“Whose place is this again?”
Magnus rolled his eyes and sighed for the umpteenth time since they’d snuck out of the Institute. Jace carried Clary as Isabelle walked alongside with a dagger brandished, not that mundanes could see them, while Magnus and Alec strolled casually along. The warlock narrowed his eyes at a passing cop who eyed the couple a little too closely, sticking his tongue out at his back once he’d passed.
“Real mature, man. Now-where are you leading us?” Jace’s words had a bite that Alec had never heard. He hated to admit it, but Clary really had been good for Jace-once Alec got passed his initial hatred of the girl.
“A friend of mine. That’s all you need to know. She’s away on…business and said I could crash at her place. She doesn’t know anything about any of you, so there shouldn’t be any trail to you. Don’t worry.” His gaze softened as he glanced over his shoulder. “Trust me, Goldilocks. I love Clary too.”
Isabelle gigglesnorted as Jace nearly tripped over nothing. “I-what?!?! I don’t-guh…just-what?!?!”
Alec and Magnus shared a look as Jace sputtered behind them. “All in due time, duckling. No worries.”
Jace scowled at the warlock’s back as he chuckled. Magnus yanked his phone out of his pocket, squinting at the screen through the dim twilight. “Uh…it’s…ah!”
The group stopped, their eyes going wide as they looked up toward the building in front of them. Pulling a gaping Alec behind him, Magnus sauntered through the revolving door. Jace shouldered his way through, careful not to catch any part of his girlfriend in the doors.
They made their way to the elevator as Isabelle muttered under her breath about the gaudy decor while Jace rolled his eyes. Alec snorted at a particularly vulgar comment about gold leafing and Magnus wrapped an arm around his shoulder, much to the distaste of an older couple also waiting for the elevator. Alec shot them an apologetic smile as Magnus towed him onto the first car to arrive.
The went up. And up and up and up. “Magnus? What floor does your friend live on?”
“Penthouse.” He grinned irritatingly as Jace raised an eyebrow, cuddling Clary closer to his chest. “She’s…well, she’s fancy.”
Alec rolled his eyes as the elevator dinged, swishing open to reveal an ornate hallway leading to a heavy mahogany door with a gorgeous forest carved in gentle relief. They followed Magnus like ducklings as he released Alec’s hand to dig into the pocket of his painted on jeans. Pulling out a heavy, ornate silver key he smirked as he inserted it into the lock, clicking it to the right.
“And, welcome-to paradise!”
The door opened with an audible swoosh sound and even Alec’s breath caught in his throat. The apartment-if it could even be called a mere apartment-was spectacular. Clean lines flowed throughout the open floor plan, the colors muted but brilliant in the fading twilight shining through the floor to ceiling windows. Jace’s jaw dropped at the massive television taking up most of the opposite wall, salivating at the possibilities. Isabelle wandered aimlessly, yelping when she came across the kitchen that even Wolfgang Puck would have cried over. Not only were the appliances top of the line and fit for a gourmet chef, but there were so many! Two stoves plus a double wall oven, a beautiful professional quality stand mixer-even a deep fryer. She ducked her head into a doorway on the right, her eyebrow raising as she caught sight of one washer, but two dryers.
“She hates to wait. The dryer took too long-so she bought two. Now there’s always one available whenever the washer’s done.” Magnus’ voice echoed around the tiled room behind before he let out a soft snort. Isabelle pulled back, her arms trailing uselessly by her side as she gaped around once again. “Not that she’d deign to actually USE a washer or anything. But the principle remains apparently.”
He wrapped an arm around the younger girl, chuckling as he led her out of the kitchen and down the hallway to the room she’d be staying in.
Jace, meanwhile, had immediately staked his claim on the largest room at the furthest end of the hallway. The light bleeding through the nearly translucent curtains seemed to set Clary’s hair ablaze as he laid her gently on what felt like a down comforter.
She shifted slightly before settling into whatever had trapped her inside her own mind. Jace sighed, raking his hand down his face. He needed her. He needed her to wake up, to help him make decisions, to help him figure everything out. Somehow in the past few months, she’d become indispensable to him.
He had no energy to deal with the others. They still had decisions to make, parents to fend off when it was discovered they were gone, and Jace had to actually be the one to contact Jonathan-and he wasn’t quite sure how he felt about that. With a graceless flop, he landed on the bed next to Clary, her small body bouncing slightly as he settled in beside her. Her warmth crept through the thin cotton of his shirt as he wrapped his arms around her loosely, his tawny eyes never leaving her face as he brushed his fingertips lightly over her ruby lips.
