Chapter 1: The Marks

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“I’ll have 2 screaming orgasms please.”

Clary rolled her eyes at the inebriated frat boy before spinning around to make his drinks. His bleary eyes traveled up and down her body, the hairs on the back of her neck prickling as she poured the liquor.

“What time do you get off, sweet thang?”

With a sigh, Clary slammed the shots down on the bar. “Not soon enough. And there’s not enough alcohol on the planet to make you a desirable prospect. That’ll be $13.”

“Aww, come on baby. Don’t be like that. Such a sweet thing like y-”

The boy jumped back, startled as a knife dug into the bar directly between where two of his fingers had just been. Clary leaned over the bar, her teeth nearly bared as she growled out a warning. “Next time I won’t miss. That will be $13. Please.”

He stumbled backwards, yanking some bills out of his pocket and tossing them towards her, tripping backwards into the crowd pulsing on the dance floor. Clary snorted as she snatched the money, noting with a smirk that she could safely pocket $17. She glanced to the side, her eyes seeking out her boss. But Magnus was nowhere to be found and she shrugged as she threw the two shots back, shaking her head quickly as the alcohol burned down her throat.

Unconcerned with the mundanes crowding the space in front of the bar, she yanked her dagger out of the wood, slipping it carefully back into the holster strapped to her thigh. She ran a finger over the rune etched into the pommel assuring herself of it’s invisibility before spinning around to continue serving drinks.

“What’s a pretty thing like you doing wit-”

“Save it shit head. What do you want?”

Clary’s emerald green eyes met gold ones as she snapped, narrowing as she took in his appearance. Golden hair fanned around his face, artfully tousled and clearly unintentionally styled. He looked like the sun incarnate, his black clothes giving him the appearance of being draped in vestiges of the night itself.

He was flanked by a pair of siblings, though how Clary knew they were related she wasn’t sure-just a gut feeling. She raised her eyebrow expectantly, waiting for the boy to order, tapping her toe on the dirty floor beneath her, arms crossed over her less than bountiful chest.

“What I want is for you to call Magnus Bane and tell him Jace Wayland is here to see him.”

Her eyes shot wide, her breath hitching in her throat as she gulped dryly. Jace Wayland?!? Which would make his buddies the Lightwood siblings. Clary stepped back slightly, her hand groping for the phone behind her. “Yeah. Sure. I’ll tell him you’re here. Excuse me.”

Jace’s eyes narrowed as he watched the bartender’s confident demeanor vanish. She stumbled slightly as she nearly darted away, disappearing through the nearly invisible door to the side of the bar marked “Employees Only”, panic in her eyes as she held the phone to her ear.

“There’s something odd about her. Did your sensor pick up anything?”

Alec leaned forward, pulling the small device out of his in pocket. He glared down at the sensor, shaking it slightly before putting it to his ear. “No. Demon?”

“No. She seemed…scared of us. But demons can’t see through the glamour so she can’t be one.”

“She scared off a boy a moment ago, though I’m not sure how. He just jumped back, white as a ghost as she leaned forward whispering. Maybe he’s an ex boyfriend or something.” Isabelle shrugged, turning to face the club’s dance floor.

“Shit! Guys we’ve got problems!”

Jace and Alec spun, their seraph blades in their hands, crouched and ready to spring at the whatever threat Isabelle had found. Gold and azure eyes scanned the dim interior, immediately lighting on a trio of demons dressed as goth youths striding quickly toward the back exit.

With a smirk, Jace moved to follow as Alec and Isabelle groaned behind him.

They broke through the door to the alley, eyes widening as they caught sight of the scene in front of them.

The bartender was against the wall, her tiny feet dangling over a foot off the ground as one of the demons held her by the throat. Another demon licked his lips as he raked his nails down her arm, licking the blood that welled to the surface of her porcelain skin. And the trio gasped as they saw the black runes erupt all over her body.

“Shouldn’t have done that.” She smiled, a grin laced with malice as her foot kicked out at the one holding her, catching him in the side. He grunted as he dropped her, the other two snarling as they left their comrade writhing in pain on the dirty ground.

The girl crouched, her red hair flashing in the meager light from the alley as the demons darted toward her. Jace jolted forward, but Alec yanked at his jacket, tugging him back to the shadows.

“Wait! Just watch first.”

Jace spun, facing his parabatai angrily. “She’s a child, Alec! A mundane child! We can’t just-” He stopped as Isabelle’s hand patted frantically at his shoulder.

“Jace-she’s not a mundane. Look at the runes. I’ve never seen some of them! And I DON’T think she needs our help…”

He spun around again, his eyes scanning the alley, widening as they took in the action a few yards away.

Clary had already dispatched one demon, its corporeal form still writhing in agony on the asphalt, smoking where her dagger had sliced into its chest.

“What are you?” The demon to her left hissed, it’s blue spikey hair falling into its eyes as it stared her down. She twisted her head to the right, her eyes tracking the movement of the demon in female form.

“I dont care what she is. She looks delicious!”

Both demons sprung forward and Clary just smiled. As the female fell on her, she yanked the small blade out of her bra, her fist surging upward into its chest. A strangled cry erupted from its mouth as it collapsed in on itself, ichor spraying over Clary as she popped to her feet.

The last demon, it’s eyes startled and wide, took a slow, deliberate step forward. A ragged gash opened across its cheek, the smile splitting across its face distorting horrifically.

“Come on. You know you wanna!” Clary taunted as she clenched her teeth. The runes on her skin could only protect her so much and already the demonic ichor was seeping through her magical protection, burning her bare skin and singeing her clothes. Thankfully her boots remained unscathed and she rocked on her feet, forcing her adrenaline to keep racing.

“SHIT! CLARY!”

She spun around at the sound of Magnus’ voice, her emerald eyes catching his own. Then his startling cat-like eyes widened in horror.

Burning, sharp hot agony roiled through her body, radiating from her shoulder. A sharp gasp escaped her lips as she tipped forward, the demon following her movement as it’s teeth burrowed deeper into her flesh.

Abruptly, the pressure of the bite vanished though the pain still coursed through her. A sharp yell sounded behind her and she felt strong arms envelope her as she sagged.

“Magnus! What the fuck!” The girl who spoke sounded nearly frantic. “Who the fuck is she? Why does she have the marks?”

Clary’s eyelids felt like lead, refusing to open as she gasped in a shuddering breath.

“Isabelle, shut up!” An eerily familiar voice barked from directly above her. She cracked her eyes open, green meeting gold once again. “Just hang on, Clary. We’ll get you back to the Institute and–”

She shot forward, retching as she tried to brace herself upright. She failed miserably, her cheek connecting heavily with the dirty ground of the alley. She lay flat, tremors wracking her body as she felt an icy wetness seep into the leg of her jeans. Her ragged breathing sucked in dirt and grime, choking her as she tried to cough.

“No!! No-Luke…Magnus-get….Luke…”

With no strength left, Clary let her eyes drift shut. And as her consciousness drifted away, the last thing that filled her mind was the golden stare of the beautiful boy kneeling next to her.

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