Chapter 12: SANCTUARY
“What do you think Camille wants to see Magnus for?” Simon asked.
He and Jace were standing against the back wall of the Sanctuary, which was a massive room attached to the main body of the Institute through a narrow passageway. It wasnt part of the Institute per se; it had been left deliberately unconsecrated in order that it might be used as a holding place for demons and vampires. Sanctuaries, Jace had informed Simon, had gone out of fashion somewhat since Projecting had been invented, but every once in a while they found a use for theirs. Apparently, this was one of those times.
It was a big room, stone-bound and pillared, with an equally stone-bound entryway beyond a wide set of double doors; the entryway led to the corridor connecting the room to the Institute. Huge gouges in the stone floor indicated that whatever had been caged here over the years had been pretty nasty-and big. Simon couldnt help wondering how many enormous rooms full of pillars he was going to have to spend time in. Camille was standing against one of the pillars, her arms behind her, guarded on either side by Shadowhunter warriors. Maryse was pacing back and forth, occasionally conferring with Kadir, clearly trying to sort out some kind of plan. There were no windows in the room, for obvious reasons, but witchlight torches burned everywhere, giving the whole scene a peculiar whitish cast.
“I dont know,” Jace said. “Maybe she wants fashion tips. ”
“Ha,” Simon said. “Whos that guy, with your mother? He looks familiar. ”
“Thats Kadir,” said Jace. “You probably met his brother. Malik. He died in the attack on Valentines ship. Kadirs the second most important person in the Conclave, after my mom. She relies on him a lot. ”
As Simon watched, Kadir pulled Camilles arms behind her back, so they circled the pillar, and chained them at her wrists. The vampire gave a little scream.
“Blessed metal,” said Jace without a flicker of emotion. “It burns them. ”
Them, Simon thought. You mean “you. ” Im just like her. Im not different just because you know me.
Camille was whimpering. Kadir stood back, his face impassive. Runes, dark against his dark skin, twined the entirety of his arms and throat. He turned to say something to Maryse; Simon caught the words “Magnus” and “fire-message. ”
“Magnus again,” said Simon. “But isnt he traveling?”
“Magnus and Camille are both really old,” said Jace. “I suppose its not that odd that they know each other. ” He shrugged, seemingly uninterested in the topic. “Anyway, Im pretty sure theyre going to wind up summoning Magnus back here. Maryse wants information, and she wants it bad. She knows Camille wasnt killing those Shadowhunters just for blood. There are easier ways to get blood. ”
Simon thought fleetingly of Maureen, and felt sick. “Well,” he said, trying to sound unconcerned. “I guess that means Alec will be back. So thats good, right?”
“Sure. ” Jaces voice sounded lifeless. He didnt look all that great either; the whitish light in the room cast the angles of his cheekbones into a new and sharper relief, showing that hed lost weight. His fingernails were bitten down to bloody stumps, and there were dark shadows under his eyes.
“At least your plan worked,” Simon added, trying to inject some cheer into Jaces misery. It had been Jaces idea to have Simon take a picture with his cell phone and send it to the Conclave, which would allow them to Portal to where he was. “It was a good idea. ”
“I knew it would work. ” Jace sounded bored by the compliment. He looked up as the double doors to the Institute swung open, and Isabelle came through them, her black hair swinging. She looked around the room-giving Camille and the other Shadowhunters barely a glance-and came toward Jace and Simon, her boots clattering against the stone floor.
“Whats all this about yanking poor Magnus and Alec back from their vacation?” Isabelle demanded. “They have opera tickets!”
Jace explained, while Isabelle stood with her hands on her hips, ignoring Simon completely.
“Fine,” she said when he was done. “But the whole things ridiculous. Shes just stalling for time. What could she possibly have to say to Magnus?” She glanced back over her shoulder at Camille, who was now not just manacled but bound to the pillar with lengths of silvery-gold chain. It crisscrossed her body across her torso, her knees, and even her ankles, holding her totally immobile. “Is that blessed metal?”
Jace nodded. “The manacles are lined to protect her wrists, but if she moves too much. . . ” He made a sizzling sound. Simon, remembering the way his hands had burned when hed touched the Star of David in his cell in Idris, the way his skin had run with blood, had to fight the urge to snap at him.
