Walking into the small café the young woman scanned the room; she carefully analyzed the other four patrons that were sitting at tables around the small room. Once she realized they were not a threat, she quickly walked to the counter to place her order
A young boy with dirty blonde hair and brown eyes approached the woman
"Hi my name is Eric, may I take your order"
"Black coffee, large and a blueberry muffin"
"That will be five dollars and twenty cents"
The woman passed the boy her money without speaking
"Great; coming right up will that be for here or"
The woman quickly interrupted the boy; becoming irritated with his pleasantries "to go and I am in a hurry; thanks"
Within a matter of minutes the boy handed her a bag with her blueberry muffin and her large black coffee; before giving him a chance to speak the woman had already turned to leave.
Once outside she let out a sigh; she hated dealing with people; over the past few years she had become accustomed to being alone, she rather enjoyed the silence now.
As the wind blew around her braided black hair; she turned headed toward the hotel she was currently residing in; the sidewalks were busy at this time of day but she knew how to weave in and out of the crowd without being noticed.
She arrived back at her hotel room sitting down at the small wooden table; she quickly ate her blueberry muffin and finished off her coffee. Looking at the clock realizing she did not have much time before work; walking into the small bathroom the young woman turned toward the mirror; studying herself as she began to undo the braid in her hair; once the braid was completely undone, not only did the young woman have black hair but bright red hair as well. A look of distaste crossed her face as she glanced in the mirror; turning toward the shower she made sure to get the setting just right before stepping in. As the water started warming the girl walked over to the counter and removed a pair of brown contacts from her eyes and then quickly undressed; stepping under the steaming shower the girl let out a sigh of relief as she leaned her head against the cool tile wall. For some time she just stood there allowing the hot water to help release the tense muscles she had received from the running she did earlier that day. Before long she began washing her body and hair; knowing that she would need to sign in for work soon; as she rinsed the shampoo from her hair a pool of black water began to form at the bottom of the bathtub. When the young woman finished rinsing off she stepped on the plush floor mat and wrapped her small body in a plush robe; walking toward the mirror once more she took a wash cloth and wiped the steam in order to see her reflection. She walked back into the main living area to retrieve a pair of black boy shorts and an oversize black T-shirt; once dressed she headed back towards the bathroom to dry her wet hair.
The young girl studied her reflection in the mirror closely; now that she was freshly showered she smiled at her reflection. Her face was a pale white with freckles covering her tiny features, her eyes were a bright emerald green, and her hair; now without any trace of black whatsoever; was a beautiful bright red with soft big curls that extended to her lower back. "Welcome back" the girl said to her reflection before turning to leave.
With her laptop in one hand and work phone in the other, the young woman made her way over to the hotel's bed; she quickly turned down the sheets and jumped under the covers. When she had decided that she was completely comfortable and content she pressed the power button on her laptop; once on she typed in a the website address she needed; when the screen popped up that she was waiting for she began typing and then stopped momentarily as she grabbed her phone to place a call. The other line was ringing as the woman sat waiting while she stared at the screen showing on her lap top; after a few moments the line was answered
"You have reached the Clave Crisis Center; how may I help you today"
"Hello; I need to get my access code to sign in "
"Sure thing; May I have your full name"
"Oh Clary hey, it's me Amatis"
"Hey Amatis, how are you"
"Well I am just fine dear; you are the one I worry about; always alone, no friends, no boy I bet you don't even have a pet" Clary closed her eyes allowing her head to fall back on the pillows behind her, praying the phone would ring causing Amatis to hurry
"Oh and there is this boy I have been hearing great things about; over at the Idris Shadowhunter Academy; he is about to graduate and from what I hear they expect great things out of him. His name is something another Lightwood; but come to think of it I know the parents and that boy there looks nothing like them; isn't that odd. Clary dear you still there"
Clary had almost fell asleep when she heard Amatis call her name "Yes I am here, just dropped my phone for a second there"
"Oh well just make sure that it doesn't happen when you are on the phone with a caller"
"Yes ma'am; of course" Clary was still waiting for Amatis to give her the code that allowed her to sign in
"Okay Clary; are you ready for your code"
"Yes; I am ready"
"Did you get it dear" Amatis asked as Clary was quickly typing away in her computer
"Got it; Thanks talk to you tomorrow; bye" Clary quickly hung up the phone knowing Amatis would try to reel her in to another conversation until her work phone rang; conversing with Amatis was not something Clary particularly enjoyed doing.
When Clary finished signing in at work she placed her laptop on the table, she would not need it again until the next morning to sign out.
Lying in the bed with her work phone next to her; Clary's eyes began to close against her will when all of a sudden her work phone started ringing
Taking a deep breath before answering
"Good evening; you have reached the Clave Crisis Center, how may I help you"
Clary waited for the person on the other line to speak but no one did causing Clary to repeat herself once more
"This is the Clave Crisis Center, is there something I can do for you"
After a few more moments Clary decided to hang up when she heard something; it sounded like cartoons were playing in the background. She knew that there was a huge possibility this was nothing more than a prank, but she had to make sure
"Hey; my name is Clary; is there anything you want to talk about"
After a few seconds a little boy spoke
"Max; that's my name"
"Well Max; how are you"
"Kay; I guess"
"Is your mom and dad home"
"Yea; they are cooking dinner"
Clary was confused about this call; the boy sounded fine; he said his parents were cooking, no yelling, and no hitting
"So Max how old are you"
"I'll be nine in a few months"
"That awesome Max; tell me something you like to do"
"I love to read manga; just started reading it though"
Clary remembered reading manga when she was very young too; she used to love it
"Max when I was younger I loved reading manga too; it took me forever to learn that you had to read it backwards; you know right to left instead of left to right; did it take you a while to learn how to read it."
