“Did we just see what I think we just saw?”
Jace wrinkled his nose at his adopted sister.
“If you think we just saw Clary Fray being carted away by the Silent Brothers and members of the Clave, then yes. Yes, you did just see that.” Alec said sarcastically.
Jace groaned as he peeked around the corner again. “Would you two just shut up already?!? This is serious! What are we going to do?!”
He glanced back at the siblings who stared at him blankly. “What are we going to do about what?”
His mouth gaped as he struggled to comprehend what Alec had said. “Excuse me?!? We can’t just let them take her! She hasn’t done anything wrong!”
Isabelle’s head tilted to the side as she studied him. Alec’s lips flattened into a thin line, his breathing speeding rapidly into pants. “You don’t know that. Why exactly would we help her? We don’t know her.”
Jace shook his head, sprinting away from the Lightwood siblings as he trailed silently after the envoy made up of Shadowhunter elite. Why had they sent their best to take her? Surely she wasn’t that dangerous.
He had a feeling he knew where they were leading, but he still gasped in surprise as he rounded the corner to the cemetery where the Silent City’s entrance was more than an hour later. He crept silently forward, the moonlight guiding his way as he slunk between headstones.
“So you’ve finally arrived.”
Jace spun, tripping over his own feet as he caught sight of a figure draped in shadows perched on top of one of the larger mausoleums. Whoever it was leapt down with an innate grace and seemed to slither toward him.
“Who are you?” Jace straightened his back, his left hand moving to grip his blade.
“Good instincts you have, young Wayland. They are, however, of no use to you at the present time. I have no interest in harming you.” Jace’s eyebrows shot nearly to his hairline. “Or the darling girl they just brought in. If you’d like to follow me, I will take you to her.”
With a sharp exhale, feeling as if he’d somehow averted some sort of impending crisis, Jace took a tentative step forward. “Who are you? And why should I trust you?”
His golden eyes sparked as they narrowed in suspicion. The figure before him reached hand up, pulling the hood down to reveal his handsome face.
“I am Adrien Pontmercy. My sister, Josiane, is a member of the Council. And you should trust me because I am an ally of Luke Garroway-well, Graymark. I helped train Clary.”
x . x . x . x . x
Jace’s feet were too loud. He tried to step lightly, cringing at every small sound his boots made against the stark cold stone.
His hand never left his dagger, ready to slice down anything and anyone in his path if the need arose. They wandered the stone corridors for what seemed like days, winding their way through narrow passages that twisted this way and that. He did not expect the steep staircase set far back into the stone wall to be their destination, though judging by how many had come to collect Clary, he supposed it made sense to keep her in a cell. Adrien gestured for Jace to precede him as he grabbed a torch off the wall near their heads.
He descended slowly, the mysterious ally of Clary’s trailing silently behind him. His head whipped back and forth, his blond hair falling haphazardly into his eyes every few moments. Jace’s hand swept it away with an irritated huff every time, making the man behind him chuckle slightly.
“Who is that?!?”
Clary’s sharp cry echoed on the bare stone and Jace leaped down the last few steps, stumbling slightly as he careened smack into a set of metal bars. He pulled away quickly, hissing in pain as livid burns erupted on his arms.
“Demon metal? You’ve got her in a cell made of demon metal?!?”
“It was not my decision, I assure you.” Adrien reached a hand into the folds of his robe, withdrawing a weathered key. He slipped it silently into the lock, the tumblers quickly sliding back to admit Jace into the cell.
“Clary!” He forgot everything around them. He forgot that they were deep under the Silent City, sneaking around with the brother of a Council member while Clary awaited….something from the Silent Brothers. Jace shot into the cell, falling to his knees beside the tiny girl, his hands fluttering ineffectually over her as he tried to reassure himself that she was in one piece.
Her eyebrows pulled down as the corners of her lips dropped into a frown. “Wayland? What are you doing here?”
He blanched, reeling back from her as he realized what he’d done. Abruptly, Clary gasped, her back arching away from the stone wall as her wrists strained against the metal bonds around her wrists. Jace’s golden eyes widened, almost comically as she strained toward him. He laid a gentle hand on her shoulder, stunned when her body went slack at his touch.
“What-how…you’re afraid. And anxious.” Clary declared, staring up at him from where she collapsed to the stone floor.
His forehead wrinkled as he stared down at her. “Uh-yeah. How did you know?”
“I-felt it. Like the feeling surged through me, right from-” Her eyes shot open wide, white clearly showing all around the luscious green of her irises. Her hand clutched at the loose shirt she wore, her fingers digging into the fabric as she struggled back up to her knees.
Jace’s eye dropped to her chest, his eyes widening as he caught sight of the tip of a livid black mark. Carefully, his fingers barely skimming her skin, he drew her shirt down to reveal the rune burned onto her chest-directly above her heart.
