City of Fallen Angels – Chapter 14: WHAT DREAMS MAY COME

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Chapter 14: WHAT DREAMS MAY COME

Jace tossed uneasily on the narrow bed in the Silent City. He didnt know where the Brothers slept, and they didnt seem inclined to reveal it. The only place there seemed to be for him to lie down was in one of the cells below the City where they usually kept prisoners. Theyd left the door open for him so he didnt feel too much like he was in jail, but the place couldnt by any stretch of the imagination be called pleasant.

The air was close and thick; hed taken off his shirt and lay atop the covers in just his jeans, but he was still too hot. The walls were dull gray. Someone had carved the letters JG into the stone just above the bedstead, leaving him to wonder what that was about-and there was nothing else in the room but the bed, a cracked mirror that gave him back his own reflection in twisted pieces, and the sink. Not to mention the more than unpleasant memories the room stirred up.

The Brothers had been in and out of his mind all night, till he felt like a wrung-out rag. Since they were so secretive about everything, he had no idea if they were making any progress. They didnt seem pleased, but then, they never did.

The real test, he knew, was sleeping. What would he dream? To sleep: perchance to dream. He flipped over, burying his face in his arms. He didnt think he could stand even one more dream about hurting Clary. He thought he might actually lose his mind, and the idea frightened him. The prospect of dying had never frightened him much, but the thought of going insane was nearly the worst thing he could imagine. But going to sleep was the only way to know. He closed his eyes and willed himself to sleep.

He slept, and he dreamed.

He was back in the valley-the valley in Idris where he had fought Sebastian and nearly died. It was autumn in the valley, not high summer as it had been the last time he had been there. The leaves were exploding in gold and russet and orange and red. He was standing by the bank of the small river-a stream, really-that cut the valley in half. In the distance, coming toward him, was someone, someone he couldnt see very clearly yet, but the persons stride was direct and purposeful.

He was so sure it was Sebastian that it was not until the figure had come close enough to see clearly that he realized it couldnt possibly be. Sebastian had been tall, taller than Jace, but this person was small-the face in shadow, but a head or two shorter than Jace-and skinny, with the thin shoulders of childhood, and bony wrists sticking out of the too-short sleeves of his shirt.

Max.

The sight of his little brother hit Jace like a blow, and he went down on his knees on the green grass. The fall didnt hurt. Everything had the padded edges of the dream that it was. Max looked as he always had. A knobby-kneed boy just on the verge of growing up and out of that little-kid stage. Now he never would.

“Max,” Jace said. “Max, Im so sorry. ”

“Jace. ” Max stood where he was. A little wind had come up and lifted his brown hair off his face. His eyes, behind their glasses, were serious. “Im not here because of me,” he said. “Im not here to haunt you or make you feel guilty. ”

Of course he isnt, said a voice in Jaces head. Max has only ever loved you, looked up to you, thought you were wonderful.

“The dreams youve been having,” Max said. “Theyre messages. ”

“The dreams are a demons influence, Max. The Silent Brothers said-”

“Theyre wrong,” Max said quickly. “There are only a few of them now, and their powers are weaker than they used to be. These dreams are meant to tell you something. Youve been misunderstanding them. Theyre not telling you to hurt Clary. Theyre warning you that you already are. ”

Jace shook his head slowly. “I dont understand. ”

“The angels sent me to talk to you because I know you,” Max said, in his clear childs voice. “I know how you are with the people you love, and youd never hurt them willingly. But you havent destroyed all of Valentines influence inside you yet. His voice still whispers to you, and you dont think you hear it, but you do. The dreams are telling you that until you kill that part of yourself, you cant be with Clary. ”

“Then Ill kill it,” Jace said. “Ill do whatever I have to do. Just tell me how. ”

Max smiled a clear bright smile and held out something in his hand. It was a silver-handled dagger-Stephen Herondales silver-handled dagger, the one from the box. Jace recognized it at once. “Take this,” Max said. “And turn it against yourself. The part of you that is here in the dream with me must die. What will rise up afterward will be cleansed. ”

Jace took the knife.