“Well, while you were off trapping vampires, I was uptown fighting off a Hydra demon,” Isabelle said. “With Clary. ”
Jace, who had evinced only the barest interest in anything going on around him until now, jerked upright. “With Clary? You took her demon-hunting with you? Isabelle-”
“Of course not. She was already well into the fight by the time I got there. ”
“But how did you know-?”
“She texted me,” Isabelle said. “So I went. ” She examined her nails, which were, as usual, perfect.
“She texted you?” Jace grabbed Isabelle by the wrist. “Is she all right? Did she get hurt?”
Isabelle looked down at his hand gripping her wrist, and then back up at his face. If he was hurting her, Simon couldnt tell, but the look on her face could have cut glass, as could the sarcasm in her voice. “Yes, shes bleeding to death upstairs, but I thought Id avoid telling you right away, because I like to draw the suspense out. ”
Jace, as if suddenly conscious of what he was doing, let go of Isabelles wrist. “Shes here?”
“Shes upstairs,” Isabelle said. “Resting-”
But Jace was already gone, running for the entryway doors. He burst through them and vanished. Isabelle, looking after him, shook her head.
“You cant really have thought he was going to do anything else,” said Simon.
For a moment she said nothing. He wondered if maybe she was just planning to ignore anything he said for the rest of eternity. “I know,” she said finally. “I just wish I knew what was going on with them. ”
“Im not sure they know. ”
Isabelle was worrying at her bottom lip. She looked very young all of a sudden, and unusually conflicted, for Isabelle. Something was clearly going on with her, and Simon waited quietly while she appeared to come to a decision. “I dont want to be like that,” she said. “Come on. I want to talk to you. ” She started to head toward the Institute doors.
“You do?” Simon was astonished.
She spun and glared at him. “Right now I do. But I cant promise how long itll last. ”
Simon held his hands up. “I want to talk to you, Iz. But I cant go into the Institute. ”
A line appeared between her eyebrows. “Why?” She broke off, looking from him to the doors, to Camille, and back again. “Oh. Right. How did you get in here, then?”
“Portaled,” said Simon. “But Jace said theres an entryway that leads to a set of doors that go outside. So vampires can enter here at night. ” He pointed to a narrow door set in the wall a few feet away. It was secured with a rusting iron bolt, as if it hadnt been used in a while.
Isabelle shrugged. “Fine. ”
The bolt made a screeching noise when she yanked it back, sending flakes of rust into the air in a fine red spray. Beyond the door was a small stone room, like the vestry of a church, and a set of doors that most likely led outside. There were no windows, but cold air crept around the edges of the doors, making Isabelle, in her short dress, shiver.
“Look, Isabelle,” Simon said, figuring that the onus was on him to start the discussion. “I really am sorry about what I did. Theres no excuse-”
“No, there isnt,” Isabelle said. “And while youre at it, you might want to tell me why youre hanging around with the guy who Turned Maia into a werewolf. ”
Simon told her the story Jordan had recounted to him, trying to keep his explanation as evenhanded as he could. He felt like it was at least important to explain to Isabelle that he hadnt known who Jordan really was at first, and also, that Jordan regretted what hed done. “Not that that makes it okay,” he finished. “But, you know-” Weve all done bad things. But he couldnt bring himself to tell her about Maureen. Not right now.
“I know,” Isabelle said. “And Ive heard of the Praetor Lupus. If theyre willing to have him as a member, he cant be a complete washout, I guess. ” She looked at Simon a little more closely. “Although I dont get why you need someone to protect you. You have. . . ” She pointed at her forehead.
“I cant go through the rest of my life with people running at me every day and the Mark blowing them up,” Simon said. “I need to know whos trying to kill me. Jordans helping with that. Jace too. ”
“Do you really think Jordans helping you? Because the Clave has some pull with the Praetor. We could get him replaced. ”
Simon hesitated. “Yeah,” he said. “I really do think hes helping. And I cant always rely on the Clave. ”
“Okay. ” Isabelle leaned back against the wall. “Did you ever wonder why Im so different from my brothers?” she asked without preamble. “Alec and Jace, I mean. ”
Simon blinked. “You mean aside from the whole thing where youre a girl and they . . . arent?”
