Showing posts with label City of Lost Souls. Show all posts
Showing posts with label City of Lost Souls. Show all posts

Saturday, July 20, 2013

'THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS' 4th Week at #1 on New York Times Best Sellers Series

The Mortal Instruments series has been on the New York Times Best Sellers (Series) for 95 weeks. Including next week: 96! On top of that, The Mortal Instruments is still #1 on the list; that's four weeks straight that The Mortal Instruments has been #1!

Major congratulations for Cassandra Clare are in need. Let's keep the streak going!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Becoming Sebastian Verlac

This is a short piece about how Jonathan Christopher Morgenstern became Sebastian Verlac in City of Glass.

It was a very small bar, on a narrow sloping street in a walled town full of shadows. Jonathan Morgenstern had been sitting at the bar for at least a quarter of an hour, finishing a leisurely drink, before he got to his feet and slipped down the long, rickety flight of wooden stairs to the club. The sound of the music seemed to be trying to push its way up through the steps as he made his way downward: he could feel the wood vibrating under his feet.

The place was filled with writhing bodies and obscuring smoke. It was the kind of place demons prowled. That made it the kind of place that demon hunters frequented.

And an ideal location for someone who was hunting a demon hunter.

Colored smoke drifted through the air, smelling vaguely acidic. There were long mirrors all along the walls of the club. He could see himself as he moved across the room. A slender figure in black, with his father’s hair, white as snow. It was humid down here in the club, airless and hot, and his t-shirt was stuck to his back with sweat. A silver ring glittered on his right hand as he scanned the room for his prey.

There he was, at the bar, as if he was trying to blend in with the mundanes even though he was invisible to them.

A boy. Maybe seventeen.

A Shadowhunter.

Sebastian Verlac.

Jonathan ordinarily had little interest in anyone his own age — if there was anything duller than other people, it was other adolescents — but Sebastian Verlac was different. Jonathan had chosen him, carefully and specifically. Chosen him the way one might choose an expensive and custom-tailored suit.

Jonathan strolled over to him, taking his time and taking the boy’s measure. He had seen photographs, of course, but people always looked different in person. Sebastian was tall — the same height as Jonathan himself, and with the same slender build. His clothes looked like they would fit Jonathan perfectly. His hair was dark — Jonathan would have to dye his own, which was annoying, but not impossible. His eyes were black, too, and his features, though irregular, came together pleasingly: he had a friendly charisma that was attractive. He looked like it was easy for him to trust, easy to smile.

He looked like a fool.

Jonathan came up to the bar and leaned against it. He turned his head, allowing the other boy to recognize that he could see him. “Bonjour.”

“Hello,” Sebastian replied, in English, the language of Idris, though his was tinged faintly with a French accent. His eyes were narrow. He looked very startled to be seen at all, and as if he was wondering what Sebastian might be: fellow Shadowhunter, or a warlock with a sign that didn’t show?

Something wicked this way comes, Jonathan thought. And you don’t even know it.

“I’ll show you mine if you show me yours,” he suggested, and smiled. He could see himself smiling in the grimy mirror over the bar. He knew the way it lit up his face, made him almost irresistible. His father had trained him for years to smile like that, like a human being.

Sebastian’s hand tightened on the edge of the bar. “I don’t …”

Jonathan smiled wider and turned his right hand over to show the Voyance rune on the back of it. The breath went out of Sebastian in relief and he beamed with delighted recognition: as if any Shadowhunter was a comrade and a potential friend.

“Are you on your way to Idris, too?” Jonathan asked, very professional, as if he was in regular touch with the Clave. Protecting the innocent, he projected to the world and Sebastian in particular. Can’t get enough of that!

“I am,” Sebastian replied. “Representing the Paris Institute. I’m Sebastian Verlac, by the way.”

“Ah, a Verlac. A fine old family.” Jonathan accepted his hand, and shook it firmly. “Andrew Blackthorn,” he said easily. “The Los Angeles Institute, originally, but I’ve been studying in Rome. I thought I’d come overland to Alicante. See the sights.”

He’d researched the Blackthorns, a large family, and knew they and the Verlacs had not been in the same city for ten years. He was certain he would have no problem answering to an assumed name: he never did. His real name was Jonathan, but he had never felt particularly attached to it: perhaps because he had always known that it was not his name alone.

The other Jonathan, being raised not so far away, in a house just like his, visited by hisfather. Daddy’s little angel.

“Haven’t seen another Shadowhunter in ages,” Sebastian continued — he had been talking, but Jonathan had forgotten to pay attention to him. “Funny to run into you here. My lucky day.”

“Must be,” Jonathan murmured. “Though not entirely chance, of course. The reports of a Eluthied demon lurking about this place, I assume you’ve heard them as well?”

Sebastian smiled and took a last swallow from his glass, setting it down on the bar. “After we kill the thing, we should have a celebratory drink.”

Jonathan nodded, and tried to look as if he was very focused on searching the room for demons. They stood shoulder-to-shoulder, like brother warriors. It was so easy it was almost boring: all he’d had to do was show up, and here was Sebastian Verlac like a lamb pushing its throat on a blade. Who trusted other people like that? Wanted to be their friend so easily?

