Forever Parabatai

Life and Death

The hypnotic beat of the club's music pounded against the walls of the private room. Outside, there were hundreds of Downworlders grinding against each other in a fog of heat and flashing lights. I reclined farther into the plush leather of the red sofa, bored and slightly annoyed. I glanced down at the drink in my hand and gave the glass a swirl, faintly hearing the ice cubes clink against each other. I took another swig and welcomed the luscious burning pathway the liquid trailed down my throat.

The other Shadowhunters in the room sensed my growing impatience and began pacing, hands clutched around weapons strapped to their waists. I smirked. My displeasure made them uneasy, and their fear was intoxicating. There was never enough terror and pain in the world to keep me fully sated.

The door to the private room suddenly blew open, and though my Shadowhunter guards stiffened, my eyes remained fixed on my drink. The sound of heels clacking against the floor licked at my ears. With a loud sigh I brought my leg up to rest my ankle on my opposite knee and draped my arm across the back of the sofa.

"You're late," I growled.

There was a light giggle. "I follow nobody's schedule but my own, Mr. Morgenstern."

I lifted my gaze. In front of me stood a seemingly normal girl, clad in tight leather with a pair of impossibly high stilettos strapped to her feet. Her makeup could have made Magnus Bane, himself, envious. There were hot pink streaks in her long ebony hair, which she tossed over her shoulder with a flick of her wrist. Her looks would have been enough to distract any other man from what lurked behind her. But not me. I caught the flicker of movement from her tail with ease. And though I could not deny that her outfit hugged her curves in all the right places, I scowled.

"You're not wearing the clothes I sent you."

The girl rolled her eyes. "You didn't seriously expect me to wear that out in public, did you? I wouldn't be caught dead wearing that."

"The outfit you're wearing now will get you caught, and you will wind up dead."

"That boy has no taste in fashion," she pouted.

"I'm glad you noticed." I cocked an eyebrow. "You have been studying up on him, haven't you?"

The girl's tail swished from side to side and she crossed her arms defensively, pushing her hip out to the side. "Of course I have. I know how to get a job done, Mr. Morgenstern. Besides, I gave you my word. And I never go back on my word."

"I hope for your sake that's true," I said, swallowing the last of my drink.

"Are you nervous, Mr. Morgenstern?" the girl asked, eyeing my empty glass.

"No," I answered honestly. "I just hope you're ready. It would be a shame for me to have to kill you."

The girl smiled, unfazed. "I will not be among the dead when this is finished. You can make a toast to me during your victory speech, and I will raise my glass to you."

I grinned. "Well, why not start celebrating early?"

Setting my glass on the table in front of me, I reached into my pocket and pulled out a small vial. Red liquid sloshed against the glass as I extended my hand. The girl pulled the vial from my fingers and examined the contents before pulling out the stopper and placing it under her nose.

"This isn't fresh."

"No. The blood that was available to me was a little dried up. I had to scrape it out of a box. I added some water to make it easier for you to swallow, but I promise you it's authentic."

"Such a gentleman," the girl drawled, replacing the stopper.

Her heels clacked against the floor as she approached me. Her hips swung to the beat of the music and with slow, graceful movements she seated herself on my lap and wrapped her arms around my neck. My eyes locked onto her green ones as she trailed her fingers down the side of my face.

"I still need yours," she whispered.

"Take what you need."

My eyes remained fixed on her face, unabashed, as her hands explored my body. She was trying to distract me, but I refused to play into her little game. I caught the movement of her tail as it inched towards my face. She let out a surprised gasp as my hand shot out and clenched tightly around her thin tail.

"Not the face, love," I growled. "Can't give Jace Herondale anything to gloat about."

The girl smiled and twitched her tail, signalling for me to let go. I complied and she traced the hollow of my throat with one of the sharp spikes on the end of her tail. The spike scratched against my skin as she moved it upwards towards the side of my neck. I didn't make a sound as she made a small cut and placed her lips over the wound, sucking deeply on my blood. With a satisfied moan, she drew her tongue over the broken skin and sat back.

