He swallowed hard. "Fine. Yes. I agree."
The Angel smiled, and his smile was terrible, like looking directly into the sun. Then I swear not to harm you, Simon Maccabeus.
"Lewis," Simon said. "My last name is Lewis."
But you are of the blood and faith of the Maccabees. Some say the Maccabees were Marked by the hand of God. In either case you are a warrior of Heaven, Daylighter, whether you like it or not.
The Angel moved. Simon's eyes watered, for Raziel seemed to draw the sky with him like a cloth, in swirls of black and silver and cloud-white. The air around him shuddered. Something flashed overhead like the glint of light off metal, and an object struck the sand and rocks beside Simon with a metallic clatter.
It was a sword-nothing special to look at either, a beaten-up-looking old iron sword with a blackened hilt. The edges were ragged, as if acid had eaten at them, though the tip was sharp. It looked like something that an archeological dig might have turned up, that hadn't been properly cleaned yet.
The Angel spoke. Once when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing before him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went to him and said, "Are you one of us, or one of our adversaries?" He replied, "Neither, but as commander of the army of the Lord, I have now come."
Simon glanced down at the unprepossesing object at his feet. "And that's this sword?"
It is the sword of the Archangel Michael, commander of the armies of Heaven. It possesses the power of Heaven's fire. Strike your enemy with this, and it will burn the evil out of him. If he is more evil than good, more Hell's than Heaven's, it will also burn the life from him. It will most certainly sever his bond with your friend-and it can harm only one of them at a time.
Simon bent down and picked the sword up. It sent a shock through his hand, up his arm, into his motionless heart. Instinctively he raised it, and the clouds above seemed to part for a moment, a ray of light arcing down to strike the dull metal of the sword and make it sing.
The Angel looked down upon him with cold eyes. The name of the sword cannot be spoken by your meager human tongue. You may call it Glorious.
"I... ," Simon began. "Thank you."
Do not thank me. I would have killed you, Daylighter, but your Mark, and now my vow, prevent it. The Mark of Cain was meant to be placed upon you by God, and it was not. It shall be wiped from your brow, its protection removed. And if you call upon me again, I will not help you.
Instantly the beam of light shining down from the clouds intensified, striking the sword like a whip of fire, surrounding Simon in a cage of brilliant light and heat. The sword burned; he cried out and fell to the ground, pain lancing through his head. It felt as if someone were jabbing a red hot needle between his eyes. He covered his face, burying his head in his arms, letting the pain wash over him. It was the worst agony he had felt since the night he had died.
It faded slowly, ebbing like the tide. He rolled onto his back, staring up, his head still aching. The black clouds were beginning to roll back, showing a widening strip of blue; the Angel was gone, the lake surging under the growing light as if the water were boiling.
Simon began to sit up slowly, his eyes squinted painfully against the sun. He could see someone racing down the path from the farmhouse to the lake. Someone with long black hair, and a purple jacket that flew out behind her like wings. She hit the end of the path and leaped onto the lakeside, her boots kicking up puffs of sand behind her. She reached him and threw herself down, wrapping her arms around him. "Simon," she whispered.
He could feel the strong, steady beat of Isabelle's heart.
"I thought you were dead," she went on. "I saw you fall down, and-I thought you were dead."
Simon let her hold him, propping himself up on his hands. He realized he was listing like a ship with a hole in the side, and tried not to move. He was afraid that if he did, he would fall over. "I am dead."
"I know," Izzy snapped. "I mean more dead than usual."
"Iz." He raised his face to hers. She was kneeling over him, her legs around his, her arms around his neck. It looked uncomfortable. He let himself fall back into the sand, taking her with him. He thumped down onto his back in the cold sand with her on top of him and stared up into her black eyes. They seemed to take up the whole sky.
She touched his forehead in wonder. "Your Mark's gone."
"Raziel took it away. In exchange for the sword." He gestured toward the blade. Up at the farmhouse, he could see two dark specks standing in front of the sunporch, watching them. Alec and Magnus. "It's the Archangel Michael's sword. It's called Glorious."
"Simon..." She kissed his cheek. "You did it. You got the Angel. You got the sword."
