Reckless Flames

Chapter 7

I went to the artisan’s area to work on my leather embroidery. I hoped it would take my mind off things, while Izzy was searching the camp for Jace. I couldn’t help but wonder where Jace went last night, and it was driving me a little crazy. I dug the tool into the thick leather, beginning to create a haphazard design. I ended up destroying two shirts today because I kept thinking about Jace. I couldn't focus on anything, which wasn't helping me create beautiful things like I normally I do.

"Clary." My attention was drawn away again, and I poked through the leather, abolishing yet another outfit. I groaned in frustration, looking up at Izzy. "I found Jace." She paused in front of me, panting heavily. She obviously ran over to me to inform me where Jace was. If she ran, it obviously wasn’t something I was going to like. "It's not good." She gritted her teeth.

"What do you mean not good?" I tossed my tools down, getting myself angry. I need to get pimped up for an argument. I am not going down without a fight because I’m my own person now.

"I found him in my brother’s tent. You'll just have to see for yourself." She led me to one of the tents by mine, and I hesitated before walking in. I took a deep breath, glancing over the room. Jace was passed out on the floor, holding a naked woman with his pants pulled down to his knees. He looked ridiculous. Rage washed over me the longer I glared at him. "Get me a bucket of water." I bit out to Isabelle, unable to let him slumber like this anymore. She ran out of the room, and I continued to glare at him. My blood was boiling under my skin, as I looked at him. How dare he cheat on me?! We get into one little argument, and he finds the comfort of another woman. Who does he think he is? My eyes shifted to his face, and I began noticing bruises and cuts on his face. What did he do last night? Confusion was mingled together with my anger, as I wondered what he did before taking this woman. Izzy came back in with the bucket, handing it to me. I took it steadily in my hands, dumping it on his body. Jace gasped from the cold, sitting up quickly. A sick grin of satisfaction appeared on my face. The woman flinched too, but she quickly noticed where she was and who was there. She quickly gathered her clothes running out of the tent.

"Crap." He ran his hands through his hair, before he dragged his pants all the way up. I did not enjoy staring at his junk.

"I can't believe you." I exclaimed, tossing the bucket aside. "What did you do?" I yelled.

"I got drunk, then I got into a fight, and I ended up here." He rubbed his neck, furrowing his brow. I felt even madder now if it was possible. He didn't even try to lie about it!

"Do you screw her?" I snapped, crossing my arms. I wanted to strangle him. He obviously had his way with her, or else he wouldn’t be naked with her.

"I didn't." He shook his head, seeming very disoriented. "I passed out first." He seemed exasperated and tired.

"Why should I believe you?!" I exclaimed, flinging my hands into the air.

"Can we please do this later?" He asked softly, glancing away from me. "I'm just exhausted, and I feel terrible." He looked absolutely miserable, but I couldn't let him get away with this. He woke up naked in a woman’s arms. That’s not ok.

"No I want-" I paused, as his hand lifted up. For some reason I thought he was going to hit me. I'm not used to yelling at man, and getting away without punishment.

"What are you..." He trailed off, seeing his hand raised above me. "Did you think I was going to hit you?"

"No, I just-"

"I would never hit you." He promised, shocked at my sudden fear. "Now we can discuss last night later. I'm sorry." He whispered, kissing my cheek.

"Jace, I-"

"Later." He slipped out of the tent, walking away from me. I opened my mouth to say something, but my words were caught in my throat.

I spent the rest of my day ranting to Izzy about Jace. Apparently, I had a lot of anger bottled up. A majority of it was directed at Jace, but it was also toward my brother. By the time the sunset, I was exhausted from talking. I had given up working because when I spoke, I got distracted. Then I would ruin more leather, and one of the older women started getting angry at me, which made me angry. I started ranting even more.

Much later in the day, I went to my tent to finally take to Jace, but he wasn't there. I sighed sleepily, stepping back out. "Where is Jace?" I asked a guard that by my tent.

"He's in the bathing house. Would you like me to escort you?" He questioned.

"Yes, please." I followed him half way across the clan to a large tent. I pushed the flap back, entering the bathing house. There was a large stone tub in the middle tent, and Jace was lounging against the edge. "I didn't know there was a bath house." I spoke curiously, walking around the tub. I’ve wanted to fight all day, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it right now. Jace's eyes locked on me, following me as I moved. "If I would have known, I would have been in here much sooner." I sat on the edge next to him, running my fingers gently through his tousled hair.

"You would have?" He murmured, inhaling deeply. I hummed nodding at him. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so calm, and for some reason I didn’t feel like ruining it.

"I feel disgusting." I grimaced, standing back up.

"Then get in." He suggested, looking up to me.

