Chloe whimpered as she awoke, her body heavy as she stretched and yawned. Her sleepy contentment disappeared the second her eyes opened and she realized that once more she'd awoken in a place she didn't recognize, reminding her all-too-much of the first time she'd awoken to find herself in the Institute. Where was she? What had happened?
That was when the memories came back flooding to her and she sat up in the four-post bed, pulling the sheets up to her chest in horror.
Hodge had handed her and Jace to Valentine!
Fear filled her throat and left her speechless when all she wanted to do was scream.
Movement by the window caused her terrified greens to turn towards it and then widen when she got her first glance of Jace. Moonlight flooded into the room, falling on his face and golden hair, the latter which created an almost halo. His left hand held the curtain aside, the countless candles burning around the room lending the view an almost romantic texture to it.
He turned and dropped the curtain in place at the sound of her voice, his eyes wide as he came closer to the bed. "You're awake."
"You're okay." She threw the sheets off of her and stumbled off of the bed, throwing herself at Jace, her arms encircling his neck as she hugged him tightly, shaking as she buried her face in his shirt. "I was so worried about you!"
Jace's arms went around her, securing her body to his as he lowered his face to hers, pressing soft kisses against her cheek and jawline. "You stupid idiot… Trying to trade yourself for me?"
She clung to his shirt, trembling. "I was scared he'd hurt you."
"What about you?" He whispered fiercely as he clung to her tighter. "If he hadn't brought me I'd never have forgiven you for doing something so reckless!"
"He was going to take me anyway." Her voice wavered as his lips slowly made their way down her neck. "Jace…"
Something in her voice made him growl as he began to slowly move, to lead her backwards until the back of her legs hit the edge of the bed and they tumbled wordlessly onto it, his body pinning her against the mattress.
Chloe's breath left her as she gazed up into his shadowed face.
Jace, hands on either side of her head, stared down at her. "If anything had happened to you…"
Chloe gulped. "Don't you know already that I feel the same way about you?"
Something crossed Jace's face, his hands trembling. "You belong to me. You're mine."
Desire coiled in Chloe's stomach like a snake as her heart raced. If they were at the Institute, or in any other situation, she would try and laugh this off, to push him away with a reminder that they weren't sure about their relationship, but they were trapped by Valentine and might soon very well be dead. And if that was the case, she wanted this to be her last memory. "Just as long as you're mine too."
That emotion scrunched his features for a split second as he clutched fistfuls of the bedsheets, his breathing accelerated, his pupils dilated, the boy visibly barely keeping control of himself. "You don't-Chloe, the reason you were created, you were born, was to be mine." His breathing was growing harsher as his body was taunt against hers. "So I could claim you."
Her body was on fire, the girl staring up into his face, which was contorted with his fight to keep control of himself and his obvious desire. On impulse she reached down and cupped him through the material of his pants, a dark thrill shooting through her at the sound that escaped his lips as he betrayed his pleasure.
"You… little… demon…" he whimpered, his lips parted and a cry escaping them as he hands shook harder. "I'm trying-I'm trying to tell you something important and-by the Angel!"
This wasn't the time to talk, not when Valentine could come and kill them at any second.
Chloe reached up with her free hand and cupped the back of his head, pulling him in to meet her kiss as she opened her mouth to him and kissed him deeply.
Jace groaned into her mouth, almost as if in pain as he kissed her desperately before moving his hands to grab her shoulders and push her down and away as he arched upwards, breathing harshly. His eyes were molten gold and almost glowed in the candlelight as he breathed loudly, his voice strained. "You're not my sister."
"I don't care!" She fought his hold on her.
Jace looked in agony as she said that and he hung his head. "You're making it very difficult for me to control myself long enough to tell you this and not just take you right now." His grip was still shaking. "You're Michael Wayland's daughter."
"I just told you that I don't-."
"But he's not my father."
Chloe went still, eyes wide as she stopped struggling and just looked up at Jace. "What?"
"I can't do this while touching you." He pushed away from her and stood, taking in deep breaths as he ran his fingers through his hair.
It was only then that Chloe really looked at him. The last time she'd seen him he'd been cut and bruised, clothes stained with dirt and blood, his hair filthy with ichor and dust. That was a far cry from the young man who stood in front of her now. Jace was dressed in a loose white shirt and dark pants, his scrubbed hair falling all around his face, pale gold and flyaway. He swept away some of those flyaway strands from his face and that was when she noticed that he was wearing the Wayland ring that Hodge had slipped onto her finger.
She gulped and leaned up on her elbows. "What do you mean Michael Wayland isn't your father?"
