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The lights in the club are pulsing, the people are moving as one like a restless ocean tide, and the deep bass in the music is pounding in Clary’s ears and chest like a heart that’s twelve sizes too large. They’re all dressed to impress, weapons concealed and mendelin runes nowhere to be seen – tonight isn’t about stealth. Tonight they need information, and they’ve been told that their target hangs out in this club every week on Friday nights without fail, but the rest of his schedule is too hectic for them to seek him out anywhere but here.

 

That doesn’t mean there still isn’t a ridiculous amount of black leather going on, though.

 

“Anyone see him?” Jace asks, eyes scanning the room. The club isn’t as pitch-black as some of them can be, and is mostly lit a dark, underwater blue with flashes of bright colour from the lights. The dance floor takes up most of the space, and the bar fills the entire right wall, bar stools filled to capacity. On the far end of the room, opposite them, is the stage for the DJ, and the left hand side of the room is a stage for those who want to dance and want to be seen, not just to blend in with the crowd.

 

On that stage, Clary sees a flash of red hair, too bright and crimson to be anything natural to humans. It’s the colour of blood, the colour of rose petals, and it’s styled in soft spikes at the top with an undercut beneath that reveals pointed ears.

 

“On the stage, between the girl in green and the guy wearing the sunglasses,” Clary says, very carefully not pointing at him.

 

“Who wears sunglasses in a club?” Alec asks, brow raised.

 

“Douchebags,” Izzy replies easily. She’s eyeing up their fae target with calculating eyes, ready to strut her stuff. The plan tonight was for Isabelle to seduce the target, to get information out of him that they desperately needed without letting him know, and the rest of them were there as backup incase things went wrong or the fae had friends they hadn’t planned on encountering.

 

Izzy flips her dark hair over her shoulder, revealing her long neck and beautiful collarbones as her tight, strapless dress pushes her breasts together and up, leaving nothing to the imagination about exactly where she wants people to look. Her whip, as always, is coiled around her wrist, though at the moment it’s just functioning as a decorative bracelet.

 

“See you on the flipside,” she winks, tossing her hair again as she strides on her ridiculously tall stilettos towards the dance floor, intent on working her way through the crowd until she can reach the stage. Before she even takes three steps though, Alec’s hand snaps out and grabs her arm, halting her in place.

 

Izzy whips her head around to him and rolls her eyes. “What?”

 

“You know,” Alec muses, “I get the feeling you might not be our targets… type.”

 

Izzy’s eyebrows shoot upward, and Clary can feel herself doing the same thing. “I’d say I’m everyone’s type, but then I run the risk of sounding far too much like Jace.”

 

Jace shrugs helplessly. “It’s true, what can I say?”

 

“What I mean,” Alec grinds out past his gritted teeth and the patented Lightwood eye roll, “is that he might be more of my persuasion than yours.” With a pointed raise of his eyebrows and nod of his head, all three of them turn to look at their target. It’s only now that Clary realises he’s completely ignoring the girl in the green dress, who even Clary will admit is gorgeous, and he’s readily focused on the douchebag with the sunglasses.

 

“Oh,” Clary says. “You might have a point there.”

 

“My gaydar’s a little more tuned than yours,” Alec deadpans, and Clary can’t help the undignified snort that escapes her. Being with Magnus has done absolute wonders for Alec’s sense of humour and confidence.

 

“Well as pretty as I am, I’m not entirely sure how far we’re going to have to seduce this guy for information, and I am not of his persuasion,” Jace says, crossing his arms.

 

“I wasn’t suggesting that you go,” Alec sighs, finally releasing his grip on Izzy’s arm.

 

You?” Jace splutters. “You’re going to seduce the faerie? In the middle of a club? With people watching?”

 

Alec simply glares at Jace before reaching up to unzip his leather jacket. He slides it off his shoulders and pulls it off entirely, pretty much throwing it to his parabatai. Underneath he’s wearing a sleeveless shirt that reveals the wonderfully toned arms of an archer, covered with runes. Between his effortlessly messy hair, black top, tight jeans, boots and fingerless gloves, he actually looks like he belongs at a club.

