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.
Jace had asked Luke to go with him back to the Institute to get his things this morning, and that in itself proved to Chloe how much he actually valued the Downworlder, even if he never actually openly admitted it.
Chloe was distracted the whole day as she sat through her different classes at school. When she wasn't in class she was in the Torch, but even that couldn't keep her mind off of her boyfriend. She kept sneaking glances to the phone, but there was no message from Jace. She wasn't sure if that was a good thing or not.
"How controversial do you think this would be?" Justin handed her a printed copy of a comic strip. "Do you think I should submit this?"
Chloe raised an eyebrow as she reached for the print out and eyed the content. Her lips twisted in dark amusement as she understood the question. "Depends. Do you want to get shoved in lockers continuously for the next couple of months?"
He sighed. "I figured you might say that." He made a face. "What if I wanted to risk it?"
She tilted her head, curious. "What bone do you have with the footballers?"
Justin shrugged. "I don't have any." At her raised eyebrow he cleared his throat. "I just don't like the idea of holding myself back out of fear of how others will react." He sent her a sidelong gaze. "You write the truth even when you know it'll piss people off. That's... I admire that."
She grinned brightly at him from where she leaned against her desk. "If you want me to publish this in the next Torch I will. But just be prepared for the ripples this will cause."
He nodded and handed her the usb stick with the whole comic in.
"You're a brave man, Gaines. I like you more and more." With a wink she took the usb stick from him.
He blushed at the praise.
Van and Gabriel shared little looks from where they were going over a problem one of the computers was having, and cleared their throats loudly.
Justin gave a little start at the sound. "I, uh, I should probably go. I-."
The door opened and Greg Arkin (one of her 'journalists') and Brendan Nash (the best photographer she'd ever worked with) entered, arguing.
"Everything okay, gentlemen?" She raised an eyebrow.
"He messed this up!" Both Greg and Brendan announced as they pointed at each other accusingly.
Chloe let out a sigh and rubbed her temples. "What happened?"
"His writing is subpar and he was distracted throughout the whole damned interview!" Brendan threw in Greg's direction. "He kept on spacing out and going all glassy eyed and it freaked Knowles out! It freaked me out! He threw me off my game!"
"Oh, is that your excuse for taking such crappy photos?" Greg snarled as he moved closer as if to punch Brendan.
"Call them crappy one more time!" Brendan hurried towards them. "I dare ya!"
Chloe narrowed her eyes and got in between the two boys, hands on their chests. "Gentlemen." Their angry gazes shot to her and then they flinched and backed down at the look she gave both of them. "Good. Thank you." She took in a deep breath and lowered her hands now that she was sure that the moment of violence was gone. She turned to Greg. "Is everything okay with you?" She did her best to let him know she was worried and that this wasn't a scolding.
He nodded. "Yeah. I just-it doesn't matter."
"It does when it affects the Torch!" Brendan snapped but looked away quickly at the glare Chloe sent him.
"If you want someone to talk to, I'm here." Chloe put her hand on the pimply and bespectacled guy's shoulder. "You know that, right?"
He nodded wordlessly.
"Good." She looked around. "That goes for all of you." She took in a deep breath. "As for the article, I'm sure I can work with whatever you two did. Just leave everything on the desk and I'll sort through things tonight." She gave them a smile. "It's okay, guys. We all have off days."
Brendan shot Greg a look before he put down the camera on the desk. He turned to Chloe. "It's a good thing you're back. You're the only professional other than me in this madhouse." And with that he left.
Greg lowered his head, less defensive now that Brendan was gone. "I'm sorry."
"Hey, I meant it. We all have this sort of day." She reached for the voice recorder he passed her. "I'll make this work, don't worry."
Head still hung, Greg left.
Justin eyed his friend before he shot Chloe a grateful look and hurried after him.
Van and Gabriel shared looks and smirked before they continued what they were doing.
The door opened again and Whitney Fordman strode into the room with Sean Kelvin as backup. "Sullivan!" He walked up to her, eyes blue flames.
"Fordman." She smiled sweetly at him just because she knew it pissed him off.
"What. The. Hell?" He showed her today's Torch, with the front page reading: "SHOULD THE SCHOOL STOP WASTING FUNDS ON THE FOOTBALL TEAM AND INSTEAD INVEST MORE IN THE BASEBALL TEAM?" Under that heading was a smaller one: "OUR VERY OWN BASEBALL STAR, ERIC MARSH, THINKS SO! AND HERE'S WHY!"
Chloe eyed the article and then raised her greens to his blues. "You'll have to articulate your question better."
A muscle jumped in Whitney's cheek as he leaned closer and glared at her. "You know what the issue is. You're dissing our team and not even giving us a chance to defend ourselves! That's biased-!"
"I'm not dissing anyone. I'm asking a question and giving the opinion of the baseball team's captain." She folded her arms over her chest. "If you remember correctly, I offered you a chance to comment on behalf of the football team but you told me, and I quote: "Not in your wettest dreams, Sullivan"." She raised an eyebrow. "I wasn't about to just stop the issue because you were too good to be interviewed for it."
