TMI TV Tuesday: The Importance of Staying True to the Books

The Mortal Instruments

Every Tuesday, TMI Source and Fangirlish are bringing you TMI TV Tuesdays, where we discuss different aspects regarding the upcoming television adaptation of The Mortal Instruments.

With every adaptation there is a great risk of the source material being altered to extremes. As fans of Cassandra Clare’s books, our first obligation is to the world and the characters that live and breath on the pages. And when the time comes for them to make their way from the pages to the screen, we hope with every fiber of our being that they’ll be treated with care and respect.

It’s important to note that with any adaptation there are certain liberties that the showrunner, producers or studio will take as they adapt it for the big or small screen. But there’s a huge difference between changes that are necessary and changes that are forced and will negatively affect the adaptation.

It feels sort of repetitive and you have to wonder why it even needs to be said, but The Mortal Instruments television show must stay true to the books. And, no, I don’t mean that every single thing that happens in the books must be portrayed to a tee on the small screen. But the important events and the spirit of the Shadowhunter world must remain intact. Because it’s not the Shadowhunter world without it. And it might as well be an entirely different show altogether.

One of the problems with The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones were the changes to things that were actually quite important to the story and the overall series, like Valentine not ending up with the Mortal Cup by film’s end. That was a significant change that affected the plot of the then-second-planned film. It was imperative that Valentine wind up with the Cup — that Clary had to lose something so that she was motivated to fight back, that Valentine posed an immediate threat. All of that was taken away because of the decision to have Clary come away victorious with the Cup. You don’t grow as a person because you win, you grow because you fail and then rise up and keep fighting back. That’s the spirit we all fell in love with. And that’s the spirit I hope remains intact in the show.

The simple fact is that there are going to be changes. There are going some things that are left and some things that are added as a means to move the show along. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to be bad. You might even find them needed. The important thing is to recognize the things that you can change and things that you can’t. It’s not merely because the fans want it but also because it’s important to the spirit of the series.

Speaking in regards to television, there are certain shows that have gotten it right and others that have gotten it wrong (more on that in a future TMI TV Tuesday), but the important thing to note right now is that The Mortal Instruments has the chance to redeem itself. It can be one of these shows that people talk about when they talk about great adaptations, or it can be one that people laugh about how it went horribly wrong. But I have faith that those at Constantin and Ed Decter know the importance of being faithful to the books and will deliver us a show that the fans and Cassandra Clare’s characters deserve.

Angelic Power Rune

Head over to FANGIRLISH on Thursday to read their thoughts on why  it’s important that The Mortal Instruments staying true to the source material, and check back every Tuesday for TMI TV TUESDAYS.

What are your thoughts? How important is it to you that they stay as true to the series as possible? What would be your reaction if they took to many liberties with it? Sound off in the comments!

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Exclusive: Cassandra Clare talks ‘The Bane Chronicles’ audiobook + listen to a clip from Magnus’ voicemail

The Bane Chronicles

The Bane Chronicles hits stores today in all of its hardback and audiobook glory, and we’re bringing you an exclusive interview with Cassandra Clare as she talks about the audiobook and how they brought together different actors to voice each individual installment.

We’ve also got an exclusive clip from Magnus’ voicemail, featuring messages from Alec and Isabelle Lightwood!

The Bane Chronicles is now available to own in hardback, audiobook and eBook.

TMI TV Tuesday: Five Reasons Why ‘The Mortal Instruments’ Will Work Better As A TV Series

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Every Tuesday, TMI Source and Fangirlish are bringing you TMI TV Tuesdays, where we discuss different aspects regarding the upcoming television adaptation of The Mortal Instruments.

If at first you don’t succeed, try again. That’s the mindset Constantin has in regards to reviving The Mortal Instruments as a television series. While the series failed as a film franchise, there is renewed hope in regards to it lighting up the small screen. And, frankly, this is a good thing.

While there have been several successful YA film franchises, including The Hunger Games, Divergent and Twilight, there have been more than double as many failures, The Mortal Instruments included. But sometimes a two and half hour film doesn’t work when adapting a 500-page book filled with world building and character development. But the important thing is The Mortal Instruments may have found new life in the television world.

Here are five reasons why we believe The Mortal Instruments will work better as a television show.

1. More Time For World Building

One of the problems with The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones was the lack of world building for those unfamiliar with the material. But even then, fans were still very much looking forward to seeing the world come to life through a different medium. It’s not that they didn’t try, it’s just there was no time to do so in a way that the source material was owed. That’s one of the challenges faced with adapting not only a 500-page book into a two and half hour film but one with so much rich history that can get lost in the shuffle. With a television show you’re given at minimum 13 hours or maximum 23 hours per season. There is going to be so much time at showrunner Ed Decter’s disposal as he’s crafting a way to introduce this world and flesh it out through the eyes of our heroine Clary Fray.

2. Fleshing Out the Characters

One of the things that I love so much about television is the amount of time you have to dedicate to your characters. It’s the same thing that applies in books and it’s why the series has such an impact on its reader or viewer. When done right it’s like you’re being treated to a one-hour short film every week and you get to know the characters on a much deeper level than you’d ever get to on film. Not only will we get to really dig deep with our main cast of characters, but the minor characters that we’ve grown to love will get their chance to shine. Remember how they cut Rafael from the film? That needn’t be a problem on the show, where Decter can take an entire episode to not only flesh out his character in the present, but as well as in the past. It also provides an opportunity to explore unseen — well, in this case unread – stories involving the characters. The characters are the heart and soul of Cassie’s books and for the series to truly shine, they will have to be the heart and soul of the show, as well.

3. Telling the Story Right

When you task yourself with crafting a film based on a 500-page book it’s obvious that some story lines are going to get the ax. And that rang true for The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, which featured either an extreme condensing or a complete deletion of scenes in its screen adaptation. While there’s no promise that everything that happens in the books will happen on the show, there’s much more time to flesh out certain story lines and really take the time to tell the story right. There’s no need to rush through or completely ignore certain scenes due to time restrictions. And unlike in a film where you can’t undo a mistake, if something isn’t working on the show you can fix it in the upcoming episodes.

4. More to Work With 

With movies you only have so much to work with and so little time to do so. With television there will be more time to fully utilize the source material from the entire series and not just City of Bones. Reports have indicated that they will start with City of Bones and then slowly delve into the other five books. There is so much story to work with in just City of Bones alone and you have at most 22 hours to work with in telling an entire season arc. Also, since Constantin owns the rights for all of Cassie’s works, who’s to say we couldn’t possibly get flashbacks hinting at the times of The Infernal Devices somewhere far down the road? The possibilities are endless when you have so much time and story to work with.

5. Less Pressure to Succeed

The make-or-break factor in aspiring film franchises — whether it’s Young Adult or not — is money. That’s the goal for big-budget studios. It’s the most important thing. And you normally get one shot with opening weekend. Now with television, it’s more about the viewers than the money. The viewers dictate advertisers and advertising costs. But you see, they’re both aimed at making money — it’s what this world revolves around — but it’s not about the viewers’ money (in most cases), it’s about the advertisers’ money. How much are they going to pay for an ad to run during a network’s most popular show? But let’s not mistake it, pressure is still very much a factor. It’s just ratings pressure and it’s not as intense as making sure you hit a $60 million opening weekend. And unlike with films you get more than one shot to shine. With movies it’s opening weekend or bust. For television it’s weekly ratings or bust, but sometimes if a show’s social media presence is strong enough they’ll give it another shot.

Angelic Power Rune

Head over to FANGIRLISH on Thursday to read their thoughts on why The Mortal Instruments will work better as a television series, and check back every Tuesday for TMI TV TUESDAYS.

What are your thoughts? Why do you think The Mortal Instruments could possibly work better as a television show?

