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)

Sneak peek at the ‘Clockwork Princess’ manga

Today Cassandra Clare took to her tumblr to share a few images of the upcoming Clockwork Princess manga.

Have a look:

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A little sneak peek at the Clockwork Princess manga, coming from Yen Press! Jem and Will, Jem and Tessa, Will and Tessa.

Here is a synopsis from Amazon.com:

The threat of Mortmain’s Infernal Devices looms as the Shadowhunters race to work out a way to counteract the mechanical monsters. Meanwhile, plans for Tessa’s marriage to Jem are underway, despite her fiancé’s failing health and the unresolved feelings between her and Will. When Tessa is captured, Will must leave his comrade behind to save the woman they both love… But with the final missing piece-Tessa herself-in Mortmain’s possession, can anything stop his plot for revenge?

The manga will be released on July 22.

‘Clockwork Princess’ quote was the Most Shared Quote of 2013 on Goodreads

A quote from Clockwork Princess, said by Will Herondale, has been named the Most Shared Quote of 2013 on Goodreads. Congrats Cassie!

CP2 quote

Source

Looking back at the Top Stories of 2013

Shadowhunters! 2013 was indeed the Year of the Shadowhunter with so much excitement in the field of books and movies. On the final day of 2013, we’re taking a look back at the Top Stories of 2013 in the Shadowhunter fandom.

1. Clockwork Princess 

Clockwork Princess First EditionThe final installment of The Infernal Devices had fans terrified months prior to reading it and the final product didn’t disappoint. Clockwork Princess debuted at No. 1 in not only Young Adult fiction but fiction in general selling 90,000 copies in the U.S. in its first week.

2. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones teaser posterThe film adaptation of Cassandra Clare’s bestselling novel hit theaters on August 21 and DVD on December 3. The film, which starred Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, didn’t dominate the box office, but Constantin Film still has faith in the franchise and plans to start filming on The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes sometime next year.

3. Three more Shadowhunter Chronicles series on the way

The Dark Artifices: Lady MidnightWe already know about The Dark Artifices, the sequel series set five years after the events of The Mortal Instruments coming in March 2015), but Cassandra Clare revealed that she plans to write two more series set in the Shadowhunter world: TLH (set in 1901, and involving James Herondale among others) and TWP (set following The Dark Artifices).

4. The Bane Chronicles debuts

The Bane Chronicles What Really Happened in Peru coverThree of the top Young Adult authors came together to create The Bane Chronicles, a ten-installment eBook series about everyone’s favorite warlock Magnus Bane. The first installment debuted on April 16 with the final installment set for January 21, 2014. The Bane Chronicles has spent time on the New York Times bestsellers series list throughout its eBook publication.

5. City of Heavenly Fire snippets

COHF placeholderWhile City of Heavenly Fire, the final book in The Mortal Instruments, won’t be released until May 27, 2014, Cassandra Clare got the party started with a slew of snippets from the highly-anticipated book. The snippets ranged from scenes to chapter titles to visual snippets that left fans breathless and eager to discover the fates of their favorite characters.

Other memorable stories:

[Read more…]

International news: ‘City of Lost Souls’ and ‘Clockwork Princess’ nominated for German ‘Leserpreis’

Calling all the Shadowhunters that speak German!

Every year German readers nominate and vote for their favorite books and this time two of Cassandra Clare’s novels are nominated and one may win the German ‘Leserpreis’. The ‘Leserpreis’ was first awarded in 2009 and isn’t dependent on sales, but on which book you liked best.

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City of Lost Souls and Clockwork Princess are both nominated in the category ‘Jugendbuch’ (Young Adult novel) and you can vote for one of them here. Voting is open until November 28 (11:59 pm, UTC+1) and the winner will be announced on November 29.

Vote ‘Clockwork Princess’ in final round of Goodreads Choice Awards

Shadowhunters! The final round of Goodreads’ Choice Awards 2013 is now underway, and Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare made it to the final cut of 10 for the Best Young Adult Fantasy and Science Fiction book of 2013.

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VOTE FOR CLOCKWORK PRINCESS AT GOODREADS

Also, the Clockwork Prince manga from Yen Press has made the final cut for Best Graphic Novels and Comics.

