Big shout out to MusicallyChallenged who is my amazing beta whom I Love ;)
Disclaimer: Cassandra Clare owns everything I love except the plot line which is all mine.
I shouldn't feel angry; it was me who came up with the solution so why do I feel like smacking his face into a door because he agreed with me? God sake this is annoying. I make my way towards the gym with thoughts like this banging through my head until I wish I could mute myself and just go on auto pilot for a while.
Sighing I go in and at the desk is the girl Maia I met the last time. She doesn't look up from her book until I'm at the counter and looking at what she's reading. She then looks up and a little smile appears as she moves the mouse to wake the computer back up.
"I was wondering if we'd see you again. I'm assuming you still want to box and have a deposit which consists of a locker, access to the showers and all our other facilities that may or not tickle your fancy." She says smiling at me. I smile back and hand over the fifty that my mother gave me after I pointed out that she's the one who always said I should join some club.
She takes it places it in the till hands me a receipt and indicates where the changing rooms and lockers are so I can store my stuff. I thank her then enter the changing rooms the excitement growing more and more inside me every second. I get changed with older ladies who smile politely at me and I return the favor.
After getting changed I go into one of the boxing rings bouncing up and down on my toes waiting for the teacher to come in and start the class. As I'm warming up I look at everybody else here and am in for a shock it`s mostly guys my age and two other girls. Shaking my head I brush it off as no big deal. I've fought bigger people before, saying that it was dad and his friends who though didn't go easy on me still didn't use full force. I was in for a treat.
Just then a man walks into the room and places his kit bag on the floor beside him then turns to look at us. He's quite tall, he had grey blue eyes that seem to know much more than he let on and brown messy hair. He looks over us quickly but quietly as we stand there and try not squirm under his stare.
He then smiles and says; "Hi. I'm Luke Garroway boxing 323, I`ll be your teacher until something takes me away which I doubt will happen because I'm healthy. Now I'm going to assume none of you know a thing about boxing or self- defense" he says looking around at us one by one.
I raise my hand indicating I want to speak, he just nods approval and I say; "What if you do?" while trying to avoid blushing like a four year old, Luke just smiles and says in a voice that freaks me out and causes a shiver to run down my spine; "The you`ll be up against Bruce last" I don't want to know who Bruce is but apparently we were going to find out as another guy came out in boxing gear grinning like it was Christmas day and we were the turkey he had painstakingly prepared.
A girl beside me gulps and I turn to look over at her, she`s small with blond pixie cut hair and from the looks of it isn't somebody who would venture outside a lot. She stares wide eyed at the guy starting to shake in the spot, "Hey" I whisper interrupting her making her break eye contact with him and look at me.
"You`ll be fine, he`s only there for the scare factor and to convince you that you should continue with this class." I say to her who has gone ghostly pale but has stopped shaking. "Look you`ve got the advantage, you`re small so you can dodge into places he can`t even try. You`ll be grand" I tell her and she tries a weak smile on her face and some colour has come back into her checks. She turns again to look at him and this time she doesn't look so scared, "Thanks" she whispers to me as the first guy gets taken out by passing the red square we`re supposed to stay in.
There`s a round of applause and he comes out sweating buckets but smiling which lifts everybody`s spirits slightly. Just as I'm about to say something else Luke speaks up again. "Maureen" and the girl looks worriedly at me again, I show flash her thumbs up and whisper "Use the advantage" as she gets into the boxing ring.
She lasts nearly a minute which on the look on Luke`s face isn't the best but he`s not disappointed and just says; "There`s talent there we just need to harness it, well done on using your height as a weapon that was very smart." Maureen just smiles at him then turns and grins at me running down the steps and barrelling into me saying; "Thank you thank you thank you" I just hug her back smiling and say it was no bother at all.
"Last but not least Clary, you`re up good luck" Luke says holding the ropes open for me to get in. I get in the ring place the gloves on then turn and evaluate Bruce. Tall but muscular shoulders close cropped hair that indicates he might have been in the army or navy. Smiling I shake his hand as is accustomed then go back to the edge of the square and wait for the bell to ring.
When it does we both enter the square and walk around in circles and wait for the other to take the first strike and leave the other vulnerable. This doesn't happen though and as the time is ticking by Bruce is becoming impatient. He gets so impatient he comes close and that's when the fun starts.
He comes and tries to swing a punch for my face but I dodge at the last second and punch him in the side of his face causing him to stumble back, I get in a punch to the stomach then back up so he can get up and recover. He gets up and is smiling which is never a good sign as he charges me again, I let him get close then get him just under the jaw where his gloves aren't protecting, as good as this is he still gets me twice in the stomach and I take a step back catching my breath and to evaluate what to do.
I come up with something and decide to try it even though it might turn out horrible, I charge him and he laughs and stands in the stance position but I don't go for the face instead I lower myself to the ground and somehow slid through the gap between his muscular legs and arrive behind him, I hear the class gasp and I can`t help but smile It worked. He turns his gloves down in confusion and I take the opportunity to punch him square in the face before he collapses on the floor with a grunt.
