"That wasn't him," Clary said in the softest, deadliest voice she could imagine. "Do you think I'd stay for one second with a boy who threatened me with a knife, even if I loved him? Maybe you've been living too long in the mundane world, Mom, but there is magic. The person who hurt me wasn't Jace. It was a demon wearing his face. And the person we're looking for now isn't Jace. But if he dies..."
"There's no chance of getting Jace back," said Alec.
"There may already be no chance," said Jocelyn. "God, Clary, look at the evidence. You thought you and Jace were brother and sister! You sacrificed everything to save his life, and a Greater Demon used him to get to you! When are you going to face the fact that the two of you are not meant to be together?"
Clary jerked back as if her mother had hit her. Brother Zachariah stood as still as a statue, as if no one were shouting at all. Magnus and Alec were staring; Jocelyn was red-cheeked, her eyes glittering with anger. Not trusting herself to speak, Clary spun on her heel, stalked down the hallway to Magnus's spare bedroom, and slammed the door behind her.
"All right, I'm here," Simon said. A cold wind was blowing across the flat expanse of the roof garden, and he stuffed his hands into the pockets of his jeans. He didn't really feel the cold, but he felt like he ought to. He raised his voice. "I showed up. Where are you?"
The roof garden of the Greenwich Hotel-now closed, and therefore empty of people-was done up like an English garden, with carefully shaped dwarf box trees, elegantly scattered wicker and glass furniture, and Lillet umbrellas that flapped in the stiff wind. The trellises of climbing roses, bare in the cold, spider-webbed the stone walls that surrounded the roof, above which Simon could see a gleaming view of downtown New York. "I am here," said a voice, and a slender shadow detached itself from a wicker armchair and rose. "I had begun to wonder if you were coming, Daylighter."
"Raphael," Simon said in a resigned voice. He walked forward, across the hardwood planks that wound between the flower borders and artificial pools lined with shining quartz. "I was wondering myself."
As he came closer, he could see Raphael clearly. Simon had excellent night vision, and only Raphael's skill at blending with the shadows had kept him hidden before. The other vampire was wearing a black suit, turned up at the cuffs to show the gleam of cuff links in the shape of chains. He still had the face of a little boy angel, though his gaze as he regarded Simon was cold. "When the head of the Manhattan vampire clan calls you, Lewis, you come."
"And what would you do if I didn't? Stake me?" Simon spread his arms wide. "Take a shot. Do whatever you want to me. Go nuts."
"Dios, but you are boring," said Raphael. Behind him, by the wall, Simon could see the chrome gleam of the vampire motorcycle he'd ridden to get here.
Simon lowered his arms. "You're the one who asked me to meet you."
"I have a job offer for you," said Raphael.
"Seriously? You short-staffed at the hotel?"
"I need a bodyguard."
Simon eyed him. "Have you been watching The Bodyguard? Because I am not going to fall in love with you and carry you around in my burly arms."
Raphael looked at him sourly. "I would pay you extra money to remain entirely silent while you worked."
Simon stared at him. "You're serious, aren't you?"
"I would not bother coming to see you if I were not serious. If I were in a joking mood, I would spend that time with someone I liked." Raphael sat back down in the armchair. "Camille Belcourt is free in the city of New York. The Shadowhunters are entirely caught up with this stupid business with Valentine's son and will not be bothered to track her down. She represents an immediate danger to me, for she wishes to reassert her control of the Manhattan clan. Most are loyal to me. Killing me would be the fastest way for her to put herself back at the top of the hierarchy."
"Okay," Simon said slowly. "But why me?"
"You are a Daylighter. Others can protect me during the night, but you can protect me in the day, when most of our kind are helpless. And you carry the Mark of Cain. With you between me and her, she would not dare to strike at me."
"That's all true, but I'm not doing it."
Raphael looked incredulous. "Why not?"
The words exploded out of Simon. "Are you kidding? Because you have never done one single thing for me in the entire time since I became a vampire. Instead you have done your level best to make my life miserable and then end it. So-if you want it in vampire language-it affords me great pleasure, my liege, to say to you now: Hell, no."
