Instead of replying, Alec reached down and took Magnus's hands. Magnus let Alec pull him to his feet, a questioning look in his eyes. Before he could say anything, Alec drew him closer and kissed him. Magnus made a soft, pleased sound, and gripped the back of Alec's shirt, rucking it up, his fingers cool on Alec's spine. Alec leaned into him, pinning Magnus between the table and his own body. Not that Magnus seemed to mind. 'Come on, ' Alec said against Magnus's ear. 'It's late. Let's go to bed.
Instead of replying, Alec reached down and took Magnus's hands. Magnus let Alec pull him to his feet, a questioning look in his eyes. Before he could say anything, Alec drew him closer and kissed him. Magnus made a soft, pleased sound, and gripped the back of Alec's shirt, rucking it up, his fingers cool on Alec's spine. Alec leaned into him, pinning Magnus between the table and his own body. Not that Magnus seemed to mind. 'Come on,' Alec said against Magnus's ear. 'It's late. Let's go to bed.
Magnus reached for Alec, but instead of rising to his feet, he pulled Alec against him, his hand sliding up Alec's back to knot in his hair. Magnus pulled Alec down and against him, and kissed him, hard and awkward and determined, and Alec froze for a moment and then abandoned himself to it, to kissing Magnus, something he'd thought he'd never get to do again. Alec ran his hands up Magnus's shoulders to the sides of his neck and cupped his hands there, holding Magnus in place while he kissed him thoroughly breathless.
The little boy leaned against his father's chest and slowly nodded. "Yes," he said. "I heard all of the names, but I don't remember the other two... just the man who hurt Gillian." "That's the name I most want," Brodick said softly. "Who is he, Alec?" "Alec, please," Gillian began. "Tell me, Alec. Who is he?" "Baron," Alec whispered. "His name is Baron.
Alec, " Magnus said. He put a hand on his boyfriend's shoulder; Alec was standing still, staring angrily at the floor. "Are you okay?" Alec looked at him. "Who are you again?" Magnus gave a little gasp; he looked - for the first time Simon could remember - actually unnerved. It lasted only a moment, but it was there. "Alexander, " he said. "Too soon to joke about the happy memory thing, I take it, " Alec said.
Alec," Magnus said. He put a hand on his boyfriend's shoulder; Alec was standing still, staring angrily at the floor. "Are you okay?" Alec looked at him. "Who are you again?" Magnus gave a little gasp; he looked "" for the first time Simon could remember "" actually unnerved. It lasted only a moment, but it was there. "Alexander," he said. "Too soon to joke about the happy memory thing, I take it," Alec said.
She can't hurt him, Izzy, " (Alec) "I know you're worried, but he's got the Mark of Cain; he's untouchable. Even a Greater Demon can't harm him. No one can." (Alec) Isabelle scowled at her brother. "So what do you think she wants him for, then? So she'll have someone to pick up her dry cleaning during the day? Really, Alec-
Magnus gave Alec a sidelong look as they climbed the rickety stairs. Alec caught the glance, and his breathing quickened; his blue eyes were bright. Alec bit his lower lip, and Magnus stopped walking. It was only a momentary hesitation. But then Alec reached out and caught his arm, fingers tight above his elbow. 'Magnus', he said in a low voice.
The posters bore the words WITH THE PASSING YEARS COMES... IMPOTENCE! Magnus found himself staring at the posters with a sort of absent horror. He looked at Alec and found that Alec could not tear his eyes away either. He wondered if Alec was aware that Magnus was three hundred years old and whether Alec was considering exactly how impotent one might become after that much time.
Perhaps there isn't anything Alec is afraid of.' Magnus glanced at Alec and raised his eyebrows. 'Boo, ' he said. Jace was grinning. 'Come on, surely you've got a phobia or two. What scares you?' Alec thought for a moment. 'Spiders, ' he said. Clary turned to Luke. 'Have you got a spider anywhere?' Luke looked exasperated. 'Why would I have a spider? Do I look like someone who would collect them?' 'No offense, ' Jace said, 'But you kind of do.' 'You know'-Alec's tone was sour-'Maybe this was a stupid experiment.' 'What about the dark?' Clary suggested. 'We could lock you in the basement.' 'I'm a demon hunter, ' Alec said, with exaggerated patience. 'Clearly, I am not afraid of the dark.
Alec took a deep breath and let it out. Well, he'd come this far; he might as well go on. The bare lightbulb hanging overhead cast sweeping shadows as he reached forward and pressed the buzzer. A moment later a voice echoed through the stairwell. 'WHO CALLS UPON THE HIGH WARLOCK?' 'Er, ' Alec said. 'It's me. I mean, Alec. Alec Lightwood.' There was a sort of silence, as if even the hallway itself were surprised. Then a ping, and the second door opened, letting him out onto the stairwell. He headed up the rickety stairs into the darkness, which smelled like pizza and dust. The second floor landing was bright, the door at the far end open. Magnus Bane was leaning in the entryway.
