"Sorry, Ginger, can you repeat that? I thought you just told me that you were pregnant."
Clary inhaled a breath and forced her gaze towards him. Her jaw was tense, her breathed jagged. Her cracked, bitten fingernails scratched at her palms. This was the response she was dreading. More than a furious outburst or Jace falling down and crying. It would have been better for him to sit in the rocking chair speechless, than believe she was joking. As Clary swallowed, it was like icicles were playing a game of pinball in her throat. Her lip started quivering and she had to turn away as two tears raced down her face.
There was a slam as Jace's wrist hit the arm rest and then a string of curse words that were being muttered. "Tell me what to say, Clary. Because I have no god damned idea what to tell you right now."
She spun around to look him the eyes. All her embarrassment and guilt was gone, being replaced by bubbles of lava that were popping in her chest. "I want you to tell me what you're feeling right now," the girl said through gritted teeth. "I don't want to put words in your mouth, Jace. Don't tell me some crap story about how it's your fault or how you're so sorry for me, I don't care. I want to know what's popping in to your mind this moment."
The golden haired boy looked at her in astonishment and stood up. His foot moved to take a step towards Clary, but she jumped back and winced. "I'm feeling the default emotions that one normally does when a girl that they barely know announces that they are carrying something that they are partly responsible for creating."
"And what emotions are they?"
"Surprise, shock, guilt, surprise," he ran a calloused hand through his hair and inhaled a sharp breath. "I have no fu – freaking idea what I'm supposed to do about this. Are... are you really sure?"
"No, in fact I'm here before I've even taken a blood test on the off chance that I am actually carrying something inside my stomach. It's not like I've bought every single pregnancy test from the pharmacy," Clary said dryly. "Of course I'm sure, Jace! And I know this isn't the best situation - "
"The best situation? Clary, I'm seventeen years old. You're sixteen!"
"Fifteen," Clary corrected quickly.
Jace through his hands up in the air. "Oh, and that makes it so much better. The point is, I never even thought I wanted a kid in twenty years time. I planned on going on 'The Bachelor' to find the ultimate hot women and then dump the winning girl's ass after I got tired of her," he turned his voice down to a quiet, deathly calm tone. "Maybe it will get better. Maybe it will stop breathing or you'll have a miscar..." he couldn't bring himself to say the word. "Then it will all be gone. Or maybe, you should get rid of it yourself, just in case it doesn't do it by itself."
Clary felt all the muscles in her body jump at the suggestion. Was he seriously suggesting an abortion? Yes, of course he was. This was, after all, Jace Wayland she was talking to. He had a career in any department he wanted, with his good looks, athleticism, charm, humour. And also, he didn't know one thing about Clary's upbringing. "You cannot be serious."
"It would get rid of the entire problem, wouldn't it?" Jace asked in a you're-a-total-imbecile tone.
"This," Clary gestured to her stomach. "Is a living thing, Jace! My entire life, I've heard my mother on the phone to her acquaintances complaining about how she didn't get rid of me when she had the chance. I'm not – will not – do that."
Silence hung in the room like a dark rain cloud after that. Clary's legs were aching from standing up through the whole argument, but Jace had already dropped back down into Kyle's bed side chair and there was no way she was sitting on the bed stripped of any sheets or blankets after what had gone down on it. Embrace the pain, Clarissa, giving birth is going to be a million times harder, and in that moment, it became obvious to Clary what she had just said. Even if it was only to herself, she'd made a decision without knowing that she'd made it. Giving birth is going to be a million times harder. She hadn't said, 'If I give birth," it have been a definite.
The next words belonged to Jace. "You lied to me."
Clary looked at him in complete surprise. "Excuse me?"
"You're text; it said that it had been a false alarm. For over a week now, you've kept me thinking there was nothing to worry about, while you've probably been at home puking your guts out. Why didn't you tell me when you found out?"
"Because I was scared."
"And you think I'm not?! At least if I'd known, you could have talked to me. Does anyone else know?"
Clary shook her head. "Just Kyle, and I didn't even tell him. He figured it out."
"Jesus, I don't even know your last name!" Jace exclaimed.
"Fray," Clary informed him quickly, even though she knew he hadn't actually asked what her last name was.
All of a sudden, a tsunami of nausea came crashing down on Clary. Her head started to spin and her stomach started to swirl into a whirlpool. She had to grip the knob at the end of the bed frame to stop herself from falling to the ground. Jace was next to her in a second. He put an arm awkwardly over her back and bent down.
"Don't get to happy, I'm not having a miscarriage," Clary spat out wryly. "It happens all the time, I just need to..." another wave washed into her body and in a millisecond she was hurdling into Kyle's en suit. Both the tiolet lid and ring was up, a total annoying guy habit, and the only reason she didn't start ranting to Kyle about how he will never get a respectable girlfriend if he keeps that up, was because she started throwing up the only thing she'd eaten in twenty-four hours, a ham and cucumber sandwhich.
