The apartment looked homey enough, although the sign for hand-reading on the bottom floor window kept drawing her in. Were they going in to get her palm-read? But Luke completely bypassed the downstairs apartments once they were inside and made his way inside, Chloe looking up to see the skylight and thinking this was a nice place and wondering, as she followed him up the stairs, exactly who lived here and why Luke felt that she needed to meet this person.
He hesitated at a door before knocking on it in a series of knocks that comprised a pattern, a code.
The door opened to reveal a beautiful redheaded woman. The redheaded woman from the pictures. Her mother's parabatai.
The woman's grip tightened on the door when she noticed Chloe half-shielded behind his body. "What is going on, Luke?"
"Just look at her, Jocelyn," Luke whispered.
Jocelyn frowned as she turned to look at Chloe. Really look. And then her eyes widened and her grip loosened on the door. "You're Moira's daughter."
Chloe nodded wordlessly.
Jocelyn cleared her throat and stepped out of the doorway, holding the door open. "Come in."
Luke moved inside.
Chloe followed him in and looked around her curiously.
It was a nice apartment, definitely feminine and that of an artist, canvases and paintbrushes everywhere.
"I wasn't expecting company," Jocelyn mumbled as she eyed the disorder.
Chloe moved wordlessly to a half-finished painting of a large body of water, a lake of some sort. "I've seen this-been here before."
Jocelyn sent Luke a look before she grabbed a towel and wiped the paint from her hands as she moved to stand next to Chloe and eye the painting as well. "I doubt you have. That's Lake Lyn. It's in Idris."
"Oh." Right. Idris. The Shadowhunter country. There was no way that Chloe could've ever seen that body of water before, and yet something inside of her felt nostalgic and called towards the painting.
"Valentine has come out of hiding, and his sole purpose was to meet in person with Chloe." Luke spoke from behind them.
Jocelyn's green eyes widened in horror as she turned so she could look between the two of them. "What?"
Luke nodded. "He had her believing he was her father."
"The mundane Moira met here is her father," Jocelyn snapped angrily.
"No, he isn't." Luke delivered that with the confidence of someone who'd known this as a fact for many years. "And Valentine now knows she's full Shadowhunter. According to him, she belongs to the Morgensterns, and is his creation-the girl he'd been praying for." Luke stared darkly at Jocelyn, all sorts of unspoken words traveling between them.
All color drained from the redhead's face as she turned to Chloe with a gasp of horror. "She didn't miscarry the baby." Jocelyn moved towards a chair and collapsed on it, looking bone-tired. "It all makes sense now."
Chloe looked between Jocelyn and Luke. "What does?"
"I thought she'd miscarried you, that the grief of losing yet another child had made her somehow see the truth to what I kept telling her about Valentine." Jocelyn looked up at Chloe from her seat, her expression so sad. "But she didn't agree to betray Valentine and keep the Mortal Cup from him because of that. She did so because somehow she knew you were going to make it to birth." Jocelyn closed her eyes, seeming in pain. "And she knew what I'd told her about Jonathan."
"Jonathan?" Chloe once more looked between Luke and Jocelyn, lost.
Luke was silent.
Jocelyn licked her lips and opened her greens, resting them on Chloe. "My son-or what should have been my son."
Chloe stared at Jocelyn in confusion. "I don't-understand."
Jocelyn turned to Luke. "What have you told her?"
"Not much, this is your story to tell, not mine." Luke fixed Jocelyn was a serious look. "But she needs to know."
Jocelyn nodded. "Of course."
Chloe felt so extremely nervous.
"First off, I suppose that I should introduce myself," the woman took in a deep breath as she stood and held her hand out to Chloe. "My name is Jocelyn Fray. I was your mother's best friend, her parabatai, and once upon a time, I was also Valentine's wife."
Chloe's eyes widened as she placed her shaky hand in Jocelyn's. "I have a feeling I'm going to need to sit down to hear this story."
Jocelyn nodded solemnly. "You probably will."
