Of course you can have a true Shadowhunter name," Will said. "You can have mine." Tessa stared at him, all black and white against the black-and-white snow and stone. "Your name?" Will took a step toward her, till they stood face-to-face. Then he reached to take her hand and slid off her glove, which he put into his pocket. He held her bare hand in his, his fingers curved around hers. His hand was warm and callused, and his touch made her shiver. His eyes were steady and blue; they were everything that Will was: true and tender, sharp and witty, loving and kind. "Marry me," he said. "Marry me, Tess. Marry me and be called Tessa Herondale. Or be Tessa Gray, or be whatever you wish to call yourself, but marry me and stay with me and never leave me, for I cannot bear another day of my life to go by that does not have you in it.
If Jem dies, I cannot be with Tessa, said Will. Because it will be as if I were waiting for him to die, or took some joy in his death, if it let me have her. And I will not be that person. I will not profit from his death. So he must live. He lowered his arm, his sleeve bloody. It is the only way any of this can ever mean anything. Otherwise it is only — Pointless, needless suffering and pain? I don’t suppose it would help if I told you that was the way life is. The good suffer, the evil flourish, and all that is mortal passes away, Magnus said. I want more than that, said Will. You made me want more than that. You showed me I was only ever cursed because I had chosen to believe myself so. You told me there was possibility, meaning. And now you would turn your back on what you created.
And indeed it was, the arrow still protruding from its wet, grayish skin, humping its body along with incredible speed. A flick of its tail caught the edge of a statue, sending it flying into the dry ornamental pool, where it shattered into dust. By the Angel, it just crushed Sophocles, noted Will. Has no one respect for the classics these days?
They say you cannot love two people equally at once, she said. And perhaps for others that is so. But you and Will—you are not like two ordinary people, two people who might have been jealous of each other, or who would have imagined my love for one of them diminished by my love of the other. You merged your souls when you were both children. I could not have loved Will so much if I had not loved you as well. And I could not love you as I do if I had not loved Will as I did.
He began it, Cecily said, jerking her chin at Will, though she knew it was pointless. Jem, Will’s parabatai, treated her with the distant sweet kindness reserved for the little sisters of one’s friends, but he would always side with Will. Kindly, but firmly, he put Will above everything else in the world. Well, nearly everything.
Would you? said Gabriel to Will, hotly. If it was your family? His lip curled. Never mind. It’s not as if you know the meaning of loyalty — Gabriel. Gideon’s voice was a reprimand to his brother. Do not speak to Will in that manner.
Miss Cecily," she gasped, and then her eyes went to Will. She clapped a hand over her mouth, turned, and bolted back into the house. "Oh, dear," said Tessa. "I have that effect on women," Will said. " I probably should have warned you before you agreed to marry me." "I can still change my mind," Tessa said sweetly. "Don't you dare-," he began with a breathless half laugh.
I love you so much, so incredibly much," he went on, "and I forget when you're close to me, I forget who you are. I forget that you're Jem's. I'd have to be the worst sort of person to think what I'm thinking right now. But I am thinking it.
I need to know you believe me when I say I love you. That is all." "I believe everything you say," Tessa said with a smile, her hands creeping doen from his waist to his weapons belt. Her fingers closed on the hilt of the dagger, and she yanked it from the belt, smiling as he looked down at her in surprise. "After all," she said, "you weren't lying about the tattoo of the dragon of Wales, were you?
I want you to be happy, and him to be happy. And yet when you walk that aisle to meet him and join yourselves forever you will walk an invisible path of the shards of my heart, Tessa. I would give over my own life for your happiness. I thought perhaps that when you told me you did not love me that my own feelings would fall away and atrophy, but they have not. They have grown every day. I love you now more desperately, this moment, than I have ever loved you before, and in an hour I will love you more than that.
...In Paris she found Magnus, who was living in a garret apartment and paiting, an occupation for which he had no aptitude whatsoever. He let her sleep on a mattress by the window, and in the night, when she woke up screaming for Will, he came and put his arms around her, smelling of turpentine. "The first one is always the hardest," he said. "The first?" "The first one you love who dies," he said. "It gets easier, after.
Come back to me, Tessa. Henry said that perhaps, since you had touched the soul of an angel, that you dream of Heaven now, of fields of angels and flowers of fire. Perhaps you are happy in those dreams. But I ask this out of pure selfishness. Come back to me. For I cannot bear to lose all my heart.
