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Part On e

Exte rmi nati ng Ange l s
The re are s ickne s s e s that walk in darkne s s ; and the re are e xte
rminating ange ls , that fly wrapt
up in the curtains of immate riality and an uncommunicating nature ; whom we
cannot s e e , but
we fe e l the ir force , and s ink unde r the ir sword.
—Jeremy Ta ylor, “A Funera l Sermon”
“Just coffee, plea se.”
The wa itress ra ised her p enciled eyebrows. “You don’t wa nt a nything
to ea t?” she a sked.
Her a ccent wa s thick, her a ttitude disa p p ointed.
Simon Lewis couldn’t blame her; she’d p roba bly been hop ing for a bet
ter tip tha n the one
she wa s going to get on a single cup of coʃee. But it wa sn’t his
fa ult vamp ires didn’t ea t.
Sometimes, in resta ura nts, he ordered food a nywa y, just to p res
erve the a p p ea ra nce of
norma lcy, but la te Tuesda y night, when Veselka wa s a lmost emp t
y of other customers, it
didn’t seem worth the bother. “Just the cof fee.”
With a shrug the wa itress took his lamina ted menu a nd went to p
ut his order in. Simon
sa t ba ck a ga inst the ha rd p la stic diner cha ir a nd looked a ro
und. Veselka , a diner on the
corner of Ninth Street a nd Second Avenue, wa s one of his fa vori
te p la ces on the Lower Ea st
Side—a n old neighborhood ea tery p a p ered with bla ck-a nd-white mura ls
, where they let you
sit a ll da y a s long a s you ordered coʃee a t ha lf -hour interva ls
. They a lso served wha t ha d
once been his fa vorite vegeta ria n p ierogi a nd borscht, but those da ys wer
e behind him now.
It wa s mid-October, a nd they’d just p ut their Ha lloween decora tions
up—a wobbly sign
tha t sa id TRICK-OR-BORSCHT! a nd a fa ke ca rdboa rd cutout vamp ire
nicknamed Count Blintzula .
Once up on a time Simon a nd Cla ry ha d found the cheesy holida y
decora tions hila rious, but
the Count, with his fa ke fa ngs a nd bla ck ca p e, didn’t strike Si
mon a s quite so funny
a nymore.
Simon gla nced towa rd the window. It wa s a brisk night, a nd the wind wa s
blowing lea ves
a cross Second Avenue like ha ndfuls of thrown confetti. There wa s
a girl wa lking down the
street, a girl in a tight belted trench coa t, with long bla ck ha ir t
ha t ɻew in the wind. Peop le
turned to wa tch her a s she wa lked p a st. Simon ha d looked a t
girls like tha t before in the
p a st, idly wondering where they were going, who they were meeting.
Not guys like him, he
knew tha t much.
Excep t this one wa s. The bell on the diner’s front door ra ng a s
the door op ened, a nd

Isa belle Lightwood came in. She smiled when she saw Simon, a nd ca
me towa rd him,
shrugging oʃ her coa t a nd dra p ing it over the ba ck of the cha ir
before she sa t down. Under
the coa t she wa s wea ring one of wha t Cla ry ca lled her “typ ica l
Isa belle outɹts”: a tight
short velvet dress, ɹshnet stockings, a nd boots. There wa s a knife
stuck into the top of her
lef t boot tha t Simon knew only he could see; still, everyone in
the diner wa s wa tching a s
she sa t down, ɻinging her ha ir ba ck. Wha tever she wa s wea ring,
Isa belle drew a ttention
like a f ireworks disp la y.
Bea utiful Isa belle Lightwood. When Simon ha d met her, he’d a ssumed
she’d ha ve no time
for a guy like him. He’d turned out to be mostly right. Isa belle
liked boys her p a rents
disa p p roved of , a nd in her universe tha t mea nt Downworlders—fa eri
es, werewolves, a nd
vamp s. Tha t they’d been da ting regula rly for the p a st month or t
wo ama zed him, even if
their rela tionship wa s limited mostly to infrequent meetings like th
is one. And even if he
couldn’t help but wonder if he’d never been cha nged into a vamp ire,
if his whole life ha dn’t
been a ltered in tha t moment, would they be da ting a t a ll?
She tucked a lock of ha ir behind her ea r, her smile brillia nt. “You look ni
Simon ca st a gla nce a t himself in the reɻective surfa ce of the
diner window. Isa belle’s
inɻuence wa s clea r in the cha nges in his a p p ea ra nce since they’d
been da ting. She’d forced
him to ditch his hoodies in fa vor of lea ther ja ckets, a nd his
snea kers in fa vor of designer
boots. Which, incidenta lly, cost three hundred dolla rs a p a ir.
He wa s still wea ring his
cha ra cteristic word shirts—this one sa id EXISTENTIALISTS DO IT POINTLESS
LY—but his jea ns no longer
ha d holes in the knees a nd torn p ockets. He’d a lso grown his ha i
r long so tha t it fell in his
eyes now, covering his forehea d, but tha t wa s more necessity tha n Isa bell
Cla ry ma de fun of him a bout his new look; but, then, Cla ry f
ound everything a bout
Simon’s love life borderline hila rious. She couldn’t believe he wa s da
ting Isa belle in a ny
serious wa y. Of course, she a lso couldn’t believe he wa s a lso da
ting Ma ia Roberts, a friend
of theirs who ha p p ened to be a werewolf , in a n equa lly serious wa y. A
nd she rea lly couldn’t
believe tha t Simon ha dn’t yet told either of them a bout the other.
Simon wa sn’t rea lly sure how it ha d ha p p ened. Ma ia liked to co
me to his house a nd use
his Xbox—they didn’t ha ve one a t the a ba ndoned p olice sta tion where
the werewolf p a ck
lived—a nd it wa sn’t until the third or fourth time she’d come over tha t
she’d lea ned over
a nd kissed him good-bye before she’d lef t. He’d been p lea sed, a nd
then ha d ca lled up Cla ry
to a sk her if he needed to tell Isa belle. “Figure out wha t’s going

on with you a nd Isa belle,”
she sa id. “Then tell her.”
This ha d turned out to be ba d a dvice. It ha d been a month, a
nd he still wa sn’t sure wha t
wa s going on with him a nd Isa belle, so he ha dn’t sa id a nything.
And the more time tha t
p a ssed, the more awkwa rd the idea of sa ying something grew. So
fa r he’d ma de it work.
Isa belle a nd Ma ia weren’t rea lly friends, a nd ra rely saw ea ch o
ther. Unfortuna tely for him,
tha t wa s a bout to cha nge. Cla ry’s mother a nd her longtime friend,
Luke, were getting
ma rried in a few weeks, a nd both Isa belle a nd Ma ia were invit
ed to the wedding, a
p rosp ect Simon found more terrifying tha n the idea of being cha s
ed through the streets of
New York by a n a ngry mob of vamp ire hunters.
“So,” Isa belle sa id, sna p p ing him out of his reverie. “Why here a n
d not Ta ki’s? They’d
serve you blood there.”
Simon winced a t her volume. Isa belle wa s nothing if not unsubtle.
Fortuna tely, no one
seemed to be listening in, not even the wa itress who returned, ba nged
down a cup of coʃee
in front of Simon, eyed Izzy, a nd lef t without ta king her order.
“I like it here,” he sa id. “Cla ry a nd I used to come here ba ck when
she wa s ta king cla sses
a t Tisch. They ha ve grea t borscht a nd blintzes—they’re like sweet che
ese dump lings—p lus
it’s op en a ll night.”
Isa belle, however, wa s ignoring him. She wa s sta ring p a st his shoulder.
“Wha t is that?”
Simon followed her gla nce. “Tha t’s Count Blintzula .”
“Count Blintzula?”
Simon shrugged. “It’s a Ha lloween decora tion. Count Blintzula is for
kids. It’s like Count
Chocula , or the Count on Se s ame Stre e t.” He grinned a t her bla n
k look. “You know. He
tea ches kids how to count.”
Isa belle wa s sha king her hea d. “There’s a TV show where children a
re ta ught how to
count by a vampire ?”
“It would ma ke sense if you’d seen it,” Simon muttered.
“There is some mythologica l ba sis for such a construction,” Isa belle s
a id, la p sing into
lecturey Sha dowhunter mode. “Some legends do a ssert tha t vamp ires a
re obsessed with
counting, a nd tha t if you sp ill gra ins of rice in front of t
hem, they’ll ha ve to stop wha t
they’re doing a nd count ea ch one. There’s no truth in it, of course
, a ny more tha n tha t
business a bout ga rlic. And vamp ires ha ve no business tea ching chi
ldren. Vamp ires a re
“Tha nk you,” Simon sa id. “It’s a joke, Isa belle. He’s the Count. He li
kes counting. You
know. ‘Wha t did the Count ea t toda y, children? One chocola te chip
cookie, two chocola te
chip cookies, thre e chocola te chip cookies…’”
There wa s a rush of cold a ir a s the door of the resta ura nt

op ened, letting in a nother
customer. Isa belle shivered a nd rea ched for her bla ck silk sca rf . “It’s not
rea listic.”
“Wha t would you p refer? ‘Wha t did the Count ea t toda y, children? One
help less villa ger,
two help less villa gers, thre e help less villa gers…’”
“Shh.” Isa belle ɹnished knotting her sca rf a round her throa t a nd lea n
ed forwa rd, p utting
her ha nd on Simon’s wrist. Her big da rk eyes were a live suddenly,
the wa y they only ever
came a live when she wa s either hunting demons or thinking a bout hu
nting demons. “Look
over there.”
Simon followed her ga ze. There were two men sta nding over by the
gla ss-fronted ca se
tha t held ba kery items: thickly frosted ca kes, p la tes of rugela
ch, a nd cream-ɹlled Da nishes.
Neither of the men looked a s if they were interested in food, th
ough. Both were short a nd
p a infully ga unt, so much so tha t their cheekbones jutted from the
ir colorless fa ces like
knives. Both ha d thin gra y ha ir a nd p a le gra y eyes, a nd wore
belted sla te-colored coa ts tha t
rea ched the f loor.
“Now,” Isa belle sa id, “wha t do you sup p ose they a re?”
Simon squinted a t them. They both sta red ba ck a t him, their la
shless eyes like emp ty
holes. “They kind of look like evil lawn gnomes.”
“They’re huma n subjuga tes,” Isa belle hissed. “They belong to a vamp ire.”
“‘Belong’ a s in…?”
She ma de a n imp a tient noise. “By the Angel, you don’t know a nythin
g a bout your kind,
do you? Do you even rea lly know how vamp ires a re ma de?”
“Well, when a mommy vamp ire a nd a da ddy vamp ire love ea ch other very much…”
Isa belle ma de a fa ce a t him. “Fine, you know tha t vamp ires don’t
need to ha ve sex to
rep roduce, but I bet you don’t rea lly know how it works.”
“I do too,” sa id Simon. “I’m a vamp ire beca use I dra nk some of Ra p
ha el’s blood before I
died. Drinking blood p lus dea th equa ls vamp ire.”
“Not exa ctly,” sa id Isa belle. “You’re a vamp ire beca use you dra nk some
of Ra p ha el’s
blood, a nd then you were bitten by other vamp ires, a nd the n you
died. You need to be
bitten a t some p oint during the p rocess.”
“Vamp ire sa liva ha s … p rop erties. Tra nsforma tive p rop erties.”
“Yech,” sa id Simon.
“Don’t ‘yech’ me. You’re the one with the ma gica l sp it. Vamp ires keep h
uma ns a round
a nd feed on them when they’re short on blood—like wa lking sna ck ma chi
nes.” Izzy sp oke
with dista ste. “You’d think they’d be wea k from blood loss a ll the tim
e, but vamp ire sa liva
a ctua lly ha s hea ling p rop erties. It increa ses their red blood c
ell count, ma kes them stronger
a nd hea lthier, a nd ma kes them live longer. Tha t’s why it’s not a g
a inst the Law for a
vamp ire to feed on a huma n. It doesn’t rea lly hurt them. Of course every on
ce in a while the

vamp ire will decide it wa nts more tha n a sna ck, it wa nts a subjug
a te—a nd then it will sta rt
feeding its bitten huma n sma ll amounts of vamp ire blood, just to
keep it docile, to keep it
connected to its ma ster. Subjuga tes worship their ma sters, a nd l
ove serving them. All they
wa nt is to be nea r them. Like you were when you went ba ck to t
he Dumont. You were
drawn ba ck to the vamp ire whose blood you ha d consumed.”
“Ra p ha el,” Simon sa id, his voice blea k. “I don’t feel a burning urge
to be with him these
da ys, let me tell you.”
“No, it goes awa y when you become a full vamp ire. It’s only the su
bjuga tes who worship
their sires a nd ca n’t disobey them. Don’t you see? When you went ba c
k to the Dumont,
Ra p ha el’s cla n dra ined you, a nd you died, a nd then you became
a vamp ire. But if they
ha dn’t dra ined you, if they’d given you more vamp ire blood instea d,
you would eventua lly
ha ve become a subjuga te.”
“Tha t’s a ll very interesting,” Simon sa id. “But it doesn’t exp la in why th
ey’re sta ring a t
Isa belle gla nced ba ck a t them. “They’re sta ring a t you. Ma ybe thei
r ma ster died a nd
they’re looking for a nother vamp ire to own them. You could ha ve p ets.” She grin
“Or,” Simon sa id, “ma ybe they’re here for the ha sh browns.”
“Huma n subjuga tes don’t ea t food. They live on a mix of vamp ire b
lood a nd a nima l
blood. It keep s them in a sta te of susp ended a nima tion. They’re
not immorta l, but they a ge
very slowly.”
“Sa dly,” Simon sa id, eyeing them, “they don’t seem to keep their looks.”
Isa belle sa t up stra ight. “And they’re on their wa y over here. I
guess we’ll ɹnd out wha t
they wa nt.”
The huma n subjuga tes moved a s if they were on wheels. They didn’t
a p p ea r to be ta king
step s so much a s gliding forwa rd soundlessly. It took them only s
econds to cross the
resta ura nt; by the time they nea red Simon’s ta ble, Isa belle ha d
whip p ed the sha rp stilettolike da gger out of the top of her b
oot. It la y a cross the ta ble, gleaming in the diner’s
ɻuorescent lights. It wa s a da rk, hea vy silver, with crosses burned into bo
th sides of the hilt.
Most vamp ire-rep elling wea p ons seemed to sp ort crosses, on the a
ssump tion, Simon
thought, tha t most vamp ires were Christia n. Who knew tha t followi
ng a minority religion
could be so a dva nta geous?
“Tha t’s close enough,” Isa belle sa id, a s the two subjuga tes p a used b
eside the ta ble, her
f ingers inches from the da gger. “Sta te your business, you two.”
“Sha dowhunter.” The crea ture on the lef t sp oke in a hissing whisp er. “We did no
t know of
you in this situa tion.”
Isa belle ra ised a delica te eyebrow. “And wha t situa tion would tha t be?”
The second subjuga te p ointed a long gra y ɹnger a t Simon. The na i

l on the end of it wa s
yellowed a nd sha rp . “We ha ve dea lings with the Da ylighter.”
“No, you don’t,” Simon sa id. “I ha ve no idea who you a re. Never seen you before.”
“I am Mr. Wa lker,” sa id the ɹrst crea ture. “Beside me is Mr. Archer.
We serve the most
p owerful vamp ire in New York City. The hea d of the grea test Ma nha tta n c
la n.”
“Ra p ha el Sa ntia go,” sa id Isa belle. “In tha t ca se you must know tha
t Simon isn’t a p a rt of
a ny cla n. He’s a free a gent.”
Mr. Wa lker smiled a thin smile. “My ma ster wa s hop ing tha t wa s a situa t
ion tha t could be
a ltered.”
Simon met Isa belle’s eyes a cross the ta ble. She shrugged. “Didn’t Ra p
ha el tell you he
wa nted you to sta y away from the cla n?”
“Ma ybe he’s cha nged his mind,” Simon suggested. “You know how he is. Moody. Fickle.”
“I wouldn’t know. I ha ven’t rea lly seen him since tha t time I threa tened
to kill him with a
ca ndela bra . He took it well, though. Didn’t f linch.”
“Fa nta stic,” Simon sa id. The two subjuga tes were sta ring a t him. T
heir eyes were a p a le
whitish gra y color, like dirty snow. “If Ra p ha el wa nts me in th
e cla n, it’s beca use he wa nts
something from me. You might a s well tell me wha t it is.”
“We a re not p rivy to our ma ster’s p la ns,” sa id Mr. Archer in a ha ughty tone.
“No dice, then,” sa id Simon. “I won’t go.”
“If you do not wish to come with us, we a re a uthorized to use force to bring y
The da gger seemed to lea p into Isa belle’s ha nd; or a t lea st, s
he ba rely seemed to move,
a nd yet she wa s holding it. She twirled it lightly. “I wouldn’t do tha t if I w
ere you.”
Mr. Archer ba red his teeth a t her. “Since when ha ve the Angel’s chi
ldren become the
bodygua rds for rogue Downworlders? I would ha ve thought you a bove t
his sort of business,
Isa belle Lightwood.”
“I’m not his bodygua rd,” sa id Isa belle. “I’m his girlfrie nd. Which gives m
e the right to kick
your a ss if you bother him. Tha t’s how it works.”
Girlfrie nd? Simon wa s sta rtled enough to look a t her in surp rise, but
she wa s sta ring down
the two subjuga tes, her da rk eyes ɻa shing. On the one ha nd he di
dn’t think Isa belle ha d
ever referred to herself a s his girlfriend before. On the other ha
nd it wa s symp toma tic of
how stra nge his life ha d become tha t that wa s the thing tha t ha
d sta rtled him most tonight,
ra ther tha n the fa ct tha t he ha d just been summoned to a meeti
ng by the most p owerful
vamp ire in New York.
“My ma ster,” sa id Mr. Wa lker, in wha t he p roba bly thought wa s a
soothing tone, “ha s a
p rop osition to p ut to the Da ylighter—”
“His name is Simon. Simon Lewis.”
“To p ut to Mr. Lewis. I ca n p romise you tha t Mr. Lewis will ɹnd
it most a dva nta geous if
he is willing to a ccomp a ny us a nd hea r my ma ster out. I swea
r on my ma ster’s honor tha t

no ha rm will come to you, Da ylighter, a nd tha t should you wish to
refuse my ma ster’s oʃer,
you will ha ve the free choice to do so.”
My mas te r, my mas te r. Mr. Wa lker sp oke the words with a mix
ture of a dora tion a nd awe.
Simon shuddered a little inwa rdly. How horrible to be so bound to
someone else, a nd to
ha ve no rea l will of your own.
Isa belle wa s sha king her hea d; she mouthed “no” a t Simon. She wa s
p roba bly right, he
thought. Isa belle wa s a n excellent Sha dowhunter. She’d been hunting
demons a nd
lawbrea king Downworlders—rogue vamp ires, bla ck-ma gic-p ra cticing wa rloc
ks, werewolves
who’d run wild a nd ea ten someone—since she wa s twelve yea rs old, a n
d wa s p roba bly
better a t wha t she did tha n a ny other Sha dowhunter her a ge, wi
th the excep tion of her
brother Ja ce. And there ha d been Seba stia n, Simon thought, who ha
d been better tha n them
both. But he wa s dea d.
“All right,” he sa id. “I’ll go.”
Isa belle’s eyes rounded. “Simon!”
Both subjuga tes rubbed their ha nds together, like villa ins in a c
omic book. The gesture
itself wa sn’t wha t wa s creep y, rea lly; it wa s tha t they did i
t exa ctly a t the same time a nd in
the same wa y, a s if they were p up p ets whose strings were being ya nked in
“Excellent,” sa id Mr. Archer.
Isa belle ba nged the knife down on the ta ble with a cla tter a nd
lea ned forwa rd, her
shining da rk ha ir brushing the ta bletop . “Simon,” she sa id in a n u
rgent whisp er. “Don’t be
stup id. There’s no rea son for you to go with them. And Ra p ha el’s a jerk.”
“Ra p ha el’s a ma ster vamp ire,” sa id Simon. “His blood ma de me a vamp
ire. He’s my—
wha tever they ca ll it.”
“Sire, ma ker, begetter—there a re a million names for wha t he did,” Is
a belle sa id
distra ctedly. “And ma ybe his blood ma de you a vamp ire. But it di
dn’t ma ke you a
Daylighte r.” Her eyes met his a cross the ta ble. Jace made you a D
aylighte r. But she would
never sa y it out loud; there were only a few of them who knew
the truth, the whole story
behind wha t Ja ce wa s, a nd wha t Simon wa s beca use of it. “You
don’t ha ve to do wha t he
sa ys.”
“Of course I don’t,” Simon sa id, lowering his voice. “But if I refuse
to go, do you think
Ra p ha el is just going to drop it? He won’t. They’ll keep coming a
f ter me.” He snuck a
gla nce sidewa ys a t the subjuga tes; they looked a s if they a greed, thoug
h he might ha ve been
ima gining it. “They’ll bug me everywhere. When I’m out, a t school, a t Cla ry’s—”
“And wha t? Cla ry ca n’t ha ndle it?” Isa belle threw up her ha nds. “Fine
. At lea st let me go
with you.”
“Certa inly not,” cut in Mr. Archer. “This is not a ma tter for Sha dow

hunters. This is the
business of the Night Children.”
“I will not—”
“The Law gives us the right to conduct our business in p riva te.” Mr.
Wa lker sp oke stiʀy.
“With our own kind.”
Simon looked a t them. “Give us a moment, p lea se,” he sa id. “I wa nt to ta lk t
o Isa belle.”
There wa s a moment of silence. Around them the life of the diner w
ent on. The p la ce wa s
getting its la te-night rush a s the movie thea ter down the block le
t out, a nd wa itresses were
hurrying by, ca rrying steaming p la tes of food to customers; coup
les la ughed a nd cha ttered
a t nea rby ta bles; cooks shouted orders to ea ch other behind the
counter. No one looked a t
them or a cknowledged tha t a nything odd wa s going on. Simon wa s
used to glamours by
now, but he couldn’t help the feeling sometimes, when he wa s with
Isa belle, tha t he wa s
tra p p ed behind a n invisible gla ss wa ll, cut of f from the rest of huma
nity a nd the da ily round
of its a f fa irs.
“Very well,” sa id Mr. Wa lker, step p ing ba ck. “But my ma ster does n
ot like to be kep t
wa iting.”
They retrea ted towa rd the door, a p p a rently una ʃected by the bla s
ts of cold a ir whenever
someone went in or out, a nd stood there like sta tues. Simon turne
d to Isa belle. “It’s a ll
right,” he sa id. “They won’t hurt me. They can’t hurt me. Ra p ha el know
s a ll a bout…” He
gestured uncomforta bly towa rd his forehea d. “This.”
Isa belle rea ched a cross the ta ble a nd p ushed his ha ir ba ck, h
er touch more clinica l tha n
gentle. She wa s frowning. Simon ha d looked a t the Ma rk enough t
imes himself , in the
mirror, to know well wha t it looked like. As if someone ha d ta
ken a thin p a intbrush a nd
drawn a simp le design on his forehea d, just a bove a nd between h
is eyes. The sha p e of it
seemed to cha nge sometimes, like the moving ima ges found in clouds,
but it wa s a lwa ys
clea r a nd bla ck a nd somehow da ngerous-looking, like a wa rning s
ign scrawled in a nother
la ngua ge.
“It rea lly … works?” she whisp ered.
“Ra p ha el thinks it works,” sa id Simon. “And I ha ve no rea son to thi
nk it doesn’t.” He
ca ught her wrist a nd drew it awa y from his fa ce. “I’ll be a ll right, Isa bell
She sighed. “Every bit of my tra ining sa ys this isn’t a good idea .”
Simon squeezed her ɹngers. “Come on. You’re curious a bout wha t Ra p ha e
l wa nts, a ren’t
Isa belle p a tted his ha nd a nd sa t ba ck. “Tell me a ll a bout it
when you get ba ck. Ca ll me
firs t.”
“I will.” Simon stood, zip p ing up his ja cket. “And do me a fa vor,
will you? Two fa vors,

a ctua lly.”
She looked a t him with gua rded amusement. “Wha t?”
“Cla ry sa id she’d be tra ining over a t the Institute tonight. If you
run into her, don’t tell
her where I went. She’ll worry for no rea son.”
Isa belle rolled her eyes. “Oka y, f ine. Second fa vor?”
Simon lea ned over a nd kissed her on the cheek. “Try the borscht bef
ore you lea ve. It’s
fa nta stic.”
Mr. Wa lker a nd Mr. Archer were not the most ta lka tive of comp
a nions. They led Simon
silently through the streets of the Lower Ea st Side, keep ing sever
a l step s a hea d of him with
their odd gliding p a ce. It wa s getting la te, but the city sidew
a lks were full of p eop le—
getting oʃ a la te shif t, hurrying home from dinner, hea ds down,
colla rs turned up a ga inst
the stiʃ cold wind. At St. Ma rk’s Pla ce there were ca rd ta bles set
up a long the curb, selling
everything from chea p socks to p encil sketches of New York to smo
ky sa nda lwood incense.
Lea ves ra ttled a cross the p a vement like dried bones. The a ir sm
elled like ca r exha ust mixed
with sa nda lwood, a nd undernea th tha t, the smell of huma n beings—skin a nd
Simon’s stoma ch tightened. He tried to keep enough bottles of a nima l blood i
n his room—
he ha d a sma ll refrigera tor a t the ba ck of his closet now, where his mo
ther wouldn’t see it—
to keep himself from ever getting hungry. The blood wa s disgusting
. He’d thought he’d get
used to it, even sta rt wa nting it, but though it killed his hung
er p a ngs, there wa s nothing
a bout it tha t he enjoyed the wa y he’d once enjoyed chocola te or ve
geta ria n burritos or
cof fee ice cream. It rema ined blood.
But being hungry wa s worse. Being hungry mea nt tha t he could smel
l things he didn’t
wa nt to smell—sa lt on skin; the overrip e, sweet smell of blood ex
uding from the p ores of
stra ngers. It ma de him feel hungry a nd twisted up a nd utterly w
rong. Hunching over, he
jammed his f ists into the p ockets of his ja cket a nd tried to brea the throu
gh his mouth.
They turned right onto Third Avenue, a nd p a used in front of a
resta ura nt whose sign sa id
CLOISTER CAFÉ. GARDEN OPEN ALL YEAR. Simon blinked up a t the sign. “Wha t
a re we doing here?”
“This is the meeting p la ce our ma ster ha s chosen.” Mr. Wa lker’s tone wa s bla nd
“Huh.” Simon wa s p uzzled. “I would ha ve thought Ra p ha el’s style wa s m
ore, you know,
a rra nging meetings on top of a n unconsecra ted ca thedra l, or do
wn in some cryp t full of
bones. He never struck me a s the trendy resta ura nt typ e.”
Both subjuga tes sta red a t him. “Is there a p roblem, Da ylighter?” a sked Mr.
Archer f ina lly.
Simon felt obscurely scolded. “No. No p roblem.”
The interior of the resta ura nt wa s da rk, with a ma rble-top p ed
ba r running a long one

wa ll. No servers or wa itsta ʃ a p p roa ched them a s they ma de thei
r wa y through the room to
a door in the ba ck, a nd through the door into the ga rden.
Ma ny New York resta ura nts ha d ga rden terra ces; few were op en t
his la te into the yea r.
This one wa s in a courtya rd between severa l buildings. The wa lls
ha d been p a inted with
tromp e l’oeil mura ls showing Ita lia n ga rdens full of ɻowers. The tr
ees, their lea ves turned
gold a nd russet with the fa ll, were strung with cha ins of white
lights, a nd hea t lamp s
sca ttered between the ta bles ga ve oʃ a reddish glow. A sma ll foun
ta in p la shed musica lly in
the center of the ya rd.
Only one ta ble wa s occup ied, a nd not by Ra p ha el. A slim woma
n in a wide-brimmed ha t
sa t a t a ta ble close to the wa ll. As Simon wa tched in p uzzle
ment, she ra ised a ha nd a nd
wa ved a t him. He turned a nd looked behind him; there wa s, of course, no
one there. Wa lker
a nd Archer ha d sta rted moving a ga in; bemused, Simon followed the
m a s they crossed the
courtya rd a nd stop p ed a few feet from where the woma n sa t.
Wa lker bowed deep ly. “Ma ster,” he sa id.
The woma n smiled. “Wa lker,” she sa id. “And Archer. Very good. Tha nk
you for bringing
Simon to me.”
“Wa it a second.” Simon looked from the woma n to the two subjuga tes a
nd ba ck a ga in.
“You’re not Ra p ha el.”
“Dea r me, no.” The woma n removed her ha t. An enormous qua ntity of
silvery blond ha ir,
brillia nt in the Christma s lights, sp illed down over her shoulders.
Her fa ce wa s smooth a nd
white a nd ova l, very bea utiful, domina ted by enormous p a le gree
n eyes. She wore long
bla ck gloves, a bla ck silk blouse a nd p encil skirt, a nd a bla ck sca rf
tied a round her throa t. It
wa s imp ossible to tell her a ge—or a t lea st wha t a ge she might h
a ve been when she’d been
Turned into a vamp ire. “I am Camille Belcourt. Encha nted to meet you.”
She held out a bla ck-gloved ha nd.
“I wa s told I wa s meeting Ra p ha el Sa ntia go here,” sa id Simon, no
t rea ching to ta ke it.
“Do you work for him?”
Camille Belcourt la ughed like a rip p ling founta in. “Most certa inly
not! Though once up on
a time he worked for me.”
And Simon remembered. I thought the he ad vampire was s ome one e
ls e , he ha d sa id to
Ra p ha el once, in Idris, it felt like forever a go.
Camille has not ye t re turne d to us , Ra p ha el ha d rep lied. I le ad in
he r s te ad.
“You’re the hea d vamp ire,” Simon sa id. “Of the Ma nha tta n cla n.” He tur
ned ba ck to the
subjuga tes. “You tricked me. You told me I wa s meeting Ra p ha el.”
“I sa id you were meeting our ma ster,” sa id Mr. Wa lker. His eyes were
va st a nd emp ty, so
emp ty tha t Simon wondered if they ha d even mea nt to mislea d him
, or if they were simp ly

p rogrammed like robots to sa y wha tever their ma ster ha d told them
to sa y, a nd were
unawa re of devia tions from the scrip t. “And here she is.”
“Indeed.” Camille ɻa shed a brillia nt smile towa rd her subjuga tes. “Plea s
e lea ve us,
Wa lker, Archer. I need to sp ea k to Simon a lone.” There wa s somet
hing a bout the wa y she
sa id it—both his name, a nd the word “a lone”—tha t wa s like a secret ca ress.
The subjuga tes bowed a nd withdrew. As Mr. Archer turned to wa lk
awa y, Simon ca ught
sight of a ma rk on the side of his throa t, a deep bruise,
so da rk it looked like p a int, with
two da rker sp ots inside it. The da rker sp ots were p unctures, ri
nged with dry, ra gged ɻesh.
Simon felt a quiet shudder p a ss through him.
“Plea se,” sa id Camille, a nd p a tted the sea t beside her. “Sit. Would you like
some wine?”
Simon sa t, p erching uncomforta bly on the edge of the ha rd meta l
cha ir. “I don’t rea lly
“Of course,” she sa id, a ll symp a thy. “You’re ba rely a ɻedgling, a ren’t
you? Don’t worry
too much. Over time you will tra in yourself to be a ble to consum
e wine a nd other
bevera ges. Some of the oldest of our kind ca n consume huma n food with few
ill ef fects.”
Fe w ill eʃects? Simon didn’t like the sound of tha t. “Is this going t
o ta ke a long time?” he
inquired, ga zing p ointedly down a t his cell p hone, which told hi
m the time wa s a f ter ten
thirty. “I ha ve to get home.”
Camille took a sip of her wine. “You do? And why is tha t?”
Be caus e my mom is waiting up for me . Oka y, there wa s no rea
son this woma n needed to
know tha t. “You interrup ted my da te,” he sa id. “I wa s just wondering
wha t wa s so
imp orta nt.”
“You still live with your mother, don’t you?” she sa id, setting her gla
ss down. “Ra ther
odd, isn’t it, a p owerful vamp ire like yourself refusing to lea ve home, to
join with a cla n?”
“So you interrup ted my da te to ma ke fun of me for still living wi
th my p a rents. Couldn’t
you ha ve done tha t on a night I didn’t ha ve a da te? Tha t’s most
nights, in ca se you’re
“I’m not mocking you, Simon.” She ra n her tongue over her lower lip a
s if ta sting the
wine she ha d just drunk. “I wa nt to know why you ha ven’t become p a rt of Ra p
ha el’s cla n.”
Which is the s ame as your clan, is n’t it? “I got the strong feel
ing he didn’t wa nt me to be
p a rt of it,” Simon sa id. “He p retty much sa id he’d lea ve me a lone
if I lef t him a lone. So I’ve
lef t him a lone.”
“ Have you.” Her green eyes glowed.
“I never wa nted to be a vamp ire,” Simon sa id, ha lf -wondering why h
e wa s telling these
things to this stra nge woma n. “I wa nted a norma l life. When I found out I w
a s a Da ylighter,

I thought I could ha ve one. Or a t lea st some a p p roxima tion of
one. I ca n go to school, I ca n
live a t home, I ca n see my mom a nd sister—”
“As long a s you don’t ever ea t in front of them,” sa id Camille. “As l
ong a s you hide your
need for blood. You ha ve never fed on someone p urely huma n, ha v
e you? Just ba gged
blood. Sta le. Anima l.” She wrinkled her nose.
Simon thought of Ja ce, a nd p ushed the thought ha stily awa y. Ja
ce wa s not p recisely
human. “No, I ha ven’t.”
“You will. And when you do, you will not forget it.” She lea ned forw
a rd, a nd her p a le
ha ir brushed a cross his ha nd. “You ca nnot hide your true self forever.”
“Wha t teena ger doesn’t lie to their p a rents?” Simon sa id. “Anywa y, I
don’t see why you
ca re. In fa ct, I’m still not sure why I’m here.”
Camille lea ned forwa rd. When she did, the neckline of her bla ck
silk blouse ga p ed op en.
If Simon ha d still been huma n, he would ha ve blushed. “Will you let me see i
Simon could a ctua lly feel his eyes p op out. “See what?”
She smiled. “The Ma rk, silly boy. The Ma rk of the Wa nderer.”
Simon op ened his mouth, then closed it a ga in. How doe s s he know? Ver
y few p eop le knew
of the Ma rk tha t Cla ry ha d p ut on him in Idris. Ra p ha el ha
d indica ted it wa s a ma tter for
dea dly secrecy, a nd Simon ha d trea ted it a s such.
But Camille’s eyes were very green a nd stea dy, a nd for some rea son
he wa nted to do
wha t she wa nted him to do. It wa s something a bout the wa y she
looked a t him, something
in the music of her voice. He rea ched up a nd p ushed his ha ir
a side, ba ring his forehea d for
her insp ection.
Her eyes widened, her lip s p a rting. Lightly she touched her ɹngers
to her throa t, a s if
checking the nonexistent p ulse there. “Oh,” she sa id. “How lucky you a
re, Simon. How
fortuna te.”
“It’s a curse,” he sa id. “Not a blessing. You know tha t, right?”
Her eyes sp a rked. “‘And Ca in sa id unto the Lord, My p unishment is
grea ter tha n I ca n
bea r. ’ Is it more tha n you ca n bea r, Simon?”
Simon sa t ba ck, letting his ha ir fa ll ba ck into p la ce. “I ca n bea r it.”
“But you don’t wa nt to.” She ra n a gloved ɹnger a round the rim of her
winegla ss, her
eyes still ɹxed on him. “Wha t if I could oʃer you a wa y to turn wh
a t you rega rd a s a curse
into a n a dva nta ge?”
I’d s ay you’re ɹnally ge tting to the re as on you brought me he re ,
which is a s tart . “I’m
“You recognized my name when I told it to you,” Camille sa id. “Ra p ha e
l ha s mentioned
me before, ha s he not?” She ha d a n a ccent, very fa int, tha t Simon couldn’t
quite p la ce.
“He sa id you were the hea d of the cla n a nd he wa s just lea ding
them while you were
gone. Step p ing in for you like—like a vice p resident or something.”

“Ah.” She bit gently on her lower lip . “Tha t is, in fa ct, not quite
true. I would like to tell
you the truth, Simon. I would like to ma ke you a n oʃer. But ɹrst
I must ha ve your word on
“And wha t’s tha t?”
“Tha t everything tha t p a sses between us this night, here, rema ins
a secret. No one ca n
know. Not your redhea ded little friend, Cla ry. Not either of you
r la dy friends. None of the
Lightwoods. No one.”
Simon sa t ba ck. “And wha t if I don’t wa nt to p romise?”
“Then you ma y lea ve, if you like,” she sa id. “But then you will neve
r know wha t I wished
to tell you. And tha t will be a loss you will regret.”
“I’m curious,” Simon sa id. “But I’m not sure I’m tha t curious.”
Her eyes held a little sp a rk of surp rise a nd amusement a nd p e
rha p s, Simon thought, even
a little resp ect. “Nothing I ha ve to sa y to you concerns them. I
t will not a ʃect their sa fety,
or their well-being. The secrecy is for my own p rotection.”
Simon looked a t her susp iciously. Did she mea n it? Vamp ires weren’t
like fa eries, who
couldn’t lie. But he ha d to a dmit he wa s curious. “All right. I’ll
keep your secret, unless I
think something you sa y is p utting my friends in da nger. Then a ll bets a re
of f .”
Her smile wa s frosty; he could tell she didn’t like being disbelieved
. “Very well,” she sa id.
“I sup p ose I ha ve little choice when I need your help so ba dly.” S
he lea ned forwa rd, one
slim ha nd toying with the stem of her winegla ss. “Until quite recen
tly I led the Ma nha tta n
cla n, ha p p ily. We ha d bea utiful qua rters in a n old p rewa r
building on the Up p er West Side,
not tha t ra t hole of a hotel Sa ntia go keep s my p eop le in no
w. Sa ntia go—Ra p ha el, a s you
ca ll him—wa s my second in comma nd. My most loya l comp a nion—or so I
thought. One
night I found out tha t he wa s murdering huma ns, driving them to
tha t old hotel in Sp a nish
Ha rlem a nd drinking their blood for his amusement. Lea ving their b
ones in the Dump ster
outside. Ta king stup id risks, brea king Covena nt Law.” She took a sip of w
ine. “When I went
to confront him, I rea lized he ha d told the rest of the cla n t
ha t I wa s the murderer, the
lawbrea ker. It wa s a ll a setup . He mea nt to kill me, so tha
t he might seize p ower. I ɻed,
with only Wa lker a nd Archer to keep me sa fe.”
“So a ll this time he’s cla imed he’s just lea ding until you return?”
She ma de a fa ce. “Sa ntia go is a n a ccomp lished lia r. He wishes
me to return, tha t’s for
certa in—so he ca n murder me a nd ta ke cha rge of the cla n in ea rnest.”
Simon wa sn’t sure wha t she wa nted to hea r. He wa sn’t used to a dul
t women looking a t
him with big tea r-f illed eyes, or sp illing out their life stories to him.
“I’m sorry,” he sa id f ina lly.
She shrugged, a very exp ressive shrug tha t ma de him wonder if p
erha p s her a ccent wa s

French. “It is in the p a st,” she sa id. “I ha ve been hiding out in
London a ll this time, looking
for a llies, biding my time. Then I hea rd a bout you.” She held up her ha nd.
“I ca nnot tell you
how; I am sworn to secrecy. But the moment I did, I rea lized tha t
you were wha t I ha d been
wa iting for.”
“I wa s? I am?”
She lea ned forwa rd a nd touched his ha nd. “Ra p ha el is a fra id of
you, Simon, a s well he
should be. You a re one of his own, a vamp ire, but you ca nnot
be ha rmed or killed; he
ca nnot lif t a f inger a ga inst you without bringing down God’s wra th on his h
ea d.”
There wa s a silence. Simon could hea r the sof t electrica l hum o
f the Christma s lights
overhea d, the wa ter p la shing in the stone founta in in the center
of the courtya rd, the buzz
a nd hum of the city. When he sp oke, his voice wa s sof t. “You sa id it.”
“Wha t wa s tha t, Simon?”
“The word. The wra th of—” The word bit a nd burned in his mouth, just a s it a lwa
ys did.
“Yes. God.” She retra cted her ha nd, but her eyes were wa rm. “There a
re ma ny secrets of
our kind, so ma ny tha t I ca n tell you, show you. You will lea rn you a re
not damned.”
“Ma ’am—”
“Camille. You must ca ll me Camille.”
“I still don’t understa nd wha t you wa nt from me.”
“Don’t you?” She shook her hea d, a nd her brillia nt ha ir ɻew a round her
fa ce. “I wa nt you
to join with me, Simon. Join with me a ga inst Sa ntia go. We will
wa lk together into his ra tinfested hotel; the moment his followers
see tha t you a re with me, they will lea ve him a nd
come to me. I believe they a re loya l to me benea th their fea r
of him. Once they see us
together, tha t fea r will be gone, a nd they will come to our sid
e. Ma n ca nnot contend with
the divine.”
“I don’t know,” Simon sa id. “In the Bible, Ja cob wrestled a n a ngel, a nd he won.”
Camille looked a t him with her eyebrows a rched.
Simon shrugged. “Hebrew school.”
“‘And Ja cob ca lled the name of the p la ce Peniel: for I ha ve seen
God fa ce to fa ce. ’ You
see, you a re not the only one who knows your scrip ture.” Her na rro
w look wa s gone, a nd
she wa s smiling. “You ma y not rea lize it, Da ylighter, but a s long a s you
bea r tha t Ma rk, you
a re the a venging a rm of hea ven. No one ca n sta nd before you. Certa inly
not one vamp ire.”
“Are you a fra id of me?” Simon a sked.
He wa s a lmost insta ntly sorry he ha d. Her green eyes da rkened l
ike thunderclouds. “Me,
a fra id of you?” Then she collected herself , her fa ce smoothing, h
er exp ression lightening.
“Of course not,” she sa id. “You a re a n intelligent ma n. I am convin
ced you will see the
wisdom of my p rop osa l a nd join with me.”
“And wha t exa ctly is your p rop osa l? I mea n, I understa nd the p
a rt where we fa ce down

Ra p ha el, but a f ter tha t? I don’t rea lly ha te Ra p ha el, or wa
nt to get rid of him just to get rid
of him. He lea ves me a lone. Tha t’s a ll I ever wa nted.”
She folded her ha nds together in front of her. She wore a silver ring with a
blue stone in it
on her lef t middle ɹnger, over the ma teria l of her glove. “You thi
nk tha t is wha t you wa nt,
Simon. You think Ra p ha el is doing you a fa vor in lea ving you a lone, a s
you p ut it. In rea lity
he is exiling you. Right now you think you do not need others of your kind.
You a re content
with the friends you ha ve—huma ns a nd Sha dowhunters. You a re content
to hide bottles of
blood in your room a nd lie to your mother a bout wha t you a re.”
“How did you—”
She went on, ignoring him. “But wha t a bout in ten yea rs, when yo
u a re sup p osed to be
twenty-six? In twenty yea rs? Thirty? Do you think no one will notice
tha t a s they a ge a nd
cha nge, you do not?”
Simon sa id nothing. He didn’t wa nt to a dmit he ha dn’t thought a hea
d tha t fa r. Tha t he
didn’t wa nt to think a hea d tha t fa r.
“Ra p ha el ha s ta ught you tha t other vamp ires a re p oison to you. But it do
es not need to be
tha t wa y. Eternity is a long time to sp end a lone, without othe
rs of your kind. Others who
understa nd. You befriend Sha dowhunters, but you ca n never be of them. You
will a lwa ys be
other a nd outside. With us you could belong.” As she lea ned forwa rd, white li
ght sp a rked oʃ
her ring, stinging Simon’s eyes. “We ha ve thousa nds of yea rs of kn
owledge we could sha re
with you, Simon. You could lea rn how to keep your secret; how t
o ea t a nd drink, how to
sp ea k the name of God. Ra p ha el ha s cruelly hidden this informa tion
from you, even led you
to believe it doesn’t exist. It does. I ca n help you.”
“If I help you f irst,” Simon sa id.
She smiled, a nd her teeth were white a nd sha rp . “We will help ea ch other.”
Simon lea ned ba ck. The iron cha ir wa s ha rd a nd uncomforta ble,
a nd he suddenly felt
tired. Looking down a t his ha nds, he could see tha t the veins ha d da rkene
d, sp idering a cross
the ba cks of his knuckles. He needed blood. He needed to ta lk t
o Cla ry. He needed time to
“I’ve shocked you,” she sa id. “I know. It is a grea t dea l to ta ke i
n. I would be ha p p y to
give you a s much time a s you needed to ma ke up your mind a bout
this, a nd a bout me. But
we don’t ha ve much time, Simon. While I rema in in this city, I a
m in da nger from Ra p ha el
a nd his cohorts.”
“Cohorts?” Desp ite everything, Simon grinned slightly.
Camille seemed ba f f led. “Yes?”
“Well, it’s just … ‘Cohorts. ’ It’s like sa ying ‘evildoers’ or ‘minions. ’” She
a t him
bla nkly. Simon sighed. “Sorry. You p roba bly ha ven’t seen a s ma ny ba d movie
s a s I ha ve.”

Camille frowned fa intly, a very ɹne line a p p ea ring between her br
ows. “I wa s told you
would be slightly p eculia r. Perha p s it is just tha t I don’t know
ma ny vamp ires of your
genera tion. But tha t will be good for me, I feel, to be a round someone so …
“New blood,” sa id Simon.
At tha t she did smile. “Are you rea dy, then? To a ccep t my oʃer? T
o begin to work
Simon looked up a t the sky. The strings of white lights seemed t
o blot out the sta rs.
“Look,” he sa id, “I a p p recia te your oʃer. I rea lly do.” Crap, he thou
ght. There ha d to be
some wa y to sa y this without him sounding like he wa s turning dow
n a da te to the p rom.
I’m re ally, re ally ɻatte re d you as ke d, but… Camille, like Ra p ha el
, a lwa ys sp oke stiʀy,
forma lly, a s if she were in a fa iry ta le. Ma ybe he could tr
y tha t. He sa id, “I require some
time to ma ke my decision. I’m sure you understa nd.”
Very delica tely, she smiled, showing only the tip s of her fa ngs. “Five da y
s,” she sa id. “And
no longer.” She held out her gloved ha nd to him. Something gleamed i
n her p a lm. It wa s a
sma ll gla ss via l, the size tha t might hold a p erfume samp le,
only it a p p ea red to be full of
brownish p owder. “Gra ve dirt,” she exp la ined. “Sma sh this, a nd I wi
ll know you a re
summoning me. If you do not summon me within ɹve da ys I will send
Wa lker for your
a nswer.”
Simon took the via l a nd slip p ed it into his p ocket. “And if the a nswer is
“Then I will be disa p p ointed. But we will p a rt friends.” She p ushe
d her winegla ss awa y.
“Good-bye, Simon.”
Simon stood up . The cha ir ma de a meta llic squea king sound a s
it dra gged over the
ground, too loud. He felt like he should sa y something else, but he ha d no
idea wha t. For the
moment, though, he seemed to be dismissed. He decided tha t he’d ra
ther look like one of
those weird modern vamp ires with ba d ma nners tha n risk getting dra
gged ba ck into the
conversa tion. He lef t without sa ying a nything else.
On his wa y ba ck through the resta ura nt, he p a ssed Wa lker a nd
Archer, who were
sta nding by the big wooden ba r, their shoulders hunched under their long gra
y coa ts. He felt
the force of their gla res on him a s he wa lked by a nd wiggled h
is ɹngers a t them—a gesture
somewhere between a friendly wa ve a nd a kiss-oʃ. Archer ba red his
teeth—ɻa t huma n
teeth—a nd sta lked p a st him towa rd the ga rden, Wa lker on his heels. Simon
wa tched a s they
took their p la ces in cha irs a cross from Camille; she didn’t look up a s they
sea ted themselves,
but the white lights tha t ha d illumina ted the ga rden went out sudde
nly—not one by one but

a ll a t the same time—lea ving Simon sta ring a t a disorienting squa
re of da rkness, a s if
someone ha d switched oʃ the sta rs. By the time the wa iters noticed
a nd hurried outside to
rectify the p roblem, ɻooding the ga rden with p a le light once a ga in
, Camille a nd her huma n
subjuga tes ha d va nished.
Simon unlocked the front door of his house—one of a long cha in of
identica l brick-fronted
row houses tha t lined his Brooklyn block—a nd p ushed it op en slightly, listeni
ng ha rd.
He ha d told his mother he wa s going out to p ra ctice with Eric a nd his other
ba ndma tes for
a gig on Sa turda y. There ha d been a time when she simp ly woul
d ha ve believed him, a nd
tha t would ha ve been tha t; Ela ine Lewis ha d a lwa ys been a re
la xed p a rent, never imp osing
a curfew on either Simon or his sister or insisting tha t they be
home ea rly on school nights.
Simon wa s used to sta ying out until a ll hours with Cla ry, letting himself
in with his key, a nd
colla p sing into bed a t two in the morning, beha vior tha t ha dn’t excited muc
h comment from
his mother.
Things were diʃerent now. He ha d been in Idris, the Sha dowhunters’ ho
me country, for
a lmost two weeks. He ha d va nished from home, with no cha nce to
oʃer a n excuse or
exp la na tion. The wa rlock Ma gnus Ba ne ha d step p ed in a nd p er
formed a memory sp ell on
Simon’s mother so tha t she now ha d no recollection tha t he ha d bee
n missing a t a ll. Or a t
lea st, no cons cious recollection. Her beha vior ha d cha nged, thou
gh. She wa s susp icious now,
hovering, a lwa ys wa tching him, insisting he be home a t certa in
times. The la st time he ha d
come home from a da te with Ma ia , he ha d found Ela ine in the
foyer, sitting in a cha ir
fa cing the door, her a rms crossed over her chest a nd a look of
ba rely temp ered ra ge on her
fa ce.
Tha t night, he’d been a ble to hea r her brea thing before he’d seen h
er. Now he could hea r
only the fa int sound of the television coming from the living room. She must
ha ve wa ited up
for him, p roba bly wa tching a ma ra thon of one of those hosp it
a l drama s she loved. Simon
swung the door closed behind him a nd lea ned a ga inst it, trying to ga ther h
is energy to lie.
It wa s ha rd enough not ea ting a round his family. Tha nkfully his
mother went to work
ea rly a nd got ba ck la te, a nd Rebecca , who went to college in
New Jersey a nd only came
home occa siona lly to do her la undry, wa sn’t a round of ten enough t
o notice a nything odd.
His mom wa s usua lly gone in the morning by the time he got up ,
the brea kfa st a nd lunch
she’d lovingly p rep a red for him lef t out on the kitchen counter. H
e’d dump it into a tra sh
bin on his wa y to school. Dinner wa s tougher. On the nights she

wa s there, he ha d to p ush
his food a round his p la te, p retend he wa sn’t hungry or tha t he
wa nted to ta ke his food into
his bedroom so he could ea t while studying. Once or twice he’d forced the food d
own, just to
ma ke her ha p p y, a nd sp ent hours in the ba throom a f terwa rd,
swea ting a nd retching until it
wa s out of his system.
He ha ted ha ving to lie to her. He’d a lwa ys felt a little sorry
for Cla ry, with her fra ught
rela tionship with Jocelyn, the most overp rotective p a rent he’d ever
known. Now the shoe
wa s on the other foot. Since Va lentine’s dea th, Jocelyn’s grip on C
la ry ha d rela xed to the
p oint where she wa s p ra ctica lly a norma l p a rent. Mea nwhile,
whenever Simon wa s home,
he could feel the weight of his mother’s ga ze on him, like a n a ccusa tion whe
rever he went.
Squa ring his shoulders, he drop p ed his messenger ba g by the door
a nd hea ded into the
living room to fa ce the music. The TV wa s on, the news bla ring.
The loca l a nnouncer wa s
rep orting on a huma n interest story—a ba by found a ba ndoned in a n a lley be
hind a hosp ita l
downtown. Simon wa s surp rised; his mom ha ted the news. She found
it dep ressing. He
gla nced towa rd the couch, a nd his surp rise fa ded. His mother wa
s a sleep , her gla sses on the
ta ble beside her, a ha lf -emp ty gla ss on the ɻoor. Simon could s
mell it from here—p roba bly
whiskey. He felt a p a ng. His mom ha rdly ever dra nk.
Simon went into his mother’s bedroom a nd returned with a crocheted bl
a nket. His mom
wa s still a sleep , her brea thing slow a nd even. Ela ine Lewis wa
s a tiny, birdlike woma n,
with a ha lo of bla ck curling ha ir, strea ked with gra y tha t s
he refused to dye. She worked
during the da y for a n environmenta l nonp roɹt, a nd most of her cl
othes ha d a nima l motifs
on them. Right now she wa s wea ring a dress tie-dye p rinted with dolp hins a
nd wa ves, a nd a
p in tha t ha d once been a live ɹsh, dip p ed in resin. Its la cqu
ered eye seemed to gla re a t
Simon a ccusingly a s he bent to tuck the bla nket a round her shoulders.
She moved, ɹtfully, turning her hea d awa y from him. “Simon,” she whisp
ered. “Simon,
where a re you?”
Stricken, Simon let go of the bla nket a nd stood up . Ma ybe he
should wa ke her up , let her
know he wa s oka y. But then there would be questions he didn’t wa nt
to a nswer a nd tha t
hurt look on her fa ce he couldn’t sta nd. He turned a nd went into his bedroom.
He ha d thrown himself down onto the covers a nd gra bbed for the p
hone on his bedside
ta ble, a bout to dia l Cla ry’s number, before he even thought a bout
it. He p a used for a
moment, listening to the dia l tone. He couldn’t tell her a bout Camille; he’d p
romised to keep
the vamp ire’s oʃer a secret, a nd while Simon didn’t feel he owed Camille much, if
there wa s

one thing he ha d lea rned from the p a st few months, it wa s tha
t reneging on p romises ma de
to sup erna tura l crea tures wa s a ba d idea . Still, he wa nted
to hea r Cla ry’s voice, the wa y he
a lwa ys did when he’d ha d a tough da y. Well, there wa s a lwa ys comp la ini
ng to her a bout his
love life; tha t seemed to amuse her no end. Rolling over in bed,
he p ulled the p illow over
his hea d a nd dia led Cla ry’s number.
“So, did you ha ve fun with Isa belle tonig ht?” Cla ry, her p hone jammed a g
a inst her ea r,
ma neuvered herself ca refully from one long beam to a nother. The b
eams were set twenty
feet up in the ra f ters of the Institute’s a ttic, where the tra in
ing room wa s loca ted. Wa lking
the beams wa s mea nt to tea ch you how to ba la nce. Cla ry ha ted
them. Her fea r of heights
ma de the whole business sickening, desp ite the ɻexible cord tied a ro
und her wa ist tha t wa s
sup p osed to keep her from hitting the f loor if she fell. “Ha ve you told her
a bout Ma ia yet?”
Simon ma de a fa int, noncommitta l noise tha t Cla ry knew mea nt “no
.” She could hea r
music in the ba ckground; she could p icture him lying on his bed, the s
tereo p la ying sof tly a s
he ta lked to her. He sounded tired, tha t sort of bone-deep tire
d she knew mea nt tha t his
light tone didn’t reɻect his mood. She’d a sked him if he wa s a ll rig
ht severa l times a t the
beginning of the conversa tion, but he’d brushed awa y her concern.
She snorted. “You’re p la ying with f ire, Simon. I hop e you know tha t.”
“I don’t know. Do you rea lly think it’s such a big dea l?” Simon sounded
p la intive. “I
ha ven’t ha d a single conversa tion with Isa belle—or Ma ia—a bout da ting exclusive
“Let me tell you something a bout girls.” Cla ry sa t down on a beam,
letting her legs
da ngle out into the a ir. The a ttic’s ha lf -moon windows were op en,
a nd cool night a ir sp illed
in, chilling her swea ty skin. She ha d a lwa ys thought the Sha dow
hunters tra ined in their
tough, lea therlike gea r, but a s it turned out, tha t wa s for l
a ter tra ining, which involved
wea p ons. For the sort of tra ining she wa s doing—exercises mea nt to
increa se her ɻexibility,
sp eed, a nd sense of ba la nce—she wore a light ta nk top a nd drawstri
ng p a nts tha t reminded
her of medica l scrubs. “Even if you ha ven’t ha d the exclusivity con
versa tion, they’re still
going to be ma d if they ɹnd out you’re da ting someone they know a nd
you ha ven’t
mentioned it. It’s a da ting rule.”
“Well, how am I sup p osed to know tha t rule?”
“Everyone knows tha t rule.”
“I thought you were sup p osed to be on my side.”
“I am on your side!”
“So why a ren’t you being more symp a thetic?”
Cla ry switched the p hone to her other ea r a nd p eered down into

the sha dows below her.
Where wa s Ja ce? He’d gone to get a nother rop e a nd sa id he’d be ba
ck in ɹve minutes. Of
course, if he ca ught her on the p hone up here, he’d p roba bly k
ill her. He wa s ra rely in
cha rge of her tra ining—tha t wa s usua lly Ma ryse, Ka dir, or va ri
ous other members of the
New York Concla ve p inch-hitting until a rep la cement for the Instit
ute’s p revious tutor,
Hodge, could be found—but when he wa s, he took it very seriously. “B
eca use,” she sa id,
“your p roblems a re not rea l p roblems. You’re da ting two bea utiful g
irls a t once. Think
a bout it. Tha t’s like … rock-sta r p roblems.”
“Ha ving rock-sta r p roblems ma y be the closest I ever get to being a n a ctua l
rock sta r.”
“No one told you to ca ll your ba nd Sa la cious Mold, my friend.”
“We’re Millennium Lint now,” Simon p rotested.
“Look, just ɹgure this out before the wedding. If they both think the
y’re going to it with
you a nd they ɹnd out a t the wedding tha t you’re da ting them both,
they’ll kill you.” She
stood up . “And then my mom’s wedding will be ruined, a nd she’ll kill you.
So you’ll be dea d
twice. Well, three times, technica lly…”
“I never told either of them I wa s going to the wedding with them!”
Simon sounded
p a nicked.
“Yes, but they’re going to exp ect you to. Tha t’s why girls ha ve boyfr
iends. So you ha ve
someone to ta ke you to boring functions.” Cla ry moved out to the edge of the be
am, looking
down into the witchlight-illumina ted sha dows below. There wa s a n o
ld tra ining circle
cha lked on the ɻoor; it looked like a bull’s-eye. “Anywa y, I ha ve t
o jump oʃ this beam now
a nd p ossibly hurtle to my horrible dea th. I’ll ta lk to you tomorrow.”
“I’ve got ba nd p ra ctice a t two, remember? I’ll see you there.”
“See you.” She hung up a nd stuck the p hone into her bra ; the light
tra ining clothes didn’t
ha ve a ny p ockets, so wha t wa s a girl to do?
“So, a re you p la nning to sta y up there a ll night?” Ja ce step p ed
into the center of the
bull’s-eye a nd looked up a t her. He wa s wea ring ɹghting gea r, not
tra ining clothes like
Cla ry wa s, a nd his fa ir ha ir stood out sta rtlingly a ga inst th
e bla ck. It ha d da rkened slightly
since the end of summer a nd wa s more a da rk gold tha n light,
which, Cla ry thought, suited
him even better. It ma de her a bsurdly ha p p y tha t she ha d now
known him long enough to
notice sma ll cha nges in his a p p ea ra nce.
“I thought you were coming up here,” she ca lled down. “Cha nge of p la ns?”
“Long story.” He grinned up a t her. “So? You wa nt to p ra ctice f lip s?”
Cla ry sighed. Pra cticing ɻip s involved ɻinging herself oʃ the beam into emp ty sp
a ce, a nd
using the ɻexible cord to hold her while she p ushed oʃ the wa lls a nd
ɻip p ed herself over
a nd under, tea ching herself to whirl, kick, a nd duck without worrying a b
out ha rd ɻoors a nd

bruises. She’d seen Ja ce do it, a nd he looked like a fa lling a ngel while he
did, ɻying through
the a ir, whirling a nd sp inning with bea utiful, ba lletic gra ce.
She, on the other ha nd, curled
up like a p ota to bug a s soon a s the ɻoor a p p roa ched, a nd t
he fa ct tha t she intellectua lly
knew she wa sn’t going to hit it didn’t seem to ma ke a ny dif ference.
She wa s sta rting to wonder if it didn’t ma tter tha t she’d been born
a Sha dowhunter;
ma ybe it wa s too la te for her to be ma de into one, or a t lea
st a fully functiona l one. Or
ma ybe the gif t tha t ma de her a nd Ja ce wha t they were ha d bee
n somehow distributed
unequa lly between them, so he ha d gotten a ll the p hysica l gra ce
, a nd she ha d gotten—well,
not a lot of it.
“Come on, Cla ry,” Ja ce sa id. “Jump .” She closed her eyes a nd jump ed.
For a moment she
felt herself ha ng susp ended, free of everything. Then gra vity to
ok over, a nd she p lunged
towa rd the ɻoor. Instinctively she p ulled her a rms a nd legs in, k
eep ing her eyes squeezed
shut. The cord p ulled ta ut a nd she rebounded, ɻying ba ck up befo
re fa lling a ga in. As her
velocity slowed, she op ened her eyes a nd found herself da ngling a
t the end of the cord,
a bout f ive feet a bove Ja ce. He wa s grinning.
“Nice,” he sa id. “As gra ceful a s a fa lling snowf la ke.”
“Wa s I screaming?” she a sked, genuinely curious. “You know, on the wa y down.”
He nodded. “Tha nkfully no one’s home, or they would ha ve a ssumed I
wa s murdering
“Ha . You ca n’t even rea ch me.” She kicked out a leg a nd sp un la zily in mida ir
Ja ce’s eyes glinted. “Wa nt to bet?”
Cla ry knew tha t exp ression. “No,” she sa id quickly. “Wha tever you’re going to do—”
But he’d a lrea dy done it. When Ja ce moved fa st, his individua l m
ovements were a lmost
invisible. She saw his ha nd go to his belt, a nd then something ɻa
shed in the a ir. She hea rd
the sound of p a rting fa bric a s the cord a bove her hea d wa s s
hea red through. Relea sed, she
fell freely, too surp rised to scream—directly into Ja ce’s a rms. The f
orce knocked him
ba ckwa rd, a nd they sp rawled together onto one of the p a dded ɻoor
ma ts, Cla ry on top of
him. He grinned up a t her.
“Now,” he sa id, “tha t wa s much better. You didn’t scream a t a ll.”
“I didn’t get the cha nce.” She wa s brea thless, a nd not just from the
imp a ct of the fa ll.
Being sp rawled on top of Ja ce, feeling his body a ga inst hers, ma de h
er ha nds sha ke a nd her
hea rt bea t fa ster. She ha d thought ma ybe her p hysica l rea ction
to him—their rea ctions to
ea ch other—would fa de with familia rity, but tha t ha dn’t ha p p ened.
If a nything, it ha d
gotten worse the more time she’d sp ent with him—or better, she sup p os
ed, dep ending on
how you thought a bout it.
He wa s looking up a t her with da rk golden eyes; she wondered if

their color ha d
intensiɹed since his encounter with Ra ziel, the Angel, by the shores of La ke
Lyn in Idris. She
couldn’t a sk a nyone: Though everyone knew tha t Va lentine ha d summon
ed the Angel, a nd
tha t the Angel ha d hea led Ja ce from injuries Va lentine ha d inɻicte
d on him, no one but
Cla ry a nd Ja ce knew tha t Va lentine ha d done more tha n just injure his a d
op ted son. He ha d
sta bbed Ja ce through the hea rt a s p a rt of the summoning ceremon
y—sta bbed him, a nd held
him while he died. At Cla ry’s wish Ra ziel ha d brought Ja ce ba ck
from dea th. The enormity
of it still shocked Cla ry, a nd, she susp ected, Ja ce a s well.
They ha d a greed never to tell
a nyone tha t Ja ce ha d a ctua lly die d, even for a brief time. It wa s th
eir secret.
He rea ched up a nd p ushed her ha ir ba ck from her fa ce. “I’m jokin
g,” he sa id. “You’re not
so ba d. You’ll get there. You should ha ve seen Alec do ɻip s a t ɹrst. I think he
kicked himself
in the hea d once.”
“Sure,” sa id Cla ry. “But he wa s p roba bly eleven.” She eyed him. “I sup p ose
you’ve a lwa ys
been ama zing a t this stuf f .”
“I wa s born ama zing.” He stroked her cheek with the tip s of his ɹnger
s, lightly but
enough to ma ke her shiver. She sa id nothing; he wa s joking, but
in a sense it wa s true. Ja ce
ha d been born to be wha t he wa s. “How long ca n you sta y tonight?”
She smiled a little. “Are we done with tra ining?”
“I’d like to think tha t we’re done with the p a rt of the evening where
it’s a bsolutely
required. Although there a re a few things I’d like to p ra ctice.…” He
rea ched up to p ull her
down, but a t tha t moment the door op ened, a nd Isa belle came st
a lking in, the high heels of
her boots clicking on the p olished ha rdwood f loor.
Ca tching sight of Ja ce a nd Cla ry sp rawled on the ɻoor, she ra is
ed her eyebrows.
“Ca noodling, I see. I thought you were sup p osed to be tra ining.”
“No one sa id you ha d to wa lk in without knocking, Iz.” Ja ce didn’t m
ove, just turned his
hea d to the side to look a t Isa belle with a mixture of a nnoya
nce a nd a ʃection. Cla ry,
though, scrambled to her feet, stra ightening her crump led clothes.
“It’s the tra ining room. It’s p ublic sp a ce.” Isa belle wa s p ulling of f one of
her gloves, which
were bright red velvet. “I just got these a t Tra sh a nd Va udeville.
On sa le. Don’t you love
them? Don’t you wish you ha d a p a ir?” She wiggled her f ingers in their directio
“I don’t know,” sa id Ja ce. “I think they’d cla sh with my gea r.”
Isa belle ma de a fa ce a t him. “Did you hea r a bout the dea d Sha
dowhunter they found in
Brooklyn? The body wa s a ll ma ngled up , so they don’t know who it
is yet. I a ssume tha t’s
where Mom went.”
“Yea h,” sa id Ja ce, sitting up . “Cla ve meeting. I ra n into her on the wa y out

“You didn’t tell me tha t,” sa id Cla ry. “Is tha t why you took so long getting rop e?”
He nodded. “Sorry. I didn’t wa nt to frea k you out.”
“He mea ns,” sa id Isa belle, “he didn’t wa nt to sp oil the roma ntic mood.”
She bit her lip . “I
just hop e it wa sn’t a nyone we know.”
“I don’t think it could ha ve been. The body wa s dump ed in a n a ba
ndoned fa ctory—ha d
been there for severa l da ys. If it ha d been someone we knew, w
e would ha ve noticed they
were missing.” Ja ce p ushed his ha ir ba ck behind his ea rs. He wa s
looking a t Isa belle a little
imp a tiently, Cla ry thought, a s if he were a nnoyed she’d brought
this up . She wished he’d
told her ea rlier, even if it would ha ve sp oiled the mood. Much
of wha t he did, wha t they a ll
did, Cla ry knew, brought them into frequent conta ct with the rea l
ity of dea th. All the
Lightwoods were, in their own wa ys, still grieving the loss of th
e youngest son, Ma x, who
ha d died simp ly for being in the wrong p la ce a t the wrong time.
It wa s stra nge. Ja ce ha d
a ccep ted her decision to lea ve high school a nd ta ke up tra ining
without a murmur, but he
shied awa y from discussing the da ngers of a Sha dowhunting life with her.
“I’m going to get dressed,” she a nnounced, a nd hea ded for the door tha
t led to the sma ll
cha nging room a tta ched to the tra ining a rea . It wa s very p la
in: p a le wood wa lls, a mirror,
a shower, a nd hooks for clothes. Towels were sta cked nea tly on
a wooden bench by the
door. Cla ry showered quickly a nd p ut on her street clothes—tights,
boots, jea n skirt, a nd a
new p ink swea ter. Looking a t herself in the mirror, she saw tha
t there wa s a hole in her
tights, a nd her damp a nd curling red ha ir wa s a n untidy ta ngl
e. She would never look
p erfectly p ut together like Isa belle a lwa ys did, but Ja ce didn’t seem to mi
By the time she came ba ck to the tra ining room, Isa belle a nd Ja
ce ha d lef t the top ic of
dea d Sha dowhunters behind a nd ha d moved on to something Ja ce a p
p a rently found even
more horrifying—Isa belle’s da te with Simon. “I ca n’t believe he took you
to a n a ctua l
resta ura nt.” Ja ce wa s on his feet now, p utting awa y the ɻoor ma ts
a nd tra ining gea r while
Isa belle lea ned a ga inst the wa ll a nd p la yed with her new glove
s. “I a ssumed his idea of a
da te would be ma king you wa tch him p la y World of Wa rcra f t with his nerd
“I,” Cla ry p ointed out, “am one of his nerd friends, tha nk you.”
Ja ce grinned a t her.
“It wa sn’t rea lly a resta ura nt. More of a diner. With p ink soup tha t he
wa nted me to try,”
Isa belle sa id thoughtfully. “He wa s very sweet.”
Cla ry felt insta ntly guilty for not telling her—or Ja ce—a bout Ma ia .
“He sa id you ha d
Isa belle’s ga ze ɻickered over to her. There wa s a p eculia r qua lity
to Isa belle’s exp ression,

a s if she were hiding something, but it wa s gone before Cla ry c
ould be sure it ha d been
there a t a ll. “You ta lked to him?”
“Yea h, he ca lled me a few minutes a go. Just to check in.” Cla ry shrugged.
“I see,” Isa belle sa id, her voice suddenly brisk a nd cool. “Well, a s
I sa id, he’s very sweet.
But ma ybe a bit too sweet. Tha t ca n be boring.” She stuʃed her glov
es into her p ockets.
“Anywa y, it isn’t a p erma nent thing. It’s just p la ying a round for now.”
Cla ry’s guilt fa ded. “Ha ve you guys ever ta lked a bout, you know, da ting exc
Isa belle looked horriɹed. “Of course not.” She yawned then, stretching h
er a rms ca tlike
over her hea d. “Oka y, of f to bed. See you la ter, lovebirds.”
She dep a rted, lea ving a ha zy cloud of ja smine p erfume in her wa ke.
Ja ce looked over a t Cla ry. He ha d sta rted unbuckling his gea r, which cla
sp ed a t the wrists
a nd ba ck, forming a p rotective shell over his clothes. “I sup p ose you ha v
e to go home?”
She nodded relucta ntly. Getting her mother to a gree to let her p u
rsue Sha dowhunter
tra ining ha d been a long, unp lea sa nt a rgument in the ɹrst p la c
e. Jocelyn ha d dug her heels
in, sa ying tha t she’d sp ent her life trying to keep Cla ry out of
the Sha dowhunter culture,
which she saw a s da ngerous—not just violent, she a rgued, but isola
tionist a nd cruel. Only a
yea r a go, she p ointed out to Cla ry, Cla ry’s decision to be tra i
ned a s a Sha dowhunter would
ha ve mea nt she could never sp ea k to her mother a ga in. Cla ry a rgued b
a ck tha t the fa ct tha t
the Cla ve ha d susp ended rules like tha t while the new Council rev
iewed the Laws mea nt
tha t the Cla ve ha d cha nged since Jocelyn ha d been a girl, a nd
a nywa y, Cla ry needed to
know how to defend herself .
“I hop e this isn’t just beca use of Ja ce,” Jocelyn ha d sa id ɹna lly. “I
know how it is when
you’re in love with someone. You wa nt to be where they a re a nd do wha t they d
o, but Cla ry
“I am not you,” Cla ry ha d sa id, struggling to control her a nger, “th
e Sha dowhunters
a ren’t the Circle, a nd Ja ce isn’t Va lentine.”
“I didn’t sa y a nything a bout Va lentine.”
“It’s wha t you were thinking,” Cla ry ha d sa id. “Ma ybe Va lentine brought
Ja ce up , but
Ja ce isn’t a nything like him.”
“Well, I hop e not,” Jocelyn ha d sa id sof tly. “For a ll our sa kes.” Ev
entua lly she ha d given
in, but with some rules:
Cla ry wa sn’t to live in the Institute but with her mother a t Luke’s;
Jocelyn got weekly
p rogress rep orts from Ma ryse to a ssure her tha t Cla ry wa s lea r
ning a nd not just, Cla ry
sup p osed, ogling Ja ce a ll da y, or wha tever she wa s worried a
bout. And Cla ry wa sn’t to
sp end the night a t the Institute—ever. “No sleep overs where your boyfr
iend lives,” Jocelyn
ha d sa id f irmly. “I don’t ca re if it is the Institute. No.”

Boyfriend. It wa s still a shock, hea ring the word. For so long
it ha d seemed a tota l
imp ossibility tha t Ja ce would ever be her boyfriend, tha t they co
uld ever be a nything to
ea ch other a t a ll but brother a nd sister, a nd tha t ha d been
too ha rd a nd horrible to fa ce.
Never seeing ea ch other a ga in, they ha d decided, would ha ve bee
n better tha n tha t, a nd
tha t would ha ve been like dying. And then, by a mira cle, they ha d been s
et free. Now it ha d
been six weeks, but Cla ry wa sn’t tired of the word yet.
“I ha ve to get home,” she sa id. “It’s a lmost eleven, a nd my mom frea
ks if I sta y here p a st
“All right.” Ja ce drop p ed his gea r, or a t lea st the top ha lf of it,
onto the bench. He wore a
thin T-shirt undernea th; Cla ry could see his Ma rks through it, li
ke ink bleeding through wet
p a p er. “I’ll wa lk you out.”
The Institute wa s quiet a s they p a ssed through. There were no vi
siting Sha dowhunters
from other cities sta ying right now. Robert, Isa belle a nd Alec’s fa
ther, wa s in Idris help ing
set up the new Council, a nd with Hodge a nd Ma x gone forever, a
nd Alec awa y with
Ma gnus, Cla ry felt a s if the rema ining occup a nts were like gue
sts in a mostly emp ty hotel.
She wished other members of the Concla ve would come a round more of
ten, but she
sup p osed everyone wa s giving the Lightwoods time a t the moment. Time to
remember Ma x,
a nd time to forget.
“So ha ve you hea rd from Alec a nd Ma gnus la tely?” she a sked. “Are th
ey ha ving a good
“Sounds like it.” Ja ce took his p hone out of his p ocket a nd ha nded
it to her. “Alec keep s
sending me a nnoying p hotos. Lots of ca p tions like Wis h you we re he re ,
e xce pt not re ally.”
“Well, you ca n’t blame him. It’s sup p osed to be a roma ntic va ca tion.” She
ɻip p ed through
the p hotos on Ja ce’s p hone a nd giggled. Alec a nd Ma gnus sta nding
in front of the Eiʃel
Tower, Alec wea ring jea ns a s usua l a nd Ma gnus wea ring a strip
ed ɹsherma n’s swea ter,
lea ther p a nts, a nd a n insa ne beret. In the Boboli Ga rdens, A
lec wa s still wea ring jea ns, a nd
Ma gnus wa s wea ring a n enormous Venetia n cloa k a nd a gondolier’s
ha t. He looked like the
Pha ntom of the Op era . In front of the Pra do he wa s wea ring
a sp a rkling ma ta dor ja cket
a nd p la tform boots, while Alec a p p ea red to be ca lmly feeding a p igeon
in the ba ckground.
“I’m ta king tha t awa y from you before you get to the India p a rt,” sa id Ja ce,
retrieving his
p hone. “Ma gnus in a sa ri. Some things you don’t ever forget.”
Cla ry la ughed. They ha d a lrea dy rea ched the eleva tor, which op
ened its ra ttling ga te
when Ja ce p ushed the ca ll button. She step p ed inside, a nd Ja c
e followed her. The moment

the eleva tor sta rted down—Cla ry didn’t think she’d ever get used to the
initia l hea rtstop p ing lurch a s it bega n its descent—he moved towa rd Cla r
y in the dimness, a nd drew her
close. She p ut her ha nds a ga inst his chest, feeling the ha rd m
uscles under his T-shirt, the
bea t of his hea rt benea th them. In the sha dowy light his eyes shone
. “I’m sorry I ca n’t sta y,”
she whisp ered.
“Don’t be sorry.” There wa s a ra gged edge to his voice tha t surp rised her. “Jocely
n doesn’t
wa nt you to turn out like me. I don’t blame her for tha t.”
“Ja ce,” she sa id, a little bewildered by the bitterness in his voice, “a re you a
ll right?”
Instea d of a nswering he kissed her, p ulling her ha rd a ga inst h
im. His body p ressed hers
a ga inst the wa ll, the meta l of the mirror cold a ga inst her ba ck
, his ha nds sliding a round her
wa ist, up under her swea ter. She a lwa ys loved the wa y he held
her. Ca reful, but not too
gentle, not so gentle tha t she ever felt he wa s more in control tha n she wa
s. Neither of them
could control how they felt a bout ea ch other, a nd she liked tha t
, liked the wa y his hea rt
hammered a ga inst hers, liked the wa y he murmured a ga inst her mouth
when she kissed him
ba ck.
The eleva tor came to a ra ttling stop , a nd the ga te op ened. B
eyond it, she could see the
emp ty na ve of the ca thedra l, light shimmering in a line of ca
ndela bra s down the center
a isle. She clung to Ja ce, gla d there wa s very little light in
the eleva tor so she couldn’t see
her own burning fa ce in the mirror.
“Ma ybe I ca n sta y,” she whisp ered. “Just a little while longer.”
He sa id nothing. She could feel the tension in him, a nd tensed h
erself . It wa s more tha n
just the tension of desire. He wa s sha king, his whole body tremblin
g a s he buried his fa ce in
the crook of her neck.
“Ja ce,” she sa id.
He let go of her then, suddenly, a nd step p ed ba ck. His cheeks were ɻushed,
his eyes feverbright. “No,” he sa id. “I don’t wa nt to give your mother
a nother rea son not to like me. She
a lrea dy thinks I’m the second coming of my fa ther—”
He broke oʃ, before Cla ry could sa y, Vale ntine was n’t your fathe r.
Ja ce wa s usua lly so
ca reful to refer to Va lentine Morgenstern by name, never a s “my fa
ther”—when he
mentioned Va lentine a t a ll. Usua lly they sta yed awa y from the t
op ic, a nd Cla ry ha d never
a dmitted to Ja ce tha t her mother worried tha t he wa s secretly ju
st like Va lentine, knowing
tha t even the suggestion would hurt him ba dly. Mostly Cla ry just did everyth
ing she could to
keep the two of them a p a rt.
He rea ched p a st her before she could sa y a nything, a nd ya nked op en
the eleva tor ga te. “I
love you, Cla ry,” he sa id without looking a t her. He wa s sta ring
out into the church, a t the
rows of lighted ca ndles, their gold reɻected in his eyes. “More tha n

I ever—” He broke oʃ.
“God. More tha n I p roba bly should. You know tha t, don’t you?”
She step p ed outside the eleva tor a nd turned to fa ce him. There
were a thousa nd things
she wa nted to sa y, but he wa s a lrea dy looking awa y from her,
p ushing the button tha t
would bring the eleva tor ba ck up to the Institute ɻoors. She sta rt
ed to p rotest, but the
eleva tor wa s a lrea dy moving, the doors closing a s it ra ttled its w
a y ba ck up . They shut with
a click, a nd she sta red a t them for a moment; the Angel wa s p a i
nted on their surfa ce, wings
outsp rea d, eyes ra ised. The Angel wa s p a inted on everything.
Her voice echoed ha rshly in the emp ty room when she sp oke. “I love you, too,” s
he sa id.
“You know wha t’ s a wesome?” sa id Eric, setting down his drumsticks. “Ha v
ing a
vamp ire in our ba nd. This is the thing tha t’s rea lly going to ta ke us over t
he top .”
Kirk, lowering the microp hone, rolled his eyes. Eric wa s a lwa ys
ta lking a bout ta king the
ba nd over the top , a nd so fa r nothing ha d ever a ctua lly ma te
ria lized. The best they’d ever
done wa s a gig a t the Knitting Fa ctory, a nd only four p eop le
ha d come to tha t. And one of
them ha d been Simon’s mom. “I don’t see how it ca n ta ke us over the
top if we’re not
a llowed to tell a nyone he’s a vamp ire.”
“Too ba d,” sa id Simon. He wa s sitting on one of the sp ea kers, ne
xt to Cla ry, who wa s
engrossed in texting someone, p roba bly Ja ce. “No one’s going to belie
ve you a nywa y,
beca use look—here I am. Da ylight.” He ra ised his a rms to indica te t
he sunlight p ouring
through the holes in the roof of Eric’s ga ra ge, which wa s their current p ra
ctice sp a ce.
“Tha t does somewha t imp a ct our credibility,” sa id Ma tt, p ushing his
bright red ha ir out of
his eyes a nd squinting a t Simon. “Ma ybe you could wea r fa ke fa ngs.”
“He doesn’t need fa ke fa ngs,” sa id Cla ry irrita bly, lowering her p hon
e. “He ha s rea l
fa ngs. You’ve seen them.”
This wa s true. Simon ha d ha d to whip out the fa ngs when initia
lly brea king the news to
the ba nd. At ɹrst they’d thought he’d ha d a hea d injury, or a ment
a l brea kdown. Af ter he’d
ɻa shed the fa ngs a t them, they’d come a round. Eric ha d even a dmit
ted tha t he wa sn’t
p a rticula rly surp rised. “I a lwa ys knew there were vamp ires, dude,”
he’d sa id. “Beca use, you
know how there’s p eop le you know who, like, a lwa ys look the same,
even when they’re,
like, a hundred yea rs old? Like Da vid Bowie? Tha t’s beca use they’re vamp ires.”
Simon ha d drawn the line a t telling them tha t Cla ry a nd Isa bell
e were Sha dowhunters.
Tha t wa sn’t his secret to tell. Nor did they know tha t Ma ia wa s
a werewolf . They just
thought tha t Ma ia a nd Isa belle were two hot girls who ha d both

inexp lica bly a greed to da te
Simon. They p ut this down to wha t Kirk ca lled his “sexy vamp ire mojo.”
Simon didn’t rea lly
ca re wha t they ca lled it, a s long a s they never slip p ed up
a nd told Ma ia a nd Isa belle a bout
ea ch other. So fa r he’d ma na ged to successfully invite them ea ch
to a lterna te gigs, so they
never showed up a t the same one a t the same time.
“Ma ybe you could show the fa ngs onsta ge?” Eric suggested. “Just, like,
once, dude. Fla sh
‘em a t the crowd.”
“If he did tha t, the lea der of the New York City vamp ire cla n
would kill you a ll,” Cla ry
sa id. “You know tha t, right?” She shook her hea d in Simon’s direction.
“I ca n’t believe you
told them you’re a vamp ire,” she a dded, lowering her voice so only S
imon could hea r her.
“They’re idiots, in ca se you ha ven’t noticed.”
“They’re my friends,” Simon muttered.
“They’re your friends, and they’re idiots.”
“I wa nt p eop le I ca re a bout to know the truth a bout me.”
“Oh?” Cla ry sa id, not very kindly. “So when a re you going to tell your mother?”
Before Simon could rep ly, there wa s a loud ra p on the ga ra ge door, a nd
a moment la ter it
slid up , letting more a utumn sunlight p our inside. Simon looked o
ver, blinking. It wa s a
reɻex, rea lly, lef t over from when he ha d been huma n. It no longer to
ok his eyes more tha n
a sp lit second to a djust to da rkness or light.
There wa s a boy sta nding a t the ga ra ge entra nce, ba cklit by bright sun.
He held a p iece of
p a p er in his ha nd. He looked down a t it uncerta inly, a nd the
n ba ck up a t the ba nd. “Hey,”
he sa id. “Is this where I ca n f ind the ba nd Da ngerous Sta in?”
“We’re Dichotomous Lemur now,” sa id Eric, step p ing forwa rd. “Who wa nts to know?”
“I’m Kyle,” sa id the boy, ducking under the ga ra ge door. Stra ightening
up , he ɻip p ed
ba ck the brown ha ir tha t fell into his eyes a nd held out his p iece of p a
p er to Eric. “I saw you
were looking for a lea d singer.”
“Whoa ,” sa id Ma tt. “We p ut tha t f lyer up , like, a yea r a go. I tota lly f
orgot a bout it.”
“Yea h,” sa id Eric. “We were doing some diʃerent stuʃ ba ck then. Now we m
ostly switch
of f on voca ls. You ha ve exp erience?”
Kyle—who wa s very ta ll, Simon saw, though not a t a ll ga ngly—shrugged. “Not rea
lly. But
I’m told I ca n sing.” He ha d a slow, slightly drawling diction, more surfer tha
n Southern.
The members of the ba nd looked uncerta inly a t one a nother. Eric
scra tched behind his
ea r. “Ca n you give us a second, dude?”
“Sure.” Kyle ducked ba ck out of the ga ra ge, sliding the door closed
behind him. Simon
could hea r him whistling fa intly outside. It sounded like “She’ll Be C
omin’ Round the
Mounta in.” It wa sn’t p a rticula rly in tune, either.
“I dunno,” Eric sa id. “I’m not sure we ca n use a nyone new right now. ’C
a use, I mea n, we
ca n’t tell him a bout the vamp ire thing, ca n we?”

“No,” sa id Simon. “You ca n’t.”
“Well, then.” Ma tt shrugged. “It’s too ba d. We need a singer. Kirk su
cks. No oʃense,
“Screw you,” sa id Kirk. “I do not suck.”
“Yes, you do,” sa id Ma tt. “You suck big, ha iry—”
“I think,” Cla ry interrup ted, ra ising her voice, “tha t you should let him try ou
Simon sta red a t her. “Why?”
“Beca use he is sup erhot,” Cla ry sa id, to Simon’s surp rise. He ha dn’t
been enormously
struck by Kyle’s looks, but then, p erha p s he wa sn’t the best judge of ma le b
ea uty. “And your
ba nd needs some sex a p p ea l.”
“Tha nk you,” sa id Simon. “On beha lf of us a ll, tha nk you very much.”
Cla ry ma de a n imp a tient noise. “Yes, yes, you’re a ll ɹne-looking gu
ys. Esp ecia lly you,
Simon.” She p a tted his ha nd. “But Kyle is hot like ‘whoa . ’ I’m just sa
ying. My objective
op inion a s a fema le is tha t if you a dd Kyle to your ba nd,
you will double your fema le fa n
ba se.”
“Which mea ns we’ll ha ve two fema le fa ns instea d of one,” sa id Kirk.
“Which one?” Ma tt looked genuinely curious.
“Eric’s little cousin’s friend. Wha t’s her name? The one who ha s a crush
on Simon. She
comes to a ll our gigs a nd tells everyone she’s his girlfriend.”
Simon winced. “She’s thirteen.”
“Tha t’s your sexy vamp ire mojo a t work, ma n,” sa id Ma tt. “The la dies ca nnot re
sist you.”
“Oh, for God’s sa ke,” sa id Cla ry. “There is no such thing a s sexy vam
p ire mojo.” She
p ointed a ɹnger a t Eric. “And don’t even sa y tha t Sexy Vamp ire Mojo
sounds like a ba nd
name, or I’ll—”
The ga ra ge door swung ba ck up . “Uh, dudes?” It wa s Kyle a ga in. “Look, if y
ou don’t wa nt
me to try out, it’s cool. Ma ybe you cha nged your sound, wha tever.
Just sa y the word, a nd
I’m out.”
Eric cocked his hea d to the side. “Come on in a nd let’s get a look a t you.”
Kyle step p ed into the ga ra ge. Simon sta red a t him, trying to
ga uge wha t it wa s tha t ha d
ma de Cla ry sa y he wa s hot. He wa s ta ll a nd broa d-shouldered
a nd slim, with high
cheekbones, longish bla ck ha ir tha t tumbled over his forehea d a nd
down his neck in curls,
a nd brown skin tha t ha dn’t lost its summery ta n yet. His long, thick
eyela shes over sta rtling
ha zel-green eyes ma de him look like a p retty-boy rock sta r. He
wore a ɹtted green T-shirt
a nd jea ns, a nd twining both his ba re a rms were ta ttoos—not Ma rks
, just ordina ry ta ttoos.
They looked like scrolling scrip t winding a round his skin, disa p p
ea ring up the sleeves of his
Oka y, Simon ha d to a dmit. He wa sn’t hideous.
“You know,” Kirk sa id f ina lly, brea king the silence. “I see it. He is p retty
Kyle blinked a nd turned to Eric. “So, do you wa nt me to sing or not?”

Eric deta ched the mike from its sta nd a nd ha nded it to him. “Go
a hea d,” he sa id. “Give it
a try.”
“You know, he wa s rea lly p retty good,” Cla ry sa id. “I wa s kind of
kidding a bout including
Kyle in the ba nd, but he ca n a ctua lly sing.”
They were wa lking a long Kent Avenue, towa rd Luke’s house. The sky
ha d da rkened from
blue to gra y in p rep a ra tion for twilight, a nd clouds hung low over the Ea
st River. Cla ry wa s
tra iling one of her gloved ha nds a long the cha in-link fence tha t
sep a ra ted them from the
cra cked concrete emba nkment, ma king the meta l ra ttle.
“You’re just sa ying tha t beca use you think he’s hot,” sa id Simon.
She dimp led. “Not tha t hot. Not, like, the hottest guy I’ve ever s
een.” Which, Simon
ima gined, would be Ja ce, though she wa s nice enough not to sa y
it. “But I thought it would
be a good idea to ha ve him in the ba nd, honestly. If Eric a
nd the rest of them ca n’t tell him
you’re a vamp ire, they ca n’t tell everyone else, either. Hop efully
it’ll p ut a n end to tha t
stup id idea .” They were nea rly a t Luke’s house; Simon could see it
a cross the street, the
windows lit up yellow a ga inst the coming da rk. Cla ry p a used a
t a ga p in the fence.
“Remember when we killed a bunch of Ra um demons here?”
“You a nd Ja ce killed some Ra um demons. I a lmost threw up .” Simon r
emembered, but his
mind wa sn’t on it; he wa s thinking of Camille, sitting a cross fro
m him in the courtya rd,
sa ying, You be frie nd Shadowhunte rs , but you can ne ve r be of the m. Yo
u will always be othe r and
outs ide . He looked sidewa ys a t Cla ry, wondering wha t she would sa y if
he told her a bout his
meeting with the vamp ire, a nd her oʃer. He ima gined tha t she woul
d p roba bly be terriɹed.
The fa ct tha t he couldn’t be ha rmed ha dn’t yet stop p ed her from worrying a bou
t his sa fety.
“You wouldn’t be sca red now,” she sa id sof tly, a s if rea ding his mi
nd. “Now you ha ve the
Ma rk.” She turned to look a t him, still lea ning a ga inst the fence
. “Does a nyone ever notice
or a sk you a bout it?”
He shook his hea d. “My ha ir covers it, mostly, a nd a nywa y, it’s
fa ded a lot. See?” He
p ushed his ha ir a side.
Cla ry rea ched out a nd touched his forehea d a nd the curving scrip ted Ma rk
there. Her eyes
were sa d, a s they ha d been tha t da y in the Ha ll of Accords
in Alica nte, when she’d cut the
oldest curse of the world into his skin. “Does it hurt?”
“No. No, it doesn’t.” And Cain s aid unto the Lord, My punis hme nt is
gre ate r than I can be ar.
“You know I don’t blame you, don’t you? You sa ved my life.”
“I know.” Her eyes were shining. She drop p ed her ha nd from his foreh
ea d a nd scrubbed
the ba ck of her glove a cross her fa ce. “Damn. I ha te crying.”
“Well, you better get used to it,” he sa id, a nd when her eyes widened, he a d
ded ha stily, “I

mea nt the wedding. It’s wha t, next Sa turda y? Everyone cries a t weddings.”
She snorted.
“How a re your mom a nd Luke, a nywa y?”
“Disgustingly in love. It’s horrible. Anywa y—” She p a tted him on the sho
ulder. “I should
go in. See you tomorrow?”
He nodded. “Sure. Tomorrow.”
He wa tched her a s she ra n a cross the street a nd up the sta irs
to Luke’s front door.
Tomorrow. He wondered how long it ha d been since he ha d gone more
tha n a few da ys
without seeing Cla ry. He wondered a bout being a fugitive a nd a wa nderer o
n the ea rth, like
Camille ha d sa id. Like Ra p ha el ha d sa id. Thy brothe r’s blood c
rie th unto me from the ground.
He wa sn’t Ca in, who ha d killed his brother, but the curse believed he wa s.
It wa s stra nge, he
thought, wa iting to lose everything, not knowing if it would ha p p en, or
The door shut behind Cla ry. Simon turned to hea d down Kent, towa
rd the G tra in stop a t
Lorimer Street. It wa s nea rly full da rk now, the sky overhea d a
swirl of gra y a nd bla ck.
Simon hea rd tires squea l on the roa d behind him, but he didn’t tur
n a round. Ca rs drove too
fa st on this street a ll the time, desp ite the cra cks a nd p otho
les. It wa sn’t until the blue va n
drew up beside him a nd screeched to a stop tha t he turned to look.
The va n’s driver ya nked the keys from the ignition, killing the engi
ne, a nd threw op en
the door. It wa s a ma n—a ta ll ma n, dressed in a gra y hooded
tra cksuit a nd snea kers, the
hood p ulled down so low tha t it hid most of his fa ce. He lea p ed down fr
om the driver’s sea t,
a nd Simon saw tha t there wa s a long, shimmering knife in his ha nd.
La ter Simon would think tha t he should ha ve run. He wa s a vamp
ire, fa ster tha n a ny
huma n. He could outrun a nyone. He should ha ve run, but he wa s
too sta rtled; he stood still
a s the ma n, gleaming knife in ha nd, came towa rd him. The ma n
sa id something in a low,
guttura l voice, something in a la ngua ge Simon didn’t understa nd.
Simon took a step ba ck. “Look,” he sa id, rea ching for his p ocket.
“You ca n ha ve my
wa llet—”
The ma n lunged a t Simon, p lunging the knife towa rd his chest. S
imon sta red down in
disbelief . Everything seemed to be ha p p ening very slowly, a s if time wer
e stretching out. He
saw the p oint of the knife nea r his chest, the tip denting the
lea ther of his ja cket—a nd then
it shea red to the side, a s if someone ha d gra bbed his a tta cke
r’s a rm a nd yanke d. The ma n
screamed a s he wa s jerked up into the a ir like a p up p et bein
g ha uled up by its strings.
Simon looked a round wildly—surely someone must ha ve hea rd or noticed
the commotion,
but no one a p p ea red. The ma n kep t screaming, jerking wildly,
while his shirt tore op en
down the front, a s if rip p ed a p a rt by a n invisible ha nd.