There was a loud banging on the door and the handled tried turning. Luckily, Clary had flicked the lock. "Clary, what's going on? Are you alright?"
The sick feeling that had flooded her body was starting to evaporate enough for the girl to open the door and step out. "Can I ask you something?" she said.
Jace nodded and leaned in. Clary pushed him back and picked up her hand bag from next to the door that led from Kyle's bedroom to the long hall way. "Why do they call it 'morning sickness', when it hits you every damned moment of the day?"
Jace frowned and his mouth moved up and down like a goldfish. He really did look puzzled. Finally, when words started to form in his mouth, Clary put a hand up to silence him.
"I don't actually want an answer, Pretty Boy," she sighed. "I have to get home, my mom's probably starting to freak out that I'm not there." It was the biggest lie she'd probably ever told in her life – apart from when someone had asked her if Kaelie was a virgin and Clary had said no. Those were the good days when she'd been dying to be part of their posse – but, she needed an excuse to get home. She couldn't stand being in the same room with Jace for so long, and all she wanted to do was lie down and not have to think. Which, honestly, was pretty much what she'd been doing all week.
Even Jace raised a slender eyebrow at this. Damn, I wish I could do that, Clary thought enviously. "Is this the same mother that wished she'd gotten rid of you when she'd had the chance?"
Because Clary couldn't raise on eyebrow, she raised both. "You actually heard me say that?"
"Of course I did," Jace put on a face of mock hurt.
"Well, I'm sorry, but it's always seemed to me as if you don't pay any attention to what anyone has to say."
"And why on Earth would you think that?"
"I see you at lunch, Kaelie is yapping away to you and you are looking around as if you don't even hear her."
"That's because Kaelie has never once in her life said anything with even an inch of depth," Jace said.
They both stood there and laughed at how true that was before Clary's smile dropped, followed by Jace's.
"Well, I'm not letting you walk," Jace announced in a proud tone. He held out a graceful hand to escort Clary down the stairs. She slapped it.
"I'm not actually disabled, I think I can walk a few blocks."
"I know you could," Jace shrugged, refusing to put his hand down. "But I'm not going to let you."
Clary let out an exaperated breath. "Are you always this stubborn?" She put a finger to his lips for a second automatically. "Wait, don't answer that. I already know the answer."
Kyle was nowhere in sight, and Clary was getting desperate to leave, so they headed out the door without telling him goodbye. Parked in the driveway was what Clary assumed was Jace's metallic red Porsche 2008 Boxter. She let out a low whistle and dragged her hand across the front, sliding to a stop at the door handle. The interior was a soft, cream leather and once Clary had lowered herself into the passenger seat, she decided that she wouldn't be getting up any time soon.
"I'm starting to appreciate you're annoying insistance to drive me home, Wayland," she mumbled as her eyes closed and she relaxed back in the seat.
He chuckled, pulling the handle into reverse and doing a U-Turn out of the Garroway's driveway.
Somewhere, there was a bass guitar playing softly. Clary groaned as she pulled herself up from lying position her seat was in and searched the streets that they passed for a busker before realising it was a CD playing from Jace's radio. She hesitantly reached for the volume knob, waiting for Jace to tell her not to touch anything in his car, but he just watched her fingers and smirked as the got closer and closer, painfully slow. Clary pulled her hand back just in time to miss hitting Jace's in his motion to turn it up.
It was 'Sail On' by the Good Mad.
A soul looking outside itself for the source
To find what cannot be defined, delivered, or forced
Perception and projection make up every point of view
These days it seems like everyone is bidding on love
But it's not up for sale, a concept new to some
I like to share my soul with many, I don't save it just for one
Who knew Jace had such good taste in music?
For the next few minutes, Clary found herself enjoying humming along to the song. Her vocal chords stopped producing sound though when the Fray house came into view. The girl signalled Jace to stop and reached to unbuckle her seat belt before she froze. Did she really want to go back into that lonely, dark house? From the outside, it was a beautiful, three story, designer house that half the people in New York would kill to live in. Inside, though, was a totally different story. It was gloomy and sad. Where Jocelyn's paintings used to hang, the spots were now filled with plans to upgrade the building of her law firm. All the walls were white, with dark, mahogany floor boards. Clary's bedroom had been the only colourful, happy sector of the house until a few days ago. All of her paintings had been beautiful and cheerful. Children playing, butterflies perched on branches, landscapes of the beautiful city, but lately they had become... Too cheery. Every single painting, Clary had studied for minutes, finding errors in them that she got furious about, throwing them onto the floor and chucking them under her bed. Now her walls were the plain white that the rest of the house was coloured. And when Jocelyn was home, her bitterness filled the house with a cold feeling.
"I don't want to go home," she muttered to herself, lost in thoughts and the realisation. Clary found it funny how one huge mistake, could make you realise so many things about yourself that you'd never even noticed before. For instance, she'd always hated her home, but she'd never realised just how scared she was of it. Scared of having to go back and lie on her bed, having no idea what to do with herself. No idea what to do about the fact that there was a living, growing human inside of her that wouldn't go away just because she wished it would.