He had never played nicely with others. Of course, he had not ever been given the opportunity: his father had kept him and the other Jonathan apart. A child with demon blood and a child with angel blood: raise both boys as yours and see who makes daddy proud.

The other boy had failed a test when he was younger, and been sent away. Jonathan knew that much. He had passed every test their father had ever set for him. Maybe he had passed them all a little too well, too flawlessly, unfazed by the isolation chamber and the animals, the whip or the hunt. Jonathan had discerned a shadow in Father’s eyes now and then, one that was either grief or doubt.

Though what did he have to be grieved over? Why should he doubt? Was Jonathan not the perfect warrior? Was he not everything his father had created him to be?

Human being were so puzzling.

Jonathan had never liked the idea of the other Jonathan, of Father having another boy, one who made Father smile sometimes at the thought of him without a shadow in his eyes.

Jonathan had cut one of his practise dummies off at the knees once, and spent a pleasant day strangling it and disembowelling it, slitting it from neck to navel. When his father had asked why he’d cut off part of the legs, he had told him that he wanted to see what it was like to kill a boy who was just his own size.

“I forget, you’ll have to excuse me,” said Sebastian, who was turning out to be annoyingly chatty. “How many are there in your family?”

“Oh, we’re a big one,” Jonathan replied. “Eight in total. I have four brothers and three sisters.”

The Blackthorns really were eight: Jonathan’s research had been thorough. He couldn’t imagine what that would be like, so many people, such untidiness. Jonathan had a blood sister, too, although they had never met.

Father had told him about his mother running off when Jonathan was a baby she was pregnant again, inexplicably weepy and miserable because she had some sort of objection to her child being improved. But she’d run away too late: Father had already seen to it that Clarissa would have angelic powers.

Only a few weeks ago, Father had met Clarissa for the first time, and on their second encounter Clarissa had proven she knew how to use her power as well. She had sent Father’s ship to the bottom of the ocean.

Once he and Father had taken down and transformed the Shadowhunters, laid waste to their pride and their city, Father said that Mother, the other Jonathan and Clarissa would be coming to live with them.

Jonathan despised his mother, who had apparently been such a pathetic weakling that she’d run away from him when he was a baby. And his only interest in the other Jonathan was to prove how superior he was: Father’s real son, by blood, and with the strength of demons and chaos in that blood as well.

But he was interested in Clarissa.

Clarissa had never chosen to leave him. She had been taken away and been forced to grow up in the midst of mundanes, of all disgusting things. She must have always known she was made of different stuff from everyone around her, meant for utterly different things, power and strangeness crackling beneath her skin.

She must have felt like the only creature like her in all the world.

She had angel in her, like the other Jonathan, not the infernal blood that ran through his veins. But Jonathan was very much his father’s son as well as anything else: he was like Father made stronger, tempered by the fires of hell. Clarissa was Father’s real daughter too, and who knew what strange brew the combination of Father’s blood and Heaven’s power had formed to run through Clarissa’s veins? She might not be very different from Jonathan himself.

The thought excited him in a way he had never been excited before. Clarissa was his sister; she belonged to no one else. She was his. He knew it, because although he did not dream often—that was a human thing—after Father had told him about his sister sinking the ship, he had dreamed of her.

Jonathan dreamed of a girl standing in the sea with hair like scarlet smoke coiling over her shoulders, winding and unwinding in the untameable wind. Everything was stormy darkness, and in the raging sea were pieces of wreckage that had once been a boat and bodies floating face down. She looked down on them with cool green eyes and was not afraid.

Clarissa had done that, wreaked destruction like that, like he would have. In the dream, he was proud of her. His little sister.

In the dream, they were laughing together at all the beautiful ruin around them. They were standing suspended in the sea, it couldn’t hurt them, destruction was their element. Clarissa was looking down as she laughed, trailing her moonlight-white hands in the water. When she lifted up her hands they were dark, dripping: he realized that the seas were all blood.

Jonathan had woken from his dream still laughing.

When the time was right, Father had said, they would be together, all of them. Jonathan had to wait.

But he was not very good at waiting.

“You have the oddest look on your face,” Sebastian Verlac said, shouting above the beat of the music, bright and jagged in Jonathan’s ears.

Jonathan leaned over, spoke softly and precisely into Sebastian’s ear. “Behind you,” he said. “Demon. Four o’clock.”

Sebastian Verlac turned and the demon, in the shape of a girl with a cloud of dark hair, stepped hastily away from the boy it was talking to and began sliding away through the crowd. Jonathan and Sebastian followed it, out a side door with SORTIE DE SECOURS written across it in cracked letters of red and white.

The door led to an alley, which the demon was swiftly running down, nearly disappearing.

Jonathan jumped, launching himself at the brick wall opposite, and used the force of his rebound to arrow over the demon’s head. He twisted in midair, runed blade in hand, hearing it whistle through the air. The demon froze, staring at him. Already the mask of a girl’s face was beginning to slip, and Jonathan could see the features behind it: clustered eyes like a spider’s, a tusked mouth, open in surprise. None of it disgusted him. The ichor than ran in their veins, ran in his.

