Title: Jace Morgenstern's Unlucky StreakSequel to: Jace Wayland's Unstealthy StalkingCharacters: Chloe/Jace, Lois, Clark, Magnus/Alec, Jocelyn, Luke, Isabelle, others...Rating: T+Disclaimer: Don't ownSummary: Chloe is settling into life as the last Wayland. Lois is training. Jace is highly annoyed with Lois and Jocelyn, who tend to interrupt him and Chloe when he least wants them to. But with Valentine still loose, the Inquisitor breathing down their necks, and an unexpected arrival, they all have more important things to worry about.My version of City of Ashes.
"Any closer and I'll be on your lap." Chloe tried for a laugh as she bit back her nervousness. "Your Highness."
The Queen wasn't smiling, merely staring intently at Chloe. "You have grown much since last we knew of you."
Chloe blinked in surprised confusion. "Knew of me?"
"We have always had an interest in you, from the moment of your birth. Valentine might have not known about you, but the Fair Folk did." The Queen tilted her head as she leaned back in her seat, motioning for Chloe to sit next to her. "You have been in close contact with our kind until you were blinded to us and we to you."
Chloe's eyes widened and she sat down warily next to the Queen. "The block."
The Queen nodded. "Your mother did that after finding you playing with a sprite."
That was a type of faerie, right? Because she could remember hearing something about this incident. It was what had made her mother realize that she could see the Shadow World.
"And now the block is gone, and we are visible to each other once more." The Queen's gaze was shrewd. "And you are here, in my Court, of your own volition."
Chloe somehow felt like she might've stepped into a trap somehow, and yet kept her smile tremulously in place. "I heard that faeries throw one heck of a party and I just couldn't keep away."
"We are known for our revelry," the Queen agreed.
"And for your beauty." Chloe felt the desperate need to keep on this Downworlder's good side. "Everyone I have seen tonight has been incredibly beautiful. I feel like a weed among roses." When the Queen seemed to be expecting more, Chloe cleared her throat and hurried on. "But none have been as beautiful as you, my Queen. I am honored that you would know who I am, and grant me this audience."
The Queen nodded, apparently placated by those words, although there was a smirk on her lips. "You're not as smooth as Valentine, but you have potential."
Chloe's eyes widened. "You know Valentine?"
"Once," the Queen nodded.
"But I thought-."
"Valentine did not always hate Downworlders as he does now," she interrupted knowingly.
Chloe stared at the Downworlder before she looked up to see a couple of sprites flying towards her, carrying a goblet heavy with what appeared to be some sort of wine. She'd already been warned not to consume anything from down here by Isabelle, but Chloe felt that the Queen would be insulted if she refused it, so the girl merely accepted the goblet with a smile and resolved not to drink anything from it. She'd distract the Queen with conversation and hope that the other woman wouldn't notice. "Is the party tonight to celebrate anything in particular or do you just throw a lot of parties?"
"We are a festive species." The Queen eyed Chloe with dark amusement, as if she could see through her. "I met your mother once."
Chloe looked up at the Queen in shock. "You did?"
"Yes, she came to my kingdom before she blinded us to each other, and asked that I keep my people from you. She said that our presence kept you from being safe. I believe secretly she feared we would steal you away and leave a Changeling in your place." The Queen tilted her head, her clear blues on Chloe sharply. "We refused her request and offered the both of you the sanctuary of life in the Court amongst our kind. It was after she left that we were blinded to you and confounded in that we couldn't remember where you were."
There was so much to the block that Chloe didn't know, it was horrifying. "Why would you offer to let us stay here?" Isabelle said that faeries didn't help humans out of the goodness of their hearts, there was almost always a sinister twist to their reasons.
"Because we know what you are and wanted to witness firsthand the results of Valentine's twisted work - his unknown creation."
Chloe felt chilled. "You wanted to experiment on me."
The Queen laughed, the sound like a bell. "The experimentation had already been performed. We merely wished to be present to see the consequences of that work... Consequences you already know of, or believe you do."
Chloe's eyes widened as she thought of the memories of what the block had taken from her. Memories of the night Valentine's men had attacked her in her uncle's home. Men. Not man. After the block had fallen this memory, and others the block had kept from her, had started to come back slowly, but the others weren't as horrifying as that one. She could remember what she'd done to that man, and how he'd died.
