Skin Stained Red

Clary wasn’t quite sure whether she ever did sleep after her encounter with Sebastian the previous night. However, she did know that it was, in fact, morning because of the cold, winter sky shining through the one window in the eerie room. She looked up at the window slowly, squeezing her eyes shut due to the brightness. It was a bright contrast against the darkness of everything else within the room.

She looked back down at Jace, who was still lying unconscious on the smooth floor. A million thoughts were running through her head. What was she supposed to do? Even if she were able to escape, there is no way that she would have been able to carry Jace’s lifeless body anywhere. She shut her eyes and groaned, leaning her head back against the wall, wishing that this nightmare would end. Her head snapped up when she heard a muffled voice and the sound of clothes brushing against pavement in front of her. “Jace?” Clary asked hesitantly, her voice just above a whisper.

“What…” Jace said, while his voice was still thick with sleep. He rubbed his hands roughly against his eyelids and inhaled deeply before looking up. Seeming to regain his focus and remember what was going on, his eyes widened. He scrambled over to where Clary was ungracefully; his shoes pushing against the ground, while his hands helped him move across the floor. He quickly embraced Clary in his arms, propping himself up on his knees, while Clary stayed sitting on the floor. She brought her hands up to go around his body, but it was very hard due to the restraints on her arms. Jace’s head was on top of Clary’s, sighing out a shaky breath before kissing her head softly and letting her go.

His hands were still on her shoulders, while he spoke, worry lacing his voice. “Are you okay?” Clary just nodded in response, unable to trust her voice quite yet. “Did he hurt you?”

“I-I’m fine, Jace,”she responded, shaking her head slightly. “Why are you here? What happened?”

“Sebastian found us at Taki’s, and he gave me the option to come and see you,” he said, cupping her face in his hand.

Clary blinked a couple times before responding, looking at him in disbelief. “I know that,” she said, placing her hand over top of his. “I just don’t understand why. Why would you put yourself into a dangerous situation, Jace?”

“Clary, I couldn’t just pass up the opportunity to see you, t-to protect you,” he replied, blinking rapidly a couple times and furrowing his eyebrows. He removed his hand from her face and placed it on her knee, while Clary put her face down in her hands and groaned in frustration.

“This isn’t protecting me, Jace,” she exclaimed, removing her hands from her face to look at Jace.

“What do you mean, Clary? I’m here to make sure that Sebastian doesn’t lay a finger on you. So, that Sebastian can’t hurt you.”

“This is the best way that he can hurt me, Jace,” she said, bringing her knees into her chest.

“I don’t understand…” Jace replied, laughing un-humorously.

“Because he has you,” Clary responded, her voice cracking. She put her head into her knees and wrapped her arms around her legs tightly. She bit her lip, trying to prevent the tears from coming. Jace didn’t respond. He just looked at Clary, sorrow written across his face, while his mouth hung open slightly. After a couple seconds, she lifted her head up slowly and looked into his eyes. Her green eyes were staring straight into his gold ones. “I can’t stand the thought of him being able to hurt you, and I couldn’t even close my eyes last night b-because…” she ended, looking down at the floor.

Jace tipped her chin up with his hand softly, forcing her to take her gaze off the floor. He noticed tears brimming at the edges of her eyes, but decided not to mention it. “Because what?”

“Because, I hate to admit, but I’m just so terrified, Jace,” she breathed. She shut her eyes once again, while a tear escaped out of the corner of her eye.

“Hey,” Jace said, removing his hand from her chin to wipe the tear away. “You don’t have to worry about me, alright? I’m going to be just fine, and I’m going to get you out of here. I’m going to get us out of here.”

Clary nodded her head and wiped all the stray tears away from her face. “I missed you so much.”

“I missed you too,” he whispered, taking her face in both of his hands and resting his forehead on top of hers. “Never leave me, ever, again.” She chuckled under her breath lightly, while Jace leaned closer to her; their lips almost touching. Clary could feel his breath against her lips, and it sent butterflies to her stomach. “I love you,” Jace whispered, right before he finally connected his lips to hers. Clary’s arms grabbed on to Jace’s biceps, unable to wrap them around his neck, while she melted into the kiss. This kiss wasn’t as soft as the other kisses they shared in the past; this kiss meant something more. After a couple more seconds, they both separated, needing air. Their foreheads were pressed up against each other, and their hands still remained where they were. Their heavy breathing filled the room as they stared into each other’s eyes. Jace opened his mouth, looking as if he were about to say something, but another voice filled the silence instead. It was the same voice that made Clary’s blood run cold and caused goose bumps to appear on her skin.

“Well, what do we have here?” Sebastian snickered, clapping his hands together just under his chin. “The two love birds finally having their happy reunion.”

