Mark is called a half-blood in new ‘The Dark Artifices’ snippet

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Art by Cassandra Jean

Some fans are already halfway in love with Mark Blackthorn whom we met in City of Heavenly Fire and Cassandra Clare catered to their needs with sharing a snippet about him:

“Loved?” he said in a cold voice. “Do you no longer? Remember, half-blood, I know  that you can lie.”

Mark flicked his eyes up. He saw the storm in those eyes, but behind the storm he saw two boys as small as stars in a distant sky, locked together under a blanket.

What a mysterious snippet, right? Who do you think are the two boys? Sound off in the comments!

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‘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.

Julian is jealous in new ‘The Dark Artifices’ snippet

Art by Cassandra Jean

Ask and you shall receive (at least this time). A fan and Jemma shipper asked Cassandra Clare for a Julian and Emma snippet and Cassie was kind enough to oblige:

“I know things haven’t been exactly right between us since I got back from England,” he said. “And I don’t know if it’s because I’m a little jealous of Cristina, or a lot jealous of —“

“JULIAN,” Emma said.

Cassie also noted that “it’s not much but i shouldn’t encourage the idea of asking for snippets, i was in the mood though!.

In another recent tumblr post, Cassie talked about the release date for Lady Midnight:

Late 2015/early 2016 is my guess. We are leaving room because we don’t want to end up with a crunch situation like we did with the end of Heavenly Fire. It almost killed like six people at my publisher, as well as me.

Fingers crossed for a late 2015 release date and no almost casualties! We want everyone to be healthy!

What do you think of the new snippet and who do you ship in The Dark Artifices? Sound off in the comments!

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!

Cassandra Clare shares a guide to ‘Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy’

We sure are having a busy week in our Shadowhunter fandom! Cassandra Clare just took to her tumblr to share summaries for all of the 10 Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy ebooks and also answered two questions regarding ‘TSA':

Cat was kind enough to give me the heads up that pages to buy the first seven novellas of Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, along with summaries, have been posted on Amazon. So here I give you the masterlist, 1-10, with short summaries.

About Tales from The Shadowhunter Academy.

Simon Lewis never thought he’d become a Shadowhunter…and now he has the chance. Ten novellas, each released as an individual e-book over the course of ten months, make up Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy. The series will launch with one story a month beginning in February 2015 with:

Story 1: Welcome to Shadowhunter Academy.
After living as a Mundane and a Vampire, Simon never thought he would become a Shadowhunter, but today he begins his training at Shadowhunter Academy.

2) The Lost Herondale: Simon learns the worst crime a Shadowhunter can commit: desertion of their comrades. In the early nineteenth century, Tobias Herondale abandoned his fellow Shadowhunters in the heat of battle and left them to die. His life was forfeit, but Tobias never returned, and the Clave claimed his wife’s life in exchange for Tobias’s. Simon and his fellow students are shocked to learn of this brutality, especially when it is revealed the woman was pregnant. But what if the child survived…could there be a lost Herondale line out in the world today?

3) The Whitechapel Fiend

Simon learns the truth behind the Jack the Ripper murders—“Jack” was stopped by Will Herondale, his former parabatai, and his institute of Victorian Shadowhunters.

4) Nothing But Shadows: Simon challenges the setup of the Shadowhunter Academy and in doing so learns the story of James Herondale and Matthew Fairchild and the unusual way that they became friends and parabatai.

5) The Evil We Love : The story of Valentine’s Circle at the Shadowhunter Academy.

6) Pale Kings and Princes : Simon has an encounter with Downworlders and is reprimanded for not following the rules for Academy students interacting with Downworlders. A story within a story: Andrew Blackthorn, while a student at the Academy, becomes enthralled by a faerie and has two children with her: Mark and Helen.

7) Bitter of Tongue : When faeries kidnap Simon he encounters a member of the Wild Hunt, the former Shadowhunter Mark Blackthorn.

8) The Fiery Trial : Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn become parabatai. Simon and Clary both act as their witnesses, so they can see what a parabatai bond forming looks like as they want to become parabatai as soon as Simon graduates — and because Emma asked Clary. The ritual goes unexpectedly …

9) Born to Endless Night:  Simon, like the rest of the Academy, is stunned when a navy-skinned warlock baby is found on the Academy steps. They hand the child over to guest lecturer Magnus Bane, who has to bring a child home… temporarily, of course… to his man!

10) Angels Twice Descending: Someone lives and someone dies at Simon’s Ascension ceremony.

Cassie, by the Angel! How is Tobias Herondale related to Edmund who was born in the 1830s? Will we find out in The Last Herondale or do we have to wait until The Wicked Powers? Please picture Loki’s “Tell me” gif here. I am so, so excited for more Simon and more Herondales! Just because Tobias was worse than Stephen doesn’t mean that future (maybe same generation as Jace) Herondales are! — catreadsbooks

Well, Tobias could have been maligned! Who can say? Herondales, they’re either awesome or awesomely terrible. All I can tell you is that you will find out who the Lost Herondale is before The Wicked Powers.

cottoncandybeefalo said: Hi Cassie! Do you know if The Tales of the Shadowhunter Academy will be out in print edition like The Bane Chronicles?

Yes, it will.

;) We’re super excited about Shadowhunter Academy and we hope you are too!

I think it’s safe to say that we’re also super excited and cannot wait for Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy!

Which installmemt are you looking forward to most? Sound off in the comments while I’m off to fangirl that Cassie mentioned yours truly in her post :-D

EW reveals release dates for ‘Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy’

Back in August Cassandra Clare revealed the 10 titles of her short story series Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy which she will be co-writing with Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson and Robin Wasserman. Thanks to Entertainment Weekly we now have the release dates for each installment and a lovely placeholder for the very first ebook.

