She's your sister.
Those words rang with condemnation in Jace's mind as he stood in the background, arms folded over his chest as Luke Garroway, a Downworlder, and Jocelyn Fray explained everything to them.
"Normally I wouldn't trust anyone connected to the Clave - we don't know who is on Valentine's side - but you're Chloe's brother and have proven you are capable and willing to protect her." Jocelyn eyed him, ignoring Isabelle and Clark, acknowledging Jace's leadership of the group. She was a perceptive woman.
You're Chloe's brother.
"Of course we'll protect her." Jace's voice was emotionless as his gaze went to Chloe, who was pale as she stood next to Clark.
She could not be his sister.
He wouldn't accept that!
There was no way that he could feel the way he did for his own flesh and blood!
Chloe's green gaze found his before she quickly looked away and grabbed onto Clark's arm, visibly seeking comfort.
The mundane stared down at her in question before he wrapped his arm around her shoulders.
Something dark coiled in Jace's stomach at the sight and he wanted nothing more than to go over there and rip the boy's arm off for touching her.
She couldn't be his sister. He'd never accept that.
And he was going to do all in his power to convince her of the same before this ruined the progress they'd been making up to this point.
Chloe leaned her head against Clark as Isabelle asked something.
Jace bit back a snarl.
Not my sister.
Not my sister.
NOT MY SISTER!
"So," Magnus eyed Alec with a smirk on his face as they waited for Lois to get ready. "You've lost our girl."
"Considering she ran away I didn't lose anyone." Alec looked up at a painting of Magnus wrestling a matador while a bull gazed on in approval. "Innocent people don't run."
"They do when they are being held against their will and just want to be free."
Alec flinched. "I'm not holding her there. If it was up to me she'd be anywhere but the Institute."
"I know you realize that even if she leaves, he'll never love you the way you want him to." Magnus tilted his head to the side as he observed the younger male. "You're just fixated on getting her out of the picture due to denial, but you and I have both seen the way that boy looks at her, and both know that he'll never look at you that way." Magnus pursed his lips. "Truth be told I'm actually a little worried for the kitten where your Shadowhunter friend is concerned, I don't think she has a choice on if she ends up with him or not. He looks the type to make sure he gets whatever he wants, and she's obviously what he wants." Those cat-eyes turned on Alec. "Your feelings, especially the hurt, are just keeping you from seeing what's obvious, or, better said, from accepting the unavoidable."
"My feelings?" Alec tightened his hands into fists. "I don't know what you're talking about."
"I get it, the Shadowhunters aren't an accepting bunch." Magnus raised an eyebrow while he shrugged indifferently. "It's not exactly forbidden, what you want, it's more of an embarrassment, a "don't ask, don't tell" situation, isn't it? I could never be a Shadowhunter, even if I'd been mundane and given the choice." He made a face. "I'm very much into asking and damn, do I tell."
Alec didn't understand how the warlock could be so nonchalant about this. "I'm not in love with Jace."
"Of course you aren't." Magnus snorted at the very thought as he stood gracefully. "You love him and know he loves you back as a brother, he's your parabatai. But you are not in love with him because you're smart enough to know he'll never be in love with you."
It was seriously hard to hear this, especially coming from this strange stranger of all people. "Don't act like you know me."
"I don't," Magnus agreed. "But I've lived long and have experienced much. You're not the only one who has gone through similar situations."
Alec gulped, suddenly wanting to ask about these 'similar situations' and how they'd worked out, but not about to do so and give in, even if a little, to the older man.
"You're really cute when you're fighting yourself." Magnus suddenly announced, all serious gone and replaced by complete flirtation.
Alec had no idea how to handle the warlock when he was like this, and shifted his weight on his feet nervously.
Magnus merely grinned. "You're seriously my type, it's really too bad."
"You're not my type." Alec wondered if he'd said that too quickly, but kept his chin high. "And I don't care what your type is."
"Sure you do, you're extremely curious right now." Magnus grinned brightly.