 

“Izzy, line me up?” he asks, and his sister beams. She reaches into her purse and pulls out a stick of eyeliner, then grabs Alec’s chin to keep him steady. Clary laughs at Jace’s completely boggled expression as Alec calmly lets his sister line his eyes top and bottom, smoking it out a little at the edges to make his blue eyes stand out like glittering sapphires.

 

Clary always knew that Alec was attractive when he wasn’t in his dumbass sweaters, but with eyeliner he looks hot. If he wasn’t gay, Jace would have to watch out, because she might have been gunning for him.

 

Once Izzy pulls back with a smug, satisfied expression, Alec pulls out his stele and burns a rune onto his arm that sings in Clary’s chest, and within a beat of him finishing it, all of his runes seem to fade into nothing, including his silvery rune scars. He looks thoroughly mundane.

 

“See you on the flipside,” Alec says, before turning away to merge into the crowd. Jace is still looking at his parabatai like he’s never seen him before, and Izzy is absolutely beaming as they watch Alec make his way through the crowd, flowing like water, like he’s exactly where he’s supposed to be.

 

The DJ swiftly merges one song into another, and Clary recognises the opening notes of the song, though it’s changed up and a little deeper as a club remix. She thinks she can see Alec relax even more as the lyrics start up, and Clary suddenly remembers that this is one of Magnus’ favourite songs.

 

Just let me feel the rush like the first night

Wanna breathe it out cause I’m going out my mind

Gotta feel the touch like the first time

Cause I’m chasing the original high

Chasing the original high

 

Alec pushes through the crowd so he’s near the very edge of the dance floor, right near the stage, only a few metres away from their target. The music builds up, and up, and up until it finally drops, and the crowd – and Alec – go with it.

 

How the fuck?” Jace murmurs under his breath as Alec starts dancing, and holy shit, Clary has just realised that she’s never seen Alec dance and she never quite wants him to stop. His black shirt is tight enough to see his ab muscles when he rolls his body, and he gyrates his hips like he’s in the bedroom, and Clary thinks that the bedroom is exactly where Alec learned to do this. Izzy grins, pulling out her phone, changing the camera mode to video.

 

“Magnus is gonna love this,” she gushes, and starts recording.

 

Clary can’t take her eyes off Alec, his dark hair and smoky eyeliner turning him into an avatar of the music around them, and his eyes are closed and face upturned to the ceiling as he slows his movements to deliberate, unhurried circles of his hips, and though he’s barely been dancing for longer than a few minutes, the red-haired fae is already looking in Alec’s direction.

 

Like he can feel the eyes on him – he probably can – Alec flutters his eyes open and looks at the fae, who grins. Alec’s cheeks flush a little and he breaks the eye contact, looking down and biting his lip like he’s embarrassed, and Clary would’ve said that expression was completely genuine if not for the way that his body keeps moving without a falter or misstep.

 

His eyes flicker back up to the fae, who is still looking at him, and who reaches out a hand to Alec from up on the stage. Alec blinks a few times in surprise, but doesn’t break eye contact as he gently, as if nervous, places his hand in the fae’s, and allows their target to pull him up onto the stage with him.

 

Alec is tall, six foot, and so he’s an inch taller than their target, but the shy, enraptured expression on his face gives the opposite effect. Clary’s seen fae seduce mundanes before, and Alec has perfectly captured that look. Their target is attractive, has that ethereal beauty that all fae have, and though they’re all heavily desensitised to it now, Alec’s wide eyes show that he’s never seen anything more beautiful. It makes the fae grin again, and pull Alec to him by his belt loops.

 

I’m trying to buy a fix but there ain’t no price

I try to feed the hunger that keeps me up at night

We were on a trip tryna replicate

But the highs I hit just ain’t doin it for me

Oh, remember back in Hollywood

The medication flowing through my veins was you

 

Their bodies move together, fae hands gripping Alec’s hips and shadowhunter arms wrapping around the fae’s shoulders, a slow seduction on both sides. It’s slow, sensual, like they’re both caught in a little bubble inside their own world and nothing else matters. Alec is enraptured and the fae is ensnared, and Clary can feel her face flushing as she watches them, feeling like a voyeur.