Simon sta red in horror. Huge wounds were a p p ea ring on the ma n’s
torso. His hea d ɻew
ba ck, a nd blood sp ra yed from his mouth. He stop p ed screaming a brup tly—a
nd fell, a s if the
invisible ha nd ha d op ened, relea sing him. He hit the ground a nd
broke a p a rt like gla ss
sha ttering into a thousa nd shining p ieces tha t sca ttered themselves a cros
s the p a vement.
Simon drop p ed to his knees. The knife tha t ha d been mea nt to k
ill him la y a little wa y
awa y, within a rm’s rea ch. It wa s a ll tha t wa s lef t of his a
tta cker, sa ve a p ile of shimmering
crysta ls tha t were a lrea dy beginning to blow awa y in the brisk w
ind. He touched one
ca utiously.
It wa s sa lt. He looked down a t his ha nds. They were sha king.
He knew wha t ha d
ha p p ened, a nd why.
And the Lord s aid unto him, The re fore whos oe ve r s laye th Cain
, ve nge ance s hall be take n on
him s e ve nfold.
So this wa s wha t sevenfold looked like.
He ba rely ma de it to the gutter before he doubled over a nd vomited blood into
the street.
The moment Simon op ened the door, he knew he’d misca lcula ted. He’d t
hought his mother
would be a sleep by now, but she wa sn’t. She wa s awa ke, sitting
in a n a rmcha ir fa cing the
front door, her p hone on the ta ble next to her, a nd she saw th
e blood on his ja cket
immedia tely.
To his surp rise she didn’t scream, but her ha nd f lew to her mouth. “ Simon.”
“It’s not my blood,” he sa id quickly. “I wa s over a t Eric’s, a nd Ma tt ha d a noseb
“I don’t wa nt to hea r it.” Tha t sha rp tone wa s one she ra rely used;
it reminded him of the
wa y she’d ta lked during those la st months when his fa ther ha d been
sick, a nxiety like a
knife in her voice. “I don’t wa nt to hea r a ny more lies.”
Simon drop p ed his keys onto the ta ble next to the door. “Mom—”
“All you do is tell me lies. I’m tired of it.”
“Tha t’s not true,” he sa id, but he felt sick, knowing it wa s. “I just
ha ve a lot going on in
my life right now.”
“I know you do.” His mother got to her feet; she ha d a lwa ys been a
skinny woma n, a nd
she looked bony now, her da rk ha ir, the same color a s his, str
ea ked with more gra y tha n he
ha d remembered where it fell a round her fa ce. “Come with me, young ma n. Now
Puzzled, Simon followed her into the sma ll bright-yellow kitchen. His
mother stop p ed a nd
p ointed towa rd the counter. “Ca re to exp la in those?”
Simon’s mouth went dry. Lined up a long the counter like a row of
toy soldiers were the
bottles of blood tha t ha d been in the mini-fridge inside his close
t. One wa s ha lf -full, the
others entirely full, the red liquid inside them shining like a n a ccusa tion.
She ha d a lso found
the emp ty blood ba gs he ha d wa shed out a nd ca refully stuʃed insid

e a shop p ing ba g before
dump ing them into his tra sh ca n. They were sp rea d out over the
counter too, like a
grotesque decora tion.
“I thought a t ɹrst the bottles were wine,” Ela ine Lewis sa id in a sha
king voice. “Then I
found the ba gs. So I op ened one of the bottles. It’s blood. Isn’t it?”
Simon sa id nothing. His voice seemed to ha ve f led.
“You’ve been a cting so stra ngely la tely,” his mother went on. “Out a t a ll hours,
you never
ea t, you ba rely sleep , you ha ve friends I’ve never met, never hea
rd of . You think I ca n’t tell
when you’re lying to me? I ca n tell, Simon. I thought ma ybe you were on drugs.”
Simon found his voice. “So you sea rched my room?”
His mother ɻushed. “I ha d to! I thought—I thought if I found drugs the
re, I could help
you, get you into a reha b p rogram, but this?” She gestured wildly
a t the bottles. “I don’t
even know wha t to think a bout this. Wha t’s going on, Simon? Ha ve you joined
some kind of
Simon shook his hea d.
“Then, tell me,” his mother sa id, her lip s trembling. “Beca use the on
ly exp la na tions I ca n
think of a re horrible a nd sick. Simon, p lea se—”
“I’m a vamp ire,” Simon sa id. He ha d no idea how he ha d sa id it, or even why.
But there it
wa s. The words hung in the a ir between them like p oisonous ga s.
His mother’s knees seemed to give out, a nd she sa nk into a kitchen
cha ir. “Wha t did you
sa y?” she brea thed.
“I’m a vamp ire,” Simon sa id. “I’ve been one for a bout two months now. I’m
sorry I didn’t
tell you before. I didn’t know how.”
Ela ine Lewis’s fa ce wa s cha lk white. “Vamp ires don’t exist, Simon.”
“Yes,” he sa id. “They do. Look, I didn’t a sk to be a vamp ire. I wa
s a tta cked. I didn’t ha ve
a choice. I’d cha nge it if I could.” He thought wildly ba ck to the
p amp hlet Cla ry ha d given
him so long a go, the one a bout coming out to your p a rents. It
ha d seemed like a funny
a na logy then; now it didn’t.
“You think you’re a vamp ire,” Simon’s mother sa id numbly. “You think you drink blood.”
“I do drink blood,” Simon sa id. “I drink a nima l blood.” “But you’re a ve ge
tarian.” His
mother looked to be on the verge of tea rs.
“I wa s. I’m not now. I ca n’t be. Blood is wha t I live on.” Simon’s th
roa t felt tight. “I’ve
never hurt a p erson. I’d never drink someone’s blood. I’m still the sa
me p erson. I’m still
His mother seemed to be f ighting for control. “Your new friends—a re they vamp ire
s too?”
Simon thought of Isa belle, Ma ia , Ja ce. He couldn’t exp la in Sha
dowhunters a nd
werewolves, too. It wa s too much. “No. But—they know I am one.”
“Did—did they give you drugs? Ma ke you ta ke something? Something tha t
would ma ke
you ha llucina te?” She seemed to ha ve ba rely hea rd his a nswer.
“No. Mom, this is rea l.”

“It’s not rea l,” she whisp ered. “You think it’s rea l. Oh, God. Simon. I’m
so sorry. I should
ha ve noticed. We’ll get you help . We’ll f ind someone. A doctor. Wha tever it
“I ca n’t go to a doctor, Mom.”
“Yes, you ca n. You need to be somewhere. A hosp ita l, ma ybe—”
He held out his wrist to her. “Feel my p ulse,” he sa id.
She looked a t him, bewildered. “Wha t?”
“My p ulse,” he sa id. “Ta ke it. If I ha ve one, oka y. I’ll go to t
he hosp ita l with you. If not,
you ha ve to believe me.”
She wip ed the tea rs from her eyes a nd slowly rea ched to ta ke hi
s wrist. Af ter so long
ta king ca re of Simon’s fa ther when he’d been sick, she knew how to
ta ke a p ulse a s well a s
a ny nurse. She p ressed her index f ingertip to the inside of his wrist, a
nd wa ited.
He wa tched a s her fa ce cha nged, from misery a nd up set to confu
sion, a nd then to terror.
She stood up , drop p ing his ha nd, ba cking awa y from him. Her
eyes were huge a nd da rk in
her white fa ce. “Wha t a re you?”
Simon felt sick. “I told you. I’m a vamp ire.”
“You’re not my son. You’re not Simon.” She wa s shuddering. “Wha t kind of
living thing
doesn’t ha ve a p ulse? Wha t kind of monster a re you? What have you done wit
h my child?”
“I am Simon—” He took a step towa rd his mother.
She screamed. He ha d never hea rd her scream like tha t, a nd he
never wa nted to a ga in. It
wa s a horrible noise.
“Get awa y from me.” Her voice broke. “Don’t come a ny closer.” She bega n t
o whisp er.
“ Barukh ata Adonai s ho’me ’a t’fila…”
She wa s praying, Simon rea lized with a jolt. She wa s so terriɹed
of him tha t she wa s
p ra ying tha t he would go awa y, be ba nished. And wha t wa s worse wa s t
ha t he could feel it.
The name of God tightened his stoma ch a nd ma de his throa t a che.
She wa s right to p ra y, he thought, sick to his soul. He wa s
cursed. He didn’t belong in the
world. What kind of living thing doe s n’t have a puls e ?
“Mom,” he whisp ered. “Mom, stop .”
She looked a t him, wide-eyed, her lip s still moving.
“Mom, you don’t need to be so up set.” He hea rd his own voice a s if
from a dista nce, sof t
a nd soothing, a stra nger’s voice. He kep t his eyes ɹxed on his mother a s he s
p oke, ca p turing
her ga ze with his a s a ca t might ca p ture a mouse. “Nothing ha p p ened. Y
ou fell a sleep in the
a rmcha ir in the living room. You’re ha ving a ba d dream tha t I c
ame home a nd told you I
wa s a vamp ire. But tha t’s cra zy. Tha t would never ha p p en.”
She ha d stop p ed p ra ying. She blinked. “I’m dreaming,” she rep ea ted.
“It’s a ba d dream,” Simon sa id. He moved towa rd her a nd p ut his ha
nd on her shoulder.
She didn’t p ull awa y. Her hea d wa s droop ing, like a tired child’s
. “Just a dream. You never
found a nything in my room. Nothing ha p p ened. You’ve just been sleep ing, th
a t’s a ll.”

He took her ha nd. She let him lea d her into the living room, wh
ere he settled her into the
a rmcha ir. She smiled when he p ulled a bla nket over her, a nd closed her e
He went ba ck into the kitchen a nd swif tly, methodica lly, swep t the b
ottles a nd conta iners
of blood into a ga rba ge ba g. He tied it a t the top a nd bro
ught it to his room, where he
cha nged his bloody ja cket for a new one, a nd threw some things
quickly into a duʃel ba g.
He f lip p ed the light of f a nd lef t, closing the door behind him.
His mother wa s a lrea dy a sleep a s he p a ssed through the living
room. He rea ched out a nd
lightly touched her ha nd.
“I’ll be gone for a few da ys,” he whisp ered. “But you won’t worry. You
won’t exp ect me
ba ck. You think I’m on a school f ield trip . There’s no need to ca ll. Everyth
ing is f ine.”
He drew his ha nd ba ck. In the dim light his mother looked both o
lder a nd younger tha n
he wa s used to. She wa s a s sma ll a s a child, curled under t
he bla nket, but there were new
lines on her fa ce he didn’t remember being there before.
“Mom,” he whisp ered.
He touched her ha nd, a nd she stirred. Not wa nting her to wa ke, he jerked
his ɹngers ba ck
a nd moved soundlessly to the door, gra bbing his keys from the ta ble a s he w
The Institute wa s quiet. It wa s a lwa ys quiet these da ys. Ja ce
ha d ta ken to lea ving his
window op en a t night, so he could hea r the noises of traɽc going by, the occ
a siona l wa il of
ambula nce sirens a nd the honking of horns on York Avenue. He coul
d hea r things
munda nes couldn’t, too, a nd these sounds ɹltered through the night a n
d into his dreams—
the rush of a ir disp la ced by a vamp ire’s a irborne motorcycle, th
e ɻutter of winged fey, the
dista nt howl of wolves on nights when the moon wa s full.
It wa s only ha lf -full now, ca sting just enough light for him to
rea d by a s he sp rawled on
the bed. He ha d his fa ther’s silver box op en in front of him, a
nd wa s going through wha t
wa s inside it. One of his fa ther’s steles wa s in there, a nd a
silver-ha ndled hunting da gger
with the initia ls SWH on the ha ndle, a nd—of most interest to Ja ce—a p ile of
Over the p a st six weeks he ha d ta ken to rea ding a letter or s
o every night, trying to get a
sense for the ma n who wa s his biologica l fa ther. A p icture ha d begun to
emerge slowly, of a
thoughtful young ma n with ha rd-driving p a rents who ha d been drawn
to Va lentine a nd the
Circle beca use they ha d seemed to oʃer him a n op p ortunity to disti
nguish himself in the
world. He ha d kep t writing to Ama tis even a f ter their divorce,
something she ha dn’t
mentioned before. In those letters, his disencha ntment with Va lentin
e a nd sickness a t the
Circle’s a ctivities were clea r, though he ra rely, if ever, mention

ed Ja ce’s mother, Céline. It
ma de sense—Ama tis wouldn’t ha ve wa nted to hea r a bout her rep la cemen
t—a nd yet Ja ce
could not help ha ting his fa ther a little for it. If he ha dn’t
ca red a bout Ja ce’s mother, why
ma rry her? If he’d ha ted the Circle so much, why ha dn’t he lef t i
t? Va lentine ha d been a
ma dma n, but a t lea st he’d stood by his p rincip les.
And then, of course, Ja ce only felt worse for p referring Va lenti
ne to his rea l fa ther. Wha t
kind of p erson did tha t ma ke him?
A knock on the door drew him out of his self -recrimina tions; he got to his f
eet a nd went to
a nswer it, exp ecting Isa belle to be there, wa nting to either bor
row something or comp la in
a bout something.
But it wa sn’t Isa belle. It wa s Cla ry.
She wa sn’t dressed the wa y she usua lly wa s. She ha d a low-cut b
la ck ta nk top on, a white
blouse tied loose a nd op en over it, a nd a short skirt, short e
nough to show the curves of her
legs up to midthigh. She wore her bright red ha ir in bra ids, lo
ose curls of it clinging a ga inst
the hollows of her temp les, a s if it ha d been ra ining lightly
outside. She smiled when she
saw him, a rching her eyebrows. They were cop p ery, like the ɹne ey
ela shes tha t framed her
green eyes. “Aren’t you going to let me in?”
He looked up a nd down the ha llwa y. No one else wa s there, tha
nk God. Ta king Cla ry by
the a rm, he p ulled her inside a nd shut the door. Lea ning a ga i
nst it, he sa id, “Wha t a re you
doing here? Is everything a ll right?”
“Everything’s ɹne.” She kicked oʃ her shoes a nd sa t down on the edge of
he bed. Her
skirt rode up a s she lea ned ba ck on her ha nds, showing more thigh. It wa
sn’t doing wonders
for Ja ce’s concentra tion. “I missed you. And Mom a nd Luke a re a sle
ep . They won’t notice
I’m gone.”
“You shouldn’t be here.” The words came out a s a sort of groa n. He ha ted sa ying
them but
knew they needed to be sa id, for rea sons she didn’t even know. And
he hop ed she never
“Well, if you wa nt me to go, I will.” She stood up . Her eyes were shimmeringly
green. She
took a step closer to him. “But I came a ll the wa y here. You c
ould a t lea st kiss me goodbye.”
He rea ched for her a nd drew her in, a nd kissed her. There were
some things you ha d to
do, even if they were a ba d idea . She folded into his a rms like delica te
silk. He p ut his ha nds
in her ha ir a nd ra n his ɹngers through it, untwisting her bra ids until her ha
ir fell a round her
shoulders the wa y he liked it. He remembered wa nting to do this t
he ɹrst time he ha d seen
her, a nd dismissing the idea a s insa ne. She wa s a munda ne,
she’d been a stra nger, there’d
been no sense in wa nting her. And then he ha d kissed her for the


ɹrst time, in the
greenhouse, a nd it ha d a lmost ma de him cra zy. They ha d gone d
ownsta irs a nd been
interrup ted by Simon, a nd he ha d never wa nted to kill a nyone a s much a s
he ha d wa nted to
kill Simon in tha t moment, though he knew, intellectua lly, tha t Simon ha d
n’t done a nything
wrong. But wha t he felt ha d nothing to do with intellect, a nd w
hen he ha d ima gined her
lea ving him for Simon, the thought ha d ma de him sick a nd sca red
the wa y no demon ever
ha d.
And then Va lentine ha d told them they were brother a nd sister, a nd Ja ce ha
d rea lized tha t
there were worse things, inɹnitely worse things, tha n Cla ry lea ving
him for someone else—
a nd tha t wa s knowing tha t the wa y he loved her wa s somehow cosmica lly wro
ng; tha t wha t
ha d seemed the most p ure a nd most irrep roa cha ble thing in his l
ife ha d now been deɹled
beyond redemp tion. He remembered his fa ther sa ying tha t when a nge
ls fell, they fell in
a nguish, beca use once they ha d seen the fa ce of God, a nd now they never
would a ga in. And
he ha d thought he knew how they felt.
It ha d not ma de him wa nt her a ny less; it ha d just turned wa
nting her into torture.
Sometimes the sha dow of tha t torture fell a cross his memories even
when he wa s kissing
her, a s he wa s now, a nd ma de him crush her more tightly to hi
m. She ma de a surp rised
noise but didn’t p rotest, even when he lif ted her up a nd ca rried her over to
the bed.
They sp rawled onto it together, crump ling some of the letters, Ja
ce knocking the box
itself a side to ma ke room for them. His hea rt wa s hammering a g
a inst the inside of his ribs.
They ha d never been in bed together like this before, not rea lly.
There ha d been tha t night
in her room in Idris, but they ha d ba rely touched. Jocelyn wa s
ca reful never to let either of
them sp end the night where the other one lived. She didn’t ca re muc
h for him, Ja ce
susp ected, a nd he could ha rdly blame her. He doubted he would ha
ve liked himself much, if
he’d been in her p osition.
“I love you,” Cla ry whisp ered. She ha d his shirt oʃ, a nd her ɹngertip
s were tra cing the
sca rs on his ba ck, a nd the sta r-sha p ed sca r on his shoulder t
ha t wa s the twin of her own, a
relic of the a ngel whose blood they both sha red. “I don’t ever wa nt to lose you
He slid his ha nd down to untie her knotted blouse. His other ha nd
, bra ced a ga inst the
ma ttress, touched the cold meta l of the hunting da gger; it must
ha ve sp illed onto the bed
with the rest of the contents of the box. “Tha t will never ha p p en.”
She looked up a t him with luminous eyes. “How ca n you be so sure?”
His ha nd tightened on the knife hilt. The moonlight tha t p oured t
hrough the window slid

oʃ the bla de a s he ra ised it. “I’m sure,” he sa id, a nd brought the
da gger down. The bla de
shea red through her ɻesh a s if it were p a p er, a nd a s her mout
h op ened in a sta rtled O a nd
blood soa ked the front of her white shirt, he thought, De ar God, not again
Wa king up from the nightma re wa s like cra shing through a p la te gla ss wi
ndow. The ra zored
sha rds of it seemed to slice a t Ja ce even a s he p ulled free a
nd sa t up , ga sp ing. He rolled oʃ
the bed, instinctively wa nting to get awa y, a nd hit the stone ɻoor
on his ha nds a nd knees.
Cold a ir p oured through the op en window, ma king him shiver but c
lea ring awa y the la st,
clinging tendrils of the dream.
He sta red down a t his ha nds. They were clea n of blood. The be
d wa s a mess, the sheets
a nd bla nkets screwed into a ta ngled ba ll from his tossing a nd t
urning, but the box
conta ining his fa ther’s things wa s still on the nightsta nd, where h
e’d lef t it before he went
to sleep .
The ɹrst few times he’d ha d the nightma re, he’d woken up a nd vomited.
Now he wa s
ca reful a bout not ea ting for hours before he went to sleep , so
instea d his body ha d its
revenge on him by ra cking him with sp a sms of sickness a nd fever.
A sp a sm hit now, a nd he
curled into a ba ll, ga sp ing a nd dry-hea ving until it p a ssed.
When it wa s over, he p ressed his forehea d a ga inst the cold stone ɻoor.
Swea t wa s cooling
on his body, his shirt sticking to him, a nd he wondered, not idl
y, if eventua lly the dreams
would kill him. He ha d tried everything to stop them—sleep ing p ills
a nd p otions, runes of
sleep a nd runes of p ea ce a nd hea ling. Nothing worked. The dreams stole
like p oison into his
mind, a nd there wa s nothing he could do to shut them out.
Even during his wa king hours, he found it ha rd to look a t Cla ry
. She ha d a lwa ys been
a ble to see through him the wa y no one else ha d, a nd he could only ima gine
wha t she would
think if she knew wha t he dreamed. He rolled onto his side a nd
sta red a t the box on the
nightsta nd, moonlight sp a rking oʃ it. And he thought of Va lentine.
Va lentine, who ha d
tortured a nd imp risoned the only woma n he’d ever loved, who ha d ta
ught his son—both his
sons—tha t to love something is to destroy it forever.
His mind sp un fra ntica lly a s he sa id the words to himself , ove
r a nd over. It ha d become a
sort of cha nt for him, a nd like a ny cha nt, the words ha d sta
rted to lose their individua l
mea nings.
I’m not like Vale ntine . I don’t want to be like him. I won’t be like him. I
He saw Seba stia n—Jona tha n, rea lly—his sort-of -brother, grinning a t h
im through a
ta ngle of silver-white ha ir, his bla ck eyes shining with merciless
glee. And he saw his own

knife go into Jona tha n a nd p ull free, a nd Jona tha n’s body tumbli
ng down towa rd the river
below, his blood mixing with the weeds a nd gra ss a t the riverba nk’s edge.
I am not like Vale ntine .
He ha d not been sorry to kill Jona tha n. Given the cha nce, he would do it a
ga in.
I don’t want to be like him.
Surely it wa sn’t norma l to kill someone—to kill your own a dop tive bro
ther—a nd feel
nothing a bout it a t a ll.
I won’t be like him.
But his fa ther ha d ta ught him tha t to kill without mercy wa s a
virtue, a nd ma ybe you
could never forget wha t your p a rents ta ught you. No ma tter how ba dly you
wa nted to.
I won’t be like him.
Ma ybe p eop le could never rea lly cha nge.
I won’t.
The words were engra ved over the front doors of the Brooklyn Public
Libra ry a t Gra nd
Army Pla za . Simon wa s sitting on the front step s, looking up a
t the fa ca de. Inscrip tions
glittered a ga inst the stone in dull gilt, ea ch word ɻa shing into m
omenta ry life when ca ught
by the hea dlights of p a ssing ca rs.
The libra ry ha d a lwa ys been one of his fa vorite p la ces when h
e wa s a kid. There wa s a
sep a ra te children’s entra nce a round the side, a nd he ha d met Cla ry there
every Sa turda y for
yea rs. They would p ick up a sta ck of books a nd hea d for the
Bota nica l Ga rden next door,
where they could rea d for hours, sp rawled in the gra ss, the soun
d of traɽc a consta nt dull
thrumming in the dista nce.
How he ha d ended up here tonight, he wa sn’t quite sure. He ha d
gotten awa y from his
house a s fa st a s he could, only to rea lize he ha d nowhere to
go. He couldn’t fa ce going to
Cla ry’s—she’d be horriɹed a t wha t he’d done, a nd would wa nt him to go b
a ck to ɹx it. Eric
a nd the other guys wouldn’t understa nd. Ja ce didn’t like him, a nd b
esides, he couldn’t go
into the Institute. It wa s a church, a nd the rea son the Nep hil
im lived there in the ɹrst p la ce
wa s p recisely to keep crea tures like him out. Eventua lly he ha d rea li
zed who it wa s he could
ca ll, but the thought ha d been unp lea sa nt enough tha t it ha d
ta ken him a while to screw up
the nerve to a ctua lly do it.
He hea rd the motorcycle before he saw it, the loud roa r of the
engine cutting through the
sounds of light traɽc on Gra nd Army Pla za . The cycle ca reened a c
ross the intersection a nd
up onto the p a vement, then rea red ba ck a nd shot up the step s
. Simon moved a side a s it

la nded lightly beside him a nd Ra p ha el relea sed the ha ndleba rs.
The motorcycle went insta ntly quiet. Vamp motorcycles were p owered
by demonic sp irits
a nd resp onded like p ets to the wishes of their owners. Simon found them cre
ep y.
“You wa nted to see me, Da ylighter?” Ra p ha el, a s elega nt a s a lwa
ys in a bla ck ja cket a nd
exp ensive-looking jea ns, dismounted a nd lea ned his motorcycle a ga i
nst the libra ry ra iling.
“This ha d better be good,” he a dded. “It is not for nothing tha t I c
ome a ll the wa y to
Brooklyn. Ra p ha el Sa ntia go does not belong in a n outer borough.”
“Oh, good. You’re sta rting to ta lk a bout yourself in the third p er
son. Tha t’s not a sign of
imp ending mega loma nia or a nything.”
Ra p ha el shrugged. “You ca n either tell me wha t you wa nted to tel
l me, or I will lea ve. It
is up to you.” He looked a t his wa tch. “You ha ve thirty seconds.”
“I told my mother I’m a vamp ire.”
Ra p ha el’s eyebrows went up . They were very thin a nd very da rk.
In less generous
moments Simon sometimes wondered if he p enciled them on. “And wha t ha p p ened
“She ca lled me a monster a nd tried to p ra y a t me.” The memory ma
de the bitter ta ste of
old blood rise in the ba ck of Simon’s throa t.
“And then?”
“And then I’m not sure wha t ha p p ened. I sta rted ta lking to her in
this rea lly weird,
soothing voice, telling her nothing ha d ha p p ened a nd it wa s a ll a dream
“And she believed you.”
“She believed me,” Simon sa id relucta ntly.
“Of course she did,” sa id Ra p ha el. “Beca use you a re a vamp ire. It is a p o
wer we ha ve. The
e ncanto. The fa scina tion. The p ower of p ersua sion, you would
ca ll it. You ca n convince
munda ne huma ns of a lmost a nything, if you lea rn how to use the a bility
p rop erly.”
“But I didn’t wa nt to use it on her. She’s my mother. Is there some wa y to ta ke i
t oʃ her—
some wa y to f ix it?”
“Fix it so she ha tes you a ga in? So she thinks you a re a monster?
Tha t is a very odd
def inition of f ixing something.”
“I don’t ca re,” Simon sa id. “Is there a wa y?”
“No,” Ra p ha el sa id cheerfully. “There is not. You would know a ll this, of cou
rse, if you did
not disda in your own kind so much.”
“Tha t’s right. Act like I rejected you. It’s not like you tried to kill me or a nyt
Ra p ha el shrugged. “Tha t wa s p olitics. Not p ersona l.” He lea ned b
a ck a ga inst the ra iling
a nd crossed his a rms over his chest. He wa s wea ring bla ck motor
cycle gloves. Simon ha d to
a dmit he looked p retty cool. “Plea se tell me you did not bring me
out here so you could tell
me a very boring story a bout your sister.”
“My mother,” Simon corrected.
Ra p ha el ɻip p ed a dismissive ha nd. “Wha tever. Some fema le in your

life ha s rejected you.
It will not be the la st time, I ca n tell you tha t. Why a re you bothering m
e a bout it?”
“I wa nted to know if I could come a nd sta y a t the Dumont,” Simon sa id, gettin
g the words
out very fa st so tha t he couldn’t ba ck out ha lfwa y. He could ba
rely believe he wa s a sking.
His memories of the vamp ire hotel were memories of blood a nd terr
or a nd p a in. But it wa s
a p la ce to go, a p la ce to sta y where no one would look for him, a nd so
he would not ha ve to
go home. He wa s a vamp ire. It wa s stup id to be a fra id of
a hotel full of othe r vamp ires. “I
ha ven’t got a nywhere else to go.”
Ra p ha el’s eyes glittered. “Aha ,” he sa id, with a sof t triump h Simo
n did not p a rticula rly
like. “Now you wa nt something from me.”
“I sup p ose so. Although it’s creep y tha t you’re so excited a bout tha t, Ra p ha
Ra p ha el snorted. “If you come to sta y a t the Dumont, you will not a ddress
me a s Ra p ha el,
but a s Ma ster, Sire, or Grea t Lea der.”
Simon bra ced himself . “Wha t a bout Camille?”
Ra p ha el sta rted. “Wha t do you mea n?”
“You a lwa ys told me you weren’t rea lly the hea d of the vamp ires,” Si
mon sa id bla ndly.
“Then, in Idris, you told me it wa s someone named Camille. You sa
id she ha dn’t come ba ck
to New York yet. But I a ssume, when she does, s he ’ll be the ma ster, or wha
Ra p ha el’s ga ze da rkened. “I do not think I like your line of questioning, Da
“I ha ve a right to know things.”
“No,” sa id Ra p ha el. “You don’t. You come to me, a sking if you ca n
sta y in my hotel
beca use you ha ve nowhere else to go. Not beca use you wish to be
with others of your kind.
You shun us.”
“Which, a s I a lrea dy p ointed out, ha s to do with tha t time you tried to ki
ll me.”
“The Dumont is not a ha lfwa y house for relucta nt vamp ires,” Ra p ha e
l went on. “You live
among huma ns, you wa lk in da ylight, you p la y in your stup id ba nd—yes, do
n’t think I don’t
know a bout tha t. In every wa y you do not a ccep t wha t you rea lly a re. A
nd a s long a s tha t is
true, you a re not welcome a t the Dumont.”
Simon thought of Camille sa ying, The mome nt his followe rs s e e
that you are with me , the y
will le ave him and come to me . I be lie ve the y are loyal to me be ne a
th the ir fe ar of him. Once the y
s e e us toge the r, that fe ar will be gone , and the y will come to our
s ide . “You know,” he sa id, “I’ve
ha d other of fers.”
Ra p ha el looked a t him a s if he were insa ne. “Of fers of wha t?”
“Just … of fers,” Simon sa id feebly.
“You a re terrible a t this p olitics business, Simon Lewis. I suggest
you do not a ttemp t it
a ga in.”
“Fine,” Simon sa id. “I came here to tell you something, but now I’m not going to.”

“I sup p ose you a re a lso going to throw awa y the birthda y p resent
you got me,” Ra p ha el
sa id. “It is a ll very tra gic.” He retrieved his motorcycle a nd swung
a leg over it a s the
engine revved to life. Red sp a rks ɻew from the exha ust p ip e. “If
you bother me a ga in,
Da ylighter, it ha d better be for a good rea son. Or I will not be forgiving
And with tha t, the motorcycle surged forwa rd a nd upwa rd. Simon cra ned his
hea d ba ck to
wa tch a s Ra p ha el, like the a ngel he wa s named for, soa red into the sky
tra iling f ire.
Cla ry sa t with her sketchp a d on her knees a nd gnawed the end of
her p encil thoughtfully.
She ha d drawn Ja ce dozens of times—she guessed it wa s her version
of most girls’ writing
a bout their boyfriends in their dia ries—but she never seemed to be a
ble to get him exa ctly
right. For one thing, it wa s a lmost imp ossible to get him to st
a nd still, so she’d thought tha t
now, while he wa s a sleep , would be p erfect—but it still wa sn’t com
ing out quite the wa y
she wa nted. It just didn’t look like him.
She tossed the sketchp a d onto the bla nket with a sigh of exa sp
era tion a nd p ulled her
knees up , looking down a t him. She ha dn’t exp ected him to fa ll
a sleep . They’d come to
Centra l Pa rk to ea t lunch a nd tra in outside while the wea ther w
a s still good. They’d done
one of those things. Ta ke-out conta iners from Ta ki’s were sca ttere
d in the gra ss beside the
bla nket. Ja ce ha dn’t ea ten much, p icking through his ca rton of
sesame noodles in a
desultory fa shion before tossing it a side a nd ɻinging himself down onto th
e bla nket, sta ring
up a t the sky. Cla ry ha d sa t looking down a t him, a t the wa y the cloud
s ref lected in his clea r
eyes, the outline of muscles in the a rms crossed behind his hea d,
the p erfect strip of skin
revea led between the hem of his T-shirt a nd the belt of his jea
ns. She ha d wa nted to rea ch
out a nd slide her ha nd a long his ha rd ɻa t stoma ch; instea d she’d
a verted her eyes,
rumma ging for her sketchp a d. When she’d turned ba ck, p encil in ha
nd, his eyes were closed
a nd his brea thing wa s sof t a nd even.
She wa s now three dra f ts into her illustra tion, a nd no closer t
o a drawing tha t sa tisɹed
her. Looking a t him now, she wondered why on ea rth she couldn’t dr
aw him. The light wa s
p erfect, sof t bronze October light tha t la id a sheen of p a ler
gold over his a lrea dy golden
ha ir a nd skin. His closed lids were fringed with gold a sha de da rker tha n
his ha ir. One of his
ha nds wa s dra p ed loosely over his chest, the other op en a t his
side. His fa ce wa s rela xed
a nd vulnera ble in sleep , sof ter a nd less a ngula r tha n when he wa s
awa ke. Perha p s tha t wa s
the p roblem. He wa s so ra rely rela xed a nd vulnera ble, it wa s
ha rd to ca p ture the lines of

him when he wa s. It felt … unfamilia r.
At tha t p recise moment he moved. He ha d begun ma king little ga s
p ing sounds in his
sleep , his eyes da rting ba ck a nd forth behind his shut eyelids.
His ha nd jerked, tightened
a ga inst his chest, a nd he sa t up , so suddenly tha t he nea rly
knocked Cla ry over. His eyes
f lew op en. For a moment he looked simp ly da zed; he ha d gone sta rtlingly
p a le.
“Ja ce?” Cla ry couldn’t hide her surp rise.
His eyes focused on her; a moment la ter he ha d drawn her towa rd
him with none of his
customa ry gentleness; he p ulled her onto his la p a nd kissed her
ɹercely, his ha nds winding
into her ha ir. She could feel the hammering of his hea rt with he
rs, a nd she felt her cheeks
f lush. They were in a p ublic p a rk, she thought, a nd p eop le were p rob
a bly sta ring.
“Whoa ,” he sa id, drawing ba ck, his lip s curving into a smile. “Sorr
y. You p roba bly
weren’t exp ecting tha t.”
“It wa s a nice surp rise.” Her voice sounded low a nd throa ty to her
own ea rs. “ What were
you dreaming a bout?”
“You.” He twisted a lock of her ha ir a round his f inger. “I a lwa ys dream a bout
Still on his la p , her legs stra ddling his, Cla ry sa id, “Oh, ye
a h? Beca use I thought you were
ha ving a nightma re.”
He tip p ed his hea d ba ck to look a t her. “Sometimes I dream you’re gone,” he s
a id. “I keep
wondering when you’ll f igure out how much better you could do a nd lea ve me.”
She touched his fa ce with her ɹngertip s, delica tely running them ove
r the p la nes of his
cheekbones, down to the curve of his mouth. Ja ce never sa id thin
gs like tha t to a nyone else
but her. Alec a nd Isa belle knew, from living with him a nd loving
him, tha t undernea th the
p rotective a rmor of humor a nd p retended a rroga nce, the ra gged
sha rds of memory a nd
childhood still tore a t him. But she wa s the only one he sa id t
he words out loud to. She
shook her hea d; her ha ir fell forwa rd a cross her forehea d, a nd
she p ushed it awa y
imp a tiently. “I wish I could sa y things the wa y you do,” she sa id.
“Everything you sa y, the
words you choose, they’re so p erfect. You a lwa ys ɹnd the right quote
, or the right thing to
sa y to ma ke me believe you love me. If I ca n’t convince you tha t I’ll never le
a ve you—”
He ca ught her ha nd in his. “Just sa y it a ga in.”
“I’ll never lea ve you,” she sa id.
“No ma tter wha t ha p p ens, wha t I do?”
“I’d never give up on you,” she sa id. “Never. Wha t I feel a bout you—” Sh
e stumbled over
the words. “It’s the most imp orta nt thing I’ve ever felt.”
Dammit, she thought. Tha t sounded comp letely stup id. But Ja ce didn’t seem t
o think so; he
smiled wistfully a nd sa id, ‘“ L’amor che move il s ole e l’altre s te lle . ’”
“Is tha t La tin?”

“Ita lia n,” he sa id. “Da nte.”
She ra n her ɹngertip s over his lip s, a nd he shivered. “I don’t sp ea k Ita lia n
,” she sa id, very
sof tly.
“It mea ns,” he sa id, “tha t love is the most p owerful force in the wo
rld. Tha t love ca n do
a nything.”
She drew her ha nd out of his, awa re a s she did tha t he wa s
wa tching her through ha lf lidded eyes. She locked both ha nds a roun
d the ba ck of his neck, lea ned forwa rd, a nd
touched his lip s with hers—not a kiss this time, just a brush of lip s a ga i
nst ea ch other. It wa s
enough; she felt his p ulse sp eed up , a nd he lea ned forwa rd,
trying to ca p ture her mouth
with his, but she shook her hea d, sha king her ha ir a round them
like a curta in tha t would
hide them from the eyes of everyone else in the p a rk. “If you’re t
ired, we could go ba ck to
the Institute,” she sa id in a ha lf whisp er. “Ta ke a na p . We h
a ven’t slep t together in the
same bed since—since Idris.”
Their ga zes locked, a nd she knew he wa s remembering the same thin
g she wa s. The p a le
light ɹltering in through the window of Ama tis’s sma ll sp a re bedroom,
the desp era tion in
his voice. I jus t want to lie down with you and wake up with yo
u, jus t once , jus t once e ve r in my
life . Tha t whole night, lying side by side, only their ha nds to
uching. They ha d touched much
more since tha t night, but ha d never sp ent the night together. H
e knew she wa s oʃering
him more tha n a na p in one of the Institute’s unused bedrooms, t
oo. She wa s sure he could
see it in her eyes—even if she herself wa sn’t exa ctly sure how much
she was oʃering. But it
didn’t ma tter. Ja ce would never a sk her for a nything she didn’t wa nt to give.
“I wa nt to.” The hea t she saw in his eyes, the ra gged edge to his
voice, told her he wa sn’t
lying. “But—we ca n’t.” He took her wrists ɹrmly, a nd drew them down, holding th
eir ha nds
between them, ma king a ba rrier.
Cla ry’s eyes widened. “Why not?”
He took a deep brea th. “We came here to tra in, a nd we should t
ra in. If we just sp end a ll
the time we’re sup p osed to be tra ining ma king out instea d, they’ll qu
it letting me help tra in
you a t a ll.”
“Aren’t they sup p osed to be hiring someone else to tra in me full-time anyway?”
“Yes,” he sa id, getting up a nd p ulling her to her feet a long with
him, “a nd I’m worried
tha t if you get into the ha bit of ma king out with your instructors, you’ll w
ind up ma king out
with him, too.”
“Don’t be sexist. They could f ind me a fema le instructor.”
“In tha t ca se you ha ve my p ermission to ma ke out with her, a s long a s I ca
n wa tch.”
“Nice.” Cla ry grinned, bending down to fold up the bla nket they’d broug
ht to sit on.
“You’re just worried they’ll hire a ma le instructor a nd he’ll be hotter tha n you.”
Ja ce’s eyebrows went up . “Hotter tha n me ?”

“It could ha p p en,” Cla ry sa id. “You know, theoretica lly.”
“Theoretica lly the p la net could suddenly cra ck in ha lf , lea ving me on one
side a nd you on
the other side, forever a nd tra gica lly p a rted, but I’m not worrie
d a bout tha t, either. Some
things,” Ja ce sa id, with his customa ry crooked smile, “a re just too unlikely t
o dwell up on.”
He held out his ha nd; she took it, a nd together they crossed the
mea dow, hea ding for a
cop se of trees a t the edge of the Ea st Mea dow tha t only Sha d
owhunters seemed to know
a bout. Cla ry susp ected it wa s glamoured, since she a nd Ja ce tr
a ined there fa irly of ten a nd
no one ha d ever interrup ted them there excep t Isa belle or Ma ryse.
Centra l Pa rk in a utumn wa s a riot of color. The trees lining
the mea dow ha d p ut on their
brightest colors a nd circled the green in bla zing gold, red, cop p
er, a nd russet ora nge. It wa s
a bea utiful da y to ta ke a roma ntic wa lk through the p a rk a n
d kiss on one of the stone
bridges. But that wa sn’t going to ha p p en. Obviously, a s fa r a s
Ja ce wa s concerned, the p a rk
wa s a n outside extension of the Institute’s tra ining room, a nd the
y were there to run Cla ry
through va rious exercises involving terra in na viga tion, esca p e a n
d eva sion techniques, a nd
killing things with her ba re ha nds.
Norma lly she would ha ve been excited to lea rn how to kill things with her ba
re ha nds. But
there wa s still something bothering her a bout Ja ce. She couldn’t rid
herself of the na gging
feeling tha t something wa s seriously wrong. If only there were a
rune, she thought, tha t
would ma ke him tell her wha t he wa s rea lly feeling. But she wou
ld never crea te a rune like
tha t, she reminded herself ha stily. It would be unethica l to use
her p ower to try to control
someone else. And besides, since she’d crea ted the binding rune in I
dris, her p ower ha d la in
seemingly dorma nt. She ha d felt no urge to draw old runes, nor h
a d she ha d a ny visions of
new runes to crea te. Ma ryse ha d told her tha t they would be try
ing to bring in a sp ecia list
in runes to tutor her, once tra ining rea lly got underwa y, but so fa
r tha t ha dn’t ma teria lized.
Not tha t she minded, rea lly. She ha d to a dmit she wa sn’t sure s
he would be entirely sorry if
her p ower ha d va nished forever.
“There a re going to be times when you encounter a demon a nd you do
n’t ha ve a ɹghting
wea p on,” Ja ce wa s sa ying a s they p a ssed under a row of trees
la den with low-ha nging
lea ves whose colors ra n the gamut from green to brillia nt gold. “At
tha t p oint, you ca n’t
p a nic. First, you ha ve to remember tha t a nything ca n be a we
a p on. A tree bra nch, a
ha ndful of coins—they ma ke grea t bra ss knuckles—a shoe, a nything.
And second, keep in
mind tha t you a re a wea p on. In theory, when you’re done with tra
ining, you should be a ble

to kick a hole in a wa ll or knock out a moose with a single p unch.”
“I would never hit a moose,” sa id Cla ry. “They’re enda ngered.”
Ja ce smiled slightly, a nd swung to fa ce her. They ha d rea ched
the cop se, a sma ll, clea red
a rea in the center of a sta nd of trees. There were runes ca r
ved into the trunks of the trees
tha t surrounded them, ma rking it a s a Sha dowhunter p la ce.
“There’s a n a ncient f ighting style ca lled Mua y Tha i,” he sa id. “Ha ve you hea rd
of it?”
She shook her hea d. The sun wa s bright a nd stea dy, a nd she wa
s a lmost too hot in her
tra ck p a nts a nd wa rm-up ja cket. Ja ce took oʃ his ja cket a nd
turned ba ck to her, ɻexing his
slim p ia nist’s ha nds. His eyes were intensely gold in the a utumn l
ight. Ma rks for sp eed,
a gility, a nd strength tra iled like a p a ttern of vines from his
wrists up a nd over the swell of
ea ch bicep , disa p p ea ring under the sleeves of his T-shirt. She
wondered why he’d bothered
Ma rking himself up a s if she were a foe to be reckoned with.
“I hea rd a rumor tha t the new instructor we’re getting next week is
a ma ster of Mua y
Tha i,” he sa id. “And sambo, lethwei, tomoi, kra v ma ga , jujitsu,
a nd a nother one tha t
fra nkly I don’t remember the name of , but it involves killing p eop
le with sma ll sticks or
something. My point is, he or she isn’t going to be used to working
with someone your a ge
who’s a s inexp erienced a s you a re, so if we tea ch you a few o
f the ba sics, I’m hop ing it’ll
ma ke them feel a little more generously towa rd you.” He rea ched out
to p ut his ha nds on
her hip s. “Now turn a nd fa ce me.”
Cla ry did a s instructed. Fa cing ea ch other like this, her hea d
came to the bottom of his
chin. She rested her ha nds lightly on his bicep s.
“Mua y Tha i is ca lled ‘the a rt of eight limbs. ’ Tha t’s beca use you us
e not just your ɹsts a nd
feet a s strike p oints, but a lso your knees a nd elbows. First yo
u wa nt to p ull your op p onent
in, then p ummel him with every one of your strike p oints until he or she col
la p ses.”
“And tha t works on demons?” Cla ry ra ised her eyebrows.
“The sma ller ones.” Ja ce moved closer to her. “Oka y. Rea ch your ha nd
a round a nd grip
the ba ck of my neck.”
It wa s just p ossible to do a s he instructed without going up on
her toes. Not for the ɹrst
time, Cla ry cursed the fa ct tha t she wa s so short.
“Now you ra ise your other ha nd a nd do the same thing a ga in, so
your ha nds a re loop ed
a round the ba ck of my neck.”
She did it. The ba ck of his neck wa s wa rm from the sun, a nd
his sof t ha ir tickled her
ɹngers. Their bodies were p ressed up a ga inst ea ch other; she could feel the
ring she wore on
a cha in a round her neck p ressed between them like a p ebble p ressed betwee
n two p a lms.
“In a rea l ɹght you’d do tha t move much fa ster,” he sa id. Unless she wa s im
a gining it, his

voice wa s a little unstea dy. “Now tha t grip on me gives you leve
ra ge. You’re going to use
tha t levera ge to p ull yourself forwa rd a nd a dd momentum to your upwa rd k
nee kicks—”
“My, my,” sa id a cool, amused voice. “Only six weeks, a nd a lrea dy
a t ea ch other’s
throa ts? How swif tly morta l love does fa de.”
Relea sing her hold on Ja ce, Cla ry whirled, though she a lrea dy k
new who it wa s. The
Queen of the Seelie Court stood in the sha dows between two trees.
If Cla ry ha d not known
she wa s there, she wondered if she would ha ve seen her, even wi
th the Sight. The Queen
wore a gown a s green a s gra ss, a nd her ha ir, fa lling a round
her shoulders, wa s the color of
a turning lea f . She wa s a s bea utiful a nd awful a s a dying
sea son. Cla ry ha d never trusted
“Wha t a re you doing here?” It wa s Ja ce, his eyes na rrow. “This is a Sha dowhun
ter p la ce.”
“And I ha ve news of interest to Sha dowhunters.” As the Queen step p ed
gra cefully
forwa rd, the sun la nced down through the trees a nd sp a rked oʃ the
circlet of golden berries
she wore a round her hea d. Cla ry sometimes wondered if the Queen
p la nned these drama tic
entra nces, a nd if so, how. “There ha s been a nother dea th.”
“Wha t sort of dea th?”
“Another one of you. Dea d Nep hilim.” There wa s a certa in relish to
the wa y the Queen
sa id it. “The body wa s found this dawn benea th Oa k Bridge. As yo
u know, the p a rk is my
doma in. A huma n killing is not of concern to me, but the dea th
did not seem to be one of
munda ne origins. The body wa s brought to the Court to be examined
by my p hysicia ns.
They p ronounced the dea d morta l one of yours.”
Cla ry looked quickly a t Ja ce, remembering the news of the dea d
Sha dowhunter two da ys
before. She could tell Ja ce wa s thinking the same thing; he ha d
p a led. “Where is the body?”
he a sked.
“Are you concerned a bout my hosp ita lity? He bides in my court, a nd
I a ssure you tha t we
a ʃord his body a ll the resp ect we would give a living Sha dowhunter
. Now tha t one of my
own ha s a p la ce on the Council beside you a nd yours, you ca n ha rdly doub
t our good fa ith.”
“As a lwa ys, good fa ith a nd my La dy go ha nd in ha nd.” The sa rca
sm in Ja ce’s voice wa s
clea r, but the Queen just smiled. She liked Ja ce, Cla ry ha d a
lwa ys thought, in tha t wa y tha t
fa eries liked p retty things beca use they were p retty. She did not
think the Queen liked her,
a nd the feeling wa s mutua l. “And why a re you giving this messa ge
to us, instea d of to
Ma ryse? Custom would indica te—”
“Oh, custom.” The Queen wa ved awa y convention with a ɻip of her ha n
d. “You were
here. It seemed exp edient.”

Ja ce ga ve her a nother na rrow look a nd ɻip p ed his cell p hone op
en. He gestured a t Cla ry
to sta y where she wa s, a nd wa lked a little wa ys awa y. She c
ould hea r him sa ying,
“Ma ryse?” a s the p hone wa s a nswered, a nd then his voice wa s swa llowed up b
y shouts from
the p la ying f ields nea rby.
With a feeling of cold drea d, she looked ba ck a t the Queen. S
he ha d not seen the La dy of
the Seelie Court since her la st night in Idris, a nd then Cla ry h
a d not exa ctly been p olite to
her. She doubted the Queen ha d forgotten or forgiven her for tha t.
Would you truly re fus e a
favor from the Que e n of the Se e lie Court?
“I hea rd Meliorn got a sea t on the Council,” Cla ry sa id now. “You m
ust be p lea sed a bout
tha t.”
“Indeed.” The Queen looked a t her with amusement. “I am suf f iciently delighted.”
“So,” Cla ry sa id. “No ha rd feelings, then?”
The Queen’s smile turned icy a round the edges, like frost riming the
sides of a p ond. “I
sup p ose you refer to my oʃer, which you so rudely declined,” she sa i
d. “As you know, my
objective wa s a ccomp lished rega rdless; the loss there, I ima gine
most would a gree, wa s
“I didn’t wa nt your dea l.” Cla ry tried to keep the sha rp ness from he
r voice, a nd fa iled.
“Peop le ca n’t do wha t you wa nt a ll the time, you know.”
“Do not p resume to lecture me, child.” The Queen’s eyes followed Ja ce,
who wa s p a cing
a t the edge of the trees, p hone in ha nd. “He is bea utiful,” she
sa id. “I ca n see why you love
him. But did you ever wonder wha t draws him to you?”
Cla ry sa id nothing to tha t; there seemed nothing to sa y.
“The blood of Hea ven binds you,” sa id the Queen. “Blood ca lls to bloo
d, under the skin.
But love a nd blood a re not the same.”
“Riddles,” Cla ry sa id a ngrily. “Do you even me an a nything when you ta lk like th
a t?”
“He is bound to you,” sa id the Queen. “But does he love you?”
Cla ry felt her ha nds twitch. She longed to try out on the Queen
some of the new ɹghting
moves she’d lea rned, but she knew how unwise tha t would be. “Yes, he does.”
“And does he wa nt you? For love a nd desire a re not a lwa ys a s one.”
“Tha t’s none of your business,” Cla ry sa id shortly, but she could see
tha t the Queen’s eyes
on her were a s sha rp a s p ins.
“You wa nt him like you ha ve never wa nted a nything else. But does
he feel the same?”
The Queen’s sof t voice wa s inexora ble. “He could ha ve a nything or a
nyone he p lea ses. Do
you wonder why he chose you? Do you wonder if he regrets it? Ha s
he cha nged towa rd
Cla ry felt tea rs sting the ba cks of her eyes. “No, he ha sn’t.” But
she thought of his fa ce in
the eleva tor tha t night, a nd the wa y he ha d told her to go home when she’d o
f fered to sta y.
“You told me tha t you did not wish to ma ke a comp a ct with me,

for there wa s nothing I
could give you. You sa id there wa s nothing in the world you wa nt
ed.” The Queen’s eyes
glittered. “When you ima gine your life without him, do you still feel the same?”
Why are you doing this to me ? Cla ry wa nted to scream, but she sa i
d nothing, for the Fa erie
Queen gla nced p a st her, a nd smiled, sa ying, “Wip e your tea rs,
for he returns. It will do you
no good for him to see you cry.”
Cla ry rubbed ha stily a t her eyes with the ba ck of her ha nd, a
nd turned; Ja ce wa s wa lking
towa rd them, frowning. “Ma ryse is on her wa y to the Court,” he sa id. “Where did
the Queen
Cla ry looked a t him, surp rised. “She’s right here,” she bega n, turning—a nd broke
of f . Ja ce
wa s right. The Queen wa s gone, only a swirl of lea ves a t Cla ry’s feet to
show where she ha d
Simon, his ja cket wa dded up under his hea d, wa s lying on his
ba ck, sta ring up a t the hole-ɹlled ceiling of Eric’s ga ra ge with a se
nse of grim fa ta lity. His duʃel ba g wa s a t his feet, his
p hone p ressed a ga inst his ea r. Right now the familia rity of Cla ry’s voice
on the other end of
it wa s the only thing keep ing him from fa lling a p a rt comp letely.
“Simon, I’m so sorry.” He could tell she wa s somewhere in the city. Th
e loud bla re of
traɽc sounded behind her, muʀing her voice. “Are you seriously in Eric’s g
arage ? Does he
know you’re there?”
“No,” Simon sa id. “No one’s home a t the moment, a nd I’ve got the ga ra g
e key. It seemed
like a p la ce to go. Where a re you, a nywa y?”
“In the city.” To Brooklynites, Ma nha tta n wa s a lwa ys “the city.” No ot
her metrop olis
existed. “I wa s tra ining with Ja ce, but then he ha d to go ba ck
to the Institute for some kind
of Cla ve business. I’m hea ded ba ck to Luke’s now.” A ca r honked loud
ly in the ba ckground.
“Look, do you wa nt to sta y with us? You could sleep on Luke’s couch.”
Simon hesita ted. He ha d good memories of Luke’s. In a ll the yea r
s he’d known Cla ry,
Luke ha d lived in the same ra tty but p lea sa nt old row house over the bookst
ore. Cla ry ha d a
key, a nd she a nd Simon ha d whiled awa y a lot of p lea sa nt hours there,
rea ding books they’d
“borrowed” from the store downsta irs, or wa tching old movies on the TV.
Things were dif ferent now, though.
“Ma ybe my mom could ta lk to your mom,” Cla ry sa id, sounding worried
by his silence.
“Ma ke her understa nd.”
“Ma ke her understa nd tha t I’m a vampire ? Cla ry, I think she does u
ndersta nd tha t, in a
weird kind of wa y. Tha t doesn’t mea n she’s going to a ccep t it or ever be oka
y with it.”
“Well, you ca n’t just keep ma king her forget it, either, Simon,” Cla
ry sa id. “It’s not going
to work forever.”
“Why not?” He knew he wa s being unrea sona ble, but lying on the ha rd
ɻoor, surrounded

by the smell of ga soline a nd the whisp er of sp iders sp inning their
webs in the corners of the
ga ra ge, feeling lonelier tha n he ever ha d, rea sona ble seemed very fa r a
wa y.
“Beca use then your whole rela tionship with her is a lie. You ca n’t never go ho
“So wha t?” Simon interrup ted ha rshly. “Tha t’s p a rt of the curse, isn’t
it? ‘A fugitive a nd a
wa nderer sha lt thou be. ’”
Desp ite the traɽc noises a nd the sound of cha tter in the ba ckgroun
d, he could hea r
Cla ry’s sudden indrawn brea th.
“You think I should tell her a bout tha t, too?” he sa id. “How you p u
t the Ma rk of Ca in on
me? How I’m ba sica lly a wa lking curse? You think she’s going to wa nt that in he
r house?”
The ba ckground sounds quieted; Cla ry must ha ve ducked into a door
wa y. He could hea r
her struggling to hold ba ck tea rs a s she sa id, “Simon, I’m so sorry. You know
I’m sorry—”
“It’s not your fa ult.” He suddenly felt bone-tired. That’s right, te rrify
your mothe r and the n
make your be s t frie nd cry. A banne r day for you, Simon. “Look, obviously
I shouldn’t be a round
p eop le right now. I’m just going to sta y here, a nd I’ll cra sh with Eric when
he gets home.”
She ma de a snuf f ling la ughing-through-tea rs sound. “Wha t, doesn’t Eric coun
t a s p eop le?”
“I’ll get ba ck to you on tha t la ter,” he sa id, a nd hesita ted. “I’ll c
a ll you tomorrow, a ll
“You’ll s e e me tomorrow. You p romised to come to tha t dress f itting with me,
“Wow,” he sa id. “I must rea lly love you.”
“I know,” she sa id. “I love you, too.”
Simon clicked oʃ the p hone a nd la y ba ck, holding it a ga inst his
chest. It wa s funny, he
thought. Now he could sa y “I love you” to Cla ry, when for yea rs he’d
struggled to sa y those
words a nd ha d not been a ble to get them out of his mouth. Now
tha t he no longer mea nt
them the same wa y, it wa s ea sy.
Sometimes he did wonder wha t would ha ve ha p p ened if there ha d
never been a Ja ce
Wa yla nd. If Cla ry ha d never found out she wa s a Sha dowhunter.
But he p ushed the thought
awa y—p ointless, don’t go down tha t roa d. You couldn’t cha nge the p a
st. You could only go
forwa rd. Not tha t he ha d a ny idea wha t forwa rd enta iled. He
couldn’t sta y in Eric’s ga ra ge
forever. Even in his current mood, he ha d to a dmit it wa s a m
isera ble p la ce to sta y. He
wa sn’t cold—he no longer felt either cold or hea t in a ny rea l wa y—but
the ɻoor wa s ha rd,
a nd he wa s ha ving trouble sleep ing. He wished he could dull his
senses. The loud noise of
traɽc outside wa s keep ing him from resting, a s wa s the unp lea sa n
t stench of ga soline. But
it wa s the gnawing worry a bout wha t to do next tha t wa s the worst.
He’d thrown awa y most of his blood sup p ly a nd sta shed the rest i

n his kna p sa ck; he ha d
a bout enough for a few more da ys, a nd then he’d be in trouble.
Eric, wherever he wa s,
would certa inly let Simon sta y in the house if he wa nted, but t
ha t might result in Eric’s
p a rents ca lling Simon’s mom. And since she thought he wa s on a s
chool ɹeld trip , tha t
would do him no good a t a ll.
Da ys, he thought. Tha t wa s the amount of time he ha d. Before
he ra n out of blood, before
his mother sta rted to wonder where he wa s a nd ca lled the school looking for
him. Before she
sta rted to remember. He wa s a vamp ire now. He wa s sup p osed t
o ha ve eternity. But wha t
he ha d wa s da ys.
He ha d been so ca reful. Tried so ha rd for wha t he thought of
a s a norma l life—school,
friends, his own house, his own bedroom. It ha d been stra ined,
but tha t wa s wha t life was .
Other op tions seemed so blea k a nd lonely tha t they didn’t bea r thi
nking a bout. And yet
Camille’s voice ra ng in his hea d. What about in te n ye ars , whe n you ar
e s uppos e d to be twe ntys ix? In twe nty ye ars ? Thirty? Do you t
hink no one will notice that as the y age and change , you do
The situa tion he ha d crea ted for himself , ha d ca rved so ca refu
lly in the sha p e of his old
life, ha d never been p erma nent, he thought now, with a sinking
in his chest. It never could
ha ve been. He’d been clinging to sha dows a nd memories. He thought
a ga in of Camille, of
her oʃer. It sounded better now tha n it ha d before. An oʃer of a
community, even if it
wa sn’t the community he wa nted. He ha d only a bout three more da ys
before she’d come
looking for his a nswer. And wha t would he tell her when she did?
He’d thought he knew,
but now he wa sn’t so sure.
A grinding noise interrup ted his reverie. The ga ra ge door wa s ra
tcheting upwa rd, bright
light sp ea ring into the da rk interior of the sp a ce. Simon sa t
up , his whole body suddenly on
the a lert.
“Na h. It’s me. Kyle.”
“Kyle?” Simon sa id bla nkly, before he remembered—the guy they’d a greed to ta ke on a
s a
lea d singer. Simon a lmost ɻop p ed ba ck down onto the ground a ga in
. “Oh. Right. None of
the other guys a re here right now, so if you were hop ing to p ra ctice…”
“It’s cool. Tha t’s not why I came.” Kyle step p ed into the ga ra ge, bli
nking in the da rkness,
his ha nds in the ba ck p ockets of his jea ns. “You’re wha tshisname, the ba ssi
st, right?”
Simon got to his feet, brushing ga ra ge f loor dust of f his clothes. “I’m Simon
Kyle gla nced a round, a p erp lexed furrow between his brows. “I lef
t my keys here
yesterda y, I think. Been looking for them everywhere. Hey, there
they a re.” He ducked

behind the drum set a nd emerged a second la ter, ra ttling a set
of keys triump ha ntly in his
ha nd. He looked much the same a s he ha d the da y before. He ha
d a blue T-shirt on toda y
under a lea ther ja cket, a nd a gold sa int’s meda l sp a rkled a round his ne
ck. His da rk ha ir wa s
messier tha n ever. “So,” Kyle sa id, lea ning a ga inst one of the sp
ea kers. “Were you, like,
sleep ing here? On the f loor?”
Simon nodded. “Got thrown out of my house.” It wa sn’t p recisely true,
but it wa s a ll he
felt like sa ying.
Kyle nodded symp a thetica lly. “Mom found your weed sta sh, huh? Tha t sucks.”
“No. No … weed sta sh.” Simon shrugged. “We ha d a diʃerence of op inion
a bout my
“So, she found out a bout your two girlfriends?” Kyle grinned. He wa s
Simon ha d to a dmit, but unlike Ja ce, who seemed to know exa ctly
how good-looking he
wa s, Kyle looked like someone who p roba bly ha dn’t brushed his ha ir
in weeks. There wa s
a n op en, friendly p up p yishness a bout him tha t wa s a p p ea ling
, though. “Yea h, Kirk told me
a bout it. Good for you, ma n.”
Simon shook his hea d. “It wa sn’t tha t.”
There wa s a short silence between them. Then:
“I … don’t live a t home either,” Kyle sa id. “I lef t a coup le of yea r
s a go.” He hugged his
a rms a round himself , ha nging his hea d down. His voice wa s low.
“I ha ven’t ta lked to my
p a rents since then. I mea n, I’m doing a ll right on my own but … I get it.”
“Your ta ttoos,” Simon sa id, touching his own a rms lightly. “Wha t do they mea n?”
Kyle stretched his a rms out. “ Shaantih s haantih s haantih,” he sa id. “T
hey’re ma ntra s from
the Up a nisha ds. Sa nskrit. Pra yers for p ea ce.”
Norma lly Simon would ha ve thought tha t getting yourself ta ttooed in Sa nskr
it wa s kind of
p retentious. But right now, he didn’t. “ Shalom,” he sa id.
Kyle blinked a t him. “Wha t?”
“Mea ns p ea ce,” sa id Simon. “In Hebrew. I wa s just thinking the words
sounded sort of
a like.”
Kyle ga ve him a long look. He seemed to be delibera ting. Fina lly he sa id,
“This is going to
sound sort of cra zy—”
“Oh, I don’t know. My deɹnition of cra zy ha s become p retty ɻexible in
the p a st few
“—but I ha ve a n a p a rtment. In Alp ha bet City. And my roomma te ju
st moved out. It’s a
two-bedroom, so you could cra sh in his sp a ce. There’s a bed in there a nd ev
Simon hesita ted. On the one ha nd he didn’t know Kyle a t a ll, a n
d moving into the
a p a rtment of a tota l stra nger seemed like a stup id move of
ep ic p rop ortions. Kyle could
turn out to be a seria l killer, desp ite his p ea ce ta ttoos. On
the other ha nd he didn’t know
Kyle a t a ll, which mea nt no one would come looking for him there

. And wha t did it ma tter
if Kyle did turn out to be a seria l killer? he thought bitterly. It would tu
rn out worse for Kyle
tha n it would for him, just like it ha d for tha t mugger la st night.
“You know,” he sa id, “I think I’ll ta ke you up on tha t, if it’s oka y.”
Kyle nodded. “My truck’s just outside if you wa nt to ride into the city with me.”
Simon bent to gra b his duʃel ba g a nd stra ightened with it slung over his
shoulder. He slid
his p hone into his p ocket a nd sp rea d his ha nds wide, indica ting his rea
diness. “Let’s go.”
Kyle’ s a pa rtment turned out to be a plea sa nt surprise. Simon exp e
cted a ɹlthy wa lk-up
in a n Avenue D tenement, with roa ches crawling on the wa lls a nd
a bed ma de out of
ma ttress foam a nd milk cra tes. In rea lity it wa s a clea n twobedroom with a sma ll living
a rea , a ton of bookshelves, a nd lots of p hotos on the wa lls
of famous surɹng sp ots.
Admittedly, Kyle seemed to be growing ma rijua na p la nts on the ɹre
esca p e, but you
couldn’t ha ve everything.
Simon’s room wa s ba sica lly a n emp ty box. Whoever ha d lived there
before ha d lef t
nothing behind but a futon ma ttress. It ha d ba re wa lls, ba re ɻo
ors, a nd a single window,
through which Simon could see the neon sign of the Chinese resta ura
nt a cross the street.
“You like it?” Kyle inquired, hovering in the doorwa y, his ha zel eyes op en a nd
“It’s grea t,” Simon rep lied honestly. “Exa ctly wha t I needed.”
The most exp ensive item in the a p a rtment wa s the ɻa t-screen TV in the living
room. They
threw themselves down on the futon couch a nd wa tched ba d TV a s t
he sunlight dimmed
outside. Kyle wa s cool, Simon decided. He didn’t p oke, didn’t p ry,
didn’t a sk questions. He
didn’t seem to wa nt a nything in excha nge for the room excep t for Si
mon to p itch in grocery
money. He wa s just a friendly guy. Simon wondered if he’d forgotte
n wha t ordina ry huma n
beings were like.
Af ter Kyle hea ded out to work a n evening shif t, Simon went into
his room, colla p sed on
the ma ttress, a nd listened to the tra f f ic going by on Avenue B.
He’d been ha unted by thoughts of his mother’s fa ce since he’d lef t: the wa y she’d
looked a t
him with loa thing a nd fea r, a s if he were a n intruder in her h
ouse. Even if he didn’t need to
brea the, the thought of it ha d still constricted his chest. But now…
When he wa s a kid, he’d a lwa ys liked tra veling, beca use being i
n a new p la ce ha d mea nt
being awa y from a ll his p roblems. Even here, just a river awa y
from Brooklyn, the
memories tha t ha d been ea ting a t him like a cid—the mugger’s dea th,
his mother’s rea ction
to the truth of wha t he wa s—seemed blurred a nd dista nt.
Ma ybe tha t wa s the secret, he thought. Keep moving. Like a sh
a rk. Go to where no one

ca n f ind you. A fugitive and a wande re r s halt thou be in the e arth.
But tha t only worked if there wa s no one you ca red a bout lea ving behind.
He slep t ɹtfully a ll night. His na tura l urge wa s to sleep during
the da y, desp ite his
Da ylighter p owers, a nd he fought oʃ restlessness a nd dreams before
wa king up la te with
the sun streaming in through the window. Af ter throwing on clea n c
lothes from his
kna p sa ck, he lef t the bedroom to ɹnd Kyle in the kitchen, frying ba con a nd
eggs in a Teɻon
p a n.
“Hey, roomma te,” Kyle greeted him cheerfully. “Wa nt some brea kfa st?”
The sight of the food ma de Simon feel va guely sick to his stoma c
h. “No, tha nks. I’ll ta ke
some cof fee, though.” He p erched himself on one of the slightly lop sided ba
r stools.
Kyle p ushed a chip p ed mug a cross the counter towa rd him. “Brea kf
a st is the most
imp orta nt mea l of the da y, bro. Even if it’s a lrea dy noon.”
Simon p ut his ha nds a round the mug, feeling the hea t seep into
his cold skin. He ca st
a bout for a top ic of conversa tion—one tha t wa sn’t how little he a
te. “So, I never a sked you
yesterda y—wha t do you do for a living?”
Kyle p icked a p iece of ba con out of the p a n a nd bit into i
t. Simon noticed tha t the gold
meda l a t his throa t ha d a p a ttern of lea ves on it, a nd th
e words “ Be ati Be llicos i.” “ Be ati,”
Simon knew, wa s a word tha t ha d something to do with sa ints; Kyle mus
t be Ca tholic. “Bike
messenger,” he sa id, chewing. “It’s awesome. I get to ride a round the
city, seeing
everything, ta lking to everyone. Wa y better tha n high school.”
“You drop p ed out?”
“Got my GED senior yea r. I p refer the school of life.” Simon would
ha ve thought Kyle
sounded ridiculous if it weren’t for the fa ct tha t he sa id “school o
f life” the wa y he sa id
everything else—with tota l sincerity. “Wha t a bout you? Any p la ns?”
Oh, you know. Wande r the e arth, caus ing de ath and de s truction
to innoce nt pe ople . Maybe
drink s ome blood. Live fore ve r but ne ve r have any fun. The us ual. “I’m
kind of winging it a t the
“You mea n you don’t wa nt to be a musicia n?” Kyle a sked.
To Simon’s relief his p hone ra ng before he ha d to a nswer tha t.
He ɹshed it out of his
p ocket a nd looked a t the screen. It wa s Ma ia . “Hey,” he greeted her. “Wha t’s u
p ?”
“Are you going to be a t tha t dress ɹtting with Cla ry this a f ternoon
?” she a sked, her voice
cra ckling down the line. She wa s p roba bly ca lling from p a ck he
a dqua rters in China town,
where the recep tion wa sn’t grea t. “She told me she wa s ma king you
go to keep her
comp a ny.”
“Wha t? Oh, right. Yes. I’ll be there.” Cla ry ha d dema nded tha t Simo
n a ccomp a ny her to
her bridesma id’s dress ɹtting so a f terwa rd they could shop for comics
a nd she could feel, in

her words, like “less of a frilled-up girly-girl.”
“Well, I’m going to come too, then. I ha ve to give Luke a messa ge
from the p a ck, a nd
besides, I feel like I ha ven’t seen you in a ges.”
“I know. I’m rea lly sorry—”
“It’s ɹne,” she sa id lightly. “But you’re going to ha ve to let me know wha t you’re
ea ring
to the wedding eventua lly, beca use otherwise we’ll cla sh.”
She hung up , lea ving Simon sta ring a t the p hone. Cla ry ha d b
een right. The wedding wa s
D-da y, a nd he wa s woefully unp rep a red for the ba ttle.
“One of your girlfriends?” Kyle a sked curiously. “Wa s tha t redhea ded c
hick a t the ga ra ge
one of them? Beca use she wa s cute.”
“No. Tha t’s Cla ry; she’s my best friend.” Simon p ocketed his p hone. “And
she ha s a
boyfriend. Like, rea lly, rea lly, re ally ha s a boyfriend. The n
uclea r bomb of boyfriends. Trust
me on this one.”
Kyle grinned. “I wa s just a sking.” He dump ed the ba con p a n, now
emp ty, into the sink.
“So, your two girls. Wha t a re they like?”
“They’re very, very … diʃerent.” In some wa ys, Simon thought, they were op
p osites.
Ma ia wa s ca lm a nd grounded; Isa belle lived a t a high p itch
of excitement. Ma ia wa s a
stea dy light in the da rkness; Isa belle a burning sta r, sp inning
through the void. “I mea n,
they’re both grea t. Bea utiful, a nd sma rt…”
“And they don’t know a bout ea ch other?” Kyle lea ned a ga inst the counter. “Like, a
t a ll?”
Simon found himself exp la ining—how when he’d come ba ck from Idris (tho
ugh he didn’t
mention the p la ce by name), they’d both sta rted ca lling him, wa nt
ing to ha ng out. And
beca use he liked them both, he went. And somehow things sta rted t
o turn ca sua lly roma ntic
with ea ch of them, but there never seemed to be a cha nce to ex
p la in to either of them tha t
he wa s seeing someone else, too. And somehow it ha d snowba lled,
a nd here he wa s, not
wa nting to hurt either of them, a nd not knowing how to go on, either.
“Well, if you a sk me,” Kyle sa id, turning to dump his rema ining c
oʃee out in the sink,
“you ought to p ick one of them a nd quit dogging a round. I’m just sa ying.”
Since his ba ck wa s to Simon, Simon couldn’t see his fa ce, a nd fo
r a moment he wondered
if Kyle wa s a ctua lly a ngry. His voice sounded uncha ra cteristica
lly stiʃ. But when Kyle
turned a round, his exp ression wa s a s op en a nd friendly a s ever
. Simon decided he must
ha ve ima gined it.
“I know,” he sa id. “You’re right.” He gla nced ba ck towa rd the bedroom. “Lo
ok, a re you
sure it’s oka y, me sta ying here? I ca n clea r out whenever…”
“It’s ɹne. You sta y a s long a s you need.” Kyle op ened a kitchen drawe
r a nd scra bbled
a round until he found wha t he wa s looking for—a set of sp a re ke
ys on a rubber-ba nd ring.
“There’s a set for you. You’re tota lly welcome here, oka y? I gotta g

o to work, but you ca n
ha ng a round if you wa nt. Pla y Ha lo, or wha tever. Will you be here when
I get ba ck?”
Simon shrugged. “Proba bly not. I ha ve a dress f itting to get to a t three.”
“Cool,” sa id Kyle, slinging a messenger ba g over his shoulder a nd he
a ding towa rd the
door. “Get them to ma ke you something in red. It’s tota lly your color.”
“So,” Cla ry sa id, step p ing out of the dressing room. “Wha t do you think?”
She did a n exp erimenta l twirl. Simon, ba la nced on one of Ka ry
n’s Brida l Shop ’s
uncomforta ble white cha irs, shif ted p osition, winced, a nd sa id, “You loo
k nice.”
She looked better tha n nice. Cla ry wa s her mother’s only bridesma id
, so she’d been
a llowed to p ick out wha tever dress she wa nted. She’d selected a v
ery simp le cop p ery silk
with na rrow stra p s tha t ɻa ttered her sma ll frame. Her only jewelr
y wa s the Morgenstern
ring, worn on a cha in a round her neck; the very p la in silver
cha in brought out the sha p e of
her colla rbones a nd the curve of her throa t.
Not tha t ma ny months a go, seeing Cla ry dressed up for a weddin
g would ha ve conjured
up in Simon a mix of feelings: da rk desp a ir (she would never love him) a
nd high excitement
(or ma ybe she would, if he could get up the nerve to tell her
how he felt). Now it just ma de
him feel a little wistful.
“Nice?” echoed Cla ry. “Is tha t it? Sheesh.” She turned to Ma ia . “Wha t do you think?”
Ma ia ha d given up on the uncomforta ble cha irs a nd wa s sitting
on the ɻoor, her ba ck
a ga inst a wa ll tha t wa s decora ted with tia ra s a nd long ga uz
y veils. She ha d Simon’s DS
ba la nced on one of her knees a nd seemed to be a t lea st p a rtl
y a bsorbed in p la ying Gra nd
Thef t Auto. “Don’t a sk me,” she sa id. “I ha te dresses. I’d wea r jea ns
to the wedding if I
This wa s true. Simon ra rely saw Ma ia out of jea ns a nd T-shirt
s. In tha t wa y she wa s the
op p osite of Isa belle, who wore dresses a nd heels a t even the m
ost ina p p rop ria te times.
(Though since he’d once seen her disp a tch a Vermis demon with the s
tiletto heel of a boot,
he wa s less inclined to worry a bout it.)
The shop bell tinkled, a nd Jocelyn came in, followed by Luke. Bo
th were holding
steaming cup s of coʃee, a nd Jocelyn wa s looking up a t Luke, her
cheeks ɻushed a nd her
eyes shining. Simon remembered wha t Cla ry ha d sa id a bout them being disgus
tingly in love.
He didn’t ɹnd it disgusting himself , though tha t wa s p roba bly beca u
se they weren’t his
p a rents. They both seemed so ha p p y, a nd he thought it wa s a ctua lly ra
ther nice.
Jocelyn’s eyes widened when she saw Cla ry. “Honey, you look gorgeous!”
“Yea h, you ha ve to sa y tha t. You’re my mother,” Cla ry sa id, but s
he grinned a nywa y.
“Hey, is tha t cof fee bla ck by a ny cha nce?”
“Yep . Consider it a sorry-we’re-la te gif t,” Luke sa id, ha nding her t

he cup . “We got held
up . Some ca tering issue or other.” He nodded towa rd Simon a nd Ma ia . “Hey, g
Ma ia inclined her hea d. Luke wa s the hea d of the loca l wolf
p a ck, of which Ma ia wa s a
member. Though he’d broken her of the ha bit of ca lling him “Ma ster” or “Sir,” sh
e rema ined
resp ectful in his p resence. “I brought you a messa ge from the p a
ck,” she sa id, setting down
her game console. “They ha ve questions a bout the p a rty a t the Ironworks—”
As Ma ia a nd Luke fell into conversa tion a bout the p a rty the wo
lf p a ck wa s throwing in
honor of their a lp ha wolf ’s ma rria ge, the owner of the brida l
shop , a ta ll woma n who ha d
been rea ding ma ga zines behind the counter while the teena gers cha t
ted, rea lized tha t the
p eop le who were a ctua lly going to pay for the dresses ha d just a
rrived, a nd hurried forwa rd
to greet them. “I just got your dress ba ck in, a nd it looks marve
lous ,” she gushed, ta king
Cla ry’s mother by the a rm a nd steering her towa rd the ba ck of th
e store. “Come a nd try it
on.” As Luke sta rted a f ter them, she p ointed a threa tening f inger a t him.
“You sta y here.”
Luke, wa tching his ɹa ncée disa p p ea r through a set of white swingi
ng doors p a inted with
wedding bells, looked p uzzled.
“Munda nes think you’re not sup p osed to see the bride in her wedding d
ress before the
ceremony,” Cla ry reminded him. “It’s ba d luck. She p roba bly thinks it’s
weird you came to
the f itting.”
“But Jocelyn wa nted my op inion—” Luke broke oʃ a nd shook his hea d. “Ah,
Munda ne customs a re so p eculia r.” He threw himself down in a cha
ir, a nd winced a s one of
the ca rved rosettes p oked into his ba ck. “Ouch.”
“Wha t a bout Sha dowhunter weddings?” Ma ia inquired, curious. “Do they h
a ve their own
“They do,” Luke sa id slowly, “but this isn’t going to be a cla ssic Sha
dowhunter ceremony.
Those sp eciɹca lly don’t a ddress a ny situa tion in which one of the p
a rticip a nts is not a
Sha dowhunter.”
“Rea lly?” Ma ia looked shocked. “I didn’t know tha t.”
“Pa rt of a Sha dowhunter ma rria ge ceremony involves tra cing p erma n
ent runes on the
bodies of the p a rticip a nts,” sa id Luke. His voice wa s ca lm, bu
t his eyes looked sa d. “Runes
of love a nd commitment. But of course, non-Sha dowhunters ca n’t bea
r the Angel’s runes, so
Jocelyn a nd I will be excha nging rings instea d.”
“Tha t sucks,” Ma ia p ronounced.
At tha t, Luke smiled. “Not rea lly. Ma rrying Jocelyn is a ll I eve
r wa nted, a nd I’m not tha t
bothered a bout the p a rticula rs. Besides, things a re cha nging. T
he new Council members
ha ve ma de a lot of hea dwa y towa rd convincing the Cla ve to tolera te this
sort of—”

“Cla ry!” It wa s Jocelyn, ca lling from the ba ck of the store. “Ca n
you come here for a
“Coming!” Cla ry ca lled, bolting down the la st of her coʃee. “Uh-oh. So
unds like a dress
“Well, good luck with tha t.” Ma ia got to her feet, a nd drop p ed the DS b
a ck in Simon’s la p
before bending to kiss him on the cheek. “I’ve got to go. I’m meeting
some friends a t the
Hunter’s Moon.”
She smelled p lea sa ntly of va nilla . Under tha t, a s a lwa ys,
Simon could smell the sa lt scent
of blood, mixed with a sha rp , lemony ta ng tha t wa s p eculia r
to werewolves. Every
Downworlder’s blood smelled diʃerent—fa eries smelled like dea d ɻowers, wa rlo
cks like
burnt ma tches, a nd other vamp ires like meta l.
Cla ry ha d once a sked him wha t Sha dowhunters smelled like.
“Sunlight,” he’d sa id.
“See you la ter, ba by.” Ma ia stra ightened up , ruʀed Simon’s ha ir once,
a nd dep a rted. As
the door closed behind her, Cla ry f ixed him with a p iercing gla re.
“You mus t work your love life out by next Sa turda y,” she sa id. “I mea
n it, Simon. If you
don’t tell them, I will.”
Luke looked bewildered. “Tell who wha t?”
Cla ry shook her hea d a t Simon. “You’re on thin ice, Lewis.” With whic
h p ronouncement
she ɻounced awa y, holding up her silk skirts a s she went. Simon w
a s amused to note tha t
undernea th them she wa s wea ring green snea kers.
“Clea rly,” sa id Luke, “something is going on tha t I don’t know a bout.”
Simon looked over a t him. “Sometimes I think tha t’s the motto of my life.”
Luke ra ised his eyebrows. “Ha s something ha p p ened?”
Simon hesita ted. He certa inly couldn’t tell Luke a bout his love life—L
uke a nd Ma ia were
in the same p a ck, a nd werewolf p a cks were more loya l tha n street ga ngs
. It would p ut Luke
in a very awkwa rd p osition. It wa s true, though, tha t Luke wa
s a lso a resource. As the
lea der of the Ma nha tta n wolf p a ck, he ha d a ccess to a ll s
orts of informa tion, a nd wa s well
versed in Downworlder p olitics. “Ha ve you hea rd of a vamp ire named Camille?”
Luke ma de a low whistling sound. “I know who she is. I’m surp rised you do.”
“Well, she’s the hea d of the New York vamp ire cla n. I do know s om
e thing a bout them,”
Simon sa id, a little stif f ly.
“I didn’t rea lize you did. I thought you wa nted to live like a huma
n a s much a s you
could.” There wa s no judgment in Luke’s voice, only curiosity. “Now, by the time I
took over
the downtown p a ck from the p revious p a ck lea der, she ha d p ut
Ra p ha el in cha rge. I don’t
think a nyone knew where she’d gone exa ctly. But she is something of
a legend. An
extra ordina rily old vamp ire, from everything I understa nd. Famously
cruel a nd cunning.
She could give the Fa ir Folk a run for their money.”
“Ha ve you ever seen her?”

Luke shook his hea d. “Don’t think I ha ve, no. Why the curiosity?”
“Ra p ha el mentioned her,” Simon sa id va guely.
Luke’s forehea d crea sed. “You’ve seen Ra p ha el la tely?”
Before Simon could a nswer, the shop bell sounded a ga in, a nd to
Simon’s surp rise, Ja ce
came in. Cla ry ha dn’t mentioned he wa s coming.
In p oint of fa ct, he rea lized, Cla ry ha dn’t mentioned Ja ce much la tely a
t a ll.
Ja ce looked from Luke to Simon. He looked a s if he were mildly
surp rised to see Simon
a nd Luke there, a lthough it wa s ha rd to tell. Though Simon ima
gined tha t Ja ce ra n the
gamut of fa cia l exp ressions when he wa s a lone with Cla ry, his
defa ult one a round other
p eop le wa s a ɹerce sort of bla nkness. “He looks,” Simon ha d once sa id to Isa
belle, “like he’s
thinking a bout something deep a nd mea ningful, but if you a sk hi
m wha t it is, he’ll p unch
you in the fa ce.”
“So don’t a sk him,” Isa belle ha d sa id, a s if she thought Simon wa s
being ridiculous. “No
one sa ys you two need to be friends.”
“Is Cla ry here?” Ja ce a sked, shutting the door behind him. He looked
tired. There were
sha dows under his eyes, a nd he didn’t seem to ha ve bothered to p u
t on a ja cket, desp ite the
fa ct tha t the a utumn wind wa s brisk. Though cold no longer a ʃecte
d Simon much, looking
a t Ja ce in just jea ns a nd a therma l shirt ma de him feel chilly.
“She’s help ing Jocelyn,” exp la ined Luke. “But you’re welcome to wa it here with us.”
Ja ce looked a round unea sily a t the wa lls hung with veils, fa ns,
tia ra s, a nd seed-p ea rlencrusted tra ins. “Everything is … so white.”
“Of course it’s white,” sa id Simon. “It’s a wedding.”
“White for Sha dowhunters is the color of funera ls,” Luke exp la ined. “B
ut for munda nes,
Ja ce, it’s the color of weddings. Brides wea r white to symbolize their p urit
“I thought Jocelyn sa id her dress wa sn’t white,” Simon sa id.
“Well,” sa id Ja ce, “I sup p ose tha t ship has sa iled.”
Luke choked on his coʃee. Before he could sa y—or do—a nything, Cla ry wa
lked ba ck into
the room. Her ha ir wa s up now, in sp a rkling p ins, with a f
ew curls ha nging loose. “I don’t
know,” she wa s sa ying a s she came closer to them. “Ka ryn got her h
a nds on me a nd did my
ha ir, but I’m not sure a bout the sp a rkles—”
She broke oʃ a s she saw Ja ce. It wa s clea r from her exp ression
tha t she ha dn’t been
exp ecting him either. Her lip s p a rted in surp rise, but she sa id nothing.
Ja ce, in his turn, wa s
sta ring a t her, a nd for once in his life Simon could rea d Ja ce’s exp ression
like a book. It wa s
a s if everything else in the world ha d fa llen awa y for Ja ce bu
t himself a nd Cla ry, a nd he
wa s looking a t her with a n unconcea led yea rning a nd desire tha t
ma de Simon feel
awkwa rd, a s if he ha d somehow wa lked in on a p riva te moment.
Ja ce clea red his throa t. “You look bea utiful.”
“Ja ce.” Cla ry looked more p uzzled tha n a nything else. “Is everything a
ll right? I thought

you sa id you couldn’t come beca use of the Concla ve meeting.”
“Tha t’s right,” Luke sa id. “I hea rd a bout the Sha dowhunter body in the
p a rk. Is there a ny
Ja ce shook his hea d, still looking a t Cla ry. “No. He’s not one of
the New York Concla ve
members, but beyond tha t he ha sn’t been identiɹed. Neither of the bo
dies ha ve. The Silent
Brothers a re looking a t them now.”
“Tha t’s good. The Brothers will f igure out who they a re,” sa id Luke.
Ja ce sa id nothing. He wa s still looking a t Cla ry, a nd it wa s t
he oddest sort of look, Simon
thought—the sort of look you might give someone you loved but could ne
ver, ever ha ve. He
ima gined Ja ce ha d felt like tha t a bout Cla ry once before, but now?
“Ja ce?” Cla ry sa id, a nd took a step towa rd him.
He tore his ga ze awa y from her. “Tha t ja cket you borrowed from me
in the p a rk
yesterda y,” he sa id. “Do you still ha ve it?”
Now looking even more p uzzled, Cla ry p ointed to where the item of
clothing in question,
a p erfectly ordina ry brown suede ja cket, wa s ha nging over the b
a ck of one of the cha irs.
“It’s over there. I wa s going to bring it to you a f ter—”
“Well,” sa id Ja ce, p icking it up a nd thrusting his a rms ha stily i
nto the sleeves, a s if he
were suddenly in a hurry, “now you don’t ha ve to.”
“Ja ce,” Luke sa id in tha t ca lming tone he ha d, “we’re going to get a n ea rly dinn
er in Pa rk
Slop e a f ter this. You’re welcome to come a long.”
“No,” Ja ce sa id, zip p ing the ja cket up . “I’ve got tra ining this a f
ternoon. I’d better hea d
“Tra ining?” Cla ry echoed. “But we tra ined yesterda y.”
“Some of us ha ve to tra in every da y, Cla ry.” Ja ce didn’t sound a ng
ry, but there wa s a
ha rshness to his tone, a nd Cla ry ɻushed. “I’ll see you la ter,” he a dd
ed without looking a t
her, a nd p ra ctica lly f lung himself towa rd the door.
As it shut behind him, Cla ry rea ched up a nd a ngrily ya nked the
p ins out of her ha ir. It
ca sca ded in ta ngles down a round her shoulders.
“Cla ry,” Luke sa id gently. He stood up . “Wha t a re you doing?”
“My ha ir.” She ya nked the la st p in out, ha rd. Her eyes were shining
, a nd Simon could tell
she wa s forcibly willing herself not to cry. “I don’t wa nt to wea r it like this
. It looks stup id.”
“No, it doesn’t.” Luke took the p ins from her a nd set them down on one of the sma
ll white
end ta bles. “Look, weddings ma ke men nervous, oka y? It doesn’t mea n a nything
“Right.” Cla ry tried to smile. She nea rly ma na ged it, but Simon cou
ld tell she didn’t
believe Luke. He could ha rdly blame her. Af ter seeing the look on
Ja ce’s fa ce, Simon didn’t
believe him either.
In the dista nce the Fif th Avenue Diner wa s lit up like a sta r a
ga inst the blue twilight. Simon
wa lked beside Cla ry down the a venue blocks, Jocelyn a nd Luke a
few step s a hea d of them.

