Jonathan’s wings beat hard against the cold wind, and he had to struggle to remain on course. The fact that he couldn’t see properly through the haze of his tears didn’t help either. Blinking furiously, the ten-year-old boy managed to make out the glistening towers of Alicante and doubled his efforts.
Below him the forest was thinning out, enabling him to see a group of people approaching from the direction of the city. Activating his farsighted rune with stiff fingers, Jonathan managed to make out the black runes marking their skin, the lack of circles on the necks.
Shadowhunters! The relief surging through him caused him to almost drop his stele, but he managed to stuff it back into his pocket before swooping down towards what he hoped to be safe harbor. He hadn’t been at all sure he’d be able to make it to Alicante, and although his father had raised him in almost complete isolation, these were his people, after all.
Fresh tears threatened to escape at the thought of his father, the memory of his body falling under the attack of the two men with the Circle runes. Jonathan had stared in horror before whirling around and taking to the air, and he hadn’t stopped moving since. Now his strength faltered, and he almost dropped the last few feet, ending in a heap at the foot of a startled-looking Chinese woman.
“Please,” he gasped beseechingly, retracting his wings, “they killed my father!”
His words seemed to bring the woman back to her senses, although to his confusion her eyes remained fixed warily on his back. “Your father? Who are you, boy?”
“My father is - was Michael Wayland.” Jonathan snapped into report mode, shrugging his wings away. “I’m Jonathan Christopher Wayland, and two Circle members just attacked our home.”
“They must have been the ones to trip the wards,” a male Shadowhunter said, drawing Jonathan’s attention to the rest of the group. They were all regarding him with suspicion, and Jonathan’s fingers tightened on his dagger, more for comfort than anything else.
Seeing his reaction, the woman, obviously the leader, made a small gesture with her hand, which caused the others to relax a little, although Jonathan remained all too aware of how quickly that could change again. Still, there wasn’t much he could do about it, not when he was this exhausted. At the back of his mind he could feel the horror and shock of the past few hours, and it was only force of habit, drilled into him by his father, that enabled him to remain on his feet and facing the Shadowhunters.
Half-turning, the woman ordered her companions, “Go. Check it out.”
“But, Jia-” someone protested, “the boy… Someone should remain with you.”
“As you said, he’s just a boy.” The woman, Jia, shook her head curtly. “If Circle members have truly breached the wards and killed Michael Wayland, we need to know.”
They didn’t look happy about it, but they obeyed, leaving Jonathan alone with Jia. Some of his consternation must have shown on his face, because her voice was much softer when she said, “It’s not that we doubt your word. It’s just - we didn’t know anyone was living out here, and then there’s the issue of your… wings.”
“My wings?” Jonathan stared at her.
“Yes.” Jia looked back with equal confusion. “Jonathan, there’s never been a Nephilim with wings.”
Dumbfounded, Jonathan remained mute. Michael Wayland had never had much patience for stupid questions, and there were many questions burning inside his head right now, most of all why his father had never bothered telling him that his wings were in any way special. That Jonathan was in any way special.
Sighing, Jia broke the silence stretching between them. “No matter. You’re here now. Let’s head back to Alicante – you can stay with my family until the Clave has come to a decision on how to deal with… everything.”
“Alicante?” Jonathan couldn’t stop himself from smiling excitedly. He’d always wanted to see the city up close, but his father had refused, so all he knew was what he’d read in books and glimpsed from the air.
Nodding, Jia returned his smile. “By the way, I’m Jia Penhallow. Now, come on, Jonathan Wayland. I promise, everything will be alright.”
Truthfully, he hadn’t believed her at first. However, Jonathan was beginning to change his mind after meeting his father’s former parabatai and hearing him declare, “I don’t care that he’s different, Maryse. I wronged Michael, I caused our bond to break, so I mean to do right by his son, at least.”
The Lightwoods were in the next room, and Jonathan was aware that he shouldn’t be listening in. Still, he reckoned he was entitled to getting to know the people who were currently deciding his future. With his father dead, Jonathan had to look after himself, and while he knew that most would consider him too young, he was determined to make Michael Wayland proud, be strong and smart and, most of all, a survivor. He’d been aware from the start that the arrangement with the Penhallows was temporary. He liked Jia and her husband Patrick, and Aline was the first child he’d ever been around; but despite their kindness, he’d heard enough rumors to realize what turmoil his arrival had caused.
