Clary jerked into consciousness as her stomach heaved and her body trembled. Pain wracked her body, her meager vision going white again as her muscles heaved and contracted.
“What’s wrong with her?!?!”
Who’s voice was that? It sounded…panicked? But no one panicked about her. Clary’s brain couldn’t process the sounds through the haze of pain clouding her mind.
“The demon must’ve been a Nix. She’s allergic to the venom.” She could hear the exasperation in Magnus’ voice. “I’m gonna have to bleed her. Just keep her still-I don’t wanna hit an artery or something.”
She felt hands at her shoulders, pinning her down and she began thrashing in panic.
“No! No! Let-let go!”
“CLARY! Hold still! Magnus has to drain the venom! Why didn’t you tell me before I drew the iratze?!”
Magnus’ voice came closer and she almost grinned at the irritation as he spoke. “Well, you’d already drawn it by the time we got up here, so don’t go blaming me for all your Shadowhunter ways. Hold still Clare-bear. This is gonna hurt.”
A sharp slice made her groan and the pressure that followed made a sharp cry tear it’s way out of her throat.
The agony went on forever-days, weeks, years, centuries…she couldn’t tell. And it was with blissful relief that she sunk into darkness again.
x . x . x . x . x
Jace sat on the sofa, his lips pursed, his hand cupping his chin as Alec paced in front of him.
“Dude! What the hell was that?!?”
“What the hell was what? We killed it didn’t we?”
Alec glared at his parabatai, his hands on his hips. Isabelle swished her way into the room, 3 bottles of water in her arms.
“Alec, chill. We’re all fine.” She scolded as she handed a bottle to him. She tossed one to Jace who winced as his arm came up to grab it.
Alec sighed, dropping onto an ottoman perched beside the sofa as Isabelle sat daintily on the sofa beside Jace.
“JACE! What were you thinking?!?” Maryse shrieked as she burst into the room, her heels clicking rapidly on the stone floor of the library.
He groaned, sliding down further into the push cushions. “I’m fiiiiiiiiiiiine…”
Maryse stopped in front of him, hands on her hips are she glared down at him. The entire left side of his face was still a huge bruise and he moved disjointedly as he tried to stand to reassure her. She scoffed when he groaned in pain once again.
“Obviously not. What’s gotten into you?”
Jace sighed, his feet dragging as he moved around his adopted family. “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”
The Lightwoods just stared after him as he retreated to his room, their stares burning holes in his back.
Jace flopped down on his bed, his arm laying across his eyes, blocking out the dim light seeping in from the open bathroom door.
It had been three weeks since that night. Since they’d met her. Clary.
The tiny girl with the most remarkable way of sticking in his head. There was nothing special about her. She was a good fighter-but Isabelle was too. She wasn’t gorgeous, just cute in a pixie-ish sort of way. And her attitude left quite a bit to be desired.
But he couldn’t stop thinking about her. Or the fact that as soon as he’d touched her, a rune he’d never seen had erupted onto his skin.
x . x . x . x . x
Luke glanced up at the sound of feet padding down the hallway. His glasses slid down his nose as the newspaper twitched in his hand, a slight chuckle making it’s way out of his throat.
Clary shuffled into the bright sunlight kitchen, wincing as her hand shot up to shield her eyes.
“Nice of you to finally join me. You’ve been holed up in your room for weeks.” Luke grinned, fighting down the feeling of utter despair as he remembered why she’d been keeping to herself.
“Well, next time I’ll ask the demon to kindly bite somewhere a little farther away from my heart. Deal?” She rolled her eyes as she pulled the refrigerator open, surveying her options.
“I’m just-” Luke sighed, standing swiftly and crossing the room to her. “I’m so glad you’re alright. I don’t know what-what I’d do…ugh.”
Clary felt her arms wrap around his waist, conscious of the fact that he was breathing heavily to hold back tears. Wetness welled up in her own eyes as she thought about the events from nearly a month ago.
“I won’t be so stupid again. I just got freaked out. I mean, there’s only so much you can prepare for, ya know?”
A moment passed and they stood chest to chest, father and daughter despite their lack of biological connection. Luke’s hand wound up to cup the back of her head as he breathed yet another sigh and pressed a soft kiss to her fiery hair.
“How about some breakfast? There’s-uh…not much here.”
Clary grinned as she kicked the refrigerator door shut behind her, pulling herself gently out of her pseudo-father’s arms.
“Of course. Only the best for my Clare-Bear.”
x . x . x . x . x
Magnus stretched his arm across the back of the bench seat, his glitter filled hair sparkling in the early morning sun.
“Does Alec know you’re here with me?”
The warlock rolled his eyes. “Seriously, Goldilocks? He threatened me on pain of…well-withholding-” His perfectly manicured eyebrows wiggled as his lips pulled into a smirk. “-if I told you anything about our mutual friend with a chip on her shoulder.”
