City of Glass / Page 42

Page 42



“That’s why I had to hide you,” Jocelyn said. “I couldn’t risk letting Valentine know where you were. I couldn’t let him touch you—”

“Because he turned your first child into a monster,” said Clary, “and you didn’t want him to do the same to me.”

Shocked speechless, Jocelyn could only stare at her. “Yes,” she said finally. “Yes, but that’s not all it was, Clary—”

“You stole my memories,” Clary said. “You took them away from me. You took away who I was.”

“That’s not who you are!” Jocelyn cried. “I never wanted it to be who you were—”

“It doesn’t matter what you wanted!” Clary shouted. “It is who I am! You took all that away from me and it didn’t belong to you!”

Jocelyn was ashen. Tears rose up in Clary’s eyes—she couldn’t bear seeing her mother like this, seeing her so hurt, and yet she was the one doing the hurting—and she knew that if she opened her mouth again, more terrible words would come out, more hateful, angry things. She clapped her hand over her mouth and darted for the hallway, pushing past her mother, past Simon’s outstretched hand. All she wanted was to get away. Blindly pushing at the front door, she half-fell out into the street. Behind her, someone called her name, but she didn’t turn around. She was already running.

Jace was somewhat surprised to discover that Sebastian had left the Verlac horse in the stables rather than galloping away on him the night he fled. Perhaps he had been afraid that Wayfarer might in some manner be tracked.

It gave Jace a certain satisfaction to saddle the stallion up and ride him out of the city. True, if Sebastian had really wanted Wayfarer, he wouldn’t have left him behind—and besides, the horse hadn’t really been Sebastian’s to begin with. But the fact was, Jace liked horses. He’d been ten the last time he’d ridden one, but the memories, he was pleased to note, came back fast.

It had taken him and Clary five hours to walk from the Wayland manor to Alicante. It took about two hours to get back, riding at a near gallop. By the time they drew up on the ridge overlooking the house and gardens, both he and the horse were covered in a light sheen of sweat.

The misdirection wards that had hidden the manor had been destroyed along with the manor’s foundation. What was left of the once elegant building was a heap of smoldering stone. The gardens, singed at the edges now, still brought back memories of the time he’d lived there as a child. There were the rosebushes, denuded of their blossoms now and threaded with green weeds; the stone benches that sat by empty pools; and the hollow in the ground where he’d lain with Clary the night the manor collapsed. He could see the blue glint of the nearby lake through the trees.

A surge of bitterness caught him. He jammed his hand into his pocket and drew out first a stele—he’d “borrowed” it from Alec’s room before he’d left, as a replacement for the one Clary had lost, since Alec could always get another—and then the thread he’d taken from the sleeve of Clary’s coat. It lay in his palm, stained red-brown at one end. He closed his fist around it, tightly enough to make the bones jut out under his skin, and with his stele traced a rune on the back of his hand. The faint sting was more familiar than painful. He watched the rune sink into his skin like a stone sinking through water, and closed his eyes.

Instead of the backs of his eyelids he saw a valley. He was standing on a ridge looking down over it, and as if he were gazing at a map that pinpointed his location, he knew exactly where he was. He remembered how the Inquisitor had known exactly where Valentine’s boat was in the middle of the East River and realized, This is how she did it. Every detail was clear—every blade of grass, the scatter of browning leaves at his feet—but there was no sound. The scene was eerily silent.

The valley was a horseshoe with one end narrower than the other. A bright silver rill of water—a creek or stream—ran through the center of it and disappeared among rocks at the narrow end. Beside the stream sat a gray stone house, white smoke puffing from the square chimney. It was an oddly pastoral scene, tranquil under the blue gaze of the sky. As he watched, a slender figure swung into view. Sebastian. Now that he was no longer bothering to pretend, his arrogance was plain in the way he walked, in the jut of his shoulders, the faint smirk on his face. Sebastian knelt down by the side of the stream and plunged his hands in, splashing water up over his face and hair.