"Retract this." Whitney glared at her.
She smirked and moved forwards. "Make me."
He moved so that he was a breath away from her, his lips pulled back in a growl.
She smirked harder, provoking him on purpose, sure that thanks to Jocelyn's training she could take him on if he made a move for her. "Make me, Fordman. I'm begging you to."
He sneered and opened his mouth.
"Say whatever you're thinking and I'll break your hand," a surprising voice promised from the doorway.
Chloe peered around Whitney and her face lit up as she saw the lean hunk standing in the doorway. "Jace!" She forgot all about her alpha smackdown with Whitney and hurried towards her boyfriend, throwing herself into his arms and giving a little whimper when he kissed her, hard. He was obviously marking territory, and the second he pulled away she slapped him back. "N-not in school!" She flushed and turned to Whitney and the others, who eyed her in shock. Then again, this was the first time that Jace had come to visit her in school. "While I'd love to continue fighting with you, Fordman, I'd like to have some privacy with my boyfriend."
"This isn't over, Sullivan." Whitney stormed up to her, totally ignoring Jace. "You will interview me and I will defend the football team."
"Are my dreams gonna be wetter than usual then?" She threw back at him acidly.
Whitney sneered and pushed passed her, Sean following behind.
Gabriel and Van burst out laughing and hurried out as well, grabbing their bags on their way out.
Chloe turned, flushed with embarrassment, to face her boyfriend. "Hey."
He raised an eyebrow. "The only one giving you wet dreams is me, got that?"
She snorted in embarrassment and nodded as she hooked her hands behind his neck. "Of course."
Jace's hands rested on her hips and he leaned down to kiss her, tenderly this time. He seemed to breathe her in and rested his forehead against hers. "You need to give up this whole mundane schooling system and get some proper Shadowhunter training."
"You're just annoyed that I'm an hour away from you and surrounded by guys who you can't intimidate 24/7."
He scoffed. "I'm way hotter than all the guys in this school combined. No way would you cheat."
She laughed and hid her face in his shirt. "True." She took in a deep breath and looked up at him. "How did it go at the Institute?"
He eyed her for a moment before he answered. "Maryse did what she did to get me to leave the Institute before the Inquisitor arrived." He hesitated. "In her own way she was trying to protect me."
Chloe's eyes widened. "That's good, right?"
He gave a little smile and nodded. "Luke convinced Maryse that me running away would not only make me look guilty, but that she would get in trouble for her part in it."
Chloe ran her hands over the wrinkles in his shirt. "So are you going to move back into the Institute?"
"Nope. But I'll definitely go and meet with the Inquisitor when she arrives." He eyed her closely. "We thought it would be better for everyone if I stayed with you guys. At least until my name is cleared."
She couldn't help the smile that tilted her lips. "Well, I'll put up with having you around considering that it's for the greater good."
He snorted. "You're loving the idea of Jocelyn stumbling upon the scene of us sleeping together every morning."
"No, that would be you," she countered and flushed a little at the memory of the very awkward awakening.
He grinned. "Yeah. Maybe." He then grabbed her by her hips and lifted her in the air to drop her on the surface of the closest desk. His lips were then on hers in seconds and Chloe groaned as she wrapped her thighs around him and kissed him for all she was worth.
The girl clung to him and was nearly lost in the sensation of his lips on hers that she almost didn't notice he was leaning her back against the desk. Almost. She pushed him away with a laugh at his pouting expression. "Behave."
"No, I refuse to behave." Jace grinned saucily at her. "I'm a very naughty boy. I do all sorts of bad things. I kick kittens. I make rude gestures at nuns."
Snorting in laughter, Chloe pulled him back down to her and kissed him despite her earlier words.
Jace's arms wrapped around her as he took the kiss deeper.
The bell rung above them and Jace looked up at the sound. "Is there an emergency?"
"Nope." She groaned. "It means I need to get to my next class."
He pouted and pursed his lips. "Wouldn't you prefer to skip class and make out?"
Her lips curled in a smile. "I know you're not trying to get me to rebel against this establishment and all it stands for by playing hooky with you."
He grinned at her, playfully. "I'll let you see me shirtless."
Laughter bubbled out of her lips as she slapped him away. "Go, you heathen. I must worship at the feet of the gods of wisdom."
"My feet are better made for worship," he informed her with a straight face. "And believe me, they aren't the only things you'll want to worship about my body."
She flushed darkly. "Skeddaddle. You're a terrible influence."
"Skeddaddle?" He teased as he backed away. "What century are we in again?"
She threatened to throw a paperweight at him.
He winked, blew her a kiss, and backed out of the room.
Chloe watched the door close and smiled softly to herself.
A child belonging to the Fair Folk had been killed and drained of blood.
Lucy frowned as she cracked her knuckles.
