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A Beautiful Exception

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Magnus Bane had one rule: he didn’t work with new models. He’d spent years getting to the point where he could be extremely selective with who walked his runway, and every show he’d done for the past three years had been with the exact same group of people. People he knew inside and out, and, more importantly, who knew him. People who knew what it meant when he titled his head just so, or when he tapped his foot, or when he lined his eyes with black instead of gold. People who trusted him, and who he, in return, trusted to carry out his vision to perfection.

And yet, when he walked into his studio that morning, he thought he might have found the exception to that rule.

“Isabelle.” Magnus stopped dead barely two steps in, grasping his stylist’s arm so tightly she could already feel the indents his nails were going to leave. “Please tell me that is not Alexander Lightwood?”

“Raphael had to drop out.” Isabelle said casually, but Magnus had known her for far too long not to recognise the mischievous glint in her eye. “I told you last week I had a friend who could step in.”

Alexander Lightwood, Isabelle!” Magnus hissed, tearing his eyes away from the beautiful specimen that had apparently decided to grace his humble studio with his presence. “How did you not tell me that you were friends with Alexander Lightwood?! Four covers of Vouge, the face of Idris fashion, two-time winner of Model of the Year…”

“Alec!”

Alec looked up as Izzy shouted, cutting off the rest of Magnus’ ramblings, and Magnus was suddenly overcome with the sudden urge to flee to the bathroom and make sure his make-up was still as perfect as when he’d left his loft this morning. Alec was already wandering over however, his face breaking out into a grin as he spotted Izzy, and Magnus quickly sorted his own face into what he hoped was an expression of professional friendliness as a sharp elbow to the ribs reminded him that it was impolite to blatantly ogle your guests.

“Hey Izzy.”

The two embraced, and Magnus took the chance to catch Izzy’s eye, sending her a glance that informed her very clearly that as soon as Alec was out of the picture they would be having words. Izzy simply stuck her tongue out in return before pulling back, turning back to Magnus with a flourish.

“Alec, this is Magnus Bane. He designed and made everything you’ll be modelling. Magnus, I believe you’re already familiar with my brother.”

“Indeed.” Said Magnus, calmly shaking Alec’s outstretched hand despite the fact that both his mind and his heart were racing. He was going to murder Isabelle. “Although your delightful sister here failed to mention that little fact to me. I’m a big fan of your work.”

“Oh, um, thanks.” Alec stammered, awkwardly rubbing the back of his neck, staring at his toes and hunching his shoulders in a way that Magnus wouldn’t have expected from the cool, confident model he’d seen in the magazines. It was disarmingly adorable.

“I hope you don’t mind me being here. I know you don’t usually work with new models, but I’m a big fan of your work, too, um, and when Izzy mentioned that you needed someone, I, you know.”

“Why Alexander,” Magnus crowed, far more delighted than he should have been to discover that Alec had been the instigator of this little sibling conspiracy. “You can fulfil my needs any time.”

Magnus winked, just in case he hadn’t been obvious enough, and there was a moment of awkward silence as Alec stared at him in surprise, and Magnus knew without needing to look that Izzy would be rolling her eyes in the background. Just when he was starting to wonder if he should have held off on the innuendoes until they’d known each other for more than a few minutes, Alec suddenly snorted, eyes widening in embarrassment as he raised a hand to cover his helpless giggles.

An insanely hot model who was a fan of his work and actually snorted at his bad innuendos? Magnus groaned.

He was totally, completely, unequivocally screwed.