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VOTE FOR CLOCKWORK PRINCE MANGA AT GOODREADS

Vote ‘Clockwork Princess’ in semifinals round of Goodreads’ Best YA Fantasy Book of 2013

Shadowhunters! The seminfinals round of Goodreads’ Choice Awards 2013 is now underway, and Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare made it to the next round for the Best Young Adult Fantasy and Science Fiction book of 2013.

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VOTE FOR CLOCKWORK PRINCESS AT GOODREADS

‘Clockwork Princess’ named Best YA Novel of 2013 by YA Magazine

Young Adult Magazine counted down their list of the 10 Biggest and Best Young Adult Novels of 2013, and guess who came out at No. 1?

Clockwork Princess No 1 2013

Clockwork Princess nabbed the top spot on a list that included Allegiant by Veronica Roth, The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead and The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey, among others.

Clockwork Princess, the final installment of The Infernal Devices, debuted at No. 1 across all major bestsellers lists when it was released on March 19.

Congrats to Cassandra Clare!

Vote ‘Clockwork Princess’ as Goodreads’ Best YA Fantasy and Science Fiction book of 2013

Shadowhunters! The opening round of Goodreads’ Choice Awards 2013 is underway, and Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare is up for the Best Young Adult Fantasy and Science Fiction book.

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VOTE FOR CLOCKWORK PRINCESS AT GOODREADS

Fan Friday: Jessamine Lovelace Fanart

Every Friday here at TMI Source is Fan Friday, where we feature a fan who has demonstrated creativity and passion for Cassandra Clare, The Mortal Instruments or The Infernal Devices..

Before you read on any further, CLOCKWORK PRINCESS SPOILERS AHEAD. (Just being careful!) This week at TMI Source, we’re featuring fanart about Jessamine Lovelace.

Ave atque vale, Jessamine Lovelace. 

[Read more…]

Cassandra Clare addresses THE MIDNIGHT HEIR, TLH questions

Cassandra Clare addressed questions surrounding The Bane Chronicles: The Midnight HeirTLH and Clockwork Princess in a recent Tumblr post.

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“I just read the Midnight Heir, it was great :) I have so many questions. First of all, I thought it was so cute when Jem, Will, and Tessa were all there. It was so beautiful. And James… they call him Jamie? That is beyond cute. He is so like Will. And so like Pip. The story is kind of based off of Great Expectations, right? Are there going to be more similarities, or do the parallels stop at the Grace=Estella, Tatiana=Ms. Havisham thing? And why does James marry Codelia? Are your other stories based off of classics as well? Also, how the heck does Lucie marry Jesse, he’s dead (or is he)???! And isn’t he like 10 years older than her? And are you going to revisit the TLH picture that Cassandra Jean drew?? Sorry that’s a lot of questions. I’m so confused!

I kind of figured people would be confused!

The answer is: yes, TLH is based on Great Expectations, just like The Infernal Devices is based on Tale of Two Cities. As in, very loosely based! But those who are familiar with GE probably recognized in The Midnight Heir some of the bones of the plot of Great Expectations: the parallels between Lightwood Manor and Satis House, the fact that Tatiana is still wearing the same dress in TMH that she wore in Clockwork Princess, just like Miss Havisham always wore her wedding dress — the reiteration of “love her, love her, love her.”

Which yes, makes James/Jamie: Pip, and Grace: Estella. For those confused: Grace (like Estella) is Tatiana’s ward, which means she is not her daughter, but she would call her Mother anyway as Tatiana, basically, has raised her. As for Jesse, yes, all those questions are valid (how can he be dead and not dead?) — and there are clues in the story as to what is going on with him — but they’re not going to be answered until TLH. Ditto on why James marries Cordelia, etc. I’ll just say nothing unfolds for the reasons you’d expect. (And Cordelia is important, and awesome.)

The thing that always fascinated me about Tale of Two Cities is the love triangle and how it works itself out, and the themes of sacrifice and of stories. The thing about Great Expectations that always interested me was that, like Of Human Bondage, it’s a story about a love so epic and compelling that it almost doesn’t matter what the subject of the love is — Pip’s love for Estella is about what Estella symbolized, and he knows she’s imperfect, but it doesn’t matter: it’s the intensity of the love that matters. (It’s the inverse of Sophie’s statement about loving someone who doesn’t love you back being all right as long as they deserve it.)

