City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments 6) - Page 110

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She looked up; she had been leaning against the side of the piano, letting Jace’s playing (and the faint sound of Church gnawing wood) lull her. It was music that reminded her of her childhood, of Jace spending hours in the music room, filling the halls of the Institute with a cascade of notes.

It was Simon. He had unbuttoned his denim jacket in the warmth of the tent, and she could see the flush of heat and awkwardness across his cheekbones. There was something alien about it, a Simon who blushed and was cold and hot and grew up and grew away—from her.

His dark eyes were curious as they rested on her; she saw some recognition in them, but it wasn’t total. It wasn’t the way Simon had looked at her before, longing and that sweet ache and sense that here was someone who saw her, saw Isabelle, the Isabelle she presented to the world and the Isabelle she hid away, tucked into the shadows where only a very few could see her.

Simon had been one of those few. Now he was—something else.

“Isabelle,” he said again, and she sensed Jace looking over at her, his eyes curious as his hands darted over the piano keys. “Would you dance with me?”

She sighed and nodded. “All right,” she said, and let him draw her onto the dance floor. In her heels she was as tall as he was; their eyes were on a level. Behind the glasses his were the same dark coffee brown.

“I’ve been told,” he said, and cleared his throat, “or at least, I get the sense, that you and I—”

“Don’t,” she said. “Don’t talk about it. If you don’t remember, then I don’t want to hear it.”

One of his hands was on her shoulder, the other on her waist. His skin was warm against hers, not cool as she remembered it. He seemed incredibly human, and fragile.

“But I want to remember it,” he said, and she remembered how argumentative he’d always been; that, at least, hadn’t changed. “I remember some of it—it’s not like I don’t know who you are, Isabelle.”

“You would call me Izzy,” she said, suddenly feeling very tired. “Izzy, not Isabelle.”

He leaned in, and she felt his breath against her hair. “Izzy,” he said. “I remember kissing you.”

She shivered. “No, you don’t.”

“Yes, I do,” he said. His hands slid to her back, fingers brushing the space just below her shoulder blade that always made her squirm. “It’s been months now,” he said, in a low voice. “And nothing’s felt quite right. I’ve always felt like something was missing. And now I know it was this, all of this, but it was also you. I didn’t remember during the day. But I dreamed at night about you, Isabelle.”

“You dreamed about us?”

“Just you. The girl with the dark, dark eyes.” He touched the edge of her hair with light fingers. “Magnus tells me I was a hero,” he said. “And I see on your face when you’re looking at me that you’re searching for that guy. The guy you knew who was a hero, who did great things. I don’t remember doing those things. I don’t know if that makes me not a hero anymore. But I’d like to try to be that guy again. That guy who gets to kiss you because he earned it. If you’ll be patient enough to let me try.”

It was such a Simon thing to say. She looked up at him, and for the first time felt a swell of hope in her chest and didn’t immediately move to crush it down. “I might let you,” she said. “Try, that is. I can’t promise anything.”

“I wouldn’t expect you to.” His face lit up, and she saw the shadow of a memory move behind his eyes. “You’re a heartbreaker, Isabelle Lightwood,” he said. “I remember that much, at least.”

“Tessa is a warlock,” said Jocelyn, “although a very unusual kind of warlock. Remember what I told you, that I was panicked about how to put the spell on you that all Shadowhunters receive when they’re born? The protection spell? And that Brother Zachariah and a female warlock stood in and helped with the ceremony? This is the warlock I was talking about. Tessa Gray.”

“You told me that was where you got the idea for the name Fray.” Clary sank down in the seat opposite Tessa at the round table. “F for Fairchild,” she said, realizing aloud. “And the rest for Gray.”

Tessa smiled, and her face lit up. “It was an honor.”

“You were a baby; you wouldn’t recall it,” said Jocelyn, but Clary thought of the way Tessa had looked familiar to her the first time she had seen her, and wondered.

“Why are you just telling me now?” Clary demanded, looking up at her mother, who was standing by her chair, twisting her new wedding ring around her finger anxiously. “Why not before?”

“I had asked to be there when she told you, if she chose to,” said Tessa; her voice was musical, soft and sweet, with the trace of an English accent. “And I fear I have long separated myself from the Shadowhunter world. My memories of it are sweet and bitter, sometimes more bitter than sweet.”

Jocelyn dropped a kiss onto Clary’s head. “Why don’t you two talk?” she said, and walked away, toward Luke, who was chatting with Kadir.

Clary looked at Tessa’s smile, and said, “You’re a warlock, but you’re friends with a Silent Brother. More than friends—that’s a little odd, isn’t it?”

Tessa leaned her elbows onto the table. A pearl bracelet gleamed around her left wrist; she touched it idly, as if through force of habit. “Everything about my life is quite out of the ordinary, but then, the same could be said for you, couldn’t it?” Her eyes sparkled. “Jace Herondale plays the piano very well.”

“And he knows it.”

“That sounds like a Herondale.” Tessa laughed. “I must tell you, Clary, that I learned only recently that Jace had decided that he wished to be a Herondale and not a Lightwood. Both are honorable families, and both I have known, but my fate has always been most entwined with that of the Herondales.” She looked over at Jace, and there was a sort of wistfulness in her expression. “There are families—the Blackthorns, the Herondales, the Carstairs—for whom I have always felt a special affinity: I have watched over them from a distance, though I have learned not to interfere. That is in part why I retreated to the Spiral Labyrinth after the Uprising. It is a place so far from the world, so hidden, I thought I could find peace there from my knowledge of what had happened to the Herondales. And then after the Mortal War I asked Magnus if I should approach Jace, speak to him of the past of the Herondales, but he said to give him time. That to bear the burden of the knowledge of the past was a heavy one. So I returned to the Labyrinth.” She swallowed. “This was a dark year, such a dark year for Shadowhunters, for Downworlders, for all of us. So much loss and grief. In the Spiral Labyrinth we heard rumors, and then there were the Endarkened, and I thought the best thing I could do to help was to find a cure, but there was none. I wish we could have found one. Sometimes there is not always a cure.” She looked toward Zachariah with a light in her eyes. “But then, sometimes there are miracles. Zachariah told me of the way in which he became mortal again. He said it was ‘A story of Lightwoods and Herondales and Fairchilds.’?” She glanced over at Zachariah, who was busy patting Church. The cat had climbed up onto the champagne table and was gleefully knocking over glasses. Her look was one of exasperation and fondness mixed together. “You don’t know what it means to me, how grateful I am for what you did for my—for Zachariah, what you all of you did for him.”

Tags: Cassandra Clare The Mortal Instruments Young Adult