"Jon, stop!" I squealed with giggles, as he chased me down the hall. We had escaped our governess and we're playing castle tag, which means we run all over the castle playing tag! It the only time we can really run around because we are always in lessons. At least Jonathan will play with me when we escape Imogen’s watch. I scurried around the corner, as I tripped over the bottom of gown, falling face first on to the ground. I screeched in pain, beginning to cry heavily.
"Clare?" Jonathan questioned, as he crouched down next to me. "Where does it hurt?" He cradled me against him, checking over me. His warm body hugging me made me feel better.
"It's my arm." I pouted, trying to stop crying. I sniffled loudly, holding it up for him. My little arm was forming a bruise and it still really hurt.
"Hmmmm." He examined it carefully, before pecking the injured area. "All better?" He asked kindly, pursing his lips into a thin line. I could see that he hoped that it was working because he was thinking really hard.
"Yeah." I rubbed my eyes, but my lip still quivered dramatically.
"Let's go find Imogen." He sighed disappointedly, standing back up.
"Can you carry me?" I held my arms out, pleading for him to hold me with my eyes. I liked it when Jon carried me. it made me feel safer.
"Fine." He huffed, lifting me up. He propped me on his hip, carrying me awkwardly down that halls.
I missed that Jonathan, the one that would kiss my booboos and carry me when I got hurt. I wonder what happened to him.
My eyes finally creaked open, as I glanced around the room. Jace was gone. I rubbed my eyes, pushing myself up into a sitting position. Where is he? Panic suddenly gripped my chest when I realized Jonathan might have taken him in our sleep. Jace is always here when I wake up. I quickly scurried out from under the covers, quickly putting my robe on. I ran my hand through my hair, as I searched the room for any forced entrance. Why didn't I wake up? How could I sleep through the man I love being taken awa- I paused when I saw an unfamiliar piece of paper on the desk. I snatched it up, reading over it.
I know you probably freaked out not waking up next to me, but we had to meet with our troops. I know you asked me not to involve you, so I let you sleep. I love you. Be safe.
I crumpled the paper in my hand, feeling extremely frustrated. He should have woken me up, so I wouldn't freak out. We are at war, right now it’s a silent one, but it is still happening. I slouched on the bed, soothing out the paper. I should have looked at the nightstand first. I probably need to get rid of this. I struck the match that was sitting next to my bed to light a nearby candle. I stuck the note over the candle, watching it slowly catch fire. There is something oddly soothing about the way the flames licked over the paper. Ever since I got married to Jace, I've really enjoyed fire. The way it climbs as high as it wants and moves as free as it want. It's powerful and all consuming. It is used so much during their celebrations I was around it a lot. It’s beautiful. Fire is easy to manipulate, but only if it lets you.
A knock on the door drew me out of my thoughts.
"Coming." I called out, dropping the note into the fire place. I wanted to watch it completely turn to ash, but I don’t have the time now. I answered the door, praying that it wasn’t my brother. It was too early to deal with him. "Sebastian, hi." I clutch my robe tighter, opening the door more.
"Your husband and father-in-law are nowhere to be found." He announced stiffly, obviously feeling awkward about approaching me in the morning.
"Jace told me they went hunting. They can only be cooped up inside for so long." I lied smoothly, grabbing my brush. I found that I was getting very good at lying to the people around me, which isn’t necessarily a good skill to have. I ran it through my hair, watching him stare at me. "Do you need anything else?" I looked back at him, raising a challenging eyebrow at him.
"No, I-" He stammered, quickly turning out of the room.
Imogen came into my room minutes later, and she helped me get dressed. I had this feeling of dread wash over me. I think the waiting is what made it worse because I have no idea when Jace and Stephen will attack. She stood above me, stroking my hair leisurely in front of my vanity, as she hummed an old lullaby. My mind couldn’t escape my fear of the future. I had no idea what was going to happen today, and I couldn’t get my thoughts off of it.
"Imogen." I spoke up after several minutes, looking up at her through the mirror.
"Yes, sweetheart?" She twisted a few of my curls, pinning them into my hair.
"I think you should go a trip for a few days." I murmured, biting my lip. I don't want her to get caught in the cross fires. She's innocent.
"Why would I do that?" She mused, clipping more of my hair up.
"Please, just go on a short vacation." I plead, hoping she silently understood. I couldn’t come right out and say it.
"I have been meaning to visit my daughter." She hummed, fixing a few stray curls. "I might as well go now." She shrugged, understanding what I now meant. Her face seemed kind of worried, but she played it off nicely. I know she was curious about what was going to happen.
"That seems nice." I smiled, feeling relieved that my beloved handmaiden is safe.
"It should be. She's with child right now. Should be exciting." She changed the subject, which I was grateful for. We chatted idly about her daughter before she changed the subject to me specifically. “I wonder when you might be with child. You and Jace would make beautiful babies. His glorious blonde hair. Your beautiful blonde eyes. Beautiful.
“We have been so busy lately. I don’t have time to think about those things.” I grinned at her, playing with my fingers.
“You should talk to Jace about these things because you two need an heir at some point.” She teased, continuing to put pins into my hair.
“I know that. It’s already expected of me to have a child, so I’m just not going to worry about it right now.” I blushed heavily, biting my lip.
“Whatever you say sweetheart.” She snickered to herself.
I strode into the throne room, seeing my brother Jonathan sitting in his favorite seat. "I'm glad you could join me for these civil cases. They drive me crazy." Jonathan heaved an annoyed sigh, as he glanced over at me.