"First last night and now again today?" Isabelle shook her head as she planted her hands on her hips. "Anyone else beginning to think this girl is hiding something?"
"Did she say anything to you before you left her in Hodge's office?" Jace wanted to know as he turned to Alec. "What did you two talk about?"
"Nothing." Alec wouldn't meet his eyes.
"Why would Chloe bolt on you guys? Are you really holding her here against her will?" Clark wanted to know, having been confined otherwise before, but this incident apparently making him have second thoughts.
"If it was up to me you could take her back home with you now - she's nothing but trouble." Alec snapped.
Clark surprised them by grinning. "Yeah, but that's one of her finer attributes."
Jace frowned at him, not liking the idea of the mundane being aware of any of Chloe's attributes.
Isabelle eyed Clark. "So, what's the relationship between you two?"
"She's one of my best friends." Clark replied immediately. "Though to be honest we have a much closer relationship than that, she's even more like a little sister to me than a friend."
Alec suddenly looked up at that, visibly shaken, almost as if Clark had slapped him by saying that, but the Shadowhunter cleared his throat and shook his head. "I'll go check with the cousin. She might've gone there. You three work together and figure out what other places she might've headed to and why." With that he was gone.
Isabelle watched her brother leave before she turned her attention rapidly to Clark and sidled up towards him. "Let's get going."
He nodded, apparently oblivious to her interest.
Jace snorted and decided that Clark must be oblivious to women in general and not Chloe in particular. He then paused and realized that that didn't comfort him in the least bit.
"Where do you think Chloe would go if she wanted to run?" Isabelle asked Clark. "Or better yet, where would she feel safe? Or where would she go to think?"
"I don't know about run, but she says she does some of her best thinking at the Torch." Clark offered as he looked between them. "It's in Smallville, but-."
"The Torch?" Jace scoffed.
"You got a better idea?" Clark raised an eyebrow.
Jace didn't, and he hated it.
"I grew up in Idris and grew up alongside Lucian and his sister Amatis, he and I were best friends our entire lives." Jocelyn cleared her throat.
"Lucian?" Chloe asked in confusion, not bothered about interrupting so early into this explanation.
"She means me." Luke cleared his throat and drew Chloe's surprised attention to him. "My real name isn't Luke Garroway, I was born Lucian Graymark."
Chloe stared at him in shock.
"Just as my surname wasn't originally Fray but Fairchild, or your mother's Lane but Laneara. We've changed our names to protect our identities and those that we love." Jocelyn sighed and took in a deep breath as she continued her story. "When we were sixteen, we left our rural community and traveled to Alicante, the capital and only city of Idris, known as the Glass City or City of Glass, to complete our training as Shadowhunters. It was here was here that I made friends with people like Madeleine, and Moira, as we all began school together."
"Jocelyn was a natural Shadowhunter." Luke recalled with a dark chuckle. "Me on the other hand? I was way behind on my studies and couldn't even complete the simplest tasks or even bear any marks. It was… It was a dark period in my life in which I contemplated killing myself, returning home in shame, or becoming a mundane." He took in a deep breath. "And then I met Valentine and that all changed."
"Valentine was older than all of us, in a higher grade, and when he offered to tutor me I accepted and improved. We became best friends." Luke sighed. "And then soon parabatai."
There was that word again. Parabatai. "You and Valentine, Jace and Alec, you and mom…" Chloe cleared her throat. "Do all Shadowhunters have parabatai?"
"No. It's actually less common to have them, and you have until you're eighteen to find and choose a parabatai because once you're older the ritual isn't open to you any longer." Jocelyn shook her head.
This new information helped Chloe understand the deep bonds between the players involved. "So Luke became Valentine's parabatai, and you became mom's. And somehow you joined the Circle of Raziel."
"It didn't start out as the Circle of Raziel, Valentine was just charming and had something about him that made people flock to him in great multitudes. I used to joke early on in the Circle that it was nothing more than his fan club." Jocelyn gave a wry smile as she remembered her youth. "Valentine was different back then, a different person."
"What changed him?" Chloe wanted to know.
