Hi, I'm here with a filler chapter. Sorry ): Next chapter will hopefully be long and drama-filled and exciting. Complete AN after writing. Please read it!
The next couple of weeks were slow and dragged by. I was never alone—Jace wouldn't allow it. He was my own personal bodyguard. If he wasn't with me, he scheduled another person on "Clary Duty". I was beginning to spend more and more time with Alec, Magnus, and Isabelle because Jace didn't like the idea of me being alone with Simon since Jace felt that "In a moment of crisis, Simon wouldn't be prepared to help me." Simon was upset about that, but he didn't argue because I think he kind of agreed with Jace, which was surprising all on its own. I was annoyed with the—let's face it—babysitting. I knew that they only wanted to be there to protect me, but I was so sick of never being alone that I was afraid I would rip my hair out piece by piece.
It was the end of finals week, and Christmas break was almost here. There was only one class in the way, and it was almost over. We had already taken the exam for forensics, but we still had a little bit of time left in class. I was doodling on the inside of one of my heavily used notebooks while Jace mumbled to Alec across the walkway. Simon and Isabelle were still somewhat fighting, but they seemed to be getting along better than usual. Simon still hadn't filled me in on why things between them were so awkward and tightly strung.
The announcements finally came on, releasing us from the grasps of school for three weeks. I gathered my things and steered myself straight towards the door, hoping no one would notice if I disappeared before they could suffocate me again. I had actually managed to drive my own car to school, and I was more than ready to spend an afternoon alone in my art room, painting the walls at last. They were still frustratingly white and blank, and the thought of them still being empty bothered me more than it probably should have.
I celebrated a small victory when I was the first out of the classroom without being caught by the gang, but my victory was short lived when I heard a voice accompanied with the grab of my wrist. "Clary!" I mentally cursed at the sound of my name. Damn you, I thought bitterly. Sebastian stood next to me with a soft smile on his face. "Where are you going so fast?"
I continued walking, pulling my keys out of my bag with great effort. "Home. I have stuff to do." I muttered. I may have been running away from Jace and the gang, but I was still going to listen to them about not talking to anyone else. They had a point. I didn't trust anyone anyways.
"Like what? You have the whole break to do things." he complained as I pushed open the doors that led to the parking lot.
I didn't say anything; instead, I continued walking towards my car. I could still feel him following closely behind me, but I tried not to react. The parking lot was strangely empty, and I was beginning to wonder where everyone was. In the corner of my eye, I saw a flash of white-blonde hair, but when I turned my head in the direction I saw it, there was nothing there. I was obviously going insane now.
Sebastian was still lurking behind me, and I finally snapped, "Sebastian, I'm busy. I'm sorry, but I don't have time for this. Go follow Isabelle or something."
Sebastian flinched at my words but nodded his head tightly, the muscles in his jaw working. "Fine." He said stiffly, marching off in the opposite direction. I couldn't be bothered to care. I hopped in my car and pulled out of the parking lot quickly. The last thing I saw was Sebastian on his phone, gesturing viciously with his hands. Maybe Simon was right. There was something not quite right about Sebastian.
Hours later I was in my art room staring at the spread out contents of my mom's journals. They had pictures in them like the scrapbooks, but it wasn't much compared to the amount the scrapbooks had. I had read every last sentence in every single labeled journal of my mom's. Her story was no different than my dad's, but I still tried to look for hints to help myself. It was obvious that I was still in danger. Even though Valentine hadn't made a move toward me since the car incident, that didn't lessen my wariness. I was scared to death of when the next time I could be facing him was, and I was skimming through thousands of my mom's words, hoping she could help me.
Nothing stuck out, and I had a headache from the amount I had read since I got home. My dad hadn't bothered me since I got home, and the house was oddly silent. I knew better than to think I was home alone because after I told dad about the car accident, he had never left me home alone again since.
I stood up from the wooden floor and stretched, my back creaking and popping as I straightened out my body. I paced the floor, casting glances at the papers on the floor occasionally. I tried to paint one of my walls before I pulled out the journals, but I couldn't reach any bit of inspiration, and I hoped my mom's words would help that inspiration block. All it did was help make me less inspired.
I was stressed out, and I didn't even know how I was still on my feet. Most nights I barely got any sleep, especially since I managed to have repeat dreams of the guy in my room, which I was assuming was my portrayal of Valentine before I knew who he was.
I nudged journals over as I went through the dates of each journal. Jocelyn normally was cluttered and disorganized, but her journals had been meticulously organized and dated, as if an OCD extremist had taken over her body. Valentine was mentioned a lot before I was born, but after I was born, his name was hardly mentioned. There was the occasional quote like, I'm still afraid he'll come back for us—which he did and still is doing—or a more common quote, I see him every day, whether it's the flash of his white hair or the flash of his dark eyes. He's everywhere. That exact quote was mentioned a lot, but I had only gotten to the journal at which I was five years old. I still had eleven more to go.