Not that that inspired, mercy, either. Grinning at Sebastian over the demon’s shoulder, he slashed out with his blade, It cut the demon open as he’d once cut open the dummy, neck to navel. A bubbling scream rent the alley as the demon folded in on itself and disappeared, leaving on a few drops of black blood splattered on the stones.

“By the Angel,” Sebastian Verlac whispered.

He was staring at Jonathan over the blood and the emptiness between them, and his face was white. For a moment Jonathan was almost pleased that he had the sense to be afraid.

But no such luck. Sebastian Verlac remained a fool to the end.

“You were amazing!” Sebastian exclaimed, his voice shaken but impressed. “I’ve never seen anyone move that fast! Alors, you have got to teach me that move. By the Angel,” he went on. “I’ve never seen anything like what you just did.”

“I’d love to help you,” Jonathan said. “But unfortunately I’ve got to get going soon. My father needs me, you see. He has plans. And he simply can’t do without me.”

Sebastian looked absurdly disappointed. “Oh come, you can’t go now,” he coaxed. “Hunting with you was so much fun, mon pote. We have to do this again some time.”

“I’m afraid,” Jonathan told him, fingering the hilt of his weapon, “that won’t be possible.”

Sebastian looked so surprised when he was killed. It made Jonathan laugh, blade in hand and Sebastian’s throat opening beneath it, hot blood spilling onto his fingers.

It wouldn’t do to have Sebastian’s body found at an inconvenient time and the whole game ruined, so Jonathan dragged the body as if he was carrying a drunken friend home through the streets.

It was not very far at all to a little bridge, delicate as green filigree or a dead child’s moldy, fragile bones, over the river. Jonathan heaved the corpse over the side and watched it hit the rushing black waters with a splash.

The body sank without a trace, and Sebastian forgot it before it had even sunk all the way. He saw the curled fingers, bobbing in the currents as if restored to life and begging for help or at least answers, and thought of his dream. His sister, and a sea of blood. Water had splashed up where the body went down, some of it splattering his sleeve. Baptizing him, with a new name. He was Sebastian now.

He strolled along the bridge to the old part of the city, where there were electric bulbs masquerading as gas lanterns, more toys for tourists. He was headed toward the hotel where Sebastian Verlac had been staying; he had scoped it out before coming to the bar, and knew he could scramble up through the window and retrieve the other boy’s belongings. And after that, a bottle of cheap hair dye and …

A group of girls in cocktail dresses passed him, angling their gazes, and one, silvery skirt skimming her thighs, gave him a direct look and a smile.

He fell in with the party.

“Comment tu t’appelles, beau gosse?” another girl asked him, her voice lightly slurred.What’s your name, pretty boy?

“Sebastian,” he answered smoothly, with not a second’s hesitation. That was who he was from now on, who his father’s plans required him to be, who he needed to be to walk the path that led to victory and Clarissa. “Sebastian Verlac.”

He looked to the horizon, and thought of the glass towers of Idris, thought of them enveloped in shadow, flame and ruin. He thought of his sister waiting for him, out there in the wide world.

He smiled.

He thought he was going to enjoy being Sebastian.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Question of Power

A Short Story which Alec and Camille talk about Magnus

“Tell me more,” Alec said, pacing up and down the concrete floor of the abandoned subway station at City Hall. “I need to know.”

Camille looked at the boy in front of her. She was lounging on the scarlet divan she had furnished the small space with; it had a soft velvet nap, though was worn in places. Not the finest furnishing she had ever known; and a transit station below Manhattan hardly matched up to her studio in Paris, her townhouse in Amsterdam, or the great manor house by the river near St Petersburg that she recalled now only as a dim memory. “Know more about what?” she demanded, though she knew perfectly well the answer.

“About Magnus,” said Alec. He held a witchlight stone in his hand, carelessly, as if he had forgotten it was there. So typical of the Nephilim, who took for granted their angel-granted powers and the magic that ran in their blood. The stone cast its light upward, showing clearly the planes and angles of Alec’s face. “He won’t speak to me about his past, and I can’t stand it. I can’t stand not knowing.”

She looked at the boy. He was pale as milk, his blue eyes startling against so much white skin and the darkness of his hair and eyelashes. He was long-legged, slender as a willow branch, but strong: a very pretty boy, even to her, who looked at human beings and saw mortality and rot.

“You may have to stand it,” she said, trying to keep the boredom out of her voice. “If Magnus has not shared his secrets with you yet, he may choose never to do so. So you have have him and his secrets, or not have him at all.”

Alec whirled. “But he shared his secrets with you.”

She shrugged lightly. “We knew each other a long time. I had a long time to give.” She smiled, feeling the sharp kiss of her fang teeth against her lower lip. She was hungry. She thought about the boy, the pulse in his neck that beat more quickly as he spoke, the widening of his eyes. She wondered if he would cry. Human tears were salt, like their blood.