Alec?" Magnus was staring at him. He had dispatched the remaining Iblis demons, and the square was empty but for the two of them. "Did you just- did you just save my life?" Alec knew he ought to say something like, Of course, because I'm a Shadowhunter and that's what we do, or That's my job. Jace would have said something like that. Jace always knew the right thing to say. But the words that actually came out of Alec's mouth where quite different- and sounded petulant, even to his own ears. "You never called me back, " he said. "I called you so many times and you never called me back." Magnus looked at Alec as if he'd lost his mind. "Your city is under attack, " he said. "The wards have broken, and the streets are full of demons. And you want to know why I haven't called you?
But sleep didn't come. She could hear Jace's soft piano playing through the walls, but that wasn't what was keeping her awake. She was thinking of Simon, leaving for a house that no longer felt like home to him, of the despair in Jace's voice as he said 'I want to hate you', and of Magnus, not telling Jace the truth: that Alec did not want Jace to know about his relationship because he was still in love with him. She thought of the satisfaction it would have brought Magnus to say the words out loud, to acknowledge what the truth was, and the fact that he hadn't said them - had let Alec go on lying and pretending - because that was what Alec wanted, and Magnus cared about Alec enough to give him that. Maybe it was true what the Seelie Queen had said, after all: Love made you a liar.
I am a man, and men do not drink pink drinks. Now, be gone, woman, and fetch me something brown." Jace said. "Brown?" said Isabelle. "Yes. Brown. It's a manly color. See? Alec is wearing it." Jace said. "Well, it was black but it faded." Alec said. "Well, I can always fix it up with something sparkly, " Magnus said, holding a sparkley headband. "Resist the urge, Alec, resist the urge." Simon said.
I am a man, and men do not drink pink drinks. Now, be gone, woman, and fetch me something brown." Jace said. "Brown?" said Isabelle. "Yes. Brown. It's a manly color. See? Alec is wearing it." Jace said. "Well, it was black but it faded." Alec said. "Well, I can always fix it up with something sparkly," Magnus said, holding a sparkley headband. "Resist the urge, Alec, resist the urge." Simon said.
It's not your fault, ' Alec was saying. He sounded weary, as if he'd been through this sort of thing with his sister before. Clary wondered how many boyfriends she'd turned into rats by accident. 'But it ought to teach you not to go to so many Downworld parties, ' he added. 'They're always more trouble than they're worth.' Isabelle sniffed loudly. 'If anything had happened to him, I-I don't know what I would have done.' 'Probably whatever it is you did before, ' said Alec in a bored voice. 'It's not like you knew him all that well.' 'That doesn't mean that I don't-' 'What? Love him?' Alec scoffed, raising his voice. 'You need to know someone to love them.' 'But that's not all it is.' Isabelle sounded almost sad. 'Didn't you have any fun at the party, Alec?' 'No.' 'I thought you might like Magnus. He's nice, isn't he?' 'Nice?' Alec looked at her as if she were insane. 'Kittens are nice. Warlocks are-' He hesitated. 'Not, ' he finished, lamely. 'I thought you might hit it off.' Isabelle's eye makeup glittered as bright as tears as she glanced over at her brother. 'Get to be friends.' 'I have friends, ' Alec said, and looked over his shoulder, almost as if he couldn't help it, at Jace. But Jace, his golden head down, lost in thought, didn't notice.
These are Plenimaran marines, and there's not much most of them aren't capable of, if you take my meaning." "I don't think I do, " said Alec, puzzled by Seregil's tone. "Then try this. They have a saying among them: 'When whores are few, a boy will do.' Got that?" "Oh." Alec felt his face go hot.
Wear that scarf," he said, pointing to a blue cashmere scarf hanging on a peg. "It matches your eyes." Alec looked at it. Suddenly he was filled with hate - for the scarf, for Magnus, and most of all for himself. "Don't tell me," he said. "The scarf's a hundred years old, and it was given to you by Queen Victoria right before she died, for special services to the Crown or something." Magnus sat up. "What's gotten into you?" Alec stared at him. "Am I the newest thing in this apartment?" "I think that honor goes to Chairman Meow. He's only two." "I said newest, not youngest," Alec snapped.
Wear that scarf, " he said, pointing to a blue cashmere scarf hanging on a peg. "It matches your eyes." Alec looked at it. Suddenly he was filled with hate - for the scarf, for Magnus, and most of all for himself. "Don't tell me, " he said. "The scarf's a hundred years old, and it was given to you by Queen Victoria right before she died, for special services to the Crown or something." Magnus sat up. "What's gotten into you?" Alec stared at him. "Am I the newest thing in this apartment?" "I think that honor goes to Chairman Meow. He's only two." "I said newest, not youngest, " Alec snapped.