The bell rings indicating our two minutes are up and I sigh taking off the gloves and go over to Bruce who is sitting up shaking off the effect of the punch, I thrust my hand out in front of him and say; "Good fight, you had me going" he laughs grabbing my hand helping himself up "I think it should be me thanking you, I haven't had a fight like that in ages, where you used tactics instead of just charging which you made me end up doing, may I add" I laugh and say; "Only after I realized I`d probably have to build my upper body to the max before even thinking of challenging you" I say as we get to the edge of the ring where Luke is staring at me.
I blush slightly and say; "My dad taught me some moves, I`d still like to train with you guys because there`s always room to improve" which gets Luke shaking his head. My heart breaks a little with disappointment I shouldn't have showed off on the first day, now I won`t get to train with these people.
"I think I have a better idea if you want to hear it..." he says looking me squarely in the eyes. I come out of the gym smiling for real for the first time in a long time, Luke thinks I have enough talent to be entered into a singles competition and with a bit of personal training we could enter the regional`s in a few months. I wave goodbye to Maia as I leave and take out my phone to text mum that I'm on my way home and I`ll see her soon don't worry.
I enter the house to the smell of something heavenly, though saying that after two hours of boxing and fitness I think garbage would taste lovely. I enter the kitchen to see my mother crouching down looking into the cooker. I crouch with her even though my limbs plead with me not to, "Find any treasure yet?" I ask making my mum fall over shrieking. "My god I didn't see you there!" she says placing her hand over her heart shaking her head at me.
I laugh not helping myself looking at her fanning herself on the kitchen floor, "Sorry" I say getting up and placing my bag on one of the counter tops and heading for the cupboard with the cups, "How many people?" I ask taking four out as the minimum one for each of the people who sleep here but leave it open knowing somebody`s more than likely here.
"Jonathan has Jace upstairs in his room, they`re doing some project. So add one for him as I think he`ll be staying that's it though, thanks honey." She says going back to looking at the oven while I try not make it obvious how bad it is he`s here.
I just mumble something and then place them on the table trying to steady my shaking hands, one kiss Clary for crying out loud it`s not like the world`s falling and if he doesn't eat here everyone will die!, he is Jonathan`s best friend and will always be around you just have to be the bigger person and make sure it`s obvious it doesn't affect you ok? You can do this.
I tell my mum I'm going to wash my hands and will I call for the guys and she says; "That`d save me some time, thanks honey" smiling at me in that motherly fashion like she`s created an angel or something. Plastering a smile on my face I grab my sweaty stuff and school bag and make my way upstairs.
I dump my stuff into my room then go to Jonathan`s room and pause, inside they`re laughing over something I missed and I want to ask what it is and share in the joke, head in the game Clary! My brain screams and I shake the feeling off before banging on his door saying; "Dinner is ready don't make my mother come up here or she`ll be worse than me" I shout then turn and go to the bathroom to wash my hands. I'm just leaving when I bump into them man of the moment Jace.
"Sorry" he says running his hand through his hair looking at the floor moving to the left giving me room to leave, sighing I walk out not looking at him knowing it`ll just get worse and worse but not caring because he`s the one who kissed me so there`s no way in hell I'm apologizing for something he initiated in the first place.
I go down the stairs avoiding looking straight ahead and coming face to face with him again. I get downstairs go into the kitchen and smile as my mum lights candles and I dim the lights slightly causing her to turn and smile at me again; "Thanks honey" she says before calling the others down for dinner as I take my place sipping my orange juice ignoring everybody as they come into the room.
Jace and Jonathan take the seats furthest away from me and secretly I'm pleased. I mean I shouldn't be because sooner or later one of them will sit beside me somewhere and then what will do? Start babbling saying it wasn't my fault that Jace kissed me? No, I`ll just ignore him and hope that something will come so he has to leave.
Everybody settles down as mum places her famous pasta bake on the table and my mouth waters and I don't wait for any of the others to grab the serving spoon before grabbing it and piling a mountain of it onto my plate before anybody can complain.
I devour my first spoonful not even caring that it`s piping hot or that my mouth is probably wide open as I eat it, I groan in appreciation and take another while everyone looks at me with barely concealed disgust.
"How was the gym honey?" my mum asks trying to get conversation going at the quiet table, I look up from devouring my plate and smile. "It was amazing; I actually have to talk to you about that." I say looking at mum seriously but she isn't paying attention as she serves herself some pasta.
"Oh? Do tell do tell" she says taking a bit of pasta and eating it delicately looking at me innocently as I sit here shrinking in embarrassment. It is one thing to confide in your mother an entirely different thing to confide to her while her boyfriend's son and guy who you kissed earlier is at the table is staring right at you.
"It`s nothing "I mumble shoveling more pasta in my mouth trying not to blush as I look down at the table, my mother isn't letting me off so easily though. "Aw come on Clary dear, you came in here like it was Christmas morning. Tell us what has got my lovely daughter in such a good mood" she whines but still keeps the tone of being an adult and not some child throwing a tantrum.
I look up again and just from the corner of my eye I see Jace throwing a worried glance Oh my god he thinks I'm going to tell them about what happened between the two of us, yeah when pigs fly and I start talking to unicorns.
