THE STAND

11

Jace's breath caught, his golden eyes filled with tears as he took in the sight before him, she was lying there before him defenseless, her walls that had taken her years to build up around her were completely shattered, Seraphina Morgenstern looked powerless, even worse she seemed spiritless. Jace could have easily killed her right then and there but he wouldn't, no he couldn't. Jace could no longer look at Seraphina with contempt and anger, not now, not after everything he heard, not after knowing what she went through. Seraphina had taken his pain, his punishment, she had knowingly laid down her life to save him and Jace hated that, he hated knowing that she, a Morgenstern had risked her life to save his, a boy that grew up hating her, despising her, a boy that has spent his days plotting and planning on ways to kill her and her wretched family. He hated knowing that she nearly died so that he could live, he hated that she told Magnus that it was okay if she died as long as he lived, he hated that she was lying on the ground in front of him looking so young and fragile, he hated all of it, every goddamn thing except her, he couldn't hate her, not now, not ever.

Jace's hands were visibly shaking as he slowly reached out to touch her, "Seraphina," his voice was soft, gentle as he continued to speak to her, "it's me, Jace," he took a deep breath as his hand lightly touched her flaming red hair, "I'm here, I'm not going to leave you."

Jace waited for her to pull away from him, he expected it but she never did, she didn't speak, she didn't move, she just lay there, like a used up and broken doll. Jace closed his eyes, wishing that if there were a God out there, he would tell Jace what to do, how to help her, save her like she saved him.

Jace opened his eyes, "here goes nothing," he whispered to himself as he gently placed his arms around Seraphina's small body and lifted her, pulling her to him, holding her tightly.

"I'm here, I'm not going to hurt you, I'll never hurt you," Jace's voice was barely a whisper.

Jace refused to listen to the part of him that was screaming that this was wrong, that being with Seraphina like this was extremely dangerous, he couldn't listen not when touching her, breathing her in, holding her in his arms felt good, it felt right, it felt like home.


Clary knew the moment he touched her, wrapped her in his strong arms that it was wrong, he had calmed her, made her feel safe and that was not something she wanted, she didn't want to feel protected but she did, she felt cared for, she felt loved and so for the first time since being on her own she didn't turn to Seraphina, she didn't fight, Clary needed him, needed this moment in time and though she knew it would not last and that it would kill her when it was over, she stayed, she stayed with him.


"Jace," Clary's voice was hoarse from crying.

Jace smiled, his hand gently moving through her curls, "I'm here."

Clary felt a warmness spread throughout her chest as his golden eyes gazed into her green, "thank you."

"How are you," Clary felt lightheaded, did Jace Wayland just ask if she was okay?

"Um, I'm okay," Clary tried to sit up but Jace's arms tightened around her.

"Do you want to talk about it," his eyes were intense, too intense.

Clary closed her eyes; she needed to sever the connection between the two of them, "no."

"Oh, I just thought you might want to talk about it," she could hear the disappointment in his voice.

Slowly she opened her eyes, Jace was no longer staring at her, he was gazing around garden, "Jace, you can let go now."

Jace's gaze came back to her immediately, "why?"

Clary squirmed in his arms, "because, I need to get up."

She saw the hurt, she saw Jace's pained look as he reluctantly let her go.

Clary felt cold the moment his arms left her, "thank you."

Jace nodded as he helped her stand, once she was standing he also stood, "Seraphina," he was staring at her again, his eyes showing so much, too much.

Clary took a step back; she needed air, air that did not have his smell swarming around her, "I need to go."

Jace's hand wrapped around her arm, pulling her back to him, "don't, we need to talk."

"No we don't," Clary bit the inside of her cheek begging her emotions to stay at bay.

Jace growled in frustration as he let her arm go, "why, why can't you, don't keep pretending that you're this cold hearted bitch when I know the truth."

Clary gritted her teeth, "really, cold hearted bitch, huh."

Jace ran his hand through his messy curls, "I know, I know what Robert did, I know everything."

Clary's green eyes widened, "No, you can't."

Jace reached out for Clary, she shook her head, backing away from him, "Seraphina, please, I heard all of it, when I was in the Infirmary, I was awake when Magnus was yelling at Robert, I know what you did."

Clary felt sick, this was why she kept her distance, this was why she stayed away, "you don't know what you're talking about."

Jace moved closer, "but I do, you know I do."

Clary wanted to run, she needed to think, she needed Seraphina, Seraphina could handle Jace's pushiness where she couldn't, "I don't know what you think you heard but remember why you were in the Infirmary in the first place."

Jace froze, "I pushed you to that, you wouldn't have done that, I made you, I see that now," Jace held his hands up in the air as he started to move closer again, his steps slow and deliberate, "I want to make things right, please."

Clary wasn't sure if she was in shock or what but she didn't move, "make things right?"

Jace was standing right in front of her now, his eyes gazing down at her as his hands cupped her face, "I want to make things right between us, I want to apologize, I want to thank you, I want us to be friends, please let me, please."

Clary's mouth opened but nothing came out, all she could do was stare back at him.

"Seraphina," Jace whispered.

Clary swallowed, "yes."

Jace took a breath, leaning his forehead against hers, "say something, anything, just say something."

Clary hated that she loved the way his body felt against hers, "what do you want me say?"

"Say that you forgive me, say we can start over, say that we can get to know each other," Jace's hands moved from Clary's face down to her shoulders and then her arms.

Clary wanted those things, she knew she did but it would never work, it couldn't, "Jace, I can't."

"No, don't say that, not now, not after everything, just don't," he was begging her; Jace Wayland was begging a Morgenstern to give him a chance.

Clary moved her hands down to his, intertwining their hands together, "I want."


Before Clary could finish, the elevator doors opened revealing a very frazzled Magnus, along with two angry Lightwood siblings trailing behind him.



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