Hello readers…*sheepish expression*. As is grossly overdue, I'm so sorry for how long it's taken to get this chapter up. It's a little long but I hope you enjoy it. Editing and regrouping plots and ideas were on the menu for a while there, as was my life around me. Sadly, it doesn't stop for even a day. Anyway, do and enjoy and please read and review (also a DISCLAIMER: I don't own any of these characters – praise Cassandra Clare there)

Back to Rose's POV

Chapter 5

The first feeling that made itself known was pain and nausea. My jaw, my head, my collarbone, my ribs, my hips and my lower calves, all throbbed in unison, along with my swirling stomach at Luke's presence, reminding me what it meant to be a guardian. Pain was part of the job description, every guardian knew that. Which was why I was happy to put up with it to get the task done; protecting Lissa came at no cost too high. But, ouch!

The second feeling, was worry.

Lissa.

Was she ok? Did she get out in time? Did Christian get out too? I pieced bits of memory back together until I recalled why I was lying on my back, on a hard floor, in a house that smelt of wet dog.

Fire. Jace. The fight. Black eyes.

Damn it, compulsion!

I opened my eyes to find a glittering pair of green ones, glaring down at me. Jace was still breathing heavily from the fight, which meant I'd come out of my compulsion after only a few seconds. I revelled in the satisfaction that I had pretty good control over my mind.

A dark cord with a silver ring attached, hung from Jace's neck, swinging like a great pendulum over my neck. It glittered in the light and, like it was smiling, no, smirking, at me. Before I could even figure out what that meant, Jace had hastily tucked it beneath his shirt and out of sight. His expression was embarrassed, then, angry. What was the deal there?

"Rose, are you ok?" her voice was weak and terrified.

Lissa! She hadn't escaped. How could I forget about her, even for a second? Stupid Jace.

"Lissa!" I shoved a hand hard into his chest to move him but his struck our like a snake and pinned my wrist painfully to the floor. "What did they do to you?" I yelled to Lissa but glared at Jace.

"Nothing Rose, I'm fine. Christian cut his cheek-"

"Hush," said a deep voice, interesting in its amused Spanish accent.

I yanked my arm out of Jace's reach to try and sit; a more defensive position, but someone strong held my shoulders down. I didn't like that.

"Get off!"

The amused Spanish voice went with the black eyes as they loomed overhead once more. "Sit, but harm no one." He said.

I obeyed immediately, before I'd realised I was being compelled. I examined the new company and was a little surprised to find he was no older than myself, younger even.

"Let me guess, Raphael, right?"

The corner of his mouth quirked upwards.

"Correct." His face lost all amusement then and his eyes became serious. And really big. I couldn't focus on anything else. I was drinking them in, so completely lost in their endless pits, happily, almost dreamily.

"What is your name?" they asked.

"Rosemarie Hathaway" I replied instantly. Then regretted it. "Damn it! You don't need compulsion for that! I could've told you!"

Actually, I probably wouldn't have. My pride was just growling at me for loosing control over my mind twice tonight, even if I couldn't have done anything about it.

"What is your purpose in this particular city?"

I glared up at his exotic face, then to Lissa behind him. She was worried.

We are touring She suggested, leaving out the main searching for Dimitri aspect of out trip.

"We're touring."

Raphael's eyes narrowed. He knew we were only telling half truths.

"Why wasn't I notified of your arrival?"

"Look, I don't know what you're talking about with the whole, head of the coven thing. I've never heard of vampires having covens, let alone leaders with territories, and I've been a few places." I thought of Russia.

"And where is it that you've come from?"

I huffed out an angry breath: I preferred to answer without the influence of compulsion, but it didn't mean I liked telling him whatever he asked of us.

"Montana."

Understanding flooded his face. "You are under the rule of Tatiana Ivashkov." He said it as a statement. He did know something then.

"I still don't understand. Tatiana rules all of the moroi/ dhampir world, not just a single state."

"That is not so. She rules your particular race and no more."

"Look," I stood and everyone jumped to their feet. Jace wrapped his hands around the tops of my elbows from behind. Raphael put his face up close to mine, his black eyes warning. I gave him a dirty look. "We're not getting any answers here. You said you'd tell-"

"Have you ever left the country before?"

"I – no." I managed not to glance at Lissa. That would have been too obvious.

He looked at me through narrowed eyes. I had a feeling he would have been looking down at me if he were taller, so the effect was lost.

Not to ring my own bell, but I was a pretty effective liar. But this guy, whoever he was, could tell. Well he knew we weren't telling him everything, anyway. That didn't bode well for us.

"The organisation of our culture is very secret and efficient affair." Rafael stated without pause. "There are many in the supernatural world that defy and twist the myths by simply being. If each race knew about the existence of each other, there would be an uproar on our hands."

You could say that again.

"Myths can overlap too." He indicated Simon behind Lissa. "You would classify him a dhampir, correct? In our race he is an anomaly, 'daywalker', almost unheard of. Yet he exists. You understand my point?"

I looked at him very closely. He was serious. Dead serious (no pun intended). Was there really such thing as what he was trying to sell? Wouldn't Dimitri have come across these…people?

