It's always hard when you're trying to wrap a story up, but I'm doing the best I can for you guys.

"I like that one!" Emily squealed as she pointed towards sketch of Jace in uniform from the University.

Clary smiled at that picture in her sketchbook. It had been so long since she drew that, almost nine months. It kind of blew her mind that she knew Jace for so long, but it wasn't really that long, was it? It was such a short amount of time for her to be so attached.

Then again, she was in love with the guy. And Emily was loving the fact that she was. The little girl was asking a million questions a minute since Jace left forty-five minutes ago. It worried Clary a bit that he had been gone for so long, but she wasn't about to call or text him. That wouldn't help the situation. She had a gut feeling about that.

Emily turned towards the next page, finding a picture of Simon on a couch, reading a comic book with his glasses on. Emily frowned. "Who is that?"

"One of my best friends. His name is Simon," Clary said. "He and Isabelle are dating actually. Like how your father and I are together now."

"Isabelle and Simon?" Emily asked, pointing towards the nerdy picture of him. Then she beamed. "I like him then if Aunty Isabelle does."

Clary chuckled at that. "Aunty Isabelle?"

Emily nodded. "Daddy told me that I can call her Aunty, and call Alec, Uncle. He said they're family. And I like Isabelle so I'm okay with being family with her."

"Okay," Clary chuckled. "You'll love having Isabelle as an aunt then. She'll spoil you rotten, for sure."

"But that's a good thing."

"Maybe for you," Clary teased, poking the little girl in the side. Emily giggled and slid closer to Clary, wrapping her arms around her own. They were lying on the carpet while Cartoon Network played, and Clary's heart kind of fluttered when Emily leaned her head against Clary's shoulder.

They stayed like that as Clary slipped through the pages, pointing people out to Emily. She told her about Jocelyn and Luke, about her father which didn't hurt as much as she expected it to, and she showed her pictures of Isabelle and Simon and Jonathan.

"That's your brother?" Emily asked, pointing to the most recent picture of Jonathan. It was a close up, him smirking as he looked at something to his right.

Clary nodded. "He's my older brother. He and your father hated each other when they first met."

Emily chuckled. "Daddy has a way of doing that. But they like each other now?"

"They're best buds."

"Then I like him too."

The fact that she trusts Jace so much blows Clary's mind. Not that she didn't trust Jace, even thought he'd given her reasons not to in the past. But she trusted him now, and Emily trusted him more than anyone. She didn't hesitate. If Jace said this person was good, Emily believed him.

"Um, Clary?"

She looked down at the little blonde head. "Yes?"

"Do you think I'm ever going to get to live with my daddy?" Emily asked, pulling herself even closer to Clary like she feared the answer.

That was a hard question. But Clary did her best to answer it. "When the time is right, you and your father will get to have your time together. You have to understand that he's just busy and his life is a little… complicated at the moment. Things have been like a roller coaster for him."

Emily nodded. "Okay," she said sadly, yawning a bit.

Clary looked at the time. Well, it was almost nine o'clock and Emily has had an eventful day. It's no wonder she was tired.

"Can you sleep with me tonight?" Emily asked. "Please? He's not back yet and I don't want to be alone tonight knowing he's at grandpa's house."

Clary smiled. "Of course, sweetheart."

When Clary got to her feet, she picked up the younger girl and held her to her chest, carrying her upstairs. She almost went into Emily's room when the girl shook her head, pointing towards Jace's room instead. Clary chuckled but went along with it, taking them both and settling Emily next to her on Jace's bed.

Emily slid to Clary's side, curling her body around Clary's torso. "Goodnight, Clary."

"Goodnight, Emily."

"I love you."

That made Clary freeze. She didn't expect those words from Emily, not now at least. She felt her heart warm at the idea, and a smile broke across her face. But she knew one thing for sure.

"I love you, too."

"What are you doing here?" Jace gasped, staring at his mother like she was from another planet.

Celine Wayland, or whatever her last night was now since she disappeared, stepped up and casually took the second cup a Brandy that Jace never touched, drinking all of it in one go. Jace's eyebrows rose at that, but once again, he didn't comment on the drinking issue. Just because he avoided the alcohol didn't mean his parents had to.