I know how you are with your words, and, Will- I love all of them. Every word you say. The silly ones, the mad ones, the beautiful ones, and the ones that are only for me. I love them, and I love you." - Tessa Gray
Father . . . ," Gabriel began. "Father is a worm." Will gave a short laugh. He was in gear as if he had just come from the practice room, and his hair curled damply against his temples. He was not looking at Tessa, but she had grown used to that. Will hardly ever looked at her unless he had to. "It's good to see you've come round to our view of things, Gabriel, but this is an unusual way of announcing it." Gideon shot Will a reproachful look before turning back to his brother. "What do you mean, Gabriel? What did Father do?" Gabriel shook his head. "He's a worm," he said again, tonelessly. "I know. He has brought shame on the name of Lightwood, and lied to both of us. He shamed and destroyed our mother. But we need not be like him." Gabriel pulled away from his brother's grip, his teeth suddenly flashing in an angry scowl. "You're not listening to me," he said. "He's a worm. A worm. A bloody great serpentlike thing. Since Mortmain stopped sending the medicine, he's been getting worse. Changing. Those sores upon his arms, they started to cover him. His hands, his neck, h-his face . . ." Gabriel's green eyes sought Will. "It was the pox, wasn't it? You know all about it, don't you? Aren't you some sort of expert?" "Well, you needn't act as if I invented it," said Will. "Just because I believed it existed. There are accounts of it—old stories in the library—
But what of you? Gabriel said, and they were very close now, almost touching. It is your choice to make now, to stay or return. I will stay, Cecily said. I choose the war. Gabriel let out the breath he hadn’t realized he was holding. You will give up your home? A drafty old house in Yorkshire? Cecily said. This is London. And give up what is familiar? Familiar is dull. And give up seeing your parents? It is against the Law … She smiled, the glimmer of a smile. Everyone breaks the Law. Cecy, he said, and closed the distance between them, though it was not much, and then he was kissing her—his hands awkward around her shoulders at first, slipping on the stiff taffeta of her gown before his fingers slid behind her head, tangling in her soft, warm hair. She stiffened in surprise before softening against him, the seam of her lips parting as he tasted the sweetness of her mouth. When she drew away at last, he felt light-headed. Cecy? he said again, his voice hoarse. Five, she said. Her lips and cheeks were flushed, but her gaze was steady. Five? he echoed blankly. 907/1090 My rating, she said, and smiled at him. Your skill and technique may, perhaps, require work, but the native talent is certainly there. What you require is practice. And you are willing to be my tutor? I should be very insulted if you chose another, she said, and leaned up to kiss him again.
Do you remember when we stood together on Blackfriars Bridge? he asked softly, and his eyes were like that night had been, all black and silver. Of course I remember. It was the moment I first knew I loved you, Jem said. I will make you a promise. Every year, Tessa, on one day, I will meet you on that bridge. I will come from the Silent City and I will meet you, and we will be together, if only for an hour. But you must tell no one.
Rage flared up in Tessa and she considered belting Woolsey with the poker whether he came near her or not. He had moved awfully quickly while fighting Will, though, and she didn’t fancy her chances. You don’t know James Carstairs. Don’t speak about him. Love him, do you? Woolsey managed to make it sound unpleasant. But you love Will, too. Tessa froze. She had known that Magnus knew of Will’s affection for her, but the idea that what she felt for him in return was written across her face was too terrifying to contemplate.
Tessa had lain down beside him and slid her arm beneath his head, and put her head on his chest,listening to the ever-weakening beat of his heart. And in the shadows they'd whispered, reminding each other of the stories only they knew. Of the girl who had hit over the head with a water jug the boy who had come to rescue her, and how he had fallen in love with her in that instant. Of a ballroom and a balcony and the moon sailing like a ship untethered through the sky. Of the flutter of the wings of the clockwork Angel. Of holy water and blood.
I think there is hope for you yet, Will Herondale. I will try to learn how to have it, without you to show me. Tessa, Jem said. She knows despair, and hope as well. you can teach each other. Find her, Will, and tell her that I loved her always. My blessings, for all that it is worth, is on you both.
I always loved you, Will, whatever you did. And now I need you to do for me what I cannot do for myself. For you to be my eyes when I do not have them. For you to be my hands when I cannot use my own. For you to be my hear when mine is done with beating. No, said Will wildly. No, no, no. I will not be those things. Your eyes will see, your hands will feel, your hear will continue to beat. But if not, Will- If I could tear myself in half, I would-that half of me might remain with you and half follow Tessa- Half of you would be no good to either of us, said Jem.
Hell is cold. Do you remember when you told me that? We were in the cellars of the Dark House. Anyone else would have been panicking, but you were as calm as a governess, telling me Hell was covered in ice. If it is the fire of Heaven that takes you from me, what a cruel irony that would be.
Will closed his eyes. He could not hear Jem go, not anymore; he did not want to know the moment when he left and Will was alone, did now want to know when his first day as a Shawdowhunter without a parabatai truly began. And if the place over his heart, where his parabatai rune had been, flared up with a sudden burning pain as the door closed behind Jem, Will told himself it was only a stray ember from the fire.
You do not want to help us, Will said to Magnus. You do not want to position yourself as an enemy of Mortmain’s.
Well, can you blame him? Woolsey rose in a whirl of yellow silk. What could you possibly have to offer that would make the risk worth it to him?
I will give you anything, said Tessa in a low voice that Will felt in his bones. Anything at all, if you can help us help Jem.
Magnus gripped a handful of his black hair. God, the two of you. I can make inquiries. Track down some of the more unusual shipping routes. Old Molly —
I’ve been to her, Will said. Something’s frightened her so badly she won’t even crawl out of her grave.
Woolsey snorted. And that doesn’t tell you anything, little Shadowhunter? Is it really worth all this, just to stretch your friend’s life out another few months, another year? He will die anyway. And the sooner he dies, the sooner you can have his fiancée, the one you’re in love with. He cut his amused gaze toward Tessa. Really you ought to be counting down the days till he expires with great eagerness.
I am not going to live, and I can choose to be as much for her as I can be, to burn as brightly for her as I wish, and for a shorter time, than to burden her with someone only half-alive for a longer time. It is my choice, William, and you cannot make it for me.