Never have and never will own the Mortal Instruments.
Clary sat on a bench outside the courthouse, her hands folded neatly in her lap and her foot tapping impatiently on the ground. Inside the courthouse, Sebastian's trial was coming to an end. She knew she should be in there and hear his fate for herself, but she simply couldn't stand being in the same room as him any longer. All throughout the trial and her statement, he shot her glares and she could feel the anger and malice rolling off of him in waves. She didn't want to be in that room if he was somehow found innocent. She didn't want to see the expression on his face if he was freed and able to come after her again.
She heard the sound of the courthouse doors opening followed by multiple pairs of footsteps, but she refused to turn around. She knew the facial expressions of the jury and other witnesses would give away the verdict and she wanted to wait until Jace told her. When the footsteps and chatter faded away, she took a glance around only to find no sign of Jace. He must have still been in the courthouse and she didn't know if that was a good or bad sign.
Unable to take the anticipation anymore, she got up and slowly walked inside. She found Jace talking to another lawyer, but his back was to her. "Jace?" she called quietly.
He turned around and stared at her for a moment, his face unreadable. He excused himself from the other lawyer and rushed over, enveloping her in a hug. Clary's heartbeat quickened and she started to worry. "Jace-" she started, but he cut her off.
"We did it, Clary. We won," he whispered in her ear.
She pulled back from him to find him grinning at her. She broke out into a grin her self and pulled Jace closer to her as a tears leaked from her eyes.
"Hey, don't cry," Jace said softly.
She shook her head lightly. "I can't help it. I'm just so goddamn happy right now."
"Me too, babe."
"Jace," she said, stepping out of his embrace, "what's going to happen to him?"
He looked down at her, a small smile on his face. "Verlac is going to be sent to a prison on the other side of the country for a very long time. Possibly life if we can get more charges against him."
Clary hugged him again. "Good," she murmured.
Clary collapsed onto the couch, the phone falling out of her hand and onto the floor. She had called everyone who didn't already know the verdict to tell them the good news. Jace sat next to her and placed her feet in his lap.
"How'd Jocelyn take it?" he asked.
"She was ecstatic, but a little regretful that she hadn't taken part in the trial. Oh, and she's moving back to New York. She's thinking of starting her own art studio."
"Maybe you should join her in that. I think it would be good for you. You could get your own art out there, make a career out of it."
She shrugged and climbed into Jace's lap, straddling his hips and hooking her arms behind his neck. She placed a chaste kiss against his lips. "Maybe, but I kind of like the job I have now."
Jace cocked an eyebrow at her. "Oh? And what job is that?" he questioned, placing his hands on her hips.
"The assistant of a charming, brilliant, young lawyer."
He smirked at her. "I think your missing a few adjectives. Like gorgeous, sexy, and dashingly handsome."
She leaned away from him and pretended to be in deep thought. "Hm. I'm not sure those are the exact words I would use to describe him."
Jace opened his mouth to reply but was cut off by the shrill ringing of Clary's phone. Sighing, she got off Jace and retrieved the ringing object from the floor.
"Hello?" she answered.
"Hello, Clarissa," the voice on the other end replied, causing her blood to turn to ice. She quickly exited the living room and went into the bathroom, locking the door behind her.
"S-Sebastian, how are you calling me?"
"I was able to pull a few strings and get a couple of phone calls before they ship me off. You know, I'm not too happy with you right now."
Clary scoffed at him. "Yeah? Well there's not much you can do about that now, is there?"
"Don't underestimate me, Clarissa," he growled. "I have connections inside and outside of this prison. Don't think I won't use them to hurt you."
Clary's grip tightened on the phone with her sudden anger. He had no right to do this. He was supposed to finally be out of her life, not continuing to threaten her. But she also knew Sebastian and she knew it was an empty threat.
"I know you, Seb. I know you are not going to have anybody else lay a finger on me. If somebody's going to cause me harm, you don't want it to be anyone else but you. And your ass is going to be rotting in a prison cell. So take your threats and tell them to someone who will actually believe them."
With that, she hung up the phone on him. Clary threw the bathroom door open to find a startled Jace standing on the other side.
"I- I was just-"
She narrowed her eyes at him. "Listening in on my conversation," she finished for him.
"Clary, don't be mad. I was worried when you ran out of the room after answering the phone. I just wanted to make sure you were alright. Are you alright?"
