EPILOGUE

Once they got back to the Lightwood manor, Clary and Jace were even more inseparable than before. Many nights, Alec or Isabelle would go and check on them, just to make sure that they hadn't been taken left in the middle of the night, only to find them wrapped up with one another. It was certain that every single time, without a doubt, one would be holding the other. Most nights, it would be Jace with his arms around Clary, holding her so close to his chest that the person checking on them wondered how she could even breathe, let alone sleep.

On the contrary, some nights Clary would be holding onto Jace the way a baby money held onto its mother. Her arms would be resting across his waist and her fists would be balled up in his shirt, if he chose to wear one on the given night. It broke the Lightwoods hearts to see them so desperate to be next to one another. Neither Jace nor Clary had spoken about what had happened during their absence, and no one pushed them to talk about it, knowing they would when they were ready.

Sebastian had been taken to Silent City, where he would await trial in their prison, held back by chains formed from demon metal. It was torture in and of itself to be simply touching the same material that his father had beat him with, and the fact that is was touching his skin at every moment of the day brought him even more pain. They began treating him with cleansing treatments, trying to expel the demon blood out of him, to make him a normal Nephilim like he was supposed to be, but they found that it was just not that simple.

Jace and Clary found themselves within a six-foot distance of one another at all times. They would wait for one another outside of the bathroom, sit knee to knee at the table, follow one another across the house. Clary had even asked Jace to sit and talked with her while she showered every few times, needing the comfort that only his voice could bring her. Jace always respected her privacy and kept his eyes down in his lap while she washed herself, until the fourth time he sat with her. Clary had opened the shower curtain, looking at Jace with pink cheeks, then quietly asked him to join her.

Jace hesitantly undressed, giving Clary plenty of time to change her mind or ask him to stop. When she didn't and Jace stepped into the tub with her, Clary pressed her nude body against him and ran her fingers through his newly wet hair. The wounds on his face had healed nicely after a few iratzes and some rest, as did the scrapes on Clary's stomach from being dragged on the floor. However, there was significant bruising around her neck where her brother had held her airway closed.

Nothing could make Clary ugly.

Jace pressed his callous palm gently against Clary's face, then met her lips in a sweet kiss. He didn't dare let his hands roam until his girlfriend allowed him to. When she did, however, Jace still took it very slow. He started on her waist, then followed the steamy water down to her hip, letting his hands slide down to her legs. This was the furthest that had ever gotten. Clary had seen his body nude, touched him while he had clothes on, but never both at the same time, save for her hands on his bare chest. He had seen Clary in the same sense, but never touched her below her waist when her clothes were off. He was too nervous to cross that line with her, wanting her to be prepared the first time they made that type of contact.

Jace lifted Clary off of the ground with ease, their mouths still connected. By that point, Jace was highly aroused by the mere thought of intimacy with Clary. He small hands rubbing across and through his hair only added to the immense amount of pleasure he was experiencing. Jace pressed Clary's back against the wall, causing her to break their kiss and arch forward with a hiss.

"What?" Jace exclaimed, holding onto her tightly.

"Cold," Clary whispered, slowly lowering herself back onto the wall. Her feet pressed against Jace's back and her thighs tightened around his waist as they kissed. She hoped that he would take her silent greenlight to proceed.

It took Jace a few minutes of simply kissing before hesitantly lowering Clary onto himself. He felt her stop kissing him, so he stopped as well, but Clary squeezed him with her knees, insisting that he continue. Jace did so, adjusting Clary in his grip so he could hold her with one arm and the support of the bathroom tile, while using his other arm to reach below her and adjust them so they would line up perfectly. Once he had just barely begun to press himself into her, he moved his hand back to offer her extra support.

It took a lot from Jace to not moan at the simple feeling of her. Cleary dug her nails into Jace's shoulders, probably as an indication that she was either satisfied, or getting used to the feeling of him. Jace commended himself for his strength, seeing as he continued the agonizingly slow pace instead of slamming Clary's hips down against his. He wanted her to enjoy it and have the ability to sit comfortably afterwards.

Jace was almost fully inside of her before she cried out. Unsure of Clary had made the noise in pleasure or pain, he stopped in his tracks.

"Too much," Clary mumbled, dropping her head to Jace's shoulder.

Pain, you fucking idiot. Jace chastised himself for going too quickly. He knew that Clary had never experienced anything sexual before him, and he was moving way too fast. Jace nearly pulled out, causing Clary to gasp and dig her nails into his shoulders.

"That was good." She whispered. Jace cocked an eyebrow, then began to slowly lower Clary once again, not going as far down as he did the previous time, then pulled back out. He set a slow, steady rhythm until Clary was asking for more, then he granted her what she wanted. They continued that way until they were both too tired to go on. Neither of them finished, but that was never the goal. The water was freezing cold when Jace lowered Clary onto the ground, and she immediately began crying into his chest.

Jace's heart broke. He knew that Clary had feared every single day that she spent with Sebastian, that he would have his way with her. She had made that very clear multiple times. She lost her virginity in a shower so she could feel like she had control over herself. Jace held her and let her cry until she was shivering. Jace only pulled away from her to turn the water off and grab a towel for her.