Max smiled. “Good. There are many of us here on the other side who are worried about you. Your father is here. ”

“Not Valentine-”

“Your real father. He told me to tell you to use this. It will cut away everything rotten in your soul. ”

Max smiled like an angel as Jace turned the knife toward himself, blade inward. Then at the last moment Jace hesitated. It was too close to what Valentine had done to him, piercing him through the heart. He took the blade and cut a long incision into his right forearm, from elbow to wrist. There was no pain. He switched the knife to the right hand and did the same to his other arm. Blood exploded from the long cuts on his arms, brighter red than blood in real life, blood the color of rubies. It spilled down his skin and pattered onto the grass.

He heard Max breathe out softly. The boy bent down and touched the fingers of his right hand to the blood. When he raised them, they were glittering scarlet. He took a step toward Jace, and then another. This close up, Jace could see Maxs face clearly-his poreless childs skin, the translucence of his eyelids, his eyes-Jace didnt remember him having such dark eyes. Max put his hand to the skin of Jaces chest, just over his heart, and with the blood he began to trace a design there, a rune. Not one Jace had ever seen before, with overlapping corners and strange angles to its shape.

Done, Max dropped his hand and stepped back, head cocked to the side, an artist examining his latest work. A sudden spear of agony went through Jace. It felt as if the skin on his chest were burning. Max stood watching him, smiling, flexing his bloody hand. “Does it hurt you, Jace Lightwood?” he said, and his voice was no longer Maxs voice, but something else, high and husky and familiar.

“Max-,” Jace whispered.

“As you have dealt pain, so shall you be dealt pain,” said Max, whose face had begun to shimmer and change. “As you have caused grief, so shall you feel grief. You are mine now, Jace Lightwood. You are mine. ”

The agony was blinding. Jace crumpled forward, hands clawing at his chest, and he tumbled into darkness.

Simon sat on the couch, his face in his hands. His mind was buzzing. “This is my fault,” he said. “I might as well have killed Maureen when I drank her blood. Shes dead because of me. ”

Jordan sprawled in the armchair opposite him. He was wearing jeans and a green tee over a long-sleeved thermal shirt with holes in the cuffs; he had his thumbs stuck through them, and was worrying at the material. The gold Praetor Lupus medal around his neck glinted. “Come on,” he said. “Theres no way you could have known. She was fine when I put her in the cab. These guys must have grabbed her and killed her later. ”

Simon felt light-headed. “But I bit her. Shes not going to come back, right? Shes not going to be a vampire?”

“No. Come on, you know this stuff as well as I do. Youd have to have given her some of your blood for her to become a vampire. If shed drunk your blood and then died, yeah, wed be out in the graveyard on stake watch. But she didnt. I mean, I assume youd remember something like that. ”

Simon tasted sour blood in the back of his throat. “They thought she was my girlfriend,” he said. “They warned me theyd kill her if I didnt show up, and when I didnt come, they cut her throat. She must have waited there all day, wondering if Id come. Hoping Id show up. . . ” His stomach revolted, and he bent over, breathing hard, trying to keep from gagging.

“Yeah,” said Jordan, “but the question is, who is they?” He gave Simon a hard look. “I think it might be time for you to call the Institute. I dont love the Shadowhunters, but Ive always heard their archives are incredibly thorough. Maybe theyve got something on that address from the note. ”

Simon hesitated.

“Come on,” Jordan said. “You do enough crap for them. Let them do something for you. ”

With a shrug Simon went to get his phone. Heading back to the living room, he dialed Jaces number. Isabelle picked up on the second ring. “You again?”

“Sorry,” Simon said awkwardly. Apparently their little interlude in the Sanctuary hadnt softened her toward him as much as he had hoped. “I was looking for Jace, but I guess I can talk to you-”

“Charming as always,” said Isabelle. “I thought Jace was with you. ”

“No. ” Simon felt a stirring of unease. “Who told you that?”

