Clary's Point of View
In the two months I'd been here, I'd found it laughably easy to avoid almost all forms of life. My only living companion was the potted plant on the windowsill. My office was really just an office within an office and no one entered the vice-president's office without being summoned.
Another surprise: Jace Herondale, despite being a womanizer, was not a jerk. In fact, he was quite a good person. Every month, he'd donate a portion of his pay check towards a charity, he treated all his coworkers and employees equally. He never questioned any of my odd habits and trusted I knew what I was doing. He never asked me why I chose to spend my lunch breaks in my office instead of in the cafeteria with the others. He didn't care I preferred to keep the blinds over the windows at all times no matter how nice it was outside. Jace Herondale was an angel.
And that was a problem.
Jace Herondale was not the first pretty boy I'd worked with, but he was the first one who was kind. He was the first who had no misogynistic views towards women. He was the first to ask for my opinions. He was a ray of sunlight, brightening people's days wherever he went. He answered all my questions, no matter how irrelevant.
He was the ideal informant.
I hadn't exchanged many words outside of simple pleasantries with Jace Herondale yet, though. It was vital to the success of the mission that Jace Herondale didn't suspect me. Despite his occasional air headed demeanour, you didn't become the vice-president of one of America's biggest companies without some brains. Subtlety was key to success.
My life had changed dramatically over the last two months. My lifestyle was almost normal. That is, if you overlook how many sharp toys I had concealed on my person at all times and all my late night and early morning training to stay in shape.
I had dyed my hair a dull brown colour and wore black contacts. Each morning I straightened my hair to keep up my guise. I had brief glimpses of both Jonathan and Valentine but not enough to strategize a plan. It was almost as if the father-son pair knew they were being targeted.
But, I had all the time in the world to complete this task. In all honesty, I was quite content with my current lifestyle. There was no need to hurry.
Yet time was running out.
Something Luke always said was "the longer you act on an undercover mission, the greater chance of failure".
And for an assassin, failure always means death.
I'd already spent two months and while it wasn't the longest I'd spent undercover, it was the longest I'd spent with such little progress.
With Luke's words in mind, I headed out for another day at work.
"Hello Miss Fray," Jace greeted me as he always did.
I nodded and walked towards my office but before I got there, Jace's voice stopped me.
"Just a moment, if you don't mind. I'd like to steal a couple minutes of your time." With a nervous smile pasted on his face he rose from the couch under the open window and approached me. I stiffened, ready to defend myself but Jace Herondale stopped about five feet away from me.
"Miss Fray, I think you're an interesting woman. Never before has a woman been able to resist me for so long before. I think we should go on a date. How does Saturday sound?"
"I…er...I'm not interested," I stammered before diving inside my office. I didn't want to stay behind long enough to see his reaction.
Usually, I was glad my office was just an office within an office but right now, that fact suffocated me.
This was one of a handful of times in my life when I wished I had friends to talk to. Friends who I could trust and talk about superficial topics with them. When I wished I could bask in the warm embrace of the sun. When I wished I had a regular job and maintained regular relationships with my coworkers and was allowed to date young, rich bosses who also happened to be hot.
Jace Herondale was getting under my skin, and I didn't like that.
Assassins don't get attached. We do whatever it takes to make the kill and leave. There is no time to kill guilt, no time to think twice, no time to second guess yourself. Assassins lived in the now and living even a mere few seconds in the past means you're dead.
Unfortunately, throughout the day, I was quite distracted by Mr. Herondale's proposal. Was it the lack of verbal exchange that endeared me to him? I'd seen pictures and heard stories of his past girlfriends. Gorgeous, supermodel-esque girls who clung to his every action. That was a fact I knew beforehand. I put much effort into my appearance as plain and unmemorable as possible. As always, an assassin's goal was to blend in, so why did Jace Herondale decide to single me out?
That question tormented me for much of the day. Even after I returned home, Jace Herondale's words plagued me.
But life as an assassin was equivalent to a life of solitude. Trust no one but yourself, believe nothing but your instincts. I wasn't about to be caught with my hand in the cookie jar.
My second surprise came thirty minutes after midnight, when I heard a knock on the door. I lived in a secluded neighbourhood, wasn't friendly with any of my neighbours and never left when someone could be able to see me. My windows were all boarded up as was the peephole. I enjoyed my privacy and no one ever knocked on my door.
Gripping a thin dagger in one hand, I crept towards the door, suspicious at who would have the misfortune to end up at my door and why they were there in the first place.
In less than three seconds, I had the door open, my unwanted guest in and pinned against the wall with a knife at his throat and a bruise blossoming on his cheek and kicked the door shut.
I took a good look at him. He was tall, well over six feet tall. His lean figure made him appear closer to seven feet. He had distinct oriental features and captivating cat eyes. He was also covered head to toe in glitter.
With my blade against his jugular, I glared at him. "Who are you and what is your business here?"
Slowly, he raised his empty hands. "My name is Magnus Bane," he choked out. "I was the one who hired you to dispose of Camille Belcourt. I heard of Mr. Garroway's passing and did some of my own digging to locate you. You, my dear, are quite good at the art of disguise and going undercover. Luckily, I can be quite persistent."
"What is it you want from me?" I hissed.
"I have a boyfriend who has a sister who has a boyfriend that is being tormented by a scoundrel by the name of Raphael Santiago. I am willing to pay you in excess of two million to dispose of Santiago."
Assassins regularly made hundreds of thousands for each kill. The money meant little to me as Luke had raised me on a minimalist lifestyle but two million was no small sum. I could feel my mind hesitate for the briefest moment before rejecting his offer.
Luke always said the only successful assassins were those who couldn't be thwarted by money.
"I can not accept this. Mr. Bane, there are other assassins out there willing to take this offer. I am working on my last job before retirement and I have no wishes to drag out this lifestyle any longer than I have to."
"I respect your choices, Shadow, but you haven't seen the last of me yet. No other assassin could do as clean a kill as you. Darkness has consumed you and it will be hard to leave it behind. You are the Shadow and your name is synonymous with death. No matter what trail your life leads you, you will always end up in the clutches of darkness."
I removed the knife from his throat. "I hope you're wrong, Mr Bane."
He then gave me a look filled with such intensity I could feel his eyes looking through my skin, through flesh and blood and into my soul. I could feel his feel seeing what darkness my soul had been filled with. How damaged I truly was inside.
"I hope so too, Miss Fray, I hope so too." He turned and let himself out.
And I was shaken up enough not to wonder how he knew my name.
A/N: Well, it's been over a year since my last update and I didn't like how the story was going so I'm rewriting part of it. Jace is portrayed as the bad guy so often and I wanted to show Clary has to ability to be a badass assassin too.
Hope you liked it!
(To all silent readers: feedback is the best thing an author can receive, no matter how harsh. I hope you'll find it in your heart to spent thirty seconds of your day to leave me a review or send a PM. Thanks!)