‘Mortal Instruments’ television series to run one-hour episodes

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When it comes to The Mortal Instruments television series, there’s no such thing as too much news. And the news keeps on coming.

After official word on Monday that The Mortal Instruments would indeed be revived on the small screen, new information about the show has been revealed.

According to Deadline, episodes of the show will run one hour long and start from the beginning with City of Bones and later expanding to the rest of the series.

Initially there was concern where the show would pick up — would it start from the beginning or pick up after The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones film? Starting from the beginning makes the most sense as the TV series is a completely separate entity from the film, and it will help with the world building that takes place right from the start of the first book.

Also, Unique Features’ Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne, who served as executive producers on the film, will executive produce the television series.

Production on The Mortal Instruments television show is set to get underway in 2015.

Stay tuned for all of the latest updates along the way.

Constantin Film exec praises ‘Mortal Instruments’ showrunner Ed Decter

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Following news at Mipcom that The Mortal Instruments would be revived on the small screen, Constantin Film gave the official word on Monday.

“We are thrilled to give this epic tale of good versus evil a brand new dimension,” Constantin Film Chairman Martin Moszkowicz said in a press release.

Things are looking up for the small screen adaptation with Ed Decter tapped to serve as showrunner for the series.

Constantin Film co-president Robert Kulzer praised Decter, whose credits include “There’s Something About Mary,” “Unforgettable,” “The Client List” and “In Plain Sight,” for his “passion and love” for the series, in this Deadline article.

“Ed Decter brings a tremendous track record to the table,” said Robert Kulzer. “As a showrunner we wanted someone who shares our passion and love for these characters and stories, and Ed has a remarkable ability to form narratives.”

The Mortal Instruments show is slated for 2015.

Cassandra Clare talks ‘Mortal Instruments’ television series

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In case you’ve been living under a rock, news regarding The Mortal Instruments‘ transition from film franchise to television series has been the hot topic in the fandom this past week.

Cassandra Clare took to Tumblr to answer some more questions about The Mortal Instruments television series, including her thoughts on if the original film cast might return for the show, where they might pick up in regards to City of Bones or City of Ashes and the future of an Infernal Devices show.

On learning about TMI TV series:

Well, here’s the thing. I pretty much know what you do. I knew there was discussion about whether to continue with making TMI films or explore the avenue of television. I didn’t know about the definite decision, or who the writer/show runner would be until it was announced at Mipcom and reported in the Hollywood Reporter.

I have no idea what channel it will be on, or what countries it will be shown in (though I have seen some fretting that it will be “only in the US” which seems wildly unlikely since the production company isn’t even American) and no idea at all about …

On if the film’s cast will return for the television show:

So clearly the biggest question about the TV show is “Will they keep the same cast from the film?”

And the answer is unfortunately I don’t know. 

I mean, I can look at the history of television. There are hundreds of movies that were adapted into television shows, some based on books (Friday Night Lights) some not (Buffy the Vampire Slayer.) I can think of only one where they kept anyone from the feature film, and that’s MASH, in which Radar was played by the same actor in the film and the show.

Now that I look at what I just said, I see I’ve made somewhat the same phrasing mistake I see all over, which is about whether they’ll “keep the cast” as if the cast definitively wanted to be in the show, when I am pretty sure none of us knows any such thing. So there’s that.

Now keep in mind I have absolutely no idea whether the cast wants to return, and no idea what the plans of the production company are — but usually the cast of a feature film changes when it becomes television because 1) movie actors often don’t want to do TV 2) contractual obligations can prevent it 3) they may have other commitments that would prevent them from being able to do something as time-consuming as television 4) the ages of the characters in the TV show may not be the same as the ages of the characters in the film 4) any of a million reasons. To be able to keep the same cast a million factors would need to line up perfectly: desires, times, contracts, availability, etc.

So I have no idea. The only position of authority I am speaking from here is as someone who used to work for an entertainment magazine and knows something about the business of TV and movies. That’s it.

On whether the show would start from City of Bones or pick up with City of Ashes:

I have no idea about this one. Buffy started up after the first movie, placing the events of the film squarely in the show’s past, and rarely referring to them (since they didn’t really track with the show.) Teen Wolf recaps the events of the film with a different spin. They could go either way, with the caveat that they’d have to start the show somewhere where people who’d never seen the film could understand it.

On having to wait for an Infernal Devices television series:

There was a rumor that TID was going to be a TV series. I never encountered a single piece of factual evidence that that was happening. (Like, for instance, in this case, when they are developing a TMI TV show, there are multiple articles about it.)

It’s only been about 2 years since TID ended – not much of a wait really. We live in an odd media moment where we expect everything to be fast-tracked, but that’s not really the norm. I think Game of Thrones and Outlander both took about 20 years to become television shows.

If there was a TMI series, and it was successful, it would dramatically increase the chances of a TID film or TV show. If you want a TID show or movie, this is the best news you could get, not the worst. Because I saw no signs a TID show was happening otherwise.

On getting to see characters from the books that didn’t make it into the movie:

One of the nice things about there being a TV show is the opportunity to see characters like Raphael, who was cut from the film, and Maia. I admire both those actresses and would certainly want Maia to be played by an actress of color.

On the fans’ concern about the television series changing things:

I understand being scared about the idea of a TV show instead of more films. You got used to the cast of the films and the look and settings. I like the film cast a lot. I like them as actors and as people.

However I do think that TMI is a better fit for TV than movies because it has a huge amount of backstory, which is nearly impossible to fit into a film, which is why for instance unless you read the books you would never have found out in the first film what the Mortal Cup actually did. TV gives you a chance to see the Circle in detail, the backstories of characters rendered visually, more time for more minor characters (like Magnus) etc. It really gives you time to wallow around in a world. And whatever actors they cast, if they were good choices, I am confident you you would come to love them as well, in the same way it is possible to love both Robert Downey Jr. and Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes, or Martin Freeman and Lucy Liu and Jude Law as Watson. No one actor is ever the only one in the world who can interpret a character — that’s not how acting is supposed to work, really. Even when they are amazing and lovely, as the TMI cast was and is.

I’m not trying to convince anyone to like the idea of a TV series if you don’t. I’m just saying that as someone with no more control over the situation than you, I think this is a good thing. Maybe they would have made a City of Ashes movie. Maybe not. I’d rather know something is happening than not know if anything is happening. And in Hollywood, what breeds development is success. If a TV show were successful, they’d probably be more likely to make a CoA or TDA or TID movie, not less. If what you want is to see movies and TV of the books you like, than the worst thing that can happen isn’t a movie when you wanted a TV show or a TV show when you wanted a movie, or a radio play when you wanted a musical. It’s nothing.

Anyway, I’ll be going out this November to see the production company and TV folks, so I may have more information then. We will see!

Sounds like maybe we’ll hear some more news come next month!

‘The Mortal Instruments’ returning as a TV series

 

CityofBones

The Mortal Instruments is continuing. As a television series.

The Hollywood Reporter made the announcement that The Mortal Instruments is returning as a TV series, which is currently in development and set to begin production next year. Ed Decter will act as showrunner.

“It actually makes sense to do (the novels) as a TV series,” Constantin film and TV head Martin Moszkowicz told THR. “There was so much from the book that we had to leave out of the Mortal Instruments film. In the series we’ll be able to go deeper and explore this world in greater detail and depth.”

There are no broadcast partners yet attached.

Since production is set to begin next year (2015), it sounds like they’ll begin filming on the pilot around March next year and are aiming for a spot on the Fall 2015 TV schedule. More than likely this unfortunately means they will be recasting.

How are you feeling about the news? Sound off in the comments!

James observes his parents in new ‘The Last Hours’ snippet

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Ready for a Herondale teaser from The Last Hours? Ask and Cassandra Clare shall deliver.

