City of Fallen Angels
Page 18

 Cassandra Clare

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"His real name isn't Garroway," said Jace. "He used to be a Shadowhunter."
"Right. I heard that, too. And now he's been instrumental with all the new Accords stuff." Kyle glanced at Simon. "You know some important people."
"Important people are a lot of trouble," Simon said. "Camille, for instance."
"Once Luke tells Maryse what's going on, the Clave will take care of her," said Jace. "There are protocols for dealing with rogue Downworlders." At that, Kyle looked at him sideways, but Jace didn't seem to notice. "I already told you I don't think she's the one trying to kill you. She knows-" Jace broke off. "She knows better than that."
"And besides, she wants to use you," Kyle said.
"Good point," said Jace. "No one's going to off a valuable resource."
Simon looked from one of them to the other, and shook his head. "When did you two get so buddy-buddy? Last night it was all, 'I'm the most elite warrior!' 'No, I'm the most elite warrior!' And today you're playing Halo and giving each other props for good ideas."
"We realized we have something in common," said Jace. "You annoy us both."
"In that vein, I had a thought," Simon said. "I don't think either of you are going to like it, though."
Kyle raised his eyebrows. "Let's hear it."
"The problem with you guys watching me all the time," Simon said, "is that if you do, the guys trying to kill me won't try it again, and if they don't try it again, then we won't know who they are, and plus, you'll have to watch me all the time. And I assume you have other things you'd rather be doing. Well," he added in Jace's direction, "possibly you don't."
"So?" said Kyle. "What's your suggestion?"
"We lure them out. Get them to attack again. Try to capture one of them and find out who sent them."
"If I recall," said Jace, "I had this idea the other day, and you didn't like it much."
"I was tired," Simon said. "But now I've been thinking. And so far, in my experience with evildoers, they don't go away just because you ignore them. They keep on coming in different ways. So either I make these guys come to me, or I spend forever waiting for them to attack again."
"I'm in," Jace said, though Kyle still looked dubious. "So do you just want to go out and wander around until they show up again?"
"I thought I'd make it easy for them. Show up somewhere everyone knows I'm supposed to be."
"You mean ...?" said Kyle.
Simon pointed to the flyer taped to the fridge. MILLENNIUM LINT, OCTOBER 16, THE ALTO BAR, BROOKLYN. 9 P.M. "I mean the gig. Why not?" His headache was still there, full force; he pushed it back, trying not to think about how exhausted he was, or how he'd push himself through the gig. He had to get more blood somehow. Had to.
Jace's eyes were shining. "You know, that's actually a pretty good idea there, vampire."
"You want them to attack you onstage?" Kyle asked.
"It'll make for an exciting show," said Simon, with more bravado than he really felt. The idea of being attacked one more time was almost more than he could stand, even if he didn't fear for his personal safety. He wasn't sure he could bear to watch the Mark of Cain do its work again.
Jace shook his head. "They don't attack in public. They'll wait till after the show. And we'll be there to deal with them."
Kyle shook his head. "I don't know..."
They went a few more rounds, Jace and Simon on one side of the argument and Kyle on the other. Simon felt a little guilty. If Kyle knew about the Mark, he'd be a lot easier to persuade. Eventually he cracked under the pressure and reluctantly agreed to what he continued to insist was "a stupid plan."
"But," he said finally, getting to his feet and brushing bagel crumbs off his shirt, "I'm only doing this because I realize that you'll both just do it whether I agree or not. So I might as well be there." He looked at Simon. "Who would have thought protecting you from yourself would be so hard?"
"I could have told you that," Jace said, as Kyle threw a jacket on and headed to the door. He had to work, he'd explained to them. It appeared he really was a bike messenger; the Praetor Lupus, despite having a badass name, didn't pay that well. The door closed behind him, and Jace turned back to Simon. "So, the gig's at nine, right? What do we do with the rest of the day?"
"We?" Simon looked at him in disbelief. "Are you ever going home?"
"What, bored with my company already?"
"Let me ask you something," Simon said. "Do you find me fascinating to be around?"
"What was that?" Jace said. "Sorry, I think I fell asleep for a moment. Do, continue with whatever mesmerizing thing you were saying."
