Clary hung up the phone with a frown. “No answer.”
“Who is it you were trying to call?” Luke was on his fifth cup of coffee and Clary was starting to worry about him. Surely there was such a thing as caffeine poisoning? He didn’t seem on the verge of a fit or anything, but she surreptitiously unplugged the percolator on her way back to the table, just in case. “Simon?”
“No. I feel weird waking him up during the daytime, though he said it doesn’t bother him as long as he doesn’t have to see day light.”
“I was calling Isabelle. I want to know what’s going on with Jace.”
“She didn’t answer?”
“No.” Clary’s stomach rumbled. She went to the refrigerator, removed a peach yogurt, and ate it mechanically, tasting nothing. She was halfway through the container when she remembered something. “Maia,” she said. “We should check and see if she’s okay.” She set the yogurt down. “I’ll go.”
“No, I’m her pack leader. She trusts me. I can calm her down if she’s upset,” Luke said. “I’ll be right back.”
“Don’t say that,” Clary begged. “I hate it when people say that.”
He smiled at her crookedly and ducked out into the hallway. Within a few minutes he was back, looking stunned. “She’s gone.”
“Gone? Gone how?”
“I mean she snuck out of the house. She left this.” He tossed a folded piece of paper onto the table. Clary picked it up and read the scrawled sentences with a frown:
Sorry about everything. Gone to make amends. Thanks for all you’ve done. Maia.
“Gone to make amends? What does that mean?”
Luke sighed. “I was hoping you would know.”
“Are you worried?”
“Raum demons are retrievers,” Luke said. “They find people and bring them back to whoever summoned them. That demon could still be looking for her.”
“Oh,” Clary said in a small voice. “Well, my guess would be that she means she went to see Simon.”
Luke looked surprised. “Does she know where he lives?”
“I don’t know,” Clary admitted. “They seem kind of close in a way. She might.” She fished into her pocket for her phone. “I’ll call him.”
“I thought calling him made you feel weird.”
“Not as weird as everything else that’s going on.” She scrolled through her address book for Simon’s number. It rang three times before he picked up, sounding groggy.
“It’s me.” She turned away from Luke as she spoke, more out of habit than from any desire to hide the conversation from him.
“You do know I’m nocturnal now,” he said with groan. She could hear him rolling over in bed. “That means I sleep all day.”
“Are you at home?”
“Yeah, where else would I be?” His voice sharpened, sleep falling away. “What is it, Clary, what’s wrong?”
“Maia ran off. She left a note saying she might be going to your house.”
Simon sounded puzzled. “Well, she didn’t. Or if she did, she hasn’t shown up yet.”
“Is anyone else home but you?”
“No, my mom’s at work and Rebecca has classes. Why, you really think Maia’s going to show up here?”
“Just give us a call if she does—”
Simon cut her off. “Clary.” His tone was urgent. “Hang on a second. I think someone’s trying to break into my house.”
Time passed inside the prison, and Jace watched the shocking silver rain falling all around him with a detached sort of interest. His fingers had started to go numb, which he suspected was a bad sign, but he couldn’t bring himself to care. He wondered if the Lightwoods knew he was up here, or if someone entering the training room would get a nasty surprise when they found him locked up in it. But no, the Inquisitor wasn’t that sloppy. She would have told them the room was off-limits until she disposed of the prisoner in whatever manner she saw fit. He supposed he ought to be angry, even afraid, but he couldn’t bring himself to care about that either. Nothing seemed real anymore: not the Clave, not the Covenant, not the Law, not even his father.
A soft footfall alerted him to the presence of someone else in the room. He’d been lying on his back, staring at the ceiling; now he sat up, his gaze flicking around the room. He could see a dark shape just beyond the shimmering rain-curtain. It must be the Inquisitor, back to sneer at him some more. He braced himself—then saw, with a jolt, the dark hair and familiar face.
Maybe there were still some things he cared about, after all. “Alec?”
“It’s me.” Alec knelt down on the other side of the glimmering wall. It was like looking at someone through clear water rippled with current; Jace could see Alec clearly now, but occasionally his features would seem to waver and dissolve as the fiery rain shimmered and undulated.
It was enough to make you seasick, Jace thought.
“What in the Angel’s name is this stuff?” Alec reached out to touch the wall.
“Don’t.” Jace reached out, then drew back quickly before he made contact with the wall. “It’ll shock you, maybe kill you if you try to pass through it.”
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 nuns.”
“Don’t joke. This is serious stuff.” Alec’s eyes were somber. “What the hell were you thinking, going to see Valentine? I mean, seriously, what was going through your head?”
A number of smart remarks occurred to Jace, but he found he didn’t want to make any of them. He was too tired. “I was thinking that he’s my father.”
Alec looked as if he were mentally counting to ten to maintain his patience. “Jace—”
“What if it was your father? What would you do?”
“My father? My father would never do the things that Valentine—”
Jace’s head jerked up. “Your father did do those things! He was in the Circle along with my father! Your mother, too! Our parents were all the same. The only difference is that yours got caught and punished, and mine didn’t!”
Alec’s face tightened. But “The only difference?” was all he said.
Jace looked down at his hands. The burning cuffs weren’t meant to be left on so long. The skin underneath them was dotted with beads of blood.
“I just meant,” Alec said, “that I don’t see how you could want to see him, not after what’s he’s done in general, but after what he did to you.”
Jace said nothing.
“All those years,” Alec said. “He let you think he was dead. Maybe you don’t remember what it was like when you were ten years old, but I do. Nobody who loved you could do—could do anything like that.”