In the latest snippet from The Last Hours, James Herondale takes a look at his “extraordinary” parents.

James could see his mother moving like an anxious pale star among the guests in her lilac dress, greeting each of them warmly, welcoming them to her home. She had not glamoured herself to look her husband’s age for the evening, and she appeared enormously young, though her hair was done up like a gracious older woman’s, not a girl’s. When Will materialized out of the crowd and came to put his arm around Tessa, smiling down at her, the gray at his temples flashed like silver. James looked away; he loved his parents for being extraordinary, but sometimes he also hated them for the same thing.

The first book in The Last Hours Chain of Thorns is slated for a 2017 release*

*date not final

Read Parts Three and Four of Tessa/Jem Story ‘After the Bridge’

Photo Credit: Vania Stoyanova

Photo Credit: Vania Stoyanova

Ever wondered what happened with Tessa and Jem after their meeting on Blackfriar’s Bridge in the epilogue of Clockwork Princess?

Well, we’re about to find out, thanks to Cassandra Clare, who has introduced a new story which will be shared in several installments.

Warning from Cassie: “Those who do not like Tessa&Jem together or Jessa sexytimes probably should skip this one. Those who like that sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like.”

The story will alternate between Tessa and Jem’s POV.

Warning: Clockwork Princess spoilers:

Here is Part Three:

AFTER THE BRIDGE 3/4

Now is the time of our comfort and plenty

These are the days we’ve been working for

Nothing can touch us and nothing can harm us

And nothing goes wrong anymore

 Keane – Love Is The End  

As it turned out, Tessa had a flat she owned in London. It was the second floor of a pale white townhouse in Kensington, and as she let them both inside — her hand only shaking very slightly as she turned the keys — she explained to Jem that Magnus had taught her how warlocks could finagle their way into owning homes over many centuries by willing the properties to themselves.

“After a while I just started picking silly names for myself,” she said, shutting the door behind them. “I think I own this place under the pseudonym Bedelia Codfish.”

Jem laughed, though his mind was only partly on her words. He was gazing around the flat — the walls were painted in bright colors: a lilac living room, scattered with white couches, an avocado-green kitchen. When had Tessa bought the flat, he wondered, and why? She had traveled so much, why make a home base in London?

The question dried up in his throat when he turned and realized that through a partly open door, he could glimpse the blue walls of what was likely a bedroom.

He swallowed at that, his mouth gone suddenly dry. Tessa’s bed. That she slept in.

She narrowed her eyes at him. “Are you all right?” She took him by the wrist; he felt his pulse jump under her touch. Until he had become a Silent Brother, it always had. He’d wondered during his time in Idris, after the heavenly fire had cured him, if it would still be like that with them: if his human feelings would return to him. He had been able to touch her and be near her as a Silent Brother without wanting her as he had when he was a mortal. He had still loved her, but it had been a love of the spirit, not the body. He had wondered — feared, even, that the physical feelings and responses would not come back the way they had. He had told himself that even if Silent Brotherhood had killed the ability of his feelings to manifest themselves physically, he would not be disappointed. He had told himself to expect it.

He shouldn’t have worried.

The moment he had seen her on the bridge, coming toward him through the crowd in her modern jeans and Liberty scarf, her hair flying out behind her, he had felt his breath catch in his throat.

And when she had drawn the jade pendant he had given her out from around her neck and shyly proffered it to him, his blood had roared to life in his veins like a river undammed.

And when she had said, I love you. I always have, and I always will, it had taken everything he had not to kiss her in that moment. To do more than kiss her.

But if the Brotherhood had taught him anything, it was control. He looked at her now and fought his voice to steadiness. “A little tired,” he said. “And thirsty — I forget sometimes I need to eat and drink now.”

She dropped her keys on a small rosewood side table and turned to smile at him. “Tea,” she said, moving toward the avocado-green kitchen. “I haven’t got much food here, I don’t usually stay long, but I have got tea. And biscuits. Go into the drawing room; I’ll be right there.”

He had to smile at that; even he knew no one said drawing room any more. Perhaps she was as nervous as he was, then? He could only hope.

Tessa cursed silently for the fourth time as she bent to retrieve the box of sugar cubes from the floor. She had already put the kettle on without water in it, mixed up the tea bags, knocked over the milk, and now this. She dropped a cube of sugar into both teacups and told herself to count to ten, watching the cubes dissolve.

She knew her hands were shaking. Her heart raced. James Carstairs was in her flat. In her living room. Waiting for tea. Part of her mind screamed that it was just Jem, while the other part cried just as loudly that just Jem was someone she hadn’t seen in a hundred and thirty five years.

He had been Brother Zachariah for so long. And of course he had always been Jem at the heart of it all, with Jem’s wit and unfailing kindness. He had never failed in his love for her or his love for Will. But Silent Brothers — they did not feel things the way ordinary people did.

It was something she had thought of, sometimes, in later years, many decades after Will’s death. She had never wanted anyone else, never anyone but Will and Jem, and they were both gone from her, even though Jem still lived. She had wondered sometimes what they would have done if it had merely been forbidden for Silent Brothers to marry or love; but it was more than that: he could not desire her. He didn’t have those feelings. She’d felt like Pygmalion, yearning for the touch of a marble statue. Silent Brothers didn’t have physical desires for touch, any more than they had a need for food or water.

But now …

I forget sometimes I need to eat and drink now.

She picked up the tea mugs with still-shaking hands and walked into the living room. She had furnished it herself over the years, from the sofa cushions to the unfolded Japanese screen painted with a design of branches. The curtains framing the portrait window at the far end of the room were half-drawn, just enough light spilling into the room to touch the bits of gold in Jem’s dark hair and she nearly dropped the teacups.

They had hardly touched on the taxi ride back to Queen’s Gate, only holding hands tightly in the back of the cab. He had run his fingers over the backs of her fingers over and over as he began to tell her the story of all that had happened since she had last visited Idris, when the Mortal War, which she had fought in, had ended. When Magnus had pointed out Jace Herondale to her, and she had looked at a boy who had Will’s beautiful face and eyes like her son James.

But his hair had been his father’s, that tangle of rich gold curls, and remembering what she had known of Stephen Herondale, she had turned away without speaking.

Herondales, someone had told her once. They were everything that Shadowhunters had to offer, all in one family: both the best, and the worst.

She set the teacups down on the coffee table — an old steamer trunk, covered in travel stamps from her many voyages — with an audible thump. Jem turned to face her and she saw what he held in his hands.

One of the bookcases held a display of weapons: things she had picked up around the world. A thin misericorde, a curved kris, a trench knife, a shortsword, and dozens of others. But the one Jem had picked up and was staring at wasa slim silver knife, its handle darkened by many years of burial in the dirt. She had never had it cleaned, for the stain on the blade was Will’s blood. Jem’s blade, Will’s blood, buried together at the roots of an oak tree, a sort of sympathetic magic Will had performed when he thought he had lost Jem forever. Tessa had retrieved it after Will’s death and offered it to Jem; he had refused to take it.

That had been in 1937.

“Keep it,” he said now, his voice ragged. “There may yet come a day.”

“That’s what you told me.” She moved toward him, her shoes tapping on the hardwood floor. “When I tried to give it to you.”

He swallowed, running his fingers up and down the blade. “He had only just died,” he said. She didn’t need to ask who he was. There was really only one He when it was the two of them speaking. “I was afraid. I saw what happened to the other Silent Brothers. I saw how they hardened over time, lost the people they had been. How as the people who loved them and who they loved died, they became less human. I was afraid that I would lose my ability to care. To know what this knife meant to Will and what Will meant to me.”

She placed her hand on his arm. “But you didn’t forget.”

“I didn’t lose everyone I loved.” He looked up at her, and she saw that his eyes had gold in them too, precious bright flakes among the brown. “I had you.”

