The Bachelor

Hate On Me

I opened my eyes to see Jace's face hovering above mine, the light shining through his hair having almost a halo effect.

"Well someone was having a good dream." he said, and I sat up, pushing him out of the way.

"And why would you think that?" despite my increasingly reddening cheeks, I maintained a straight face and steady voice.

"Well, you were saying my name," Jace stated, head tilted to the side a bit, "Over and over and over..." He raised an eyebrow suggestively, and my jaw dropped, eyes growing wide. There was no way, no way at a- My thoughts were caught off by my friend's booming laughter.

"You should have seen... the look... on your face." He managed in between fits. I let out a relieved breath, glad that I didn't sleep talk. I gulped, the full force of the dream hitting me as I remembered the feel of Jace's lips on me.

"Earth to Clare-bear," fingers snapped in front of my face and I jumped a bit, startled.

"Penny for your thoughts?" He raised an eyebrow. Again. Over the years I'd developed a theory that he raised his eyebrow (yes, one) so much because he knew I couldn't. Back to the topic at hand...

"Uh, I-" my phone vibrated on the nightstand, and I lunged for it, thankful for the distraction. Isabelle Lightwood, I read the caller ID, and immediately checked out the window to see if pigs were flying. Izzy never got up on the weekdays before noon, so six thirty on a Sunday. You can't blame me for being a bit freaked. I tentatively pressed the answer button.

"Hey, Clary!" So not only was she up, but she was chipper.

"It's six thirty." I stated as way of greeting. Hey, don't blame me, I was in a state of shock. A snort sounded through the other end.

"Yeah, I know." she replied, "But it's probably the only time I'll get to talk to you, seeing as at all other hours, they'll be cameras and or other girls around. Now put me on speaker!"

"Uh, why?"

"Because, I want to talk to the both of you."

"Must I again say, it's six thirty, I'm in my room, as are all other sensible people."

"Yeah, but Jace isn't 'sensible'. Now put me on speaker, I know he's in there."


I rolled my eyes at my friend's antics, but did as she asked.

"You're on." I said. Who is it? Jace mouthed to me. Izzy I mouthed back, but only earned a look of disbelief.

"Hey, Jace!" At least the girl had enough sense to whisper. Jace's eyes grew wide.

"It's six thirty." his words matched mine.

"God, it's like you two are the same person." I could hear Isabelle rolling her eyes, "So, how's LA."

"It's awesome!" Jace and I replied in unison, then we looked at each other and burst out laughing.

"Point made!" Izzy called from her side of the phone, "so, Clare, how are the girls?" I bit my lip, pondering on what I should say.

"Well, I met two nice ones, Aline and Helen." I decided to start out with the good ones, "The others are... an acquired taste. To... girly for me." Isabelle chuckled.

"Everyone's too girly for you, Fray." she retorted, "We grew up around guys, I mean, you and your brother, me and mine. We didn't stand a chance." It was at that moment that I realized how much I was going to miss home, my friends, my family.

"Hey, can I talk to Jace for a sec, ya know, off speaker?" Iz asked, and I handed the phone over without thinking. The time with some distance between Goldilocks and I allowed me to think about the one subject I hadn't dared venture into. My crush on Jace. As I thought, and I mean really thought, about it, I realized that I actually had a crush on Jace for a long time, it wasn't recent. The only thing about it was that I'd figured it out recently.

God, Clary, it would've been nice to have this breakthrough, ya know, two months ago before Jace Wayland was chosen to be America's Bachelor, I mentally scolded myself.

"Hey, Iz wants you on now." Jace nudged me with a foot pulling me from my thoughts. I took it, placing it against my ear.

"Hey Isa-"

"Have you made a move yet?" Her words cut off mine.

"What do you mean, made a move?" I asked, thoroughly confused.

"I mean exactly what I said, Made a move, as in have you touched him, flirted with him, kissed him, maybe more..." she let the suggestive words hang.

"What?!" My voice came out shrill, causing Jace's head to snap towards me, a questioning look in his eyes. I felt the heat rush to my cheeks, feebly waving a hand to dismiss his worries.

"You know what, Izzy," my voice lowered to a hiss, "Jace is right there. I mean right there. We are not talking about this now."

"So you're not denying it anymore!" was Isabelle's squealed reply.

I let out an exasperated groan, "Bye, Iz!" I hung up the phone without another word, and Jace walked over to me. I could tell there was something he was dying to say.

"What is it?" I gave in.

"So... someone had a good dream." he restated his earlier theory, apparently not having forgotten about it.

"What are you talking about?" I was able to control my voice, but not the blush that crept up my neck. Goldie's jaw dropped.

"I was just kidding, Chili Pepper," he said, "but it seems I've hit a nerve." He wiggled his eyebrows.

"Shut up." I mumbled, and he laughed. "It's time to go downstairs." I stated, getting up and not looking back at the curious boy behind me, "I don't want you to get caught in here." All of a sudden, hands were on my hips, tugging me into a hard chest. Images from the dream flooded back to me, and I couldn't breathe.

