City of lost souls, p.48
Larger Font   Reset Font Size   Smaller Font       Night Mode Off   Night Mode

       City of Lost Souls, p.48
 

         Part #5 of The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare
Page 48

 

  And youd use it on Sebastian? It would burn them apart without killing them?

  Well, thats the idea. I mean, there is some chance it would destroy Sebastian. It would depend on if theres any good left in him. "If hes more Hells than Heavens" I think is what the Angel said-

  The Angel? Her alarm was palpable. Simon, what have you-

  Her voice broke off, and Simon was suddenly filled with a clamor of emotion-surprise, anger, terror. Pain. He cried out, sitting bolt upright.

  Clary?

  But there was only silence, ringing in his head.

  Clary! he cried out, and then, aloud, he said: "Damn. Shes gone again. "

  "What happened?" Isabelle demanded. "Is she all right? Whats going on?"

  "I think we have a lot less time than we thought," Simon said in a voice much calmer than he felt. "Magnus, pull the truck over. We have to talk. "

  "So," Sebastian said, filling the doorway as he looked down at Clary. "Would it be deja vu if I asked you what you were doing in my room, little sister?"

  Clary swallowed against her suddenly dry throat. The light in the hallway was bright behind Sebastian, turning him into a silhouette. She couldnt see the expression on his face. "Looking for you?" she hazarded.

  "Youre sitting on my bed," he said. "Did you think I was under it?"

  "I. . . "

  He walked into the room-sauntered, really, as if he knew something she didnt. Something no one else knew. "So why were you looking for me? And why havent you changed for the ceremony?"

  "The dress," she said. "It-doesnt fit. "

  "Of course it fits," he said, sitting down on the bed beside her. He turned to face her, his back to the headboard. "Everything else in that room fits you. This should fit you too. "

  "Its silk and chiffon. It doesnt stretch. "

  "Youre a skinny little thing. It shouldnt have to. " He took her right wrist, and she curled her fingers in, desperately trying to hide the ring. "Look, my fingers go right around your wrist. "

  His skin felt hot against hers, sending sharp prickles through her nerves. She remembered the way, in Idris, his touch had burned her like acid. "The Seventh Sacred Site," she said, not looking at him. "Is that where Jace went?"

  "Yes. I sent him ahead. Hes readying things for our arrival. Well meet him there. "

  Her heart dived inside her chest. "Hes not coming back?"

  "Not before the ceremony. " She caught the curling edge of Sebastians smile. "Which is good, because hed be so disappointed when I told him about this. " He slid his hand swiftly over hers, uncurling her fingers. The gold ring blazed there, like a signal fire. "Did you think I wouldnt recognize faerie work? Do you think the Queen is such a fool that she would send you off to retrieve these for her without knowing you would keep them for yourself? She wanted you to bring this here, where I would find it. " He jerked the ring off her finger with a smirk.

  "Youve been in contact with the Queen?" Clary demanded. "How?"

  "With this ring," Sebastian purred, and Clary remembered the Queen saying in her high sweet voice, Jonathan Morgenstern could be a powerful ally. The Fair Folk are an old people; we do not make hasty decisions but wait to see in what direction the wind blows first. "Do you really think shed let you get your hands on something that would let you communicate with your little friends without her being able to listen in? Since I took it from you, Ive spoken to her, shes spoken to me-you were a fool to trust her, little sister. She likes to be on the winning side of things, the Seelie Queen. And that side will be ours, Clary. Ours. " His voice was low and soft. "Forget them, your Shadowhunter friends. Your place is with us. With me. Your blood cries out for power, like mine does. Whatever your mother may have done to twist your conscience, you know who you are. " His hand caught at her wrist again, pulling her toward him. "Jocelyn made all the wrong decisions. She sided with the Clave against her family. This is your chance to rectify her mistake. "

  She tried to pull her arm back. "Let me go, Sebastian. I mean it. "

  His hand slid up from her wrist, encircling her upper arm with his fingers. "Youre such a little thing. Whod think you were such a spitfire? Especially in bed. "

  She leaped to her feet, jerking away from him. "What did you just say?"