A muscle ticked in Alec's cheek. "Now listen here, don't be thrusting your perversions onto me. I'm not-."
"When I thrust my anything onto you, you'll know." Magnus winked. "I think you like to be quiet, that you're the type to bite down on your bottom lip to hush any noise you make." His face was pure evil. "But deep down inside, I think you want to scream and scratch your nails down someone's back, my back, if I get my way-and it's been known to happen."
Alec knew he was flushed scarlet and hated it. "I can't believe you just said that."
"Then you obviously have not read any of the books in his library that are not magic related," a new voice announced as Lois appeared, face grim despite the flash of amusement in her eyes. "Pretty Boy Blue, I'd just give in if I were you."
He opened and closed his mouth in indignation. "I-I will do no such thing!"
"I was half hoping you'd say that." Lois grinned evilly. "I'll enjoy watching the chase."
"You're a woman after my own heart." Magnus brought his hand to his heart. "What did I ever do before I met you?"
"You threw elaborate parties for your cat, who ran and hid until all the Downworlders disappeared and the party was over." Lois raised an eyebrow. "You seriously needed me, or at least Chairman Meow did."
Magnus grinned before he clapped his hands. "Well, you two be good now, and when you find our little stray kitten-."
"Put a bell around her neck, I'm way ahead of you." Lois raised an eyebrow. "There a spell for that? Can we magick some cute kitten bells around her neck, make it look like a necklace or something, so we can find this girl when she runs off next? Because I doubt the Shadowhunters are gonna be able to keep a hold of her for long. They seem unreliable."
"Hey!" Alec cried out, offended.
"You're the one who lost her," Lois raised an eyebrow at him. "You don't have the right to say anything."
"I didn't lose her. She's not a book or weapon I put down and then can't remember the location of." Alec couldn't get how they couldn't see that. "I took her to Hodge's office and she split! That's it!"
"If she had already snuck out the night before, as you said, you should've been keeping a better eye on her!" Lois threw her hands in the air. "Seriously, you dudes don't know how to take care of my cousin and I'm about to barge in there and steal her away so she can be safe."
Alec narrowed his eyes on her, but she had a point in the first part of her rant, so he pushed back his argument. "Are you going to help me find her or are you going to tell me off some more for losing her?"
Lois, obviously pleased he'd admitted to losing her cousin, took in a deep breath. "I'm being magnanimous today, and Magnus assures me I should help you guys find Chloe instead of sneaking off and doing so on my own, so I'll just help you." She took in a deep breath, hands on her hips. "The only other place I can think that she'd go to is Luke's."
"Luke?" Alec asked in confusion.
Lois took in a deep breath and nodded. "Come on, I'll take you there."
"So, this must be hard for you." Jocelyn eyed her as they continued to search the house, the two females in Chloe's room while Luke, Clark, Isabelle and Jace searched other parts of the house for more clues. "You didn't even know you had a brother."
Chloe didn't want to talk about this, but she nodded nonetheless. "At least he and I get along… Kinda..."
Jocelyn's lips twitched. "True, that's better than many siblings can say." She eyed the girl. "He seems to care about you. I'm glad that you and he were able to be friends before you found out about your connection or things might have been awkward. Imagine if you knew each other and hated each other? That would make this revelation so much harder to swallow."
Oh, Chloe was finding it hard to swallow.
"Has he told you about Michael?" Jocelyn asked suddenly.
"Some." Chloe nodded, remembering the conversation where Jace shared his secret with her, where he was going to kill Valentine for ordering his father's death. "He sounded like a nice enough guy."
"He was." Jocelyn took in a deep breath. "Luke told me that Moira blamed herself for Michael's death. When she heard that he had been killed she told Luke that it was Valentine's way of getting back at her."
Chloe felt frozen in horror. Her mother was responsible for Jace's father's death?
"She'd thought that by leaving them behind Valentine would see that they had nothing to do with her plot, that it would keep them safe should things not work out how we wanted and he survived the Uprising, but he still took his revenge on them since he couldn't do so on her." Jocelyn closed her eyes. "Sometimes I find it hard to reconcile that monster with the man I married."