"I'm fine Jace," she said while trying to walk past him.
He grabbed her arm and she flinched away from him, but he didn't seem to notice. "You're not fine, Clare. You just got a phone call from Sebastian. There's no way you can be fine after that."
She yaked her arm out of his grip. "When I say I'm fine, I mean it. I've dealt with his shit for years and now I won't have to anymore. That phone call didn't affect me in anyway... And don't you dare look at me like that."
"Like you feel sorry for me. Like I can't handle this on my own. Like I don't know what I'm talking about."
Closing his eyes, Jace sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. "I'm just worried, Clare. You've been through so much and I don't think you're dealing with it properly. You're lying, Clary. You're covering up what you're really feeling. You're afraid and I know it, but you're putting on this brave girl façade and you don't have to. It's okay to be afraid, Clary. You don't need to be fearless and strong all the time."
She crossed her arms and glared at him. "What are you? My therapist?"
"Goddammit, Clary!" he yelled, causing her to flinch away again. "I'm trying to help you, but you won't listen to me. Maybe you should go see a psychiatrist. They'll be able to help you with all of this."
"So now I'm crazy and need professional help?"
Jace grabbed her shoulders and roughly shook her. "You're not listening to me! After all you've been through you need help. Just like everyone who has been through what you have has needed help. You're not crazy. You're just not dealing with your problems like you should."
Clary froze from his roughness and was staring at him with wide eyes. Jace, suddenly realizing what he did, looked horrified and removed his hands from her shoulders. "Shit, Clare. I'm so sorry." When she still didn't move, he went to comfort her, but that seemed to get her out of her stupor and she backed away.
"Don't you fucking touch me, Jace Wayland. And don't you ever speak to me like that again."
"Not now, Jace. I just- I need some air," she said before hurrying out of the apartment.
She wasn't sure how long she had been wandering the streets of New York, and she didn't really care. She just need time to think and figure things out. Jace had really scared and she had come to realize it wasn't the way he physically acted that scared her. It was what he had said.
The more she thought about it, the more she realized how right he was. She wasn't okay. She was far from it and she wasn't dealing with it. She was hiding behind a mask, acting like everything was fine when it wasn't. Her whole life had revolved around Sebastian and now that he was gone, she just wasn't sure what to do. Raised voices still made her flinch in fear. She couldn't handle unexpected physical contact. Part of her was afraid that Sebastian would manage to escape prison. She was living in constant fear and she needed help.
She looked up to find herself standing outside her and Sebastian's building. Curiosity suddenly latched onto her and she found herself riding the elevator up to the penthouse. Now that Sebastian was gone, there was one room she wanted to look in that she never had the chance to.
Pulling a spare key out from under the door mat, Clary unlocked the door and entered the penthouse. She went straight towards Sebastian's office, but hesitated outside. What was she even looking for? Anything? Or was it just to merely kill the curiosity that boiled inside her?
With shaky hands, she opened the door and switched on the lights. Sebastian's study looked normal to her. A big oak desk sat in the middle of the room with papers stacked ontop of it and computer hooked up and filing cabinets lined the walls. She knew the police hadn't been in here. They hadn't needed to do much evidence searching and what little they did do, they did at his work office.
Clary walked over to the desk and sat in the plushy chair positioned behind it. She looked at all the papers on the desk and found nothing odd. They were all business related graphs and contracts and memos. She dug through drawers, still not finding anything out of place, until she reached the bottom left drawer, which was locked. She took a bobby pin out of her hair and was easily able to pick the lock. Inside the drawer were multiple folders, all with names of different girls on the tabs. She found one with her name on it. Inside the folder were pictures of Clary taken by what she assumed was a private investigator with notes written on the back summarizing her whereabouts and actions. There were a few papers filled with personal information about her.
She set her folder on the desk and looked through the others. She found photos of other girls with notes written by Sebastian. He seemed to be trying to figure out which girl was right for him. He had notes on their obedience, reactions to discipline, how they were in bed, how he predicted they'd look to the public eye, etc. A lot of the women were being compared to Clary. She felt nauseous reading through them, but continued anyway. She found a few files that disturbed her beyond belief. Stamped in red on the folders was the word "Eliminated." When she looked inside she found notes about the women being clingy and not leaving Sebastian alone. He even mentioned some of them were threatening to talk to the police. In each folder there was a note saying, "Too much of a risk. Must be taken care of."