"Then don't," Jace said it like it was the simplest thing in the world.
Clary scoffed. "I can't just pack my bags and live on the streets, Jace."
"Then don't do that either," and he started to drive. The lever was pushed into Drive and Clary felt the engine accelerate.
"Jace, stop the car!"
"Why? You said you don't want to go home. And I'm making myself responsible for you being as happy as you can be in this... situation. If there's anything I can do to help, I'm going to do it," Jace spared a second from keeping his eyes on the road to look at her. He smiled. The first genuine, kind smile she'd ever seen him wear. It was small, but it still made her skin tingle. "You're coming to my house. You can crash in the spare bedroom tonight, and I'm not letting you skip another day of school. Go while you still can. In a few months, you're either going to have to drop out of school or arrive at school and last the day with everyone laughing and staring at you."
"But... I..." Clary blubbered in astonishment. "I don't have any clothes, or makeup! Or shoes, or books. I'm totally unprepared, Jace. I can't just turn up to school naked with bed hair and no supplies."
Jace waved a hand airily and nodded his head to her hand bag. "Use that bag for school tomorrow. I have spare books you can use, just tell your teachers you left your usual ones at home. And my house isn't without hair brushes, Ginger."
"You're forgetting the most important part: Clothes," Clary stared at the boy like he was stupid.
Jace shrugged. "I don't think many boys are going to be opposed to you turning up nude."
Clary let out a sound of exclamation when the boy who sat across from her started laughing.
"I'm kidding, Ginger. My mom's a fashion designer, which means she always has samples of her work. I'm sure she won't even notice if you borrow some of her items."
Everyone knew who Jace's mom was; the famous Cecile Wayland. Designer for five different fashion magazines, as well as been chosen to create an entire line for a Runway shoot in Paris. Even Clary couldn't argue against wearing expensive, gorgeous designer clothes to school, if not to surprise people then to see the faces on the Skank Gang's faces.
"Fine," Clary sighed and gave in, extending her chair backwards so it was almost flat.
After half an hour, they entered the richest streets of New York; Lincoln Avenue. At the end, the street had a cul-de-sac. Clary had dreamed of living in this part of the city since she could remember. It had been her plan to buy one of the houses when she graduated, a sandstone, French styled house with a dolphin statue fountain at the front and a large window that covered the whole face of the fourth floor, looking out over the city. When Jocelyn had owned an art gallery a street North of Lincoln, Clary would always sneak out when her mother was focused on an artwork and follow the street down to the cul-de-sac. There was a gorgeous patch of meadow at the end of a trail that only Clary knew about, as far as she knew, apart from Simon. It was the only part of the city that hadn't been used up for apartments. The Secret Garden themed meadow had been Clary's hideaway when she was six. She'd run around and smell the flowers, go cloud watching and play hide and seek behind the trees with Simon.
"This is your street?" Clary exclaimed as they got to the far end of the road. She pushed her seat up so she could look out the window. And all of a there was a pang of fear in her gut. What would happen when Jocelyn finally did hear about Clary and the baby? The girl was doubtful her mother would let her anywhere near their home ever again. Where would she go? Clary had set up a bank account a few years ago when she'd first started working at Taki's part time and it held a couple of thousand dollars. But that couldn't buy you a house, and it would only cover the rent for a while. Even if she didn't keep the child, which was a discussion she wasn't ready to have with Jace, there was food expenses. And then there was college. She'd always wanted to get an arts degree. One stupid, crappy party that she hadn't even wanted to go to, and now all of this! It was shitty. Really, really shitty.
I'm ruined. My life is gone, she thought bluntly.
"Yeah, well, if you think most of the houses in this street are nice, you'll love mine. Personally, I think it's to over the top. I mean, there's no reason to have such a big home for a family of three. But my parents have always loved to flaunt whatever money can buy," Jace said the last part with a seething, cold tone.
"What's wrong with your parents?" Clary asked. She remembered their phone conversation last week when Jace had said that his parents never even noticed when he was gone.
"It's nothing," the boy waved it off.
"You've already knocked me up, and now you won't even answer one question," Clary said it like she was processing the facts. She looked up at him with her stunning emerald eyes. "Doesn't that seem a bit unfair to you?" the red head asked innocently.
Jace sighed and shook his head. "If you must know, there is nothing wrong with them. I mean, there isn't anything wrong with my mom. That's the problem. She's the perfect, American wife and the perfect, American mother. Not one has she ever yelled at me or told me off. When I ask for something, she gets it. But there's no feeling. It's as if she's a robot. There's about as much depth with her as there is with Kaelie. I just wish for once I could talk to my mom, not someone who looks like my mom on the outside, but has as much personality as Sesame Crackers have sugar."
