The cold wind blew like Isabelle's whip, tearing the skin out of Clary's bare legs. The winter air turned her breath into mist, disappearing into the morning fog. Digging her nails into the pocket of her jacket, she stood impatiently waiting for the tardy arrival. Somewhere inside the folds of her jacket, there was a faerie ring - the last one of all.
A call of the hunting horn shrieked above Clary's head. She looked up, thinking about what Simon would have commented on the wild hunt, riding between the clouds. Her heart stung at the thought of Simon, of the cold stone floor of the silent city. How the muted silent brothers pressed the stele to draw the rune of Parabatai, making them forever entwined with one another.
"So we meet again," a voice behind her echoed. Instinctively, she spun around, pointing the tip of Heosphoros at an amused Unseelie King.
"Is that any way to greet your guest? Clary Fairchild of the New York Institute? Or shall I say, Clary Morgenstern?"
"I am not Clary Morgenstern. I've abandoned that name a long time ago, since the end of the Dark War." Clary said fiercely, sheathing Heosphoros, ignoring the embarrassment rising up to her face, " I came with the ring, in exchange for Simon's life. So please, give him back to me."
" Who would have thought Clary Fairchild would beg me, a faerie for help? Alas, every passing minute, your friend suffers."
A jolt of pain went through Clary's Parabatai Rune. She hugged her stomach close, struggling to wrench the words out of her silenced mouth.
"Surrender the ring, Clary Fairchild, or your friend will die a excruciating death,” the Unseelie King replied coldly, " The faeries will get a revenge. We are patient people, but not so patient with filthy shadowhunters."
Through gritted teeth, Clary reached inside her jacket, feeling the snug ring close to her heart, then reluctantly stretching her arm out, the faerie ring clasped in her hand. The Unseelie King plucked it from her hand and examined it.
“Now for your part of the deal. Where is Simon!” she yelled, throwing off her scarf.
The harsh wind whipped her face dizzily, but she didn’t care. She had already lost him once, frozen as Asmodeus devoured his memories. No one could replace him, not even Izzy’s earsplitting scream at night, when they had all rushed to her room, only to find her sobbing for Simon in a vacant bed, for he was the only one who could ease her from her nightmares, dreaming of a boy with brown hair and sad, empty eyes.
Nothing could ever be the same.
“Oh, yes. He will live,” the Unseelie King spoke, his gravelly tone choking with malice," However, he will not be freed as he had joined the wild hunt.”
She dropped the blade. It clattered onto the ground.
She should have known, as she lifted her hand up. The shattering pain she felt wasn't a coincidence. The faded Rune, the severed bond.
The King laughed viciously as she rose to meet his gaze, astonished. He swivelled, and disappeared into the shadows.