"I'm glad he's not my biological father." Chloe made a face. "Though how I could somehow belong to his family despite not being a Morgenstern is confusing."
"Like I said, we don't know the depths of the black dealings he was involved with or what he did to you." Jocelyn stared at Chloe as if she somehow might hold the answers to everything. "Though, if he sent his demons here to kill us, maybe you're expendable in his eyes as well."
Chloe opened her mouth to say that the demons had been acting contrary to Valentine's orders when they'd attacked her.
He studied over the darkest arcane knowledge, knowing he'd crossed the point of no return a very long ago and not caring. Every couple of minutes he'd look up at the Mortal Cup as it sat on a pedestal, his inspiration. Why had the Downworlders, the children of the damned, been gifted with so many amazing gifts while they, the chosen of the Angels, been so limited? There had to be a reason for it, Jonathan Shadowhunter and the warlock Elphas must've asked for it somehow, even if it hadn't been recorded in any archive that he'd found. He needed to know, needed to understand. There was just too much he didn't understand.
It was another reason why he performed these tests, why he studied each stillborn, calculated and tried to understand. So far he knew more, understood more, but he was still confused, still had too many questions, questions he feared only the Angel Raziel could answer him at this point.
A knock sounded at the door.
He took in a deep breath and closed the book he was reading as he looked up. "Come in."
She entered, his prize guinea pig, the one who was helping him advance in his quest for knowledge, even when she didn't even know it. "You called for me?"
He nodded and reached for the container holding the newest concoction, one that he was most eager to see the results in the dead fetus when she eventually miscarried it. "I think I may have had a breakthrough. Try these, take three daily, morning, midday, and right before you go to bed at night."
She stared at the vials in sadness, a hand to her stomach. "How many near breakthroughs have we had?" She closed her eyes. "I do not know if I can survive another miscarriage."
He pushed the container filled with vials towards her. "This time it will be different, this time it won't die." He needed her to believe that so she'd take the vials religiously, and once the child was miscarried, he could study its remains. It would shed light on all sorts of mysteries to him.
She took in a deep breath and nodded as she took the container, closing the lid on the vials. "I hope by the Angel that you are right."
"By the Angel…" he mulled over that with a wry smile on his face, never realizing that this time the child she'd conceive would survive its mother's womb.
Chloe gasped as her eyes flew open and she cried out as her head pierced her with throbbing pain, the girl trying to sit up.
"Don't." Jace was there, blood staining his shirt as he stared down at her and brushed her hair out of her face. "We should never have gone to see the Silent Brothers."
"No use crying over that right now, it'll just give me a worse headache then what I already have." Chloe leaned into the touch, her eyes fluttering closed. "I probably look like crap, huh?"
She gave a little snort of laughter and then cried out when it hurt.
"Just… stop… everything." He reached over and rested his palm over her forehead, his touch cool and refreshing. "You have a bit of a fever."
"I was out a long time, huh?" Chloe opened her eyes with a sigh. "I'm back at the Institute." She raised an eyebrow. "Hodge must be unhappy with me."
His lips pulled in a small smirk. "I think he's too busy dealing with the werewolf, self-exiled Shadowhunter, and pissed off mundanes in meeting with him right now to even have time to be "unhappy" with you."
"Mundanes?" Chloe asked softly.
"Alec went to look for you at Magnus', and Lois left with him to help track you down. She came in, took one look at you, and grabbed Alec by the shirt and ordered him to take her 'to our leader'. I haven't seen hide or hair of her since." Jace shrugged.
"So they're having a huge war talk and you're stuck here babysitting me while I sleep?" She could feel the headache slowly beginning to leave.
"Someone has to sacrifice themselves for the common good." He shrugged. "You're a necessary evil and I brought you here so you're my responsibility."
"A necessary evil?" She raised an eyebrow.
His lips twitched. "A very attractive, though highly frustrating, necessary evil. Do you like that description any better?"