Cla ry ha d cha nged out of her dress a nd wa s ba ck in jea ns now
, a thick white sca rf wound
a round her neck. Every once in a while she would rea ch up a nd
twirl the ring on the cha in
a round her neck, a nervous gesture he wondered if she wa s even awa re of .
When they’d lef t the brida l store, he ha d a sked her if she knew
wha t wa s wrong with
Ja ce, but she ha dn’t rea lly a nswered him. She’d shrugged it oʃ, a nd
sta rted a sking him
a bout wha t wa s going on with him, if he’d ta lked to his mother yet,
a nd whether he minded
sta ying with Eric. When he told her he wa s cra shing with Kyle, she wa s sur
p rised.
“But you ha rdly even know him,” she sa id. “He could be a seria l killer.”
“I did ha ve tha t thought. I checked the a p a rtment out, but if
he’s got a n ice cooler full of
a rms in it, I ha ven’t seen it yet. Anywa y, he seems p retty sincere.”
“So wha t’s his a p a rtment like?”
“Nice for Alp ha bet City. You should come over la ter.”
“Not tonight,” Cla ry sa id, a little a bsently. She wa s ɹddling with t
he ring a ga in. “Ma ybe
Going to s e e Jace ? Simon thought, but he didn’t p ress the p oint.
If she didn’t wa nt to ta lk
a bout it, he wa sn’t going to ma ke her. “Here we a re.” He op ened the diner door
for her, a nd
a bla st of wa rm souvla ki-smelling a ir hit them.
They found a booth over by one of the big ɻa t-screen TVs tha t lin
ed the wa lls. They
crowded into it a s Jocelyn a nd Luke cha ttered a nima tedly with ea
ch other a bout wedding
p la ns. Luke’s p a ck, it seemed, felt insulted tha t they ha dn’t bee
n invited to the ceremony—
even though the guest list wa s tiny—a nd were insisting on holding the
ir own celebra tion in
a renova ted fa ctory in Queens. Cla ry listened, not sa ying a nyth
ing; the wa itress came
a round, ha nding out menus so stiʀy lamina ted they could ha ve been
used a s wea p ons.
Simon set his own on the ta ble a nd sta red out the window. There
wa s a gym a cross the
street, a nd he could see p eop le through the p la te gla ss tha t
fronted it, running on
trea dmills, a rms p ump ing, hea dp hones clamp ed to their ea rs. Al
l that running and ge tting
nowhe re , he thought. Story of my life .
He tried to force his thoughts awa y from da rk p la ces, a nd a lmost su
cceeded. This wa s one
of the most familia r scenes in his life, he thought—a corner booth
in a diner, himself a nd
Cla ry a nd her family. Luke ha d a lwa ys been family, even when h
e ha dn’t been a bout to
ma rry Cla ry’s mom. Simon ought to feel a t home. He tried to force
a smile, only to rea lize
tha t Cla ry’s mother ha d just a sked him something a nd he ha dn’t hea
rd her. Everyone a t the
ta ble wa s sta ring a t him exp ecta ntly.
“Sorry,” he sa id. “I didn’t—Wha t did you sa y?”
Jocelyn smiled p a tiently. “Cla ry told me you’ve a dded a new member to your ba

Simon knew she wa s just being p olite. Well, p olite in tha t wa y
p a rents were when they
p retended to ta ke your hobbies seriously. Still, she’d come to sever
a l of his gigs before, just
to help ɹll up the room. She did ca re a bout him; she a lwa ys h
a d. In the very da rk, tuckedawa y p la ces of his mind, Simon s
usp ected she ha d a lwa ys known how he felt a bout Cla ry,
a nd he wondered if she wouldn’t ha ve wa nted her da ughter to ma ke
a diʃerent choice, ha d
it been something she could control. He knew she didn’t entirely like Ja ce. It
wa s clea r even
in the wa y she sa id his name.
“Yea h,” he sa id. “Kyle. He’s kind of a weird guy, but sup ernice.” Invi
ted, by Luke, to
exp a nd on the top ic of Kyle’s weirdness, Simon told them a bout Ky
le’s a p a rtment—ca reful
to lea ve out the deta il tha t it wa s now his a p a rtment too—his b
ike messenger job, a nd his
a ncient, bea t-up p ickup truck. “And he grows these weird p la nts
on the ba lcony,” he a dded.
“Not p ot—I checked. They ha ve sort of silvery lea ves—”
Luke frowned, but before he could sa y a nything, the wa itress a rr
ived, ca rrying a big
silver coʃee p itcher. She wa s young, with blea ched p a le ha ir tie
d into two bra ids. As she
bent to ɹll Simon’s coʃee cup , one of them brushed his a rm. He could
smell swea t on her,
a nd under tha t, blood. Huma n blood, the sweetest smell of a ll.
He felt a familia r tightening
in his stoma ch. Coldness sp rea d through him. He wa s hungry, a n
d a ll he ha d ba ck a t Kyle’s
p la ce wa s room-temp era ture blood tha t wa s a lrea dy beginning to
sep a ra te—a sickening
p rosp ect, even for a vamp ire.
You have ne ve r fe d on a human, have you? You will. And whe n you do, you
will not forge t it.
He closed his eyes. When he op ened them a ga in, the wa itress wa
s gone a nd Cla ry wa s
sta ring a t him curiously a cross the ta ble. “Is everything oka y?”
“Fine.” He closed his ha nd a round his coʃee cup . It wa s sha king. Ab
ove them the TV wa s
still bla ring the nightly news.
“Ugh,” Cla ry sa id, looking up a t the screen. “Are you listening to this?”
Simon followed her ga ze. The news a nchor wa s wea ring tha t exp re
ssion news a nchors
tended to wea r when they were rep orting on something esp ecia lly gr
im. “No one ha s come
forwa rd to identify a n infa nt boy found a ba ndoned in a n a lley
behind Beth Isra el hosp ita l
severa l da ys a go,” he wa s sa ying. “The infa nt is white, weighs si
x p ounds a nd eight ounces,
a nd is otherwise hea lthy. He wa s discovered stra p p ed to a n inf
a nt ca r sea t behind a
Dump ster in the a lley,” the a nchor went on. “Most disturbing, a ha
ndwritten note tucked
into the child’s bla nket begged hosp ita l a uthorities to eutha nize th
e child beca use ‘I don’t
ha ve the strength to do it myself . ’ Police sa y it is likely tha t th
e child’s mother wa s menta lly
ill, a nd cla im they ha ve ‘p romising lea ds. ’ Anyone with informa tion

a bout this child should
ca ll Crime Stop p ers a t—”
“Tha t’s so horrible,” Cla ry sa id, turning awa y from the TV with a sh
udder. “I ca n’t
understa nd how p eop le just dump their ba bies of f like they’re tra sh—”
“Jocelyn,” Luke sa id, his voice sha rp with concern. Simon looked towa
rd Cla ry’s mother.
She wa s a s white a s a sheet a nd looked a s if she were a bout
to throw up . She p ushed her
p la te awa y a brup tly, stood up from the ta ble, a nd hurried to
wa rd the ba throom. Af ter a
moment Luke drop p ed his na p kin a nd went a f ter her.
“Oh, cra p .” Cla ry p ut her ha nd over her mouth. “I ca n’t believe I sa id tha t.
I’m so stup id.”
Simon wa s thoroughly p erp lexed. “Wha t’s going on?”
Cla ry slunk down in her sea t. “She wa s thinking a bout Seba stia n,”
she sa id. “I mea n
Jona tha n. My brother. I a ssume you remember him.”
She wa s being sa rca stic. None of them wa s likely to forget Seba
stia n, whose rea l name
wa s Jona tha n a nd who ha d murdered Hodge a nd Ma x a nd ha d nea
rly succeeded in help ing
Va lentine win a wa r tha t would ha ve seen the destruction of a l
l Sha dowhunters. Jona tha n,
who ha d ha d burning bla ck eyes a nd a smile like a ra zor bla d
e. Jona tha n, whose blood ha d
ta sted like ba ttery a cid when Simon ha d bitten him once. Not tha t he regre
tted it.
“But your mom didn’t a ba ndon him,” Simon sa id. “She stuck with ra ising him even tho
she knew there wa s something horribly wrong with him.”
“She ha ted him, though,” Cla ry sa id. “I don’t think she’s ever gotten ove
r tha t. Ima gine
ha ting your own ba by. She used to ta ke out a box tha t ha d his ba by thing
s in it a nd cry over
it every yea r on his birthda y. I think she wa s crying over the
son she would ha ve ha d—you
know, if Va lentine ha dn’t done wha t he ha d.”
“And you would ha ve ha d a brother,” sa id Simon. “Like, a n a ctua l
one. Not a murdering
p sychop a th.”
Looking close to tea rs, Cla ry p ushed her p la te awa y. “I feel si
ck now,” she sa id. “You
know tha t feeling like you’re hungry but you ca n’t bring yourself to ea t?”
Simon looked over a t the blea ched-ha ired wa itress, who wa s lea ni
ng a ga inst the diner
counter. “Yea h,” he sa id. “I know.”
Luke returned to the ta ble eventua lly, but only to tell Cla ry a n
d Simon tha t he wa s ta king
Jocelyn home. He lef t some money, which they used to p a y the bill bef
ore wa ndering out of
the diner a nd over to Ga la xy Comics on Seventh Avenue. Neither of
them could concentra te
enough to enjoy themselves, though, so they sp lit up , with a p
romise to see ea ch other the
next da y.
Simon rode into the city with his hood p ulled up a nd his iPod on
, bla sting music into his
ea rs. Music ha d a lwa ys been his wa y of blocking everything out.
By the time he got out a t

Second Avenue a nd hea ded down Houston, a light ra in ha d sta rted
to fa ll, a nd his stoma ch
wa s in knots.
He cut over to First Street, which wa s mostly deserted, a strip
of da rkness between the
bright lights of First Avenue a nd Avenue A. Beca use he ha d his
iPod on, he didn’t hea r them
coming up behind him until they were nea rly on him. The ɹrst intima
tion he ha d tha t
something wa s wrong wa s a long sha dow tha t fell a cross the side
wa lk, overla p p ing his
own. Another sha dow joined it, this one on his other side. He turned—
And saw two men behind him. Both were dressed exa ctly like the mug
ger who ha d
a tta cked him the other night—gra y tra cksuits, gra y hoods p ulled up to hide
their fa ces. They
were close enough to touch him.
Simon lea p ed ba ck, with a force tha t surp rised him. Beca use h
is vamp ire strength wa s so
new, it still ha d the p ower to shock him. When, a moment la te
r, he found himself p erched
on the stoop of a brownstone, severa l feet awa y from the mugger
s, he wa s so a stonished to
be there tha t he froze.
The muggers a dva nced on him. They were sp ea king the same guttura
l la ngua ge a s the
ɹrst mugger—who, Simon wa s beginning to susp ect, ha d not been a mug
ger a t a ll.
Muggers, a s fa r a s he knew, didn’t work in ga ngs, a nd it wa s
unlikely tha t the ɹrst mugger
ha d crimina l friends who ha d decided to ta ke revenge on him for
their comra de’s demise.
Something else wa s clea rly going on here.
They ha d rea ched the stoop , eʃectively tra p p ing him on the step s
. Simon tore his iPod
hea dp hones from his ea rs a nd ha stily held his ha nds up . “Look,” he sa id, “I
don’t know wha t
this is a bout, but you rea lly wa nt to lea ve me a lone.”
The muggers just looked a t him. Or a t lea st he thought they were
looking a t him. Under
the sha dows of their hoods, it wa s imp ossible to see their fa ces.
“I’m getting the feeling someone sent you a f ter me,” he sa id. “But it’s a
suicide mission.
Seriously. I don’t know wha t they’re p a ying you, but it’s not enough.”
One of the tra cksuited ɹgures la ughed. The other ha d rea ched into
his p ocket a nd drawn
something out. Something tha t shone bla ck under the streetlights.
A gun.
“Oh, ma n,” Simon sa id. “You rea lly, rea lly don’t wa nt to do tha t.
I’m not kidding.” He
took a step ba ck, up one of the sta irs. Ma ybe if he got e
nough height, he could a ctua lly
jump over them, or p a st them. Anything but let them a tta ck him
. He didn’t think he could
fa ce wha t tha t mea nt. Not a ga in.
The ma n with the gun ra ised it. There wa s a click a s he p ulled the hammer
ba ck.
Simon bit his lip . In his p a nic his fa ngs ha d come out. Pa in
shot through him a s they sa nk
into his skin. “Don’t—”

A da rk object fell from the sky. At ɹrst Simon thought something ha
d merely tumbled
from one of the up p er windows—a n a ir conditioner rip p ing loose,
or someone too la zy to
dra g their tra sh downsta irs. But the fa lling thing, he saw, wa
s a p erson—fa lling with
direction, p urp ose, a nd gra ce. The p erson la nded on the mugger
, knocking him ɻa t. The
gun skittered out of his ha nd, a nd he screamed, a thin, high sound.
The second mugger bent a nd seized the gun. Before Simon could rea ct
, the guy ha d ra ised
it a nd p ulled the trigger. A sp a rk of f lame a p p ea red a t the gun’s muzz
And the gun blew a p a rt. It blew a p a rt, a nd the mugger blew
a p a rt a long with it, too fa st
to even scream. He ha d intended a quick dea th for Simon, a nd a
n even quicker dea th wa s
wha t he got in return. He sha ttered a p a rt like gla ss, like th
e outwa rd-ɻying colors in a
ka leidoscop e. There wa s a sof t exp losion—the sound of disp la ced
a ir—a nd then nothing but
a sof t drizzle of sa lt, fa lling onto the p a vement like solidif ied ra in
Simon’s vision blurred, a nd he sa nk down onto the step s. He wa s
awa re of a loud
humming in his ea rs, a nd then someone gra bbed him roughly by the
wrists a nd shook him,
ha rd. “Simon. Simon!”
He looked up . The p erson gra bbing him a nd sha king him wa s Ja c
e. The other boy wa sn’t
in gea r, but wa s still wea ring his jea ns a nd the ja cket he’d ta
ken ba ck from Cla ry. He wa s
disheveled, his clothes a nd fa ce strea ked with dirt a nd soot. His ha ir wa
s wet from the ra in.
“Wha t the hell wa s tha t?” Ja ce a sked.
Simon looked up a nd down the street. It wa s still deserted. The
a sp ha lt shone, bla ck a nd
wet a nd emp ty. The second mugger wa s gone.
“ You,” he sa id, a little groggily. “You jump ed the muggers—”
“Those weren’t muggers. They were following you since you got oʃ the subwa y.
sent those guys.” Ja ce sp oke with comp lete surety.
“The other one,” Simon sa id. “Wha t ha p p ened to him?”
“He just va nished.” Ja ce sna p p ed his ɹngers. “He saw wha t ha p p ened
to his friend, a nd
he wa s gone, like tha t. I don’t know wha t they were, exa ctly.
Not demons, but not exa ctly
huma n, either.”
“Yea h, I f igured tha t p a rt out, tha nks.”
Ja ce looked a t him more closely. “Tha t—wha t ha p p ened to the mugger—t
ha t wa s you,
wa sn’t it? Your Ma rk, here.” He p ointed a t his forehea d. “I saw it
burn white before tha t
guy just … dissolved.”
Simon sa id nothing.
“I’ve seen a lot,” Ja ce sa id. There wa s no sa rca sm in his voice,
for a cha nge, or a ny
mockery. “But I’ve never seen a nything like tha t.”
“I didn’t do it,” Simon sa id sof tly. “I didn’t do a nything.”
“You didn’t ha ve to,” sa id Ja ce. His golden eyes burned in his soot-strea ked fa c

e. “ ‘For it is
writte n, Ve nge ance is mine ; I will re pay, s aith the Lord. ’”
Ja ce’ s room wa s a s nea t a s ever—bed ma de perfectly, the books tha
t lined the shelves
a rra nged in a lp ha betica l order, notes a nd textbooks sta cked ca
refully on the desk. Even his
wea p ons were lined up a long the wa ll in order of size, from a
ma ssive broa dsword to a set
of sma ll da ggers.
Cla ry, sta nding in the doorwa y, held ba ck a sigh. The nea tness wa s a l
l very well. She wa s
used to it. It wa s, she ha d a lwa ys thought, Ja ce’s wa y of ex
erting control over the elements
of a life tha t otherwise might seem overwhelmed with cha os. He h
a d lived so long not
knowing who—or even wha t—he rea lly wa s, she could ha rdly begrudge him
the ca reful
a lp ha betiza tion of his p oetry collection.
She could, however—a nd did—begrudge the fa ct tha t he wa sn’t there. If
he ha dn’t gone
ba ck home a f ter lea ving the brida l shop , where had he gone? As
she looked a round the
room, a feeling of unrea lity came over her. It wa sn’t p ossible t
ha t a ny of this wa s
ha p p ening, wa s it? She knew how brea kup s went from hea ring oth
er girls comp la in a bout
them. First the p ulling awa y, the gra dua l refusa l to return not
es or p hone ca lls. The va gue
messa ges sa ying nothing wa s wrong, tha t the other p erson just wa
nted a little sp a ce. Then
the sp eech a bout how “It’s not you, it’s me.” Then the crying p a rt.
She’d never thought a ny of tha t would ever a p p ly to her a nd Ja
ce. Wha t they ha d wa sn’t
ordina ry, or subject to the ordina ry rules of rela tionship s a nd
brea kup s. They belonged to
ea ch other tota lly, a nd a lwa ys would, a nd tha t wa s tha t.
But ma ybe everyone felt tha t wa y? Until the moment they rea lized
they were just like
everyone else, a nd everything they’d thought wa s rea l sha ttered a p a rt.
Something tha t glittered silver a cross the room ca ught her eye. It
wa s the box Ama tis ha d
given Ja ce, with its delica te design of birds a round the sides. She knew h
e ha d been working
his wa y through it, rea ding the letters slowly, going through the
notes a nd p hotos. He
ha dn’t sa id much a bout it to her, a nd she ha dn’t wa nted to p ry.
His feelings a bout his
biologica l fa ther were something he wa s going to ha ve to come to terms with
on his own.
She found herself drawn to the box now, though. She remembered him sitting on
the front
step s of the Accords Ha ll in Idris, holding the box in his la p . As
if I could s top loving you, he’d
sa id. She touched the lid of the box, a nd her ɹngers found the c
la sp , which sp rung op en
ea sily. Inside were sca ttered p a p ers, old p hotogra p hs. She dr
ew one out, a nd sta red a t it,
fa scina ted. There were two p eop le in the p hotogra p h, a young

woma n a nd a young ma n.
She recognized the woma n immedia tely a s Luke’s sister, Ama tis. She
wa s ga zing up a t the
young ma n with a ll the ra dia nce of ɹrst love. He wa s ha ndsome,
ta ll a nd blond, though his
eyes were blue, not gold, a nd his fea tures less a ngula r tha n J
a ce’s … a nd yet still, knowing
who he wa s—Ja ce’s fa ther—wa s enough to ma ke her stoma ch tighten.
She set the p hoto of Step hen Heronda le down ha stily, a nd nea rl
y cut her ɹnger on the
bla de of a slim hunting da gger tha t la y crosswise in the box.
Birds were ca rved a long the
ha ndle. The bla de of it wa s sta ined with rust, or wha t looked
like rust. It must not ha ve
been clea ned p rop erly. She shut the box quickly, a nd turned awa
y, guilt like a weight on
her shoulders.
She ha d thought a bout lea ving a note, but, deciding it would be
better to wa it until she
could ta lk to Ja ce in p erson, she lef t a nd went down the ha ll
to the eleva tor. She ha d
knocked on Isa belle’s door ea rlier, but it didn’t look like she wa s
home either. Even the
witchlight torches in the ha llwa ys seemed to be burning a t a lowe
r level tha n usua l. Feeling
utterly dep ressed, Cla ry rea ched for the eleva tor ca ll button—only
to rea lize it wa s a lrea dy
lit. Someone wa s hea ding up from the ground f loor to the Institute.
Jace , she thought immedia tely, her p ulse jump ing. But of course
it might not be him, she
told herself . It could be Izzy, or Ma ryse, or—
“Luke?” she sa id in surp rise a s the eleva tor door op ened. “Wha t a re you doing
“I might a sk you the same thing.” He step p ed out of the eleva tor,
p ulling the ga te shut
behind him. He wa s wea ring a ɻeece-lined zip -up ɻa nnel ja cket tha
t Jocelyn ha d been
trying to get him to throw awa y since they’d ɹrst sta rted da ting. It
wa s ra ther nice, Cla ry
thought, tha t just a bout nothing seemed to cha nge Luke, no ma tte
r wha t ha p p ened in his
life. He liked wha t he liked, a nd tha t wa s tha t. Even if it
wa s a ra tty-looking old coa t.
“Excep t I think I ca n guess. So, is he here?”
“Ja ce? No.” Cla ry shrugged, trying to look unconcerned. “It’s f ine. I’ll see him tom
Luke hesita ted. “Cla ry—”
“Lucia n.” The cool voice tha t came from behind them wa s Ma ryse’s. “Tha n
k you for
coming on such short notice.”
He turned to nod a t her. “Ma ryse.”
Ma ryse Lightwood stood in the doorwa y, her ha nd lightly on the fr
ame. She wa s wea ring
gloves, p a le gra y gloves tha t ma tched her ta ilored gra y suit.
Cla ry wondered if Ma ryse ever
wore jea ns. She ha d never seen Isa belle a nd Alec’s mother in a nyt
hing but p ower suits or
gea r. “Cla ry,” she sa id. “I didn’t rea lize you were here.”
Cla ry felt herself ɻush. Ma ryse didn’t seem to mind her coming a nd
going, but then,

Ma ryse ha d never rea lly a cknowledged Cla ry’s rela tionship with Ja c
e a t a ll. It wa s ha rd to
blame her. Ma ryse wa s still cop ing with Ma x’s dea th, which ha d
been only six weeks a go,
a nd she wa s doing it a lone, with Robert Lightwood still in Idris.
She ha d bigger things on
her mind tha n Ja ce’s love life.
“I wa s just lea ving,” Cla ry sa id.
“I’ll give you a ride ba ck home when I’m done here,” Luke sa id, p uttin
g a ha nd on her
shoulder. “Ma ryse, is it a p roblem if Cla ry rema ins while we ta lk? Beca u
se I’d p refer to ha ve
her sta y.”
Ma ryse shook her hea d. “No p roblem, I sup p ose.” She sighed, ra kin
g her ha nds through
her ha ir. “Believe me, I wish I didn’t need to bother you a t a ll.
I know you’re getting
ma rried in a week—congra tula tions, by the wa y. I don’t know if I told you th
a t before.”
“You didn’t,” sa id Luke, “but it’s a p p recia ted. Tha nk you.”
“Only six weeks.” Ma ryse smiled fa intly. “Quite a whirlwind courtship .”
Luke’s ha nd tightened on Cla ry’s shoulder, the only sign of his a nno
ya nce. “I don’t
sup p ose you ca lled me over here to congra tula te me on my enga gement, did
Ma ryse shook her hea d. She looked very tired, Cla ry thought, a n
d there were stra nds of
gra y in her up swep t da rk ha ir tha t ha dn’t been there before. “No.
I a ssume you’ve hea rd
a bout the bodies we’ve been f inding for the p a st week or so?”
“The dea d Sha dowhunters, yes.”
“We found a nother one tonight. Stuʃed in a Dump ster nea r Columbus Pa
rk. Your p a ck’s
Luke’s eyebrows went up . “Yes, but the others—”
“The f irst body wa s found in Greenp oint. Wa rlock territory. The second f loa
ting in a p ond
in Centra l Pa rk. The doma in of the fey. Now we ha ve werewolf
territory.” She ɹxed her
ga ze on Luke. “Wha t does tha t ma ke you think?”
“Tha t someone who isn’t very p lea sed a bout the new Accords is trying
to set
Downworlder a ga inst Downworlder,” Luke sa id. “I ca n a ssure you my p
a ck didn’t ha ve
a nything to do with this. I don’t know who’s behind it, but it’s a very clumsy a t
temp t, if you
a sk me. I hop e the Cla ve ca n see through it.”
“There’s more,” Ma ryse sa id. “We’ve identiɹed the ɹrst two bodies. It took so
e time,
since the f irst wa s burned nea rly beyond recognition a nd the second wa s ba
dly decomp osed.
Ca n you guess who they might ha ve been?”
“Ma ryse—”
“Anson Pa ngborn,” she sa id, “a nd Cha rles Freema n. Neither of whom,
I might note, ha d
been hea rd from since Va lentine’s dea th—”
“But tha t’s not p ossible,” Cla ry interrup ted. “Luke killed Pa ngborn, ba
ck in August—a t
“He killed Emil Pa ngborn,” sa id Ma ryse. “Anson wa s Emil’s younger brother

. They were
both in the Circle together.”
“As wa s Freema n,” sa id Luke. “So someone is killing not just Sha dowhun
ters but former
Circle members? And lea ving their bodies in Downworlder territory?” He shook his
hea d. “It
sounds like someone’s trying to sha ke up some of the more … reca lcit
ra nt members of the
Cla ve. Get them to rethink the new Accords, p erha p s. We should ha ve exp
ected this.”
“I sup p ose,” Ma ryse sa id. “I’ve met with the Seelie Queen a lrea dy, a
nd I ha ve a messa ge
out to Ma gnus. Wherever he is.” She rolled her eyes; Ma ryse a nd R
obert seemed to ha ve
a ccep ted Alec’s rela tionship with Ma gnus with surp risingly good gra
ce, but Cla ry could tell
tha t Ma ryse, a t lea st, didn’t ta ke it seriously. “I just thought,
p erha p s—” She sighed. “I’ve
been so exha usted la tely. I feel like I ca n ha rdly think stra ig
ht. I hop ed you might ha ve
some idea a bout who might be doing this, some idea tha t ha dn’t occurred to m
Luke shook his hea d. “Someone with a grudge a ga inst the new system
. But tha t could be
a nyone. I sup p ose there’s no evidence on the bodies?”
Ma ryse sighed. “Nothing conclusive. If only the dea d could ta lk, eh, Lucia
It wa s a s if Ma ryse ha d lif ted a ha nd a nd ya nked a curta
in a cross Cla ry’s vision;
everything went da rk, excep t for a single symbol, ha nging like a
glowing sign a ga inst a
bla nk night sky.
It seemed her p ower ha d not va nished, a f ter a ll.
“Wha t if…,” she sa id slowly, ra ising her eyes to look a t Ma ryse. “Wha t if they
Sta ring a t himself in the ba throom mirror in Kyle’s sma ll a p a rtm
ent, Simon couldn’t help
but wonder where tha t whole business a bout vamp ires not being a ble
to see themselves in
mirrors ha d come from. He wa s a ble to see himself p erfectly wel
l in the dinged surfa ce—
tousled brown ha ir, wide brown eyes, white, unma rked skin. He ha
d sp onged oʃ the blood
from his cut lip , though his skin ha d a lrea dy hea led over.
He knew, objectively sp ea king, tha t becoming a vamp ire ha d ma d
e him more a ttra ctive.
Isa belle ha d exp la ined to him tha t his movements ha d become gra
ceful a nd tha t, wherea s
before he ha d seemed disheveled, somehow now he looked a ttra ctively rump led
, a s if he ha d
just gotten out of bed. “Someone e ls e ’s bed,” she ha d noted, which,
he’d told her, he ha d
a lrea dy f igured out wa s wha t she mea nt, tha nk you.
When he looked a t himself , though, he didn’t see a ny of tha t.
The p oreless whiteness of
his skin, a s it a lwa ys did, disturbed him, a s did the da rk,
sp idering veins tha t showed a t his
temp les, evidence of the fa ct tha t he ha d not fed toda y. He
looked a lien a nd not like
himself . Perha p s the whole business a bout not being a ble to see

yourself in a mirror once
you ha d become a vamp ire wa s wishful thinking. Ma ybe it wa s ju
st tha t you no longer
recognized the ref lection looking ba ck a t you.
Clea ned up , he hea ded ba ck into the living room, where Ja ce wa
s sp rawled out on the
futon couch, rea ding Kyle’s bea ten-up cop y of The Lord of the Ri
ngs . He drop p ed it onto the
coʃee ta ble a s Simon came in. His ha ir looked newly wet, a s if
he’d sp la shed wa ter on his
fa ce from the kitchen sink.
“I ca n see why you like it here,” he sa id, ma king a sweep ing gest
ure tha t encomp a ssed
Kyle’s collection of movie p osters a nd science ɹction books. “There’s a t
hin la yer of nerd a ll
over everything.”
“Tha nks. I a p p recia te tha t.” Simon ga ve Ja ce a ha rd look. Up close, un
der the bright light
of the unsha ded overhea d bulb, Ja ce looked—ill. The sha dows Simon
ha d noticed under his
eyes before were more p ronounced tha n ever, a nd his skin seemed t
ight over the bones of
his fa ce. His ha nd shook a little a s he p ushed his ha ir awa y
from his forehea d in a
cha ra cteristic gesture.
Simon shook his hea d a s if to clea r it. Since when did he know
Ja ce well enough to be
a ble to identify which gestures of his were cha ra cteristic? It wa
sn’t a s if they were friends.
“You look lousy,” he sa id.
Ja ce blinked. “Seems a n odd time to sta rt a n insult contest, but
if you insist, I could
p roba bly think up something good.”
“No, I mea n it. You don’t look good.”
“This from a guy who ha s a ll the sex a p p ea l of a p enguin.
Look, I rea lize you ma y be
jea lous tha t the good Lord didn’t dea l you the same chiseled ha nd
he dea lt me, but tha t’s no
rea son to—”
“I am not trying to ins ult you,” Simon sna p p ed. “I mea n you look s ic
k. When wa s the la st
time you a te a nything?”
Ja ce looked thoughtful. “Yesterda y?”
“You a te something yesterda y. You’re sure?”
Ja ce shrugged. “Well, I wouldn’t swea r on a sta ck of Bibles. I t
hink it wa s yesterda y,
Simon ha d investiga ted the contents of Kyle’s fridge ea rlier when he’d
been sea rching the
p la ce, a nd there ha dn’t been much to ɹnd. A withered-up old lime, some soda
ca ns, a p ound
of ground beef , a nd, inexp lica bly, a single Pop -Ta rt in the
freezer. He gra bbed his keys oʃ
the kitchen counter. “Come on,” he sa id. “There’s a sup erma rket on the corner. Le
t’s get you
some food.”
Ja ce looked a s if he were in the mood to object, then shrugged.
“Fine,” he sa id, in the
tone of someone who didn’t much ca re where they went or wha t they did there. “Le
t’s go.”

Outside on the front step s Simon locked the door behind them with t
he keys he wa s still
getting used to, while Ja ce examined the list of names next to th
e a p a rtment doorbell
buzzers. “Tha t one’s yours, huh?” he a sked, p ointing to 3A. “How come
it just sa ys ‘Kyle’?
Doesn’t he ha ve a la st name?”
“Kyle wa nts to be a rock sta r,” Simon sa id, hea ding down the sta irs. “I
think he’s working
the one-name thing. Like Riha nna .”
Ja ce followed him, hunching his shoulders slightly a ga inst the wind
, though he ma de no
move to zip up the suede ja cket he’d retrieved from Cla ry ea rlier
tha t da y. “I ha ve no idea
wha t you’re ta lking a bout.”
“I’m sure you don’t.”
As they rounded the corner onto Avenue B, Simon looked a t Ja ce si
dewa ys. “So,” he sa id.
“Were you following me? Or is it just a n ama zing coincidence tha t yo
u ha p p ened to be on
the roof of a building I wa s wa lking by when I got a tta cked?”
Ja ce stop p ed a t the corner, wa iting for the light to turn. Ap
p a rently even Sha dowhunters
ha d to obey tra f f ic laws. “I wa s following you.”
“Is this the p a rt where you tell me you’re secretly in love with me?
Vamp ire mojo strikes
a ga in.”
“There’s no such thing a s vamp ire mojo,” sa id Ja ce, ra ther eerily ech
oing Cla ry’s ea rlier
comment. “And I wa s following Cla ry, but then she got into a ca b
, a nd I ca n’t follow a ca b.
So I doubled ba ck a nd followed you instea d. Mostly for something to do.”
“You were following Cla ry?” Simon echoed. “Here’s a hot tip : Most girls
don’t like being
sta lked.”
“She lef t her p hone in the p ocket of my ja cket,” Ja ce sa id, p a
tting his right side, where,
p resuma bly, the p hone wa s sta shed. “I thought if I could ɹgure ou
t where she wa s going, I
could lea ve it where she’d f ind it.”
“Or,” Simon sa id, “you could ca ll her a t home a nd tell her you ha d
her p hone, a nd she
could come a nd get it from you.”
Ja ce sa id nothing. The light cha nged, a nd they hea ded a cross t
he street towa rd the CTown sup erma rket. It wa s still op en. Ma r
kets in Ma nha tta n never closed, Simon thought,
which wa s a nice cha nge from Brooklyn. Ma nha tta n wa s a good p la ce t
o be a vamp ire. You
could do a ll your shop p ing a t midnight a nd no one would think it wa s weird
“You’re a voiding Cla ry,” Simon observed. “I don’t sup p ose you wa nt to tell me why?”
“No, I don’t,” Ja ce sa id. “Just count yourself lucky I was following you, or—”
“Or wha t? Another mugger would be dea d?” Simon could hea r the bitterne
ss in his own
voice. “You saw wha t ha p p ened.”
“Yes. And I saw the look on your fa ce when it did.” Ja ce’s tone wa s
neutra l. “Tha t wa sn’t
the f irst time you’ve seen tha t ha p p en, wa s it?”
Simon found himself telling Ja ce a bout the tra cksuited ɹgure who ha
d a tta cked him in

Williamsburg, a nd how he ha d a ssumed it wa s just a mugger. “Af t
er he died, he turned into
sa lt,” he ɹnished. “Just like the second guy. I guess it’s a biblica l
thing. Pilla rs of sa lt. Like
Lot’s wife.”
They ha d rea ched the sup erma rket; Ja ce shoved the door op en, a
nd Simon followed him
in, gra bbing a minia ture wheeled silver ca rt from the line nea r t
he front door. He sta rted to
p ush it down one of the a isles, a nd Ja ce followed him, clea rl
y lost in thought. “So I guess
the question is,” Ja ce sa id, “do you ha ve a ny idea who might wa nt to kill you
Simon shrugged. The sight of a ll the food a round him wa s ma king
his stoma ch twist,
reminding him how hungry he wa s, though not for a nything they sold
here. “Ma ybe
Ra p ha el. He seems to ha te me. And he wa nted me dea d before—”
“It’s not Ra p ha el,” sa id Ja ce.
“How ca n you be so sure?”
“Beca use Ra p ha el knows a bout your Ma rk a nd wouldn’t be stup id enough
to strike a t you
directly like tha t. He’d know exa ctly wha t would ha p p en. Whoever’s a
f ter you, it’s someone
who knows enough a bout you to know where you’re likely to be, but they don’t k
now a bout
the Ma rk.”
“But tha t could be a nyone.”
“Exa ctly,” sa id Ja ce, a nd grinned. For a moment he a lmost looked like himsel
f a ga in.
Simon shook his hea d. “Look, do you know wha t you wa nt to ea t, or
do you just wa nt me
to keep p ushing this ca rt up a nd down a isles beca use it amuses you?”
“Tha t,” sa id Ja ce, “a nd I’m not rea lly familia r with wha t they sell
in munda ne grocery
stores. Ma ryse usua lly cooks or we order in food.” He shrugged, a n
d p icked up a p iece of
fruit a t ra ndom. “Wha t’s this?”
“Tha t’s a ma ngo.” Simon sta red a t Ja ce. Sometimes it rea lly wa s like Sha dowh
unters were
from a n a lien p la net.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen one of those tha t wa sn’t a lrea dy cut up
,” Ja ce mused. “I like
ma ngoes.”
Simon gra bbed the ma ngo a nd tossed it into the ca rt. “Grea t. Wha t else do
you like?”
Ja ce p ondered for a moment. “Toma to soup ,” he sa id f ina lly.
“Toma to soup ? You wa nt toma to soup a nd a ma ngo for dinner?”
Ja ce shrugged. “I don’t rea lly ca re a bout food.”
“Fine. Wha tever. Sta y here. I’ll be right ba ck.” Shadowhunte rs . Simon
seethed quietly to
himself a s he rounded the corner of a n a isle lined with soup c
a ns. They were a sort of
biza rre ama lgam of milliona ires—p eop le who never ha d to consider t
he p etty p a rts of life,
like how to shop for food, or use MetroCa rd ma chines in the subw
a y—a nd soldiers, with
their rigid self -discip line a nd consta nt tra ining. Ma ybe it wa s ea sier
for them, going through
life with blinders on, he thought a s he gra bbed a soup ca n oʃ the shelf . M

a ybe it help ed you
keep your focus on the big p icture—which, when your job wa s ba sica
lly keep ing the world
sa fe from evil, wa s a p retty big p icture indeed.
He wa s feeling nea rly symp a thetic towa rd Ja ce a s he nea red the
a isle where he’d lef t him
—then p a used. Ja ce wa s lea ning a ga inst the ca rt, turning someth
ing over in his ha nds.
From this dista nce Simon couldn’t see wha t it wa s, a nd he couldn’t
get closer, either,
beca use two teena ge girls were blocking his wa y, sta nding in the
middle of the a isle
giggling a nd crowding up a ga inst ea ch other to whisp er the wa y
girls did. They were
obviously dressed to p a ss for twenty-one, in high heels a nd short skirts, p
ush-up bra s a nd no
ja ckets to keep the chill awa y.
They smelled like lip gloss. Lip gloss a nd ba by p owder a nd blood.
He could hea r them, of course, desp ite the whisp ering. They were ta lking
a bout Ja ce, how
hot he wa s, ea ch da ring the other to go up a nd ta lk to him.
There wa s a grea t dea l of
discussion of his ha ir a nd a lso his a bs, a lthough how they cou
ld rea lly see his a bs though his
T-shirt, Simon wa sn’t sure. Ble ch, he thought. This is ridiculous .
He wa s a bout to sa y “Excuse
me” when one of them, the ta ller a nd da rker-ha ired of the two,
broke awa y a nd sa untered
over to Ja ce, wobbling a little on her p la tform heels. Ja ce looked up a
s she a p p roa ched him,
his eyes wa ry, a nd Simon ha d the sudden p a nicked thought tha t
ma ybe Ja ce would mista ke
her for a vamp ire or some kind of succubus a nd whip out one of
his sera p h bla des on the
sp ot, a nd then they’d both be a rrested.
He needn’t ha ve worried. Ja ce just a rched a n eyebrow. The girl sa
id something to him
brea thlessly; he shrugged; she p ressed something into his ha nd, a nd
then da shed ba ck to her
friend. They wobbled out of the store, giggling together.
Simon went over to Ja ce a nd drop p ed the soup ca n into the ca r
t. “So wha t wa s a ll tha t
a bout?”
“I think,” Ja ce sa id, “tha t she a sked if she could touch my ma ngo.”
“She s aid tha t?”
Ja ce shrugged. “Yea h, then she ga ve me her number.” He showed Simon
the p iece of
p a p er with a n exp ression of bla nd indiʃerence, then tossed it in
to the ca rt. “Ca n we go
“You’re not going to ca ll her, a re you?”
Ja ce looked a t him a s if he were insa ne.
“Forget I sa id tha t,” sa id Simon. “This sort of thing ha p p ens to y
ou a ll the time, doesn’t
it? Girls just coming up to you?”
“Only when I’m not glamoured.”
“Yes, beca use when you a re, girls ca n’t see you, beca use you’re invis
ible .” Simon shook his
hea d. “You’re a p ublic mena ce. You shouldn’t be a llowed out on your own.”
“Jea lousy is such a n ugly emotion, Lewis.” Ja ce grinned a crooked gr

in tha t norma lly
would ha ve ma de Simon wa nt to hit him. Not this time, though. He ha d
just rea lized wha t it
wa s tha t Ja ce ha d been p la ying with, turning over a nd over in
his ɹngers a s if it were
something p recious or da ngerous or both. It wa s Cla ry’s p hone.
“I’m still not sure tha t this is a good idea ,” sa id Luke.
Cla ry, her a rms crossed over her chest to wa rd oʃ the chill of t
he Silent City, looked
sidewa ys a t him. “Ma ybe you should ha ve sa id tha t be fore we got here.”
“I’m fa irly sure I did. Severa l times.” Luke’s voice echoed oʃ the stone p
illa rs tha t rose
overhea d, strip ed with ba nds of semip recious stone—bla ck onyx, green ja d
e, rose ca rnelia n,
a nd blue la p is. Silvery witchlight burned in torches a tta ched to
the p illa rs, lighting the
ma usoleums tha t lined ea ch wa ll to a bright white tha t wa s a lmost p a in
ful to look a t.
Little ha d cha nged in the Silent City since the la st time Cla ry
ha d been here. It still felt
a lien a nd stra nge, though now the sweep ing runes tha t stretched
a cross the ɻoors in ca rved
whorls a nd etched p a tterns tea sed her mind with the edges of the
ir mea nings, instea d of
being tota lly incomp rehensible. Ma ryse ha d lef t her a nd Luke here in this
entry chamber the
moment they ha d a rrived, p referring to go a nd confer with the Silent Brothe
rs herself . There
wa s no gua ra ntee they’d let the three of them in to see the bodie
s, she’d wa rned Cla ry.
Nep hilim dea d were the p rovince of the Bone City’s gua rdia ns, a n
d no one else ha d
jurisdiction over them.
Not tha t there were ma ny such gua rdia ns lef t. Va lentine ha d ki
lled nea rly a ll of them
while sea rching for the Morta l Sword, lea ving a live only the few
who ha d not been in the
Silent City a t the time. New members ha d been a dded to their ord
er since then, but Cla ry
doubted there were more tha n ten or f if teen Silent Brothers lef t in the worl
The ha rsh cla ck of Ma ryse’s heels on the stone ɻoor a lerted them to
her return before she
a ctua lly a p p ea red, a robed Silent Brother tra iling in her wa k
e. “Here you a re,” she sa id, a s
if Cla ry a nd Luke weren’t exa ctly where she’d lef t them. “This is Br
other Za cha ria h. Brother
Za cha ria h, this is the girl I wa s telling you a bout.”
The Silent Brother p ushed his hood ba ck very slightly from his fa c
e. Cla ry held ba ck a
sta rt of surp rise. He didn’t look like Brother Jeremia h ha d, with
his hollowed eyes a nd
stitched mouth. Brother Za cha ria h’s eyes were closed, his high cheekbones ea
ch ma rked with
the sca r of a single bla ck rune. But his mouth wa sn’t stitched s
hut, a nd she didn’t think his
hea d wa s sha ved, either. It wa s ha rd to tell, with the hood
up , whether she wa s seeing
sha dows or da rk ha ir.
She felt his voice touch her mind. You truly be lie ve you can do

this thing, Vale ntine ’s
daughte r?
She felt her cheeks f lush. She ha ted being reminded of whose da ughter she w
a s.
“Surely you’ve hea rd of the other things she’s done,” sa id Luke. “Her rune
of binding
help ed us end the Morta l Wa r.”
Brother Za cha ria h ra ised his hood to hide his fa ce. Come with me to the
Os s uarium.
Cla ry looked a t Luke, hop ing for a sup p ortive nod, but he wa
s sta ring stra ight a hea d a nd
ɹddling with his gla sses the wa y he did when he wa s a nxious. With
a sigh she set oʃ a f ter
Ma ryse a nd Brother Za cha ria h. He moved a s silently a s fog, wh
ile Ma ryse’s heels sounded
like gunshots on the ma rble ɻoors. Cla ry wondered if Isa belle’s p rop
ensity for unsuita ble
footwea r wa s genetic.
They followed a winding p a th through the p illa rs, p a ssing the
grea t squa re of the
Sp ea king Sta rs, where the Silent Brothers ha d ɹrst told Cla ry a bo
ut Ma gnus Ba ne. Beyond
the squa re wa s a n a rched doorwa y, set with a p a ir of enormo
us iron doors. Into their
surfa ces ha d been burned runes tha t Cla ry recognized a s runes of dea th a
nd p ea ce. Over the
doors wa s written a n inscrip tion in La tin tha t ma de her wish sh
e ha d her notes with her.
She wa s woefully behind in La tin for a Sha dowhunter; most of th
em sp oke it like a second
la ngua ge.
Tace ant Colloquia. Effugiat ris us . Hic locus e s t ubi mors gaude t s ucc
urre re vitae .
“Le t conve rs ation s top. Le t laughte r ce as e ,” Luke rea d a loud. “H
e re is the place whe re the
de ad de light to te ach the living.”
Brother Za cha ria h la id a ha nd on the door. The mos t re ce nt
of the murde re d de ad has be e n
made re ady for you. Are you pre pare d?
Cla ry swa llowed ha rd, wondering exa ctly wha t it wa s she ha d go
tten herself into. “I’m
rea dy.”
The doors swung wide, a nd they ɹled through. Inside wa s a la rge,
windowless room with
wa lls of smooth white ma rble. They were fea tureless sa ve for hoo
ks on which hung silvery
instruments of dissection: shining sca lp els, things tha t looked li
ke hammers, bone saws, a nd
rib sp rea ders. And beside them on shelves were even more p eculia r
instruments: ma ssive
corkscrew-like tools, sheets of sa ndp a p ery ma teria l, a nd ja rs
of multicolored liquid,
including a greenish one la beled “Acid” tha t a ctua lly seemed to be steaming.
The center of the room fea tured a row of high ma rble ta bles.
Most were ba re. Three were
occup ied, a nd on two of those three, a ll Cla ry could see wa s
a huma n sha p e concea led by a
white sheet. On the third ta ble la y a body, the sheet p ulled d
own to just below the rib ca ge.
Na ked from the wa ist up , the body wa s clea rly ma le, a nd just

a s clea rly a Sha dowhunter.
The corp se-p a le skin wa s inked a ll over with Ma rks. The dea d
ma n’s eyes ha d been bound
with white silk, a s p er Sha dowhunter custom.
Cla ry swa llowed ba ck her rising na usea a nd moved to sta nd beside the cor
p se. Luke came
with her, his ha nd p rotectively on her shoulder; Ma ryse stood op
p osite them, wa tching
everything with her curious blue eyes, the same color a s Alec’s.
Cla ry drew her stele from her p ocket. She could feel the chill of
the ma rble through her
shirt a s she lea ned over the dea d ma n. This close, she could s
ee deta ils—tha t his ha ir ha d
been reddish brown, a nd tha t his throa t ha d been torn clea n thr
ough in strip s, a s if by a
ma ssive claw.
Brother Za cha ria h rea ched out a nd removed the silk binding from t
he dea d ma n’s eyes.
Benea th it, they were closed. You may be gin.
Cla ry took a deep brea th a nd set the tip of the stele to the
skin of the dea d
Sha dowhunter’s a rm. The rune she ha d visua lized before, in the ent
rywa y of the Institute,
came ba ck to her a s clea rly a s the letters of her own name. She bega n to
The bla ck Ma rk lines sp ira led out from the tip of her stele,
much a s they a lwa ys did—but
her ha nd felt hea vy, the stele itself dra gging slightly, a s if
she were writing in mud ra ther
tha n on skin. It wa s a s if the imp lement were confused, skitte
ring over the surfa ce of the
dea d skin, seeking the living sp irit of the Sha dowhunter tha t wa
s no longer there. Cla ry’s
stoma ch churned a s she drew, a nd by the time she wa s done a nd ha d retra c
ted her stele, she
wa s swea ting a nd na usea ted.
For a long moment nothing ha p p ened. Then, with a terrible sudde
nness, the dea d
Sha dowhunter’s eyes f licked op en. They were blue, the whites f lecked red wit
h blood.
Ma ryse let out a long ga sp . It wa s clea r she ha dn’t rea lly be
lieved the rune would work.
“By the Angel.”
A ra ttling brea th came from the dea d ma n, the sound of someone
trying to brea the
through a cut throa t. The ra gged skin of his neck ɻuttered like a
ɹsh’s gills. His chest rose,
a nd words came from his mouth.
“It hurts .”
Luke swore, a nd gla nced towa rd Za cha ria h, but the Silent Brother wa s im
p a ssive.
Ma ryse moved closer to the ta ble, her eyes suddenly sha rp , a lmo
st p reda tory.
“Sha dowhunter,” she sa id. “Who a re you? I dema nd your name.”
The ma n’s hea d thra shed from side to side. His ha nds rose a nd fe
ll convulsively. “ The
pain… Make the pain s top.”
Cla ry’s stele nea rly drop p ed from her ha nd. This wa s much more a
wful tha n she ha d
ima gined. She looked towa rd Luke, who wa s ba cking awa y from the

ta ble, his eyes wide
with horror.
“Sha dowhunter.” Ma ryse’s tone wa s imp erious. “Who did this to you?”
“P le as e …”
Luke whirled a round, his ba ck to Cla ry. He seemed to be rumma gi
ng among the Silent
Brother’s tools. Cla ry stood frozen a s Ma ryse’s gra y-gloved ha nd shot
out, a nd closed on the
corp se’s shoulder, her ɹngers digging in. “In the name of the Angel,
I comma nd you to
a nswer me!”
The Sha dowhunter ma de a choking sound. “ Downworlde r … vampire …”
“Which vamp ire?” Ma ryse dema nded.
“ Camille . The ancie nt one —” The words choked oʃ a s a gout of bla ck c
lotted blood p oured
from the dea d mouth.
Ma ryse ga sp ed a nd jerked her ha nd ba ck. As she did so, Luke rea p p ea r
ed, ca rrying the ja r
of green a cid liquid tha t Cla ry ha d noticed ea rlier. With a s
ingle gesture he ya nked the lid
oʃ a nd sloshed the a cid over the Ma rk on the corp se’s a rm, era dic
a ting it. The corp se ga ve
a single scream a s the ɻesh sizzled—a nd then it colla p sed ba ck a ga inst the t
a ble, eyes bla nk
a nd sta ring, wha tever ha d a nima ted it for tha t brief p eriod clea rly g
Luke set the emp ty ja r of a cid down on the ta ble. “Ma ryse.” His
voice wa s rep roa chful.
“This is not how we trea t our dea d.”
“I will decide how we trea t our dea d, Downworlder.” Ma ryse wa s p a le, her che
eks sp otted
with red. “We ha ve a name now. Camille. Perha p s we ca n p revent more dea t
“There a re worse things tha n dea th.” Luke rea ched a ha nd out for C
la ry, not looking a t
her. “Come on, Cla ry. I think it’s time for us to go.”
“So you rea lly ca n’t think of a nyone else who might wa nt to kill y
ou?” Ja ce a sked, not for
the ɹrst time. They’d gone over the list severa l times, a nd Simon wa
s getting tired of being
a sked the same questions over a nd over. Not to mention tha t he s
usp ected Ja ce wa s only
p a rtly p a ying a ttention. Ha ving a lrea dy ea ten the soup Simon
ha d bought—cold, out of the
ca n, with a sp oon, which Simon couldn’t help thinking wa s disgust
ing—he wa s lea ning
a ga inst the window, the curta in p ulled a side slightly so tha t he could se
e the tra f f ic going by
on Avenue B, a nd the brightly lit windows of the a p a rtments a c
ross the street. Through
them Simon could see p eop le ea ting dinner, wa tching television, a
nd sitting a round a ta ble
ta lking. Ordina ry things tha t ordina ry p eop le did. It ma de him feel odd
ly hollow.
“Unlike in your ca se,” sa id Simon, “there a ren’t a ctua lly a ll tha t ma
ny p eop le who dislike
Ja ce ignored this. “There’s something you’re not telling me.”
Simon sighed. He ha dn’t wa nted to sa y a nything a bout Camille’s oʃer,

but in the fa ce of
someone trying to kill him, however ineʃectua lly, ma ybe secrecy wa sn’t
such a p riority. He
exp la ined wha t ha d ha p p ened a t his meeting with the vamp ire w
oma n, while Ja ce wa tched
him with a n intent exp ression.
When he wa s done, Ja ce sa id, “Interesting, but she’s not likely to
be the one trying to kill
you either. She knows a bout your Ma rk, for one thing. And I’m not sure she’d be
keen to get
ca ught brea king the Accords like tha t. When Downworlders a re tha t
old, they usua lly know
how to sta y out of trouble.” He set his soup ca n down. “We could
go out a ga in,” he
suggested. “See if they try to a tta ck a third time. If we could
just ca p ture one of them,
ma ybe we—”
“No,” Simon sa id. “Why a re you a lwa ys trying to get yourself killed?”
“It’s my job.”
“It’s a hazard of your job. At lea st for most Sha dowhunters. For yo
u it seems to be the
p urp ose.”
Ja ce shrugged. “My fa ther a lwa ys sa id—” He broke oʃ, his fa ce ha rden
ing. “Sorry. I
mea nt Va lentine. By the Angel. Every time I ca ll him tha t, it feels like
I’m betra ying my rea l
fa ther.”
Simon felt symp a thetic towa rd Ja ce desp ite himself . “Look, you th
ought he wa s your
fa ther for wha t, sixteen yea rs? Tha t doesn’t just go awa y in a
da y. And you never met the
guy who wa s rea lly your fa ther. And he’s dea d. So you ca n’t rea lly
betra y him. Just think of
yourself a s someone who ha s two fa thers for a while.”
“You ca n’t ha ve two fa thers.”
“Sure you ca n,” Simon sa id. “Who sa ys you ca n’t? We ca n buy you one
of those books
they ha ve for little kids. Timmy Has Two Dads . Excep t I don’t thi
nk they ha ve one ca lled
Timmy Has Two Dads and One of The m Was Evil. Tha t p a rt you’re
just going to ha ve to work
through on your own.”
Ja ce rolled his eyes. “It’s fa scina ting,” he sa id. “You know a ll these
words, a nd they’re a ll
English, but when you string them together into sentences, they just
don’t ma ke a ny sense.”
He tugged lightly on the window curta in. “I wouldn’t exp ect you to understa nd.”
“My fa ther’s dea d,” sa id Simon.
Ja ce turned to look a t him. “Wha t?”
“I ɹgured you didn’t know,” sa id Simon. “I mea n, it’s not like you were go
ing to as k, or
a re p a rticula rly interested in a nything a bout me. So, yea h. My
fa ther’s dea d. So we do ha ve
tha t in common.” Suddenly exha usted, he lea ned ba ck a ga inst the f
uton. He felt sick a nd
dizzy a nd tired—a deep tiredness tha t seemed to ha ve sunk into his
bones. Ja ce, on the
other ha nd, seemed p ossessed of a restless energy tha t Simon fou
nd a little disturbing. It
ha dn’t been ea sy wa tching him ea t tha t toma to soup , either. It

ha d looked too much like
blood for his comfort.
Ja ce eyed him. “How long ha s it been since you … a te? You look p retty ba d.”
Simon sighed. He sup p osed he couldn’t sa y a nything, a f ter p ester
ing Ja ce to ea t
something. “Ha ng on,” he sa id. “I’ll be right ba ck.”
Peeling himself oʃ the futon, he went into his bedroom a nd retrieved
his la st bottle of
blood from under the bed. He tried not to look a t it—sep a ra ted blood
wa s a sickening sight.
He shook the bottle ha rd a s he hea ded into the living room, wher
e Ja ce wa s still sta ring out
the window.
Lea ning a ga inst the kitchen counter, Simon unscrewed the bottle of
blood a nd took a
swig. Norma lly he didn’t like drinking the stuʃ in front of other p e
op le, but this wa s Ja ce,
a nd he didn’t ca re wha t Ja ce thought. Besides, it wa sn’t a s if
Ja ce ha dn’t seen him drink
blood before. At lea st Kyle wa sn’t home. Tha t would be a ha rd o
ne to exp la in to his new
roomma te. Nobody liked a guy who kep t blood in the fridge.
Two Ja ces eyed him—one the rea l Ja ce, the other his reɻection in the
windowp a ne. “You
ca n’t just skip feeding, you know.”
Simon shrugged. “I’m ea ting now.”
“Yea h,” Ja ce sa id, “but you’re a vamp ire. Blood isn’t like food for you. Blood is …
“Tha t’s very illumina ting.” Simon ɻung himself into the a rmcha ir a cross
from the TV; it
ha d p roba bly once been a p a le gold velvet but wa s now worn to
the gra yish p ile. “Do you
ha ve a lot of other p rofound thoughts like tha t? Blood is blood?
A toa ster is a toa ster? A
Gela tinous Cube is a Gela tinous Cube?”
Ja ce shrugged. “Fine. Ignore my a dvice. You’ll be sorry la ter.”
Before Simon could a nswer, he hea rd the sound of the front door
op ening. He looked
da ggers a t Ja ce. “Tha t’s my roomma te. Kyle. Be nice.”
Ja ce smiled cha rmingly. “I’m a lwa ys nice.”
Simon ha d no cha nce to resp ond to this the wa y he would ha ve l
iked, for a moment la ter
Kyle bounded into the room, looking bright-eyed a nd energetic. “Ma n,
I wa s a ll over town
toda y,” he sa id. “I a lmost got lost, but you know wha t they sa y.
Bronx up , Ba ttery down—”
He looked a t Ja ce, registering bela tedly tha t there wa s someone
else in the room. “Oh, hey.
I didn’t know you ha d a friend over.” He held out a ha nd. “I’m Kyle.”
Ja ce did not resp ond in kind. To Simon’s surp rise, Ja ce ha d gone
rigid a ll over, his p a le
yellow eyes na rrowing, his whole body disp la ying tha t Sha dowhunter
wa tchfulness tha t
seemed to tra nsform him from a n ordina ry teena ge boy into somethin
g very much other
tha n tha t.
“Interesting,” he sa id. “You know, Simon never mentioned tha t his new r
oomma te wa s a
werewolf .”
Cla ry a nd Luke drove most of the wa y ba ck to Brooklyn in silenc

e. Cla ry sta red out the
window a s they went, wa tching China town slide p a st, a nd then the
Williamsburg Bridge, lit
up like a cha in of diamonds a ga inst the night sky. In the dis
ta nce, out over the bla ck wa ter
of the river, she could see Renwick’s, illumina ted a s it a lwa ys
wa s. It looked like a ruin
a ga in, emp ty bla ck windows ga p ing like the eye holes in a sku
ll. The voice of the dea d
Sha dowhunter whisp ered in her mind:
The pain… Make the pain s top.
She shuddered a nd drew her ja cket more tightly a round her shoulders. Luke gl
a nced a t her
brieɻy but sa id nothing. It wa sn’t until he ha d p ulled up in front
of his house a nd killed the
engine of the truck tha t he turned to her a nd sp oke.
“Cla ry,” he sa id. “Wha t you just did—”
“It wa s wrong,” she sa id. “I know it wa s wrong. I wa s there too.” Sh
e swip ed a t her fa ce
with the edge of her sleeve. “Go a hea d a nd yell a t me.”
Luke sta red through the windshield. “I’m not going to yell a t you. Y
ou didn’t know wha t
wa s going to ha p p en. Hell, I thought it might work too. I wou
ldn’t ha ve gone with you if I
ha dn’t.”
Cla ry knew this ought to ha ve ma de her feel better, but it didn’t.
“If you ha dn’t thrown
a cid on the rune—”
“But I did.”
“I didn’t even know you could do tha t. Destroy a rune like tha t.”
“If you disɹgure it enough, you ca n minimize or destroy its p ower.
Sometimes in ba ttle
the enemy will try to burn or slice oʃ a Sha dowhunter’s skin, just t
o dep rive them of the
p ower of their runes.” Luke sounded distra cted.
Cla ry felt her lip s tremble, a nd p ressed them together, ha rd,
to stop the sha king.
Sometimes she forgot the more nightma rish a sp ects of being a Sha
dowhunter—This life of
s cars and killing, a s Hodge ha d sa id to her once. “Well,” she sa id, “I won’t do
it a ga in.”
“Won’t do wha t a ga in? Ma ke tha t p a rticula r rune? I ha ve no doubt you won’t,
but I’m not
sure tha t a ddresses the p roblem.” Luke drummed his ɹngers on the steer
ing wheel. “You
ha ve a n a bility, Cla ry. A grea t a bility. But you ha ve a bsol
utely no idea wha t it mea ns.
You’re tota lly untra ined. You know a lmost nothing a bout the history
of runes, or wha t they
ha ve mea nt to Nep hilim through the centuries. You ca n’t tell a ru
ne designed to do good
from one designed to do ha rm.”
“You were ha p p y enough to let me use my p ower when it wa s the binding ru
ne,” she sa id
a ngrily. “You didn’t tell me not to crea te runes then.”
“I’m not telling you not to use your p ower now. In fa ct, I think the p roblem is
tha t you so
ra rely do use it. It’s not a s if you’re using your p ower to cha ng
e your na il p olish color or
ma ke the subwa y come when you wa nt it. You use it only in these

occa siona l life-a nd-dea th
“The runes only come to me in those moments.”
“Ma ybe tha t’s beca use you ha ven’t yet been tra ined in how your p ower
works . Think of
Ma gnus; his p ower is a p a rt of him. You seem to think of y
ours a s sep a ra te from you.
Something tha t ha p p ens to you. It’s not. It’s a tool you need to lea rn to us
“Ja ce sa id Ma ryse wa nts to hire a rune exp ert to work with me,
but it ha sn’t ha p p ened
“Yes,” sa id Luke, “I ima gine Ma ryse ha s other things on her mind.” He took the key
out of
the ignition a nd sa t for a moment in silence. “Losing a child the
wa y she lost Ma x,” he sa id.
“I ca n’t ima gine it. I should be more forgiving of her beha vior. I
f something ha p p ened to
you, I…”
His voice tra iled of f .
“I wish Robert would come ba ck from Idris,” sa id Cla ry. “I don’t see wh
y she ha s to dea l
with a ll this a lone. It must be horrible.”
“Ma ny ma rria ges brea k up when a child dies. The ma rried coup le
ca n’t stop blaming
themselves, or ea ch other. I ima gine Robert is gone p recisely bec
a use he needs sp a ce, or
Ma ryse does.”
“But they love ea ch other,” Cla ry sa id, a p p a lled. “Isn’t tha t wha t lo
ve mea ns? Tha t you’re
sup p osed to be there for the other p erson to turn to, no ma tter wha t?”
Luke looked towa rd the river, a t the da rk wa ter moving slowly un
der the light of the
a utumn moon. “Sometimes, Cla ry,” he sa id, “love just isn’t enough.”
The bottle slid out of Simon’ s ha nd a nd cra shed to the ɻoor, where
it sha ttered,
sending sha rds f lying in a ll directions. “Kyle’s a werewolf?”
“Of course he’s a werewolf , you moron,” sa id Ja ce. He looked a t Kyle. “Aren’t you
Kyle sa id nothing. The rela xed good humor ha d gone out of his e
xp ression. His ha zel eyes
were a s ha rd a nd f la t a s gla ss. “Who’s a sking?”
Ja ce moved awa y from the window. There wa s nothing overtly hostile
in his demea nor,
a nd yet everything a bout him imp lied a clea r threa t. His ha nds
were loose a t his sides, but
Simon remembered the wa y he ha d seen Ja ce, before, exp lode into
a ction with a lmost
nothing, it seemed, between thought a nd resp onse. “Ja ce Lightwood,” h
e sa id. “Of the
Lightwood Institute. Wha t p a ck a re you sworn to?”
“Jesus,” sa id Kyle. “You’re a Sha dowhunter?” He looked a t Simon. “The cute
redhea ded
girl who wa s with you in the ga ra ge—she’s a Sha dowhunter too, isn’t she?”
Ta ken a ba ck, Simon nodded.
“You know, some p eop le think Sha dowhunters a re just myths. Like mummies a nd
Kyle grinned a t Ja ce. “Ca n you gra nt wishes?”

The fa ct tha t Kyle ha d just ca lled Cla ry cute did not seem to
ha ve endea red him to Ja ce,
whose fa ce ha d tightened a la rmingly. “Tha t dep ends,” he sa id. “Do y
ou wish to be p unched
in the fa ce?”
“My, my,” sa id Kyle. “And I thought you a ll were so gung ho for the
Accords these da ys
“The Accords a p p ly to vamp s a nd lyca nthrop es with clea r a llia nc
es,” interrup ted Ja ce.
“Tell me wha t p a ck you’re sworn to, or I’ll ha ve to a ssume you’re rogue.”
“All right, tha t’s enough,” Simon sa id. “Both of you, stop a cting lik
e you’re a bout to hit
ea ch other.” He looked a t Kyle. “You should ha ve told me you were a werewolf .”
“I didn’t notice you telling me you’re a vamp ire. Ma ybe I thought it
wa s none of your
Simon’s whole body jerked with surp rise. “Wha t?” He gla nced down a t the sha t
tered gla ss
a nd blood on the f loor. “I didn’t—I don’t—”
“Don’t bother,” Ja ce sa id quietly. “He ca n sense you’re a vamp ire. Just
like you’ll be a ble
to sense werewolves a nd other Downworlders when you’ve ha d a bit mor
e p ra ctice. He’s
known wha t you a re since he met you. Isn’t tha t true?” He met Kyle’s icy ha zel ey
es with his
own. Kyle sa id nothing. “And tha t stuʃ he’s growing on the ba lcony,
by the by? Tha t’s
wolfsba ne. Now you know.”
Simon crossed his a rms over his chest a nd gla red a t Kyle. “So wha
t the hell is this? Some
sort of setup ? Why did you a sk me to live with you? Werewolves ha te vamp ire
“I don’t,” sa id Kyle. “I’m not too fond of their kind, though.” He ja bbed
a ɹnger a t Ja ce.
“They think they’re better tha n everyone else.”
“No,” sa id Ja ce. “I think I’m better tha n everyone else. An op inion tha
t ha s been ba cked
up with amp le evidence.”
Kyle looked a t Simon. “Does he a lwa ys ta lk like this?”
“Does a nything shut him up ? Other tha n getting the cra p bea ten out of him,
of course.”
Ja ce moved awa y from the window. “I would love for you to try.”
Simon step p ed between them. “I’m not going to let you f ight with ea ch other.”
“And wha t a re you going to do a bout it if … Oh.” Ja ce’s ga ze tra ile
d up to Simon’s
forehea d, a nd he grinned relucta ntly. “So ba sica lly you’re threa teni
ng to turn me into
something you ca n sp rinkle on p op corn if I don’t do wha t you sa y?”
Kyle looked ba f f led. “Wha t a re you—”
“I just think you two should ta lk,” Simon interrup ted. “So Kyle’s a were
wolf . I’m a
vamp ire. And you’re not exa ctly the boy next door either,” he a dded
to Ja ce. “I sa y we
f igure out wha t’s going on a nd p roceed from there.”
“Your trusting idiocy knows no bounds,” Ja ce sa id, but he sa t down o
n the windowsill,
crossing his a rms. Af ter a moment Kyle sa t down too, on the fu
ton couch. They both gla red

a t ea ch other. Still, Simon thought. P rogre s s .
“Fine,” Kyle sa id. “I’m a werewolf . I’m not p a rt of a p a ck, but I do ha ve a n
a llia nce. Ha ve
you hea rd of the Pra etor Lup us?”
“I’ve hea rd of lup us,” sa id Simon. “Isn’t it a kind of disea se?”
Ja ce ga ve him a withering look. “‘Lupus ’ mea ns ‘wolf , ’” he exp la ined. “
nd the
p ra etoria ns were a n elite Roma n milita ry force. So I guess the
tra nsla tion is ‘Wolf
Gua rdia ns. ’” He shrugged. “I’ve run a cross mentions of them, but they’re
a p retty secretive
orga niza tion.”
“And the Sha dowhunters a ren’t?” sa id Kyle.
“We ha ve good rea sons.”
“So do we.” Kyle lea ned forwa rd. The muscles in his a rms ɻexed a s he p rop p ed h
is elbows
on his knees. “There a re two kinds of werewolves,” he exp la ined. “The
kind tha t a re born
werewolves, with werewolf p a rents, a nd the kind tha t get infecte
d with lyca nthrop y
through a bite.” Simon looked a t him in surp rise. He wouldn’t ha ve
thought Kyle, sla ckerstoner bike messenger, would ha ve known the wo
rd “lyca nthrop y,” much less how to
p ronounce it. But this wa s a very diʃerent Kyle—focused, intent, a n
d direct. “For those of
us who a re turned by a bite, those ɹrst few yea rs a re key. The
demon stra in tha t ca uses
lyca nthrop y ca uses a whole ra f t of other cha nges—wa ves of uncon
trolla ble a ggression,
ina bility to control ra ge, suicida l a nger a nd desp a ir. The p a
ck ca n help with tha t, but a lot
of the newly infected a ren’t lucky enough to fa ll in with a p a ck
. They’re on their own,
trying to dea l with a ll this overwhelming stuʃ, a nd a lot of the
m turn violent—a ga inst
others or a ga inst themselves. There’s a high suicide ra te a nd a
high ra te of domestic
violence.” He looked a t Simon. “The same goes for vamp ires, excep t i
t ca n be even worse.
An orp ha ned ɻedgling ha s litera lly no idea wha t’s ha p p ened to it.
With no guida nce, it
doesn’t know how to feed sa fely, or even to sta y out of sunlight. Tha t’s where
we come in.”
“And do wha t?” Simon a sked.
“We tra ck down ‘orp ha ned’ Downworlders—vamp ires a nd werewolves who’ve just b
Turned a nd don’t know wha t they a re yet. Sometimes even wa rlocks—some
of them don’t
rea lize wha t they a re for yea rs. We intervene, try to get them
into a p a ck or a cla n, try to
help them control their p owers.”
“Good Sama rita ns, a ren’t you.” Ja ce’s eyes glittered.
“We a re, a ctua lly.” Kyle sounded like he wa s trying to keep his vo
ice neutra l. “We
intervene before the new Downworlder ca n get violent a nd hurt themselves or ot
her p eop le.
I know wha t would ha ve ha p p ened to me if it ha dn’t been for th
e Gua rd. I’ve done ba d
things. Rea lly ba d.”
“How ba d?” a sked Ja ce. “Illega l ba d?”

“Shut up , Ja ce,” sa id Simon. “You’re oʃ duty, oka y? Stop being a Sha
dowhunter for a
second.” He turned to Kyle. “So how did you end up a uditioning for my cra p p y b
a nd, then?”
“I didn’t rea lize you knew it wa s cra p p y.”
“Just a nswer the question.”
“We got a rep ort of a new vamp ire—a Da ylighter, living on his ow
n, not with a cla n.
Your secret’s not a s secret a s you think. Fledgling vamp ires without
a cla n to help them ca n
be very da ngerous. I got disp a tched to keep a n eye on you.”
“So, wha t you’re sa ying,” sa id Simon, “is not just tha t you don’t wa nt
me to move out
now tha t I know you’re a werewolf , but tha t you won’t let me move out?”
“Right,” sa id Kyle. “I mea n, you ca n move out, but I’ll come with you.”
“Tha t’s not necessa ry,” sa id Ja ce. “I ca n keep a p erfectly good eye
on Simon, tha nk you.
He’s my neop hyte Downworlder to mock a nd boss a round, not yours.”
“Shut up !” Simon yelled. “Both of you. Neither of you were a round when someone t
ried to
kill me ea rlier toda y—”
“I wa s,” sa id Ja ce. “You know, eventua lly.”
Kyle’s eyes shone, like a wolf ’s eyes a t night. “Someone tried to kil
l you? Wha t
ha p p ened?”
Simon’s ga ze met Ja ce’s a cross the room. A silent a greement not to
mention the Ma rk of
Ca in p a ssed between them. “Two da ys a go, a nd toda y, I wa s fo
llowed a nd a tta cked by
some guys in gra y tra cksuits.”
“Huma ns?”
“We’re not sure.”
“And you ha ve no idea wha t they wa nt with you?”
“They def initely wa nt me dea d,” sa id Simon. “Beyond tha t, I don’t rea lly know,
“We ha ve some lea ds,” sa id Ja ce. “We’ll be investiga ting.”
Kyle shook his hea d. “Fine. Wha tever it is you’re not telling me, I’l
l ɹnd out eventua lly.”
He got to his feet. “And now, I’m bea t. I’m going to sleep . I’ll see
you in the morning,” he
sa id to Simon. “You,” he sa id to Ja ce, “well, I guess I’ll see you a
round. You’re the ɹrst
Sha dowhunter I’ve ever met.”
“Tha t’s too ba d,” sa id Ja ce, “since a ll the ones you meet from now on
will be a terrible
Kyle rolled his eyes a nd lef t, ba nging his bedroom door shut behind him.
Simon looked a t Ja ce. “You’re not going ba ck to the Institute,” he sa id, “a re you
Ja ce shook his hea d. “You need p rotecting. Who knows when someone
might try to kill
you a ga in?”
“This a voiding Cla ry thing of yours ha s truly ta ken a n ep ic turn
,” Simon sa id, sta nding
up . “Are you ever going home?”
Ja ce looked a t him. “Are you?”
Simon sta lked into the kitchen, retrieved a broom, a nd swep t up
the broken gla ss from
the sma shed bottle. It ha d been his la st. He dump ed the sha rds
into the tra sh a nd wa lked

p a st Ja ce into his own sma ll bedroom, where he strip p ed oʃ his
ja cket a nd shoes a nd ɻung
himself down onto the ma ttress.
A moment la ter Ja ce came into the room. He looked a round, his light eyebrow
s ra ised, his
exp ression a ma sk of amusement. “Quite a sp a ce you’ve got here. Minima list
. I like it.”
Simon rolled onto his side a nd sta red a t Ja ce in disbelief . “Plea
se tell me you’re not
a ctua lly p la nning on sta ying in my room.”
Ja ce p erched on the windowsill a nd looked down a t him. “You rea ll
y don’t get this
bodygua rd thing, do you?”
“I didn’t even think you liked me a ll tha t much,” sa id Simon. “Is this
one of those keep your-friends-close-a nd-your-enemies-closer things?”
“I thought it wa s keep your friends close so you ha ve someone to d
rive the ca r when you
snea k over to your enemy’s house a t night a nd throw up in his ma ilbox.”
“I’m p retty sure tha t’s not it. And this p rotecting me thing is less
touching tha n creep y,
just so you know. I’m fine . You’ve seen wha t ha p p ens if someone tries to hur
t me.”
“Yes, I ha ve,” sa id Ja ce. “But eventua lly the p erson who’s trying to
kill you is going to
ɹgure out a bout the Ma rk of Ca in. And then they’re either going to
give up or ɹnd some
other wa y to come a t you.” He lea ned a ga inst the window frame. “An
d tha t’s why I’m
Desp ite his exa sp era tion Simon could ɹnd no holes in this a rgument,
or a t lea st not one
big enough to bother with. He rolled onto his stoma ch a nd buried
his fa ce in his a rms.
Within minutes he wa s a sleep .
He was walking through the de s e rt, ove r burning s ands , pas t
bone s white ning in the s un. He had
ne ve r be e n s o thirs ty. Whe n he swallowe d, his mouth fe lt as
if it we re coate d with s and, his throat
line d with knive s .
The sha rp buzzing of his cell p hone woke Simon. He rolled over
a nd clawed tiredly a t his
ja cket. By the time he’d p ried the cell p hone loose from the p ocket, it ha d
stop p ed ringing.
He turned it over a nd looked to see who ha d ca lled. It wa s Luke.
Crap. I be t my mom calle d Clary’s hous e looking for me , he thought, sitti
ng up . His bra in wa s
still fuzzy from sleep , a nd it took a moment for him to remember
tha t when he ha d fa llen
a sleep in this room, he ha dn’t been a lone.
He looked quickly towa rd the window. Ja ce wa s still there, but h
e wa s clea rly a sleep—
sitting up , his hea d lea ning a ga inst the window gla ss. Pa le b
lue dawn light ɹltered p a st
him. He looked very young like tha t, Simon thought. No mockery in
his exp ression, no
defensiveness or sa rca sm. It wa s a lmost p ossible to ima gine wha t Cla ry
saw in him.
It wa s p retty clea r he wa sn’t ta king his bodygua rd duties a ll th
a t seriously, but tha t ha d
been obvious from the beginning. Simon wondered, not for the ɹrst tim

e, wha t the hell wa s
going on between Cla ry a nd Ja ce.
The p hone sta rted buzzing a ga in. Prop elling himself to his feet,
Simon p a dded out into
the living room, p ressing the ta lk button just before the ca ll we
nt to voice ma il a ga in.
“Sorry to wa ke you up , Simon.” Luke wa s, a s a lwa ys, unfa ilingly p olite.
“I wa s awa ke a nywa y,” Simon lied.
“I need you to meet me in Wa shington Squa re Pa rk in ha lf a n hou
r,” sa id Luke. “At the
founta in.”
Now Simon wa s seriously a la rmed. “Is everything oka y? Is Cla ry a ll right?”
“She’s ɹne. This isn’t a bout her.” There wa s a rumbling sound in the ba c
kground. Simon
guessed tha t Luke wa s sta rting up his truck. “Just meet me in the
p a rk. And don’t bring
a nyone with you.”
He clicked of f .
The sound of Luke’s truck p ulling out of the drivewa y woke Cla ry out of unea
sy dreams. She
sa t up , a nd winced. The cha in a round her neck ha d gotten ca u
ght in her ha ir while she
slep t, a nd she drew it of f over her hea d, ca refully p ulling it free of
the ta ngles.
She drop p ed the ring into her p a lm, the cha in p ooling a round
it. The little silver circlet,
stamp ed with its p a ttern of sta rs, seemed to wink up a t her
mockingly. She remembered
when Ja ce ha d given it to her, wra p p ed in the note he’d lef t b
ehind when he’d gone oʃ to
hunt down Jona tha n. De s pite e ve rything, I can’t be ar the though
t of this ring be ing los t fore ve r,
any more than I can be ar the thought of le aving you fore ve r.
Tha t ha d been a lmost two months a go. She ha d been sure tha t h
e loved her, so sure tha t
the Queen of the Seelie Court ha d not been a ble to temp t her.
How could there be a nything
else she wa nted, when she ha d Ja ce?
But ma ybe you never rea lly ha d someone, she thought now. Ma ybe,
no ma tter how much
you loved them, they could slip through your ɹngers like wa ter, a n
d there wa s nothing you
could do a bout it. She understood why p eop le ta lked a bout hea rt
s “brea king;” she felt a s if
hers were ma de of cra cked gla ss, a nd the sha rds were like tiny k
nives inside her chest when
she brea thed. Imagine your life without him, the Seelie Queen ha d sa id—
The p hone ra ng, a nd for a moment Cla ry felt only relieved tha t something
, a nything, ha d
cut through her misery. Her second thought wa s, Jace . Ma ybe he c
ouldn’t rea ch her on her
cell p hone a nd wa s ca lling her house. She drop p ed the ring on
her bedside ta ble a nd
rea ched to lif t the receiver out of its cra dle. She wa s a bout
to voice a greeting when she
rea lized tha t the p hone ha d a lrea dy been p icked up , by her mother.
“Hello?” Her mother sounded a nxious, a nd surp risingly awa ke for so ea
rly in the

The voice tha t a nswered wa s unfamilia r, fa intly a ccented. “This i
s Ca ta rina from Beth
Isra el hosp ita l. I’m looking for Jocelyn.”
Cla ry froze. The hosp ita l? Ha d something ha p p ened, ma ybe to Luke? He h
a d p ulled out of
the drivewa y awfully fa st—
“This is Jocelyn.” Her mother didn’t sound frightened, but ra ther a s if
she’d exp ected the
ca ll. “Tha nk you for ca lling me ba ck so soon.”
“Of course. I wa s gla d to hea r from you. You don’t of ten see p e
op le recover from a curse
like the one you were suʃering from.” Right, Cla ry thought. Her mother
ha d been in Beth
Isra el, coma tose from the eʃects of the p otion she’d ta ken to p rev
ent Va lentine from
interroga ting her. “And a ny friend of Ma gnus Ba ne’s is a friend of mine.”
Jocelyn sounded stra ined. “Did my messa ge ma ke sense? You know wha t
I wa s ca lling
a bout?”
“You wa nted to know a bout the child,” sa id the woma n on the other end of the li
ne. Cla ry
knew she ought to ha ng up , but she couldn’t. Wha t child? Wha t wa
s going on? “The one
who wa s a ba ndoned.”
There wa s a ca tch in Jocelyn’s voice. “Y-yes. I thought—”
“I’m sorry to sa y this, but he’s dea d. He died la st night.”
For a moment Jocelyn wa s silent. Cla ry could feel her mother’s shoc
k through the p hone
line. “Died? How?”
“I’m not sure I understa nd it myself . The p riest came la st night to
ba p tize the child, a nd
“Oh, my God.” Jocelyn’s voice shook. “Ca n I—Could I p lea se come down a nd
look a t the
There wa s a long silence. Fina lly the nurse sa id, “I’m not sure a
bout tha t. The body’s in
the morgue now, awa iting tra nsfer to the medica l examiner’s of f ice.”
“Ca ta rina , I think I know wha t ha p p ened to the boy.” Jocelyn sounded brea th
less. “And if
I could conf irm it, ma ybe I could p revent it from ha p p ening a ga in.”
“I’m coming down,” Cla ry’s mother sa id, a nd hung up the p hone. Cla ry
ga zed bla nkly a t
the receiver for a moment before ha nging up herself . She scramble
d to her feet, ra n a brush
through her ha ir, tossed on jea ns a nd a swea ter, a nd wa s out
her bedroom door just in time
to ca tch her mother in the living room, scribbling a note on the
p a d of p a p er by the
telep hone. She looked up a s Cla ry came in, a nd ga ve a guilty sta rt.
“I wa s just running out,” she sa id. “A few la st-minute wedding things
ha ve come up , a nd
“Don’t bother lying to me,” Cla ry sa id without p reamble. “I wa s listenin
g on the p hone,
a nd I know exa ctly where you’re going.”
Jocelyn p a led. Slowly she set her p en down. “Cla ry—”
“You ha ve to stop trying to p rotect me,” Cla ry sa id. “I bet you did
n’t sa y a nything to

Luke, either, a bout ca lling the hosp ita l.”
Jocelyn p ushed her ha ir ba ck nervously. “It seems unfa ir on him.
With the wedding
coming up a nd everything—”
“Right. The wedding. You’re ha ving a wedding. And why is tha t? Beca
use you’re getting
marrie d. Don’t you think it’s time you sta rted trusting Luke? And trusting me?”
“I do trust you,” Jocelyn sa id sof tly.
“In tha t ca se you won’t mind me coming with you to the hosp ita l.”
“Cla ry, I don’t think—”
“I know wha t you think. You think this is just like wha t ha p p ene
d to Seba stia n—I mea n
Jona tha n. You think ma ybe someone’s out there doing to ba bies wha t
Va lentine did to my
Jocelyn’s voice shook slightly. “Va lentine’s dea d. But there a re others
who were in the
Circle who ha ve never been ca ught.”
And the y ne ve r found Jonathan’s body. It wa sn’t something Cla ry lik
ed to think a bout.
Besides, Isa belle ha d been there a nd ha d a lwa ys been a dama nt
tha t Ja ce ha d severed
Jona tha n’s sp ine with the bla de of a da gger a nd tha t Jona tha n
ha d been quite, quite dea d
a s a result. She ha d gone down into the wa ter a nd checked, sh
e’d sa id. There ha d been no
p ulse, no hea rtbea t.
“Mom,” Cla ry sa id. “He wa s my brothe r. I ha ve a right to come with you.”
Very slowly Jocelyn nodded. “You’re right. I sup p ose you do.” She rea c
hed for her p urse
where it hung on a p eg by the door. “Well, come on, then, a nd
get your coa t. The wea ther
foreca st sa ys it might ra in.”
Wa shington Squa re Pa rk in the ea rly morning wa s mostly deserted.
The a ir wa s crisp a nd
morning-clea n, the lea ves a lrea dy thickly covering the p a vement i
n sheets of red, gold, a nd
da rk green. Simon kicked them a side a s he ma de his wa y under t
he stone a rchwa y a t the
south end of the p a rk.
There were few other p eop le a round—a coup le of homeless men sleep
ing on benches,
wra p p ed in sleep ing ba gs or threa dba re bla nkets, a nd some guy
s in green sa nita tion
uniforms emp tying the tra sh ca ns. There wa s a guy p ushing a c
a rt through the p a rk, selling
doughnuts a nd coʃee a nd p re-sliced ba gels. And in the center of t
he p a rk, by the big
circula r stone founta in, wa s Luke. He wa s wea ring a green zip
-up Windbrea ker a nd wa ved
when he saw Simon.
Simon wa ved ba ck, a little tenta tively. He still wa sn’t sure he
wa sn’t in some kind of
trouble. Luke’s exp ression, a s Simon drew closer, only intensiɹed Simo
n’s foreboding. Luke
looked tired a nd more tha n a little stressed out. His ga ze, a s
it fell on Simon, wa s full of
“Simon,” he sa id. “Tha nks for coming.”
“Sure.” Simon wa sn’t cold, but he stuck his ha nds into the p ockets of

his ja cket a nywa y,
just to give them something to do. “Wha t’s wrong?”
“I didn’t sa y a nything wa s wrong.”
“You wouldn’t dra g me out here a t the cra ck of dawn if nothing wa
s wrong,” Simon
p ointed out. “If it isn’t a bout Cla ry, then …?”
“Yesterda y, in the brida l shop ,” Luke sa id. “You a sked me a bout someone. Cami
A ɻock of birds rose, cawing, from the nea rby trees. Simon remembe
red a rhyme his
mother used to recite to him, a bout ma gp ies. You were sup p osed
to count them a nd sa y:
One for s orrow, two for mirth, thre e for a we dding, four for
a birth; ɹve for s ilve r, s ix for gold,
s e ve n for a s e cre t that’s ne ve r be e n told.
“Right,” Simon sa id. He ha d a lrea dy lost count of the number of b
irds there were. Seven,
he guessed. A secret tha t’s never been told. Wha tever tha t wa s.
“You know a bout the Sha dowhunters who ha ve been found murdered a roun
d the city this
p a st week or so,” Luke sa id. “Don’t you?”
Simon nodded slowly. He ha d a ba d feeling a bout where this wa s going.
“It seems Camille ma y be resp onsible,” sa id Luke. “I couldn’t help but
remember you ha d
a sked a bout her. Hea ring her name twice, in a single da y, a f
ter yea rs of never hea ring it a t
a ll—it seemed like quite a coincidence.”
“Coincidences ha p p en.”
“On occa sion,” sa id Luke, “but they a re ra rely the most likely a nswer
. Tonight Ma ryse
will be summoning Ra p ha el to interroga te him a bout Camille’s role i
n these murders. If it
comes out tha t you knew something a bout Camille—tha t you’ve ha d conta
ct with her—I
don’t wa nt you to be blind-sided, Simon.”
“Tha t ma kes two of us.” Simon’s hea d ha d sta rted p ounding a ga in.
Were vamp ires even
sup p osed to get hea da ches? He couldn’t remember the la st time he’d h
a d one, before the
events of these p a st few da ys. “I met Camille,” he sa id. “About fou
r da ys a go. I thought I
wa s being summoned by Ra p ha el, but it turned out to be her. Sh
e oʃered to ma ke me a
dea l. If I came to work for her, she’d ma ke me the second most
imp orta nt vamp ire in the
“Why did she wa nt you to work for her?” Luke’s tone wa s neutra l.
“She knows a bout my Ma rk,” Simon sa id. “She sa id Ra p ha el betra yed
her a nd she could
use me to get ba ck control of the cla n. I got the feeling she
wa sn’t enormously fond of
Ra p ha el.”
“Tha t’s very curious,” sa id Luke. “The story a s I’ve hea rd it is tha t C
amille took a n
indeɹnite lea ve of a bsence from hea ding up the cla n a bout a yea
r a go a nd ma de Ra p ha el
her temp ora ry successor. If she chose him to lea d in her p la ce
, why would she move a ga inst
Simon shrugged. “I don’t know. I’m just telling you wha t she sa id.”

“Why didn’t you tell us a bout her, Simon?” Luke sa id very quietly.
“She told me not to.” Simon rea lized how stup id this sounded. “I’ve never
met a vamp ire
like her before,” he a dded. “Just Ra p ha el, a nd the others a t the Dumo
nt. It’s ha rd to exp la in
wha t she wa s like. Everything she sa id, you wa nted to believe.
Everything she a sked you to
do, you wa nted to do. I wa nted to p lea se her even though I kn
ew she wa s just messing
a round with me.”
The ma n with the coʃee a nd doughnut ca rt wa s p a ssing by a ga in. Luke bough
t coʃee a nd
a ba gel a nd sa t down on the edge of the founta in. Af ter a moment Simon
joined him.
“The ma n who ga ve me Camille’s name ca lled her ‘the a ncient one, ’” Luke
sa id. “She is, I
think, one of the very, very old vamp ires of this world. I ima
gine she would ma ke most
p eop le feel fa irly sma ll.”
“She ma de me feel like a bug,” Simon sa id. “She did p romise tha t if
in ɹve da ys I didn’t
wa nt to work for her, she’d never bother me a ga in. So I told her I’d think a bo
ut it.”
“And ha ve you? Thought a bout it?”
“If she’s killing Sha dowhunters, I don’t wa nt a nything to do with her,”
sa id Simon. “I ca n
tell you tha t much.”
“I’m sure Ma ryse will be relieved to hea r it.”
“Now you’re just being sa rca stic.”
“I am not,” sa id Luke, looking very serious. It wa s a t moments like
this tha t Simon could
p ut a side his memories of Luke—Cla ry’s sort-of step fa ther, the guy wh
o wa s a lwa ys a round,
who wa s a lwa ys willing to give you a ride home from school or l
end you ten bucks for a
book or a movie ticket—a nd remember tha t Luke led the biggest wolf
p a ck in the city, tha t
he wa s someone to whom, a t crucia l times, the whole Cla ve ha d
listened. “You forget wha t
you a re, Simon. You forget the p ower you ha ve.”
“I wish I could forget it,” Simon sa id bitterly. “I wish if I didn’t us
e it, it would just go
awa y.”
Luke shook his hea d. “Power is a ma gnet. It draws those who desir
e it. Camille is one of
them, but there will be others. We’ve been lucky, in a wa y, tha
t it’s ta ken this long.” He
looked a t Simon. “Do you think tha t if she summons you a ga in, y
ou could get word to me,
or to the Concla ve, letting us know where to f ind her?”
“Yes,” Simon sa id slowly. “She ga ve me a wa y to conta ct her. But i
t’s not like she’s just
going to show up if I blow a ma gic whistle. La st time she wa
nted to ta lk to me, she ha d her
minions surp rise me a nd then bring me to her. So just ha ving p e
op le ha ng a round with me
while I try to conta ct her isn’t going to work. Otherwise you’ll get
her subjuga tes, but you
won’t get her.”
“Hmm.” Luke looked considering. “We’ll ha ve to think of something clever, then.”

“Better think fa st. She sa id she’d give me ɹve da ys, so tha t mea ns
by tomorrow she’s
going to exp ect some kind of signa l from me.”
“I ima gine she will,” sa id Luke. “In fa ct, I’m counting on it.”
Simon op ened the front door of Kyle’s a p a rtment ca utiously. “Hey th
ere,” he ca lled, coming
into the entrywa y a nd ha nging up his ja cket. “Is a nyone home?”
No one a nswered, but from the living room Simon could hea r the fa
milia r zap-bang-cras h
sounds of a video game being p la yed. He hea ded into the room,
holding in front of him like
a p ea ce oʃering the white ba g of ba gels he’d p icked up from Ba g
el Zone on Avenue A. “I
brought brea kfa st…”
His voice tra iled oʃ. He wa sn’t sure wha t he’d exp ected would ha p p e
n when his self a p p ointed bodygua rds rea lized he’d snea ked out of
the a p a rtment behind their ba cks. It ha d
deɹnitely involved some form of the p hra se “Try tha t a ga in, a nd I’l
l kill you.” Wha t it
ha dn’t involved wa s Kyle a nd Ja ce sitting on the futon couch side by side, lo
oking for a ll the
world like newly minted best friends. Kyle ha d a video game contro
ller in his ha nds, a nd
Ja ce wa s lea ning forwa rd, his elbows on his knees, wa tching int
ently. They ba rely seemed
to notice Simon’s entra nce.
“Tha t guy over there in the corner is tota lly looking the other wa y
,” Ja ce observed,
p ointing a t the TV screen. “A sp inning wheel kick would p ut him out of commi
“I ca n’t kick p eop le in this game. I ca n only shoot them. See?” Kyle ma shed som
e buttons.
“Tha t’s stup id.” Ja ce looked over a nd seemed to see Simon for the ɹrst
time. “Ba ck from
your brea kfa st meeting, I see,” he sa id without much welcome in his
tone. “I bet you
thought you were very clever, snea king of f like tha t.”
“Medium clever,” Simon a cknowledged. “Like a cross between George Clooney
in Oce an’s
Ele ve n a nd those MythBus te rs guys, but, you know, better-looking.”
“I’m a lwa ys so gla d I ha ve no idea wha t you’re va ca ntly cha ttering
a bout,” sa id Ja ce. “It
f ills me with a sense of p ea ce a nd well-being.”
Kyle set his controller down, lea ving the screen frozen on a close
-up of a n enormous
needle-tip p ed gun. “I’ll ta ke a ba gel.”
Simon tossed him one, a nd Kyle hea ded into the kitchen, which wa
s sep a ra ted from the
living room by a long counter, to toa st a nd butter his brea kfa s
t. Ja ce looked a t the white
ba g a nd wa ved a dismissive ha nd. “No, tha nks.”
Simon sa t down on the cof fee ta ble. “You ought to ea t something.”
“Look who’s ta lking.”
“I’m out of blood right now,” Simon sa id. “Unless you’re of fering.”
“No, tha nks. We’ve been down tha t roa d before, a nd I think we’re be
tter oʃ a s just
friends.” Ja ce’s tone wa s a s lightly sa rca stic a s ever, but this c
lose up , Simon could see how
p a le he looked, a nd tha t his eyes were ringed with gra y sha dow
s. The bones of his fa ce

seemed to be sticking out more p rominently tha n they ha d before.
“Rea lly,” Simon sa id, p ushing the ba g a cross the ta ble towa rd Ja c
e. “You should ea t
something. I’m not kidding.”
Ja ce gla nced down a t the ba g of food, a nd winced. The lids o
f his eyes were gra yish blue
with exha ustion. “The thought ma kes me sick, to be honest.”
“You fell a sleep la st night,” Simon sa id. “When you were sup p osed to
be gua rding me. I
know this bodygua rd thing is mostly a joke to you, but still. Ho
w long ha s it been since you
slep t?”
“As in, through the night?” Ja ce considered. “Two weeks. Ma ybe three.”
Simon’s mouth op ened. “Why? I mea n, wha t’s going on?”
Ja ce oʃered the ghost of a smile. “‘I could be bounded in a nut she
ll a nd count myself a
king of inf inite sp a ce, were it not tha t I ha ve ba d dreams. ’”
“I a ctua lly know tha t one. Hamle t. So you’re sa ying you ca n’t sleep beca us
e you’re ha ving
nightmare s ?”
“Vamp ire,” sa id Ja ce, with a tired certa inty, “you ha ve no idea .”
“Hey.” Kyle came ba ck a round the counter a nd ɻung himself down in the
a rmcha ir. He took a bite out of his ba gel. “Wha t’s going on?”
“I went to meet Luke,” Simon sa id, a nd exp la ined wha t ha d ha p p e
ned, seeing no rea son
to hide it. He lef t out a ny mention of Camille wa nting him not
just beca use he wa s a
Da ylighter, but a lso beca use of the Ma rk of Ca in. Kyle nodded
when he wa s done. “Luke
Ga rrowa y. He’s the hea d of the downtown p a ck. I’ve hea rd of him. He’s kind
of a big shot.”
“His rea l name isn’t Ga rrowa y,” sa id Ja ce. “He used to be a Sha dowhunter.”
“Right. I hea rd tha t, too. And now he’s been instrumenta l with a ll
the new Accords stuʃ.”
Kyle gla nced a t Simon. “You know some imp orta nt p eop le.”
“Imp orta nt p eop le a re a lot of trouble,” Simon sa id. “Camille, for insta nce
“Once Luke tells Ma ryse wha t’s going on, the Cla ve will ta ke ca re
of her,” sa id Ja ce.
“There a re p rotocols for dea ling with rogue Downworlders.” At tha t, K
yle looked a t him
sidewa ys, but Ja ce didn’t seem to notice. “I a lrea dy told you I do
n’t think she’s the one
trying to kill you. She knows—” Ja ce broke of f . “She knows better tha n tha t.”
“And besides, she wa nts to use you,” Kyle sa id.
“Good p oint,” sa id Ja ce. “No one’s going to of f a va lua ble resource.”
Simon looked from one of them to the other, a nd shook his hea d.
“When did you two get
so buddy-buddy? La st night it wa s a ll, ‘I’m the most elite wa rrior!’ ‘N
o, I’m the most elite
wa rrior!’ And toda y you’re p la ying Ha lo a nd giving ea ch other p rop s for goo
d idea s.”
“We rea lized we ha ve something in common,” sa id Ja ce. “You a nnoy us both.”
“In tha t vein, I ha d a thought,” Simon sa id. “I don’t think either of
you a re going to like
it, though.”
Kyle ra ised his eyebrows. “Let’s hea r it.”
“The p roblem with you guys wa tching me a ll the time,” Simon sa id, “is
tha t if you do, the

guys trying to kill me won’t try it a ga in, a nd if they don’t try
it a ga in, then we won’t know
who they a re, a nd p lus, you’ll ha ve to wa tch me a ll the time.
And I a ssume you ha ve other
things you’d ra ther be doing. Well,” he a dded in Ja ce’s direction, “p ossibly you d
“So?” sa id Kyle. “Wha t’s your suggestion?”
“We lure them out. Get them to a tta ck a ga in. Try to ca p ture on
e of them a nd ɹnd out
who sent them.”
“If I reca ll,” sa id Ja ce, “I ha d this idea the other da y, a nd you didn’t like
it much.”
“I wa s tired,” Simon sa id. “But now I’ve been thinking. And so fa r, i
n my exp erience with
evildoers, they don’t go awa y just beca use you ignore them. They ke
ep on coming in
diʃerent wa ys. So either I ma ke these guys come to me, or I sp end fore
ver wa iting for them
to a tta ck a ga in.”
“I’m in,” Ja ce sa id, though Kyle still looked dubious. “So do you just
wa nt to go out a nd
wa nder a round until they show up a ga in?”
“I thought I’d ma ke it ea sy for them. Show up somewhere everyone kno
ws I’m sup p osed
to be.”
“You mea n …?” sa id Kyle.
Simon p ointed to the f lyer ta p ed to the fridge. MILLENNIUM LINT, OCTOBER
“I mea n the gig. Why not?” His hea da che wa s still there, full force; he p ush
ed it ba ck, trying
not to think a bout how exha usted he wa s, or how he’d p ush himself
through the gig. He ha d
to get more blood somehow. Ha d to.
Ja ce’s eyes were shining. “You know, tha t’s a ctua lly a p retty good idea there
, vamp ire.”
“You wa nt them to a tta ck you ons tage ?” Kyle a sked.
“It’ll ma ke for a n exciting show,” sa id Simon, with more bra va do tha
n he rea lly felt. The
idea of being a tta cked one more time wa s a lmost more tha n he
could sta nd, even if he
didn’t fea r for his p ersona l sa fety. He wa sn’t sure he could bea r
to wa tch the Ma rk of Ca in
do its work a ga in.
Ja ce shook his hea d. “They don’t a tta ck in p ublic. They’ll wa it til
l a f ter the show. And
we’ll be there to dea l with them.”
Kyle shook his hea d. “I don’t know…”
They went a few more rounds, Ja ce a nd Simon on one side of the
a rgument a nd Kyle on
the other. Simon felt a little guilty. If Kyle knew a bout the M
a rk, he’d be a lot ea sier to
p ersua de. Eventua lly he cra cked under the p ressure a nd relucta nt
ly a greed to wha t he
continued to insist wa s “a stup id p la n.”
“But,” he sa id ɹna lly, getting to his feet a nd brushing ba gel crumbs oʃ his shirt,
“I’m only
doing this beca use I rea lize tha t you’ll both just do it whether I
a gree or not. So I might a s
well be there.” He looked a t Simon. “Who would ha ve thought p rotectin
g you from yourself

would be so ha rd?”
“I could ha ve told you tha t,” Ja ce sa id, a s Kyle threw a ja cket
on a nd hea ded to the door.
He ha d to work, he’d exp la ined to them. It a p p ea red he rea lly
wa s a bike messenger; the
Pra etor Lup us, desp ite ha ving a ba da ss name, didn’t p a y tha t
well. The door closed behind
him, a nd Ja ce turned ba ck to Simon. “So, the gig’s a t nine, righ
t? Wha t do we do with the
rest of the da y?”
“We?” Simon looked a t him in disbelief . “Are you e ve r going home?”
“Wha t, bored with my comp a ny a lrea dy?”
“Let me a sk you something,” Simon sa id. “Do you f ind me fa scina ting to be a roun
“Wha t wa s tha t?” Ja ce sa id. “Sorry, I think I fell a sleep for a
moment. Do, continue with
wha tever mesmerizing thing you were sa ying.”
“Stop it,” Simon sa id. “Stop being sa rca stic for a second. You’re not
ea ting, you’re not
sleep ing. You know who else isn’t? Cla ry. I don’t know wha t’s going o
n with you a nd her,
beca use fra nkly she ha sn’t sa id a nything a bout it. I a ssume she d
oesn’t wa nt to ta lk a bout it
either. But it’s p retty obvious you’re ha ving a ɹght. And if you’re going to brea
k up with her
“ Bre ak up with he r?” Ja ce sta red a t him. “Are you insa ne?”
“If you keep a voiding her,” Simon sa id, “she’s going to brea k up with you.”
Ja ce got to his feet. His ea sy rela xa tion wa s gone; he wa s a ll tension
now, like a p rowling
ca t. He went to the window a nd twitched the curta in ba ck restles
sly; the la te-morning light
came through the ga p , blea ching the color in his eyes. “I ha ve r
ea sons for the things I do,”
he sa id f ina lly.
“Grea t,” Simon sa id. “Does Cla ry know them?”
Ja ce sa id nothing.
“All she does is love you a nd trust you,” sa id Simon. “You owe her—”
“There a re more imp orta nt things tha n honesty,” sa id Ja ce. “You think
I like hurting her?
You think I like knowing tha t I’m ma king her a ngry, ma ybe ma king
her ha te me? Why do
you think I’m he re ?” He looked a t Simon with a blea k sort of ra ge
. “I ca n’t be with her,” he
sa id. “And if I ca n’t be with her, it doesn’t rea lly ma tter to me
where I am. I might a s well
be with you, beca use a t lea st if she knew I wa s trying to p r
otect you, tha t might ma ke her
ha p p y.”
“So you’re trying to ma ke her ha p p y desp ite the fa ct tha t the rea
son she’s unha p p y in the
f irst p la ce is you,” sa id Simon, not very kindly. “Tha t seems contra dictory,
doesn’t it?”
“Love is a contra diction,” sa id Ja ce, a nd turned ba ck to the window.
Cla ry ha d forg otten how much she ha ted the smell of hosp ita ls u
ntil they wa lked
through the front doors of Beth Isra el. Sterility, meta l, old coʃe
e, a nd not enough blea ch to

cover up the stench of sickness a nd misery. The memory of her m
other’s illness, of Jocelyn
lying unconscious a nd unresp onsive in her nest of tubes a nd wires,
hit her like a sla p in the
fa ce, a nd she sucked in a brea th, trying not to ta ste the a ir.
“Are you a ll right?” Jocelyn p ulled the hood of her coa t down a nd
looked a t Cla ry, her
green eyes a nxious.
Cla ry nodded, hunching her shoulders into her ja cket, a nd looked
a round. The lobby wa s
a ll cold ma rble, meta l, a nd p la stic. There wa s a big inform
a tion desk behind which severa l
women, p roba bly nurses, were milling; signs p ointed the wa y to
the ICU, Ra dia tion,
Surgica l Oncology, Pedia trics, a nd so on. She could p roba bly ha ve found
the ca feteria in her
sleep ; she’d brought Luke enough tep id cup s of coʃee from there to ɹl
l the Centra l Pa rk
“Excuse me.” A slender nurse p ushing a n old ma n in a wheelcha ir went
p a st them, nea rly
rolling the wheels over Cla ry’s toes. Cla ry looked a f ter her—there ha
d been something—a
“Don’t sta re, Cla ry,” Jocelyn sa id under her brea th. She p ut her a r
m a round Cla ry’s
shoulders, turning them both so tha t they fa ced the doors tha t le
d to the wa iting room for
the la b where p eop le got their blood ta ken. Cla ry could see hers
elf a nd her mother reɻected
in the da rk gla ss of the doors. Though she wa s still ha lf a hea d shorte
r tha n her mother, they
rea lly did look a like, didn’t they? In the p a st she’d a lwa ys shrugg
ed it oʃ when p eop le sa id
tha t. Jocelyn wa s bea utiful, a nd she wa sn’t. But the sha p e of their eye
s a nd mouths were the
same, a s were their red ha ir a nd green eyes a nd slight ha nds.
How ha d she gotten so little
of Va lentine’s looks, Cla ry wondered, when her brother ha d gotten
them a ll? He ha d ha d
their fa ther’s fa ir ha ir a nd sta rtling da rk eyes. Though ma ybe,
she thought, if she looked
closely, she could see a little of Va lentine in the stubborn set of her jaw…
“Jocelyn.” They both turned. The nurse who ha d been p ushing the old m
a n in the
wheelcha ir wa s sta nding in front of them. She wa s slim, young-l
ooking, da rk-skinned, a nd
da rk-eyed—a nd then, a s Cla ry looked a t her, the glamour p eeled a
wa y. She wa s still a
slight, youthful-looking woma n, but now her skin wa s da rk blue,
a nd her ha ir, twisted up
into a knot a t the ba ck of her hea d, wa s snowy white. The b
lue of her skin contra sted
shockingly with her p a le p ink scrubs.
“Cla ry,” Jocelyn sa id. “This is Ca ta rina Loss. She took ca re of me
while I wa s here. She’s
a lso a friend of Ma gnus’s.”
“You’re a wa rlock.” The words came out of Cla ry’s mouth before she could stop them.
“ Shhh.” The wa rlock woma n looked horriɹed. She gla red a t Jocelyn. “I d
on’t remember

you sa ying you were going to bring your da ughter a long. She’s just a kid.”
“Cla rissa ca n beha ve herself .” Jocelyn looked sternly a t Cla ry. “Ca n’t you?”
Cla ry nodded. She’d seen wa rlocks before, other tha n Ma gnus, a t
the ba ttle in Idris. All
wa rlocks ha d some fea ture tha t ma rked them out a s not huma n,
she’d lea rned, like
Ma gnus’s ca t eyes. Some ha d wings or webbed toes or ta loned ɹngers.
But ha ving entirely
blue skin wa s something it would be ha rd to hide with conta cts or oversize ja
ckets. Ca ta rina
Loss must ha ve ha d to glamour herself every da y just to go outside—esp ecia ll
y working in a
munda ne hosp ita l.
The wa rlock jerked her thumb towa rd the eleva tors. “Come on. Come
with me. Let’s get
this done fa st.”
Cla ry a nd Jocelyn hurried a f ter her to the ba nk of eleva tors a
nd into the ɹrst one whose
doors op ened. As the doors slid shut behind them with a hiss, Ca
ta rina p ressed a button
ma rked simp ly M. There wa s a n indenta tion in the meta l beside i
t tha t indica ted tha t ɻoor
M could be rea ched only with a n a ccess key, but a s she touched
the button, a blue sp a rk
lea p ed from her f inger a nd the button lit up . The eleva tor bega n to move
downwa rd.
Ca ta rina wa s sha king her hea d. “If you weren’t a friend of Ma g
nus Ba ne’s, Jocelyn
Fa irchild—”
“Fra y,” Jocelyn sa id. “I go by Jocelyn Fra y now.”
“No more Sha dowhunter names for you?” Ca ta rina smirked; her lip s wer
e sta rtlingly red
a ga inst her blue skin. “Wha t a bout you, little girl? You going to
be a Sha dowhunter like
your da d?”
Cla ry tried to hide her a nnoya nce. “No,” she sa id. “I’m going to be a
Sha dowhunter, but
I’m not going to be like my fa ther. And my name’s Cla rissa , but you ca n ca ll
me Cla ry.”
The eleva tor came to a stop ; the doors slid op en. The wa rlock
woma n’s blue eyes rested
on Cla ry for a moment. “Oh, I know your name,” she sa id. “Cla rissa Morgenstern
. Little girl
who stop p ed a big wa r.”
“I guess so.” Cla ry wa lked out of the eleva tor a f ter Ca ta rina ,
her mother close behind.
“Were you there? I don’t remember seeing you.”
“Ca ta rina wa s here,” sa id Jocelyn, a little brea thless from hurrying to keep
up . They were
wa lking down a n a lmost tota lly fea tureless ha llwa y; there were
no windows, a nd no doors
a long the corridor. The wa lls were p a inted a sickly p a le green
. “She help ed Ma gnus use the
Book of the White to wa ke me up . Then she sta yed behind to wa
tch over it while he
returned to Idris.”
“To wa tch over the book?”
“It’s a very imp orta nt book,” sa id Ca ta rina , her rubber-soled shoes
sla p p ing a ga inst the
f loor a s she hurried a hea d.

