“Raum demons?” Luke sat up straight. “That’s serious stuff. Drevak demons are dangerous pests, but the Raum—”
“It’s all right,” Clary told him. “We got rid of them.”
“You got rid of them? Or Jace did? Clary, I don’t want you—”
“It wasn’t like that.” She shook her head. “It was like…”
“Wasn’t Magnus around? Why didn’t he go with you?” Luke interrupted, clearly upset.
“I was healing Maia, that’s why,” Magnus said, coming into the living room smelling strongly of grapefruit. His hair was wrapped in a towel and he was dressed in a blue satin tracksuit with silver stripes down the side. “Where is the gratitude?”
“I am grateful.” Luke looked as if he were both angry and trying not to laugh at the same time. “It’s just that if anything had happened to Clary—”
“You would have died if I’d gone out there with them,” Magnus said, flopping down into a chair. “She and Jace handled the demons just fine on their own, didn’t you?” He turned to Clary.
She squirmed. “You see, that’s just it—”
“What’s just it?” It was Maia, still in the clothes she’d worn the night before, with one of Luke’s big flannel shirts thrown over her T-shirt. She moved stiffly across the room and sat down gingerly in a chair. “Is that coffee I smell?” she asked hopefully, wrinkling her nose.
Honestly, Clary thought, it was hardly fair for a werewolf to be curvy and pretty; she ought to be big and hirsute, possibly with hair coming out of her ears. And this, Clary added silently, is exactly why I don’t have any female friends and spend all my time with Simon. I’ve got to get a grip. She rose to her feet. “You want me to get you some?”
“Sure.” Maia nodded. “Milk and sugar!” she called as Clary left the room, but by the time she was back from the kitchen, steaming mug in hand, the werewolf girl was frowning. “I don’t really remember what happened last night,” she said, “but there’s something about Simon, something that’s bothering me…”
“Well, you did try to kill him,” Clary said, settling back onto the arm of the sofa. “Maybe that’s it.”
Maia paled, staring down into her coffee. “I’d forgotten. He’s a vampire now.” She looked up at Clary. “I didn’t mean to hurt him. I was just…”
“Yes?” Clary raised her eyebrows. “Just what?”
Maia’s face went a slow, dark red. She set her coffee down on the table beside her.
“You might want to lie down,” Magnus advised. “I find that helps when the crushing sense of horrible realization sets in.”
Maia’s eyes filled suddenly with tears. Clary looked toward Magnus in horror—he looked equally shocked, she noticed—and then to Luke. “Do something,” she hissed at him under her breath. Magnus might be a warlock who could heal fatal injuries with a flash of blue fire, but Luke was hands down the top choice between the two for dealing with crying teenage girls.
Luke began to kick back his blanket in preparation for rising, but before he could get to his feet, the front door banged open and Jace came in, followed by Alec, who was carrying a white box. Magnus hastily pulled the towel off his head and dropped it behind the armchair. Without the gel and glitter, his hair was dark and straight, halfway to his shoulders.
Clary’s eyes went immediately to Jace, as they always did; she couldn’t help it, but at least no one else seemed to notice. Jace looked strung up, wired and tense, but also exhausted, his eyes ringed with gray. His eyes slid over her without expression and landed on Maia, who was still weeping soundlessly and didn’t seem to have heard them come in. “Everyone in a good mood, I see,” he observed. “Keeping up morale?”
Maia rubbed at her eyes. “Crap,” she muttered. “I hate crying in front of Shadowhunters.”
“So go cry in another room,” Jace said, his voice devoid of warmth. “We certainly don’t need you sniveling in here while we’re talking, do we?”
“Jace,” Luke began warningly, but Maia had already gotten to her feet and stalked out of the room through the kitchen door.
Clary turned on Jace. “Talking? We weren’t talking.”
“But we will be,” Jace said, flopping down onto the piano bench and stretching out his long legs. “Magnus wants to shout at me, don’t you, Magnus?”