"It is not wise for you to make an enemy of me, Daylighter. As friends-"
Simon laughed incredulously. "Wait a second. Were we friends? That was friends?"
Raphael's fang teeth snapped out. He was very angry indeed, Simon realized. "I know why you refuse me, Daylighter, and it is not out of some pretended sense of rejection. You are so involved with the Shadowhunters, you think you are one of them. We have seen you with them. Instead of spending your nights in the hunt, as you should, you spend them with Valentine's daughter. You live with a werewolf. You are a disgrace."
"Do you act like this with every job interview?"
Raphael bared his teeth. "You must decide if you are a vampire or a Shadowhunter, Daylighter."
"I'll take Shadowhunter, then. Because from what I've experienced of vampires, you mostly suck. No pun intended."
Raphael stood up. "You are making a grave mistake."
"I already told you-"
The other vampire waved a hand, cutting him off. "There is a great darkness coming. It will sweep the Earth with fire and shadow, and when it is gone, there will be no more of your precious Shadowhunters. We, the Night Children, will survive it, for we live in darkness. But if you persist in denying what you are, you too will be destroyed, and none shall lift a hand to help you."
Without thinking, Simon raised his hand to touch the Mark on his forehead.
Raphael laughed soundlessly. "Ah, yes, the Angel's brand upon you. In the time of darkness even the angels will be destroyed. Their strength will not aid you. And you had better pray, Daylighter, that you do not lose that Mark before the war comes. For if you do, there will be a line of enemies waiting their turn to kill you. And I will be at the head of it."
Clary had been lying on her back on Magnus's sofa bed for a long time. She had heard her mother come down the hall and go into one of the other spare bedroom, shutting the door behind her. Through her own door she could hear Magnus and Alec talking in low voices in the living room. She supposed she could wait for them to go to sleep, but Alec had said Magnus had been up until all hours lately studying the runes; even though Brother Zachariah appeared to have interpreted them, she couldn't trust that Alec and Magnus would retire soon.
She sat up on the bed next to Chairman Meow, who made a fuzzy noise of protest, and rummaged in her backpack. She drew out of it a clear plastic box and flipped it open. There were her Prismacolor pencils, some stumps of chalk-and her stele.
She stood up, slipping the stele into her jacket pocket. Taking her phone off the desk, she texted MEET ME AT TAKI'S. She watched as the message went through, then tucked the phone into her jeans and took a deep breath.
This wasn't fair to Magnus, she knew. He'd promised her mother he'd look after her, and that didn't include her sneaking out of his apartment. But she had kept her mouth shut. She hadn't promised anything. And besides, it was Jace.
You would do anything to save him, whatever it cost you, whatever you might owe to Hell or Heaven, would you not?
She took out her stele, set the tip to the orange paint of the wall, and began to draw a Portal.
The sharp banging noise woke Jordan out of a sound sleep. He bolted upright instantly and rolled out of bed to land in a crouch on the floor. Years of training with the Praetor had left him with fast reflexes and a permanent habit of sleeping lightly. A quick sight-scent scan told him the room was empty-just moonlight pooling on the floor at his feet.
The banging came again, and this time he recognized it. It was the sound of someone pounding on the front door. He usually slept in just his boxer shorts; yanking on jeans and a T-shirt, he kicked the door of his room open and strode out into the hallway. If this was a bunch of drunk college kids amusing themselves by knocking on all the doors in the building, they were about to get a faceful of angry werewolf.
He reached the door-and paused. The image came to him again, as it had in the hours it had taken him to fall asleep, of Maia running away from him at the navy yard. The look on her face when she'd pulled away from him. He'd pushed her too far, he knew, asked for too much, too fast. Blown it completely, probably. Unless-maybe she'd reconsidered. There had been a time when their relationship had been all passionate fights and equally passionate make-up sessions.
His heart pounding, he threw the door open. And blinked. On the doorstep stood Isabelle Lightwood, her long black glossy hair falling almost to her waist. She wore black suede knee-high boots, tight jeans, and a red silky top with her familiar red pendant around her throat, glittering darkly.
"Isabelle?" He couldn't hide the surprise in his voice, or, he suspected, the disappointment.