He still didn’t know why the fact that he had wings was considered so extraordinary, no matter how often Clave representatives asked him probing questions and made him perform like a dancing monkey. There was no avoiding it, however, and apparently it had been decided that he would be better off in a less central location. It had been Patrick Penhallow who’d remembered that Michael Wayland had had a parabatai and that Robert Lightwood was running the New York Institute together with his wife.
New York. Jonathan knew little about it, yet living there would probably mean more freedom, less whispers behind his back, and the Lightwoods seemed willing enough to take in an orphaned freak like him. Even Maryse was smiling at him when they returned, and something in her warmer demeanor made Jonathan yearn for her approval. He’d never had a mother, and he didn’t need one, but it might be… nice to be part of a family.
“So, would you be willing to come and live with us? You would have to train hard, but from what I’ve heard you’re quite advanced already.” Maryse Lightwood nodded encouragingly. “Oh, and what should we call you? Jonathan? Jon? Our oldest son is about your age, and he’s recently decided that he prefers Alec to Alexander, while our daughter Isabelle wasn’t able to pronounce her own name when she started talking, so most people call her Izzy.”
Something in her tone told Jonathan that Maryse wasn’t among those people. He’d never considered the concept of nick names, but there was something appealing to the thought. He realised he quite liked the idea of starting this new chapter of his life with a new name. One that didn’t remind him of his father every time someone called for him.
Thinking quickly, he turned his name over in his head. Jonathan Christopher. J.C. Wayland. The Lightwoods watched him patiently for a while, but when inspiration failed to strike, it was Maryse Lightwood who reached for his hand, carefully signaling her intention. They’d obviously been warned about the way Jonathan had flinched when Jia Penhallow had attempted to hug him after he’d woken from a nightmare about his father’s death. Even now, wide awake, Jonathan’s breath quickened a little, and he forced himself to relax and let Maryse touch him – gently, not punishingly.
“How about… Jace,” she suggested. “From your initials.”
“J.C. - Jace,” he tried out the name, rolling it around his mouth. “Jace Wayland. Yes. I like it.” The Lightwoods were both smiling warmly at him, and Jonathan… no, Jace, feeling uncharacteristically shy, stuttered slightly, “Th-thank you.”
Jace wasn’t sure what he’d expected to find in New York. What he hadn’t expected, though, was what being part of an actual family was like.
Living with the Lightwoods was as different as night and day from living with his father. Sometimes a small voice in the back of Jace’s head whispered that it was better, although he quickly suppressed this thought, feeling disloyal to the memory of the man who’d raised him. So Michael Wayland had never sat by his bedside and told him stories or sang him songs, had never joked and laughed with him – he’d still been his father, and the one responsible for Jace easily being the most advanced fighter among the children in the Institute. And that was what counted after all. Wasn’t it?
The first time Hodge Starkweather complimented him in front of Maryse, Jace hadn’t known how to take it. His father had expected excellence and rarely offered praise. He’d been almost more comfortable with the probing questions and examinations by the Silent Brothers from the City of Bones – but even they weren’t able to figure out why Jace had wings. So in the end they just sent him back to join the rest of the young Shadowhunters in their daily regime, telling him to make the most of this unexpected gift from the Angel.
For a while some of the older boys he beat in training had muttered that his wings gave him an unfair advantage. Knowing better, Jace had shrugged and offered to fight them without their use. He’d long ago mastered complete control of them, after all, and was able to summon and dismiss them at will. Alec Lightwood, on the other hand, had almost gotten into a fight with the loudest of them, and while Jace had told him to leave it be, not wanting his foster brother to get into trouble with Hodge, there’d been a warm feeling in his stomach. Never before had anyone ever bothered to defend him.
Izzy later explained to him that Preston used to bully Alec, who was on the short side for his age, shorter even than Jace, who was more than a year younger. “He was really mean to him. But then Alec went and broke his nose, ha! And now Preston knows that he better not start anything with you either.”
Only a few months younger than Jace, Isabelle Lightwood had instantly adopted him. It was surprisingly nice to have a younger sister. She was less serious than Aline, the only other girl he’d had much contact with before, and she adored both Alec and little Max, although she never failed to call her big brother a serious stick-in-the mud.
