Chapter 1: Bargaining for Magnus’ life
Alec tried to control his temper as he looked at Lorenzo casually enjoying life in Magnus’ loft – the place where they had shared so many happy memories together. The younger Warlock had not wasted any time; he had completely redecorated the loft – his obnoxious tendency for self-portraits resulting in Alec finding it hard to look at anything without looking at a picture of him. Lorenzo was listening to Mozart while finishing a cocktail and looked like he didn’t have a care in the world – all the while the love of Alec’s life was in a hospital bed, fighting for his life. His hatred and anger returned and he fought to control himself, remembering what Catarina had told him; only Lorenzo could help Magnus and, unfortunately, he couldn’t force the man to comply. He had to be diplomatic. However, his patience was wearing thin, his lips pressed tightly together, and he had to dig his nails into the palm of his hands to control himself as Lorenzo continued to listen to the music, disinterested in him. Alec was certain the Warlock knew why he was here; and that he purposely let him wait as punishment for how Magnus and he had tricked him to gain access to his home. It probably hadn’t helped that they’d made threats towards him during the last few months when things had escalated. Alec had no doubt that the other Warlock hadn’t forgotten how Magnus had attacked him for his refusal to help heal Jace, thus landing them in this predicament in the first place.
Alec took a calming breath, the pain from digging his nails into his palms grounding him, calming him, the way it always did. “We need to talk,” he said, looking at the Warlock with a determined look. Magnus was counting on him; he couldn’t fail.
“Hang on, this is the best part,” Lorenzo said, trying hard not to smirk.
He knew why the Shadowhunter was here and he was going to enjoy every moment of this. He had allowed himself once to superficially trust the young Shadowhunter and had been reminded why trusting Shadowhunters was never a good idea. His mind darkened as he remembered another time, another place… a time when he had learned the hard way that Shadowhunters and Downworlders stayed separate for a reason. Where he had learned never to trust anyone – that the only one he could depend on was himself.
Alec almost let out a small sigh of frustration. The bastard knew very well why he was here, and he was dragging this out; clearly enjoying every moment. He went over to the gramophone player and turned it off before returning to stand at attention with his hands behind his back in front of the Warlock. Having been trained as a soldier since birth it was second nature for him to stand like this whenever he needed to speak to someone; he wasn’t even aware that he did it, even around Magnus.
Bold move, Lorenzo thought as the music ended prematurely. His eyed narrowed; this one was almost as arrogant as Magnus but then, like Magnus, this one too had grown up with a silver spoon in his month. After all, weren’t the Lightwoods almost royalty among Shadowhunters?
“What can I do for you, Mr. Lightwood?” He asked, with a false smile and a presumed air of nonchalant.
“Magnus has fallen ill as a result of the magic you gave him,” Alec said with a calm he didn’t feel, trying hard to keep the accusing tone out of his voice, Stay calm, he reminded himself. He again dug his nails into his own flesh, letting the pain help vaporize his anger.
“I did warn your boyfriend of the risks involved. He assured me he could handle it," Lorenzo said matter of fact, as he poured himself another drink.
Alec followed him with his eyes, annoyed at his pretend at normality. “Well, he can’t, and I would... Appreciate if you would take the magic back.” Alec forced the word appreciate out. All he wanted to do was attack and force compliance out of the Warlock, but he knew well that even attempting something like that wouldn’t give him the result he wanted.
Being a soldier, he was no stranger to forced humiliation; it had been a discipline tool used by some of his instructors, but it had always been the punishment which he had fought against most. The pain he could bear but having to say something which was contrary to his true beliefs… that had been harder. However, he didn’t want Lorenzo to know this, so he tried to keep his face neutral, not wanting to give him the satisfaction of seeing how affected by all this he really was.
“Yes, I am sure you would appreciate that, but he brought this upon himself. It is not my fault that the pompous old warlock has fallen by his own hubris.” Lorenzo walked back toward Alec, drink in hand. He didn’t try and hide his glee at the thought that he had finally won. He had finally beaten Magnus Bane – he was no longer a nobody, begging for scraps from the rich man’s table. He was someone now. Finally, after fighting, begging, pleading, deceiving, stealing and killing his way to the top he was finally here.
