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Oh and sorry if sometimes the characters look older than we say they are, it's just kind of difficult for us to realize what kind of vocabulary kids use in english considering the fact that we're French...Anyway sorry...
Enjoy :)Clary: 8
Jace : 9
Isabelle : 8
Alec : 10
Maia : 8
Jordan : 10Chapter 2
"Clary, sweetie, are you coming to make the cake?"
At those words, the little redheaded girl leaped on her feet, and ran into the kitchen. Her mom had always banned her from the kitchen while she was cooking, saying it was too dangerous and she had complained and stomped her foot about it countless times but it hadn't worked. It never worked with her. Nothing ever did. Even the puppy dog eyes which worked every single time with Luke. Must be a mom thing.
But this time, finally, her mom had agreed to let her cook with her. After all she wasn't a little kid anymore. They were celebrating her eighth birthday today!
"Oh, no, not so fast there honey," Jocelyne exclaimed as Clary came jumping up and down, some of her red curls escaping fron her ponytail, "remind me again what are the rules I gave you?"
Clary sighed dramatically, and lowered her head before saying:
"Do not run, listen to everything you say, follow the recipe."
"Good," continued her mother, nodding. So first things first, we have to get the ingredients out. We don't have much time before all your friends arrive."
Jocelyne took out a big blue binder from the closest cupboard and put it down on the kitchen table before opening it. It was where she put all of her recipes -which she found everywhere she could- and she had a lot. She leafed through it for a moment and finally stopped at the right recipe.
"Okay honey, so you're going to read the ingredients to me and I will get them all right? Then we'll be able to start. We have to follow the recipe carefully."
Clary nodded quickly and climbed on a stool in order to be able to read the instructions. As she read the name of the recipe she couldn't help but let out an exciting gasp.
"A chocolate cake! Okay, so we need chocolate, butter, sugar, flour and eggs," Clary said.
After having melted the chocolate -not without eating some of it- and the butter, they added the flour and the sugar, then opened the eggs. Unfortunately Clary had destroyed it and some shells fell in the cake. Clary looked at her mother completely embarassed while Jocelyne tried to catch them, laughing and shaking her head softly, reassuring her. They were going to put the cake in the stove when they heard the doorbell ring.
"Mommy, the cake is not ready and they are already here, what are we going to do?" Clary stared at her mother, looking panicky. Jocelyn looked at her watch before saying.
"No it's all right, they are not supposed to come for another hour. It must be the neighbour again asking for more coffed. That one always come at the worst moment," she said in a disapproving tone. That was also a mom thing, Clary thought.
They heard Luke going to answer the door.
"Oh Hey! Is it time already? Come in, come in, she's in the kitchen."
Clary then heard a voice she knew as well as her own:
"I came a little early, before the others."
She smiled happily and kept fidgeting until her mom, understanding, said:
"Go. I'll finish."
Clary stood up and moved toward the door before stopping. She turned slowly, and hugged her mother's legs.
"Love you Mommy."
Before Jocelyn could utter a word she was already gone and running across the living room.
"Jace! You came!"
Jace watched her come toward him with a big smile while Luke, who was shaking his head softly and laughing to himself, went to join Jocelyn in the kitchen.
"Hey birthday girl! I would have come earlier bu—"
He had no chance to finish his sentence as Clary threw herself at him, her arms around his neck, squeezing the life out of him.
"I missed you."
He chuckled, placing his arms around her, holding her tight against him. They hadn't seen each other for almost all summer. Clary was at her brother's house in California for half of it and unfortunately for them, when she had come back, two weeks earlier, Jace and his family were still on vacations, in Paris.
Before the summer when they had talked about it, and realized they wouldn't be able to each other almost all summer, they had locked themselves in Jace's bedroom. They had laid on the ground, staring at his white walls. It was the exact oppposite of her room, which had always been colorful, the walls covered in drawings and photos. The first time he saw her bedroom, he had stared at it for what seemed like forever, as if he had never seen colors in his entire life. Upon his reaction, Clary had promised herself that she would do everything to put more colors in Jace's room, which was now half covered by her drawings.
"I missed you too," he finally said. "Like I started saying before you jumped on me, I would have come earlier but my Mom said I had to help them clean and empty the bags." He finished, as if he was apologizing.
"Boring," was however all Clary answered.
Jace opened his mouth, but before he coulod say anything, Clary's mother came out of the kitchen wiping her hands on a towel, Luke behind her.
"Hi, Mrs Fray."
"Clary, Luke and I are going to put the last decorations up, so you could go upstairs before the others come. You can go to you room, you still have at least an hour."
Clary took Jace's hand in hers and pulled him along upstairs, running. They entered her room and Clary closed the door behind them before jumping on her bed. Her huge stuffed frog drooped to the floor. She had won it at a funfair with her brother. They had laughed a lot that day when they realized the stuffed animal was bigger than Clary. She sighed when she saw Jace looking at her newest drawings. Why did he always look at them when he was here? It was her mom who was opening an art gallery, not her. She tugged on his sleeve, trying to get him to sit beside her.