Michael cleared his throat. "Here's the deal, Jace, your mother and I–"

"Michael," Celine interrupted quickly and sharply. "I'd like a few minutes with my son, alone." She emphasized the last part, causing Jace's confusion to only grow.

He looked a little shocked at her sternness and forcefulness, but he nodded, taking the alcohol with him. He walked towards the bedroom when Celine called him again, pointing towards the back porch. He sighed and rolled his eyes dramatically before heading towards the door, slamming it behind him.

Celine made her way in front of Jace who was still frozen in his seat. She reached forward, holding his cheeks lightly as she looked at him. It was that same look she gave him when he was younger, like he was the greatest thing in the world.

The idea brought tears to his eyes and she immediately pulled him into a bear hug.

He was too confused at first but the fact that his long lost mother was gripping him like she actually missed him was too much for Jace to handle. His arms came up and crushed his mother to him. God, he had told Clary that he missed her before, but this was more than just missing someone. Jace hadn't realized how much he wanted his mother back until now.

After what felt like ages, the two pulled away, tears in both of their eyes. With how harsh his mother just was, he was surprised to find tears in her eyes as well. Jace reached up, touching his mother's cheek with a frown. "Why are you crying?"

She sniffed and leaned into his touch. "I missed you, sweetheart."

"Then why did you leave?" he asked bluntly.

She sighed, grabbing Jace's hand and leading him to the couch. They sat together, facing each other in silence until Celine finally got the courage to speak. "There's something I've wanted to tell you. Something I should've told you a long time ago, but I didn't know how. I still don't know how."

"Can I ask?"

She nodded, looking weary about his question.

Jace thought through the millions of questions in his head before finally settling on: "Why does it seem like you and Dad have had previous dealings lately?"

"Because we have," she answered. "I've seen your father a couple times throughout the years if our paths have crossed. This isn't the first time, and we don't normally tell you for your own safety."

"My own safety? What the hell does that even mean?"

"Not so much safety, but for your own good," she quickly corrected. "The things between Michael and I were never really stable. When you were a young boy, we tried to hide it from you for your own good. I, apparently, was a better actor than Michael. He started to think that what I said was real, that I meant what I really said, and it caused false pretenses between us."

She sighed before taking a moment and then continuing.

"There were things that I never told you or Michael. You were too young to have to deal with it, and I wasn't sure how to even say it."

"I'm old enough now," Jace said with conviction. "Just tell me."

Celine sighed and rubbed her hands over her face before playing with the end of her black dress like a nervous habit. "I guess the most complicated part was that I lied to Michael. When we first got married, he believed I truly loved him. And I thought I did. But that was because the real love of my life had been… he was killed. At least I thought he was. Just before he went off to war overseas, mainly protection but war nonetheless, he visited me while Michael was gone. We had gotten into a fight a few years earlier, and that was the last time we spoke. But he randomly showed up one day before his leave, asking me to forgive him, to come back to him. And for one night… I did."

Jace took all the information in with a blank expression on his face. "You… you cheated on Dad?"

"I cheated on Michael," she repeated. "He didn't find out for the longest time. I didn't want him to know, and I didn't want to complicate things any worse. We had already started fighting when you hit your teen years, because Michael found an old picture of Stephen in my diary."

"I can only imagine how he reacted to that."

She nodded. "You can guess. There was a lot of yelling and screaming. But it wasn't mainly because he found out about the dealings I had with him before. He found out I cheated on him, and he found out that the day I cheated on him was about nine months before you were born."

Jace stiffened, taking all of that in. Nine months… he was well aware what that means. He knew exactly what it was since he was a father as well. But the fact that… it was too crazy to consider, right?

Celine dropped her head momentarily, wiping a tear away from her beautiful eyes before finally looking at Jace's again. "Jace, Michael isn't your true father."

Jace shook his head slowly. If being with Clary taught him anything, it's that he had to keep his cool. So he took a deep breath. "Okay," he said calmly. "This Stephen guy… my actual father… where is he now?"