"The death of his father." Luke's expression was grave.
"It was soon after that that he and I became romantic." Jocelyn noted. "Madeleine was the only one who disagreed with our relationship because she'd never liked Valentine, but to be truthful at the time I thought she was jealous. And then after finishing our schooling, I married Valentine. We moved into my family's manor and lived there happily, or, at least, I thought we were living there happily." She brought a hand to her head. "I didn't realize that his father's death had created a deep aggression in Valentine towards Downworlders, or that the Circle or Raziel was already being formed from all of our old friends from school. He finally told me his vision of reforming the outdated and hypocritical Clave, and at the time I foolishly believed in him and his self-appointed mission."
"You weren't the only one." Luke cleared his throat, clearly uncomfortable. "Many of us fell into line and joined the Circle, listened to Valentine's speeches, were won over by his reasoning. The Clave does have many problems with them, and Valentine had done his homework, he knew exactly what points to bring up with each person to sway them more to his side. He was, and still is, the master manipulator."
Chloe hugged herself as she tried to imagine her mother as the right-hand of such a man.
"Moira was my parabatai, and came from a very ancient, very strong Shadowhunter family. Like me, she'd taken to the Shadowhunter training like breathing, it was natural to her, and Valentine was always good to her. She'd been very withdrawn when she first arrived at the school in Alicante, and it was through Valentine that I met her and we became such close friends-that she met Michael, and even though it took forever for them to get together they were always extremely close-and she always felt that it was only thanks to Valentine that she wasn't so alone anymore." Jocelyn lowered her gaze. "She'd always been so lonely before that she felt she owed Valentine so much for giving her what her family had always denied her-closeness with other human beings-a true family. She would've followed him into a raging inferno if he'd asked her to."
It hit Chloe hard in the gut to hear this, because while she'd never really known anything about her mother's family she'd never really stopped and thought it odd that they weren't in her life. The one time she'd asked about them her father had told her Moira had broken ties with her family before he met her and he hadn't been interested in finding them after she'd left, and Chloe had left it at that. But now, to hear about her mother's family, and to know that she'd grown up feeling so alone… It made something inside of the girl ache.
She was starting to see her mother in a different light, and it made her a little scared, because if she couldn't resent the woman anymore, she'd break due to her loss.
"For a while things were good, and then I became pregnant. We were so happy..." Jocelyn's expression was haunted. "What I didn't know what that the tonics Valentine kept giving me to supposedly help me with my morning sickness were laced with Downworlder and Demon blood, and that they were the reason why I was having such horribly violent hallucinations and nightmares."
Chloe's eyes widened in horror and her gaze swung to Luke in silent question, but he motioned for her to remain listening.
"I thought that it was just the pregnancy, that as soon as our baby was born I'd be okay, but then I gave birth to our son and gazed into his eyes and saw that his eyeballs were entirely black, just like a demon's." Jocelyn closed her eyes tightly against the memory. "They later changed to become human, but I knew without a doubt what Valentine must've done, and I was so scared of my husband and couldn't love my son." She brought a shaky hand to her face. "I hated that child and hated myself for hating him."
Seeing that Jocelyn needed a moment, that she couldn't continue, Luke turned his gaze on Chloe. "Jocelyn came to me around that time and told me about the child, about the screams she heard through the walls, and I confronted Valentine about it, but he convinced me she was suffering from some sort of postpartum depression." Luke let out a deep breath. "That same night I was led into an ambush with werewolves and attacked, he'd told me he'd back me up and since he was my parabatai I believed him, but looking back I know that he was hoping I'd die in the raid." The man's eyes were on Chloe. "Not every werewolf bite transforms you into a werewolf and so Valentine and Jocelyn kept me with them at Fairchild Manor until the next full moon, when I transformed." Luke breathed out deeply. "I remember stumbling back there the next day, Valentine ordering Jocelyn to go into the house with Jonathan, and then him giving me a dagger and telling me to kill myself." He gulped. "I ran instead, and found the werewolf who bit me. I killed him, and considering he was the alpha of the pack I expected the others to kill me because of what I'd done, but the wolves instead accepted me as their new alpha." He nodded slowly. "I stayed there as their alpha for a long time."