Everyone was looking at me, judging my reaction. Well they weren't going to get one for a change.

"I understand," I said, not understanding at all, but if he was satisfied, then perhaps he would allow us to leave without blood shed.

Raphael stared at me for a long time, calculating. I stared back, my gaze unwavering, doing my best to ignore the aches and pains making themselves known throughout my limbs.

Everyone was silent. Lissa was contemplating her chances of effectively compelling someone with so much power. I could hear Jace breathing heavily out of his nose behind me, obviously fuming. Seriously, what was his problem?

An oddly cheery voice broke the silence.

"Ok, you can all calm down; I'm here now." The new comer was an eccentric looking man with long spiked hair, full of glitter. His pants were rainbow patterned and flared. His forest green jacket that fell to his ankles, was entirely made of sequins and he was wearing electric blue eye shadow past his eyebrows.

How did I not hear him come in? Jace had distracted me again! I felt like purpling the other side of his jaw for good measure.

"Oh are you kidding me?" the man said, "Where's Alec? I am so not doing this pro-bono."

"Not a problem," someone…Luke, said. Uh, was I the only one stunned by his appearance? No, no Christian and Lissa looked pretty shocked too.

Raphael turned to him, "I appreciate your assistance, warlock. The Night Children thank-you."

"Yeah, yeah I know the drill. But seen as you both are requiring my help, I call for a double job payment."

Luke cleared his throat. Raphael nodded.

"Not a problem." Luke repeated more reluctantly. My stomach was still swirling and I kneaded it furtively.

Raphael turned to Luke. "They need to stay put. Camille wants to speak with them."

"She's on her way back?" Luke asked with surprise. Raphael nodded.

"She'll be here in twelve days. I suggest a 'house arrest' spell?"

Luke considered looking over to Jace. "Would Hodge still be interested in these three?" He asked the blonde soldier behind me. Jace nodded, his eyes on mine, "Certainly."

Luke turned back the eccentric warlock. "Perhaps they can spend the night here and we can take them to the sanctuary at the Institute tomorrow. If you would, Magnus…?"

Magnus the 'warlock' wandered to the centre of the room. "I need some hair then." He told me.

"Uh, what?" I caught hold of my ponytail protectively as if it was singularly under threat.

Magnus crossed his arms and played with his fingernails with a sigh. Then his eyes slid out of focus and I felt a slight tingling on the surface of my skin. Lissa gasped a little and I assumed she felt it too. Suddenly I felt a strand of hair yank from my scalp. Lissa and Christian's hair joined mine floating in the centre of the room in front of the warlock, twining together. The three different colours all started to glow a fluorescent green.

"Wait! What do you think you're-" was all I got out before I felt a small wave of power knock into me. Lissa stumbled backwards. The air smelt of ozone, like just before a storm. My nerves were tingling and I had a metallic taste in my mouth.

I'd seen magic performed before, but none other than powerful moroi. This guy was – well he wasn't a vampire. He wasn't all human though either. That was something to ponder on later.

Magnus-the-warlock's expression seemed bored, until he laid eyes on Christian and they lit up.

"Ooh, hello. To whom do I have the pleasure?"

Christian was stunned to say the least. I could laugh about that later. Now, I had to find a way out of this mess, and soon.

I turned to Magnus. "What the hell was that? What spell did you use? And…what are you?"

He kept his eyes on Christian as if he had asked the question.

"That was my next trip to Brazil finally paid for. It was a variation of the common trapping spell; you are locked within the confines of this residence until I release you." He sighed and turned his head to me, smiling almost humourlessly. "And as to what I am, if you haven't worked it out by now, I doubt a clarification will reassure your situation. Let Alec know I stopped by. Ciao." And floated from the room in a swoosh of his sequined coat.

"I really hope Raphael was joking about the two weeks." It wasn't until Clary spoke that I realised that Raphael had left. Was I loosing my touch? What was wrong with me? Clary looked over to me, Christian and Lissa. Her face showed genuine curiosity before she glanced to Jace and it changed to anger.

"You going to be ok?" she directed it at Luke. He nodded.

"Great. Simon," she grabbed his wrist and pulled him towards the door, "I'm staying over."

Jace strode forward instantly, anger on his face. "I don't-"

Clary spun, red curls flying over her shoulder. "No! You don't get to tell me anything! This is a decision I can make on my own!"

The door slammed and Jace swore. He turned to Luke, "Bet she doesn't yell at you like that."

Luke raised his eyebrows and his palms near his chest.

"Yeah." Jace said, turning for the door also. "Right."

Ok, I must have missed something. Oh well, now it was three against one. I liked these odds better anyway. Christian had the same idea. He looked over to me and his palms ignited.

Sooo…what do you think? I've tried to stay true to the characters. Hopefully soon I should be getting to why Clary and Jace are clashing atm. Just a reminder, that its is occurring somewhere in the storyline time, of "City of Ashes", and no later, and yes, I have read City of Fallen angels and Clockwork Prince (OMG! Right?) anyway, please r & r