"Sesame Crackers don't have sugar," Clary pointed out.
Jace looked at her grimly. "Exactly."
"What about your dad, what the prob - " She cut herself off and almost choked on her own tongue as Jace's Porsche turned into a driveway that was blocked from the house by a black gate with pointed arrows at the top.
"This can't be happening right now," she muttered as Jace leaned out his window and typed a code into a keypad that was ledged into a ground on a pole. The gates slowly opened and it was if Clary was entering a movie.
The house had four stories, and was painted a light cream colour next to the sandstone pillars. They drove around the dolphin statue water fountain and parked directly in front of the house, at which point Clary was fixated on the whole of the fourth floor that's entire front wall was a glass window.
"What do you think?" Jace asked as he came around to the girl's door and opened it for her. She didn't move.
"I used to dream about owning this house. I always imagined myself living here with two children and a perfect husband, owning a little art gallery down the road and owning a St Bernard called Nana. You know, from Peter Pan?"
Jace failed at holding back a grin. "How old were you when you dreamed of this exactly?"
"Five," Clary admitted. "There's this gorgeous meadow past the cul-de-sac that I used to play in. It was like my little hide away."
Jace's next words were unexpected. "Show me."
"What?" Clary said, taken aback.
"Show me the meadow," he repeated.
Clary let out a shocked breath. "Maybe tomorrow, Jace," she said. "At the moment I'm just exhausted."
"Oh, yeah, of course," Jace frowned and nodded, unsure of what to do next. "Come and I'll introduce you to your room for the night."
Being inside the house gave Clary this unbelievable feeling. As much as she had always loved the house, she'd never seen the interior. It didn't disappoint, though. Actually, it did the opposite. If the exterior of the house was beautiful, inside was ten times that.
"Jonathan, there you are!" A grand, posh voice came from the top of the spiral stairs along with the sound of clicking high heels. Clary looked up to see who she could only guess was Jace's mother. She was slim and tall with stunning clothes and a beautiful face to go with it.
"Jonathan?" Clary giggled under her breath. She couldn't picture Jace as a Jonathan at all.
He did a small shrug and whispered so his mother wouldn't hear as she made her way down the stairs gracefully. "Jonathan Christopher. The initials are J.C, somehow it just turned to Jace. Tell anyone and I'll have lock you up in the cellar."
"You have a cellar?" Clary whisper-shouted.
"Where else is there to keep all the dead bodies?" Jace said dead pan.
Celine clapped her hands, making Clary jump back. She hadn't realised that Jace's mother had come right up to them. She was wearing a flowing, red dress that fell onto the ground behind her in a pool of silk. Her hair was like Jace's; a beautiful golden colour, like Clary imagined an Angel's hair to be like. Embracing the young girl in a warm, very overly dramatic embrace, Clary had to stop herself from gagging at the strong, spicy perfume that the woman was wearing.
"Kaelie! It's about time we finally met. I've been telling Jace, I don't care what he does in his room as long as he keeps it quiet and I who's up there with him," Celine beamed.
Clary stood there, gobsmacked. Was she implying what Clary thought she was implying? Obviously. A startled sound came out of her mouth and she snapped it shut quickly.
"Mom, this is Clary," Jace hissed and his mother with a 'Shut the hell up' kind of look. It was one he used most often on Freshman when they came up asking for popularity tips or tried to start a conversation with him.
Jace's mother's smile faltered for a second before she perked straight back up and laughed a high, giggly laugh. Clary already disliked her horrendously. But who would she be if she rejected an offer to stay in her dream home for a night?
"It's a pleasure to meet you, Mrs Wayland," Clary almost choked on the words. It was actually the total opposite. Clary would not let Jace tell anyone that he was the reason for what was happening to her, even if the only reason was to keep Celine from befriending and comforting her. It was actually a good point, though. Did she want people to know that the baby was Jace's? It might not even matter, if it was going to go up for adoption. But just the thought of it made Clary want to puke. There were three options. One was an abortion, but that was already crossed off and out of the question. Second was adoption, and third was Clary being a single mother, high-school drop out, living in a cheap apartment in the bad part of New York and being able to do nothing with her life. In the back of her mind, though, there was another possibility trying to squirm it's way into her mind; Jace.
"Aw, call me Celine, sweetheart," the woman said in her annoying, high pitched, nasally voice. If the resemblance between her and Jace hadn't been so strong, Clary would have been questioning if Celine was related to Kaelie.
"If you don't mind, mother, I'm going to show Clary to her room. She's staying the night and coming with me to school tomorrow," Jace said in a tone of authority. "Oh yeah, and also, she'll be borrowing some of the clothes from your sample rack."
Celine raised her eyebrows at her son and then glanced back and forth between him and Clary for several moments, finally letting her amber eyes settle on Clary. "First time I've heard of my son not inviting a girl to share his bed. He must respect you," Celine sounded surprised. "A lot."
