Hello. This is my first Mortal Instruments Fanfic. Please tell me what you think. Sorry if there are grammar or spelling mistakes. Please tell me if there are and I'll fix them.

Hope you like it! :)

I do not own any characters...unfortunately.

August 27.

Jace laid in his bed with a pillow over his face. He knew what today was. He dreaded it every year. It made him want to end it. But then he'd think of him and remember that he wouldn't want that.

Four years ago, when Jace was thirteen and Max was seven, his life changed. His step-parents, Maryse and Robert Lightwood, were out shopping for the barbeque they were having and left Jace and Max home while Isabelle and Alec were out with friends. Max and Jace were outside on the patio in the backyard. They were just messing and playing around by the in-ground pool. Then, Jace told his little brother that he had to go to the bathroom and he wanted him to stay inside until he was done so that nothing would happen to him.

Jace knew he had to be quick in the bathroom with his little brother just on the other side of the door waiting for him. As soon as he was finished he opened the door. Max was gone. Jace walked through all of the rooms calling for his brother. "It's not time for hide and seek, Max!" he called. He walked through the kitchen and something out the window caught his eye.

His heart sank. "No," he breathed.

He busted out of the kitchen door and onto the patio where the pool was. Ice ran through his veins as he sprinted to the pool. Max was floating face-down in the pool. Fear continued to run through his body as Jace dove in after his brother.

He pulled his brother up onto the patio and tried everything he knew to get him to cough up the water. He felt for a pulse. Nothing. Frantically, he started CPR again but it was no use. Tears streaming down his face mixed with the chlorine water from the pool. Jace pulled his little brother's limp, lifeless body into his arms and held him tight, racking sobs taking over.

I killed my brother, he thought. Then he cried out and clutched Max even more.

Even now, four years later, Jace could recall the whole day like it happened yesterday. Everyone took it hard. Max was a ray of light, a star, and practically the glue that held the family together. He always knew how to brighten your day and wasn't afraid to tell you if you were in the wrong. He had kept Jace in line.

"I'm so sorry, Max. I love you, buddy. I'm sorry," Jace whispered to his dark room.

He slowly sat up and rubbed the sleep from his eyes. He ran a hand through his messy blonde hair. He glanced at the clock on his nightstand, 5:36. Jace groaned and got up, walking to his bathroom to take a shower. He stood there and let the hot water run over him. Just being alive today made him almost physically sick. He couldn't bear it. He couldn't bear being alive when his brother was dead. He let him die. He killed his brother, so he deserved to die as well.

Jace turned off the water and stepped out of the shower. He walked out of the bathroom into his room and sat down at his desk. He opened the bottom drawer and slid back the false bottom. He pulled out the razor blades that he kept hidden in there. Still without a shirt due to his shower, Jace stretched out his arms in front of him and examined them. Dozens and dozens of white scars and fresh red lines and gashes filled his arms. A row of parallel cuts ran along the inside of his right arm. They stopped about two inches from his wrist.

Taking a blade in his left hand, he ran it along his skin leaving five more deep cuts-one for every year Max was gone and one for good measure-that were parallel to the ones before them. Blood immediately surfaced and ran down his arm.

Relief. Temporary, but relief. Jace let go of the breath he was unaware that he was holding and took a tissue and wiped up the blood that had dripped onto his desk. I could end it, he thought. I could end it and be with Max. I deserve to die. But then, Jace thought of Max, thought of what he would tell him in this kind of situation. He knew that it would be along the lines of, "Hold on, Jacey, you're strong," or "I love you, Jacey, don't do this to yourself."

With Max in mind, Jace stepped back into his bathroom to clean up his arm.

After putting on a long sleeve gray shirt, jeans, and his black Converse, Jace grabbed his bag and headed down the stairs. Walking into the kitchen, he found Isabelle and Alec waiting for him. Isabelle was in her usually ridiculous first day of school outfit while Alec just wore his usual.

