Cracked Concrete

“I told you that there was nothing to worry about, Alec,” Jace said, hitting his arm against Alec’s, while they walked through the Institute doors. “I had that situation totally under control.”

“Yeah, sure looked like it,” Alec scoffed. “That’s why there is a never-ending river of blood flowing down your leg, right?” Jace peered down at his leg and then made a dismissive gesture with his hand, while rolling his eyes.

“Could you two please stop acting like you’re five years old?” Isabelle said, giving them a death glare. She looked away from them, while Alec kneeled down to draw an iratze on Jace’s leg, and up towards the ceiling of the room. She inhaled deeply and then sharply turned on her heel towards the two boys, who were now standing and staring at her. “Do you smell that?” she said, grinning. Jace and Alec both looked confused for a second and then huge smiles were plastered on to their faces.

“Maryse cooked dinner for us,” Jace said, smiling and raising his eyebrow, while looking at Alec. They both stared at each other for a couple more seconds before Jace raced to the elevator; Alec following close behind. When the elevator doors opened Jace and Alec both stepped in, eager to eat. Isabelle was walking close behind, shaking her head, while her high heel boots made clicking sounds on the concrete floors. “What?” Jace asked.

“You two are ridiculous,” she replied, chuckling lightly. The rest of the elevator ride was filled with silence, except for Jace who was lightly tapping his fingers against the elevator wall. The doors opened up slowly before they made their way to the kitchen.

Jace walked in first, expecting to see Clary, but to his surprise she wasn’t there. Jace was brushing his hand through his hair when Alec and Isabelle walked through the doors of the kitchen. They both made their way to the stove to see what Maryse had made them, while Jace just stood where he was looking around. “What’s wrong?” Isabelle asked him, standing up from the stove slowly.

“I’m just surprised Clary isn’t down here already,” Jace replied, furrowing his eyebrows, which caused a crease in his forehead. “I mean, if we could smell this,” he said, gesturing to the oven “from the first floor, surely she would be able to smell it from her room.”

“Maybe she fell asleep while she was drawing?” Isabelle asked, while Alec was grabbing plates from the cupboard.

Alec turned around with the plates in his hands and nodded his head. “She has been pretty tired lately ever since… you know,” he said, casting his eyes down at the floor.

“You’re right,” Jace said while he rubbed his forehead. “I’m just going to go grab her and see if she wants dinner.” Alec and Isabelle both nodded their heads and returned to grabbing their dinner.

Jace walked down the long hallways of the Institute, while his pianist hands ran along the wallpapered walls. He could faintly hear Alec and Isabelle talking in the distance, but they were too far away now to hear anything that they were saying. Jace knew that he shouldn’t be, but he was worried about Clary. She hadn’t been sleeping as well as she used to, but every time he would say something to her about it, she would just say that she’s fine. Jace knew that she was tough, but he also knew that this whole Sebastian situation was taking its toll on her.

He continued to make his way quickly down the hall when he finally reached Clary’s door. “Clary?” Jace said, knocking on the wooden door, which created an echo down the hall. “Are you in there?”

Silence filled the air.

Jace’s heart began to speed up a bit, but he told himself to calm down as he opened the door. The door creaked opened slowly, which showed Jace the empty room in front of him. His golden eyes darted around the room for any sign of Clary, but she was nowhere to be seen. The only evidence that she had even been in there were her sketchpad and a slip of paper, which lay on the wooden floors. He picked up the sketchpad and paper off the floor; his hands were shaking. Artwork filled the sketchbook that he knew was owned to Clary, but there was something different about each piece that he looked at. In every picture of himself, he noticed that the eyes were crossed out with pencil, as if somebody were making tally marks on a scoreboard. He gently set the book down on the bed and opened the folded slip of paper.

Jace’s heart stopped when he read the note. There was no name, but he would recognize that handwriting anywhere after reading it just a couple weeks ago.