I felt Alec's glare so I turned to look at him and smiled when I found him all but drilling holes into me with his eyes. "If looks could kill, I'd be dead, " I joked. "My pretty eyes won't harm you, don't worry." Conceited much? "Did you just call your own eyes pretty?" Alec devilishly grinned then and it made me slightly uneasy. "No, you said I have pretty eyes." Was he high? "Are you in your right mind? I have never said you have pretty eyes-" "Yes, you have. Right before you fell asleep. You said I have pretty eyes." I felt my face heat up. It was the shite he gave me to knock me out that said that, not me! "Did I say anythin' else?" I murmured. Alec leaned in close to me and whispered is a slow, seductive voice, "You said you like my voice, my abs, and my ass." I audibly gasped. "I did not!" Alec snickered. "You did." I was mortified, absolutely mortified! "I hate you right now.
It was Alec who brought their lips together. Seregil's first reaction was disbelief. But Alec was insistent, clumsy but determined. It lasted an instant, an eternity, that one awkward kiss, and it spoke silent volumes of bewildered honesty. The moment that followed was too fragile for words.
What did Isabelle want?" Jace asked. Alec hesitated. "Isabelle says the Queen of the Seelie Court has requested an audience with us." "Sure," said Magnus. "And Madonna wants me as a backup dancer on her next world tour." Alec looked puzzled. "Who's Madonna?" "Who's the Queen of the Seelie Court?" said Clary. "She is the Queen of Faerie," said Magnus. "Well, the local one, anyway." Jace put his head in his hands. "Tell Isabelle no." "But she thinks it's a good idea," Alec protested. "Then tell her no twice.
Stop. I don't do you favors, Alec. I do things for you because - well, why do you think I do them?" Something rose up in Alec's throat, cutting off his response. It was always like this when he was with Magnus. It was as if there were a bubble of pain or regret that lived inside his heart, and when he wanted to say something, anything, that seemed meaningful or true, it rose up and choked off his words. "I need to get back to the ship," he said, finally.
A pretty girl with butterfly clips in her dreadlocks put her hand on his arm. 'You were amazing, ' she told him, her voice fluting. 'You have the reflexes of a striking snake. You should be a stuntman. Really, with your cheekbones, you should be an actor. A lot of people are looking for someone as pretty as you who'd do his own stunts.' Alec threw Magnus a terrified and beseeching look. Magnus took pity on him, putting a hand on the small of Alec's back and leaning against him. His attitude and the glance he shot at the girl clearly communicated my date. 'No offence, ' said the girl, rapidly removing her hand so she could dig in her bag. 'Let me give you my card. I work in a talent agency. You could be a star.' 'He's foreign, ' Magnus told the girl. 'He doesn't have a social security number. You can't hire him.' The girl regarded Alec's bowed head wistfully. 'That's a shame. He could be huge. Those eyes!' 'I realize he's a knockout, ' Magnus said. 'But I am afraid I have to whisk him away. He is wanted by Interpol.' Alec shot him a strange look. 'Interpol?' Magnus shrugged. 'Knockout?' Alec said. Magnus raised an eyebrow at him. 'You had to know I thought so. Why else would I agree to go on a date with you?
Izzy, are you-' he began. His eyes flew wide, and he backed up fast enough to smack his head into the wall behind him. 'What is he doing here?' Isabelle tugged her tank top back down and glared at her brother. 'You don't knock now?' 'It-It's my bedroom!' Alec spluttered. He seemed to be deliberately trying not to look at Izzy and Simon, who were indeed in a very compromising position. Simon rolled quickly off Isabelle, who sat up, brushing herself off as if for lint. Simon sat up more slowly, trying to hold the torn edges of his shirt together. 'Why are all my clothes on the floor?' Alec said. 'I was trying to find something for Simon to wear, ' Isabelle explained. 'Maureen put him in leather pants and a puffy shirt because he was being her romance-novel slave.' 'He was being her what?' 'Her romance-novel slave, ' Isabelle repeated, as if Alec were being particularly dense. Alec shook his head as if he were having a bad dream. 'You know what? Don't explain. Just-put your clothes on, both of you.