“I thought it wa s a very imp orta nt wa r,” Cla ry muttered under her brea th.
They ha d ɹna lly rea ched a door. There wa s a squa re of frosted
gla ss set in it, a nd the
word “morgue” wa s p a inted on it in la rge bla ck letters. Ca ta rina
turned with her ha nd on
the knob, a look of amusement on her fa ce, a nd ga zed a t Cla
ry. “I lea rned ea rly on in my
life tha t I ha d a hea ling gif t,” she sa id. “It’s the kind of ma g
ic I do. So I work here, for cra p
p a y, a t this hosp ita l, a nd I do wha t I ca n to hea l munda ne
s who would scream if they knew
wha t I rea lly looked like. I could ma ke a fortune selling my sk
ills to Sha dowhunters a nd
dumb munda nes who think they know wha t ma gic is, but I don’t. I
work here. So don’t get
a ll high-a nd-mighty on me, little redhea ded girl. You’re no better
tha n me, just beca use
you’re famous.”
Cla ry’s cheeks ɻamed. She ha d never thought of herself a s famous be
fore. “You’re right,”
she sa id. “I’m sorry.”
The wa rlock’s blue eyes f licked to Jocelyn, who looked white a nd tense. “You re
a dy?”
Jocelyn nodded, a nd looked a t Cla ry, who nodded a s well. Ca ta
rina p ushed the door
op en, a nd they followed her into the morgue.
The ɹrst thing tha t struck Cla ry wa s the chill. It wa s freezing i
nside the room, a nd she
ha stily zip p ed her ja cket. The second wa s the smell, the ha rsh
stench of clea ning p roducts
overla ying the sweetish odor of deca y. Yellowish light ɻooded down f
rom the ɻuorescent
lights overhea d. Two la rge, ba re exam ta bles stood in the center
of the room; there wa s a
sink a s well, a nd a meta l sta nd with a sca le on it for weig
hing orga ns. Along one wa ll wa s
a ba nk of steel comp a rtments, like sa fe-dep osit boxes in a ba
nk, but much bigger. Ca ta rina
crossed the room to one, took hold of the ha ndle, a nd p ulled i
t; it slid out on rollers. Inside,
lying on a meta l sla b, wa s the body of a n infa nt.
Jocelyn ma de a little noise in her throa t. A moment la ter she h
a d hurried to Ca ta rina ’s
side; Cla ry followed more slowly. She ha d seen dea d bodies before—s
he ha d seen Ma x
Lightwood’s dea d body, a nd she ha d known him. He ha d been only n
ine yea rs old. But a
ba by—
Jocelyn p ut her ha nd over her mouth. Her eyes were very la rge a
nd da rk, ɹxed on the
body of the child. Cla ry looked down. At ɹrst gla nce the ba by—a b
oy—looked norma l. He
ha d a ll ten ɹngers a nd a ll ten toes. But looking closer—looking the
wa y she would look if
she wa nted to see p a st a glamour—she saw tha t the child’s ɹngers were
not ɹngers a t a ll,
but claws, curving inwa rd, sha rp ly p ointed. The child’s skin wa s
gra y, a nd its eyes, wide
op en a nd sta ring, were a bsolutely bla ck—not just the irises, but the whites
a s well.

Jocelyn whisp ered, “Tha t’s how Jona tha n’s eyes were when he wa s born—lik
e bla ck
tunnels. They cha nged la ter, to look more huma n, but I re me mbe r.…”
And with a shudder she turned a nd hurried from the room, the morgue door swin
ging shut
behind her.
Cla ry gla nced a t Ca ta rina , who looked imp a ssive. “The doctors c
ouldn’t tell?” she a sked.
“I mea n, his eyes—a nd those ha nds—”
Ca ta rina shook her hea d. “They don’t see wha t they don’t wa nt to se
e,” she sa id, a nd
shrugged. “There’s some kind of ma gic a t work here I ha ven’t seen muc
h of before. Demon
ma gic. Ba d stuʃ.” She slip p ed something out of her p ocket. It wa s a swa tc
h of fa bric, tucked
into a p la stic Zip loc ba g. “This is a p iece of wha t he wa s wra p p ed i
n when they brought him
in. It stinks of demon ma gic too. Give it to your mother. Ma ybe she ca n s
how it to the Silent
Brothers, see if they ca n get something from it. Find out who did this.”
Numbly, Cla ry took it. As her ha nds closed over the ba g, a rune rose up
behind her eyes—
a ma trix of lines a nd swirls, the whisp er of a n ima ge tha t
wa s gone a s soon a s she slid the
Ba ggie into the p ocket of her coa t.
Her hea rt wa s p ounding, though. This is n’t going to the Sile nt Brothe
rs , she thought. Not till I
s e e what that rune doe s to it.
“You’ll ta lk to Ma gnus?” sa id Ca ta rina . “Tell him I showed your mama
wha t she wa nted
to see.”
Cla ry nodded mecha nica lly, like a doll. Suddenly a ll she wa nted
wa s to get out of there,
out of the yellow-lit room, awa y from the smell of dea th a nd the tiny deɹled
body lying still
on its sla b. She thought of her mother, every yea r on Jona tha n’s
birthda y ta king out tha t
box a nd crying over the lock of his ha ir, crying over the son s
he should ha ve ha d, rep la ced
by a thing like this one. I don’t think this was what s he wante d to s e e
, Cla ry thought. I think this
was what s he was hoping was impos s ible . But “Sure,” wa s a ll she sa id. “I’ll
tell him.”
The Alto Ba r wa s your typ ica l hip ster dive, loca ted p a rtia lly
under the Brooklyn-Queens
Exp resswa y overp a ss in Greenp oint. But it ha d a n a ll-a ges nig
ht every Sa turda y, a nd Eric
wa s friends with the owner, so they let Simon’s ba nd p la y p retty
much a ny Sa turda y they
wa nted, desp ite the fa ct tha t they kep t cha nging their name a n
d couldn’t be counted on to
draw a crowd.
Kyle a nd the other ba nd members were a lrea dy onsta ge, setting up
their equipment a nd
doing ɹna l checks. They were going to run through one of their old
sets, with Kyle on
voca ls; he lea rned lyrics fa st, a nd they were feeling p retty co
nɹdent. Simon ha d a greed to
sta y ba cksta ge until the show sta rted, which seemed to relieve so
me of Kyle’s stress. Now

Simon p eered a round the dusty velvet curta in a t the ba ck of the
sta ge, trying to get a
glimp se of who might be out there.
The interior of the ba r ha d once been stylishly decora ted, with
p ressed-tin wa lls a nd
ceiling, reminiscent of a n old sp ea kea sy, a nd frosted a rt deco
gla ss behind the ba r. It wa s a
lot grungier now tha n it ha d been when it op ened, with p erma nen
t smoke sta ins on the
wa lls. The ɻoor wa s covered in sawdust tha t ha d formed into clump
s a s a result of beer
sp ills a nd worse.
On the p lus side, the ta bles tha t lined the wa lls were mostly f
ull. Simon saw Isa belle
sitting a t a ta ble by herself , dressed in a short silver mesh
dress tha t looked like cha in ma il,
a nd her demon-stomp ing boots. Her ha ir wa s p ulled up into a m
essy bun, stuck through
with silver chop sticks. Simon knew ea ch of those chop sticks wa s
ra zor sha rp , a ble to slice
through meta l or bone. Her lip stick wa s bright red, like fresh blood.
Ge t a grip, Simon told himself . Stop thinking about blood.
More ta bles were ta ken up by other friends of the ba nd. Blythe
a nd Ka te, the resp ective
girlfriends of Kirk a nd Ma tt, were a t a ta ble together sha ring
a p la te of p a llid-looking
na chos. Eric ha d va rious girlfriends sca ttered a t ta bles a round
the room, a nd most of his
friends from school were there too, ma king the p la ce look a lot
more full. Sitting oʃ in the
corner, a t a ta ble a ll by herself , wa s Ma ureen, Simon’s one f
a n—a tiny wa iɹsh blond girl
who looked a bout twelve but cla imed she wa s sixteen. He ɹgured she wa s
p roba bly a ctua lly
a bout fourteen. Seeing him sticking his hea d a round the curta in,
she wa ved a nd smiled
Simon p ulled his hea d ba ck in like a turtle, ya nking the curta ins closed.
“Hey,” sa id Ja ce, who wa s sitting on a n overturned sp ea ker, lookin
g a t his cell p hone,
“do you wa nt to see a p hoto of Alec a nd Ma gnus in Berlin?”
“Not rea lly,” sa id Simon.
“Ma gnus is wea ring lederhosen.”
“And yet, still no.”
Ja ce shoved the p hone into his p ocket a nd looked a t Simon quizzica lly. “Are
you oka y?”
“Yes,” Simon sa id, but he wa sn’t. He felt light-hea ded a nd na usea ted
a nd tense, which he
p ut down to the stra in of worrying a bout wha t wa s going to ha
p p en tonight. And it didn’t
help tha t he ha dn’t fed; he wa s going to ha ve to dea l with tha
t, a nd soon. He wished Cla ry
were here, but he knew she couldn’t come. She ha d some wedding resp
onsibility to a ttend
to, a nd ha d told him a long time a go tha t she wa sn’t going to
be a ble to ma ke it. He’d
p a ssed tha t on to Ja ce before they’d gotten here. Ja ce ha d seeme
d both misera bly relieved
a nd a lso disa p p ointed, a ll a t the same time, which wa s imp ressive.
“Hey, hey,” Kyle sa id, ducking through the curta in. “We’re just a bout r

ea dy to go.” He
looked a t Simon closely. “You sure a bout this?”
Simon looked from Kyle to Ja ce. “Did you know you two ma tch?”
They gla nced down a t themselves, a nd then a t ea ch other. Both
were wea ring jea ns a nd
long-sleeved bla ck T-shirts. Ja ce tugged on his shirt hem with slig
ht self -consciousness. “I
borrowed this from Kyle. My other shirt wa s p retty f ilthy.”
“Wow, you’re wea ring ea ch other’s clothes now. Tha t’s, like, best-friend stuf f .”
“Feeling lef t out?” sa id Kyle. “I sup p ose you wa nt to borrow a bla ck T-shirt t
Simon did not sta te the obvious, which wa s tha t nothing tha t ɹt Kyle or Ja ce
wa s likely to
f it his skinny frame. “As long a s everyone’s wea ring their own p a nts.”
“I see I ha ve come in on a fa scina ting moment in the conversa tion
.” Eric p oked his hea d
through the curta in. “Come on. It’s time to sta rt.”
As Kyle a nd Simon hea ded for the sta ge, Ja ce got to his feet.
Just below the hem of his
borrowed shirt, Simon could see the glittering edge of a da gger. “Brea k a l
eg up there,” Ja ce
sa id with a wicked grin. “And I’ll be down here, hop efully brea king someone el
Ra p ha el ha d been sup p osed to come a t twilight, but he kep t t
hem wa iting a lmost three
hours p a st the a p p ointed time before his Projection a p p ea red in the Ins
titute libra ry.
Vampire politics , thought Luke dryly. The hea d of the New York v
amp ire cla n would come,
if he must, when the Sha dowhunters ca lled; but he would not be
summoned, a nd he would
not be p unctua l. Luke ha d sp ent the p a st few hours whiling awa
y the time by rea ding
severa l of the libra ry’s books; Ma ryse ha dn’t been interested in ta
lking a nd ha d sp ent most
of the time sta nding by the window, drinking red wine out of a cut
-crysta l gla ss a nd sta ring
a t the tra f f ic going by on York Avenue.
She turned a s Ra p ha el a p p ea red, like a white cha lk drawing
on the da rkness. First the
p a llor of his fa ce a nd ha nds became visible, a nd then the da
rkness of his clothes a nd ha ir.
Fina lly he stood, ɹlled in, a solid-looking Projection. He looked a
t Ma ryse hurrying towa rd
him a nd sa id, “You ca lled, Sha dowhunter?” He turned then, his ga ze
sweep ing over Luke.
“And the wolf -huma n is here too, I see. Ha ve I been summoned to a sort of C
“Not exa ctly.” Ma ryse set her gla ss down on the desktop . “You ha ve h
ea rd a bout the
recent dea ths, Ra p ha el? The Sha dowhunter bodies tha t ha ve been found?”
Ra p ha el ra ised exp ressive eyebrows. “I ha ve. I did not think to
ma ke note of it. It ha s
nothing to do with my cla n.”
“One body found in wa rlock territory, one in wolf territory, one in
fa erie territory,” sa id
Luke. “I ima gine your folk will be next. It seems a clea r a ttemp
t to foment discord among
Downworlders. I am here in good fa ith, to show you tha t I do no
t believe tha t you a re

resp onsible, Ra p ha el.”
“Wha t a relief ,” Ra p ha el sa id, but his eyes were da rk a nd wa tc
hful. “Why would there be
a ny suggestion tha t I wa s?”
“One of the dea d wa s a ble to tell us who a tta cked him,” sa id Ma rys
e ca refully. “Before he
—died—he let us know tha t the p erson resp onsible wa s Camille.”
“Camille.” Ra p ha el’s voice wa s ca reful, but his exp ression, before he
schooled it into
bla nkness, showed f leeting shock. “But tha t is not p ossible.”
“Why is it not p ossible, Ra p ha el?” Luke a sked. “She is the hea d of
your cla n. She is very
p owerful a nd famously quite ruthless. And she seems to ha ve disa p
p ea red. She never came
to Idris to f ight with you in the wa r. She never a greed to the new Accords.
No Sha dowhunter
ha s seen or hea rd tell of her in months—until now.”
Ra p ha el sa id nothing.
“There is something going on,” Ma ryse sa id. “We wa nted to give you the
cha nce to
exp la in it to us before we told the Cla ve of Camille’s involvement. A show of
good fa ith.”
“Yes,” sa id Ra p ha el. “Yes, it is certa inly a show.”
“Ra p ha el,” sa id Luke, not unkindly. “You don’t ha ve to p rotect her. If you ca
re for her—”
“Ca re for her?” Ra p ha el turned a side a nd sp a t, though a s he wa
s a Projection, this wa s
more for show tha n result. “I ha te her. I desp ise her. Every eve
ning when I rise, I wish her
dea d.”
“Oh,” sa id Ma ryse delica tely. “Then, p erha p s—”
“She led us for yea rs,” sa id Ra p ha el. “She wa s the cla n hea d when I
wa s ma de a vamp ire,
a nd tha t wa s ɹf ty yea rs a go. Before tha t, she came to us from
London. She wa s a stra nger
to the city but ruthless enough to rise to hea d the Ma nha tta n cl
a n in only a few short
months. La st yea r I became her second in comma nd. Then, some mo
nths a go, I discovered
tha t she ha d been killing huma ns. Killing them for sp ort, a nd drinking t
heir blood. Brea king
the Law. It ha p p ens sometimes. Vamp ires go rogue a nd there is nothin
g tha t ca n be done to
stop them. But for it to ha p p en to the hea d of a cla n—they a
re sup p osed to be better tha n
tha t.” He stood still, his da rk eyes inwa rd-looking, lost in his memories. “We
a re not like the
wolves, those sa va ges. We do not kill one lea der to ɹnd a nother.
For a vamp ire to ra ise a
ha nd a ga inst a nother vamp ire is the worst of crimes, even if
tha t vamp ire ha s broken the
Law. And Camille ha s ma ny a llies, ma ny followers. I could not
risk ending her. Instea d I
went to her a nd told her she ha d to lea ve us, to get out, or
I would go to the Cla ve. I didn’t
wa nt to do tha t, of course, beca use I knew tha t if it were
discovered, it would bring wra th
down on the entire cla n. We would be distrusted, investiga ted. We
would be shamed a nd
humilia ted in front of other cla ns.”

Ma ryse ma de a n imp a tient noise. “There a re more imp orta nt things tha n lo
ss of fa ce.”
“When you a re a vamp ire, it ca n mea n the diʃerence between life a
nd dea th.” Ra p ha el’s
voice drop p ed. “I gambled tha t she would believe I would do it, a
nd she did. She a greed to
go. I sent her awa y, but it lef t behind a conundrum. I could
not ta ke her p la ce, for she ha d
not a bdica ted it. I could not exp la in her dep a rture without rev
ea ling wha t she ha d done. I
ha d to p ose it a s a long a bsence, a need to tra vel. Wa nderlust i
s not unhea rd of in our kind;
it comes up on us now a nd then. When you ca n live forever, sta y
ing in one p la ce ca n come
to seem a dull p rison a f ter ma ny, ma ny yea rs.”
“And how long did you think you could keep up the cha ra de?” Luke inquired.
“As long a s I could,” sa id Ra p ha el. “Until now, it seems.” He looked
awa y from them,
towa rd the window a nd the sp a rkling night outside.
Luke lea ned ba ck a ga inst one of the bookshelves. He wa s va guel
y amused to notice tha t
he seemed to be in the sha p e-shif ter section, lined with volumes
on the top ics of
werewolves, na ga , kitsunes, a nd selkies. “You might be interested
to know she ha s been
telling much the same story a bout you,” he sa id, neglecting to menti
on whom she ha d been
telling it to.
“I thought she ha d lef t the city.”
“Perha p s she did, but she ha s returned,” sa id Ma ryse. “And she is n
o longer sa tisɹed only
with huma n blood, it seems.”
“I do not know wha t I ca n tell you,” sa id Ra p ha el. “I wa s trying to p rotect m
y cla n. If the
Law must p unish me, then I will a ccep t p unishment.”
“We a ren’t interested in p unishing you, Ra p ha el,” sa id Luke. “Not unle
ss you refuse to
coop era te.”
Ra p ha el turned ba ck to them, his da rk eyes burning. “Coop era te with wha t
“We would like to ca p ture Camille. Alive,” sa id Ma ryse. “We wa nt to
question her. We
need to know why she ha s been killing Sha dowhunters—a nd these Sha dow
hunters in
p a rticula r.”
“If you sincerely hop e to a ccomp lish this, I hop e you ha ve a v
ery clever p la n.” There wa s
a mixture of amusement a nd scorn in Ra p ha el’s voice. “Camille is c
unning even for our
kind, a nd we a re very cunning indeed.”
“I ha ve a p la n,” sa id Luke. “It involves the Da ylighter. Simon Lewis.”
Ra p ha el ma de a fa ce. “I dislike him,” he sa id. “I would ra ther not be
a p a rt of a p la n tha t
relies up on his involvement.”
“Well,” sa id Luke, “isn’t tha t too ba d for you.”
Stupid, Cla ry thought. Stupid not to bring an umbre lla. The fa int
drizzle tha t her mother ha d
told her wa s coming tha t morning ha d turned into nea rly full-blown
ra in by the time she
rea ched the Alto Ba r on Lorimer Street. She p ushed p a st the kno

t of p eop le smoking out on
the sidewa lk a nd ducked gra tefully into the dry wa rmth of the ba r inside.
Millennium Lint wa s a lrea dy onsta ge, the guys wha ling awa y on t
heir instruments, a nd
Kyle, a t the front, growling sexily into a microp hone. Cla ry fel
t a moment of sa tisfa ction. It
wa s la rgely down to her inɻuence tha t they’d hired Kyle a t a ll, a
nd he wa s clea rly doing
them p roud.
She gla nced a round the room, hop ing to see either Ma ia or Isa be
lle. She knew it wouldn’t
be both of them, since Simon ca refully invited them only to a lter
na ting gigs. Her ga ze fell
on a slender ɹgure with bla ck ha ir, a nd she moved towa rd tha t t
a ble, only to stop midwa y.
It wa sn’t Isa belle a t a ll, but a much older woma n, her fa ce ma de up wit
h da rk outlined eyes.
She wa s wea ring a p ower suit a nd rea ding a newsp a p er, a p p a rently
oblivious to the music.
“Cla ry! Over here!” Cla ry turned a nd saw the a ctua l Isa belle, sea ted a t a
ta ble close to the
sta ge. She wore a dress tha t shone like a silver bea con; Cla ry
na viga ted towa rd it a nd ɻung
herself down in the sea t op p osite Izzy. “Got ca ught in the ra in, I see,” Isa
belle observed.
Cla ry p ushed her damp ha ir ba ck from her fa ce with a rueful s
mile. “You bet a ga inst
Mother Na ture, you lose.”
Isa belle ra ised her da rk eyebrows. “I thought you weren’t coming tonig
ht. Simon sa id you
ha d some wedding bla h-bla h to dea l with.” Isa belle wa s not imp res
sed with weddings or
a ny of the tra p p ings of roma ntic love, a s fa r a s Cla ry could tell.
“My mom wa sn’t feeling well,” Cla ry sa id. “She decided to reschedule.”
This wa s true, up to a p oint. When they’d come home from the hosp ita l, Jo
celyn ha d gone
into her room a nd shut the door. Cla ry, feeling help less a nd frustra ted,
ha d hea rd her crying
sof tly through the door, but her mom ha d refused to let her in or to ta lk
a bout it. Eventua lly
Luke ha d come home, a nd Cla ry ha d gra tefully lef t the ca re of
her mother to him a nd
hea ded out to kick a round the city before going to see Simon’s ba nd
. She a lwa ys tried to
come to his gigs if she could, a nd besides, ta lking to him would ma ke her
feel better.
“Huh.” Isa belle didn’t inquire further. Sometimes her a lmost tota l la ck
of interest in other
p eop le’s p roblems wa s something of a relief . “Well, I’m sure Simon will be gl
a d you came.”
Cla ry gla nced towa rd the sta ge. “How’s the show been so fa r?”
“Fine.” Isa belle chewed thoughtfully on her straw. “Tha t new lea d singer they ha v
e is hot.
Is he single? I’d like to ride him a round town like a ba d, ba d p ony—”
“Isa belle!”
“Wha t?” Isa belle gla nced over a t her a nd shrugged. “Oh, wha tever. S
imon a nd I a ren’t
exclusive. I told you tha t.”
Admittedly, Cla ry thought, Simon didn’t ha ve a leg to sta nd on in this p a r
ticula r situa tion.

But he wa s still her friend. She wa s a bout to sa y something in
his defense when she gla nced
towa rd the sta ge a ga in—a nd something ca ught her eye. A familia r ɹg
ure, emerging from
the sta ge door. She would ha ve recognized him a nywhere, a t a ny
time, no ma tter how da rk
the room or how unexp ected the sight of him.
Ja ce. He wa s dressed like a munda ne: jea ns, a tight bla ck T
-shirt tha t showed the
movement of the slim muscles in his shoulders a nd ba ck. His ha ir
gleamed under the sta ge
lights. Covert ga zes wa tched him a s he moved towa rd the wa ll a
nd lea ned a ga inst it,
looking intently towa rd the front of the room. Cla ry felt her hea
rt begin to p ound. It felt
like it ha d been forever since she’d la st seen him, though she knew
it ha d been only a bout a
da y. And yet, a lrea dy, wa tching him seemed like wa tching someon
e dista nt, a stra nger.
Wha t wa s he even doing here? He didn’t like Simon! He’d never come to a
single one of the
ba nd’s p erforma nces before.
“Cla ry!” Isa belle sounded a ccusing. Cla ry turned to see tha t she’d a c
cidenta lly up set
Isa belle’s gla ss, a nd wa ter wa s drip p ing of f the other girl’s lovely silve
r dress.
Isa belle, gra bbing a na p kin, looked a t her da rkly. “Just ta lk
to him,” she sa id. “I know
you wa nt to.”
“I’m sorry,” Cla ry sa id.
Isa belle ma de a shooing gesture in her direction. “Go.”
Cla ry got up , smoothing down her dress. If she’d known Ja ce wa s
going to be here, she
would ha ve worn something other tha n red tights, boots, a nd a v
inta ge hot-p ink Betsey
Johnson dress of hers she’d found ha nging in Luke’s sp a re closet. On
ce, she’d thought the
ɻower-sha p ed green buttons tha t ra n a ll the wa y up the front were funky a n
d cool, but now
she just felt less p ut-together a nd sop histica ted tha n Isa belle.
She p ushed her wa y a cross the ɻoor, which wa s now crowded with p
eop le either da ncing
or sta nding in p la ce, drinking beer, a nd swa ying a little to
the music. She couldn’t help but
remember the ɹrst time she’d ever seen Ja ce. It ha d been in a club,
a nd she’d wa tched him
a cross the ɻoor, wa tched his bright ha ir a nd the a rroga nt set of
his shoulders. She’d thought
he wa s bea utiful, but not in a ny wa y tha t a p p lied to her.
He wa sn’t the sort of boy you
could ha ve da ted, she’d thought. He existed a p a rt from tha t world.
He didn’t notice her now until she wa s nea rly sta nding in front of
him. Up close, she
could see how tired he looked, a s if he ha dn’t slep t in da ys.
His fa ce wa s tight with
exha ustion, the bones sha rp -looking under the skin. He wa s lea ni
ng a ga inst the wa ll, his
f ingers hooked in the loop s of his belt, his p a le gold eyes wa tchful.
“Ja ce,” she sa id.
He sta rted, a nd turned to look a t her. For a moment his eyes

lit, the wa y they a lwa ys did
when he saw her, a nd she felt a wild hop e rise in her chest.
Almost insta ntly the light went out of them, a nd the rema ining c
olor dra ined out of his
fa ce. “I thought—Simon sa id you weren’t coming.”
A wa ve of na usea p a ssed over her, a nd she p ut her ha nd out
to stea dy herself a ga inst the
wa ll. “So you only came beca use you thought I wouldn’t be here?”
He shook his hea d. “I—”
“Were you ever p la nning on ta lking to me a ga in?” Cla ry felt her vo
ice rise, a nd forced it
ba ck down with a vicious eʃort. Her ha nds were now tight a t her
sides, her na ils cutting
ha rd into her p a lms. “If you’re going to brea k it oʃ, the lea st y
ou could do is tell me, not
just stop ta lking to me a nd lea ve me to f igure it out on my own.”
“Why,” Ja ce sa id, “does everyone keep goddamn a sking me if I’m going t
o brea k up with
you? First Simon, a nd now—”
“You ta lked to Simon a bout us?” Cla ry shook her hea d. “Why? Why a ren’t
you ta lking to
“Beca use I ca n’t ta lk to you,” Ja ce sa id. “I ca n’t ta lk to you, I c
a n’t be with you, I ca n’t
even look a t you.”
Cla ry sucked her brea th in; it felt like brea thing ba ttery a cid. “Wha t?”
He seemed to rea lize wha t he ha d sa id, a nd la p sed into a n a
p p a lled silence. For a
moment they simp ly looked a t ea ch other. Then Cla ry turned a nd
da rted ba ck through the
crowd, p ushing her wa y p a st ɻa iling elbows a nd knots of cha ttin
g p eop le, blind to
everything but getting to the door a s quickly a s she could.
“And now,” Eric yelled into his microp hone, “we’re going to sing a new s
ong—one we just
wrote. This one’s for my girlfriend. We’ve been going out for three we
eks, a nd, damn, our
love is true. We’re gonna be together forever, ba by. This one’s ca l
led ‘Ba ng You Like a
Drum. ’”
There wa s la ughter a nd a p p la use from the a udience a s the musi
c sta rted up , though
Simon wa sn’t sure if Eric rea lized they thought he wa s joking, whi
ch he wa sn’t. Eric wa s
a lwa ys in love with wha tever girl he’d just sta rted da ting, a nd
he a lwa ys wrote a n
ina p p rop ria te song a bout it. Norma lly Simon wouldn’t ha ve ca red,
but he’d rea lly hop ed
they were going to get oʃ the sta ge a f ter the p revious song. He felt worse th
a n ever—dizzy,
sticky a nd sick with swea t, his mouth ta sting meta llic, like old blood.
The music cra shed a round him, sounding like na ils being p ounded i
nto his ea rdrums. His
ɹngers slip p ed a nd slid on the strings a s he p la yed, a nd he sa
w Kirk look over a t him
quizzica lly. He tried to force himself to focus, to concentra te, but it wa
s like trying to sta rt a
ca r with a dea d ba ttery. There wa s a n emp ty grinding noise in his hea d,
but no sp a rk.
He sta red out into the ba r, looking—he wa sn’t even quite sure why—for

Isa belle, but he
could see only a sea of white fa ces turned towa rd him, a nd he
remembered his ɹrst night in
the Dumont Hotel a nd the fa ces of the vamp ires turned towa rd him
, like white p a p er
ɻowers unfolding a ga inst a da rk emp tiness. A surge of grip p ing,
p a inful na usea seized him.
He sta ggered ba ck, his ha nds fa lling awa y from the guita r. The gr
ound under his feet felt a s
if it were moving. The other members of the ba nd, ca ught up i
n the music, didn’t seem to
notice. Simon tore the stra p of the guita r oʃ his shoulder a nd p
ushed p a st Ma tt to the
curta in a t the ba ck of the sta ge, ducking through it just in time to fa ll
to his knees a nd retch.
Nothing came up . His stoma ch felt a s hollow a s a well. He sto
od up a nd lea ned a ga inst
the wa ll, p ressing his icy ha nds a ga inst his fa ce. It ha d been weeks si
nce he’d felt either cold
or hot, but now he felt feverish—a nd sca red. Wha t wa s ha p p ening to him?
He remembered Ja ce sa ying, You’re a vampire . Blood is n’t like food
for you. Blood is …
blood. Could a ll this be beca use he ha dn’t ea ten? But he didn’t fee
l hungry, or even thirsty,
rea lly. He felt a s sick a s if he were dying. Ma ybe he’d been p
oisoned. Ma ybe the Ma rk of
Ca in didn’t p rotect a ga inst something like tha t?
He moved slowly towa rd the ɹre door tha t would ta ke him out onto t
he street in ba ck of
the club. Ma ybe the cold a ir outside would clea r his hea d. Ma ybe a ll thi
s wa s just exha ustion
a nd nerves.
“Simon?” A little voice, like a bird’s chirp . He looked down with drea
d, a nd saw tha t
Ma ureen wa s sta nding a t his elbow. She looked even tinier close
up—little birdlike bones
a nd a lot of very p a le blond ha ir, which ca sca ded down her
shoulders from benea th a
knitted p ink ca p . She wore ra inbow-strip e a rm wa rmers a nd a
short-sleeved white T-shirt
with a screen p rint of Strawberry Shortca ke on it. Simon groa ned inwa rdly
“This rea lly isn’t a good time, Mo,” he sa id.
“I just wa nt to ta ke a p icture of you on my camera p hone,” she
sa id, p ushing her ha ir
ba ck behind her ea rs nervously. “So I ca n show it to my friends, oka y?”
“Fine.” His hea d wa s p ounding. This wa s ridiculous. It wa sn’t like h
e wa s overwhelmed
with fa ns. Ma ureen wa s litera lly the ba nd’s only fa n, tha t he
knew a bout, a nd wa s Eric’s
little cousin’s friend, to boot. He sup p osed he couldn’t rea lly a ʃord
to a liena te her. “Go
a hea d. Ta ke it.”
She ra ised her p hone a nd clicked, then frowned. “Now one with you
a nd me?” She sidled
up to him quickly, p ressing herself a ga inst his side. He could
smell strawberry lip gloss on
her, a nd under tha t, the smell of sa lt swea t a nd sa ltier hum
a n blood. She looked up a t him,
holding the p hone up a nd out with her free ha nd, a nd grinned.

She ha d a ga p between her
two front teeth, a nd a blue vein in her throa t. It p ulsed a s she drew a
brea th.
“Smile,” she sa id.
Twin jolts of p a in went through Simon a s his fa ngs slid free, digging into
his lip . He hea rd
Ma ureen ga sp , a nd then her p hone went ɻying a s he ca ught hold
of her a nd sp un her
towa rd him, a nd his ca nine teeth sa nk into her throa t.
Blood exp loded into his mouth, the ta ste of it like nothing else.
It wa s a s if he ha d been
sta rving for a ir a nd now wa s brea thing, inha ling grea t ga sp s
of cold, clea n oxygen, a nd
Ma ureen struggled a nd p ushed a t him, but he ba rely noticed. He
didn’t even notice when
she went limp , her dea d weight dra gging him to the ɻoor so tha t he wa s lying
on top of her,
his ha nds grip p ing her shoulders, clenching a nd unclenching a s he dra nk.
You have ne ve r fe d on s ome one pure ly human, have you? Camille ha d sa
id. You will.
And whe n you do, you will ne ve r forge t it.
Cla ry rea ched the door a nd burst out into the ra in-drenched evenin
g a ir. It wa s
coming down in sheets now, a nd she wa s insta ntly soa ked. Choking on ra inw
a ter a nd tea rs,
she da rted p a st Eric’s familia r-looking yellow va n, ra in sheeting
oʃ its roof into the gutter,
a nd wa s a bout to ra ce a cross the street a ga inst the light when
a ha nd ca ught her a rm a nd
sp un her a round.
It wa s Ja ce. He wa s a s soa ked a s she wa s, the ra in stickin
g his fa ir ha ir to his hea d a nd
p la stering his shirt to his body like bla ck p a int. “Cla ry, didn’t you hea r
me ca lling you?”
“Let go of me.” Her voice shook.
“No. Not until you ta lk to me.” He looked a round, up a nd down the
street, which wa s
deserted, the ra in exp loding of f the bla ck p a vement like fa st-blooming
f lowers. “Come on.”
Still holding her by the a rm, he ha lf -dra gged her a round the va
n a nd into a na rrow a lley
tha t bordered the Alto Ba r. High windows a bove them let through t
he blurred sound of the
music tha t wa s still being p la yed inside. The a lley wa s brick-w
a lled, clea rly a dump ing
ground for old bits of no longer usa ble musica l equipment. Broken
amp s a nd old mikes
littered the ground, a long with sha ttered beer gla sses a nd ciga rette butts
Cla ry jerked her a rm out of Ja ce’s gra sp a nd turned to fa ce hi
m. “If you’re p la nning to
a p ologize, don’t bother.” She p ushed her wet, hea vy ha ir ba ck from
her fa ce. “I don’t wa nt
to hea r it.”
“I wa s going to tell you tha t I wa s trying to help out Simon,” he
sa id, ra inwa ter running
of f his eyela shes a nd down his cheeks like tea rs. “I’ve been a t his p la ce f
or the p a st—”

“And you couldn’t tell me? Couldn’t text me a single line letting me kno
w where you
were? Oh, wa it. You couldn’t, beca use you still ha ve my goddamne d phone .
Give it to me.”
Silently he rea ched into his jea ns p ocket a nd ha nded it to her.
It looked undama ged. She
jammed it into her messenger ba g before the ra in could ruin it. J
a ce wa tched her a s she did
it, looking a s if she’d hit him in the fa ce. It only ma de her a ngrier. Wha
t right did he ha ve to
be hurt?
“I think,” he sa id slowly, “tha t I thought tha t the closest thing to
being with you wa s
being with Simon. Wa tching out for him. I ha d some stup id idea
tha t you’d rea lize I wa s
doing it for you a nd forgive me—”
All of Cla ry’s ra ge rose to the surfa ce, a hot, unstop p a ble t
ide. “I don’t even know wha t
you think I’m sup p osed to forgive you for,” she shouted. “Am I sup p ose
d to forgive you for
not loving me a nymore? Beca use if tha t’s wha t you wa nt, Ja ce Li
ghtwood, you ca n go right
a hea d a nd—” She took a step ba ck, blindly, a nd nea rly trip p ed over a n a
ba ndoned sp ea ker.
Her ba g slid to the ground a s she p ut her ha nd out to right he
rself , but Ja ce wa s a lrea dy
there. He moved forwa rd to ca tch her, a nd kep t moving, until h
er ba ck hit the a lley wa ll,
a nd his a rms were a round her, a nd he wa s kissing her fra ntica lly.
She knew she ought to p ush him awa y; her mind told her it wa s
the sensible thing to do,
but no other p a rt of her ca red a bout wha t wa s sensible. Not
when Ja ce wa s kissing her like
he thought he might go to hell for doing it, but it would be worth it.
She dug her ɹngers into his shoulders, into the damp fa bric of his
T-shirt, feeling the
resista nce of the muscles undernea th, a nd kissed him ba ck with a
ll the desp era tion of the
p a st few da ys, a ll the not knowing where he wa s or wha t he w
a s thinking, a ll the feeling
like a p a rt of her hea rt ha d been rip p ed out of her chest a nd she coul
d never get enough a ir.
“Tell me,” she sa id between kisses, their wet fa ces sliding a ga inst
ea ch other. “Tell me
wha t’s wrong—Oh,” she ga sp ed a s he drew awa y from her, only fa r eno
ugh to rea ch his
ha nds down a nd p ut them a round her wa ist. He lif ted her up s
o she stood on top of a
broken sp ea ker, ma king them a lmost the same height. Then he p ut
his ha nds on either side
of her hea d a nd lea ned forwa rd, so their bodies a lmost touched—but not quit
e. It wa s nervewra cking. She could feel the feverish hea t tha t cam
e oʃ him; her ha nds were still on his
shoulders, but it wa sn’t enough. She wa nted him wra p p ed a round h
er, holding her tight.
“W-why,” she brea thed, “ca n’t you ta lk to me? Why ca n’t you look a t me?”
He ducked his hea d down to look into her fa ce. His eyes, surroun
ding by la shes da rkened
with ra inwa ter, were imp ossibly gold.
“Beca use I love you.”

She couldn’t sta nd it a nymore. She took her ha nds oʃ his shoulders,
hooked her ɹngers
through his belt loop s, a nd p ulled him a ga inst her. He let her
do it with no resista nce, his
ha nds ɻa ttening a ga inst the wa ll, folding his body a ga inst hers
until they were p ressed
together everywhere—chests, hip s, legs—like p uzzle p ieces. His ha nds
slid down to her
wa ist a nd he kissed her, long a nd lingering, ma king her shudder.
She p ulled awa y. “Tha t doesn’t ma ke a ny sense.”
“Neither does this,” he sa id, “but I don’t ca re. I’m sick of trying to
p retend I ca n live
without you. Don’t you understa nd tha t? Ca n’t you see it’s killing me?”
She sta red a t him. She could see he mea nt wha t he sa id, could
see it in the eyes she knew
a s well a s her own, in the bruised sha dows under those eyes, th
e p ulse p ounding in his
throa t. Her desire for a nswers ba ttled the more p rima l p a rt of
her bra in, a nd lost. “Kiss me
then,” she whisp ered, a nd he p ressed his mouth a ga inst hers, their hea rts
slamming together
through the thin la yers of wet fa bric tha t divided them. And she
wa s drowning in it, in the
sensa tion of him kissing her; of ra in everywhere, running oʃ her
eyela shes; of letting his
ha nds slide freely over the wet, crump led fa bric of her dress,
ma de thin a nd clinging by the
ra in. It wa s a lmost like ha ving his ha nds on her ba re skin,
her chest, her hip s, her stoma ch;
when he rea ched the hem of her dress, he grip p ed her legs, p ressing her h
a rder ba ck a ga inst
the wa ll while she wra p p ed them a round his wa ist.
He ma de a noise of surp rise, low in his throa t, a nd dug his
ɹngers into the thin fa bric of
her tights. Not unexp ectedly, they rip p ed, a nd his wet ɹngers wer
e suddenly on the ba re
skin of her legs. Not to be outdone, she slid her ha nds under the hem of hi
s soa ked shirt, a nd
let her ɹngers exp lore wha t wa s undernea th: the tight, hot skin o
ver his ribs, the ridges of
his a bdomen, the sca rs on his ba ck, the a ngle of his hip bones
a bove the wa istba nd of his
jea ns. This wa s uncha rted territory for her, but it seemed to be
driving him cra zy: he wa s
moa ning sof tly a ga inst her mouth, kissing her ha rder a nd ha rder
, a s if it would never be
enough, not quite enough—
And a horriɹc cla nging noise exp loded in Cla ry’s ea rs, sha ttering h
er out of her dream of
kissing a nd ra in. With a ga sp she p ushed Ja ce awa y, ha rd e
nough tha t he let go of her a nd
she tumbled oʃ the sp ea ker to la nd unstea dily on her feet, ha stil
y stra ightening her dress.
Her hea rt wa s slamming a ga inst her rib ca ge like a ba ttering ram, a nd s
he felt dizzy.
“Dammit.” Isa belle, sta nding in the mouth of the a lley, her wet bla
ck ha ir like a cloa k
a round her shoulders, kicked a tra sh ca n out of her wa y a nd
glowered. “Oh, for goodness’
sa ke,” she sa id. “I ca n’t believe you two. Why? Wha t’s wrong with bedr

ooms? And
p riva cy?”
Cla ry looked a t Ja ce. He wa s utterly drenched, wa ter running oʃ
him in sheets, his fa ir
ha ir, p la stered to his hea d, nea rly silver in the fa int glow
of the dista nt streetlights. Just
looking a t him ma de Cla ry wa nt to touch him a ga in, Isa belle o
r no Isa belle, with a longing
tha t wa s nea rly p a inful. He wa s sta ring a t Izzy with the loo
k of someone who ha d been
sla p p ed out of a dream—bewilderment, a nger, dawning rea liza tion.
“I wa s just looking for Simon,” Isa belle sa id defensively, seeing Ja ce’s exp ress
ion. “He ra n
oʃsta ge, a nd I’ve no idea where he went.” The music ha d stop p ed, C
la ry rea lized, a t some
p oint; she ha dn’t noticed when. “Anywa y, he’s obviously not here. Go
ba ck to wha t you
were doing. Wha t’s the p oint in wa sting a p erfectly good brick wa
ll when you ha ve
someone to throw a ga inst it, tha t’s wha t I a lwa ys sa y.” And she sta lked oʃ,
ba ck towa rd the
ba r.
Cla ry looked a t Ja ce. At a ny other time they would ha ve la ughe
d together a t Isa belle’s
moodiness, but there wa s no humor in his exp ression, a nd she kne
w immedia tely tha t
wha tever they ha d ha d between them—wha tever ha d blossomed out of h
is momenta ry la ck
of control—it wa s gone now. She could ta ste blood in her mouth a n
d wa sn’t sure if she ha d
bitten her own lip or he ha d.
“Ja ce—” She took a step towa rd him.
“Don’t,” he sa id, his voice very rough. “I ca n’t.”
And then he wa s gone, running a s fa st a s only he could run, a
blur tha t va nished into the
dista nce before she could even ta ke a brea th to ca ll him ba ck.
The a ngry voice exp loded in Simon’s ea rs. He would ha ve relea sed
Ma ureen then—or so
he told himself—but he didn’t get the cha nce. Strong ha nds gra bbed hi
m by the a rms,
ha uling him oʃ her. He wa s dra gged to his feet by a white-fa ced
Kyle, still tousled a nd
swea ty from the set they’d just f inished. “Wha t the hell, Simon. Wha t the hel
“I didn’t mea n to,” Simon ga sp ed. His voice sounded blurry to his own
ea rs; his fa ngs
were still out, a nd he ha dn’t lea rned to ta lk a round the goddamn
things yet. Pa st Kyle, on
the ɻoor, he could see Ma ureen lying in a crump led hea p , horribl
y still. “It just ha p p ened
“I told you. I told you.” Kyle’s voice rose, a nd he p ushed Simon, ha
rd. Simon stumbled
ba ck, his forehea d burning, a s a n invisible ha nd seemed to lif
t Kyle a nd ɻing him ha rd
a ga inst the wa ll behind him. He hit it a nd slid to the ground,
la nding in a wolɻike crouch,
on his ha nds a nd knees. He sta ggered to his feet, sta ring. “Jesus Christ.

But Simon ha d drop p ed to his knees beside Ma ureen, his ha nds on
her, fra ntica lly feeling
a t her throa t for a p ulse. When it ɻuttered under his ɹngertip s,
fa int but stea dy, he nea rly
wep t with relief .
“Get awa y from her.” Kyle, sounding stra ined, moved to sta nd over Si
mon. “Just get up
a nd move awa y.”
Simon got up relucta ntly a nd fa ced Kyle over Ma ureen’s limp form.
Light wa s la ncing
through the ga p in the curta ins tha t led to the sta ge; he coul
d hea r the other ba nd members
out there, cha ttering to one a nother, sta rting the tea rdown. Any
minute they’d be coming
ba ck here.
“Wha t you just did,” Kyle sa id. “Did you—p ush me? Beca use I didn’t see you move.”
“I didn’t mea n to,” Simon sa id a ga in, wretchedly. It seemed to be a ll he sa id
these da ys.
Kyle shook his hea d, his ha ir ɻying. “Get out of here. Go wa it b
y the va n. I’ll dea l with
her.” He bent down a nd lif ted Ma ureen in his a rms. She looked tiny a ga inst
the bulk of him,
like a doll. He f ixed Simon with a gla re. “Go. And I hop e you feel rea lly
goddamn terrible.”
Simon went. He moved to the ɹre door a nd shoved it op en. No a la
rm went oʃ; the a la rm
ha d been busted for months. The door swung shut behind him, a nd he lea
ned up a ga inst the
ba ck wa ll of the club a s every p a rt of his body bega n to tremble.
The club ba cked onto a na rrow street lined with wa rehouses. Across the wa y
wa s a va ca nt
lot blocked oʃ with a sa gging cha in-link fence. Ugly scrub gra ss grew up
through the cra cks
in the p a vement. Ra in wa s sheeting down, soa king the ga rba ge
tha t littered the street,
f loa ting old beer ca ns on the runof f -f illed gutters.
Simon thought it wa s the most bea utiful thing he’d ever seen. The w
hole night seemed to
ha ve exp loded with p risma tic light. The fence wa s a linked cha
in of brillia nt silver wires,
ea ch ra indrop a p la tinum tea r.
I hope you fe e l re ally goddamn te rrible , Kyle ha d sa id. But
this wa s much worse. He felt
fa nta stic, a live in a wa y he never ha d before. Huma n blood w
a s clea rly somehow the
p erfect, the idea l food for vamp ires. Wa ves of energy were runn
ing through him like
electric current. The p a in in his hea d, his stoma ch, wa s gone.
He could ha ve run ten
thousa nd miles.
It wa s awful.
“Hey, you. Are you a ll right?” The voice tha t sp oke wa s cultured,
amused; Simon turned
a nd saw a woma n in a long bla ck trench coa t, a bright yellow umbrella o
p en over her hea d.
With his bra nd-new p risma tic vision, it looked like a glimmering
sunɻower. The woma n
herself wa s bea utiful—though everything looked bea utiful to him right
now—with gleaming
bla ck ha ir a nd a red-lip sticked mouth. He dimly reca lled seeing

her sitting a t one of the
ta bles during the ba nd’s p erforma nce.
He nodded, not trusting himself to sp ea k. He must ha ve looked p
retty shell-shocked, if
tota l stra ngers were coming up to inquire a bout his well-being.
“You look like ma ybe you got ba nged on the hea d there,” she sa id,
indica ting his
forehea d. “Tha t’s a na sty bruise. Are you sure I ca n’t ca ll a nyone for you?”
He rea ched up ha stily to move his ha ir a cross his forehea d, hiding the Ma
rk. “I’m ɹne. It’s
“Oka y. If you sa y so.” She sounded a little doubtful. She rea ched
into her p ocket, p ulled
out a ca rd, a nd ha nded it to him. It ha d a name on it, Sa
trina Kenda ll. Undernea th the
name wa s a title, BAND PROMOTER, in sma ll ca p ita ls, a nd a p
hone number a nd a ddress. “Tha t’s
me,” she sa id. “I liked wha t you guys did in there. If you’re intere
sted in ma king it a little
more big-time, give me a ca ll.”
And with tha t, she turned a nd sa sha yed awa y, lea ving Simon sta
ring a f ter her. Surely, he
thought, there wa s no wa y this night could get a ny more biza rre.
Sha king his hea d—a move tha t sent wa ter drop s ɻying in a ll directi
ons—he squelched
a round the corner to where the va n wa s p a rked. The door of th
e ba r wa s op en, a nd p eop le
were streaming out. Everything still looked unna tura lly bright, Simo
n thought, but his
p risma tic vision wa s beginning to fa de slightly. The scene in front of hi
m looked ordina ry—
the ba r emp tying out, the side doors op en, a nd the va n with i
ts ba ck doors op en, a lrea dy
being loa ded up with gea r by Ma tt, Kirk, a nd a va riety of
their friends. As Simon drew
closer, he saw tha t Isa belle wa s lea ning a ga inst the side of
the va n, one leg drawn up , the
heel of her boot bra ced a ga inst the va n’s blistered side. She cou
ld ha ve been help ing with
the tea rdown, of course—Isa belle wa s stronger tha n a nyone else in
the ba nd, with the
p ossible excep tion of Kyle—but she clea rly couldn’t be bothered. Simon
would ha rdly ha ve
exp ected a nything else.
She looked up a s he came closer. The ra in ha d slowed, but she
ha d clea rly been out in it
for some time; her ha ir wa s a hea vy, wet curta in down her ba
ck. “Hey there,” she sa id,
p ushing oʃ from the side of the va n a nd coming towa rd him. “Where
ha ve you been? You
just ra n of fsta ge—”
“Yea h,” he sa id. “I wa sn’t feeling well. Sorry.”
“As long a s you’re better now.” She wra p p ed her a rms a round him a nd
smiled up into his
fa ce. He felt a wa ve of relief tha t he didn’t feel a ny urge t
o bite her. Then a nother wa ve of
guilt a s he remembered why.
“You ha ven’t seen Ja ce a nywhere, ha ve you?” he a sked.
She rolled her eyes. “I ra n a cross him a nd Cla ry ma king out,” she
sa id. “Although they’re

gone now—home, I hop e. Those two ep itomize ‘get a room. ’”
“I didn’t think Cla ry wa s coming,” Simon sa id, though it wa sn’t tha t o
dd; he sup p osed the
ca ke a p p ointment ha d been ca nceled or something. He didn’t even h
a ve the energy to be
a nnoyed a bout wha t a terrible bodygua rd Ja ce ha d turned out to be. It wa
sn’t a s if he’d ever
thought Ja ce took his p ersona l sa fety a ll tha t seriously. He ju
st hop ed Ja ce a nd Cla ry ha d
worked it out, wha tever it wa s.
“Wha tever.” Isa belle grinned. “Since it’s just us, do you wa nt to go somewhere a nd—”
A voice—a very familia r voice—sp oke out of the sha dows just beyond t
he rea ch of the
nea rest streetlight. “Simon?”
Oh, no, not now. Not right now.
He turned slowly. Isa belle’s a rm wa s still loosely cla sp ed a round
his wa ist, though he
knew tha t wouldn’t la st much longer. Not if the p erson sp ea king wa s who he
thought it wa s.
It wa s.
Ma ia ha d moved into the light, a nd wa s sta nding looking a t hi
m, a n exp ression of
disbelief on her fa ce. Her norma lly curly ha ir wa s p a sted to
her hea d with ra in, her amber
eyes very wide, her jea ns a nd denim ja cket soa ked. She wa s clu
tching a rolled-up p iece of
p a p er in her lef t ha nd.
Simon wa s va guely awa re tha t oʃ to the side the ba nd members ha d
slowed down their
movements a nd were op enly gawking. Isa belle’s a rm slid oʃ his wa ist.
“Simon?” she sa id.
“Wha t’s going on?”
“You told me you were going to be busy,” Ma ia sa id, looking a t Sim
on. “Then someone
shoved this under the sta tion door this morning.” She thrust the rolle
d-up p a p er forwa rd; it
wa s insta ntly recogniza ble a s one of the f lyers for the ba nd’s p erforma nc
e tonight.
Isa belle wa s looking from Simon to Ma ia , recognition slowly dawnin
g on her fa ce. “Wa it
a second,” she sa id. “Are you two dating?”
Ma ia set her chin. “Are you?”
“Yes,” Isa belle sa id. “For quite a few weeks now.”
Ma ia ’s eyes na rrowed. “Us, too. We’ve been da ting since Sep tember.”
“I ca n’t believe it,” Isa belle sa id. She genuinely looked a s if she
couldn’t. “Simon?” She
turned to him, her ha nds on her hip s. “Do you ha ve a n exp la na tion?”
The ba nd, who ha d ɹna lly shoved a ll the equipment into the va n—the
drums p a cking out
the ba ck bench sea t a nd the guita rs a nd ba sses in the ca rgo s
ection—were ha nging out the
ba ck of the ca r, op enly sta ring. Eric p ut his ha nds a round
his mouth to ma ke a mega p hone.
“La dies, la dies,” he intoned. “There is no need to ɹght. There is enoug
h Simon to go
a round.”
Isa belle whip p ed a round a nd shot a gla re a t Eric so terrifying
tha t he fell insta ntly silent.
The ba ck doors of the va n slammed shut, a nd it took oʃ down the
roa d. Traitors , Simon

thought, though to be fa ir, they p roba bly a ssumed he would ca tch
a ride home in Kyle’s ca r,
which wa s p a rked a round the corner. Assuming he lived long enough.
“I ca n’t believe you, Simon,” Ma ia sa id. She wa s sta nding with her
ha nds on her hip s a s
well, in a p ose identica l to Isa belle’s. “Wha t were you thinking?
How could you lie like
tha t?”
“I didn’t lie,” Simon p rotested. “We never sa id we were exclusive!” He turn
ed to Isa belle.
“Neither did we! And I know you were da ting other p eop le—”
“Not p eop le you know,” Isa belle sa id, blisteringly. “Not your frie nds .
How would you feel
if you found out I wa s da ting Eric?”
“Stunned, fra nkly,” sa id Simon. “He rea lly isn’t your typ e.”
“Tha t’s not the p oint, Simon.” Ma ia ha d moved closer to Isa belle, a
nd the two of them
fa ced him down together, a n immova ble wa ll of fema le ra ge. Th
e ba r ha d ɹnished
emp tying out, a nd a side from the three of them, the street wa s deserted.
He wondered a bout
his cha nces if he ma de a brea k for it, a nd decided they weren’t good. Were
wolves were fa st,
a nd Isa belle wa s a tra ined vamp ire hunter.
“I’m rea lly sorry,” Simon sa id. The buzz from the blood he’d drunk wa s beginning to
wea r
of f , tha nkfully. He felt less dizzy with overwhelming sensa tion, but more
p a nicked. To ma ke
things worse, his mind kep t returning to Ma ureen, a nd wha t he’d d
one to her, a nd whether
she wa s a ll right. P le as e le t he r be all right. “I should ha
ve told you guys. It’s just—I rea lly
like you both, a nd I didn’t wa nt to hurt either of your feelings.”
The moment it wa s out of his mouth, he rea lized how stup id he
sounded. Just a nother
jerkish guy ma king excuses for his jerk beha vior. Simon ha d never
thought of himself like
tha t. He wa s a nice guy, the kind of guy who got overlooked,
p a ssed up for the sexy ba d
boy or the tortured a rtist typ e. For the self -involved kind of guy who woul
d think nothing of
da ting two girls a t once while ma ybe not exa ctly lying a bout wha
t he wa s doing, but not
telling the truth a bout it either.
“Wow,” he sa id, mostly to himself . “I am a huge a sshole.”
“Tha t’s p roba bly the f irst true thing you’ve sa id since I got here,” sa id Ma ia .
“Amen,” sa id Isa belle. “Though if you a sk me, it’s too little, too la te—”
The side door of the ba r op ened, a nd someone came out. It wa s
Kyle. Simon felt a wa ve
of relief . Kyle looked serious, but not a s serious a s Simon tho
ught he would look if
something awful ha d ha p p ened to Ma ureen.
He sta rted down the step s towa rd them. The ra in wa s ba rely a
drizzle now. Ma ia a nd
Isa belle ha d their ba cks to him; they were gla ring a t Simon wit
h the la ser focus of ra ge. “I
hop e you don’t exp ect e ithe r of us to sp ea k to you a ga in,” Isa b
elle sa id. “And I’m going to
ha ve a ta lk with Cla ry—a very, very serious ta lk a bout her choice of frie

“Kyle,” Simon sa id, una ble to keep the relief out of his voice a s
Kyle came into ea rshot.
“Uh, Ma ureen—is she—”
He ha d no idea how to a sk wha t he wa nted to a sk without letting Ma ia a n
d Isa belle know
wha t ha d ha p p ened, but a s it turned out, it didn’t ma tter, be
ca use he never ma na ged to get
the rest of the words out. Ma ia a nd Isa belle turned; Isa belle
looked a nnoyed a nd Ma ia
surp rised, clea rly wondering who Kyle wa s.
As soon a s Ma ia rea lly saw Kyle, her fa ce cha nged; her eyes
went wide, the blood
dra ining from her fa ce. And Kyle, in his turn, wa s sta ring a t
her with the look of someone
who ha s woken up from a nightma re only to discover tha t it is
rea l a nd continuing. His
mouth moved, sha p ing words, but no sound came out.
“Whoa ,” Isa belle sa id, looking from one of them to the other. “Do yo
u two—know ea ch
Ma ia ’s lip s p a rted. She wa s still sta ring a t Kyle. Simon ha d time only
to think tha t she ha d
never looked a t him with a nything like tha t intensity, when she w
hisp ered “ Jordan”—a nd
lunged for Kyle, her claws out a nd sha rp , a nd sa nk them into his throa t.
Part Two
F or Eve ry
Li fe
Nothing is fre e . Eve rything has to be paid for. For e ve ry profit in on
e thing, payme nt in s ome
othe r thing. For e ve ry life , a de ath. Eve n your mus ic, of which we h
ave he ard s o much, that
had to be paid for. Your wife was the payme nt for your mus ic. He ll is
now s atis fie d.
—Ted Hug hes, “The Tig er’ s Bones”
Simon sa t in the a rmcha ir in Kyle’ s living room a nd sta red a t
the frozen ima ge on the
TV screen in the corner of the room. It ha d been p a used on the game Kyle ha
d been p la ying
with Ja ce, a nd the ima ge wa s one of a da nk-looking underground
tunnel with a hea p of
colla p sed bodies on the ground a nd some very rea listic-looking p oo
ls of blood. It wa s
disturbing, but Simon didn’t ha ve either the energy or the inclina tion to bothe
r to turn it of f .
The ima ges tha t ha d been running through his hea d a ll night were worse.
The light streaming into the room through the windows ha d strengthene
d from wa tery
dawn light to the p a le illumina tion of ea rly morning, but Simon
ba rely noticed. He kep t
seeing Ma ureen’s limp body on the ground, her blond ha ir sta ined w
ith blood. His own
sta ggering p rogress out into the night, her blood singing through h
is veins. And then Ma ia
lunging a t Kyle, tea ring into him with her claws. Kyle ha d la in
there, not lif ting a ha nd to
defend himself . He p roba bly would ha ve let her kill him if Isa belle ha dn’t
interfered, p ulling

Ma ia bodily oʃ him a nd rolling her onto the p a vement, holding her
there until her ra ge
dissolved into tea rs. Simon ha d tried to go to her, but Isa belle
ha d held him oʃ with a
furious gla re, her a rm a round the other girl, her ha nd up to wa rd him of
f .
“Get out of here,” she’d sa id. “And ta ke him with you. I don’t know wha t he did to h
er, but
it must ha ve been p retty ba d.”
And it wa s. Simon knew tha t name, Jorda n. It ha d come up bef
ore, when he’d a sked her
how she’d been turned into a werewolf . Her ex-boyfriend ha d done it
, she’d sa id. He’d done
it with a sa va ge a nd vicious a tta ck, a nd he’d run oʃ a f terwa rd
, lea ving her to dea l with the
a f terma th a lone.
His name ha d been Jorda n.
Tha t wa s why Kyle ha d only one name next to his door buzzer. Be
ca use it wa s his las t
name. His full name must ha ve been Jorda n Kyle, Simon rea lized.
He’d been stup id,
unbelieva bly stup id, not to ha ve ɹgured it out before. Not tha t h
e needed a nother rea son to
ha te himself right now.
Kyle—or ra ther, Jorda n—wa s a werewolf ; he hea led fa st. By the ti
me Simon ha d ha uled
him, none too gently, to his feet a nd ha d led him ba ck over to
his ca r, the deep sla shes in
his throa t a nd under the torn ra gs of his shirt ha d hea led to
crusted-over sca rs. Simon ha d
ta ken his keys from him a nd driven them ba ck to Ma nha tta n mostl
y in silence, Jorda n
sitting a lmost motionless in the p a ssenger sea t, sta ring down a t his bloo
dy ha nds.
“Ma ureen’s ɹne,” he’d sa id ɹna lly a s they drove over the Williamsburg Bridge.
“It looked
worse tha n it wa s. You’re not tha t good a t feeding oʃ huma ns yet,
so she ha dn’t lost too
much blood. I p ut her in a ca b. She doesn’t remember a nything.
She thinks she fa inted in
front of you, a nd she’s rea lly emba rra ssed.”
Simon knew he ought to tha nk Jorda n, but he couldn’t bring himself
to do it. “You’re
Jorda n,” he sa id. “Ma ia ’s old boyfriend. The one who turned her into a werewolf
They were on Kenma re now; Simon turned north, hea ding up the Bow
ery with its
f lop houses a nd lighting stores. “Yea h,” Jorda n sa id a t la st. “Kyle’s my la st
name. I sta rted to
go by it when I joined the Pra etor.”
“She would’ve killed you if Isa belle ha d let her.”
“She ha s a p erfect right to kill me if she wa nts to,” sa id Jorda
n, a nd fell silent. He didn’t
sa y a nything else a s Simon found p a rking a nd they trudged up t
he sta irs to the a p a rtment.
He’d gone into his room without even ta king of f his bloody ja cket, a nd slamm
ed the door.
Simon ha d p a cked his things into his ba ckp a ck a nd ha d been a
bout to lea ve the
a p a rtment when he’d hesita ted. He wa sn’t sure why, even now, but

instea d of lea ving he’d
drop p ed his ba g by the door a nd come ba ck to sit in this cha ir, where he’d
sta yed a ll night.
He wished he could ca ll Cla ry, but it wa s too ea rly in the mor
ning, a nd besides, Isa belle
ha d sa id she a nd Ja ce ha d gone oʃ together, a nd the thought of
interrup ting some sp ecia l
moment of theirs wa sn’t a p p ea ling. He wondered how his mother wa
s. If she could ha ve
seen him la st night, with Ma ureen, she would ha ve thought he wa
s every bit the monster
she’d a ccused him of being.
Ma ybe he wa s.
He looked up a s Jorda n’s door cra cked op en a nd Jorda n emerged.
He wa s ba refoot, still
in the same jea ns a nd shirt he’d been wea ring yesterda y. The sca r
s on his throa t ha d fa ded
to red lines. He looked a t Simon. His ha zel eyes, norma lly so
bright a nd cheerful, were
da rkly sha dowed. “I thought you would lea ve,” he sa id.
“I wa s going to,” Simon sa id. “But then I f igured I ought to give you a cha nce t
o exp la in.”
“There’s nothing to exp la in.” Jorda n shuʀed into the kitchen a nd dug a round in a d
until he p roduced a cof fee f ilter. “Wha tever Ma ia sa id a bout me, I’m sure
it wa s true.”
“She sa id you hit her,” Simon sa id.
Jorda n, in the kitchen, went very still. He looked down a t the ɹl
ter a s if he were no
longer quite sure wha t it wa s for.
“She sa id you guys went out for months a nd everything wa s grea t,” Si
mon went on.
“Then you turned violent a nd jea lous. When she ca lled you on it,
you hit her. She broke up
with you, a nd when she wa s wa lking home one night, something a t
ta cked her a nd nea rly
killed her. And you—you took of f out of town. No a p ology, no exp la na tio
Jorda n set the ɹlter down on the counter. “How did she get here? How
did she ɹnd Luke
Ga rrowa y’s p a ck?”
Simon shook his hea d. “She hop p ed a tra in to New York a nd tra c
ked them down. She’s a
survivor, Ma ia . She didn’t let wha t you did to her wreck her. A lot of p eo
p le would ha ve.”
“Is this why you sta yed?” a sked Jorda n. “To tell me I’m a ba sta rd? B
eca use I a lrea dy
know tha t.”
“I sta yed,” Simon sa id, “beca use of wha t I did la st night. If I’d
found out a bout you
yesterda y, I would ha ve lef t. But a f ter wha t I did to Ma uree
n…” He chewed his lip . “I
thought I ha d control over wha t ha p p ened to me a nd I didn’t, a
nd I hurt someone who
didn’t deserve it. So tha t’s why I’m sta ying.”
“Beca use if I’m not a monster, then you’re not a monster.”
“Beca use I wa nt to know how to go on, now, a nd ma ybe you ca n
tell me.” Simon lea ned
forwa rd. “Beca use you’ve been a good guy to me since I met you. I’ve
never seen you be

mea n or get a ngry. And then I thought a bout the Wolf Gua rd, a
nd how you sa id you joined
it beca use you’d done ba d things. And I thought Ma ia wa s ma ybe
the ba d thing you’d done
tha t you were trying to ma ke up for.”
“I wa s,” sa id Jorda n. “She is.”
Cla ry sa t a t her desk in Luke’s sma ll sp a re room, the scra p o
f cloth she’d ta ken from the
Beth Isra el morgue sp rea d out in front of her. She’d weighted it
down on either side with
p encils a nd wa s hovering over it, stele in ha nd, trying to reme
mber the rune tha t ha d come
to her in the hosp ita l.
It wa s ha rd to concentra te. She kep t thinking a bout Ja ce, a bo
ut la st night. Where he
might ha ve gone. Why he wa s so unha p p y. She ha dn’t rea lized un
til she ha d seen him tha t
he wa s a s misera ble a s she wa s, a nd it tore a t her hea rt.
She wa nted to ca ll him, but ha d
held herself ba ck from doing so severa l times since she’d gotten hom
e. If he wa s going to
tell her wha t the p roblem wa s, he’d ha ve to do it without being
a sked. She knew him well
enough to know tha t.
She closed her eyes, a nd tried to force herself to p icture the r
une. It wa sn’t one she’d
invented, she wa s p retty sure. It wa s one tha t a ctua lly existe
d, though she wa sn’t sure she’d
seen it in the Gra y Book. Its sha p e sp oke to her less of tra
nsla tion tha n of revela tion, of
showing the sha p e of something hidden belowground, blowing the dust
awa y from it slowly
to rea d the inscrip tion benea th.…
The stele twitched in her ɹngers, a nd she op ened her eyes to ɹnd, t
o her surp rise, tha t
she’d ma na ged to tra ce a sma ll p a ttern on the edge of the fa b
ric. It looked a lmost like a
blot, with odd bits going oʃ every which wa y, a nd she frowned, wo
ndering if she wa s
losing her skill. But the fa bric bega n to shimmer, like hea t rising oʃ hot bl
a cktop . She sta red
a s words unfolded a cross the cloth a s if a n invisible ha nd wa s writing th
Prop erty of the Church of Ta lto. 232 Riverside Drive.
A hum of excitement went through her. It wa s a clue, a rea l
clue. And she’d found it
herself , without a ny help from a nyone else.
232 Riverside Drive. Tha t wa s on the Up p er West Side, she thoug
ht, by Riverside Pa rk,
just a cross the wa ter from New Jersey. Not tha t long a trip a t a ll. The
Church of Ta lto. Cla ry
set the stele down with a worried frown. Wha tever tha t wa s, it
sounded like ba d news. She
scooted her cha ir over to Luke’s old desktop comp uter a nd p ulled u
p the Internet. She
couldn’t sa y she wa s surp rised tha t typ ing in “Church of Ta lto” p roduced no
comp rehensible
results. Wha tever ha d been written there on the corner of the clot
h ha d been in Purga tic, or
Cthonia n, or some other demon la ngua ge.

One thing she wa s sure of : Wha tever the Church of Ta lto wa s, it w
a s secret, a nd p roba bly
ba d. If it wa s mixed up with turning huma n ba bies into things
with claws for ha nds, it
wa sn’t a ny kind of a rea l religion. Cla ry wondered if the mothe
r who’d dump ed her ba by
nea r the hosp ita l wa s a member of the church, a nd if she kn
ew wha t she’d gotten herself
into before her ba by wa s born.
She felt cold a ll over a s she rea ched for her p hone—a nd p a used
with it in ha nd. She ha d
been a bout to ca ll her mother, but she couldn’t ca ll Jocelyn a bout this. Joc
elyn ha d only just
stop p ed crying a nd a greed to go out, with Luke, to look a t ri
ngs. And while Cla ry thought
her mother wa s strong enough to ha ndle wha tever the truth turned o
ut to be, she’d
doubtless get in ma ssive trouble with the Cla ve for ha ving ta ken
her investiga tion this fa r
without informing them.
Luke. But Luke wa s with her mother. She couldn’t ca ll him.
Ma ryse, ma ybe. The mere idea of ca lling her seemed a lien a nd
intimida ting. Plus, Cla ry
knew—without quite wa nting to a dmit to herself tha t it wa s a fa c
tor—tha t if she let the
Cla ve ta ke this over, she’d be benched. Pushed oʃ to the sidelines o
f a mystery tha t seemed
intensely p ersona l. Not to mention tha t it felt like betra ying her mother t
o the Cla ve.
But to go running oʃ on her own, not knowing wha t she’d ɹnd… Well, she
ha d tra ining,
but not that much tra ining. And she knew she ha d a tendency to a
ct ɹrst, think la ter.
Relucta ntly she p ulled the p hone towa rd her, hesita ted a moment—a nd sen
t a quick text: 232
. She hit the send button a nd sa t for a
moment until the screen lit up with a n a nswering buzz: OK.
With a sigh Cla ry set down the p hone, a nd went to get her wea p ons.
“I loved Ma ia ,” Jorda n sa id. He wa s sitting on the futon now, ha
ving ɹna lly ma na ged to
ma ke coʃee, though he ha dn’t drunk a ny of it. He wa s just holding
the mug in his ha nds,
turning it a round a nd a round a s he ta lked. “You ha ve to know th
a t, before I tell you
a nything else. We both came from this disma l hellhole of a town in New Jers
ey, a nd she got
endless cra p beca use her da d wa s bla ck a nd her mom wa s white.
She ha d a brother, too,
who wa s a tota l p sychop a th. I don’t know if she told you a bout him. Da n
“Not much,” Simon sa id.
“With a ll tha t, her life wa s p retty hellish, but she didn’t let it
get her down. I met her in a
music store, buying old records. Vinyl, right. We got to ta lking,
a nd I rea lized she wa s
ba sica lly the coolest girl for miles a round. Bea utiful, too. And
sweet.” Jorda n’s eyes were
dista nt. “We went out, a nd it wa s fa nta stic. We were tota lly in lov
e. The wa y you a re when

you’re sixteen. Then I got bit. I wa s in a ɹght one night, a t a club. I
used to get into ɹghts a
lot. I wa s used to getting kicked a nd p unched, but bitten? I th
ought the guy who’d done it
wa s cra zy, but wha tever. I went to the hosp ita l, got stitched up , forg
ot a bout it.
“About three weeks la ter it sta rted to hit. Wa ves of uncontrolla bl
e ra ge a nd a nger. My
vision would just bla ck out, a nd I wouldn’t know wha t wa s ha p p e
ning. I p unched my ha nd
through my kitchen window beca use a drawer wa s stuck shut. I wa s
cra zy jea lous a bout
Ma ia , convinced she wa s looking a t other guys, convinced … I don’t
even know wha t I
thought. I just know I sna p p ed. I hit her. I wa nt to sa y I
don’t remember doing it, but I do.
And then she broke up with me…” His voice tra iled oʃ. He took a swa
llow of coʃee; he
looked sick, Simon thought. He must not ha ve told this story much
before. Or ever. “A
coup le nights la ter I went to a p a rty a nd she wa s there. Da
ncing with a nother guy. Kissing
him like she wa nted to p rove to me it wa s over. It wa s a ba
d night for her to choose, not
tha t she could ha ve known tha t. It wa s the ɹrst full moon since
I’d been bitten.” His
knuckles were white where he grip p ed the cup . “The ɹrst time I ever
Cha nged. The
tra nsforma tion rip p ed through my body a nd tore my bones a nd skin
a p a rt. I wa s in a gony,
a nd not just beca use of tha t. I wa nted her, wa nted her to come ba ck, w
a nted to exp la in, but
a ll I could do wa s howl. I took of f running through the streets, a nd tha
t wa s when I saw her,
crossing the p a rk nea r her house. She wa s going home…”
“And you a tta cked her,” Simon sa id. “You bit her.”
“Yea h.” Jorda n sta red blindly into the p a st. “When I woke up the ne
xt morning, I knew
wha t I’d done. I tried to go to her house, to exp la in. I wa s
ha lfwa y there when a big guy
step p ed into my p a th a nd sta red me down. He knew who I wa s, knew everyt
hing a bout me.
He exp la ined he wa s a member of the Pra etor Lup us a nd he’d bee
n a ssigned to me. He
wa sn’t too ha p p y tha t he’d gotten there too la te, tha t I’d a lrea d
y bitten someone. He
wouldn’t let me go a nywhere nea r her. He sa id I’d just ma ke it worse. He p rom
ised the Wolf
Gua rd would be wa tching over her. He told me tha t since I’d bitten a
huma n a lrea dy, which
wa s strictly forbidden, the only wa y I’d eva de p unishment wa s to
join the Gua rd a nd get
tra ined to control myself .
“I wouldn’t ha ve done it. I would ha ve sp it on him a nd ta ken wha
tever p unishment they
wa nted to ha nd out. I ha ted myself tha t much. But when he exp
la ined tha t I’d be a ble to
help other p eop le like me, ma ybe stop wha t ha d ha p p ened to me a nd Ma
ia from ha p p ening
a ga in, it wa s like I saw a light in the da rkness, wa y oʃ in

the future. Like ma ybe it wa s a
cha nce to f ix wha t I’d done.”
“Oka y,” Simon sa id slowly. “But isn’t it kind of a weird coincidence th
a t you wound up
a ssigned to me? A guy who wa s da ting the girl you once bit a nd turned into a
“No coincidence,” Jorda n sa id. “Your ɹle wa s one of a bunch I got ha
nded. I p icked you
be caus e Ma ia wa s mentioned in the notes. A werewolf a nd a vamp ire da
ting. You know, it’s
kind of a big dea l. It wa s the ɹrst time I rea lized she’d become
a werewolf a f ter I—a f ter
wha t I did.”
“You never checked up to f ind out? Tha t seems kind of—”
“I tried. The Pra etor didn’t wa nt me to, but I did wha t I could t
o ɹnd out wha t ha p p ened
to her. I knew she ra n awa y from home, but she ha d a cra p p
y home life a nywa y, so tha t
didn’t tell me a nything. And it’s not like there’s some na tiona l registry of were
wolves where
I could look her up . I just … hop ed she ha dn’t Turned.”
“So you took my a ssignment beca use of Ma ia ?”
Jorda n ɻushed. “I thought ma ybe if I met you, I could ɹnd out wha t
ha p p ened to her. If
she wa s oka y.”
“Tha t’s why you told me oʃ for two-timing her,” sa id Simon, thinking ba c
k. “You were
being p rotective.”
Jorda n gla red a t him over the rim of the cof fee cup . “Yea h, well, it wa
s a jerk move.”
“And you’re the one who shoved the ɻyer for the ba nd p erforma nce under
her door.
Aren’t you?” Simon shook his hea d. “So, wa s messing with my love life
p a rt of the
a ssignment, or just your p ersona l extra touch?”
“I screwed her over,” Jorda n sa id. “I didn’t wa nt to see her screwed ov
er by someone
“And it didn’t occur to you tha t if she showed up a t our p erforma
nce she’d try to rip your
fa ce oʃ? If she ha dn’t been la te, ma ybe she even would ha ve done
it while you were
onsta ge. Tha t would ha ve been a n exciting extra for the a udience.”
“I didn’t know,” Jorda n sa id. “I didn’t rea lize she ha ted me so much. I
mea n, I don’t ha te
the guy who Turned me; I kind of understa nd tha t he might not h
a ve been in control of
himself .”
“Yea h,” sa id Simon, “but you never love d tha t guy. You never ha d a
rela tionship with
him. Ma ia loved you. She thinks you bit her a nd then you ditche
d a nd never thought a bout
her a ga in. She’s going to ha te you a s much a s she loved you once.”
Before Jorda n could rep ly, the doorbell ra ng—not the buzzer tha t wo
uld ha ve sounded if
someone ha d been downsta irs, ca lling up , but the one tha t could
be rung only if the visitor
wa s sta nding in the ha llwa y outside their door. The boys excha ng
ed baʀed looks. “Are you
exp ecting someone?” Simon a sked.

