Jace sprung backward, lunging toward the nightstand to flick on the lamp. And almost wished he hadn’t.
Clary was sprawled across his bed in nothing but black lace underwear, which should have been the epitome of sexy. But instead, her lips were tinged a sickly blue color, her limbs splayed out awkwardly as she twitched.
Without thought for his topless state or her distinct lack of attire, he swung her up in his arms as he darted toward the door.
“MAGNUS!” His voice echoed through the hallway as he cursed himself for picking a bedroom away from the others. Clary’s head flopped backward, a sickening bounce that make Jace’s stomach roil and pitch in fear. Isabelle’s head poked out of her room as Jace ran past, her eyebrows furrowing as she moved to follow, wrapping a robe securely around herself.
Luke emerged from the hallway leading to the kitchen, the bowl of whatever he was eating splashing noisily to the wood floors as Jace streaked past, Clary’s hair streaming behind him.
With Isabelle and Luke pounding behind him, Jace chanced a quick look down at his girlfriend-and wished to the Angel that he hadn’t. Her eyes were mostly closed, though the lids fluttered, showing only white underneath. Her lips were now solidly blue and he noticed a series of raised bumps appearing down her throat and onto her chest.
He skidded to a halt, the door to Alec’s room already flung open as Magnus stuck his head out. “What’s with all the noi-Clary?!?”
Jace shoved past him, ignoring Alec’s yelp of protestation as he nearly shoved him off the bed. “Magnus, help her! Please! She can’t breathe and-”
Jace’s plaintive explanation halted as a sharp sob escaped his lips and Magnus sprung into action. “Get him out of here. Now.”
Luke grabbed onto Jace’s arm, thankful when Isabelle grabbed his other as he began to fight.
Magnus’ hands ran softly over Clary’s body, his eyes shooting wide as he barked an order to Alec. To his credit, the dark haired boy sprung into action immediately, giving his sister a quick look as she dragged his best friend out of the room.
x . x . x . x . x
Jace’s hair was sticking up in odd tufts as he paced outside Alec’s room.
Isabelle leaned against the wall, nibbling at her manicure, while Luke crouched with his head in his hands.
“Someone should tell Mom and Dad.” Isabelle’s voice was lifeless-flat. Jace hadn’t realized how much she actually cared about Clary, but he could see the worried tension coursing through her. Sighing, he wrapped his adopted sister in his arms, his cheek pressing lightly against her hair.
“Can you do it please? I can’t-I can’t leave here.” His voice was nothing but a whisper, but Isabelle nodded her assent, quickly squeezing her arms around him before turning and shuffling down the hall.
“What happened?” Though his head was in his hands and his voice muffled, Jace cringed at the slight accusatory tone in Luke’s words.
“I have no idea. We were just-we left the party…and we were-” Jace glanced up quickly, averting his eyes a moment later. “-celebrating in my room. But then she just-by the Angel, I don’t know!”
He collapsed into himself, his arms wrapping around his bare torso as a sob ripped it’s way out of his throat. Luke’s eyes widened as he shot to his feet, pulling the boy into his arms in a tight hug.
“She’ll be fine. She’s a fighter. I promise you, she’ll be fine.”
Jace sucked in a shaky breath, trying to stem the flow of tears his traitorous eyes insisted on releasing. He never cried. Never. It had been drilled into him from a young age that crying was showing weakness-something he was never allowed to do. But this he couldn’t deal with. He’d just found her. His fingers tightened in the loose cotton shirt Luke wore as his body was wracked with tremors. She was everything-everything he never knew he wanted and absolutely everything he needed. And it was unfathomable to think he might-Jace choked as he cut that thought off, refusing to even contemplate the possibility.
“Shhhhh. It’s fine, son. It’s fine. She’ll be fine.” A tear squeezed it’s way out of the werewolf’s eye as he tried to reassure Jace. Not only him, but he was most definitely trying to reassure himself. Clary had been in some tight spots-some extremely uncomfortable and downright dangerous situations. She’d been beaten to a bloody pulp more times than he could count and the venom whenever she got bit always did a number on her. But he’d never seen her so…lifeless before.
