tune come from Jem's room as he did so. He jerked his door open and slammed it shut behind him as he walked in. He jumped onto his bed and layed down on his back looking at the ceiling and sadly, no matter how much he hurt her, he could not stop thinking about Tessa.

Will did not know that Tessa was reading his note that was stowed behind the cover of her gift as he thought of her. She began to read it with fury but slowly read it so she was confused.

Dear Tessa,

I could have wrote you a simply horrid poem that bores my heart and soul to you in fancy and hardly pronouncable words or quote a tale as old as time telling you what I am thinking at this moment...but I did not. Where would the character or originality be? I, Will Herondale, believe you deserve more. I am going to tell you the unforgivable truth.

What is love? Because whatever it is I know that is how I feel towards you and you must never feel it towards me. I am broken and your love for me will kill you-quite literally. As love as the topic I need you know that I will never let anyone hurt you. I love you enough to sacrifice my own worthless life for you even if that does not mean much. I am your own Sydney Carton!

On a...lighter note, enjoy your present Tess! Hell with it- Love,

Your own Will Herondale

Tessa read this with mixed feelings and as she was finished she was...delighted, angry, puzzled, and more than anything filled with doubt. Why was she not allowed to love him? How could he possibly love her? This did not matter. He said it himself, she was not allowed to love him and either way it did not matter. This note was or had to be false, for who could ever love a downworlder.

Tessa. Will loved her and she made him happy, even when she was angry towards him... happiness. That was part of the answer of life. The moral to Will`s, to our, story. Will slept peacefully for once, for at least he knew what his meaning was and that he would do everything to get this curse removed so that he could be with, to love, who made him happy. Tessa. He now knew that to do or to have what makes you happy is the meaning of life.