A teaser...

The burning in Jace's legs becomes more and more difficult to ignore. He wishes that the slap of his shoes on the pavement didn't come off sounding like her name echoing in his head: Clar-slap…y-slap, Clar-slap…y-slap. Out running his thoughts has proven much more difficult than he imagined and now, instead of avoiding the memory of the haunting, beautifully strange, curvy redhead, he's return to the scene where all questions began…Pandemonium. He pauses for only a moment outside the darkened, still club considering his reflection in the black curtained windows—his hair is wild, an unruly halo of spun gold curls; his amber eyes are bright, but curiously sunken and dark-circled; his skin pale, although his cheeks are rosy with exertion and morning chill—the effects of his distraction barely register in his overwrought mind. And then he continues on his way, his feet… Clar-slap…y-slap, Clar-slap…y-slap calling out to her.

His respite provides the opportunity for his body to recover from the muscle exhaustion—self-harm by exercise—and now his legs move with a determination that must be their own. Jace's mind wants to return to the Institute, to a scalding shower, a warm bed, a quieting book, but his body seems to be on the hunt for something that is secret for now. He runs with the intent to cover ground; that ground, however, is unfamiliar. The concrete has been divided into canvases painted to resemble famous works of art and the occasional original piece that captures the artist's vision without fault.

How does one avoid marring Mona Lisa's face or tripping over Starry Night? What a ridiculous… Jace is yanked from his snarky introspection; his nose under assault from the scent of burned coffee, overly sweet frothy liquid confections, and the stench of self-important, pining, purposeless, teenage-angst riddled drivel—a mundane coffee bar on a poetry open-mic all-nighter…

"Filled with copious uncertainty,

he rests his head,

the desk a platform for his misery

while her eyes drink the dread

produced by his insecurities…"

Teenage mundane boys. Ugh, idiots! Thinking that girls will swoon in the stupid not-even-good-enough-to-be-called-prose-nonsense they spew.

Jace, preoccupied by his own thoughts, misses the jingle of the bell signaling the opening, collides with the near impenetrable glass of the coffee shop door. He bounces off and lands gracelessly on his ass.

"Fucking oww!" Jace's growl is not direct toward anyone, but is uttered with enough malice that the one at fault gasps in apologetic shock. A curtain of red blocks from him the shame drifting across her lovely features. Jace launches into a scathing reprimand before even looking to see who has the audacity to lay Jace Wayland on his ass.

"What the fuck!" Jace's livid expression is colored by an embarrassed pink swiping across his cheekbones.

"What the… Oh, my God! Are you okay?" The girls concern tries to interrupt Jace's crazed rant, but fails to pierce the onslaught of his anger.

"What kind of fucking douche-bag idiot…"

"Wow! I'm trying to apologize if you'll just shut…"

"hurls a fucking door…"

"up! Jesus, just shut-up for a minute. Are you physically hurt, or is your ego bruised…"

"open on a crowed sidewalk without first fucking checking…" Jace's pissed, nonsense-rambling is cut short by the invasion of a warm hand on his shoulder and angry, glaring green eyes. Her touch seeps through the fabric of Jace's t-shirt calmly permeating his toughened exterior.

"Good lord! It's about time you shut-up. Why weren't you looking where you were going? I'm sorry I slammed the door open, but…" A soft squeak escapes as her eyes focus in on Jace's face, and she stops speaking abruptly forced into silence.

Okay... I know it's been forever and a day, and that it's super short, but I wanted to post something... Are you angry? I hope not, but here's the fun in a teaser... You, the reader, get to help shape the direction that this chapter is headed. Review with your thoughts and if I use your idea, I'll credit you in big glowing letters (or I would if FF would allow it)!

Also, here's a big kiss (too forward?) for all of you who have favorited, followed and REVIEWED! this story. My heart does flip-flops when I receive a notification that someone cares!

Love you guys. And yes...

I'm still lost in a fairytale!