  He rose as well, his lips curving up at the corners. He was so much taller than she was, almost exactly as much taller as Jace was. He leaned in close to her when he spoke, and his voice was low and rough. "Everything that marks Jace, marks me," he said. "Down to your fingernails. " He was grinning. "Eight parallel scratches on my back, little sister. Are you saying you didnt put them there?"

  A soft explosion went off in her head, like a dull firework of rage. She looked at his laughing face, and she thought of Jace, and of Simon, and the words theyd just exchanged. If the Queen really could eavesdrop on her conversations, then she might know about Glorious already. But Sebastian didnt know. Couldnt know.

  She snatched the ring from his hand, and threw it to the ground. She heard him give a shout, but shed already brought her foot down on it, feeling it give way, the gold smashing to powder.

  He looked at her incredulously as she drew her foot back. "You-"

  She drew back her right hand, the strongest one, and drove her fist into his stomach.

  He was taller, broader, and stronger than she was, but she had the element of surprise. He doubled over, choking, and she snatched the stele from his weapons belt. Then she ran.

  Magnus jerked the wheel to the side so fast that the tires screeched. Isabelle shrieked. They bumped up onto the shoulder of the road, under the shadow of a copse of partly leafless trees.

  The next thing Simon knew, the doors were open and everyone was tumbling out onto the blacktop. The sun was going down, and the headlights of the truck were on, lighting them all with an eerie glow.

  "All right, vampire boy," said Magnus, shaking his head hard enough to shed glitter. "What the hell is going on?"

  Alec leaned against the truck as Simon explained, repeating the conversation with Clary as accurately as he could before the whole thing flew out of his head.

  "Did she say anything about getting her and Jace out of there?" Isabelle asked when he was done, her face pale in the yellowish glow from the headlights.

  "No," said Simon. "And Iz-I dont think Jace wants to get out. He wants to be where he is. "

  Isabelle crossed her arms and looked down at her boots, her black hair sweeping across her face.

  "Whats this Seventh Sacred Site business?" said Alec. "I know about the seven wonders of the world, but seven sacred sites?"

  "Theyre more in the interest of warlocks than Nephilim," said Magnus. "Each is a place where ley lines converge, forming a matrix-a sort of net within which magical spells are amplified. The seventh is a stone tomb in Ireland, at Poll na mBron; the name means the cavern of sorrows. Its in a very bleak, uninhabited area called the Burren. A good place to raise a demon, if its a big one. " He tugged at a spike of hair. "This is bad. Really bad. "

  "You think he could do it? Make-dark Shadowhunters?" Simon asked.

  "Everything has an alliance, Simon. The alliance of the Nephilim is seraphic, but if it were demonic, theyd still be as strong, as powerful as they are now. But they would be dedicated to the eradication of mankind instead of its salvation. "

  "We have to get there," Isabelle said. "We have to stop them. "

  "Him, you mean," said Alec. "We have to stop him. Sebastian. "

  "Jace is his ally now. You have to accept that, Alec," Magnus said. A light misty drizzle had begun to fall. The drops gleamed like gold in the headlights glow. "Ireland is five hours ahead. Theyre doing the ceremony at midnight. Its five oclock here. We have an hour and a half-two hours, at most-to stop them. "

  "Then, we shouldnt be waiting. We should be going," Isabelle said, a tinge of panic in her voice. "If were going to stop him-"

  "Iz, there are only four of us," Alec said. "We dont even know what kin
d of numbers were up against-"

  Simon glanced at Magnus, who was watching Alec and Isabelle argue with a peculiarly detached expression. "Magnus," Simon said. "Why didnt we just Portal to the farm? You Portaled half of Idris to Brocelind Plain. "

  "I wanted to give you enough time to change your mind," said Magnus, not taking his eyes off his boyfriend.

  "But we can Portal from here," Simon said. "I mean, you could do that for us. "

  "Yeah," Magnus said. "But like Alec says, we dont know what were up against in terms of numbers. Im a pretty powerful warlock, but Jonathan Morgenstern is no ordinary Shadowhunter, and neither is Jace, for that matter. And if they succeed in raising Lilith-shell be a lot weaker than she was, but shes still Lilith. "

  "But shes dead," said Isabelle. "Simon killed her. "

  "Greater Demons dont die," said Magnus. "Simon. . . scattered her between worlds. It will take a long time for her to re-form and she will be weak for years. Unless Sebastian calls her up again. " He pushed a hand through his wet, spiked hair.