"Not really. I might've gotten attractive, but I also became frustrating, so they cancel each other out and I'm left with being a necessary evil again."
He shook his head. "You never are happy!"
Chloe's lips twitched this time. "Thank you, for putting up with this necessary evil."
Jace stared down at her, all amusement disappearing. "You realize it's a lie, don't you?"
She smirked. "I'd hope so! I don't like being called a necessary evil!"
His expression went soft and amused for a second before it went stony and dark again. "I meant what you told me today."
Chloe gulped as she looked up at him. "This is part of the reason you stayed with me, isn't it? You wanted to talk about this in private."
"I would've stayed to watch over you even if you hadn't spouted such nonsense." He glared as he stood above her, hands folded over his chest. "You're not my sister."
"No." He snapped viciously, golden eyes flashing. "You're not."
She stared up at him, something coiling in her stomach. "I get it, I get that this messed with your image of your dad---believe me, this messes with my image of my mom too, though in my case I suppose it's more positively given the fact that I---."
"It has nothing to do with our parents." Jace interrupted curtly. "We're not siblings, and I think there's more to that story than you all told us at your house."
There was. Jocelyn and Luke had never mentioned Valentine's visiting Chloe's house the night before or what he'd told her.
Jace reached out and grabbed Chloe's chin, turning her to face him, and only then did she realize that she'd looked away. "What aren't you telling me?"
"I'm your sister, Jace." She stared up at him.
Something shifted in his eyes before he tightened his grip on her chin and swooped down to kiss her, hard, his mouth moving over hers defiantly before he pulled away. "No you're not." His narrowed golds stared deep into her wide greens. "If you were my sister I'd know, I'd feel brotherly towards you. I wouldn't want you."
Chloe's eyes widened further and her face flushed a dark scarlet. "Don't say anything you can't take back, you idiot!"
"I'm not, I wouldn't take back what I said." He leaned back in, his lips just a breath away from hers as he whispered against them. "You're not my sister… And I want you. I've wanted you from the moment I first saw you and looked into your eyes."
Chloe gulped, able to remember that night so well. "Jace, please, don't do this."
"Do what?" He moved to whisper in her ear. "What am I doing?"
She closed her eyes against the feeling. "I've met Valentine."
He froze and pulled away, his eyes wide. "What? When?"
"Last night." She opened her eyes, her heart racing at the closed-off look on his face. "The text I received was from my father's phone, but it had a picture of my father tied up and beaten. I knew that it was someone else sending it, but I figured that it was one of Valentine's goons, not that he would be there himself."
"What did he want?" Jace's face was emotionless, as was his voice.
"The Mortal Cup, which I don't know where it is, but I told him I'd give it to him if it meant I didn't have to see him again or he wouldn't hurt my father anymore." Chloe could see Jace's face closing off more and more as she spoke. "He then told me my father wasn't my father."
Darkness covered Jace's features. "He's the one who told you that my father---?"
"No, Luke and Jocelyn told me that." She shook her head rapidly. "Valentine insinuated that I was his child."
Jace froze, his eyes widening. "You're Valentine's daughter?"
"No." Chloe shook her head. "I'm Michael Wayland's----."
"That's only according Valentine's ex wife, a woman who ridiculously thinks that that monster could do all the horrible things he's done yet was incapable of being unfaithful to her." Jace sneered darkly before he suddenly grinned as he ran his fingers through his hair. "I knew it."
Chloe blinked in confusion. "You knew---?"
"That you weren't my sister." Jace let out a relieved breath as he collapsed on the edge of the bed. "You're Valentine's daughter. You're not my sister."
She stared up at him, unable to understand how he could be so sure of this. "Jocelyn and Luke----."
"Don't know everything," Jace hissed before he took in a deep breath. "Your mother would've kept it a secret from Jocelyn that her husband was the father of her unborn child. Anyone would've done that if they were sleeping with their best friend's spouse."
He had a point there.
Jace nodded. "And I don't see a reason why Valentine would claim a child that wasn't his own."