Magnus and Alec had started down the path to the lake. Simon closed his eyes, exhausted. Isabelle leaned over him, her hair brushing the sides of his face. "Don't try to talk." She smelled like tears. "You're not cursed anymore," she whispered. "You're not cursed."
Simon linked his fingers with hers. He felt as if he were floating on a dark river, the shadows closing in around him. Only her hand anchored him to earth. "I know."
Chapter 19: Love and Blood
Methodically and carefully Clary was tearing Jace's room apart. She was still in her tank top, though she'd pulled on a pair of jeans; her hair was scraped behind her head in a messy bun, and her nails were powdered with dust. She had searched under his bed, in all the drawers and cabinets, crawled under the wardrobe and desk, and looked in the pockets of all his clothes for a second stele, but she had found nothing.
She had told Sebastian she was exhausted, that she needed to go upstairs and lie down; he had seemed distracted and had waved her away. Images of Jace's face kept flashing behind her eyelids every time she shut her eyes-the way he had looked at her, betrayed, as if he didn't know her anymore.
But there was no point dwelling on that. She could sit on the edge of the bed and cry into her hands, thinking about what she had done, but it would do no one any good. She owed it to Jace, to herself, to keep moving. Searching. If she could just find a stele-
She was lifting the mattress off the bed, searching the space between it and the box springs, when a knock came on the door.
She dropped the mattress, though not before discerning that there was nothing under it. She tightened her hands into fists, took a deep breath, stalked to the door and threw it open.
Sebastian stood on the threshold. For the first time he was wearing something other than black and white. The same black trousers and boots, admittedly, but he also wore a scarlet leather tunic, intricately worked with gold and silver runes, and held together by a row of metal clasps across the front. There were hammered silver bracelets on each of his wrists, and he wore the Morgenstern ring.
She blinked at him. "Red?"
"Ceremonial," he replied. "Colors mean different things to Shadowhunters than they do to humans." He said the word "humans" with contempt. "You know the old Nephilim children's rhyme, don't you?
Black for hunting through the night
For death and sorrow, the color's white.
Gold for a bride in her wedding gown,
And red to call enchantment down."
"Shadowhunters get married in gold?" Clary said. Not that she cared particularly, but she was trying to wedge her body into the gap between the door and the frame so that he couldn't look behind her and see the mess she'd made out of Jace's normally neat room.
"Sorry to crush your dreams of a white wedding." He grinned at her. "Speaking of which, I brought you something to wear."
He drew his hand out from behind his back. He was holding a folded item of clothing. She took it from him and let it unroll. It was a long, drifting column of scarlet fabric with an odd golden sheen to the material, like the edge of a flame. The straps were gold.
"Our mother used to wear this to Circle ceremonies before she betrayed our father," he said. "Put it on. I want you to wear it tonight."
"Well, you can hardly go to the ceremony in what you're wearing now." His eyes raked her, from her bare feet to the tank top clinging to her body with sweat, to her dusty jeans. "How you look tonight-the impression you make on our new acolytes-is important. Put it on."
Her mind was whirling. The ceremony tonight. Our new acolytes. "How much time do I have-to get ready?" she asked.
"An hour perhaps," he said. "We should be at the sacred site by midnight. The others will be gathering there. It wouldn't do to be late."
An hour. Heart hammering, Clary threw the garment across the bed, where it glimmered like chain mail. When she turned back, he was still in the doorway, a half smile on his face, as if he intended to wait there while she changed.
She moved to shut the door. He caught her wrist. "Tonight," he said, "you call me Jonathan. Jonathan Morgenstern. Your brother."
A shudder ran over her whole body, and she dropped her eyes, hoping he couldn't see the hatred in them. "Whatever you say."
The moment he was gone she reached for one of Jace's leather jackets. She slipped it on, taking comfort in the warmth and the familiar smell of him. She slid her feet into shoes and crept out into the hallway, wishing for a stele and a new Soundless rune. She could hear water running downstairs and Sebastian's off-key whistling, but her own footsteps still sounded like cannon explosions in her ears. She crept along, keeping close to the wall, until she reached Sebastian's door and slid inside.
