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You make me feel (like I'll be okay)

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Staying with Magnus had proved both easier and yet so much more difficult than Alec had expected. The two of them settled into things rather smoothly, all things considered. Alec was a quiet houseguest who was used to sharing quarters with someone else – and a warlock at that. But she’d never shared a house with someone like this. Someone she was… attracted to. And who was so very blatant about their attraction to her.

Magnus never missed an opportunity to flirt with Alec or to make her blush. She seemed to revel in both of those activities. Usually at the same time.

The two hadn’t had a chance to do more than share another kiss or two despite living together now. Yet, nothing about their time together felt forced, and it didn’t feel rushed. Nor did it feel too slow, either. It just felt right. Right for them, at least.

For that first week that Alec was there, things were mostly quiet – a blessing which she was more than happy for. It gave all of them time to start to settle from everything that had happened. Alec took the time to do more than just react. To try to relax and figure out what to do next.

Clary, Isabelle, they were out there fighting this fight, doing what they could to save Jocelyn and stop Valentine, and they were doing it all without Alec there to watch over them. Without her there to protect them.

Alec hated it.


Almost as much as she hated the way everyone seemed to be trying to lock her away in Magnus’ loft.

You’re at risk even more than the rest of us right now,” Clary told her on the phone just a couple days after Alec had gone to stay with Magnus. The two tried to talk at least once a day, usually around lunch when neither one of them were too busy. They would’ve preferred to meet up somewhere and have lunch, but Maryse had locked the Institute down pretty tight, and Clary said everyone was trying to prepare for some incoming envoy.

Sighing, Alec laid back on her bed and stared up at the ceiling. “I’m at risk anywhere, Clary.”

Yeah. But you’re less at risk there with Magnus. Just, let her look out for you, okay? It’ll make me worry less.

“Since when are you the worrier in this relationship?” It felt wrong to have their positions reversed like this. Alec was supposed to be the one looking after other people. Not them after her.

Clary chuckled soft and easy in her ear. “We had to switch things up at some point. You’ve been taking care of me and Simon for years now, Alec. Let us return the favor for a little while.”

That was easier said than done. Alec didn’t do well with letting other people take care of her. She’d never even really allowed Dot to do it. The only one who’d gotten away with much of it was Luke – and he was half the reason that Alec was allowing others to do it now.

When Luke woke up after being healed and found out where he was, and that Alec was there, the two of them had talked. Quite a bit. Luke had been just as full of warnings for Alec to be careful as everyone else.

Surprisingly enough, the only person who didn’t seem to want to lock Alec away was Magnus. Instead, she seemed to want to take Alec everywhere.

She didn’t even give Alec a full day to settle in. On Alec’s first full day there, Alec had already been up for a few hours, done a brief workout in her room, showered, summoned her stuff from her place, and talked to Isabelle on the phone for a while. Most of which had been done without ever having to leave her room. She was in the middle of debating what to do next, to either find something else or go out and brave being awkward with Magnus, when the other woman solved it by knocking at her door.

Alec looked up from her bed, phone in hand. “Yeah?”

The door cracked open just enough for Magnus’ head to poke in. Her hair was a bit of a mess, still crimpy from yesterday’s curls, and her smile was big and bright. “Oh, good, you’re still alive in here, I wasn’t sure.”

The teasing words made Alec flush. She’d been hiding out a bit, and the both of them knew it.

Seeing her blush only made Magnus grin all the more. “I just thought I’d poke my head in and see if you might be up for a little fun something to do today.”

“What did you have in mind?”

The door pushed open a little more, revealing the rest of Magnus, which was wrapped up in a silk robe that Alec very much did not drool over. Thank the Angel the woman had pants on underneath.

“I thought we could try and go out on that fourth date we never got to have,” Magnus suggested.

Despite herself, a small smile tugged at the corners of Alec’s mouth. She tilted her head, studying Magnus out of the corner of her eye. “You mean our dinner before healing Luke didn’t count?”

“We also had to heal you, if you remember correctly.”

“And dinner afterward?”

“While enjoyable, wasn’t quite what I had in mind for a date.”

Holding back her smile became almost impossible. Alec let it out, twisting a little at the same time so she was better facing Magnus. “And what did you have in mind?”