Alec was momentarily taken back by the pure venom in his voice. “Why? Why do you hate him so much?” Alec asked, genuinely perplexed. Magnus was the most amazing man he had ever met; he was kind-hearted, brave, self-sacrificing… He couldn’t imagine how anyone could possibly hate him.
Lorenzo considered how much he should tell the Shadowhunter; he owed him nothing – least of all the truth. But there was hidden vulnerability in the depths of the Shadowhunter’s eyes which made Lorenzo give just the smallest inch.
“It's simple. All my life I have had to sit by while the world lavished praise on Magnus Bane, the progeny, the High Warlock who could do no wrong,” Lorenzo almost spat the words out.
Alec’s eyes narrowed. What a petty spiteful man Lorenzo was. “Green doesn't become you, Lorenzo.”
Lorenzo’s eyes narrowed in renewed anger, his mind flashing back to his past – all his struggles, all his pain… all his loss.
“You have no idea how hard I have had to work for everything I have,” Lorenzo took pride in that; he had earned everything he had, him and him alone. He put down his drink on a nearby table, his growing anger making it hard to keep up a show of nonchalance.
"That man was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. His celebrity is not based on talent; it's nepotism,” Lorenzo spat the words out. Magnus was Edom royalty; Lorenzo had no such luck. His father had been a common demon and his mother a servant girl at a palace. After she had been raped by the demon, she had become pregnant out of wedlock. She had been thrown out from her position, cast aside, humiliated and alone she had been scorned by all – even her own family. She had been begging on the streets, taking any job, any job at all, to ensure her child got carried to term. Her life had been harsh, short and miserable but Lorenzo remembered his mother fondly – the only person who had ever truly loved him till the very end.
“Well, you are right about one thing. Magnus is beloved and when word gets out that you wouldn't help him purely out of jealousy how do you think the other warlocks are going to feel?” Alec spat out, hatred in his voice. Damn, he should calm down, but he couldn’t. He wanted nothing more than to hit the warlock and it took all his strength not to.
Lorenzo looked at the young Shadowhunter coldly, his earlier flash of compassion for the man gone with the hateful words he had shot at him. “I guess we will find out, won't we?”
Alec saw red. How dare he! “Bastard. I swear I will...” Alec started hotly, thinking in his mind of all the horrible things he would enjoy doing to the Warlock.
“What?” Lorenzo hissed at him, his eyes flashing hatred back at him. Nephilim! He should have known better than to even keep up this ridiculous pretense of civility. Lorenzo magically blasted Alec backwardtoward the door.
“I believe we are done here. You can show yourself out,” he said coldly, turning around to pour himself another drink. Dark memories were at the edge of his mind. A woman screaming in pain as Shadowhunters laughed at her predicament, his own tears staining his face, the pain in his arms as they were twisted behind his back and he was forced to his knees, helpless to do anything else but watch the woman’s continued agony.
Alec managed to stay upright despite the force of the magical wind. He faced the door and took a deep breath, he couldn’t fail. Only Lorenzo could save Magnus. He had to try another approach. Logic hadn’t worked, threats hadn’t worked. There was only one option left. Alec grimaced inwardly – begging wasn’t his strongest suit but for Magnus, he would do anything. He swallowed his pride and turned to look at Lorenzo.
“You have never been in love, have you?” Alec asked softly, looking intensely at the older man. If everything else had failed maybe emotions would reach him. Emotions…before Magnus, Alec wouldn’t even have considered this approach. Feelings were weakness to a Shadowhunter. That had been beaten into him since birth. But Magnus had showed him that emotions, that love, could be a strength, an advantage. He had to give this a try; his pride was a very small price to pay if it meant Magnus would be saved.
Lorenzo looked surprised at the Shadowhunter. What an odd thing to say for a Shadowhunter. It was well-known among Downworlders that their species didn’t have feelings – or if they ever did; it was systematically forced out of them from an early age, which amounted to the same thing.
“I am over 300 years old; of course I have been in love. More times than I care to admit,” Lorenzo said caustically but in truth, he had only ever felt love once – the love of a mother’s embrace. Yes, of course he had had lovers – men and women, both Mundane and Downworlders, as was common for warlocks, eternity can get quite boring if you don’t try everything at least once. But love, true love- no, he had never felt that. Warlocks were a possessive and protective race when it came to the people they loved; having been unable to help his mother when it mattered most, he had stopped himself from feeling anything like that again. He wouldn’t allow himself to be that vulnerable ever again.