“No. Not that, idiot. I mean, look at the two of them. They have no problem falling in love. Theyre both in love. The forever kind. Theyre done. Look at Jace. He loves Clary like-like theres nothing else in the world and there never will be. Alecs the same. And Max-” Her voice caught. “I dont know what it would have been like for him. But he trusted everyone. And as you might have noticed, I dont trust anyone. ”
“People are different,” Simon said, trying to sound understanding. “It doesnt mean theyre happier than you-”
“Sure it does,” Isabelle said. “You think I dont know that?” She looked at Simon, hard. “You know my parents. ”
“Not well. ” They had never been terribly eager to meet Isabelles vampire boyfriend, a situation that hadnt done much to ameliorate Simons feeling that he was merely the latest in a long line of undesirable suitors.
“Well, you know they were both in the Circle. But I bet you didnt know it was all my moms idea. My dad was never really enthusiastic about Valentine or any of it. And then when everything happened, and they got banished, and they realized theyd practically wrecked their lives, I think he blamed her. But they already had Alec and were going to have me, so he stayed, even though I think he kind of wanted to leave. And then, when Alec was about nine, he found someone else. ”
“Whoa,” Simon said. “Your dad cheated on your mom? Thats-thats awful. ”
“She told me,” said Isabelle. “I was about thirteen. She told me that he would have left her but they found out she was pregnant with Max, so they stayed together and he broke it off with the other woman. My mom didnt tell me who she was. She just told me that you couldnt really trust men. And she told me not to tell anyone. ”
“And did you? Tell anyone?”
“Not until now,” Isabelle said.
Simon thought of a younger Isabelle, keeping the secret, never telling anyone, hiding it from her brothers. Knowing things about their family that they would never know. “She shouldnt have asked you to do that,” he said, suddenly angry. “That wasnt fair. ”
“Maybe,” said Isabelle. “I thought it made me special. I didnt think about how it might have changed me. But I watch my brothers give their hearts away and I think, Dont you know better? Hearts are breakable. And I think even when you heal, youre never what you were before. ”
“Maybe youre better,” said Simon. “I know Im better. ”
“You mean Clary,” said Isabelle. “Because she broke your heart. ”
“Into little pieces. You know, when someone prefers their own brother over you, it isnt a confidence booster. I thought maybe once she realized it would never work out with Jace, shed give up and come back to me. But I finally figured out that shed never stop loving Jace, whether it was going to work out with him or not. And I knew that if she was only with me because she couldnt have him, Id rather be alone, so I ended it. ”
“I didnt know you broke it off with her,” said Isabelle. “I assumed. . . ”
“That I had no self-respect?” Simon smiled wryly.
“I thought that you were still in love with Clary,” Isabelle said. “And that you couldnt be serious about anyone else. ”
“Because you pick guys who will never be serious about you,” said Simon. “So you never need to be serious about them. ”
Isabelles eyes shone when she looked at him, but she said nothing.
“I care about you,” Simon said. “I always cared about you. ”
She took a step toward him. They were standing fairly close together in the small room, and he could hear the sound of her breathing, and the fainter pulse of her heartbeat underneath. She smelled of shampoo and sweat and gardenia perfume and Shadowhunter blood.
The thought of blood made him remember Maureen, and his body tensed. Isabelle noticed-of course she noticed, she was a warrior, her senses finely tuned to even the slightest movement in others-and drew back, her expression tightening. “All right,” she said. “Well, Im glad we talked. ”
But she was already gone. He went after her into the Sanctuary, but she was moving fast. By the time the vestry door shut behind him, she was halfway across the room. He gave up and watched as she disappeared through the double doors into the Institute, knowing he couldnt follow.
Clary sat up, shaking her head to clear the grogginess. It took her a moment to remember where she was-in a spare bedroom in the Institute, the only light in the room the illumination that streamed in through the single high window. It was blue light-twilight light. She lay twisted in the blanket; her jeans, jacket, and shoes were stacked neatly on a chair near the bed. And beside her was Jace, looking down at her, as if she had conjured him up by dreaming of him.
He was sitting on the bed, wearing his gear, as if he had just come from a fight, and his hair was tousled, the dim light from the window illuminating shadows under his eyes, the hollows of his temples, the bones of his cheeks. In this light he had the extreme and almost unreal beauty of a Modigliani painting, all elongated planes and angles.