"Your blood is different," she commented.

"Oh really?" I asked, silently challenging her to say the taste disgusted her.

She smiled and fluttered her long lashes. "You're like exotic cuisine."

"I'm quite a delicacy."

Her skin suddenly began to ripple and her features began to twist and contort. Her hair shortened in length and faded to silver-white while her eyes darkened. Her slender figure broadened with muscle and suddenly there was a mirror image of myself sitting in my lap.

"I couldn't agree more," she said in my voice.

I grinned, impressed. "The resemblance is striking."

"I aim to please."

"Show me what I want to see," I said, my voice low.

The girl's skin - my skin - rippled again and she quickly changed back into her original form. I gave her a push and she raised herself from my lap with a roll of her eyes. Her tail lashed from side to side in annoyance but she obeyed and opened the vial again, spilling the blood mixture into her mouth. Before she could shape shift again, I held up my hand and snapped my fingers. One of my Shadowhunter guards stepped forward and handed her a small pile of folded clothes. She picked them up gingerly and eyed them with disgust.

"Change," I commanded.

"Is this really necessary?"

"The last thing I want to see is Alexander Lightwood in a pair of tight leather pants with a leather halter top and heels. Change."

The girl made a sound of irritation before stripping out of her clothes. All eyes were on her, but only mine watched with disinterest. She muttered under her breath as she slid on a pair of jeans and a blue sweater, both of which were too large on her slim frame. She remained barefoot and cocked her head at me, waiting for further instruction. When I inclined my head her skin immediately began to ripple again. The pink in her hair disappeared and the length shortened, and her eyes changed to a bright blue. Her shoulders broadened and she gained a bit more muscle to match her new height.

I stood up from the sofa and closed the small distance between us. Sweet memories flooded my mind as I looked this Alec Lightwood doppelganger up and down. I could still hear his screams, clear and agonized. I remembered the warmth of his blood as it dripped from my fingers.

"What's your name?" I questioned, circling around the fake Alec.

"Alexander Gideon Lightwood. I have a sister named Isabelle and a deceased brother named Max. Jace Herondale is my parabatai, and I am deeply in love with a warlock named Magnus Bane. Last but not least, I have no sense of fashion."

I stopped in front of her. "Glad to know you've got the basics down. I hope your knowledge is a little more extensive than that. Also, it's one thing to act like someone. It's another to be someone. I hope you've studied his mannerisms."

The fake Alec shrugged. "Alec Lightwood has a tendency to fade into the background. He's unsure of himself. He's been under a lot of...stress...lately. How hard can it be? I'll just be quiet, jittery and take everything too seriously. I'll have Magnus Bane convinced the moment he sets his eyes on me."

Her confidence ignited my blood with excitement and the rapid beat of the distant music soon matched my pulse. Soon the Book of White would be in my hands, and the deaths of Alec Lightwood, Jace Herondale and Magnus Bane would just be the tip of the iceberg.

"Are you sure you can get into Magnus Bane's apartment?"

The fake Alec smiled. "His wards will defend against you. They can't keep out another warlock."


We stood on the opposite side of the street, watching as Jace, Alec and Clary exited the Institute and stood in front of the massive doors, chatting. Smiles were plastered on Jace and Clary's faces; Alec's smile was weak and fragile. His shoulders were tensed, as if he was waiting for someone to attack him from behind.

"How does he look to you?" the warlock asked me, her head tilted to one side as she watched the three Shadowhunters.

"Surprisingly well for someone suffering from post traumatic stress disorder," I muttered.

Jace was speaking with Alec and making motions with his hands, but Alec shook his head and pointed over his shoulder with his thumb. Jace spoke again and Alec responded with a nod. Still smiling, Jace clapped Alec on the shoulder and linked his hand with Clary's before turning around and walking away. Alec watched them for a moment before turning towards the direction he'd pointed, towards Magnus's apartment.

An exhilarated rush swept over me. We trailed him on our end of the street, watching as he nervously weaved in and out of the throngs of people. He thought he was heading towards safety, but every step was bringing him closer to the end of his life.