Jace groaned. "Can we not start with the mushy relationship advice about how much I love Clarissa and how if I hurt her you'll be 'so very dissapointed' in me? Because it doesn't matter, Mom. We aren't together, she's just..." he stopped and frowned, looking up in thought, which made Clary start thinking as well. What were they, really? Friends? A married couple? Acquaintances? Boyfriend and girlfriend? Truthfully, they weren't any of those things. They weren't anything.
"A friend in some trouble," Jace finally mumbled and pushed past his mother, dragging Clary with him.
It took effort to walk up the staircase, and Clary was almost ready to drop down to the floor as the reached the top. Her stomach was cramping and swirling around; churning. She let out a groan of pain and stopped to inhale a few deep breaths.
Jace turned back and looked at her with deep concern.
"It's not supposed to be this bad," Clary told him quietly. She looked up to the boy with large eyes under her long red lashes.
"Then why is it?" It was like Jace had been expecting her to say that, because he had asked before she'd even finished her last word. "I've seen my mother's friends who've been a few weeks, Clary, and you can't even tell that they're pregnant. But you look like you've caught a vicious plague and should be rushed to the emergency department of the closest hospital."
Clary let out a small, frustrated sound and leant against the light blue coloured wall of the hallway. "Because I'm tiny. I'm 16, but I'm the size of a small 13 year old. Everything that's there in the second week of pregnancy but not noticed, is the same with me, but magnified. I've been reading about it. The cramps, the fatigue, the hunger, the sore joints... Everyone has it at two weeks, but it's so little that no one complains about it. What people experience at six months, I'm experiencing now."
"Shit, Ginger," Jace muttered.
Clary shrugged and ignored the nick name as much as it pissed her off. "I'm fine."
The boy let out a surprised laugh. "No, you're not. Nothing about this is fine! This is serious. If you're this bad now, imagine what it's going to be like at eight months. Dammit, you might not even make it to eight months," he yelled out in exclamation.
"Shut up!" Clary hissed.
"Did I..." he started in a deadly soft tone. He just looked at the ground, and Clary watched as the rage in him built up. "I hurt you."
"Yeah, well, we have bigger things to worry about than our difference in size 'down there'."
"I'm so sorry. For everything." And then, he reassured one of her worst fears. "I'm not going to run away and tell you to do this all by yourself, not now anyway. I can't promise what happens in the future, but for right now, I can promise that I'll help you in any way I can. Not going to any extremes, though."
Relief flooded her entire body and she slid down the wall and onto the ground in a slippery, stop and start motion. It hurt as her back skidded, but once she was lying down, curled up, it was like heaven. The waves of fatigue had decided to stay with her and her eyes shut so quickly that she didn't see Jace coming over towards her. Even the floor felt comfortable all of a sudden. The last thing that Clary remembered before falling to sleep was Jace picking up her rag doll body and carrying her down the hall, the feel of his warm breath close to her neck.
"Which do you prefer? The lilac cardigan," Clary held up in her left hand a cute purple cashmere item that was just her size, "Or this aqua crop," she wiggled her right hand in the air. It was hot outside for Fall, and Clary was surprised at how good she felt to be going back to school. It wasn't school that she was looking forward to exactly, but more seeing the reactions on everyone's faces and Clary Fray walked down the hall in Celine Wayland's clothes before they'd even been released to the most elite, expensive, boutiques.
On the animal skin chair of Celine's designing room, there were already a few items sitting neatly on the seat; a tanned, soft leather hand bag. Round, nude coloured sunglasses. And cream ballet flats with a black ring around the inside.
Jace swivelled from side to side in an office chair, pursing his lips and stroking his imaginary beard. He was dressed up in pointy, black sunglasses – a lot like Lady Gaga's pair but even more extraordinary – and a pink and red striped waist coat. "Neither," he waved an airy hand in the air and spoke with his fake, posh British accent and pouty lip. "The cardigan makes you look like a study nerd. A cute study nerd, but a study nerd none the less. And the crop makes you look even more flat chested than you are, not to mention making your eyes look extremely dull."
Clary dropped both to the floor in exasperation and pulled three more racks from the walk in wardrobe out and into Jace's view. "You've declined the last ten items I've shown you, so obviously I have no fashion taste whatsoever."
Jace nodded in agreement.
"So," Clary said slowly. "It's your turn. You can find me some clothes to wear while I go and raid those sample boxes of make-up," she pointed a finger towards to other side of the room where hundreds of small boxes were stacked neatly, full of cosmetics.
The girl didn't look back, but she could hear Jace rifling through silk and satin, the metal coat hangers scraping the tops of the racks and clothes were pulled from one side to the other. Clary was getting more and more curious to see what Jace was choosing, but she managed to keep herself occupied by smearing on some baby pink lipstick and dabbing a bit of clear gloss over it. Coincidently, just her colour of concealer and foundation was in the first box she opened so she smoothed both over her face for a fresh, clear skin look.