Quite frankly, I was beginning to feel the same way, and I was wondering whether or not I should start keeping up with a journal. Maybe writing down these flashes of recognition could help me? I paused at the idea when I noticed that Mom still had multiple journals completely empty piled at the bottom of the box. I shook off the idea because I was slowly becoming psychotic with my obsession. Maybe that was Valentine's plan—to make me go clinically insane.
A tapping at the door awoke me from my stupor, and I whipped my head towards the barely cracked door that opened up from the spiraling staircase. "Come in." I called, assuming it was my dad with food.
"Hey, Clare." Simon stood inside the door frame with a small smile, a brown bag, and two coffee cups. "Mind if I join you?"
"As long as that coffee in your hand is black and the food in that bag is delicious." I replied as I returned his smile. He covered the distance from the door to my pile of journals and papers easily and sat down next to one of the boxes.
I joined him and took the coffee he held out for me. "So whatcha doing, Detective Fray?" he asked jokingly.
I took a gulp of the bitter coffee and sighed. "This will sound crazy, but I suppose you should be used to it by now, huh?" I paused as he nodded with a mocking smile on his face. When did my life become such a movie? "I was searching for signs in Mom's journals. I was hoping maybe I could just figure out what Valentine's next move could be… I mean, people repeat actions, right?" I was rambling by now, but Simon made no move to interrupt me. "So shouldn't that mean that Mom has a way to avoid him documented somewhere. She couldn't have coincidentally just not seen him for sixteen years. I'm just going crazy."
"No, no! I see what you mean. You know how people on crime shows who lay out elaborate murders and whatnot sometimes make careless mistakes just for the thrill of still getting away with it? I think this could possibly be a lot like it… except Valentine really wants you, and this isn't a show." Simon pulled a greasy donut from the bag and bit into it with a grim roll of the eyes.
"Oh, wow, thanks. That really made feel much better."
"You're welcome!" he mumbled around bites of the donut. He used a napkin already covered in grease to wipe his mouth before speaking again. "So why are you avoiding the Lightwoods and Jace?"
"I'm not avoiding them—" I protested instantly before Simon hushed me.
"Clary, you literally ran out of forensics today. I was almost convinced you could beat Usain Bolt in a race." His tone was mocking, but I could detect the current of seriousness that was running underneath it.
I sighed and set the coffee down. "I don't mean to avoid them, but I don't know what else to do. I feel like I'm being babysat by you guys all the time! And then Jace is becoming more of a second dad to me than a boyfriend. I don't want that. I know that this is all serious, but I mean, apparently I have two dads… I don't need three. Jace just wants to save the world, and Alec and Isabelle are encouraging him like if Valentine swooped into my bedroom with a gun, Jace would be able to stop him. Jace won't be able to stop him, and I'm just stressed. Does that make any sense?"
Simon laughed lightheartedly, making my heart ache with the normalcy of it. "Not really, but I catch your drift. Well I'm not here as a babysitter. I'm here to eat donuts with you and kick your ass in League of Legends."
I groaned. "I hate League, though!"
"Clary, I brought you coffee. The least you could do is play League with me." Simon stared at me with wide eyes.
"You're the worst!" I complained as he helped me off the floor.
"You need a break, Detective Fray. Maybe later we can scour the scrapbooks later for more clues."
I frowned but followed him down the steps to my bedroom. I wished desperately that I could treat my situation as a crappy detective show like Simon was. I knew he was just trying to get my mind off it, but the flashes I had been having reminded me too much of my mom's words. What I said about things repeating themselves were true, and I just wondered how much longer it would be until I would be caught just like my mom had been.
It seemed like Valentine had been getting better at playing the game because he was closer than I had imagined.
I really hope I still have people reading my story even though I've been total crap with updating. I decided I'd let you read the chapter before I attempted to explain myself. I meant to update last Thursday but these past two weeks have been hectic and just bad. For a while, I literally couldn't update because my hard drive on my THREE MONTH OLD computer failed. Thanks Hewlett Packard. Then I finally got the new one in the mail and yada yada ya... I was just so upset because I literally had to redo EVERYTHING on my computer. I couldn't even salvage my documents... so yeah. But I'm better now, and less stressed :D I will be updating the Thursday after next and we will get back on schedule.
Like I said filler chapter... sorry. I have big big BIG plans for next chapter, and then the story should move pretty quickly. I'm assuming TLIAK will be a decently short story compared to BMP. I'm guessing 25 chapters or less, so here's to finishing this story eventually.
IMPORTANT! READ THIS: I have made a twitter for those of you with twitters. The name is kolorfulk so follow me, mention me in a tweet telling me which story you read (if it's both, say both), and I'll follow back. I'll be using the twitter to update those of you who follow me about updates, to post small quotes or lines from upcoming chapters or even new stories I'm working on, and to just be in better touch with you guys because I'm on twitter a lot. Also if you want to follow my real twitter too, just DM me after I follow you back and I'll tell you my other twitter name. So follow me! As soon as I get enough followers, I'll start posting teasers!