But he didn’t cry. His expression hardened, and she saw a flicker of his ancestors in the set of his jaw. “Who is his father?”

She let her head fall back against the divan. “And why should I tell you?”

“Because you want me to kill Raphael,” he said. “And because I could make life very unpleasant for you if I want to.” He raised the witchlight, and its cold white rays spread through the room. So he had remembered it after all.

She straightened up, pushing her hair back. “This is the last time, Alexander. After this I will not say another word until you come to me with Raphael’s blood on your hands and his heart strung on a chain for me to wear.”

Alec swallowed. “Tell me. Where he was born. Who his father is.”

“You would call it Indonesia,” said Camille, “but to us it was the Dutch East Indies. Magnus’ mother was of mixed blood — a white father and an Indonesian mother. His father was a Prince of Hell. You know the Princes of Hell, angel boy?”

Alec’s winter-pale skin went even paler. “Of course I do,” he said, stiffly. “I am a Shadowhunter. But they are … mythic. The greatest angels of Heaven became the greatest princes in Hell. And the greatest of them all is … Lucifer.” He sucked in a breath. “You aren’t saying …”

Camille pealed with laughter. “That Magnus’ father is the Light-Bringer? The Morning Star? Certainly not!”

“But he is a Prince of Hell.”

“You will have to ask Magnus that yourself,” said Camille, playing with a tassel on the end of the couch arm.

“Maybe he never told you,” Alec said. “Did he love you enough to tell you? Did you love him?”a

“He loved me,” said Camille, thoughtfully. “I did not love him. I was fond of him. But I never loved him. Not like that.” She shifted irritably. “I grow tired of telling you things, little Shadowhunter, especially when you have been of so little use to me.”

Alec’s cheeks flushed the color of pale carnations. Camille could tell by the tension in his slender body that he was holding back both anger and shame: he needed her, she thought with satisfaction, needed her to satisfy the curiosity that consumed him, fed by fear. His need of her was like blood.

“One last thing,” he said, in a low voice. “One last thing, and I will leave you alone.”

She raised her eyebrows.

“Am I different?” Alec said. “Is there any way he loves me that is different than the ways he’s loved before?”

She let her lips curl into a slow smile. “The answer to that question, Alexander, will cost you.”

“Cost me what? What more?”

There was pain in his voice.

“Blood,” she said.

A long silence stretched between them. Finally, in an incredulous tone, he said: “You want to drink my blood?”

She chuckled. “Do you know how long it has been since I drank from a willing human? And Shadowhunter blood has a special quality. Not all of you are like your Jace, of course, carrying daylight in your veins. But still — a vintage of unusual quality.”

The flush in his cheeks deepened. He stared at her as she lay back against the velvet, half-closing her eyes. She knew her beauty could not warm or tempt him, but it did not matter. Beauty was power, but there were other kinds of power.

This close to Alec, she could smell his scent: sandalwood cologne, winter chill, the salt tang of human fear. And they were human, Shadowhunters. Underneath it all, still human, prey to human emotions, human weaknesses, and human fears, for all that they believed that they were special.

“Very well,” he said. “Just this once.”

She watched through half-lidded eyes that hid her triumph, the slight trembling in his fingers as he reached for the button that fastened the shirt cuff at his left wrist and flicked it open, then offered her his bare and unprotected skin.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

City of Lost Souls is Hollywood Crush's Favorite YA Novel 2012

City of Lost Souls wins Hollywood Crush's Favorite YA of 2012
After a few weeks of voting, City of Lost Souls becomes Hollywood Crush Readers' Favourite YA Novel!
Check out the poll result!
Here's what Hollywood Crush had to say about The Mortal Instruments:
Shadowhunters not only look better in black—they look better atop the leaderboard too. After a week of feverish ballot-casting in Hollywood Crush's Favorite YA Novel of 2012 poll, Cassandra Clare's urban fantasy "City of Lost Souls" has slayed its way to the top spot!
The novel, the fifth in the author's "Mortal Instruments" series, handily bested second-place finisher "The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green and third-place finisher "The Golden Lily" by Richelle Mead ...
Long story short: Shadowhunters are here to stay!
Here's what Cassandra Clare had to say:
"I'm so happy that so many have embraced the story of Jace and Clary and their friends. This fifth book was a pleasure to write but also sad because I knew it meant the end of the 'Mortal Instruments' was drawing closer. It will be bittersweet to say goodbye to the characters next year!"
Check out Hollywood Crush's post: here.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

City of Lost Souls Makes Indigo's 2012 List

City of Lost Souls is on Indigo's Best of Teen 2012 list
The Mortal Instruments makes the list along with: The Fault in Our Stars, The Raven Boys, The Diviners,
Cinder, Seraphina, Insurgent, Beautiful Redemption, Grave Mercy, Unspoken, Such Wicked Intent, Pandemonium.
Here's what Indigo had to say about City of Lost Souls:
City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare. We always love catching up with the Shadow Hunters—and City of Lost Souls returned our favourite antagonist to the series! We're really looking forward to Clockwork Princess to help make the wait for CITY OF HEAVENLY FIRE easier. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Stephen's Letter to Jace

SPECIAL CONTENT from City of Lost Souls
BARNES AND NOBLE will be carrying their own special edition. It will contain a letter from Stephen Herondale (Jace’s real father) to Jace, written before he died. It will be detachable and affixed to the back of the book.
To my son,
If you are reading this letter, then I am dead.