From GE:

Once for all; I knew to my sorrow, often and often, if not always, that I loved her against reason, against promise, against peace, against hope, against happiness, against all discouragement that could be. 

And a fun peek at a few of the characters, courtesy of Cassandra Jean:

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‘CLOCKWORK PRINCESS’ the most added book on Goodreads of 2013

Clockwork Princess, the final installment of The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare, is the most popular book of 2013 so far on Goodreads. The book is the most-added book of the year with 123,992 adds.

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Special Shadowhunter Hangout: Come chat ‘CLOCKWORK PRINCESS’ with us on Wednesday

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You’ve waited for it, and now it’s here.

Come join TMI Source staffers Alyssa, Megan and Cat, along with Stele Cast’s Natasha, as we fangirl, cry, grieve, talk all about the conclusion to a simply breathtaking Infernal Devices series, Clockwork Princess, in a special SHADOWHUNTER HANGOUT on Wednesday, June 26.

The hangout will begin at 8:30 PM ET/7:30 PM CT/5:30 PM PT. The link to the chat will be posted on our Twitter and Tumblr prior to the start of the show and will be broadcast live on our YouTube channel.

We want to hear your thoughts and discuss your questions about Clockwork Princess. Think of this as group therapy! This will be a spoilery session!

We hope to see you there!

We will also have our usual SHADOWHUNTER HANGOUT on Friday! Stay tuned for details.

Cut scene from ‘CLOCKWORK PRINCESS’ *spoilers*

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Cassandra Clare shared a cut scene from Clockwork Princess, which was released on March 19, that she ended up rewriting for the final draft.

People often ask about cut scenes from books, and they can be hard to come by, because a lot of the time we don’t have scenes that we’ve cut out, the way one might in a movie, but rather ones we’ve rewritten.

I decided to post a rewritten scene from  CP2 under the spoiler tag. It is the scene that begins around page 468, with Will in Henry’s room. If you put the scenes side by side you can see the differences — the timing of when Charlotte learns a certain piece of information, where Will is when a certain thing happens, the players who are present, and Jem and Will’s attitude toward each other.

WARNING: CLOCKWORK PRINCESS SPOILERS

“Tessa is awake!” Charlotte announced happily, darting through the door of her and Henry’s bedroom like an excited hummingbird.

Will, who had been sitting in the chair by Henry’s bedside, leaped immediately to his feet, the book he had been reading sliding from his lap. “Tess — Tessa’s awake?” he stammered. “And is she —”

“Yes, talking, and Brother Enoch has pronounced her quite well, if exhausted.”  

“I want to see her,” Will said, and began to move toward the door, but Charlotte held up a hand.

“Give her a moment, Will; Sophie is in with her, helping her dress.”

Will knew what “helping her dress” meant: if he burst in on them now, Tessa would be in the bath. A wave of desire, mixed wit the heaviness of guilt, hit him like a train. He sat down hastily, fumbling for the book on the floor.

 Charlotte looked at him, her smile curling at the corner. Clearly he was providing her some small amusement. “Have you been reading to Henry?” she asked.

“Yes, some dreadful thing, all full of poetry,” Henry said peevishly. He was fully dressed, propped on the pillows of the bed with a pen in one hand and papers scattered all over the comforter around him. Will did not blame him for his peevishness. Tessa had been asleep, and Henry abed, for three days, when the Brothers gathered the members of the Institute around Henry’s bedside to tell them that though Henry would live, he would not walk again. Even with all the magic the Brothers had at their disposal, there was no more that they could do. 

Henry had met the news with his usual fortitude, and a decision to build himself a chair, like a sort of invalid’s chair but better, with self-propelling wheels and all manner of other accoutrements: he was determined that it be able to go up and down stairs, so that he could still get to his inventions in the crypt. He had been scribbling designs for the chair the whole hour that Will had been reading to him from Idylls of the King, but then poetry had never been Henry’s area of interest.