A sharp piercing wail broke through the door and both men’s heads whipped up, Luke blinking rapidly as the ends of Jace’s hair stung his cheek. And he tightened his arms around the boy, his instincts prickling as Jace’s muscles coiled, ready to spring at the door.
“Let Magnus work. You trust Alec, right?” Jace paused, nodding infinitesimally as Luke gripped his arms even tighter. He forced the blond’s eyes back to his, staring into those tawny depths. “Then trust that they will save her.” With a low sigh, Jace nodded again, pulling himself out of Luke’s arms, wringing his hands as he began pacing.
“What the hell is going on?!?” Jocelyn stomped down the hall and Luke exhaled heavily at the whiny cadence of her voice.
“It’s Clary. She-”
With a huff, she tossed her hands in the air before crossing them over her chest, her foot tapping impatiently. “What Luke, what? What did Clary do now?”
Jocelyn’s eyes swung to Jace as they narrowed. Her eyes were emerald, the exact same shade as Clary’s and yet they sent a chill down his spine. “This is all your fault! What did you do to her this time? If it’s not turning her against me or leading her right into the clutches of a stark raving madman it’s-”
“Poison.” Jace and Luke both whipped their heads toward the door, which no one had noticed was wide open. Magnus stood in the doorway, backlit and seeming to shimmer with the anger seething out of his very pores. “Someone poisoned her. I don’t know how and I don’t know when. I haven’t been able to identify it yet, which makes pinning down when it happened difficult. But she’s stable now. I have no idea when she’ll wake up though.”
The warlock’s oddly cat-like eyes sought out Luke’s, a silent plea in them and Luke knew there was more he wasn’t being told. “Here, go to her. I’ll deal with this.”
His scathing words did nothing but make Jocelyn scoff, but Jace nodded and ducked around his best friend’s boyfriend, disappearing into their room.
“Why are you here Ms. Morgenstern? Obviously it’s not out of concern for Clary.” Magnus questioned, standing beside Luke as Clary’s mother huffed in annoyance.
“The little tart probably poisoned herself. God knows she didn’t want to be stu-” A sharp choking noise stuck in her throat at Luke’s hand circled her neck, pinning her against the wall violently. Her hands pried at his fingers, her nails scratching deep gouges into his wrists and forearms as she fought to get free.
“Do not ever say something so despicable again, do you understand me?” The low growl slithered through the air, crushing any remaining breath out of her lungs as she saw the animal inside him fight to break out. “You have done nothing but throw her away her entire life. And I’m done. Find somewhere else to stay or we will. I will not have you tormenting her or that poor boy for another second. Do you understand me?”
Jocelyn’s eyes were wide, bugging slightly out of her head as she tried to gasp for breath. A choked whimper managed to sneak past her lips and she nodded vigorously, heaving in great deep breaths of air as he dropped her unceremoniously to her knees.
x . x . x . x . x
Three days. It had been three days and Jace was going out of his mind with worry. He hadn’t eaten, he’d barely slept and he hadn’t showered, much to Isabelle’s chagrin.
“Jace, this isn’t what she’d want.”
“I don’t care. I’m not leaving her side until she’s awake.”
Alec sighed, rolling his eyes toward Magnus pleadingly.
“What? If that was you, I wouldn’t be moving either.” Alec huffed at his boyfriend, clearly disgruntled that he wasn’t siding with him.
“Why are you guys here?”
Jace turned his eyes tiredly toward the trio, his hand still resting in Clary’s limp one, his other stroking her hair slowly.
“I think I found…well something. It’s not like anything I’ve ever seen before. But it looks like common antifreeze laced with…demon blood or venom. There wasn’t enough left to test for sure, but that’s the smell I got off of it.”
Jace’s eyebrows came down hard and he blinked his eyes tiredly. “Wait, what? Where was it?”
“That glass. The glitter one? I never gave that to Max. And it wasn’t IN the glass…it was rubbed along the rim. That’s why it didn’t have an immediate effect.” Isabelle twisted her hands together nervously. “I’m sorry Jace. I really really never gave it to Max. I just-I don’t…”
“Hey, Iz. It’s alright. I believe you. Although that leads me to the disturbing conclusion that someone else in this house has it out for us, but still-I believe you.”