Considering that a warlock had been killed and drained of blood not two weeks ago, this new development made her extremely wary.
The first killing had been suspicious, but the second one? Two Downworlders killed in the exact same way? Some wanted to blame vampires, but the children of the night were denying any sort of involvement in the deaths. Of course, they would even if they had been involved, but these murders had been different. They weren't done by vampires. Lucy thought that that was obvious.
Something else was at play here, and she had a bad feeling that this was Valentine Morgenstern's work.
Just what was he planning, and was Jace Morgenstern really not a part of those plans?
She frowned because whatever sketchy dealings Jace was caught up in, her sister was smackdab in the middle of them. Lucy's gaze went to the pictures posted on her wall of Jace and Lois sneaking off together on multiple occasions. She'd been observing them for a while before she'd made her presence known to everyone due to the fact that she didn't see that she could get more information by being in the shadows the way she was. She'd needed to get closer, to feel things in from the inside, and her instincts told her that whatever Jace and Lois were involved in, not only wasn't Chloe a part of it, but she was completely unaware of them all-together.
Just what were Lois and Jace up to?
And were they doing them on Valentine Morgenstern's orders?
A sigh escaped her lips as she leaned harder against the wall and stared at the pictures. She reached for a small throwing blade and danced it over her knuckles in deep contemplation before, in a lightning fast move, the brunette threw the blade and it pierced the wall right through one of the pictures of Jace Morgenstern's sombre face.
A brunette eyebrow raised. "What are you up to, son of the Morning Star?"
"I still think he should be home, in the Institute." Alec frowned as he sat on the sofa at Magnus'. "Even if he's not running, it'll look bad that he's not home. It'll look like he's got something to hide or that we don't trust him." He ran his fingers through his hair. "It'll also look like the conspirators are gathering together."
"You seem to be forgetting that I'm one of those conspirators." Lois didn't even looked up from her magazine.
"Yes, but you're living with Magnus, who fought against Valentine in the Uprising. You're not living with his ex wife and the child we all know he wants." Alec made a face at her. "Out of all of them, you're the least suspicious."
"Means she'd make the perfect spy," Magnus quipped from where he sat, painting his nails. "She could be staying with me just to get information and look innocent, while actually working for Valentine and planning all of our untimely deaths."
"Thank you, Mags." Lois sent him a wide smile over the top of her magazine. "It means a lot that you think that highly of my ability to manipulate and deceive."
"Anytime, sweetheart," he grinned back.
Alec rolled his eyes and wondered why he put up with the two of them. "If I have to put you two in separate corners to keep you from influencing each other I will. Don't think I wont."
Lois and Magnus pouted at each other and simultaneously mouthed: he's so mean!
'He' took in a deep breath. "This is important. This trial by Sword has to go without a hitch, for all our sakes."
Lois put down her magazine. "Luke says it's painful."
Alec frowned. "I've never had it used on me, but I have heard the same."
Magnus gazed between the two of them. "Well, a little pain is worth it if it means that you will have the Clave off your back." He eyed his fingernails. "Anyway, it's not like any of you have a secret you wouldn't want the Clave knowing."
Something flashed in Lois' eyes before she jerked her magazine up to cover her face. "Uhuh. Of course. Totally."
Alec narrowed his eyes on her as that bad feeling he'd had at the pit of his stomach all day just got worse.
Jace looked back and forth to make doubly sure that he wasn't being followed. He'd had a bad feeling for a while now but had pushed through it because he hadn't been able to find anyone in the vicinity. He knew this was dangerous, he knew it was wrong, but he also felt that there was no other choice afforded to him. He knew that Chloe would be so angry if she found out, and he knew that it would be hard to make her understand that this was the right choice, that it was the only choice… that everything he was doing right now, was for her. She probably wouldn't see it at first, but he hoped to the Angel that she would forgive him for the deceit and the manipulations.
Taking in a deep breath, he pulled the hood over his head and ducked into the dark alleyway.
"It's going to be a witch hunt." Luke had waited until his last customer had left to say this to Jocelyn.
"Why would you think that?" The redhead narrowed her eyes.
"I know who the Inquisitor is." His expression was grim. "It's Imogen Herondale."
Jocelyn's eyes widened and she took a step back. "They have to know that she wouldn't be impartial or unbiased with this interrogation!" She ran her hand down her face. "What could they be thinking?"
Stephen Herondale, son of Imogen and her husband Marcus, had been a part of the Circle despite his mother's disapproval. He'd died during a Circle raid, a blow which devastated Imogen, and when her husband Marcus had died soon after she'd become hardened and cold.
"From what I've heard, while generally judicious and lawful when it comes to the Covenant, she has ruthlessly hunted down the former Circle members and has brutally punished those she can." Luke took in a deep breath. "I believe that that is exactly why the Clave have sent her down to do the interrogation instead of merely allowing the Silent Brothers to do so."
Jocelyn's eyes narrowed as she realized what it was that Luke wasn't saying. "They want to make an example out of the children."