Jace stood up abruptly, attempting to hide Clary behind his legs, while he narrowed his eyes at Sebastian. “What do you want?” Jace remarked, clenching and unclenching his fists at his sides. “You have both Clary and I now. Stop making small talk, and get to the point of why you wanted us here in the first place,” he ended through clenched teeth.

Sebastian chuckled lightly to himself as he walked closer to Clary and Jace. “Can I not just want the simple pleasure of having both of my siblings together with me? Is that too much to ask?” He replied, mocking fake hurt.

“When it’s you, yes,” Jace said, refusing to move even though Sebastian was getting closer and closer.

Sebastian stopped walking when he was about an arm’s length away from Jace, putting his hands up in the air in surrender. “Fine, fine. However, as you both know, my goal has always remained the same. I want both of you to help me eliminate the existence of Shadowhunters, so that I can create my new army of… improved Shadowhunters.”

“You must have a brain in that fat head of yours, right?” Jace smirked. “There is no way Clary or I would ever help you do that.”

“I cannot force you to be on my side during this war, but there are ways that I can persuade you to help me through it.” Jace did not respond. He simply glared at him and crossed his arms over his chest, using his actions instead of his words in defiance. “Now, I would really appreciate it, if you,” Sebastian said, pushing his index finger into Jace’s chest. “Would be so kind, as to let me lock you up because I cannot just let you roam freely down here.”

“Wow, there really is no brain in there. What makes you think that I would be so stupid that I would lock myself up?” Jace said, unmoving.

I do not care, brother, if we do this the easy way or the hard way. You either let me lock you up in those chains over there,” he said in a high whisper, pointing over to the chains on the wall beside the wall where Clary is placed. “Or, I can just knock you unconscious. Either works for me,” he ended, smiling. Jace kept his gaze on Sebastians, and still refused to move. Sebastian narrowed his eyes before he began talking again. He took one step closer to Jace, whispering. “I mean, who knows what I could do to Clary while you’re unconscious. Laying only a couple feet away.”

Jace made a small wince and slowly lowered his crossed arms back to his sides. He started to walk over to the wall where the chains were placed when he felt a tugging at his leg. He turned his head around to look down at Clary, who was furrowing her eyebrows. “Jace,” Clary warned, her voice coming out in a whisper. Jace only shook his head once, telling her that it was fine, and continued his way to the wall. He sat down on the hard floor and waited, refusing to really lock himself up. Sebastian sighed and walked over to Jace, kneeling down on one knee.

“You should have listened to dad more,” he laughed, starting to lock his arms within the cold metal. “‘To love is to destroy and to be loved is to be the one destroyed’, right? But look at you now, you are letting your love for Clary make all of your decisions for you,” he finished, standing up and walking back into the middle of the room, so that he could see both Clary and Jace. “You would never admit, Jace, but Clary is your real weakness, and you know that,” he said, pointing to Clary.

“That’s not true,” he replied, looking down at the floor.

“Isn’t it, though?” Sebastian chuckled, beginning to walk over to where Clary was sitting. “I bet even Clarissa agrees with me. Don’t you?”

Clary looked up from the ground for the first time during the conversation, and looked into his cold eyes. Jace was focusing all of his attention on Clary, who, he noticed, held both anger and sadness within her eyes. When Sebastian realized that she was not going to answer, he decided to kneel down so that he was face to face with her. “Hm? I expect an answer, Clarissa,” he said, putting his hand up to hold her chin gently.

“Stop calling me that,” Clary seethed, flinching away from Sebastian’s touch. Anger flashed through his eyes at the sudden rejection as he took a hold of Clary’s chin harshly, forcing her to look up.

“I thought that I told you that you better watch your mouth when you are talking to me.” Jace was fighting against the chains in the background, causing them to rattle loudly against the cement. Before Clary could even have the chance to reply, Jace did for her.

“Don’t touch her,” Jace nearly shouted across the room. “Don’t you dare touch her you evil bastard,” he repeated. Sebastian used only his eyes to look up at the ceiling before returning them to Clary’s angry face. He leaned closer to her with his hand still tightly around her chin.

“You may want to pray to the Angel for him, Clarissa,” he whispered, using her full name on purpose. “Because predicting the way that he’s going to act, he’s going to need it.”

He pushed Clary’s head back a bit, letting go of her chin, before walking back into the middle of the room. For a moment both Clary and Jace thought that he was just going to let them be. However, they weren’t in a dream. “I guess,” he said, rubbing his hands together in front of his chest. “That I am going to have to teach you your place here, angel boy.” He laughed lightly to himself, while Jace still held his glare. “And it won’t be fun.” Clary gulped, looking between Sebastian and Jace in panic, realizing that her nightmare has only just begun.