“Meet me in the living room in twenty and you’ll find out,” Magnus said. “And dress casually. Oh, and bring your swimsuit!” With that, she gave a wink and then slipped back from the door, shutting it behind her.

Alec stared at the closed door for a long moment. Then she shook her head, her smile growing wide enough it made her cheeks hurt. It was finally going to happen. She and Magnus were going to go out on their first (fourth) official date. Somewhere that apparently involved swimming.

What the hell kind of clothes did Alec own that would allow her to do that? She didn’t typically go swimming. There was a pool near the gym that she went and indulged in sometimes. Somehow, Alec doubted that the simple black one-piece suit she wore was going to cut it for whatever the hell it was Magnus had planned. Though what that even was, Alec had no idea.

She bit on her bottom lip for a moment and tried to think about what to do. In the end, Alec did the only thing she could think of. She grabbed her cellphone and sent off a quick text.

What do you wear when someone says to dress comfortably and bring a swimsuit? - A

It only took seconds for a reply to come back in. Well, three replies.

OMG r u going on a date? – Izzy

With who? Magnus? – Izzy


Alec rolled her eyes as she read the messages. She flopped herself back on the bed, phone held above her in her hands, and tapped out a quick reply of her own.

Yes and yes. WHAT DO I WEAR? – A

This time it took a moment for Isabelle’s response to come through. Alec chewed on her lip while she waited. When it finally came, it wasn’t words, but a series of pictures. Alec opened them one by one. Each picture looked like something taken from the internet. They had a whole outfit laid out – shoes, jewelry, clothes, swimsuit. Some of them were kind of… not there. Something Alec imagined Isabelle or Magnus being comfortable with. Some were a bit more covered. And there was even one that was almost completely covered. A sort of bodysuit thing with no sleeves.

Alec furrowed her brow and stared from picture to picture. It took her a moment to figure out which one she liked best, and then to figure out from there how to get it. She was pretty good at summoning things for herself, so long as she had a good visual of what it was she wanted. But most things weren’t just made, they were taken from somewhere. A plate of food from a restaurant she’d been to before. Clothes brought from her apartment to here. A pair of sunglasses she’d seen in a store.

After a bit of focus, and a little thinking, Alec ended up pulling some things out of her bag and altering them instead of trying to get new ones. She ended up with a nice two-piece black swimsuit, which Isabelle insisted was essential, a pair of jean shorts, and a dark grey tank top.

Alec changed once she had her clothes ready. A pair of black sandals were added, a quick braid to pull her hair back out of the way, and a light jacket to toss over it all. Snapping a quick selfie, she sent it to Isabelle for approval. While she waited, she took a moment to double-check herself in the mirror.

The outfit was okay. Cute without being weirdly uncomfortable like some of the stuff Clary seemed to like to wear on a date. It wasn’t exactly good for the cooler weather around here, but considering Magnus had suggested swimsuits, it seemed like they weren’t going to stick around here for long.

Her phone buzzed with a text. Alec lifted it to take a quick look, and grinned when she saw Isabelle’s reply.

She’s gonna drool, Alec. Good choice! – Izzy

Have fun! – Izzy

Alec grinned and slipped her phone down into her pocket. With her jacket over her arm, she stepped out of the bedroom just a few minutes shy of the twenty-minute mark.

She found Magnus already there waiting for her, and Raziel was Alec ever glad she’d asked her sister for help dressing. As it was, Alec still felt plain in comparison to Magnus’ natural beauty.

The woman was wearing a floor-length swim dress mostly held on by a thin collar and a slip of fabric tied around the waist. Two strips came from the collar to the waist to cover her chest, and then there was one long bit for the front and one for the back, leaving her sides fully exposed. It gave Alec a clear view of the dark red bikini she had on underneath.

The dress was a bright white covered in sparkling red, yellow, and blue flowers. With a big yellow bag over one shoulder, another pair of wedge heels done up in red, and some red streaks in her hair, Magnus was just… she was a vision. Bright and sparkly, as she seemed to love to do, yet with an elegance that never went away no matter what she wore.

The sound of Alec's footsteps had Magnus turning toward her. While Alec was busy checking out the front view, which was just as good as the back, Magnus was beaming at her. “Well now, would you look at you. Hello there, darling.”

