Izzy's persistence led me to get my ass up in the end. And, as I stepped foot in our garage, I realized it was not just because she threatened me. We all needed to not make stupid decisions right now, yet Jace had made one. The underground was no place for them to be.
"Hey, Magnus, any chance one of your friends is at underground right now?"
"Hello, Alexander. Good afternoon to you too." Magnus sounded grumpy. "I think Sal went there a few minutes ago actually. Why do you ask?"
Using his connections was a pain in the ass, but I usually made up for it somehow.
"Jace took Clary there to get away from us." I sighed, starting the Jeep's ignition. "Think he could keep an eye on them for a bit? I'll take you out for dinner tonight."
Magnus sighed deeply on the other end, chuckling. "Fine. I'll text him. But instead of going out, we need to have a night in at my place. Who knows what is in store."
Damn it, I was red. "Okay. That sounds great. I'll call you later."
"Love you, Alexander."
"Love you too, Magnus."
Now I just had to go collect the strays, fun…
The group that had brought their own beer provided a nice, pathetic distraction as Jace and I relaxed in the corner. But I could feel someone watching us.
"Jace." He had been in the middle of rant when I interrupted, placing my hand on his.
"What is it?" His demeanor changed when he saw my expression. "Clary, what is it?"
"We're being watched. I can feel it."
And I was right. Out of the corner of my eye I could see Helen, Aline's secret partner, watching us. Not doubt she was curious.
"Who's that?" Jace caught my eye, putting his hand on the table.
"No one important. She's an old friend." When I thought about it, maybe saying hi was a good idea. She had helped me out in the past. "Actually, I'll be right back."
He tried to reach out and stop me, his hand almost curling around my wrist, but I slipped away before he could do anything. Helen seemed happy to see me though.
"Clary, my favorite firecracker, how are you?" She made no move to hide her stash sitting beside her, but Aline did have to slide down. No wonder we didn't recognize her, she had a disguise on. Black hoodies could hide a lot.
As I sat, Jace cocked his head to the side. Yeah, he didn't know everything.
"Not much really, we just needed to escape the press."
"Ah." Helen sighed, giving Aline a pointed look. "I remember giving someone a lecture about social media a few days ago."
Aline grimaced. "I said I was in the wrong already. Can we drop it? I have a reputation to keep up."
Helen's face didn't change. "Never said you weren't vain sweetheart. At least you admitted to being wrong though." Her eyes shifted over to me after she was done. "So, you and Jace a thing now? He seems extremely curious. I'm guessing he doesn't know about all of this."
I peaked over to see him walking our way, a stone cold look on his face.
"He's protective. Sorry." Last thing I wanted to do was blow their cover.
But what put him in this mood?
Great. Sal was here. Clary looked perfectly safe where she was, even though their conversation was suspicious. Sal was the perfect spy though. And him being here meant Alec or Magnus couldn't be far behind.
"Just our luck." Had I been in any fights while here? No. They worried way too much.
Stone-faced, I left my table and approached Clary, ready to flee.
"Jace? How nice to see you. Sit, sit, we were just talking about you."
I didn't recognize the girl, but she seemed eerily familiar.
"What's up? You look upset." Clary got to the point. She seemed a bit on edge too.
Sighing, I reached across the table. "Alec sent his favorite spy to look after us. Sal would not have been eyeing us other wise."
"Damn it. I was having fun." She looked annoyed more than anything, until the person in the black hoodie spoke up.
"I can distract him if you guys want to get out of here."
It couldn't be… "Aline?" I whispered, still in mental shock. "Why are you…" Then I looked at the girl and realized something. "Are you two…"
"Yes, they are. Just keep it under wraps, okay?" Clary's glare made it clear that this was a secret I needed to keep.
"I'm Helen by the way." She forced her hand towards me. "Your sister's savior in many ways."
"Jace, but I assume you already knew that." She shook my hand with the firmest grip I'd ever encountered. Helen wasn't someone to be messed with…
Clary dragged me out of the seat before I could respond though. "I think we need to be heading back. It was nice to see you though." Both of them nodded as we left.
All I could think was: I dated a lesbian.
Where were they? Alec should have found those idiots by now… But Jon was keeping me sane. Simon too, considering he was this one rubbing my back.
"Iz, you are tensing up again." He'd been working on my back for thirty minutes now. Maybe I should have felt bad.
My response came out more like a grunt. "Blame them, not me."
He sighed. "I wasn't blaming you in the first place. Just let them make their own mistakes."
Simon did not understand how dangerous Jace could be if he got in a real fight. Saving his ass, the one time… Well, I got lucky. Actually...The guy was lucky. I still beat him to a pulp though. No one treats me like an object and gets away with it.
"I know Si, but I'm worried about them." Who wouldn't be?
"And why is that?"
All of us, including Jon who was on his phone, jumped at least an inch off the couch. Dad stood in the doorway of the living room, his tie loose.
"Dad. You're home early."
"Of course I am. I missed you all. And I ran into a few old friends in Italy." He took a few steps into the room, followed by two more individuals: Clary and Jon's parents.
"Mom, you look tan." Jon stood up, brushing off his pants for some reason.
Valentine planted a look on his son though. "Where is your sister? We wanted to see how she was too."