Chloe stared at him in shock. "You're a-?"
He nodded. "Werewolf."
"Valentine told me that Lucian-Luke-had killed himself." Jocelyn had gained control over herself enough to continue with the story. "I fell into a depression, Luke had always been one of my closest friends, like the brother I'd never had, and the thought that I had just followed Valentine's orders and left Luke alone to kill himself…" she shook her head. "I had already lost one of my best friends, and suspected that it was because of what I had told him about Valentine, about Jonathan, and I spent the next couple of years trying to subtly convince Moira that we had to stop Valentine. But by then she was living with Michael and raising his son, the boy's mother having died during childbirth. Moira was the only mother that boy had ever known, and every time Moira would get pregnant it would always end in the same way, with a horrible miscarriage that left her near death herself." Jocelyn shook her head. "It got to the point where Michael begged her to forget about having their own child, but Moira-Moira loved Michael's son but had been a very lonely child and had always wanted a child of her own-true family of her own."
"Moira wouldn't hear of anyone speaking ill of Valentine, not even Jocelyn, and looking back at things now I can understand why." Luke eyed Chloe seriously. "Valentine promised her that he'd help her conceive a child that she could carry to term. One of his greatest abilities was always to scent out people's weaknesses and use them against them, and the desire to have a child was definitely what would've driven Moira more than anything else."
Jocelyn stared up at the ceiling. "I should've realized this. But I didn't. I was so wrapped up in my own situation, in mourning Luke's death, and trying to love my son while hiding everything from my parents while living under their roof-I should've been a better friend to her, and I apologize for that."
Chloe licked her lips, not sure what she could say.
"It took a very long time, but I started hearing rumors of a werewolf alpha who used to be a Shadowhunter, and I somehow knew it had to be Luke." Jocelyn's green gaze went to Luke. "I took the chance and visited him, and together we plotted against Valentine-we planned the Uprising. We contacted the warlocks, the Fair Folk and the vampires and told them to prepare, and they were prepared to counter Valentine's attack on those signing the Accords of peace between the Shadowhunters and Downworlders. Moira came to us in the middle of the planning, she'd followed me one night and knew what was happening, could go back and tell Valentine everything she knew, but instead she joined our cause as well as offering the location of three warlocks she somehow knew who she believed would join our cause and be great assets: Catarina Loss, Ragnor Fell, and Magnus Bane."
Chloe's eyes widened in shock at that.
"Lucian was a little suspicious of her, thought that Valentine might've sent her to spy on us, but I could see something broken and determined in Moira's eyes, and recognized it as the look in my own eyes when I looked in the mirror. I knew she was telling the truth, that she wanted to help. Plus, she was my parabatai, and I would always trust her." Jocelyn gave a soft smile. "She won Luke over. The day of the signing of the Accord came, and when the Circle attacked, the Downworlders we'd summoned were ready to counterattack. Luke and Valentine fought, but Valentine threw my silver necklace at Luke and it burnt him-and Valentine used that moment to disappear. I knew, somehow I knew-and we left the battle immediately, returning to my home to find it in flames." Jocelyn cleared her throat. "I found the bodies of my parents, my son, and Valentine in the ruins of my home, but deep down inside I knew that Valentine was alive."
"Moira had managed to steal the Cup from Valentine without his knowledge before the fight, and she and Jocelyn left together, I didn't know until later that they'd come to Metropolis." Luke declared. "I stayed behind in Idris for a while before I searched for them and later found Jocelyn, who by that time was living alone."
"Moira took it harder than I did-betraying the man she loved and leaving the boy she'd raised." Jocelyn cleared her throat. "She was inconsolable for weeks before she finally stopped crying and seemed more like herself. I was so relieved." Jocelyn closed her eyes. "Moira also didn't believe Valentine was dead-it was too convenient, and she came up with the perfect way to protect the Cup."