Sighing I say looking down at my food; "Luke, who is the main guy there, he runs the whole thing and even has time to train people it`s so amazing." I say grinning and looking up to catch the relief flash in Jace`s eyes You`re welcome I think then continue on with the story.
"See I had my first training session today and it happened to be with Luke, we had to go up against this higher ranking guy and see if we could survive a certain amount of time, it was so amazing" I say in a awe struck voice remembering how fun it was just to spar and not have to worry about showing off because we we`re all there for the same reason.
"Anyway, see I survived the longest and Luke said I might be good enough to fight pro, and enter competitions and stuff all on my own. He said I`d need training and that`s where he`d come in and train me, the only thing is I need your permission first." I stop breathless and look at my mother who has turned paler than usual.
She takes a sip of water as we all turn our eyes to her waiting for her to answer, my body vibrating with an undercurrent of nerves. After consulting with Valentine who just smiles she gulps most of the water then whispers out; "What will this cost us?" and I'm up out of my seat running over to her hugging her telling her how much I love her and promising her that I`ll try my hardest.
She just smiles and says; "One condition though" and I know I'm not going to like it, I sit down again and stare at her waiting for the fatal blow coming straight towards me in a locked motion, she takes another sip of water then says; "I want your grades to be kept up, fighting will not lead you to a job and I don't want you to become obsessed with it, though we might be a few years late on the last one huh." She smiles at the last bit as I nod vigorously like my head is a yo-yo on a piece of string.
Jace is his normal self by the time we get home to mine, raiding my fridge then complaining through the whole afternoon over our project on Australia for our Geography teacher who is in the belief that as long as you see pictures and learn some facts about a place you`ve been there; "No need to waste valuable money now kids eh?" which we all know is BS but we nod along as usual.
It`s dinner when I notice something has changed with him, when he is usually the one cracking jokes and shovelling down the food he`s gone silent and is picking at his food all the way through.
Jocelyn engages Clary in a conversation and when you look at her it`s the happiest she`s been since she came here. She talks animatedly about her first training session at the gym and how she beat this guy Bruce in hand to hand.
As she says it I glance at Jace and he`s looking worse than when we came downstairs, he`s became pale and isn't even trying to eat anything, I nudge him and mouth "What`s wrong" he just shakes his head looking down at his food refusing to look at me in the eyes which worries me even more.
"Luke said I might be good enough to fight pro, and enter competitions and stuff all on my own. He said I`d need training and that`s where he`d come in and train me, the only thing is I need your permission first." Is what brings me out of my worry and I stare at the girl at the end of the table staring wide eyed at her mother and my father.
Jace and I turn to look at the both of them waiting for their answer they can`t actually be thinking of letting her can they? She`d be crushed in the first ten seconds no matter how good this Luke guy think she is.
Jocelyn just smiles and says; "How much is this going to cost us?" Then starts laughing as Clary jumps up and starts hugging her like there`s no tomorrow, "One condition though" says Jocelyn and me and Jace breath out a silent breath of relief maybe Jocelyn will come to her senses.
"Your schoolwork must stay up, you won`t get a career and we don't need you obsessed with it, though we might be a bit late for that" she says smiling at her and all I can think is what have you done?
I can`t take it anymore, Jon keeps glancing over at me and I know he knows there is something up with me, he just doesn't know the extent.
I use the first get out of jail card that`s offered to me, my mother texts me when I`ll be home and I use that excuse to leave so I can get out of there as soon as possible. I grab my bag as quickly as I can pocket my phone after promising to text Jon later which we both know I won`t do though he doesn't say anything as I dash out of the house.
I get home and walk into the kitchen and hug my aunt Amatis who took me in after my mother and father died in a fire that burned down our apartment when I was only two years old. "How was your day in school?" she asks not even looking up from her Sudoku.
I turn away and go to the sink looking outside to our bare back garden and suddenly I'm gripping the counter top like my life depends on it, I'm overcome with rage and something else I can`t put my finger on. Sighing I say; "Perfect, absolutely perfect." That feeling I couldn't put my finger on was resignation. Cold hard resignation
"Jace what happened?" Amatis asks worriedly coming around and grabbing hold of my hands looking me straight in the eyes with her deep blue eyes waiting for me to answer. I sigh again and say; "I made an awful mistake today, yet when I look back on it, it feels like the best thing I've done in a while. Though I know I can never do it again if I want to keep my best friend"
Even though Amatis is at least three centimetres smaller than me she pulls me down and ensnares me in a bone crushing hug then whispers in such a strong voice; "It just depends on what you feel is more important. Your best friend who you`ve been friends with since you were four or a feeling that will more than likely pass"
I hug her tighter and smile, I just have to pretend I don't have feelings for her, keep them locked up so nobody can see them, I`ll act like I don't even see her, it`ll be hard but who cares it`s not like she`s at home writing my name and hers in little love hearts, no I`ll toughen it out like a man.
"Thanks Am" I say hugging her then running upstairs to start my homework and prepare for the ignoring of feelings.
Please review and tell me what you think, cause I don't know if anybody on here actually likes this.