I expect to die, if not today, then soon. I expect that Valentine will kill me. For all his talk of loving me, for all his desire for a right-hand man, he knows that I have doubts. And he is a man who cannot abide doubt.
I do not know how you will be brought up. I do not know what they will tell you about me. I do not even know who will give you this letter. I entrust it to Amatis, but I cannot see what the future holds. All I know is that this is my chance to give you an accounting of a man you may well hate.
There are three things you must know about me. The first is that I have been a coward. Throughout my life I have made the wrong decisions, because they were easy, because they were self-serving, because I was afraid.
At first I believed in Valentine’s cause. I turned from my family and to the Circle because I fancied myself better than Downworlders and the Clave and my suffocating parents. My anger against them was a tool Valentine bent to his will as he bent and changed so many of us. When he drove Lucian away I did not question it but gladly took his place for my own. When he demanded I leave Amatis, the woman I love, and marry Celine, a girl I did not know, I did as he asked, to my everlasting shame.
I cannot imagine what you might be thinking now, knowing that the girl I speak of was your mother. The second thing you must know is this. Do not blame Celine for any of this, whatever you do. It was not her fault, but mine. Your mother was an innocent from a family that brutalized her. She wanted only kindess, to feel safe and loved. And though my heart had been given already, I loved her, in my fashion, just as in my heart, I was faithful to Amatis. Non sum qualis eram bonae sub regno Cynarae. I wonder if you love Latin as I do, and poetry. I wonder who has taught you.
The third and hardest thing you must know is that I was prepared to hate you. The son of myslef and the child-bride I barely knew, you seemed to be the culmination of all the wrong decisions I had made, all the small compromises that led to my dissolution. Yet as you grew inside my mind, as you grew in the world, a blameless innocent, I began to realize that I did not hate you. It is the nature of parents to see their own image in their children, and it was myself I hated, not you.
For there is only one thing I wan from you, my son — one thing from you, and of you. I want you to be a better man than I was. Let no one else tell you who you are or should be. Love where you wish to. Believe as you wish to. Take freedom as your right.
I don’t ask that you save the world, my boy, my child, the only child I will ever have. I ask only that you be happy.



Now keep in mind a version of this does still exist in the books, but it is much less . . . well. You’ll see. I wrote this in Mexico, probably having had too much mezcal, and I was trying to capture a mood of really dark, tipping over the edge sensuality, doing things that are probably a bad idea, you get the picture. I also recall reading bits of this aloud to Holly Black, Paolo Bacigalupi, Ellen Kushner, Sarah Rees Brennan, and Delia Sherman, who never dropped her knitting. So it can’t be that naughty…can it?

I think for those who really hate spoilers you might want to avoid this because the things about it that may be the most shocking are not the sexy bits but the beginning….

“What’s going on?” It was Jace, having fought his way free of the pack of dancers. More of the shimmering stuff had gotten on him, silver drops clinging to the gold of his hair. “Clary?”

“Sorry,” she said, getting to her feet. “I got lost in the crowd.”

“I noticed,” he said. “One second I was dancing with you, and the next you were gone and a very persistent werewolf was trying to get the buttons on my jeans undone.” He took Clary’s hand, lightly ringing her wrist with his fingers. “Do you want to go home? Or dance some more?”

“Dance some more,” she said, breathlessly. “Is that all right?”

“Go ahead.” Sebastian leaned back, his hands braced behind him on the fountain’s edge, his smile like the edge of a straight razor. “I don’t mind watching.”

Something flashed across Clary’s vision: the memory of a bloody handprint. It was gone as soon as it had come and she frowned. The night was too beautiful to think of ugly things. She looked back at her brother only for a moment before she let Jace lead her back through the crowd to its edge, near the shadows, where the press of bodies was lighter. Another ball of colored light burst above their heads as they went, scattering silver, and she tipped her head up, catching the salt-sweet drops on her tongue.

Jace stopped and swung her toward him. She could feel the silver liquid trickling down her face like tears. He pulled her against him and kissed them, as if he were kissing tears away, and his lips were warm on her face and made her shiver. She reached for the zip on his army jacket, ripped it down, slid her hands inside and over the cotton of his shirt, then under the hem, her nails scratching lightly over his ribs. He stopped and cupped the back of her neck with his hand, leaning to whisper in her ear. Neither of them could be said to be dancing any more: the hypnotic music went on around them, but Clary barely noticed it. A couple dancing past laughed and made a derisive comment in Czech: she couldn’t understand it, but suspected the gist was get a room.

Jace made an impatient noise and then he was pulling her after him again, through the last of the crowd and into one of the shadowy alcoves that lined the walls.