I’m here and I have her. Better hurry.


Jace flew from the room, gripping the slip of paper roughly. He ran down the Institute hallways and towards the kitchen where he talked to his siblings only moments ago. He sprinted into the kitchen to see Isabelle and Alec staring at him like he had grown two heads. His face was a bit flushed and he was opening and closing his mouth repeatedly, trying to form words. “What’s wrong?” Isabelle asked with a worried expression written across her face. She placed her fork down and stood up to talk to Jace.

Jace grabbed his head roughly in between his hands, causing his hands to turn a bit red. A million thoughts were running through his head and he just could not think any more. Alec touched Jace’s shoulder lightly to get his attention. “Jace?” Jace slowed his breathing down and then looked at his Parabatai straight in the eyes.

“Clary’s gone,” he replied. Alec and Isabelle’s worried expressions turned into expressions of shock in an instant. Isabelle’s mouth began to open, as if she were about to ask him what happened, but Jace just handed her the note Sebastian left and kept his eyes glued to the floor. Once she read the note she folded it back up with her long, manicured fingers and handed the note silently to Alec. She didn’t say anything to Jace, which was a first. However, after a couple seconds Jace suddenly felt strong arms wrap around his body. He looked up to see Isabelle embracing him with a hug. Her eyes were tightly shut, and Jace knew that she was trying not to cry for his sake. He hugged her back tightly, looking behind her to see Alec still holding the note in his hands.

“We’ll find her,” Alec said, looking up at Jace, who was still in Isabelle’s arms. “I promise.” Jace then put his face into Isabelle’s shoulder and shut his eyes tightly, trying to hold the tears back.

Clary opened her eyes slowly when she heard voices outside of her head. She blinked a couple times to try and regain focus, but the room was totally black. The only light that filled the room came from a little window, which was placed on the wall beside her. She could make out a couple features in the room because of the window, but her eyes were still a bit hazy. She noticed that the cracked walls and floor were made completely out of concrete and that there was one steel door on the wall opposite to where she was currently sitting.

Why was she here? The last thing she remembered was sitting in her bedroom at the institute drawing and – all of the memories instantly rushed back into her mind at that moment. She placed her head against the cold wall behind her and sighed, while shutting her eyes. She took a deep breath and opened her eyes again. Wincing, she felt a sharp pain on the side of her head. She cursed under her breath, knowing that Sebastian obviously knocked her unconscious. That jerk, Clary thought, reaching her arm up to feel the pain on her head. She lifted her arms up and heard a rattling sound below her. Looking down, she saw that her hands were locked in chains attached to the floor. She grunted in frustration as a ray of light shone on her face.

She squinted and leaned away from the light, while her knotted, red hair brushed in front of her face. The door shut loudly and she opened her bright green eyes slowly to look into his dark ones. All of the hatred she felt towards him blew up inside her as she began to struggle against the chains. “Now now, that won’t help you Clarissa,” Sebastian said, stepping closer to her and kneeling down. He was now so close that she could feel the warmth from his body. “Trust me, those chains will not budge.” Her hands curled into fists, while she glared at him.

“What do you want, Sebastian?” She asked.

He chuckled lightly under his breath and then replied. “Well, that’s quite simple actually, I just want you.” He moved his hand up to touch her chin, but she flinched away, abruptly. His eyes flashed with a sudden anger, and he backhanded her across the face, leaving a red mark on her very pale skin. Clary looked back up through half closed eyelids to see Sebastian walking back towards the door.

“What are you going to do with me?” She asked, confused. “Are you just going to keep me locked down here like some caged animal?” He turned around slowly to face her again and laughed under his breath quietly.

“I just need to get one more thing, sister dear,” he said, while a small smile suddenly grew across his face. “My brother.” Clary’s face fell instantly and she felt shivers run up and down her body. She knew what that meant. Jace was coming. She made another moan of frustration and placed her head in between her hands; she then let the darkness take her away.

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