“Clary,” Isabelle said. “Maybe theyre sneaking some time together or something. ” She sounded unworried, which made sense; the last person whod lie about Jaces whereabouts if he was in any sort of trouble was Clary. “Anyway, Jace left his phone in his room. If you do see him, remind him hes supposed to be at the party at the Ironworks tonight. If he doesnt show, Clary will kill him. ”

Simon had nearly forgotten that he was supposed to be at the party that night.

“Right,” he said. “Look, Isabelle. Ive got a problem here. ”

“Spill. I love problems. ”

“I dont know if youre going to love this one,” he said dubiously, and filled her in quickly on the situation. She gave a little gasp when he got to the part where hed bitten Maureen, and he felt his throat tighten.

“Simon,” she whispered.

“I know, I know,” he said wretchedly. “You think Im not sorry? Im beyond sorry. ”

“If youd killed her, youd have broken the Law. Youd be an outlaw. Id have to kill you. ”

“But I didnt,” he said, his voice shaking a little. “I didnt do this. Jordan swears that she was fine when he put her into the cab. And the newspaper says her throat was cut. I didnt do that. Someone did it to get to me. I just dont know why. ”

“Were not done with this issue. ” Her voice was stern. “But first go get the note they left. Read it out to me. ”

Simon did as asked, and was rewarded by a sharp intake of breath on Isabelles part.

“I thought that address sounded familiar,” she said. “Thats where Clary told me to meet her yesterday. Its a church, uptown. The headquarters of some sort of demon-worshipping cult. ”

“What would a demon-worshipping cult want with me?” Simon said, and received a curious look from Jordan, who was only hearing half the conversation.

“I dont know. Youre a Daylighter. Youve got crazy powers. Youre going to be a target for lunatics and black magicians. Thats just how it is. ” Isabelle, Simon felt, could have sounded a bit more sympathetic. “Look, youre going to the Ironworks party, right? We can meet there and talk next steps. And Ill tell my mom about whats been going on with you. Theyre already investigating the Church of Talto, so they can add that to the info pile. ”

“I guess,” Simon said. The last thing in the world he felt like was going to a party.

“And bring Jordan with you,” Isabelle said. “You can use a bodyguard. ”

“I cant do that. Maias going to be there. ”

“Ill talk to her,” Isabelle said. She sounded a lot more confident than Simon would have felt in her place. “See you there. ”

She clicked off. Simon turned to Jordan, who was lying down across the futon, his head propped against one of the woven throw pillows. “How much of that did you hear?”

“Enough to gather that were going to a party tonight,” said Jordan. “I heard about the Ironworks event. Im not in the Garroway pack, so I wasnt invited. ”

“I guess youre coming as my date now. ” Simon shoved the phone back into his pocket.

“Im secure enough in my masculinity to accept that,” said Jordan. “Wed better get you something nice to wear, though,” he called as Simon headed back into his room. “I want you to look pretty. ”

***

Years previously, when Long Island City had been a center of industry instead of a trendy neighborhood full of art galleries and coffee shops, the Ironworks was a textile factory. Now it was an enormous brick shell whose inside had been transformed into a spare but beautiful space. The floor was made up of overlapping squares of brushed steel; slender steel beams arced overhead, wrapped with ropes of tiny white lights. Ornate wrought iron staircases spiraled up to catwalks decorated with hanging plants. A massive cantilevered glass ceiling opened onto a view of the night sky. There was even a terrace outside, built out over the East River, with a spectacular view of the Fifty-Ninth Street Bridge, which loomed overhead, stretching from Queens to Manhattan like a spear of tinseled ice.

Lukes pack had outdone themselves making the place look nice. There were artfully placed huge pewter vases holding long-stemmed ivory flowers, and tables covered in white linen arranged in a circle around a raised stage on which a werewolf string quartet provided classical music. Clary couldnt help wishing Simon were there; she was pretty sure hed think Werewolf String Quartet was a good name for a band.

