Chapter 4: The Price You Pay

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“You knew this would happen.”

Clary shook her head violently. “No. There is no way. Absolutely not. I refuse.”

Jocelyn sighed as her hands rested on her slim hips. “Clary, you don’t have a choice. You WILL go before the Silent Brothers and they will be questioning you. This is the price you pay for being hidden your whole life.”

“I didn’t ASK to be hidden!!! I didn’t ask for you to spirit away from my douche of a father and hide me from the world! I didn’t ask to be passed off as some dirty secret that you can’t stand to be around. So fuck you and your self righteous shit! I re-fucking-fuse.”

Luke scoffed from his place in the doorway. “I told you Joc. This was never a good idea.”

“Shut up Luke. This was the only way to keep her safe!” Jocelyn’s green eyes widened as she spun to face her one time friend. “Valentine would never have left her alone. The only way was for no one to know she existed!”

Clary hid the hurt she felt, burying it down deep in her gut. Her eyes flashed with anger as she crossed her arms over her chest. “Or maybe the Clave could have protected me. I could have been trained with other kids my age. I could have been adopted by another Shadowhunter family. There were tons of options Mother, you were just too scared to look for them. That’s why you stuck me with Luke, away from anyone like me. You were afraid of having another-oh how did you put it?-demonic spawn. Jonathan was a baby! And you just-left him. Just left him to die when Valentine faked his death!”

Clary’s chest heaved as she fought to control her temper. The rune she’d drawn for relaxation wasn’t helping-at all. She rubbed at her chest again, noticing with unease that the rune which had appeared so suddenly a while back pulsed gently, as if it was feeding off her emotions. She still hadn’t found the rune in any of Luke’s books and she sure as hell wasn’t going to ask her mother for any help.

“Clary, it’s done.” Jocelyn sighed again, her hand raking through her hair. “The Silent Brothers will come to get you if you don’t present yourself. It’s nothing that you need to be afraid of. They want to accept you into the Clave-into the Shadowhunter way of life. You don’t want to be a rogue, do you?”

“I’d rather be a free rogue than to be controlled by some autocratic douchecanoes. I want to stay with Luke. I want to keep my job. I know I’m a great fighter-I get it. Luke trained me well. But that’s the thing. He’s more of a father to me than you’ve ever been a mother. I want to stay with my family.”

Jocelyn stumbled back, her hand clutching at her throat as Clary spewed her venomous words. Her heart thudded in her chest as she stared at the daughter she didn’t know. There was fear in her eyes as she watched Clary take heaving breaths and the she flinched as understated strength coiled in her little girl’s limbs.

“You’re-you’re just like him. You’re a monster!”

Luke had heard enough. He reached forward, yanking Jocelyn back towards the door. “Okay. Time for you to go.” He shoved her roughly out the door, following her into the hall before slamming the door behind him.

“If you ever approach Clary again I will unleash my pack on you and the Clave. Nothing is more important to me than that girl. Nothing! You may have been a dear friend once upon a time, but Valentine changed you. She’s not the monster in this-that honor belongs only to you, darling. Tell the Silent Brothers that I’ll talk to her. But if she chooses not to join the Shadowhunters then you leave her out of it. No one will know who she is. She’ll be safe either way.” Luke glared over the rim of his glasses, his hands clenched into fists as he fought off the change. “Now get the fuck out of my sight.”

Jocelyn scampered away tearfully, praying to the Angel for-something. She wasn’t quite sure what. But she was absolutely positive that Valentine couldn’t get his hands on Clary. If he did-no one would ever be safe.

x . x . x . x . x

“I said fuck off!”

Isabelle’s eyes gaped wide as Jace snapped at her. “Okay, I have no idea what crawled up your ass, but chill out! I just meant that we’ve had a pretty eventful few weeks and that maybe-”

“Isabelle! I’m going out, whether you guys come or not. I have to-I need…ugh!” He groaned, throwing himself back on his bed, wincing as the pommel of one of his seraph blades dug into his back. He rubbed his chest absently as Alec sighed from across the room.