Jace leaned back, rubbing his hand down his face and wincing when he hit a sore spot. Kaelie flounced over on her high heels, her breasts practically spilling out of what she was trying to pass off as a shirt.
“What can I get for you today?” Her voice was breathy and high pitched as she leaned over from the waist, her bright red talons-er, fingernails-tapping gently on the formica tabletop.
Magnus choked on air as Jace grimaced, his iridescent suit jacket throwing flashes of light all around the small diner as he guffawed.
“Just a plate of waffles, thanks. And coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.”
Magnus waved Kaelie away silently and she slunk back to the kitchen to drop off Jace’s order, throwing what she probably thought was alluring looks over her shoulder as she went. Jace dropped his forehead to the table, his eyes rolling at her stupidity.
“I hear coffee can make your balls shrink. Or was that Mountain Dew?” Jace’s head whipped around, his neck cracking uncomfortably. “Either way you should probably forgo the temptation altogether now, huh?”
The tiny girl dropped into the booth next to him, a small smirk on her face as the werewolf nudged Magnus towards the window.
“What-uh…I mean, what-are you doing here?”
“Eating. Generally it’s a biological imperative that us mere mortals need to partake in to survive. And-ya know…it’s fun.”
A sharp huff brought the table’s attention to the scowling blonde balancing a plate of waffles on her upturned hand.
“Here’s your waffles, Jace. Let me know if you need anything else.” She winked and Magnus nudged Luke with a roll of his eyes. Luke snorted into his friend’s shoulder, trying to look anywhere but the pathetic harpy in stripper wear.
“Oh, thank you honey!” Clary leaned over, pressing her lips quickly to Jace’s cheek. “Ya know when I said order whatever and I’d be happy, I didn’t think you’d order my favorite. Awwwwww.”
Kaelie scowled as Clary picked up a fork, manhandling the cutlery into slicing a piece off the stack. She popped the bite into her mouth, moaning as the flaky texture hit her tongue. The waitress spun around, stalking back behind the counter with a murderous glare etched onto her dainty features.
Jace stared wide-eyed at Clary while she continued to eat his breakfast.
“You may want to take her fork away. You won’t have any left otherwise.” Luke advised, pulling a menu towards him as he asked Magnus about some Clave business under his breath.
“Why did you do that?”
“You looked fed up with her. And now she’ll leave you alone. You can thank me in waffles cause damn I think I found my soulmate here!”
Jace continued to stare at the enigma of a girl before him. Never before had he felt like this. He was so…confused. And he didn’t get confused. Ever. This had to stop.
Shaking himself out of his stupor, Jace snarled as he yanked the fork away from her. “Yeah, thanks soooooo much for your help. How do you know I wasn’t interested?”
Clary’s eyebrows raised sarcastically. “Well, that’s your prerogative. I definitely wouldn’t do her but to each their own.”
Jace choked as a mental image popped into his head-Clary in black leather, a whip in her hands as she stood over a broken down Kaelie. He groaned as he shifted in his seat, subtly trying to shake his mental ramblings out of his brain.
“Clary let’s leave them to their breakfast. Come on. You can get your own stack of waffles.” Luke smiled, taking her hand gently and pulling her to her feet.
“Not from the bitch in the slut wear, I won’t.” Magnus choked as he stole a sip of Jace’s coffee. “Tell me there’s another waitress in this dump.”
“Like I’d even serve you, mundie bitch.”
Luke grabbed at Clary’s jacket, yanking her back as he muttered in her ear. Her green eyes sparked and flashed with rage as Kaelie sauntered by again, tossing a stack of napkins on the table in front of Jace.
“Ya know what? Suddenly I think I’ve lost my fucking appetite. Coffee and a live sex show just isn’t all that appealing to me.” Her glare turned toward Jace who flinched back in the booth. “Let’s go Luke. I’ll see you later, Magnus.”
A short sweet peck on the cheek for the warlock followed before Clary nearly dragged her guardian out of the diner.
Jace stared at the girl’s retreating form as she sauntered down the street with the werewolf. What was so special about her? He couldn’t tear his eyes away.
“I’m-so confused.” He hung his head as Magnus snatched his mug of coffee again, though Jace couldn’t be bothered to tear his gaze away from Clary’s still retreating backside.
“What about, cupcake?”
Jace jumped slightly as another mug of something steaming plonked on the table, spilling it’s precious caffeinated goodness as Kaelie sneered his way. He accepted it gratefully, gulping the scalding liquid without a second thought as Magnus grinned.
“The second I saw her-I felt….” His nose wrinkled as he searched for words. “…ugh, I don’t even know.”
“Oh, honeybun….thing’s are so gonna be changing. I sure hope you’re all prepared.”