I turned to the blonde Shadowhunter beside me. Alec would recognize him instantly. The hair and ear full of hoops would register in Alec's mind and send his heart into a racing fit. I gave the signal and the Shadowhunter took off ahead of us. When I lost sight of him, I signalled for the warlock to shift. Glamoured from the eyes of the mundanes, her features began to change into a likeness of my own. Satisfied, I glanced across the street. My Shadowhunter was now walking towards Alec.

Let the fun begin in

Alec's head was down as he hurriedly walked along. He didn't see my Shadowhunter approaching him. The blonde rammed his shoulder into Alec's as he walked by. Alec looked up, startled, and turned around. The blonde Shadowhunter looked at Alec long enough for Alec to recognize him before turning away and continuing on down the street. I smiled as Alec's expression turned to one of horror. He remained rooted in place, his hand subconsciously reaching for the concealed weapon at his hip. I waited until Alec continued on his way before indicating for the warlock to take the next step.

Still in my form, she crossed the road and followed Alec with long strides. She waited until he approached an alleyway before catching up to him. Just like the blonde Shadowhunter, she butted her shoulder against Alec's as she passed him. Alec halted before she even turned around. When she did, he took a step back. The warlock turned and hurried down the alley. I waited, watching as Alec stood frozen on the sidewalk. He seemed to be too scared to even walk by the alley.

Come on, Lightwood, I urged inwardly. You know you want to kill me.

As if my thoughts persuaded him, Alec turned down the alley. I crossed the street quickly and followed him, careful not to make a sound. The two of them had already disappeared around a corner. I heard Alec's voice before I could peer around the bend.


Alec already had his seraph blade out and the warlock trapped against a brick wall. Though his voice had remained steady, I could see the way the weapon shook in his trembling hand.

"I've been waiting to kill you," Alec snarled.

"That's a lie and we both know it, Alexander," the warlock said in my voice. "I think you've been a little too preoccupied with nightmares and trauma to think about me."

"Shut up," Alec hissed. "I'm stronger than you think."

The warlock seemed remarkably calm despite the fact that she was unarmed and being threatened. She was a very convincing clone of me.

"You sound like you're trying to convince yourself, Alexander," she said.

"I should hand you over to the Clave, but I'd really rather just stab you. Repeatedly."

The warlock tapped her chin. "What do you think I should have engraved on my tombstone? Jonathan C. Morgenstern or The Better And Sexier Sebastian Verlack?"

Alec pressed the tip of his seraph blade against the warlock's chest. "The real Sebastian Verlack would never have killed my little brother, you son of a bitch. He wasn't a pathetic excuse of a Shadowhunter."

The warlock mimicked my natural response and drew herself up taller, her face tightening. "Can't say the same about yourself, can you, Alec?"

I crept forward from my hiding spot, my shoes not making a sound against the ground. The warlock was careful to keep her eyes trained on Alec so as not to reveal my presence, just like we'd talked about. Reaching behind me, I unsheathed my own seraph blade.

"Your life ends today," Alec growled, raising his weapon.

"Wait!" The warlock held up her hands. "Killing me would be like committing suicide!"

As suspected, Alec hesitated, confused. The warlock grinned and her skin began to ripple. Alec's weapon steadily lowered as he came face to face with an exact replica of himself.

"What the..."

I could hear Alec's heavy breathing as I approached him from behind, still unnoticed.

"Don't worry," the warlock said, now using Alec's voice. "I'll send Magnus your love."

A conversation I'd had with Jace about my father a long time ago came flooding back to me: "You know what he gave me for my ninth birthday? A lesson. He taught me that there's a place on a man's back where, if you sink a blade in, you can pierce his heart and sever his spine, all at once."

Alec recoiled from the warlock and took a step back, a step, still unbeknownst to him, closer towards me. With a smile, I raised my seraph blade and aimed the tip at the exact spot I'd been taught to strike. My fingers twitched, eagerly anticipating being coated in Alexander Lightwood's blood once again.

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.