"And the magestical, intelligent, stunning Jace Wayland is finished!" Jace announced in a grand voice that almost made Clary poke the mascara stick into her eyeball.
She spun herself around and her mouth dropped open. "Are you sure you aren't gay? Because I've never once met a straight guy that has as good fashion taste as you."
Jace shrugged slightly and a proud grin pushed it's way onto his face. "What can I say? I know what looks good on a girl."
He held a dark, deep emerald green strapless dress the was short at the front but trailed down to become longer at the back. Just under the chest, was a thin, firm gold belt. Next to the dress, hanging from Jace's pinkie finger, was a lighter, mint green, three quarter sleeved blazer. "Now this, will make your eyes look dazzling, and make you look ravishing," Jace said with a wink.
Clary suppressed a smile and remained professional, showing a nod of approval and extending her hand in offer to take the garments from Jace.
They looked at each other and shared a devilish, amused glance.
This was going to be fun.
Thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, nineteen, twenty five.
Thirty three people in total started at Clary as she walked down the East Wing of Waverney's halls and the attention was already getting to her. But not in a good way. She kept tugging the line of the dress up pulling her blazer down, twiddling her fingers, staring at the floor and walking awkwardly. That was one of the keys to Kaelie and Aline's popularity. They were confident. If popularity was only based on looks at Waverney, then Clary would be hands down whipping Aline and Kaelie's asses at the moment in her killer outfit, sunglasses rested on top of her head and handbag hanging from her elbow. But it wasn't just judged on the clothes you wore, although that was a big part of it. People also analysed you about how confident you were and how much you cared about them, well, analysing you. That's what got Aline and Kaelie and their group to the top, because they walked through the halls with killer looks, their heads held high and their walk flawless. And that's also what made Maia fall a little behind them, always hurrying behind and following orders. Because she was drop dead gorgeous, no argument there, but just not as comfortable.
Clary wished she could just run to the nearest bathroom and change into a gaming tee and a pair of old skinny jeans and go out blending back into the crowd. Unfortunately, her handbag could only fit a phone, extra make-up, and an apple.
Panic was rising from her stomach and turning into puke as it came up her oesophagus. She had to swallow several times for it to go back down the direction it was supposed to go. Clary's step faltered and she almost came to a complete sudden halt when Kaelie's group came into view and she turned the corner. That moment, she just wished that Jace could have stayed by her side instead of him having to drop her around the corner from school so they wouldn't even be seen walking together. Even though he'd said it was 'to protect them both from accusations', it had still hurt as he awkwardly tried to find a way to ask Clary to get out of the car. Now she was just by herself, lonely. Until a gangly boy with glasses too big, carrying a dozen text books in his thin arms came pushing through the middle of the popular girls group clumsily.
Clary let herself smile slightly. "Simon," she breathed.
"Excuse me, coming through. Oh, sorry," he apologised as he trod on Maia's foot but kept on bulleting through the group of girls and over to Clary. His smile told her that he was just as relieved to her and she was him.
"Clary!" he exclaimed, opening his arms for a hug, forgetting that he was still carrying all his school books in his arms. Clary was used to this and she immediately bent down to catch the books before they hit the floor. Although last time she'd done it, she hadn't been knocked up. This time when she did it, pain shot through her stomach and it hurt like a bitch. "My bad," Simon apologised as Clary came slowly back up and handed him the books. "Where have you been?! And don't give me any of that sickness crap, I won't believe it for a second."
"Let's talk about this - "
"Are you, like, secretly pregnant or something? Did you have to go to a special medical centre to get an abortion without Jocelyn finding out?" Simon joked, making Clary swallow loudly and answer in a fake laugh.
"Totally," she said sarcastically. "I'll tell you about it later, Si, let's just get to class."
Right on time, the warning bell sounded, signalling everyone that they had five minutes until they were expected in class.
"So," Clary searched for a subject changer and finally came upon one after thinking of where things had left off in their last conversation. "Have you had any chance to use that girl advice that I wisely handed over to you for free?"
Simon smiled sadly and gestured for them to start walking to Creative Arts, also known as the one class of the week where everyone just got to sit back and watch old fashioned movies. This lesson, they would be halfway through the Scarlett Letter, the original. Not the Demi Moore version, that Clary despised openly. "I haven't really had a chance to use it yet," Simon admitted sheepishly. "Haven't seen her that much the past few days, for a while I thought she was avoiding me. So, my love life is still on step one."
"Better than having my love life," Clary mumbled quiet enough for only herself to hear, or so she thought.
"You have a love life?" Simon exclaimed. Luckily, everyone surrounding them was caught up in their own conversations, or Clary would have had some serious explaining to do. "Since when? Who with?"
Clary was saved from having to answer her best friend's question when Ms Faulkner, their teacher for first period, ushered them into the room, where the black and white movie had already started playing.
"Did I mention how different you look?" Simon hissed under his breath. "In a good way, of course. I think."
Clary gave him a smile before they parted to opposite sides of the class room in their planned seating.