Jorda n shook his hea d a nd p ut the coʃee cup down. Together they
went into the sma ll
entrywa y. Jorda n gestured for Simon to sta nd behind him before he swung the
door op en.
There wa s no one there. Instea d there wa s a folded p iece of p
a p er on the welcome ma t,
weighed down by a solid-looking hunk of rock. Jorda n bent to free
the p a p er a nd
stra ightened up with a frown.
“It’s for you,” he sa id, ha nding it to Simon.
Puzzled, Simon unfolded the p a p er. Printed a cross the center, in childish
block letters, wa s
the messa ge:
“It’s a joke,” Simon sa id, sta ring numbly a t the p a p er. “It ha s to be.”
Without a word Jorda n gra bbed Simon’s a rm a nd ha uled him into the living roo
m. Letting
go of him, he rooted a round for the cordless p hone until he foun
d it. “Ca ll her,” he sa id,
sla p p ing the p hone a ga inst Simon’s chest. “Ca ll Ma ia a nd ma ke sure she’s a
ll right.”
“But it might not be her.” Simon sta red down a t the p hone a s the f
ull horror of the
situa tion buzzed a round his bra in like a ghoul buzzing a round the
outside of a house,
begging to be let in. Focus , he told himself . Don’t panic. “It might be Isa be
“Oh, Jesus.” Jorda n glowered a t him. “Do you ha ve a ny other girlfrien
ds? Do we ha ve to
ma ke a list of names to ca ll?”
Simon ya nked the p hone awa y from him a nd turned awa y, p unching in the num
Ma ia a nswered on the second ring. “Hello?”
“Ma ia—it’s Simon.”
The friendliness went out of her voice. “Oh. Wha t do you wa nt?”
“I just wa nted to check tha t you were oka y,” he sa id.
“I’m ɹne.” She sp oke stiʀy. “It’s not like wha t wa s going on with us wa s
ll tha t serious.
I’m not ha p p y, but I’ll live. You’re still a n a ss, though.”
“No,” Simon sa id. “I mea n I wa nted to check tha t you were okay.”
“Is this a bout Jorda n?” He could hea r the tense a nger when she sa id
his name. “Right.
You guys went oʃ together, didn’t you? You’re friends or something, right
? Well, you ca n
tell him to sta y awa y from me. In fa ct, tha t goes for both of you.”
She hung up . The dia l tone buzzed down the p hone like a n a ngry bee.
Simon looked a t Jorda n. “She’s ɹne. She ha tes us both, but it rea ll
y didn’t sound like
a nything else wa s wrong.”
“Fine,” Jorda n sa id tightly. “Ca ll Isa belle.”
It took two tries before Izzy p icked up ; Simon wa s nea rly in a p a ni
c by the time her voice
came down the line, sounding distra cted a nd a nnoyed. “Whoever this
is, it ha d better be
Relief p oured through his veins. “Isa belle. It’s Simon.”
“Oh, for God’s sa ke. Wha t do you wa nt?”
“I just wa nted to ma ke sure you were oka y—”

“Oh, wha t, I’m sup p osed to be deva sta ted beca use you’re a chea ting
, lying, two-timing
son of a—”
“No.” This wa s rea lly sta rting to wea r on Simon’s nerves. “I mea nt, a re you a
ll right? You
ha ven’t been kidna p p ed or a nything?”
There wa s a long silence. “Simon,” Isa belle sa id ɹna lly. “This is rea
lly, seriously, the
stup idest excuse for a whiny ma keup ca ll tha t I ha ve ever, ev
er hea rd. Wha t’s wrong with
“I’m not sure,” Simon sa id, a nd hung up before she could ha ng up on
him. He ha nded the
p hone to Jorda n. “She’s f ine too.”
“I don’t get it.” Jorda n looked bewildered. “Who ma kes a threa t like th
a t if it’s tota lly
emp ty? I mea n, it’s so ea sy to check a nd f ind out it’s a lie.”
“They must think I’m stup id,” Simon bega n, a nd then p a used, a horrib
le thought dawning
on him. He sna tched the p hone ba ck from Jorda n a nd sta rted to dia l with
numb f ingers.
“Who is it?” Jorda n sa id. “Who a re you ca lling?”
Cla ry’s p hone ra ng just a s she turned the corner of Ninety-sixth S
treet onto Riverside Drive.
The ra in seemed to ha ve wa shed awa y the city’s usua l dirt; the s
un shone down from a
brillia nt sky onto the bright green strip of the p a rk running a
longside the river, whose
wa ter looked nea rly blue toda y.
She dug into her ba g for her p hone, found it, a nd f lip p ed it op en. “Hell
Simon’s voice came down the line. “Oh, tha nk—” He broke oʃ. “Are you a ll
right? You’re
not kidna p p ed or a nything?”
“ Kidnappe d?” Cla ry p eered up a t the numbers of the buildings a s she wa lked
up town. 220,
224. She wa sn’t entirely sure wha t she wa s looking for. Would it l
ook like a church?
Something else, glamoured to look like a n a ba ndoned lot? “Are you drunk or som
“It’s a little ea rly for tha t.” The relief in his voice wa s p la in.
“No, I just—I got a weird
note. Someone threa tening to go a f ter my girlfriend.”
“Which one?”
“Ha r de ha r.” Simon did not sound amused. “I ca lled Ma ia a nd Isa be
lle a lrea dy, a nd
they’re both ɹne. Then I thought of you—I mea n, we sp end a lot of
time together. Someone
might get the wrong idea . But now I don’t know wha t to think.”
“I dunno.” 232 Riverside Drive loomed up in front of Cla ry suddenly,
a big squa re stone
building with a p ointed roof . It could ha ve been a church a t o
ne p oint, she thought, though
it didn’t look much like one now.
“Ma ia a nd Isa belle found out a bout ea ch other la st night, by th
e wa y. It wa sn’t p retty,”
Simon a dded. “You were right a bout the p la ying-with-f ire bit.”
Cla ry examined the fa ca de of number 232. Most of the ediɹces lini
ng the drive were
exp ensive a p a rtment buildings, with doormen in livery wa iting insi

de. This one, though,
ha d only a set of ta ll wooden doors with curved top s, a nd old
-fa shioned-looking meta l
ha ndles instea d of doorknobs. “Ooh, ouch. Sorry, Simon. Are eithe
r of them sp ea king to
“Not rea lly.”
She took hold of one of the ha ndles, a nd p ushed. The door sli
d op en with a sof t hissing
noise. Cla ry drop p ed her voice. “Ma ybe one of them lef t the note?”
“It doesn’t rea lly seem like their style,” sa id Simon, sounding genuinely
p uzzled. “Do you
think Ja ce would ha ve done it?”
The sound of his name wa s like a p unch to the stoma ch. Cla ry ca ught her
brea th a nd sa id,
“I rea lly don’t think he’d do tha t, even if he wa s a ngry.” She drew the p hone aw
a y from her
ea r. Peering a round the ha lf -op en door, she could see wha t loo
ked rea ssuringly like the
inside of a norma l church—a long a isle, a nd ɻickering lights like
ca ndles. Surely it couldn’t
hurt just to ta ke a p eek inside. “I ha ve to go, Simon,” she sa id. “I’ll ca ll yo
u la ter.”
She f lip p ed her p hone closed a nd step p ed inside.
“You rea lly think it wa s a joke?” Jorda n wa s p rowling up a nd dow
n the a p a rtment like a
tiger p a cing its ca ge a t the zoo. “I dunno. It seems like a rea lly sick so
rt of joke to me.”
“I didn’t sa y it wa sn’t sick.” Simon gla nced a t the note; it la y on
the coʃee ta ble, the
block-p rinted letters clea rly visible even a t a dista nce. Just looking a t
it ga ve him a lurching
feeling in his stoma ch, even though he knew it wa s mea ningless. “I’m
just trying to think
who might ha ve sent it. And why.”
“Ma ybe I should ta ke the da y oʃ wa tching you a nd keep a n eye on
her,” sa id Jorda n.
“You know, just in ca se.”
“I a ssume you’re ta lking a bout Ma ia ,” sa id Simon. “I know you mea n w
ell, but I rea lly
don’t think she wa nts you a round. In a ny ca p a city.”
Jorda n’s jaw tightened. “I’d sta y out of the wa y so she wouldn’t see me.”
“Wow. You’re still rea lly into her, a ren’t you?”
“I ha ve a p ersona l resp onsibility.” Jorda n sounded stiʃ. “Wha tever else
I feel doesn’t
ma tter.”
“You ca n do wha t you wa nt,” Simon sa id. “But I think—”
The door buzzer sounded a ga in. The two boys excha nged a single look before
both bolting
down the na rrow ha llwa y to the door. Jorda n got there ɹrst. He g
ra bbed for the coa tra ck
tha t stood by the door, rip p ed the coa ts oʃ it, a nd ɻung the doo
r wide, the ra ck held a bove
his hea d like a ja velin.
On the other side of the door wa s Ja ce. He blinked. “Is tha t a coa tra ck?”
Jorda n slammed the coa tra ck down on the ground a nd sighed. “If yo
u’d been a vamp ire,
this would ha ve been a lot more useful.”
“Yes,” sa id Ja ce. “Or, you know, just someone with a lot of coa ts.”
Simon stuck his hea d a round Jorda n a nd sa id, “Sorry. We’ve ha d a stressful

“Yea h, well,” sa id Ja ce. “It’s a bout to get more stressful. I came to
bring you to the
Institute, Simon. The Concla ve wa nts to see you, a nd they don’t like ha ving
to wa it.”
The moment the door of the Church of Ta lto shut behind Cla ry, s
he felt tha t she wa s in
a nother world, the noise a nd bustle of New York City entirely shut out
. The sp a ce inside the
building wa s big a nd lof ty, with high ceilings soa ring a bove. T
here wa s a na rrow a isle
ba nked by rows of p ews, a nd fa t brown ca ndles burned in sconce
s bolted a long the wa lls.
The interior seemed dimly lit to Cla ry, but p erha p s tha t wa s just beca us
e she wa s used to the
brightness of witchlight.
She moved a long the a isle, the trea d of her snea kers sof t a ga
inst the dusty stone. It wa s
odd, she thought, a church with no windows a t a ll. At the end
of the a isle she rea ched the
a p se, where a set of stone step s led to a p odium on which w
a s disp la yed a n a lta r. She
blinked up a t it, rea lizing wha t else wa s stra nge: There were
no crosses in this church.
Instea d there wa s a n up right stone ta blet on the a lta r, crowne
d by the ca rved ɹgure of a n
owl. The words on the ta blet rea d:
Cla ry blinked. She wa sn’t too familia r with the Bible—she certa inly d
idn’t ha ve a nything
like Ja ce’s nea r-p erfect reca ll of la rge p a ssa ges of it—but while
tha t sounded religious, it
wa s a lso a n odd bit of text to fea ture in a church. She shivered, a nd d
rew closer to the a lta r,
where a la rge closed book ha d been lef t out. One of the p a ge
s seemed to be ma rked; when
Cla ry rea ched to op en the book, she rea lized tha t wha t she’d thought wa s a
bookma rk wa s a
bla ck-ha ndled da gger ca rved with occult symbols. She’d seen p ictures
of these before in her
textbooks. It wa s a n athame , of ten used in demonic summoning ritua ls.
Her stoma ch went cold, but she bent to sca n the ma rked p a ge a
nywa y, determined to
lea rn something—only to discover tha t it wa s written in a cramp ed,
stylized ha nd tha t
would ha ve been ha rd to decip her ha d the book been in English. It wa sn’t; i
t wa s in a sha rp ,
sp iky-looking a lp ha bet tha t she wa s sure she’d never seen before.
The words were below a n
illustra tion of wha t Cla ry recognized a s a summoning circle—the kin
d of p a ttern wa rlocks
tra ced on the ground before they ena cted sp ells. The circles were
mea nt to draw down a nd
concentra te ma gica l p ower. This one, sp la shed a cross the p a ge in gree
n ink, looked like two
concentric circles, with a squa re in the center of them. In the
sp a ce between the circles,

runes were scrawled. Cla ry didn’t recognize them, but she could feel
the la ngua ge of the
runes in her bones, a nd it ma de her shiver. Dea th a nd blood.
She turned the p a ge ha stily, a nd came on a group of illustra
tions tha t ma de her suck in
her brea th.
It wa s a p rogression of p ictures tha t sta rted with the ima ge
of a woma n with a bird
p erched on her lef t shoulder. The bird, p ossibly a ra ven, look
ed sinister a nd cunning. In the
second p icture the bird wa s gone, a nd the woma n wa s obviously p
regna nt. In the third
ima ge the woma n wa s lying on a n a lta r not unlike the one Cla r
y wa s sta nding in front of
now. A robed ɹgure wa s sta nding in front of her, a ja rringly mo
dern-looking syringe in its
ha nd. The syringe wa s full of da rk red liquid. The woma n clea
rly knew she wa s a bout to be
injected with it, beca use she wa s screaming.
In the la st p icture the woma n wa s sitting with a ba by on her la p .
The ba by looked a lmost
norma l, excep t tha t its eyes were entirely bla ck, without whites
a t a ll. The woma n wa s
looking down a t her child with a look of terror.
Cla ry felt the ha irs on the ba ck of her neck p rickle. Her moth
er ha d been right. Someone
wa s trying to ma ke more ba bies like Jona tha n. In fa ct, they a lrea dy ha
She step p ed ba ck from the a lta r. Every nerve in her body wa s
screaming tha t there wa s
something very wrong with this p la ce. She didn’t think she could sp
end a nother second
here; better to go outside a nd wa it there for the ca va lry to a
rrive. She might ha ve
discovered this clue on her own, but the result wa s wa y more tha
n she could ha ndle on her
It wa s then tha t she hea rd the sound.
A sof t susurra tion, like a slow tide p ulling ba ck, tha t seemed
to come from a bove her. She
looked up , the athame grip p ed ɹrmly in her ha nd. And sta red. Al
l a round the up sta irs
ga llery stood rows of silent ɹgures. They wore wha t looked like gra
y tra cksuits—snea kers,
dull gra y swea ts, a nd zip -up top s with hoods p ulled down over
their fa ces. They were
utterly motionless, their ha nds on the ga llery ra iling, sta ring d
own a t her. At lea st, she
a ssumed they were sta ring. Their fa ces were hidden entirely in sha
dow; she couldn’t even
tell if they were ma le or fema le.
“I … I’m sorry,” she sa id. Her voice echoed loudly in the stone room. “I
didn’t mea n to
intrude, or…”
There wa s no a nswer but silence. Silence like a weight. Cla ry’s hea rt bega
n to bea t fa ster.
“I’ll just go, then,” she sa id, swa llowing ha rd. She step p ed forwa rd, la id
the athame on the
a lta r, a nd turned to lea ve. She ca ught the scent on the a ir
then, a sp lit second before she

turned—the familia r stench of rotting ga rba ge. Between her a nd the
door, rising up like a
wa ll, wa s a nightma rish mishma sh of sca led skin, bla delike teeth, a n
d rea ching claws.
For the p a st seven weeks Cla ry ha d tra ined to fa ce down a dem
on in ba ttle, even a
ma ssive one. But now tha t it wa s a ctua lly ha p p ening, a ll she could do
wa s scream.
The demon lung ed for Cla ry, a nd she stopped screa ming a brup tly
a nd ɻung herself
ba ckwa rd, over the a lta r—a p erfect ɻip , a nd for one biza rre mom
ent she wished Ja ce ha d
been there to see it. She hit the ground in a crouch, just a s
something struck the a lta r ha rd,
ma king the stone vibra te.
A howl sounded through the church. Cla ry scrambled to her knees a n
d p eered over the
edge of the a lta r. The demon wa sn’t a s big a s she’d ɹrst thought,
but it wa sn’t sma ll, either
—a bout the size of a refrigera tor, with three hea ds on swa ying sta lks. Th
e hea ds were blind,
with enormous ga p ing jaws from which rop es of greenish drool hung. The d
emon seemed to
ha ve sma cked its lef tmost hea d on the a lta r when it gra bbed for her
, beca use it wa s sha king
the hea d ba ck a nd forth a s if trying to clea r it.
Cla ry gla nced up wildly, but the tra cksuited ɹgures were still where they ha
d been before.
None of them ha d moved. They seemed to be wa tching wha t wa s go
ing on with a deta ched
interest. She sp un a nd looked behind her, but there a p p ea red t
o be no exits from the church
besides the door she’d come through, a nd the demon wa s currently blo
cking her p a th ba ck
to it. Rea lizing she wa s wa sting p recious seconds, she scrambled to
her feet a nd gra bbed for
t he athame . She ya nked it oʃ the a lta r a nd ducked ba ck down jus
t a s the demon came for
her a ga in. She rolled to the side a s a hea d, swa ying on a thick sta lk
of neck, da rted over the
a lta r, its thick bla ck tongue ɻicking out, sea rching for her. Wit
h a scream she jammed the
athame into the crea ture’s neck once, then jerked it free, scramblin
g ba ckwa rd a nd out of
the wa y.
The thing screamed, its hea d rea ring ba ck, bla ck blood sp ra ying
from the wound she’d
ma de. But it wa sn’t a killing blow. Even a s Cla ry wa tched, the woun
d bega n to hea l slowly,
the demon’s bla ckish green ɻesh knitting together like fa bric being sewe
d up . Her hea rt
sa nk. Of course. The whole rea son Sha dowhunters used runed wea p
ons wa s tha t the runes
p revented demons from hea ling.
She rea ched for the stele in her belt with her lef t ha nd, a nd
ya nked it free just a s the
demon came for her a ga in. She lea p ed to the side a nd threw her
self p a infully down the

sta irs, rolling until she fetched up a ga inst the ɹrst row of p ew
s. The demon turned,
lumbering a bit a s it moved, a nd ma de for her a ga in. Rea lizi
ng she wa s still clutching both
the stele a nd the da gger—in fa ct, the da gger ha d cut her a s she
ha d rolled, a nd blood wa s
quickly sta ining the front of her ja cket—she tra nsferred the da gger
to her lef t ha nd, the
stele to her right, a nd with a desp era te swif tness, cut a n e nke li rune
into the athame ’s hilt.
The other symbols on the hilt bega n to melt a nd run a s the rune
of a ngelic p ower took
hold. Cla ry looked up ; the demon wa s a lmost on her, its three
hea ds rea ching, their mouths
ga p ing. Prop elling herself to her feet, she drew her a rm ba ck
a nd ɻung the da gger a s ha rd
a s she could. To her grea t surp rise, it struck the middle hea d
right in the center of the skull,
sinking in up to the hilt. The hea d thra shed a s the demon screa
med—Cla ry’s hea rt lif ted—
a nd then the hea d simp ly drop p ed, hitting the ground with a si
ckening thud. The demon
kep t coming a nywa y, dra gging the now-dea d hea d on its limp nec
k a f ter it a s it moved
towa rd Cla ry.
The sound of ma ny footstep s came from a bove. Cla ry looked up .
The tra cksuited ɹgures
were gone, the ga llery emp ty. The sight wa s not rea ssuring. Her hea rt do
ing a wild ta ngo in
her chest, Cla ry turned a nd ra n for the front door, but the dem
on wa s fa ster tha n she wa s.
With a grunt of eʃort it la unched itself ove r her a nd la nded in
front of the doors, blocking
her wa y out. Ma king a hissing noise, it moved towa rd her, its
two living hea ds swa ying,
then rising, stretching to their full length in order to strike a t her—
Something ɻa shed through the a ir, a da rting ɻame of silvery gold.
The demon’s hea ds
whip p ed a round, the hissing rising to a scream, but it wa s too
la te—the silvery thing tha t
encircled them p ulled tight, a nd with a sp ra y of bla ckish bloo
d, its rema ining two hea ds
shea red awa y. Cla ry rolled out of the wa y a s ɻying blood sp la t
tered her, sea ring her skin.
Then she ducked her hea d a s the hea dless body swa yed, fell towa rd her—
And wa s gone. As it wa s colla p sing, the demon va nished, sucked
ba ck to its home
dimension. Cla ry ra ised her hea d ca utiously. The front doors of
the church were op en, a nd
in the entra ncewa y stood Isa belle, in boots a nd a bla ck dress,
her electrum whip in ha nd.
She wa s winding it ba ck slowly a round her wrist, gla ncing a round
the church a s she did so,
her da rk eyebrows drawn together in a curious frown. As her ga ze
fell on Cla ry, she
“Damn, girl,” she sa id. “Wha t ha ve you gotten yourself into now?”
The touch of the vamp ire serva nts’ ha nds on Simon’s skin wa s cold a
nd light, like the touch
of icy wings. He shuddered a little a s they unwound the blindfold

from a round his hea d,
their withered skin rough on his, before they step p ed ba ck, bowing a s they
retrea ted.
He looked a round, blinking. Moments a go, he ha d been sta nding i
n the sunlight on the
corner of Seventy-Eighth Street a nd Second Avenue—enough of a dista nce from t
he Institute
tha t he ha d judged it sa fe to use the gra ve-dirt to conta ct Cam
ille without a rousing her
susp icions. Now he wa s in a dimly lit room, quite la rge, with
a smooth ma rble ɻoor a nd
elega nt ma rble p illa rs holding up a high ceiling. Along the lef
t wa ll ra n a row of gla ssfronted cubicles, ea ch with a bra s
s-lettered p la que ha nging over it tha t rea d TELLER. Another
bra ss p la que on the wa ll p rocla imed this to be the DOUGLAS NATIO
NAL BANK. Thick la yers of dust
p a dded the ɻoor a nd the counters where p eop le ha d once stood to
write out checks or
withdrawa l slip s, a nd the bra ss-bound lamp s tha t hung from the
ceiling were coa ted with
In the center of the room wa s a high a rmcha ir, a nd in the ch
a ir sa t Camille. Her silveryblond ha ir wa s undone, a nd ra ined
down over her shoulders like tinsel. Her bea utiful fa ce
ha d been wip ed clea n of ma keup , but her lip s were still very
red. In the dimness of the
ba nk, they were a lmost the only color Simon could see.
“I would not norma lly a gree to meet during sunlight hours, Da ylighte
r,” she sa id. “But
since it is you, I ha ve ma de a n excep tion.”
“Tha nk you.” He noticed no cha ir ha d been p rovided for him, so he
continued awkwa rdly
sta nding. If his hea rt still bea t, he thought, it would ha ve
been p ounding. When he ha d
a greed to do this for the Concla ve, he ha d forgotten how much Camille sca re
d him. Ma ybe it
wa s illogica l—wha t could she rea lly do to him?—but there it wa s.
“I sup p ose this mea ns tha t you ha ve considered my oʃer,” sa id Camille
. “And tha t you
a gree to it.”
“Wha t ma kes you think I a gree?” Simon sa id, very much hop ing tha t
she wouldn’t p ut
down the fa tuousness of the question to the fa ct tha t he wa s sta lling for
She looked mildly imp a tient. “You would ha rdly deliver in p erson th
e news tha t you ha d
decided to refuse me. You would be a fra id of my temp er.”
“Should I be a fra id of your temp er?”
Camille sa t ba ck in the wing-ba ck cha ir, smiling. The cha ir wa
s modern-looking a nd
luxurious, unlike a nything else in the a ba ndoned ba nk. It must h
a ve been ha uled here from
somewhere else, p roba bly by Camille’s serva nts, who were currently s
ta nding oʃ to ea ch
side like silent sta tues. “Ma ny a re,” she sa id. “But you ha ve no re
a son to be. I am very
p lea sed with you. Though you wa ited until the la st moment to con
ta ct me, I sense you ha ve
ma de the right decision.”
Simon’s p hone chose tha t minute to begin buzzing insistently. He jump ed, feel

ing a trickle
of cold swea t going down his ba ck, then ɹshed it ha stily out of
the p ocket of his ja cket.
“Sorry,” he sa id, f lip p ing it op en. “Phone.”
Camille looked horrif ied. “Do not a nswer tha t.”
Simon bega n lif ting the p hone to his ea r. As he did, he ma na
ged to hit the camera button
severa l times with his f inger. “It’ll just ta ke a second.”
He hit the send button a nd then quickly f lip p ed the p hone closed. “Sorry. I
didn’t think.”
Camille’s chest wa s rising a nd fa lling with ra ge, desp ite the fa c
t tha t she didn’t a ctua lly
brea the. “I dema nd more resp ect tha n tha t from my serva nts,” she h
issed. “You will never
do tha t a ga in, or—”
“Or wha t?” Simon sa id. “You ca n’t hurt me, a ny more tha n a nyone else ca n. And
you told
me I wouldn’t be a serva nt. You told me I’d be your p a rtner.” He p
a used, letting just the
right note of a rroga nce into his voice. “Ma ybe I ought to reconsid
er my a ccep ta nce of your
of fer.”
Camille’s eyes da rkened. “Oh, for God’s sa ke. Don’t be a little fool.”
“How ca n you sa y tha t word?” Simon dema nded.
Camille ra ised delica te eyebrows. “Which word? Are you a nnoyed tha t
I ca lled you a
“No. Well, yes, but tha t’s not wha t I mea nt. You sa id ‘Oh, for—’” He
broke oʃ, his voice
cra cking. He still couldn’t sa y it. God.
“Beca use I do not believe in him, silly boy,” sa id Camille. “And you still do.” She
tilted her
hea d to the side, rega rding him the wa y a bird might rega rd a
worm on the sidewa lk tha t it
wa s considering ea ting. “I think p erha p s it is time for a blood oa th.”
“A … blood oa th?” Simon wondered if he’d hea rd right.
“I forget tha t your knowledge of the customs of our kind is so lim
ited.” Camille shook her
silvery hea d. “I will ha ve you sign a n oa th, in blood, tha t yo
u a re loya l to me. It will
p revent you from disobeying me in the future. Consider it a sort
of … p renup tia l
a greement.” She smiled, a nd he saw the glint of her fa ngs. “Come.” She sna
p p ed her ɹngers
imp eriously, a nd her minions scurried towa rd her, their gra y hea
ds bent. The ɹrst to rea ch
her ha nded her something tha t looked like a n old-fa shioned gla ss
p en, the kind with a
whorled tip mea nt to ca tch a nd hold ink. “You will ha ve to cut y
ourself a nd draw your own
blood,” sa id Camille. “Norma lly I would do it myself , but the Ma rk
p revents me. Therefore
we must imp rovise.”
Simon hesita ted. This wa s ba d. Very ba d. He knew enough a bout
the sup erna tura l world
to know wha t oa ths mea nt to Downworlders. They were not just emp
ty p romises tha t could
be broken. They truly bound the p romiser, like virtua l ma na cles.
If he signed the oa th, he

rea lly would be loya l to Camille. Possibly forever.
“Come a long,” Camille sa id, a touch of imp a tience creep ing into he
r voice. “There is no
need to dawdle.”
Swa llowing, Simon took a relucta nt step forwa rd, a nd then a not
her. A serva nt step p ed in
front of him, blocking his wa y. He wa s holding out a knife to Simon, a w
icked-looking thing
with a needle bla de. Simon took it, a nd ra ised it a bove his w
rist. Then he lowered it. “You
know,” he sa id, “I rea lly don’t like p a in very much. Or knives—”
“ Do it,” Camille growled.
“There ha s to be some other wa y.”
Camille rose from her cha ir, a nd Simon saw tha t her fa ngs were
fully extended. She wa s
truly enra ged. “If you do not stop wa sting my time—”
There wa s a sof t imp losion, a sound like something enormous tea r
ing down the middle. A
grea t shimmering p a nel a p p ea red a ga inst the op p osite wa ll.
Camille turned towa rd it, her
lip s p a rting in shock a s she saw wha t it wa s. Simon knew she
recognized it, just a s he did.
There wa s only one thing it could be.
A Porta l. And through it were p ouring a t lea st a dozen Sha dowhunters.
“Oka y,” sa id Isa belle, p utting awa y the ɹrst a id kit with a brisk
gesture. They were in one
of the Institute’s ma ny sp a re rooms, mea nt to house visiting Cla v
e members. Ea ch wa s
p la inly furnished with a bed, a dresser a nd a wa rdrobe, a nd
a sma ll ba throom. And, of
course, ea ch one ha d a ɹrst a id kit, with ba nda ges, p oultices,
a nd even sp a re steles
included. “You’re p retty well iratze ’d up , but it’s going to ta ke a li
ttle while for some of
those bruises to fa de. And these”—she ra n her ha nd over the burn ma r
ks on Cla ry’s forea rm
where the demon blood ha d sp la shed her—“p roba bly won’t go awa y tota lly till tom
orrow. If
you rest, they’ll hea l fa ster, though.”
“Tha t’s ɹne. Tha nks, Isa belle.” Cla ry looked down a t her ha nds; there
were ba nda ges
a round the right one, a nd her shirt wa s still torn a nd bloodsta
ined, though Izzy’s runes ha d
hea led the cuts benea th. She sup p osed she could ha ve done the ir
atze s herself , but it wa s
nice to ha ve someone ta ke ca re of her, a nd Izzy, while not th
e wa rmest p erson Cla ry knew,
could be ca p a ble a nd kind when she felt like it. “And tha nks for showing up
a nd, you know,
sa ving my life from wha tever tha t wa s—”
“A Hydra demon. I told you. They ha ve a lot of hea ds, but the
y’re p retty dumb. And you
weren’t doing such a ba d job with it before I showed up . I like
wha t you did with the
athame . Good thinking under p ressure. Tha t’s a s much a p a rt of
being a Sha dowhunter a s
lea rning how to p unch holes in things.” Isa belle ɻop p ed down onto th
e bed next to Cla ry
a nd sighed. “I should p roba bly go look up wha t I ca n ɹnd out a b
out the Church of Ta lto

before the Concla ve gets ba ck. Ma ybe it’ll help us ɹgure out wha t’s
going on. The hosp ita l
stuf f , the ba bies—” She shuddered. “I don’t like it.”
Cla ry ha d told Isa belle a s much a s she could a bout why she’d bee
n a t the church, even
a bout the demon ba by a t the hosp ita l, though she’d p retended she
wa s the one who’d been
susp icious, a nd ha d kep t her mother out of the story. Isa belle
ha d looked sick when Cla ry
ha d described the wa y the ba by ha d looked exa ctly like a norma
l ba by excep t for its op en
bla ck eyes a nd the little claws it ha d instea d of ha nds. “I thi
nk they were trying to ma ke
a nother ba by like—like my brother. I think they exp erimented on some
p oor munda ne
woma n,” Cla ry sa id. “But she couldn’t ta ke it when the ba by wa s bor
n, a nd she lost her
mind. It’s just—who would do something like tha t? One of Va lentine’s fo
llowers? The ones
who never got ca ught, ma ybe trying to ca rry on wha t he wa s doing?”
“Ma ybe. Or just some demon-worship p ing cult. There a re p lenty of them. Al
though I ca n’t
ima gine why a nyone would wa nt to ma ke more crea tures like Seba st
ia n.” Her voice ga ve a
little jump of ha tred when she sa id his name.
“His name’s rea lly Jona tha n—”
“Jona tha n is Ja ce’s name,” sa id Isa belle tightly. “I won’t ca ll tha t mo
nster by the same
name my brother ha s. He’s a lwa ys going to be Seba stia n to me.”
Cla ry ha d to a dmit Isa belle ha d a p oint. She ha d a ha rd t
ime thinking of him a s Jona tha n
too. She sup p osed it wa sn’t fa ir to the true Seba stia n, but non
e of them ha d rea lly known
him. It wa s ea sier to sla p a stra nger’s name onto Va lentine’s vic
ious son tha n ca ll him
something tha t ma de him feel closer to her family, closer to her life.
Isa belle sp oke lightly, but Cla ry could tell tha t her mind wa s
working, ticking over
va rious p ossibilities: “Anywa y, I’m gla d you texted me when you did.
I could tell from your
messa ge tha t something weird wa s going on, a nd fra nkly I wa s b
ored. Everyone’s oʃ doing
some secret thing with the Concla ve, a nd I didn’t wa nt to go, bec
a use Simon wa s going to
be there, a nd I ha te him now.”
“Simon is with the Concla ve?” Cla ry wa s a stonished. She ha d noticed
tha t the Institute
ha d seemed even more emp ty tha n usua l when they’d a rrived. Ja ce,
of course, wa sn’t there,
but she ha dn’t exp ected him to be—though she ha dn’t known why. “I ta lke
d to him this
morning a nd he didn’t sa y a nything a bout doing something for them,” Cla ry a dde
Isa belle shrugged. “It ha s something to do with vamp ire p olitics. Tha t’s a ll
I know.”
“Do you think he’s a ll right?”
Isa belle sounded exa sp era ted. “He doesn’t need you to p rotect him a
nymore, Cla ry. He
ha s the Ma rk of Ca in. He could get blown up , shot a t, drown
ed, a nd sta bbed a nd he’d be

just ɹne.” She looked a t Cla ry ha rd. “I notice you didn’t a sk me why I ha te Simon,”
she sa id.
“I a ssume you knew a bout the two-timing thing?”
“I knew,” Cla ry a dmitted. “I’m sorry.”
Isa belle wa ved her confession awa y. “You’re his best friend. It would
ha ve been weird if
you didn’t know.”
“I should ha ve told you,” Cla ry sa id. “It’s just—I never got the sense you were tha t
a bout Simon, you know?”
Isa belle scowled. “I wa sn’t. It’s just—I thought he would ta ke it seriou
sly, a t lea st. Since I
wa s so out of his lea gue a nd everything. I guess I exp ected be
tter from him tha n I do from
other guys.”
“Ma ybe,” Cla ry sa id quietly, “Simon shouldn’t be da ting someone who think
s they’re out
of his lea gue.” Isa belle looked a t her, a nd Cla ry felt herself ɻu
sh. “Sorry. Your rela tionship
is rea lly none of my business.”
Isa belle wa s twisting her da rk ha ir up into a knot, something
she did when she felt tense.
“No, it isn’t. I mea n, I could a sk you why you texted me to come
to the church a nd meet
you, a nd not Ja ce, but I ha ven’t. I’m not stup id. I know somethi
ng’s wrong between you
two, p a ssiona te a lley ma ke-out sessions notwithsta nding.” She looked
keenly a t Cla ry.
“Ha ve the two of you slep t together yet?”
Cla ry felt the blood rush into her fa ce. “Wha t—I mea n, no, we ha
ven’t, but I don’t see
wha t tha t ha s to do with a nything.”
“It doesn’t,” sa id Isa belle, p a tting her knotted ha ir into p la ce. “Th
a t wa s just p rurient
curiosity. Wha t’s holding you ba ck?”
“ Is abe lle —” Cla ry p ulled up her legs, wra p p ed her a rms a round h
er knees, a nd sighed.
“Nothing. We were just ta king our time. I’ve never—you know.”
“Ja ce ha s,” sa id Isa belle. “I mea n, I a ssume he ha s. I don’t know
for sure. But if you ever
need a nything…” She let the sentence ha ng in the a ir.
“Need a nything?”
“Protection. You know. So you ca n be ca reful,” Isa belle sa id. She
sounded a s p ra ctica l a s
if she were ta lking a bout extra buttons. “You’d think the Angel would ha ve bee
n foresighted
enough to give us a birth-control rune, but no dice.”
“Of course I’d be ca reful,” Cla ry sp luttered, feeling her cheeks turn
red. “Enough. This is
awkwa rd.”
“This is girl ta lk,” sa id Isa belle. “You just think it’s awkwa rd beca us
e you’ve sp ent your
whole life with Simon a s your only friend. And you ca n’t ta lk to him
a bout Ja ce. Tha t would
be awkwa rd.”
“And Ja ce rea lly ha sn’t sa id a nything to you? About wha t’s bothering him?” Cla ry
sa id, in
a sma ll voice. “You p romise?”
“He didn’t ha ve to,” Isa belle sa id. “The wa y you’ve been a cting, a nd w
ith Ja ce going

a round looking like someone just died, it’s not like I wouldn’t notice
something wa s wrong.
You should ha ve come to ta lk to me sooner.”
“Is he a t lea st a ll right?” Cla ry a sked very quietly.
Isa belle stood up from the bed a nd looked down a t her. “No,” she s
a id. “He is very much
not a ll right. Are you?”
Cla ry shook her hea d.
“I didn’t think so,” Isa belle sa id.
To Simon’s surp rise, Camille, up on seeing the Sha dowhunters, didn’t e
ven try to sta nd her
ground. She screamed a nd ra n for the door, only to freeze when s
he rea lized tha t it wa s
da ylight outside, a nd tha t exiting the ba nk would quickly incinera
te her. She ga sp ed a nd
cowered ba ck a ga inst a wa ll, her fa ngs ba red, a low hiss coming from h
er throa t.
Simon step p ed ba ck a s the Sha dowhunters of the Concla ve swa rmed
a round him, a ll in
bla ck like a murder of crows; he saw Ja ce, his fa ce p a le a
nd set like white ma rble, slide a
broa dsword bla de through one of the huma n serva nts a s he p a sse
d him, a s ca sua lly a s a
p edestria n might swa t a ɻy. Ma ryse sta lked a hea d, her ɻying bla
ck ha ir reminding Simon
of Isa belle. She disp a tched the second cowering minion with a wh
ip saw movement of her
sera p h bla de, a nd a dva nced on Camille, her shining bla de outst
retched. Ja ce wa s beside
her, a nd a nother Sha dowhunter—a ta ll ma n with bla ck runes twining
his forea rms like
vines—wa s on her other side.
The rest of the Sha dowhunters ha d sp rea d out a nd were ca nva ssi
ng the ba nk, sweep ing it
with those odd things they used—Sensors—checking every corner for demon a
ctivity. They
ignored the bodies of Camille’s huma n serva nts, lying motionless in
their p ools of drying
blood. They ignored Simon a s well. He might a s well ha ve been a
nother p illa r, for a ll the
a ttention they p a id him.
“Camille Belcourt,” sa id Ma ryse, her voice echoing oʃ the ma rble wa lls.
“You ha ve
broken the Law a nd a re subject to the Law’s p unishments. Will you
surrender a nd come
with us, or will you f ight?”
Camille wa s crying, ma king no a ttemp t to cover her tea rs, which
were tinged with blood.
They strea ked her white fa ce with red lines a s she choked, “Wa lker—a nd my Arch
Ma ryse looked ba f f led. She turned to the ma n on her lef t. “Wha t is she sa
ying, Ka dir?”
“Her huma n serva nts,” he rep lied. “I believe she is mourning their dea ths.”
Ma ryse ɻip p ed her ha nd dismissively. “It is a ga inst the Law to ma
ke serva nts of huma n
“I ma de them before Downworlders were subject to your a ccursed laws,
you bitch. They
ha ve been with me two hundred yea rs. They were like children to me.”
Ma ryse’s ha nd tightened on the hilt of her bla de. “Wha t would you know of chi

ldren?” she
whisp ered. “Wha t does your kind know of a nything but destroying?”
Camille’s tea r-strea ked fa ce ɻa shed for a moment with triump h. “I kne
w it,” she sa id.
“Wha tever else you might sa y, wha tever lies you tell, you ha te our kind. Do
n’t you?”
Ma ryse’s fa ce tightened. “Ta ke her,” she sa id. “Bring her to the Sa nctua ry.”
Ja ce moved swif tly to one side of Camille a nd took hold of her;
Ka dir seized her other
a rm. Together, they p inioned her between them.
“Camille Belcourt, you sta nd a ccused of the murder of huma ns,” Ma ry
se intoned. “And of
the murder of Sha dowhunters. You will be ta ken to the Sa nctua ry,
where you will be
questioned. The sentence for the murder of Sha dowhunters is dea th,
but it is p ossible tha t if
you coop era te with us, your life will be sp a red. Do you understa nd?” a sked
Ma ryse.
Camille tossed her hea d deɹa ntly. “There is only one ma n I will a ns
wer to,” she sa id. “If
you do not bring him to me, I will tell you nothing. You ca n ki
ll me, but I will tell you
“Very well,” sa id Ma ryse. “Wha t ma n is tha t?”
Camille ba red her teeth. “Ma gnus Ba ne.”
“ Magnus Bane ?” Ma ryse looked ɻa bberga sted. “The High Wa rlock of Brookl
yn? Why do
you wa nt to ta lk to him?”
“I will a nswer to him,” Camille sa id a ga in. “Or I will a nswer to no one.”
And tha t wa s tha t. She sa id not a nother word. As she wa s dra
gged awa y by
Sha dowhunters, Simon wa tched her go. He did not feel, a s he ha
d thought he would,
triump ha nt. He felt hollow, a nd stra ngely sick to his stoma ch. He looked
down a t the bodies
of the sla in serva nts; he ha dn’t liked them much either, but they
ha dn’t a sked to be wha t
they were, not rea lly. In a wa y, ma ybe neither ha d Camille.
But she wa s a monster to
Nep hilim a nywa y. And ma ybe not just beca use she ha d killed Sha
dowhunters; ma ybe there
wa s no wa y, rea lly, for them to think of her a s a nything else.
Camille ha d been p ushed through the Porta l; Ja ce stood on the ot
her side of it, gesturing
imp a tiently for Simon to follow. “Are you coming or not?” he ca lled.
Whate ve r e ls e you might s ay, whate ve r lie s you te ll, you hate our
“Coming,” Simon sa id, a nd moved relucta ntly forwa rd.
“Wha t do you think Ca mille wa nts to see Ma g nus for?” Simon a sked.
He a nd Ja ce were sta nding a ga inst the ba ck wa ll of the Sa nct
ua ry, which wa s a ma ssive
room a tta ched to the ma in body of the Institute through a na rro
w p a ssa gewa y. It wa sn’t
part of the Institute p er se; it ha d been lef t delibera tely unc
onsecra ted in order tha t it might
be used a s a holding p la ce for demons a nd vamp ires. Sa nctua ries, Ja ce
ha d informed Simon,
ha d gone out of fa shion somewha t since Projecting ha d been invent

ed, but every once in a
while they found a use for theirs. Ap p a rently, this wa s one of those tim
It wa s a big room, stone-bound a nd p illa red, with a n equa lly
stone-bound entrywa y
beyond a wide set of double doors; the entrywa y led to the corri
dor connecting the room to
the Institute. Huge gouges in the stone ɻoor indica ted tha t wha tever
ha d been ca ged here
over the yea rs ha d been p retty na sty—a nd big. Simon couldn’t help
wondering how ma ny
enormous rooms full of p illa rs he wa s going to ha ve to sp end ti
me in. Camille wa s sta nding
a ga inst one of the p illa rs, her a rms behind her, gua rded on
either side by Sha dowhunter
wa rriors. Ma ryse wa s p a cing ba ck a nd forth, occa siona lly conf
erring with Ka dir, clea rly
trying to sort out some kind of p la n. There were no windows in
the room, for obvious
rea sons, but witchlight torches burned everywhere, giving the whole
scene a p eculia r
whitish ca st.
“I don’t know,” Ja ce sa id. “Ma ybe she wa nts fa shion tip s.”
“Ha ,” Simon sa id. “Who’s tha t guy, with your mother? He looks familia r.”
“Tha t’s Ka dir,” sa id Ja ce. “You p roba bly met his brother. Ma lik. He
died in the a tta ck on
Va lentine’s ship . Ka dir’s the second most imp orta nt p erson in the C
oncla ve, a f ter my mom.
She relies on him a lot.”
As Simon wa tched, Ka dir p ulled Camille’s a rms behind her ba ck, so they
circled the p illa r,
a nd cha ined them a t her wrists. The vamp ire ga ve a little scream.
“Blessed meta l,” sa id Ja ce without a f licker of emotion. “It burns them.”
The m, Simon thought. You me an “ you.” I’m jus t like he r. I’m not diʃe r
e nt jus t be caus e you
know me .
Camille wa s whimp ering. Ka dir stood ba ck, his fa ce imp a ssive.
Runes, da rk a ga inst his
da rk skin, twined the entirety of his a rms a nd throa t. He turn
ed to sa y something to
Ma ryse; Simon ca ught the words “Ma gnus” a nd “f ire-messa ge.”
“Ma gnus a ga in,” sa id Simon. “But isn’t he tra veling?”
“Ma gnus a nd Camille a re both rea lly old,” sa id Ja ce. “I sup p ose it’s not tha t
odd tha t they
know ea ch other.” He shrugged, seemingly uninterested in the top ic. “A
nywa y, I’m p retty
sure they’re going to wind up summoning Ma gnus ba ck here. Ma ryse w
a nts informa tion,
a nd she wa nts it ba d. She knows Camille wa sn’t killing those Sha d
owhunters just for blood.
There a re ea sier wa ys to get blood.”
Simon thought ɻeetingly of Ma ureen, a nd felt sick. “Well,” he sa id,
trying to sound
unconcerned. “I guess tha t mea ns Alec will be ba ck. So tha t’s good, right?”
“Sure.” Ja ce’s voice sounded lifeless. He didn’t look a ll tha t grea t eit
her; the whitish light
in the room ca st the a ngles of his cheekbones into a new a nd s
ha rp er relief , showing tha t
he’d lost weight. His ɹngerna ils were bitten down to bloody stump s, a
nd there were da rk

sha dows under his eyes.
“At lea st your p la n worked,” Simon a dded, trying to inject some chee
r into Ja ce’s misery.
It ha d been Ja ce’s idea to ha ve Simon ta ke a p icture with his
cell p hone a nd send it to the
Concla ve, which would a llow them to Porta l to where he wa s. “It wa s a good
idea .”
“I knew it would work.” Ja ce sounded bored by the comp liment. He look
ed up a s the
double doors to the Institute swung op en, a nd Isa belle came throug
h them, her bla ck ha ir
swinging. She looked a round the room—giving Camille a nd the other Sha dowhunter
s ba rely
a gla nce—a nd came towa rd Ja ce a nd Simon, her boots cla ttering a ga inst th
e stone f loor.
“Wha t’s a ll this a bout ya nking p oor Ma gnus a nd Alec ba ck from the
ir va ca tion?” Isa belle
dema nded. “They ha ve op era tickets!”
Ja ce exp la ined, while Isa belle stood with her ha nds on her hip s
, ignoring Simon
comp letely.
“Fine,” she sa id when he wa s done. “But the whole thing’s ridiculous. She’s just sta l
ling for
time. Wha t could she p ossibly ha ve to sa y to Ma gnus?” She gla nce
d ba ck over her shoulder
a t Camille, who wa s now not just ma na cled but bound to the p il
la r with lengths of silverygold cha in. It crisscrossed her body a cross
her torso, her knees, a nd even her a nkles, holding
her tota lly immobile. “Is tha t blessed meta l?”
Ja ce nodded. “The ma na cles a re lined to p rotect her wrists, but
if she moves too much…”
He ma de a sizzling sound. Simon, remembering the wa y his ha nds
ha d burned when he’d
touched the Sta r of Da vid in his cell in Idris, the wa y his sk
in ha d run with blood, ha d to
f ight the urge to sna p a t him.
“Well, while you were oʃ tra p p ing vamp ires, I wa s up town ɹghting oʃ
a Hydra demon,”
Isa belle sa id. “With Cla ry.”
Ja ce, who ha d evinced only the ba rest interest in a nything going
on a round him until
now, jerked up right. “With Clary? You took her demon-hunting with you? Isa bell
“Of course not. She wa s a lrea dy well into the f ight by the time I got there.”
“But how did you know—?”
“She texted me,” Isa belle sa id. “So I went.” She examined her na ils, wh
ich were, a s usua l,
p erfect.
“She texted you?” Ja ce gra bbed Isa belle by the wrist. “Is she a ll right? Did she
get hurt?”
Isa belle looked down a t his ha nd grip p ing her wrist, a nd then
ba ck up a t his fa ce. If he
wa s hurting her, Simon couldn’t tell, but the look on her fa ce cou
ld ha ve cut gla ss, a s could
the sa rca sm in her voice. “Yes, she’s bleeding to dea th up sta irs,
but I thought I’d a void
telling you right awa y, beca use I like to draw the susp ense out.”
Ja ce, a s if suddenly conscious of wha t he wa s doing, let go
of Isa belle’s wrist. “She’s

“She’s up sta irs,” Isa belle sa id. “Resting—”
But Ja ce wa s a lrea dy gone, running for the entrywa y doors. He
burst through them a nd
va nished. Isa belle, looking a f ter him, shook her hea d.
“You ca n’t rea lly ha ve thought he wa s going to do a nything else,” sa id Simon.
For a moment she sa id nothing. He wondered if ma ybe she wa s ju
st p la nning to ignore
a nything he sa id for the rest of eternity. “I know,” she sa id ɹna lly.
“I just wish I knew wha t
wa s going on with them.”
“I’m not sure the y know.”
Isa belle wa s worrying a t her bottom lip . She looked very young a
ll of a sudden, a nd
unusua lly conɻicted, for Isa belle. Something wa s clea rly going on w
ith her, a nd Simon
wa ited quietly while she a p p ea red to come to a decision. “I don’t
wa nt to be like tha t,” she
sa id. “Come on. I wa nt to ta lk to you.” She sta rted to hea d towa rd the Insti
tute doors.
“You do?” Simon wa s a stonished.
She sp un a nd gla red a t him. “Right now I do. But I ca n’t p romise how long it’l
l la st.”
Simon held his ha nds up . “I wa nt to ta lk to you, Iz. But I ca n’t go into the
A line a p p ea red between her eyebrows. “Why?” She broke oʃ, looking fr
om him to the
doors, to Camille, a nd ba ck a ga in. “Oh. Right. How did you get in here,
“Porta led,” sa id Simon. “But Ja ce sa id there’s a n entrywa y tha t lea ds to a set
of doors tha t
go outside. So vamp ires ca n enter here a t night.” He p ointed to a
na rrow door set in the
wa ll a few feet awa y. It wa s secured with a rusting iron bolt,
a s if it ha dn’t been used in a
Isa belle shrugged. “Fine.”
The bolt ma de a screeching noise when she ya nked it ba ck, sending
ɻa kes of rust into the
a ir in a ɹne red sp ra y. Beyond the door wa s a sma ll stone room,
like the vestry of a church,
a nd a set of doors tha t most likely led outside. There were no
windows, but cold a ir crep t
a round the edges of the doors, ma king Isa belle, in her short dress, shive
“Look, Isa belle,” Simon sa id, ɹguring tha t the onus wa s on him to st
a rt the discussion. “I
rea lly am sorry a bout wha t I did. There’s no excuse—”
“No, there isn’t,” Isa belle sa id. “And while you’re a t it, you might wa
nt to tell me why
you’re ha nging a round with the guy who Turned Ma ia into a werewolf .”
Simon told her the story Jorda n ha d recounted to him, trying to k
eep his exp la na tion a s
evenha nded a s he could. He felt like it wa s a t lea st imp orta n
t to exp la in to Isa belle tha t he
ha dn’t known who Jorda n rea lly wa s a t ɹrst, a nd a lso, tha t Jord
a n regretted wha t he’d
done. “Not tha t tha t ma kes it oka y,” he ɹnished. “But, you know—” We ’ve
ll done bad
things . But he couldn’t bring himself to tell her a bout Ma ureen. Not right n

“I know,” Isa belle sa id. “And I’ve hea rd of the Pra etor Lup us. If t
hey’re willing to ha ve
him a s a member, he ca n’t be a comp lete wa shout, I guess.” She
looked a t Simon a little
more closely. “Although I don’t get why you need someone to p rotect yo
u. You ha ve…” She
p ointed a t her forehea d.
“I ca n’t go through the rest of my life with p eop le running a t me
every da y a nd the Ma rk
blowing them up ,” Simon sa id. “I need to know who’s trying to kill me.
Jorda n’s help ing
with tha t. Ja ce too.”
“Do you rea lly think Jorda n’s help ing you? Beca use the Cla ve ha s so
me p ull with the
Pra etor. We could get him rep la ced.”
Simon hesita ted. “Yea h,” he sa id. “I rea lly do think he’s help ing. An
d I ca n’t a lwa ys rely
on the Cla ve.”
“Oka y.” Isa belle lea ned ba ck a ga inst the wa ll. “Did you ever wonder wh
y I’m so diʃerent
from my brothers?” she a sked without p reamble. “Alec a nd Ja ce, I mea n.”
Simon blinked. “You mea n a side from the whole thing where you’re a g
irl a nd they …
a ren’t?”
“No. Not tha t, idiot. I mea n, look a t the two of them. They
ha ve no p roblem fa lling in
love. They’re both in love. The forever kind. They’re done. Look a t
Ja ce. He loves Cla ry like
—like there’s nothing else in the world a nd there never will be. Alec’s
the same. And Ma x
—” Her voice ca ught. “I don’t know wha t it would ha ve been like for hi
m. But he trusted
everyone. And a s you might ha ve noticed, I don’t trust a nyone.”
“Peop le a re diʃerent,” Simon sa id, trying to sound understa nding. “It do
esn’t mea n
they’re ha p p ier tha n you—”
“Sure it does,” Isa belle sa id. “You think I don’t know tha t?” She looked
a t Simon, ha rd.
“You know my p a rents.”
“Not well.” They ha d never been terribly ea ger to meet Isa belle’s vamp i
re boyfriend, a
situa tion tha t ha dn’t done much to ameliora te Simon’s feeling tha t he
wa s merely the la test
in a long line of undesira ble suitors.
“Well, you know they were both in the Circle. But I bet you didn’t k
now it wa s a ll my
mom’s idea . My da d wa s never rea lly enthusia stic a bout Va lentine
or a ny of it. And then
when everything ha p p ened, a nd they got ba nished, a nd they rea l
ized they’d p ra ctica lly
wrecked their lives, I think he blamed her. But they a lrea dy ha d
Alec a nd were going to
ha ve me, so he sta yed, even though I think he kind of wa nted to lea ve. A
nd then, when Alec
wa s a bout nine, he found someone else.”
“Whoa ,” Simon sa id. “Your da d chea ted on your mom? Tha t’s—tha t’s awful.”
“She told me,” sa id Isa belle. “I wa s a bout thirteen. She told me tha t he would
ha ve lef t her
but they found out she wa s p regna nt with Ma x, so they sta yed t
ogether a nd he broke it oʃ

with the other woma n. My mom didn’t tell me who she wa s. She just
told me tha t you
couldn’t rea lly trust men. And she told me not to tell a nyone.”
“And did you? Tell a nyone?”
“Not until now,” Isa belle sa id.
Simon thought of a younger Isa belle, keep ing the secret, never t
elling a nyone, hiding it
from her brothers. Knowing things a bout their family tha t they woul
d never know. “She
shouldn’t ha ve a sked you to do tha t,” he sa id, suddenly a ngry. “Tha t wa sn’t fa
“Ma ybe,” sa id Isa belle. “I thought it ma de me sp ecia l. I didn’t think
a bout how it might
ha ve cha nged me. But I wa tch my brothers give their hea rts awa y
a nd I think, Don’t you
know be tte r? Hea rts a re brea ka ble. And I think even when you h
ea l, you’re never wha t you
were before.”
“Ma ybe you’re better,” sa id Simon. “I know I’m better.”
“You mea n Cla ry,” sa id Isa belle. “Beca use she broke your hea rt.”
“Into little p ieces. You know, when someone p refers their own brothe
r over you, it isn’t a
conɹdence booster. I thought ma ybe once she rea lized it would never
work out with Ja ce,
she’d give up a nd come ba ck to me. But I ɹna lly ɹgured out tha t sh
e’d never stop loving
Ja ce, whether it wa s going to work out with him or not. And I
knew tha t if she wa s only
with me beca use she couldn’t ha ve him, I’d ra ther be a lone, so I ended it.”
“I didn’t know you broke it of f with her,” sa id Isa belle. “I a ssumed…”
“Tha t I ha d no self -resp ect?” Simon smiled wryly.
“I thought tha t you were still in love with Cla ry,” Isa belle sa id. “A
nd tha t you couldn’t be
serious a bout a nyone else.”
“Beca use you p ick guys who will never be serious a bout you,” sa id Si
mon. “So you never
need to be serious a bout them.”
Isa belle’s eyes shone when she looked a t him, but she sa id nothing.
“I ca re a bout you,” Simon sa id. “I a lwa ys ca red a bout you.”
She took a step towa rd him. They were sta nding fa irly close tog
ether in the sma ll room,
a nd he could hea r the sound of her brea thing, a nd the fa inter
p ulse of her hea rtbea t
undernea th. She smelled of shamp oo a nd swea t a nd ga rdenia p er
fume a nd Sha dowhunter
The thought of blood ma de him remember Ma ureen, a nd his body tense
d. Isa belle noticed
—of course she noticed, she wa s a wa rrior, her senses ɹnely tuned
to even the slightest
movement in others—a nd drew ba ck, her exp ression tightening. “All righ
t,” she sa id. “Well,
I’m gla d we ta lked.”
“Isa belle—”
But she wa s a lrea dy gone. He went a f ter her into the Sa nctua ry,
but she wa s moving fa st.
By the time the vestry door shut behind him, she wa s ha lfwa y a c
ross the room. He ga ve up
a nd wa tched a s she disa p p ea red through the double doors into th
e Institute, knowing he

couldn’t follow.
Cla ry sa t up , sha king her hea d to clea r the grogginess. It to
ok her a moment to remember
where she wa s—in a sp a re bedroom in the Institute, the only light
in the room the
illumina tion tha t streamed in through the single high window. It wa
s blue light—twilight
light. She la y twisted in the bla nket; her jea ns, ja cket, a nd
shoes were sta cked nea tly on a
cha ir nea r the bed. And beside her wa s Ja ce, looking down a t
her, a s if she ha d conjured
him up by dreaming of him.
He wa s sitting on the bed, wea ring his gea r, a s if he ha d j
ust come from a ɹght, a nd his
ha ir wa s tousled, the dim light from the window illumina ting sha d
ows under his eyes, the
hollows of his temp les, the bones of his cheeks. In this light
he ha d the extreme a nd a lmost
unrea l bea uty of a Modiglia ni p a inting, a ll elonga ted p la nes a nd a
She rubbed a t her eyes, blinking awa y sleep . “Wha t time is it?” she sa id. “How
He p ulled her towa rd him a nd kissed her, a nd for a moment she
froze, suddenly very
conscious tha t a ll she wa s wea ring wa s a thin T-shirt a nd unde
rwea r. Then she went
boneless a ga inst him. It wa s the sort of lingering kiss tha t tu
rned her insides to wa ter. The
sort of kiss tha t might ha ve ma de her feel tha t nothing wa s wr
ong, tha t things were a s they
ha d been before, a nd he wa s only gla d to see her. But when hi
s ha nds went to lif t the hem
of her T-shirt, she p ushed them awa y.
“No,” she sa id, her ɹngers wra p p ed a round his wrists. “You ca n’t just
keep gra bbing a t
me every time you see me. It’s not a substitute for a ctua lly ta lking.”
He took a ra gged brea th a nd sa id, “Why did you text Isa belle in
stea d of me? If you were
in trouble—”
“Beca use I knew she’d come,” sa id Cla ry. “And I don’t know tha t a bout y
ou. Not right
“If something ha d ha p p ened to you—”
“Then I guess you would ha ve hea rd a bout it eventua lly. You know,
when you deigned to
a ctua lly p ick up the p hone.” She wa s still holding his wrists; she let go o
f them now, a nd sa t
ba ck. It wa s ha rd, p hysica lly ha rd, to be close to him like
this a nd not touch him, but she
forced her ha nds down by her sides a nd kep t them there. “Either yo
u tell me wha t’s wrong,
or you ca n get out of the room.”
His lip s p a rted, but he sa id nothing; she didn’t think she’d sp oke
n to him this ha rshly in a
long time. “I’m sorry,” he sa id ɹna lly. “I mea n, I know, with the wa y
I’ve been a cting,
you’ve got no rea son to listen to me. And I p roba bly shouldn’t ha ve
come in here. But when
Isa belle sa id you were hurt, I couldn’t stop myself .”
“Some burns,” Cla ry sa id. “Nothing tha t ma tters.”

“Everything tha t ha p p ens to you ma tters to me.”
“Well, tha t certa inly exp la ins why you ha ven’t ca lled me ba ck once
. And the la st time I
saw you, you ra n awa y without telling me why. It’s like da ting a ghost.”
Ja ce’s mouth quirked up slightly a t the side. “Not exa ctly. Isa bell
e a ctua lly da ted a ghost.
She could tell you—”
“No,” Cla ry sa id. “It wa s a meta p hor. And you know exa ctly wha t I mea n.”
For a moment he wa s silent. Then he sa id, “Let me see the burns.”
She held out her a rms. There were ha rsh red sp lotches on the ins
ides of her wrists where
the demon’s blood ha d sp a ttered. He took her wrists, very lightly,
looking a t her for
p ermission ɹrst, a nd turned them over. She remembered the ɹrst time h
e ha d touched her,
in the street outside Ja va Jones, sea rching her ha nds for Ma rks
she didn’t ha ve. “Demon
blood,” he sa id. “They’ll go awa y in a few hours. Do they hurt?”
Cla ry shook her hea d.
“I didn’t know,” he sa id. “I didn’t know you needed me.”
Her voice shook. “I a lwa ys need you.”
He bent his hea d a nd kissed the burn on her wrist. A ɻa re of he
a t coursed through her,
like a hot sp ike tha t went from her wrist to the p it of her stoma ch. “I did
n’t rea lize,” he sa id.
He kissed the next burn, on her forea rm, a nd then the next, mov
ing up her a rm to her
shoulder, the p ressure of his body bea ring her ba ck until she wa
s lying a ga inst the p illows,
looking up a t him. He p rop p ed himself on his elbows so a s no
t to crush her with his weight
a nd looked down a t her.
His eyes a lwa ys da rkened when they kissed, a s if desire cha nged
their color in some
fundamenta l wa y. He touched the white sta r ma rk on her shoulder,
the one they both ha d,
tha t ma rked them a s the children of those who ha d ha d conta ct
with a ngels. “I know I’ve
been a cting stra nge la tely,” he sa id. “But it’s not you. I love you. Tha t neve
r cha nges.”
“Then wha t—?”
“I think everything tha t ha p p ened in Idris—Va lentine, Ma x, Hodge,
even Seba stia n—I
kep t shoving it a ll down, trying to forget, but it’s ca tching up
with me. I … I’ll get help . I’ll
get better. I p romise.”
“You p romise.”
“I swea r on the Angel.” He ducked his hea d down, kissed her cheek. “T
he hell with tha t. I
swea r on us .”
Cla ry wound her f ingers into the sleeve of his T-shirt. “Why us?”
“Beca use there isn’t a nything I believe in more.” He tilted his hea d to
the side. “If we
were to get ma rried,” he bega n, a nd he must ha ve felt her tense
under him, beca use he
smiled. “Don’t p a nic, I’m not p rop osing on the sp ot. I wa s just w
ondering wha t you knew
a bout Sha dowhunter weddings.”
“No rings,” Cla ry sa id, brushing her ɹngers a cross the ba ck of his n
eck, where the skin

wa s sof t. “Just runes.”
“One here,” he sa id, gently touching her a rm, where the sca r wa s,
with a ɹngertip . “And
a nother here.” He slid his ɹngertip up her a rm, a cross her colla rb
one, a nd down until it
rested over her ra cing hea rt. “The ritua l is ta ken from the Song of Solomon.
‘Se t me as a s e al
upon thine he art, as a s e al upon thine arm: for love is s trong as de
ath. ’”
“Ours is stronger tha n tha t,” Cla ry whisp ered, remembering how she ha
d brought him
ba ck. And this time, when his eyes da rkened, she rea ched up a
nd drew him down to her
They kissed for a long time, until most of the light ha d bled o
ut of the room a nd they
were just sha dows. Ja ce didn’t move his ha nds or try to touch her,
though, a nd she sensed
he wa s wa iting for p ermission.
She rea lized she would ha ve to be the one to ta ke it further, if she wa nte
d to—a nd she did
wa nt to. He’d a dmitted something wa s wrong a nd tha t it ha d nothi
ng to do with her. This
wa s p rogress: p ositive p rogress. He ought to be rewa rded, right
? A little grin crooked the
edge of her mouth. Who wa s she kidding; she wa nted more on her
own beha lf . Beca use he
wa s Ja ce, beca use she loved him, beca use he wa s so gorgeous th
a t sometimes she felt the
need to p oke him in the a rm just to ma ke sure he wa s rea l.
She did just tha t.
“Ow,” he sa id. “Wha t wa s tha t for?”
“Ta ke your shirt oʃ,” she whisp ered. She rea ched for the hem of it b
ut he wa s a lrea dy
there, lif ting it over his hea d a nd tossing it ca sua lly to the
ɻoor. He shook his ha ir out, a nd
she a lmost exp ected the bright gold stra nds to sca tter sp a rks in the da rk
ness of the room.
“Sit up ,” she sa id sof tly. Her hea rt wa s p ounding. She didn’t usua lly ta
ke the lea d in these
sort of situa tions, but he didn’t seem to mind. He sa t up slowly
, p ulling her up with him,
until they were both sitting among the welter of bla nkets. She cra
wled into his la p ,
stra ddling his hip s. Now they were fa ce-to-fa ce. She hea rd him
suck his brea th in a nd he
ra ised his ha nds, rea ching for her shirt, but she p ushed them ba ck down a
ga in, gently, to his
sides, a nd p ut her own ha nds on him instea d. She wa tched her ɹn
gers slide over his chest
a nd a rms, the swell of his bicep s where the bla ck Ma rks twined, the sta
r-sha p ed ma rk on his
shoulder. She tra ced her index ɹnger down the line between his p ecto
ra l muscles, a cross his
ɻa t wa shboa rd stoma ch. They were both brea thing ha rd when she rea ched
the buckle on his
jea ns, but he didn’t move, just looked a t her with a n exp ression
tha t sa id: Whate ve r you
Her hea rt thudding, she drop p ed her ha nds to the hem of her ow

n shirt a nd p ulled it oʃ
over her hea d. She wished she’d worn a more exciting bra—this one wa
s p la in white cotton
—but when she looked up a ga in a t Ja ce’s exp ression, the thought ev
a p ora ted. His lip s were
p a rted, his eyes nea rly bla ck; she could see herself reɻected in
them a nd knew he didn’t
ca re if her bra wa s white or bla ck or neon green. All he wa s seeing wa s
She rea ched for his ha nds, then, freeing them, a nd p ut them on her wa ist
, a s if to sa y, You
can touch me now. He tilted his hea d up , her mouth came down o
ver his, a nd they were
kissing a ga in, but it wa s ɹerce instea d of la nguorous, a hot a
nd fa st-burning ɹre. His ha nds
were feverish: in her ha ir, on her body, p ulling her down so th
a t she la y under him, a nd a s
their ba re skin slid together she wa s a cutely conscious tha t there
rea lly wa s nothing
between them but his jea ns a nd her bra a nd p a nties. She ta ngl
ed her ha nds in his silky,
disheveled ha ir, holding his hea d a s he kissed down her throa t.
How far are we going? What
are we doing? a sma ll p a rt of her bra in wa s a sking, but t
he rest of her mind wa s screaming
a t tha t sma ll p a rt to shut up . She wa nted to keep touching him, kissin
g him; she wa nted him
to hold her a nd to know tha t he wa s rea l, here with her, a nd
tha t he would never lea ve
a ga in.
His ɹngers found the cla sp of her bra . She tensed. His eyes were
la rge a nd luminous in
the da rkness, his smile slow. “Is this a ll right?”
She nodded. Her brea th wa s coming fa st. No one in her entire li
fe ha d ever seen her
top less—no boy, a nywa y. As if sensing her nervousness, he cup p ed
her fa ce gently with one
ha nd, his lip s tea sing hers, brushing gently a cross them until h
er whole body felt a s if it
were sha ttering with tension. His long-ɹngered, ca llused right ha nd
stroked a long her
cheek, then her shoulder, soothing her. She wa s still on edge, t
hough, wa iting for his other
ha nd to move ba ck to her bra cla sp , to touch her a ga in, but
he seemed to be rea ching for
something behind him—Wha t wa s he doing?
Cla ry thought suddenly of wha t Isa belle ha d sa id a bout being ca
reful. Oh, she thought.
She stif fened a little a nd drew ba ck. “Ja ce, I’m not sure I—”
There wa s a ɻa sh of silver in the da rkness, a nd something cold
a nd sha rp la nced a cross
the side of her a rm. All she felt for a moment wa s surp rise—then
p a in. She drew her ha nds
ba ck, blinking, a nd saw a line of da rk blood bea ding on her
skin where a sha llow cut ra n
from her elbow to her wrist. “Ouch,” she sa id, more in a nnoya nce a
nd surp rise tha n hurt.
“Wha t—”
Ja ce la unched himself oʃ her, oʃ the bed, in a single motion. Sud
denly he wa s sta nding

in the middle of the room, shirtless, his fa ce a s white a s bone.
Ha nd cla sp ed a cross her injured a rm, Cla ry sta rted to sit up . “Ja ce, w
ha t—”
She broke oʃ. In his lef t ha nd he wa s clutching a knife—the silverha ndled knife she ha d
seen in the box tha t ha d belonged to his fa ther. There wa s a
thin smea r of blood a cross the
bla de.
She looked down a t her ha nd, a nd then up a ga in, a t him. “I don’t understa
He op ened his ha nd, a nd the knife cla ttered to the ɻoor. For a
moment he looked a s if he
might run a ga in, the wa y he ha d outside the ba r. Then he sa n
k to the ground a nd p ut his
hea d in his ha nds.
“I like her,” sa id Camille a s the doors shut behind Isa belle. “She ra ther reminds
me of me.”
Simon turned to look a t her. It wa s very dim in the Sa nctua ry,
but he could see her
clea rly, her ba ck a ga inst the p illa r, her ha nds bound behind her. Th
ere wa s a Sha dowhunter
gua rd sta tioned nea r the doors to the Institute, but either he ha
dn’t hea rd Camille or he
wa sn’t interested.
Simon moved a bit closer to Camille. The bonds tha t constra ined h
er held a n odd
fa scina tion for him. Blessed meta l. The cha in seemed to gleam so
f tly a ga inst her p a le skin,
a nd he thought he could see a few threa ds of blood seep ing a ro
und the ma na cles a t her
wrists. “She isn’t a t a ll like you.”
“So you think.” Camille tilted her hea d to the side; her blond ha ir
seemed a rtfully
a rra nged a round her fa ce, though he knew she couldn’t ha ve touched it. “You l
ove them so,”
she sa id, “your Sha dowhunter friends. As the fa lcon loves the ma st
er who binds a nd blinds
“Things a ren’t like tha t,” Simon sa id. “Sha dowhunters a nd Downworlders a ren’t enemi
“You ca n’t even go with them into their home,” she sa id. “You a re shut
out. Yet so ea ger
to serve them. You would sta nd on their side a ga inst your own kind.”
“I ha ve no kind,” Simon sa id. “I’m not one of them. But I’m not one of you, either.
And I’d
ra ther be like them tha n like you.”
“You are one of us.” She moved imp a tiently, ra ttling her cha ins, a
nd ga ve a little ga sp of
p a in. “There is something I didn’t sa y to you, ba ck a t the ba nk.
But it is true.” She smiled
tightly through the p a in. “I ca n smell huma n blood on you. You f
ed recently. On a
munda ne.”
Simon felt something inside him jump . “I…”
“It wa s wonderful, wa sn’t it?” Her red lip s curved. “The ɹrst time since
you’ve been a
vamp ire tha t you ha ven’t been hungry.”
“No,” Simon sa id.
“You’re lying.” There wa s conviction in her voice. “They try to ma ke us ɹg
ht a ga inst our

na tures, the Nep hilim. They will a ccep t us only if we p retend
to be other tha n we a re—not
hunters, not p reda tors. Your friends will never a ccep t wha t you
a re, only wha t you p retend
to be. Wha t you do for them, they would never do for you.”
“I don’t know why you’re bothering with this,” sa id Simon. “Wha t’s done is d
one. I’m not
going to let you go. I ma de my choice. I don’t wa nt wha t you of fered me.”
“Ma ybe not now,” Camille sa id sof tly. “But you will. You will.”
The Sha dowhunter gua rd step p ed ba ck a s the door op ened, a nd M
a ryse came into the
room. She wa s followed by two ɹgures immedia tely familia r to Simon:
Isa belle’s brother
Alec, a nd his boyfriend, the wa rlock Ma gnus Ba ne.
Alec wa s dressed in a sober bla ck suit; Ma gnus, to Simon’s surp rise, wa s
simila rly dressed,
with the a ddition of a long white silk sca rf with ta sseled ends
a nd a p a ir of white gloves.
His ha ir stood up like it a lwa ys did, but for a cha nge he wa s devoid of
glitter. Camille, up on
seeing him, went very still.
Ma gnus didn’t seem to see her yet; he wa s listening to Ma ryse, wh
o wa s sa ying, ra ther
awkwa rdly, tha t it wa s good of them to come so quickly. “We rea
lly didn’t exp ect you until
tomorrow, a t the ea rliest.”
Alec ma de a muʀed noise of a nnoya nce a nd ga zed oʃ into sp a ce.
He seemed a s if he
wa sn’t ha p p y to be there a t a ll. Beyond tha t, Simon thought, he looked m
uch the same a s he
a lwa ys ha d—same bla ck ha ir, same stea dy blue eyes—a lthough there wa
s something more
rela xed a bout him tha n there ha d been before, a s if he ha d grown into hi
mself somehow.
“Fortuna tely there’s a Porta l loca ted nea r the Vienna Op era House,”
Ma gnus sa id,
ɻinging his sca rf ba ck over his shoulder with a gra nd gesture. “The
moment we got your
messa ge, we hurried to be here.”
“I still rea lly don’t see wha t a ny of this ha s to do with us,” Alec
sa id. “So you ca ught a
vamp ire who wa s up to something na sty. Aren’t they a lwa ys?”
Simon felt his stoma ch turn. He looked towa rd Camille to see if
she wa s la ughing a t him,
but her ga ze wa s f ixed on Ma gnus.
Alec, looking a t Simon for the ɹrst time, ɻushed. It wa s a lwa ys v
ery noticea ble on him
beca use his skin wa s so p a le. “Sorry, Simon. I didn’t mea n you. You’re dif fe
Would you think that if you had s e e n me las t night, fe e ding
on a fourte e n-ye ar-old girl? Simon
thought. He didn’t sa y tha t, though, just drop p ed Alec a nod.
“She is of interest in our current investiga tion into the dea ths of
three Sha dowhunters,”
sa id Ma ryse. “We need informa tion from her, a nd she will only ta lk to Ma gn
us Ba ne.”
“Rea lly?” Alec looked a t Camille with p uzzled interest. “Only to Ma gnus?”
Ma gnus followed his ga ze, a nd for the ɹrst time—or so it seemed to
Simon—looked a t
Camille directly. Something cra ckled between them, a sort of energ

y. Ma gnus’s mouth
quirked up a t the corners into a wistful smile.
“Yes,” Ma ryse sa id, a look of p uzzlement p a ssing over her fa ce a
s she ca ught the look
between the wa rlock a nd the vamp ire. “Tha t is, if Ma gnus is willing.”
“I am,” Ma gnus sa id, drawing of f his gloves. “I’ll ta lk to Camille for you.”
“Camille?” Alec looked a t Ma gnus with his eyebrows ra ised. “You know he
r, then? Or—
she knows you?”
“We know ea ch other.” Ma gnus shrugged, very slightly, a s if to sa y
, What can you do?
“Once up on a time she wa s my girlfriend.”
“Yo ur girlfrie nd?” Alec looked a stonished. So did Ma ryse. Simon couldn’t
sa y he wa s
una stonished himself . “You da ted a vampire ? A girl vamp ire?”
“It wa s a hundred a nd thirty yea rs a go,” sa id Ma gnus. “I ha ven’t seen her since
“Why didn’t you tell me?” Alec dema nded.
Ma gnus sighed. “Alexa nder, I’ve been a live for hundreds of yea rs.
I’ve been with men,
been with women—with fa eries a nd wa rlocks a nd vamp ires, a nd even
a djinn or two.” He
looked sidewa ys a t Ma ryse, who looked mildly horrif ied. “Too much informa ti
“It’s a ll right,” she sa id, though she sounded a little wa n. “I ha ve
to discuss something
with Ka dir for a moment. I’ll be ba ck.” She step p ed a side, joinin
g Ka dir; they disa p p ea red
through the doorwa y. Simon took a few step s ba ck a s well, p re
tending to study one of the
sta ined-gla ss windows intently, but his vamp ire hea ring wa s good
enough tha t he could
hea r everything Ma gnus a nd Alec were sa ying to ea ch other, wheth
er he wa nted to or not.
Camille, he knew, could hea r it too. She ha d her hea d cocked t
o the side a s she listened, her
eyes hea vy-lidded a nd thoughtful.
“How many othe r p eop le?” Alec a sked. “Roughly.”
Ma gnus shook his hea d. “I ca n’t count, a nd it doesn’t ma tter. The
only thing tha t ma tters
is how I feel a bout you.”
“More tha n a hundred?” Alec a sked. Ma gnus looked bla nk. “Two hundred?”
“I ca n’t believe we’re ha ving this conversa tion now,” Ma gnus sa id, to n
o one in
p a rticula r. Simon wa s inclined to a gree, a nd wished they weren’t ha ving i
t in front of him.
“Why so ma ny?” Alec’s blue eyes were very bright in the dimness. Simon couldn’t tell i
f he
wa s a ngry. He didn’t s ound a ngry, just very intense, but Alec wa
s a shut-down p erson, a nd
p erha p s this wa s a s a ngry a s he ever got. “Do you get bored with p eop le
fa st?”
“I live forever,” Ma gnus sa id quietly. “But not everyone does.”
Alec looked a s if someone ha d hit him. “So you just sta y with th
em a s long a s they live,
a nd then you f ind someone else?”
Ma gnus didn’t sa y a nything. He looked a t Alec, his eyes shining l
ike a ca t’s. “Would you

ra ther I sp ent a ll of eternity a lone?”
Alec’s mouth twitched. “I’m going to ɹnd Isa belle,” he sa id, a nd without
a nother word he
turned a nd wa lked ba ck into the Institute.
Ma gnus wa tched him go with sa d eyes. Not a huma n sort of sa d
, Simon thought. His eyes
seemed to conta in the sa dness of grea t a ges, a s if the sha rp
edges of huma n sa dness ha d
been worn down to something sof ter by the p a ssing of yea rs, the
wa y sea wa ter wore awa y
the sha rp edges of gla ss.
As if he could tell Simon wa s thinking a bout him, Ma gnus looked
a t him sidewa ys.
“Ea vesdrop p ing, vamp ire?”
“I rea lly don’t love it when p eop le ca ll me tha t,” Simon sa id. “I ha ve a name.”
“I sup p ose I’d better remember it. Af ter a ll, in a hundred, two
hundred, yea rs, it’ll be just
you a nd me.” Ma gnus rega rded Simon thoughtfully. “We’ll be a ll tha t’s lef t.”
The thought ma de Simon feel a s if he were in a n eleva tor tha t
ha d suddenly broken free
of its moorings a nd sta rted p lunging towa rd the ground, a thous
a nd stories down. The
thought ha d p a ssed through his mind before, of course, but he h
a d a lwa ys p ushed it awa y.
The thought tha t he would sta y sixteen while Cla ry got older, Ja
ce got older, everyone he
knew got older, grew up , ha d children, a nd nothing ever cha nged for him w
a s too enormous
a nd horrible to contemp la te.
Being sixteen forever sounded good until you rea lly thought a bout it
. Then it didn’t seem
like such a grea t p rosp ect a nymore.
Ma gnus’s ca t eyes were a clea r gold-green. “Sta ring eternity in the
fa ce,” he sa id. “Not so
much fun, is it?”
Before Simon could rep ly, Ma ryse ha d returned. “Where’s Alec?” she a sk
ed, looking
a round in p uzzlement.
“He went to see Isa belle,” sa id Simon, before Ma gnus ha d to sa y a nything.
“Very well.” Ma ryse smoothed the front of her ja cket down, though it wa sn’t wrink
led. “If
you wouldn’t mind…”
“I’ll ta lk to Camille,” sa id Ma gnus. “But I wa nt to do it a lone. If
you’d like to wa it for me
in the Institute, I’ll join you there when I’m f inished.”
Ma ryse hesita ted. “You know wha t to a sk her?”
Ma gnus’s ga ze wa s unwa vering. “I know how to ta lk to her, yes. I
f she is willing to sa y
a nything, she’ll sa y it to me.”
Both of them seemed to ha ve forgotten tha t Simon wa s there. “Should I go too?”
he a sked,
interrup ting their sta ring contest.
Ma ryse looked a t him, ha lf -distra cted. “Oh, yes. Tha nk you for
your help , Simon, but
you’re no longer needed. Go home if you like.”
Ma gnus sa id nothing a t a ll. With a shrug Simon turned a nd went towa rd th
e door tha t led
to the vestry a nd the exit tha t would ta ke him outside. At the
door he p a used a nd looked
ba ck. Ma ryse a nd Ma gnus were still ta lking, though the gua rd wa s a lrea

dy holding op en the
Institute door, rea dy to lea ve. Only Camille seemed to remember th
a t Simon wa s there a t
a ll. She wa s smiling a t him from her p illa r, her lip s curved
up a t the corners, her eyes
shining like a p romise.
Simon went out, a nd closed the door behind him.
“It ha p p ens every night.” Ja ce wa s sitting on the ɻoor, his legs dra
wn up , his ha nds
da ngling between his knees. He ha d p ut the knife on the bed next
to Cla ry; she kep t one
ha nd on it while he ta lked—more to rea ssure him tha n beca use she
needed it to defend
herself . All the energy seemed to ha ve dra ined out of Ja ce; ev
en his voice sounded emp ty
a nd fa r awa y while he ta lked, a s if he were sp ea king to her
from a grea t dista nce. “I dream
tha t you come into my room a nd we … sta rt doing wha t we were jus
t doing. And then I
hurt you. I cut you or stra ngle or sta b you, a nd you die, loo
king up a t me with those green
eyes of yours while your life bleeds awa y between my ha nds.”
“They’re only dreams,” Cla ry sa id gently.
“You just saw tha t they a ren’t,” sa id Ja ce. “I wa s wide awa ke when I
p icked up tha t
Cla ry knew he wa s right. “Are you worried tha t you’re going cra zy?”
He shook his hea d slowly. Ha ir fell into his eyes; he p ushed it
ba ck. His ha ir ha d gotten a
little too long; he ha dn’t cut it in a while, a nd Cla ry wondered
if it wa s beca use he couldn’t
be bothered. How could she not ha ve p a id more a ttention to the sha dows und
er his eyes, the
bitten na ils, the drawn exha usted look of him? She ha d been so concerne
d a bout whether he
still loved her tha t she ha d not thought a bout a nything else. “I’m
not so worried a bout tha t,
rea lly,” he sa id. “I’m worried a bout hurting you. I’m worried tha t wha
tever p oison it is
tha t’s ea ting its wa y into my dreams will bleed through into my wa
king life a nd I’ll…” His
throa t seemed to close up .
“You would never hurt me.”
“I ha d tha t knife in my hand, Cla ry.” He looked up a t her, a nd
then awa y. “If I hurt
you…” His voice tra iled oʃ. “Sha dowhunters die young, a lot of the tim
e,” he sa id. “We a ll
know tha t. And you wa nted to be a Sha dowhunter, a nd I would n
ever stop you beca use it
isn’t my job to tell you wha t to do with your life. Esp ecia lly wh
en I’m ta king the same kind
of risks. Wha t kind of p erson would I be if I told you it wa
s a ll right for me to risk my life,
but not for you? So I’ve thought a bout wha t it would be like for m
e if you died. I bet you’ve
thought a bout the same thing.”
“I know wha t it would be like,” Cla ry sa id, remembering the la ke,
the sword, a nd Ja ce’s
blood sp rea ding over the sa nd. He ha d been dea d, a nd the Angel
ha d brought him ba ck, but

those ha d been the worst minutes of her life. “I wa nted to die. But I knew
how disa p p ointed
in me you’d ha ve been if I’d just given up .”
He smiled, the ghost of a smile. “And I’ve thought the same thing.
If you died, I wouldn’t
wa nt to live. But I wouldn’t kill myself , beca use wha tever ha p p
ens a f ter we die, I wa nt to
be with you there. And if I killed myself , I know you’d never ta
lk to me a ga in. In a ny life.
So I’d live, a nd I’d try to ma ke something out of my life, until I could be wit
h you a ga in. But
i f I hurt you—if I wa s the ca use of your dea th—there’s nothing tha t
would keep me from
destroying myself .”
“Don’t sa y tha t.” Cla ry felt chilled to the bone. “Ja ce, you should ha ve told me.”
“I couldn’t.” His voice wa s f la t, f ina l.
“Why not?”
“I thought I wa s Ja ce Lightwood,” he sa id. “I thought it wa s p ossibl
e tha t my up bringing
ha dn’t touched me. But now I wonder if ma ybe p eop le ca n’t cha nge.
Ma ybe I’ll a lwa ys be
Ja ce Morgenstern, Va lentine’s son. He ra ised me for ten yea rs, a
nd ma ybe tha t’s a sta in
tha t won’t ever blea ch out.”
“You think this is beca use of your fa ther,” Cla ry sa id, a nd the b
it of story tha t Ja ce ha d
told her once ra n through her hea d, to love is to de s troy. And then she
thought how stra nge it
wa s tha t she would ca ll Va lentine Ja ce’s fa ther, when his blood
ra n in her veins, not Ja ce’s.
But she ha d never felt a bout Va lentine the wa y you might feel a bout a fa t
her. And Ja ce ha d.
“And you didn’t wa nt me to know?”
“You’re everything I wa nt,” Ja ce sa id. “And ma ybe Ja ce Lightwood deserve
s to get
everything he wa nts. But Ja ce Morgenstern doesn’t. Somewhere inside I must k
now tha t. Or
I wouldn’t be trying to destroy wha t we ha ve.”
Cla ry took a deep brea th, a nd let it out slowly. “I don’t think you a re.”
He ra ised his hea d a nd blinked. “Wha t do you mea n?”
“You think this is p sychologica l,” Cla ry sa id. “Tha t there’s something w
rong with you.
Well, I don’t. I think someone is doing this to you.”
“I don’t—”
“Ithuriel sent me dreams,” Cla ry sa id. “Ma ybe someone is sending you dreams.”
“Ithuriel sent you dreams to try to help you. To guide you to the truth. Wha t’s
the p oint of
these dreams? They’re sick, mea ningless, sa distic—”
“Ma ybe they ha ve a mea ning,” Cla ry sa id. “Ma ybe the mea ning just isn’t
wha t you think.
Or ma ybe whoever’s sending them is trying to hurt you.”
“Who would do tha t?”
“Someone who doesn’t like us very much,” sa id Cla ry, a nd p ushed awa y
a n ima ge of the
Seelie Queen.
“Ma ybe,” Ja ce sa id sof tly, looking down a t his ha nds. “Seba stia n—”
So he doe s n’t want to call him Jonathan e ithe r, Cla ry thought.
She didn’t blame him. It wa s
his own name too. “Seba stia n’s dea d,” she sa id, a little more sha rp
ly tha n she’d intended.

“And if he ha d ha d this sort of p ower, he would ha ve used it before.”
Doubt a nd hop e cha sed ea ch other a cross Ja ce’s fa ce. “You rea lly
think someone else
could be doing this?”
Cla ry’s hea rt bea t ha rd a ga inst her rib ca ge. She was n’t sure; s
he wa nted it so ba dly to be
true, but if it wa sn’t, she would ha ve gotten Ja ce’s hop es up for nothing.
Both their hop es.
But then she got the feeling it ha d been a while since Ja ce ha d
felt hop eful a bout
a nything.
“I think we should go to the Silent City,” she sa id. “The Brothers ca n
get into your hea d
a nd f ind out if someone’s been messing a round in there. The wa y they did wit
h me.”
Ja ce op ened his mouth a nd closed it a ga in. “When?” he sa id f ina lly.
“Now,” Cla ry sa id. “I don’t wa nt to wa it. Do you?”
He didn’t rep ly, just got up oʃ the ɻoor a nd p icked up his shirt.
He looked a t Cla ry, a nd
a lmost smiled. “If we’re going to the Silent City, you might wa nt t
o get dressed. I mea n, I
a p p recia te the bra -a nd-p a nties look, but I don’t know if the S
ilent Brothers will. There a re
only a few of them lef t, a nd I don’t wa nt them to die of excitement.”
Cla ry got up oʃ the bed a nd threw a p illow a t him, mostly out
of relief . She rea ched for
her clothes a nd bega n to p ull her shirt on. Just before it went
over her hea d, she ca ught
sight of the knife lying on the bedsp rea d, gleaming like a fork of silvery
f lame.
“Camille,” Ma gnus sa id. “It’s been a long time, ha sn’t it?”
She smiled. Her skin looked whiter tha n he reca lled, a nd da rk s
p idery veins were
beginning to show benea th its surfa ce. Her ha ir wa s still the co
lor of sp un silver, a nd her
eyes were still a s green a s a ca t’s. She wa s still bea utiful.
Looking a t her, he wa s in London
a ga in. He saw the ga slight a nd smelled the smoke a nd dirt a nd
horses, the meta llic ta ng of
fog, the ɻowers in Kew Ga rdens. He saw a boy with bla ck ha ir a
nd blue eyes like Alec’s. A
girl with long brown curls a nd a serious fa ce. In a world where
everything went awa y from
him eventua lly, she wa s one of the few rema ining consta nts.
And then there wa s Camille.
“I’ve missed you, Ma gnus,” she sa id.
“No, you ha ven’t.” He sa t down on the ɻoor of the Sa nctua ry. He coul
d feel the cold of
the stone through his clothes. He wa s gla d he ha d worn the sca r
f . “So why the messa ge for
me? Just sta lling for time?”
“No.” She lea ned forwa rd, the cha ins ra ttling. He could a lmost hea
r the hissing where the
blessed meta l touched the skin of her wrists. “I ha ve hea rd things a bout you
, Ma gnus. I ha ve
hea rd tha t you a re under the wing of the Sha dowhunters these da
ys. I ha d hea rd tha t you
ha ve won the love of one of them. Tha t boy you were just ta lk
ing to, I ima gine. But then
your ta stes were a lwa ys diverse.”

“You ha ve been listening to rumors a bout me,” Ma gnus sa id. “But you c
ould simp ly ha ve
a sked me. All these yea rs I wa s in Brooklyn, not fa r awa y a t
a ll, a nd I never hea rd from
you. Never saw you a t one of my p a rties. There ha s been a wa ll of ice
between us, Camille.”
“I did not build it.” Her green eyes widened. “I ha ve loved you a lwa ys.”
“You lef t me,” he sa id. “You ma de a p et out of me, a nd then you
lef t me. If love were
food, I would ha ve sta rved on the bones you ga ve me.” He sp oke m
a tter-of -fa ctly. It ha d
been a long time.
“But we ha d a ll of eternity,” she p rotested. “You must ha ve known I
would come ba ck to
“Camille.” Ma gnus sp oke with inf inite p a tience. “Wha t do you want?”
Her chest rose a nd fell quickly. Since she ha d no need to brea th
e, Ma gnus knew this wa s
ma inly for eʃect. “I know you ha ve the ea r of the Sha dowhunters,” sh
e sa id. “I wa nt you to
sp ea k to them on my beha lf .”
“You wa nt me to cut a dea l for you,” Ma gnus tra nsla ted.
She cut her eyes a t him. “Your diction ha s a lwa ys been so regretta bly modern
“They’re sa ying you killed three Sha dowhunters,” sa id Ma gnus. “Did you?”
“They were Circle members,” she sa id, her lower lip trembling. “They ha
d tortured a nd
killed my kind in the p a st…”
“Is tha t why you did it? Revenge?” When she wa s silent, Ma gnus sa id
, “You know wha t
they do to those who kill Nep hilim, Camille.”
Her eyes shone. “I need you to intercede for me, Ma gnus. I wa nt
immunity. I wa nt a
signed p romise from the Cla ve tha t if I give them informa tion,
they will sp a re my life a nd
set me free.”
“They’ll never set you free.”
“Then they’ll never know why their collea gues ha d to die.”
“ Had to die?” Ma gnus mused. “Interesting wording, Camille. Am I correct
tha t there is
more to this tha n meets the eye? More tha n blood or revenge?”
She wa s silent, looking a t him, her chest rising a nd fa lling a
rtfully. Everything a bout her
wa s a rtful—the fa ll of her silvery ha ir, the curve of her throa t, even th
e blood on her wrists.
“If you wa nt me to sp ea k to them for you,” Ma gnus sa id, “you ha ve
to tell me a t lea st
some sma ll thing. A show of good fa ith.”
She smiled brillia ntly. “I knew you would sp ea k to them for me, M
a gnus. I knew the p a st
wa s not entirely dea d for you.”
“Consider it undea d if you like,” Ma gnus sa id. “The truth, Camille?”
She ra n her tongue a cross her lower lip . “You ca n tell them,” she
sa id, “tha t I wa s under
orders when I killed those Sha dowhunters. It did not disturb me to
do it, for they ha d killed
my kin, a nd their dea ths were deserved. But I would not ha ve done it unle
ss requested to do
so by someone else, someone much more p owerful tha n myself .”
Ma gnus’s hea rt bea t a little fa ster. He didn’t like the sound of this. “Who?”

But Camille shook her hea d. “Immunity, Ma gnus.”
“They will sta ke me out in the sun a nd lea ve me to die,” she sa id. “Tha t is wha
t they do to
those who sla y Nep hilim.”
Ma gnus got to his feet. His sca rf wa s dusty from lying on the
ground. He looked a t the
sta ins mournfully. “I’ll do wha t I ca n, Camille. But I ma ke no p romises.”
“You never would,” she murmured, her eyes ha lf -lidded. “Come here, Ma gnus. Com
e close
to me.”
He did not love her, but she wa s a dream out of the p a st, s
o he moved towa rd her, until
he wa s sta nding close enough to touch her. “Remember,” she sa id sof t
ly. “Remember
London? The p a rties a t de Quincey’s? Remember Will Heronda le? I know
you do. Tha t boy
of yours, tha t Lightwood. They even look a like.”
“Do they?” Ma gnus sa id, a s if he ha d never thought a bout it.
“Pretty boys ha ve a lwa ys been your undoing,” she sa id. “But wha t ca n
some morta l child
give you? Ten yea rs, twenty, before dissolution begins to cla im hi
m. Forty yea rs, ɹf ty,
before dea th ta kes him. I ca n give you a ll of eternity.”
He touched her cheek. It wa s colder tha n the ɻoor ha d been. “You c
ould give me the
p a st,” he sa id a little sa dly. “But Alec is my future.”
“Ma gnus—,” she bega n.
The Institute door op ened, a nd Ma ryse stood in the doorwa y, outl
ined by the witchlight
behind her. Beside her wa s Alec, his a rms crossed over his chest.
Ma gnus wondered if Alec
ha d hea rd a ny of the conversa tion between him a nd Camille through the door—s
urely not?
“Ma gnus,” sa id Ma ryse Lightwood. “Ha ve you come to some a greement?”
Ma gnus drop p ed his ha nd. “I’m not sure I’d ca ll it a n a greement,” he
sa id, turning to
Ma ryse. “But I do think we ha ve some things to ta lk a bout.”
Dressed, Cla ry went with Ja ce to his room, where he p a cked a sma ll
ca nva s ba g with things
to bring with him to the Silent City, a s if , she thought, he w
ere going to some grim
sleep over p a rty. Wea p ons mostly—a few sera p h bla des; his stele;
a nd a lmost a s a n
a f terthought, the silver-ha ndled knife, its bla de now clea ned of
blood. He slid on a bla ck
lea ther ja cket, a nd she wa tched a s he zip p ed it, p ulling loo
se stra nds of blond ha ir free of
his colla r. When he turned to look a t her, slinging his ba g a c
ross his shoulder, he smiled
fa intly, a nd she saw the slight chip in his front lef t incisor
tha t she ha d a lwa ys thought wa s
endea ring, a little ɻaw in looks tha t would otherwise be too p erfe
ct. Her hea rt contra cted,
a nd for a moment she looked awa y from him, ha rdly a ble to brea the.
He held out his ha nd to her. “Let’s go.”
There wa s no wa y to summon the Silent Brothers to come a nd get t
hem, so Ja ce a nd
Cla ry took a ta xi hea ding downtown towa rd Houston a nd the Ma rbl
e Cemetery. Cla ry

sup p osed they could just ha ve Porta led into the Bone City—she’d been
there before; she
knew wha t it looked like—but Ja ce sa id there were rules a bout tha t
sort of thing, a nd Cla ry
couldn’t sha ke the feeling tha t the Silent Brothers might f ind it ra ther rude.
Ja ce sa t beside her in the ba ck of the ta xi, holding one of
her ha nds a nd tra cing p a tterns
on the ba ck of it with his ɹngers. This wa s distra cting, but not
so distra cting tha t she
couldn’t concentra te while he ɹlled her in on wha t ha d been going on with S
imon, the story
of Jorda n, their ca p ture of Camille, a nd her dema nd to sp ea k to Ma gn
“Simon’s a ll right?” she sa id worriedly. “I didn’t rea lize. He wa s in th
e Institute, a nd I
didn’t even see him—”
“He wa sn’t in the Institute; he wa s in the Sa nctua ry. And he seems
to be holding his own.
Better tha n I would ha ve thought for someone who wa s so recently a munda ne.”
“But the p la n sounds da ngerous. I mea n Camille, she’s a bsolutely cra zy, isn’t
Ja ce tra ced his ɹngers over her knuckles. “You ha ve to stop thinking
of Simon a s the
munda ne boy you used to know. The one who required so much sa ving.
He’s a lmost beyond
being ha rmed now. You ha ven’t seen tha t Ma rk you ga ve him in a c
tion. I ha ve. Like the
wra th of God being visited up on the world. I sup p ose you should be p roud.”
She shivered. “I don’t know. I did it beca use I ha d to do it, but
it’s still a curse. And I
didn’t know he wa s going through a ll this. He didn’t sa y. I knew I
sa belle a nd Ma ia ha d
found out a bout ea ch other, but I didn’t know a bout Jorda n. Tha t
he wa s rea lly Ma ia ’s ex,
or—a ny of it.” Be caus e you have n’t as ke d. You we re too bus y worrying about
Jace . Not good.
“Well,” Ja ce sa id, “ha ve you been telling him wha t you’re up to? Beca use it ha s
to go both
wa ys.”
“No. I ha ven’t rea lly told a nyone,” Cla ry sa id, a nd ɹlled Ja ce in o
n her trip to the Silent
City with Luke a nd Ma ryse, wha t she ha d found a t the morgue a
t Beth Isra el, a nd her
subsequent discovery of the Church of Ta lto.
“Never hea rd of it,” Ja ce sa id. “But Isa belle’s right, there a re a ll
sorts of biza rro demonworship p ing sects out there. Most of them
never a ctua lly succeed in summoning up a
demon. Sounds like this one did.”
“Do you think the demon we killed wa s the one they were worship p ing
? Do you think
now they might—stop ?”
Ja ce shook his hea d. “Tha t wa s just a Hydra demon, a sort of
gua rd dog. Besides, ‘Her
house inclineth unto dea th, a nd her p a ths unto the dea d. ’ Sounds
like a fema le demon to
me. And it’s the cults tha t worship fema le demons tha t of ten do
horrible stuʃ with ba bies.
They ha ve a ll sorts of twisted idea s a bout fertility a nd infa nt
s.” He sa t ba ck a ga inst the
sea t, ha lf -closing his eyes. “I’m sure the Concla ve will go to the

church a nd check it out, but
twenty to one they don’t ɹnd a nything. You killed their gua rd demon,
so the cult’s going to
clea r out a nd ditch the evidence. We might ha ve to wa it until t
hey set up shop a ga in
somewhere else.”
“But—” Cla ry’s stoma ch clenched. “Tha t ba by. And the p ictures in the boo
k I saw. I think
they’re trying to ma ke more children like—like Seba stia n.”
“They ca n’t,” sa id Ja ce. “They shot up a huma n ba by with demon blood
, which is p retty
ba d, yes. But you get something like Seba stia n only if wha t yo
u’re doing is using demon
blood on Sha dowhunter children. Instea d the ba by died.” He squeezed her ha
nd lightly, a s if
for rea ssura nce. “They’re not nice p eop le, but I ca n’t ima gine they’d
try the same thing
a ga in, since it didn’t work.”
The ta xi came to a screeching ha lt a t the corner of Houston a n
d Second Avenue. “Meter’s
broken,” sa id the ca bbie. “Ten bucks.”
Ja ce, who under other circumsta nces would p roba bly ha ve ma de a
sa rca stic rema rk,
tossed the ca bbie a twenty a nd got out of the ca r, holding the door op en
for Cla ry to follow.
“You rea dy?” he a sked a s they hea ded towa rd the iron ga te tha t led to the Cit
She nodded. “I ca n’t sa y my la st trip here wa s much fun, but yes
, I’m rea dy.” She took his
ha nd. “As long a s we’re together, I’m rea dy for a nything.”
The Silent Brothers were wa iting for them in the entrywa y of the
City, a lmost a s if they
ha d been exp ecting them. Cla ry recognized Brother Za cha ria h among
the group . They stood
in a silent line, blocking Cla ry a nd Ja ce’s fa rther ingress into the City.
Why have you come he re , daughte r of Vale ntine and s on of the
Ins titute ? Cla ry wa sn’t sure
which of them wa s sp ea king to her inside her hea d, or if a ll
of them were. It is unus ual for
childre n to e nte r the Sile nt City uns upe rvis e d.
The a p p ella tion “children” stung, though Cla ry wa s awa re tha t a s
fa r a s Sha dowhunters
were concerned, everyone under eighteen wa s a child a nd subject to dif feren
t rules.
“We need your help ,” Cla ry sa id when it became a p p a rent Ja ce wa s
n’t going to sa y
a nything. He wa s looking from one of the Silent Brothers to the
other with a curious
listlessness, like someone who ha d received countless termina l dia gn
oses from diʃerent
doctors a nd now, ha ving rea ched the end of the line, wa ited wi
thout much hop e for a
sp ecia list’s verdict. “Isn’t tha t your job—help ing Sha dowhunters?”
And ye t we are not s e rvants , at your be ck and call. Nor doe
s e ve ry proble m fall unde r our
juris diction.
“But this one does,” Cla ry sa id ɹrmly. “I believe someone is rea ching in
to Ja ce’s mind—
someone with p ower—a nd messing with his memories a nd dreams. Ma king
him do things

he doesn’t wa nt to do.”
Hypnomancy, sa id one of the Silent Brothers. The magic of dre ams
. That is the province of
only the gre ate s t and mos t powe rful us e rs of magic.
“Like a ngels,” sa id Cla ry, a nd she wa s rewa rded by a stif f , surp rised si
P e rhaps , sa id Brother Za cha ria h ɹna lly, you s hould come with u
s to the Spe aking Stars . This
wa s not a n invita tion, clea rly, but a n order, for they turned
immedia tely a nd bega n
wa lking into the hea rt of the City, not wa iting to see if Ja ce a nd Cla r
y followed.
They rea ched the p a vilion of the Sp ea king Sta rs, where the Bro
thers took their p la ces
behind their bla ck ba sa lt ta ble. The Morta l Sword wa s ba ck in
its p la ce, gleaming on the
wa ll behind them like the wing of a silver bird. Ja ce moved to
the center of the room a nd
sta red down a t the p a ttern of meta llic sta rs burned into the r
ed a nd gold tiles of the ɻoor.
Cla ry wa tched him, feeling her hea rt a che. It wa s ha rd to see
him like this, a ll his usua l
burning energy gone, like witchlight suf foca ting under a covering of a sh.
He ra ised his blond hea d then, blinking, a nd Cla ry knew tha t t
he Silent Brothers were
sp ea king inside his mind, sa ying words she couldn’t hea r. She saw
him sha ke his hea d a nd
hea rd him sa y, “I don’t know. I thought they weren’t a nything but ord
ina ry dreams.” His
mouth tightened then, a nd she couldn’t help wondering wha t they were
a sking him.
“Visions? I don’t think so. Yes, I did encounter the Angel, but it’s C
la ry who ha d the
p rop hetic dreams. Not me.”
Cla ry tensed. They were getting awfully close to a sking a bout wha
t ha d ha p p ened with
Ja ce a nd the Angel tha t night by La ke Lyn. She ha dn’t thought a
bout tha t. When the Silent
Brothers p ried into your mind, just wha t did they see? Only wha t
they were looking for? Or
Ja ce nodded then. “Fine. I’m rea dy if you a re.”
He closed his eyes, a nd Cla ry, wa tching, rela xed slightly. This must ha
ve been wha t it ha d
been like for Ja ce to wa tch her, she thought, the ɹrst time the S
ilent Brothers ha d delved
into her mind. She saw deta ils she ha dn’t noticed then, for she ha
d been ca ught inside the
nets of their minds a nd her own, reeling ba ck into her memories, lost to th
e world.
She saw Ja ce stiʃen a ll over a s if they ha d touched him with the
ir ha nds. His hea d went
ba ck. His ha nds, a t his sides, op ened a nd closed, a s the st
a rs on the ɻoor a t his feet ɻa red
up with a blinding silver light. She blinked awa y tea rs from the
brightness; he wa s a
gra ceful da rk outline a ga inst a sheet of blinding silver, a s i
f he stood in the hea rt of a
wa terfa ll. All a round them wa s noise, a sof t, incomp rehensible whisp e

As she wa tched, he went to his knees, his ha nds bra ced a ga inst
the ground. Her hea rt
tightened. Ha ving the Silent Brothers in her hea d ha d nea rly ma d
e her fa int, but Ja ce wa s
stronger tha n tha t, wa sn’t he? Slowly he doubled in on himself , h
a nds grip p ed a ga inst his
stoma ch, a gony in every line of him, though he never cried out.
Cla ry could ta ke it no
longer—she da rted towa rd him, through the sheets of light, a nd wen
t on her knees next to
him, throwing her a rms a round his body. The whisp ering voices a r
ound her rose to a storm
of p rotest a s he turned his hea d a nd looked a t her. The silve
r light ha d wa shed out his eyes,
a nd they looked f la t a nd a s white a s ma rble tiles. His lip s sha p ed he
r name.
And then it wa s gone—the light, the sound, a ll of it, a nd they
knelt together on the ba re
ɻoor of the p a vilion, silence a nd sha dow a ll a round them. Ja ce
wa s sha king, a nd when his
ha nds relea sed ea ch other, she saw tha t they were bloody where h
is na ils ha d torn the skin.
Still holding him by the a rm, she looked up a t the Silent Brothe
rs, ɹghting ba ck her a nger.
She knew it wa s like being furious a t a doctor who ha d to a dmi
nister a p a inful but
lifesa ving trea tment, but it wa s ha rd—so ha rd—to be rea sona ble when
it wa s someone tha t
you loved.
The re is s ome thing you have not told us , Claris s a Morge ns te
rn, sa id Brother Za cha ria h. A
s e cre t you both have be e n ke e ping.
An icy ha nd closed a round Cla ry’s hea rt. “Wha t do you mea n?”
The mark of de ath is on this boy. It wa s a nother of the Bro
thers sp ea king—Enoch, she
“Dea th?” sa id Ja ce. “Do you mea n I’m going to die?” He didn’t sound surp rised.
We me an that you we re de ad. You had pas s e d be yond the port
al into the s hadow re alms , your
s oul unte the re d from your body.
Cla ry a nd Ja ce excha nged a look. She swa llowed. “The Angel Ra ziel—,” she bega
Yes, his mark is all ove r the boy as we ll. Enoch’s voice wa s
without emotion. The re are only
two ways to bring back the de ad. The way of ne cromancy, the
black s orce ry of be ll, book, and
candle . That will re turn a s e mblance of life . But only an Ang
e l of God’s own right hand could
place a human’s s oul back into the ir body as e as ily as life w
as bre athe d into the ɹrs t of me n. He
shook his hea d. The balance of life and de ath, of good and e v
il, is a de licate one , young
Shadowhunte rs . You have ups e t it.
“But Ra ziel’s the Angel,” sa id Cla ry. “He ca n do wha tever he wa nts.
You worship him,
don’t you? If he chose to do this—”
Did he ? a sked a nother of the Brothers. Did he choos e ?
“I …” Cla ry looked a t Ja ce. She thought, I could have as ke d for anything e ls
e in the unive rs e .
World pe ace , a cure to dis e as e , to live fore ve r. But all I wante d

was you.
We know the ritual of the Ins trume nts , sa id Za cha ria h. We
know that he who pos s e s s e s the m
all, who is the ir Lord, may re que s t of the Ange l one thing.
I do not think he could have re fus e d
Cla ry set her chin. “Well,” she sa id, “it’s done now.”
Ja ce ga ve the ghost of a la ugh. “They could a lwa ys kill me, y
ou know,” he sa id. “Bring
things ba ck into ba la nce.”
Her ha nds tightened on his a rm. “Don’t be ridiculous.” But her voice wa
s thin. She tensed
further a s Brother Za cha ria h broke awa y from the tight group of
Silent Brothers a nd
a p p roa ched them, his feet gliding silently over the Sp ea king Sta
rs. He rea ched Ja ce, a nd
Cla ry ha d to ɹght the urge to p ush him awa y a s he bent down a n
d p la ced his long ɹngers
under Ja ce’s chin, ra ising the boy’s fa ce to his. Za cha ria h’s ɹngers
were slim, unlined—a
young ma n’s ɹngers. She ha d never given much thought to the a ges of
the Silent Brothers
before, a ssuming them to be a ll some sp ecies of wizened a nd old.
Ja ce, kneeling, ga zed up a t Za cha ria h, who looked down a t h
im with his blind, imp a ssive
exp ression. Cla ry could not help but think of medieva l p a inting
s of sa ints on their knees,
ga zing upwa rd, their fa ces suʃused with shining golden light. Would
that I had be e n he re , he
sa id, his voice unexp ectedly gentle, whe n you we re growing up.
I would have s e e n the truth in
your face , Jace Lightwood, and known who you we re .
Ja ce looked p uzzled but didn’t move to p ull awa y.
Za cha ria h turned to the others. We cannot and s hould not harm th
e boy. Old tie s e xis t
be twe e n the He rondale s and the Brothe rs . We owe him he lp.
“Help with wha t?” Cla ry dema nded. “Ca n you see something wrong with him—something
inside his hea d?”
Whe n a Shadowhunte r is born, a ritual is pe rforme d, a numbe r
of prote ctive s pe lls place d upon
the child by both the Sile nt Brothe rs and the Iron Sis te rs .
The Iron Sisters, Cla ry knew from her studies, were the sister sec
t of the Silent Brothers;
even more retiring tha n their brethren, they were in cha rge of cr
a f ting Sha dowhunter
wea p ons.
Brother Za cha ria h went on. Whe n Jace die d and the n was rais e d, he w
as born a s e cond time ,
with thos e prote ctions and rituals s trippe d away. It would have
le ft him as ope n as an unlocke d
door—ope n to any kind of de monic influe nce or male vole nce .
Cla ry licked her dry lip s. “Possession, you mea n?”
Not pos s e s s ion. Inɻue nce . I s us pe ct that a powe rful de monic
powe r whis pe rs into your e ars ,
Jonathan He rondale . You are s trong, you ɹght it, but it we ars
you down as the s e a we ars down
the s and.
“Ja ce,” he whisp ered through white lip s. “Ja ce Lightwood, not Heronda le.”
Cla ry, clinging to p ra ctica lities, sa id, “How ca n you be sure i
t’s a demon? And wha t ca n

we do to get it to lea ve him a lone?”
Enoch, sounding thoughtful, sa id, The ritual mus t be pe rforme d
again, the prote ctions laid
upon him a s e cond time , as if he had jus t be e n born.
“Ca n you do it?” Cla ry a sked.
Za cha ria h inclined his hea d. It can be done . The pre parations
mus t be made , one of the Iron
Sis te rs calle d on, an amule t crafte d… He tra iled oʃ. Jonathan mus
t re main with us until the
ritual is finis he d. This is the s afe s t place for him.
Cla ry looked a t Ja ce a ga in, sea rching for a n exp ression—a ny exp
ression—of hop e, relief ,
delight, a nything. But his fa ce wa s imp a ssive. “For how long?” he sa id.
Za cha ria h sp rea d his thin ha nds wide. A day, pe rhaps two. The r
itual is me ant for infants ; we
will have to change it, alte r it to ɹt an adult. If he we re
olde r than e ighte e n, it would be
impos s ible . As it is , it will be difficult. But he is not be yond s a
Not be yond s aving. It wa s not wha t Cla ry ha d hop ed for; she
ha d wa nted to be told tha t
the p roblem wa s simp le, ea sily solved. She looked a t Ja ce. Hi
s hea d wa s bowed, his ha ir
fa lling forwa rd; the ba ck of his neck looked so vulnera ble to her, it ma
de her hea rt a che.
“It’s f ine,” she sa id sof tly. “I’ll sta y here with you—”
No. The Brothers sp oke a s a group , their voices inexora ble. He
mus t re main he re alone . For
what we mus t do, he cannot afford to be dis tracte d.
She felt Ja ce’s body tighten. The la st time he ha d been a lone in
the Silent City, he ha d
been unfa irly imp risoned, p resent for the horrible dea ths of most
of the Silent Brothers, a nd
tormented by Va lentine. She could not ima gine tha t the idea of
a nother night a lone in the
City would be a nything but awful for him.
“Ja ce,” she whisp ered. “I’ll do wha tever you wa nt me to do. If you wa nt to go…”
“I’ll sta y,” he sa id. He ha d ra ised his hea d, a nd his voice wa s
strong a nd clea r. “I’ll sta y.
I’ll do wha tever I ha ve to do to ɹx this. I just need you to ca ll
Izzy a nd Alec. Tell them—tell
them I’m sta ying a t Simon’s to keep a n eye on him. Tell them I’ll s
ee them tomorrow or the
next da y.”
“Cla ry.” Gently he took both her ha nds a nd held them between his. “You
were right. This
isn’t coming from inside me. Something is doing this to me. To us.
You know wha t tha t
mea ns? If I ca n be … cured … then I don’t ha ve to be a fra id of myself when I’m a
round you
a nymore. I’d sp end a thousa nd nights in the Silent City for tha t.”
She lea ned forwa rd, heedless of the p resence of the Silent Broth
ers, a nd kissed him, a
quick p ress of her lip s a ga inst his. “I’ll be ba ck,” she whisp ered.
“Tomorrow night, a f ter the
Ironworks p a rty, I’ll come ba ck a nd see you.”
The hop efulness in his eyes wa s enough to brea k her hea rt. “Ma ybe I’ll be cure
d by then.”
She touched his fa ce with her f ingertip s. “Ma ybe you will be.”