“Yes,” Magnus said, tearing his eyes away from Alec long enough to scowl. “Where the hell were you? I thought I was clear with you that you were to stay in the house.”
“I thought he didn’t have a choice,” Clary said. “I thought he had to stay where you are. You know, because of magic.”
“Normally, yes,” Magnus said crossly, “but last night, after everything I did, my magic was—depleted.”
“Yes.” Magnus looked angrier than ever. “Even the High Warlock of Brooklyn doesn’t have inexhaustible resources. I’m only human. Well,” he amended, “half-human, anyway.”
“But you must have known your resources were depleted,” Luke said, not unkindly, “didn’t you?”
“Yes, and I made the little bastard swear to stay in the house.” Magnus glared at Jace. “Now I know what your much-vaunted Shadowhunter vows are worth.”
“You need to know how to make me swear properly,” Jace said, unfazed. “Only an oath on the Angel has any meaning.”
“It’s true,” Alec said. It was the first thing he’d said since they’d come into the house.
“Of course it’s true.” Jace picked up Maia’s untouched mug of coffee and took a sip. He made a face. “Sugar.”
“Where were you all night, anyway?” Magnus asked, his voice sour. “With Alec?”
“I couldn’t sleep, so I went for a walk,” Jace said. “When I got back, I bumped into this sad bastard mooning around the porch.” He pointed at Alec.
Magnus brightened. “Were you there all night?” he asked Alec.
“No,” Alec said. “I went home and then came back. I’m wearing different clothes, aren’t I? Look.”
Everyone looked. Alec was wearing a dark sweater and jeans, which was exactly what he’d been wearing the day before. Clary decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. “What’s in the box?” she asked.
“Oh. Ah.” Alec looked at the box as if he’d forgotten it. “Doughnuts, actually.” He opened the box and set it down on the coffee table. “Does anyone want one?”
Everyone, as it turned out, wanted a doughnut. Jace wanted two. After downing the Boston cream that Clary brought him, Luke seemed moderately revitalized; he kicked the blanket the rest of the way off and sat up against the back of the couch. “There’s one thing I don’t get,” he said.
“Just one thing? You’re way ahead of the rest of us,” said Jace.
“The two of you went out after me when I didn’t come back to the house,” Luke said, looking from Clary to Jace.
“Three of us,” Clary said. “Simon came with.”
Luke looked pained. “Fine. The three of you. There were two demons, but Clary says you killed neither of them. So what happened?”
“I would have killed mine, but it ran off,” Jace said. “Otherwise—”
“But why would it do that?” Alec inquired. “Two of them, three of you—maybe it felt outnumbered?”
“No offense to anyone involved, but the only one among you who seems formidable is Jace,” Magnus said. “An untrained Shadowhunter and a scared vampire…”
“I think it might have been me,” Clary said. “I think maybe I scared it off.”
Magnus blinked. “Didn’t I just say—”
“I don’t mean I scared it off because I’m so terrifying,” Clary said. “I think it was this.” She raised her hand, turning it so that they could see the Mark on her inner arm.
There was a sudden quiet. Jace looked at her steadily, then away; Alec blinked, and Luke looked astounded. “I’ve never seen that Mark before,” he said finally. “Has anyone else?”
“No,” Magnus said. “But I don’t like it.”
“I’m not sure what it is, or what it means,” Clary said, lowering her arm. “But it doesn’t come from the Gray Book.”
“All runes come from the Gray Book.” Jace’s voice was firm.
“Not this one,” Clary said. “I saw it in a dream.”
“In a dream?” Jace looked as furious as if she were personally insulting him. “What are you playing at, Clary?”
“I’m not playing at anything. Don’t you remember when we were in the Seelie Court—”
Jace looked as if she had hit him. Clary went on, quickly, before he could say anything:
“—and the Seelie Queen told us we were experiments? That Valentine had done—had done things to us, to make us different, special? She told me that mine was the gift of words that cannot be spoken, and yours was the Angel’s own gift?”