She breathed a sigh of relief, rounding the bed to sit on Clary’s other side. She gently picked up her hand, rubbing her thumb along the inside of Clary’s wrist as she thought.
“This is scary.”
Magnus conjured a chair, seating himself primly as Alec stood sentry behind him, rubbing the warlock’s shoulders lightly.
Jace glanced furtively around, debating what he wanted to do as he looked at the people closest to him. Making his decision, which had actually turned out to be incredibly easy as he saw the worry etched into all their faces, he took a deep breath to gather his thoughts.
“Alec, draw a privacy rune on the door.” The dark haired boy raised a questioning eyebrow. “Please. I’ll explain then.”
Tugging his stele out of his boot, Alec obeyed the command before returning to Magnus’ side.
“What’s this about? What’s the big secret?”
Jace narrowed his eyes at Magnus momentarily, ignoring the siblings as he questioned him. “You knew about Clary all along, right?” The warlock nodded stoically. “You’ve helped Jocelyn and Luke deceive, not only the Clave but the entire Shadowhunter world. You knew Valentine was alive.” Again, Magnus nodded slowly. “Now, you need to be completely honest with me right now, otherwise I’m going to throw you out on your ass so hard your grandchildren will feel it.”
“Bitch, please. Like we’d be able to procreate? Not without a miracle, hunny.” Magnus waved a hand at the exasperated huff from behind him. “But you do realize that everything I did was only for Clary. I can’t stand Jocelyn. Luke’s cool, but it took awhile for us to warm up to each other.”
“Why didn’t you tell us about Clary’s brother?”
Magnus furrowed his brows. “We did tell you. The first day you met Clary. Luke went over that shit the Clave always shoved down your throats and then we told you the truth.”
“But not the whole truth, huh? Why didn’t you tell us Jonathan was alive?!?”
Magnus jumped to his feet, his eyes wide and panicked as he stared at Jace’s narrowed amber eyes. “Excuse me! He is NOT alive! I was the one that pulled the bones out of the house!”
Jace scoffed. “Well, that’s funny since he showed up at Taki’s a few weeks ago, cornering us and scaring the ever loving shit out of me!”
His raised voice drove Magnus back into his seat, his face white a ghost. “No. No, it’s not possible.” His fingers, glittering with sparkly polish and multiple rings, wiped down his face. His cat eyes were wide with some emotion Jace had trouble identifying. But then they whipped up, a burning determination shining out of them as Magnus stood, striding quickly over and dropping to his knees in front of the Shadowhunter.
“I swear-by the Angel, I had no idea. I tried-I tried to protect him.” His eyeliner ran in small rivulets as the tears spilled over, coating his cheeks. He didn’t move to wipe them away, trying to appeal to Jace in any way he knew how. His eyes never wavered, not even as those amber eyes bored into him, stripping away every defense he had ever constructed.
After a tense moment, Jace nodded slowly. “Alright. Fine.” His head shook tiredly as he glanced once more at Clary. “That still begs the question then-where did he go? And can we trust him to help us or is he working with Valentine?”
“Walk us through it, Jace. Walk us through it. What exactly happened?” Isabelle prodded, still running her fingers lightly over Clary’s arm.
Without preamble, Jace pulled Magnus to his feet as he began telling the trio about their rendezvous with Clary’s brother. Alec’s eyebrows rose nearly to his hairline while Magnus’ dropped down low, a glower distorting his handsome face.
“It doesn’t make any sense. Only those in the Circle knew about the Uprising. And only Jocelyn, Luke and me knew about the…counter-Uprising, I guess. Valentine barely had enough left in him to fake his death and escape. Jocelyn and Luke were devastated when I found the boy’s bones…fuck!”
Alec wrapped his arms around his boyfriend as the warlock’s shoulder shook-whether from rage or sadness Jace couldn’t really tell. But one thing still remained to be asked.
“Well, obviously Clary can’t stay here. We have no idea who the traitor is and I’m not willing to risk her life like that. Either way I’m taking her away. But-he claims all he wants to do is protect her. So, I guess the real question is, do we trust him?”