Simon woke still feeling exha usted a f ter a long night of ba d dreams. He r
olled onto his ba ck
a nd sta red a t the light coming in the single window in his bedroom.
He couldn’t help but wonder if he’d sleep better if he did wha t ot
her vamp ires did, a nd
slep t during the da y. Desp ite the fa ct tha t the sun didn’t ha rm
him, he could feel the p ull of
the nights, the desire to be out under the da rk sky a nd the glim
mering sta rs. There wa s
something in him tha t wa nted to live in sha dows, tha t felt the
sunlight like a thin, knifelike
p a in—just like there wa s something in him tha t wa nted blood. And
look how ɹghting that
ha d turned out for him.
He sta ggered up right a nd threw on some clothes, then ma de his wa
y out into the living
room. The p la ce smelled like toa st a nd coʃee. Jorda n wa s sitting
on one of the counter
stools, his ha ir sticking out every which wa y a s usua l, his shoulders hunc
“Hey,” Simon sa id. “Wha t’s up ?”
Jorda n looked over a t him. He wa s p a le under his ta n. “We ha ve a p roble
m,” he sa id.
Simon blinked. He ha dn’t seen his werewolf roomma te since the da y
before. He’d come
home from the Institute la st night a nd colla p sed in exha ustion.
Jorda n ha dn’t been here,
a nd Simon ha d ɹgured he wa s out working. But ma ybe something ha d
ha p p ened. “Wha t’s
“This wa s shoved under our door.” Jorda n p ushed a folded newsp a p er
towa rd Simon. It
wa s the Ne w York Morning Chronicle , folded op en to one of the p
a ges. There wa s a grisly
p icture up towa rd the top , a gra iny ima ge of a body sp rawl
ed on some p a vement, stickskinny limbs bent a t odd a ngles. It h
a rdly looked huma n, the wa y dea d bodies sometimes
didn’t. Simon wa s a bout to a sk Jorda n why he ha d to look a t th
is, when the text under the
p hoto jump ed out a t him.
Pol i ce sa y they a re pursui ng l eads i n the dea th of fourteen-yea r-ol d
Maureen Brown, whose body wa s di scovered Sunda y ni g ht
a t el even p.m. stuʃed i nto a tra sh can outsi de the Bi g Appl e Del i on Th
i rd Avenue. Thoug h no oɽci a l cause of dea th ha s been
rel ea sed by the coroner’s oɽce, the del i owner who found the body, Mi cha
el Ga rza , sa ys her throa t wa s cut open. Pol i ce ha ve
not yet l oca ted a wea pon…
Una ble to rea d on, Simon sa t down hea vily in a cha ir. Now th
a t he knew, the p hoto wa s
unmista ka bly Ma ureen. He recognized her ra inbow a rm wa rmers, the
stup id p ink ha t she’d
been wea ring when he’d seen her la st. My God, he wa nted to sa y.
Oh, God. But no words
came out.
“Didn’t tha t note sa y,” Jorda n sa id in a blea k voice, “tha t if you
didn’t go to tha t a ddress,
they’d cut your girlfriend’s throa t?”
“No,” Simon whisp ered. “It’s not p ossible. No.”
But he remembered.

Eric’s little cous in’s frie nd. What’s he r name ? The one who has
a crus h on Simon. She come s to
all our gigs and te lls e ve ryone s he ’s his girlfrie nd.
Simon remembered her p hone, her little p ink p hone with the sticker
s on it, the wa y she’d
held it up to ta ke a p hoto of them. The feeling of her ha nd
on his shoulder, a s light a s a
butterɻy. Fourteen yea rs old. He curled in on himself , wra p p ing
his a rms a round his chest,
a s if he could ma ke himself sma ll enough to va nish comp letely.
Ja ce tossed unea sily on the na rrow bed in the Silent City. He did
n’t know where the
Brothers slep t, a nd they didn’t seem inclined to revea l it. The on
ly p la ce there seemed to be
for him to lie down wa s in one of the cells below the City where they usua lly
kep t p risoners.
They’d lef t the door op en for him so he didn’t feel too much like he wa s in ja il
, but the p la ce
couldn’t by a ny stretch of the ima gina tion be ca lled p lea sa nt.
The a ir wa s close a nd thick; he’d ta ken oʃ his shirt a nd la y a t
op the covers in just his
jea ns, but he wa s still too hot. The wa lls were dull gra y. So
meone ha d ca rved the letters JG
into the stone just a bove the bedstea d, lea ving him to wonder wha
t tha t wa s a bout—a nd
there wa s nothing else in the room but the bed, a cra cked mirror
tha t ga ve him ba ck his
own reɻection in twisted p ieces, a nd the sink. Not to mention the
more tha n unp lea sa nt
memories the room stirred up .
The Brothers ha d been in a nd out of his mind a ll night, till h
e felt like a wrung-out ra g.
Since they were so secretive a bout everything, he ha d no idea if
they were ma king a ny
p rogress. They didn’t seem p lea sed, but then, they never did.
The rea l test, he knew, wa s sleep ing. Wha t would he dream? To s le e p:
pe rchance to dre am.
He ɻip p ed over, burying his fa ce in his a rms. He didn’t think he
could sta nd even one more
dream a bout hurting Cla ry. He thought he might a ctua lly lose his
mind, a nd the idea
frightened him. The p rosp ect of dying ha d never frightened him mu
ch, but the thought of
going insa ne wa s nea rly the worst thing he could ima gine. But go
ing to sleep wa s the only
wa y to know. He closed his eyes a nd willed himself to sleep .
He slep t, a nd he dreamed.
He wa s ba ck in the va lley—the va lley in Idris where he ha d fought
Seba stia n a nd nea rly
died. It wa s a utumn in the va lley, not high summer a s it ha d
been the la st time he ha d been
there. The lea ves were exp loding in gold a nd russet a nd ora nge
a nd red. He wa s sta nding
by the ba nk of the sma ll river—a stream, rea lly—tha t cut the va lle
y in ha lf . In the dista nce,
coming towa rd him, wa s someone, someone he couldn’t see very clea rl
y yet, but the
p erson’s stride wa s direct a nd p urp oseful.

He wa s so sure it wa s Seba stia n tha t it wa s not until the ɹgure
ha d come close enough to
see clea rly tha t he rea lized it couldn’t p ossibly be. Seba stia n h
a d been ta ll, ta ller tha n Ja ce,
but this p erson wa s sma ll—the fa ce in sha dow, but a hea d or tw
o shorter tha n Ja ce—a nd
skinny, with the thin shoulders of childhood, a nd bony wrists stic
king out of the too-short
sleeves of his shirt.
Ma x.
The sight of his little brother hit Ja ce like a blow, a nd he w
ent down on his knees on the
green gra ss. The fa ll didn’t hurt. Everything ha d the p a dded edge
s of the dream tha t it wa s.
Ma x looked a s he a lwa ys ha d. A knobby-kneed boy just on the ve
rge of growing up a nd out
of tha t little-kid sta ge. Now he never would.
“Ma x,” Ja ce sa id. “Ma x, I’m so sorry.”
“Ja ce.” Ma x stood where he wa s. A little wind ha d come up a nd li
f ted his brown ha ir oʃ
his fa ce. His eyes, behind their gla sses, were serious. “I’m not he
re beca use of me,” he sa id.
“I’m not here to ha unt you or ma ke you feel guilty.”
Of cours e he is n’t, sa id a voice in Ja ce’s hea d. Max has only e ve r love
d you, looke d up to you,
thought you we re wonde rful.
“The dreams you’ve been ha ving,” Ma x sa id. “They’re messa ges.”
“The dreams a re a demon’s inf luence, Ma x. The Silent Brothers sa id—”
“They’re wrong,” Ma x sa id quickly. “There a re only a few of them now,
a nd their p owers
a re wea ker tha n they used to be. These dreams a re mea nt to tel
l you something. You’ve
been misundersta nding them. They’re not telling you to hurt Cla ry. T
hey’re wa rning you
tha t you a lrea dy a re.”
Ja ce shook his hea d slowly. “I don’t understa nd.”
“The a ngels sent me to ta lk to you beca use I know you,” Ma x sa id,
in his clea r child’s
voice. “I know how you a re with the p eop le you love, a nd you’d ne
ver hurt them willingly.
But you ha ven’t destroyed a ll of Va lentine’s inɻuence inside you yet. His voice s
till whisp ers
to you, a nd you don’t think you hea r it, but you do. The dreams
a re telling you tha t until
you kill tha t p a rt of yourself , you ca n’t be with Cla ry.”
“Then I’ll kill it,” Ja ce sa id. “I’ll do wha tever I ha ve to do. Just tell me how.”
Ma x smiled a clea r bright smile a nd held out something in his ha
nd. It wa s a silverha ndled da gger—Step hen Heronda le’s silver-ha ndled
da gger, the one from the box. Ja ce
recognized it a t once. “Ta ke this,” Ma x sa id. “And turn it a ga inst
yourself . The p a rt of you
tha t is here in the dream with me must die. Wha t will rise up a f terwa rd w
ill be clea nsed.”
Ja ce took the knife.
Ma x smiled. “Good. There a re ma ny of us here on the other side
who a re worried a bout
you. Your fa ther is here.”
“Not Va lentine—”
“Your rea l fa ther. He told me to tell you to use this. It will c
ut awa y everything rotten in

your soul.”
Ma x smiled like a n a ngel a s Ja ce turned the knife towa rd himsel
f , bla de inwa rd. Then a t
the la st moment Ja ce hesita ted. It wa s too close to wha t Va len
tine ha d done to him,
p iercing him through the hea rt. He took the bla de a nd cut a lo
ng incision into his right
forea rm, from elbow to wrist. There wa s no p a in. He switched t
he knife to the right ha nd
a nd did the same to his other a rm. Blood exp loded from the long
cuts on his a rms, brighter
red tha n blood in rea l life, blood the color of rubies. It sp i
lled down his skin a nd p a ttered
onto the gra ss.
He hea rd Ma x brea the out sof tly. The boy bent down a nd touched
the ɹngers of his right
ha nd to the blood. When he ra ised them, they were glittering sca rle
t. He took a step towa rd
Ja ce, a nd then a nother. This close up , Ja ce could see Ma x’s fa
ce clea rly—his p oreless child’s
skin, the tra nslucence of his eyelids, his eyes—Ja ce didn’t remember
him ha ving such da rk
eyes. Ma x p ut his ha nd to the skin of Ja ce’s chest, just over
his hea rt, a nd with the blood he
bega n to tra ce a design there, a rune. Not one Ja ce ha d ever
seen before, with overla p p ing
corners a nd stra nge a ngles to its sha p e.
Done, Ma x drop p ed his ha nd a nd step p ed ba ck, hea d cocked to
the side, a n a rtist
examining his la test work. A sudden sp ea r of a gony went through
Ja ce. It felt a s if the skin
on his chest were burning. Ma x stood wa tching him, smiling, ɻexing his blo
ody ha nd. “Does
it hurt you, Ja ce Lightwood?” he sa id, a nd his voice wa s no long
er Ma x’s voice, but
something else, high a nd husky a nd familia r.
“Ma x—,” Ja ce whisp ered.
“As you ha ve dea lt p a in, so sha ll you be dea lt p a in,” sa id Ma
x, whose fa ce ha d begun to
shimmer a nd cha nge. “As you ha ve ca used grief , so sha ll you fee
l grief . You a re mine now,
Ja ce Lightwood. You a re mine.”
The a gony wa s blinding. Ja ce crump led forwa rd, ha nds clawing a
t his chest, a nd he
tumbled into da rkness.
Simon sa t on the couch, his fa ce in his ha nds. His mind wa s b
uzzing. “This is my fa ult,” he
sa id. “I might a s well ha ve killed Ma ureen when I dra nk her bloo
d. She’s dea d beca use of
Jorda n sp rawled in the a rmcha ir op p osite him. He wa s wea ring
jea ns a nd a green tee
over a long-sleeved therma l shirt with holes in the cuʃs; he ha d h
is thumbs stuck through
them, a nd wa s worrying a t the ma teria l. The gold Pra etor Lup u
s meda l a round his neck
glinted. “Come on,” he sa id. “There’s no wa y you could ha ve known. She
wa s ɹne when I
p ut her in the ca b. These guys must ha ve gra bbed her a nd killed her la ter

Simon felt light-hea ded. “But I bit her. She’s not going to come ba c
k, right? She’s not
going to be a vamp ire?”
“No. Come on, you know this stuʃ a s well a s I do. You’d ha ve to h
a ve given her some of
your blood for her to become a vamp ire. If she’d drunk your blood a nd then di
ed, yea h, we’d
be out in the gra veya rd on sta ke wa tch. But she didn’t. I mea n,
I a ssume you’d remember
something like tha t.”
Simon ta sted sour blood in the ba ck of his throa t. “They thought
she wa s my girlfriend,”
he sa id. “They wa rned me they’d kill her if I didn’t show up , a nd
when I didn’t come, they
cut her throa t. She must ha ve wa ited there a ll da y, wondering
if I’d come. Hop ing I’d show
up…” His stoma ch revolted, a nd he bent over, brea thing ha rd, trying to keep
from ga gging.
“Yea h,” sa id Jorda n, “but the question is, who is the y?” He ga ve Simon
a ha rd look. “I
think it might be time for you to ca ll the Institute. I don’t love
the Sha dowhunters, but I’ve
a lwa ys hea rd their a rchives a re incredibly thorough. Ma ybe they’ve
got something on tha t
a ddress from the note.”
Simon hesita ted.
“Come on,” Jorda n sa id. “You do enough cra p for them. Let them do something for
With a shrug Simon went to get his p hone. Hea ding ba ck to the
living room, he dia led
Ja ce’s number. Isa belle p icked up on the second ring. “You a ga in?”
“Sorry,” Simon sa id awkwa rdly. Ap p a rently their little interlude in t
he Sa nctua ry ha dn’t
sof tened her towa rd him a s much a s he ha d hop ed. “I wa s looking for Ja ce,
but I guess I ca n
ta lk to you—”
“Cha rming a s a lwa ys,” sa id Isa belle. “I thought Ja ce wa s with you.”
“No.” Simon felt a stirring of unea se. “Who told you tha t?”
“Cla ry,” Isa belle sa id. “Ma ybe they’re snea king some time together or so
mething.” She
sounded unworried, which ma de sense; the la st p erson who’d lie a bout Ja ce’s w
herea bouts if
he wa s in a ny sort of trouble wa s Cla ry. “Anywa y, Ja ce lef t his p hone i
n his room. If you do
see him, remind him he’s sup p osed to be a t the p a rty a t the Ir
onworks tonight. If he doesn’t
show, Cla ry will kill him.”
Simon ha d nea rly forgotten tha t he wa s sup p osed to be a t the p a rty tha
t night.
“Right,” he sa id. “Look, Isa belle. I’ve got a p roblem here.”
“Sp ill. I love p roblems.”
“I don’t know if you’re going to love this one,” he sa id dubiously, a nd ɹlled her
in quickly
on the situa tion. She ga ve a little ga sp when he got to the p
a rt where he’d bitten Ma ureen,
a nd he felt his throa t tighten.
“Simon,” she whisp ered.
“I know, I know,” he sa id wretchedly. “You think I’m not sorry? I’m beyond sorry.”
“If you’d killed her, you’d ha ve broken the Law. You’d be a n outlaw. I’d ha ve to ki
ll you.”

“But I didn’t,” he sa id, his voice sha king a little. “I didn’t do this.
Jorda n swea rs tha t she
wa s ɹne when he p ut her into the ca b. And the newsp a p er sa ys
her throa t wa s cut. I didn’t
do tha t. Someone did it to get to me. I just don’t know why.”
“We’re not done with this issue.” Her voice wa s stern. “But ɹrst go get th
e note they lef t.
Rea d it out to me.”
Simon did a s a sked, a nd wa s rewa rded by a sha rp inta ke of brea th on
Isa belle’s p a rt.
“I thought tha t a ddress sounded familia r,” she sa id. “Tha t’s where Cla r
y told me to meet
her yesterda y. It’s a church, up town. The hea dqua rters of some
sort of demon-worship p ing
“Wha t would a demon-worship p ing cult wa nt with me?” Simon sa id, a n
d received a
curious look from Jorda n, who wa s only hea ring ha lf the conversa tion.
“I don’t know. You’re a Da ylighter. You’ve got cra zy p owers. You’re goin
g to be a ta rget
for luna tics a nd bla ck ma gicia ns. Tha t’s just how it is .” Isa belle
, Simon felt, could ha ve
sounded a bit more symp a thetic. “Look, you’re going to the Ironworks
p a rty, right? We ca n
meet there a nd ta lk next step s. And I’ll tell my mom a bout wha t’s
been going on with you.
They’re a lrea dy investiga ting the Church of Ta lto, so they ca n a dd tha t t
o the info p ile.”
“I guess,” Simon sa id. The la st thing in the world he felt like wa s going to a
p a rty.
“And bring Jorda n with you,” Isa belle sa id. “You ca n use a bodygua rd.”
“I ca n’t do tha t. Ma ia ’s going to be there.”
“I’ll ta lk to her,” Isa belle sa id. She sounded a lot more conɹdent tha
n Simon would ha ve
felt in her p la ce. “See you there.”
She clicked oʃ. Simon turned to Jorda n, who wa s lying down a cross
the futon, his hea d
p rop p ed a ga inst one of the woven throw p illows. “How much of tha t did yo
u hea r?”
“Enough to ga ther tha t we’re going to a p a rty tonight,” sa id Jorda n.
“I hea rd a bout the
Ironworks event. I’m not in the Ga rrowa y p a ck, so I wa sn’t invited.”
“I guess you’re coming a s my da te now.” Simon shoved the p hone ba ck into his p ock
“I’m secure enough in my ma sculinity to a ccep t tha t,” sa id Jorda n. “We’d
better get you
something nice to wea r, though,” he ca lled a s Simon hea ded ba ck into his roo
m. “I wa nt you
to look p retty.”
Yea rs p reviously, when Long Isla nd City ha d been a center of i
ndustry instea d of a trendy
neighborhood full of a rt ga lleries a nd coʃee shop s, the Ironworks wa s a te
xtile fa ctory. Now
it wa s a n enormous brick shell whose inside ha d been tra nsformed into a sp
a re but bea utiful
sp a ce. The ɻoor wa s ma de up of overla p p ing squa res of brushe
d steel; slender steel beams
a rced overhea d, wra p p ed with rop es of tiny white lights. Orna
te wrought iron sta irca ses

sp ira led up to ca twa lks decora ted with ha nging p la nts. A ma s
sive ca ntilevered gla ss ceiling
op ened onto a view of the night sky. There wa s even a terra ce
outside, built out over the
Ea st River, with a sp ecta cula r view of the Fif ty-Ninth Street Bridge, w
hich loomed overhea d,
stretching from Queens to Ma nha tta n like a sp ea r of tinseled ice.
Luke’s p a ck ha d outdone themselves ma king the p la ce look nice. Th
ere were a rtfully
p la ced huge p ewter va ses holding long-stemmed ivory ɻowers, a nd ta
bles covered in white
linen a rra nged in a circle a round a ra ised sta ge on which a
werewolf string qua rtet
p rovided cla ssica l music. Cla ry couldn’t help wishing Simon were th
ere; she wa s p retty sure
he’d think Werewolf String Qua rtet wa s a good name for a ba nd.
Cla ry wa ndered from ta ble to ta ble, a rra nging things tha t didn’t
need a rra nging, ɹddling
with ɻowers a nd stra ightening silverwa re tha t wa sn’t a ctua lly crooked
. Only a few of the
guests ha d a rrived so fa r, a nd none of them were p eop le she
knew. Her mother a nd Luke
stood nea r the door, greeting p eop le a nd smiling, Luke looking uncomforta
ble in a suit, a nd
Jocelyn ra dia nt in a ta ilored blue dress. Af ter the events of the p a st
few da ys, it wa s good to
see her mother looking ha p p y, though Cla ry wondered how much of
it wa s rea l a nd how
much wa s for show. There wa s a certa in tightness a bout Jocelyn’s
mouth tha t ma de Cla ry
worry—wa s she a ctua lly ha p p y, or just smiling through the p a in?
Not tha t Cla ry didn’t know how she felt. Wha tever else wa s going
on, she couldn’t p ut
Ja ce out of her mind. Wha t were the Silent Brothers doing to him
? Wa s he a ll right? Were
they going to be a ble to ɹx wha t wa s wrong with him, to block ou
t the demon inɻuence?
She ha d sp ent a sleep less night the evening before sta ring into
the da rkness of her bedroom
a nd worrying until she felt litera lly sick.
More tha n a nything else, she wished he wa s here. She ha d p icke
d out the dress she wa s
wea ring tonight—p a le gold a nd more ɹtted to her body tha n a nything
she usua lly wore—
with the exp ress hop e tha t Ja ce would like it; now he wa sn’t going to see he
r in it. Tha t wa s
a sha llow thing to worry a bout, she knew; she’d go a round dressed in a ba r
rel for the rest of
her life if it mea nt Ja ce would get better. Besides, he wa s a
lwa ys telling her she wa s
bea utiful, a nd he never comp la ined a bout the fa ct tha t she mos
tly wore jea ns a nd snea kers,
but she ha d thought he would like this.
Sta nding in front of her mirror tonight, she ha d a lmost felt bea
utiful. Her mother ha d
a lwa ys sa id tha t she herself ha d been a la te bloomer, a nd C
la ry, looking a t her own
reɻection, ha d wondered if the same thing might ha p p en to her. S
he wa sn’t ɻa t a s a boa rd
a nymore—she’d ha d to go up a bra size this p a st yea r—a nd if she

squinted, she thought she
could see—yes, those were deɹnitely hip s. She ha d curves. Sma ll ones
, but you ha d to sta rt
She’d kep t her jewelry simp le—very simp le.
She p ut her ha nd up a nd touched the Morgenstern ring on its cha in a round h
er throa t. She
ha d p ut it on a ga in, for the ɹrst time in da ys, tha t morning.
She felt a s if it were a silent
gesture of conɹdence in Ja ce, a wa y of signa ling her loya lty,
whether he knew a bout it or
not. She ha d decided she would wea r it until she saw him a ga in.
“Cla rissa Morgenstern?” sa id a sof t voice a t her shoulder.
Cla ry turned in surp rise. The voice wa sn’t familia r. Sta nding ther
e wa s a slim ta ll girl
who looked a bout twenty. Her skin wa s milk-p a le, threa ded with
veins the clea r green of
sa p , a nd her blond ha ir ha d the same greenish tint. Her eyes
were solid blue, like ma rbles,
a nd she wore a slip of a blue dress, so thin tha t Cla ry tho
ught she ha d to be freezing.
Memory swam up slowly from the dep ths.
“Ka elie,” Cla ry sa id slowly, recognizing the fa erie wa itress from Ta
ki’s who ha d served
her a nd the Lightwoods more tha n once. A ɻicker reminded her tha t
there ha d been some
intima tion tha t Ka elie a nd Ja ce ha d once ha d a ɻing, but the
fa ct seemed so minor in the
fa ce of everything else tha t she couldn’t bring herself to mind it.
“I didn’t rea lize—do you
know Luke?”
“Do not mista ke me for a guest a t this occa sion,” sa id Ka elie, he
r thin ha nd tra cing a
ca sua lly indiʃerent gesture on the a ir. “My la dy sent me here to ɹnd you—not to a t
tend the
festivities.” She gla nced curiously over her shoulder, her a ll-blue eyes shinin
g. “Though I ha d
not rea lized tha t your mother wa s ma rrying a werewolf .”
Cla ry ra ised her eyebrows. “And?”
Ka elie looked her up a nd down with some amusement. “My la dy sa id
you were quite
ɻinty, desp ite your sma ll size. In the Court you would be looked d
own on for ha ving such
short sta ture.”
“We’re not in the Court,” sa id Cla ry. “And we’re not in Ta ki’s, which mea
ns you came to
me , which mea ns you ha ve ɹve seconds to tell me wha t the Seelie
Queen wa nts. I don’t like
her much, a nd I’m not in the mood for her games.”
Ka elie p ointed a thin green-na iled ɹnger a t Cla ry’s throa t. “My la d
y sa id to a sk you,” she
sa id, “why you wea r the Morgenstern ring. Is it to a cknowledge your fa ther?”
Cla ry’s ha nd stole to her throa t. “It’s for Ja ce—beca use Ja ce ga ve it
to me,” she sa id
before she could help herself , a nd then cursed herself quietly.
It wa sn’t sma rt to tell the
Seelie Queen more tha n you ha d to.
“But he is not a Morgenstern,” sa id Ka elie, “but a Heronda le, a nd
they ha ve their own
ring. A p a ttern of herons, ra ther tha n morning sta rs. And doe

s tha t not suit him better, a
soul tha t soa rs like a bird in f light, ra ther tha n fa lling like Lucifer?”
“Ka elie,” Cla ry ground out between her teeth. “ What doe s the Se e lie Que e n
The fa erie girl la ughed. “Why,” she sa id, “only to give you this.” She
held out something
in her ha nd, a tiny silver bell p enda nt, with a loop a t the
end of the ha ndle so tha t it could
be strung on a cha in. As Ka elie moved her ha nd forwa rd, the bell chimed,
light a nd a s sweet
a s ra in.
Cla ry shra nk ba ck. “I do not wa nt the gif ts of your la dy,” she
sa id, “for they come
freighted with lies a nd exp ecta tions. I will not owe the Queen a nything.”
“It is not a gif t,” Ka elie sa id imp a tiently. “It is a mea ns of
summoning. The Queen
forgives you for your ea rlier stubbornness. She exp ects there is a
time soon in which you
will wa nt her help . She is willing to oʃer it to you, should you
choose to a sk. Simp ly ring
tha t bell, a nd a serva nt of the Court will come a nd bring you to her.”
Cla ry shook her hea d. “I will not ring it.”
Ka elie shrugged. “Then it should cost you nothing to ta ke it.”
As if in a dream Cla ry saw her own ha nd rea ch out, her f ingers hover over
the bell.
“You would do a nything to sa ve him,” sa id Ka elie, her voice thin a
nd a s sweet a s the
bell’s ring, “wha tever it cost you, wha tever you might owe to Hell o
r Hea ven, would you
Remembered voices chimed in Cla ry’s hea d. Did you e ve r s top to wonde r what
untruths might
have be e n in the tale your mothe r told you, that s e rve d he r purpos e
in te lling it? Do you truly think
you know e ach and e ve ry s e cre t of your pas t?
Madame Dorothe a told Jace he would fall in love with the wrong pe rs on.
He is not be yond s aving. But it will be difficult.
The bell cla nged a s Cla ry took it, folding it into her p a lm.
Ka elie smiled, her blue eyes
shining like gla ss bea ds. “A wise choice.”
Cla ry hesita ted. But before she could thrust the bell ba ck a t th
e fa erie girl, she hea rd
someone ca ll her name, a nd turned to see her mother ma king her w
a y through the crowd
towa rd her. She turned ba ck ha stily, but wa s not surp rised to
see tha t Ka elie wa s gone,
ha ving melted awa y into the crowd like mist burning awa y in the morning sun.
“Cla ry,” Jocelyn sa id, rea ching her, “I wa s looking for you, a nd th
en Luke p ointed you
out, just sta nding over here by yourself . Is everything oka y?”
Jus t s tanding ove r he re by yours e lf. Cla ry wondered wha t kind
of glamour Ka elie ha d been
using; her mother ought to be a ble to see through most. “I’m f ine, Mom.”
“Where’s Simon? I thought he wa s coming.”
Of course she would think of Simon ɹrst, Cla ry thought, not Ja ce.
Even though Ja ce ha d
been sup p osed to come, a nd a s Cla ry’s boyfriend, he p roba bly ou
ght to even ha ve been
there ea rly. “Mom,” she sa id, a nd then p a used. “Do you think you’ll ever like Ja

Jocelyn’s green eyes sof tened. “I did notice he wa sn’t here, Cla ry. I
just didn’t know if
you’d wa nt to ta lk a bout it.”
“I mea n,” Cla ry went on doggedly, “do you think there’s something he coul
d do to make
you like him?”
“Yes,” Jocelyn sa id. “He could ma ke you ha p p y.” She touched Cla ry’s fa c
e lightly, a nd
Cla ry clenched her own ha nd, feeling the bell p ress into her skin.
“He does ma ke me ha p p y,” Cla ry sa id. “But he ca n’t control everything
in the world,
Mom. Other things ha p p en—” She fumbled for words. How could she exp
la in tha t it wa sn’t
Jace ma king her unha p p y, but wha t wa s ha p p ening to him, wi
thout revea ling wha t tha t
wa s?
“You love him so much,” Jocelyn sa id gently. “It sca res me. I’ve a lwa y
s wa nted to keep
you p rotected.”
“And look how tha t worked out,” Cla ry bega n, a nd then sof tened her
voice. This wa sn’t
the time to blame her mother or ɹght with her, not now. Not with L
uke looking over a t
them from the doorwa y, his fa ce a light with love a nd a nxiety. “I
f you just knew him,” she
sa id, a little hop elessly. “But I guess everyone sa ys tha t a bout their boy
“You’re right,” Jocelyn sa id, surp rising her. “I don’t know him, not rea l
ly. I see him, a nd
he reminds me a little of his mother somehow. I don’t know why—he do
esn’t look like her,
excep t tha t she wa s a lso bea utiful, a nd she ha d tha t terrible vulnera b
ility tha t he ha s—”
“Vulnera bility?” Cla ry wa s a stonished. She ha d never thought a nyone
but herself thought
of Ja ce a s vulnera ble.
“Oh, yes,” sa id Jocelyn. “I wa nted to ha te her for ta king Step hen a
wa y from Ama tis, but
you just couldn’t help wa nting to p rotect Céline. Ja ce ha s a littl
e of tha t.” She sounded lost
in thought. “Or ma ybe it’s just tha t bea utiful things a re so ea sily
broken by the world.” She
lowered her ha nd. “It doesn’t ma tter. I ha ve my memories to contend
with, but they’re my
memories. Ja ce shouldn’t bea r the weight of them. I will tell you
one thing, though. If he
didn’t love you like he does—a nd it’s written a ll over his fa ce wheneve
r he looks a t you—I
wouldn’t tolera te him for even a moment. So keep tha t in mind whe
n you’re being a ngry
with me.”
She wa ved oʃ Cla ry’s p rotesta tion tha t she wa sn’t a ngry with a smil
e a nd a p a t on the
cheek, a nd hea ded ba ck towa rd Luke with a la st a p p ea l for
Cla ry to get out among the
crowd a nd mingle. Cla ry nodded a nd sa id nothing, looking a f ter
her mother a s she went,
a nd feeling the bell sea r a ga inst the inside of her ha nd where
she clutched it, like the tip of
a burning ma tch.

The a rea a round the Ironworks wa s mostly wa rehouses a nd a rt ga
lleries, the kind of
neighborhood tha t emp tied out a t night, so it didn’t ta ke too long
for Jorda n a nd Simon to
ɹnd a p a rking sp a ce. Simon jump ed down out of the truck, only
to ɹnd Jorda n a lrea dy on
the sidewa lk, looking a t him critica lly.
Simon ha dn’t p a cked a ny nice clothes when he’d lef t his house—he didn’t
ha ve a nything
on him fa ncier tha n a bomber ja cket tha t ha d once belonged to
his da d—so he a nd Jorda n
ha d sp ent the a f ternoon p rowling the Ea st Villa ge for a decent
outɹt for him to wea r.
They’d ɹna lly found a n old Zegna suit in a consignment shop ca lled
Love Sa ves the Da y
tha t mostly sold glitter p la tform boots a nd sixties Pucci sca rves.
Simon susp ected it wa s
where Ma gnus got most of his clothes.
“Wha t?” he sa id now, self -consciously p ulling down the sleeves of hi
s suit ja cket. It wa s a
little too sma ll for him, though Jorda n ha d op ined tha t if he
never buttoned it, no one
would notice. “How ba d do I look?”
Jorda n shrugged. “You won’t cra ck a ny mirrors,” he sa id. “I wa s just
wondering if you
were a rmed. You wa nt a nything? Da gger, ma ybe?” He op ened his own suit ja c
ket just a bit,
a nd Simon saw something long a nd meta llic glinting a ga inst the inside linin
“No wonder you a nd Ja ce like ea ch other so much. You’re both cra zy
wa lking a rsena ls.”
Simon shook his hea d in wea riness a nd turned to hea d towa rd the
Ironworks entra nce. It
wa s a cross the street, a wide gold awning sha dowing a recta ngle
of sidewa lk tha t ha d been
decora ted with a da rk red ca rp et with the gold ima ge of a wo
lf stamp ed into it. Simon
couldn’t help being slightly amused.
Lea ning a ga inst one of the p oles holding up the awning wa s Isa bel
le. She ha d her ha ir up
a nd wa s wea ring a long red dress, slit up the side to show mo
st of her leg. Loop s of gold
la ddered her right a rm. They looked like bra celets, but Simon kne
w they were rea lly her
electrum whip . She wa s covered in Ma rks. They twined her a rms, threa d
ed their wa y up her
thigh, neckla ced her throa t, a nd decora ted her chest, a grea t
dea l of which wa s visible,
tha nks to the p lunging neckline of her dress. Simon tried not to sta re.
“Hey, Isa belle,” he sa id.
Beside him Jorda n wa s a lso trying not to sta re. “Um,” he sa id. “Hi. I’m Jorda n.”
“We met,” Isa belle sa id coldly, ignoring his p roʃered ha nd. “Ma ia wa s
trying to rip your
fa ce of f . Quite rightly, too.”
Jorda n looked worried. “Is she here? Is she oka y?”
“She’s here,” sa id Isa belle. “Not tha t how she feels is a ny of your business…”
“I feel a sense of resp onsibility,” sa id Jorda n.
“And where is this feeling loca ted? In your p a nts, p erha p s?”
Jorda n looked indigna nt.
Isa belle wa ved a slim decora ted ha nd. “Look, wha tever you did in

the p a st, it’s p a st. I
know you’re Pra etor Lup us now, a nd I told Ma ia wha t tha t mea ns
. She’s willing to a ccep t
tha t you’re here a nd ignore you. But tha t’s a ll you get. Don’t bothe
r her, don’t try to ta lk to
her, don’t even look a t her, or I’ll fold you in ha lf so ma ny times you’ll
look like a tiny little
origami werewolf .”
Simon snorted.
“La ugh awa y.” Isa belle p ointed a t him. “She doesn’t wa nt to ta lk to
you, either. So
desp ite the fa ct tha t she looks tota lly ba belicious tonight—a nd if
I were into chicks I would
comp letely go for her—neither of you a re a llowed to ta lk to her. Got it?”
They nodded, looking a t their shoes like middle schoolers who’d just
been ha nded
detention slip s.
Isa belle unp eeled herself from the p ole. “Grea t. Let’s go on in.”
The inside of the Ironworks wa s a live with ropes of shimmering mul
ticolored lights.
Quite a few guests were a lrea dy sitting, but just a s ma ny were
milling a round, ca rrying
champ a gne gla sses full of p a le, ɹzzing liquid. Wa iters—who were a
lso werewolves, Simon
noted; the whole event seemed to be sta ʃed by members of Luke’s p a c
k—moved among the
guests, ha nding out champ a gne ɻutes. Simon declined one. Ever since
his exp erience a t
Ma gnus’s p a rty, he ha dn’t felt sa fe drinking a nything tha t he ha d
n’t p rep a red himself , a nd
besides, he never knew which non-blood liquids were going to sta y d
own a nd which would
ma ke him sick.
Ma ia wa s sta nding over by one of the brick p illa rs, ta lking
to two other werewolves a nd
la ughing. She wore a brillia nt ora nge sa tin shea th dress tha t
set oʃ her da rk skin, a nd her
ha ir wa s a wild ha lo of brown-gold curls a round her fa ce. She
ca ught sight of Simon a nd
Jorda n a nd delibera tely turned awa y. The ba ck of her dress wa s
a low V tha t showed a lot
of ba re skin, including a ta ttoo of a butterf ly a cross her lower sp ine
“I don’t think she ha d tha t when I knew her,” Jorda n sa id. “Tha t ta ttoo, I mea n
Simon looked a t Jorda n. He wa s goggling a t his ex-girlfriend with
the sort of obvious
longing tha t, Simon susp ected, wa s going to get him p unched in
the fa ce by Isa belle if he
wa sn’t ca reful. “Come on,” he sa id, p utting his ha nd a ga inst Jorda
n’s ba ck a nd shoving
lightly. “Let’s go see where we’re sitting.”
Isa belle, who ha d been wa tching them over her shoulder, smiled a
ca tlike smile. “Good
idea .”
They ma de their wa y through the crowd to the a rea where the ta b
les were, only to ɹnd
tha t their ta ble wa s a lrea dy ha lf -occup ied. Cla ry sa t in one of the

sea ts, looking down into a
champ a gne gla ss full of wha t wa s most likely ginger a le. Next
to her were Alec a nd
Ma gnus, both in the da rk suits they’d worn when they’d come from Vienna .
Ma gnus seemed
to be p la ying with the fringed edges of his long white sca rf .
Alec, his a rms crossed over his
chest, wa s sta ring ferociously into the dista nce.
Cla ry, on seeing Simon a nd Jorda n, bounced to her feet, relief
evident on her fa ce. She
came a round the ta ble to greet Simon, a nd he saw tha t she wa s
wea ring a very p la in gold
silk dress a nd low gold sa nda ls. Without heels to give her height
, she looked tiny. The
Morgenstern ring wa s a round her neck, its silver glinting a ga inst
the cha in tha t held it. She
rea ched up to hug him a nd muttered, “I think Alec a nd Ma gnus a re f ighting.”
“Looks like it,” he muttered ba ck. “Where’s your boyfriend?”
At tha t, she deta ched her a rms from his neck. “He got held up a
t the Institute.” She
turned. “Hey, Kyle.”
He smiled a little awkwa rdly. “It’s Jorda n, a ctua lly.”
“So I’ve hea rd.” Cla ry gestured towa rd the ta ble. “Well, we might a s
well sit. I think
p retty soon there’s going to be toa sting a nd stuf f . And then, hop efully,
They a ll sa t. There wa s a long, awkwa rd silence.
“So,” Ma gnus sa id ɹna lly, running a long white ɹnger a round the rim of
his champ a gne
gla ss. “Jorda n. I hea r you’re in the Pra etor Lup us. I see you’re w
ea ring one of their
meda llions. Wha t does it sa y on it?”
Jorda n nodded. He wa s ɻushed, his ha zel eyes sp a rkling, his a tt
ention clea rly only p a rtly
on the conversa tion. He wa s following Ma ia a round the room with
his eyes, his ɹngers
nervously clenching a nd unclenching on the edge of the ta blecloth.
Simon doubted he wa s
even awa re of it. “ Be ati be llicos i: Blessed a re the wa rriors.”
“Good orga niza tion,” sa id Ma gnus. “I knew the ma n who founded it, ba
ck in the 1800s.
Woolsey Scott. Resp ecta ble old werewolf family.”
Alec ma de a n ugly sound in the ba ck of his throa t. “Did you sleep with him,
Ma gnus’s ca t eyes widened. “Alexa nder!”
“Well, I don’t know a nything a bout your p a st, do I?” Alec dema nded.
“You won’t tell me
a nything; you just sa y it doesn’t ma tter.”
Ma gnus’s fa ce wa s exp ressionless, but there wa s a da rk tinge of
a nger to his voice. “Does
this mea n every time I mention a nyone I’ve ever met, you’re going to
a sk me if I ha d a n
a f fa ir with them?”
Alec’s exp ression wa s stubborn, but Simon couldn’t help ha ving a ɻa sh
of symp a thy; the
hurt behind his blue eyes wa s clea r. “Ma ybe.”
“I met Na p oleon once,” sa id Ma gnus. “We didn’t ha ve a n a ʃa ir, though.
He wa s
shockingly p rudish for a Frenchma n.”
“You met Na p oleon?” Jorda n, who a p p ea red to be missing most of t

he conversa tion,
looked imp ressed. “So it’s true wha t they sa y a bout wa rlocks, then?”
Alec ga ve him a very unp lea sa nt look. “ What’s true?”
“Alexa nder,” sa id Ma gnus coldly, a nd Cla ry met Simon’s eyes a cross th
e ta ble. Hers were
wide, green, a nd full of a n exp ression tha t sa id Uh-oh. “You ca
n’t be rude to everyone who
ta lks to me.”
Alec ma de a wide, sweep ing gesture. “And why not? Cramp ing your s
tyle, am I? I mea n,
ma ybe you were hop ing to ɻirt with werewolf boy here. He’s p retty a
ttra ctive, if you like
the messy-ha ired, broa d-shouldered, chiseled-good-looks typ e.”
“Hey, now,” sa id Jorda n mildly.
Ma gnus p ut his hea d in his ha nds.
“Or there a re p lenty of p retty girls here, since a p p a rently you
r ta ste goes both wa ys. Is
there a nything you are n’t into?”
“Merma ids,” sa id Ma gnus into his f ingers. “They a lwa ys smell like seaweed.”
“I t’s not funny,” Alec sa id sa va gely, a nd kicking ba ck his cha ir, h
e got up from the ta ble
a nd sta lked of f into the crowd.
Ma gnus still ha d his hea d in his ha nds, the bla ck sp ikes of
his ha ir sticking out between
his f ingers. “I just don’t see,” he sa id to no one in p a rticula r, “why the p a st
ha s to ma tter.”
To Simon’s surp rise it wa s Jorda n who a nswered. “The p a st a lwa ys
ma tters,” he sa id.
“Tha t’s wha t they tell you when you join the Pra etor. You ca n’t forge
t the things you did in
the p a st, or you’ll never lea rn from them.”
Ma gnus looked up , his gold-green eyes glinting through his ɹngers. “Ho
w old a re you?”
he dema nded. “Sixteen?”
“Eighteen,” sa id Jorda n, looking slightly frightened.
Alec’s a ge, thought Simon, sup p ressing a n interior grin. He didn’t
rea lly ɹnd Alec a nd
Ma gnus’s drama funny, but it wa s ha rd not to feel a certa in bit
ter amusement a t Jorda n’s
exp ression. Jorda n ha d to be twice Ma gnus’s size—desp ite being ta ll,
Ma gnus wa s slender
to the p oint of skinniness—but Jorda n wa s clea rly a fra id of him.
Simon turned to sha re a
gla nce with Cla ry, but she wa s sta ring oʃ towa rd the front door,
her fa ce gone suddenly
bone white. Drop p ing her na p kin onto the ta ble, she murmured, “E
xcuse me,” a nd got to
her feet, p ra ctica lly f leeing the ta ble.
Ma gnus threw his ha nds up . “Well, if there’s going to be a ma ss
exodus…,” he sa id, a nd
got up gra cefully, ɻinging his sca rf a round his neck. He va nishe
d into the crowd,
p resuma bly looking for Alec.
Simon looked a t Jorda n, who wa s looking a t Ma ia a ga in. She
ha d her ba ck to them a nd
wa s ta lking to Luke a nd Jocelyn, la ughing, ɻinging her curly ha ir
ba ck. “Don’t even think
a bout it,” Simon sa id, a nd got up . He p ointed a t Jorda n. “You sta y here.”
“And do wha t?” Jorda n dema nded.
“Wha tever Pra etor Lup us do in this situa tion. Medita te. Contemp la

te your Jedi p owers.
Wha tever. I’ll be ba ck in f ive minutes, a nd you better still be here.”
Jorda n lea ned ba ck, crossing his a rms over his chest in a clea
rly mutinous ma nner, but
Simon ha d a lrea dy stop p ed p a ying a ttention. He turned a nd mov
ed into the crowd,
following Cla ry. She wa s a sp eck of red a nd gold among the mo
ving bodies, crowned with
her twist of bright ha ir.
He ca ught up to her by one of the light-wra p p ed p illa rs, a n
d p ut a ha nd on her shoulder.
She turned with a sta rtled exclama tion, eyes wide, ha nd ra ised
a s if to fend him oʃ. She
rela xed when she saw who it wa s. “You sca red me!”
“Obviously,” Simon sa id. “Wha t’s going on? Wha t a re you so frea ked out a bout?”
“I…” She lowered her ha nd with a shrug; desp ite her forced look of c
a sua l dismissa l, the
p ulse wa s going in her neck like a hammer. “I thought I saw Ja ce.”
“I f igured,” Simon sa id. “But…”
“You look rea lly frightened.” He wa sn’t sure why he’d sa id it exa ctly,
or wha t he wa s
hop ing she’d sa y ba ck. She bit her lip , the wa y she a lwa ys di
d when she wa s nervous. Her
ga ze for a moment wa s fa r awa y; it wa s a look familia r to
Simon. One of the things he’d
a lwa ys loved a bout Cla ry wa s how ea sily ca ught up in her ima
gina tion she wa s, how ea sily
she could wa ll herself awa y in illusory worlds of curses a nd p r
inces a nd destiny a nd ma gic.
Once he ha d been a ble to do the same, ha d been a ble to inha bi
t ima gina ry worlds a ll the
more exciting for being sa fe—for being ɹctiona l. Now tha t the rea l a
nd the ima gined ha d
collided, he wondered if she, like he, longed for the p a st, fo
r the norma l. He wondered if
norma lcy wa s something, like vision or silence, you didn’t rea lize
wa s p recious until you
lost it.
“He’s ha ving a ha rd time,” she sa id in a low voice. “I’m sca red for him.”
“I know,” Simon sa id. “Look, not to p ry, but—ha s he ɹgured out wha t’s wr
ong with him?
Ha s a nyone?”
“He—” She broke oʃ. “He’s a ll right. He’s just ha ving a ha rd time coming
o terms with
some of the Va lentine stuʃ. You know.” Simon did know. He a lso knew
she wa s lying.
Cla ry, who ha rdly ever hid a nything from him. He ga ve her a ha rd look.
“He’s been ha ving ba d dreams,” she sa id. “He wa s worried tha t there wa
s some demon
“ De mon involvement?” Simon echoed in disbelief . He’d known tha t Ja ce w
a s ha ving ba d
dreams—he’d sa id a s much—but Ja ce ha d never mentioned demons.
“Well, a p p a rently there a re kinds of demons tha t try to rea ch
you through your dreams,”
Cla ry sa id, sounding a s if she were sorry she’d brought it up a t a ll, “but
I’m sure it’s nothing.
Everyone ha s ba d dreams sometimes, don’t they?” She p ut a ha nd on
Simon’s a rm. “I’m just

going to see how he is. I’ll come ba ck.” Her ga ze wa s a lrea dy sli
ding p a st him, towa rd the
doors tha t led onto the terra ce; he stood ba ck with a nod a nd let her go,
wa tching her a s she
moved of f into the crowd.
She looked so sma ll—sma ll the wa y she ha d in ɹrst gra de when he’d wa
lked her to the
front door of her house a nd wa tched her go up the sta irs, tiny
a nd determined, her lunch
box ba nging a ga inst her knee a s she went. He felt his hea rt, which no
longer bea t, contra ct,
a nd he wondered if there wa s a nything in the world a s p a inful
a s not being a ble to p rotect
the p eop le you loved.
“You look sick,” sa id a voice a t his elbow. Husky, familia r. “Thinki
ng a bout wha t a
horrible p erson you a re?”
Simon turned a nd saw Ma ia lea ning a ga inst the p illa r behind him. She ha
d a stra nd of the
sma ll, glowing white lights wound a round her neck, a nd her fa ce
wa s ɻushed with
champ a gne a nd the wa rmth of the room.
“Or ma ybe I should sa y,” she went on, “wha t a horrible vampire you a
re. Excep t tha t
ma kes it sound like you’re ba d a t being a vamp ire.”
“I am ba d a t being a vamp ire,” Simon sa id. “But tha t doesn’t mea n I
wa sn’t ba d a t being
a boyfriend, too.”
She smiled crookedly. “Ba t sa ys I shouldn’t be so ha rd on you,” she s
a id. “He sa ys guys do
stup id things when girls a re involved. Esp ecia lly geeky ones who
p reviously ha ven’t ha d
much luck with women.”
“It’s like he ca n see into my soul.”
Ma ia shook her hea d. “It’s ha rd to sta y ma d a t you,” she sa id. “B
ut I’m working on it.”
She turned awa y.
“Ma ia ,” Simon sa id. His hea d ha d sta rted to a che, a nd he felt
a little dizzy. If he didn’t
ta lk to her now, though, he never would. “Plea se. Wa it.”
She turned ba ck a nd looked a t him, both eyebrows ra ised questioningly.
“I’m sorry a bout wha t I did,” he sa id. “I know I sa id tha t before, but I rea lly
do mea n it.”
She shrugged, exp ressionless, giving him nothing.
He swa llowed p a st the p a in in his hea d. “Ma ybe Ba t’s right,” he s
a id. “But I think there’s
more to it tha n tha t. I wa nted to be with you beca use—a nd this
is going to sound so selɹsh
—you ma de me feel norma l. Like the p erson I wa s before.”
“I’m a werewolf , Simon. Not exa ctly norma l.”
“But you—you a re,” he sa id, stumbling over his words a little. “You’re genuine
a nd rea l—
one of the rea lest p eop le I’ve ever known. You wa nted to come ov
er a nd p la y Ha lo. You
wa nted to ta lk a bout comics a nd check out concerts a nd go da nci
ng a nd just do norma l
things. And you trea ted me like I wa s norma l. You’ve never ca lled
me ‘Da ylighter’ or
‘vamp ire’ or a nything but Simon.”
“Tha t’s a ll friend stuʃ,” Ma ia sa id. She wa s lea ning a ga inst the p

illa r a ga in, her eyes
glinting sof tly a s she sp oke. “Not girlfrie nd stuf f .”
Simon just looked a t her. His hea da che p ulsed like a hea rtbea t.
“And then you come a round,” she a dded, “bringing Jorda n with you. What
were you
“Tha t’s not fa ir,” Simon p rotested. “I ha d no idea he wa s your ex—”
“I know. Isa belle told me,” Ma ia interrup ted. “I just feel like givin
g you hell a bout it
a nywa y.”
“Oh, yea h?” Simon gla nced over a t Jorda n, who wa s sitting a lone a
t the round linendra p ed ta ble, like a guy whose p rom da te ha
dn’t showed up . Simon suddenly felt very tired
—tired of worrying a bout everyone, tired of feeling guilty for the
things he’d done a nd
would p roba bly do in the future. “Well, did Izzy tell you tha t Jorda
n got himself a ssigned to
me so he could be nea r you? You should hea r the wa y he a sks a
bout you. The wa y he sa ys
your name, even. Ma n, the wa y he rip p ed into me when he thoug
ht I wa s chea ting on you
“You weren’t chea ting. We weren’t exclusively da ting. Chea ting is dif ferent—”
Simon smiled a s Ma ia broke oʃ, blushing. “I guess it’s good tha t you
dislike him so much
tha t you’ll ta ke my side a ga inst him no ma tter wha t,” he sa id.
“It’s been yea rs,” she sa id. “He’s never tried to get in touch with me. Not once.”
“He did try,” Simon sa id. “Did you know the night he bit you wa s the
ɹrst time he ever
She shook her hea d, her curls bouncing, her wide amber eyes very
serious. “No. I thought
he knew—”
“Tha t he wa s a werewolf? No. He knew he wa s losing control in so
me wa y, but who
guesses they’re turning into a werewolf? The da y a f ter he bit you
he went looking for you,
but the Pra etor stop p ed him. They kep t him awa y from you. Even
then he didn’t stop
looking. I don’t think a da y’s gone by in the p a st two yea rs tha
t he ha sn’t wondered where
you were—”
“Why a re you defending him?” she whisp ered.
“Beca use you should know,” sa id Simon. “I sucked a t being a boyfriend,
a nd I owe you.
You should know he didn’t mea n to a ba ndon you. He only took me on
a s a n a ssignment
beca use your name wa s mentioned in the notes on my ca se.”
Her lip s p a rted. As she shook her hea d, the glittering lights o
f her neckla ce winked like
sta rs. “I just don’t know wha t I’m sup p osed to do with tha t, Simon.
Wha t am I sup p osed to
“I don’t know,” Simon sa id. His hea d felt like na ils were being p ounded into
it. “But I ca n
tell you one thing. I’m the la st guy in the world you should be a sking for rela
tionship a dvice
from.” He p ressed a ha nd to his forehea d. “I’m going to go outside.
Get some a ir. Jorda n’s
over a t tha t ta ble there if you wa nt to ta lk to him.”

He gestured over towa rd the ta bles a nd then turned awa y, awa y f
rom her questioning
eyes, from the eyes of everyone in the room, the sound of ra ise
d voices a nd la ughter, a nd
stumbled towa rd the doors.
Cla ry p ushed op en the doors tha t led out onto the terra ce a nd w
a s greeted by a rush of cold
a ir. She shivered, wishing she ha d her coa t but unwilling to ta
ke up a ny time going ba ck to
the ta ble to get it. She step p ed out onto the terra ce a nd shut the door be
hind her.
The terra ce wa s a wide exp a nse of ɻa gstones, surrounded by ironw
ork ra ilings. Tiki
torches burned in big p ewter holders, but they did little to wa rm
the a ir—which p roba bly
exp la ined why no one wa s out here but Ja ce. He wa s sta nding b
y the ra iling, looking out
over the river.
She wa nted to run over to him, but she couldn’t help hesita ting.
He wa s wea ring a da rk
suit, the ja cket op en over a white shirt, a nd his hea d wa s turned t
o the side, awa y from her.
She ha d never seen him dressed like this before, a nd it ma de him
look older a nd a little
remote. The wind oʃ the river lif ted his fa ir ha ir, a nd she saw
the little sca r a cross the side
of his throa t where Simon ha d bitten him once, a nd she remembere
d tha t Ja ce ha d let
himself be bitten, ha d risked his life, for her.
“Ja ce,” she sa id.
He turned a nd looked a t her a nd smiled. The smile wa s familia r
a nd seemed to unlock
something inside her, freeing her to run a cross the ɻa gstones to him
a nd throw her a rms
a round him. He p icked her up a nd held her oʃ the ground for a long time, hi
s fa ce buried in
her neck.
“You’re a ll right,” she sa id ɹna lly, when he set her down. She scrubbed
ɹercely a t the
tea rs tha t ha d sp illed out of her eyes. “I mea n—the Silent Brothers
wouldn’t ha ve let you go
if you weren’t a ll right—but I thought they sa id the ritua l wa s goi
ng to ta ke a long time?
Da ys, even?”
“It didn’t.” He p ut his ha nds on either side of her fa ce a nd smiled down a t her.
Behind him
the Queensboro Bridge a rced out over the wa ter. “You know the Silent Brothers.
They like to
ma ke a big dea l out of everything they do. But it’s a ctua lly a
p retty simp le ceremony.” He
grinned. “I felt kind of stup id. It’s a ceremony mea nt for little
kids, but I just kep t thinking
tha t if I got it over with fa st, I’d get to see you in your sex
y p a rty dress. It got me through.”
His eyes ra ked her up a nd down. “And let me tell you, I am not
disa p p ointed. You’re
“You look p retty good yourself .” She la ughed a little through the tea
rs. “I didn’t even

think you owned a suit.”
“I didn’t. I ha d to buy one.” He slid his thumbs over her cheekbones w
here the tea rs ha d
ma de them damp . “Cla ry—”
“Why did you come out here?” she a sked. “It’s freezing. Don’t you wa nt to
go ba ck
He shook his hea d. “I wa nted to ta lk to you a lone.”
“So ta lk,” Cla ry sa id in a ha lf whisp er. She took his ha nds awa
y from her fa ce a nd p ut
them on her wa ist. Her need to be held a ga inst him wa s a lmost
overwhelming. “Is
something else wrong? Are you going to be oka y? Plea se don’t hold a nything ba c
k from me.
Af ter everything tha t’s ha p p ened, you should know I ca n ha ndle a
ny ba d news.” She knew
she wa s nervously cha ttering, but she couldn’t help it. Her hea rt
felt a s if it were bea ting a
thousa nd miles a minute. “I just wa nt you to be a ll right,” she sa id a s ca lm
ly a s she could.
His gold eyes da rkened. “I keep going through tha t box. The one t
ha t belonged to my
fa ther. I don’t feel a nything a bout it. The letters, the p hotos. I d
on’t know who those p eop le
were. They don’t feel rea l to me. Va lentine wa s rea l.”
Cla ry blinked; it wa sn’t wha t she’d exp ected him to sa y. “Remember,
I sa id tha t it would
ta ke time—”
He didn’t even seem to hea r her. “If I rea lly were Ja ce Morgenstern
, would you still love
me? If I were Seba stia n, would you love me?”
She squeezed his ha nds. “You could never be like tha t.”
“If Va lentine did to me wha t he did to Seba stia n, would you love me ?”
There wa s a n urgency to the question tha t she didn’t understa nd. C
la ry sa id, “But then
you wouldn’t be you.”
His brea th ca ught, a lmost a s if wha t she’d sa id ha d hurt him—but
how could it ha ve? It
wa s the truth. He wa sn’t like Seba stia n. He wa s like himself . “I
don’t know who I am,” he
sa id. “I look a t myself in the mirror a nd I see Step hen Heronda le,
but I a ct like a Lightwood
a nd ta lk like my fa ther—like Va lentine. So I see who I am in you
r eyes, a nd I try to be tha t
p erson, beca use you ha ve fa ith in tha t p erson a nd I think fa ith might b
e enough to ma ke me
wha t you wa nt.”
“You’re a lrea dy wha t I wa nt. You a lwa ys ha ve been,” Cla ry sa id,
but she couldn’t help
feeling a s if she were ca lling into a n emp ty room. It wa s a s
if Ja ce couldn’t he ar her, no
ma tter how ma ny times she told him she loved him. “I know you feel
like you don’t know
who you a re, but I do. I know. And someda y you will too. And
in the mea ntime you ca n’t
keep worrying a bout losing me, beca use it’ll never ha p p en.”
“There is a wa y…” Ja ce ra ised his eyes to hers. “Give me your ha nd.”
Surp rised, Cla ry rea ched her ha nd out, remembering the ɹrst time h
e’d ever ta ken her
ha nd like tha t. She ha d the rune now, the op en-eye rune, on t

he ba ck of her ha nd, the one
he’d been looking for then a nd ha dn’t found. Her ɹrst p erma nent rune.
He turned her ha nd
over, ba ring her wrist, the vulnera ble skin of her forea rm.
She shivered. The wind oʃ the river felt a s if it were driving int
o her bones. “Ja ce, wha t
a re you doing?”
“Remember wha t I sa id a bout Sha dowhunter weddings? How instea d of excha ngi
ng rings,
we Ma rk ea ch other with runes of love a nd commitment?” He looked a
t her, his eyes wide
a nd vulnera ble under their thick gold la shes. “I wa nt to Ma rk you in a wa y
tha t will bind us
together, Cla ry. It’s just a sma ll Ma rk, but it’s p erma nent. Are you willi
She hesita ted. A p erma nent rune, when they were so young—her mother
would be
incensed. But nothing else seemed to be working; nothing she sa id
convinced him. Ma ybe
this would. Silently, she drew out her stele a nd ha nded it to hi
m. He took it, brushing her
ɹngers a s he did. She wa s shivering ha rder now, cold everywhere ex
cep t where he touched
her. He cra dled her a rm a ga inst him a nd lowered the stele, tou
ching it sof tly to her skin,
moving it gently up a nd down, a nd then, when she didn’t p rotest,
with more force. As cold
a s she wa s, the burn of the stele wa s a lmost welcome. She wa tched a s th
e da rk lines sp ira led
out from the tip of it, forming a p a ttern of ha rd, a ngula r lines.
Her nerves tingled with a sudden a la rm. The p a ttern didn’t sp ea k
of love a nd
commitment to her; there wa s something else there, something da rker
, something tha t
sp oke of control a nd submission, of loss a nd da rkness. Wa s he drawing t
he wrong rune? But
this wa s Ja ce; surely he knew better tha n tha t. And yet a num
bness wa s beginning to
sp rea d up her a rm from the p la ce the stele touched—a p a inful t
ingling, like nerves wa king
up—a nd she felt dizzy, a s if the ground were moving under her—
“Ja ce.” Her voice rose, tinged with a nxiety. “Ja ce, I don’t think tha t’s right—”
He let her a rm go. He held the stele ba la nced lightly in his ha
nd, with the same gra ce
with which he would hold a ny wea p on. “I’m sorry, Cla ry,” he sa id. “I
do wa nt to be bound
to you. I would never lie a bout tha t.”
She op ened her mouth to a sk him wha t on ea rth he wa s ta lking
a bout, but no words
came. The da rkness wa s rushing up too fa st. The la st thing she
felt wa s Ja ce’s a rms a round
her a s she fell.
Af ter wha t seemed like a n eternity of wa ndering a round wha t he
considered to be a n
extremely boring p a rty, Ma gnus ɹna lly found Alec, sitting a lone a
t a ta ble in a corner,
behind a sp ra y of a rtiɹcia l white roses. There were a number of
champ a gne gla sses on the
ta ble, most ha lf -full, a s if p a ssing p a rtygoers ha d a ba ndo
ned them there. Alec wa s looking

ra ther a ba ndoned himself . He ha d his chin in his ha nds a nd wa s
sta ring moodily into sp a ce.
He didn’t look up , even when Ma gnus hitched a foot a round the cha
ir op p osite his, sp un it
towa rd him, a nd sa t down, resting his a rms a long the ba ck.
“Do you wa nt to go ba ck to Vienna ?” he sa id.
Alec didn’t a nswer, just sta red into sp a ce.
“Or we could go somewhere else,” sa id Ma gnus. “Anywhere you wa nt. Tha
ila nd, South
Ca rolina , Bra zil, Peru—Oh, wa it, no, I’m ba nned from Peru. I’d fo
rgotten a bout tha t. It’s a
long story, but amusing if you wa nt to hea r it.”
Alec’s exp ression sa id tha t he very much did not wa nt to hea r it.
Pointedly he turned a nd
looked out over the room a s if the werewolf string qua rtet fa scina ted him.
Since Alec wa s ignoring him, Ma gnus decided to amuse himself by c
ha nging the colors of
the champ a gne in the gla sses on the ta ble. He ma de one blue,
the next p ink, a nd wa s
working on green when Alec rea ched a cross the ta ble a nd hit him on the wrist
“Stop tha t,” he sa id. “Peop le a re looking.”
Ma gnus looked down a t his ɹngers, which were sp ra ying blue sp a rks
. Ma ybe it wa s a bit
obvious. He curled his f ingers under. “Well,” he sa id. “I ha ve to do something t
o keep myself
from dying of boredom, since you’re not ta lking to me.”
“I’m not,” sa id Alec. “Not ta lking to you, I mea n.”
“Oh?” sa id Ma gnus. “I just a sked you if you wa nted to go to Vienna
, or Tha ila nd, or the
moon, a nd I don’t reca ll you sa ying a nything in resp onse.”
“I don’t know wha t I wa nt.” Alec, his hea d bent, wa s p la ying with
a n a ba ndoned p la stic
fork. Though his eyes were deɹa ntly ca st down, their p a le blue co
lor wa s visible even
through his lowered eyelids, which were p a le a nd a s ɹne a s p a rchment. Ma
gnus ha d a lwa ys
found huma ns more bea utiful tha n a ny other crea tures a live on th
e ea rth, a nd ha d of ten
wondered why. Only a few yea rs before dissolution, Camille ha d sa
id. But it wa s morta lity
tha t ma de them wha t they were, the ɻame tha t bla zed brighter for its ɻickering
. De ath is the
mothe r of be auty, a s the p oet sa id. He wondered if the Angel ha d e
ver considered ma king his
huma n serva nts, the Nep hilim, immorta l. But no, for a ll their
strength, they fell a s huma ns
ha d a lwa ys fa llen in ba ttle through a ll the a ges of the world.
“You’ve got tha t look a ga in,” Alec sa id p eevishly, gla ncing up throu
gh his la shes. “Like
you’re sta ring a t something I ca n’t see. Are you thinking a bout Camille?”
“Not rea lly,” Ma gnus sa id. “How much of the conversa tion I ha d with
her did you
overhea r?”
“Most of it.” Alec p rodded the ta blecloth with his fork. “I wa s liste
ning a t the door.
“Not a t a ll enough, I think.” Ma gnus gla red a t the fork, a nd it
skidded out of Alec’s gra sp
a nd a cross the ta ble towa rd him. He slammed his ha nd down on t

op of it a nd sa id, “Stop
f idgeting. Wha t wa s it I sa id to Camille tha t bothered you so much?”
Alec ra ised his blue eyes. “Who’s Will?”
Ma gnus exha led a sort of la ugh. “Will. Dea r God. Tha t wa s a
long time a go. Will wa s a
Sha dowhunter, like you. And yes, he did look like you, but you’re
not a nything like him.
Ja ce is much more the wa y Will wa s, in p ersona lity a t lea st—a n
d my rela tionship with you
is nothing like the one I ha d with Will. Is that wha t’s bothering you?”
“I don’t like thinking you’re only with me beca use I look like some dea d guy you lik
“I never sa id tha t. Camille imp lied it. She is a ma ster of imp
lica tion a nd ma nip ula tion.
She a lwa ys ha s been.”
“You didn’t tell her she wa s wrong.”
“If you let Camille, she will a tta ck you on every front. Defend o
ne front, a nd she will
a tta ck a nother. The only wa y to dea l with her is to p retend she isn’t getti
ng to you.”
“She sa id p retty boys were your undoing,” Alec sa id. “Which ma kes it
sound like I’m just
one in a long line of toys for you. One dies or goes awa y, you get a nother
one. I’m nothing.
I’m—trivia l.”
“Alexa nder—”
“Which,” Alec went on, sta ring down a t the ta ble a ga in, “is esp ecia lly unfa i
r, beca use you
a re a nything but trivia l for me. I cha nged my whole life for yo
u. But nothing ever cha nges
for you, does it? I guess tha t’s wha t it mea ns to live forever.
Nothing ever rea lly ha s to
ma tter a ll tha t much.”
“I’m telling you tha t you do ma tter—”
“The Book of the White,” Alec sa id, suddenly. “Why did you wa nt it so ba dly?”
Ma gnus looked a t him, p uzzled. “You know why. It’s a very p owerful sp ellboo
“But you wa nted it for something sp eciɹc, didn’t you? A sp ell tha t wa
s in it?” Alec took a
ra gged brea th. “You don’t ha ve to a nswer; I ca n tell by your fa c
e tha t you did. Wa s it—wa s
it a sp ell for ma king me immorta l?”
Ma gnus felt sha ken to his core. “Alec,” he whisp ered. “No. No, I—I wouldn’t do tha
Alec ɹxed him with his p iercing blue ga ze. “Why not? Why through a ll the yea r
s of a ll the
rela tionship s you’ve ever ha d ha ve you never tried to ma ke a ny of
them immorta l like you?
If you could ha ve me with you forever, wouldn’t you wa nt to?”
“Of course I would!” Ma gnus, rea lizing he wa s a lmost shouting, lowered his v
oice with a n
eʃort. “But you don’t understa nd. You don’t get something for nothing. Th
e p rice for living
“Ma gnus.” It wa s Isa belle, hurrying towa rd them, her p hone in her ha nd. “Ma g
nus, I need
to ta lk to you.”
“Isa belle.” Norma lly Ma gnus liked Alec’s sister. Not so much a t the mo
ment. “Lovely,
wonderful Isa belle. Could you p lea se go awa y? Now is a rea lly ba d time.”

Isa belle looked from Ma gnus to her brother, a nd ba ck a ga in. “Then, you do
n’t wa nt me to
tell you tha t Camille’s just esca p ed from the Sa nctua ry a nd my mo
ther is dema nding tha t
you come ba ck to the Institute right now to help them f ind her?”
“No,” Ma gnus sa id. “I don’t wa nt you to tell me tha t.”
“Well, too ba d,” Isa belle sa id. “Beca use it’s true. I mea n, I guess
you don’t ha ve to go, but
The rest of the sentence hung in the a ir, but Ma gnus knew wha t
she wa sn’t sa ying. If he
didn’t go, the Cla ve would be susp icious tha t he’d ha d something to
do with Camille’s
esca p e, a nd tha t wa s the la st thing he needed. Ma ryse would
be furious, comp lica ting his
rela tionship with Alec even further. And yet—
“She e s cape d?” Alec sa id. “No one’s ever esca p ed from the Sa nctua ry.”
“Well,” sa id Isa belle, “now someone ha s.”
Alec slunk down lower in his sea t. “Go,” he sa id. “It’s a n emergency.
Just go. We ca n ta lk
la ter.”
“Ma gnus…” Isa belle sounded ha lf -a p ologetic, but there wa s no mista kin
g the urgency in
her voice.
“Fine.” Ma gnus stood up . “But,” he a dded, p a using by Alec’s cha ir a nd
lea ning in close to
him, “ you are not trivial.”
Alec f lushed. “If you sa y so,” he sa id.
“I sa y so,” sa id Ma gnus, a nd he turned to follow Isa belle out of the room.
Outside on the deserted street, Simon lea ned a ga inst the wa ll of
the Ironworks, a ga inst the
ivy-covered brick, a nd sta red up a t the sky. The lights of the
bridge wa shed out the sta rs so
there wa s nothing to see but a sheet of velvety bla ckness. He w
ished with a sudden
ɹerceness tha t he could brea the in the cold a ir to clea r his hea d
, tha t he could feel it on his
fa ce, on his skin. All he wa s wea ring wa s a thin shirt, a nd
it ma de no diʃerence. He
couldn’t shiver, a nd even the memory of wha t it felt like to shive
r wa s going awa y from
him, little by little, every da y, slip p ing awa y like the memories of a n
other life.
He froze where he stood. Tha t voice, sma ll a nd familia r, drif t
ing like a threa d on the cold
a ir. Smile . Tha t wa s the la st thing she ha d sa id to him.
But it couldn’t be. She wa s dea d.
“Won’t you look a t me, Simon?” Her voice wa s a s sma ll a s ever, ba
rely a brea th. “I’m
right here.”
Drea d clawed its wa y up his sp ine. He op ened his eyes, a nd turned his he
a d slowly.
Ma ureen stood in the circle of light ca st by a streetlamp just
a t the corner of Vernon
Bouleva rd. She wore a long white virgina l dress. Her ha ir wa s
brushed stra ight down over
her shoulders, shining yellow in the lamp light. There wa s still so
me gra ve dirt ca ught in it.
There were little white slip p ers on her feet. Her fa ce wa s dea d

white, circles of rouge
p a inted on her cheekbones, a nd her mouth colored a da rk p ink a
s if it ha d been drawn on
with a felt-tip ma rker.
Simon’s knees ga ve out. He slid down the wa ll he ha d been lea ning
a ga inst, until he wa s
sitting on the ground, his knees drawn up . His hea d felt like it wa s going
to exp lode.
Ma ureen ga ve a girlish little giggle a nd step p ed out of the la
mp light. She moved towa rd
him a nd looked down; her fa ce wore a look of amused sa tisfa ction.
“I thought you’d be surp rised,” she sa id.
“You’re a vamp ire,” Simon sa id. “But—how? I didn’t do this to you. I know I didn’t.”
Ma ureen shook her hea d. “It wa sn’t you. But it wa s be caus e of y
ou. They thought I wa s
your girlfriend, you know. They took me out of my bedroom a t night, a nd th
ey kep t me in a
ca ge for the whole next da y. They told me not to worry beca use you’d come for
me. But you
didn’t come. You never came.”
“I didn’t know.” Simon’s voice cra cked. “I would ha ve come if I’d known.”
Ma ureen ɻung her blond ha ir ba ck over her shoulder in a gesture th
a t reminded Simon
suddenly a nd p a infully of Camille. “It doesn’t ma tter,” she sa id in
her girlish little voice.
“When the sun went down, they told me I could die or I could choose
to live like this. As a
vamp ire.”
“So you chos e this?”
“I didn’t wa nt to die,” she brea thed. “And now I’ll be p retty a nd young forever.
I ca n sta y
out a ll night, a nd I never need to go home. And she ta kes ca re of me.”
“Who a re you ta lking a bout? Who’s she? Do you mea n Camille? Look, M
a ureen, she’s
cra zy. You shouldn’t listen to her.” Simon sta ggered to his feet. “I c
a n get you help . Find
you a p la ce to sta y. Tea ch you how to be a vamp ire—”
“Oh, Simon.” She smiled, a nd her little white teeth showed in a p recise row. “I
don’t think
you know how to be a vamp ire either. You didn’t wa nt to bite me, but you di
d. I remember.
Your eyes went a ll bla ck like a sha rk’s, a nd you bit me.”
“I’m so sorry. If you’ll let me help you—”
“You could come with me,” she sa id. “Tha t would help me.”
“Come with you where?”
Ma ureen looked up a nd down the emp ty street. She looked like a
ghost in her thin white
dress. The wind blew it a round her body, but she clea rly didn’t feel the cold.
“You ha ve been
chosen,” she sa id. “Beca use you a re a Da ylighter. Those who did th
is to me wa nt you. But
they know you bea r the Ma rk now. They ca n’t get to you unless you
choose to come to
them. So they sent me a s a messenger.” She cocked her hea d to the
side, like a bird’s. “I
might not be a nyone who ma tters to you,” she sa id, “but the next ti
me it will be. They will
keep coming for the p eop le you love until there is no one lef t,
so you might a s well come
with me a nd f ind out wha t they wa nt.”

“Do you know?” Simon a sked. “Do you know wha t they wa nt?”
She shook her hea d. She wa s so p a le under the diʃuse lamp light t
ha t she looked a lmost
tra nsp a rent, a s if Simon could ha ve looked right through her.
The wa y, he sup p osed, he
a lwa ys ha d.
“Does it ma tter?” she sa id, a nd rea ched out her ha nd.
“No,” he sa id. “No, I guess it doesn’t.” And he took her ha nd.
“We’ re here,” Ma ureen sa id to Simon.
She ha d stop p ed in the middle of the sidewa lk a nd wa s looking up a t a
ma ssive gla ss-a ndstone building tha t rose a bove them. It wa s clea
rly designed to look like one of the luxury
a p a rtment comp lexes tha t ha d been built on Ma nha tta n’s Up p er Ea st Side
before the Second
World Wa r, but the modern touches ga ve it awa y—the high sheets of
windows, the cop p er
roof untouched by verdigris, the ba nner signs dra p ing themselves d
own the front of the
ediɹce, p romising LUXURY CONDOS STARTING AT $750,000. Ap p a rently the
p urcha se of one would entitle
you to the use of a roof ga rden, a ɹtness center, a hea ted p
ool, a nd twenty-four-hour
doorma n service, sta rting in December. At the moment the p la ce w
a s still under
construction, a nd KEEP OUT: PRIVATE PROPERTY signs were ta cked to t
he sca ʃolding tha t surrounded
Simon looked a t Ma ureen. She seemed to be getting used to being a
vamp ire p retty fa st.
They ha d run over the Queensboro Bridge a nd up Second Avenue to g
et here, a nd her white
slip p ers were shredded. But she ha d never slowed, a nd ha d never
seemed surp rised not to
ha ve gotten tired. She wa s looking up a t the building now with
a bea tiɹc exp ression, her
sma ll fa ce a glow with wha t Simon could only guess wa s a nticip a tion.
“This p la ce is closed,” he sa id, knowing he wa s sta ting the obvious. “Ma ureen—”
“Hush.” She rea ched out a sma ll ha nd to p ull a t a p la ca rd a tt
a ched to a corner of the
sca ʃolding. It came awa y with a sound of tea ring p la sterboa rd a
nd rip p ed-out na ils. Some
of them ra ttled to the ground a t Simon’s feet. Ma ureen tossed the
squa re of p la sterboa rd
a side a nd grinned a t the hole she’d ma de.
An old ma n who’d been p a ssing by, wa lking a sma ll p la id-ja cket
ed p oodle on a lea sh,
stop p ed a nd sta red. “You ought to get a coa t on your little sis
ter there,” he sa id to Simon.
“Skinny thing like tha t, she’ll freeze in this wea ther.”
Before Simon could rep ly, Ma ureen turned on the ma n with a feroc
ious grin, showing a ll
her teeth, including her needle fa ngs. “ I am not his s is te r,” she hissed.
The ma n bla nched, p icked up his dog, a nd hurried awa y.
Simon shook his hea d a t Ma ureen. “You didn’t need to do tha t.”
Her fa ngs ha d p ierced her lower lip , something tha t ha d ha p p
ened to Simon of ten before
he’d gotten used to them. Thin trickles of blood ra n down her chin.
“Don’t tell me wha t to

do,” she sa id p eevishly, but her fa ngs retra cted. She wip ed the
ba ck of her ha nd a cross her
chin, a childish gesture, smea ring the blood. Then she turned ba
ck to the hole she’d ma de.
“Come on.”
She ducked through, a nd he followed her. They p a ssed through a n
a rea where the
construction crew ha d clea rly dump ed their junk. There were broken
tools lying a round,
sma shed bricks, old p la stic ba gs, a nd Coke ca ns littering the
ground. Ma ureen lif ted her
skirts a nd p icked her wa y da intily through the wrecka ge, a look
of disgust on her fa ce. She
hop p ed over a na rrow trench, a nd up a row of cra cked stone step s. Si
mon followed.
The step s led to a set of gla ss doors, p rop p ed op en. Throug
h the doors wa s a n orna te
ma rble lobby. A ma ssive unlit cha ndelier hung from the ceiling, though ther
e wa s no light to
sp a rk oʃ its p enda nt crysta ls. It would ha ve been too da rk in
the room for a huma n to see
a t a ll. There wa s a ma rble desk for a doorma n to sit a t,
a green cha ise longue benea th a
gilt-edged mirror, a nd ba nks of eleva tors on either side of the
room. Ma ureen hit the button
for the eleva tor, a nd to Simon’s surp rise, it lit.
“Where a re we going?” he a sked.
The eleva tor p inged, a nd Ma ureen step p ed in, Simon behind her.
The eleva tor wa s
p a neled in gold a nd red, with frosted gla ss mirrors on ea ch of
the wa lls. “Up .” She hit the
button for the roof a nd giggled. “Up to Hea ven,” she sa id, a nd the doors clo
“I ca n’t f ind Simon.”
Isa belle, who ha d been lea ning a ga inst a p illa r in the Ironwo
rks a nd trying not to brood,
looked up to see Jorda n looming over her. He rea lly wa s most un
rea sona bly ta ll, she
thought. He ha d to be a t lea st six foot two. She ha d thought
he wa s very a ttra ctive the ɹrst
time she’d seen him, with his tousled da rk ha ir a nd greenish eyes, but now
tha t she knew he
wa s Ma ia ’s ex, she ha d moved him ɹrmly into the menta l sp a ce she
reserved for boys who
were of f -limits.
“Well, I ha ven’t seen him,” she sa id. “I thought you were sup p osed to be his keep
“He told me he wa s going to be right ba ck. Tha t wa s forty minute
s a go. I ɹgured he wa s
going to the ba throom.”
“Wha t kind of gua rdia n a re you? Shouldn’t you ha ve gone to the ba
throom with him?”
Isa belle dema nded.
Jorda n looked horrif ied. “Dudes,” he sa id, “do not follow other dudes to the ba t
Isa belle sighed. “La tent homosexua l p a nic will do you in every time,” sh
e sa id. “Come on.
Let’s look for him.”
They circled the p a rty, moving in a nd out among the guests. Alec
wa s sulking a lone a t a

ta ble, p la ying with a n emp ty champ a gne gla ss. “No, I ha ven’t s
een him,” he sa id in
resp onse to their question. “Though a dmittedly I ha ven’t been looking.”
“Well, you ca n sea rch a long with us,” sa id Isa belle. “It’ll give you something to
do besides
look misera ble.”
Alec shrugged a nd joined them. They decided to sp lit up a nd fa n
out a cross the p a rty.
Alec hea ded up sta irs to sea rch the ca twa lks a nd the second leve
l. Jorda n went outside to
check the terra ces a nd the entrywa y. Isa belle took the p a rty a
rea . She wa s just wondering
whether gla ncing under the ta bles would a ctua lly be ridiculous, wh
en Ma ia came up behind
her. “Everything a ll right?” she inquired. She gla nced up towa rd Ale
c, a nd then in the
direction Jorda n ha d gone. “I know a sea rching forma tion when I s
ee one. Wha t a re you
guys looking for? Is there trouble?”
Isa belle f illed her in on the Simon situa tion.
“I just ta lked to him a bout ha lf a n hour a go.”
“So did Jorda n, but he’s gone now. And since p eop le ha ve been tryi
ng to kill him
la tely…”
Ma ia set her gla ss down on the ta ble. “I’ll help you look.”
“You don’t ha ve to. I know you’re not feeling sup er-fond of Simon right now—”
“Tha t doesn’t mea n I don’t wa nt to help out if he’s in trouble ,” Ma ia
sa id, a s if Isa belle
were being ridiculous. “Wa sn’t Jorda n sup p osed to be wa tching him?”
Isa belle threw up her ha nds. “Yea h, but a p p a rently dudes don’t f
ollow other dudes to the
ba throom or something. He wa sn’t ma king a lot of sense.”
“Guys never do,” Ma ia sa id, a nd followed her. They glided in a nd
out through the crowd,
though Isa belle wa s a lrea dy p retty sure they weren’t going to ɹnd Si
mon. She ha d a sma ll
cold sp ot in the middle of her stoma ch tha t wa s growing bigger
a nd colder. By the time
they’d a ll convened ba ck a t their origina l ta ble, she felt a s if
she’d swa llowed a gla ss of ice
wa ter.
“He isn’t here,” she sa id.
Jorda n swore, then sta red guiltily a t Ma ia . “Sorry.”
“I’ve hea rd worse,” she sa id. “So wha t’s the next step ? Anyone tried ca lling him?”
“Stra ight to voice ma il,” Jorda n sa id.
“Any idea where he might ha ve gone?” a sked Alec.
“Best-ca se scena rio, ma ybe ba ck to the a p a rtment,” sa id Jorda n. “W
orst, those p eop le
who’ve been a f ter him f ina lly got him.”
“Peop le who wha t?” Alec looked bewildered; while Isa belle ha d told Ma
ia Simon’s story,
she ha dn’t ha d a cha nce to f ill her brother in yet.
“I’m going to hea d ba ck to the a p a rtment a nd look for him,” sa id J
orda n. “If he’s there,
grea t. If not, tha t’s still where I should sta rt. They know wher
e he lives; they’ve been
sending us messa ges there. Ma ybe there’ll be a messa ge.” He didn’t sound too hop
Isa belle ma de a sp lit-second decision. “I’ll go with you.”
“You don’t ha ve to—”

“Yes, I do. I told Simon he should come here tonight; I’m resp onsibl
e. Besides, I’m ha ving
a cra p time a t this p a rty a nywa y.”
“Yea h,” Alec sa id, looking relieved a t the p rosp ect of getting out of there.
“Me too. Ma ybe
we should a ll go. Should we tell Cla ry?”
Isa belle shook her hea d. “It’s her mom’s p a rty. It wouldn’t be fa ir.
Let’s see wha t we ca n
do just the three of us.”
“Three of you?” Ma ia a sked, a tone of delica te a nnoya nce sha ding her voic
“Do you wa nt to come with us, Ma ia ?” It wa s Jorda n. Isa belle fro
ze; she wa sn’t sure how
Ma ia would resp ond to ha ving her ex-boyfriend sp ea k to her directly. The
other girl’s mouth
tightened a little, a nd for just a moment she looked a t Jorda n—no
t a s if she ha ted him, but
“It’s Simon,” she sa id f ina lly, a s if tha t decided everything. “I’ll go get my coa
The eleva tor doors op ened onto a swirl of da rk a ir a nd sha dow
s. Ma ureen ga ve a nother
high-p itched giggle a nd da nced out into the da rkness, lea ving Sim
on to follow her with a
They stood in a la rge ma rble windowless room. There were no light
s, but the wa ll to the
lef t of the eleva tor wa s ɹtted with a towering set of double gla
ss doors. Through them
Simon could see the ɻa t surfa ce of the roof , a nd a bove it the
bla ck night sky overhea d
p inp ointed with fa intly glowing sta rs.
The wind wa s blowing ha rd a ga in. He followed Ma ureen through the
doors a nd out into
the cold, gusting a ir, her dress ɻuttering a round her like a moth
bea ting its wings a ga inst a
ga le. The roof ga rden wa s a s elega nt a s the signs ha d p romi
sed. Smooth hexa gona l stone
tiles ma de up the ɻooring; there were ba nks of ɻowers blooming under
gla ss, a nd ca refully
clip p ed top ia ry hedges in the sha p es of monsters a nd a nima ls.
The wa lkwa y they followed
wa s lined with tiny gleaming lights. All a round them rose high gla
ss-a nd-steel a p a rtment
buildings, their windows a glow with electricity.
The p a th dea d-ended a t a row of ra ised, tiled step s, a top
which wa s a wide squa re
bordered on three sides by the high wa ll tha t encircled the ga rden
. It wa s clea rly intended
to be a n a rea where the building’s eventua l residents would socia li
ze. There wa s a big
concrete block in the center of the squa re, which would p roba bly
someda y hold a grill,
Simon guessed, a nd the a rea wa s encircled by nea tly clip p ed ro
sebushes tha t in June would
bloom, just a s the ba re trellises a dorning the wa lls would one d
a y va nish under a covering
of lea ves. It would be a n a ttra ctive sp a ce eventua lly, a lu
xury Up p er Ea st Side p enthouse
ga rden where you could rela x on a lounge cha ir, with the Ea st

River glittering under the
sunset, a nd the city stretched out before you, a mosa ic of shimmering ligh
Excep t. The tile ɻoor ha d been defa ced, sp la ttered with some sort
of bla ck, sticky ɻuid
tha t ha d been used to draw a rough circle, inside a la rger cir
cle. The sp a ce between the two
circles wa s ɹlled with scrawled runes. Though Simon wa sn’t a Sha dowhu
nter, he’d seen
enough Nep hilim runes to recognize wha t came from the Gra y Book.
These didn’t. They
looked mena cing a nd wrong, like a curse scrawled in a n unfamilia r la ngua
In the very center of the circle wa s the concrete block. On top
of it a bulky recta ngula r
object sa t, dra p ed with a da rk cloth. The sha p e of it wa s
not unlike tha t of a coɽn. More
runes were scribbled a round the ba se of the block. If Simon’s bloo
d ha d run, it would ha ve
run cold.
Ma ureen cla p p ed her ha nds together. “Oh,” she sa id in her elf in little voice
. “It’s p retty.”
“ P re tty?” Simon looked quickly a t the hunched sha p e on top of the
concrete block.
“Ma ureen, wha t the hell—”
“So you brought him.” It wa s a woma n’s voice tha t sp oke, cultured, strong, a n
d—familia r.
Simon turned. Sta nding on the p a thwa y behind him wa s a ta ll w
oma n with short da rk ha ir.
She wa s very slender, wea ring a long da rk coa t, belted a round
the middle like a femme
fa ta le from a forties sp y movie. “Ma ureen, tha nk you,” she went o
n. She ha d a ha rd,
bea utiful fa ce, sha rp ly p la ned, with high cheekbones a nd wide da rk eye
s. “You’ve done very
well. You ma y go now.” She turned her ga ze on Simon. “Simon Lewis,” she sa id. “Tha
nk you
for coming.”
The moment she sa id his name he recognized her. The la st time he’d
seen her she’d been
sta nding in p ouring ra in outside the Alto Ba r. “You. I remember y
ou. You ga ve me your
ca rd. The music p romoter. Wow, you must re ally wa nt to p romote
my ba nd. I didn’t even
think we were tha t good.”
“Don’t be sa rca stic,” the woma n sa id. “There’s no p oint in it.” She gla nc
ed sidewa ys.
“Ma ureen. You ma y go.” Her voice wa s ɹrm this time, a nd Ma ureen, wh
o ha d been
hovering like a little ghost, ga ve a tiny squea k a nd da rted ba
ck the wa y they’d come. He
wa tched a s she va nished through the doors tha t led to the eleva t
ors, feeling a lmost sorry to
see her go. Ma ureen wa sn’t much comp a ny, but without her he felt
very a lone. Whoever
this stra nge woma n wa s, she ga ve oʃ a clea r a ura of da rk p
ower he’d been too blooddrugged to notice before.
“You led me a da nce, Simon,” she sa id, a nd now her voice wa s com
ing from a nother
direction, severa l feet awa y. Simon sp un, a nd saw tha t she wa s sta ndin

g beside the concrete
block, in the center of the circle. The clouds were blowing swif tly a cross
the moon, ca sting a
moving p a ttern of sha dows a cross her fa ce. Beca use he wa s a t
the foot of the step s, he ha d
to cra ne his hea d ba ck to look up a t her. “I thought getting ho
ld of you would be ea sy.
Dea ling with a simp le vamp ire. A newly ma de one, a t tha t. E
ven a Da ylighter is nothing I
ha ven’t encountered before, though there ha s not been one for a hun
dred yea rs. Yes,” she
a dded, with a smile a t his gla nce, “I am older tha n I look.”
“You look p retty old.”
She ignored the insult. “I sent my best p eop le a f ter you, a nd only one retu
rned, with some
ba bbled ta le a bout holy ɹre a nd the wra th of God. He wa s quite
useless to me a f ter tha t. I
ha d to ha ve him p ut down. It wa s most a nnoying. Af ter tha t
I decided I ought to dea l with
you myself . I followed you to your silly musica l show, a nd a f t
erwa rd, when I came up to
you, I saw it. Your Ma rk. As one who knew Ca in p ersona lly, I
am intima tely familia r with
its sha p e.”
“Knew Ca in pe rs onally?” Simon shook his hea d. “You ca n’t exp ect me to believe tha
“Believe it or do not believe it,” she sa id. “It ma kes no diʃerence to
me. I am older tha n
the dreams of your kind, little boy. I wa lked the p a ths of th
e Ga rden of Eden. I knew Adam
before Eve did. I wa s his ɹrst wife, but I would not be obedient
to him, so God ca st me out
a nd ma de for Adam a new wife, one fa shioned of his own body t
ha t she might ever be
subservient.” She smiled fa intly. “I ha ve ma ny names. But you ma y ca ll me Lil
ith, ɹrst of a ll
At tha t, Simon, who ha d not felt cold in months, ɹna lly shivered.
He ha d hea rd the name
Lilith before. He couldn’t remember where exa ctly, but he knew it wa
s a name a ssocia ted
with da rkness, with evil a nd terrible things.
“Your Ma rk p resented me with a conundrum,” sa id Lilith. “I need you,
you see,
Da ylighter. Your life force—your blood. But I could not force you or ha rm you.”
She sa id this a s if needing his blood were the most na tura l thing in the wo
“You—drink blood?” Simon a sked. He felt da zed, a s if he were tra p p
ed in a stra nge
dream. Surely this couldn’t rea lly be ha p p ening.
She la ughed. “Blood is not the food of demons, silly child. Wha t I wa nt fro
m you is not for
myself .” She held out a slender ha nd. “Come closer.”
Simon shook his hea d. “I’m not step p ing inside tha t circle.”
She shrugged. “Very well, then. I intended only to give you a better view.” She
moved her
ɹngers slightly, a lmost negligently, the gesture of someone twitching
a curta in a side. The
bla ck cloth covering the cof f in-sha p ed object between them va nished.
Simon sta red a t wha t wa s revea led. He ha d not been wrong a bout the coɽn sh

a p e. It wa s
a big gla ss box, just long a nd wide enough for a p erson to li
e down in. A gla ss coɽn, he
thought, like Snow White’s. But this wa s no fa iry ta le. Inside th
e coɽn wa s a cloudy liquid,
a nd ɻoa ting in tha t liquid—na ked from the wa ist up , his white-blond
ha ir drif ting a round
him like p a le seaweed—wa s Seba stia n.
There were no messa ges stuck to Jorda n’s a p a rtment door, nothing o
n or under the
welcome ma t, a nd nothing immedia tely obvious inside the a p a rtment
, either. While Alec
stood gua rd downsta irs a nd Ma ia a nd Jorda n rumma ged through Sim
on’s ba ckp a ck in the
living room, Isa belle, sta nding in the doorwa y of Simon’s bedroom,
looked silently a t the
p la ce he’d been sleep ing for the p a st few da ys. It wa s so emp
ty—just four wa lls, na ked of
a ny decora tion, a ba re ɻoor with a futon ma ttress on it a nd a
white bla nket folded a t the
foot, a nd a single window tha t looked out onto Avenue B.
She could hea r the city—the city she ha d grown up in, whose noises
ha d a lwa ys
surrounded her, since she wa s a ba by. She ha d found the quiet of
Idris terribly a lien without
the sounds of ca r a la rms, p eop le shouting, ambula nce sirens,
a nd music p la ying tha t never,
in New York City, quite went awa y, even in the dea d of night.
But now, sta nding here
looking a t Simon’s sma ll room, she thought a bout how lonely those n
oises sounded, how
dista nt, a nd whether he ha d been lonely himself a t night, lying
here looking up a t the
ceiling, a lone.
Then a ga in, it wa sn’t a s if she’d ever seen his bedroom a t home,
which p resuma bly wa s
covered with ba nd p osters, sp orts trop hies, boxes of those games
he loved to p la y, musica l
instruments, books—a ll the ɻotsam a nd jetsam of a norma l life. She’d
never a sked to come
over, a nd he’d never suggested it. She’d been gun-shy of meeting his
mother, of doing
a nything tha t might besp ea k a grea ter commitment tha n she wa s willi
ng to ma ke. But now,
looking a t this emp ty shell of a room, feeling the va st da rk
bustle of the city a ll a round her,
she felt a twinge of fea r for Simon—mixed with a n equa l twinge of regret.
She turned ba ck towa rd the rest of the a p a rtment, but p a used
when she hea rd a low
murmur of voices coming from the living room. She recognized Ma ia ’s
voice. She didn’t
sound a ngry, which wa s surp rising in a nd of itself , considering
how much she seemed to
ha te Jorda n.
“Nothing,” she wa s sa ying. “Some keys, a bunch of p a p ers with game
sta ts scrawled on
them.” Isa belle lea ned a round the doorwa y. She could see Ma ia , st
a nding on one side of the
kitchen counter, her ha nd in the zip p ocket of Simon’s ba ckp a ck.
Jorda n, on the other side

of the counter, wa s wa tching her. Wa tching he r, Isa belle thought
, not wha t she wa s doing—
tha t wa y guys wa tched you when they were so into you they were fa scina ted b
y every move
you ma de. “I’ll check his wa llet.”
Jorda n, who ha d cha nged out of his forma l wea r into jea ns a nd a lea th
er ja cket, frowned.
“Weird tha t he lef t it. Ca n I see?” He rea ched a cross the counter.
Ma ia jerked ba ck so fa st she drop p ed the wa llet, her ha nd f lying out.
“I wa sn’t…” Jorda n drew his ha nd ba ck slowly. “I’m sorry.”
Ma ia took a deep brea th. “Look,” she sa id, “I ta lked to Simon. I know you ne
ver mea nt to
Turn me. I know you didn’t know wha t wa s ha p p ening to you. I r
emember wha t tha t wa s
like. I remember being terrif ied.”
Jorda n p ut his ha nds down slowly, ca refully, on the countertop .
It wa s odd, Isa belle
thought, wa tching someone so ta ll try to ma ke himself look ha rml
ess a nd sma ll. “I should
ha ve been there for you.”
“But the Pra etor wouldn’t let you be,” Ma ia sa id. “And let’s fa ce it,
you didn’t know
a nything a bout being a werewolf ; we would ha ve been like two bl
indfolded p eop le
stumbling a round in a circle. Ma ybe it’s better you weren’t there. I
t ma de me run awa y to
where I could get help . From the Pa ck.”
“At ɹrst I hop ed the Pra etor Lup us would bring you in,” he whisp ered. “So I coul
d see you
a ga in. Then I rea lized tha t wa s selɹsh a nd I should be wishing
tha t I didn’t p a ss on the
disea se to you. I knew it wa s f if ty-f if ty. I thought you might be one of
the lucky ones.”
“Well, I wa sn’t,” she sa id, ma tter-of -fa ctly. “And over the yea rs I
built you up in my hea d
to be this sort of monster. I thought you knew wha t you were doi
ng when you did this to
me. I thought it wa s revenge on me for kissing tha t boy. So I
ha ted you. And ha ting you
ma de everything ea sier. Ha ving someone to blame.”
“You should blame me,” he sa id. “It is my fa ult.”
She ra n her ɹnger a long the countertop , a voiding his eyes. “I do b
lame you. But … not
the wa y I did before.”
Jorda n rea ched up a nd gra bbed his own ha ir with his f ists, tugging on it
ha rd. “There isn’t
a da y goes by I don’t think a bout wha t I did to you. I bit you
. I Turned you. I ma de you
wha t you a re. I ra ised my ha nd to you. I hurt you. The one
p erson I loved more tha n
a nything else in the world.”
Ma ia ’s eyes were shining with tea rs. “Don’t s ay tha t. Tha t doesn’t hel
p . You think tha t
help s?”
Isa belle clea red her throa t loudly, step p ing into the living room
. “So. Ha ve you found
a nything?”
Ma ia looked awa y, blinking ra p idly. Jorda n, lowering his ha nds
, sa id, “Not rea lly. We
were just a bout to go through his wa llet.” He p icked it up from w

here Ma ia ha d drop p ed it.
“Here.” He tossed it to Isa belle.
She ca ught it a nd ɻicked it op en. School p a ss, New York sta te
nondriver’s ID, a guita r
p ick tucked into the sp a ce tha t wa s sup p osed to hold credit ca
rds. A ten-dolla r bill a nd a
receip t for dice. Something else ca ught her eye—a business ca rd, s
hoved ca relessly behind a
p hoto of Simon a nd Cla ry, the kind of p icture you might ta ke
in a chea p drugstore p hoto
booth. They were both smiling.
Isa belle took out the ca rd a nd sta red a t it. It ha d a swirli
ng, a lmost a bstra ct design of a
f loa ting guita r a ga inst clouds. Below tha t wa s a name.
Satrina Ke ndall. Band P romote r. Below tha t wa s a telep hone num
ber, a nd a n Up p er Ea st
Side a ddress. Isa belle frowned. Something, a memory, tugged a t the ba ck
of her mind.
Isa belle held the ca rd up towa rd Jorda n a nd Ma ia , who were b
usy not looking a t ea ch
other. “Wha t do you think of this?”
Before they could resp ond the a p a rtment door op ened, a nd Alec s
trode in. He wa s
scowling. “Ha ve you found a nything? I’ve been sta nding down there for thir
ty minutes, a nd
nothing even remotely threa tening ha s come by. Unless you count the
NYU student who
threw up on the front step s.”
“Here,” Isa belle sa id, ha nding the ca rd over to her brother. “Look a
t this. Does a nything
strike you a s odd?”
“You mea n besides the fa ct tha t no ba nd p romoter could p ossibly b
e interested in Lewis’s
sucky ba nd?” Alec inquired, ta king the ca rd between two long ɹngers.
Lines a p p ea red
between his eyes. “Sa trina ?”
“Does tha t name mea n something to you?” Ma ia a sked. Her eyes were
still red, but her
voice wa s stea dy.
“Sa trina is one of the seventeen names of Lilith, the mother of
a ll demons. She is why
wa rlocks a re ca lled Lilith’s children,” sa id Alec. “Beca use she mothere
d demons, a nd they in
turn brought forth the ra ce of wa rlocks.”
“And you ha ve a ll seventeen names committed to memory?” Jorda n sounded dubious.
Alec ga ve him a cold look. “Who a re you a ga in?”
“Oh, shut up , Alec,” Isa belle sa id, in the tone she only ever took
with her brother. “Look,
not a ll of us ha ve your memory for boring fa cts. I don’t sup p os
e you reca ll the othe r names
of Lilith?”
With a sup erior look Alec ra ttled them of f , “Sa trina , Lilith, Ita , Ka
li, Ba tna , Ta lto—”
“Ta lto!” Isa belle yelp ed. “Tha t’s it. I knew I wa s remembering somethin
g. I kne w there
wa s a connection!” Quickly she told them a bout the Church of Ta lto
, wha t Cla ry ha d found
there, a nd how it connected to the dea d ha lf -demon ba by a t Beth Isra el.
“I wish you’d told me a bout this before,” Alec sa id. “Yes, Ta lto is a
nother name for Lilith.

