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