Alec moved closer to Lorenzo, encouraged by his answer. “Well, for me it is only one; Magnus,” Alec took a deep breath. He didn’t want to show weakness especially in front of this man, an enemy in all regards, but he had to do this. He had to show how he truly felt. He allowed his barriers to come crashing down and his eyes swelled up with tears when he thought of his lover lying still in a hospital bed, fighting for his life.
“He is my world and if he dies...” Alec stopped, unable to finish the thought. If Magnus died, he died. He knew that as fact. He wouldn’t want to live, there would be no reason to go on. He took a calming breath, he was now so close to Lorenzo he could have touched him.
“Look, Lorenzo, he's no threat to you, okay? He doesn't have his powers." He felt a tear roll down his cheek and saw the surprise at this show of vulnerability in Lorenzo’s eyes before the warlock could hide behind his carefully crafted casual and arrogant facade.
"Just please, please help him,” Alec begged, beyond caring that he was begging, beyond caring that he was crying in front of a man he hated so much he wished him dead a million times over.
Lorenzo quickly hid his surprise at this display. Shadowhunters always knew how to get at you, use you. He closed his eyes as he recalled how he had suffered; all because he had trusted a Shadowhunter. He had been a boy. Barely five years old. He hadn’t had control of his powers. They had lived in a small hut near a village in Spain, he tried to help her make ends meet by begging for money from the rich outside the churches on Sundays or on street corners. Their life had been hard and dirty, filled with hunger and their lives and bodies at anyone’s mercy. His mum often returned bruised and beaten and he himself often had to escape someone lashing out at him to force him away from their nice upscale neighborhood, which they felt his begging ruined for them. But he had had his mum and as he had grown older he had realized he had powers; he couldn’t control them yet but at times he had been able to use them to steal food for them both; it was a risky thing to do – he had once been caught stealing and was lucky he had gotten away with just a severe beating. But there wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for his mum for he knew well the sacrifices she had made to bring him life. She had held him in her arms, sung to him at night. When they were short on food, which was almost all the time, she had given him everything. She had loved him with an intensity born out of desperation. Out of all the misery her demonic rape had brought her she had seen her son as the only light in her world. But all that had ended when Lorenzo had met a young warrior in the town square – in some ways Alec’s military walk, the way his whole being at times seemed to radiate soldier, the way he stood at attention…those aspects of him reminded him of that Shadowhunter. He had seemed kind, he had talked with him and fed him, given him gifts. The man had met with him over several weeks until Lorenzo had started to trust him. Finally, he had answered the question he had asked repeatedly; where did he live with his mum.
He had told him because he had come to trust him. That had been the last time he had ever been foolish enough to trust a Shadowhunter as he would later learn the soldier had been but at that time he hadn’t known what the Shadow World was; he thought only he had been born in this most terrible way – a product of a demonic rape. The man and his friends had come crashing into he and his mother’s small hut that night, torn them from their beds. They had dragged them away to a nearby castle, grinning at their victory, spitting insults at him and his mum, most of which he didn’t understand – something about his mum associating with devil spawn and him being demonic. His mum had told him of his birth but had always assumed him that he himself wasn’t demonic; she had firmly believed that. He would later learn that the Shadowhunters had heard tales of how he had used his powers in the village and had known he had been a Warlock and had mistakenly thought his mum and he were associated with a renegade Warlock operating in the area. That Warlock had apparently killed several Shadowhunters and their recent loss combined with their institutionalized hatred for Downworlders had had catastrophic consequences for Lorenzo.
It almost seemed that the more his mother expressed her love for her son, the more she insisted her son was good, not demonic. The more she insisted she knew nothing of demons, the Shadow World and Downworlders…the angrier they became.