And Lilith ha s a lwa ys been a ssocia ted with ba bies. She wa s Ada
m’s ɹrst wife, but she ɻed
from the Ga rden of Eden beca use she didn’t wa nt to obey Adam or G
od. God cursed her for
her disobedience, though—a ny child she bore would die. The legend sa
ys she tried over a nd
over to ha ve a child, but they were a ll born dea d. Eventua lly
she swore she would ha ve
vengea nce a ga inst God by wea kening a nd murdering infa nt huma ns.
You might sa y she’s
the demon goddess of dea d children.”
“But you sa id she wa s the mother of demons,” sa id Ma ia .
“She wa s a ble to crea te demons by sca ttering drop s of her blood
on the ea rth in a p la ce
ca lled Edom,” sa id Alec. “Beca use they were born out of her ha tred
for God a nd ma nkind,
they became demons.” Awa re tha t they were a ll sta ring a t him, he
shrugged. “It’s just a
“All stories a re true,” sa id Isa belle. This ha d been a tenet of h
er beliefs since she wa s a
child. All Sha dowhunters believed it. There wa s no one religion, no
one truth—a nd no myth
la cked mea ning. “You know tha t, Alec.”
“I know something else, too,” Alec sa id, ha nding her ba ck the ca rd.
“Tha t telep hone
number a nd tha t a ddress a re cra p . No wa y they’re rea l.”
“Ma ybe,” Isa belle sa id, tucking the ca rd into her p ocket. “But we do
n’t ha ve a nywhere
else to sta rt looking. So we’re going to sta rt there.”
Simon could only sta re. The body ɻoa ting inside the coɽn—Seba stia n’s—didn’t a
p p ea r to
be a live; a t lea st, he wa sn’t brea thing. But he clea rly wa sn’t
exa ctly dea d, either. It ha d
been two months. If he we re dea d, Simon wa s fa irly sure, he’d
look like he wa s in a lot
worse sha p e tha n he did. His body wa s very white, like ma rble;
one ha nd wa s a ba nda ged
stump , but he wa s otherwise unma rked. He a p p ea red to be a sle
ep , his eyes shut, his a rms
loose a t his sides. Only the fa ct tha t his chest wa sn’t rising or
fa lling indica ted tha t
something wa s very wrong.
“But,” Simon sa id, knowing he sounded ridiculous, “he’s dea d. Ja ce killed him.”
Lilith p la ced a p a le ha nd on the gla ss surfa ce of the coɽn. “J
ona tha n,” she sa id, a nd
Simon remembered tha t tha t wa s, infa ct, his name. Her voice ha
d a n odd sof t qua lity when
she sa id it, a s if she were crooning to a child. “He’s bea utiful, isn’t he?”
“Um,” sa id Simon, looking with loa thing a t the crea ture inside the c
oɽn—the boy who
ha d murdered nine-yea r-old Ma x Lightwood. The crea ture who ha d ki
lled Hodge. Ha d tried
to kill them a ll. “Not my typ e, rea lly.”
“Jona tha n is unique,” she sa id. “He is the only Sha dowhunter I ha ve
ever known of who
is p a rt Grea ter Demon. This ma kes him very p owerful.”
“He ’ s de ad,” Simon sa id. He felt tha t, somehow, it wa s imp orta nt
to keep ma king this
p oint, though Lilith didn’t seem to quite gra sp it.

Lilith, ga zing down a t Seba stia n, frowned. “It’s true. Ja ce Lightw
ood slip p ed up behind
him a nd sta bbed him in the ba ck, through to the hea rt.”
“How do you—”
“I wa s in Idris,” sa id Lilith. “When Va lentine op ened the doorwa y to
the demon worlds, I
came through. Not to ɹght in his stup id ba ttle. Out of curiosity
more tha n a nything else.
Tha t Va lentine should ha ve such hubris—” She broke oʃ, shrugging. “Hea ve
n smote him
down for it, of course. I saw the sa criɹce he ma de; I saw the
Angel rise a nd turn on him. I
saw wha t wa s brought ba ck. I am the oldest of demons; I know
the Old Laws. A life for a
life. I ra ced to Jona tha n. It wa s a lmost too la te. Tha t whi
ch wa s huma n a bout him died
insta ntly—his hea rt ha d cea sed to bea t, his lungs to inɻa te. The O
ld Laws were not enough.
I tried to bring him ba ck then. He wa s too fa r gone. All I could do wa s th
is. Preserve him for
this moment.”
Simon wondered brieɻy wha t would ha p p en if he ma de a run for it—d
a shed p a st this
insa ne demon a nd threw himself oʃ the roof of the building. He c
ouldn’t be ha rmed by
a nother living crea ture; tha t wa s the result of the Ma rk, but
he doubted its p ower extended
to p rotecting him a ga inst the ground. Still, he wa s a vamp ire.
If he fell forty stories a nd
sma shed every bone in his body, would he hea l from tha t? He swa
llowed ha rd a nd found
Lilith looking a t him with amusement.
“Don’t you wa nt to know,” she sa id in her cold, seductive voice, “wha t
moment I mea n?”
Before he could a nswer, she lea ned forwa rd, her elbows on the coɽn
. “I sup p ose you know
the story of the wa y the Nep hilim came to be? How the Angel Ra z
iel mixed his blood with
the blood of men, a nd ga ve it to a ma n to drink, a nd tha t
ma n became the ɹrst of the
Nep hilim?”
“I’ve hea rd it.”
“In eʃect the Angel crea ted a new ra ce of crea ture. And now, with
Jona tha n, a new ra ce
ha s been born a ga in. As Jona tha n Sha dowhunter led the ɹrst Nep hi
lim, so sha ll this
Jona tha n lea d the new ra ce tha t I intend to crea te.”
“The new ra ce you intend—” Simon held up his ha nds. “You know wha t, you wa nt to l
ea d
a new ra ce sta rting oʃ with one dea d guy, you go right a hea d.
I don’t see wha t this ha s to
do with me.”
“He is dea d now. He need not rema in so.” Lilith’s voice wa s cool, un
emotiona l. “There is,
of course, one kind of Downworlder whose blood oʃers the p ossibility
of , sha ll we sa y,
“Vamp ires,” sa id Simon. “You wa nt me to turn Seba stia n into a vampire ?”
“His name is Jona tha n.” Her tone wa s sha rp . “And yes, in a sense. I wa nt you
to bite him,

to drink his blood, a nd to give him your blood in excha nge—”
“I won’t do it.”
“Are you so sure of tha t?”
“A world without Seba stia n”—Simon used the name delibera tely—“in it is a be
tter world
tha n one with him in it. I won’t do it.” Anger wa s rising in Simon,
a swif t tide. “Anywa y, I
couldn’t if I wa nted to. He’s de ad. Vamp ires ca n’t bring ba ck the d
ea d. You ought to know
tha t, if you know so much. Once the soul is gone from the body, nothin
g ca n bring someone
ba ck. Tha nkfully.”
Lilith bent her ga ze on him. “You rea lly don’t know, do you?” she sa
id. “Cla ry never told
Simon wa s getting fed up . “Never told me wha t?”
She chuckled. “An eye for a n eye, a tooth for a tooth, a life
for a life. To p revent cha os
there must be order. If a life is given to the Light, a life is owed to the
Da rk a s well.”
“I ha ve,” Simon sa id slowly a nd delibera tely, “litera lly no idea wha t you’re t
a lking a bout.
And I don’t ca re. You villa ins a nd your creep y eugenics p rograms
a re sta rting to bore me.
So I’m going to lea ve now. You’re welcome to try to stop me by threa tening or hu
rting me. I
encoura ge you to go a hea d a nd try.”
She looked a t him a nd chuckled. “‘Ca in rose up , ’” she sa id. “You a re
a bit like him whose
Ma rk you bea r. He wa s stubborn, a s you a re. Foolha rdy, too.”
“He went up a ga inst—” Simon choked on the word. God. “I’m just dea ling w
ith you.” He
turned to lea ve.
“I would not turn your ba ck on me, Da ylighter,” sa id Lilith, a nd t
here wa s something in
her voice tha t ma de him look ba ck a t her, where she lea ned on
Seba stia n’s coɽn. “You
think you ca nnot be hurt,” she sa id with a sneer. “And indeed I ca
nnot lif t a ha nd a ga inst
you. I am not a fool; I ha ve seen the holy ɹre of the divine.
I ha ve no wish to see it turned
a ga inst me. I am not Va lentine, to ba rga in with wha t I ca nno
t understa nd. I am a demon,
but a very old one. I know huma nity better tha n you might think.
I understa nd the
wea knesses of p ride, of lust for p ower, of desire of the f lesh, of g
reed a nd va nity a nd love.”
“Love isn’t a wea kness.”
“Oh, isn’t it?” she sa id, a nd gla nced p a st him, with a look a s cold a nd p o
inted a s a n icicle.
He turned, not wa nting to, knowing he must, a nd looked behind him.
There on the brick wa lkwa y wa s Ja ce. He wore a da rk suit a nd
a white shirt. Sta nding in
front of him wa s Cla ry, still in the p retty gold-colored dress s
he ha d worn to the Ironworks
p a rty. Her long, wa vy red ha ir ha d come out of its knot a nd
hung down a round her
shoulders. She stood very still in the circle of Ja ce’s a rms. It would a lmos
t ha ve looked like a
roma ntic p icture if it were not for the fa ct tha t in one of his h

a nds, Ja ce wa s holding a long
a nd glittering bone-ha ndled knife, a nd the edge of it wa s p ressed a ga in
st Cla ry’s throa t.
Simon sta red a t Ja ce in tota l a nd a bsolute shock. There wa s no emotion o
n Ja ce’s fa ce, no
light in his eyes. He seemed utterly bla nk.
Very slightly he inclined his hea d.
“I brought her, La dy Lilith,” he sa id. “Just a s you a sked.”
Cla ry ha d never been so cold.
Even when she ha d crawled out of La ke Lyn, coughing a nd sp uttering its p
oisonous wa ter
onto the shore, she ha dn’t been this cold. Even when she ha d thoug
ht Ja ce wa s dea d, she
ha dn’t felt this terrible icy p a ra lysis in her hea rt. Then she ha
d burned with ra ge, ra ge
a ga inst her fa ther. Now she just felt ice, a ll the wa y down to her toes.
She ha d come ba ck to consciousness in the ma rble lobby of a str
a nge building, under the
sha dow of a n unlit cha ndelier. Ja ce ha d been ca rrying her, on
e a rm under her bent knees,
the other sup p orting her hea d. Still dizzy a nd groggy, she’d buried her hea
d a ga inst his neck
for a moment, trying to remember where she wa s.
“Wha t ha p p ened?” she ha d whisp ered.
They ha d rea ched the eleva tor. Ja ce p ushed the button, a nd Cla
ry hea rd the ra ttle tha t
mea nt the ma chine wa s moving down towa rd them. But where were they?
“You were unconscious,” he sa id.
“But how—” She remembered then, a nd fell silent. His ha nds on her, the
sting of her stele
on her skin, the wa ve of da rkness tha t ha d come over her. Som
ething wrong with the rune
he ha d drawn on her, the wa y it ha d looked a nd felt. She sta yed motionles
s in his a rms for a
moment, a nd then sa id:
“Put me down.”
He set her down on her feet, a nd they looked a t ea ch other. Onl
y a sma ll sp a ce sep a ra ted
them. She could ha ve rea ched out a nd touched him, but for the ɹrs
t time since she ha d met
him, she didn’t wa nt to. She ha d the terrible feeling tha t she wa
s looking a t a stra nger. He
looked like Ja ce, a nd sounded like Ja ce when he sp oke, a nd ha d felt like
Ja ce when she wa s
holding him. But his eyes were stra nge a nd dista nt, a s wa s the
tiny smile p la ying a bout his
The eleva tor doors op ened behind him. She remembered sta nding in t
he na ve of the
Institute, sa ying “I love you” to a closed eleva tor door. The ga p yawned behi
nd him now, a s
bla ck a s the mouth of a ca ve. She felt for the stele in her p ocket; it w
a s gone.
“You knocked me out,” she sa id. “With a rune. You brought me here. Why?”
His bea utiful fa ce wa s entirely, ca refully bla nk. “I ha d to do it. I didn’t
ha ve a choice.”
She turned a nd ra n then, going for the door, but he wa s fa ster
tha n she wa s. He a lwa ys

ha d been. He swung in front of her, blocking her p a th, a nd held out hi
s ha nds. “Cla ry, don’t
run,” he sa id. “Plea se. For me.”
She looked a t him incredulously. His voice wa s the same—he sounded j
ust like Ja ce, but
not like him—like a recording of him, she thought, a ll the tones
a nd p a tterns of his voice
there, but the life tha t a nima ted it gone. How ha d she not rea
lized it before? She ha d
thought he sounded remote beca use of stress a nd p a in, but no.
It wa s tha t he wa s gone . Her
stoma ch turned over, a nd she bolted for the door a ga in, only to
ha ve him ca tch her a round
the wa ist a nd swing her ba ck towa rd him. She p ushed a t him,
her ɹngers locking into the
fa bric of his shirt, rip p ing it sidewa ys.
She froze, sta ring. On the skin of his chest, just over his hea rt, wa s a
It wa sn’t one she ha d ever seen before. It wa sn’t bla ck, like Sha
dowhunter runes were,
but da rk red, the color of blood. And it la cked the delica te g
ra ce of the runes from the Gra y
Book. It wa s scrawling, ugly, its lines sha rp a nd cruel ra ther tha n cur
ving a nd generous.
Ja ce didn’t seem to see it. He sta red down a t himself a s if wondering wha t
she wa s ga zing
a t, then looked a t her, p uzzled. “It’s a ll right. You didn’t hurt me.”
“Tha t rune—,” she bega n, but cut herself oʃ, ha rd. Ma ybe he didn’t kno
w it wa s there.
“Let me go, Ja ce,” she sa id instea d, ba cking awa y from him. “You don’t ha ve to
do this.”
“You’re wrong a bout tha t,” he sa id, a nd rea ched for her a ga in.
This time she didn’t f ight. Wha t would ha p p en even if she esca p ed? She co
uldn’t just lea ve
him here. Ja ce wa s still there, she thought, tra p p ed somewhere
behind those bla nk eyes,
ma ybe screaming for her. She ha d to sta y with him. Ha d to know
wha t wa s ha p p ening. She
let him p ick her up a nd ca rry her into the eleva tor.
“The Silent Brothers will notice you lef t,” she sa id, a s the buttons
for ɻoor a f ter ɻoor lit
up while the eleva tor rose. “They’ll a lert the Cla ve. They’ll come looking—”
“I need not fea r the Brothers. I wa sn’t a p risoner; they weren’t exp
ecting me to wa nt to
lea ve. They won’t notice I’m gone until they wa ke up tomorrow morning.”
“Wha t if they wa ke up ea rlier tha n tha t?”
“Oh,” he sa id, with a cold certa inly, “they won’t. It’s much more likely
the other
p a rtygoers a t the Ironworks will notice you’re missing. But wha t ca
n they do a bout it?
They’ll ha ve no idea where you went, a nd Tra cking to this building
is blocked.” He stroked
her ha ir ba ck from her fa ce, a nd she went still. “You’re just goin
g to ha ve to trust me. No
one’s coming for you.”
He didn’t bring the knife out until they lef t the eleva tor, a nd th
en he sa id, “I would never
hurt you. You know tha t, don’t you?” even a s he ɻicked her ha ir ba c
k with the tip of the
bla de a nd p ressed the edge to her throa t. The icy a ir hit her ba re should

ers a nd a rms a s soon
a s they were out on the roof . Ja ce’s ha nds were wa rm where he t
ouched her, a nd she could
feel the hea t of him through her thin dress, but it didn’t wa rm her, not insi
de. Inside she wa s
f illed with ja gged slivers of ice.
She grew colder still when she saw Simon, looking a t her with his huge da rk e
yes. His fa ce
looked scrubbed bla nk with shock, like a white p iece of p a p er.
He wa s looking a t her, a nd
Ja ce behind her, a s if he were seeing something fundamenta lly wron
g, a p erson with their
fa ce turned inside-out, a ma p of the world with a ll the la nd
gone a nd nothing lef t but
ocea n.
She ba rely looked a t the woma n beside him, with her da rk ha ir
a nd her thin, cruel fa ce.
Cla ry’s ga ze ha d gone immedia tely to the tra nsp a rent coɽn on its p
edesta l of stone. It
seemed to glow from within, a s if lit by a milky inner light.
The wa ter tha t Jona tha n wa s
ɻoa ting in wa s p roba bly not wa ter but some other, less na tura l
liquid. Norma l Cla ry, she
thought disp a ssiona tely, would ha ve screamed a t the sight of her
brother, ɻoa ting still a nd
dea d-looking a nd tota lly unmoving in wha t looked like Snow White’s g
la ss coɽn. But
frozen Cla ry just sta red with a remote a nd dista nt shock.
Lips as re d as blood, s kin as white as s now, hair as bla
ck as e bony. Well, some of tha t wa s
true. When she ha d met Seba stia n, his ha ir ha d been bla ck, b
ut it wa s white-silver now,
ɻoa ting a round his hea d like a lbino seaweed. The same color a s hi
s fa ther’s ha ir. The ir
fa ther’s ha ir. His skin wa s so p a le it looked a s if it could
be ma de up of luminous crysta ls.
But his lip s were colorless too, a s were the lids of his eyes.
“Tha nk you, Ja ce,” the woma n tha t Ja ce ha d ca lled La dy Lilith sa
id. “Nicely done, a nd
very p romp t. I thought I wa s going to ha ve diɽculties with you a
t ɹrst, but it a p p ea rs I
worried for nothing.”
Cla ry sta red. Though the woma n did not look familia r, her voice
wa s familia r. She ha d
hea rd tha t voice before. But where? She tried to p ull awa y from
Ja ce, but his grip on her
only tightened. The edge of the knife kissed her throa t. An a cci
dent, she told herself . Ja ce—
even this Ja ce—would never hurt her.
“You,” she sa id to Lilith between her teeth. “Wha t ha ve you done to Ja ce?”
“Va lentine’s da ughter sp ea ks.” The da rk-ha ired woma n smiled. “Simon? Would you l
ike to
exp la in?”
Simon looked like he wa s going to throw up . “I ha ve no idea .” He
sounded a s if he were
choking. “Believe me, you two were the la st thing I exp ected to see.”
“The Silent Brothers sa id tha t a demon wa s resp onsible for wha t’s b
een ha p p ening with
Ja ce,” Cla ry sa id, a nd saw Simon look more baʀed tha n ever. The w
oma n, though, just

wa tched her with eyes like ɻa t obsidia n circles. “Tha t demon wa s yo
u, wa sn’t it? But why
Ja ce? Wha t do you wa nt from us?”
“‘Us’?” Lilith p ea led with la ughter. “As if you ma ttered in this, my girl. Why you
? Beca use
you a re a mea ns to a n end. Beca use I needed both these boys,
a nd both of them love you.
Beca use Ja ce Heronda le is the one p erson you trust more tha n a n
yone else in the world.
An d you a re someone the Da ylighter loves enough to give up his ow
n life for. Perha p s you
ca nnot be ha rmed,” she sa id, turning to Simon. “But s he ca n be.
Are you so stubborn tha t
you will sit ba ck a nd wa tch Ja ce cut her throa t ra ther tha n give up your
Simon, looking like dea th itself , shook his hea d slowly, but bef
ore he could sp ea k, Cla ry
sa id, “Simon, no! Don’t do it, wha tever it is. Ja ce wouldn’t hurt me.”
The woma n’s fa thomless eyes turned to Ja ce. She smiled. “Cut her,” she
sa id. “Just a
Cla ry felt Ja ce’s shoulders tense, the wa y they ha d in the p a rk
when he’d been showing
her how to ɹght. She felt something a t her throa t, like a stingin
g kiss, cold a nd hot a t once,
a nd felt a wa rm trickle of liquid sp ill down onto her colla rbone. Simon’s e
yes widened.
He ha d cut her. He ha d a ctua lly done it. She thought of Ja ce
crouched on the ɻoor of the
bedroom a t the Institute, his p a in clea r in every line of his
body. I dre am that you come into
my room. And the n I hurt you. I cut you or s trangle or s tab
you, and you die , looking up at me
with thos e gre e n e ye s of yours while your life ble e ds away be twe e
n my hands .
She ha d not believed him. Not rea lly. He wa s Ja ce. He would n
ever hurt her. She looked
down a nd saw the blood sta ining the neckline of her dress. It looked like re
d p a int.
“You see now,” sa id the woma n. “He does wha t I tell him. Don’t blame
him for it. He is
comp letely within my p ower. For weeks I ha ve crep t through his h
ea d, seeing his dreams,
lea rning his fea rs a nd wa nts, his guilts a nd desires. In a dr
eam he a ccep ted my Ma rk, a nd
tha t Ma rk ha s been burning through him ever since—through his skin,
down into his soul.
Now his soul is in my ha nds, to sha p e or direct a s I see f it. He will do
wha tever I sa y.”
Cla ry remembered wha t the Silent Brothers ha d sa id. Whe n a Shadowh
unte r is born, a ritual
is pe rforme d, a numbe r of prote ctive s pe lls place d upon the
child by both the Sile nt Brothe rs and
the Iron Sis te rs . Whe n Jace die d and the n was rais e d, he
was born a s e cond time , with thos e
prote ctions and rituals s trippe d away. It would have le ft him
as ope n as an unlocke d door—ope n
to any kind of de monic influe nce or male vole nce .
I did this , Cla ry thought. I brought him back, and I wante d it
ke pt s e cre t. If we had only told

s ome one what had happe ne d, maybe the ritual could have be e n
done in time to ke e p Lilith out of
his he ad. She felt sick with self -loa thing. Behind her Ja ce wa
s silent, a s still a s a sta tue, his
a rms a round her a nd the knife still a t her throa t. She could fe
el it a ga inst her skin when she
took a brea th to sp ea k, keep ing her voice even with a n eʃort. “I
understa nd tha t you
control Ja ce,” she sa id. “I don’t understa nd why. Surely there a re oth
er, ea sier wa ys to
threa ten me.”
Lilith sighed a s if the whole business ha d grown tedious. “I need
you,” she sa id, with
exa ggera ted p a tience, “to get Simon to do wha t I wa nt, which is
give me his blood. And I
need Ja ce not just beca use I needed a wa y to get you here, but
a s a counterweight. All
things in ma gic must ba la nce, Cla rissa .” She p ointed a t the roug
h bla ck circle drawn on the
tiles, a nd then a t Ja ce. “He wa s the ɹrst. The ɹrst to be brought
ba ck, the ɹrst soul restored
to this world in the name of Light. Therefore he must be p resent
for me to successfully
restore the second, in the name of the Da rk. Do you understa nd
now, silly girl? We a re a ll
needed here. Simon to die. Ja ce to live. Jona tha n to return. A
nd you, Va lentine’s da ughter,
to be the ca ta lyst for it a ll.”
The demon woma n’s voice ha d drop p ed to a low cha nt. With a sho
ck of surp rise Cla ry
rea lized tha t she now knew where she ha d hea rd it before. She s
aw her fa ther, sta nding
inside a p enta gram, a bla ck-ha ired woma n with tenta cles for ey
es kneeling a t his feet. The
woma n sa id, The child born with this blood in him will e xce e d
in powe r the Gre ate r De mons of
the abys s e s be twe e n the worlds . But it will burn out his humanity,
as pois on burns the life from the
“I know,” Cla ry sa id through stiʃ lip s. “I know who you are . I saw y
ou cut your wrist a nd
drip blood into a cup for my fa ther. The a ngel Ithuriel showed it to me in
a vision.”
Simon’s eyes da rted ba ck a nd forth between Cla ry a nd the woma n,
whose da rk eyes held
a hint of surp rise. Cla ry guessed she didn’t surp rise ea sily. “I
saw my fa ther summon you. I
know wha t he ca lled you. My Lady of Edom. You’re a Grea ter Demon.
You ga ve your blood
to ma ke my brother wha t he is. You turned him into a—a horrible thing. If it
weren’t for you
“Yes. All tha t is true. I ga ve my blood to Va lentine Morgenstern, a nd
he p ut it in his ba by
boy, a nd this is the result.” The woma n p la ced her ha nd gently,
a lmost a s a ca ress, a ga inst
the gla ss surfa ce of Seba stia n’s coɽn. There wa s the oddest smile
on her fa ce. “You might
a lmost sa y tha t, in a wa y, I am Jona tha n’s mother.”
“I told you tha t a ddress didn’t mea n a nything,” Alec sa id.

Isa belle ignored him. The moment they ha d step p ed through the doors of t
he building, the
ruby p enda nt a round her neck ha d p ulsed, fa intly, like the bea
t of a dista nt hea rt. Tha t
mea nt demonic p resence. Under other circumsta nces she would ha ve e
xp ected her brother
to sense the weirdness of the p la ce just like she did, but he w
a s clea rly too sunk in gloom
a bout Ma gnus to concentra te.
“Get your witchlight,” she sa id to him. “I lef t mine a t home.”
He shot her a n irrita ted look. It wa s da rk in the lobby, da rk
enough tha t a norma l huma n
wouldn’t ha ve been a ble to see. Ma ia a nd Jorda n both ha d the e
xcellent night vision of
werewolves. They were sta nding a t op p osite ends of the room, Jo
rda n examining the big
ma rble lobby desk, a nd Ma ia lea ning a ga inst the fa r wa ll, a
p p a rently examining her rings.
“You’re sup p osed to bring it with you everywhere,” Alec rep lied.
“Oh? Did you bring your Sensor?” she sna p p ed. “I didn’t think so. At l
ea st I ha ve this.”
She ta p p ed the p enda nt. “I ca n tell you tha t there’s s ome thing here. Some
thing demonic.”
Jorda n’s hea d sna p p ed a round. “There a re demons here?”
“I don’t know—ma ybe only one. It p ulsed a nd fa ded,” Isa belle a dmitted.
“But it’s too big
a coincidence for this just to ha ve been the wrong a ddress. We ha ve to chec
k it out.”
A dim light rose up a ll a round her. She looked over a nd saw Al
ec holding up his
witchlight, its bla ze conta ined by his ɹngers. It threw stra nge sha
dows a cross his fa ce,
ma king him look older tha n he wa s, his eyes a da rker blue. “So
let’s get going,” he sa id.
“We’ll ta ke it one f loor a t a time.”
They moved towa rd the eleva tor, Alec ɹrst, then Isa belle, Jorda n a n
d Ma ia drop p ing into
line behind them. Isa belle’s boots ha d Soundless runes ca rved into the soles,
but Ma ia ’s heels
clicked on the ma rble ɻoor a s she wa lked. Frowning, she p a used t
o disca rd them, a nd went
ba refoot the rest of the wa y. As Ma ia step p ed into the eleva
tor, Isa belle noticed tha t she
wore a gold ring a round her lef t big toe, set with a turquoise stone.
Jorda n, gla ncing down a t her feet, sa id in a surp rised tone,
“I remember tha t ring. I
bought tha t for you a t—”
“Shut up ,” Ma ia sa id, hitting the door close button. The doors slid
shut a s Jorda n la p sed
into silence.
They p a used a t every ɻoor. Most were still under construction—there we
re no lights, a nd
wires hung down from the ceilings like vines. Windows ha d p lywood
na iled over them.
Drop cloths blew in the fa int wind like ghosts. Isa belle kep t a f irm ha n
d on her p enda nt, but
nothing ha p p ened until they rea ched the tenth ɻoor. As the doors o
p ened, she felt a ɻutter
a ga inst the inside of her cup p ed p a lm, a s if she ha d been
holding a tiny bird there a nd it

ha d bea ten its wings.
She sp oke in a whisp er. “There’s something here.”
Alec just nodded; Jorda n op ened his mouth to sa y something, but
Ma ia elbowed him,
ha rd. Isa belle slip p ed p a st her brother, into the ha ll outside
the eleva tors. The ruby wa s
p ulsing a nd vibra ting a ga inst her ha nd now like a distressed insect.
Behind her, Alec whisp ered, “ Sandalphon.” Light bla zed up a round Isa
belle, illumina ting
the ha ll. Unlike some of the other ɻoors they ha d seen, this one
seemed a t lea st p a rtly
ɹnished. Ba re gra nite wa lls rose a round her, a nd the ɻoor wa s smo
oth bla ck tile. A corridor
led in two directions. One ended in a hea p of construction equip
ment a nd ta ngled wires.
The other ended in a n a rchwa y. Beyond the a rchwa y, bla ck sp a ce beckone
Isa belle turned to look ba ck a t her comp a nions. Alec ha d p ut
awa y his witchlight stone
a nd wa s holding a bla zing sera p h bla de, lighting the interior
of the eleva tor like a la ntern.
Jorda n ha d p roduced a la rge, bruta l-looking knife a nd wa s grip
p ing it in his right ha nd.
Ma ia seemed to be in the p rocess of p utting her ha ir up ; whe
n she lowered her ha nds, she
wa s holding a long, ra zor-tip p ed p in. Her na ils ha d grown,
too, a nd her eyes held a fera l,
greenish gleam.
“Follow me,” Isa belle sa id. “Quietly.”
Tap, tap went the ruby a ga inst Isa belle’s throa t a s she went down
the ha ll, like the
p rodding of a n insistent ɹnger. She didn’t hea r the rest of them b
ehind her, but she knew
they were there from the long sha dows ca st a ga inst the da rk gra
nite wa lls. Her throa t wa s
tight, her nerves singing, the wa y they a lwa ys did before she wa
lked into ba ttle. This wa s
the p a rt she liked lea st, the a nticip a tion before the relea se
of violence. During a ɹght
nothing ma ttered but the ɹght itself ; now she ha d to struggle to k
eep her mind on the ta sk
a t ha nd.
The a rchwa y loomed a bove them. It wa s ca rved ma rble, oddly old
-fa shioned for such a
modern building, its sides decora ted with scrollwork. Isa belle gla n
ced up brieɻy a s she
p a ssed through, a nd a lmost sta rted. The fa ce of a grinning g
a rgoyle wa s ca rved into the
stone, leering down a t her. She ma de a fa ce a t it a nd turned
to look a t the room she ha d
It wa s va st, high-ceilinged, clea rly mea nt to someda y be a ful
l lof t a p a rtment. The wa lls
were ɻoor-to-ceiling windows, giving out onto a view of the Ea st Ri
ver with Queens in the
dista nce, the Coca -Cola sign ɻa shing blood-red a nd na vy blue down
onto the bla ck wa ter.
The lights of surrounding buildings hovered glittering in the night a
ir like tinsel on a
Christma s tree. The room itself wa s da rk, a nd full of odd, h

ump ed sha dows, sp a ced a t
regula r interva ls, low to the ground. Isa belle squinted, p uzzled.
They weren’t a nima te; they
a p p ea red to be chunks of squa re, blocky furniture, but wha t—?
“Alec,” she sa id sof tly. Her p enda nt wa s writhing a s if a live,
its ruby hea rt p a infully hot
a ga inst her skin.
In a moment her brother wa s beside her. He ra ised his bla de, a
nd the room wa s full of
light. Isa belle’s ha nd ɻew to her mouth. “Oh, dea r God,” she whisp ered
. “Oh, by the Angel,
“You’re not his mother.” Simon’s voice cra cked a s he sa id it; Lilith did
n’t even turn to look
a t him. She still ha d her ha nds on the gla ss coɽn. Seba stia n ɻoa
ted inside it, silent a nd
unawa re. His feet were ba re, Simon noticed. “He ha s a mother. C
la ry’s mother. Cla ry’s his
sister. Seba stia n—Jona tha n—won’t be too p lea sed if you hurt her.”
Lilith looked up a t tha t, a nd la ughed. “A bra ve a ttemp t, Da y
lighter,” she sa id. “But I
know better. I saw my son grow up , you know. Of ten I visited h
im in the form of a n owl. I
saw how the woma n who ha d given birth to him ha ted him. He ha s n
o love lost for her, nor
should he, nor does he ca re for his sister. He is more like me
tha n he is like Jocelyn
Morgenstern.” Her da rk eyes moved from Simon to Ja ce a nd Cla ry. Th
ey ha d not moved,
not rea lly. Cla ry still stood in the circle of Ja ce’s a rms, with
the knife nea r her throa t. He
held it ea sily, ca relessly, a s if he were ba rely p a ying a ttention. Bu
t Simon knew how quickly
Ja ce’s seeming uninterest could exp lode into violent a ction.
“Ja ce,” sa id Lilith. “Step into the circle. Bring the girl with you.”
Obediently Ja ce moved forwa rd, p ushing Cla ry a hea d of him. As
they crossed the ba rrier
of the bla ck-p a inted line, the runes inside the line ɻa shed a su
dden, brillia nt red—a nd
something else lit a s well. A rune on the lef t side of Ja ce’s ch
est, just a bove his hea rt,
glowed suddenly, with such brightness tha t Simon closed his eyes. Even with h
is eyes closed,
he could still see the rune, a vicious swirl of a ngry lines, p
rinted a ga inst the inside of his
“Op en your eyes, Da ylighter,” Lilith sna p p ed. “The time ha s come. W
ill you give me your
blood, or will you refuse? You know the p rice if you do.”
Simon looked down a t Seba stia n in his coɽn—a nd did a double ta ke. A rune tha
t wa s the
twin of the one tha t ha d just ɻa shed on Ja ce’s chest wa s visible
on his ba re chest a s well,
just beginning to fa de a s Simon sta red down a t him. In a momen
t it wa s gone, a nd
Seba stia n wa s still a nd white a ga in. Unmoving. Unbrea thing.
Dea d.
“I ca n’t bring him ba ck for you,” Simon sa id. “He’s de ad. I’d give you my
blood, but he
ca n’t swa llow it.”

Her brea th hissed through her teeth in exa sp era tion, a nd for a
moment her eyes glowed
with a ha rsh a cidic light. “First you must bite him,” she sa id. “You
a re a Daylighte r. Angel
blood runs through your body, through your blood a nd tea rs, throug
h the ɻuid in your
fa ngs. Your Da ylighter blood will revive him enough tha t he ca n
swa llow a nd drink. Bite
him a nd give him your blood, a nd bring him ba ck to me.”
Simon sta red a t her wildly. “But wha t you’re sa ying—you’re sa ying I ha
ve the p ower to
bring ba ck the de ad?”
“Since you’ve been a Da ylighter you’ve ha d tha t p ower,” she sa id. “But
not the right to
use it.”
“The right?”
She smiled, tra cing the tip of one long red-p a inted na il a cros
s the top of Seba stia n’s
coɽn. “History is written by the winners, they sa y,” she sa id. “There m
ight not be so much
of a diʃerence between the side of Light a nd the side of Da rk a
s you sup p ose. Af ter a ll,
without the Da rk, there is nothing for the Light to burn awa y.”
Simon looked a t her bla nkly.
“Ba la nce,” she cla riɹed. “There a re laws older tha n a ny you ca n ima g
ine. And one of
them is tha t you ca nnot bring ba ck wha t is dea d. When the soul ha s lef t
the body, it belongs
to dea th. And it ca nnot be ta ken ba ck without a p rice to p a y.”
“And you’re willing to p a y it? For him?” Simon gestured towa rd Seba stia n.
“ H e is the p rice.” She threw her hea d ba ck a nd la ughed. It sound
ed a lmost like huma n
la ughter. “If the Light brings ba ck a soul, then the Da rk ha s
the right to bring one ba ck a s
well. This is my right. Or p erha p s you should a sk your little
friend Cla ry wha t I’m ta lking
a bout.”
Simon looked a t Cla ry. She looked a s if she might p a ss out. “R
a ziel,” she sa id fa intly.
“When Ja ce died—”
“ J a c e die d?” Simon’s voice went up a n octa ve. Ja ce, desp ite being
the subject under
discussion, rema ined serene a nd exp ressionless, his knife ha nd stea dy.
“Va lentine sta bbed him,” Cla ry sa id in a n a lmost-whisp er. “And then
the Angel killed
Va lentine, a nd he sa id I could ha ve a nything I wa nted. And I
sa id I wa nted Ja ce ba ck, I
wa nted him ba ck, a nd he brought him ba ck—for me.” Her eyes were hug
e in her sma ll
white fa ce. “He wa s dea d for only a few minutes … ha rdly a ny time a t a ll…”
“It wa s enough,” brea thed Lilith. “I wa s hovering nea r my son during his ba ttle
with Ja ce;
I saw him fa ll a nd die. I followed Ja ce to the la ke, I wa tch
ed a s Va lentine slew him, a nd
then a s the Angel ra ised him a ga in. I knew tha t wa s my cha nc
e. I ra ced ba ck to the river
a nd took my son’s body from it… I kep t it p reserved for just this m
oment.” She looked
fondly down a t the coɽn. “Everything in ba la nce. An eye for a n eye
. A tooth for a tooth. A

life for a life. Ja ce is the counterweight. If Ja ce lives, then so sha ll
Jona tha n.”
Simon couldn’t tea r his eyes awa y from Cla ry. “Wha t she’s sa ying—a bout
the Angel—it’s
true?” he sa id. “And you never told a nyone?”
To his surp rise it wa s Ja ce who a nswered. Brushing his cheek a ga inst Cla
ry’s ha ir, he sa id,
“It wa s our secret.”
Cla ry’s green eyes f la shed, but she didn’t move.
“So you see, Da ylighter,” sa id Lilith, “I am only ta king wha t is min
e by right. The Law
sa ys tha t the one who wa s ɹrst brought ba ck must be here in the
circle when the second is
returned.” She indica ted Ja ce with a contemp tuous ɻick of her ɹnger. “H
e is here. You a re
here. All is in rea diness.”
“Then you don’t need Cla ry,” sa id Simon. “Lea ve her out of it. Let her go.”
“Of course I need her. I need her to motiva te you. I ca nnot hurt
you, Ma rk-bea rer, or
threa ten you, or kill you. But I ca n cut out your hea rt when I cut out her
life. And I will.”
She looked towa rd Cla ry, a nd Simon’s ga ze followed hers.
Cla ry. She wa s so p a le tha t she looked a lmost blue, though p erha p s th
a t wa s the cold. Her
green eyes were va st in her p a le fa ce. A trickle of drying blo
od sp illed from her colla rbone
to the neckline of her dress, now sp otted with red. Her ha nds h
ung a t her sides, loose, but
they were sha king.
Simon saw her a s she wa s, but a lso a s she ha d been when she wa s seven yea
rs old, skinny
a rms a nd freckles a nd those blue p la stic ba rrettes she’d worn in
her ha ir until she wa s
eleven. He thought of the ɹrst time he’d noticed she ha d a rea l gi
rl’s sha p e under the ba ggy
T-shirt a nd jea ns she a lwa ys wore, a nd how he ha dn’t been sure
if he should look or look
awa y. He thought of her la ugh a nd her quick p encil moving a cro
ss a p a ge, lea ving
intrica tely designed ima ges behind: sp ired ca stles, running horses,
brightly colored
cha ra cters she’d ma de up in her hea d. You can walk to s chool by
yours e lf, her mother ha d
sa id, but only if Simon goe s with you. He thought of her ha nd
in his when they crossed the
street, a nd his own sense of the awesome ta sk tha t he ha d underta ken: th
e resp onsibility for
her sa fety.
He ha d been in love with her once, a nd ma ybe some p a rt of hi
m a lwa ys would be,
beca use she ha d been his ɹrst. But tha t wa sn’t wha t ma ttered now.
She wa s Cla ry; she wa s
p a rt of him; she a lwa ys ha d been a nd would be forever. As h
e sta red a t her, she shook her
hea d, very slightly. He knew wha t she wa s sa ying. Don’t do it.
Don’t give he r what s he wants .
Le t whate ve r happe ns to me happe n.
He step p ed into the circle; a s his feet p a ssed over the p a inted line, h
e felt a shiver, like a n
electric shock, go through him. “All right,” he sa id. “I’ll do it.”

“ No!” Cla ry cried, but Simon didn’t look a t her. He wa s wa tching Li
lith, who smiled a
cool, gloa ting smile a s she ra ised her lef t ha nd a nd p a ssed it a cross
the surfa ce of the cof f in.
The lid of it va nished, p eeling ba ck in a wa y tha t reminded
Simon biza rrely of p eeling
ba ck the lid of a tin of sa rdines. As the top la yer of gla
ss p ulled awa y, it melted a nd ra n,
drip p ing down the sides of the gra nite p edesta l, crysta llizing
into tiny sha rds of gla ss a s the
drop s struck the ground.
The coɽn wa s op en now, like a ɹsh ta nk; Seba stia n’s body drif ted
inside, a nd Simon
thought he could once a ga in see the ɻa sh of the rune on his chest
a s Lilith rea ched into the
ta nk. As Simon wa tched, she took Seba stia n’s da ngling a rms a nd crossed th
em over his chest
with a n oddly tender gesture, tucking the ba nda ged one under the
one tha t wa s whole. She
brushed a lock of his wet ha ir awa y from his still, white foreh
ea d, a nd step p ed ba ck,
sha king milky wa ter from her ha nds.
“To your work, Da ylighter,” she sa id.
Simon moved towa rd the coɽn. Seba stia n’s fa ce wa s sla ck, his eyeli
ds still. No p ulse bea t
in his throa t. Simon remembered how much he ha d wa nted to drink
Ma ureen’s blood. How
he ha d cra ved the feeling of his teeth sinking into her skin a nd
freeing the sa lty blood
benea th. But this—this wa s feeding of f a corp se. The very thought ma de hi
s stoma ch turn.
Though he wa sn’t looking a t her, he wa s awa re of Cla ry wa tching
him. He could feel her
brea th a s he bent over Seba stia n. He could sense Ja ce, too, w
a tching him out of bla nk eyes.
Rea ching into the coɽn, he closed his ha nds a round Seba stia n’s cold,
slip p ery shoulders.
Biting ba ck the urge to be sick, he bent a nd sa nk his teeth int
o Seba stia n’s throa t. Bla ck
demon blood p oured into his mouth, a s bitter a s p oison.
Isa belle moved silently among the stone p edesta ls. Alec wa s with
her, Sandalphon in his
ha nd, sending light winging through the room. Ma ia wa s in one c
orner of the room, bent
over a nd retching, her ha nd bra ced a ga inst the wa ll; Jorda n h
overed over her, looking a s if
he wa nted to rea ch out a nd stroke her ba ck, but wa s a fra id of being reb
uf fed.
Isa belle didn’t blame Ma ia for throwing up . If she ha dn’t ha d yea rs of
tra ining, she would
ha ve thrown up herself . She ha d never seen a nything like wha t
she wa s looking a t now.
There were dozens, ma ybe ɹf ty, of the stone p edesta ls in the roo
m. Atop ea ch one wa s a
low crib-like ba sket. Inside ea ch ba sket wa s a ba by. And every one of t
he ba bies wa s dea d.
She ha d held out hop e a t ɹrst, a s she wa lked up a nd down the
rows, tha t she might ɹnd
one a live. But these children ha d been dea d for some time. Their

skin wa s gra y, their sma ll
fa ces bruised a nd discolored. They were wra p p ed in thin bla nkets, a nd t
hough it wa s cold in
the room, Isa belle didn’t think it wa s cold enough for them to ha v
e frozen to dea th. She
wa sn’t sure how they ha d died; she couldn’t bea r to investiga te too
closely. This wa s clea rly
a ma tter for the Cla ve.
Alec, behind her, ha d tea rs running down his fa ce; he wa s cursi
ng under his brea th by the
time they rea ched the la st of the p edesta ls. Ma ia ha d stra ig
htened up a nd wa s lea ning
a ga inst the window; Jorda n ha d given her some kind of cloth, m
a ybe a ha ndkerchief , to
hold to her fa ce. The cold white lights of the city burned behind
her, cutting through the
da rk gla ss like diamond drills.
“Iz,” Alec sa id. “Who could ha ve done something like this? Why would som
eone—even a
He broke oʃ. Isa belle knew wha t he wa s thinking a bout. Ma x, whe
n he ha d been born.
She ha d been seven, Alec nine. They ha d bent over their little b
rother in the cra dle, amused
a nd encha nted by this fa scina ting new crea ture. They’d p la yed wit
h his little ɹngers,
la ughed a t the weird fa ces he ma de when they tickled him.
Her hea rt twisted. Max. As she ha d moved down the lines of littl
e cribs, now turned into
little coɽns, a sense of overwhelming drea d ha d begun to p ress do
wn on her. She couldn’t
ignore the fa ct tha t the p enda nt a round her neck wa s glowing wi
th a ha rsh, stea dy glow.
The sort of glow she might ha ve exp ected if she were fa cing down a Grea te
r Demon.
She thought of wha t Cla ry ha d seen in the morgue in Beth Isra el
. He looke d jus t like a
normal baby. Exce pt for his hands . The y we re twis te d into claws…
With grea t ca re she rea ched into one of the cribs. Ca reful not
to touch the ba by, she
twitched a side the thin bla nket tha t wra p p ed its body.
She felt the brea th p uʃ out of her in a ga sp . Ordina ry chubby
ba by a rms, round ba by
wrists. The ha nds looked sof t a nd new. But the ɹngers—the ɹngers were twiste
d into claws,
a s bla ck a s burned bone, tip p ed with sha rp little ta lons. She took a n
involunta ry step ba ck.
“Wha t?” Ma ia moved towa rd them. She still looked sickened, but her
voice wa s stea dy.
Jorda n followed her, ha nds in his p ockets. “Wha t did you f ind?” she a sked.
“By the Angel.” Alec, beside Isa belle, wa s looking down into the crib
. “Is this—like the
ba by Cla ry wa s telling you a bout? The one a t Beth Isra el?”
Slowly Isa belle nodded. “I guess it wa sn’t just the one ba by,” she sa
id. “Someone’s been
trying to ma ke a lot more of them. More … Seba stia ns.”
“Why would a nyone wa nt more of him?” Alec’s voice wa s full of na ked ha tred.
“He wa s fa st a nd strong,” Isa belle sa id. It a lmost hurt p hysica ll
y to sa y a nything
comp limenta ry a bout the boy who ha d killed her brother a nd tried

to kill her. “I guess
they’re trying to breed a ra ce of sup er-wa rriors.”
“It didn’t work.” Ma ia ’s eyes were da rk with sa dness.
A noise so sof t it wa s a lmost ina udible tea sed a t the edge of
Isa belle’s hea ring. Her hea d
jerked up , her ha nd going to her belt, where her whip wa s coil
ed. Something in the thick
sha dows a t the edge of the room, nea r the door, moved, just the
fa intest ɻicker, but Isa belle
ha d a lrea dy broken awa y from the others a nd wa s running for the
door. She burst out into
the ha llwa y nea r the eleva tors. There was something there—a sha dow
tha t ha d broken free
of the grea ter da rkness a nd wa s moving, edging a long the wa ll.
Isa belle p icked up sp eed
a nd threw herself forwa rd, knocking the sha dow to the f loor.
It wa sn’t a ghost. As they went down together in a hea p , Isa belle surp ris
ed a very huma nsounding grunt of surp rise out of the sha dowy ɹgure.
They hit the ground together a nd
rolled. The ɹgure wa s deɹnitely huma n—slight a nd shorter tha n Isa belle,
wea ring a gra y
wa rm-up suit a nd snea kers. Sha rp elbows came up , ja bbing into
Isa belle’s colla rbone. A
knee dug into her sola r p lexus. She ga sp ed a nd rolled a side,
feeling for her whip . By the
time she got it free, the ɹgure wa s on its feet. Isa belle rolled
onto her stoma ch, ɻicking the
whip forwa rd; the end of it coiled a round the stra nger’s a nkle a
nd p ulled tight. Isa belle
jerked the whip ba ck, ya nking the f igure of f its feet.
She scrambled to her feet, rea ching with her free ha nd for her st
ele, which wa s tucked
down the front of her dress. With a quick sla sh she ɹnished the ny
x Ma rk on her lef t a rm.
Her vision a djusted quickly, the whole room seeming to ɹll with light
a s the night vision
rune took eʃect. She could see her a tta cker more clea rly now—a thin
ɹgure in a gra y
wa rm-up suit a nd gra y snea kers, scrambling ba ckwa rd until its b
a ck hit the wa ll. The hood
of the suit ha d fa llen ba ck, exp osing the fa ce. The hea d wa
s sha ved clea nly ba ld, but the
fa ce wa s def initely fema le, with sha rp cheekbones a nd big da rk eyes.
“Stop it,” Isa belle sa id, a nd p ulled ha rd on the whip . The woma
n cried out in p a in. “Stop
trying to crawl awa y.”
The woma n ba red her teeth. “Worm,” she sa id. “Unbeliever. I will tell you nothin
Isa belle jammed her stele ba ck into her dress. “If I p ull ha rd e
nough on this whip , it’ll cut
through your leg.” She ga ve the whip a nother ɻick, tightening it, a
nd moved forwa rd, until
she wa s sta nding in front of the woma n, looking down a t her. “T
hose ba bies,” she sa id.
“Wha t ha p p ened to them?”
The woma n ga ve a bubbling la ugh. “They were not strong enough. We
a k stock, too
wea k.”
“Too wea k for wha t?” When the woma n didn’t a nswer, Isa belle sna p p ed
, “You ca n tell

me or lose your leg. Your choice. Don’t think I won’t let you bleed
to dea th here on the
f loor. Child-murderers don’t deserve mercy.”
The woma n hissed, like a sna ke. “If you ha rm me, She will smite you down.”
“Who—” Isa belle broke oʃ, remembering wha t Alec ha d sa id. Talto is ano
the r name for
Lilith. You might s ay s he ’s the de mon godde s s of de ad childre
n. “Lilith,” she sa id. “You worship
Lilith. You did a ll this … for her?”
“Isa belle.” It wa s Alec, ca rrying the light of Sandalphon before him.
“Wha t’s going on?
Ma ia a nd Jorda n a re sea rching, looking for a ny more … children,
but it looks like they
were a ll in the big room. Wha t’s going on here?”
“This … p erson,” Isa belle sa id with disgust, “is a cult member of the
Church of Ta lto.
Ap p a rently they worship Lilith. And they’ve murdered a ll these ba bies for h
“Not murder!” The woma n struggled up right. “Not murder. Sa criɹce. They w
ere tested
a nd found wea k. Not our fa ult.”
“Let me guess,” Isa belle sa id. “You tried injecting the p regna nt women with demon
But demon blood is toxic stuʃ. The ba bies couldn’t survive. They were
born deformed, a nd
then they died.”
The woma n whimp ered. It wa s a very slight sound, but Isa belle
saw Alec’s eyes na rrow.
He ha d a lwa ys been the one of them tha t wa s best a t rea ding p eop le.
“One of those ba bies,” he sa id. “It wa s yours. How could you inject
your own child with
demon blood?”
The woma n’s mouth trembled. “I didn’t. We were the ones who took the b
lood injections.
The mothers. Ma de us stronger, fa ster. Our husba nds, too. But
we got sick. Sicker a nd
sicker. Our ha ir fell out. Our na ils…” She ra ised her ha nds, showing the bla
ckened na ils, the
torn, bloody na il beds where some ha d fa llen awa y. Her a rms we
re dotted with bla ckish
bruises. “We’re a ll dying,” she sa id. There wa s a fa int sound of s
a tisfa ction in her voice.
“We will be dea d in da ys.”
“She ma de you ta ke p oison,” Alec sa id, “a nd yet you worship her?”
“You don’t understa nd.” The woma n sounded hoa rse, dreamy. “I ha d nothing
before She
found me. None of us did. I wa s on the streets. Sleep ing on s
ubwa y gra tings so I wouldn’t
freeze. Lilith ga ve me a p la ce to live, a family to ta ke ca re of me.
Just to be in Her p resence
is to be sa fe. I never felt sa fe before.”
“You’ve seen Lilith,” Isa belle sa id, struggling to keep the disbelief from her vo
ice. She wa s
familia r with demon cults; she ha d done a rep ort on them once,
for Hodge. He ha d given
her high ma rks on it. Most cults worship p ed demons they ha d ima
gined or invented. Some
ma na ged to ra ise wea k minor demons, who either killed them a ll
when set free, or
contented themselves with being served by the cult members, a ll thei

r needs a ttended to,
a nd little a sked of them in return. She ha d never hea rd of a
cult who worship p ed a Grea ter
Demon in which the members ha d ever a ctua lly s e e n tha t demon in
the ɻesh. Much less a
Grea ter Demon a s p owerful a s Lilith, the mother of wa rlocks. “Yo
u’ve been in her
p resence?”
The woma n’s eyes ɻuttered ha lf -shut. “Yes. With Her blood in me I ca
n feel when She is
nea r. As She is now.”
Isa belle couldn’t help it; her free ha nd ɻew to her p enda nt. It ha d been p u
lsing on a nd oʃ
since they’d entered the building; she ha d a ssumed it wa s beca use of th
e demon blood in the
dea d children, but the p resence nea rby of a Grea ter Demon would
ma ke even more sense.
“She’s here? Where is she?”
The woma n seemed to be drif ting oʃ into sleep . “Up sta irs,” she sa id
va guely. “With the
vamp ire boy. The one who wa lks by da y. She sent us to fetch hi
m for Her, but he wa s
p rotected. We could not la y ha nds on him. Those who went to ɹnd
him died. Then, when
Brother Adam returned a nd told us the boy wa s gua rded by holy ɹre, La dy Lilit
h wa s a ngry.
She slew him where he stood. He wa s lucky, to die by Her ha nd,
so lucky.” Her brea th
ra ttled. “And She is clever, La dy Lilith. She found a nother wa y to bring th
e boy…”
The whip drop p ed from Isa belle’s suddenly limp ha nd. “Simon? She br
ought Simon here?
“‘None tha t go unto Her, ’” the woma n brea thed, “‘return a ga in…’”
Isa belle drop p ed to her knees, seizing up the whip . “Stop it,” sh
e sa id in a voice tha t
shook. “Stop yammering a nd tell me where he is. Where did she ta ke
him? Where is Simon?
Tell me, or I’ll—”
“Isa belle.” Alec sp oke hea vily. “Iz, there’s no p oint. She’s dea d.”
Isa belle sta red a t the woma n in disbelief . She ha d died, it s
eemed, between one brea th
a nd the next, her eyes wide op en, her fa ce set in sla ck lines.
It wa s p ossible to see now tha t
benea th the sta rva tion a nd the ba ldness a nd the bruising, she h
a d p roba bly been quite
young, not more tha n twenty. “God damn it.”
“I don’t get it,” Alec sa id. “Wha t does a Grea ter Demon wa nt with Simon? He’s a vam
p ire.
Gra nted, a p owerful vamp ire, but—”
“The Ma rk of Ca in,” Isa belle sa id distra ctedly. “This must ha ve some
thing to do with the
Ma rk. It’s got to.” She moved towa rd the eleva tor a nd ja bbed a t t
he ca ll button. “If Lilith
wa s rea lly Adam’s ɹrst wife, a nd Ca in wa s Adam’s son, then the Ma r
k of Ca in is nea rly a s
old a s she is.”
“Where a re you going?”
“She sa id they were up sta irs,” Isa belle sa id. “I’m going to sea rch eve
ry ɻoor until I ɹnd

“She ca n’t hurt him, Izzy,” sa id Alec in the rea sona ble voice
Isa belle detested. “I know you’re worried, but he’s got the Ma rk of Ca in; he’s un
toucha ble.
Even a Grea ter Demon ca n’t ha rm him. No one ca n.”
Isa belle scowled a t her brother. “So wha t do you think she wa nts
him for, then? So she’ll
ha ve someone to p ick up her dry clea ning during the da y? Rea lly, Alec—”
There wa s a ping, a nd the a rrow a bove the fa rthest eleva tor li
t up . Isa belle sta rted
forwa rd a s the doors bega n to op en. Light ɻooded out … a nd a f ter the lig
ht, a wa ve of men
a nd women—ba ld, ema cia ted, a nd dressed in gra y tra cksuits a nd s
nea kers—p oured out.
They were bra ndishing crude wea p ons culled from the debris of cons
truction: ja gged sha rds
of gla ss, torn-oʃ chunks of reba r, concrete blocks. None of them
sp oke. In a silence a s tota l
a s it wa s eerie, they surged from the eleva tor a s one, a nd a dva nced on
Alec a nd Isa belle.
Clouds ha d rolled in over the river, the wa y they sometimes did a
t night, bringing a
thick mist with them. It didn’t hide wha t wa s ha p p ening on the r
oof , just la id a sort of
dimming fog over everything else. The buildings rising a ll a round t
hem were murky p illa rs
of light, a nd the moon glowed ba rely, a muʀed lamp , through the low scuddi
ng clouds. The
broken bits of the gla ss coɽn, sca ttered a cross the tiled ground,
shone like sha rds of ice,
a nd Lilith, too, shone, p a le under the moon, wa tching Simon a
s he bent over Seba stia n’s
still body, drinking his blood.
Cla ry could ha rdly bea r to wa tch. She knew Simon ha ted wha t he wa s doing
; she knew he
wa s doing it for her. For her, a nd even, a little bit, for J
a ce. And she knew wha t the next
step in the ritua l would be. Simon would give up his blood, wil
lingly, to Seba stia n, a nd
Simon would die. Vamp ires could die when their blood wa s dra ined.
He would die, a nd she
would lose him forever, a nd it would—a ll of it—be her own fa ult.
She could feel Ja ce behind her, his a rms still tight a round her,
the sof t, regula r bea t of his
hea rt a ga inst her shoulder bla des. She remembered the wa y he ha
d held her on the step s of
the Accords Ha ll in Idris. The sound of the wind in the lea ves
a s he’d kissed her, his ha nds
wa rm on either side of her fa ce. The wa y she ha d felt his hea
rt bea ting a nd thought tha t no
one else’s hea rt bea t like his, like every p ulse of his blood ma tched her ow
H e had to be in there somewhere. Like Seba stia n inside his gla ss
p rison. There ha d to be
some wa y to rea ch him.
Lilith wa s wa tching Simon a s he bent over Seba stia n, her da rk
eyes wide a nd ɹxed. Cla ry
a nd Ja ce might a s well not ha ve been there a t a ll.

“Ja ce,” Cla ry whisp ered. “Ja ce, I don’t wa nt to wa tch this.”
She p ressed ba ck a ga inst him, a s if she were trying to snuggle
into his a rms, then
p retended a wince a s the knife brushed the side of her throa t.
“Plea se, Ja ce,” she whisp ered. “You don’t need the knife. You know I ca n’t hurt you
“But why—”
“I just wa nt to look a t you. I wa nt to see your fa ce.”
She felt his chest rise a nd fa ll once, fa st. A shudder went thr
ough him, a s if he were
ɹghting something, p ushing a ga inst it. Then he moved, the wa y onl
y he could move, so
swif tly it wa s like a ɻa sh of light. He kep t his right a rm ti
ght a round her; his lef t ha nd slid
the knife into his belt.
Her hea rt lea p ed wildly. I could run, she thought, but he would
only ca tch her, a nd it wa s
only a moment. Seconds la ter both a rms were a round her a ga in,
his ha nds on her a rms,
turning her. She felt his ɹngers tra il over her ba ck, her ba re,
shivering a rms, a s he sp un her
to fa ce him.
She wa s looking awa y from Simon now, awa y from the demon woma n,
though she could
still feel their p resence a t her ba ck, shivering up her sp ine.
She looked up a t Ja ce. His fa ce
wa s so familia r. The lines of it, the wa y his ha ir fell a cro
ss his forehea d, the fa int sca r over
his cheekbone, a nother a t his temp le. His eyela shes a sha de da
rker tha n his ha ir. His eyes
were the color of p a le yellow gla ss. Tha t wa s where he wa s d
iʃerent, she thought. He still
looked like Ja ce, but his eyes were clea r a nd bla nk, a s if s
he were looking through a
window into a n emp ty room.
“I’m a fra id,” she sa id.
He stroked her shoulder, sending sp a rks winging through her nerves;
with a feeling of
sickness she rea lized her body still resp onded to his touch. “I won’t
let a nything ha p p en to
She sta red a t him. You re ally think that, don’t you? Some how you
can’t s e e the dis conne ct
be twe e n your actions and your inte ntions . Some how s he ’s take n that awa
y from you.
“You won’t be a ble to stop her,” she sa id. “She’s going to kill me, Ja ce.”
He shook his hea d. “No. She wouldn’t do tha t.”
Cla ry wa nted to scream, but she kep t her voice delibera te, ca re
ful, ca lm. “I know you’re
in there, Ja ce. The rea l you.” She p ressed closer to him. The bu
ckle on his belt dug into her
wa ist. “You could f ight her…”
It ha d been the wrong thing to sa y. He tensed a ll over, a nd s
he saw a ɻa sh of a nguish in
his eyes, the look of a n a nima l in a tra p . In a nother inst
a nt it ha d turned to ha rdness. “I
ca n’t.”
She shivered. The look on his fa ce wa s awful, so awful. At her
shudder his eyes sof tened.
“Are you cold?” he sa id, a nd for a moment he sounded like Ja ce a ga i

n, concerned a bout her
well-being. It ma de her throa t hurt.
She nodded, though p hysica l cold wa s the furthest thing from her
mind. “Ca n I p ut my
ha nds inside your ja cket?”
He nodded. His ja cket wa s unbuttoned; she slid her a rms inside,
her ha nds touching his
ba ck lightly. Everything wa s eerily silent. The city seemed frozen
inside a n icy p rism. Even
the light ra dia ting of f the buildings a round them wa s still a nd cold.
He brea thed slowly, stea dily. She could see the rune on his chest through th
e torn fa bric of
his shirt. It seemed to p ulse when he brea thed. It wa s sickening
, she thought, a tta ched to
him like tha t, like a leech, sucking out wha t wa s good, wha t wa s Jace .
She remembered wha t Luke ha d sa id to her a bout destroying a rune
. If you disɹgure it
e nough, you can minimize or de s troy its powe r. Some time s in
battle the e ne my will try to burn or
s lice off a Shadowhunte r’s s kin, jus t to de prive the m of the powe r of
the ir rune s .
She kep t her eyes ɹxed on Ja ce’s fa ce. Forge t about what’s happe ning,
she thought. Forge t
about Simon, about the knife at your throat. What you s ay now matte rs mor
e than anything you’ve
e ve r s aid be fore .
“Remember wha t you sa id to me in the p a rk?” she whisp ered.
He looked down a t her, sta rtled. “Wha t?”
“When I told you I didn’t sp ea k Ita lia n. I remember wha t you told
me, wha t tha t quote
mea nt. You sa id it mea nt love is the most p owerful force on ea
rth. More p owerful tha n
a nything else.”
A tiny line a p p ea red between his eyebrows. “I don’t …”
“Yes, you do.” Tre ad care fully, she told herself , but she couldn’t hel
p it, couldn’t help the
stra in tha t surfa ced in her voice. “You remember. The most p owerfu
l force there is, you
sa id. Stronger tha n Hea ven or Hell. It ha s to be more p owerful tha n Lili
th, too.”
Nothing. He sta red a t her a s if he couldn’t hea r her. It wa s
like shouting down into a
bla ck, emp ty tunnel. Jace , Jace , Jace . I know you’re in the re .
“There’s a wa y you could p rotect me a nd still do wha t she wa nts,” s
he sa id. “Wouldn’t
tha t be the best thing?” She p ressed her body closer a ga inst his, feeling her
stoma ch twist. It
wa s like holding Ja ce a nd not like it, a ll a t the same time,
joy a nd horror mixed together.
And she could feel his body rea ct to her, the drumbea t of his h
ea rt in her ea rs, her veins; he
ha d not stop p ed wa nting her, wha tever la yers of control Lilith exerted o
ver his mind.
“I’ll whisp er it to you,” she sa id, brushing her lip s a ga inst his ne
ck. She brea thed in the
scent of him, a s familia r a s the scent of her own skin. “Listen.”
She tilted her fa ce up , a nd he lea ned down to hea r her—a nd her
ha nd moved from his
wa ist to clamp down on the hilt of the knife in his belt. She
whip p ed it upwa rd, just a s he

ha d shown her when they ha d tra ined, ba la ncing its weight in her p a lm,
a nd she sla shed the
bla de a cross the lef t side of his chest in a wide, sha llow a rc. Ja ce c
ried out—more in surp rise
tha n p a in, she guessed—a nd blood burst from the cut, sp illing dow
n his skin, obscuring the
rune. He p ut his ha nd to his chest; when it came awa y red, he
sta red a t her, his eyes wide,
a s if somehow he wa s genuinely hurt, genuinely una ble to believe in her bet
ra ya l.
Cla ry sp un awa y from him a s Lilith cried out. Simon wa s no lon
ger bending over
Seba stia n; he ha d stra ightened up a nd wa s sta ring down a t Cl
a ry, the ba ck of his ha nd
jammed a ga inst his mouth. Bla ck demon blood drip p ed from his chi
n onto his white shirt.
His eyes were wide.
“Ja ce,” Lilith’s voice soa red upwa rd in a stonishment. “Ja ce, get hold of her—I ord
er it—”
Ja ce didn’t move. He wa s sta ring from Cla ry, to Lilith, a t his
bloody ha nd, a nd then ba ck
a ga in. Simon ha d begun to ba ck awa y from Lilith; suddenly he stop p ed wi
th a jerk a nd bent
double, fa lling to his knees. Lilith whirled awa y from Ja ce a nd
a dva nced on Simon, her
ha rd fa ce contorted. “Get up !” she shrieked. “Get on your feet! You dra nk hi
s blood. Now he
needs yours!”
Simon struggled to a sitting p osition, then slid limp ly to the ground. He
retched, coughing
up bla ck blood. Cla ry remembered him in Idris, sa ying tha t Seba
stia n’s blood wa s like
p oison. Lilith drew ba ck her foot to kick him—then sta ggered ba ck
a s if a n invisible ha nd
ha d p ushed her, ha rd. Lilith screeched—not words, just a scream l
ike the cry of a n owl. It
wa s a sound of una dultera ted ha tred a nd ra ge.
It wa s not a sound a huma n being could ha ve ma de; it felt li
ke ja gged sha rds of gla ss
being driven into Cla ry’s ea rs. She cried out, “Lea ve Simon a lone!
He’s sick. Ca n’t you see
he’s sick?”
She wa s immedia tely sorry she’d sp oken. Lilith turned slowly, her g
a ze sliding over Ja ce,
cold a nd imp erious. “I told you, Ja ce Heronda le.” Her voice ra ng o
ut. “Don’t let the girl
lea ve the circle. Ta ke her wea p on.”
Cla ry ha d ba rely rea lized she wa s still holding the knife. She
felt so cold she wa s nea rly
numb, but benea th tha t a wa sh of unbea ra ble ra ge a t Lilith—a t
everything—freed the
movement of her a rm. She ɻung the knife a t the ground. It skidded
a cross the tiles, fetching
up a t Ja ce’s feet. He sta red down a t it blindly, a s if he’d never seen a w
ea p on before.
Lilith’s mouth wa s a thin red sla sh. The whites of her eyes ha d
va nished; they were a ll
bla ck. She did not look huma n. “Ja ce,” she hissed. “Ja ce Heronda le,
you hea rd me. And you
will obey me.”

“Ta ke it,” Cla ry sa id, looking a t Ja ce. “Ta ke it a nd kill either her or me.
It’s your choice.”
Slowly Ja ce bent down a nd p icked up the knife.
Alec ha d Sandalphon in one ha nd, a hachiwara—good for p a rrying multip
le a tta ckers—in the
other. At lea st six cultists la y a t his feet, dea d or unconscious.
Alec ha d fought quite a few demons in his time, but there wa s s
omething esp ecia lly eerie
a bout ɹghting the cultists of the Church of Ta lto. They moved a ll
together, less like p eop le
tha n like a n eerie da rk tide—eerie beca use they were so silent a nd
so biza rrely strong a nd
fa st. They a lso seemed tota lly una fra id of dea th. Though Alec
a nd Isa belle shouted a t them
to keep ba ck, they kep t moving forwa rd in a wordless, clustering horde, ɻi
nging themselves
a t the Sha dowhunters with the self -destructive mindlessness of lemmi
ngs hurling themselves
over a cliʃ. They ha d ba cked Alec a nd Isa belle down the ha llwa y
a nd into the big, op en
room full of stone p edesta ls, when the noise of the ɹght brought
Jorda n a nd Ma ia running:
Jorda n in wolf form, Ma ia still huma n, but with her claws fully out.
The cultists seemed ba rely to register their p resence. They fought
on, fa lling one a f ter the
other a s Alec, Ma ia , a nd Jorda n la id a bout themselves with kn
ives, claws, a nd bla des.
Isa belle’s whip tra ced shimmering p a tterns in the a ir a s it slice
d through bodies, sending
ɹne sp ra ys of blood into the a ir. Ma ia esp ecia lly wa s a cquitt
ing herself well. At lea st a
dozen cultists la y crump led a round her, a nd she wa s la ying into
a nother one with a bla zing
fury, her clawed ha nds red to the wrists.
A cultist strea ked a cross Alec’s p a th a nd lunged a t him, ha nds
outstretched. Its hood wa s
up ; he couldn’t see its fa ce, or guess a t sex or a ge. He sa nk
the bla de of Sandalphon into the
lef t side of its chest. It screamed—a ma le scream, loud a nd hoa
rse. The ma n colla p sed,
clawing a t his chest, where ɻames were licking a t the edge of the
torn hole in his ja cket.
Alec turned awa y, sickened. He ha ted wa tching wha t ha p p ened to
huma ns when a sera p h
bla de p ierced their skin.
Suddenly he felt a sea ring burn a cross his ba ck, a nd turned to
see a second cultist
wielding a ja gged p iece of reba r. This one wa s hoodless—a ma n,
his fa ce so thin tha t his
cheekbones seemed to be digging through his skin. He hissed a nd lun
ged a ga in a t Alec, who
lea p ed a side, the wea p on whistling ha rmlessly p a st him. He sp
un a nd kicked it out of the
cultist’s ha nd; it ra ttled to the ɻoor, a nd the cultist ba cked up ,
nea rly trip p ed over a body—
a nd ra n.
Alec hesita ted for a moment. The cultist who ha d just a tta cked
him ha d nea rly ma de it to
the door. Alec knew he ought to follow—for a ll he knew, the ma n might be runni
ng to wa rn

someone or to get reinforcements—but he felt bone-wea ry, disgusted, a nd a lit
tle sick. These
p eop le might be p ossessed; they might ba rely be p eop le a nymore,
but it still felt too much
like killing huma n beings.
He wondered wha t Ma gnus would sa y, but to tell the truth, he a
lrea dy knew. Alec ha d
fought crea tures like this before, the cult serva nts of demons. A
lmost a ll tha t wa s huma n
a bout them ha d been consumed by the demon for energy, lea ving not
hing but a murderous
yea rning to kill a nd a huma n body dying slowly in a gony. They
were beyond help :
incura ble, unɹxa ble. He hea rd Ma gnus’s voice a s if the wa rlock st
ood beside him. Killing
the m is the mos t me rciful thing you can do.
Jamming the hachiwara ba ck into his belt, Alec ga ve cha se, p oundi
ng out the door a nd
into the ha ll a f ter the ɻeeing cultist. The ha llwa y wa s emp ty,
the fa rthest of the eleva tor
doors jammed op en, a weird high-p itched a la rm noise sounding thro
ugh the corridor.
Severa l doorwa ys bra nched oʃ from the foyer. Shrugging inwa rdly, Al
ec p icked one a t
ra ndom a nd da shed through it.
He found himself in a ma ze of sma ll rooms tha t were ba rely ɹnis
hed—drywa ll ha d been
ha stily thrown up , a nd bouquets of multicolored wire sp routed fro
m holes in the wa lls. The
sera p h bla de threw a p a tchwork quilt of light a cross the wa ll
s a s he moved ca utiously
through the rooms, his nerves p rickling. At one p oint the light c
a ught movement, a nd he
jump ed. Lowering the bla de, he saw a p a ir of red eyes a nd a sma ll gra
y body skittering into
a hole in the wa ll. Alec’s mouth twitched. Tha t wa s New York for you. E
ven in a building a s
new a s this one, there were ra ts.
Eventua lly the rooms op ened out into a la rger sp a ce—not a s la rge
a s the room with the
p edesta ls, but more sizea ble tha n the others. There wa s a wa l
l of gla ss here, too, with
ca rdboa rd ta p ed a cross sections of it.
A da rk sha p e wa s huddled in one corner of the room, nea r a n
exp osed section of p ip ing.
Alec a p p roa ched ca utiously. Wa s it a trick of the light? No,
the sha p e wa s recogniza bly
huma n, a bent, huddled ɹgure in da rk clothes. Alec’s night vision r
une twinged a s he
na rrowed his eyes, moving forwa rd. The sha p e resolved itself int
o a slim woma n, ba refoot,
her ha nds cha ined in front of her to a length of p ip e. She
ra ised her hea d a s Alec
a p p roa ched, a nd the dim light tha t p oured through the windows il
lumina ted her p a le whiteblond ha ir.
“Alexa nder?” she sa id, her voice rich with disbelief . “Alexa nder Lightwood?”
It wa s Camille.
“ Jace .” Lilith’s voice came down like a whip a cross ba re ɻesh; even C
la ry ɻinched a t the
sound of it. “I comma nd you to—”

Ja ce’s a rm drew ba ck—Cla ry tensed, bra cing herself—a nd he ɻung the knif
e a t Lilith. It
whip p ed through the a ir, end over end, a nd sa nk into her chest
; she sta ggered ba ck, ca ught
oʃ ba la nce. Lilith’s heels skidded on the smooth stone; the demoness
righted herself with a
sna rl, rea ching down to p luck the knife from her ribs. Sp itting
something in a la ngua ge
Cla ry couldn’t understa nd, she let it drop . It fell hissing to the
ground, its bla de ha lf -ea ten
awa y, a s if by a p owerful a cid.
She whirled on Cla ry. “Wha t did you do to him? What did you do?” Her
eyes ha d been a ll
bla ck a moment a go. Now they seemed to bulge a nd p rotrude. Sma
ll bla ck serp ents
slithered from her eye sockets; Cla ry cried out a nd step p ed ba ck, a lmost
trip p ing over a low
hedge. This wa s the Lilith she ha d seen in Ithuriel’s vision, with
her slithering eyes a nd
ha rsh, echoing voice. She a dva nced on Cla ry—
And suddenly Ja ce wa s between them, blocking Lilith’s p a th. Cla ry sta red.
He wa s himself
a ga in. He seemed to burn with a righteous ɹre, a s Ra ziel ha d b
y La ke Lyn tha t horrible
night. He ha d drawn a sera p h bla de from his belt; the white-silv
er of it reɻected in his eyes;
blood drip p ed from the rent in his shirt a nd slicked his ba re sk
in. The wa y he looked a t her,
a t Lilith—if a ngels could rise up out of Hell, Cla ry thought, t
hey would look like tha t.
“ Michae l,” he sa id, a nd Cla ry wa sn’t sure whether it wa s the streng
th of the name, or the
ra ge in his voice, but the bla de he held bla zed up brighter tha
n a ny sera p h bla de she’d ever
seen. She looked a side for a moment, blinded, a nd saw Simon lyi
ng in a crump led da rk
hea p beside Seba stia n’s gla ss cof f in.
Her hea rt twisted inside her chest. Wha t if Seba stia n’s demon bloo
d ha d p oisoned him?
The Ma rk of Ca in wouldn’t help him. It wa s something he ha d don
e willingly, to himself .
For her. Simon.
“Ah, Micha el.” Lilith’s voice wa s rich with la ughter a s she moved towa
rd Ja ce. “The
ca p ta in of the hosts of the Lord. I knew him.”
Ja ce ra ised the sera p h bla de; it bla zed like a sta r, so bri
ght tha t Cla ry wondered if a ll the
city could see it, like a sea rchlight p iercing the sky. “Don’t come a ny closer
Lilith, to Cla ry’s surp rise, p a used. “Micha el slew the demon Samma
el, whom I loved,” she
sa id. “Why is it, little Sha dowhunter, tha t your a ngels a re so
cold a nd without mercy? Why
do they brea k tha t which will not obey them?”
“I ha d no idea you were such a p rop onent of free will,” sa id Ja
ce, a nd the wa y he sa id it,
his voice hea vy with sa rca sm, did more to rea ssure Cla ry tha t
he wa s himself a ga in tha n
a nything else would ha ve. “How a bout letting us a ll wa lk oʃ this r
oof now, then? Me,

Simon, Cla ry? Wha t do you sa y, demoness? It’s over. You don’t control me a nym
ore. I won’t
hurt Cla ry, a nd Simon won’t obey you. And tha t p iece of ɹlth you’re t
rying to resuscita te—I
suggest you get rid of him before he sta rts to rot. Beca use he
isn’t coming ba ck, a nd he’s
wa y p a st his sell-by da te.”
Lilith’s fa ce twisted. She sp a t a t Ja ce, a nd her sp it wa s a
bla ck ɻame tha t hit the ground
a nd became a sna ke tha t wiggled towa rd him, its jaws a ga p e.
He sma shed it with a booted
foot a nd lunged for the demoness, bla de outstretched; but Lilith w
a s gone like a sha dow
when light shone on it, va nishing a nd reforming just behind him.
As he sp un, she rea ched
out a lmost la zily a nd slammed her op en p a lm a ga inst his chest.
Ja ce went ɻying, Micha el knocked from his ha nd, skittering a cross
the stone tiles. Ja ce
sa iled through the a ir a nd struck the low roof wa ll with such f
orce tha t sp lintering lines
a p p ea red in the stone. He hit the ground ha rd, visibly stunned.
Ga sp ing, Cla ry ra n for the fa llen sera p h bla de, but never re
a ched it. Lilith ca ught Cla ry
up in two thin, icy ha nds a nd threw her with incredible force.
Cla ry hurtled into a low
hedge, the bra nches sla shing viciously a t her skin, op ening up
long cuts. She struggled to
free herself , her dress ta ngled in the folia ge. She hea rd the s
ilk rip a s she tore free a nd
turned to see Lilith dra g Ja ce to his feet, her ha nd fa stened in the bloody
front of his shirt.
She grinned a t him, a nd her teeth were bla ck too, a nd gleamed
like meta l. “I am gla d
you’re on your feet, little Nep hilim. I wa nt to see your fa ce whe
n I kill you, not sta b you in
the ba ck the wa y you did my son.”
Ja ce wip ed his sleeve a cross his fa ce; he wa s bleeding from a
long cut a long his cheek,
a nd the fa bric came awa y red. “He’s not your son. You dona ted some
blood to him. Tha t
doesn’t ma ke him yours. Mother of wa rlocks—” He turned his hea d a nd sp a t,
blood. “You’re
not a nyone’s mother.”
Lilith’s sna ke eyes da rted ba ck a nd forth furiously. Cla ry, disent
a ngling herself p a infully
from the hedge, saw tha t ea ch of the sna ke hea ds ha d two eyes
of its own, glittering a nd
red. Cla ry’s stoma ch turned a s the sna kes moved, their ga zes seem
ing to slither up a nd
down Ja ce’s body. “Cutting my rune a p a rt. How crude,” she sp a t.
“But ef fective,” sa id Ja ce.
“You ca nnot win a ga inst me, Ja ce Heronda le,” she sa id. “You ma y be
the grea test
Sha dowhunter this world ha s known, but I am more tha n a Grea ter Demon.”
“Then, ɹght me,” sa id Ja ce. “I’ll give you a wea p on. I’ll ha ve my sera
p h bla de. Fight me
one on one, a nd we’ll see who wins.”
Lilith looked a t him, sha king her hea d slowly, her da rk ha ir s
wirling a round her like
smoke. “I am the oldest of demons,” she sa id. “I am not a man. I ha ve no ma le

p ride for you
to trick me with, a nd I am not interested in single comba t. Tha
t is entirely a wea kness of
your sex, not mine. I am a woma n. I will use a ny wea p on a n
d a ll wea p ons to get wha t I
wa nt.” She let go of him them, with a ha lf -contemp tuous shove;
Ja ce stumbled for a
moment, righting himself quickly a nd rea ching to the ground for th
e glittering bla de of
Micha el.
He seized it just a s Lilith la ughed a nd ra ised her ha nds. Ha lf
-op a que sha dows exp loded
from her op en p a lms. Even Ja ce looked shocked a s the sha dows s
olidiɹed into the forms of
twin bla ck sha dowy demons with shimmering red eyes. They hit the g
round, p awing a nd
growling. They were dogs , Cla ry thought in ama zement, two ga unt,
vicious-looking bla ck
dogs tha t va guely resembled Doberma n p inschers.
“Hellhounds,” brea thed Ja ce. “Cla ry—”
He broke oʃ a s one of the dogs sp ra ng towa rd him, its mouth op
ened a s wide a s a
sha rk’s, a loud, ba ying howl erup ting from its throa t. A moment la ter the
second one lea p ed
into the a ir, la unching itself directly a t Cla ry.
“Camille.” Alec’s hea d wa s sp inning. “Wha t a re you doing here?”
He immedia tely rea lized tha t he sounded like a n idiot. He fought
down the urge to sma ck
himself in the forehea d. The la st thing he wa nted wa s to look
like a fool in front of
Ma gnus’s ex-girlfriend.
“It wa s Lilith,” sa id the vamp ire woma n in a sma ll, trembling voic
e. “She ha d her cult
members brea k into the Sa nctua ry. It isn’t wa rded a ga inst huma ns,
a nd they’re huma n—
ba rely. They cut my cha ins a nd brought me here, to her.” She ra i
sed her ha nds; the cha ins
binding her wrists to the p ip e ra ttled. “They bruta lized me.”
Alec crouched down, bringing his eyes on a level with Camille’s. Vam
p ires didn’t bruise—
they hea led too quickly for tha t—but her ha ir wa s ma tted with bloo
d on the lef t side, which
ma de him think she wa s telling the truth. “Let’s sa y I believe you,”
he sa id. “Wha t did she
wa nt with you? Nothing in wha t I know a bout Lilith sa ys she ha s
a p a rticula r interest in
vamp ires.”
“You know why the Cla ve wa s holding me,” she sa id. “You would ha ve hea rd.”
“You killed three Sha dowhunters. Ma gnus sa id you cla imed you were d
oing it beca use
someone ha d ordered you to—” He broke of f . “Lilith?”
“If I tell you, will you help me?” Camille’s lower lip trembled. Her eyes we
re huge, green,
p lea ding. She wa s very bea utiful. Alec wondered if she ha d once looke
d a t Ma gnus like this.
It ma de him wa nt to sha ke her.
“I might,” he sa id, a stonished a t the coldness in his own voice. “You
don’t ha ve a lot of
ba rga ining p ower here. I could go oʃ a nd lea ve you for Lilith to ha ve, a n
d it wouldn’t ma ke

much dif ference to me.”
“Yes, it would,” she sa id. Her voice wa s low. “Ma gnus loves you. He
wouldn’t love you if
you were the sort of p erson who could a ba ndon someone help less.”
“He loved you,” Alec sa id.
She ga ve a wistful smile. “He a p p ea rs to ha ve lea rned better since then.”
Alec rocked ba ck on his heels slightly. “Look,” he sa id. “Tell me the
truth. If you do, I’ll
cut you free a nd bring you to the Cla ve. They’ll trea t you better tha n Lilith
She looked down a t her wrists, cha ined to the p ip e. “The Cla ve
cha ined me,” she sa id.
“Lilith cha ined me. I see little dif ference in my trea tment between the two.”
“I guess it’s your choice, then. Trust me, or trust her,” Alec sa id.
It wa s a gamble, he
He wa ited for severa l tense moments before she sa id, “Very well. I
f Ma gnus trusts you, I
will trust you.” She ra ised her hea d, doing her best to look digniɹed
desp ite torn clothing
a nd bloody ha ir. “Lilith came to me, not I to her. She ha d hea rd I wa s loo
king to recover my
p osition a s hea d of the Ma nha tta n cla n from Ra p ha el Sa ntia go. She
sa id she would help me,
if I would help her.”
“Help her by murdering Sha dowhunters?”
“She wa nted their blood,” sa id Camille. “It wa s for those ba bies. She
wa s injecting
Sha dowhunter blood a nd demon blood into the mothers, trying to rep
lica te wha t Va lentine
did to his son. It didn’t work, though. The ba bies became twisted
things—a nd then they
died.” Ca tching his revolted look, she sa id, “I didn’t know a t ɹrst wha t she wa nt
ed the blood
for. You ma y not think much of me, but I ha ve no ta ste for murdering innoc
“You didn’t ha ve to do it,” sa id Alec. “Just beca use she of fered.”
Camille smiled tiredly. “When you a re a s old a s I am,” she sa id, “i
t is beca use you ha ve
lea rned to p la y the game correctly—to ma ke the right a llia nces a t
the right times. To a lly
yourself not just with the p owerful, but with those who you believe will ma k
e you p owerful.
I knew tha t if I did not a gree to a ssist Lilith, she would kil
l me. Demons a re not by na ture
trusting, a nd she would think tha t I would go to the Cla ve with wha t I knew
a bout her p la ns
to kill Sha dowhunters, even if I p romised her I would sta y silen
t. I took a cha nce tha t Lilith
wa s a grea ter da nger to me tha n your kind were.”
“And you didn’t mind killing Sha dowhunters.”
“They were Circle members,” sa id Camille. “They ha d killed my kind. And yours.”
“And Simon Lewis? Wha t wa s your interest in him?”
“Everyone wa nts the Da ylighter on their side.” Camille shrugged. “And I
knew he ha d the
Ma rk of Ca in. One of Ra p ha el’s vamp ire underlings is still loya
l to me. He p a ssed on the
informa tion. Few other Downworlders know of it. It ma kes him a n
inca lcula bly va lua ble
a lly.”