She rubbed at her eyes, blinking away sleep. “What time is it?” she said. “How long-”
He pulled her toward him and kissed her, and for a moment she froze, suddenly very conscious that all she was wearing was a thin T-shirt and underwear. Then she went boneless against him. It was the sort of lingering kiss that turned her insides to water. The sort of kiss that might have made her feel that nothing was wrong, that things were as they had been before, and he was only glad to see her. But when his hands went to lift the hem of her T-shirt, she pushed them away.
“No,” she said, her fingers wrapped around his wrists. “You cant just keep grabbing at me every time you see me. Its not a substitute for actually talking. ”
He took a ragged breath and said, “Why did you text Isabelle instead of me? If you were in trouble-”
“Because I knew shed come,” said Clary. “And I dont know that about you. Not right now. ”
“If something had happened to you-”
“Then I guess you would have heard about it eventually. You know, when you deigned to actually pick up the phone. ” She was still holding his wrists; she let go of them now, and sat back. It was hard, physically hard, to be close to him like this and not touch him, but she forced her hands down by her sides and kept them there. “Either you tell me whats wrong, or you can get out of the room. ”
His lips parted, but he said nothing; she didnt think shed spoken to him this harshly in a long time. “Im sorry,” he said finally. “I mean, I know, with the way Ive been acting, youve got no reason to listen to me. And I probably shouldnt have come in here. But when Isabelle said you were hurt, I couldnt stop myself. ”
“Some burns,” Clary said. “Nothing that matters. ”
“Everything that happens to you matters to me. ”
“Well, that certainly explains why you havent called me back once. And the last time I saw you, you ran away without telling me why. Its like dating a ghost. ”
Jaces mouth quirked up slightly at the side. “Not exactly. Isabelle actually dated a ghost. She could tell you-”
“No,” Clary said. “It was a metaphor. And you know exactly what I mean. ”
For a moment he was silent. Then he said, “Let me see the burns. ”
She held out her arms. There were harsh red splotches on the insides of her wrists where the demons blood had spattered. He took her wrists, very lightly, looking at her for permission first, and turned them over. She remembered the first time he had touched her, in the street outside Java Jones, searching her hands for Marks she didnt have. “Demon blood,” he said. “Theyll go away in a few hours. Do they hurt?”
Clary shook her head.
“I didnt know,” he said. “I didnt know you needed me. ”
Her voice shook. “I always need you. ”
He bent his head and kissed the burn on her wrist. A flare of heat coursed through her, like a hot spike that went from her wrist to the pit of her stomach. “I didnt realize,” he said. He kissed the next burn, on her forearm, and then the next, moving up her arm to her shoulder, the pressure of his body bearing her back until she was lying against the pillows, looking up at him. He propped himself on his elbows so as not to crush her with his weight and looked down at her.
His eyes always darkened when they kissed, as if desire changed their color in some fundamental way. He touched the white star mark on her shoulder, the one they both had, that marked them as the children of those who had had contact with angels. “I know Ive been acting strange lately,” he said. “But its not you. I love you. That never changes. ”
“I think everything that happened in Idris-Valentine, Max, Hodge, even Sebastian-I kept shoving it all down, trying to forget, but its catching up with me. I . . . Ill get help. Ill get better. I promise. ”
“You promise. ”
“I swear on the Angel. ” He ducked his head down, kissed her cheek. “The hell with that. I swear on us. ”
Clary wound her fingers into the sleeve of his T-shirt. “Why us?”
“Because there isnt anything I believe in more. ” He tilted his head to the side. “If we were to get married,” he began, and he must have felt her tense under him, because he smiled. “Dont panic, Im not proposing on the spot. I was just wondering what you knew about Shadowhunter weddings. ”
“No rings,” Clary said, brushing her fingers across the back of his neck, where the skin was soft. “Just runes. ”
“One here,” he said, gently touching her arm, where the scar was, with a fingertip. “And another here. ” He slid his fingertip up her arm, across her collarbone, and down until it rested over her racing heart. “The ritual is taken from the Song of Solomon. Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death. ”
“Ours is stronger than that,” Clary whispered, remembering how she had brought him back. And this time, when his eyes darkened, she reached up and drew him down to her mouth.
They kissed for a long time, until most of the light had bled out of the room and they were just shadows. Jace didnt move his hands or try to touch her, though, and she sensed he was waiting for permission.