“Look at me?” Alec cocked an eyebrow, trying not to shuffle a little or cross her arms over her chest. She felt severely outclassed here. “I’m feeling a bit underdressed now. Magnus, you look beautiful.”

Magnus shamelessly lifted her chin and preened a little under the compliment. “Flattery gets you everywhere, Cinderella.” She held a hand out Alec’s way. When Alec took it, Magnus used that hold to pull her in close, her eyes blatantly running over Alec’s form as she did. “Though I wouldn’t be so quick to sell yourself short, darling. If I could, I’d always have you in shorts. With your height, I knew you had long legs, but these showcase them beautifully.”

Flushing, Alec ducked her head a little. She wasn’t quite used to the easy way that Magnus threw compliments around. Nor how much she seemed to mean them.

Her eyes caught on Magnus’ shoes once more when she looked down. Leaping on the distraction, Alec snorted a little, shaking her head, and then looked back up at Magnus. The two of them were eye to eye with those shoes on. “I have no idea how you or Izzy manage to wear shoes like that. If I tried to walk across the living room in them, I’d probably break my ankle.”

Magnus leaned in and pressed a kiss to Alec’s cheek. “Time and practice, gorgeous. There are very few things I can’t do in heels, thank you very much. And they make my ass look amazing.”

“As if you needed help with that,” Alec shot back without even thinking about it.

The laugh Magnus let out as she built the portal was delighted. More so when she caught sight of Alec’s face and the blush there. Alec saw her open her mouth, teasing lighting up her eyes, and she quickly pointed a finger at the older woman. “Don’t even think about it.”

Magnus’ grin grew a bit devilish. “I would never think to tease you about that delicious little blush of yours, Alexandra. What kind of girl do you think I am?”

Thankfully, Alec was saved from having to answer that when Magnus used the hold on her hand to drag her forward through the portal. They left behind Magnus’ loft and stepped out into bright blue skies, warm wind, and a temperature that made Alec glad she’d gone with shorts and a tank top.

As soon as Alec looked around, she felt her mouth drop open just a little. They were standing on the top deck of a rather large boat at a marina full of other boats. No, not just boats. Yachts. Both big and small. Alec looked around at the other boats, many of which were quite a bit larger than the one she was on. Then she looked down at the one underneath her.

It was quite the boat. Even Alec, who’d never been on one before and hadn’t seen any outside of pictures, knew it had to be expensive. They were in what she thought might be called a cabin or something like that; it had a window out in front of them, no top on it, and just in front of them was a chair and the controls. What she assumed was used to steer the ship.

Behind her was a large u-shaped couch with white cushions and jewel-colored pillows. From the back, Alec could also see the lower deck, which looked like it had a space to stretch out, a few lounge chairs, and then a lower bit of wood at the very back where one would be able to sit and dangle their feet in the water.

“Magnus,” Alec breathed out.

The woman banished the portal and then gave Alec’s hand a squeeze. “I hope this is okay. Things have been a bit dreary around home for a while. I thought we could both do with some sun and a bit of an escape from things right about now.”

Alec’s smile was wide and unrestrained. “This is perfect. I’ve never been on a boat before! Luke used to talk about wanting to go one summer, but Dot and Jocelyn were both terrified by the idea for some reason, so we never ended up going.” She’d seen the ocean once or twice, yet none of it compared to this view here. The water looked so blue. And there were barely any clouds in the sky. Twisting, Alec tightened her fingers on Magnus’ without even realizing it, and she gave a little tug. “Are we going to go out there? On the water?”

“Well, we can’t exactly take the boat up on dry land,” Magnus said teasingly. She pulled her bag off her shoulder, setting it down on the nearby seat. “Or, well, I suppose we could. Magic does come in handy. But it wouldn’t be anywhere near as fun up there as it is out here. Though I’m sure I could make it fun. Some lights, some music, a bit of alcohol…”

She trailed off a little when Alec laughed at her. Everything about Magnus softened at that moment. Her eyes gentled, looking warm behind the light makeup she’d put on, and the lack of glamour, and her lips tugged into a soft smile. “I hoped this would make you smile. I’m glad to see I chose right.”

“You did great, Magnus.” To prove she meant that, Alec leaned in a little and kissed her, enjoying the way that Magnus immediately tried to draw her in closer.