"Stop it," Simon said. "Stop being sarcastic for a second. You're not eating, you're not sleeping. You know who else isn't? Clary. I don't know what's going on with you and her, because frankly she hasn't said anything about it. I assume she doesn't want to talk about it either. But it's pretty obvious you're having a fight. And if you're going to break up with her-"
"Break up with her?" Jace stared at him. "Are you insane?"
"If you keep avoiding her," Simon said, "she's going to break up with you."
Jace got to his feet. His easy relaxation was gone; he was all tension now, like a prowling cat. He went to the window and twitched the curtain back restlessly; the late-morning light came through the gap, bleaching the color in his eyes. "I have reasons for the things I do," he said finally.
"Great," Simon said. "Does Clary know them?"
Jace said nothing.
"All she does is love you and trust you," said Simon. "You owe her-"
"There are more important things than honesty," said Jace. "You think I like hurting her? You think I like knowing that I'm making her angry, maybe making her hate me? Why do you think I'm here?" He looked at Simon with a bleak sort of rage. "I can't be with her," he said. "And if I can't be with her, it doesn't really matter to me where I am. I might as well be with you, because at least if she knew I was trying to protect you, that might make her happy."
"So you're trying to make her happy despite the fact that the reason she's unhappy in the first place is you," said Simon, not very kindly. "That seems contradictory, doesn't it?"
"Love is a contradiction," said Jace, and turned back to the window.
Chapter 8
Clary had forgotten how much she hated the smell of hospitals until they walked through the front doors of Beth Israel. Sterility, metal, old coffee, and not enough bleach to cover up the stench of sickness and misery. The memory of her mother's illness, of Jocelyn lying unconscious and unresponsive in her nest of tubes and wires, hit her like a slap in the face, and she sucked in a breath, trying not to taste the air.
"Are you all right?" Jocelyn pulled the hood of her coat down and looked at Clary, her green eyes anxious.
Clary nodded, hunching her shoulders into her jacket, and looked around. The lobby was all cold marble, metal, and plastic. There was a big information desk behind which several women, probably nurses, were milling; signs pointed the way to the ICU, Radiation, Surgical Oncology, Pediatrics, and so on. She could probably have found the cafeteria in her sleep; she'd brought Luke enough tepid cups of coffee from there to fill the Central Park reservoir.
"Excuse me." A slender nurse pushing an old man in a wheelchair went past them, nearly rolling the wheels over Clary's toes. Clary looked after her-there had been something-a shimmer-
"Don't stare, Clary," Jocelyn said under her breath. She put her arm around Clary's shoulders, turning them both so that they faced the doors that led to the waiting room for the lab where people got their blood taken. Clary could see herself and her mother reflected in the dark glass of the doors. Though she was still half a head shorter than her mother, they really did look alike, didn't they? In the past she'd always shrugged it off when people said that. Jocelyn was beautiful, and she wasn't. But the shape of their eyes and mouths were the same, as were their red hair and green eyes and slight hands. How had she gotten so little of Valentine's looks, Clary wondered, when her brother had gotten them all? He had had their father's fair hair and startling dark eyes. Though maybe, she thought, if she looked closely, she could see a little of Valentine in the stubborn set of her jaw...
"Jocelyn." They both turned. The nurse who had been pushing the old man in the wheelchair was standing in front of them. She was slim, young-looking, dark-skinned, and dark-eyed-and then, as Clary looked at her, the glamour peeled away. She was still a slight, youthful-looking woman, but now her skin was dark blue, and her hair, twisted up into a knot at the back of her head, was snowy white. The blue of her skin contrasted shockingly with her pale pink scrubs.
"Clary," Jocelyn said. "This is Catarina Loss. She took care of me while I was here. She's also a friend of Magnus's."
"You're a warlock." The words came out of Clary's mouth before she could stop them.
"Shhh." The warlock woman looked horrified. She glared at Jocelyn. "I don't remember you saying you were going to bring your daughter along. She's just a kid."
"Clarissa can behave herself." Jocelyn looked sternly at Clary. "Can't you?"