“Well, you are released from your duties, Will, and Henry, you are released from further poetry,” said Charlotte. “If you like, darling, I can help you gather your notes —”

There was a knock at the door, and Charlotte, frowning, went to see who it was. A moment later she had returned, a somber look on her face. She darted a glance at Will, and a moment later he saw why: two Silent Brothers were trailing in her wake, and one of them was Jem.

Will’s chest tightened. Since the battle at Cader Idris, he and Jem had not spoken.

Will had been sure that they were all going to die, together, there under the mountain, until Tessa had blazed up in all the glory of the Angel and struck down Mortmain like lightning striking down a tree. It had been one of the most wondrous things he had ever seen, but his wonder had been consumed quickly by terror when Tessa had collapsed after the Change, bleeding and insensible, however hard they tried to wake her. Magnus, near exhaustion, had barely been able to open a Portal back to the Institute with Henry’s help, and Will remembered only a blur after that, a blur of exhaustion and blood and fear, more Silent Brothers summoned to tend the wounded, and the news coming from the Council of all who had been killed that day before the automatons who had attacked them had collapsed upon Mortmain’s death. And Tessa — Tessa not speaking, not waking, barely breathing. Tessa being carried off to her room by the Silent Brothers and he had not been able to go with her. Being neither brother nor husband he could only stand and stare after her, closing and unclosing his blood-stained hands. Never had he felt more helpless.

And when he had turned to find Jem, to share his fear with the only other person in the world who loved Tessa as much as he did — Jem had been gone, back to the Silent City on the orders of the Brothers. Gone without even a word of goodbye.

Though Cecily had tried to soothe him, Will had been angry — angry with Jem, and even, over the ensuing days, with Charlotte, for allowing Jem to become a Silent Brother, though he knew that was unfair: that it had been Jem’s choice and the only way to keep him alive. His anger had not been helped by his panicked worry over Tessa: though her physical injuries were minor, the shock to her system of what she had done had been great, and so was her pain. He had sat with her, on and off for days, taking her hand, begging her to wake up and see him, until Charlotte had had to rouse him from where he had fallen asleep half-sprawled across her bed. 

Will stared at Jem now, hard enough to bore a hole through his head, but though Jem’s hood was down, exposing his face, he was looking away from Will determinedly. His hair had begun to return to its original dark color: the dark was mixed with the silver, strand beside strand, and his eyelashes were black again, too, and brushes against the runes on his cheeks when he lowered his eyes.

They were runes only the Silent Brothers bore: they looked to Will like injuries, like gashes across Jem’s face. He felt sick inside.

Charlotte, said Brother Enoch, and held out his hand: there was a letter, sealed with the seal of the Council. I have brought a message for you.

Charlotte looked at him in bewilderment. “The Silent Brothers do not deliver letters.”

This letter is of grave importance. It is imperative that you read it now.

Slowly, Charlotte reached out and took it. She pulled at the flap, then frowned and crossed the room to take a letter-opener from her bureau. Will took the opportunity to stare harder at Jem. It did no good. Jem did not return Will’s gaze; his face was blank; there wasnothing thereto hold on to. Will felt almost seasick — it was like having been a ship at anchor for years and being cut free to float on the tides, with no idea which direction to steer in. And there was Jem, his anchor, not looking at him or meeting his gaze. 

The sound of tearing paper came, and they all watched as Charlotte opened the letter and read it, the color draining from her face. She lifted her eyes and stared at Brother Enoch. “Is this some sort of jest?”

There is no jest, I assure you. Do you have an answer?

“Lottie,” said Henry, looking up at his wife, even his tufts of gingery hair radiating anxiety and love. “Lottie, what is it, what’s wrong?”

She looked at him, and then back at Brother Enoch. “No,” she said. “I don’t have an answer. Not yet.”

The Council does not wish to wait.

“Well,” Charlotte said, and her voice was firm. “They will have to. Tell them I shall send an answer by day’s end.”

After a moment, Brother Enoch nodded, and turned to leave the room. Jem turned to follow.

And Will broke. He darted forward, and caught at Jem’s sleeve. The thick material of the parchment robes was slippery under his fingers. “That’s all?” he said, in a low, urgent voice. “You come back here, and you do not speak to me — or visit Tessa? Have you even formally broken your engagement, James Carstairs?”

