City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments 6) - Page 60

Listen Audio

He was still staring at her, his eyes fathomless and black. “If you hadn’t thought I was dead,” he said, “if you’d known I lived, would you have looked for me? Would you have kept me?”

“I would have,” she said. “I would have tried to raise you, to teach you the right things, to change you. I do blame myself for what you are. I always have.”

“You would have raised me?” He blinked, almost sleepily. “You would have raised me, hating me as you did?”

She nodded.

“Do you think I would have been different, then? More like her?”

It took her a moment before she realized. “Clary,” she said. “You mean Clary.” The name of her daughter hurt to say; she missed Clary fiercely, and at the same time was terrified for her. Sebastian loved her, she thought; if he loved anyone, he loved his sister, and if there was anyone who knew how deadly it was to be loved by someone like Sebastian, it was Jocelyn. “We’ll never know,” she said finally. “Valentine took that away from us.”

“You should have loved me,” he said, and now he sounded petulant. “I’m your son. You should love me now, no matter what I’m like, whether I’m like her or not—”

“Really?” Jocelyn cut him off midbreath. “Do you love me? Just because I’m your mother?”

“You’re not my mother,” he said, with a curl of his lip. “Come. Watch this. Let me show you what my real mother has given me the power to do.”

He took a stele from his belt. It sent a jolt through Jocelyn—she forgot, sometimes, that he was a Shadowhunter and could use the tools of a Shadowhunter. With the stele he drew on the stone wall of the room. Runes, a design she recognized. Something all Shadowhunters knew how to do. The stone began to turn transparent, and Jocelyn braced herself to see what was beyond the walls.

Instead she saw the Consul’s room at the Gard in Alicante. Jia sat behind her enormous desk covered in stacks of files. She looked exhausted, her black hair liberally sprinkled with strands of white. She had a file open on the desk before her. Jocelyn could see grainy photographs of a beach: sand, blue-gray sky.

“Jia Penhallow,” Sebastian said.

Jia’s head jerked up. She rose to her feet, the file sliding to the floor in a mess of paper. “Who is it? Who’s there?”

“You don’t recognize me?” Sebastian said, a smirk in his voice.

Jia stared desperately ahead of her. It was obvious that whatever she was looking at, the image wasn’t clear. “Sebastian,” she breathed. “But it hasn’t been two days yet.”

Jocelyn pushed past him. “Jia,” she said. “Jia, don’t listen to anything he says. He’s a liar—”

“It’s too soon,” Jia said, as if Jocelyn hadn’t spoken, and Jocelyn realized, to her horror, that Jia couldn’t see or hear her. It was as if she weren’t there. “I may not have an answer for you, Sebastian.”

“Oh, I think you do,” Sebastian said. “Don’t you?”

Jia straightened her shoulders. “If you insist,” she said icily. “The Clave has discussed your request. We will not deliver to you either Jace Lightwood or Clarissa Fairchild—”

“Clarissa Morgenstern,” Sebastian said, a muscle in his cheek twitching. “She is my sister.”

“I call her by the name she prefers, as I call you,” said Jia. “We will not make a bargain in our blood with you. Not because we think it is more valuable than Downworlder blood. Not because we do not want our prisoners back. But because we cannot condone your tactics of fear.”

“As if I sought your approval,” Sebastian sneered. “You do understand what this means? I could send you Luke Garroway’s head on a stick.”

Jocelyn felt as if someone had punched her in the stomach. “You could,” Jia said. “But if you harm any of the prisoners, it will be war to the death. And we believe you have as much to fear from a war with us as we do from a war with you.”

“You believe incorrectly,” Sebastian said. “And I think, if you look, you will discover that it hardly matters that you’ve decided not to deliver Jace and Clary to me, all neatly wrapped up like an early Christmas present.”

“What do you mean?” Jia’s voice sharpened.

“Oh, it would have been convenient if you had decided to deliver them,” said Sebastian. “Less trouble for me. Less trouble for all of us. But it’s too late now, you see—they’re already gone.”

He twirled his stele, and the window he had opened to the world of Alicante closed on Jia’s astonished face. The wall was a smooth blank canvas of stone once again.

“Well,” he said, slipping the stele into his weapons belt. “That was amusing, don’t you think?”

Jocelyn swallowed against a dry throat. “If Jace and Clary aren’t in Alicante, where are they? Where are they, Sebastian?”

He stared at her for a moment, and then laughed: a laugh as pure and cold as ice water. He was still laughing when he went to the door and walked out of it, letting it lock shut behind him.

Tags: Cassandra Clare The Mortal Instruments Young Adult