 

Alec leans down and whispers to the fae, and even from here she can imagine the way his lips are brushing the fae’s ear, sees their target’s fingers tighten down on Alec’s hips, sees the grin that is there-and-gone on his face that says gotcha. Alec pulls back, but not the whole way, close enough that there’s barely any distance between their lips, a calculated tease, and Alec’s lips pull a little into a smile as his eyes glitter in the flashing lights.

 

The fae moves them a little so one of his legs slips between Alec’s and Alec’s eyelids flutter at the new movement of their bodies, and eagerly grinds forward. A ghost of the besotted look that takes over Alec’s face when he sees Magnus appears, and Clary wonders just exactly what Alec is thinking in that moment. Alec bites his lip again, and the fae’s bright eyes flick down to watch the movement.

 

Alec gives a cheeky smile and says something to the fae, who replies back. Alec’s eyes light up and he says something else, keeping their close, leisurely grinding going. Clary isn’t blind to see that other people in the club are looking over at Alec, especially as with a teasing smirk and a wink he turns around, letting the fae wrap his arms around Alec’s hips, pulling him back until they’re chest-to-back, rolling their bodies in time like they’re fucking.

 

The fae is beautiful, but Alec looks like a god, like a fallen angel come to earth, and the fae is just as enraptured with Alec as Alec is pretending to be with him. The song changes, becoming ore bass-heavy and seductive, and their rolling hips move in time with it.

 

My life flashed before my eyes

Razor blade lips and daggers up in your eyes

Baby, your love is a crime

Danger by day, but you’re evil in the night

 

Alec reaches a hand back to hook around the fae’s neck, turning his head so he can still look into the fae’s eyes as they dance together, undulating like snakes, turning their hips like belly dancers, grinding together like they want nothing more than to remove the clothing between them and find somewhere private to head off to.

 

One of the fae’s hands lets go of Alec’s hip to trail fingertips up his chest, up his sternum to splay across his collarbone, and Alec lets his head fall back onto the fae’s shoulder, back bowing like a taut string, giving him better leverage with which to grind back onto the fae, who is fervently whispering into Alec’s ear. Alec’s lips fall open, his face turning blissful like mundanes did when the fae put their spell on them.

 

“He’s good,” Jace whispers at Clary’s side, and she isn’t sure whether he's talking about the dancing or the acting, but she nods in agreement anyway. The fae’s hand on Alec’s chest slides down again, down and down and down and his fingertips pull up Alec’s shirt and dip just under the waistband of his jeans, and then Alec’s smirking, pulling the fae’s hand back to his hip.

 

Their target’s eyes flash, amused at Alec, who turns back around to face the fae. He lets the faerie slip his hands down so he’s gripping Alec’s ass, using that grip to push them closer together, and Alec’s eyelashes flutter. He wraps an arm around the fae’s shoulder and slides his other hand up to cup the nape of the fae’s neck, leaning down like he’ll kiss him but stopping just before he does.

 

Their lips could be brushing together as they whisper to each other, but Clary’s too far away to tell. The fae looks at Alec’s lips, whispers something, and Alec’s eyes flash with triumph, and that’s when Clary knows that Alec’s gotten the information he needs. He tips his head to nip the fae’s earlobe between his teeth, whispers something else, and then pulls out of the fae’s grip like he’s smoke, like he can’t be contained, can’t be caged, like there’s no way this fae would ever be able to hold him if he didn’t want to be held, like the fae was lucky to be holding Alec for as long as he did, and Alec melts back into the crowd with a wink.

 

Izzy puts her phone back into her bag before Alec comes back and can’t quite contain the blinding, proud grin on her face. Clary’s damn impressed, and Jace is still uncharacteristically floundering when Alec approaches them.

 

“I know where it is, c’mon,” he says, and then sweeps out of the club without waiting for them.

 

Clary makes eye contact with Isabelle, who is smirking wickedly, and the two girls follow Alec out of the club, forcibly dragging a still-stunned Jace behind them.