When the two broke apart, they were both smiling.

Magnus brought one hand up and trailed her fingers against the side of Alec’s neck, where her deflect rune sat when she wasn’t glamoured. It was also where part of her warlock mark was. “I’ve put a glamour around the boat, so feel free to be as comfortable as you want today. No one’s going to be able to see a thing.”

The idea of taking off her glamour wasn’t one that Alec wanted to even begin to entertain. It would only ruin what was looking like the start of a wonderful date. But, maybe she could drop at least the Shadowhunter glamour. If there was no one around, there was no reason she couldn’t have her runes out. That idea was a bit more appealing. Alec was so used to hiding herself, it was rare to be able to let that bit go. She couldn’t exactly go around advertising she was a Shadowhunter. How would it feel to let it show all afternoon and not have to worry?

Gentle fingers moved up Alec’s neck, tracing along her jaw under her chin. “No pressure, Alexandra.” Leaning in, Magnus gave Alec one more sweet kiss and then turned toward the main controls, clearly giving Alec a second while she got the boat ready to go.

Alec thought about it for a long moment. She thought about what it would be like to let go of that part of herself. For one brief second, Alec also tried to think about what it would be like to let go of all her glamours. To show Magnus the truth of what she looked like. Alec quickly squashed that thought down. There was no reason to ruin this.

The Shadowhunter glamour, though – that was something she could let go of. She could relax, and just kind of let herself be her for a little while. Even if it was still only one part of her.

Calling up her stele was easy. Though Alec could use magic to activate her runes, that was something she very much tried to keep quiet about. She didn’t need people knowing that. Not even Dot was aware of that. So, Alec used her stele to run over the glamour rune on her arm, revealing first it and then all the others.

Seeing them on her skin was almost strange. Alec was used to feeling them and rarely seeing the mark that went with it. Now, they were all on display. And it felt… good.

Alec was smiling when she vanished her stele away. A look showed that Magnus was still at the controls, seeming perfectly at ease with what she was doing. Alec watched her move for a moment until it was a little too hard to resist. Then she strode forward and, after only a brief hesitation, fit herself up against Magnus’ back. She slid her arms around that trim waist while ducking her head down just a little so that her chin could rest on the older woman’s shoulder.

Magnus didn’t miss a beat. She shifted back into Alec’s hold almost immediately. One hand came up to rest overtop of Alec’s on her stomach while the other kept fiddling with the controls. “Would you like to learn how everything works?” she offered.

“Please,” Alec answered immediately.

For the next little while, Alec let herself get lost in the feel of Magnus’ body against hers, the soft, cultured tones of her voice, and the easy peace of the ocean around them.

This had to be one of the single most perfect afternoons that Alec had ever had. With Magnus’ showing her what to do, the two women had taken the boat out and sailed off into the water, following some sort of path that Magnus clearly had mapped out. Where they were, Alec had no idea, and a giddy little part of her didn’t actually care. What did it matter where they were? The scenery was gorgeous, and the company was perfect.

They hit a stretch of mostly open water right alongside what looked like an uninhabited bit of land. They were far enough away from the marina that no other boats or people were anywhere in sight. Just the blue ocean to their left, and the long line of beaches and trees on their right.

Alec stood on the bottom deck and leaned against the railing, staring out avidly over the water. She had one hand on the railing and her other arm wrapped around Magnus’ shoulders. The slight roll of the boat kept the two of them swaying together.

“Thank you for taking me out here,” Alec said.

Magnus gave a small squeeze with the arm she had around Alec’s waist and then snuggled in a little closer. “It’s my pleasure.”

“I’ve always loved the ocean, and I wanted to see more, but too many other things got in the way, and it just wasn’t as important anymore. I told myself I’d go see it someday. I mean, in our lives, someday might take a bit longer, but it’s also more of a possibility.”

“Mm.” She felt Magnus hum a little and nod against her shoulder. “A possibility, but not a certainty. I find it’s better to live life to its fullest without constantly putting things off until later. I’ve seen far too much to trust that later will always be there.”

Alec couldn’t even imagine all the things that Magnus had lived through. She had no idea how old the other woman was, and she wasn’t about to ask. That wasn’t exactly the nicest of questions. But from the way she sounded, she’d been around awhile, and years like that undoubtedly brought some bad things along with the good. At the very least, Alec knew that Magnus had lived through Valentine’s first fight for power, and now she was here for the second round.