“That was faerie nonsense.”
“Faeries don’t lie, Jace. Words that cannot be spoken—she meant runes. Each has a different meaning, but they’re meant to be drawn, not said aloud.” She went on, ignoring his doubtful look. “Remember when you asked me how I’d gotten into your cell in the Silent City? I told you I just used a regular Opening rune—”
“Was that all you did?” Alec looked surprised. “I got there just after you did and it looked like someone had ripped that door off its hinges.”
“And my rune didn’t just unlock the door,” Clary said. “It unlocked everything inside the cell, too. It broke Jace’s manacles open.” She took a breath. “I think the Queen meant I can draw runes that are more powerful than ordinary runes. And maybe even create new ones.”
Jace shook his head. “No one can create new runes—”
“Maybe she can, Jace.” Alec sounded thoughtful. “It’s true, none of us have ever seen that Mark on her arm before.”
“Alec’s right,” Luke said. “Clary, why don’t you go and get your sketchbook?”
She looked at him in some surprise. His gray-blue eyes were tired, a little sunken, but held the same steadiness they’d held when she was six years old and he’d promised her that if she climbed the jungle gym in the Prospect Park playground, he’d always be standing underneath it to catch her if she fell. And he always had been.
“Okay,” she said. “I’ll be right back.”
To get to the spare bedroom, Clary had to cross through the kitchen, where she found Maia seated on a stool pulled up to the counter, looking miserable. “Clary,” she said, jumping down from the stool. “Can I talk to you for a second?”
“I’m just going to my room to get something—”
“Look, I’m sorry about what happened with Simon. I was delirious.”
“Oh, yeah? What happened to all that werewolves are destined to hate vampires business?”
Maia blew out an exasperated breath. “We are, but—I guess I don’t have to hurry the process along.”
“Don’t explain it to me; explain it to Simon.”
Maia flushed again, her cheeks turning dark red. “I doubt he’ll want to talk to me.”
“He might. He’s pretty forgiving.”
Maia looked at her more closely. “Not that I want to pry, but are you two going out?”
Clary felt herself start to flush and thanked her freckles for providing at least some cover-up. “Why do you want to know?”
Maia shrugged. “The first time I met him he referred to you as his best friend, but the second time he called you his girlfriend. I wondered if it was an on-off thing.”
“Sort of. We were friends first. It’s a long story.”
“I see.” Maia’s blush had vanished and her tough-girl smirk was back on her face. “Well, you’re lucky, that’s all. Even if he is a vampire now. You must be pretty used to all sorts of weird stuff, being a Shadowhunter, so I bet it doesn’t faze you.”
“It fazes me,” Clary said, more sharply than she’d intended. “I’m not Jace.”
The smirk widened. “No one is. And I get the feeling he knows it.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Oh, you know. Jace reminds me of an old boyfriend. Some guys look at you like they want sex. Jace looks at you like you’ve already had sex, it was great, and now you’re just friends—even though you want more. Drives girls crazy. You know what I mean?”
Yes, Clary thought. “No,” she said.
“I guess you wouldn’t, being his sister. You’ll have to take my word on it.”
“I have to go.” Clary was almost out the kitchen door when something occurred to her and she turned around. “What happened to him?”
Maia blinked. “What happened to who?”
“The old boyfriend. The one Jace reminds you of.”
“Oh,” Maia said. “He’s the one who turned me into a werewolf.”
“All right, I got it,” Clary said, coming back into the living room with her sketchpad in one hand and a box of Prismacolor pencils in the other. She pulled a chair out from the little-used dining room table—Luke always ate in the kitchen or in his office, and the table was covered in paper and old bills—and sat down, sketchpad in front of her. She felt as if she were taking a test at art school. Draw this apple. “What do you want me to do?”
***P/S: Copyright -->Novel12__Com