We gather here today, ' said Robert, reaching out his arms expansively, 'to honor my son, Alexander Gideon Lightwood, who has single-handedly destroyed the forces of the Endarkened and who defeated in battle the son of Valentine Morgenstern. Alec saved the life of our third son, Max. Along with his parabatai, Jace Herondale, I am proud to say that my son is one of the greatest warriors I have ever known.' He turned and smiled at Alec and Magnus. 'It takes more than a strong arm to make a great warrior, ' he went on. 'It takes a great mind and a great heart. My son has both. He is strong in courage, and strong in love. Which is why I also wanted to share our other good news with you. As of yesterday, my son became engaged to be married to his partner, Magnus Bane-' A chorus of cheers broke out. Magnus accepted them with a modest wave of his fork. Alec slid down in his chair, his cheeks burning. Jace looked at him meditatively. 'Congratulations, ' he said. 'I kind of feel like I missed an opportunity.' 'W-what?' Alec stammered. Jace shrugged. 'I always knew you had a crush on me, and I kind of had a crush on you, too. I thought you should know.' 'What?' Alec said again. Clary sat up straight. 'You know, ' she said, 'do you think there's any chance that you two could... ' She gestured between Jace and Alec. 'It would be kind of hot.' 'No, ' Magnus said. 'I am a very jealous warlock.' 'We're parabatai, ' Alec said, regaining his voice. 'The Clave would-I mean-it's illegal.' 'Oh, come on, ' said Jace. 'The Clave would let you do anything you wanted. Look, everyone loves you.' He gestured out at the room full of Shadowhunters. They were all cheering as Robert spoke, some of them wiping away tears. A girl at one of the smaller tables held up a sign that said, ALEC LIGHTWOOD, WE LOVE YOU.
Alec flushed. "I think it's more important for you to go than me. You're Valentine's son, I'm sure you're the one the Queen really wants to see. Besides, you're charming." Jace glared at him. "Maybe not at the moment, " Alec amended. "But you're usually charming. And faeries are very susceptible to charm." "Plus, if you stay here, I've got the whole first season of Gilligan's Island on DVD, " Magnus said. "No one could turn that down, " said Jace. He still wouldn't look at Clary.
Alec flushed. "I think it's more important for you to go than me. You're Valentine's son, I'm sure you're the one the Queen really wants to see. Besides, you're charming." Jace glared at him. "Maybe not at the moment," Alec amended. "But you're usually charming. And faeries are very susceptible to charm." "Plus, if you stay here, I've got the whole first season of Gilligan's Island on DVD," Magnus said. "No one could turn that down," said Jace. He still wouldn't look at Clary.
Just because you said dragon demons were extinct-" "I said mostly extinct." Alec jabbed a finger toward him. "Mostly extinct, " he said, his voice trembling with rage, "is NOT EXTINCT ENOUGH." "I see, " said Jace. "I'll just have them change the entry in the demonology textbook from 'almost extinct' to 'not extinct enough for Alec. He prefers his monsters really, really extinct.' Will that make you happy?
Why don't we talk about your love life? Clary countered. "What about you and Alec?" "Alec refuses to acknowledge that we have a relationship, and so I refuse to acknowledge him. He sent me a fire message asking for a favor the other day. It was addressed to 'Warlock Bane' as if I were a perfect stranger. He's still hung up on Jace, I think, though that relationship will never go anywhere. A problem I imagine you know nothing about...
WHY DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING?" There was a sound of shattering glass, and they both sat up to see Alec glaring at them. He had dropped the empty bottle of wine he had been carrying, and there were bits of sparkly glass all over the cave floor. "WHY CAN'T YOU GO SOMEWHERE ELSE TO DO THESE HORRIBLE THINGS? MY EYES." "It's a demon realm, Alec, " Isabelle said. "There's nowhere for us to go." "And you said I should look after her-" Simon began, then realized that would not be a productive line of conversation, and shut up.
Where's Magnus?" he said. AS he looked toward the kitchen, Clary saw a bruise on his jaw, below his ear, about the size of a thumbprint. "Alec!" Magnus came skidding into the living room and blew a kiss to his boyfriend across the room. Having discarded his slippers, he was barefoot now. His cat's eyes shone as he looked at Alec.
Magnus glanced at Alec and raised his eyebrows "Boo", he said. Jace was grinning. "Come on,surely you've got a phobia or two. What scares you?" Alec thought for a moment. "Spiders," he said. Clary turned to Luke. "Have you got a spider anywhere?" Luke looked exasperated. "Why would I have a spider? Do I look like someone who would collect them?" No offense," Jace said, "but you kind of do.
But is it an honest living?" Alec persisted, clinging to his last shred of resolve. "Most of those who employ me are great lords or nobles." "It sounds like a pretty dangerous line of work, " Alec remarked, aware that once again Seregil had side-stepped the question. "That's the spice of it, though, " cried Seregil. "And you can end up rich!" "Or on the end of a rope?" Seregil chuckled. "Have it your way.
You've got a lot of responsibility now, ' Jace said to Julian. 'You'll have to make sure Emma winds up with a guy who deserves her.' Julian was strangely white-faced. Maybe he was feeling the effects of the ceremony, Emma thought. It had been strong magic; she still felt it sizzling through her blood like champagne bubbles. But Jules looked as if he'd been slapped. 'What about me?' Emma said, quickly. 'Don't I have to make sure Jules winds up with someone who deserves him?' 'Absolutely. I did it for Alec, Alec did it for me - well, actually, he hated Clary at first, but he came around.' 'I BET you didn't like Magnus much, either, ' said Julian, still with the same odd, stiff look on his face. 'Maybe not, ' said Jace, 'but I never would have said so.' 'Because it would have hurt Alec's feelings?' Emma asked. 'No, ' said Jace, 'because Magnus would have turned me into a hat rack.