Clary wandered from table to table, arranging things that didnt need arranging, fiddling with flowers and straightening silverware that wasnt actually crooked. Only a few of the guests had arrived so far, and none of them were people she knew. Her mother and Luke stood near the door, greeting people and smiling, Luke looking uncomfortable in a suit, and Jocelyn radiant in a tailored blue dress. After the events of the past few days, it was good to see her mother looking happy, though Clary wondered how much of it was real and how much was for show. There was a certain tightness about Jocelyns mouth that made Clary worry-was she actually happy, or just smiling through the pain?

Not that Clary didnt know how she felt. Whatever else was going on, she couldnt put Jace out of her mind. What were the Silent Brothers doing to him? Was he all right? Were they going to be able to fix what was wrong with him, to block out the demon influence? She had spent a sleepless night the evening before staring into the darkness of her bedroom and worrying until she felt literally sick.

More than anything else, she wished he was here. She had picked out the dress she was wearing tonight-pale gold and more fitted to her body than anything she usually wore-with the express hope that Jace would like it; now he wasnt going to see her in it. That was a shallow thing to worry about, she knew; shed go around dressed in a barrel for the rest of her life if it meant Jace would get better. Besides, he was always telling her she was beautiful, and he never complained about the fact that she mostly wore jeans and sneakers, but she had thought he would like this.

Standing in front of her mirror tonight, she had almost felt beautiful. Her mother had always said that she herself had been a late bloomer, and Clary, looking at her own reflection, had wondered if the same thing might happen to her. She wasnt flat as a board anymore-shed had to go up a bra size this past year-and if she squinted, she thought she could see-yes, those were definitely hips. She had curves. Small ones, but you had to start somewhere.

Shed kept her jewelry simple-very simple.

She put her hand up and touched the Morgenstern ring on its chain around her throat. She had put it on again, for the first time in days, that morning. She felt as if it were a silent gesture of confidence in Jace, a way of signaling her loyalty, whether he knew about it or not. She had decided she would wear it until she saw him again.

“Clarissa Morgenstern?” said a soft voice at her shoulder.

Clary turned in surprise. The voice wasnt familiar. Standing there was a slim tall girl who looked about twenty. Her skin was milk-pale, threaded with veins the clear green of sap, and her blond hair had the same greenish tint. Her eyes were solid blue, like marbles, and she wore a slip of a blue dress, so thin that Clary thought she had to be freezing. Memory swam up slowly from the depths.

“Kaelie,” Clary said slowly, recognizing the faerie waitress from Takis who had served her and the Lightwoods more than once. A flicker reminded her that there had been some intimation that Kaelie and Jace had once had a fling, but the fact seemed so minor in the face of everything else that she couldnt bring herself to mind it. “I didnt realize-do you know Luke?”

“Do not mistake me for a guest at this occasion,” said Kaelie, her thin hand tracing a casually indifferent gesture on the air. “My lady sent me here to find you-not to attend the festivities. ” She glanced curiously over her shoulder, her all-blue eyes shining. “Though I had not realized that your mother was marrying a werewolf. ”

Clary raised her eyebrows. “And?”

Kaelie looked her up and down with some amusement. “My lady said you were quite flinty, despite your small size. In the Court you would be looked down on for having such short stature. ”

“Were not in the Court,” said Clary. “And were not in Takis, which means you came to me, which means you have five seconds to tell me what the Seelie Queen wants. I dont like her much, and Im not in the mood for her games. ”

Kaelie pointed a thin green-nailed finger at Clarys throat. “My lady said to ask you,” she said, “why you wear the Morgenstern ring. Is it to acknowledge your father?”

Clarys hand stole to her throat. “Its for Jace-because Jace gave it to me,” she said before she could help herself, and then cursed herself quietly. It wasnt smart to tell the Seelie Queen more than you had to.