"Yeah, well, I wasn't looking for you, either," she said, pushing past him into the apartment. She smelled of Shadowhunter-a smell like sun-warmed glass-and underneath that, a rosy perfume. "I was looking for Simon."
Jordan squinted at her. "It's two in the morning."
She shrugged. "He's a vampire."
"But I'm not."
"Ohhhhh?" Her red lips curled up at the corners. "Did I wake you up?" She reached out and flicked the top button on his jeans, the tip of her fingernail scraping across his flat stomach. He felt his muscles jump. Izzy was gorgeous, there was no denying that. She was also a little terrifying. He wondered how unassuming Simon managed to handle her at all. "You might want to button these all the way up. Nice boxers, by the by." She moved past him, toward Simon's bedroom. Jordan followed, buttoning his jeans and muttering about how there was nothing strange about having a pattern of dancing penguins on your underwear.
Isabelle ducked her head into Simon's room. "He's not here." She slammed the door behind her and leaned back against the wall, looking at Jordan. "You did say it was two in the morning?"
"Yeah. He's probably at Clary's. He's been sleeping there a lot lately."
Isabelle bit her lip. "Right. Of course."
Jordan was beginning to get that feeling he got sometimes, that he was saying something unfortunate, without knowing exactly what that thing was. "Is there a reason you came over here? I mean, did something happen? Is something wrong?"
"Wrong?" Isabelle threw up her hands. "You mean other than the fact that my brother has disappeared and has probably been brainwashed by the evil demon who murdered my other brother, and my parents are getting divorced and Simon is off with Clary-"
She stopped abruptly and stalked past him into the living room. He hurried after her. By the time he caught up, she was in the kitchen, rifling through the pantry shelves. "Do you have anything to drink? A nice Barolo? Sagrantino?"
Jordan took her by the shoulders and moved her gently out of the kitchen. "Sit," he said. "I'll get you some tequila."
"Tequila's what we have. That and cough syrup."
Sitting down at one of the stools that lined the kitchen counter, she waved a hand at him. He would have expected her to have long red or pink fingernails, buffed to perfection, to match the rest of her, but no-she was a Shadowhunter. Her hands were scarred, the nails squared off and filed down. The Voyance rune shone blackly on her right hand. "Fine."
Jordan grabbed the bottle of Cuervo, uncapped it, and poured her a shot. He pushed the glass across the counter. She downed it instantly, frowned, and slammed the glass down.
"Not enough," she said, reached across the counter, and took the bottle out of his hand. She tilted her head back and swallowed once, twice, three times. When she set the bottle back down, her cheeks were flushed.
"Where'd you learn to drink like that?" He wasn't sure if he should be impressed or frightened.
"The drinking age in Idris is fifteen. Not that anyone pays attention. I've been drinking wine mixed with water along with my parents since I was a kid." Isabelle shrugged. The gesture lacked a little of her usual fluid coordination.
"Okay. Well, is there a message you want me to give Simon, or anything I can say or-"
"No." She took another swig out of the bottle. "I got all liquored up and came over to talk to him, and of course he's at Clary's. Figures."
"I thought you were the one who told him he ought to go over there in the first place."
"Yeah." Isabelle fiddled with the label on the tequila bottle. "I did."
"So," Jordan said, in what he thought was a reasonable tone. "Tell him to stop."
"I can't do that." She sounded exhausted. "I owe her."
Jordan leaned on the counter. He felt a little like a bartender in a TV show, dispensing sage advice. "What do you owe her?"
"Life," Isabelle said.
Jordan blinked. This was a little beyond his bartending and advice-offering skills. "She saved your life?"
"She saved Jace's life. She could have had anything from the Angel Raziel, and she saved my brother. I've only ever trusted a few people in my life. Really trusted. My mother, Alec, Jace, and Max. I lost one of them already. Clary's the only reason I didn't lose another."
"Do you think you'll ever be able to really trust someone you aren't related to?"
"I'm not related to Jace. Not really." Isabelle avoided his gaze.
"You know what I mean," said Jordan, with a meaningful glance at Simon's room.
***P/S: Copyright -->Novel12__Com