For forty minutes of the lesson, Clary paid no attention whatsoever to the film and instead doodled on the front cover of her book, drawing children and hands intertwined and wedding rings. Finally, the movie came to the end credits and Kaelie shot her hand up in lightning speed, casting a dirty glance back at Clary.
"Miss, maybe Clarissa should print a 'P' for prostitute across her forehead. It only seems fitting," Kaelie said sweetly, giggling at the end, only to be joined by the rest of the girls who sat around her. And well, pretty much the rest of the class apart from Simon.
Clary's hormonal, pregnant self was desperate to come out of it's shell, and this time, Clary allowed it to. She stood up from her seat, kicking her chair back violently and stalking up to lean forward at the front of Kaelie's desk with a deathly glare. She quickly took some happiness out of watching the skank's jealous expression at the red head's new clothing choices.
If there was one feeling that the school had for Clarissa Fray, apart from disrespect and the humour they got out of what a 'nerd' she was, they felt fear. After hitting Jacob Winston over the head with her hockey stick in middle school because he called her a cheating hockey player, the story and video got leaked out to high school, and by her first day as a Freshman, everyone was a little bit intimidated by her.
"Watch out Kaelie, she might go running and grab her hockey stick. Then you'll end up with a broken nose and sliced head like Jacob," one of Clary's classmates that she couldn't put a name to called out from the back of the class. A few cackled, but most were too frightened to do a thing. On the other hand, Ms Faulkner was sitting back in her desk chair with amused interest.
"I'll do more than grab it," Clary said through gritted teeth. "If you don't shut your slutty mouth, you plastic skank, I swear to God I will hit you so hard, you're teeth will fall out. And no one wants to kiss a cake faced whore with fake teeth now, do they?" Kaelie was reeling back in her seat to get as far away from the crazy girl as possible by this point. "So you better shut the hell up, or I will get Ja - " her vocal cords cut themselves off in a moment, and she was glad. Because she'd been stupid, and pushed it too far. The momentary thought that Jace was 'her's' to threaten people with was gone as Clary talked some sense into herself. The feeling of being in power had also vanished, and Kaelie seemed to know it, because she pulled forward in her seat so that the girl's faces were only inches apart.
"Or you'll get who? Jace Wayland?" she laughed her annoying, high pitched laugh that made Clary seriously consider running to grab her hockey stick. "What the hell do you know about Jace? He doesn't even know your name, you little no hoper. So piss off back to your brothel and leave the rest of us alone, because guess what? You don't threaten me the slightest. You don't own Jace, and you never will. You will always be under vermin in the food chain, and he will be up there with the Gods."
For the rest of the day, all the way up to lunch break, Clary hung her head low with shame. The whole of Junior class and some of Senior already knew about her little tantrum in class, but the comments about Jace had faded. Clary was glad, because if Jace found out she was using him to threaten girls, it would just make their situation even more awkward.
Simon had gone home sick after Advanced English, and every single table in the cafeteria, and outside of it for that matter, was taken. It was the most embarrassing feeling in the world to stand in the middle of the large school cafeteria searching for a spot to sit. One table, though, kept beating out to her, and not just because every girl around was staring at the five boys who sat around it in adoration, but because one of them was standing up, waving his arms and calling to her.
Clary groaned as people turned from Kyle Garroway to her in confusion.
"That's Kyle's cousin. Can you believe it?" One person whispered rather loudly as Clary walked past them, finding herself doing the most jaw dropping thing that Waverney had ever seen. There was almost a school law against what she was about to do, but Clary was still doing it with an enormous amount of guts.
Sitting around the table that she was heading to, was, – obviously – her cousin, Kyle. He sat next to the boy who was holding most of the girls' attention and hearts, and whom Clary was holding his baby. The one and only, Jace Wayland. On the other side of him sat Jonathan Morgenstern, a Junior who the rest of the senior boys approved of because of his talented football skills. The other two were good looking senior boys that Clary didn't know the names of, but she'd seen them around following Jace and Kyle all the time.
Kyle watched her in a familiar sense of approval along with his signature smirk and pushed the Jace away from him to make a small spot in between. He patted the seat for Clary to sit down and she hesitantly placed her food tray down gently on the table before swinging her legs over the hoop bench that circled the round table.
"I knew you'd take me up on my offer," Kyle beamed at her, ruffling her neatly placed curls in a joking gesture. "You look hot by the way. With a capital H," he added. "Like, if I wasn't your cousin, I'd be seriously into you."
"It's such a shame that your dad is related to my mom, then, isn't it?" Clary joked, finding herself in a position that could possibly end up in her laughing. It had been the first time she'd been in that position in weeks, and she liked it. A lot.
Clary looked shyly around at the rest of the table and they waved at her kindly, in a way one would smile at their best friend's little sister. Finally, her gaze rested upon Jace and she felt Kyle tense up beside her. He was looking at her in surprise, and continued to do so and Kyle relaxed and the rest of the group started in conversation once again.