When they were both laying on her bed she told him how when she was in California her brother and her had stolen some bread and peanut butter from the kitchen to eat in their treehouse to escape their father. Valentine had changed too much and it was because of his lawyers that Jonathan wasn't living with them. Their stepmother had seen them but hadn't said anything. They had even added photos of them to their tree house and some of Clary's drawings.
"You'll come someday right? You'll come there with me? There is a small lake where we can swim you know. It will be funny."
Jace nodded. He had already met Jonathan. Twice. The first time was at Christmas and the second time was when Jonathan had come to New York for the holidays. He liked Clary's brother. He was a year older than him, but he was nice. He got along well with Alec too, maybe because they had the same age...
Jace then told her how his vacations in Paris had been. The Seine, The Louvre, the huge avenues, the Eiffel Tower...he told her everything. He also told how much they had laughed when the proud Isabelle had hidden behind Maryse's legs when a mime, with his white face, had approached her. She had then ran away and they had followed her the best they could before succeeding in calming her down.
And then they heard Jocelyn calling them.
"Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you..."
The kids were all sitting around the huge wooden table, happily singing and clapping, with big smiles on their faces. Clary, was laughing, her cheeks red, not used to having all the attention focused on her. Seeing her embarassment, Jace sitting beside her, took her hand and gave it a reassuring squeeze. She turned her head to look him in the eyes, opened her mouth, to thank him maybe, but closed it before a sound could escape her lips. She didn't have to say it out loud. He already knew. He always did. Even if they had only know each other for two years, he always knew what she was thinking. He could read her so easily, sometimes it scared him.
"Clary come on, blow out the candles!", complained Isabelle, after they had all finished singing the song. She crossed her arms and stared at Clary, hoping her intimidating glare would make Clary hurry up. Alec rolled his eyes at his sister and smiled at Clary as if it would make up for his sister's behaviour.
Clary just laughed and shook her head before bending over the table. She hesitated for a minute and blew out the candles. Everyone clapped again, but Jace suspected it was only because they were finally going to have cake.
While they all stuffed their faces with chocolate cake, and Clary proudly reminded everyone she had helped bake it, gifts were being passed on to her.
Jordan was the first of the group to give his and Alec's present to Clary, supposedly because it was the biggest. The wrapping looked like...Actually Jace didn't even know what it looked like, so there was no other way to know what the present was but to open it. He had tried to know what they had chosen for Clary but Alec and Jordan had been really secretive about it and had told Jace that he would know if he decided to buy it with them, but Jace wanted his present to Clary to be only his. Actually he hoped his present would be Clary's favorite which is why he was so curious about their gift.
Clary hastily tore the paper to discover...A small easel with her name carved into the wood. Clary took the two boys in her arms. Aline had gotten her writing paper with pens and stickers and envelopes. They were nice gifts but Jace decided to stay confident, mostly given the fact that Clary had already received beautiful writing paper from her brother so they could write to each other. Maia gave Clary her a rectangular package. A box maybe? It was actually a book to learn how to draw faces and bodies which she didn't know how to yet, so Clary looked really happy. Then Isabelle put herself in front of her bestfriend and looking proud of herself handed her her gift. There were two things: first a pretty little dress –Clary didn't like dresses much which annoyed Isabelle as well as Jocelyn- and something which Jace thought at first was a book but turned out to be a photo album, filled with photos of the two girls. Isabelle loved taking photos and often went to Clary's house, her arms full of different clothing and accessories and took a lot of photos. Under pretty much each photo Isabelle had written funny anecdotes, like the day when Isabelle had her head stuck in the swing at the play ground.
When Jace's turn came he gave her his gift. Clary took the wrapping paper off quickly and saw a blue wooden box with inside, little canvas, paint brushes and little paint pots. On the lid was written 'Happy Birthday Clary' and the date.
Clary stood up, hugged him and kissed his cheek. "Thank you, thank you, thank you!"
She then turned towards the others and took everyone in her arms, thanking them.
That's when the doorbell rang.
"Oh noooooooooooo..." All of them were really disappointed to have to leave this early.
"Quick, hide! They can't find us or we'll have to come home!" screamed Isabelle to everybody.
They all hid, but when the parents all came in, looking tired after a long day, not wanting to fight to get their children home, Jocelyn entered the living room and reassured them.
"Don't worry," she said to them, "I've got it covered. Aline, Maia, I know you're behind the couch, Alec come out of the closet. Jordan I can see you under the table. Clary, Isabelle, behind the curtains? Really? And Jace...He's always the hardest to find...Oh right, in the chest."
Jace heard everybody stand up and groaned, saying they didn't want to go yet, but he stayed inside, unmoving, hoping his parents will let him here and go, at least for a little while longer. He heard his mom telling Alec and Isabelle to join their father in the car outside and then nothing. He waited a little while longer and slowly lifted the lid of the chest, which he almost let fall back on his fingers when he saw his mother standing in front of him waiting patiently for him to get out.
He opened his mouth before closing it again when he heard a small laugh coming from behind his mom. Clary had her hand against her mouth to keep herself from laughing again and was looking at him with sparkling gree eyes. He glared at her, trying to stay serious but the corners of his mouth lifted against his will. Clary stifled another laugh then, removing her hand from her face, stuck her tongue out at him. He shook his head before looking at his mother once more, still standing in front of him.