The first time Alec had followed Jace when he joined Izzy on a forbidden exploration of the Institute’s restricted areas, she’d laughed and called Jace a bad influence. By then Jace had started to learn to distinguish between teasing and criticism, and he’d recognised this as the compliment it was intended to be. Ignoring Alec’s glare, he’d slung an arm over the older boy’s shoulder and proclaimed, “You want one of us, you get us both. We’re a winning team.”
Ears burning red, Alec had squirmed and studiously avoided Jace’s eyes. He hadn’t pulled away, though, which Jace took as silent agreement. It was nothing but the truth, after all, and probably the most unexpected development of this new chapter of his life. Because Alec… Alec somehow just fit, in ways no one else did.
From the start, when he’d looked up at Jace with a shy smile, Alec had made Jace feel welcome as if it was the most natural thing in the world. No earnest speeches, like the well-meaning Lightwood parents, no enthusiastic fanfare as Izzy had offered, just Alec making room in his closet, showing Jace where the training weapons were stored, lending him an open ear and a shoulder to lean on when the nightmares came. And all while giving no indication that Jace’s wings were weird or unusual. Small gestures that somehow meant the world.
Right away they were practically inseparable – living, training, exploring, hiding on the roof Institute sharing stories and laughter. Izzy had mentioned that Alec was known to be rather serious and withdrawn, but to Jace, he’d always been warm and accepting. Jace didn’t know what he’d done to deserve this, he just knew he didn’t want it to change – ever. Therefore, when he was 14, he didn’t hesitate to ask Alec to be his parabatai.
Surely they would make a success where their fathers had failed; after all, they’d already proven themselves to be two of the best Shadowhunters of their generation. They worked together seamlessly, Alec steady and unerring with his bow and Jace more exuberant but no less accurate with his wings and excellent blade skills. Becoming parabatai would only improve them, Jace was certain of it, and it would also ensure that they were bound together for life, by a bond more intimate than any other.
Love might be a weakness, but Jace never doubted that Alec was his strength, and he’d expected the feeling to be mutual. Which was why it completely blindsided him when Alec, looking strangely stricken, asked, “Can you give me some time? I… I need to think.”
Barely waiting for Jace to nod, he whirled around and practically bolted from the room. Stunned, Jace stared after him, unsure what had just happened.
Jace would never admit the relief that surged through him when Alec stepped through the door. Izzy had assured him that he was going to show and he’d wanted to believe her, except Jace all too clearly remembered Alec’s hesitation before he’d agreed. Ever since then they’d gone through all the preparations, passed every test with flying colors, just as he’d known they would, but when Alec was late, Jace had to forcibly suppress the harsh voice in the back of his head, sounding suspiciously like his father, telling him that he just wasn’t good enough and a freak to boot. However, every last bit of fear and doubt melted away when the flames surged up around them and they repeated the parabatai oath, new twin runes burning on their sides.
Alec’s grip on his forearm was firm, his eyes never wavering from Jace’s, not even when their bond sprang to life with a roar of pure power flowing through them both. Their knees threatened to buckle under the onslaught, much stronger than Jace had expected, but they managed to stay on their feet, arms and eyes locked, pupils wide as their emotions passed back and forth between them.
It was strange to be so open to another person, terrifying even, except fear was the furthest thing from Jace’s mind. He’d always known Alec was strong, dependable, but now he felt first-hand the passion burning brightly under his serious exterior, love and loyalty running deep. Knowing that he himself was part of the circle of people those emotions were directed at left Jace breathless and awed. He only hoped Alec was equally able to tell that for Jace he came first.
If this was what being parabatai meant, Jace was beginning to understand why it was a relatively rare bond, the sheer intimacy of it almost diametrically opposed to the core values of Shadowhunter society with its emphasis on duty above all. He also was no longer surprised that the bond between his father and Alec’s had failed, considering Michael Wayland’s strong opinions about self-sufficiency.
While these thoughts coursed through Jace’s mind, neither he nor Alec moved, their eyes fixed on each other unseeingly while they tried to processed the new sensations. It was only when the flames around them died as abruptly as they’d sparked before that he became aware of a strange agitation around them. Everyone was staring, whispers breaking the solemn atmosphere.
Alec shot Jace a confused look, and it was only then that Jace realized the cause of the tension.
“Alec. Parabatai,” he half-whispered, awed by the word almost as much as by the sight in front of him. “You have wings.”
