COLS Deleted Snippet

This snippet is from the fifth Mortal Instruments book, City of Lost Souls. This is after Jace becomes evil, and Cassie ended up rewriting this scene for the book, but this was the first draft.

Clary didn’t know how long she’d been sitting on Luke’s front steps when the sun began to come up. It rose behind his house, the sky turning a dark pinkish-rose, the river a strip of steely blue. She was shivering — had been shivering so long that her whole body seemed to have contracted into a single hard shudder of cold. She had used two warming runes, but they hadn’t helped; she had a feeling the shivering was psychological as much as anything else. Would he come? If he was still as much Jace inside as she thought he was, he would; when he said he would come back for her, he would have meant as soon as possible. Jace was impatient. And he didn’t play games.

But there was only so long she could wait. Eventually Magnus would wake up, and look for her; her mother would return from the Iron Fortress with Brother Zachariah. She would have to give up on Jace, for at least another day, if not longer.

She shut her eyes against the brightness of the sunrise, resting her elbows on the step above her. For just a moment, she let herself float in the fantasy that everything was as it had been, that nothing had changed, that she would meet Jace this afternoon for practice, or that night for dinner, and he would hold her and make her laugh the way he always did. Warm tendrils of sunlight touched her face. Reluctantly, her eyes fluttered open.

And he was there, walking toward her up the steps, soundless as a cat as always. He wore boots, black pants, a dark blue sweater that made his hair look like sunlight. She sat up straight, her heart pounding. The brilliant sunshine seemed to outline him in light, and his eyes shone like polished shields. She thought of that night in Idris, watching the fireworks, how they had streaked across the sky and she had thought of angels, falling in fire.

He reached her and held his hands out; she took them, and let him pull her to her feet. His pale gold eyes searched her face. “I want you with me,” he said. “But I want it to be your choice. Once we go, there’s no coming back.”

“And if I say no?” she said, in a whisper.

“Then I’ll come back and ask you again later. And again after that. But it’ll always be your choice.”

“I love you,” she said. “There never has been, never will be anyone for me but you.”

He shook his head. “Love is too small a word,” he said. “You’re in my bones and my blood and my heart. I’d have to tear myself open to let you go, and even then …” He pulled her against him, against his heart. “Come with me, Clary. Come with me.”

“I hate the idea of living without you,” she said, and thought, and now the lying begins. “I want to come with you. I don’t care where we go, or what you’re doing, or about anything but being with you.”

He smiled, brilliant as the sun coming out from behind the clouds. “You’re sure?”

“I’m sure.”

He leaned forward and kissed her. Reaching up to hold him, she tasted something bitter on his lips; then darkness came down like a curtain signaling the end of of the act of a play.


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