“But he is not a Morgenstern,” said Kaelie, “but a Herondale, and they have their own ring. A pattern of herons, rather than morning stars. And does that not suit him better, a soul that soars like a bird in flight, rather than falling like Lucifer?”

“Kaelie,” Clary ground out between her teeth. “What does the Seelie Queen want?”

The faerie girl laughed. “Why,” she said, “only to give you this. ” She held out something in her hand, a tiny silver bell pendant, with a loop at the end of the handle so that it could be strung on a chain. As Kaelie moved her hand forward, the bell chimed, light and as sweet as rain.

Clary shrank back. “I do not want the gifts of your lady,” she said, “for they come freighted with lies and expectations. I will not owe the Queen anything. ”

“It is not a gift,” Kaelie said impatiently. “It is a means of summoning. The Queen forgives you for your earlier stubbornness. She expects there is a time soon in which you will want her help. She is willing to offer it to you, should you choose to ask. Simply ring that bell, and a servant of the Court will come and bring you to her. ”

Clary shook her head. “I will not ring it. ”

Kaelie shrugged. “Then it should cost you nothing to take it. ”

As if in a dream Clary saw her own hand reach out, her fingers hover over the bell.

“You would do anything to save him,” said Kaelie, her voice thin and as sweet as the bells ring, “whatever it cost you, whatever you might owe to Hell or Heaven, would you not?”

Remembered voices chimed in Clarys head. Did you ever stop to wonder what untruths might have been in the tale your mother told you, that served her purpose in telling it? Do you truly think you know each and every secret of your past?

Madame Dorothea told Jace he would fall in love with the wrong person.

He is not beyond saving. But it will be difficult.

The bell clanged as Clary took it, folding it into her palm. Kaelie smiled, her blue eyes shining like glass beads. “A wise choice. ”

Clary hesitated. But before she could thrust the bell back at the faerie girl, she heard someone call her name, and turned to see her mother making her way through the crowd toward her. She turned back hastily, but was not surprised to see that Kaelie was gone, having melted away into the crowd like mist burning away in the morning sun.

“Clary,” Jocelyn said, reaching her, “I was looking for you, and then Luke pointed you out, just standing over here by yourself. Is everything okay?”

Just standing over here by yourself. Clary wondered what kind of glamour Kaelie had been using; her mother ought to be able to see through most. “Im fine, Mom. ”

“Wheres Simon? I thought he was coming. ”

Of course she would think of Simon first, Clary thought, not Jace. Even though Jace had been supposed to come, and as Clarys boyfriend, he probably ought to even have been there early. “Mom,” she said, and then paused. “Do you think youll ever like Jace?”

Jocelyns green eyes softened. “I did notice he wasnt here, Clary. I just didnt know if youd want to talk about it. ”

“I mean,” Clary went on doggedly, “do you think theres something he could do to make you like him?”

“Yes,” Jocelyn said. “He could make you happy. ” She touched Clarys face lightly, and Clary clenched her own hand, feeling the bell press into her skin.

“He does make me happy,” Clary said. “But he cant control everything in the world, Mom. Other things happen-” She fumbled for words. How could she explain that it wasnt Jace making her unhappy, but what was happening to him, without revealing what that was?

“You love him so much,” Jocelyn said gently. “It scares me. Ive always wanted to keep you protected. ”

“And look how that worked out,” Clary began, and then softened her voice. This wasnt the time to blame her mother or fight with her, not now. Not with Luke looking over at them from the doorway, his face alight with love and anxiety. “If you just knew him,” she said, a little hopelessly. “But I guess everyone says that about their boyfriend. ”

“Youre right,” Jocelyn said, surprising her. “I dont know him, not really. I see him, and he reminds me a little of his mother somehow. I dont know why-he doesnt look like her, except that she was also beautiful, and she had that terrible vulnerability that he has-”

“Vulnerability?” Clary was astonished. She had never thought anyone but herself thought of Jace as vulnerable.