"Stephen Herondale, my current husband, is your real father. He's a general in the U.S. Army. The day I left you and Michael, was the day he showed up at our doorstep. I couldn't say no a second time. Jace, I love him with everything I had. And I wanted to take you with me."

"Why didn't you?" he asked instantly. "Why did you just leave me? No note. No nothing. Da – Michael was distraught because of you. He has this notion now that if you love something, it'll destroy you. That's because you almost did destroy him."

Celine nodded and reached forward, gripping Jace's knee. The touch was so foreign, but it was welcome as Jace stared at the hand on his knee.

"Jace?" He looked up, meeting her gaze. "You know what it's like to be in love. You know as well as anyone how hard it would be to say no to Clary. Michael told me how foolish he thinks it is that you love this girl. I say it's the exact opposite. There is nothing more right than loving someone with everything you have."

"But I wouldn't leave Emily. I'd always choose my daughter first."

"I know," she said. "But you were a vulnerable teenager when I left, and I wasn't sure how you would've handled it. I always watched out for you though. I know all about your life and I've wanted to come to you so many times."

Jace reached and grabbed his mother's hand. He twisted it in his own, holding it delicately like he was studying it. "Mom," he almost choked on the word, "I missed you."

She smiled at him before another tear fell down her cheeks. "I missed you so much, honey."

They embraced after that for a long time. Jace's mind was twisting and turning a thousand miles a minute, but he wanted to focus on just hugging the woman he hadn't seen for years. He wanted to focus on her touch, on the feeling she emitted to him. She wasn't the same woman around Jace as she was around Michael. She was hard and stern around Michael. But now, she was soft and caring and loving and everything he remembered.

He finally pulled away. "Soo…"


"Does Michael know for sure?" he asked softly. "Does he know I'm not his son? I know he could've guessed, but did you tell him."

She shook her head slowly. "He found out as you grew up, realizing it himself. You never really looked a lot like him, but when he found the picture of Stephen and we fought, that's when he knew. No DNA test was needed at that point to figure it out." She reached up and ran her fingers through Jace's front curls, twisting them in her hand. "You look just like your father."

"I look like Stephen?"

She nodded. "Your hair. Your build. Your skin. Your jaw line. Your cheek bones." She ran her hands over everything as she spoke about them. "You're a spitting image of him, as handsome as can be. Except you have my eyes."

He smiled at the idea. He knew he should be confused or even angry, but maybe the anger that had driven him his whole life was starting to fade. Maybe the answer to his frustration and harsh nature was his mother.

"Can I ask you something now?" Celine begged.

Jace nodded. "Anything."

She smiled a genuine smile. "Can you tell me about my future daughter-in-law and granddaughter."

Jace chuckled. "Mom, we're not engaged."

"I'll just wait to have that conversation when the time comes," she chuckled. "So tell me about her. I'd love to meet her."

Clary awoke to the sound of the door opening. She could see Jace's form slip inside, closing it behind him. His dark silhouette made its way to the bathroom before immediately shutting the door gently.

She glanced to the alarm clock, seeing as it was almost midnight. And he just made it back? How long did he fight with his father about the subject of going to Atlanta? It had to be bad if it took that long.

After gently rolling Emily to the other side of the bed, the little girl stirring in her spot but not waking, Clary made her way to the bathroom.

The sink was running with Jace rubbing the water of his face. She closed the door behind her and watched him, watched the lack of stress in his shoulders and the smooth movements of his hands. He had already taken his shirt off, and she didn't see any bruises or signs of fighting. That was a good thing, right?

"How did it go?" she asked with a yawn, clumsily jumping up on the sink with her hands gripping the edge of the counter.

"Not how I expected it to," he said, rubbing a towel over his clean face. "That's for sure."


He dropped the towel and leaned against his hands, staring at himself in the mirror. "I saw my mom."

Clary's eyes widened and her sleep state disappeared like that. Actually, momentarily she thought she was still dreaming, but she pinched herself just to check. And with a breath, she said, "Can you say that again because I think I misheard you."