"I'm sorry," Clary said as she held the towel around her shoulders.

"Don't be, Fray." He whispered, giving her a sad smile. "I understand."

And he did.

Jace grabbed a towel for himself, then stepped out of the tub and assisted Clary in doing so as well.

"It was good." Clary mentioned as she adjusted the towel to wrap around he body, hoping that Jace didn't feel like he had taken advantage of her or anything.

He simply chuckled and placed a kiss to her forehead. "It was for me, too."

"Really?" Clary asked curiously, raising her eyebrows.

Jace nodded and placed a hand on her back. "Oh, yeah." He whispered, then led her out of the bathroom and into the room they shared. They both got dressed and Clary wrapped her hair up in her towel, then they laid on the bed next to one another, the only thing touching being their hands.

"It kind of hurt." Clary whispered after a while, her green eyes casted up at the ceiling.

"Yeah," Jace whispered, turning his head so he could admire her. "I wouldn't have expected it to be the most comfortable thing ever." Before his eyes, tears began to flow unexpectedly down Clary's face. "What's wrong?" Jace asked, reaching his free hand over to wipe the side of her face closest to him.

"I'm just really glad that it was you." Clary replied sadly. "I can't stop thinking about him. He said that we can't hide from him. What if he comes back?"

"Clary, you saw the Silent Brothers take him. He can't get away, and if he does, then the entire Clave will be here to protect you."

"But Valentine," Clary started, turning her head to face Jace.

"Sebastian is not Valentine. He's just a kid, like us." Jace countered her, not allowing her mind to go on and on and let her spiral into anxiety. "You're safe here. I'm not letting you go, Clary."

The tears stopped flowing, but they still brimmed in Clary's eyes. Jace leaned forward and pressed a gentle kiss to her temple, hoping to ease her anxiety and bring her back from whatever ledge she had found herself on.

"Let's go see what Alec and Izzy and Simon are doing." Jace suggested, then sat up. Clary followed suit, taking the towel off of her head and dropping it onto the bed. They separated long enough to roll off of their bed and meet again on the floor, before exiting the bedroom.

Their friends acted like nothing had ever happened, even though the couple knew that they still checked on them nightly. Alec had many sleepless nights as he patrolled the house, checking on not only his parabatai, but his sister. However, that stopped once Alec interrupted a makeout-session between Isabelle and her boyfriend. She shouted at him to ease up, calling him a hall monitor.

It had made Alec so uneasy when Sebastian showed interest in his sister. From an outside perspective, Alec could understand that his sister was desirable. She was beautiful and tall and had a very womanly figure, but she was young. Only seventeen. However, if Sebastian fawned over his own sister, he most likely had no problem with his sister being a legal minor.

Simon could tell a dramatic change in Clary, more than the first time. She seemed more timid, even around him. He wondered if this was something she would get over, or if she was always going to be in a constant state of guarded. He wondered if Jace got to see a more colorful side of her, similar to the way she was in her youth. Jealousy sparked, but not from desire to be with Clary romantically. Instead, he was jealous at the thought of Jace being the only one to see a powerful Clary. He hoped that he would see her once again, her big, goofy grin and hear her snort when she laughed too hard.

Isabelle was just grateful to have everyone back and safe. The week that she went without Jace and Clary drove her up the wall. Clary was the only girl Isabelle felt comfortable around, and without her, she was stuck with men. It was terrifying; she had no idea how she lived before the ginger ran into their lives at full speed.

When Jace and Clary came down into the sitting room together, both of their hair being soaked, Isabelle raised an eyebrow. The more she thought about it, the more she recalled the shower running for upwards of thirty minutes. Neither of them had a reason to be in the shower that long. It took the will of the Angel for Isabelle to keep her mouth shut.

It's not your business, Izzy. She told herself repeatedly. However, she gave Clary a look that told her that she needed to talk to her.

"What?" Clary asked her when she sat down, Jace's hand held tightly in hers.

"Can I speak to you? Just over there," Isabelle nodded to the adjacent book room, which was connected by an empty threshold. She knew that Clary wouldn't get far enough away from Jace, just to keep her guard up.

"Sure." Clary said hesitantly. Isabelle jumped up from her spot and grabbed Clary's hand, then led her to the room. She could feel Jace's eyes on her, but she didn't bother to look back.

"Are you having sex?" Isabelle whispered as soon as they got far enough away.

"So what if I am?" Clary asked defensively, crossing her arms over her chest. They both kept their voices as quiet as they could get.

"Uh, hello? That's exciting!" Isabella placed her hands gently on Clary's shoulders, a giant grin on her face.

Clary saw Isabelle as a sex icon. They girl could seduce a rock if she wanted to. "How can you tell?" She asked bashfully, wondering if it was obvious or not.

"Well, one of you could have at least dried your hair." Isabelle noted with a shrug. The girls shared a giggle with one another. In that moment, things felt normal, and Clary held onto that as long as she could.