Roughly Edged Paper
He didn’t know how much time had passed when he finally saw Clary’s eyes again. She placed her head back so that it was leaning on the wall. She inhaled deeply before resting her eyes on Jace across the room. He hadn’t removed his eyes from her since Sebastian closed the door, and he was relieved to see her face again. He started to move forward as if he were about to walk over to where she was sitting, but then he heard that familiar unsettling sound of the chains and stopped. He moved his body away from the wall as far as his restraints would let him and placed both of his hands on his crossed legs. He tilted his head to the side a bit before speaking. “Clary?” he asked hesitantly.
Clary blinked a couple times, but she didn’t reply. She bit the inside of her cheek and looked down at the floor, unable to look at his pitiful gaze. She began playing with her nails, while he continued to speak. “Clary, are you okay?” Clary wiped her hands over her eyes before snapping her head up towards Jace.
“I don’t know, Jace,” she said sharply, her hair sticking out in random places. She sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose. “I’m sorry, I-I just don’t know what to do.”
“We’re going to get of here, don’t worry,” he replied, shaking his head slightly.
“How?” she asked, while the edges of her eyes crinkled a little. “How? Because I don’t know if I could do this for too long. I mean, I’m fine with him doing whatever he wants to me, but I can’t keep seeing you get hurt; it’s killing me,” she pleaded.
Jace shut his eyes for a second as he tilted his head towards the floor. He looked back up to continue speaking, but stopped when he saw Clary’s usually vibrant eyes, sad and dull. He wasn’t used to seeing his strong and beautiful Clary so sad. He held his tongue between his teeth and then removed it to start talking again. “You don’t need to worry about me, okay? I’m going to be just fine. I’m more worried about you.”
“Why?” she asked confused. “I’m not scared of that monster,” she replied, pointing towards the door. “I’m just scared of how far he would go to hurt us. Both of us.”
Jace wiped his hand along the side of his face. “I just feel so helpless,” he said, sighing. “What happened, however long ago, was totally my fault. And I’m so sorry, Clary,”
Clary turned her head away from him before saying anything. “You can’t protect me from everything, Jace,” she continued, moving her head to look down at the floor. “I can protect myself.”
“I know, that’s not what I meant,” he said in a rush, shaking his head and shutting his eyes. “I-I just don’t know how to help you, how, how to do make the right choices for you and I…” He stopped.
“You what?” she whispered, moving her head to look at Jace again.
He opened his eyes too, so that they were both looking at each other now. Jace was once again startled at how glassy her eyes looked from where he was sitting. They were breath-taking as always, sparkling green eyes with hints of gold, but they looked much sadder now. He didn’t exactly know how to respond, which was a first, but he took a deep breath and continued. “I’m just so scared of losing you.”
“You’re not going to lose me,” she said quietly, shaking her head slightly. “You can’t get rid of me that easily,” she ended, while the corner of her mouth quirked up in a grin. Jace chuckled under his breath and looked up at her with his amazing smile. He didn’t say anything; he just kept his focus on her face, while his smile grew wider and wider as the seconds went on. “What?” Clary asked, smiling back at him.
He looked down at the floor and then back up at her again. “I know this may be hard to believe, but I find myself falling in love with you more and more every day.”
Clary blushed. “Jace,” she said breathlessly, tugging at the ends of her dirty, red hair.
“It’s true. You’re so brave, and kind and you have made me a better person since the day that I met you in Pandemonium. I know that you don’t see yourself the way that I do, and sometimes I don’t even understand why you don’t see how beautiful you truly are, but that’s okay, because I will keep telling you every single day that I have you standing next to me.” Clary shook her head back and forth slightly and looked away from Jace as she drew her knees into her chest. “Clary,” he said again softly, grabbing her attention. She looked up slowly. “To me, you’re perfect.”
A single tear traced itself slowly down her cheek as she stayed completely still. A startled look flashed in Jace’s eyes when he saw that she was crying. “What’s wrong?” he asked anxiously, trying to move a little closer to her.