“Oh, yes,” said Jocelyn. “I wanted to hate her for taking Stephen away from Amatis, but you just couldnt help wanting to protect Celine. Jace has a little of that. ” She sounded lost in thought. “Or maybe its just that beautiful things are so easily broken by the world. ” She lowered her hand. “It doesnt matter. I have my memories to contend with, but theyre my memories. Jace shouldnt bear the weight of them. I will tell you one thing, though. If he didnt love you like he does-and its written all over his face whenever he looks at you-I wouldnt tolerate him for even a moment. So keep that in mind when youre being angry with me. ”

She waved off Clarys protestation that she wasnt angry with a smile and a pat on the cheek, and headed back toward Luke with a last appeal for Clary to get out among the crowd and mingle. Clary nodded and said nothing, looking after her mother as she went, and feeling the bell sear against the inside of her hand where she clutched it, like the tip of a burning match.

The area around the Ironworks was mostly warehouses and art galleries, the kind of neighborhood that emptied out at night, so it didnt take too long for Jordan and Simon to find a parking space. Simon jumped down out of the truck, only to find Jordan already on the sidewalk, looking at him critically.

Simon hadnt packed any nice clothes when hed left his house-he didnt have anything on him fancier than a bomber jacket that had once belonged to his dad-so he and Jordan had spent the afternoon prowling the East Village for a decent outfit for him to wear. Theyd finally found an old Zegna suit in a consignment shop called Love Saves the Day that mostly sold glitter platform boots and sixties Pucci scarves. Simon suspected it was where Magnus got most of his clothes.

“What?” he said now, self-consciously pulling down the sleeves of his suit jacket. It was a little too small for him, though Jordan had opined that if he never buttoned it, no one would notice. “How bad do I look?”

Jordan shrugged. “You wont crack any mirrors,” he said. “I was just wondering if you were armed. You want anything? Dagger, maybe?” He opened his own suit jacket just a bit, and Simon saw something long and metallic glinting against the inside lining.

“No wonder you and Jace like each other so much. Youre both crazy walking arsenals. ” Simon shook his head in weariness and turned to head toward the Ironworks entrance. It was across the street, a wide gold awning shadowing a rectangle of sidewalk that had been decorated with a dark red carpet with the gold image of a wolf stamped into it. Simon couldnt help being slightly amused.

Leaning against one of the poles holding up the awning was Isabelle. She had her hair up and was wearing a long red dress, slit up the side to show most of her leg. Loops of gold laddered her right arm. They looked like bracelets, but Simon knew they were really her electrum whip. She was covered in Marks. They twined her arms, threaded their way up her thigh, necklaced her throat, and decorated her chest, a great deal of which was visible, thanks to the plunging neckline of her dress. Simon tried not to stare.

“Hey, Isabelle,” he said.

Beside him Jordan was also trying not to stare. “Um,” he said. “Hi. Im Jordan. ”

“We met,” Isabelle said coldly, ignoring his proffered hand. “Maia was trying to rip your face off. Quite rightly, too. ”

Jordan looked worried. “Is she here? Is she okay?”

“Shes here,” said Isabelle. “Not that how she feels is any of your business. . . ”

“I feel a sense of responsibility,” said Jordan.

“And where is this feeling located? In your pants, perhaps?”

Jordan looked indignant.

Isabelle waved a slim decorated hand. “Look, whatever you did in the past, its past. I know youre Praetor Lupus now, and I told Maia what that means. Shes willing to accept that youre here and ignore you. But thats all you get. Dont bother her, dont try to talk to her, dont even look at her, or Ill fold you in half so many times youll look like a tiny little origami werewolf. ”

Simon snorted.

“Laugh away. ” Isabelle pointed at him. “She doesnt want to talk to you, either. So despite the fact that she looks totally babelicious tonight-and if I were into chicks I would completely go for her-neither of you are allowed to talk to her. Got it?”

They nodded, looking at their shoes like middle schoolers whod just been handed detention slips.

Isabelle unpeeled herself from the pole. “Great. Lets go on in. ”

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