"I don't care what that hag said!" His eyes were like lava. "You're not my sister! You're Valentine's daughter." He clenched his hands in her sheets. "And I'm going to kill your father for what he did to mine."
"She's not a hag, she can't be more than 36 or 37 at the most." Chloe stared up at Jace. "And go ahead, if you want to kill Valentine so badly do it. I have no love for that man. Even if he were my father, I---."
Jace smirked, visibly pleased that he'd shaken her total faith in Jocelyn's words.
"I said 'if'." She narrowed her eyes at him.
Jace leaned forwards and cupped her face.
Chloe pulled away. "If." She narrowed her eyes at him as she repeated that. "I could still end up being your sister, and if that's true then you've---I've---we've got to stop this before we do something that we can't take back."
"You're not my sister." Jace brushed a strand of blonde hair away from her face and behind her ear. "You're not, and deep down inside you know that."
"No I don't." She narrowed her eyes at him as she batted his hand away. "And I'm seriously uncomfortable with the thought that I'm extremely attracted to someone who could be my brother. Don't make this harder for me." She then groaned and covered her face with her hands. "Don't smile! That's not something to smile about!"
"It is for me. You just admitted that you're 'extremely' attracted to me."
She pulled her hands from her face and glared and him with a huff. "You're not taking any of this seriously."
Suddenly pain seared through her head.
"It's so beautiful." She trailed her fingers over the Cup's rim in open admiration. "To think that the Angel Raziel himself gave this to humanity, and we now have it."
He smiled as he hugged his wife from behind, placing a kiss to her neck. "It was a gift to humanity, and we needed to take it from where the Clave had it covered in dust---to put it to new use." He placed his hands possessively on her stomach. "For our future."
She smiled and placed her hand on his. "For our future."
His gaze shifted to the Cup as he rested his cheek against the side of her head. "To think that if you hadn't gotten with me in school you could be living some common life somewhere as a Shadowhunter working for a corrupt Clave."
Her lips twisted. "Or I could've married someone else and settled down to have his kids."
His black eyes darkened almost impossibly as his grip on her tightened. "Why do you do that? You know I cannot abide even the thought of you with someone else. You are mine, every bit of you is mine, and just imagining some other man placing his hands on you----."
"And then you don't know why I tease you." She smiled and placed her hand on the one he had on her stomach. "You truly are too possessive, my love."
He pressed a slower kiss to her neck once more. "I am, but know that just as much as you are mine, I am yours. Haven't I told you about the Morgenstern men? About what my father told me before Downworlders sent him to an early grave?"
"Morgenstern men fall in love once, and never fall out of love with that woman." Her lips curled in a smile. "Don't think I believe that for a second. You're just saying that to stroke my ego."
"That is not what I want to stroke."
"Valentine!" She cried out in embarrassed laughter. "You are too much."
"Far from it, my love."
She eyed the Cup once more. "What about Morgenstern women?"
"What about them?"
"Do they only fall in love once and stay in love with that one person as well?" She turned in his embrace. "If we have a daughter it would be good to know these things."
"There have been very few females born into my family, we've always been dominated by boy children." He smiled lovingly at his wife.
"But I suppose it might be so."
"Oh, I hope not." His wife shivered at the very thought. "Boys break girls' hearts far too often."
When she woke up again Lois was snoring in the bed, curled up next to her, while Jace slept sitting on a chair close to the bed. Chloe realized that she'd been changed out of her clothes (hopefully by Lois) so that meant she must've bled out again.
The blonde brought her hand to her head and frowned, worry beginning to coil in her stomach.
Just what was happening to her?
What was this block doing?
Her gaze went to Jace in the darkness.
What if he was right? What if Valentine really was her father? There had to be a reason why she'd seen a flash of what had to have been his face when the demons had attacked. There had to be a reason why her mother had thought it best to put this block on her.
Didn't it make more sense if Valentine was her father?
And yet Luke and Jocelyn both seemed so sure…
Sighing, Chloe curled up next to Lois and closed her eyes, forcing herself to go back to sleep.