"I mean that my father's alive, when I thought he'd been murdered-he was faking it to keep me protected." Jace let out a stuttered breath. "He's alive. He's here. I've seen him, talked to him, and he told me-he clarified so many things."
"What did he clarify?" Chloe slowly sat up in the bed and grabbed a pillow, hugging it to her chest.
The door opened and Valentine entered, stopping when he noticed them. "I thought you would sleep through the night." He turned to Jace. "You didn't awaken her, did you? I've already told you that she needed to rest."
"She awoke on her own, father." Jace shook his head. "I wouldn't endanger her health."
Chloe's eyes widened in horror as she looked from Valentine to Jace and then back. "No. You are not Jace's father, you're just trying to trick us, to get Jace to do what you want him to do." She shook her head. "His father was Michael Wayland! The Lightwoods-."
"Were misinformed," Valentine interrupted. "They truly do believe that Jace is the son of their friend, Michael, as does the Clave. Even the Silent Brothers were fooled, although soon enough everyone will know the truth."
"But the Wayland ring-." Chloe's gaze went to the ring Jace wore.
"Yes, the ring." Valentine's gaze went to the ring as well, where it glittered around Jace's finger like snake scales. "Funny, isn't it, how an M worn upside down appears to be a W? Though, of course, if one had truly inspected the ring they would've wondered why the Wayland ring had a depiction of a falling star on it when their insignia was a Blacksmith's hammer and their seal a horseshoe. But it isn't strange if you see the ring as an M, as a falling star, which we both know is the symbol of the Morgensterns."
Chloe felt herself going cold, remembering her earlier conversation with Valentine at her house. "Morning Star."
"Yes." He nodded, visibly pleased that he didn't have to remind her. "See, Jonathan? I told you she would understand."
"Jonathan?" Chloe felt so cold, so hollow, remembering the name of Valentine's son with Jocelyn. "I thought your name was Jace."
"That's a nickname for my initials." His voice was soft. "My name is Jonathan Christopher."
"She's my mother." Jace nodded, face visibly conflicted. "My father lied and told me she'd died because he hadn't wanted me growing up knowing the truth about how she'd never cared about me. Better a dead mother than one that hated you."
Chloe then remembered what Jocelyn had said about Valentine, about what he'd done to their son, and her eyes widened in horror as she realized that Jace was tainted with Demon and Downworlder blood. She turned to Valentine, furious. "You experimented on him! You put all sorts of things in him that had no right being there! You're the reason she was so scared of him! You! This is all your fault!"
Anger flashed over Valentine's face before he pushed it back. "It was that Downworlder who filled her with lies, who turned her against us. I admit to unconventional methods of action, but everything I did to Jonathan I did for his own betterment, so he could be the best Shadowhunter out there, so he could be strong and fierce and could help save those who needed saving." He stepped forwards. "How is what I did any different from what Jonathan Shadowhunter did when he mixed human and Angel blood and fed it to his people so they'd become Nephilim?"
Chloe opened her mouth and then closed it before she opened it again. "Because those people knew what they were getting into. Jace and Jocelyn didn't."
Valentine took a step towards her.
"Chloe, that's enough." Jace's voice brought their gazes to him.
"You're not the only one he's messed with!" Chloe snapped at him, eyes flashing. "He did something to me too! It's his fault that I have the damned Cup inside of me!"
"And he's going to get it out of you, safely, and make sure that you're healthy, that taking it out of you doesn't kill you!" Jace snapped right back at her.
She pulled back and looked at Valentine before she turned her gaze back on Jace. "You can't honestly think that." She gave a dark laugh. "Why the hell would he care whether I lived or was 'healthy' if he got his hands on the Mortal Cup? It's not even like I'm his daughter. He has no reason to care whether I live or not."
"You see, you're wrong." That was Valentine who spoke, his voice tired. "It's true, I want the Mortal Cup, but even if I had it and you died, or were damaged by the removal process, I would count that as a tremendous loss."
She scoffed. "Is that so?"
"Yes." He nodded. "I mightn't have intended for you, your existence might be a huge surprise for me, but know this: you are one of the most important people in existence for me. You are my crowning achievement."
Her eyes widened as she stared at him, horror churning in her stomach. "What did you do to me?"
"I made you invaluable." He replied. "And that is why you can rest assured that we will get that Cup out of you, and will only do so in a way in which you're not killed in the process."
Chloe shivered. This was a man who'd put Demon and Downworlder blood in his only child and couldn't see how that was wrong. If she was somehow more important than that, then just what the hellhad he put inside of her?
"See?" Jace took in a deep breath. "You can trust him."
"Trust-?" She staggered at the very thought, unable to believe that Jace really believed that.