"You're telling me about the dream later, Fray." His lips moved against the shell of my ear, breath sending goosebumps flying across my skin. These emotions were so weird, so foreign in regards to Jace. It was so odd, in fact, that I felt the urge to run my fingers across my arms, just to see if the tiny bumps were really there. Suddenly, I was colder than a second before, and it didn't take me long to realize that it was due to the absence of Jace's body heat. I spent on heel to find him already halfway out the window. I jogged over to him, wrapping my arms around his muscled frame without thinking.

"See you in a little bit." I whispered, then felt him return the hug and pull me close.

"Thank you, Clare," his words surprised me, given how rarely he spoke them, "You have no idea how much it means to me. I don't know if I could do it without you." He pulled back, and, if it was anyone other than Jace, I would have been scared they would fall, but my friend possessed an odd, cat-like grace that assured me that he would stay balanced on the trellis.

He brushed a piece of hair away from my face, scattering coherent thoughts. He leaned in, and I closed my eyes he pressed his lips to my forehead. My arms slid up so they were around his neck, and his fell around my waist. I had no idea what she was doing, and was doubtful he did either. We stayed like that for a while, and I soaked in the soft bliss. Too soon, he pulled away, not saying a word as he simply trailed a hand along my cheek, then clambered down down, leaving me staring out the window.

"Someone's in a chipper mood this morning." Aline stated as I bound down the stairs. Admittedly, after the… Room moment… I was feeling like I was on clouds.

"Just a normal day," I skipped (yes, skipped) over to where my two friends were sitting, "Ya know, sun shining, birds chirping." I sunk down into the couch beside them. Helen stared at me incredulously.

"You are one of them." She said in disbelief, and I snapped out of my trance, forcing a laugh.

"I totally got you guys!" I snorted again, for real this time, and they joined in.

"Hey, you guys want to go for a swim?" I asked, suddenly remembering why I'd come down.

"Nah, we're fine here." Aline replied not looking up from her copy of Divergent. Helen raised an eyebrow at the raven-haired girl.

"Well, you can stay," the blonde stood up with me, "but I feel like a swim. I'm getting go with Clary. Aline lowered the book enough to give Helen puppy-dog eyes.

"Pwease stay with me." Aline pouted playfully, "I don't wanna be alone." I immediately saw the surrender in Helen's icy blue eyes, and rolled my own green ones.

"Go ahead." I'm nudged her with my elbow, and she plopped back down on the couch.

"I guess I'll just go," I placed a hand dramatically over my heart, "All alone. With no friends to laugh with and talk to…" Aline once again lowered her book, rolling her eyes at me.

"We'll be out in ten minutes tops. Promise." She assured me, and I smirked, backing to the door as the two turned their attention back to each other. I slowed a bit, watching the subtle touches exchange between the two. I narrowed my eyes. Was there something there, something I was missing? No, I quickly dispelled the thought, they were on a dating show, for a guy.

I shook my head, clearing my mind as I stepped outside. The sun warmed my skin, which was a welcome change from the New York snow. I set my bag down, then stripped my shirt and shorts off, putting them inside the bag. I looked down, mentally approving the black bikini I had on. It hit me that if my hair got wet, I have to redo it, so I tugged my hair up into a bun. I stepped into the water, making my way closer to the other two girls Inn the pool. Kailie and Seelie were their names, at least I think they were.

I saw the two look at me, chatter, laugh, then gesture to me once again. They reminded me too much of those "popular gossip chicks" in high-school, so I treated them the same way.

"Is there's something you want to say to me?" I asked.

"No." Kailie answered, annoying smirk firmly in place.

"Well," I sighed, "if you're gonna a talk about me behind my back, you might as well just bent down and kiss my ass." A surge of pride shot through me when the smirks fell from Kailie and Seelie's faces.

"You wanna know what we were saying?" Seelie crossed her arms.

"Yes," I swam over so that I was inches from Kailie, "I do."

"Fine." I'll give her some credit, the girl didn't back down, "We said that if it was up to us, you wouldn't be here."

"You're too…" Seelie fixed me with the distasteful look, "Short, scrawny."

"Redheaded, annoying." Kailie added.

"Too bad you don't own me." I shrugged, and, to my surprise, she just threw back her head and laughed. I raised my eyebrows.

"It's just that Jace will never keep you here." She replied to my silent question.

"I'll be here longer than you." I stated simply. Both girls were about to retort, but were cut off by someone else coming outside.

"WE HAVE A DATE CARD!" Aline announced as she approached, followed closely by the rest of the girls. Aline carefully tore open the envelope, pulling out the letter.

"Kailie," she read, and I wanted to wipe the smile off the girl in the card's face, "get your sunscreen, Jace." Kailie, Seelie, and a few others squealed. All but Kailie, Seelie, and I filed inside. Kailie waited until we were alone to begin swimming back, not bothering to face us as she spoke.

"Ah, this is gonna be so fun," I knew she was trying to make me jealous, "You can just tell he's good in be-" By this time, I had shot over to her, grabbed her shoulder, and spun her sharply around.

"Jace Wayland is not a thing." I hissed, "He's not some toy you can screw with and put back in the box. Treat. Him. Right." She simply smirked smugly at me.

"Too bad you don't own me."

And then she walked away.

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