“That’s-that’s not…WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?!?”
“I suggest you lower your voice, young Wayland. And also relinquish Clary’s shirt, if you don’t mind.” His fingers relaxed reflexively, and Clary pulled her shirt back up, shifting uneasily.
“I don’t-I don’t know, okay? I mean, I can create new runes-that’s why Isabelle didn’t recognize some of my marks. But this one just…appeared one day. And I have no idea-” She paused as Jace yanked down his shirt, baring his chest to her eyes.
The trio sat in stunned silence for a few heartbeats as the younger two stared at each other wide eyed. Adrien sighed, running his hand down his face tiredly.
“As much as I hate to break up this get together, you’re needed up above.”
“What?! No! She hasn’t done anything!”
“I meant both of you.”
Again, they were stunned into silence as Adrien withdrew a stele from the folds of his robes. His wrist twisted in a complicated pattern before the shackles fell off of Clary’s wrists, clattering to the stone floor.
Jace’s eyebrows lowered as he took her hands in his. “But-you’re not burned.”
Clary avoided his eyes, struggling to her feet and shaking out her limbs. “Yeah. Demon metal doesn’t affect me.”
“What?! No, that doesn’t make any-”
“Come, children. We do not have all day. And the Silent Brothers will begin to get restless if we’re down here much longer.”
“I’m not a child.” Jace smiled as Clary muttered under her breath, following her out of the cell and standing awkwardly in the torch lit hallway.
“I advise you to hold your tongue, young ones. Answer only what is asked of you. And answer as truthfully as you are able. Your lives may indeed depend on it.”
They noticed the plural in Adrien’s words and glanced at each other with questions in their eyes. Gold met green in a spark of heat and Jace carefully reached out, linking his hand with hers as they paused at the bottom of the stairs. Adrien kept climbing, oblivious or outright ignoring their lack of progress.
Clary stared at their intertwined fingers, her brows pulled down and a puzzled expression on her face. Seeming to come to some internal decision, she shrugged her shoulders slightly. “I guess so. Lead on, Wayland.”
They stepped onto the stone stairs, following the light of the torch Adrien carried, neither quite knowing what was coming.
x . x . x . x . x
Do you know who I am, Clarissa Morgenstern?
Clary growled low in her throat. Jace cast a withering glance her way and pursed his lips as he leaned against the wall. She shook off his annoyance and paced inside the circle they’d confined her to.
“My name is NOT Clarissa. It is also not Morgenstern. If you’d like me to cooperate at all I suggest you get that through your thick skulls.”
Adrien’s head fell forward and Jace heard a soft sigh escape his lips. Luke, who an unassuming woman had led out a few moments before, leaned heavily on the wall next to Jace, a silver cuff around his ankle to zap whatever strength he may have been able to marshall.
Who you pretend to be is irrelevant. You are Clarissa Morgenstern and therefore that is the name we will use.
“I don’t understand what’s so difficult about this. I am not a Morgenstern. Valentine is not my father. Jocelyn is not my mother. My only family is Luke-right over there. He’s been my only family since I was born and nothing you can say will change that. Now call me by the right fucking name!” Her eyes flashed with unconcealed rage as her chest heaved, her breaths coming in fast pants.
Do you know why we’ve brought you here, Clarissa?
Clary crossed her arms over her chest, her feet wide and her booted foot tapping the stone floor. She pursed her lips and raised her eyebrows at the Brother that seemed to be in charge, though she couldn’t quite tell since they only spoke in her mind. Her silence was her rebellion, her refusal to acknowledge their words her only source of power.
So be it. Bring the sword.
The others twitched as the telepathic voice sounded in their heads, loud and unforgiving. Jace gasped, taking an involuntary step forward before Luke pulled him back, muttering sharply in his ear.
“You’ll learn the same thing I’ve been trying to tell you. I have nothing to do with Valentine. He may have impregnated the woman who gave birth to me but that’s the extent of it. He’s nothing more than a glorified sperm donor. A fucking insane one at that. “
Ignoring her outburst, the Brothers drew in closer to the circle where she stood as another hooded figure, this one distinctly feminine brought forth an old, heavy looking sword. The woman was bowed slightly as she bore it’s weight and she knelt just outside the boundaries of Clary’s confines, holding it up with trembling arms. One of the brothers reached a bone white, emaciated hand out, lifting the weapon reverently into the air.
We ask the Angel Raziel for his wisdom and insight as we seek the truth from this girl.
With no hesitation, the Brother stepped forward, shoving the sword to Clary’s chest when she refused to take it from him. The moment the metal made contact an inhuman scream ripped out of her throat, her arms coming up convulsively, clutching the weapon to her. The last thing she saw before the blackness overtook her vision was the golden boy breaking away from Luke and diving towards her, his face contorted in pain and misery.