"No problem." I shrugged it off, adjusting myself in the queen’s seat. It always feels strange to sit here because this was my mother’s seat no one else sat here but her. I thought back to the dream I had of Jonathan when we were little. That day he ended up carrying me to our mama, who helped make me feel better. I couldn’t believe that same boy grew up to me my brother now.
"I'm so bored." He groaned, stretching his arms out. He used to be so patient and caring, but my father beat him out of it.
"If you actually listen and think about it you wouldn't be so bored." I forced back snipping at him, but I don't think it came across.
I began to wonder when Jace was going to attack. Would he wait until later tonight or would be do it soon? These questions plagued my mind as these people came up to speak. Maybe I should have just asked to be involved then I wouldn’t be overwhelmed with worry. I felt bad for not listening to their issues, but I have enough of my own to worry about.
Please make it Jace I plead silently.
"Clary, pay attention." Jonathan snapped at me.
"Sorry, continue." I told the person in front of me.
I had been in here for two hours before I started to hear a commotion outside. It’s time. I gripped onto the armrest, trying to keep myself calm. "Sebastian, check on that." Jonathan snapped his fingers at him, as he got to his feet. The sound of battle cries and clashing metal entered the room. The door busted open, and the fighting entered the throne room.
"Stop right there!" My brother yelled, hulling me to my feet. I stumbled slightly, as he pulled my back against his chest.
"Let go of me!" I tried ripping my arm from his grasp, which only made him hold me tighter. The men kept fighting they didn't even notice Jonathan's threatening look. The look on Jon's face terrified me because I had never seen this much rage in his expression before.
"Stop!" He yelled, and suddenly I felt cool metal slid against my throat. I whimpered, realizing he pulled a knife on me. I know he's hurt me, but he's never really threatened me before. I was officially horrified. Jace saw me and froze.
"Jonathan what are doing?! I am on your side." I felt the knife begin to nip at my throat, making me gasp. I could feel hot blood trickle down my neck, as a stinging sensation hovered around the hallow of my throat. I knew I wasn't bleeding very badly, but he actually cut me!
"I'm sorry, sister." He kissed my temple lightly, keeping a firm grasp on my arm. "Jace, have your men lay down their weapons. I will not hesitate to kill her. I know how you feel about my dear sister. I've heard your loving confessions to one another." Jonathan threatened, glaring at my husband. I could see Jon’s fingers turn white from holding the knife so tight. I could feel the tension in his body against my back, which made me realize he didn't wasn't going to kill me. All that training with Jace finally kicked in. He was bluffing. Jace dropped his sword, putting his hands up. There was no way I was letting these people give up! I grabbed Jonathan’s wrist, twisting it away from me. I whipped around completely, jamming the sword into his chest. He gasped for breath with wide eyes that were fixed on me.
"I'm sorry." I breathed, falling onto my knees with him. I felt completely shocked with myself. I stabbed my brother in the chest. I drew him into my arms, shakily wiping his blood off on my dress. I tried to ignore the dry cracking sensation on my hands from his blood. It took seconds for Jace's men to overpower Jonathan's because they were shocked that their king was injured.
"I didn't think you had it in you." He stuttered, coughing up some blood. I gulped heavily, beginning to feel sick. I ran my fingers through his hair, trying to sooth him as he passed. "I do love you. You were the only one who was always there for me. The only one who understood me at all." He squeezed hold of my other hand, gripping it tightly. I held it back, feeling nervous about watching him die. I’ve only seen one person die, and it was someone I didn’t even know. This is my brother. I may hate him now, but I remember what it was like when I loved him as my brother. I remembered the times he pecked my booboos and hugged me with his pudgy arms.
"I know." I dropped my forehead to his, as a few tears escaped my eyes. He used to always defend me, or play with me, or protect me when we were little. I miss that relationship with him. I miss him in general.
"I could have made you happy." Jonathan stammered, starring up at me. His voice was all choked up as he spoke, which mad this even harder for me.
"No, you couldn't have." I shook my head, stroking his soft hair. "You’re my big brother, Jon. We weren't meant to be with each other like that, you were meant to protect me, and all you did was hurt me." I bit my lip, feeling a hand on my shoulder. I knew it was Jace, but I couldn't take my eyes off my vulnerable brother. I haven’t seen him like this in years.
"I'm sorry." He repeated, as he started to cry. "Please just end it. It hurts too much." He plead, closing his eyes. I hadn't realized how labored his breathing had become because I was so focused on the blood.
"Let me." Jace crouched down next to me, pulling out a small knife. He tipped Jonathan's head to the side, so I couldn’t see his eyes, poking the knife into the skin on his neck. He drew the knife out, and more blood gushed out of his body. I raised my hand to my mouth to keep from completely breaking down. I heard his last struggled breath release his lips. I dropped my hand, biting down hard on my lip. I pushed myself to my feet, seeing all the blood that had gotten onto my gown. I needed to get this off of me. I needed to clean myself off.
"I'm going to go change." My voice was unsteady, as I awkwardly descended the steps. I could feel everyone’s eyes one me.
"Someone prepare a bath." Jace yelled at them, quickly following me. He grabbed hold of my arm, pulling me into his soft embrace. I sagged against him, feeling like I should cry, but I couldn't make it happen. "I didn't think you would be the one to kill him. I was going to do it. I had a plan." He hugged me to his chest, resting his chin on my head.
"I saw an opportunity, so I took it." I spoke into his chest, wrapping my arms around his torso. I breathed in his sweet scent, feeling a little more comforted about what just happened.
"I love you." He kissed my head, rubbing my arms soothingly.