“Jace. Be realistic. You’re going to get yourself killed. You’re barely able to stand without falling. That demon from two days ago really did a number on you. Just-let’s chill for tonight. We can even go out if you want. But not looking for a fight.” Alec pleaded, his eyes darting between his sister and his best friend.

Jace sucked in a breath as the rune on his chest pulsed with an angry beat, outstripping his heart with no trouble.

“Fine. But I’m still gonna be armed. No use in courting trouble.”

“Duh.” Isabelle rolled her eyes as she scampered to her room to change.

“I’m hungry. Let’s get something to eat.” Alec declared, pulling Jace to his feet.

“Fine. But you’re paying.” Jace grumbled as he followed his adopted brother out of his bedroom and towards the front door.

x . x . x . x . x

“Luke, go!”

A snarl ripped out of the werewolf’s throat as the Croucher growled at Clary’s brandished weapons. His fur stood on end as he watched his daughter fight, knowing that he’d only be in her way.

“Dude!” Clary dropped out of her fighting stance, hands on her hips as she glared at her father. “Luke, get out of here. I’ve got this!”

The wolf rolled its eyes, loping away as the screech of the demon sounded behind him. He turned and saw ichor pouring out of a slice in it’s “stomach” as Clary twirled her dagger around in her hand.

As he slunk away, keeping to the shadows so as not to alert the mundanes, he heaved a great sigh. The night air was clearing of the stench of rotten eggs and sulphur the further he got from the fight.

A moment later Clary appeared by his side, not even breathing hard, a huge grin splitting her face. She patted his head, despite the fact that even on all fours he was nearly as tall as her. Luke rolled his eyes again, snorting slightly as he shifted away from her, his bones cracking and elongating as he resumed his human form. He shook, his ears popping slightly as his equilibrium shifted and Clary placed a warm, steadying hand on his arm, lending her considerable strength should he need it.

“Why can’t we ever just have a nice night out, huh? Why do they always find me?!” She pouted up at her father, her bottom lip poking out comically. Luke guffawed, bending slightly as he gasped for breath.

“You know perfectly well why. It’s just-” His laughter died away suddenly as his nose twitched. The dry, crackly smell invading his nostrils sent his instincts prickling as his head whipped from side to side. Clary fell into a slight crouch as she noticed the tension zipping through Luke’s body.

“What?! What is it?”

“I-I’m not…hang on.” Luke inhaled again, his brain sifting through memories until he came up the identity of the one bearing that scent. “Clary! RUN!”

She took off, her training kicking in as she skidded around the corner of the brick building beside her. However, she pulled up short as she came face to face with a silent figure draped in a bone colored robe.

Clarissa Morgenstern.

“No! No! I’m not-” Her eyes shot wide as she wheeled around, her Converse slapping wildly against the pavement as she ran.

She darted between mundanes as they went about their lives, unseeing and uncaring as she wove her way in between them silently, only glancing over her shoulder momentarily before spurring herself on even harder. She rounded another corner, sliding to a halt in an alley as she faced another robed figure.

Clarissa Morgenstern.

“That’s not my name!” She wheeled around, her heart sinking as she saw two other figures blocking the entrance to the alley. “Let me go!”

Clarissa Morgenstern. You will come with us to the Silent City.

“I will NOT!” She stamped her foot childishly as she glanced around her, trying to determine whether she could fight her way out. That is, until she saw another figure dressed completely in black-carrying an unconscious Luke in his arms. “LUKE! What did you do to him?!?”

We did nothing. He provoked us. The downworlder has nothing to fear. He will wake in due time.

“Why-why are you doing this?!?” She twisted and turned, the figures slowing advancing towards her, closing ranks. “I’m not-I haven’t done anything to you!”

You exist. That is enough.

With a yelp, Clary felt herself pulled backwards into a pair of strong arms before the world around her went black.

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