Lois, Jace and Clark were the only ones she'd told.
The Queen of the Seelie Court eyed Chloe with a knowing smirk. "I see that you do have an idea of the consequences."
Chloe gulped and gazed up at the intimidating woman.
"Why don't you have some of your honeywine? It is delectable." The Queen motioned to Chloe's goblet.
A moment's panic raced through Chloe's body before she pushed it back and forced herself to smile at the other woman. "I'm such a lightweight if I do I won't be able to dance, and I want to enjoy the party with the others. I hear Meliorn will give me a token so I won't be harmed, and if I am tipsy I won't be able to repay his kindness by actually participating in the fey festivities."
The Queen's smirk proved she could see right through Chloe, something which seriously worried the blonde, but she didn't have a moment to wonder desperately what to do because the Queen was already removing a ring from her thumb and outstretching her hand towards Chloe invitingly.
"Your Highness?" Chloe gulped as she held out her hand and placed it in the Queen's.
She could feel the weight of the glances of every faerie in that room on her.
"Meliorn is preoccupied with that Shadowhunter of his, so let me be the one to give you a token." She slipped the ring onto Chloe's thumb. "Now you may safely enjoy the pleasures of my court."
Chloe stared down at the beautiful ring, which truly looked like living vines woven together. The vines curled around her finger and tightened to a perfect fit. "It's beautiful My Queen." As a coolness raced throughout her body, Isabelle's warning against fey's 'help' caused the blonde to hope against hope that this ring wouldn't kill her. "Thank you, I'm honored that you would lend me such a beautiful token."
The Queen's eyes didn't betray anything as she merely nodded and let Chloe's hand fall. "The ring suits you."
Chloe stared at the beautiful fey creation, seriously taken with it as she raised her hand so that the lights from the will-o-wisps could show it more, revealing that there were tiny stones hidden amongst the vines.
The Queen took the goblet from her and handed it to a group of sprites, who took it away, a pleased smile on her face. "Now go, and enjoy the festivities."
Chloe's gaze returned to the Queen as she stood, giving a little bow of her head. "Thank you, Your Highness. You are gracious."
Amusement was clear on the monarch's face. "Yes, I am." She raised her hand towards Chloe.
It took the blonde a couple of seconds to realize she was supposed to kiss it; she reached for that hand and pressed a kiss to one of the Queen's rings before straightening. "Will you be joining in the festivities?"
"Maybe later," she responded vaguely. "Please, go and enjoy. Dance and revel in the wonders of my Court."
Chloe nodded. "I will, thank you My Queen." With that she left the room and slipped out of the screen, seeing that Meliorn and Isabelle were gone, the male obviously having taken the Shadowhunter back to where the dancing and such were going on.
The blonde slipped into the crowd, her fingers playing softly over the interwoven vines wrapped around her thumb. She felt lost in the magic around her. It wasn't a fairy tale, these weren't benevolent creatures, but that was part of the appeal. Chloe could somewhat get Isabelle now. The vulpine, feral natures betrayed by the expressions on those beautiful faces entranced her, but it wasn't their perfection that drew her. No, the things that betrayed them for what they were - the skin, the horns, the hands - did.
Anyone else would be turned off by this, but not Chloe, she was drawn in and fascinated.
"Here," a voice announced to her side.
Chloe turned to stare at the male before she lowered her gaze to what he held out towards her, expecting a drink and yet finding a mask instead. She didn't take it, merely looked up at him in confused surprise.
"I noticed earlier that you were looking at the masks with longing." His lips curled in a smile. "I figured you wanted one too."
Chloe reached for the mask and then jerked when his hand caught her wrist, that jolt racing through her once more.
"Did the Queen give that to you?" His gaze was on her ring.
Her eyes widened. "It's not going to kill me, is it?"
His smirk grew, the male highly amused with her as he shook his head. "As far as I know it won't." He pulled her closer so he could get a better look. "It's a royal ring, a very rare token." He let go of her. "Make sure not to lose that, I am not sure Her Highness would forgive you if you did."
Chloe gulped and held the hand to her heart, making sure the ring was tightly woven around her thumb and not loose in the least bit. "Thanks for the warning."