Magnus, Isabelle, Alec, and Simon all raced to Magnus’ apartment after their encounter with Sebastian. They needed to track Jace as fast as possible before he became untraceable, like Clary, who most likely was. They all sat around on couches, waiting for Magnus to finish the spell, blue sparks flying from his hands. Everybody else in the room was tense, while they watched Magnus work. Isabelle held her head in her hands, while her elbows were placed on her knees. Simon kept peering over at her out of the corner of his eye worriedly. Alec simply bumped his knee up and down, and looked up at the ceiling with his eyes closed. Simon knew what they were doing because it was the same thing that he was doing. They were all praying that everything would be okay. He couldn’t imagine his life without Clary in it; the thought brought tears to his eyes, but he refused to let them shed. He even missed and prayed for Jace because he knew how important he was to everybody. Isabelle suddenly put her heads in her hands, gripping her head roughly. Simon put his hand on her back, trying to sooth her as she looked up. “Everything’s going to be okay,” he said softly to her. Isabelle only nodded her head. She was trying to be strong, Simon knew, but her eyes once again held a glassy look in them.

They all looked up, even Alec who still had his head turned towards the ceiling, to look at Magnus. The sparks coming out of his hands ceased as he set down Jace’s strand of hair on the coffee table in front of all of them. “Well?” Alec asked, impatiently. Simon thought that he heard annoyance in his voice, but he decided not to bring it up.

Magnus inhaled deeply before responding. “They are definitely on their way to Idris,” he replied, looking at each person individually, his cat eyes glowing. “I tracked them for as long as I could before I lost the connection, and they were clearly in Idris. I’m guessing that Sebastian has them under some sort of protection spell because I would have been able to see more specifically where they were, but it’s better than nothing.”

“Okay,” Isabelle said, jumping off of the couch. “Then we need to get to Idris right away.” She started walking out of the room, when Alec grabbed her arm, stopping her.

“Where are you going?” he asked.

“I’m going to the Institute to pack a bag, you should too,” she replied, looking over her shoulder back at Magnus. “Can you have a portal ready in an hour?”

Magnus nodded once and then Isabelle pushed past Alec to walk out the front door. “Can you go with her?” Alec asked Simon, gesturing his head in the way that Isabelle just went. Simon nodded shyly and then followed Isabelle out of the apartment, leaving Magnus and Alec by themselves. Alec looked down at the floor once before looking back at Magnus, who was looking straight at him. He walked across the room, so that he was sitting on the couch beside Magnus. An awkward silence filled the room, which was only filled with their light breathing. “Magnus,” Alec started, but Magnus cut him off by holding his hand up.

“You don’t need to say anything Alec,” he sighed. “I’m sorry for not responding to any of your messages, but I was going through a rough time.”

Alec’s face changed from one filled with anxiety to one filled with rage in a second. “You were going through a rough time?” Alec nearly shouted, leaning closer to Magnus. “I seem to recall that you were the one who broke up with me.”

Magnus didn’t respond he just kept his gaze steady on Alec. “Do you know how painful it was for me when you just shut me out? I don’t get a phone call, a text message, nothing, Magnus. Nothing!” Alec continued, throwing his hands around wildly in the air.

Magnus stood up abruptly, staring down into Alec’s blue eyes. “Do you think that I wanted to break up with you? That I wanted to shut you out?”

Alec stood up too, tired of being talked down to. He crossed his hands over his chest and raised his eyebrow. They were now standing a foot away from each other, so close that Alec could just reach out his arm to touch him. “Well, obviously you wanted to. You never do anything that you don’t want to do.”

Magnus screamed quietly in frustration, gripping his hair in between his fingers. “I would never want to lose you Alec! I still don’t!” Alec didn’t say anything, while his mouth hung open a bit. He felt as though Magnus had just poured ice water over his head with those words. “I never wanted to let you go,” Magnus whispered, stepping that one foot closer to Alec. They were so close now that Alec could feel his body heat against his own, and before he knew it Magnus was leaning closer to him, grabbing his head gently with his hands. He felt pressure on his lips as it took him a couple seconds to realize that Magnus was kissing him. After all these weeks of being shut out he could not believe that this was happening, but he went along with it and melted into the kiss.

Then, after a couple more seconds, the pressure was gone. Magnus stepped away, looking flushed and confused. He looked around the room spontaneously before finally resting his eyes back on Alec. He took a shaky breath and then spoke again in a whisper, almost sounding pained. “But that doesn’t change a thing.”

Alec stood there stunned. What had just happened? One moment they were kissing and the next moment he was right back where he originally started, letting Magnus slip through his fingertips. “You better go get packed,” Magnus whispered again, forcing his head down and walking out of the room, leaving Alec behind frozen to his spot.