When Max did not answer Clary knew her suspicions were correct
"I only looked at the pictures because I couldn't figure out how to read it"
"Well now you do; it took me forever to figure it out too Max, don't worry about it"
"Okay; thanks for telling me how to read it Clary"
"Your welcome; now Max can I ask you a really important question"
"Yeah, go ahead"
"I was just wondering if you were upset or if something bad was happening that you needed to talk about; I hope you know that you can trust me"
Clary heard something on the other end of the line but was unsure what it was; Max was not answering but clearly he was still on the other line from all the movement she was hearing
"Max; are you okay?"
"Yeah, I just needed to lock my door so no one came in; Clary if I tell you I won't get in trouble right"
Clary could not imagine what Max could have possibly done to get himself in trouble; he was too sweet
"Max of course you will not get in trouble; I will not allow anything to happen to you"
Clary did not think before the words left her mouth; she knew not to ever tell anyone that, but here she was telling an eight year old boy that she would protect him
"You promise Clary; please say you promise"
Clary's chest tightened as she listened to Max's pleas; how could she not want to protect him, he was so young and innocent. She closed her eyes and took a deep breathe; knowing that she may regret the words she was about to say
"Max; I Clary Fray promise you that if it is my power; I will protect you with my life"
Clary heard a sigh from the other line; she was still trying to figure out what could be going on, when Max finally spoke in a very serious voice
"This is why I called you"
"I came home from school and I couldn't find my parents, I looked everywhere for them except their private office; I am not allowed there but I made a really good grade on my science project and I just wanted to tell them really really bad" Max took a breath
"Well I walked as quiet as I could to the door of the office and that's when I heard my parent's voice; they were talking on the phone, it was on speaker so they could both hear it; I couldn't understand all of it but what I did hear was not good"
Max did not continue and it made Clary very nervous; she needed him to continue, in order to find out if she or the clinic could help his family
"Max; you can tell me"
"Well I heard the man on the phone say that his boss had found out what they did and he was coming after not just Jace but all of us now"
"Wait Max I need to know the boss's name, did you hear a name"
Clary could feel her heart beating as she waited for the young boy to answer
"Um I am not sure; I heard my dad's name, and Jace's name but he's my brother so I know he's not the boss"
Clary felt a small smile on her face as Max finished his sentence; he was so pure, he really had no clue how dangerous the world really was out there
"Max; I need you to think for me sweetie okay; think really hard"
"Well; what was it that my dad called the man on the phone; Hough, no; Hatch, no; oh I got it Hodge the guy on the phone was Hodge Clary"
Clary felt her heart begin to race; breathe Clary she told herself; just breathe
"Um Max" Clary could hear how shaky her voice was; she closed her eyes tightly and tried to get a hold on her breathing
"Clary are you there; Clary what happened" Max's stressed voice brought Clary back to the conversation
"It's okay Max; I am okay; I just need a minute" Clary had pulled her knees up tightly to her chest; placing her chin on her knees. Clary was lost in her thoughts when Max started speaking again
"Clary I think I remember something else; do you want to know"
"Yeah; of course I do" truly Clary was unsure if she really did want to know anymore
"Well that Hodge guy was talking and he said something to my dad"
"Max; tell me, I need you to tell me what he said to your dad"
"He told my dad that he should know that Valentine is not that kind" Max sighed "but come on Valentine's Day is all about kindness and love; that Hodge man had no idea what he was talking about, right Clary"
Clary could not speak, she could not breathe, no no no no please no do not let this be real. At some point Clary had fell from the bed on to her knees; her body was shaking uncontrollably; somewhere in the background she could hear Max's little voice screaming her name. Get a grip Clary; you have trained for this, you can do this, you have to do this for Max. Slowly sitting up Clary looked up to see her phone on the bed; she could still hear Max calling out for her; she grabbed the phone off the bed
"Max; sweetie I am so sorry I dropped the phone and could not find it"
"Clary, you scared me; don't do that again; deal"
Clary smiled at her phone before answering
"Uh oh; my mom's calling me; but when can I talk to you again; do you think that Hodge man and his boss will hurt us" Max's voice was strained as he bombarded Clary with questions that she did not have the answer to right now
"Max; call me tomorrow night at this very number, I will be waiting; I am going to do my very best to protect you and your family Max but first I need to know something very important; I need to know your dad's full name"
Clary could hear a knocking at the door on the other line
"I'm coming mom; give me one minute; okay I will" Max must have been speaking to his mother on the other line, Clary thought as she waited for the young boy's answer
"Sorry Clary I really gotta go; but my dad's name is Robert; Robert Lightwood. Talk to you tomorrow Clary bye"
And with that Max hung his line up; Clary was still on the floor with the phone in her hand; she now knew why Robert Lightwood was in trouble, and she was almost positive she knew who Max's brother Jace really was.
Clary had a decision to make; did she stay and help the Lightwoods; or should she pick up and leave? She knew that Valentine, her father, would be coming for them and if he caught them, they would all die a very painful death. Clary had been running from her father for almost three years now; she knew if he ever found her, she would be given the same fate that he had given her mother over three years ago.