Was Jon going to tell them she was on a date? He fidgeted for a second before actually answering.
"She went out with Jace an hour ago. Clary should be back soon though."
Her mom grinned. "Our daughter with your son? Interesting."
They left the room a few minutes later, claiming they had business to attend to. But Jon had his head in his hands as soon as they left.
"They didn't even call." The poor boy couldn't handle the surprise. "Well, at least Clary can have a heads up."
"Very true." Simon retorted, starting to rub my back again.
But somehow I knew she'd react like like he did. I could feel it.
Jace and I's escape was cut short by Alec. He just happened to find a spot right in front of the building, eyeing the door when we came out. My theory? He broke the speed limit getting to our location.
Jace moved himself in front of me, glaring. "You don't need to treat us like children. We can get home on our own just fine." His mood seemed to get worse by the minute.
"Jonathon, get in this Jeep or I will publicly drag you in it. We do not have time for this." Alec discreetly motioned towards the camera men across the street, most likely waiting for a good shot of them fighting.
I, out of pity, climbed in, immune to Jace's protest. But he eventually gave in.
"Let me guess," I said, taking out my phone. "Isabelle made you come find us."
"Maybe," Alec grunted out, turning out of the main street. "She was just worried. That's all."
"And she has blackmail. Or else you would have made her come get us herself."
Jace's dark aura filled the car, barely lifted by his not so charming wit. Alec looked like he was about to hit something.
"Guys, we have another problem. Clary's parents are back. Not that her father isn't nice, but he may not love the fact that you two have gone so fast."
Jace looked almost scared for a moment. "We won't tell him then."
"Exactly, I'll just say we made out a few times. That's all" Alec raised an eyebrow, smirking in the mirror. "What?"
"I was right then…"
"Shut up before I smack you, Alec. It's a pretty easy guess." At that point Jace just needed an opening, but we weren't giving him one.
But an easy guess? "What do you mean by 'easy guess'?"
He froze for a second, the tough guy act dropping. "We were acting different. That's all I meant. Someone could have guessed it by our attitudes, or the way you were glowing. Luckily your brother is oblivious." I couldn't argue with his last remark. "I would be digging my own grave if I said you were easy. Clary Fray, you are the most-stubborn girl I've ever met. But, damn, you have good taste in men."
Damn him. "You're forgiven. Now stop being so damn cheesy."
But our fun was spoiled by two cars pulling on either side of us. They had big cameras and reporters. Damn pigs.
"Alec, you know where to go. Lose them." Jace, suddenly in military mode, tightened our seat belts, then grabbed me around the waist. "It's about to get bumpy. Hold on to me."
And I'm glad I did. Alec swerved sharply onto a dirt road far too small for the pursuers vehicles, knocking me into Jace's chest. It felt much better than possibly being thrown into the door.
"Jace, one's trying to follow. We're too close to home."
"I recommend throwing some mud up then. And now would be a good time to do it."
They were yelling orders at each other as Alec hit the gas, spraying the open top car behind us with mud. The men stopped to scream at us, trying to save their equipment from damage as Alec turned back onto the main road, making a sharp turn into the drive.
The gates closed behind us, leaving any media outside. But the bottom half of the jeep was soaked in mud.
"I'll hose her off later. Just get inside. Your parents are eagerly awaiting your arrival."
We jogged from the garage to the family level, trying to pace ourselves once we reached it. Neither of us were in a family mood. But I had no choice but to see my parents.
"Clary, your safe. We just saw the chase on the news." Mom wrapped her arms around me as soon as she lay eyes on my figure, almost squeezing the life out of my body.
"Good to see you too." I croaked.
Dad came up next, giving me a less painful hug. "You look tired."
"Missed you too, dad."
He grinned, kissing my forehead. "Ditto." At least he let go. "So, your brother informed us that you and Jace are dating? Since when?"
I was going to kill Jon. "We've been dating for a few days now." Saying it made the fact that we had sex seem insane. "It's been nice."
I turned to mom next. "And what did you mean by seeing the chase on the news?"
"Just that," She pointed to TV screen, where the clip of Alec turning onto the dirt road kept playing, up to the point that mud splashed the cameras. "Good job fending them off by the way."
"She's tough, that's for sure." Jon appeared in the kitchens doorway, gnawing on some pizza. "How was your date?"
Jon… "It was good. Did you order pizza?"
"Yep. He's about to bring you a slice though. Chill."
He was going be around my parents after all of that? Yay…I settled on the love seat, waiting. Of course my folks loved him, who wouldn't? But they had never meet him as someone their child was dating, only Jon's friend.
"Jace, how good to see you." He walked in with two plates and some sodas, looking more nervous than anything.
"It's good to see you too. How was Europe?" Jace casually sat down next to me, handing my food over.
Dad eyed us as mom passionately explained how great their business trip was. She was so lost in thought that she didn't see him mouth 'hurt her and you'll be six feet under' to Jace. Jace, of course, paled, nodding in acceptance of his possible death. He could be a cocky piece of shit, but right now was a time he knew to tone it down.
Hopefully we could go home without any casualties.
Sorry for the lack of updates, college took up a lot of time and energy. But I'm back! Seriously, I hope you guys enjoyed this chapter. Y'all know the drill.