TSA1

Feb. 17 [2015]
Welcome to the Shadowhunter Academy
Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan

March 17
The Lost Herondale
Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman

April 21
The Whitechapel Fiend
Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson

May 19
Nothing but Shadows
Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan

June 16
The Evil We Love
Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman

July 21
Pale Kings and Princes
Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman

Aug. 18
Bitter of Tongue
Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan

Sept. 15
The Fiery Trial
Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan

Oct. 20
Born to Endless Night
Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan

Nov. 17
Angels Twice Descending
Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman

Cassandra Clare told Entertainment Weekly:

Wrapping up the Mortal Instruments series was a hugely emotional time for me. It was so hard to let the characters go, but I felt I’d left them in good places. All except Simon—his ending was unconventional and open for more story. I knew I wanted him to go through the training process to become a Shadowhunter, something we haven’t really seen

But there wasn’t room for that in The Dark Artifices, the next books, because it’s a book of its own. I wound up discussing it with Maureen and Sarah, and we really missed doing The Bane Chronicles together and thought this would be a perfect second project for us since we all love Simon. Maureen actually loves him the most. We brought our friend Robin Wasserman on board as well since she’s such an amazing writer. The stories will follow Simon, but also flip back and forth in time so you can expect to see Jace and Clary, Will and Jem, Tessa, and Emma—characters old and new!

Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy will first get published as ebooks before it’ll be released as a print edition and EW will reveal the covers before each release date.

Sarah Rees Brennan actually shared that Maureen Johnson will co-write more than one ebook; the ladies are still allotting the stories.

While we are all waiting for Welcome to the Shadowhunter Academy we can read The Bane Chronicles, out on November 11, and re-read The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices and The Shadowhunter’s Codex ;-)

Which ebook are you looking forward to? Sound off in the comments!

‘The Mortal Instruments’ TV series update

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Thanks to our friend Nadine at TMI Germany we have Martin Moszkowicz’ interview with the German newspaper “Süddeutsche Zeitung” where he talks about The Mortal Instruments being turned into a TV series.

What we already knew from The Hollywood Reporter:

  • Ed Decter is the showrunner
  • the series is currently under development and will begin production next year
  • no broadcast partners are yet attached

What’s new:

  • Constantin Film aims to spend 2.5 to 5 million Euros per episode ($3,000,000 to 6,300,000), which would probably also apply to The Mortal Instruments
  • Ed Decter is the main author for the first (!) season
  • Martin thinks that Amazon could be interested in the TV series. The episodes and books could be on the same page so that you could buy them with one simple click

This morning (German time) Martin also tweeted:

Like we’ve already said yesterday, it seems unlikely that our old cast will return :-(

What are your thoughts about the TV series? Sound off in the comments!

Celebrate the release of ‘The Bane Chronicles’ with Walker Books!

We’re less than a month away from the release of The Bane Chronicles (the print edition) and Cassandra Clare’s English publisher Walker Books came up with a really cool idea to celebrate this release!

They announced a Magnus Bane Quote Vote but look at the invitation yourself:

Let’s get ready to party, Shadowhunters, but remember not to consume any blue beverages ;-)

The Bane Chronicles will be released on November 11!

‘The Mortal Instruments’ returning as a TV series

 

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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!

Emma and Julian argue in new ‘The Dark Artifices’ snippet

Art by Cassandra Jean

Cassandra Clare’s new Shadowhunter trilogy The Dark Artifices doesn’t have an official release date yet and Cassie certainly knows how to make us even more impatient for Lady Midnight with this new snippet:

“Emma —“

“I’m calling.” Emma lunged for her phone.

“No!” Julian said, forcefully enough to stop her. “You know we can’t tell anyone. About Mark —“

“You’re not going to bleed to death in a car for Mark!”

“No,” he said, looking at her. His eyes were eerily green-blue, the only bright color in the dark interior of the car. “You’re going to fix me.”

Cassie also cautioned her readers about the snippets: “remember nothing is set in stone till publication

What do you think happened to Julian and how is Emma going to fix him? Sound off in the comments.

Click here if you’ve missed the news about the updated The Dark Artifices synopsis.

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 an updated synopsis for ‘The Dark Artifices’

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The Mortal Instruments series is unfortunately over, but we still have The Dark Artifices to look forward to! To make everyone even more excited and impatient for Cassandra Clare’s new Shadowhunter trilogy a new paragraph was added to the synopsis on her website:

Los Angeles. It’s been five years since the events of the Mortal Instruments when Nephilim stood poised on the brink of oblivion and Shadowhunter Emma Carstairs lost her parents. After the blood and violence she witnessed as a child, Emma has dedicated her life to to discovering exactly what it was that killed her parents and getting her revenge.

Raised in the Los Angeles Institute with the Blackthorn family, Emma is paired as a parabatai with her best friend, Julian Blackthorn. A series of murders in the city catch her attention — they seem to have the same characteristics as the deaths of her parents. Could the murderer be the same person? And her attention isn’t the only one caught: someone has been murdering Downworlders as well. The Fair Folk make a deal with the Institute: if the Blackthorns and Emma will investigate the killings, they’ll return Mark Blackthorn to his home. The catch: they have only two weeks to find the killers. Otherwise it’s open war between faeries and Nephilim.

The Shadowhunters of the Institute must race against time to catch the killers, even as they begin to suspect the involvement of those closest to them. At the same time, Emma is falling in love with the one person in the world she’s absolutely forbidden by Shadowhunter Law to love. Set against the glittering backdrop of present-day Los Angeles, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches from the warlock-run nightclubs of the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica.

Lady Midnight – the first book in the trilogy – does not have an official release date yet.

What do you think of the ultimatum? Sound off in the comments!

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)

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