For a moment, Alec’s thoughts drifted to other things; the idea of the amount of people Magnus had undoubtedly been with during that time. It made it seem so strange that she was standing here with Alec, a young woman who’d never experienced even a quarter of what Magnus undoubtedly had.

Her thoughts were interrupted by a brief squeeze to her waist. When she looked down, she found Magnus looking up at her with a hint of worry. “I’m sorry, Alexandra. I didn’t mean to send your thoughts somewhere dark.”

Alec gave herself a quick mental shake. Now was not the time to let herself get plagued by thoughts like this. She was here to enjoy herself with Magnus, and so far Magnus seemed to be enjoying the time with her. The rest of it could be worried about later. “No, no, it’s, um. It’s fine. I just get a little caught up in my head sometimes.”

“Are you sure?”

Smiling, Alec nodded and then ducked down just enough to kiss Magnus’ forehead. “I’m fine, Magnus. I promise.”

“Mm.” The look in her eyes made it clear she didn’t quite believe her, yet she also let Alec get away with it. At least for now. Instead of pushing, Magnus distracted her instead, gesturing toward the back of the boat. “Why don’t we go down by the water. It’s wonderfully warm out here, and the water should be perfect.”

Together, the two made their way over to the ladder, following it down to the part of the boat that kind of reminded Alec of a miniature dock. It was rectangular and wooden, and it was low enough that they could sit on the edge and let their feet dangle over into the water. The two took their seats side by side, with just enough space between them for their hands to rest together.

Alec hummed a little to herself as she swirled her legs through the water. It was warmer than she’d expected it to be. Yet, with the temperature outside, it felt sort of perfect. Like she could slip right in and be comfortable. “It really is beautiful out here, Magnus. Thank you for bringing me.”

“It was my unbridled pleasure, my dear.” Magnus smiled at her for a moment and then looked out over the water. Some of the tension that Alec hadn’t even realized was there before had melted away from Magnus. It left her looking softer, and so much more relaxed. Just the way that Alec felt. They’d needed this, the both of them.

Magnus scooted her hand over, her pinkie hooking Alec’s, and though the touch was little, it felt good.

“It’s been a while since I’ve been out on the water,” Magnus said. She kept watching the scenery around her with a small, fond smile. “I used to own a yacht much bigger than this one, and I tried to get out on the water at least once a year. Just for a little while. Since tracking doesn’t work over water, it’s often been a good place to hide out when you need an escape. But, I lost the yacht to Ragnor, oh, fifty years ago?” She scowled, though it ended up looking more like a pout than anything else. “Don’t ever bet with that man, Alexandra. He’ll take your very last penny and laugh while he does it.”

“Sounds like a lovely person,” Alec said dryly.

“Oh, he is. I love that man dearly, don’t get me wrong. But he does enjoy winning against me. I should’ve known better than to bet my own property against him. He would’ve stopped at nothing to win.”

“So, if this isn’t your boat, whose is it?”

Magnus’ smile faltered for just a moment. Her eyes darted to Alec and then away, deliberately looking everywhere but at her, and her fingers gave a nervous sort of twitch. “Well, I mean, I never said I didn’t own this boat. Or that I’d only owned the one.”

That was logical, and Alec could’ve easily accepted that as an answer if Magnus had looked anything like herself as she’d said it. Narrowing her eyes, Alec watched the other woman, taking in how hard she was trying to appear at ease. A little niggle of an idea tickled at the back of Alec’s mind. “Magnus…” Alec blinked a few times, turning to get a better look at Magnus’ face. “Did you… did you buy a boat to take me out on today?”

“What? No, of course not, Alexandra.”

By the Angel. Alec’s mouth fell open as she stared at Magnus. Had she really… she’d bought a boat, just to take Alec out on a date? “Magnus.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Magnus insisted. “That would be ridiculous and over the top.”

A slow smile was starting to build on Alec’s lips. “You did.”

“I did not!”

The slight crack in those words only made Alec’s smile grow even more.