Shocked, Alec twisted around, gasping when he noticed for the first time what everyone was so astonished about – a pair of wings, as big as Jace’s own, big enough to carry a man. They were black like raven’s wings, so dark and glossy that light reflected off them, and the most beautiful thing Jace had ever seen.
His own wings, which he seemed to have unfurled without even noticing at some point during the ceremony, were white with warm yellow accents that shone like gold and Jace had been told – not in the least by Alec himself – that they were stunning, but he couldn’t imagine Alec with them. The ones he had now, on the other hand, seemed as if they were made for him, and before Jace could catch himself, he’d reached out and trailed his free hand over the glossy surface. His other hand was still clasping Alec’s, which was why he couldn’t help but notice the full-body shiver that ran through his parabatai’s body.
Smiling, he repeated the gesture carefully, remembering the few times he’d allowed other people to touch his own wings. It had been highly uncomfortable during the battery of tests and examinations the Clave had put him through, but incredibly pleasurable when it had been of his own choosing, a warm and sensual feeling. When he’d described it, Izzy, always the scientist, had compared it with getting her hair brushed and talked about sensory responses, qi flow and other things that Jace had shrugged off.
All he needed to know was that it felt good, although he’d rarely felt comfortable enough asking anyone to touch him unless it was in the aftermath of a battle, when he needed help to clean or bandage them. Not even Alec, although Jace was beginning to think that this might change now, when it was something they could do with each other, for each other, as parabatai.
Which they were. Now and always. The thought lit a warm fire in the pit of Jace’s stomach, one that translated into a smile which he saw reflected in Alec’s awe-struck eyes and which echoed through their new bond.
However, the outside world wouldn’t be denied forever, although letting go of the moment they’d been caught in felt like breaking the surface of a deep ocean. Jace even had the urge to take a deep breath, a new frisson of wonder running through him when he noticed Alec doing the same, in complete sync with him. He was suddenly certain that, should he listen inside himself, he’d hear their hearts beating at the exact same pace.
Unfortunately exploring it would have to wait. Isabelle was the first to approach them, almost vibrating with excitement over this unexpected development, but she was far from the last. Thankfully, few of those present belonged to the minority still wary of Jace’s unique gift, so the reactions, while surprised, were mostly encouraging.
It was Jia, serving as the official envoy from Idris because of her established connection with Jace, who probably summarized the overall opinion best: “Parabatai are supposed to share strength and abilities. Unusual as this is, it’s likely nothing more than that. Congratulations, you two!”
That night, when all the excitement had finally died down, Jace made his way to the roof. He was not the least bit surprised to discover Alec already there, sitting on the ledge and staring into the middle distance. Although Jace was pretty sure he hadn’t made any noise, his parabatai immediately turned and greeted him with a wry smile. “I needed some fresh air.”
“Same,” Jace replied and clambered up to join him, dangling his legs fearlessly over the drop below. Alec’s eyes were already back on the city skyline, his face thoughtful. To an outside observer he appeared calm, but Jace knew better – and it was no longer solely because he knew his best friend better than just about anyone. No, he could actually feel some of Alec’s emotions. Not the way he felt his own, more like an echo that became clearer when he focused on it. It was hard to explain, even to himself, and Jace was glad that the parabatai bond was something semi-sacred in Shadowhunter society – admired without being talked about. The bond with Alec was only a few hours old, yet already Jace felt intensely protective of it. It was something private, something to be cherished and not shared. He’d imagined himself ready, but nothing could have prepared him for this.
Emerging from his thoughts he was not at all surprised to realize that he’d subconsciously leaned into Alec, who’d responded in kind without a single word exchanged. They were sitting so close, sharing warmth, sides pressed together, if they were to extend their wings, they would brush against one another. Smiling to himself, Jace did just that and felt Alec following suite immediately.
Jace kept his eyes straight ahead, but even out of the corner of his eyes the wonder on his parabatai’s face was unmistakable. He beat his wings slowly, let them glide against Alec’s, and a contented sigh escaped them both. It felt comforting, intimate, reminding Jace of nothing more than the few times he’d hugged Alec – properly, with no manly backslapping - except with a sensual edge to it that had been missing from their previous embraces.
“Wow...” Alec voiced what they both felt, sounding hoarse. “Is it always like this?”