She let out a small laugh before replying. “I just love you so much,” she said, wiping stray tears off of her cheeks as her smile grew bigger. “And I’m so lucky to have you in my life because I do not deserve someone like you.”
Jace shook his head to get strands of stray blond hair out of his face. He laughed lightly. “I’ll love you until I die, and even after that remember?”
She nodded her head and for a couple minutes they sat there. Looking at each other; not wanting the silent moment to end. It was as if time didn’t matter anymore, as if they were in their own little infinite world.
Clary’s head snapped towards the door when she heard loud footsteps coming closer and closer towards the room. They sounded like loud claps of thunder in her ears. She bit her lip consciously and looked over at Jace, whose smile had also disappeared from his face. Clary’s whole body felt cold with anticipation. They both kept their eyes on each other as Jace mouthed words to her: ‘I love you.’ Clary nodded her head as they heard the sickening sounds of the door squeaking open.
Isabelle scurried around her room at a frantic pace, trying to get everything to fit into her bag. She had no idea how long she would be gone for, so she didn’t know how much to pack. She hoped that it wasn’t long. She looked back towards her bed and the clothes that were scattered on top of her bag, and then gripped her leather bag with both hands tightly. She took a deep breath in and released one hand to place it on her forehead. Isabelle then began to fold her clothes, until she heard a light rapping at the door. She didn’t turn around because she knew that it could only be one person. After a couple seconds, she felt a small, strong hand rubbing up and down her back. She shut her eyes tightly.
“Isabelle,” Maryse said, while her hand stopped moving. “What are you doing?” There was gentleness to her voice that Isabelle hardly heard her mother use if she were with anyone else other than Alec or herself.
She shook her head slightly, still staring down at her unpacked bag. “We have to go, Mom,” she said, starting to just stuff clothes into her bag. “We have to save Clary,” she hesitated. “And Jace.”
Isabelle felt the pressure on her back release instantly. She winced to herself. “What did you just say?”
“We didn’t tell you because we didn’t want to worry you,” she replied, gesturing with clothes in her hands.
Maryse turned Isabelle around by grabbing both of her shoulders. She was now looking straight into Maryse’s narrowed eyes. “Isabelle, what happened?” Her voice was shaking slightly.
Isabelle sighed and looked down at the hardwood floor. “Jace left with Sebastian,” she replied. “He had to go to Clary, you know how he is,” she ended, laughing lightly, but there was no humor in her laugh.
Maryse let go of Isabelle’s shoulders and turned, so that her back was now facing Isabelle. She brought both hands up to cover her eyes. Isabelle walked gently over to her mother and placed her hand on her shoulder. “Mom? Are you okay?” Maryse nodded her head a couple times, but didn’t continue speaking. “Mom?” Isabelle asked again, turning her mother around. What she saw surprised her. Her whole life she has always seen her mother as the strong, independent figure, but now she saw glassy look to her brown eyes that had never been there before. Her mother was finally unraveling. “What’s wrong?”
“I can’t-,” she broke off, her voice cracking. She bit her lip. “I’ve never thought of Jace any differently than I’ve thought of you and Alec. H-he’s my son, and I cannot lose another one of my children.” There was a pain in Isabelle’s chest from the mention of her younger brother.
Isabelle looked at her mother with confidence. “Mom, we’re going to get him back. I promise.” She turned around again back towards her bag on the bed and stuffed the rest of her clothes in her bag, before turning to face her mom again. “We’re all going to Idris, and we’re going to bring both of them back.”
She was afraid that her mother would argue, but she didn’t. Maryse simply nodded her head and settled her hand on Isabelle’s cheek. “Be careful, okay?”
Isabelle put her hand on top of her mother’s and nodded as she turned towards the door, leaving her mom behind. She gripped the door frame, while she twisted around to look at Maryse one last time. “I promise, Mom. I would never leave my brother behind.”
She left the Institute in a hurry to get back to Magnus’ apartment after her encounter with her mother. Her head was fixed on the snowy ground to avoid the snowflakes from entering her eyes. There were a thousand thoughts running through her head that she couldn’t comprehend. Suddenly, she bumped into a hard figure. She looked up, about to apologize, but noticed automatically that it was Simon. “I thought you were at Magnus’?” she asked confused. They were about a block away from Magnus’ apartment now; she realized that he was also holding a bag in his hand.