He had been too young at that time to understand many of the things that had been happening, like why the men were hurting them. But he had known enough to know it was bad. When they had forced him to watch as they had whipped her repeatedly, over several agonizing hours, leaving her hovering at the brink of death, he had understood there was a Hell and he was living it. They had kept probing and pushing, asking him to ‘show what he could do’. He hadn’t understood back then that they knew he was a Warlock and wanted to know about his powers. He hadn’t really thought where his powers had come from but he couldn’t control it and now, when he had wanted to save his mum, to use those powers against their tormentors nothing happened. He had only cried and begged and pleaded but to no avail. When the Shadowhunters had finally burned his mother alive as was their custom with prisoners it had been a kindness to her as she had finally been able to escape the agony of her own body. It had been the end of Lorenzo’s life has he had known it. In that moment, as her skin turned black and charred, his powers had finally kicked in. The Shadowhunters had become relaxed around him after weeks of nothing happening and that was the only reason he had managed to escape. He would later, as a grown man, hunt down every one of the shadowhunters who had been involved in his mother’s death and ensured they had met with the most gruesome fate imaginable – for good measure he had killed their whole linage as well. They had killed the only family he had and would ever get, he wanted to take theirs too.
Lorenzo’s mind returned to the present by a soft sniff from the young Shadowhunter, tears making his eyes seem huge and his cheeks wet. “Why should I help him?” Lorenzo asked coldly, his eyes flashing a deep-rooted hatred as his memories of the past had returned to him. How dare this Shadowhunter even ask for his help? Him and Magnus were the same as all those rich people who had spat at him, ignored him, abused and used his mother. He owned them nothing!
Alec tried one last desperate time, beyond caring that his voice sounded precisely as desperate as he felt. He couldn’t fail; he had to convince him. “Please. He is no threat to you.”
Lorenzo considered his words. No, Magnus really wasn’t a threat any longer but Magnus had humiliated him with his attack, weakened his power position and if he had learned one thing from observing those above him through hundreds of years, it was that one could never afford to show weakness. Forgiveness was weakness. However, an idea struck him; revenge certainly wasn’t.
“And let’s say I do help your boyfriend,” he almost spat that last word out. Even someone like Magnus should have known better than be with a Shadowhunter. He saw the hope shine in the young man’s eyes and almost, but only almost, felt a hint of sympathy. “What will I get?”
Alec was momentarily confused, his tears slowing to a halt as he felt he was finally getting somewhere. They were no longer debating whether the Warlock would help Magnus – they were now debating the details of how. He felt his heart flutter with hope. “Get?”
“Well,” Lorenzo began with a small but hard smile. This was going to be fun. “A Warlock doesn’t offer services for free.”
Alec sank. He didn’t have much in the way of possessions; he had always lived at the Institute. There was nothing he wouldn’t offer if it meant Magnus’ life but he feared he might but have whatever it might be that Lorenzo wanted. “What do you want?” Alec asked flatly, looking the Warlock straight in the eyes.
Direct and to the point; Lorenzo liked that. “You,” he said with a triumphant smile.
Alec had to gasp for breath and a brief flash of panic crossed his face. Surely, he didn’t mean… he flashed back to when he had asked Magnus for help with Isabelle’s trial and he had asked for that very same price – him. He tried the same tactic this time as he had done back then. “Isn’t there something else you want?”
Lorenzo laughed, knowing full well what the young Shadowhunter were fearing. Rape was an efficient tool in war, but he had always found it distasteful, maybe because he knew what his mother had had to suffer. It was never something he would consider as punishment or revenge. “Oh, you silly boy! I don’t want you,” Shadowhunters might be cruel and unfeeling but he wasn’t.
Alec looked confused. “Then what?”
Lorenzo interrupted him. “Magnus owes me my revenge. I was going to send him to the spiral labyrinth for his betrayal but since he no longer has his magic that won’t do. So my price is simple….you take his place.”
Alec looked at him, puzzled and afraid of what precisely he was asking. “In the spiral labyrinth?”
“No, of course not. You take his punishment,” Lorenzo explained. Alec almost looked relieved. Lorenzo had to admit that Shadowhunters had one thing going for them; they sure understood punishment. They were after all the people who had invented the Agony rune – a rune made just to create mental or physical pain… or both.
Alec didn’t have to think twice. “I accept.” Lorenzo almost laughed at how quickly and eagerly Alec had accepted the offer, almost like a starving man seeing water in the desert. Despite his hatred for Shadowhunters he had to admire this one. It almost seemed like he actually cared for a Downworlder… That couldn’t be true of course. It was obviously some kind of trick but what the trick was, Lorenzo had yet to figure out.