She exhaled; her heart was beating so hard that her chest hurt. Then she saw that he was clutching the blade of the knife, not just the hilt. Quickly she plucked it out of his hands. “Please don’t,” she said. “I can’t draw an iratze.”

“And I haven’t got a stele,” he said, watching as she set the knife back on its shelf. “I am not a Shadowhunter now.” He looked down at his hands; there were thin red lines across his palms, but he had not cut the skin.

Impulsively, Tessa bent and kissed his palms, then folded his fingers closed, her own hands over his. When she looked up, his pupils had widened. She could hear his breathing.

“Tessa,” he said. “Don’t.”

“Don’t what?” She drew away from him, though, instinctively. Perhaps he did not want to be touched, though on the bridge, it had not seemed that way …

“The Brothers taught me control,” he said, his voice tight. “I have every kind of control, and I have learned them over decades and decades, and I am using them all not to push you up against the bookcase and kiss you until neither of us can breathe.”

She lifted her chin. “And what would be wrong with that?”

“When I was a Silent Brother, I did not feel as an ordinary man does,” he said. “Not the wind on my face or the sun on my skin or the touch of another’s hand. But now I feel it all. I feel — too much. The wind is like thunder, the sun scorches, and your touch makes me forget my own name.”

A pang of heat speared through her, a heat that started low in her stomach and spread through every part of her body. A sort of heat she hadn’t felt in so many decades.  Almost a century. Her skin prickled all over. “The wind and the sun you will get used to,” she said. “But your touch makes me forget my name as well, and I have no excuses. Only that I love you, and I always have and always will. I will not touch you if you do not want it, Jem. But if we are waiting until the idea of being together does not frighten us, we may be waiting a long time.”

Breath escaped him in a hiss. “Say that again.”

Puzzled, she began: “If we are waiting until —“

“No,” he said. “The earlier part.”

She tipped her face up to him. “I love you,” she said. “I always have and I always will.”

She did not know who moved toward who first, but he caught her around the waist and was kissing her before she could take another breath. This was not like the kiss on the bridge. That had been a silent communication of lips on lips, the exchange of a promise and a reassurance. It had been sweet and shattering, a sort of gentle thunder.

This was a storm. Jem was kissing her, hard and bruising, and when she opened his lips with hers and tasted the inside of his mouth, he gasped and pulled her harder against him, his hands digging into her hips, pressing her closer to him as he explored her lips and tongue, caressing, biting, then kissing to soothe the sting. In the old days, when she had kissed him, he had tasted of bitter sugar: now he tasted like tea and —toothpaste?

But why not toothpaste. Even century-old Shadowhunters had to brush their teeth. A small nervous giggle escaped her and Jem pulled back, looking dazed and deliciously rumpled. His hair was every which way from her running her hands through it.

“Please don’t tell me you’re laughing because I kiss so badly it’s funny,” he said, with a lopsided smile. She could sense his actual worry. “I may be somewhat out of practice.”

“Silent Brothers don’t do a lot of kissing?” she teased, smoothing down the front of his sweater.

“Not unless there were secret orgies I wasn’t invited to,” Jem said. “I did always worry I might not have been popular.”

She clasped her hand around his wrist. “Come here,” she said. “Sit down — have some tea. There’s something I want to show you.”

He went, as she had asked, and sat down on her velvet sofa, leaning back against the cushions she had stitched herself out of fabric she’d bought in India and Thailand. She couldn’t hide a smile — he looked only a little older than he had when he’d become a Silent Brother, like an ordinary young man in jeans and a sweater,  but he sat the way a Victorian man would have — back straight, feet flat on the floor. He caught her look and his own mouth tipped up at the corners. “All right,” he said. “What do you have to show me?”

In answer, she went to the Japanese screen that stretched across one corner of the room, and stepped behind it. “It’s a surprise.”

The dressmaker’s dummy was there, concealed from the rest of the room. She couldn’t see him through the screen, only a blurred outline of shapes. “Talk to me,” she said, pulling her sweater off over her head. “You said it was a story of Lightwoods and Fairchilds and Morgensterns. I know a little of what transpired — I received your messages while I was in the Labyrinth — but I do not know how the Dark War effected your cure.” She tossed the sweater over the top of the screen. “Can you tell me?”

“Now?” he said. She heard him set his teacup down.

Tessa kicked her shoes off and unzipped her jeans, the sound loud in the quiet room. “Do you want me to come out from behind this screen, James Carstairs?”

“Definitely.” His voice sounded strangled.

“Then start talking.”

***

Jem talked. He spoke of the dark days in Idris, of Sebastian Morgenstern’s army of Endarkened, of Jace Herondale and Clary Fairchild and the Lightwood children and their dangerous journey to Edom.

“I have heard of Edom,” she said, her voice muffled. “It is spoken of in the Spiral Labyrinth, where they track the histories of all worlds. A place where the Nephilim were destroyed. A wasteland.”

“Yes,” Jem said, a little absently. He couldn’t see her through the screen, but he could see the outline of her body, and that was somewhat worse. “Burning wasteland. Very … hot.”

He had been afraid that the Silent Brothers had taken desire from him: that he would look at Tessa and feel platonic love but not be able to want, but the opposite was true. He could not stop wanting. He wanted, he thought, more than he ever had before in his life.

She was clearly changing her clothes. He had looked down hastily when she’d begun to shimmy out of her jeans, but it wasn’t as if he could forget the image, the silhouette of her, long hair and long, lovely legs — he’d always loved her legs.

Surely he’d felt this before, when he’d been a boy? He remembered the night in his room when she had stopped him destroying his violin, and he’d wanted then, wanted so badly he hadn’t thought at all when they’d collapsed onto his bed: he would have taken her innocence then, and given up his own, without pausing, without a moment’s thought of the future. If they hadn’t knocked over his box of yin fen. If. That had brought him back, and when she’d gone, he’d torn his sheets to strips with his fingers out of sheer frustration.

Perhaps it was just that remembered desire paled in comparison to the feeling itself. Or perhaps he had been sicker then, weaker. He had been dying, after all, and surely his body could not have sustained this.

“A Fairchild and a Herondale,” she said. “Now, I like that. The Fairchilds have always been practical and the Herondales — well, you know.” She sounded fond, amused. “Perhaps she’ll settle him down. And don’t tell me he doesn’t need settling.”

Jem thought of Jace Herondale. How he was like Will if someone had struck a match to Will and gilded him in living fire. “I’m not sure you can settle a Herondale, and certainly not this one.”

“Does he love her? The Fairchild girl?”

“I’ve never seen anyone so in love, except for …” His voice trailed off, for she had come out from behind the screen, and now he understood what had taken her so much time.

She was wearing a dress of orchid silk faille, the sort of dress she might have worn to dinner when they had been engaged. It was trimmed in white velvet cords, the skirt belling out over — was she wearing crinolines?

His mouth opened. He couldn’t help himself. He had found her beautiful through all the changing ages of the century: beautiful in the carefully cut clothes of the war years, when fabric was rationed. Beautiful in the elegant dresses of the fifties and sixties. Beautiful in short skirts and boots as the century drew to a close.

But this was what girls looked like when he had first noticed them, first found them fascinating and not annoying, first noticed the graceful line of a neck or the pale inside of a feminine wrist. This was the Tessa who had first cut him through and through with love and lust commingled: a carnal angel with a corset shaping her body to an hourglass, lifting her breasts, shaping the flare of her hips.

He forced his eyes away from her body. She had bound up her hair, small curls escaping over her ears, and his jade pendant glimmered around her throat.