Isabelle says the Queen of the Seelie Court has requested an audience with us." "Sure, " said Magnus. "And Madonna wants me as a backup dancer on her next world tour." Alec looked puzzled. "Who's Madonna?" "Who's the Queen of the Seelie Court?" said Clary. "She is the Queen of Faerie, " said Magnus. "Well, the local one, anyway." Jace put his head in his hands. "Tell Isabelle no." "But she thinks it's a good idea, " Alec protested. "Then tell her no twice." Alec frowned. "What's that supposed to mean?" "Oh, just that some of Isabelle's ideas are world-beaters and some are total disasters. Remember that idea she had about using abandoned subway tunnels to get around under the city? Talk about giant rats-" "Let's not, " said Simon. "I'd rather not talk about rats at all, in fact.
Does everyone grow the way you do?" puffed Milo when he had caught up. "Almost everyone," replied Alec, and then he stopped a moment and thought. "Now and then, though, someone does begin to grow differently. Instead of down, his feet grow up towards the sky. But we do our best to discourage awkward things like that." "What happens to them?" insisted Milo. "Oddly enough, they often grow ten times the size of everyone else," said Alec thoughtfully, "and I've heard that they walk among the stars." And with that he skipped off once again toward the waiting woods.
Traded him for Alec," Clary said. "Not permanently" "No," said Jace. "Just for a few hours. Unless I don't come back. In which case, maybe he does get to keep Alec. Think of it as a lease with an option to buy." "Mom and Dad won't be pleased if they find out." "That you freed a possible criminal by trading away your brother to a warlock who looks like a gay Sonic the Hedgehog and dresses like the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?" Simon inquired. "No, probably not.
We shouldn't," protested Isabelle. "The Clave has a plan." "The Clave has the collective intelligence of a pineapple," said Jace. Alec blinked up at them. "Jace is right." Isabelle turned on her brother. "What do you know? You weren't even paying attention." "I was," Alec said, injured. "I said Jace was right." "Yeah, but there's like a 90% chance of me being right most of the time, so that's not proof you were listening," said Jace. "That's just a good guess.
Alec drew his hand back with a low whistle. "The Inquisitor meant business." "Of course she did. I'm a dangerous criminal. Or hadn't you heard?" Jace heard the acid in his own tone, saw Alec flinch, and was meanly, momentarily, glad. "She didn't call you a criminal, exactly..." "No, I'm just a very naughty boy. I do all sorts of bad things. I kick kittens. I make rude gestures at nun
Magnus rolled onto his back and put his feet up on the arm of the sofa. 'What do you care if Alec's miserable?' 'What do I care?' Jace said, so loudly that Chairman Meow rolled off the couch and landed on the floor. 'Of course I care about Alec; he's my best friend, my parabatai. And he's unhappy. And so are you, by the look of things. Takeout containers everywhere, you haven't done anything to fix up the place, your cat looks dead-' 'He's not dead.
So it's true what they say about warlocks, then?" Alec gave him a very unpleasant look. "What's true?" "Alexander, " said Magnus coldly, and Clary met Simon's eyes across the table. Hers were wide, green, and full of an expression that said Uh-oh. "You can't be rude to everyone who talks to me." Alec made a wide, sweeping gesture. "And why not? Cramping your style, am I? I mean, maybe you were hoping to flirt with werewolf boy here. He's pretty attractive, if you like the messy-haired, broad-shouldered, chiseled-good-looks type." "Hey, now, " said Jordan mildly. Magnus put his head in his hands. "Or there are plenty of pretty girls here, since apparently your taste goes both ways, Is there anything you aren't into?" "Mermaids, " said Magnus into his fingers. "They always smell like seaweed." "It's not funny, " Alec said savagely, and kicking back his chair, he got up from the table and stalked off into the crowd.
Hello, hello." Magnus swept toward them..."Alec, my darling, Clary. And rat-boy." He swept a bow toward Simon, who looked annoyed. "To what do I owe the pleasure?" "We came to see Jace," Clary said. "Is he all right?" "I don't know," Magnus said. "Does he normally just lie on the floor like that without moving?" "What ""," Alec began, and broke off as Magnus laughed. "That's not funny." "You're so easy to tease. And yes, your friend is just fine. Well, except that he keeps putting all my things away and trying to clean up. Now I can't find anything. He's compulsive.
There is so much in this store I can picture Magnus wanting, ' Simon said, picking up a glass bottle of body glitter suspended in some kind of oil. 'Is it against some kind of rule to buy presents for someone who broke up with your friend?' 'I guess it depends. Is Magnus your closer friend, or Alec?' 'Alec remembers my name, ' said Simon, and he set the bottle back down.