"I understand your inability to truly trust me right now, as Jonathan does, but I assure you that the story you have heard of me has been twisted by my enemies." Valentine drew closer, standing tall. "Your father died in the Uprising and I assumed his identity the moment I realized that we had lost. His son had been named Jonathan as well, as it is a very common Shadowhunter name, and it was easy to become Michael as he had no real relations, he was the last of his family, and his closest friends, the Lightwoods, were in exile. Your father would have been in disgrace for his part in the Uprising so I lived that disgraced life, quietly, with Jonathan. I read my books and raised my son while I bided my time."
"What about my real brother?" Chloe whispered. "The real Jonathan Wayland? He had to be dead as well for Jace to take his place, and I doubt that kid was fighting in the Uprising alongside our father."
Valentine sighed. "As I said, your father was the last of his family, and so the day of the battle Michael brought Jonathan to my manor so that my in-laws could care for him. Someone in the Clave torched my manor to the ground and I only arrived in time to take out my son. Michael's son, my in-laws, and the man who'd burnt down the place died in there and I am only a man. I could see an opportunity to save my son, and I let it seem as if my son and I had burnt along with my in-laws."
Chloe was so confused, the conflicting stories racing around in her head, chasing and attacking each other like rabid dogs.
"Ten years into my life as Michael, I received a letter, and the writer of this letter insinuated that he or she knew my true identity, that if I were not prepared to take certain steps it would be revealed to the Clave. I didn't know who the letter was from but that didn't matter, a Morgenstern is not blackmailed. Besides, I wasn't the only one in danger anymore, Jonathan was as well, and I had to act for the betterment of my son." Valentine took in a deep breath. "I staged my death a second time with the help of my few loyal who still knew I was alive. I knew that if I did this Jonathan would be secured as he'd be sent to the Lightwoods and they, believing he was Michael's son, would love and protect him."
Chloe brought a hand to her head.
"Now I have my son with me, and he has brought me the girl who was only born thanks to me." Valentine cleared his throat before he turned to Jace. "Fate brought you two together, and brought you here. We are all one, and we can use the Portal to go to Idris, back to the manor house. We'll be there together, as we should've always been."
Jace stared at him in silence.
Chloe looked from Valentine to Jace and then back again. "Do you know how to take the Cup out of me?"
Valentine hesitated at the change in topic before he nodded. "I have an idea, yes."
"Can you do it now? Tonight?" Chloe wanted to know.
Jace narrowed his eyes. "Chloe."
She ignored him, her greens on Valentine's blacks. "Can you?"
He eyed her. "You are fearless."
She scoffed. "Is that a yes?"
She licked her lips. "Let's do this then. I don't want this thing inside me for one second longer."
And once it was out, and she didn't have to worry about him killing her for it, she'd ask about her mother.
Isabelle was in with Magnus, who was busy trying to save Alec's life, and there was no way they were going to bother the warlock while he was doing this, which was why Lois, Clark, Jocelyn and Luke had left on their own to go back to Luke's, not even telling the other two what were going on right now.
"You put a tracker on her?" Jocelyn eyed Lois in shock.
"Of course I did. It isn't the first time she's gone missing and we've had to look for her, is it?" Lois placed her hands on her hips. "After it happened last time I talked to Magnus about what I could do to make sure that that didn't happen again."
Luke raised an eyebrow as he leaned against his counter. "And your brilliant idea was to put a collar and bell around her neck."
"Don't get offended, Cujo, especially when this is a good thing." Lois frowned at him, still unhappy about how hurt his knuckles were. "Because the mundane had the brilliance to think ahead, we now have a way of finding Chlo and Jace."
"One, never call me Cujo again," Luke narrowed a look on her. "Two, explain to me again how this works."
"One, Cujo is probably the least offensive canine nickname I can find for you, unless you don't mind Scrappy Doo, so you're going to have to deal with it." Lois wasn't backing down, crush on the guy or not. "And two…" She lifted her hand to reveal her bracelet. "I use this."
Clark eyed the bracelet. "That matches the necklace you gave her."
"Who knew you noticed bling, Smallville?" Lois sent him a grin before she cleared her throat. "And you're right, it matches because it's a pair to hers."
"Why a bell?" Jocelyn wanted to know.
"Inside joke between Mags and me, you wouldn't get it." Lois was quick to shake her head.
Luke raised an eyebrow. "You've gotten very close to the warlock."
"Mags and me are like this." Lois held up two fingers pressed together. "We share makeup and everything."
Clark choked on his saliva.
Jocelyn appeared highly amused yet trying her best to hide it.
Luke merely folded his arms over his chest. "So how does the magic jewelry work?"
"Well," Lois cleared her throat. "Like this." She reached for a specific bell and gave it a series of twists before she let it go and then cried out as she grabbed her head.