Clary nodded. She'd seen warlocks before, other than Magnus, at the battle in Idris. All warlocks had some feature that marked them out as not human, she'd learned, like Magnus's cat eyes. Some had wings or webbed toes or taloned fingers. But having entirely blue skin was something it would be hard to hide with contacts or oversize jackets. Catarina Loss must have had to glamour herself every day just to go outside-especially working in a mundane hospital.
The warlock jerked her thumb toward the elevators. "Come on. Come with me. Let's get this done fast."
Clary and Jocelyn hurried after her to the bank of elevators and into the first one whose doors opened. As the doors slid shut behind them with a hiss, Catarina pressed a button marked simply M. There was an indentation in the metal beside it that indicated that floor M could be reached only with an access key, but as she touched the button, a blue spark leaped from her finger and the button lit up. The elevator began to move downward.
Catarina was shaking her head. "If you weren't a friend of Magnus Bane's, Jocelyn Fairchild-"
"Fray," Jocelyn said. "I go by Jocelyn Fray now."
"No more Shadowhunter names for you?" Catarina smirked; her lips were startlingly red against her blue skin. "What about you, little girl? You going to be a Shadowhunter like your dad?"
Clary tried to hide her annoyance. "No," she said. "I'm going to be a Shadowhunter, but I'm not going to be like my father. And my name's Clarissa, but you can call me Clary."
The elevator came to a stop; the doors slid open. The warlock woman's blue eyes rested on Clary for a moment. "Oh, I know your name," she said. "Clarissa Morgenstern. Little girl who stopped a big war."
"I guess so." Clary walked out of the elevator after Catarina, her mother close behind. "Were you there? I don't remember seeing you."
"Catarina was here," said Jocelyn, a little breathless from hurrying to keep up. They were walking down an almost totally featureless hallway; there were no windows, and no doors along the corridor. The walls were painted a sickly pale green. "She helped Magnus use the Book of the White to wake me up. Then she stayed behind to watch over it while he returned to Idris."
"To watch over the book?"
"It's a very important book," said Catarina, her rubber-soled shoes slapping against the floor as she hurried ahead.
"I thought it was a very important war," Clary muttered under her breath.
They had finally reached a door. There was a square of frosted glass set in it, and the word "morgue" was painted on it in large black letters. Catarina turned with her hand on the knob, a look of amusement on her face, and gazed at Clary. "I learned early on in my life that I had a healing gift," she said. "It's the kind of magic I do. So I work here, for crap pay, at this hospital, and I do what I can to heal mundanes who would scream if they knew what I really looked like. I could make a fortune selling my skills to Shadowhunters and dumb mundanes who think they know what magic is, but I don't. I work here. So don't get all high-and-mighty on me, little redheaded girl. You're no better than me, just because you're famous."
Clary's cheeks flamed. She had never thought of herself as famous before. "You're right," she said. "I'm sorry."
The warlock's blue eyes flicked to Jocelyn, who looked white and tense. "You ready?"
Jocelyn nodded, and looked at Clary, who nodded as well. Catarina pushed the door open, and they followed her into the morgue.
The first thing that struck Clary was the chill. It was freezing inside the room, and she hastily zipped her jacket. The second was the smell, the harsh stench of cleaning products overlaying the sweetish odor of decay. Yellowish light flooded down from the fluorescent lights overhead. Two large, bare exam tables stood in the center of the room; there was a sink as well, and a metal stand with a scale on it for weighing organs. Along one wall was a bank of steel compartments, like safe-deposit boxes in a bank, but much bigger. Catarina crossed the room to one, took hold of the handle, and pulled it; it slid out on rollers. Inside, lying on a metal slab, was the body of an infant.
Jocelyn made a little noise in her throat. A moment later she had hurried to Catarina's side; Clary followed more slowly. She had seen dead bodies before-she had seen Max Lightwood's dead body, and she had known him. He had been only nine years old. But a baby-
Jocelyn put her hand over her mouth. Her eyes were very large and dark, fixed on the body of the child. Clary looked down. At first glance the baby-a boy-looked normal. He had all ten fingers and all ten toes. But looking closer-looking the way she would look if she wanted to see past a glamour-she saw that the child's fingers were not fingers at all, but claws, curving inward, sharply pointed. The child's skin was gray, and its eyes, wide open and staring, were absolutely black-not just the irises, but the whites as well.