Jace opened his eyes. Beneath him Wayfarer was contentedly cropping grass. Jace shoved the stele and thread back into his pocket, and with a single last glance at the ruins of the house he’d grown up in, he gathered up the reins and dug his heels into the horse’s sides.

Clary lay in the grass near the edge of Gard Hill and stared morosely down at Alicante. The view from here was pretty spectacular, she had to admit. She could look out over the rooftops of the city, with their elegant carvings and rune-Marked weather vanes, past the spires of the Hall of Accords, out toward something that gleamed in the far distance like the edge of a silver coin—Lake Lyn? The black ruins of the Gard hulked behind her, and the demon towers shone like crystal. Clary almost thought she could see the wards, shimmering like an invisible net woven around the borders of the city.

She looked down at her hands. She had torn up several fistfuls of grass in the last spasms of her anger, and her fingers were sticky with dirt and blood where she’d ripped a nail half off. Once the fury had passed, a feeling of utter emptiness had replaced it. She hadn’t realized how angry she’d been with her mother, not until she’d stepped through the door and Clary had set her panic about Jocelyn’s life aside and realized what lay under it. Now that she was calmer, she wondered if a part of her had wanted to punish her mother for what had happened to Jace. If he hadn’t been lied to—if they both hadn’t been—then perhaps the shock of finding out what Valentine had done to him when he was only a baby wouldn’t have driven him to a gesture Clary couldn’t help feeling was close to suicide.

“Mind if I join you?”

She jumped in surprise and rolled onto her side to look up. Simon stood over her, his hands in his pockets. Someone—Isabelle, probably—had given him a dark jacket of the tough black stuff Shadowhunters used for their gear. A vampire in gear, Clary thought, wondering if it was a first. “You snuck up on me,” she said. “I guess I’m not much of a Shadowhunter, huh.”

Simon shrugged. “Well, in your defense, I do move with a silent, pantherlike grace.”

Despite herself, Clary smiled. She sat up, brushing dirt off her hands. “Go ahead and join me. This mope-fest is open to all.”

Sitting beside her, Simon looked out over the city and whistled. “Nice view.”

“It is.” Clary looked at him sidelong. “How did you find me?”

“Well, it took me a few hours.” He smiled, a little crookedly. “Then I remembered how when we used to fight, back in first grade, you’d go and sulk on my roof and my mom would have to get you down.”

“So?”

“I know you,” he said. “When you get upset, you head for high ground.”

He held something out to her—her green coat, neatly folded. She took it and shrugged it on—the poor thing was already showing distinct signs of wear. There was even a small hole in the elbow big enough to wiggle a finger through.

“Thanks, Simon.” She laced her hands around her knees and stared out at the city. The sun was low in the sky, and the towers had begun to glow a faint reddish pink. “Did my mom send you up here to get me?”

Simon shook his head. “Luke, actually. And he just asked me to tell you that you might want to head back before sunset. Some pretty important stuff is happening.”

“What kind of stuff?”

“Luke gave the Clave until sunset to decide whether they’d agree to give the Downworlders seats on the Council. The Downworlders are all coming to the North Gate at twilight. If the Clave agrees, they can come into Alicante. If not …”

“They get sent away,” Clary finished. “And the Clave gives itself up to Valentine.”

“Yeah.”

“They’ll agree,” said Clary. “They have to.” She hugged her knees. “They’d never pick Valentine. No one would.”

“Glad to see your idealism hasn’t been damaged,” said Simon, and though his voice was light, Clary heard another voice through it. Jace’s, saying he wasn’t an idealist, and she shivered, despite the coat she was wearing.

“Simon?” she said. “I have a stupid question.”

“What is it?”

“Did you sleep with Isabelle?”

Simon made a choking sound. Clary swiveled slowly around to look at him.

“Are you okay?” she asked.

“I think so,” he said, recovering his poise with apparent effort. “Are you serious?”

“Well, you were gone all night.”