He bent down ever so slightly and whispered in her ear. "To answer your question earlier: Seeing you now, I can tell you for certain, that I am definitely, positively, certainly not gay."
"You shouldn't be doing this."
Clary stood at the edge of Waverney's concrete slab that they called the hockey field. It was funny, because the person they hired had put the lines the wrong way across the rectangle and random lengths apart, so it looked more like a soccer field than a hockey area. She wore the yellow and blue Waverney colours on her short skirt and polo shirt, holding her lucky, bright purple hockey stick.
"And you shouldn't be here," Clary pointed out while keeping her eyes on the group of players the whole time. "Defence, Spencer! You're letting Jaime get through when you could easily be blocking her outer passage so she has nowhere to go!" the girl yelled out.
She was met with the reply of Spencer mumbling, "Yes, captain."
"After you're little scene that you made when you decided to sit down with Senior boys, everyone will assume I'm here either to tell you off or hook up with you."
"You have it all figured out, don't you?" Clary muttered sarcastically.
Jace looked at the girl meaningfully, but she didn't return the gaze. "Not everything."
A loud buzz of the half time bell left everyone's ears ringing even after the bell itself had stopped. Clary gave Jace a quick wave before running over to the other side of the field where her team was huddled around, her red hair bouncing from side to side in it's tight pony tail.
Clary knew that Jace was right; she shouldn't even be near anyone playing hockey. It was dangerous for anyone. Especially a pregnant, delicate, tiny sized girl. But it was too early to give up everything she was interested in. She'd already had to drop out of science because of the chemicals in the lab, and instead take up the Bahai religion. She couldn't have any sort of a love life unless she wanted it to be with a certain blonde douche bag, which maybe wouldn't be such a bad thing... No! Clary shook her head at the thought and turned her attention to the team who was waiting intently on her advice.
"Spencer and Carly, you're off for this training session, I just want you to watch. I'll take your position, Spence. Bridget, you go in for Carly."
The girls nodded and everyone who wasn't playing this session went to get drinks.
The game was started quickly and Clary was becoming very anxious, very quickly. So many hockey sticks, they were everywhere. So close to her stomach. She found herself flinching every time someone swung back to hit a bit near her and was too afraid to get into the middle of any ridge. The girls who were pretending to be the offence team caught possession of the ball and Clary turned her body, ready to run to the other end of the field and give Christy, who was playing Goal Keeper, a break. But three steps East and she froze. Everyone, once realising the Clary wasn't about to move, got the idea that they had to run around her, but only after a few bumps to the shoulder. No one even bothered to see what their captain was looking at because they were too busy trying to stop Bridget who was so close to scoring. And Clary was glad, because she was the only one that Kaelie was here for.
The tall, slim, gorgeous Barbie doll smirked and raised the tips of her cherry red lips when she realised she had Clary's attention. It wasn't Kaelie that Clary was interested in, though. The red head's eyes travelled to what Kaelie was swinging lightly in between her finger tips. A fabric, cut out letter 'P'.
"I couldn't get a tattooist in at the last minute, but I figured this will do for the mean time. It's quite handy too, you just stick it on," Kaelie peeled the sticky back off and stuck it on herself as an example. "And it's done! Then everyone will know what a low life, slut you really are."
It wasn't Clary's hormones that were kicking in to furious. It was the old Clary, the one who kicked Jacob Winston's ass just for an insult he'd whispered behind her back. The one who smart mouthed and threatened anyone who was rude to her or gave her a dirty look. The bad ass Clary from middle school. And this time, it felt good. It felt so damn good, when she stalked straight off the field, hockey stick in hand, and hit Kaelie across the face.
Okay, so that's it for Chapter 4 everyone :) I know it's a bit confusing as to what Jace's reaction is, him being frustrated in the beginning and then kind and then pissed off and then worried, but it's going to be very, very definite in the next chapter or two, don't worry.
So, now that this story's getting a bit of attention (Thank you so much to everyone who's following, favouriting and reviewing, every single one of you means so much to me!), I'm going to be needing a BETA. I've had a temporary one, but she's never able to go on FanFic anymore, and I can't live without a BETA. It means you get the chapters early, get to give me advice and ideas that I promise to listen to, get to know what's happening in the future. You'll sort of be like my second in command :) So if you're interested, please PM me!
Let's get to 75 reviews for this chapter, pleeeease? Anyways, you won't have to wait long for Chapter 5, so relax! It's going to be a good one. Isn't Kaelie just such a bitch?! ;)
Also, this is just a question for fun that you can add to your reviews... How old do you reckon I am? I'm just interested to see what age I come off as, that's all.
Sooooo, as usual:
Read, Review and PM me, my Darling readers
**The Polyvore link to Clary's outfit that she wore to school is on my profile, really easy to find. Please check it out and tell me what you think! No hate, I'm a writer... Not a fashion designer.**