This alcove was conical, with a low stone pedestal in the center on which an angel statue, about three feet tall, stood. It was made of black basalt, but its eyes were glass, like doll eyes, and its wings were silver. The floor was slippery and damp. They skidded across it to fetch up against a wall, Jace with his back to it, and then he was kissing her, bruising hard and hungry kisses. He tasted salt-sweet, too, and moaned as she licked the taste off his lips. Her hands threaded through his hair. It was dark in the alcove, so dark Jace was just an outline of shadows and gold. She gripped the edges of his jacket, pushing it off his shoulders; it fell to the ground and he kicked it away. Her hands came up under his shirt, clawing at his back, fingers digging into the skin there, softness layered over hard muscle.

He kissed her harder and she clutched his shoulders as he sucked her bottom lip into his mouth and bit down on it, sending a shock of pleasure mixed with pain through her body. She squirmed to get closer to him and felt his breath quicken; she could taste blood in her mouth, salt and hot. It was as if they wanted to cut each other apart, she thought, to climb inside each other and breathe each other’s breath and share each other’s heartbeats, even if it killed them both. There was blood under her nails where she had clawed his back.

Jace pressed her forward, spinning them both around so she was pinned between his body and the wall. As they turned, he caught the edge of the angel statue, toppling it to the ground and shattering apart in a cloud of marble dust. He laughed and dropped to the ground in front of her on his knees among the remnants of broken statuary. She stared down at him in a daze as he ran his hands up her boots, to her bare legs, to the lace that edged the bottom of her slip dress. She sucked in her breath, as his hands slipped like water up and over the silk, to her waist, to grip her hips, leaving streaks of silver on the silk.

“What are you doing?” she whispered. “Jace?”

He looked up at her. The peculiar light in the club turned his eyes an array of fractured colors. His smile was wicked. “You can tell me to stop whenever you want,” he said. “But you won’t.”

“Jace…” His hands bunched in the silk of her dress, dragging the hem up, and he bent to kiss her legs, the bare skin where her boots ended, her knees (who knew knees could be so sensitive?) and farther up, where no one had ever kissed her before. The kisses were light, and even as her body tensed that she wanted to tell him she needed more, but didn’t know what, didn’t know what she needed exactly, but it didn’t matter because he seemed to know it. She let her head fall back against the wall, half-closing her eyes, hearing only her heartbeat like a drum in her ears, louder and louder still.

The Stuff of Heaven

"A little present for trending #weareshadowhunters
A present!
Family stuff prevented me from working on the Will vs. Ducks story today, so instead I’m giving you a cut scene from City of Lost Souls. It isn’t in the final book, but it does … illuminate some of the character dynamics. Spoilery so if you’re avoiding all spoilers, do not click!" -Cassandra Clare
Clary was in Jace’s room when he and Sebastian returned to the house. She had found very little during her search. There was nothing in Sebastian’s room that could be considered interesting except some books written in Latin, and her Latin wasn’t good enough to read them. There were pages that looked like they were torn from old guidebooks, illustrated with black and white pen sketches, pinned to the walls, but there seemed no connection between them. In the fireplaces were chunks of ash that looked like the remains of burned photographs, but they crumbled away when she tried to pick them up.
Jace’s room was next, neat as a pin, containing almost nothing of his belongings. There were weapons, but she didn’t recognize them, or the books on the shelves either. His closet was filled with clothes, but like the clothes in the master bedroom, they were largely new: he must have bought them in the past week or so, since price tags still hung from several of them. They were not what she thought of as Jace’s style. He had always dressed simply — things that were plain, solid colors, clothes that fit well but didn’t catch attention. He was gorgeous enough that it didn’t matter, she had always thought; he looked amazing in just jeans and a t-shirt. And he had plenty of those in his closet now, but the shirts had designer labels, the coats and jackets were Burberry and Hugo Boss and Dolce & Gabbana.
Like the clothes in Sebastian’s closet.
Like the expensive clothing Valentine had always worn.
She closed the closet door and sat down on Jace’s bed, telling herself she was being stupid. Designer clothes were nothing to get worked up about. There were other things in the room that spoke of the Jace she had always known — the neatness, the arranging his weapons on top of his dresser in order of size, the books on the nightstand. He always used a thin dagger as a bookmark; that hadn’t changed. The photo of the two of them, stuck to the wall. Even the citrusy soap in his bathroom was the same soap he always used —
She heard steps on the staircase, voices. Sebastian’s rose: “Where is she?”
She barely had time to switch off the light, fling herself down on the bed and curl up with her head on the pillow when the door opened. Jace stood there framed in the hallway glow, Sebastian behind him. She raised herself up on her elbow, blinking sleepily at them despite the racing of her heart. “Did you guys just get back?”
Jace gave Sebastian a look — a look that said clearly: I told you she’d be here. “Didn’t you hear us come upstairs?”
She shook her head. “Sorry, I got tired. I think I’m still exhausted from staying up till dawn the other night.” She looked at Jace demurely. “I was feeling a little lonely, so I thought if I curled up in your bed …”
Do I sound like I mean it? His face had relaxed, but Sebastian was looking at her as if his gaze could piece through her like clear glass, and he was amused at what he saw.
She sat up, shaking her hair back, and reached for the lamp on the nightstand. “Don’t —” Jace began, but she had already flipped it on.
She stiffened. The two boys looked down at her, Jace with some concern and Sebastian with his usual quirky edge of half-amusement. His dark eyes met hers with the message they always held, the one she tried not to read: We know, you and I. We know the truth.
But none of that was what had made her stiffen. It was that both of them were was splattered with blood — there was a smear of it across Jace’s cheek, staining his sleeves, and a rent in his shirt, its edges dark and stiff with dried blood, though the skin underneath was unmarked. Sebastian, though — Sebastian had blood even in his white-silver hair, and on his clothes, and on his hands so thick it looked as if he were wearing red gloves. The silver bracelet he wore around the wrist where his hand had regenerated was spotted with red.
Clary heard her own voice as if from very far away. “What happened?”
“We ran into a little trouble,” Sebastian said. “Nothing we couldn’t handle.” He tilted his head to the side. “You look as pale as a ghost, little sis. Don’t tell me you haven’t seen worse. We’re Shadowhunters. This is what we do.”
“Of course.” Clary spoke mechanically. “I just wouldn’t want you to get hurt.”
“Then you’ve nothing to worry about. Most of this isn’t either of our blood.”
She swallowed against her dry throat. “So whose is it?”