Lorenzo reached out and put a hand under Alec’s chin, hard enough to let the other man know he shouldn’t try and move. Alec looked him straight in the eyes and didn’t. There was a flash of fear in his eyes, but it was quickly subdued behind a carefully crafted military mask.
“You don’t know what the punishment is yet,” he reminded him. Lorenzo had wondered what he would ask but at the end the answer had come easily to his mind and he doubted Alec would have agreed so readily if he knew what Lorenzo had planned for him.
Alec would have shaken his head if he could. Instead he simply took a calming breath and answered honestly. “I don’t care. As long as you go to Magnus afterwards.”
Lorenzo pulled his hand away from his face, almost as if burned. There was something about Alec’s tone… a softness, a willingness to sacrifice. It couldn’t be true. Magnus couldn’t possibly deserve that and no Shadowhunter could ever be capable of showing such feelings. Annoyed by his weakness in his moment of triumph, Lorenzo turned his back on the other man for a moment to pull himself together. This was his victory, his moment. He would not be tricked again; he would not be denied this. When he turned back to face Alec his own mask was as much in place as Alec’s.
“Take off your shirt,” Lorenzo said more harshly than he had intended. He wouldn’t let his emotions get the better of him – it was his right to ask for any price for services rendered and it was his right to take revenge – revenge for the humiliation Magnus had put him through, for his defiance and revenge for his mother’s torment all those years ago.
Alec blinked, fighting back a wave of panic. He had never liked being exposed in such a fashion. Growing up he had learned that long-sleeved black pants and shirts were your friend – nothing hid bruises and scars quite as well. He fought down the feeling of humiliation. He could do this for Magnus. He fought to go to that place of emptiness in his mind where he had always gone whenever he had been punished in the past. He remembered one particularly painful session with his dad; Robert had used the agony rune for both mental and physical pain only to then use the healing rune – only stopping after the fourth round. The last beating had ended with his dad forcing a promise from Alec that he would let those injuries heal the Mundane way, Robert’s way of teaching him a lesson that if he wasn’t obedient he could be de-runed and would always have to heal the Mundane way. Robert had a horrible temper when provoked and more times than not, when Jace and his sister had convinced him to break the rules and they had been caught Alec had taken responsibility for it; many a time without either of his siblings ever knowing they had been found out. Robert had expressed a measure of pride that Alec had done what a leader should; take responsibility for the actions of those under his command. Though Alec had a feeling Robert had also been happy it had been him he had had to punish as Jace had quickly become the son they had always wished for – the perfect soldier in every aspect - and his daughter had always been his favorite. For a Shadowhunter father Robert had been remarkably gentle with her – no such luck for Alec. Robert would later, when Alec was grown, explain to him that he had done such things to make him a better soldier, a better Shadowhunter, a better man. That he had to show him how hard the world could be so he would be able to face it, survive it. He had used to believe this but after he had met Magnus and felt how gentle love could be, after he had met Simon and Clary and they had explained about their Mundane childhoods and what was considered “normal” punishments in the Mundane world… he was no longer so sure. However, in this very moment he was glad for those painful lessons from his parents and instructors because it would make whatever Lorenzo had in mind so much easier to bear.
Without another word Alec took off his shirt and let it pool by his feet, his eyes meeting Lorenzo’s in a determined stare, refusing to let the fear show on his face. Whatever was coming he would bear it…for Magnus. For him he would and could bear anything.
Chapter 2 coming soon
Chapter 2: Lorenzo claims his price - and his revenge
Lorenzo claims his price and his revenge
Skip this chapter if you don't want to read about Alec's ordeal. This chapter and partly chapter 3 is where the tags for detailed violence and torture comes into play so just be aware of that.
Alec felt vulnerable and explored but pushed those feelings aside. This was the time to remember his training. He had had multiple lessons relating to withstanding interrogation and if Shadowhunter torture methods hadn’t broken him during training neither would Lorenzo. His face went blank as he looked up at Lorenzo but unbeknownst to him flickers of emotions were still in his eyes – fear, anticipation, hope, relief that he had finally gotten Lorenzo to give him what he wanted admittingly not the way he had hoped.