Don't talk." Alec gestured at him with an expression of vague disgust. "Every time I look at you, I keep remembering coming in here and seeing you draped all over my sister." Jace sat up. "I didn't hear about this." "Oh, come on -" said Simon. "Simon, you're blushing, " observed Jace. "And you're a vampire and almost never blush, so this better be really juicy. And weird. Were bicycles involved in some kinky way? Vaccum cleaners? Umbrellas?" "Big umbrellas, or the little kind you get with drinks?" Alec asked. "Does it matter -
If you're texting Magnus to say 'I think u r kewl,' I'm going to kill you." "Who's Magnus?" Max inquired. "He's a warlock," said Alec. "A sexy, sexy warlock," Isabelle told Max, ignoring Alec's look of total fury. "But warlocks are bad," protested Max, looking baffled. "Exactly," said Isabelle.
Where's Simon?" Clary interrupted. Isabelle wobbled. "He's a rat, " she said darkly. Did he do something to you?" Alec was full of brotherly concern. "Did he touch you? If he tried anything-" No, Alec, " Isabelle said irritably. "Not like that. He's a rat." She's drunk, " said Jace, beginning to turn away in disgust. I'm not, " Isabelle said indignantly. "Well, maybe a little, but that's not the point. The point is, Simon drank one of those blue drinks- I told him not to, but he didn't listen- and he turned into a rat.
I'll go with you, " Alec said, looking at Isabelle and Simon with suspicious eyes. "If you must, " said Isabelle with exaggerated indifference. "I should warn you we'll be making out in the dark. Big, sloppy make-outage." Simon looked startled. "We are -" he began, but Isabelle stomped on his toe, and he quieted. "Make-outage?" said Clary. "Is that a word?" Alec looked ill. "I suppose I could stay here.
He knew Alec enough by now to know the conflicting impulses that warred in him. He was conscientious, the kind of person who believed that the others around him were so much more important than he was, who already believed he was letting everybody down. And he was honest, the kind of person that was naturally open about all he felt and wanted. Alec's virtues had made a trap for him; these two good qualities had collided painfully. He felt he could not be honest without disappointing everyone he loved. It was a hideous conundrum for him. It was as if the world had been designed to make him unhappy.
Jace?" She offered him the glass. "I am a man," he told her. "And men do not consume pink beverages. Get the gone, woman and bring me something brown." "Brown?" Isabelle made a face. "Brown is a manly colour," said Jace and yanked on a stray lock of Isabelle's hair with his free hand. "In fact, look-Alec is wearing it." Alec looked mournfully down at his sweater. "It was black," he said. "But then it faded." "You could dress it up with a sequined headband," Magnus suggested.
Green-eyed monsters," said Magnus, and grinned. He deposited Chairman Meow on the ground, and the cat moved over to Alec, and rubbed against his leg. "The Chairman likes you." "Is that good?" "I never date anyone my cat doesn't like," Magnus said easily, and stood up. "So let's say Friday night?" A great wave of relief came over Alec. "Really? You want to go out with me?" Magnus shook his head. "You have to stop playing hard to get, Alexander. It makes things difficult." He grinned.
Green-eyed monsters, ' said Magnus, and grinned. He deposited Chairman Meow on the ground, and the cat moved over to Alec, and rubbed against his leg. 'The Chairman likes you.' 'Is that good?' 'I never date anyone my cat doesn't like, ' Magnus said easily, and stood up. 'So let's say Friday night?' A great wave of relief came over Alec. 'Really? You want to go out with me?' Magnus shook his head. 'You have to stop playing hard to get, Alexander. It makes things difficult.' He grinned.
Goodness, that stuff rips like paper, ' she exclaimed, reaching to pull her tank top off. She was halfway through the action when the door opened and Alec walked into the room. 'Izzy, are you-' he began. His eyes flew wide, and he backed up fast enough to smack his head into the wall behind him. 'What is he doing here?' Isabelle tugged her tank top back down and glared at her brother. 'You don't knock now?' 'It-It's my bedroom!' Alec spluttered. He seemed to be deliberately trying not to look at Izzy and Simon, who were indeed in a very compromising position.
But Clary never found out what it wasn't, because there was a cry of "Jace!" and Alec appeared, breathless from pushing his way through the crowd to get them. His dark hair was a mess and there was blood on his clothes, but his eyes were bright with a mixture of relief and anger. He grabbed Jace by the front of his jacket. "What happened to you?" Jace looked affronted. "What happened to me?" Alec looked at him, not lightly. "You said you were going for a walk! What kind of walk takes six hours?" "A long one?" Jace suggested.