Magnus snuck a look over at her, and it was like once she made eye contact, she couldn’t keep up the charade. Alec got to watch Magnus completely deflate while simultaneously glaring at her. “Okay, so maybe I bought the boat like, yesterday. But that doesn’t mean I bought it specifically for our date! I’ve been meaning to get another one for quite some time now and this was just the push I needed to do so.”

She looked so annoyed by this whole conversation and flustered in a way that Alec hadn’t seen before. It was wonderfully endearing. Alec leaned in and kissed her cheek, and then shifted around so she could settled her head against Magnus’ shoulder even though it craned her neck to do so. “Thanks.”

The tension in Magnus’ shoulder bled away. At the same time, she sat up a little straighter, taking some of the strain off of Alec’s neck. The kiss she pressed to Alec’s hair was answer enough, but even so, the soft “You’re welcome” that was murmured there had Alec’s stomach twisting pleasantly.

Neither one of them spoke for a little while after that. They just sat there together watching the water and feeling the gentle swaying of the boat.

However, the longer they watched, the more Alec found herself wanting to jump in. She’d brought her suit, after all, and the water looked so very appealing.

Almost as if Magnus could read Alec's mind, she bumped her shoulder a little to jostle Alec’s head. Just enough to get her attention. “You want to get in?”

Now that her position had been disturbed, and with the idea of actually getting up and getting in, Alec sat up straight once more. She rolled her neck a little to get the slight kink out of it. “Mm. I was thinking about it. Aren’t there like, sharks or something we have to worry about, though?”

Laughter bubbled out of Magnus and rang through the clear air. “It’s like you forget you have magic sometimes,” she teased.

Magnus let go of Alec and pushed up to her feet. Her shoes were already gone, having been shed earlier so she could stick her feet in the water, but after she sent a wave of magic over the water around them, Magnus used another bit to banish her outfit somewhere. It left her standing there in a dark red swimsuit that covered the required pieces and little more. Her strapless top perfectly cupped her breasts, and the thong bottom left plenty for Alec to enjoy.

Alec was so grateful Magnus put her hands together and dove under the water. It meant she wasn’t there to witness the way that Alec just sort of gaped after her like an idiot. She was just… sweet merciful angel, how was it this woman kept getting hotter and hotter with each passing moment? Seeing her standing there in that tiny excuse for a bikini had short-circuited Alec’s brain a little.

Somehow Alec got herself under control by the time Magnus surfaced again.

With one hand Magnus reached up and pushed her sopping wet hair back from her face. Somehow her makeup was still perfect. Of course she would waste some magic on that. I’m surprised she didn’t magic her hair to stay perfect, too, Alec thought fondly.

“Are you going to join me, or just keep admiring the view?” Magnus called out to her. The way she wiggled her eyebrows was easy to see.

Alec hadn’t ever been one to turn down a dare. If that was how Magnus wanted to play it, well, Alec doubted she’d be able to honestly compete if there were anyone else around to judge them, but Magnus seemed to like her look well enough, and that was what counted at the moment. With that in mind, Alec gathered her courage and used a little trickle of magic to send her clothes up to the deck, leaving her in her own black bikini. Unlike Magnus’, her top had straps, and she took a second to adjust those while rising to her feet.

It was more than a little gratifying to watch the way that Magnus’ eyes clearly ran up Alec’s legs. The magic that sparked there made it obvious how much she was enjoying the view, too.

Grinning, Alec looked down at the water, adjusting her stance a little, and then she lifted her arms and dove off the edge, cutting cleanly through the water.

Magnus likely expected Alec to pop up somewhere nearby her. Which was why Alec gave an extra little kick to bring herself closer and then reached out and tickled her fingers across the other woman’s stomach, making her jump away.

Alec surfaced, laughing as she did, only to find Magnus glaring at her. “So it’s like that, is it?” Magnus asked threateningly.

Alec’s grin grew. “Oh yeah.”

She had barely enough time to dive away before Magnus was after her.

It was the most fun Alec could remember having in a long time. They chased one another through the water, tickling when they got close and laughing when they’d swim away. Neither one tried to dunk the other, a fact Alec was more than grateful for. She wasn’t fond of that. But the tickling, questing fingers were a fun tease, and on more than one level, too. Not only was it fun to make the other squirm away, it was also a nice excuse to touch all that open skin, and both women took advantage of that.