“Do you like it?” she said. “I had to do my own hair, without Sophie, and lace my own laces …” Her expression was shy and more than a little nervous — it had always been a contradiction at the heart of her, that she was one of the bravest and yet the shyest people he knew. “I bought it from Sotheby’s — a real antique, now, it was far too much money but I remembered when I was a girl you had said orchids were your favorite flower and I had set myself to find a dress the color of an orchid but I never found one before you were — gone. But this one is. Aniline dye, I expect, nothing natural, but I thought — I thought it would remind you.” She raised her chin. “Of us. Of what I wanted to be for you, when I thought we would be together.”

“Tess,” he said, hoarsely. He was on his feet, without knowing how he had gotten there. He took a step toward her, and then another. “Forty-nine thousand, two hundred and seventy-five.”

She knew immediately what he meant. He knew she would. She knew him as no one else living did. “Are you counting days?”

“Forty-nine thousand, two hundred and seventy-five days since I last kissed you,” he said. “And I thought of you every single one of them. You do not have to remind me of the Tessa I loved. You were my first love and you will be my last one. I have never forgotten you. I have never not thought of you.” He was close enough now to see the pulse pounding in her throat. To reach out and lift up a curl of her hair. “Never.”

Her eyes were half-shut. She reached out and took his hand, where it caressed her hair. His blood was thundering through his body, so hard that it hurt. She lowered his hand, lowered it to the bodice of her dress. “The advertisement for the dress said it did not have buttons,” she whispered. “Only hooks down the front. Easier for one person to do up.” She lowered her right hand, took his other wrist, raised it. Now both his hands were at her bodice. “Or to unfasten.” Her fingers curved about his as, very deliberately, she undid the first hook on her dress.

And then the next. She moved his hands down, her fingers intertwined with his, unfastening as she went until the dress hung open over her corset, folded back on each side like flower petals. She was breathing hard; he could not keep his eyes from where his pendant rose and fell with her gasps. He could not bring himself to move an inch more toward her: he wanted, wanted too much. He wanted to unplait her hair and wrap it around his wrists like silken ropes. He wanted her breasts under his hands and her legs around his waist. He wanted things he had no name for and no experience of. He only knew that that if he moved one inch closer to her the glass barrier of control he had built up around himself would shatter and he did not know what would happen next.

“Tessa,” he said. “Are you sure —?”

Her eyelashes fluttered. Her eyes were still half-closed, her teeth making small half-moons in her lower lip. “I was sure then,” she said, “and I am sure now.”

And she clasped his hands firmly to her sides, where her waist curved in, on either side of the flare of her hips.

His control broke, a silent explosion. He pulled her toward him, bent to kiss her savagely hard. He heard her cry out in surprise and then his lips silenced hers, and her mouth opened eagerly under his. Her hands were in his hair, gripping hard; she was reaching up on her toes to kiss him. She bit at his lower lip, nipped at his jaw, and he groaned, sliding his hands inside her dress, his fingers tracing the back of her corset, her skin burning through the bits of her chemise he could feel between the laces. He was kicking off his shoes, toeing off his socks, the floor cold against his bare feet.

She gave a little gasp and wriggled closer, into his arms. He slipped his hands out of her dress and took hold of her skirts. She made a noise of surprise and then he was drawing the dress up over her head. She exclaimed, giggling, as the dress came off most of the way but remained fastened at the wrists, where tiny buttons clasped the cuffs tightly. “Careful,” she teased, as his frantic fingers flicked the buttons open. He heaved the dress up and tossed it into the corner. “It’s an antique.”

“So am I, technically,” he said, and she giggled again, looking up at him, her face warm and open.

He had thought about making love to her before; of course he had. He had thought about sex when he was a teenaged boy because that was what teenaged boys thought about, and when he had fallen in love with Tessa, he had thought about it with her. Vague inchoate thoughts of doing things, though he wasn’t sure what — images of pale arms and legs, the imaginary feel of soft skin under his hands.

But he had not imagined this: that there might be laughter, that it might be affectionate and warm as well as passionate. The reality of it, of her, stunned him breathless.

She drew away from him and for a moment he panicked. What had he done wrong? Had he hurt her, displeased her?  But no, her fingers had gone to the cage of crinoline at her waist, twisting and flicking. Then she raised her arms and twined them about his neck. “Lift me up,” she said. “Lift me up, Jem.”

Her voice was a warm purr. He took hold of her waist and lifted her up and out of her petticoats, as if he were lifting an expensive orchid free of its pot. When he put her back down, she was wearing only her corset, drawers and stockings. Her legs were just as long and lovely as he had remembered and dreamed about.

He reached for her, but she caught at his hands. She was still smiling, but now there was an impish quality to it. “Oh, no,” she said, gesturing to him, his jeans and sweater. “Your turn.”

* * *

He froze, and for a moment, panicked, Tessa wondered if she had asked him for too much. He had been so long disconnected from his body — a mind in a shell of flesh that went largely ignored unless it needed to be runed for some new power. Maybe this was too much for him.

But he took a deep breath, and his hands went to the hem of his sweater. He pulled it off over his head and emerged with his hair adorably ruffled. He wore no shirt under the jumper. He looked at her and bit his lip.

She moved toward him, wondering eyes and fingers. She glanced at him before she put her hands on him and saw him nod, Yes. 

She swallowed hard. She had been carried this far forward like a leaf on the tide of her memories. Memories of James Carstairs, the boy she’d been engaged to, had planned to marry. Had nearly made love to on the floor of the music room in the London Institute. She had seen his body then, stripped to the waist, his skin pale as paper and stretched thin over prominent ribs. The body of a dying boy, though he had always been beautiful to her.

Now his skin was laid over his ribs and chest in a layer of smooth muscle; his chest was broad, tapering down to a slim waist. She put her hands on him tentatively; he was warm and hard under her touch. She could feel the faint scars of ancient runes, pale against his golden skin.

His breath hissed out between his teeth as she ran her hands up his chest and down his arms, the curve of his biceps shaping themselves under her fingers. She remembered him fighting with the other Brothers at Cader Idris — and of course he’d fought at the Citadel Battle, the Silent Brothers kept themselves ready to do battle, though they rarely did. Somehow she had never quite thought about what that might mean for Jem once he was no longer dying.

Her teeth chattered a little; she bit her lip to keep them silent. Desire was washing through her, and a little fear as well: How could this be happening? Actually happening?

“Jem,” she whispered. “You’re so …”

“Scarred?” He put his hand to his cheek, where the black mark of the Brotherhood still remained at the arch of his cheekbone. “Hideous?”

She shook her head. “How many times do I have to tell you that you’re beautiful?” She ran her hand up the bare curve of his shoulder to his neck; he trembled. You are beautiful, James Carstairs. “Didn’t you see everyone staring at you on the bridge? You’re so much more beautiful than me,” she murmured, sliding her hands around him to touch the muscles of his back; they tightened under the glancing pressure of her fingers. “But if you’re foolish enough to want me then I will not question my good fortune.”

He turned his head to the side and she saw him swallow. “For all my life,” he said, “when someone has said the word ‘beautiful’, it is your face I have seen. You are my own very definition of beautiful, Tessa Gray.”

Her heart turned over. She raised herself up on her toes — she had always been a tall girl but Jem was yet taller — and put her mouth to the side of his throat, kissing gently. His arms came up around her, pressing her against him, is body hard and hot, and she felt another pang of desire. This time she nipped at him, biting at the skin where his shoulder curved into his neck.

Everything went topsy-turvy. Jem made a sound low in his throat and suddenly they were on the floor and she was on top of him, his body cushioning her fall. She stared down at him in astonishment. “What happened?”

He looked bewildered as well. “I couldn’t stand up any more.”

Her chest filled with warmth. It had been so long that she had nearly forgotten the feeling of kissing someone so hard that your knees went weak herself. He pushed himself up on his elbows. “Tessa —“

“Nothing’s wrong,” she said firmly, cupping his face in her hands. “Nothing. Understand?”

He narrowed his eyes at her. “Did you trip me?”