“I was,” he confirmed. “But Alec told me to go with you.” She nodded and crossed her arms over her chest, her bag swinging slightly on her forearm. “Also,” he whispered, leaning closer to her. “There was a lot of tension in the room when I left. A lot, if you know what I mean.” He scrunched his face up, jokingly.
She playfully punched his arm and smiled up at him. “It’s not funny, I’m worried about them.”
“So am I. I mean can they not realize that they obviously still love each other?” Isabelle laughed. “What?” He asked, confused.
“No, it’s just funny that you would say that,” she replied, a smirk still present on her face.
“I mean how long have we been doing the exact same thing?” she said shyly, removing her eyes from his. She uncrossed her arms and began picking at her nail polish. She heard Simon exhale slowly as he touched her cheek; exactly where her mother recently touched her.
“Hey, that doesn’t matter now,” he said quietly so that just she could hear him, rubbing his thumb up and down along her cheekbone. “What matters now is that we’re together, right?”
“Right,” she confirmed, nodding. He leaned in closer to her face, keeping his hand where it was, and pecked her lips. It wasn’t a long dramatic kiss like the last one they shared but rather a slow, gentle, and little one. It was over almost as soon as it had started. Isabelle opened her eyes slowly, trying to make the moment last longer.
“We should probably get going,” he said softly, his face still near hers.
She nodded in agreement. “Yeah, it’s getting a bit cold.” They continued walking towards the apartment hand in hand when Simon nudged her shoulder lightly.
“It’s not that cold,” he whispered, sarcastically, a playful grin growing on his face.
“Yeah, well, not all of us have a special Vampire immunity to the cold,” she hissed back. He laughed, which made Isabelle’s heart melt. They walked through the snow. She no longer felt cold.
Maryse didn’t know what to do with herself. The Institute felt so much bigger and lonelier with nobody else occupied within it. With Robert staying in Idris currently and her children out on a rescue mission she felt completely alone. She noticed that she was currently gripping her desk chair solidly; her knuckles were turning white. She flexed her hand to let go of the chair and positioned her head down on the desk over her arms. She could feel the rough, edged paper under her fingers. Her head snapped up swiftly when she heard unknown footsteps making its way closer towards her. She sat up straight when she saw Jocelyn storming towards her, a look of pure rage and sadness plastered on to her face. Maryse winced. Why hadn’t she thought of that?
“Where is my daughter?” she almost shouted, holding her cell phone in the air. “I have called her repeatedly for three days and she hasn’t answered.” Three days? Had it already been three days? Maryse rubbed her hand against her temple, trying to make her thoughts clear.
“Jocelyn,” said a male voice further away. “Calm down, yelling at her isn’t going to help anybody.” She looked past Jocelyn, who was standing as stiff as a board, to see Luke walking calmly towards them. He set his hand on top of Jocelyn’s shoulder, but she immediately shook it off.
“Don’t tell me to calm down, Luke,” she replied, gesturing her arms wildly in the air. “I trusted her and Jace to keep my daughter safe here,” she said pointing directly at Maryse. “Clearly, I made a mistake,” she snipped.
“I know how you feel,” Luke continued hesitantly. “I love Clary as if she were my own, but we can’t just be irrational about this.”
Jocelyn took a deep breath and then turned her body so that it was facing Maryse again. She looked so tall to Maryse, who was still sitting in her chair. “Where is my daughter?” She asked again with more composure.
“Uhm,” she said, scratching her head and not meeting Jocelyn’s piercing green eyes. “Sebastian broke into the Institute a-and took her.”
Jocelyn’s eyes almost popped out of her head at that piece of information, while Luke stiffened noticeably. “What?” she asked, her voice shaking. She walked closer to Maryse’s desk and slammed her hands down on the table. “How could you and Jace let this happen?!”