She realized she would have to be the one to take it further, if she wanted to-and she did want to. Hed admitted something was wrong and that it had nothing to do with her. This was progress: positive progress. He ought to be rewarded, right? A little grin crooked the edge of her mouth. Who was she kidding; she wanted more on her own behalf. Because he was Jace, because she loved him, because he was so gorgeous that sometimes she felt the need to poke him in the arm just to make sure he was real.
She did just that.
“Ow,” he said. “What was that for?”
“Take your shirt off,” she whispered. She reached for the hem of it but he was already there, lifting it over his head and tossing it casually to the floor. He shook his hair out, and she almost expected the bright gold strands to scatter sparks in the darkness of the room.
“Sit up,” she said softly. Her heart was pounding. She didnt usually take the lead in these sort of situations, but he didnt seem to mind. He sat up slowly, pulling her up with him, until they were both sitting among the welter of blankets. She crawled into his lap, straddling his hips. Now they were face-to-face. She heard him suck his breath in and he raised his hands, reaching for her shirt, but she pushed them back down again, gently, to his sides, and put her own hands on him instead. She watched her fingers slide over his chest and arms, the swell of his biceps where the black Marks twined, the star-shaped mark on his shoulder. She traced her index finger down the line between his pectoral muscles, across his flat washboard stomach. They were both breathing hard when she reached the buckle on his jeans, but he didnt move, just looked at her with an expression that said: Whatever you want.
Her heart thudding, she dropped her hands to the hem of her own shirt and pulled it off over her head. She wished shed worn a more exciting bra-this one was plain white cotton-but when she looked up again at Jaces expression, the thought evaporated. His lips were parted, his eyes nearly black; she could see herself reflected in them and knew he didnt care if her bra was white or black or neon green. All he was seeing was her.
She reached for his hands, then, freeing them, and put them on her waist, as if to say, You can touch me now. He tilted his head up, her mouth came down over his, and they were kissing again, but it was fierce instead of languorous, a hot and fast-burning fire. His hands were feverish: in her hair, on her body, pulling her down so that she lay under him, and as their bare skin slid together she was acutely conscious that there really was nothing between them but his jeans and her bra and panties. She tangled her hands in his silky, disheveled hair, holding his head as he kissed down her throat. How far are we going? What are we doing? a small part of her brain was asking, but the rest of her mind was screaming at that small part to shut up. She wanted to keep touching him, kissing him; she wanted him to hold her and to know that he was real, here with her, and that he would never leave again.
His fingers found the clasp of her bra. She tensed. His eyes were large and luminous in the darkness, his smile slow. “Is this all right?”
She nodded. Her breath was coming fast. No one in her entire life had ever seen her topless-no boy, anyway. As if sensing her nervousness, he cupped her face gently with one hand, his lips teasing hers, brushing gently across them until her whole body felt as if it were shattering with tension. His long-fingered, callused right hand stroked along her cheek, then her shoulder, soothing her. She was still on edge, though, waiting for his other hand to move back to her bra clasp, to touch her again, but he seemed to be reaching for something behind him-What was he doing?
Clary thought suddenly of what Isabelle had said about being careful. Oh, she thought. She stiffened a little and drew back. “Jace, Im not sure I-”
There was a flash of silver in the darkness, and something cold and sharp lanced across the side of her arm. All she felt for a moment was surprise-then pain. She drew her hands back, blinking, and saw a line of dark blood beading on her skin where a shallow cut ran from her elbow to her wrist. “Ouch,” she said, more in annoyance and surprise than hurt. “What-”
Jace launched himself off her, off the bed, in a single motion. Suddenly he was standing in the middle of the room, shirtless, his face as white as bone.
Hand clasped across her injured arm, Clary started to sit up. “Jace, what-”
She broke off. In his left hand he was clutching a knife-the silver-handled knife she had seen in the box that had belonged to his father. There was a thin smear of blood across the blade.
She looked down at her hand, and then up again, at him. “I dont understand. . . ”
He opened his hand, and the knife clattered to the floor. For a moment he looked as if he might run again, the way he had outside the bar. Then he sank to the ground and put his head in his hands.
“I like her,” said Camille as the doors shut behind Isabelle. “She rather reminds me of me. ”
Simon turned to look at her. It was very dim in the Sanctuary, but he could see her clearly, her back against the pillar, her hands bound behind her. There was a Shadowhunter guard stationed near the doors to the Institute, but either he hadnt heard Camille or he wasnt interested.