Lorenzo had never really seen a Shadowhunter up close like this. Even in war, even in fights with Shadowhunters, he had killed or inflicted pain at a distance, using his magic. Looking at the young Shadowhunter held captive before him only by the promise he had made gave him a chance to satisfy his curiosity. The runes decorating his body seemed like something between artwork and mutilation. It was a sick kind of fascination that almost made him reach out and touch one but he stopped himself in time. His mind flashed back to his mother, her screams, her pain, her eyes clouded, unseeing as she mentally sought to escape from the agony she was experiencing. He had lived those memories over and over in his nightmares for ages – he remembered clearly those hands who had struck her, who had held him down, who had made that look of agony appear on her face… who had had to drag her onto the pyre to where she was to burn to death before they had planned for him to follow her… they had had runes on them too. Runes that had looked just like these ones. His heart hardened; it wasn’t even like a little punishment would mean much to the Shadowhunter. They weren’t built like that; they were basically emotionless drones, warriors without hearts, controlled by the Clave to obey the Law without question.
“Turn around and put your hands on the wall,” Lorenzo instructed, using magic to move the objects on the nearest wall away to give them space. Remember what had happened all those years ago made his eyes flash with rage, his voice harsh and cold.
Alec mutely walked to the wall which had been cleared for him. He had a good idea what was to come next; he had taken a few lashes in his days. It wasn’t even that unusual a punishment but in the past the humiliation of it had outweighed the pain – a few quick lashes with a whip and while it had been agonizingly painful, it had been over within a few minutes and the healing rune would be applied. Despite his past punishments and his training, he felt a hint of fear as he become increasingly aware of the hatred the Warlock was having difficulty hiding in his voice and eyes. He briefly wondered if this hatred was due to his association with Magnus or the fact he was a Shadowhunter.
Alec planted his hands on the wall, spread his legs slightly apart to get as good a position as possible that would help him stay upright during the punishment. He waited, trying to draw even and calm breaths. He wanted to turn around, to see what Lorenzo might have planned but previous punishment lessons had taught him that such disobedience would just make matters worse so he forced his eyes to focus on a spot on the wall, trying to make his mind go blank. His palms ached from where he had drawn his nails into them, hard enough to draw blood. The slight discomfort was a welcome distraction from the nightmare images his mind were conjuring up of various kind of punishments he could be expecting. He was acutely aware of his vulnerable position and despite Lorenzo’s assurances that he wouldn’t try and sexually violate him… he was also very much aware of how much hatred the man seemed to hold inside him. If he was lucky Lorenzo would just beat him. He could survive that. If he wanted to do something else…He would endure it, anything, for Magnus, but he wasn’t sure how he would possibly survive it. He had only ever been with one person in his life, Magnus, and the thought of anyone violating that…
However, Alec hadn’t needed to worry. Lorenzo considered himself a man of honour and a fair man. He had seen on his mother how stronger men could take advantage and he would never stoop that low. However, a crime had been committed and punishment was due. As a Shadowhunter he was certain Alec understood. After all, the Clave had only outlawed torture 100 years ago and that had only been in theory. Everyone knew that if the Clave felt it necessary torture was back on the table, not unlike some Mundane leadership structures he knew of. Lorenzo knew just what he considered a fitting punishment, the same one the Shadowhunters had done to his mother. Maybe there really was such a thing as karma and universal justice after all. A long cat o' nine tails appeared in his hands, small metal balls with spikes decorating the ends of the leather strips. Just like the one they had used on his mother to make her confess that she associated with demons and were involved in the attacks that had been carried out. His mother had been a woman of faith as had been common back then; the false confession had had to be forced out of her broken body and bruised lips as she clung to her religion, her belief in a Heavenly afterlife, as long as she was able. By then end of the whipping, however, she would have said anything, given up anything, just to ease the agony a little. Lorenzo shut out the pain the memories brought him and instead focused on the hatred, the anger. As he lifted his arm to strike at Alec’s exposed back a part of him couldn’t help but admire the young Shadowhunter’s ability to stand still and await what was to come. He wasn’t physically bound; he could leave, he could avoid all this. But that would break their contract and they both knew it. He wanted, no- needed, to see the Shadowhunter’s courage as evidence of his military upbringing, the type of mindless loyalty towards the Clave, which had likely been beaten into him since childhood. Lorenzo brought the whip down hard across Alec’s exposed back, from his right shoulder and clean across, drawing a bloody pattern in his wake.