“How am I supposed to know? I’ve never met anyone else with wings,” Jace replied, entirely truthful, but for some reason it felt too flippant, bordering on a lie, so he added, “I doubt it, though. I think it’s only this… intense because of our bond. It definitely didn’t feel like this when you touched them before.”
It was strange, in a way, how quickly Jace had begun to measure time by before and after the ceremony, the way he used to divide his life with before New York. This felt even more profound, however, as well as free from the pain forever associated with the events that had led him to the Lightwoods. He would always feel an uncomfortable mix of grief and guilt over his father’s death – grief over the loss of the man who'd raised him, shaped him, and guilt because he’d come to learn that family didn’t have to mean punishment and fear, that love didn’t necessarily lead to destruction.
The careful touch of Alec’s fingers to the place where his wings sprung from between his shoulder blades brought Jace out of his thoughts with a pleasant shiver. All of Jace’s clothing was spelled to let his wings through without damage when he released them from whatever space or dimension they disappeared to, and Alec had slipped his hand through the invisible opening. During the parabatai ceremony Alec’s own shirt had split, no match to the strength of his new appendages, and now he was wearing one of Jace’s, although Maryse doubtlessly was already in the process of procuring the services of a warlock to update his wardrobe. A Lightwood needed to be impeccably dressed, after all.
Suppressing a snort, Jace leaned into Alec’s touch, eyes sliding shut with pleasure. It most definitely hadn’t felt like this before. If he were a cat, he’d be purring, instead he couldn’t quite stop a breathy sigh from escaping him unbidden. Instantly Alec froze. Confused, Jace peered at his parabatai, trying to understand why there was one unmistakable emotion reverberating through their bond: fear.
“Alec?” he asked quietly, afraid that Alec was about to bolt. Just as he had when Jace asked him to be his parabatai. Jace was certain the two were somehow connected, without being able to say how or why. Was it their bond that allowed him this insight? He didn’t know and didn’t much care, his entire focus on keeping Alec here, with him. He’d let him run away once, and while luckily Alec had returned to him, he wasn’t about to risk it again. Too much was at stake, although Jace couldn’t put a name to the feeling underlying his determination. So he brushed their wings together gently and kept his voice soft: “What is it, parabatai? You can tell me anything. You always could, but now you must know for sure.”
He did his best to hide the pain the mere idea of Alec distrusting him caused; however, he knew he’d failed when Alec removed his hand from his back to grip his hand firmly. “Of course I know that, Jace. Parabatai.”
When his eyes dropped to their hands in Jace’s lap, he blushed and seemed about to pull away again. To stop him Jace quickly tangled their fingers together, which only intensified the flush in Alec’s cheeks. It was quite… adorable, and Jace only just managed not to laugh, not wanting to add to Alec’s embarrassment, although he still didn’t had no idea what might be at its root.
“Then tell me. You won’t get rid of me, no matter what.”
“Alright.” Alec bit his lower lip nervously, but the fear Jace had been sensing from him lessened. “Do you remember that I hesitated before agreeing to become parabatai?”
“Of course. I was afraid you’d say no. You’re not regretting it already, are you?” He felt a stab of fear, which he quickly suppressed, and forced a smile.
“No!” Alec replied with gratifying swiftness and emphasis.
“I was just hesitating because...” He trailed off, until Jace squeezed his hand in reassurance. Alec seemed to shake off his hesitation, as was his habit when he had to face difficult things. Setting his jaw, he met Jace’s gaze head-on, despite the blush still coloring his cheeks. “The Clave forbids parabatai bonds when one is… is… in love with the other.”
The final words tumbled over each other, but Jace heard them loud and clear. Still, for a long moment his brain refused to process them. Alec was in love with him? It was a possibility that had never even occurred to Jace, whose love life had been confined to a few fumbles in dark corners, all of them with girls. And while he’d been aware that Alec’s own experiences didn’t even extend to this, he’d never suspected that his best friend’s interests might lie… elsewhere. With him.
He realized he’d been quiet too long when Alec began to draw away. This Jace couldn’t allow, and he used their still-connected hands to reel him back in. This unbalanced them, and to stop them from collapsing against each other Jace’s other hand came to rest on Alec’s shoulder, quite suddenly bringing their faces only a few inches apart. Alec’s eyes widened, his lips parted in shock, and without wasting time on further thought, Jace did what he did best: he acted on impulse and closed the remaining distance between them.