When they saw their brother, Isabelle said, "We're all accounted for, let's head out." She lead them out of the house onto the sidewalk. They walked side-by-side to school. Isabelle took Jace's and Alec's hand in hers. Today, they just needed each other. And they needed a distraction. This year, school would distract him.

When they got there, they snagged a picnic table in the corner in the courtyard in front of the school. Simon, a friend of theirs, walked up and sat next to Isabelle.

"What's up, Izzy?" he asked, nudging her playfully.

Jace could have sworn he saw her blush but it was gone too quickly.

"I'm fine, Simon," she said in and obviously faked indifferent voice.

Everyone knew that they liked each other, they just didn't want to admit it so they played this stupid game.

"Well," Jace said, pushing himself up from the table, "I'm going to leave you two love birds alone." He tapped Izzy on the nose and smirked. They both blushed and looked embarrassed. He left and walked behind the school and leaned against the brick wall. He closed his eyes and let his thoughts take over. He slid down the wall and sat on the ground. He reached his hand into his bag and pulled out a pack of cigarettes and a lighter. He lit one and took a long drag. He usually never smoked, but today was an exception. He needed an extra relief.

He didn't know long he sat there before someone kicked his leg. He didn't want to be bothered so he didn't respond, hoping whoever it was would just go away. They kicked him again, not forcefully, but definitely not just a nudge. They kicked again and Jace lazily lifted one eyelid and saw a short girl with fiery red hair.

"Hey, would you mind stopping that?" Jace asked bitterly. "Some people like to be left alone." He closed his eyes and hoped again that she would leave but she didn't. She nudged him with her toe.

"I'm only bothering you because my lighter is out of fluid and I'd like to have a cigarette before I start my first day here in this hell-hole," she said.

Jace slowly opened both of his eyes and stared at the girl. It took all he had not to gasp. He thought she was beautiful. She was short and thin. She had curly, bright red hair and her eyes were a fierce green Her clothes showed that you didn't want to mess with her. Not biker chick or bad-ass, they just said 'stay away.'

She nudged him again. "Aye, I'm talking to you."

"Yes?" He lifted an eyebrow.

"Ugh, you're impossible." She shook her head. "I asked if I could use your lighter."

"What makes you think I should give it to you?" He flashed her a small grin.

She sighed and looked down at the lighter sitting on his left leg. In one swift move, before he could stop her, she swooped down and snatched it off of his lap.

"Hey, Red!"

She laughed but it didn't reach her eyes. She pulled out a cigarette and lit one. She threw the lighter back at Jace and slid down the wall next to him. She took a drag before tilting her head to get a look at him.

"Are those contacts?" she asked.


"Your eyes. Are they contacts?"

"Oh...no, they're not." Jace slipped his lighter back into his bag. He closed his eyes again, wishing that this beautiful redhead would just leave him alone.

"I've never seen eyes like yours before. I think they're pretty."

Jace's eyes shot open and looked at the girl. She smiled and again, like her laugh, it didn't reach her eyes. He suddenly felt bad for this girl. He didn't know why. It was a foreign feeling for him. He never felt bad or sorry for someone.

"What's your name?" he asked.

She stared at him for a moment then, "Clary. Clary Fray."

Clary, he thought. Pretty name. He smiled.

"What about you?" she asked.

He hesitated for a moment. "Jace."

"Just Jace?"

"Of course not."

"So what's your last name then?"

"I don't know that I should tell you. Mommy tells me not to talk to strangers." He spoke in a childish voice.

Clary rolled her eyes and said, "But I'm not a stranger. You know my name now."



The bell rang and Jace stood up, wanting to leave. He walked away without saying anything to Clary.

It took a few seconds but then Clary understood. His last name was Herondale. Jace Herondale.

Looking to make sure no one was around, she tried it out. "Jace Herondale." She liked the way it rolled off her tongue. She got up and went in the school. She really hoped her first day didn't suck too much.

I know this is pretty dark so far. Sorry, I had to put in the whole thing with Max and then Jace for the sake of the story. I promise that every chapter won't be depressing like this one. Please tell me what you think. Should I continue? Please review:)