She laughed; her heart was still pounding away, giddy with joy and relief and terror all at the same time. But she had looked at him before, had seen the way he glanced at her hair when it was down, had felt his fingers in it, tentatively stroking, when he had kissed her on the bridge. She reached up and pulled the pins out of it, throwing them across the room.

Her hair fountained down, spilling over her shoulders, down to her waist. She leaned forward so that it brushed across his face, his bare chest.

“Do you care?” she whispered.

“As it develops,” he said, against her mouth, “I don’t care. I find I prefer to be reclining.”

She laughed and ran her hand down and down his body. He twisted, arching up into her touch. “For an antique,” she murmured, “you would fetch quite a price at Sotheby’s. All your parts are quite in working order.”

His pupils dilated and then he laughed, his warm breath gusting across her cheek. “I have forgotten what it is like to be teased, I think,” he said. “No one teases Silent Brothers.”

She had taken advantage of his distraction to rid him of his jeans. There was distractingly little clothing between them now. “You’re not in the Brotherhood any longer,” she said, stroking her fingers across his stomach, the fine hair there just below his navel, his smooth bare chest. “And I would be very disappointed if you remained silent.”

He reached for her blindly and drew her down. His hands buried themselves in her hair. And they were kissing again, her knees on either side of his hips, her palms braced against his chest. His hands ran through her hair again and again, and each time she could feel his body strain up toward hers, his lips pressing against her own harder. They weren’t savage kisses, not now: they were decadent, growing in intensity and fervor each time they drew apart and came together again.

He put his hands to the laces of her corset and tugged at them. She moved to show him that it also fastened in front, but he had already reached around to grip the front. “My apologies,” he said, “to antiquity,” and then, in a most un-Jem-like fashion, ripped the corset open down the front and cast it aside. Underneath was her chemise, which she pulled up and over her head and dropped to the side.

She took a deep breath. She was naked in front of him now, as she never had been before.

(to be continued)

READ PART 4 HERE

Read Part Two of New Tessa/Jem Story ‘After the Bridge’

Jem-Tessa-Steamy-CP-trailerEver wondered what happened with Tessa and Jem after their meeting on Blackfriar’s Bridge in the epilogue of Clockwork Princess?

Well, we’re about to find out, thanks to Cassandra Clare, who has introduced a new story which will be shared in several installments.

Warning from Cassie: “Those who do not like Tessa&Jem together or Jessa sexytimes probably should skip this one. Those who like that sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like.”

The story will alternate between Tessa and Jem’s POV.

Warning: Clockwork Princess spoilers:

Here is Part Two:

AFTER THE BRIDGE

Now is the time of our comfort and plenty

These are the days we’ve been working for

Nothing can touch us and nothing can harm us

And nothing goes wrong anymore

 Keane – Love Is The End  

As it turned out, Tessa had a flat she owned in London. It was the second floor of a pale white townhouse in Kensington, and as she let them both inside — her hand only shaking very slightly as she turned the keys — she explained to Jem that Magnus had taught her how warlocks could finagle their way into owning homes over many centuries by willing the properties to themselves.

“After a while I just started picking silly names for myself,” she said, shutting the door behind them. “I think I own this place under the pseudonym Bedelia Codfish.”

Jem laughed, though his mind was only partly on her words. He was gazing around the flat — the walls were painted in bright colors: a lilac living room, scattered with white couches, an avocado-green kitchen. When had Tessa bought the flat, he wondered, and why? She had traveled so much, why make a home base in London?

The question dried up in his throat when he turned and realized that through a partly open door, he could glimpse the blue walls of what was likely a bedroom.

He swallowed at that, his mouth gone suddenly dry. Tessa’s bed. That she slept in.

She narrowed her eyes at him. “Are you all right?” She took him by the wrist; he felt his pulse jump under her touch. Until he had become a Silent Brother, it always had. He’d wondered during his time in Idris, after the heavenly fire had cured him, if it would still be like that with them: if his human feelings would return to him. He had been able to touch her and be near her as a Silent Brother without wanting her as he had when he was a mortal. He had still loved her, but it had been a love of the spirit, not the body. He had wondered — feared, even, that the physical feelings and responses would not come back the way they had. He had told himself that even if Silent Brotherhood had killed the ability of his feelings to manifest themselves physically, he would not be disappointed. He had told himself to expect it.

He shouldn’t have worried.

The moment he had seen her on the bridge, coming toward him through the crowd in her modern jeans and Liberty scarf, her hair flying out behind her, he had felt his breath catch in his throat.

And when she had drawn the jade pendant he had given her out from around her neck and shyly proffered it to him, his blood had roared to life in his veins like a river undammed.

And when she had said, I love you. I always have, and I always will, it had taken everything he had not to kiss her in that moment. To do more than kiss her.

But if the Brotherhood had taught him anything, it was control. He looked at her now and fought his voice to steadiness. “A little tired,” he said. “And thirsty — I forget sometimes I need to eat and drink now.”

She dropped her keys on a small rosewood side table and turned to smile at him. “Tea,” she said, moving toward the avocado-green kitchen. “I haven’t got much food here, I don’t usually stay long, but I have got tea. And biscuits. Go into the drawing room; I’ll be right there.”

He had to smile at that; even he knew no one said drawing room any more. Perhaps she was as nervous as he was, then? He could only hope.

Tessa cursed silently for the fourth time as she bent to retrieve the box of sugar cubes from the floor. She had already put the kettle on without water in it, mixed up the tea bags, knocked over the milk, and now this. She dropped a cube of sugar into both teacups and told herself to count to ten, watching the cubes dissolve.

She knew her hands were shaking. Her heart raced. James Carstairs was in her flat. In her living room. Waiting for tea. Part of her mind screamed that it was just Jem, while the other part cried just as loudly that just Jem was someone she hadn’t seen in a hundred and thirty five years.

He had been Brother Zachariah for so long. And of course he had always been Jem at the heart of it all, with Jem’s wit and unfailing kindness. He had never failed in his love for her or his love for Will. But Silent Brothers — they did not feel things the way ordinary people did.

It was something she had thought of, sometimes, in later years, many decades after Will’s death. She had never wanted anyone else, never anyone but Will and Jem, and they were both gone from her, even though Jem still lived. She had wondered sometimes what they would have done if it had merely been forbidden for Silent Brothers to marry or love; but it was more than that: he could not desire her. He didn’t have those feelings. She’d felt like Pygmalion, yearning for the touch of a marble statue. Silent Brothers didn’t have physical desires for touch, any more than they had a need for food or water.

But now …

I forget sometimes I need to eat and drink now.

She picked up the tea mugs with still-shaking hands and walked into the living room. She had furnished it herself over the years, from the sofa cushions to the long Japanese screen painted with a design of poppies and bamboo. The curtains framing the portrait window at the far end of the room were half-drawn, just enough light spilling into the room to touch the bits of gold in Jem’s dark hair and she nearly dropped the teacups.

They had hardly touched on the taxi ride back to Queen’s Gate, only holding hands tightly in the back of the cab. He had run his fingers over the backs of her fingers over and over as he began to tell her the story of all that had happened since she had last visited Idris, when the Mortal War, which she had fought in, had ended. When Magnus had pointed out Jace Herondale to her, and she had looked at a boy who had Will’s beautiful face and eyes like her son James.

But his hair had been his father’s, that tangle of rich gold curls, and remembering what she had known of Stephen Herondale, she had turned away without speaking.

Herondales, someone had told her once. They were everything that Shadowhunters had to offer, all in one family: both the best, and the worst.

She set the teacups down on the coffee table — an old steamer trunk, covered in travel stamps from her many voyages — with an audible thump. Jem turned to face her and she saw what he held in his hands.

