Glass bottles clink and clatter as Jace hoists Maia up in his arms and presses her back against the heavy shelves lining the storeroom of the Hunter's Moon. She winds herself around him, legs locked around his hips and arms hooked around his neck, but one hand shoots out to catch a mini bottle of Bailey's before it rolls right off the shelf. "Bad idea, bad idea," Maia breathes into his mouth, back arching. Her nails scrap against his scalp as she clutches fistfuls of his hair, wants to rip him apart. "Other wall."
"Other wall," Jace repeats like a good soldier on a mission, careening slightly as he spins them around. Want has made them careless and clumsy, rushed and rough. Bad idea.
The tiny room can be crossed in just one stumbling step, but Jace's boot catches on a box and sends them reeling. Maia's back hits the wall with too much force, edges of the bricks crumbling under their combined supernatural strength. Dust coats the floor in a fine mist, clings to the back of Maia's black t-shirt. It makes her laugh, but it turns into a moan when Jace's mouth finds the line of her throat.
Mutual resentment brought them here.
Simon and Clary kiss in the bar and on missions and at the Institute, holding hands and pressing their foreheads together and brushing noses. Giggling like little kids. Unable to get enough of each other and not worried about who's there to see it. It's like chocolate: something Maia could appreciate if it didn't make her puke.
She and Jace have gotten in the habit of tossing back shots together and spitting out barbs, soaking in their tequila bitterness. They share the rolled eyes and snide little smirks of people who are acting like assholes because their bruises are still too sore. Jace is always meaner, though; he goes for the kill.
"It took her a decade to decide she wanted him," Jace says to Maia as they covertly watch Clary and Simon from the bar. "It was only because I wasn't an option anymore."
"When you jerk off, do you look in the mirror?" Maia asks, and it catches Jace so off guard that he's snorting whiskey through his nose but laughing too hard to bitch about it.
Sometimes they do snotty little voices as they watch their erstwhile almosts from a safe distance. Jace does a surprisingly good Simon, all put-on earnestness and fumbling. Maia's meanness shines when she pitches her voice girlishly high like Betty Boop on acid to verbalize all those Clary-related irritations that prickle just under her skin. While they do it, they mockingly mirror Simon and Clary, all sickeningly shy smiles and fluttering lashes, an impression taken to extremes.
"Gee, Clary," Jace says as Simon, very aw shucks. "Even thought I've spent every minute of every day obsessing over you since before I went through puberty, I'm still not bored of staring into your eyes from three inches away at all times."
"Why would you be?" Maia tosses her head when Clary does, smiles with too much teeth. "Nobody ever gets tired of catering to my every whim all the time no matter who gets hurt in the process!"
Maia and Jace pretend there is no irony in this. They ignore that Jace would probably like to be sitting over there with Clary, drinking in her every expression, and that Maia would likely prefer to be laughing with Simon, feeling that flutter in her stomach she gets whenever he does that crinkly smile.
Jace leans in, his eyes alight in a way they aren't usually, and it takes Maia a minute to realize he's still mirroring Simon. She's distracted by the shift of his collarbone peeking out of his V-neck shirt, the mischievous curve of his mouth. She plays her part too, tilting towards him.
"Of course," Jace says, lower than the voice he uses for Simon, "We have to prove how dedicated we are to our relationship by throwing it in everyone's faces all the time."
"Obviously," Maia replies, sounding too much like herself. "How else do we make sure everyone knows it's real?"
Jace has a way of smiling that almost looks like a frown at the same time: the corners of his lips twitch down and then up, patronizing and playful. "Do you think that's true?"
She knows he's asking for real, and she sighs. "No," Maia admits. "I think they look happy."
"Assholes," Jace says immediately, and it's Maia's turn to be startled into a snicker. She looks back over at Simon and Clary, blissfully unaware that they're being mercilessly made fun of, and feels a sudden twinge in her chest that she wishes was a stroke.