"Lois?" Luke's eyes widened in worry as he reached for her.
"I'm fine." Her voice was strained as she kept her head bent and her hands pressed hard against her temples. "Damn, he warned me that it would hurt but I didn't think it would be that bad." She wiped at a trickle of blood that trailed down her right nostril. "I'm going to need a painkiller when this is over."
"What are you doing?" Luke snapped at her. "Stop it! You're hurting yourself!"
"I'm fine." She growled at him, raising her eyes to his, before she took in a deep breath and let it go, repeating the process as she slowly lowered her hands from her head. "Okay, I'm getting used to it now."
"Getting used to what?" Clark pressed.
Jocelyn raised a hand to Lois' shoulder. "What are you seeing?"
Lois' hazels rose to the woman's greens. "A word. Renwick. I don't know what that means though and the other images aren't anything I can go by."
"Renwick isn't a Shadowhunter name." Jocelyn frowned. "I'm assuming that these pieces of jewelry open up a channel between you and Chloe and allow you to see things she's seen or something similar, am I correct?"
"Something along those lines." Lois nodded slowly.
"Then maybe it's not a name of a family but a place. Like a hotel." Clark cleared his throat. "Maybe she saw a sign somewhere."
Luke nodded his agreement to that.
Clark pulled out his phone and began to type on the keys rapidly.
"According to Lois Valentine used a Portal, so wherever this other place is it has to have a Portal as well." Jocelyn licked her lips. "They mightn't be in Metropolis because I don't know of any other Portal in the area."
Lois narrowed her eyes as her hands went to her temples. "I-I'm seeing snippets of Valentine. And Jace." She let out a breath of relief. "He's alive. Valentine hasn't killed Jace, at least not yet." She then whimpered. "Also got the vision of some sort of torture looking devices and a bed with straps-I think she might be in some sort of hospital or a seriously hardcore S&M playroom."
Clark looked up. "I think I know what Renwick is."
"How-?" Jocelyn turned to him.
"Google." Clark cleared his throat. "I checked the name and Metropolis, and there weren't any restaurants or anything, but what did come up was Renwick Smallpox Hospital, which apparently some sort of lunatic asylum/debtor's prison. Public access to the place, which is in disrepair, is forbidden." He shook his phone. "We have directions. It's not in Metropolis though, it's in the outskirts of Edge City."
"Edge City?" Lois flinched at the thought of that crime-filled place.
Luke turned to Jocelyn, who nodded.
Clark narrowed his eyes. "What?"
"Valentine always had a fondness for Edge City." Jocelyn took in a deep breath.
Lois made a face. "Why?" She shook her head. "You know what? Don't answer that, it doesn't matter. What do we do now?"
Luke squared his shoulders. "Now? We call my pack."
Lois' eyes widened. "You have a pack?"
Chloe tried to fight her nervousness as she eyed what looked like a torture table. She was going to die. There was no doubt about that now.
Jace glared at the straps. "No." He turned to Valentine. "No."
"They are only to make sure she's still, the process will hurt tremendously." Valentine assured the boy. "Unless you don't mind her moving and injuring-possibly killing-herself."
Jace clenched his fists.
Chloe took in a deep breath and climbed onto the table before she laid down and looked up at the ceiling.
Valentine moved to her and strapped in her legs with the leather bands before going to lock her hands in place as well. He then reached into his cloak and pulled out a seraph blade. "Samael." He spoke its name, activating its power.
Jace snarled as he came forwards. "Father!"
"It's the Angel Cup, Jonathan." Valentine stopped him with a dark look before that look went to Chloe.
She took in a deep breath. "Do your worst."
Valentine chuckled darkly. "I'll try not to."
"Try?" Jace stepped forwards.
Valentine brought the blade down into the side of her stomach, the blade slipping into her body, drawing up blood. Chloe screamed as he began to slice downwards.
"Father, stop it!" Jace hurried around the table to stop him.
By the time he'd reached him Valentine had already pulled the blade out and was watching, eyes wide and smile in place, as glowing energy began to seep out of Chloe's body.
Jace pulled out his stele and went to put an iratze on her.
Valentine stopped him. "If you do that then you'll trap some of it still inside of her."
"She's bleeding out!" Jace snapped at him as he yanked out of his hold.
The energy flowed out of Chloe like her blood, visibly forming into a Cup in the air above the slice in her body.
Jace placed the first iratze on her body, his face pale, his hands trembling.
Chloe tried to concentrate on the Cup, to ignore the pain, but she couldn't.
The last thing she saw, before the pain got too much and she fainted from blood-loss, was Valentine grabbing the fully formed Mortal Cup from the air.