One of the bookcases held a display of weapons: things she had picked up around the world. A thin misericorde, a curved kris, a trench knife, a shortsword, and dozens of others. But the one Jem had picked up and was staring at wasa slim silver knife, its handle darkened by many years of burial in the dirt. She had never had it cleaned, for the stain on the blade was Will’s blood. Jem’s blade, Will’s blood, buried together at the roots of an oak tree, a sort of sympathetic magic Will had performed when he thought he had lost Jem forever. Tessa had retrieved it after Will’s death and offered it to Jem; he had refused to take it.

That had been in 1937.

“Keep it,” he said now, his voice ragged. “There may yet come a day.”

“That’s what you told me.” She moved toward him, her shoes tapping on the hardwood floor. “When I tried to give it to you.”

He swallowed, running his fingers up and down the blade. “He had only just died,” he said. She didn’t need to ask who he was. There was really only one He when it was the two of them speaking. “I was afraid. I saw what happened to the other Silent Brothers. I saw how they hardened over time, lost the people they had been. How as the people who loved them and who they loved died, they became less human. I was afraid that I would lose my ability to care. To know what this knife meant to Will and what Will meant to me.”

She placed her hand on his arm. “But you didn’t forget.”

“I didn’t lose everyone I loved.” He looked up at her, and she saw that his eyes had gold in them too, precious bright flakes among the brown. “I had you.”

She exhaled; her heart was beating so hard that her chest hurt. Then she saw that he was clutching the blade of the knife, not just the hilt. Quickly she plucked it out of his hands. “Please don’t,” she said. “I can’t draw an iratze.”

“And I haven’t got a stele,” he said, watching as she set the knife back on its shelf. “I am not a Shadowhunter now.” He looked down at his hands; there were thin red lines across his palms, but he had not cut the skin.

Impulsively, Tessa bent and kissed his palms, then folded his fingers closed, her own hands over his. When she looked up, his pupils had widened. She could hear his breathing.

“Tessa,” he said. “Don’t.”

“Don’t what?” She drew away from him, though, instinctively. Perhaps he did not want to be touched, though on the bridge, it had not seemed that way …

“The Brothers taught me control,” he said, his voice tight. “I have every kind of control, and I have learned them over decades and decades, and I am using them all not to push you up against the bookcase and kiss you until neither of us can breathe.”

She lifted her chin. “And what would be wrong with that?”

“When I was a Silent Brother, I did not feel as an ordinary man does,” he said. “Not the wind on my face or the sun on my skin or the touch of another’s hand. But now I feel it all. I feel — too much. The wind is like thunder, the sun scorches, and your touch makes me forget my own name.”

A pang of heat speared through her, a heat that started low in her stomach and spread through every part of her body. A sort of heat she hadn’t felt in so many decades.  Almost a century. Her skin prickled all over. “The wind and the sun you will get used to,” she said. “But your touch makes me forget my name as well, and I have no excuses. Only that I love you, and I always have and always will. I will not touch you if you do not want it, Jem. But if we are waiting until the idea of being together does not frighten us, we may be waiting a long time.”

Breath escaped him in a hiss. “Say that again.”

Puzzled, she began: “If we are waiting until —“

“No,” he said. “The earlier part.”

She tipped her face up to him. “I love you,” she said. “I always have and I always will.”

She did not know who moved toward who first, but he caught her around the waist and was kissing her before she could take another breath. This was not like the kiss on the bridge. That had been a silent communication of lips on lips, the exchange of a promise and a reassurance. It had been sweet and shattering, a sort of gentle thunder.

This was a storm. Jem was kissing her, hard and bruising, and when she opened his lips with hers and tasted the inside of his mouth, he gasped and pulled her harder against him, his hands digging into her hips, pressing her closer to him as he explored her lips and tongue, caressing, biting, then kissing to soothe the sting. In the old days, when she had kissed him, he had tasted of bitter sugar: now he tasted like tea and —toothpaste?

But why not toothpaste. Even century-old Shadowhunters had to brush their teeth. A small nervous giggle escaped her and Jem pulled back, looking dazed and deliciously rumpled. His hair was every which way from her running her hands through it.

“Please don’t tell me you’re laughing because I kiss so badly it’s funny,” he said, with a lopsided smile. She could sense his actual worry. “I may be somewhat out of practice.”

“Silent Brothers don’t do a lot of kissing?” she teased, smoothing down the front of his sweater.

“Not unless there were secret orgies I wasn’t invited to,” Jem said. “I did always worry I might not have been popular.”

She clasped her hand around his wrist. “Come here,” she said. “Sit down — have some tea. There’s something I want to show you.”

He went, as she had asked, and sat down on her velvet sofa, leaning back against the cushions she had stitched herself out of fabric she’d bought in India and Thailand. She couldn’t hide a smile — he looked only a little older than he had when he’d become a Silent Brother, like an ordinary young man in jeans and a sweater, but he sat the way a Victorian man would have — back straight, feet flat on the floor. He caught her look and his own mouth tipped up at the corners. “All right,” he said. “What do you have to show me?”

In answer, she went to the Japanese screen that stretched across one corner of the room, and stepped behind it. “It’s a surprise.”

Her dressmaker’s dummy was there, concealed from the rest of the room. She couldn’t see him through the screen, only a blurred outline of shapes. “Talk to me,” she said, pulling her sweater off over her head. “You said it was a story of Lightwoods and Fairchilds and Morgensterns. I know a little of what transpired — I received your messages while I was in the Labyrinth — but I do not know how the Dark War effected your cure.” She tossed the sweater over the top of the screen. “Can you tell me?”

“Now?” he said. She heard him set his teacup down.

Tessa kicked her shoes off and unzipped her jeans, the sound loud in the quiet room. “Do you want me to come out from behind this screen, James Carstairs?”

“Definitely.” His voice sounded strangled.

“Then start talking.”

* * *

Jem talked. He spoke of the dark days in Idris, of Sebastian Morgenstern’s army of Endarkened, of Jace Herondale and Clary Fairchild and the Lightwood children and their dangerous journey to Edom.

“I have heard of Edom,” she said, her voice muffled. “It is spoken of in the Spiral Labyrinth, where they track the histories of all worlds. A place where the Nephilim were destroyed. A wasteland.”

“Yes,” Jem said, a little absently. He couldn’t see her through the screen, but he could see the outline of her body, and that was somewhat worse. “Burning wasteland. Very … hot.”

He had been afraid that the Silent Brothers had taken desire from him: that he would look at Tessa and feel platonic love but not be able to want, but the opposite was true. He could not stop wanting. He wanted, he thought, more than he ever had before in his life.

She was clearly changing her clothes. He had looked down hastily when she’d begun to shimmy out of her jeans, but it wasn’t as if he could forget the image, the silhouette of her, long hair and long, lovely legs — he’d always loved her legs.

Surely he’d felt this before, when he’d been a boy? He remembered the night in his room when she had stopped him destroying his violin, and he’d wanted then, wanted so badly he hadn’t thought at all when they’d collapsed onto his bed: he would have taken her innocence then, and given up his own, without pausing, without a moment’s thought of the future. If they hadn’t knocked over his box of yin fen. If. That had brought him back, reminded him who he was, and when she’d gone, he’d torn his sheets to strips with his fingers out of sheer frustration.

Perhaps it was just that remembered desire paled in comparison to the feeling itself. Or perhaps he had been sicker then, weaker. He had been dying, after all, and surely his body could not have sustained this.

“A Fairchild and a Herondale,” she said. “Now, I like that. The Fairchilds have always been practical and the Herondales — well, you know.” She sounded fond, amused. “Perhaps she’ll settle him down. And don’t tell me he doesn’t need settling.”

Jem thought of Jace Herondale. How he was like Will if someone had struck a match to Will and gilded him in living fire. “I’m not sure you can settle a Herondale, and certainly not this one.”