Chloe tensed. "That's what he's looking for-why his man attacked my uncle's place and were going through my mother's books."
"They were looking for the card." Jocelyn leaned forwards. "I have a special ability, few Shadowhunters possess rare abilities, and mine is that I can… hide things in paintings."
Chloe's gaze went to the painting of the lake.
Jocelyn's lips twitched with her first smile since they'd arrived. "That is just a normal painting-although the fact that you, even if for a second, wondered if I'd hidden a real lake in there, really strokes my ego."
Chloe blushed in embarrassment and lowered her gaze.
"Moira's plan was ingenious. It was two-fold. We both knew that if Valentine was alive he'd come looking for us, and with her plan he couldn't get the Cup. If he got me he wouldn't have the Cup or the location of the Cup. If he got her he would have the Cup, but no way to get in because-."
"You put it in a picture." Chloe's eyes widened in understanding.
"Exactly." Jocelyn smiled softly at her. "He would be thwarted one way or the other." She then sighed. "We parted ways and severed all connection with each other so that if Valentine found one of us, he wouldn't be able to track the other so closely. It was only when, years later, Luke found us both that we were able to get information and updates on each other through him. But even then, when I let slip to him where I lived, Moira was resolute in making sure that there was no Shadowhunter or Downworlder who knew that information about her." She paused. "I thought she was protecting the Cup's hiding place, but I realize now that she was protecting you. The Cup was just an excuse." She sighed. "I wish she'd felt that she could've told me the truth, but I don't blame her for not doing so. She'd heard me talk about my son-and if Valentine truly experimented on her like he did on me-she knew what my reaction would've been like to find out that she was carrying a child of Valentine's madness."
Chloe gulped, especially considering that she was the child that Jocelyn was talking about. "So you really don't think I'm Valentine's child?"
Jocelyn shook her head. "Despite all the many things he's been, Valentine was never unfaithful. He loved me intensely, with a love that was unlike any I've ever experienced or ever will again, but that doesn't excuse what he did." She hugged herself. "He used to tell me that Morgernstern men only ever loved one woman, and that once they set their eyes on that woman the woman had no chance to escape. No matter how far they ran, the man would find them, wear them down, and make them theirs."
Chloe frowned. "That sounds like a hunt if you ask me, and not a courtship."
Jocelyn snorted in dark amusement.
Even Luke looked amused. "What do you think courtships are? The ultimate hunt with the greatest prize of all."
Chloe eyed them with a frown but she guessed she could see the reasoning behind that.
"But that doesn't mean to say that you don't belong to the Morgenstern family somehow." Jocelyn's words chilled her to the bone. "Luke said when you arrived that Valentine told you that he'd been praying for you, or, in fact, for a "girl child"." She raised an eyebrow. "He'd created my son, his first creation, and killed him in the fire in an obvious effort to punish me for turning on him… But now, with you and whatever it is that you have in your veins… You're a girl, a woman." Jocelyn stared at her in her eyes. "Who knew what experiments my husband conducted, what he did to you? But he could've very well used darkest magic to bind you to his house, if only for the purpose of breeding."
Chloe felt sick to her stomach. "You think-?"
"We lost our son in the fire, but you, you could give birth to more of those hell-children and make his death not matter in Valentine's overall endgame." Jocelyn frowned at Chloe. "Or he could've done something entirely different to you, we don't know. All I know is that if Valentine wants you we need to make sure that he doesn't get you." She turned to Luke. "She needs to be protected. We need to protect her."
"I was hoping you'd say that." Luke looked relieved and visibly relaxed, almost as if he'd half been expecting Jocelyn to say something else entirely. "We'll have some problems, the Institute seems to have her under lock and key. She ran away to be able to confront me when she found a picture of me in the Circle of Raziel, so they will know she's gone and will be looking for her."
Jocelyn nodded as she stood. "We're going to need to work together if we're to figure out what Moira did with the Mortal Cup." She took in a deep breath. "I think it's time I came out of hiding."