With a silent plea on his lips, he pressed them softly to hers before settling in for a short rest. After all, they had way too much to do and way too little time to do it.
x . x . x . x . x
Jace sighed as her lips trailed a blaze of fire down his chest, her hair tickling his sides as she descended. A sharp cry left his lips as her teeth grazed his exposed hipbone, his hands tangling in her fiery locks. Her fingers trailed lazily from his ankle to his knee, continuing up until they grazed his inner thigh teasingly. His head shot back into the fluffy pillows, his eyes squeezing shut as pleasure coursed through him.
His eyes shot open, his breathing curiously heavy as the sunlight streamed in through the sheer curtains. And he reared back as a pair of warm emerald eyes stared right back at him.
Her voice was a welcome relief despite the fact that his tailbone was more than likely bruised as he tumbled off the bed. The fact that she scrambled lithely after him, her head peeking over the side of the tall bed, made his heart flutter.
“Clary!” He popped to his feet, ignoring the sharp pain in his back as he leapt beside her.
She giggled as she bounced into the air, reaching her hands out for him like a toddler. His lips descended on hers, claiming them in a heated kiss that made her moan, the sound caught low in her throat. She giggled again as his lips traveled away, grazing over her eyelids, her cheeks, her jaw, her neck, down to her collarbone-finding any available patch of skin he could. After a few moments of exploration, he sighed as he rested his forehead against hers, his eyes closing as the emotions welled up in his chest, threatening to choke him.
“I thought-you…” He choked back a sob. “Could you please stop trying to die on me?!? It’s very disconcerting!”
She broke into peals of laughter, drawing a smile out of him at the musical sound. “Yes, baby. I will do my best to stop trying to die.”
“It’s not funny Clary!” His affronted tone just made her laugh harder and he growled lowly as he tried to fight back a smirk.
“No. It’s not. I’m sorry.” She quieted slowly, her eyes searching his face as her hand came up to caress his cheek. Her fingers trailed over the light stubble he hadn’t had the energy to deal with. “Um….can I ask a question?”
Jace nodded, his nose running up the side of her cheek gently as his hands trailed up and down her body from his position beside her, assuring himself that she was alright and awake.
“Where are we?”
x . x . x . x . x
“Clary! Oh my god, where are you?!? Are you okay? Are you awake-wait, duh! Shit!”
Clary giggled as she held the phone an inch away from her ear due to the volume of Luke’s voice. Jace raised an eyebrow from beside her.
“Yes Luke, I’m awake. And apparently I’m fine. Little stiff from barely moving for…how many days?”
“Four.” Jace supplied helpfully, laying his head on her crossed legs and staring at her upside down.
“Yeah, four days will do that. And I’m starving!”
Luke chuckled. “I take it Jace spirited you away, huh?”
Jace made a face and Clary rolled her eyes. “Yeah. We don’t know who poisoned me and he didn’t want to stay and take the chance.”
“Good.” A loud breath whooshed out of him as he debated what to say next. “He’s a good guy, Clare-Bear. I definitely approve.”
“I’m glad. Cause I kinda like him-ya know-just a little.” She smirked as Jace gave her the evil eye. His fingers twitched, drawing her undivided attention in an instant. “No, Jace-don’t you dare!”
Luke chuckled again as he heard a scuffle and peals of girlish laughter, followed by a thump and a low rumbling laugh. “Sorry Luke. Clary’s a bit indisposed at the moment.” The laughter got louder, shrieks intermingling with the sound though what she was shouting was indistinct to his ears. “And sorry I didn’t tell you first. I was a little anxious.”
“You did the right thing, son. Listen, don’t tell me anything else-I don’t want to know. You keep her safe, stock up on disposable cells and get rid of them immediately. You hear me? You keep her safe! That’s all I fucking care about.”
The laughter died away slowly, a small sniff sounding out through the receiver. “You put me on speaker, didn’t you Brat?”
Luke grinned as he heard another sniff. “You have to say something Clary. He can’t see you nodding.”
The werewolf let out a loud guffaw at Jace’s words, his head shaking as he pinched the bridge of his nose good naturedly. “Hey Clare-Bear? I love you-you hear me. You have good instincts, a good man by your side and good friends as well. You guys work on things from your side and I’ll do what I can here.” He paused, bracing himself for the inevitable end of the conversation. “I love you Clary. I’ll talk to you soon, alright?”
Another sniffle traveled through the phone. “We’ll call in-”
“Hear Jace? Three days.” Clary took a deep breath, her eyes squeezing shut as she tried to contain the tears threatening to break free. “I love you…Dad.”
Luke choked in surprise. She’d never called him ‘Dad’, though they’d always felt like father and daughter. “I love you too.” Now he had to fight back a sniff, swallowing convulsively as he kept it together. “Be safe-keep each other safe. And I’ll talk to you soon.”
A soft click sounded and Jace gently pried the cell phone from Clary’s grip, pulling her into his arms as she dissolved into sobs.