Thin lines of blood were making their way down Jace’s hands, like red string unraveling. “Valentine told me,” he said quietly, “that if I supported him against the Clave, if I did that, he’d make sure no one I cared about was hurt. Not you or Isabelle or Max. Not Clary. Not your parents. He said—”
“No one would be hurt?” Alec echoed derisively. “You mean he wouldn’t hurt them himself. Nice.”
“I saw what he can do, Alec. The kind of demonic force he can summon. If he brings his demon army against the Clave, there will be a war. And people get hurt in wars. They die in wars.” He hesitated. “If you had the chance to save everyone you loved—”
“But what kind of chance is it? What’s Valentine’s word even worth?”
“If he swears on the Angel that he’ll do something, he’ll do it. I know him.”
“If you support him against the Clave.”
“He must have been pretty pissed when you said no,” Alec observed.
Jace looked up from his bleeding wrists and stared. “What?”
“I know what you said. What makes you think I said no?”
“Well, you did. Didn’t you?”
Very slowly, Jace nodded.
“I know you,” Alec said, with supreme confidence, and stood up. “You told the Inquisitor about Valentine and his plans, didn’t you? And she didn’t care?”
“I wouldn’t say she didn’t care. More like she didn’t really believe me. She’s got a plan she thinks will take care of Valentine. The only problem is, her plan sucks.”
Alec nodded. “You can fill me in on that later. First things first: We have to figure out how to get you out of here.”
“What?” Disbelief made Jace feel slightly dizzy. “I thought you came down right on the side of go directly to jail, do not pass Go, do not collect two hundred dollars. ‘The Law is the Law, Isabelle.’ What was all that you were spouting?”
Alec looked astonished. “You can’t have thought I meant that. I just wanted the Inquisitor to trust me so she wouldn’t be watching me all the time like she’s watching Izzy and Max. She knows they’re on your side.”
“And you? Are you on my side?” Jace could hear the roughness in his own question and was almost overwhelmed by how much the answer meant to him.
“I’m with you,” Alec said, “always. Why do you even have to ask? I may respect the Law, but what the Inquisitor has been doing to you has nothing to do with the Law. I don’t know exactly what’s going on, but the hatred she has for you is personal. It has nothing to do with the Clave.”
“I bait her,” said Jace. “I can’t help it. Vicious bureaucrats get under my skin.”
Alec shook his head. “It’s not that either. It’s an old hate. I can feel it.”
Jace was about to answer when the cathedral bells began to ring. This close to the roof, the sound was echoingly loud. He glanced up—he still half-expected to see Hugo flying among the wooden rafters in his slow, thoughtful circles. The raven had always liked it up there between the rafters and the arched stone ceiling. At the time Jace had thought the bird liked to dig his claws into the soft wood; now he realized the rafters had lent him an excellent vantage point for spying.
An idea began to take shape in the back of Jace’s mind, dark and formless. Out loud he said only, “Luke said something about the Inquisitor having a son named Stephen. He said she was trying to get even for him. I asked her about him and she freaked out. I think it might have something to do with why she hates me so much.”
The bells had stopped ringing. Alec said, “Maybe. I could ask my parents, but I doubt they’d tell me.”
“No, don’t ask them. Ask Luke.”
“Go all the way back to Brooklyn, you mean? Look, sneaking out of here is going to be all but impossible—”
“Use Isabelle’s phone. Text Clary. Tell her to ask Luke.”
“Okay.” Alec paused. “Do you want me to say anything else to her for you? To Clary, I mean, not Isabelle.”
“No,” Jace said. “I don’t have anything to say to her.”
“Simon!” Clutching the phone, Clary whirled toward Luke. “He says someone’s trying to break into his house.”
“Tell him to get out of there.”
“I can’t get out of here,” Simon said tightly. “Not unless I want to catch on fire.”
“Daylight,” she said to Luke, but she saw he’d already realized the problem and was searching for something in his pockets. Car keys. He held them up.
“Tell Simon we’re coming. Tell him to lock himself in a room until we get there.”
“Did you hear that? Lock yourself in a room.”
“I heard.” Simon’s voice sounded tense; Clary could hear a soft scraping sound, then a heavy thump.
“I’m fine. I’m just piling things against the door.”
“What kind of things?” She was out on the porch now, shivering in her thin sweater. Luke, behind her, was locking up the house.
“A desk,” Simon said with some satisfaction. “And my bed.”
“Your bed?” Clary climbed up into the truck beside Luke, struggling one-handed with her seat belt as Luke peeled out of the driveway and rocketed down Kent. He reached over and buckled it for her. “How did you lift your bed?”
“You forget. Super vampire strength.”
“Ask him what he’s hearing,” Luke said. They were speeding down the street, which would have been fine if the Brooklyn waterfront had been better maintained. Clary gasped every time they hit a pothole.
“What are you hearing?” she asked, catching her breath.
“I heard the front door crash in. I think someone must have kicked it open. Then Yossarian came streaking into my room and hid under the bed. That’s how I knew there was definitely someone in the house.”
“Now I don’t hear anything.”
“That’s good, right?” Clary turned to Luke. “He says he doesn’t hear anything now. Maybe they went away.”
“Maybe.” Luke sounded doubtful. They were on the expressway now, speeding toward Simon’s neighborhood. “Keep him on the phone anyway.”
“What are you doing now, Simon?”
“Nothing. I’ve shoved everything in the room against the door. Now I’m trying to get Yossarian out from behind the heating vent.”
P/S: Copyright -->www_Novel12_Com