Eventually, however, they started to tire, and Magnus jerked her thumb over toward the boat. “Feel like heading back? I’ve got some food and mimosas with our names on them.”

Alec grinned at her. “Race you back.”

She didn’t give Magnus time to react, just dove under the water and took off. But her magic told her that Magnus was right on her heels the whole way there. They kept it pretty close, but in the end it was Magnus who reached the boat first, pushing herself up onto the little mini dock at the back. Of course, it didn’t help that Alec got a bit distracted watching Magnus’ body rise up out of the water. All that tanned skin looking almost golden in the sunlight, water dripping down from every bit of it.

The smile Magnus gave her once she was up made it clear she knew just how distracting she’d been. She made a show of straightening her body up, one hand coming up to swipe over her wet hair, smoothing it back from her face. She’d even angled her arm just right so that it looked natural while still clearly putting herself on display.

Alec’s eyes ran from the tips of Magnus' painted toes up the long line of her legs, the curve of her hip, the swell of her chest. Her eyes traced the route she wanted nothing more than to follow with her tongue, ending on that smiling face and those bright, laughing eyes. “You coming, Alexandra?”

“I wish,” Alec mumbled to herself. But she swam forward that last little bit and caught the edge of the dock, pulling herself up. She wasn’t anywhere near as smooth as Magnus, yet even so, she found the other woman watching her once she was upright.

The climb back up the ladder was a small torture. Alec was left with a perfect view of Magnus’ ass as she climbed up, and it didn’t escape her notice how the other woman gave an extra little wiggle while she did it.

By the time Alec made it up the ladder herself, Magnus had set up a large blanket for them to lay on as well as a whole mess of pillows to recline against. Halfway down the blanket was a picnic basket that, from the looks of what Alec could see, seemed to have quite a few easy finger foods inside. Small sandwiches, fruit, things of the like.

Magnus was holding two glasses in her hand, one of which she extended toward Alec the minute she was up. “Drink?”

Her coy, faux-innocent smile had Alec shaking her head. She took the drink, and then stepped in close and used her other hand to catch the back of Magnus’ neck. She had a moment to appreciate Magnus’ wide-eyed surprise and then they were kissing. Alec poured every ounce of heat she felt into it. She nipped at Magnus’ bottom lip, taking the small gasp as invitation to use her tongue and lick her way into the other woman’s mouth.

When they pulled apart, the both of them were panting, and Magnus’ coy look had been replaced with one of pure heat.

Alec let her nails scratch for a moment at the base of Magnus’ scalp. It got her a nice little shudder and a heavy-lidded look that Alec was going to enjoy remembering later that night.

The way that Magnus looked up at Alec through her lashes was something Alec could only describe as sinful. Though it had absolutely nothing on the husky rasp to her voice. “Is there any reason you stopped, or are you just in the mood to be a tease?”

It took everything Alec had to take a step back and not just lean into the blatant invitation on Magnus’ face. Much as she wanted this, there were still a few things holding her back, and those were things she couldn’t just ignore. Alec took a deep breath in to steady herself. It didn’t do great, but it did help her make her voice at least a little bit steady. Enough for her to slip into something that was more teasing and less I’m ready to rip that swimsuit off you. “Mind yourself, madame. We’re only on our fourth date, after all. What kind of girl do you think I am?”

She saw as Magnus registered her words. The meaning behind them was abundantly clear, and Magnus won Alec over a little bit more by immediately accepting them. She didn’t step forward, didn’t try and push. She just took a very deep, very visible breath, and then blew it back out. When she looked up at Alec again, her smile was less predatory, though the heat was still in her eyes. “You, Alexandra Lightwood, are a menace of the best kind.”

Alec lifted her drink and took a small sip, letting the bubbles tingle their way down her throat as she smiled against her glass. She felt loose and relaxed in a way she couldn’t remember being, well, ever, and there was a pleasant thrum of anticipation in her veins. While she might not be ready to jump straight into bed with Magnus quite yet – there were a few things she needed to figure out first – she was enjoying this little back and forth they had between them.

As she followed Magnus over to the blanket, listening as the other woman was already rambling away about the food she’d packed, Alec sent up a quick thank you to Raziel for the day she’d been lucky enough to run into a fallen goddess in the middle of a nightclub.