“Does he love her? The Fairchild girl?”

“I’ve never seen anyone so in love, except for …” His voice trailed off, for she had come out from behind the screen, and now he understood what had taken her so much time.

(to be continued)

Cassandra Clare shares snippet from ‘The Last Hours’

TLH spring newIt’s never too early to start anticipating the release of The Last Hours, which in The Shadowhunter Chronicles takes place after The Infernal Devices.

Apparently Cassandra Clare agrees it’s too early, as well, because she shared a snippet from the series featuring parabatai James and Matthew:

Matthew held out his hands. “Pax,” he said, wheedlingly. “Let it be peace between us. You can pour the rest of the port on my head.”

James’ mouth curved up into a smile. It was impossible to stay angry with Matthew. It was almost impossible to get angry at Matthew.

Cassie also shared some details about Will and Tessa’s lives as the parents of James and Lucie, who are the protagonists of The Last Hours.

By contrast Will and Tessa are James and Lucie’s parents. They are obviously enormously bound up in their lives, love them enormously, and are people who James and Lucie spend their lives comparing themselves to and seeking approval and love from. They are also a generation older than them. Their friends are Jem and Gideon and Cecily and Gabriel and Sophie and Charlotte and Henry. Their kids are their kids, not so much their compatriots.

The Last Hours is expected to be released

Watch: Cassandra Clare interview from Brazil

Our friends at @LaminaSerafim chatted with Cassandra Clare during her tour in Brazil on Monday and have shared the video. Take a look!

And here was a short video Cassie shared from the signing stage. By the Angel, that’s a lot of screaming Shadowhunters!

Cassandra Clare introduces new Tessa/Jem short story ‘After the Bridge’ — Read Part One now!

Photo Credit: Vania Stoyanova

Photo Credit: Vania Stoyanova

Ever wondered what happened with Tessa and Jem after their meeting on Blackfriar’s Bridge in the epilogue of Clockwork Princess?

Well, we’re about to find out, thanks to Cassandra Clare, who has introduced a new story which will be shared in several installments.

Warning from Cassie: “Those who do not like Tessa&Jem together or Jessa sexytimes probably should skip this one. Those who like that sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like.”

The story will alternate between Tessa and Jem’s POV.

Warning: Clockwork Princess spoilers:

Here is Part One:

AFTER THE BRIDGE

Now is the time of our comfort and plenty

These are the days we’ve been working for

Nothing can touch us and nothing can harm us

And nothing goes wrong anymore

 Keane – Love Is The End  

As it turned out, Tessa had a flat she owned in London. It was the second floor of a pale white townhouse in Kensington, and as she let them both inside — her hand only shaking very slightly as she turned the keys — she explained to Jem that Magnus had taught her how warlocks could finagle their way into owning homes over many centuries by willing the properties to themselves.

“After a while I just started picking silly names for myself,” she said, shutting the door behind them. “I think I own this place under the pseudonym Bedelia Codfish.”

Jem laughed, though his mind was only partly on her words. He was gazing around the flat — the walls were painted in bright colors: a lilac living room, scattered with white couches, an avocado-green kitchen. When had Tessa bought the flat, he wondered, and why? She had traveled so much, why make a home base in London?

The question dried up in his throat when he turned and realized that through a partly open door, he could glimpse the blue walls of what was likely a bedroom.

He swallowed at that, his mouth gone suddenly dry. Tessa’s bed. That she slept in.

She narrowed her eyes at him. “Are you all right?”

She took him by the wrist and he felt his pulse jump under her touch. Until he had become a Silent Brother, it always had. He’d wondered during his time in Idris, after the heavenly fire had cured him, if it would still be like that with them: if his human feelings would return to him. He had been able to touch her and be near her as a Silent Brother without wanting her as he had when he was a mortal. He had still loved her, but it had been a love of the spirit, not the body. He had wondered — feared, even, that the physical feelings and responses would not come back the way they had. He had told himself that even if Silent Brotherhood had killed the ability of his feelings to manifest themselves physically, he would not be disappointed. He had told himself to expect it.

He shouldn’t have worried.

The moment he had seen her on the bridge, coming toward him through the crowd in her modern jeans and Liberty scarf, her hair flying out behind her, he had felt his breath catch in his throat.

And when she had drawn the jade pendant he had given her out from around her neck and shyly proffered it to him, his blood had roared to life in his veins like a river undammed.

And when she had said, I love you. I always have, and I always will, it had taken everything he had not to kiss her in that moment. To do more than kiss her.

But if the Brotherhood had taught him anything, it was control. He looked at her now and fought his voice to steadiness. “A little tired,” he said. “And thirsty — I forget sometimes I need to eat and drink now.”

She dropped her keys on a small rosewood side table and turned to smile at him. “Tea,” she said, moving toward the avocado-green kitchen. “I haven’t got much food here, I don’t usually stay long, but I have got tea. And biscuits. Go into the drawing room; I’ll be right there.”

He had to smile at that; even he knew no one said drawing room any more. Perhaps she was as nervous as he was, then? He could only hope.

* * *

Tessa cursed silently for the fourth time as she bent to retrieve the box of sugar cubes from the floor. She had already put the kettle on without water in it, mixed up the tea bags, knocked over the milk, and now this. She dropped a cube of sugar into both teacups and told herself to count to ten, watching the cubes dissolve.

She knew her hands were shaking. Her heart raced. James Carstairs was in her flat. In her living room. Waiting for tea. Part of her mind screamed that it was just Jem, while the other part cried just as loudly that just Jem was someone she hadn’t seen in a hundred and thirty five years.

He had been Brother Zachariah for so long. And of course he had always been Jem at the heart of it all, with Jem’s wit and unfailing kindness. He had never failed in his love for her or his love for Will. But Silent Brothers — they did not feel things the way ordinary people did.

It was something she had thought of, sometimes, in later years, many decades after Will’s death. She had never wanted anyone else, never anyone but Will and Jem, and they were both gone from her, even though Jem still lived. She had wondered sometimes what they would have done if it had merely been forbidden for Silent Brothers to marry or love; but it was more than that: he could not desire her. He didn’t have those feelings. She’d felt like Pygmalion, yearning for the touch of a marble statue. Silent Brothers didn’t have physical desires for touch, any more than they had a need for food or water.

But now …

I forget sometimes I need to eat and drink now.

She picked up the tea mugs with still-shaking hands and walked into the living room.

(To be continued.)

Mark doesn’t want to stand out in new ‘Dark Artifices’ snippet

The Dark Artifices art

Cassandra Clare keeps the Dark Artifices snippets coming.

Check out this new snippet from Lady Midnight, the first book in The Dark Artifices, where Mark tells Cristina that he wants to look like his family and doesn’t want to stand out.

Now he looked at her sideways. “You don’t think I look like a Shadowhunter any more?”

“Do you want to?” Cristina asked.

“I want to look like my family,” Mark said. “I cannot have the Blackthorn coloring, but I can look as much like Nephilim as possible. Besides, if I wish to be part of the investigation, I cannot stand out.”

Cristina held back from telling Mark that there was no world in which he didn’t stand out. “I can make you look like a Shadowhunter.”

The Dark ArtificesLady Midnight will be released in 2015/16.

New poster for ‘Love, Rosie’

A new poster for Constantin Film’s Love, Rosie, which stars Mortal Instruments’ star Lily Collins and Sam Claflin, debuted on the film’s new official social media platforms.

Love Rosie

Here’s the film’s synopsis and trailer:

Rosie and Alex are best friends. They are suddenly separated when Alex and his family move from Dublin to America. Can their friendship survive years and miles? Will they gamble everything for true love?

You can follow Love, Rosie on Twitter, Facebook and InstagramAnd be sure to use the hashtag #LOVEROSIE!

Love, Rosie hits U.S. theaters on October 24.

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