But-" Maia, still looking at Alec and Magnus, broke off and rasied her eyebrows. Simon turned to see what she was looking at - and stared. Alec had his arms around Magnus and was kissing him full on the mouth. Magnus, who appeared to be in a state of shock, stood frozen. Several groups of people - Shadowhunters and Downworlders alike - were staring and whispering. Glancing to the side, Simon saw the Lightwoods, their eyes widen, gaping at the display. Maryse had her hand over her mouth. Maia looked perplexed. "Wait a second," she said. "Do we all have to do that, too?
But-" Maia, still looking at Alec and Magnus, broke off and rasied her eyebrows. Simon turned to see what she was looking at - and stared. Alec had his arms around Magnus and was kissing him full on the mouth. Magnus, who appeared to be in a state of shock, stood frozen. Several groups of people - Shadowhunters and Downworlders alike - were staring and whispering. Glancing to the side, Simon saw the Lightwoods, their eyes widen, gaping at the display. Maryse had her hand over her mouth. Maia looked perplexed. "Wait a second, " she said. "Do we all have to do that, too?
Iz, " Alec said tiredly. "It's not like it's one big bad thing. It's a lot of little invisible things. When Magnus and I were traveling, and I'd call from the road, Dad never asked how he was. When I get up to talk in Clave meetings, no one listens, and I don't know if that's because I'm young or if it's because of something else. I saw Mom talking to a friend about her grandchildren and the second I walked into the room they shut up. Irina Cartwright told me it was a pity no one would ever inherit my blue eyes now." He shrugged and looked toward Magnus, who took a hand off the wheel for a moment to place it on Alec's. "It's not like a stab wound you can protect me from. It's a million little paper cuts every day.
Alec isn't happy, ' said Magnus, as if she hadn't spoken. 'Of course he isn't, ' Isabelle snapped. 'Jace-' 'Jace, ' said Magnus, and his hands made fists at his sides. Isabelle stared at him. She had always thought that he didn't mind Jace; liked him, even, once the question of Alec's affections had been settled. Out loud, she said: 'I thought you were friends.' 'It's not that, ' said Magnus. 'There are some people - people the universe seems to have singled out for special destinies. Special favors and special torments. God knows we're all drawn toward what's beautiful and broken; I have been, but some people cannot be fixed. Or if they can be, it's only by love and sacrifice so great it destroys the giver.' Isabelle shook her head slowly. 'You've lost me. Jace is our brother, but for Alec - he's Jace's parabatai too -' 'I know about parabatai, ' said Magnus, his voice rising in pitch. 'I've known parabatai so close they were almost the same person; do you know what happens, when one of them dies, to the one that's left-' 'Stop it!' Isabelle clapped her hands over her ears, then lowered them slowly. 'How dare you, Magnus Bane, ' she said. 'How dare you make this worse than it is -' 'Isabelle.' Magnus' hands loosened; he looked a little wide-eyed, as if his outburst had startled even him. 'I am sorry. I forget, sometimes... that with all your self-control and strength, you possess the same vulnerability that Alec does.' 'There is nothing weak about Alec, ' said Isabelle. 'No, ' said Magnus. 'To love as you choose, that takes strength. The thing is, I wanted you here for him. There are things I can't do for him, can't give him... ' For a moment Magnus looked oddly vulnerable. 'You have known Jace as long as he has. You can give him understanding I can't. And he loves you.' 'Of course he loves me. I'm his sister.' 'Blood isn't love, ' said Magnus, and his voice was bitter. 'Just ask Clary.
Magnus remembered a town in Peru whose Quechua name meant 'quiet place.' He recalled even more vividly being obscenely drunk and unhappy over his heartbreak of that time, and the maudlin thoughts that had recurred to him over the years, like an unwanted guest slipping in through his doors: that there was no peace for such as he, no quiet place, and there never would be. Except he found himself remembering lying in bed with Alec-all of their clothes on, lounging on the bed on a lazy afternoon, Alec laughing, head thrown back, the marks Magnus had left on his throat very plain to see.
Sarah Rees Brennan
Hey, Alec, " he said. The man was on his hands and knees, leaning his face into the middle of a bush; he grunted something that kind of sounded like a "Yeah?" "Why are we spending so much time on this side of where we left them?" Alec pulled himself out of the bush and looked back at him. "Seemed logical. I'd think they either followed us out of here to find us, or they were taken by the same yahoos who attacked us. Or... maybe they went to investigate the fire." Mark thought that was all barking up the wrong tree. "Or they ran away from the fire. Not every person on earth is as wacky-brained as you, good sir. Most people see a huge roaring inferno coming at them? They decide to cut and run. Just saying.
Go and change your gown, Mary," Daniel interjected. "I'm partial to gold. If you've a gown in that color, wear it to please me. If not, white will do well enough. I'm wedding you, Lady Mary." Lord Daniel Ferguson caught Lady Mary before she hit the floor. He wasn't at all irritated that his intended had just fainted dead away, and he actually let out a full burst of laughter as he swept Mary up into his arms and held her against his chest. "She's overcome with gratitude, Alec," Daniel called out to his friend. "Aye, Daniel, I can see she is," Alec answered.