Simon moved a bit closer to Camille. The bonds that constrained her held an odd fascination for him. Blessed metal. The chain seemed to gleam softly against her pale skin, and he thought he could see a few threads of blood seeping around the manacles at her wrists. “She isnt at all like you. ”
“So you think. ” Camille tilted her head to the side; her blond hair seemed artfully arranged around her face, though he knew she couldnt have touched it. “You love them so,” she said, “your Shadowhunter friends. As the falcon loves the master who binds and blinds it. ”
“Things arent like that,” Simon said. “Shadowhunters and Downworlders arent enemies. ”
“You cant even go with them into their home,” she said. “You are shut out. Yet so eager to serve them. You would stand on their side against your own kind. ”
“I have no kind,” Simon said. “Im not one of them. But Im not one of you, either. And Id rather be like them than like you. ”
“You are one of us. ” She moved impatiently, rattling her chains, and gave a little gasp of pain. “There is something I didnt say to you, back at the bank. But it is true. ” She smiled tightly through the pain. “I can smell human blood on you. You fed recently. On a mundane. ”
Simon felt something inside him jump. “I. . . ”
“It was wonderful, wasnt it?” Her red lips curved. “The first time since youve been a vampire that you havent been hungry. ”
“No,” Simon said.
“Youre lying. ” There was conviction in her voice. “They try to make us fight against our natures, the Nephilim. They will accept us only if we pretend to be other than we are-not hunters, not predators. Your friends will never accept what you are, only what you pretend to be. What you do for them, they would never do for you. ”
“I dont know why youre bothering with this,” said Simon. “Whats done is done. Im not going to let you go. I made my choice. I dont want what you offered me. ”
“Maybe not now,” Camille said softly. “But you will. You will. ”
The Shadowhunter guard stepped back as the door opened, and Maryse came into the room. She was followed by two figures immediately familiar to Simon: Isabelles brother Alec, and his boyfriend, the warlock Magnus Bane.
Alec was dressed in a sober black suit; Magnus, to Simons surprise, was similarly dressed, with the addition of a long white silk scarf with tasseled ends and a pair of white gloves. His hair stood up like it always did, but for a change he was devoid of glitter. Camille, upon seeing him, went very still.
Magnus didnt seem to see her yet; he was listening to Maryse, who was saying, rather awkwardly, that it was good of them to come so quickly. “We really didnt expect you until tomorrow, at the earliest. ”
Alec made a muffled noise of annoyance and gazed off into space. He seemed as if he wasnt happy to be there at all. Beyond that, Simon thought, he looked much the same as he always had-same black hair, same steady blue eyes-although there was something more relaxed about him than there had been before, as if he had grown into himself somehow.
“Fortunately theres a Portal located near the Vienna Opera House,” Magnus said, flinging his scarf back over his shoulder with a grand gesture. “The moment we got your message, we hurried to be here. ”
“I still really dont see what any of this has to do with us,” Alec said. “So you caught a vampire who was up to something nasty. Arent they always?”
Simon felt his stomach turn. He looked toward Camille to see if she was laughing at him, but her gaze was fixed on Magnus.
Alec, looking at Simon for the first time, flushed. It was always very noticeable on him because his skin was so pale. “Sorry, Simon. I didnt mean you. Youre different. ”
Would you think that if you had seen me last night, feeding on a fourteen-year-old girl? Simon thought. He didnt say that, though, just dropped Alec a nod.
“She is of interest in our current investigation into the deaths of three Shadowhunters,” said Maryse. “We need information from her, and she will only talk to Magnus Bane. ”
“Really?” Alec looked at Camille with puzzled interest. “Only to Magnus?”
Magnus followed his gaze, and for the first time-or so it seemed to Simon-looked at Camille directly. Something crackled between them, a sort of energy. Magnuss mouth quirked up at the corners into a wistful smile.
“Yes,” Maryse said, a look of puzzlement passing over her face as she caught the look between the warlock and the vampire. “That is, if Magnus is willing. ”
“I am,” Magnus said, drawing off his gloves. “Ill talk to Camille for you. ”
“Camille?” Alec looked at Magnus with his eyebrows raised. “You know her, then? Or-she knows you?”
“We know each other. ” Magnus shrugged, very slightly, as if to say, What can you do? “Once upon a time she was my girlfriend. ”