Isabelle nearly dragged me through the crowded streets and subways of New York City. It wasn’t until I recognized some stares that I realized all five of the others were hidden from view. I looked like I was talking to myself. I veiled myself and I heard Isabelle gasp. I grinned and released it, “I can do it too.”
Isabelle smiled, “Sorry didn’t realize you weren’t glamoured. Can you hide from everyone or limit it to everyone but us.”
I shook my head, “I can veil us all which is pointless but you could see me.” It’s what I did so that I wasn’t quite so standoutish. “It really doesn’t matter how big it is so I can just make it large enough to encompass us, but in a fight I will be visible. Unless I hide from everyone.”
Jace nodded. “That’s good to know. You are crazy.”
“I am. But usually I don’t talk to myself.” I agreed with a smile.
We walked up outside of a club. “The disturbance is in the club?” And as if my question heralded the mass of people fleeing the club under pretense of fire we snuck in. “Okay then.” I added having my question answered for me.
The five Shadow hunters – which I thought was an apt name since they hunted demons who were shadowy creatures. They also called their world the shadow world. I supposed it was better than the underworld or the underground like we called it. The five Shadow hunters called out words I barely understood. “What do you say to make your swords glow?” It was an innocent question.
“Angel names.” Simon said quickly. “You don’t know the angels?”
“Uh. No. I’m not even slightly religious, the human religion as they know it is only part of what we believe. And most of it’s wrong because we made so – we as in the supernatural world.”
“You don’t have angels?” Clary asked.
“We do, but they are nothing more than good aligned demons in comparison, -taking over human hosts so they can live a life. Demons, angels and ghosts are all the same class supernatural of creatures – we called marionettes.”
Simon laughed. “Puppets.”
I nodded. “Precisely.”
Alec shushed us and I stuck my tongue out at him and he rolled his eyes. Simon grinned and whispered, “He’s never any fun.”
I spoke loud enough for Alec to hear but made it seem like a secret. “I’m fairly certain he is a lot of fun in certain circles.” I saw red creep up the archers neck and brighten his ears even in the dim light of the club entrance. He didn’t look my direction again but he waved us all into position and we spread out. I went with Isabelle, Jace and Alec went up the stairs to left and Clary and Simon headed off into the club to the right. Isabelle and I went straight down the middle. Isabelle grabbed my hand and she bumped into a person who I could have sworn had green skin, but I didn’t have time to gawk as I dropped my veil and Isabelle and I danced our way through the crowd. She waved to me as she saw a commotion at the far side of the club.
The music thrummed through my body and I could feel the waxing and waning of the music pull at me. It was hard to stay on task with the throng of bodies around me and a beautiful woman whom I was dutifully following. I didn’t think her boyfriend would appreciate my thoughts. But he can’t get in my head so I was more than fine with looking. Cause that’s all I’d do my heart and hands had other things to occupy themselves – if I ever got home.
The group we were encroaching upon had started pushing the smaller group around. I didn’t think this looked like a demon attack until one of them shifted their face into something Alien like or maybe it was Predator type – didn’t matter, it wasn’t normal. An arrow flew threw the air and landed in the shifted demon’s eye and it shattered into a burst of fire and sparks as Jace landed just feet away from it from above.
Isabelle had her whip out and people in the club looked at us with disdain, some fled, but most that remained all stayed, just away from where the fight started to break out. I saw Clary and Simon near the bar coming up behind the demon horde that looked like a bunch of drunken men and women, but they hissed through weird faces and when they attacked it was a blur of motion. I stood and watched as the Shadow hunters carved their way through the demons. They hadn’t needed my help but one demon was flanking Alec and I threw a razor sharp flow of air just in front of Alec and it split the demon clear in two as they both dissipated into fiery sparks. Alec spared me a glance and a nod of thanks as he let more arrows fly across before he pulled his sword out and recited another angel name Nox didn’t know and it began to glow that eerie glow.
The fight was over before it began really. None of the Shadow hunters were hurt, not even a small injury as they gathered in the center of the area they’d been fighting collecting whatever remained. The group that had been attacked was looking at Jace with frightened eyes. They were flowery and pretty and very dangerous looking. Isabelle scowled, “You need to leave here now. The Cold Peace hasn’t been broken we were doing our jobs. Go now!”
Isabelle looked up at my querying look of confusion. “Long story.” She smiled. “You didn’t throw any fireballs.”
I shrugged, “You didn’t need my help.”
Alec added, “He got one that I didn’t see.”
“You would have gotten it. I just saw it first.” I smiled. He shrugged it off like he had everything else I had notice. Alec only seemed confident in himself when Magnus was around and what a shame.
The music had never stopped thrumming, and now that the disturbance was over the club was filling up again. The throng of people was pooling around them. Isabelle smiled happily, “Well, we are already here.” She grabbed Simon’s hand and dragged him out into the dance floor. Jace shrugged and offered Clary his hand and she took it with ease and they danced their way out on to the dance floor. Which left me with Mr. Archer and his shy self.