“We didn’t think that Sebastian would break into the Institute,” she said, getting angrier at Jocelyn’s attitude and how she could easily blame the entire situation on them. Her voice was much stronger now when she talked. “We thought that we made sure that she was safe.”
Jocelyn scoffed, while an angry tear escaped her eye. “And where is Jace now? Hiding in his bedroom?”
“No,” she said, sharply. “He went willingly to protect your daughter from Sebastian because that is how he was raised. That is how deeply he cares for her,” she ended, sitting up straighter in her chair.
Jocelyn clenched her fists and shut her eyes as Luke wrapped his hand around hers. “You can’t blame her..” he started, but then was cut off by Jocelyn again.
“Luke, stop defending her,” she practically yelled. “She doesn’t understand. I cannot lose my daughter; I’ve already almost seen it happen too many times.”
“I know exactly how you feel,” Maryse shouted, standing up from her chair violently. “If you didn’t realize already, my son went willingly into the same danger that Clary is currently in. Not to mention the fact that my other two children are right now going out on a rescue mission to save them. I have not just one, but three of my children in danger right now. I’ve already lost one child,” she said, shaking her head. “I cannot lose another. So, yes, I know exactly how you feel right now,” she finished, leaning forward on the desk so that her face was close to Jocelyn’s.
Jocelyn shut her eyes, causing a crease in her eyebrows. “I’m sorry, Maryse. I didn’t even think.”
Maryse stepped away from Jocelyn and gripped her chin. “It’s okay,” she said quietly.
“What are we supposed to do now?” Luke asked, breaking the silence that filled the room.
“Magnus, Alec, Isabelle, and Simon are heading to Idris to save them already. So the best thing that we can do now is to stay where we are. If they need anything, we have the resources,” Maryse said, walking around the desk, so that there was nothing blocking them. She looked at Luke, who nodded, then at Jocelyn, who still had a couple stray tears making their way down her cheek. She had gone through so much with these people, and she couldn’t let Sebastian’s evil actions tear them apart. That’s what he wanted. She walked closer to Jocelyn and wrapped her arms around her slender body. Jocelyn gasped in surprise, not expecting the comforting gesture, which was very out of Maryse’s character. After a moment of hesitation, Jocelyn returned the hug and shut her eyes trying to block everything out. “It’s going to be okay,” Maryse whispered, while Jocelyn nodded her head into Maryse’s shoulder. They needed to be there for each other, just like their children had been there for each other for the past months. Sometimes they were braver then the parents ever were.
“Are you ready?” Magnus asked all of them, standing outside of his apartment. They all nodded their heads, waiting for Magnus to open the portal. “Okay.” Blue sparks flew from his hands as a portal appeared slowly on the red brick wall. Snow flew left and right as the wind picked up. He looked at all of them again and nodded. Everything seemed to happen in slow motion from then on. He looked first at Simon, who was staring at Isabelle in adoration. There were snowflakes sitting on top of Isabelle’s head, which created a great contrast against her black hair. Simon carefully took her hand and led her to the portal. They both looked up at each other, and for a moment Magnus felt as though he were intruding on a private conversation, but all they did was nod and then jump in to the swirling circle resting on the wall. Their bodies faded into the mist.
Magnus began walking towards the portal, ready to jump through, but he felt a pressure in his hand. He looked down to see Alec’s hand gripping his own. He attempted to pull his hand away, but Alec refused to let go. He looked quickly back up into his amazing blue eyes and saw Alec shaking his head. “We do this together,” he said firmly, shaking Magnus’ hand. “Like we do everything together, and I don’t care what you say.” Before Magnus could even respond, Alec was pulling him through the portal. The portal enveloped them. They were eventually lost within the mist, heading towards Idris. Together.
Clary shut her eyes and refused to open them after taking one last look at Jace, while the door creaked open. Her hands were in fists on the floor and she put her head to the side in defiance, trying to shield herself from Sebastian with her red curtain of hair. She heard boots echoing on the floors and the rattle of chains. “Clarissa,” he said, close to her face now. “Are you ready to have some fun?” Clary gulped at his menacing tone and opened her eyes slowly. A leap of fear grew inside of her as she looked into those same black holes.