"Will we talk about earlier?" I began untying my top, feeling a little nervous about it.

"If that's what you wish." He breathed.

"Look away." I removed my top, feeling my heart pound faster. I shimmed out of my skirt, stepping around to descend into the tub. I lowered myself until my chest was covered. I know he can’t really see me, but this is the first time I have been completely naked in front of him, which made me a little uneasy.

"Can I open my eyes?" Jace hummed.

"Yeah." I dipped my head under water, feeling instantly soothed.

"What do you want to discuss?" He stretched his arms, drifting towards me.

"What did you do last night? I know what you said earlier, but what did you do?" I felt angry creep up my neck, as I thought about him on the ground with that woman.

"I went to my Cousin Alec's tent, and we drank more. Then we stumbled around the camp. I bumped into my drunken friend who started taking about you. After you yelled at me about humiliating you, I punched him. We got into a fist fight. I won. I started drinking even more, and then I ran into Kaelie, who I was with before. By then I was so hammered and sexually frustrated I took her back to Alec's tent. I knew he would be somewhere else, but once things started getting worked up, I fainted." He explained, looking ashamed of himself.

"Why did you think that was a good idea? I thought out of all the people here you respected me, and you almost slept with another woman. What am I supposed to think?" I glanced down, feeling more upset then angry.

"That I'm stupid. Kaelie, we were together a lot before you got here. I called things off when we got married, and last night was just a relapse. It won't happen again." He assured me.

"Why should I believe you?" My voice was much harsher than I anticipated. His face dropped slightly, making him run his hand through his wet locks.

"I guess you shouldn't believe me. I’m a coward. You said it last night." He sighed. I shook my head, feeling a heavy pit in my heart. I never thought I would be in a place like this, and I hated it. I feel so drained. I don't want to fight, but he embarrassed and almost cheat on me. I was so angry all day, and now I'm just tired.

"Why does this have to be so hard?" I murmured, taking a shaky breath.

"I don't know." He shook his head, leaning against the side again.

"I'm so mad, but I just don't have the energy to fight." I bit my lip.

"Come here." He gestured me over to him.

"Why?" I furrowed my brow at him, wondering what he wanted.

"I just want to hold you for a little bit. I won't try anything." He held his hand out for me. I hesitantly took it, and he pulled me into his arms. My back rested on his chest, while his arms circled my waist. I felt an unfamiliar flutter in my stomach. He rested his chin on my shoulder, as his thumbs traced circles on my waist. "We never touch each other." He murmured. "Maybe we should start doing that." He suggested softly, looking over at me.

"Why?" I chewed the inside of my cheek, feeling nervous about his indication.

"I don't know. Maybe it will make us closer." His breath washed over my neck, sending a shiver down my spine.

"You think it will?" My voice squeaked, as my muscles tensed.

"It's worth a shot." He shrugged, leaning back against the tub.

"Ok." I closed my eyes, letting the heat wash over me. I slowly started to relax in his arms, as I let my mind wander.

"You told me that our wedding night wasn't what you imaged. How did you see it?" He asked quietly.

"It doesn't matter now." I murmured, opening my eyes.

"I would still like to hear it." He held me a little tighter.

"I thought I would get married in a big white dress, in a church, and my mother would have been there to consul me." I whispered, trying to image what it would have been like. "The church would have been full of roses, which are my favorite. My father would have given me away. We would have recited our church vows, and then there would have been a ball to celebrate." I breathed, feeling more home sick then I had in a while.

"I bet it would have been beautiful." He pecked my temple lightly, as I placed my hands over his.

"I miss home." My voice cracked when I spoke, as my eyes started to tear up.

"I know you do." He tangled out fingers together, squeezing my hand lightly.

"I miss my mom." I sniffled, trying to wipe my eyes. "I feel so silly." I huffed, shaking my head.

"Don't." He held me closer, kissing my shoulder. "You were ripped from your home without warning. You were forced to marry me. I'm sorry." He breathed.

"It's not your fault we had to get married." I sniffed in a breath, pushing back the tears. I’m ok. I’ve accepted all this. I don’t need it coming back up now, in front of Jace.

"Last night was my fault though." He mumbled after a few minutes of silence.

"By the Angel. I don't even care anymore. Just promise me you won't do it again." I sighed, clutching onto his hands.

"I promise." He mumbled.

"Good." I took a deep breath, dropping my head back against his chest. We were both quiet for a long time, waiting as the water slowly began to cool. I felt so calmed, and I didn't want to leave. Jace's arms held me firmly, which is something I didn't know I wanted. "Do you ever think we'll be happy?" I questioned almost silently.

"I hope so." His lips pressed against my shoulder, as he held me against him.

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