I nodded towards a table big enough for all of us and a tiny waitress came over and asked our order. I smiled, “I’ll just have a water, Duckling.”
She smiled at the endearment and looked to Alec, “Same.”
The table was round, and the bench curled around it, both of us had chosen to sit near the middle so the others could pile in around us. I moved closer so I didn’t have to yell. Alec looked at me in confusion and he blushed. I grinned across the small space between us. “I’m not going to hit on you or make a move. At least not unless you want me to. I don’t want to yell so you can hear me.”
Alec nodded. He was a man of few words. I leaned closer, “Call him.”
I repeated myself with a little more detail. “Call Magnus. I’m sure he’d join you.”
“He said he’d text me when he got home.” Alec glanced at his phone and showed me the time stamp of his last text. “He’s not home yet. He’s trying to help you. I’m fine. Besides that would leave you alone.”
I grinned at Alec, “Duckling, I can entertain myself. Girls and boys aren’t so different here as they are at home. If I wanted to get laid I could.”
I watched as the blush light up his face and he didn’t look at me. I smiled. “Am I too much?”
He shook his head. And his voice was low, embarrassed. “No one talks like that to me – other than Magnus.”
I leaned back and draped an arm around Alec, resting it on the back of the cushioned bench, “Then they are missing out.”
Our water arrived and Alec hastily pulled it to his lips and swallowed the whole thing in two gulps. I pushed mine to him and he took it gratefully but drank it a little slower and leaned back against the chair. The ends of his dark hair tickling the bar skin of my arm. We sat in silence watching the throng on the dance floor.
I pointed out Simon and Isabelle and Alec giggled softly to himself as I commented, “He’s such a nerd. Not sure how Isabelle handles all that – it sure isn’t dancing.”
Alec jumped as I heard the small vibration in his pocket. He pulled out his phone and looked at it with a bright smile. “Magnus is home.”
“Invite him here.” I said with a smile.
Alec was busily texting with Magnus as the waitress brought us more water. I sipped at mine as I watched Jace and Clary dance. They were clearly in love, and very clearly they moved well together. I was almost jealous.
I didn’t think I’d been staring off into the crowd too long but I felt another person scooting across the seat and looked up to see Magnus grinning at Alec. I moved my arm and Magnus winked as Alec threw his arm around the warlock’s shoulders. “I’m going to go find someplace else to be.” I said as I started moving to the side. Magnus grabbed my arm “You don’t have to. We’ll behave.”
“No, by all means misbehave, break the boy out of his shell. He blushes too much.” Which of course had Alec deepening in color. “See.”
Magnus just grinned knowingly as I pulled free of his glittery grip and made my way out onto the dance floor. I turned to see the two men kissing tenderly in the booth and went about my own business. Actually I took it upon myself to help out Isabelle with her boy-toy.
I stood behind Simon and he nearly yelped when I grabbed Isabelle from the short distance and pulled her against her boyfriend. She grinned up at me. Simon was trying to break free of the sandwich I’d created of him. I bent his knees and Isabelle danced against him. Simon eventually picked up on what I was trying to do as I put one of his hands around her neck and the other on her waist. He moved more fluidly with Isabelle against him and smiled a nod to Isabelle and turned to move against another nearby person. They leaned against me.
I let the music thrum through my body. It had been a good long time since I’d been on a dance floor that didn’t cater to slower dancing. I felt someone up against my back side and smiled as I raised an arm around me and leaned back against them. He was taller than I was. My fingers ran through the back of his hair and found it full of product. I looked back over my shoulder to find Magnus pushed up against me. Alec was behind him blushing. I pulled away from the warlock. He was grinning as he pulled me back and whispered, “Alec wants you to do what you did with Simon.”
I looked back at the archer and his blushing seemed to deeper even though I knew he hadn’t heard. I nodded and Magnus turned to take Alec in his arms and Alec nearly melted into his boyfriend. He didn’t need my help, but he didn’t move either. He let Magnus take the lead and followed without any additional advice. But that wasn’t what he wanted help with.
I took a deep breathe and placed myself at Alec’s backside and felt him tense. I whispered in his ear, “Relax. I’m not going to do anything more than guide you. Even if I want to very badly.”
I knew Alec was blushing deeper but I pulled away from him – he was tempting. Such allure to the inexperienced. But he was taken, and I had my own rules and my own loves. I pushed my knees against Alec’s and he loosened up his posture a little falling more into sync with Magnus’ movements. The glittery man moved with precision and grace that only a dancer could have. I wondered if he had had lessons. Once Alec was relaxed enough I put a hand on his hip and moved him against Magnus which garnered yet another blush and Alec leaned against Magnus chest and buried his face in the crock of Magnus’ neck.
Alec looked like he belonged there. Magnus mouthed “Thank you!”
I nodded. And I left the dance floor before being accosted by another couple looking for dancing advice. My heart was aching as I took a seat at the bar and with a water and waited till my friends were danced out.