"Jace, come on, get out of here,we really have to hurry. Your father and I have to bring you guys to your grandmother's house remember?"
She caught his arm and helped him stand up.
"I really don't want to go," he moaned, but got out of the chest anyway.
"I know," she said, exasperated, "you've already told us three times today and God knows how many times yersteday."
"But we just got home! We can't leave again!"
"I already explained it yersteday, it's only for the weekend. Your father and I have some important things to do for work and we don't have another solution."
Jace sighed and was going to try to find a new argument when Clary, who had moved closer to Jace, took his hand in hers and staring up at Maryse she said:
"But I have another solution!"
Jace and his mother looked at her, confused. Ignoring them, Clary continued:
"Well yes. Jace can stay here with us!"
Jocelyn and Maryse's eyes widened as Jace smiled. Clary looked only very proud of herself. Maryse leaned closer to Clary after recovering from her shock.
"Honey! It's really nice of you but we can't force Jace on you guys. And you know, your parents are busy enough without having to take care of two...," she turned towards Jace, "unruly kids."
"And sweetie," Jocelyn added, "you can't ask those kinds of things at the last moment. His grandmother is probably looking forward to seeing him, it's too late..."
Jace lowered his head but Clary who was determioned to spend the weekend with her bestfriend looked at the two mothers with puppy dog eyes, praying that this time it would work.
"But it's my birthday...Please please please...!"
Jace joined her and soon they were begging the two women until they finally accepted.
"Fine...," Jocelyn finally said.
"I'll call their grandmother to tell her to only excpect Alec and Isabelle, I'm sure she'll understand."
"But you have to promise you won't make me go crazy!"
"Then all right, Jace can stay..."
And the two kids jumped up and down in the house.
Jace and Clary were now sitting on the couch near the chimney, under a blanket, drinking a cup of hot chocolate and watching some cartoons on their favorite channel when someone knocked on the door. They turned their head towards the noise as Jocelyn dropped her paintbrush on the table and went to open the door. Jace heard before he saw his mother who had come to drop one of his bag filled with clothes. Clary shrugged and turned back towards the TV. Jace watched laugh for a second before he stood up and went to where his mother was standing to say goodbye. When he joined the two adults they were talking about the sleeping arrangements...Again.
"You're sure you don't mind keeping him?" asked his mom. He frowned and raised his gaze to Clary's mom who, to his relief, laughed.
"Not at all, don't worry. There's no problem."
"All right...You better behave Jace," she said to him, sending him a severe look, making sure he understood. He nodded and took his bag from his mother's hands befor setting it quickly at his feet.
"Well we'd better get going then. Robert and I have to be at the office in two hours and we still have to drop Alec and Isabelle at their grandmother's place. Thank you again Jocelyn. You can call us if there is a problem and we'll come pick him up."
Jocelyn smiled and opened the door while replying that she was sure everything was going to be all right. While they said goodbye Jace went outside for a second and waved at his dad who returned the gesture. He then smiled at his siblings but Aled ignored him and Isabelle glared at him and crossed her arms. Jace laughed and shook his head before coming back in, hugging his mother quickly, taking his bag and joined Clary on the couch again. He threw the bag on the floor and sat beside her. Clary smiled at him and took his hand. Without knowing why, every time she did that, his heart would beat faster, no matter what his friends said about how he should stay away from her because 'girls were weird'.
He turned towards his mother.
"I put it in your bag."
He raised his eyebrows before what she was talking about dawned on him and he smiled at her.
She smiled back, waved one last time at him and closed the door behind her. He felt Clary tug at his sleeve.
"What?" he asked.
"What did she put in your bag?"
Jace laughed, "You'll see."
"Goodnight, and don't talk too much," said Jocelyn as she shut out the main light and closed the door. Clary's parents had put a matress next to Clary's bed and as soon as the door was closed, Jace jumped from it and went to his bag.
He took out a package which he hid behind his back when her looked at Clary.
"Is it the thing you wouldn't let me see before?" she asked.
He nodded but didn't say anything.
"I want to see! What is it, what is it?" she continued, half jumping on her bed.
"It's my real present actually... I didn't want the others to see it."
Clary got out from under the covers and told Jace to sit beside her. He then handed her a green package with a golden ribbon. Clary took it fron him really fast and opened it. When she saw what it was, she smiled wildly and hugged him tightly. When she finally pulled away, tears were falling down her cheeks.
"Thank you," she said.
"Why are you crying?" I didn't want to make you cry..." Jace was lost. He didn't know if she was happy or not. She then lifted the pretty wooden box, with flowers everywhere which was full of pastels.
"It's the best gift! I'm crying because I'm happy."
Jace sighed in relief.
"You know...I thought of this gift because I didn't want to forget the day we became friends."
Clary hugged him again, and laying down on her bed with Jace beside her she said:
"I'll never forget it Jace. You'll always be my best friend."
They continue to talk for a while until they couldn't possibly stay awake anymore.
Clary was sure she heard Jace whisper "I will never let you go Clary." Before she fell asleep.
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