Despite being the one to initiate it, the kiss came as much as a shock to him as to Alec, but that didn’t stop either of them from falling into it as if they’d only been waiting for it. It felt like a gift, one that Jace had never even dared to dream of, and like the most natural thing in the world. When they finally separated, they were both breathing hard, Jace practically in Alec’s lap, hands having somehow found their way underneath clothes, resting on their new parabatai runes. A smile transformed Alec’s face, full of wonder, and Jace asked himself how he’d never noticed before that his parabatai was beautiful. Between them, their bond lay wide open, full of warmth and love, making Jace’s heart feel full to overflowing.
Leaning in, he pressed their foreheads together and whispered into the space between their bodies, “I love you, too, parabatai.”
Alec’s arms tightened around him, and Jace could feel his heart beating faster. Before their lips could meet in another kiss, however, Alec asked in a dead-serious tone of voice, “But, Jace, what about the Clave?”
Jace knew his parabatai, knew that to Alec this really mattered. He laughed anyway, giddy with unexpected happiness, and kissed Alec again, just because he could. Despite his misgivings, Alec responded eagerly, so Jace knew it’d be alright, even before he finally said firmly, “I don’t care. I’m not giving you up.” Alec opened his mouth to protest, but Jace shushed him with a finger against his lips and a shrug of his wings. “Come on, Alec, we’re already different from any other parabatai pair, why not be different in this, too?”
In emphasis he let his wings trail over Alec’s, making both of them shiver pleasurably, although Alec immediately followed it up with a mock-scowl, the one Jace knew from all the times he’d convinced him to break the rules. Jace’s smug grin died on his lips, however, when Alec grabbed both of Jace’s hands in his, cradled them between their chests and stated with a seriousness that made Jace’s insides melt, “You’re right. We can get through anything as long as we’re together.”
“Together,” Jace repeated, and somehow it felt like a continuation of their oath. This time it was Alec who initiated the kiss, but Jace suspected he’d soon lose track of who did what first; it was entirely too easy to get lost in the intoxicating sensation of Alec all around him. Still, when they broke for air, he slid off his parabatai’s lap and sat back down next to him, pondering thoughtfully, "You know, I never understood why the Angel gave me wings. I think I do now, though - I got them, so I could share them with you."
"Who knew you were such a romantic." Alec chuckled, but his eyes were warm and his head heavy and trusting on Jace's shoulder. Their fingers remained entangled, and neither one of them had bothered to retract their wings, which touched occasionally in a whispered caress. The moon shone bright above them, Brooklyn lay beneath their feet and New York across the river, creating their own little world. For a long, peaceful moment, Jace just sat there and breathed, aware of his parabatai’s presence next to him. His soul burning inside him like a flame lighting up the night.
Finally, though, his restless nature reasserted himself, and he clambered to his feet onto the ledge, pulling Alec with him. Not letting go of Jace’s hand, his parabatai followed him with his usual grace, quirking an eyebrow in question.
“We haven’t even tried the best thing yet!” Jace announced, smirking when Alec blushed hotly. “Not that. Well, not yet at least. Alec Lightwood, who knew you had such a dirty mind. I mean flying.”
Alec’s eyes widened, having obviously completely forgotten about this aspect of the new developments this day had brought, and Jace laughed in sheer delight, excitement at the prospect of sharing this as well coursing through him. “Oh, parabatai, you have no idea what you’ve been missing!”
“Well, then you better show me.” Alec grinned, bright eyes reflecting Jace’s emotions. Jace simply had to kiss him again, before quickly glamoring them both and turning to face the city below them. Then, with one last squeeze of Alec’s hand, Jace launched himself into the air.
His parabatai followed without hesitation, instinct taking over, night-black wings beating strong and steady as they let the wind currents carry them upwards. Alec’s disbelief and awe was painted clearly on his handsome features and rang through their bond like a bell. Overcome, Jace whooped with the joy of it and threw himself into a roll, Alec immediately mirroring him.
Later, they would develop their fighting skills, now that both of them were airborne, but tonight they chased each other through the sky playfully, hearts light and beating in perfect sync. Winged parabatai, a legend in the making. There had been a time when that would have meant the world to Jace. No longer, though. Now the only thing that truly mattered was the boy flying by his side, the one whose heart beat in his chest in every way that counted.
Taking Alec’s hand, Jace smiled, secure in the knowledge that he would never be alone again.