It was dim, the only illumination the ambient city light coming from the windows, whose curtains were pulled back. It was a mess, just as it had been the first time she'd been in it. She started with his closet, stuffed full of expensive clothes-silk shirts, leather jackets, Armani suits, Bruno Magli shoes. On the floor of the closet was a white shirt, wadded up and stained with blood-blood old enough to have dried to brown. Clary looked at it for a long moment and shut the closet door.
She set herself to the desk next, pulling out drawers, rifling through papers. She'd rather hoped for something simple, like a lined piece of notebook paper with MY EVIL PLAN written across the top, but no luck. There were dozens of papers with complex numerical and alchemical figuring on them, and even a piece of stationery that began My beautiful one in Sebastian's cramped handwriting. She spared a moment to wonder who on earth Sebastian's beautiful one could be-she hadn't thought of him as someone who ever had romantic feelings about anyone-before turning to the nightstand by his bed.
She pulled open the drawer. Inside was a stack of notes. On top of them, something glimmered. Something circular and metallic.
Her faerie ring.
Isabelle sat with her arm around Simon as they drove back toward Brooklyn. He was exhausted, his head throbbing, his body pierced with aches. Though Magnus had given him back his ring at the lake, he had been unable to reach Clary with it. Worst of all, he was hungry. He liked how close Isabelle was sitting to him, the way she rested her hand just above the crook of his elbow, tracing patterns there, sometimes sliding her fingers down to his wrist. But the scent of her-perfume and blood-made his stomach growl.
It was starting to grow dark outside, the late-autumn sunset coming soon on the heels of the day, dimming the interior of the truck's cab. Alec's and Magnus's voices were murmurs in the shadows. Simon let his eyes flutter closed, seeing the Angel printed against the back of his lids, a burst of white light.
Simon! Clary's voice exploded inside his head, jerking him instantly awake. Are you there?
A sharp gasp escaped his lips. Clary? I was so worried-
Sebastian took my ring away from me. Simon, there may not be much time. I have to tell you. They have a second Mortal Cup. They plan to raise Lilith and create an army of dark Shadowhunters-ones with the same power as the Nephilim but allied to the demon world.
"You're kidding me," Simon said. It took him a moment to realize he'd spoken aloud; Isabelle stirred against him, and Magnus looked over curiously.
"You all right there, vampire?"
"It's Clary," Simon said. All three of them looked at him with identical astonished expressions. "She's trying to talk to me." He slapped his hands over his ears, slumping down in his seat and trying to concentrate on her words. When are they going to do it?
Tonight. Soon. I don't know where we are exactly-but it's about ten p.m. here.
Then you're about five hours ahead of us. Are you in Europe?
I can't even guess. Sebastian mentioned something called the Seventh Sacred Site. I don't know what that is, but I've found some of his notes and apparently it's an ancient tomb. It looks like a sort of doorway, and demons can be summoned through it.
Clary, I've never heard of anything like that-
But Magnus or the others might. Please, Simon. Tell them as quickly as you can. Sebastian's going to ressurrect Lilith. He wants war, a total war with the Shadowhunters. He has about forty or fifty Nephilim ready to follow him. They'll be there. Simon, he wants to burn the world down. We have to do anything we can to stop him.
If things are that dangerous, you need to get yourself out of there.
She sounded tired. I'm trying. But it might be too late.
Simon was dimly aware that everyone else in the truck was staring at him, concern on their faces. He didn't care. Clary's voice in his mind was like a rope tossed over a chasm, and if he could grip his end of it, maybe he could pull her to safety, or at least keep her from slipping away.
Clary, listen. I can't tell you how, it's too long a story, but we have a weapon. It can be used on either Jace or Sebastian without hurting the other, and according to the... person who gave it to us, it might be able to cut them apart.
Cut them apart? How?
He said it would burn all the evil out of the one we used it on. So if we used it on Sebastian, I'm guessing, it would burn away the bond between them because the bond is evil. Simon felt his head throb, and hoped he sounded more confident than he did. I'm not sure. It's very powerful, anyway. It's called Glorious.
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