“Is tha t wha t Lilith wa nts with him?”
Camille’s eyes widened. Her skin wa s very p a le, a nd benea th it A
lec could see tha t her
veins ha d da rkened, the p a ttern of them beginning to sp rea d a
cross the whiteness of her
fa ce like widening cra cks in china . Eventua lly, sta rving vamp ire
s became sa va ge, then lost
consciousness, once they ha d been without blood for too long. The
older they were, the
longer they could sta ve it oʃ, but Alec couldn’t help but wonder how
long it ha d been since
she ha d fed. “Wha t do you mea n?”
“Ap p a rently she’s summoned Simon to meet with her,” sa id Alec. “They’re so
mewhere in
the building.”
Camille sta red a moment longer, then la ughed. “A true irony,” she sa
id. “She never
mentioned him to me, a nd I never mentioned him to her, a nd yet
both of us were p ursuing
him for our own ends. If she wa nts him, it’s for his blood,” she a
dded. “The ritua l she’s
p erforming is most a ssuredly one of blood ma gic. His blood—mixed Do
wnworlder a nd
Sha dowhunter blood—would be of grea t use to her.”
Alec felt a f licker of unea se. “But she ca n’t hurt him. The Ma rk of Ca in—”
“She’ll ɹnd a wa y a round tha t,” sa id Camille. “She is Lilith, mother of
wa rlocks. She’s
been a live a long time, Alexa nder.”
Alec got to his feet. “Then I’d better f ind out wha t she’s doing.”
Camille’s cha ins ra ttled a s she tried to rise to her knees. “Wa it—but
you sa id you would
free me.”
Alec turned a nd looked down a t her. “I didn’t. I sa id I would let the Cla ve ha
ve you.”
“But if you lea ve me here, nothing p revents Lilith from ɹnding me ɹrst
.” She tossed her
ma tted ha ir ba ck; lines of stra in showed in her fa ce. “Alexa nder, p lea
se. I beg you—”
“Who’s Will?” Alec sa id. The words came out a brup tly, unexp ectedly, a
nd much to his
“Will?” For a moment her fa ce wa s bla nk; then it crea sed into a
look of rea liza tion, a nd
nea r amusement. “You hea rd my conversa tion with Ma gnus.”
“Some of it.” Alec exha led ca refully. “Will is dea d, isn’t he? I mea n
, Ma gnus sa id it wa s a
long time a go tha t he knew him…”
“I know wha t’s bothering you, little Sha dowhunter.” Camille’s voice ha d gone musica
l a nd
sof t. Behind her, through the windows, Alec could see the dista nt
ɻickering lights of a p la ne
a s it ɻew over the city. “At ɹrst you were ha p p y. You thought of
the moment, not of the
future. Now you ha ve rea lized. You will grow old, a nd will some
da y die. And Ma gnus will
not. He will continue. You will not grow old together. You will grow a p a rt
instea d.”
Alec thought of the p eop le on the a irp la ne, high up in the c
old a nd icy a ir, looking down
on the city like a ɹeld of glittering diamonds, fa r below. Of course, he ha

d never been in a n
a irp la ne himself . He wa s only guessing a t how it would feel:
lonely, dista nt, disconnected
from the world. “You ca n’t know tha t,” he sa id. “Tha t we’ll grow a p a rt.”
She smiled p ityingly. “You’re bea utiful now,” she sa id. “But will you be
in twenty yea rs?
In forty? Fif ty? Will he love your blue eyes when they fa de, your
sof t skin when a ge cuts
deep furrows in it? Your ha nds when they wrinkle a nd grow wea k, yo
ur ha ir when it grows
“Shut up .” Alec hea rd the cra ck in his own voice, a nd wa s a shamed
. “Just shut up . I don’t
wa nt to hea r it.”
“It doesn’t ha ve to be tha t wa y.” Camille lea ned towa rd him, her gre
en eyes luminous.
“Wha t if I told you tha t you didn’t ha ve to grow old? Didn’t ha ve to die?”
Alec felt a wa ve of ra ge. “I’m not interested in becoming a vamp i
re. Don’t even bother
ma king the of fer. Not if the only other a lterna tive wa s dea th.”
For the briefest of moments her fa ce twisted. It wa s gone in a
ɻa sh a s her control
rea sserted itself ; she smiled a thin smile a nd sa id, “Tha t wa sn’t my sugges
tion. Wha t if I told
you there wa s a nother wa y? Another wa y for the two of you to be together fo
Alec swa llowed. His mouth wa s a s dry a s p a p er. “Tell me,” he sa id.
Camille ra ised her ha nds. Her cha ins ra ttled. “Cut these free.”
“No. Tell me f irst.”
She shook her hea d. “I won’t do tha t.” Her exp ression wa s a s ha rd
a s ma rble, a s wa s her
voice. “You sa id I ha d nothing to ba rga in with. But I do. And I will not gi
ve it awa y.”
Alec hesita ted. In his hea d he hea rd Ma gnus’s sof t voice. She is
a mas te r of implication and
manipulation. She always has be e n.
But Magnus , he thought. You ne ve r told me . Ne ve r warne d me
it would be like this , that I
would wake up one day and re alize that I was going s ome whe re
you couldn’t follow. That we are
e s s e ntially not the s ame . The re ’s no “ till de ath do us part” for thos e
who ne ve r die .
He took a step towa rd Camille, a nd then a nother. Ra ising his
right a rm, he brought the
sera p h bla de down, a s ha rd a s he could. It shea red through t
he meta l of her cha ins; her
wrists sp ra ng a p a rt, still in their ma na cles but free. She br
ought her ha nds up , her
exp ression gloa ting, triump ha nt.
“Alec.” Isa belle sp oke from the doorwa y; Alec turned a nd saw her sta
nding there, her
whip a t her side. It wa s sta ined with blood, a s were her ha n
ds a nd her silk dress. “Wha t a re
you doing in here?”
“Nothing. I—” Alec felt a wa ve of shame a nd horror; a lmost without
thinking, he moved
to step in front of Camille, a s if he could obscure her from his sister’s vie
“They’re a ll dea d.” Isa belle sounded grim. “The cultists. We killed every one of t
hem. Now

come on. We ha ve to sta rt looking for Simon.” She squinted a t Alec
. “Are you oka y? You
look rea lly p a le.”
“I cut her free,” Alec blurted. “I shouldn’t ha ve. It’s just—”
“Cut who free?” Isa belle took a step into the room. The ambient city
light sp a rked oʃ her
dress, ma king her shine like a ghost. “Alec, wha t a re you bla thering a bou
Her exp ression wa s bla nk, confused. Alec turned, following her ga
ze, a nd saw—nothing.
The p ip e wa s still there, a length of cha in lying beside it,
the dust on the ɻoor only very
slightly disturbed. But Camille wa s gone.
Cla ry ba rely ha d time to p ut her a rms up before the hellhound
collided with her, a
ca nnonba ll of muscle a nd bone a nd hot, stinking brea th. Her fe
et went out from under her;
she remembered Ja ce telling her the best wa y to fa ll, how to p rotect yourse
lf , but the a dvice
ɻew from her mind a nd she hit the ground with her elbows, a gony sh
ooting through her a s
the skin tore. A moment la ter the hound wa s on top of her, it
s p aws crushing her chest, its
gna rled ta il swishing from side to side in a grotesque imita tion
of a wa g. The tip of its ta il
wa s sp iked with na il-like p rotrusions like a medieva l ma ce, a nd
a thick growl came from its
ba rrel-chested body, so loud a nd strong tha t she could feel her bones vibra
“Hold her there! Tea r her throa t out if she tries to get awa y!” Lil
ith sna p p ed instructions
a s the second hellhound sp ra ng a t Ja ce; he wa s struggling with
it, rolling over a nd over, a
whirlwind of teeth a nd a rms a nd legs a nd the vicious whip p ing
ta il. Pa infully Cla ry turned
her hea d to the other side, a nd saw Liliths triding towa rd the g
la ss coɽn a nd Simon, still
lying in a hea p beside it. Inside the coɽn Seba stia n ɻoa ted, a s
motionless a s a drowned
body; the milky color of the wa ter ha d turned da rk, p roba bly with his bl
The hound p inning her to the ground sna rled close to her ea r. Th
e sound sent a jolt of
fea r through her—a nd a long with the fea r, a nger. Anger a t Lilith
, a nd a t herself . She wa s a
Sha dowhunter. It wa s one thing to be ta ken down by a Ra vener d
emon when she’d never
hea rd of the Nep hilim. She ha d some tra ining now. She ought to be a ble t
o do better.
Anything can be a we apon. Ja ce ha d sa id tha t to her in the p
a rk. The weight of the
hellhound wa s crushing; she ma de a ga gging noise a nd rea ched fo
r her throa t, a s if ɹghting
for a ir. It ba rked a nd sna rled, ba ring its teeth; her ɹngers cl
osed on the cha in holding the
Morgenstern ring a round her neck. She ya nked it, ha rd, a nd the
cha in sna p p ed; she
whip p ed it towa rd the dog’s fa ce, sla shing the hound bruta lly a c
ross the eyes. The hound
rea red ba ck, howling in p a in, a nd Cla ry rolled to the side,

scrambling to her knees. Bloodyeyed, the dog crouched, rea dy to sp
ring. The neckla ce ha d fa llen out of Cla ry’s ha nd, the
ring rolling awa y; she scra bbled for the cha in a s the dog lea p ed—
A shining bla de sp lit the night, sla shing down inches from Cla ry’s
fa ce, severing the dog’s
hea d from its body. It ga ve a single howl a nd va nished, lea vi
ng behind a scorched bla ck
ma rk on the stone, a nd the stench of demon in the a ir.
Ha nds came down, lif ted Cla ry gently to her feet. It wa s Ja ce. He
ha d shoved the burning
sera p h bla de through his belt, a nd he held her by both ha nds,
ga zing a t her with a p eculia r
look. She couldn’t ha ve described it, or even drawn it—hop e, shock,
love, yea rning, a nd
a nger a ll mixed together in his exp ression. His shirt wa s torn i
n severa l p la ces, soa ked with
blood; his ja cket wa s gone, his fa ir ha ir ma tted with swea t a
nd blood. For a moment they
simp ly sta red a t ea ch other, his grip on her ha nds p a infully
tight. Then they both sp oke a t
“Are you—,” she bega n.
“Cla ry.” Still grip p ing her ha nds, he p ushed her awa y from him, a
wa y from the circle,
towa rd the wa lkwa y tha t led to the eleva tors. “Go,” he sa id ra gge
dly. “Get out of here,
Cla ry.”
“Ja ce—”
He took a sha king brea th. “ P le as e ,” he sa id, a nd then he let
her go, drawing the sera p h
bla de from his belt a s he turned ba ck towa rd the circle.
“Get up ,” Lilith growled. “Get up.”
A ha nd shook Simon’s shoulder, sending a wa ve of a gony through hi
s hea d. He ha d been
ɻoa ting in da rkness; he op ened his eyes now a nd saw night sky, s
ta rs, a nd Lilith’s white
fa ce looming over him. Her eyes were gone, rep la ced by slithering
bla ck sna kes. The shock
of the sight wa s enough to p rop el Simon to his feet.
The moment he wa s up right, he retched a nd nea rly fell to his kn
ees a ga in. Shutting his
eyes a ga inst the na usea , he hea rd Lilith sna rl his name, a nd
then her ha nd wa s on his a rm,
guiding him forwa rd. He let her do it. His mouth wa s full of t
he na usea ting, bitter ta ste of
Seba stia n’s blood; it wa s sp rea ding through his veins, too, ma ki
ng him sick, wea k, a nd
shivery down to his bones. His hea d felt like it weighed a thousa
nd p ounds, a nd dizziness
wa s a dva ncing a nd receding in wa ves.
Abrup tly Lilith’s cold grip on his a rm wa s gone. Simon op ened his
eyes a nd found tha t he
wa s sta nding over the gla ss coɽn, just a s he ha d been before. Seba stia n ɻoa
ted in the da rk,
milky liquid, his fa ce smooth, no p ulse in his neck. Two da rk
holes were visible a t the side
of his throa t where Simon ha d bitten him.
Give him your blood. Lilith’s voice echoed, not a loud but inside his hea d. D
o it now.
Simon looked up dizzily. His vision wa s fogging. He stra ined to

see Cla ry a nd Ja ce
through the encroa ching da rkness.
Us e your fangs , sa id Lilith. Te ar your wris t ope n. Give Jonathan your
blood. He al him.
Simon ra ised his wrist to his mouth. He al him. Ra ising someone fr
om the dea d wa s a lot
more tha n hea ling them, he thought. Ma ybe Seba stia n’s ha nd would
grow ba ck. Ma ybe
tha t’s wha t she mea nt. He wa ited for his fa ngs to come, but the
y didn’t. He wa s too sick to
be hungry, he thought, a nd fought ba ck the insa ne urge to la ugh.
“I ca n’t,” he sa id, ha lf -ga sp ing. “I ca n’t—”
“ Lilith!” Ja ce’s voice cut through the night; Lilith turned with a n inc
redulous hiss. Simon
lowered his wrist slowly, struggling to focus his eyes. He focused
on the brightness in front
of him, a nd it became the lea p ing ɻame of a sera p h bla de, h
eld in Ja ce’s lef t ha nd. Simon
could see him clea rly now, a distinct ima ge p a inted onto the da
rkness. His ja cket wa s gone,
he wa s ɹlthy, his shirt torn a nd bla ck with blood, but his eyes
were clea r a nd stea dy a nd
focused. He no longer looked like a zombie or someone ca ught sleep
wa lking in a terrible
“Where is she?” Lilith sa id, her sna ke eyes slithering forwa rd on their sta lks.
“Where is the
Clary. Simon’s fogged ga ze sca nned the da rkness a round Ja ce, but
she wa s nowhere to be
seen. His vision wa s beginning to clea r. He could see blood smea
ring the tiled ground, a nd
bits of shredded, torn sa tin ca ught on the sha rp bra nches of
a hedge. Wha t looked like p aw
p rints smea red the blood. Simon felt his chest tighten. He looked
quickly ba ck a t Ja ce. Ja ce
looked a ngry—very a ngry indeed—but not sha ttered the wa y Simon would h
a ve exp ected
him to look if something ha d ha p p ened to Cla ry. So where wa s she?
“She ha s nothing to do with this,” Ja ce sa id. “You sa y I ca n’t kill
you, demoness. I sa y I
ca n. Let’s see which of us is right.”
Lilith moved so fa st, she wa s a blur. One moment she wa s beside
Simon, the next she wa s
on the step a bove Ja ce. She sla shed out a t him with her ha nd;
he ducked, sp inning behind
her, whip p ing the sera p h bla de a cross her shoulder. She screame
d, whirling on him, blood
a rcing from her wound. It wa s a shimmering bla ck color, like on
yx. She brought her ha nds
together a s if she mea nt to sma sh the bla de between them. They
struck ea ch other with a
sound like a thundercla p , but Ja ce wa s a lrea dy gone, severa l
feet awa y, the light of the
sera p h bla de da ncing in the a ir before him like the wink of a mocking eye
If it ha d been a ny other Sha dowhunter but Ja ce, Simon thought, he would h
a ve been dea d
a lrea dy. He thought of Camille sa ying, Man cannot conte nd with t
he divine . Sha dowhunters

were huma n, desp ite their a ngel blood, a nd Lilith wa s more tha n a demon
Pa in shot through Simon. With surp rise he rea lized his fa ngs ha d
, ɹna lly, come out, a nd
were cutting into his lower lip . The p a in a nd the ta ste of bl
ood roused him further. He
bega n to rise to his feet, slowly, his eyes on Lilith. She certa inly didn’t a
p p ea r to notice him,
or wha t he wa s doing. Her eyes were ɹxed on Ja ce. With a nother
sudden sna rl she lea p ed
for him. It wa s like wa tching moths ɻa shing to a nd fro, wa tching
the two of them a s they
ba ttled ba ck a nd forth a cross the roof top . Even Simon’s vamp ire
vision ha d trouble keep ing
up a s they moved, lea p ing over hedges, da rting among the wa lkwa ys.
Lilith ba cked Ja ce up
a ga inst the low wa ll tha t surrounded a sundia l, the numbers on
its fa ce p icked out in
shining gold. Ja ce wa s moving so fa st he wa s nea rly a blur,
the light of Micha el whip p ing
a round Lilith a s if she were being wra p p ed in a net of shining ɹlaments.
Anyone else would
ha ve been cut to ribbons in seconds. But Lilith moved like da rk w
a ter, like smoke. She
seemed to va nish a nd rea p p ea r a t will, a nd though Ja ce wa s
clea rly not tiring, Simon could
sense his frustra tion.
Fina lly it ha p p ened. Ja ce swung the sera p h bla de violently towa rd
Lilith—a nd she ca ught
it out of the a ir, her ha nd wra p p ing a round the bla de. Her
ha nd wa s drip p ing bla ck blood
a s she ya nked the bla de towa rd her. The drop s, a s they struck
the ground, became tiny
obsidia n sna kes tha t wiggled awa y into the underbrush.
Ta king the bla de in both ha nds, she ra ised it. Blood wa s runni
ng down her p a le wrists
a nd forea rms like strea ks of ta r. With a sna rling grin she sna p p ed th
e bla de in ha lf ; one ha lf
crumbled to a shining p owder in her ha nds, while the other—the hilt
a nd a ja gged sha rd of
bla de—sp uttered da rkly, a f lame ha lf -smothered by a sh.
Lilith smiled. “Poor little Micha el,” she sa id. “He a lwa ys wa s wea k.”
Ja ce wa s p a nting, his ha nds clenched a t his sides, his ha ir
p a sted to his forehea d with
swea t. “You a nd your name-drop p ing,” he sa id. “‘I knew Micha el. ’ ‘I knew
Samma el. ’ ‘The
a ngel Ga briel did my ha ir. ’ It’s like I’m with the Band with biblica l f igures.”
This wa s Ja ce being bra ve, Simon thought, bra ve a nd sna rky bec
a use he thought Lilith
wa s going to kill him, a nd tha t wa s the wa y he wa nted to go, una f
ra id a nd on his feet. Like
a wa rrior. The wa y Sha dowhunters did. His dea th song would a lw
a ys be this—jokes a nd
snideness a nd p retend a rroga nce, a nd tha t look in his eyes tha
t sa id, I’m be tte r than you.
Simon just ha dn’t rea lized it before.
“Lilith,” Ja ce went on, ma na ging to ma ke the word sound like a cur
se. “I studied you. In
school. Hea ven cursed you with ba rrenness. A thousa nd ba bies, a
nd they a ll died. Isn’t tha t

the ca se?”
Lilith held her da rkly glowing bla de, her fa ce imp a ssive. “Be ca
reful, little
Sha dowhunter.”
“Or wha t? Or you’ll kill me?” Blood wa s drip p ing down Ja ce’s fa ce from
the cut on his
cheek; he ma de no move to wip e it awa y. “Go a hea d.”
No. Simon tried to ta ke a step ; his knees buckled, a nd he fell, slamming
his ha nds into the
ground. He took a deep brea th. He didn’t need the oxygen, but it
help ed somehow,
stea dying him. He rea ched up a nd gra bbed the edge of the stone
p edesta l, using it to p ull
himself up right. The ba ck of his hea d wa s p ounding. There wa
s no wa y there would be
enough time. All Lilith ha d to do wa s drive forwa rd the ja gged bla de she h
But she didn’t. Looking a t Ja ce, she didn’t move, a nd suddenly his
eyes ɻa shed, his mouth
r e l a xin g . “ You can’t kill me ,” he sa id, his voice rising. “Wha t y
ou sa id before—I’m the
counterweight. I’m the only thing tethering him”—he thrust out a n a rm, i
ndica ting
Seba stia n’s gla ss coɽn—“to this world. If I die, he dies. Isn’t tha t t
rue?” He took a step
ba ck. “I could jump of f this roof right now,” he sa id. “Kill myself . End thi
For the ɹrst time Lilith a p p ea red truly a gita ted. Her hea d whip
p ed from side to side, her
serp ent eyes quivering, a s if they were sea rching the wind. “Where
is she? Where’s the
Ja ce wip ed blood a nd swea t from his fa ce a nd grinned a t her;
his lip wa s a lrea dy sp lit,
a nd blood ra n down his chin. “Forget it. I sent her ba ck downsta
irs while you weren’t
p a ying a ttention. She’s gone—sa fe from you.”
Lilith sna rled. “You lie.”
Ja ce took a nother step ba ck. A few more step s would bring him
to the low wa ll, the edge
of the building. Ja ce could survive a lot, Simon knew, but a
fa ll from a forty-story building
might be too much even for him.
“You forget,” sa id Lilith. “I wa s the re , Sha dowhunter. I wa tched you
fa ll a nd die. I
wa tched Va lentine weep over your body. And then I wa tched a s th
e Angel a sked Cla rissa
wha t she desired of him, wha t she wa nted in the world more tha n she wa nte
d a nything else,
a nd she sa id you. Thinking you could be the only p eop le in the
world who could ha ve their
dea d loved one ba ck, a nd tha t there would be no cons e que nce s .
Tha t is wha t you thought,
isn’t it, both of you? Fools.” Lilith sp a t. “You love ea ch other—a nyon
e ca n see tha t, looking
a t you—tha t kind of love tha t ca n burn down the world or ra ise
it up in glory. No, she
would never lea ve your side. Not while she thought you were in da
nger.” Her hea d jerked
ba ck, her ha nd shooting out, f ingers curved into claws. “ The re .”

There wa s a scream, a nd one of the hedges seemed to tea r a p a
rt, revea ling Cla ry, who
ha d been crouched, hiding, in the middle of it. Kicking a nd cla
wing, she wa s dra gged
forwa rd, her ɹngerna ils scra p ing the ground, seizing in va in for
a p urcha se on something
tha t she could grip . Her ha nds lef t bloody tra ils on the tiles.
“ No!” Ja ce sta rted forwa rd, then froze a s Cla ry wa s whip p ed up
into the a ir, where she
hovered, da ngling in front of Lilith. She wa s ba refoot, her sa
tin dress—now so torn a nd
ɹlthy it looked red a nd bla ck ra ther tha n gold—swirling a round her,
one of her shoulder
stra p s torn a nd da ngling. Her ha ir ha d come comp letely out of
its sp a rkling combs a nd
sp illed down over her shoulders. Her green eyes f ixed on Lilith with ha tred.
“You bitch,” she sa id.
Ja ce’s fa ce wa s a ma sk of horror. He rea lly ha d believed it w
hen he’d sa id Cla ry wa s
gone, Simon rea lized. He’d thought she wa s sa fe. But Lilith ha d
been right. And she wa s
gloa ting now, her sna ke’s eyes da ncing a s she moved her ha nds like
a p up p eteer, a nd Cla ry
sp un a nd ga sp ed in the a ir. Lilith ɻicked her ɹngers, a nd wha t
looked like the la sh of a
silver whip came down a cross Cla ry’s body, slicing her dress op en,
a nd the skin under it.
She screamed a nd clutched a t the wound, a nd her blood p a ttered
down on the tiles like
sca rlet ra in.
“ Clary.” Ja ce whirled on Lilith. “All right,” he sa id. He wa s p a le n
ow, his bra va do gone;
his ha nds, clenched into ɹsts, were white a t the knuckles. “All righ
t. Let her go, a nd I’ll do
wha t you wa nt—so will Simon. We’ll let you—”
“ Le t me?” Somehow the fea tures of Lilith’s fa ce ha d rea rra nged thems
elves. Sna kes
wriggled in the sockets of her eyes, her white skin wa s too stretched
a nd shining, her mouth
too wide. Her nose ha d nea rly va nished. “You ha ve no choice. And
more to the p oint, you
ha ve a nnoyed me. All of you. Perha p s if you ha d simp ly done
a s I’d ordered, I would ha ve
let you go. You will never know now, will you?”
Simon let go of the stone p edesta l, swa yed, a nd stea died himse
lf . Then he bega n to wa lk.
Putting his feet down, one a f ter the other, felt like hea ving en
ormous ba gs of p a cked wet
sa nd down the side of a cliʃ. Ea ch time his foot hit the ground,
it sent a sta b of p a in
through his body. He concentra ted on moving forwa rd, one step a t a time.
“Ma ybe I ca n’t kill you,” Lilith sa id to Ja ce. “But I ca n torture her
p a st the p oint of her
endura nce—torture her to ma dness—a nd ma ke you wa tch. There a re worse
things tha n
dea th, Sha dowhunter.”
She ɻicked her ɹngers a ga in, a nd the silver whip came down, sla shi
ng a cross Cla ry’s
shoulder this time, op ening up a wide ga sh. Cla ry buckled but
didn’t scream, jamming her

ha nds into her mouth, curling in on herself a s if she could p rotect hersel
f from Lilith.
Ja ce sta rted forwa rd to throw himself a t Lilith—a nd saw Simon. Th
eir ga zes met. For a
moment the world seemed to ha ng in susp ension, a ll of it, not
just Cla ry. Simon saw Lilith,
a ll her a ttention focused on Cla ry, her ha nd drawn ba ck, rea dy
to deliver a n even more
vicious blow. Ja ce’s fa ce wa s white with a nguish, his eyes da rken
ing a s they met Simon’s—
a nd he rea lized—a nd understood.
Ja ce step p ed ba ck.
The world blurred a round Simon. As he lea p ed forwa rd, he rea liz
ed two things. One, tha t
it wa s imp ossible, he would never rea ch Lilith in time; her ha n
d wa s a lrea dy whip p ing
forwa rd, the a ir in front of her a live with whirling silver. An
d two, tha t he ha d never
understood before quite how fas t a vamp ire could move. He felt the
muscles in his legs, his
ba ck, tea r, the bones in his feet a nd a nkles cra ck—
And he wa s there, sliding between Lilith a nd Cla ry a s the demone
ss’s ha nd came down.
The long, ra zored silver wire struck him a cross the fa ce a nd che
st—there wa s a moment of
shocking p a in—a nd then the a ir seemed to burst a p a rt a round him
like glittering confetti,
a nd Simon hea rd Cla ry scream, a clea r sound of shock a nd ama
zement tha t cut through the
da rkness. “ Simon!”
Lilith froze. She sta red from Simon, to Cla ry, still ha nging in
the a ir, a nd then down a t
her own ha nd, now emp ty. She drew in a long, ra gged brea th.
“ Se ve nfold,” she whisp ered—a nd wa s a brup tly cut oʃ a s a blinding inc
a ndescence lit up
the night. Da zed, a ll Simon could think of wa s a nts burning un
der the concentra ted beam
from a ma gnifying gla ss a s a grea t ra y of ɹre p lunged down from the sky,
sp ea ring through
Lilith. For a long moment she burned white a ga inst the da rkness,
tra p p ed within the
blinding ɻame, her mouth op en like a tunnel in a silent scream. H
er ha ir lif ted, a ma ss of
burning ɹlaments a ga inst the da rkness—a nd then she wa s white gold, b
ea ten thin a ga inst
the a ir—a nd then she wa s sa lt, a thousa nd crysta lline gra nules
of sa lt tha t ra ined down a t
Simon’s feet with a drea dful sort of bea uty.
And then she wa s gone.
The unima g ina ble brillia nce printed on the ba ck of Cla ry’ s eyelids fa ded i
nto da rkness.
A surp risingly long da rkness tha t ga ve wa y slowly to a n intermitte
nt gra yish light, blotched
with sha dows. There wa s something ha rd a nd cold p ressing into he
r ba ck, a nd her whole
body hurt. She hea rd murmured voices a bove her, which sent a sta
b of p a in through her
hea d. Someone touched her gently on the throa t, a nd the ha nd wa

s withdrawn. She took a
deep brea th.
Her whole body wa s throbbing. She op ened her eyes to slits, a nd
looked a round her,
trying not to move very much. She wa s lying on the ha rd tiles of
the roof top ga rden, one of
the p a ving stones digging into her ba ck. She ha d fa llen to the
ground when Lilith va nished,
a nd wa s covered in cuts a nd bruises, her shoes were gone, her knees were
bleeding, a nd her
dress wa s sla shed where Lilith ha d cut her with the ma gica l whip , blood
welling through the
rents in her silk dress.
Simon wa s kneeling over her, his fa ce a nxious. The Ma rk of Ca in still
gleamed whitely on
his forehea d. “Her p ulse is stea dy,” he wa s sa ying, “but come on.
You’re sup p osed to ha ve
a ll those hea ling runes. There must be something you ca n do for her—”
“Not without a stele. Lilith ma de me throw Cla ry’s awa y so she coul
dn’t gra b it from me
when she woke up .” The voice wa s Ja ce’s, low a nd tense with sup p r
essed a nguish. He knelt
a cross from Simon, on her other side, his fa ce in sha dow. “Ca n
you ca rry her downsta irs? If
we ca n get her to the Institute—”
“You wa nt me to ca rry her?” Simon sounded surp rised; Cla ry didn’t blame him.
“I doubt she’d wa nt me touching her.” Ja ce stood up , a s if he could
n’t bea r to rema in in
one p la ce. “If you could—”
His voice cra cked, a nd he turned awa y, sta ring a t the p la ce w
here Lilith ha d stood until a
moment a go, a ba re p a tch of stone now silvered with sca ttered
molecules of sa lt. Cla ry
hea rd Simon sigh—a delibera te sound—a nd he bent over her, his ha nds on her a r
She op ened her eyes the rest of the wa y, a nd their ga zes met.
Though she knew he
rea lized she wa s conscious, neither of them sa id a nything. It w
a s ha rd for her to look a t
him, a t tha t familia r fa ce with the ma rk she ha d given him bl
a zing like a white sta r a bove
his eyes.
She ha d known, giving him the Ma rk of Ca in, tha t she wa s doi
ng something enormous,
something terrifying a nd colossa l whose outcome wa s a lmost tota lly
unp redicta ble. She
would ha ve done it a ga in, to sa ve his life. But still, while he’d been sta
nding there, the Ma rk
burning like white lightning a s Lilith—a Grea ter Demon a s old a s m
a nkind itself—cha rred
awa y to sa lt, she ha d thought, What have I done ?
“I’m a ll right,” she sa id. She lif ted herself up onto her elbows; t
hey hurt horribly. At some
p oint she’d la nded on them a nd scra p ed of f a ll the skin. “I ca n wa lk just
f ine.”
At the sound of her voice, Ja ce turned. The sight of him tore
a t her. He wa s shockingly
bruised a nd bloody, a long scra tch running the length of his che
ek, his lower lip swollen,
a nd a dozen bleeding rents in his clothes. She wa sn’t used to seeing him so da

ma ged—but of
course, if he didn’t ha ve a stele to hea l her, he didn’t ha ve one to hea l hi
mself , either.
His exp ression wa s a bsolutely bla nk. Even Cla ry, used to rea din
g his fa ce a s if she were
rea ding the p a ges of a book, could rea d nothing in it. His ga ze drop p
ed to her throa t, where
she could still feel the stinging p a in, the blood crusting there w
here his knife ha d cut her.
The nothingness of his exp ression cra cked, a nd he looked awa y before she c
ould see his fa ce
cha nge.
Wa ving awa y Simon’s oʃer of a help ing ha nd, she tried to rise to
her feet. A sea ring p a in
shot through her a nkle, a nd she cried out, then bit her lip . S
ha dowhunters didn’t scream in
p a in. They bore it stoica lly, she reminded herself . No whimp ering.
“It’s my a nkle,” she sa id. “I think it might be sp ra ined, or broken.”
Ja ce looked a t Simon. “Ca rry her,” he sa id. “Like I told you.”
This time Simon didn’t wa it for Cla ry’s resp onse; he slid one a rm un
der her knees a nd the
other under her shoulders a nd lif ted her; she loop ed her a rms a
round his neck a nd held on
tight. Ja ce hea ded towa rd the cup ola a nd the doors tha t led i
nside. Simon followed,
ca rrying Cla ry a s ca refully a s if she were brea ka ble p orcela i
n. Cla ry ha d a lmost forgotten
how strong he wa s, now tha t he wa s a vamp ire. He no longer s
melled like himself , she
thought, a little wistfully—tha t Simon-smell of soa p a nd chea p a
f tersha ve (tha t he rea lly
didn’t need) a nd his fa vorite cinnamon gum. His ha ir still smelled
like his shamp oo, but
otherwise he seemed to ha ve no smell a t a ll, a nd his skin where she touched
it wa s cold. She
tightened her a rms a round his neck, wishing he ha d some body hea
t. The tip s of her ɹngers
looked bluish, a nd her body felt numb.
Ja ce, a hea d of them, shouldered the gla ss double doors op en.
Then they were inside,
where it wa s mercifully slightly wa rmer. It wa s stra nge, Cla ry
thought, being held by
someone whose chest didn’t rise a nd fa ll a s they brea thed. A stra
nge electricity still seemed
to cling to Simon, a remna nt of the bruta lly shining light tha t
ha d envelop ed the roof when
Lilith wa s destroyed. She wa nted to a sk him how he wa s feeling,
but Ja ce’s silence wa s so
deva sta tingly tota l tha t she felt a fra id to brea k it.
He rea ched for the eleva tor ca ll button, but before his ɹnger touch
ed it, the doors slid
op en of their own a ccord, a nd Isa belle seemed to a lmost exp lod
e through them, her silverygold whip tra iling behind her like the
ta il of a comet. Alec followed, ha rd on her heels;
seeing Ja ce, Cla ry, a nd Simon there, Isa belle skidded to a sto
p , Alec nea rly cra shing into
her from behind. Under other circumsta nces it would a lmost ha ve been funny.
“But—,” Isa belle ga sp ed. She wa s cut a nd bloodied, her bea utiful red
dress torn ra ggedly
a round the knees, her bla ck ha ir ha ving come down out of its u

p do, stra nds of it ma tted
with blood. Alec looked a s if he ha d fa red only a little bette
r; one sleeve of his ja cket wa s
sliced op en down the side, though it didn’t look a s if the skin b
enea th ha d been injured.
“Wha t a re you doing here?”
Ja ce, Cla ry, a nd Simon a ll sta red a t her bla nkly, too shellshocked to resp ond. Fina lly
Ja ce sa id dryly, “We could a sk you the same question.”
“I didn’t— We thought you a nd Cla ry were a t the p a rty,” Isa belle sa id
. Cla ry ha d ra rely
seen Isa belle so not self -p ossessed. “We were looking for Simon.”
Cla ry felt Simon’s chest lif t, a sort of ref lexive huma n ga sp of surp ri
se. “You we re ?”
Isa belle f lushed. “I…”
“Ja ce?” It wa s Alec, his tone comma nding. He ha d given Cla ry a nd
Simon a n a stonished
look, but then his a ttention went, a s it a lwa ys did, to Ja ce.
He might not be in love with
Ja ce a nymore, if he ever rea lly ha d been, but they were still parab
atai, a nd Ja ce wa s a lwa ys
ɹrst on his mind in a ny ba ttle. “Wha t a re you doing here? And for
the Angel’s sa ke, wha t
ha p p ened to you?”
Ja ce sta red a t Alec, a lmost a s if he didn’t know him. He looke
d like someone in a
nightma re, examining a new la ndsca p e not beca use it wa s surp ri
sing or drama tic but to
p rep a re himself for wha tever horrors it might revea l. “Stele,” he s
a id ɹna lly, in a cra cking
voice. “Do you ha ve your stele?”
Alec rea ched for his belt, looking baʀed. “Of course.” He held the ste
le out to Ja ce. “If
you need a n iratze —”
“Not for me,” Ja ce sa id, still in the same odd, cra cked voice. “Her.”
He p ointed a t Cla ry.
“She needs it more tha n I do.” His eyes met Alec’s, gold a nd blue. “Plea se, Alec,” h
e sa id, the
ha rshness gone from his voice a s suddenly a s it ha d come. “Help her for me.”
He turned a nd wa lked awa y, towa rd the fa r side of the room, where the gl
a ss doors were.
He stood, sta ring through them—a t the ga rden outside or his own reɻec
tion, Cla ry couldn’t
Alec looked a f ter Ja ce for a moment, then came towa rd Cla ry a
nd Simon, stele in ha nd.
He indica ted tha t Simon should lower Cla ry to the ɻoor, which he d
id gently, letting her
bra ce her ba ck a ga inst the wa ll. He step p ed ba ck a s Alec knelt down ov
er her. She could see
the confusion in Alec’s fa ce, a nd his look of surp rise a s he saw
how ba d the cuts a cross her
a rm a nd a bdomen were. “Who did this to you?”
“I—” Cla ry looked help lessly towa rd Ja ce, who still ha d his ba ck to
them. She could see
his reɻection in the gla ss doors, his fa ce a white smudge, da rken
ed here a nd there with
bruises. The front of his shirt wa s da rk with blood. “It’s ha rd to exp la in.”
“Why didn’t you summon us?” Isa belle dema nded, her voice thin with betra
ya l. “Why

didn’t you tell us you were coming here? Why didn’t you send a ɹre-messa
ge, or anything?
You know we would ha ve come if you needed us.”
“There wa sn’t time,” Simon sa id. “And I didn’t know Cla ry a nd Ja ce were
going to be
here. I thought I wa s the only one. It didn’t seem right to dra g you into my p
“D-dra g me into your p roblems?” Isa belle sp uttered. “You—,” she bega n—a nd t
hen to
everyone’s surp rise, clea rly including her own, she ɻung herself a t
Simon, wra p p ing her
a rms a round his neck. He sta ggered ba ckwa rd, unp rep a red for t
he a ssa ult, but he recovered
quickly enough. His a rms went a round her, nea rly sna gging on the
da ngling whip , a nd he
held her tightly, her da rk hea d just under his chin. Cla ry could
n’t quite tell—Isa belle wa s
sp ea king too sof tly—but it sounded like she wa s swea ring a t Simon under her
brea th.
Alec’s eyebrows went up , but he ma de no comment a s he bent over C
la ry, blocking her
view of Isa belle a nd Simon. He touched the stele to her skin, a nd she
jump ed a t the stinging
p a in. “I know it hurts,” he sa id in a low voice. “I think you hit
your hea d. Ma gnus ought to
look a t you. Wha t a bout Ja ce? How ba dly is he hurt?”
“I don’t know.” Cla ry shook her hea d. “He won’t let me nea r him.”
Alec p ut his ha nd under her chin, turning her fa ce from side to
side, a nd sketched a
second light iratze on the side of her throa t, just under her jaw
line. “Wha t did he do tha t he
thinks wa s so terrible?”
She f licked her eyes up towa rd him. “Wha t ma kes you think he did a nything?”
Alec let go of her chin. “Beca use I know him. And the wa y he p unishes himsel
f . Not letting
you nea r him is p unishing himself , not p unishing you.”
“He doesn’t want me nea r him,” Cla ry sa id, hea ring the rebelliousness i
n her own voice
a nd ha ting herself for being p etty.
“You’re a ll he ever wa nts,” sa id Alec in a surp risingly gentle tone,
a nd he sa t ba ck on his
heels, p ushing his long da rk ha ir out of his eyes. There wa s
something diʃerent a bout him
these da ys, Cla ry thought, a surety a bout himself he ha dn’t ha d
when she ha d ɹrst met him,
something tha t a llowed him to be generous with others a s he ha d
never been generous with
himself before. “How did you two wind up here, a nywa y? We didn’t e
ven notice you lea ve
the p a rty with Simon—”
“They didn’t,” sa id Simon. He a nd Isa belle ha d deta ched themselves, b
ut still stood close
to ea ch other, side by side. “I came here a lone. Well, not exa ctly a lone.
I wa s—summoned.”
Cla ry nodded. “It’s true. We didn’t lea ve the p a rty with him. When Ja
ce brought me here,
I ha d no idea Simon wa s going to be here too.”
“ Jace brought you here?” Isa belle sa id, ama zed. “Ja ce, if you knew
a bout Lilith a nd the
Church of Ta lto, you should ha ve sa id something.”

Ja ce wa s still sta ring through the doors. “I guess it slip p ed my mind,” he sa
id tonelessly.
Cla ry shook her hea d a s Alec a nd Isa belle looked from their a do
p tive brother to her, a s if
for a n exp la na tion of his beha vior. “It wa sn’t rea lly Ja ce,” she
sa id ɹna lly. “He wa s …
being controlled. By Lilith.”
“Possession?” Isa belle’s eyes rounded into surp rised Os. Her ha nd tighten
ed on her whip
ha ndle ref lexively.
Ja ce turned awa y from the doors. Slowly he rea ched up a nd drew
op en his ma ngled shirt
so tha t they could see the ugly p ossession rune, a nd the bloody
sla sh tha t ra n through it.
“Tha t,” he sa id, still in the same toneless voice, “is Lilith’s ma rk.
It’s how she controlled
Alec shook his hea d; he looked deep ly disturbed. “Ja ce, usua lly t
he only wa y to sever a
demonic connection like tha t is to kill the demon who’s doing the con
trolling. Lilith is one
of the most p owerful demons who ever—”
“She’s dea d,” sa id Cla ry a brup tly. “Simon killed her. Or I guess you
could sa y the Ma rk of
Ca in killed her.”
They a ll sta red a t Simon. “And wha t a bout you two? How did you
end up here?” he
a sked, his tone defensive.
“Looking for you,” Isa belle sa id. “We found tha t ca rd Lilith must ha v
e given you. In your
a p a rtment. Jorda n let us in. He’s with Ma ia , downsta irs.” She shuddered. “T
he things Lilith’s
been doing—you wouldn’t believe—s o horrible—”
Alec held his ha nds up . “Slow down, everyone. We’ll exp la in wha t ha
p p ened with us, a nd
then Simon, Cla ry, you exp la in wha t ha p p ened on your end.”
The exp la na tion took less time tha n Cla ry thought it would, with
Isa belle doing much of
the ta lking with wide, sweep ing ha nd gestures tha t threa tened, o
n occa sion, to sever one of
her friends’ unp rotected limbs with her whip . Alec took the op p ortu
nity to go out onto the
roof deck to send a ɹre-messa ge to the Cla ve telling them where th
ey were a nd a sking for
ba ckup . Ja ce step p ed a side wordlessly to let him by a s he lef
t, a nd a ga in when he came
ba ck in. He didn’t sp ea k during Simon a nd Cla ry’s exp la na tion of
wha t ha d ha p p ened on
the roof top either, even when they got to the p a rt a bout Ra zie
l ha ving ra ised Ja ce from the
dea d ba ck in Idris. It wa s Izzy who ɹna lly interrup ted, when Cla
ry bega n to exp la in a bout
Lilith being Seba stia n’s “mother” a nd keep ing his body enca sed in gla ss.
“Seba stia n?” Isa belle slammed her whip a ga inst the ground with enough
force to op en up
a cra ck in the ma rble. “ Se bas tian is out there? And he’s not dea d
?” She turned to look a t
Ja ce, who wa s lea ning a ga inst the gla ss doors, a rms crossed, e
xp ressionless. “I saw him die.
I saw Ja ce cut his sp ine in ha lf , a nd I saw him fa ll into the river.

And now you’re telling me
he’s alive out there?”
“No,” Simon ha stened to rea ssure her. “His body’s there, but he’s not a li
ve. Lilith didn’t
get to comp lete the ceremony.” Simon p ut a ha nd on her shoulder,
but she shook it oʃ. She
ha d gone a dea dly white color.
“‘Not rea lly a live’ isn’t dea d enough for me,” she sa id. “I’m going out the
e a nd I’m going
to cut him into a thousa nd p ieces.” She turned towa rd the doors.
“Iz!” Simon p ut his ha nd on her shoulder. “Izzy. No.”
“No?” She looked a t him incredulously. “Give me one good rea son why I
shouldn’t chop
him into worthless-ba sta rd-themed confetti.”
Simon’s eyes da rted a round the room, resting for a moment on Ja ce, a s if h
e exp ected him
to chime in or a dd a comment. He didn’t; he didn’t even move. Fina
lly Simon sa id, “Look,
you understa nd a bout the ritua l, right? Beca use Ja ce wa s brought
ba ck from the dea d, tha t
ga ve Lilith the p ower to ra ise Seba stia n. And to do tha t, she need
ed Ja ce there a nd a live, a s
—wha t did she ca ll it—”
“A counterweight,” p ut in Cla ry.
“Tha t ma rk tha t Ja ce ha s on his chest. Lilith’s ma rk.” In a seemin
gly unconscious gesture,
Simon touched his own chest, just over the hea rt. “Seba stia n ha s
it too. I saw them both
f la sh a t the same time when Ja ce step p ed into the circle.”
Isa belle, her whip twitching a t her side, her teeth biting into
her red bottom lip , sa id
imp a tiently, “And?”
“I think she wa s ma king a tie between them,” sa id Simon. “If Ja ce
died, Seba stia n
couldn’t live. So if you cut Seba stia n into p ieces—”
“It could hurt Ja ce,” Cla ry sa id, the words sp illing out of her a
s she rea lized. “Oh, my
God. Oh, Izzy, you ca n’t.”
“So we’re just going to let him live ?” Isa belle sounded incredulous.
“Cut him to p ieces if you like,” Ja ce sa id. “You ha ve my p ermission.”
“Shut up ,” sa id Alec. “Stop a cting like your life doesn’t ma tter. Iz,
weren’t you listening?
Seba stia n’s not a live.”
“He’s not dea d, either. Not dea d e nough.”
“We need the Cla ve,” sa id Alec. “We need to give him over to the Sile
nt Brothers. They
ca n sever his connection to Ja ce, a nd then you’ll get a ll the blo
od you wa nt, Iz. He’s
Vale ntine ’s s on. And he’s a murderer. Everyone lost someone in the
ba ttle in Alica nte, or
knows someone who did. You think they’ll be kind to him? They’ll ta ke
him a p a rt slowly
while he’s still living.”
Isa belle sta red up a t her brother. Very slowly tea rs welled in
her eyes, sp illing down her
cheeks, strea king the dirt a nd blood on her skin. “I ha te it,” she
sa id. “I ha te it when you’re
Alec p ulled his sister closer a nd kissed the top of her hea d. “I know you do

She squeezed her brother’s ha nd brieɻy, then drew ba ck. “Fine,” she sa id
. “I won’t touch
Seba stia n. But I ca n’t sta nd to be this close to him.” She gla nced
towa rd the gla ss doors,
where Ja ce still stood. “Let’s go downsta irs. We ca n wa it for the Cla ve
in the lobby. And we
need to get Ma ia a nd Jorda n; they’re p roba bly wondering where we went.”
Simon clea red his throa t. “Someone should sta y up here just to kee
p a n eye on—on
things. I’ll do it.”
“No.” It wa s Ja ce. “You go downsta irs. I’ll sta y. All of this is my fa ult. I
should ha ve ma de
sure Seba stia n wa s dea d when I ha d the cha nce. And a s for the rest of i
His voice tra iled oʃ. But Cla ry remembered him touching her fa ce in
a da rk ha llwa y in
the Institute, remembered him whisp ering, Me a culpa, me a maxima culpa.
My fault, my fault, my own mos t grie vous fault.
She turned to look a t the others; Isa belle ha d p ushed the ca ll
button, which wa s lit. Cla ry
could hea r the dista nt hum of the rising eleva tor. Isa belle’s brow
crea sed. “Alec, ma ybe you
should sta y up here with Ja ce.”
“I don’t need help ,” Ja ce sa id. “There’s nothing to ha ndle. I’ll be f ine.”
Isa belle threw her ha nds up a s the eleva tor a rrived with a ping
. “Fine. You win. Sulk up
here a lone if you wa nt.” She sta lked into the eleva tor, Simon a n
d Alec crowding in a f ter
her. Cla ry wa s the la st to follow, turning ba ck to look a t Ja
ce a s she went. He ha d gone
ba ck to sta ring a t the doors, but she could see his reɻection in
them. His mouth wa s
comp ressed into a bloodless line, his eyes da rk.
Jace , she thought a s the eleva tor doors bega n to close. She wil
led him to turn, to look a t
her. He didn’t, but she felt strong ha nds suddenly on her shoulders, shoving h
er forwa rd. She
hea rd Isa belle sa y, “Alec, wha t on ea rth a re you—” a s she stumbled
through the eleva tor
doors a nd righted herself , turning to sta re. The doors were closi
ng behind her, but through
them she could see Alec. He ga ve her a rueful little ha lf smile a nd a
shrug, a s if to sa y, What
e ls e was I s uppos e d to do? Cla ry step p ed forwa rd, but it
wa s too la te; the eleva tor doors ha d
cla nged shut.
She wa s a lone in the room with Ja ce.
The room wa s littered with dea d bodies—crump led ɹgures a ll in gra y h
ooded tra cksuits,
ɻung or crump led or slump ed a ga inst the wa ll. Ma ia stood by the
window, brea thing ha rd,
looking out a cross the scene in front of her with disbelief . She
ha d ta ken p a rt in the ba ttle
a t Brocelind in Idris, a nd ha d thought tha t wa s the worst thing
she would ever see. But
somehow this wa s worse. The blood tha t ra n from dea d cult members wa sn’t dem
on ichor; it
wa s huma n blood. And the ba bies—silent a nd dea d in their cribs,
their sma ll ta loned ha nds
folded one over the other, like dolls…

She looked down a t her own ha nds. Her claws were still out, sta
ined with blood from tip
to root; she retra cted them, a nd the blood ra n down her p a lms,
sta ining her wrists. Her feet
were ba re a nd bloodsta ined, a nd there wa s a long scra tch a lon
g one ba re shoulder still
oozing red, though it ha d a lrea dy begun to hea l. Desp ite the s
wif t hea ling lyca nthrop y
p rovided, she knew she’d wa ke up tomorrow covered in bruises. When
you were a
werewolf , bruises ra rely la sted more tha n a da y. She remembered
when she ha d been
huma n, a nd her brother, Da niel, ha d ma de himself a n exp ert
in p inching her ha rd in p la ces
where the bruises wouldn’t show.
“Ma ia .” Jorda n came in through one of the unɹnished doors, ducking a
bundle of
da ngling wires. He stra ightened up a nd moved towa rd her, p ickin
g his wa y among the
bodies. “Are you a ll right?”
The look of concern on his fa ce knotted her stoma ch.
“Where a re Isa belle a nd Alec?”
He shook his hea d. He ha d susta ined much less visible dama ge tha
n she ha d. His thick
lea ther ja cket ha d p rotected him, a s ha d his jea ns a nd boots.
There wa s a long scra p e a long
his cheek, dried blood in his light brown ha ir a nd sta ining the
bla de of the knife he held.
“I’ve sea rched the whole ɻoor. Ha ven’t seen them. Coup le more bodies in
the other rooms.
They might ha ve—”
The night lit up like a sera p h bla de. The windows went white,
a nd bright light sea red
through the room. For a moment Ma ia thought the world ha d ca ugh
t on ɹre, a nd Jorda n,
moving towa rd her through the light, seemed a lmost to disa p p ea r,
white on white, into a
shimmering ɹeld of silver. She hea rd herself scream, a nd she moved
blindly ba ckwa rd,
ba nging her hea d on the p la te gla ss window. She p ut her ha nds up to cov
er her eyes—
And the light wa s gone. Ma ia lowered her ha nds, the world swing
ing a round her. She
rea ched out blindly, a nd Jorda n wa s there. She p ut her a rms a
round him—threw them
a round him, the wa y she used to when he came to p ick her up from her house,
a nd he would
swing her into his a rms, winding the curls of her ha ir through his f ingers.
He ha d been slighter then, na rrow-shouldered. Now muscle corded his
bones, a nd holding
him wa s like holding on to something a bsolutely solid, a p illa r
of gra nite in the midst of a
blowing desert sa ndstorm. She clung on to him, a nd hea rd the bea
t of his hea rt under her
ea r a s his ha nds smoothed her ha ir, one rough, soothing stroke a t
a time, comforting a nd …
familia r. “Ma ia … it’s a ll right…”
She ra ised her hea d a nd p ressed her mouth to his. He ha d cha n
ged in so ma ny wa ys, but
the feel of kissing him wa s the same, his mouth a s sof t a s ev

er. He went rigid for a second
with surp rise, a nd then ga thered her up a ga inst him, his ha nd
s stroking slow circles on her
ba re ba ck. She remembered the ɹrst time they ha d ever kissed. She
ha d ha nded him her
ea rrings to p ut in the glove comp a rtment of his ca r, a nd his
ha nd ha d sha ken so ba dly he’d
drop p ed them a nd then a p ologized a nd a p ologized until she kisse
d him to shut him up .
She’d thought he wa s the sweetest boy she’d ever known.
And then he wa s bitten, a nd everything cha nged.
She drew awa y, dizzy a nd brea thing ha rd. He let her go insta nt
ly; he wa s sta ring a t her,
his mouth op en, his eyes da zed.
Behind him, through the window, she could see the city—she ha d ha lf
exp ected it to be
ɻa ttened, a bla sted white desert outside the window—but everything wa s
exa ctly the same.
Nothing ha d cha nged. Lights blinked on a nd oʃ in the buildings a cr
oss the street; she could
hea r the fa int rush of traɽc below. “We should go,” she sa id. “We sho
uld look for the
“Ma ia ,” he sa id. “Why did you just kiss me?”
“I don’t know,” she sa id. “Do you think we should try the eleva tors?”
“Ma ia—”
“I don’t know, Jorda n,” she sa id. “I don’t know why I kissed you, a nd I
don’t know if I’m
going to do it a ga in, but I do know I’m frea ked out a nd worried
a bout my friends a nd I
wa nt to get out of here. Oka y?”
He nodded. He looked like there were a million things he wa nted t
o sa y but ha d
determined not to sa y them, for which she wa s gra teful. He ra n
a ha nd through his tousled
ha ir, rimed white with p la ster dust, a nd nodded. “Oka y.”
Silence. Ja ce wa s still lea ning a ga inst the door, only now he
ha d his forehea d p ressed
a ga inst it, his eyes closed. Cla ry wondered if he even knew she
wa s in the room with him.
She took a step forwa rd, but before she could sa y a nything, he
p ushed the doors op en a nd
wa lked ba ck out into the ga rden.
She stood still for a moment, sta ring a f ter him. She could ca l
l for the eleva tor, of course,
ride it down, wa it for the Cla ve in the lobby with everyone else.
If Ja ce didn’t wa nt to ta lk,
he didn’t wa nt to ta lk. She couldn’t force him to. If Alec wa s ri
ght, a nd he wa s p unishing
himself , she’d just ha ve to wa it until he got over it.
She turned towa rd the eleva tor—a nd stop p ed. A little ɻame of a nger
licked its wa y
through her, ma king her eyes burn. No, she thought. She didn’t ha v
e to let him beha ve like
this. Ma ybe he could be this wa y to everyone else, but not to h
er. He owed her better tha n
tha t. They owed ea ch other better tha n tha t.
She whirled a nd ma de her wa y to the doors. Her a nkle still a ched,
but the iratze s Alec ha d
p ut on her were working. Most of the p a in in her body ha d sub

sided to a dull, throbbing
a che. She rea ched the doors a nd p ushed them op en, step p ing on
to the roof terra ce with a
wince a s her ba re feet came into conta ct with the freezing tiles.
She saw Ja ce immedia tely; he wa s kneeling nea r the step s, on t
iles sta ined with blood
a nd ichor a nd glittering with sa lt. He rose a s she a p p roa ched
, a nd he turned, something
shiny da ngling from his ha nd.
The Morgenstern ring, on its cha in.
The wind ha d come up ; it blew his da rk gold ha ir a cross his f
a ce. He p ushed it awa y
imp a tiently a nd sa id, “I just remembered tha t we lef t this here.”
His voice sounded surp risingly norma l.
“Is tha t why you wa nted to sta y up here?” sa id Cla ry. “To get it ba ck?”
He turned his ha nd, so the cha in swung upwa rd, his ɹngers closing
over the ring. “I’m
a tta ched to it. It’s stup id, I know.”
“You could ha ve sa id, or Alec could ha ve sta yed—”
“I don’t belong with the rest of you,” he sa id a brup tly. “Af ter wha t
I did, I don’t deserve
iratze s a nd hea ling a nd hugs a nd being consoled a nd wha tever e
lse it is my friends a re
going to think I need. I’d ra ther sta y up here with him.” He jerked
his chin towa rd the p la ce
where Seba stia n’s motionless body la y in the op en coɽn, on its stone
p edesta l. “And I sure
a s hell don’t deserve you.”
Cla ry crossed her a rms over her chest. “Ha ve you ever thought a bout wha t I
deserve? Tha t
ma ybe I deserve to get a cha nce to ta lk to you a bout wha t ha p p ened?”
He sta red a t her. They were only a few feet a p a rt, but it felt a s if a
n inexp ressible gulf la y
between them. “I don’t know why you would even wa nt to look a t me,
much less ta lk to
“Ja ce,” she sa id. “Those things you did—tha t wa sn’t you.”
He hesita ted. The sky wa s so bla ck, the lit windows of the nea rby s
kyscra p ers so bright, it
wa s a s if they stood in the center of a net of shining jewels. “If
it wa sn’t me,” he sa id, “then
why ca n I remember e ve rything I did? When p eop le a re p ossessed,
a nd they come ba ck from
it, they don’t remember wha t they did when the demon inha bited them.
But I remember
e ve rything.” He turned a brup tly a nd wa lked awa y, towa rd the roof
ga rden wa ll. She
followed him, gla d for the dista nce it p ut between them a nd Seba
stia n’s body, now hidden
from view by a row of hedges.
“Ja ce!” she ca lled out, a nd he turned, his ba ck to the wa ll, slu
mp ing a ga inst it. Behind
him a city’s worth of electricity lit up the night like the demon
towers of Alica nte. “You
remember beca use she wa nted you to remember,” Cla ry sa id, ca tching
up with him, a little
brea thless. “She did this to torture you a s much a s she did it to
get Simon to do wha t she
wa nted. She wa nted you to ha ve to wa tch yourself hurt the p eop le you lov

“I wa s wa tching,” he sa id in a low voice. “It wa s a s if some p a
rt of me wa s oʃ a t a
dista nce, wa tching a nd screaming a t myself to stop . But the re
st of me felt comp letely
p ea ceful a nd like wha t I wa s doing wa s right. Like it wa s the only thing
I could do. I wonder
if tha t’s how Va lentine felt a bout everything he did. Like it wa s
so ea sy to be right.” He
looked awa y from her. “I ca n’t sta nd it,” he sa id. “You shouldn’t be he
re with me. You
should just go.”
Instea d of lea ving, Cla ry moved to sta nd beside him a ga inst th
e wa ll. Her a rms were
a lrea dy wra p p ed a round herself ; she wa s shivering. Fina lly,
relucta ntly, he turned his hea d
to look a t her a ga in. “Cla ry…”
“You don’t get to decide,” she sa id, “where I go, or when.”
“I know.” His voice wa s ra gged. “I’ve a lwa ys known tha t a bout you. I
don’t know why I
ha d to fa ll in love with someone who’s more stubborn tha n I am.”
Cla ry wa s silent a moment. Her hea rt ha d contra cted a t those
two words—“in love.” “All
those things you sa id to me,” she sa id in a ha lf whisp er, “on th
e terra ce a t the Ironworks—
did you mea n them?”
His golden eyes dulled. “Which things?”
That you love d me , she a lmost sa id, but thinking ba ck—he ha dn’t s
a id tha t, ha d he? Not
the words themselves. The imp lica tion ha d been there. And the tru
th of the fa ct, tha t they
loved ea ch other, wa s something she knew a s clea rly a s she knew her own na
“You kep t a sking me if I would love you if you were like Seba stia n, like Va
“And you sa id then I wouldn’t be me. Look how wrong tha t turned out
to be,” he sa id,
bitterness coloring his voice. “Wha t I did tonight—”
Cla ry moved towa rd him; he tensed, but didn’t move awa y. She took
hold of the front of
his shirt, lea ned in closely, a nd sa id, enuncia ting ea ch word clea rly,
“Tha t wa sn’t you.”
“Tell tha t to your mother,” he sa id. “Tell it to Luke, when they a sk where this
came from.”
He touched her colla rbone gently; the wound wa s hea led now, but
her skin, a nd the fa bric
of her dress, were still sta ined da rkly with blood.
“I’ll tell them,” she sa id. “I’ll tell them it wa s my fa ult.”
He looked a t her, gold eyes incredulous. “You ca n’t lie to them.”
“I’m not. I brought you ba ck,” she sa id. “You were dea d, a nd I broug
ht you ba ck. I up set
the ba la nce, not you. I op ened the door for Lilith a nd her stu
p id ritua l. I could ha ve a sked
for a nything, a nd I a sked for you.” She tightened her grip on his
shirt, her ɹngers white
with cold a nd p ressure. “And I would do it again. I love you, Ja
ce Wa yla nd—Heronda le—
Lightwood—wha tever you wa nt to ca ll yourself . I don’t ca re. I love
you a nd I will a lwa ys
love you, a nd p retending it could be a ny other wa y is just a wa ste of ti

A look of such p a in crossed his fa ce tha t Cla ry felt her hea r
t tighten. Then he rea ched out
a nd took her fa ce between his ha nds. His p a lms were wa rm a ga inst her ch
“Remember when I told you,” he sa id, his voice a s sof t a s she ha d
ever hea rd it, “tha t I
didn’t know if there wa s a God or not, but either wa y, we were
comp letely on our own? I
still don’t know the a nswer; I only knew tha t there wa s such a t
hing a s fa ith, a nd tha t I
didn’t deserve to ha ve it. And then there wa s you. You cha nged ev
erything I believed in.
You know tha t line from Da nte tha t I quoted to you in the p a rk
? ‘L’amor che move il s ole e
l’altre s te lle ’?”
Her lip s curled a little a t the sides a s she looked up a t him. “I still don’t
sp ea k Ita lia n.”
“It’s a bit of the very la st verse from P aradis o—Da nte’s P aradis e . ‘My will and m
y de s ire we re
turne d by love , the love that move s the s un and the othe r
s tars . ’ Da nte wa s trying to exp la in
fa ith, I think, a s a n overp owering love, a nd ma ybe it’s bla sp
hemous, but tha t’s how I think
of the wa y tha t I love you. You came into my life a nd suddenly I ha d one t
ruth to hold on to
—tha t I loved you, a nd you loved me.”
Though he seemed to be looking a t her, his ga ze wa s dista nt, a
s if ɹxed on something fa r
awa y.
“Then I sta rted to ha ve the dreams,” he went on. “And I thought ma ybe
I’d been wrong.
Tha t I didn’t deserve you. Tha t I didn’t deserve to be p erfectly ha
p p y—I mea n, God, who
deserves that? And a f ter tonight—”
“Stop .” She ha d been clutching his shirt; she loosened her grip now,
ɻa ttening her ha nds
a ga inst his chest. His hea rt wa s ra cing under her ɹngertip s; his
cheeks ɻushed, a nd not just
from the cold. “Ja ce. Through everything tha t ha p p ened tonight, I
knew one thing. Tha t it
wa sn’t you hurting me. It wa sn’t you doing these things. I ha ve a n a bsolute
belief tha t you a re good. And tha t will never cha nge.”
Ja ce took a deep , shuddering brea th. “I don’t even know how to try to deserve
tha t.”
“You don’t ha ve to. I ha ve enough fa ith in you,” she sa id, “for both of us.”
His ha nds slid into her ha ir. The mist of their exha led brea th
rose between them, a white
cloud. “I missed you so much,” he sa id, a nd kissed her, his mouth
gentle on hers, not
desp era te a nd hungry the wa y it ha d been the la st few times he
ha d kissed her, but familia r
a nd tender a nd sof t.
She closed her eyes a s the world seemed to sp in a round her like
a p inwheel. Sliding her
ha nds up his chest, she stretched upwa rd a s fa r a s she could,
wra p p ing her a rms a round his
neck, rising up on her toes to meet his mouth with hers. His ɹnger
s skimmed down her
body, over skin a nd sa tin, a nd she shivered, lea ning into him,

a nd she wa s sure they both
ta sted like blood a nd a shes a nd sa lt, but it didn’t ma tter; the
world, the city, a nd a ll its
lights a nd life seemed to ha ve na rrowed down to this, just her a
nd Ja ce, the burning hea rt
of a frozen world.
He drew awa y ɹrst, relucta ntly. She rea lized why a moment la ter.
The sound of honking
ca rs a nd screeching tires from the street below wa s a udible, even
up here. “The Cla ve,” he
sa id resignedly—though he ha d to clea r his throa t to get the words out, Cla r
y wa s p lea sed to
hea r. His fa ce wa s f lushed, a s she ima gined hers wa s. “They’re here.”
With her ha nd in his Cla ry looked over the edge of the roof wa
ll a nd saw tha t a number
of long bla ck ca rs ha d drawn up in front of the sca ʃolding. Pe
op le were p iling out. It wa s
ha rd to recognize them from this height, but Cla ry thought she saw
Ma ryse, a nd severa l
other p eop le dressed in gea r. A moment la ter Luke’s truck roa red up to the
curb a nd Jocelyn
lea p ed out. Cla ry would ha ve known it wa s her, just from the
wa y she moved, a t a grea ter
dista nce tha n this one.
Cla ry turned to Ja ce. “My mom,” she sa id. “I’d better get downsta irs.
I don’t wa nt her
coming up here a nd seeing—a nd seeing him.” She jerked her chin towa rd Seba stia
n’s cof f in.
He stroked her ha ir ba ck from her fa ce. “I don’t wa nt to let you out of my sig
“Then, come with me.”
“No. Someone should sta y up here.” He took her ha nd, turned it over
, a nd drop p ed the
Morgenstern ring into it, the cha in p ooling like liquid meta l. The
cla sp ha d bent when she’d
torn it of f , but he’d ma na ged to p ush it ba ck into sha p e. “Plea se ta ke i
Her eyes ɻicked down, a nd then, uncerta inly, ba ck up to his fa c
e. “I wish I understood
wha t it mea nt to you.”
He shrugged slightly. “I wore it for a deca de,” he sa id. “Some p a rt
of me is in it. It mea ns
I trust you with my p a st a nd a ll the secrets tha t p a st ca rri
es. And besides”—lightly he
touched one of the sta rs engra ved a round the rim—“‘the love tha t moves the
sun a nd a ll the
other sta rs. ’ Pretend tha t tha t’s wha t the sta rs sta nd for, not Morgenstern.”
In a nswer she drop p ed the cha in ba ck over her hea d, feeling th
e ring settle in its
a ccustomed p la ce, below her colla rbone. It felt like a p uzzle
p iece clicking ba ck into p la ce.
For a moment their eyes locked in wordless communica tion, more inte
nse in some wa ys
tha n their p hysica l conta ct ha d been; she held the ima ge of him in
her mind in tha t moment
a s if she were memorizing it—the ta ngled golden ha ir, the sha dows
ca st by his la shes, the
rings of da rker gold inside the light amber of his eyes. “I’ll be r
ight ba ck,” she sa id. She
squeezed his ha nd. “Five minutes.”

“Go on,” he sa id roughly, relea sing her ha nd, a nd she turned a nd
went ba ck down the
p a th. The moment she step p ed awa y from him, she wa s cold a ga
in, a nd by the time she
rea ched the doors to the building, she wa s freezing. She p a used
a s she op ened the door, a nd
looked ba ck a t him, but he wa s only a sha dow, ba cklit by the glow of th
e New York skyline.
The love that move s the s un and all the othe r s tars , she
thought, a nd then, a s if in a nswering
echo, she hea rd Lilith’s words. The kind of love that can burn dow
n the world or rais e it up in
glory. A shiver ra n through her, a nd not just from the cold. Sh
e looked for Ja ce, but he ha d
va nished into the sha dows; she turned a nd hea ded ba ck inside, t
he door sliding shut behind
Alec ha d gone up sta irs to look for Jorda n a nd Ma ia , a nd Simo
n a nd Isa belle were a lone
together, sitting side by side on the green cha ise longue in the l
obby. Isa belle held Alec’s
witchlight in her ha nd, illumina ting the room with a nea rly sp ectra l glow
, sp a rking da ncing
motes of f ire from the p enda nt cha ndelier.
She ha d sa id very little since her brother ha d lef t them together
. Her hea d wa s bent, her
da rk ha ir fa lling forwa rd, her ga ze on her ha nds. They were d
elica te ha nds, long-ɹngered,
but ca lloused a s her brothers’ were. Simon ha d never noticed before,
but she wore a silver
ring on her right ha nd, with a p a ttern of ɻames a round the ba nd of it, a
nd a ca rved L in the
center. It reminded him of the ring Cla ry wore a round her neck, with its de
sign of sta rs.
“It’s the Lightwood family ring,” she sa id, noticing where his ga ze wa s
ɹxed. “Every
family ha s a n emblem. Ours is f ire.”
It s uits you, he thought. Izzy was like ɹre, in her ɻaming sca rlet
dress, with her moods a s
cha ngea ble a s sp a rks. On the roof he’d ha lf -thought she’d stra ngl
e him, her a rms a round his
neck a s she ca lled him every name under the sun while clutching hi
m like she’d never let
him go. Now she wa s sta ring oʃ into the dista nce, a s untoucha ble
a s a sta r. It wa s a ll very
You love the m s o, Camille ha d sa id, your Shadowhunte r frie nds . As t
he falcon love s the mas te r
who binds and blinds it.
“Wha t you told us,” he sa id, a little ha lting, wa tching Isa belle
wind a stra nd of her ha ir
a round her foreɹnger, “up there on the roof—tha t you ha dn’t known tha t
Cla ry a nd Ja ce
were missing, tha t you’d come here for me—wa s tha t true?”
Isa belle looked up , tucking the stra nd of ha ir behind her ea r. “Of course
it’s true,” she sa id
indigna ntly. “When we saw you were gone from the p a rty—a nd you’ve been
in da nger for
da ys, Simon, a nd wha t with Camille esca p ing—” She ca ught herself
up short. “And Jorda n’s

resp onsible for you. He wa s frea king out.”
“So it wa s his idea to come looking for me?”
Isa belle turned to look a t him for a long moment. Her eyes were
fa thomless a nd da rk. “I
wa s the one who noticed you were gone,” she sa id. “I wa s the one who wa nted to
f ind you.”
Simon clea red his throa t. He felt oddly light-hea ded. “But why? I
thought you ha ted me
It ha d been the wrong thing to sa y. Isa belle shook her hea d, h
er da rk ha ir ɻying, a nd
moved a little awa y from him on the settee. “Oh, Simon. Don’t be dense.”
“Iz.” He rea ched out a nd touched her wrist, hesita ntly. She didn’t mov
e awa y, just
wa tched him. “Camille sa id something to me in the Sa nctua ry. She
sa id tha t Sha dowhunters
didn’t ca re a bout Downworlders, just used them. She sa id the Nep hi
lim would never do for
me wha t I did for them. But you did. You came for me. You came for me .”
“Of course I did,” she sa id, in a muʀed little voice. “When I thought
something ha d
ha p p ened to you—”
He lea ned towa rd her. Their fa ces were inches from ea ch other. He
could see the reɻected
sp a rks of the cha ndelier in her bla ck eyes. Her lip s were p a
rted, a nd Simon could feel the
wa rmth of her brea th. For the ɹrst time since he ha d become a v
amp ire, he could feel hea t,
like a n electrica l cha rge p a ssing between them. “Isa belle,” he sa id
. Not Iz, not Izzy. Is abe lle .
“Ca n I—”
The eleva tor pinge d; the doors op ened, a nd Alec, Ma ia , a nd J
orda n sp illed out. Alec
looked susp iciously a t Simon a nd Isa belle a s they sp ra ng a p a r
t, but before he could sa y
a nything, the double doors of the lobby ɻew wide, a nd Sha dowhunter
s p oured into the
room. Simon recognized Ka dir a nd Ma ryse, who immedia tely ɻew a cros
s the room to
Isa belle a nd ca ught her by the shoulders, dema nding to know wha t ha d ha p
p ened.
Simon got to his feet a nd edged awa y, feeling uncomforta ble—a nd wa
s nea rly knocked
down by Ma gnus, ra cing a cross the room to get to Alec. He didn’t
seem to see Simon a t a ll.
Afte r all, in a hundre d, two hundre d, ye ars , it’ll be jus t y
ou and me . We ’ll be all that’s le ft,
Ma gnus ha d sa id to him in the Sa nctua ry. Feeling unuttera bly lo
nely among the milling
crowd of Sha dowhunters, Simon p ressed himself ba ck a ga inst the
wa ll in the va in hop e tha t
he wouldn’t be noticed.
Alec looked up just a s Ma gnus rea ched him, ca ught him, a nd p
ulled him close. His ɹngers
tra ced over Alec’s fa ce a s if checking for bruises or dama ge; und
er his brea th, he wa s
muttering, “How could you—go oʃ like this a nd not even tell me—I could ha
ve help ed you
“Stop it.” Alec p ulled awa y, feeling mutinous.

Ma gnus checked himself , his voice sobering. “I’m sorry,” he sa id. “I shouldn’t ha ve
lef t the
p a rty. I should ha ve sta yed with you. Camille’s gone a nywa y. No one’s got t
he slightest idea
where she went, a nd since you ca n’t tra ck vamp ires…” He shrugged.
Alec p ushed awa y the ima ge of Camille in his mind, cha ined to
the p ip e, looking a t him
with those ɹerce green eyes. “Never mind,” he sa id. “She doesn’t ma tter.
I know you were
just trying to help . I’m not a ngry with you for lea ving the p a rty, a nywa y
“But you were a ngry,” sa id Ma gnus. “I knew you were. Tha t’s why I wa
s so worried.
Running of f a nd p utting yourself in da nger just beca use you’re a ngry with
“I’m a Sha dowhunter,” Alec sa id. “Ma gnus, this is wha t I do. It’s not
a bout you. Next time
fa ll in love with a n insura nce a djuster or—”
“Alexa nder,” sa id Ma gnus. “There isn’t going to be a next time.” He lea n
ed his forehea d
a ga inst Alec’s, gold-green eyes sta ring into blue.
Alec’s hea rtbea t sp ed up . “Why not?” he sa id. “You live forever. Not everyone do
“I know I sa id tha t,” sa id Ma gnus. “But, Alexa nder—”
“Stop ca lling me tha t,” sa id Alec. “Alexa nder is wha t my p a rents c
a ll me. And I sup p ose
it’s very a dva nced of you to ha ve a ccep ted my morta lity so fa ta
listica lly—everything dies,
bla h, bla h—but how do you think tha t ma kes me fe e l? Ordina ry cou
p les ca n hope —hop e to
grow old together, hop e to live long lives a nd die a t the same
time, but we ca n’t hop e for
tha t. I don’t even know wha t it is you wa nt.”
Alec wa sn’t sure wha t he’d exp ected in resp onse—a nger or defensiveness
or even humor
—but Ma gnus’s voice only drop p ed, cra cking slightly when he sa id, “Al
ex—Alec. If I ga ve
you the imp ression I ha d a ccep ted the idea of your dea th I ca
n only a p ologize. I tried to, I
thought I ha d—a nd yet still I p ictured ha ving you for ɹf ty, sixty
more yea rs. I thought I
might be rea dy then to let you go. But it’s you, a nd I rea lize
now tha t I won’t be a ny more
rea dy to lose you then tha n I am right now.” He p ut his ha nds gen
tly to either side of Alec’s
fa ce. “Which is not a t a ll.”
“So wha t do we do?” Alec whisp ered.
Ma gnus shrugged, a nd smiled suddenly; with his messy bla ck ha ir
a nd the gleam in his
gold-green eyes, he looked like a mischievous teena ger. “Wha t everyo
ne does,” he rep lied.
“Like you sa id. Hop e.”
Alec a nd Ma gnus ha d begun kissing in the corner of the room, a
nd Simon wa sn’t quite sure
where to look. He didn’t wa nt them to think he wa s sta ring a t them during wha
t wa s clea rly
a p riva te moment, but wherever else he looked, he met the gla ri
ng eyes of Sha dowhunters.
Desp ite the fa ct tha t he’d fought with them in the ba nk a ga inst
Camille, none of them

looked a t him with p a rticula r friendliness. It wa s one thing for Isa belle
to a ccep t him a nd to
ca re a bout him, but Sha dowhunters en ma sse were a nother thing en
tirely. He could tell
wha t they were thinking. “Vamp ire, Downworlder, enemy” wa s written a
ll over their fa ces.
It came a s a relief when the doors burst op en a ga in a nd Jocel
yn came ɻying in, still
wea ring her blue dress from the p a rty. Luke wa s only a few step s behind h
“Simon!” she cried a s soon a s she ca ught sight of him. She ra n ov
er to him, a nd to his
surp rise she hugged him f iercely before letting him go. “Simon, where’s Cla ry?
Is she—”
Simon op ened his mouth, but no sound came out. How could he exp l
a in to Jocelyn, of a ll
p eop le, wha t ha d ha p p ened tha t night? Jocelyn, who would be
horriɹed to know tha t so
much of Lilith’s evil, the children she ha d murdered, the blood she
ha d sp illed, ha d a ll been
in the service of ma king more crea tures like Jocelyn’s own dea d son
, whose body even now
la y entombed on the roof top where Cla ry wa s with Ja ce?
I can’t te ll he r any of this , he thought. I can’t. He looked p a s
t her a t Luke, whose blue eyes
rested on him exp ecta ntly. Behind Cla ry’s family he could see the S
ha dowhunters crowding
a round Isa belle a s she p resuma bly recounted the events of the evening.
“I—,” he bega n help lessly, a nd then the eleva tor doors op ened a ga in,
a nd Cla ry step p ed
out. Her shoes were gone, her lovely sa tin dress in bloody ra gs,
bruises a lrea dy fa ding on
her ba re a rms a nd legs. But she wa s smiling—ra dia nt even, ha p p
ier tha n Simon ha d seen
her look in weeks.
“Mom!” she excla imed, a nd then Jocelyn ha d ɻown a t her a nd wa s hugg
ing her. Cla ry
smiled a t Simon over her mother’s shoulder. Simon gla nced a round the
room. Alec a nd
Ma gnus were still wra p p ed up in ea ch other, a nd Ma ia a nd J
orda n ha d va nished. Isa belle
wa s still surrounded by Sha dowhunters, a nd Simon could hea r ga sp
s of horror a nd
ama zement rise from the group surrounding her a s she recounted her
story. He susp ected
some p a rt of her wa s enjoying it. Isa belle did love being the
center of a ttention, no ma tter
wha t the ca use.
He felt a ha nd come down on his shoulder. It wa s Luke. “Are you a ll right,
Simon looked up a t him. Luke looked a s he a lwa ys did: solid, p rofessori
a l, utterly relia ble.
Not even the lea st bit p ut out tha t his enga gement p a rty ha d
been disrup ted by a sudden
drama tic emergency.
Simon’s fa ther ha d died so long a go tha t he ba rely remembered him. Rebecca
reca lled bits
a bout him—tha t he ha d a bea rd, a nd would help her build ela bor
a te towers out of blocks—
but Simon didn’t. It wa s one of the things he’d thought he a lwa ys

ha d in common with
Cla ry, tha t ha d bonded them: both with dea d fa thers, both brou
ght up by strong single
Well, a t lea st one of those things ha d turned out to be true,
Simon thought. Though his
mother ha d da ted, he’d never ha d a consistent fa therly p resence i
n his life, other tha n Luke.
He sup p osed tha t in a wa y, he a nd Cla ry ha d sha red Luke.
And the wolf p a ck looked up to
Luke for guida nce, a s well. For a ba chelor who’d never ha d child
ren, Simon thought, Luke
ha d a n awful lot of kids to look a f ter.
“I don’t know,” Simon sa id, giving Luke the honest a nswer he’d like to t
hink he’d ha ve
given his own fa ther. “I don’t think so.”
Luke turned Simon to fa ce him. “You’re covered in blood,” he sa id. “And
I’m guessing it’s
not yours, beca use…” He gestured towa rd the Ma rk on Simon’s forehea d.
“But hey.” His
voice wa s gentle. “Even covered in blood a nd with the Ma rk of Ca
in on you, you’re still
Simon. Ca n you tell me wha t ha p p ened?”
“It’s not my blood, you’re right,” Simon sa id hoa rsely. “But it’s a lso kind
of a long story.”
He tilted his hea d ba ck to look up a t Luke; he’d a lwa ys wondere
d if ma ybe he’d ha ve
a nother growth sp urt some da y, grow a few more inches tha n the
ɹve-ten he wa s now, be
a ble to look Luke—not to mention Ja ce—stra ight in the eye. But tha t
would never ha p p en
now. “Luke,” he sa id. “Do you think it’s p ossible to do something so ba
d, even if you didn’t
mea n to do it, tha t you ca n never come ba ck from it? Tha t no one ca n forg
ive you?”
Luke looked a t him for a long, silent moment. Then he sa id, “Thi
nk of someone you love,
Simon . Re ally love. Is there a nything they could ever do tha t wo
uld mea n you would stop
loving them?”
Ima ges ɻa shed through Simon’s mind, like the p a ges of a ɻip -book:
Cla ry, turning to
smile a t him over her shoulder; his sister, tickling him when he
wa s just a little kid; his
mother, a sleep on the sofa with the coverlet p ulled up to her shoulders;
He shut the thoughts oʃ ha stily. Cla ry ha dn’t done a nything so terri
ble tha t he needed to
dredge up forgiveness for her; none of the p eop le he wa s p ictu
ring ha d. He thought of
Cla ry, forgiving her mother for ha ving stolen her memories. He tho
ught of Ja ce, wha t he
ha d done on the roof , how he ha d looked a f terwa rd. He ha d done wha t he
ha d done without
volition of his own, but Simon doubted Ja ce would be a ble to for
give himself , rega rdless.
And then he thought of Jorda n—not forgiving himself for wha t he ha
d done to Ma ia , but
forging a hea d a nywa y, joining the Pra etor Lup us, ma king a life out of
help ing others.

“I bit someone,” he sa id. The words came out of his mouth, a nd he
wished he could
swa llow them ba ck. He bra ced himself for Luke’s look of horror, but it didn’t
“Did they live?” Luke sa id. “This p erson tha t you bit. Did they survive?”
“I—” How to exp la in a bout Ma ureen? Lilith ha d ordered her awa y, but
Simon wa s sure
they ha dn’t seen the la st of her. “I didn’t kill her.”
Luke nodded once. “You know how werewolves become p a ck lea ders,” he s
a id. “They
ha ve to kill the old p a ck lea der. I’ve done tha t twice. I ha ve
the sca rs to p rove it.” He drew
the colla r of his shirt a side slightly, a nd Simon saw the edge
of a thick white sca r tha t
looked ra gged, a s if his chest ha d been clawed. “The second time
it wa s a ca lcula ted move.
Cold-blooded killing. I wa nted to become the lea der, a nd tha t wa
s how I did it.” He
shrugged. “You’re a vamp ire. It’s in your na ture to wa nt to drink bl
ood. You’ve held out a
long time without doing it. I know you ca n wa lk in the sun, Sim
on, a nd so you p ride
yourself on being a norma l huma n boy, but you’re still wha t you
a re. Just like I am. The
more you try to crush your true na ture, the more it will control
you. Be wha t you a re. No
one who rea lly loves you will stop .”
Simon sa id hoa rsely, “My mom—”
“Cla ry told me wha t ha p p ened with your mother, a nd tha t you’ve be
en cra shing with
Jorda n Kyle,” sa id Luke. “Look, your mother will come a round, Simon.
Like Ama tis did,
with me. You’re still her son. I’ll ta lk to her, if you wa nt me to.”
Simon shook his hea d silently. His mother ha d a lwa ys liked Luke.
Dea ling with the fa ct
tha t Luke wa s a werewolf would p roba bly ma ke things worse, not better.
Luke nodded a s if he understood. “If you don’t wa nt to go ba ck to
Jorda n’s, you’re more
tha n welcome to sta y on my sofa tonight. I’m sure Cla ry would be gla d
to ha ve you a round,
a nd we ca n ta lk a bout wha t to do a bout your mother tomorrow.”
Simon squa red his shoulders. He looked a t Isa belle a cross the roo
m, the gleam of her
whip , the shine of the p enda nt a t her throa t, the ɻutter of h
er ha nds a s she ta lked. Isa belle,
who wa sn’t a fra id of a nything. He thought of his mother, the wa
y she ha d ba cked awa y
from him, the fea r in her eyes. He’d been hiding from the memory,
running from it, ever
since. But it wa s time to stop running. “No,” he sa id. “Tha nks, bu
t I think I don’t need a
p la ce to cra sh tonight. I think … tha t I’m going to go home.”
Ja ce stood a lone on the roof , looking out over the city, the Ea
st River a silvery-bla ck sna ke
twining between Brooklyn a nd Ma nha tta n. His ha nds, his lip s, s
till felt wa rm from Cla ry’s
touch, but the wind oʃ the river wa s icy, a nd the wa rmth wa s fa
ding fa st. Without a ja cket
the a ir cut through the thin ma teria l of his shirt like the bla de of a kn

He took a deep brea th, sucking the cold a ir into his lungs, a nd let
it out slowly. His whole
body felt tense. He wa s wa iting for the sound of the eleva tor,
the doors op ening, the
Sha dowhunters ɻooding out into the ga rden. They would be symp a thetic
a t ɹrst, he
thought, worried a bout him. Then, a s they understood wha t ha d h
a p p ened—then would
come the shrinking awa y, the mea ningful looks excha nged when they
thought he wa sn’t
wa tching. He ha d been p ossessed—not just by a demon, but by a G
rea ter Demon—ha d
a cted a ga inst the Cla ve, ha d threa tened a nd hurt a nother Sha dowhunter.
He thought a bout how Jocelyn would look a t him when she hea rd wha
t he’d done to
Cla ry. Luke might understa nd, forgive. But Jocelyn. He ha d never
been a ble to bring
himself to sp ea k to her honestly, to sa y the words he thought m
ight rea ssure her. I love your
daughte r, more than I e ve r thought it was pos s ible to love anything.
I would ne ve r hurt he r.
She would just look a t him, he thought, with those green eyes tha
t were so like Cla ry’s.
She would wa nt more tha n tha t. She would wa nt to hea r him sa y
wha t he wa sn’t sure wa s
I am nothing like Vale ntine .
Are n’t you? The words seemed ca rried on the cold a ir, a whisp er
mea nt only for his ea rs.
You ne ve r kne w your mothe r. You ne ve r kne w your fathe r. You
gave your he art to Vale ntine
whe n you we re a child, as childre n do, and made yours e lf a part of him
. You cannot cut that away
from yours e lf now with one cle an s lice of a blade .
His lef t ha nd wa s cold. He looked down a nd saw, to his shock,
tha t somehow he ha d
p icked up the da gger—his rea l fa ther’s etched silver da gger—a nd wa s holding it
in his ha nd.
The bla de, though ea ten awa y by Lilith’s blood, wa s whole a ga in,
a nd shining like a
p romise. A cold tha t ha d nothing to do with the wea ther bega n
to sp rea d through his chest.
How many time s had he woke n up like this , gas ping and swe ati
ng, the dagge r in his hand? And
Clary, always Clary, de ad at his fe e t.
But Lilith wa s dea d. It wa s over. He tried to slide the da gger
into his belt, but his ha nd
didn’t seem to wa nt to obey the comma nd his mind wa s giving it. He felt a sen
se of stinging
hea t a cross his chest, a sea ring p a in. Looking down, he saw
tha t the bloody line tha t ha d
sp lit Lilith’s ma rk in ha lf , where Cla ry ha d sla shed him with t
he da gger, ha d hea led. The
ma rk gleamed redly a ga inst his chest.
Ja ce stop p ed trying to shove the da gger into his belt. His knuck
les turned white a s his
grip tightened on the hilt, his wrist twisting, desp era tely trying to turn
the bla de on himself .
His hea rt wa s p ounding. He ha d a ccep ted no iratze s . How ha d the ma r
k hea led so fa st? If he

could ga sh it a ga in, disf igure it, even temp ora rily—
But his ha nd wouldn’t obey him. His a rm sta yed stiʀy a t his side a
s his body turned,
a ga inst his own will, towa rd the p edesta l where Seba stia n’s body la y.
The coɽn ha d begun to glow, with a cloudy greenish light—a lmost a witchlight g
low, but
there wa s something p a inful a bout this light, something tha t seem
ed to p ierce the eye. Ja ce
tried to ta ke a step ba ck, but his legs wouldn’t move. Icy swea
t trickled down his ba ck. A
voice whisp ered a t the ba ck of his mind.
Come he re .
It wa s Seba stia n’s voice.
Did you think you we re fre e be caus e Lilith is gone ? The vam
pire ’s bite woke me ; now he r blood
in my ve ins compe ls you.
Come he re .
Ja ce tried to dig in his heels, but his body betra yed him, ca rrying h
im forwa rd, though his
conscious mind stra ined a ga inst it. Even a s he tried to ha ng ba
ck, his feet moved him down
the p a th, towa rd the coɽn. The p a inted circle ɻa shed green a s he
moved a cross it, a nd the
coɽn seemed to a nswer with a second ɻa sh of emera ld light. And the
n he wa s sta nding
over it, looking down.
Ja ce bit down ha rd on his lip , hop ing the p a in might shock hi
m out of the dream sta te he
wa s in. It didn’t work. He ta sted his own blood a s he sta red do
wn a t Seba stia n, who ɻoa ted
like a drowned corp se in the wa ter. Thos e are pe arls that we re his
e ye s . His ha ir wa s colorless
seaweed, his closed eyelids blue. His mouth ha d the cold, ha rd s
et of his fa ther’s mouth. It
wa s like looking a t a young Va lentine.
Without his volition, a bsolutely a ga inst his will, Ja ce’s ha nds be
ga n to rise. His lef t ha nd
la id the edge of the da gger a ga inst the inside of his right p
a lm, where life a nd love lines
crisscrossed ea ch other.
Words sp illed from his own lip s. He hea rd them a s if from a n
immense dista nce. They
were in no la ngua ge he knew or understood, but he knew wha t they
were—ritua l cha nting.
His mind wa s screaming a t his body to stop , but it a p p ea red
to ma ke no diʃerence. He lef t
ha nd came down, the knife clenched in it. The bla de sliced a cl
ea n, sure, sha llow cut a cross
his right p a lm. Almost insta ntly it bega n to bleed. He tried to
draw ba ck, tried to p ull his
a rm awa y, but it wa s a s if he were enca sed in cement. As he
wa tched in horror, the ɹrst
blood drop s sp la shed onto Seba stia n’s fa ce.
Seba stia n’s eyes ɻew op en. They were bla ck, bla cker tha n Va lentine’s
, a s bla ck a s the
demon’s who ha d ca lled herself his mother. They ɹxed on Ja ce, like
grea t da rk mirrors,
giving him ba ck his own fa ce, twisted a nd unrecogniza ble, his mo
uth sha p ing the words of
the ritua l, sp illing forth in a mea ningless ba bble like a river of bla c

k wa ter.
The blood wa s ɻowing more freely now, turning the cloudy liquid insid
e the coɽn a
da rker red. Seba stia n moved. The bloody wa ter shif ted a nd sp il
led a s he sa t up , his bla ck
eyes f ixed on Ja ce.
The s e cond part of the ritual. His voice sp oke inside Ja ce’s hea d. It is
a lmost comp lete.
Wa ter ra n oʃ him like tea rs. His p a le ha ir, p a sted to his fo
rehea d, seemed to ha ve no
color a t a ll. He ra ised one ha nd a nd held it out, a nd Ja ce,
a ga inst the cry inside his own
mind, held out the da gger, bla de forwa rd. Seba stia n slid his h
a nd a long the length of the
cold, sha rp bla de. Blood sp ra ng up in a line a cross his p a
lm. He knocked the da gger a side
a nd took Ja ce’s ha nd, grip p ing it with his own.
It wa s the la st thing Ja ce ha d exp ected. He couldn’t move to p u
ll awa y. He felt ea ch of
Seba stia n’s cold ɹngers a s they wra p p ed his ha nd, p ressing their
bleeding cuts together. It
wa s like being grip p ed by cold meta l. Ice bega n to sp rea d up
his veins from his ha nd. A
shudder p a ssed over him, a nd then a nother, p owerful p hysica l tremors so
p a inful it felt a s if
his body were being turned inside out. He tried to scream—
And the cry died in his throa t. He looked down a t his a nd Seba
stia n’s ha nds, clenched
together. Blood ra n through their ɹngers a nd down their wrists, a s
elega nt a s red la cework.
It glittered in the cold electric light of the city. It moved not
like liquid, but like moving red
wires. It wra p p ed their ha nds together in a sca rlet binding.
A p eculia r sense of p ea ce stole over Ja ce. The world seemed to
fa ll awa y, a nd he wa s
sta nding on the p ea k of a mounta in, the world sp rea d out bef
ore him, everything in it his
for the ta king. The lights of the city a round him were no longer
electric, but were the light
of a thousa nd diamond-like sta rs. They seemed to shine down on h
im with a benevolent
glow tha t sa id, This is good. This is right. This is what your fathe
r would have wante d.
He saw Cla ry in his mind’s eye, her p a le fa ce, the fa ll of he
r red ha ir, her mouth a s it
moved, sha p ing the words I’ll be right back. Five minute s .
And then her voice fa ded a s a nother sp oke over it, drowning it
out. The ima ge of her in
his mind receded, va nishing imp loringly into the da rkness, a s Eur
ydice ha d va nished when
Orp heus ha d turned to look a t her one la st time. Her saw her,
her white a rms held out to
him, a nd then the sha dows closed over her a nd she wa s gone.
A new voice sp oke in Ja ce’s hea d now, a familia r voice, once ha
ted, now oddly welcome.
Seba stia n’s voice. It seemed to run through his blood, through the
blood tha t p a ssed through
Seba stia n’s ha nd into his, like a f iery cha in.
We are one now, little brothe r, you and I, Seba stia n sa id.
We are one .

As a lwa ys, family p rovides the core of sup p ort needed to ma ke
a novel ha p p en: my
husba nd Josh, my mother a nd fa ther, Jim Hill a nd Ka te Connor;
the Esons family; Mela nie,
Jona tha n a nd Helen Lewis; Florence a nd Joyce. This book even mor
e tha n a ny other wa s
the p roduct of intense group work, so ma ny tha nks to: Delia S
herma n, Holly Bla ck, Sa ra h
Rees Brenna n, Justine La rba lestier, Elka Cloke, Robin Wa sserma n,
a nd sp ecia l mention to
Ma ureen Johnson for lending her name to the cha ra cter Ma ureen. Th
a nks to Wa yne Miller
for help ing me with La tin tra nsla tions. Tha nks to Ma rgie Longori
a for her sup p ort of
Project Book Ba be: Micha el Ga rza , the owner of the Big Ap p le
Deli, is named for her son,
Micha el Eliseo Joe Ga rza . My a lwa ys gra titude to my a gent, Ba
rry Goldbla tt; to my editor,
Ka ren Wojtyla ; to Emily Fa bre, for ma king cha nges long p a st t
he time cha nges ca n be
ma de; to Cliʃ Nielson a nd Russell Gordon, for ma king bea utiful cov
ers; a nd to the teams a t
Simon a nd Schuster a nd Wa lker Books for ma king the rest of the
ma gic ha p p en. And la stly,
my tha nks to Linus a nd Lucy, my ca ts, who only threw up on my ma nuscrip t
City of Falle n Ange ls wa s written with the p rogram Scrivener, in
Sa n Miguel de Allende,
Also by Cassandra Clare
Cit y of Bones
Cit y of As hes
Cit y of Glas s
Clockwork Angel
For Josh
S ommes -nous les deux livres
d’un même ouvrage?
Thi s i s a work of fi cti on. Names, cha ra cters, pl a ces and i nci dents
a re ei ther the product of the author’s ima g i na ti on or, i f rea l ,
used fi cti ti ousl y. Al l sta tements, a cti vi ti es, stunts, descri pti
ons, i nforma ti on and ma teri a l of any other ki nd conta i ned herei n a r
i ncl uded for enterta i nment purposes onl y and shoul d not be rel i ed on
for a ccura cy or repl i ca ted a s they ma y resul t i n i njury.
Fi rst publ i shed i n Grea t Bri ta i n 2011 by Wa l ker Books Ltd
87 Vauxha l l Wa l k, London SE11 5HJ
Text © 2011 Ca ssandra Cl a i re LLC
Cover i l l ustra ti on © 2011 Cl i ff Ni el sen
The ri g ht of Ca ssandra Cl a re to be i denti fi ed a s author of thi s w
ork ha s been a sserted by her i n a ccordance wi th the Copyri g ht,
Desi g ns and Pa tents Act 1988
Al l ri g hts reserved. No pa rt of thi s book ma y be reproduced, transmi
tted or stored i n an i nforma ti on retri eva l system i n any
form or by any means, g ra phi c, el ectroni c or mechani ca l , i ncl udi ng
photocopyi ng , ta pi ng and recordi ng , wi thout pri or wri tten
permi ssi on from the publ i sher.
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