A Sea Change

Outtake from City of Lost Souls

Maia was waiting for them in MacCarren Park, on one of the narrow paths dusted with the skeletons of fallen leaves. She wore a gray leather jacket and a soft pink hat, pulled down over her ears, from which her wildly curling hair escaped in a golden-brown halo. She waved tentatively as they neared her; the first words out of her mouth were:
“Did you hear about Luke?”
They all nodded — Simon had told Isabelle and Jordan what he knew on the L-train ride over — and she fell into step beside Jordan as they went through the park, a moving foursome. Jordan had his hands in his pockets and was talking quietly to Maia, werewolf to werewolf. Simon glanced at Isabelle,walking silently beside him.
Weak November sunlight had come out from behind the clouds and picked out reddish highlights in her hair. She smelled like his own apple shampoo and Shadowhunter. “So,” he said. “Do you want me to ask why you were passed out in my bed last night when I came home, or not?”
“I didn’t pass out in your bed,” she said, as they swung left on Manhattan Avenue. The G train stop was there, and a guy was leaning against the railing, picking out a tuneless song on a guitar. Across the street was a Thrifty store where you could still get ice cream cones for 50 cents. “I passed out in your living room and Jordan put me in your bedroom.”
“He did?”
“Well, if it wasn’t Jordan, someone broke into your house and put me in your bed. Personally I prefer the Jordan theory. Less creepy.”
“It’s not that, it — what were you doing, drunk, with Jordan? He doesn’t drink much.”
“I’d imagine not. He has awful taste in tequila.”
“Iz.” Simon put his hand on her wrist. “I only want to know why you came over.”
She turned her head away from him, her shining black hair slipping across her back. There was a small Mark on the lower left side of her throat, just above her collarbone. It looked vulnerable, somehow. Simon wanted to brush it with his fingertips, but kept his hands in his pockets. “Everything sucks,” she said. “I saw Helen and Aline last night. We had dinner. They’re just so happy, and I keep thinking —” She bit her lip. “My parents are getting divorced, I think,” she said. “Alec is happy but I never see him. Jace is [redacted-sorry guys!]. Max is dead. Clary —”
“I get it,” he said, gently. “You needed someone to talk to and you couldn’t think of anyone else.”
“No!” Isabelle said, frustration clear in her voice. “I wanted to talk to you. I always — I mean, I like to talk to you. Even if things weren’t like this, I would . . . “ She looked at him, sidelong. “I mean, we did date.”
“But it wasn’t — it was never serious,” Simon said awkwardly. “I didn’t think you wanted . . .”
“Did you? Want it to be serious?” Isabelle asked. There was a certain stiffness in her voice — pride, Simon guessed. Isabelle wasn’t the sort of girl who made the first move with guys. She wasn’t the sort of girl who had to.
“Did you?”
Isabelle made an exasperated noise. “Look, I didn’t come by last night because you’re number six on some list and everyone else is unavailable. I came because — I like you. You make me feel better. Maybe it’s something about your face.”
“My face makes you feel better?” So she was saying he was reassuring, sweet, dependable, all of those things; things he knew Clary thought he was; things that hadn’t helped her look at him instead of Jace, not for five minutes. And Isabelle liked her guys dangerous, not . . . reassuring. Reassuring was for stuffed animals. How could you be a vampire and not be sexually threatening? He wasn’t sure, but somehow, he’d managed it.
He was saved more torturous conversation by their arrival at Magnus’ apartment, the lobby of which, as usual, smelled like a combination of cat pee and old pizza. Simon made his way up the stairs after Isabelle — remembering the first time he’d been here, crushed out on Izzy and secretly hoping to make Clary jealous, not that that had worked. Magnus’ apartment had been full of rainbow smoke and Downworlders; now, as they filed in, it was quiet and full of late morning sunlight.
Magnus, Jocelyn and Alec were seated around a long rectangular table. Magnus was clutching a cup of coffee, wearing a dark green jumpsuit with yellow racing stripes, his dark hair an unruly mass of bed-head. Alec looked like . . . Alec. He raised his eyebrows at his sister as she came into the room, but didn’t seem inclined to kill either her, or Simon.
But Jocelyn looked at Simon with eyes as piercing as nails.“Where’s Clary?” she said, tightly.

