Snippet from Lord of Shadows - unexpected alliances…
Lord of Shadows
Kieran muttered something under his breath and said, “I will
swear loyalty to Mark. I will do as he bids me do, and follow the
Nephilim for his sake. And I shall argue with Prince Adaon for your cause,
though it is his choice in the end.”
Something flickered in Julian’s eyes. “No,” he said. “You will
not do this for Mark.”
Mark looked at his brother, startled; Kieran’s expression tensed.
“Why not Mark?”
“Love complicates things,” said Julian. “An oath should be free
Kieran looked as if he might explode. His hair had gone com-
pletely black. With an angry look at Julian, he strode toward the
Shadowhunters—and knelt in front of Cristina.
Everyone looked surprised, none more than Cristina. Kieran
tossed his dark hair back and looked up at her, a challenge in his
eyes. “I swear fealty to you, Lady of Roses.”
“She could understand suddenly why people talked about passion as fire: She felt as if they had caught aflame and were burning like the dry Malibu hills, about to become ashes that would mix together forever.”
Kieran gave a soft, impatient noise and flopped down on the bed, among the sheets. The blankets were already flung onto the floor. With his black hair tangled against the white linen, his body sprawled out with no regard for human modesty, Kieran looked even more of a wild creature. “Come with me, then,” he said. “Stay with me. I saw the look on your face when you saw the horses of the Hunt. You would do anything to ride again.”
Suddenly furious, Mark leaned down over him. “Not anything,” he said. His voice throbbed with low anger.
Kieran gave a slight hiss. He caught at Mark’s shirt. “There,” he said. “Be angry with me, Mark Blackthorn. Shout at me. Feel something.”
Mark stayed where he was, frozen, just above Kieran. “You think I don’t feel?”
“We are all the pieces of what we remember. We hold in ourselves the hopes and fears of those who love us. As long as there is love and memory, there is no true loss.” ― Cassandra Clare, City of Heavenly Fire
They were far out from shore now—it was a shining line in the distance, the highway a ribbon of moving lights, the houses and restaurants along the coastline glimmering. “Well, as it turns out, my parents didn’t die in the ocean.” Emma took a shuddering breath. “They didn’t drown.”
“Knowing that doesn’t wipe out years of bad dreams.” Julian glanced toward her. The wind blew soft tendrils of his hair against his cheekbones. She remembered what it felt like to have her hands in that hair, how holding him had anchored her not just to the world, but to herself.
“I hate feeling like this,” she said, and for a moment even she wasn’t sure what she was talking about. “I hate being afraid. It makes me feel weak.”
“Emma, everyone’s afraid of something.” Julian moved slightly closer. “We fear things because we value them. We fear losing people because we love them. We fear dying because we value being alive. Don’t wish you didn’t fear anything. All that would mean is that you don’t feel anything.”
“Jules—” She started to turn toward him in surprise at the intensity in his voice, but paused when she heard Cristina’s footsteps quicken, and then her voice, raised in recognition, calling:
Cristina was there, in the middle of the room, looking up at one of the chandeliers. There was a row of three of them, unlit but glittering with crystal drops.
Mark let the door fall shut behind him and she turned. She didn’t look surprised to see him. She was wearing a plain black dress that looked as if it had been cut for someone shorter than her — it probably had been.
“Mark,” she said. “Couldn’t you sleep?”
“Not well.” He glanced ruefully down at his arm, though the pain had gone now that he was with Cristina. “Did you feel the same?”
She nodded. Her eyes were bright. “My mother always said that the ballroom in the London Institute was the most beautiful room she’d ever seen.” She looked around, at the Edwardian striped wallpaper, the heavy velvet curtains looped back from the windows. “But she must have seen it very much alive and filled with people. It seems like Sleeping Beauty’s castle now. As if the Dark War surrounded it with thorns and since then it has slept.”
Mark held out his hand, his wound circling his wrist like Julian’s sea-glass bracelet circled his. “Let us wake it up,” he said. “Dance with me.”