Simon was silent for a long moment. Finally he said, “I’m not sure it’s your business, but no.”

“Well,” said Clary, after a judicious pause, “I guess you wouldn’t have taken advantage of her when she’s so grief-stricken and all.”

Simon snorted. “If you ever meet the man who could take advantage of Isabelle, you’ll have to let me know. I’d like to shake his hand. Or run away from him very fast, I’m not sure which.”

“So you’re not dating Isabelle.”

“Clary,” Simon said, “why are you asking me about Isabelle? Don’t you want to talk about your mom? Or about Jace? Izzy told me that he left. I know how you must be feeling.”

“No,” Clary said. “No, I don’t think you do.”

“You’re not the only person who’s ever felt abandoned.” There was an edge of impatience to Simon’s voice. “I guess I just thought—I mean, I’ve never seen you so angry. And at your mom. I thought you missed her.”

“Of course I missed her!” Clary said, realizing even as she said it how the scene in the kitchen must have looked. Especially to her mother. She pushed the thought away. “It’s just that I’ve been so focused on rescuing her—saving her from Valentine, then figuring out a way to cure her—that I never even stopped to think about how angry I was that she lied to me all these years. That she kept all of this from me, kept the truth from me. Never let me know who I really was.”

“But that’s not what you said when she walked into the room,” said Simon quietly. “You said, ‘Why didn’t you ever tell me I had a brother?’”

“I know.” Clary yanked a blade of grass out of the dirt, worrying it between her fingers. “I guess I can’t help thinking that if I’d known the truth, I wouldn’t have met Jace the way I did. I wouldn’t have fallen in love with him.”

Simon was silent for a moment. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard you say that before.”

“That I love him?” She laughed, but it sounded dreary even to her ears. “Seems useless to pretend like I don’t, at this point. Maybe it doesn’t matter. I probably won’t ever see him again, anyway.”

“He’ll come back.”

“Maybe.”

“He’ll come back,” Simon said again. “For you.”

“I don’t know.” Clary shook her head. It was getting colder as the sun dipped to touch the edge of the horizon. She narrowed her eyes, leaning forward, staring. “Simon. Look.”

He followed her gaze. Beyond the wards, at the North Gate of the city, hundreds of dark figures were gathering, some huddled together, some standing apart: the Downworlders Luke had called to the city’s aid, waiting patiently for word from the Clave to let them in. A shiver sizzled down Clary’s spine. She was poised not just on the crest of this hill, looking down over a steep drop to the city below, but at the edge of a crisis, an event that would change the workings of the whole Shadowhunting world.

“They’re here,” Simon said, half to himself. “I wonder if that means the Clave’s decided?”

“I hope so.” The grass blade Clary had been worrying at was a mangled green mess; she tossed it aside and yanked up another one. “I don’t know what I’ll do if they decide to give in to Valentine. Maybe I can create a Portal that’ll take us all away to somewhere Valentine will never find us. A deserted island, or something.”

“Okay, I have a stupid question myself,” Simon said. “You can create new runes, right? Why can’t you just create one to destroy every demon in the world? Or kill Valentine?”

“It doesn’t work like that,” Clary said. “I can only create runes I can visualize. The whole image has to come into my head, like a picture. When I try to visualize kill Valentine or rule the world or something, I don’t get any images. Just white noise.”

“But where do the images of the runes come from, do you think?”

“I don’t know,” Clary said. “All the runes the Shadowhunters know come from the Gray Book. That’s why they can only be put on Nephilim; that’s what they’re for. But there are other, older runes. Magnus told me that. Like the Mark of Cain. It was a protection Mark, but not one from the Gray Book. So when I think of these runes, like the Fearless rune, I don’t know if it’s something I’m inventing, or something I’m remembering—runes older than Shadowhunters. Runes as old as angels themselves.” She thought of the rune Ithuriel had showed her, the one as simple as a knot. Had it come from her own mind, or the angel’s? Or was it just something that had always existed, like the sea or the sky? The thought made her shiver.


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