And Immortality

Deleted scene from the Seelie Court in CoLS

This time, when Clary rang the bell, instead of finding themselves in the dark corridor before the Queen’s chamber, she and Simon landed in a dank, mildew-smelling cave, the walls trickling with cold water, the ground muddy and brown beneath their feet. Several passages led off what seemed to be the main chamber. As she turned, Clary’s boots slipped on the wet stone, and she caught Simon’s arm to steady herself.
He was glancing up, looking around at the walls of the cave, his dark eyes curious. He put a hand to the stone and took it away, showing her the way his palm was shining. “Look,” he said. “Phosphorescent moss.”`
“Faeries used to use it to make torches,” Clary said, remembering her Codex. “That, and trapped will-o-the-wisps in glass.”
“Come on.” Simon tugged her gently forward toward one of the darkened passages that tunneled into the wall.
“Do you know where you’re going?”
“When in doubt, head upward,” he said. “I learned that in Boy Scouts. Besides, I can see perfectly well in the dark.”
“So can I, if I make a night vision rune — oh!” Clary gasped, and they both came to a halt as Meliorn appeared before them, his white armor shining like witchlight in the dimness. There was an unpleasant expression in his pale eyes.
“So you have returned to our lands, human and liar,” he said to Clary. “You are either very brave or very stupid to desire to come before the Queen after the trick you attempted to play on her.”
“I wouldn’t say it was an attempt,” said Clary. “Last time I looked, it worked.”
“Yeah,” said Simon. Clary glanced sideways at him, and he shrugged. “Just backing you up.”
“What prevents me killing you here and taking the prize from you?” Meliorn inquired, emotionlessly.
“Two things,” Clary said, ticking them off on her fingers. “One, I don’t have it on me. He does.” She indicated Simon. “Good luck trying to kill him. Two, if you do, the Queen will never find out what I wanted, and you know she’s curious. If she wasn’t, she would have taken the whistle away from me, not let me keep it.”
Meliorn sighed. “You are the worst kind of stupid. The kind that thinks it is clever. Very well, little human Nephilim. Follow me. Perhaps, if you are lucky, the Queen will let you live.” He turned and stalked off down the passage.
“Remember when we thought faeries were little creatures who lived in toadstools and wore buttercup hats?” Clary looked over at Simon as they both began to follow the faerie knight. “Wasn’t that awesome?”
Simon grinned, a flash in the darkness, and squeezed her hand.


Clary shook her head. “There’s more to honesty than … than an arrangement of words. They say faeries can’t lie, but you lie in your intentions, your attitude, your demeanor —”
“And humans do not?” The Queen’s gaze slid across Clary and Simon. “This vampire, this Daylighter you bring everywhere with you — he is the one whose kiss you did not desire, here in my Court, is he not? Do you care for him at all, or is only the Mark of God on him that causes you to bring him with you, like a shield? And you,” she added, turning to Simon, “you who loved her, now you lend your not inconsiderable power to the project of finding the one she loves more? Where is the advantage to you?”
Simon cleared his throat. “Perhaps that is the difference between my kind and yours,” he said. “Sometimes we do things that aren’t to our advantage.”
“Ah,” said the Queen. “Stupidity, you mean.”
“I wouldn’t call it that.” Clary couldn’t help being impressed — the last time they had been here Simon had been too uncomfortable and out of his depth to say more than a few words; now he was holding his ground. “Now, do you want the ___ or not? We have business to attend to.”
“I could take it from you,” said the Queen. “The girl will not be difficult to dispose of, and as for you, Daylighter, those who serve me serve with their lives. A suicide rush could greatly inconvenience you, despite your curse.” She ran her eyes over him lingeringly.
“I am the adopted daughter of Council member Lucian Graymark,” said Clary. “I am close with the Lightwoods of the Insititute. Is it worth earning their wrath and ire just to revenge yourself upon me for tricking you? Besides — I’ve always heard that faeries appreciated cleverness. You wouldn’t want it said that you can’t appreciate a good trick, even at your own expense, would you?”
Clary saw by the narrowing of the Queen’s eyes that she had gambled hard — maybe too hard — on the faerie woman’s pride; but a moment later, the Queen was smiling, and the creatures in the walls shrieked appreciatively. “Tricky like your father,” she said, and Clary felt it like a kick in the stomach. “Very well. What would you like of me in return for the ___? I shall decide if your proposal merits a negotiation.”