"Fucking assholes," Maia agrees with a viciousness she hadn't intended. "You'd think they could at least pretend to care about us."
It sparks a grin from Jace, a breathily impressed, "Well, fuck me."
It hurts to see them together, which is stupid, but the hurt gets tangled up in something else: the look on Jace's face, the way his body is angled towards her. That urge they both have to pick at the scab until it bleeds.
Maia lifts an eyebrow. "You offering?"
He sits back, looking at her, and picks his glass up. He drains its contents in one long swallow, head tilted to expose his throat, the sharp black runes standing out starkly. When he puts the glass back down, his mouth his wet. "Are you?"
And into the storeroom they go.
"Fifteen minutes," Maia breathes. That's how long her breaks are.
"Hmm," Jace murmurs back thoughtfully. "How many times do you think you could come in fifteen minutes?"
Maia's fingers fist in the flimsy cotton neckline of his t-shirt and she tells herself not to rip the stupid thing in half. The brick wall digs into her spine but she can't find it in her to care. "If you can make me come once, pretty boy, I'll be impressed."
He grins, eyebrow quirking devilishly before his mouth finds hers again.
Jace lets her down so they can fumble at each other's buttons and zippers, but as soon as he gets hers open he turns her around and pulls her hips back sharply to meet his. Maia's fingers gouge the bricks to brace herself, feeling a deep dirty thrill when Jace pushes her jeans and panties down just enough, reaching around to slide a hand between her legs. His knuckles drag over her inner thigh and then his fingers slip against her clitoris, circling and teasing.
"What did I tell you?" Maia's voice is all air, desperate and wanting. "Fifteen minutes. Don't waste it."
"Come on now, Maia," Jace says, low and persuasive in her ear. She doesn't mind how her name sounds in his mouth. "It's too nice a job to rush."
But even as he says it Maia can hear the rustle of clothes, can feel him test how wet she is. The last hushed syllable of the word rush has barely left his mouth before he's fucking her, not easing into it or taking things slow but sudden and hard and hot. His belt buckle digs into the back of her leg, hips flush. No teasing anymore.
The staccato snapping of his hips sets a punishing pace that Maia matches. She wants to turn the volume up on everything, increase the intensity. She feels like she can barely breathe she's breathing so fast. It's a relief to have someone's hands on her, to feel someone's body. Maybe it's a wolf thing, this need for tactile sensations. Maybe it's just how Maia is. She can't always tell the difference. She just knows that she wants Jace's teeth on her shoulder and his hand between her legs, the heat of him and the huff of his breath.
One of Jace's hands covers hers on the bricks and without thinking Maia twists her fingers through his. Bad idea.
After they go back out, Jace pulls a chair up to Clary and Simon's table, interrupting as obnoxiously as possible based on the expression that crosses Simon's face. From her place behind the bar, Maia watches – the sheen of sweat visible on the exposed part of Jace's chest, his fingers wrapped around the bottle of beer he steals from Clary. The grin on his face before he takes a sip. His lips against the green glass. His eyes finding Maia's across the room.
Heat flares in her stomach at the look on his face, something open and raw about it that makes what they were just doing much too obvious. She's vividly reminded of him gripping her inner thigh, fingertips pressing hard into her skin as he dragged his hand upwards. She can still feel it. Still feel him.
Jace pulls his gaze away to pay attention to his phone instead, but a moment later Maia's buzzes in her pocket.
How many times do you think you could come before sunrise?
Maia bites her lip, then promises, I'll wear you out before I hit my limit.
She doesn't look at him. Instead she busies herself wiping down the counter, totally absorbed in the slow circles of her rag. For a minute, anyway, until she gives in: her eyes slide sideways just in time to catch him rubbing the back of his neck as he reads.
Try me, Jace tells her.
Maia purposefully doesn't answer, tucking her phone away in her back pocket, but she can feel Jace looking at her. She doesn't mind it, though she fights to keep the smirk from her face.
She's planning on it.