He chuckled. "No. You didn't mishear me or anything. I literally saw my mom. She was at Michael's house."

Michael? Why didn't he say his father's. "Um, Jace?"

"I'll explain everything in the morning," he said quickly, turning and walking towards her. He pushed his hands down beside her thighs, smiling as he pressed his forehead to hers. "Just trust me that I'm okay, alright? Nothing bad happened. I'm just tired now and could really use some sleep."

She nodded, rubbing the skin of his arms. "Are you sure?"

"Absolutely." He kissed her gently, grabbing her hands and lacing their fingers together. "How is Emily?"

Emily felt him rubbing circles on the back of her hands, getting lost in the feeling of his closeness. "She's, uh, she's good."

"What did you two end up doing?"

"Looking through my old sketchbook," Clary said. "I showed her pictures of my family that I've drawn. She said she liked Jon because you liked him."

Jace chuckled. "Well, she does trust me. Besides, Jon is a great guy, even if he hated me for a while. But I egged that on so it's my own fault."

"Yeah it is," she chuckled. "But you still won him over. You always win everyone over."

"I'm just charming," he beamed, giving her a kiss on the nose. "And irresistible." He kissed her cheek. "And delightful." He kissed her forehead. "And sexy." He kissed her on the lips after that one, really kissing her. And Clary let it happen, kissing him back until his hands went to her shirt, lifting it up.

And she grabbed his hands, pushing them back down.

He frowned, looking hurt. "What's wrong?"

"Emily is asleep in our bed," she answered. "You really want to do this right now with your toddler just outside the door?"

He glanced towards the door and nodded, sighing. "Rain check?"

She chuckled and nodded, slipping off the counter and grabbing his hand. They walked, quietly, into the room to find Emily in the dead center of the bed. Jace and Clary both looked at each other in the darkness before deciding that the best way to do this was a sandwich.

With Clary on Emily's right and Jace on Emily's left, they were able to fit comfortably. Jace reached over the pillows and grabbed Clary's hand, kissing the back of it before sliding in deeper. And just as they got settled, Emily moved.

Right towards Clary. She grabbed the older girl's arm, pulling it like a pillow and resting her blonde head on her shoulder. Jace frowned but chuckled later, sliding closer and kissing Clary's on the temple.

"Goodnight, Clary," Jace whispered, and then he kissed Emily's cheek as well. "Goodnight, sweetheart."

Emily seemed to stir a bit and dug deeper into Clary's side, just like she did earlier that evening.

"Goodnight Daddy," Emily yawned in her childlike voice. And then she added something that shocked them both. "Goodnight Mommy."

Both their eyes widened as Clary and Jace froze. Granted, Clary heard shocking words earlier that night too when Emily announced that she loved her, but this was different. Mommy was different.

She didn't see any of the fear or worry in Jace's eyes though. Even though it was dark, she could see his excitement and happiness as he smiled at her, kissing her softly on the lips before sliding down, pulling both girls towards him.

Mommy, Clary repeated in her mind. She was young and a little worried, but she had to say… it had a ring to it.

Those of you that wanted Celine on Jace's side, there you have it! I hope it lived up to your expectations and you get the final explanation of where she went and why. Although in life, people don't always have valid reasons for the things they do. Remember that. She left to be with someone she loved, which happens. Some people just aren't cut out to be real parents, and I think Michael and Celine are not.

Soooooo, like I said, I'm trying to wrap things up. Let me know if there's any questions that I could answer in a follow up chapter. I'm not sure where to go from here, so if you have ideas, I NEED THEM! Otherwise, this might be the end of the story. What better way to end it than having Clary, Jace, and Emily together. The future looks bright for the three, but like I said, if you have questions or want a chapter in the future, like I did with my other story "Expelled", let me know.

If there are no other questions, thank you for reading and sticking to it! Keep an eye out for my next story that will be coming soon, hopefully. If I can find the time. I don't want to leave you guys hanging again by getting too busy.

Thanks again. Love you guys! I can't show my appreciation enough.