The whip left a trail of fire behind it as the leather and metal balls tore pieces of flesh off his body, the spikes in the metal balls adding to the intensity of the attack. The pain was both expected and yet unexpected. Alec’s body jerked from it and he had to fight to keep himself in position and not move out of the reach of the painful instrument. Alec had never been lashed like this before; it had been with a thin wooded or leather stick– never with whatever this was. The tool were clearly designed for maximum pain with a combination of nine leather straps and metal edges with spikes. Alec had promised himself Lorenzo wouldn’t get the satisfaction of hearing him scream but the suddenness mixed with the intense pain took his breath away and a cry of pain escaped his lips. He could feel Lorenzo moving closer to him before he took his hair in a bruising grip, forcing his head back and up to look at him. Alec couldn’t help but wince slightly at the brutality the Warlock put into the pull. Lorenzo’s eyes shinned dark with hatred and something else… a far away look. It was almost like he wasn’t seeing Alec but was seeing someone else.
“Count them,” Lorenzo demanded. They had forced his mother to do that; would only be fitting the Shadowhunter got a taste of what she had been forced to endure all those years ago!
Alec tried to swallow but his month had gone too dry. His eyes shone hatred at the Warlock but he kept his end of the bargain, thinking only of Magnus. He wouldn’t struggle, he would do whatever it took. He hated the other man for adding embarrassment to injury. He forced his emotions back and looked him in the eye, the hate shining there now almost matching Lorenzo’s.
“One,” Alec said, his voice slightly hoarse from his earlier scream. His back was throbbing painfully and he could feel blood staring to flow out from the wounds. He tried not to wonder how many hits Lorenzo had in mind for him. He convinced himself it was better not knowing. He just had to get through this hit, then the next. It was just like his earlier punishments and this one wasn’t even that bad. There wasn’t any guilt on Alec’s part mixed into this. Whenever his parents or instructors had punished him he had always felt guilty over failing them or not being good enough. He was relieved he didn’t have that to consider here at least.
Alec’s hatred fueled Lorenzo’s who let go of his hair and returned to strike him again, even harder, painting new bloody trails across the man’s back, a hint of satisfaction crossed his face as the force of the blow forced another pained gasp from the Shadowhunter and caused him to momentarily lose his footing and his grip on the wall. The sight made him flashback to his mother’s frail form, bleeding, cruised, as the Shadowhunters had positively glowed with righteous determination while they had forced Lorenzo to watch on his knees, helpless.
Alec gasped for breath; damn, Lorenzo had some upper body strength that rivalled any he had felt in any previous punishment he had endured. He managed to regain his original position, fighting to breathe. In an attempt to keep his scream in he had bit his lower lip and he was now tasting blood on his tongue. “Two,” Alec forced out through flashed teeth. His back was already feeling like it was on fire.
Each time Lorenzo hit him it felt like he hit harder, pulled away more flesh, drawing more blood. Alec’s conviction to stay silent was soon lost as each hit drew a pained gasp and then full-blown screams from his bruised lips. The blood on his back was warm and sticky, the pain creating a haze around his eyes. He was having increasingly more difficulty getting back into the position against the wall after each hit managed to knock him further and further down until he fell to his knees when he finally gasped, “Twenty.”
How many more hits was there? Surely there couldn’t be many more, Alec thought. He fought himself back painfully, slowly, to his feet and back against the wall, needing the support having his hands there gave him. Blood was running down his back and down his legs. He suddenly felt a familiar wave of fear, concern and panic. Jace. He had forgotten about their bond. He tried his best to send reassuring feelings back before effectively shutting his brother out. It wasn’t the first time he had managed to shut Jace out during a punishment but this time more than ever his brother couldn’t share in this; if Jace knew what was happening he would stop it and Alec couldn’t let him. He had to save Magnus, no matter the cost.
The world shifted and dissolved. All that was left was this blow and then the next, counting each one. The pain flooded his brain, blinding his vision. His back quickly became a crisscross of open wounds, bleeding and swelling until there wasn’t any part of his back where the skin hadn’t been painted with agonizing lines of fire. Occasionally the whip fell on his buttocks and upper legs. He had desperately hoped, wanted, his pants to offer some kind of protection but that hope was short-lived as the metal edges on the whip, and in particular the spikes on it, easily tore through the material and dug into flesh. He wasn’t aware that tears were running down his cheeks and that he was now screaming loudly with each blow. He wasn’t aware of the blood, sweat and tears covering his body, fighting to stay alert, fighting to stay upright after each hit made him fall to his knees.