Jem froze stock-still. Brother Enoch turned. He looked displeased, as much as any of the Brothers ever had expressions. A Silent Brother cannot marry or enter into engagements,he said, and Will could tell from the faces of those around them that he and Jem could hear the words, but no one else could. He has neither fiancée nor parabatai now.

Will’s hand was still on Jem’s sleeve. “You want me to tell her, then?” Will asked. Charlotte was looking at him, shaking her head, Will, no. He knew his anger was unfair, unwarranted — Jem and Tessa’s engagement was over, shouldn’t he be glad? — but he was not glad. Grief and rage spilled like water through the cracks in his broken heart. Jem, who never hurt anyone, hurting him, hurting Tessa — and what if everything that had happened between her and Will had happened only because she thought Jem was dead, only out of the desperation for grief and the passionate human need for comfort? What if she loved Jem and longed for him forever, knowing he lived but was gone from her, with never a word from him that might provide any sort of closing of that chapter of her life? How could she bear it — how could Will bear it? What kind of future could they have? And yet there was no future for him without Tessa. “James Carstairs, do you want me to tell Tessa you are done with her, if you will not do it yourself?”

“Done with her?” Jem wrenched his sleeve from Will’s grasp, and his eyes were wide and dark and hurt, the eyes of Jem-the-child, the dark eyes Will had known growing up. “I came here because Enoch told me she had awakened,” he said, and there was an anger in his voice Will had rarely heard before. “I asked leave to speak with her one last time. You know what I feel. I will not ever be done. Not in a hundred years. Not in a thousand.” He looked from Will to Brother Enoch, and then back again. “And yet I must be. I have no choice. It’s not like you, William, not to have compassion for that.”

Will swallowed. Everything in the room seemed to have dwindled down to this, there was only him and Jem. “I thought, perhaps — being a Silent Brother — might have taken from you your capacity to feel,” he said, and then burst out, “I could not bear it, a James Carstairs who does not feel. Not just for Tessa, but for myself. If she loves only you, if she wishes to spend her life mourning your departure, I can survive that, but not the death of your heart, or of hers.”

Jem looked at him, and in the depths of his dark eyes Will saw , for a flash, the Jem he knew. “Wo men shi jie bai xiong di,” Jem said. “You would know if my heart had died, and I would know the same of you. My departure, you say, though I shall still be in the world, and yet it is as if I take sail for some unknown island, some wild place where you cannot follow. But know,” he added, in a voice that only Will could hear, “I shall do what I can to make some provision that I might see you again, and Tessa again. For you are half my heart, and she is the other. As long as I have one of you to be my north star, my heart shall not die, and I shall remain your James Carstairs.”

“Will,” Charlotte said. She sounded worried.  ”Will and J — Brother Zachariah, this is most irregular. Brother Enoch, I apologize —”

  “I asked leave to speak to Will, too, before I came,” Jem said. “I was told I could have it as long as I did not speak to him or answer him while Brother Enoch was attending here to the matter of the Council.”

Will stared at him, and then at Brother Enoch, realizing with a sick drop in his stomach that he might have lost his only chance of speaking in private to Jem again — ever. Enoch’s face was blank, his expression giving nothing away.

”That is not fair!” Will said. “I addressed you first —”

Peace, little Shadowhunter, said Brother Enoch. The bonds of parabatai are understood by the Brotherhood. After all, we bound you with them ourselves. You have our leave to speak to him, one last time, before he goes.

MORTAL INSTRUMENTS, INFERNAL DEVICES on Best Sellers Lists this week

The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices are well-represented on this week’s various best sellers lists, including dominating the Top 5 on the New York Times Best Sellers list.

On the New York Times Best Sellers listThe Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices both hold strong in the Top 5, at No. 2 and No. 5, respectively.

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In its third week, Clockwork Princess nabbed the No. 21 spot on USA Today’s Best Sellers list, while City of Bones has once again moved up (10 spots this week) to No. 63.

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On the Wall Street Journal best seller listClockwork Princess held onto the #2 in best-selling Hardcover Fiction.

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Congrats to Cassandra Clare!

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