You never called me back, " he said. "I called you so many times and you never called me back." Magnus looked at Alec as if he'd lost his mind. "Your city is under attack, " he said. "The wards have been broken, and the streets are full of demons. And you want to know why I haven't called you?" Alec set his jaw in a stubborn line. "I want to know why you haven't called me back." Magnus threw his hands up in the air in a gesture of utter exasperation. Alec noted with interest that when he did it, a few sparks escaped from his fingertips, like fireflies escaping from a jar. "You're an idiot." "Is that why you haven't called me? Because I'm an idiot?" "No." Magnus strode toward him. "I didn't call you because I'm tired of you only wanting me around when you need something. I'm tired of watching you be in love with someone else - someone, incidentally, who will never love you back. Not the way I do." "You love me?" "You stupid Nephilim, " Magnus said patiently. "Why else am I here? Why else would I have spent the past few weeks patching up all your moronic friends every time they got hurt? And getting you out of every ridiculous situation you found yourself in? Not to mention helping you win a battle against Valentine. And all completely free of charge!
Alec looked down at the shattered pieces in disbelief. "You BROKE my PHONE." Jace shrugged. "Guys don't let other guys keep calling other guys. Okay, that came out wrong. Friends don't let friends keep calling their exes and hanging up. Seriously. You have to stop." Alec looked furious. "So you broke my brand new phone? Thanks a lot." Jace smiled serenely and lay back on the grass. "You're welcome.
You're here!' Isabelle danced up to them in delight, carrying a glass of fuchsia liquid, which she thrust at Clary. 'Have some of this!' Clary squinted at it. 'Is it going to turn me into a rodent?' 'Where is the trust? I think it's strawberry juice, ' Isabelle said. 'Anyways, it's yummy. Jace?' She offered him the glass. 'I am a man, ' he told her, 'and men do not consume pink beverages. Get thee gone, woman, and bring me something brown.' 'Brown?' Isabelle made a face. 'Brown is a manly color, ' said Jace, and yanked on a stray lock of Isabelle's hair with his free hand. 'In fact, look - Alec is wearing it.' Alec looked mournfully down at his sweater. 'It was black, ' he said. 'But then it faded.' 'You could dress it up with a sequined headband, ' Magnus suggested, offering his boyfriend something blue and sparkly. 'Just a thought.' 'Resist the urge, Alec.' Simon was sitting on the edge of a low wall with Maia beside him, though she appeared to be deep in conversation with Aline. 'You'll look like Olivia Newton-John in Xanadu.' 'There are worse things, ' Magnus observed.
I'm seven hundred years old, Alexander. I know when something isn't going to work. You won't even admit I exist to your parents." Alec stared at him. "I thought you were three hundred! You're seven huundred years old?" "Well, " Magnus amended, "eight hundred. But I dont look it. Anyway, you're missing the point. The point is-" But Alec never found out what the point was because at that moment a dozen more Iblis demons flooded into the square. He felt his jaw drop. "Damn it." Magnus followed his gaze. the demons were already fanning out into a half circle around them, their yellow eyes glowing. "Way to change the subject, Lightwood.
The pony is mad. She can go from a relaxed walk to a flat out gallop in seconds if something spooks her, and she won't stop until she practically crashes into something. I've seen her buck, rear and spin around in circles. She's completely unpredictable and I don't even trust her on the ground. As far as I'm concerned, Alec's welcome to her, and he relishes the challenge. For some reason, he loves that pony most of all. Perhaps it's because no-one else would give her a chance, that they'd written her off as crazy, mean, dangerous. Alec admires her independent spirit, I think, and maybe he likes that she still has that strength of spirit, that she still challenges him every time he rides her. He can't completely dominate her, and he doesn't try. He wants a partnership with her. And slowly, slowly, his father is taking that away from him, bullying the mare and his son at the same time, seeking to fit them into the same mould, the only one he knows. The strong succeed while the weak fall behind.
Isabelle drifted over, Jace a pace behind her. She was wearing a long black dress with boots and an even longer cutaway coat of soft green velvet, the color of moss. "I can't believe you did it!" she exclaimed. "How did you get Magnus to let Jace leave?" "Traded him for Alec, " Clary said. Isabelle looked mildly alarmed. "Not permanently?" "No, " said Jace. "Just for a few hours. Unless I don't come back, " he added thoughtfully. "In which case, maybe he does get to keep Alec. Think of it as a lease with an option to buy." Isabelle looked dubious. "Mom and Dad won't be pleased if they find out." "That you freed a possible criminal by trading away your brother to a warlock who looks like a gay Sonic the Hedgehog and dresses like the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?" Simon inquired. "No, probably not.