WIth knots in her stomach, she turned on Sebastian's computer and searched each of the girls with the stamped folders. Clary stared at the computer in disbelief. Every girl she searched had either mysteriously disappeared or been involved in an unsolved murder case. She read multiple articles on each woman and kept looking back in their folders. She was so immersed in her digging that she didn't notice somebody else had entered the penthouse.
"Clary?" Jace's voice head snapped up and she saw him standing in the doorway to the office. "What are you doing here? I've been looking for you all night. I was worried sick."
"Jace. I- I found something. Something bad... About Sebastian."
He walked over to her and she began explaining everything. Once she was done going over it all with him, he excused himself to call the police. When he came back in, she was still staring at the folders.
"What do you think he was trying to accomplish?" she asked quietly.
"Honestly, I think he was looking for a replacement. Someone to be the new you once you were gone for good."
Clary looked up at him with tears swimming in her eyes. "So it's my fault he killed and probably abused these women?"
Jace pulled her into a hug. "Oh God, no, Clary. It's not your fault at all. Sebastian is a fucked up son of a bitch and he would have done this eventually."
"I'm so sorry, Jace," she blurted out. "I'm not okay and I lied to you and I was being difficult. But you're right. I need help. I think now more than ever."
"Shh. Clary, it's fine. I know you're scared and don't want to admit to needing somebody else's help. I know you want to only have to depend on yourself. But I will be here for you every step along the way. And with all this new evidence, you can count on never seeing or hearing from Sebastian again in this lifetime."
Clary stood on the balcony of the apartment she and Jace had recently bought together and stared out at the bright lights of the city. It had been six months since she had found those folders in Sebastian's study and Sebastian had received a few life sentences. For the first time in years, she felt absolutely safe.
A pair of arms wrapped around her waist from behind and she didn't flinch at all. She had been going to a psychiatrist once every two weeks and had learned to handle physical contact and not flinch at every little thing.
Jace rested his chin on top of her head and tightened his arms around her. "It's cold out here. You should come inside," he murmured in her ear.
Clary turned to face him, her body pressed against his. "You were supposed to be home an hour ago, Jace. Why were you late? If you got held up at work you should have called."
He started pulling her with him inside. "I know. I have explanation. Let's just get inside first."
With a sigh, she followed him inside and sat at the foot of their bed. Jace stood before her looking extremely nervous. His tie was loosened, the sleeves of his suit were pushed up, and his hair was disheveled. Clary prepared herself for the worst.
"Clary, as you know, we've been through a lot together lately. I've opened up to you more than I have any other person. I've poured my heart and soul out to you and you have done the same. We have grown to know, love, and accept every tiny detail about each other."
"Jace, what is this about?"
"You'll find out in a second. Give me a moment... I have never felt this way about a girl before. I want to spend every breathing second with you. I want to fall asleep next to you every night and wake up next to you every morning."
"Jace, we already sleep in the same bed," Clary said, wondering where he could possibly be going with this.
"Would you please stop interrupting me? If I don't do this now, I'll chicken out. Anyway, I want to grow old with you. I want to be by your side forever and always. I want to know that you're mine and that I'm yours. I want a promise of eternity with you. Clarissa Adele Fray," he said, pulling something out of his pocket and getting down on one knee, "what I'm trying to say is, I want you to give me the honor of becoming my wife. What do you say?" He popped open the box to reveal one of the most beautiful diamond rings she had ever laid eyes on.
She stared at him in shock. He wanted to marry her. He wanted to create a new life with her. He wanted to be with her for the rest of their lives. He wanted her to be solely his and him to be solely hers. He looked at her with expectant eyes and she managed to choke out a "yes."
Jace beamed at her as he slid the ring on her finger. "I love you, Clary Fray."
"And I love you, Jace Wayland."
Okay. So that's the end. I know a lot of you wanted me to continue this story, but honestly I got tired of writing it. So I'm sorry if the ending was disappointing. I wasn't really sure how to end it.
Anyway, thank you all for reading and reviewing this story. I did not expect this story to be as successful as it was and it means a lot to me that so many of you enjoyed. I might write another story in the future, but I'm not quite sure yet. So yeah. I guess this is goodbye, dear readers.
Final reviews would be much appreciated.