Clary’s breathing had gotten rougher and rougher as the minutes passed on, watching Sebastian hit Jace repeatedly with his fists and feet. She had been screaming his name again and again until Clary was sure that she had lost her voice. However, Jace never yelled out or showed any pain. She looked over at Jace’s bruised body once more as her eyes widened. His beautiful, angelic face was scratched and bruised from the continuous beatings. “Have you learned yet, Jace?” Sebastian asked yet again in a sickly tone after kicking Jace in the stomach. Jace lifted his head up slowly to look at Sebastian and laughed. God dammit, Jace. Don’t be a smart ass. Clary thought to herself watching their conversation. Jace mumbled to himself so low that nobody could hear him. Sebastian kneeled down and tilted his head to the side slightly. “Hm? What was that?”

“You are still a demonic bastard,” Jace said again, pronouncing each word clearly. Sebastian narrowed his eyes and stood up violently to kick Jace once again in the stomach. The impact making Clary wince as she yelled for him to stop, but nobody seemed to be listening to her. Jace’s head fell forward, while his hands gripped his restraints. Sebastian stepped back slowly into the middle of the room. Thank god, Clary thought again, thinking that this torture was finally over. There were a couple angry tears streaming down her face, but she refused to give Sebastian the satisfaction of seeing her sob. Instead she tried to shoot daggers through him with her eyes. Her wrists were a bit red from fighting against the chains, but she ignored the pain, focusing all her attention on Jace.

“Well, it looks as though you are going to still need to learn your place here, Jace,” he sighed, causing Jace to look up at him.

“You can hit me a billion times. Trust me, I won’t give up so easily,” Jace replied, shaking his head in disgust.

Sebastian laughed to himself, which made the hair on Clary’s skin stand. “No, I think that you need more persuasion to learn. Motivation, perhaps,” he grinned from ear to ear, looking over to Clary. He began to walk over to Clary very slowly as Clary pushed her hands into the ground, trying to get away, but the wall behind her prevented her from doing so. “Because as we discussed before,” he continued, kneeling down in front of Clary now. “Clary is your weakness.”

Realization set in for Jace as he looked at Clary, whose head was turned to the side away from Sebastian. “Clary!” Jace yelled, pulling against his restraints. “Sebastian you cannot hurt her because of me!”

He looked over his shoulder at Jace in annoyance. “Of course I can. Just remember that you brought this one on yourself,” he said before gripping Clary’s chin in his hand again for the second time that day, forcing her to look at him. “I’m sorry, sister, I don’t want to do this, but I have no choice,” he said, reaching behind him to grab something from his pocket. Jace watched as he drew a small knife from his pocket, and seeing this he struggled further against the chains. He dangled the knife in front of her face, while Clary struggled more in his grip. Her eyes were shut tightly in frustration and when she opened them, she saw that the knife was now placed lightly on her forearm.

She looked down with only her eyes because her chin was still being gripped tightly as Sebastian dragged the knife slowly across her skin; blood staining her pale white skin. She bit her lip roughly, trying not to scream as she shut her eyes again securely. She didn’t want to scream in fear that she would make Jace feel even more guilt and because she didn’t want to give Sebastian any further satisfaction. He stopped when there was a line of blood all the way across her forearm. He set her arm down lightly on the floor, which was trembling. She blinked rapidly to get rid of the tears in her eyes as she saw Sebastian grab her other arm. “I hate seeing you like this,” he said softly. “But I have to teach Jace what belongs to me.”

Clary was about to make a retort back that she was most definitely not his, but before she could she felt the cool sting of the blade against her skin again. She groaned in frustration, but she soon realized that he was no longer drawing a straight line on her arm. She looked down, while still biting her lip, and saw that he was drawing the letter “S”. She winced in pain and disgust as he finished. He wiped the knife against his jacket before he placed it back in his jean pocket. Clary was breathing heavily, showing her teeth in anger. “I’m not a piece of furniture,” she seethed. “You don’t have any sort of possession over me.” She could hear Jace rattling the chains behind her, but she tried not to think too much about it. He chuckled again to himself, while he grabbed out his stele and placed it on her arm.

“Oh, but of course I do,” he sneered, drawing an iratze on her arm. She felt the familiar sting of the stele, but it was nothing compared to the sting of the metal dragging against her skin. He tucked the stele back into his jacket pocket as he leaned closer to her. His breath was right against her ear, whispering. “Don’t you remember what I told you?” He paused, while she trembled slightly underneath him. “You belong to me, Clary,” he finished, hissing.

“You wish,” she spat as he leaned away from her. He quickly slapped her across the face, leaving a red print, snapping her head to the side. Red hair covered her face and when she looked back Sebastian was already at the door, closing it shut. She didn’t let a sob escape until the door was officially locked. She bent her head down and tried to think of anything else, but horrible images kept flashing through her mind. Her back was silently moving up and down as Jace watched her from a distance, wishing that he could go over there and hold her. However, there was nothing that he could do. He blinked unshed tears out of his eyes that were meant for Clary. He inhaled deeply, looking at the love of his life and feeling so helpless.

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