  "We have the sword," Isabelle said. "We can take out Sebastian. We have Magnus, and Simon-"

  "We dont even know if the sword will work," said Alec. "And it wont do us much good if we cant get to Sebastian. And Simon isnt even Mr. Indestructible anymore. He can be killed just like the rest of us. "

  They all looked at Simon. "We have to try," he said. "Look-we dont know how many are going to be there, no. We have a little time. Not a lot, but enough-if we Portal-to grab some reinforcements. "

  "Reinforcements from where?" Isabelle demanded.

  "Ill go to Maia and Jordan back at the apartment," said Simon, his mind quickly ticking over possibilities. "See if Jordan can get any assistance from the Praetor Lupus. Magnus, go to the downtown police station, see about enlisting whatever members of the pack are around. Isabelle and Alec-"

  "Youre splitting us up?" Isabelle demanded, her voice rising. "What about fire-messages, or-"

  "No ones going to trust a fire-message about something like this," said Magnus. "And besides, fire-messages are for Shadowhunters. Do you really want to communicate this information to the Clave via fire-message instead of going to the Institute yourself?"

  "Fine. " Isabelle stalked around to the side of the car. She yanked the door open, but didnt get inside: instead she reached in, and drew out Glorious. It shone in the dim light like a bolt of dark lightning, the words carved on the blade flickering in the car light: Quis ut Deus?

  The rain was starting to paste Isabelles black hair to her neck. She looked formidable as she walked back to rejoin the group. "Then we leave the car here. We split up, but we meet back at the Institute in an hour. Thats when we leave, whoever we have with us. " She met each of her companions eyes, one by one, daring them to challenge her. "Simon, take this. "

  She held out Glorious to him, hilt-forward.

  "Me?" Simon was startled. "But I dont-I havent really used a sword before. "

  "You called it down," Isabelle said, her dark eyes glossy in the rain. "The Angel gave it to you, Simon, and you will be the one who carries it. "

  Clary dashed down the hallway and hit the steps with a clatter, racing for the downstairs and for the spot on the wall that Jace had told her was the only entrance and exit from the apartment.

  She had no illusions that she could escape. She needed only a few moments to do what had to be done. She heard Sebastians boots loud on the glass staircase behind her, and put on a burst of speed, almost slamming into the wall. She jammed the stele into it point-first, drawing frantically: a pattern as simple as a cross, new to the world-

  Sebastians fist closed on the back of her jacket, jerking her backward, the stele flying out of her hand. She gasped as he swung her up off her feet and slammed her into the wall, knocking the breath out of her. He glanced at the mark she had made on the wall, and his lips curled into a sneer.

  "The Opening rune?" he said. He leaned forward and hissed into her ear. "And you didnt even finish it. Not that it matters. Do you really think theres a place on this earth you could go where I couldnt find you?"

  Clary responded with an epithet that would have gotten her kicked out of class at St. Xaviers. Just as he started to laugh, she raised her hand and slapped him across the face so hard, her fingers stung. In his surprise he loosened his grip on her, and she jerked away from him and flipped herself over the table, making for the downstairs bedroom, which at least had a lock on the door-

  And he was in front of her, grabbing the lapels of her jacket and swinging her around. Her feet went out from under her, and she would have fallen if he hadnt pinned her to the wall with his body, his arms to either side, making a cage around her.

  His grin was diabolical. Gone was the stylish boy whod strolled by the Seine with her and drunk hot chocolate and talked about belonging. His eyes were all black, no pupil, like tunnels. "Whats wrong, little sis? You look upset. "

  She could barely catch her breath. "Cracked. . . my. . . nail polish slapping your. . . worthless face. See?" She showed him her finger-just one of them.

  "Cute. " He snorted. "You know how I knew youd betray us? How I knew you wouldnt be able to help it? Because youre too much like me. "

  He pressed her back harder against the wall. She could feel his chest rise and fall against hers. She was at eye level with the straight, sharp line of his collarbone. His body felt like a prison around hers, pinning her in place. "Im nothing like you. Let me go-"

  "Youre everything like me," he growled into her ear. "You infiltrated us. You faked friendship, faked caring. "

 
Turn Navi Off
Turn Navi On
Scroll Up
Scroll