“Thirty,” Alec got out, his voice barely audible. He stumbled to his knees, trying to stay upright, fighting and losing. Suddenly Alec felt a tight grip in his hair as Lorenzo pulled his head back. Alec forced himself to look up at his tormentor, his eyes unfocused, glassy, filled with a mixture of agony and hatred.
“Stay with me, Shadowhunter. We are not even halfway,” Lorenzo hissed, lost in his own painful memories. In front of him wasn’t Alec, it was his mother’s tormenters, it was all his tormentors. All his pain, loss and despair personified into this very moment.
“…ca…n’t,” Alec gasped, his voice raw and hoarse from screaming as he tried to stand but fell back to his knees again. His body was alive with agony. Blood was running freely from his back, over his buttocks and down his legs, making his skin feel sticky and aching even where the whip hadn’t touched him. The floor beneath him was a sticky mess of blood, covering his hands and knees. He hadn’t even registered it; hadn’t seen that the wall he had clung to for support were covered with handprints of blood from where he had tried to hold on. Not even halfway! Alec thought with horror as he heard what the Warlock had said. He doubted he could survive it; his body was on fire already. Was Lorenzo trying to kill him?
“We can’t have that, now can we?” Lorenzo used magic to get Alec back to his feet, holding him back in position against the wall. Alec was weirdly grateful for the invisible restraints on his wrists that forced him upright and pressed against the wall – the pull on his wrists from his acing body was immense but at least he had some relief, some help in keep going, keep staying in place. He was annoyed with himself for almost feeling thankful for Lorenzo’s small mercy. He momentarily forgot why it was so important to endure this until memories of Magnus flooded his pain-filled brain and determination filled him. He could do this.
By the time Alec forced out “Fifty,” his voice was so low Lorenzo could barely hear him. The Warlock was gasping for breath and sweating almost as much as Alec, putting all his hatred, fear and contentment into each hit.
He couldn’t endure this any longer. Alec fought to stay awake, but the pain had become an unbearable agony, begging for release in blissful darkness. Lorenzo must have noticed because suddenly he felt the Warlock’s hand under his chin, examining his face. Alec tried to focus, trying to give a brave face but he was certain he just looked like the broken mess he felt like.
“There’s no point if you can’t feel it. Let me help with that,” Lorenzo said in a minister tone, using his magic to give Alec’s body an adrenaline shot, waking up all his senses to feel the pain anew and forbidding him the release of darkness. Alec forced down a scream as pain washed over him again, knowing now that there would be no release. He fought to think of Magnus, the reason he was doing this but thinking of his lover at a time like this felt wrong, dirty somehow. Instead he tried to remember his training – he had to go on. There was no going back – failure was not an option.
The words were mumbled, weak, but Lorenzo understood them. They took a little of the hatred away with the courage in them but only a little. “Halfway,” he said shortly. 100 lashes. That is what they had given his mother. It had been over the cause of two days, but she had suffered through them all, her, a Mundane. It had been blissful release from the constant agony when the flames had claimed her.
Halfway. Alec sank with despair and fear gripped his heart. He already felt the worst agony he could recall having felt in a very long time. How would he survive another fifty? A determined look crossed his face. He would bear it. He had to. That was all there was to it. He would bear it because it had to be done.
Chapter 3 coming soon
Chapter 3: Relief
Alec's torment finally ends but Lorenzo makes two additional demands on his help which have severe consequences. Luckily, Catarina is there to help.
The torture is very graphic so skip the first half of this chapter if you want to jump to the healing part. I was going to be even more detailed (I have been doing some research on the impact of a punishment like this on a human body) but decided to leave it vague but this is vague for me and likely very detailed for most people so be warned!
Anything else I should warn about? Don't think so except that you can expect Lorenzo’s two additional demands to have severe consequences for the remaining fic. And again - ship over the remaining of the torture scene if you don't want to read it.
Thanks to the ever amazing Cynthia Russell for quick and awesome beta. Any remaining mistakes are mine.
For Alec the world had dissolved into nothing but pain, awaiting the next lashing, saying a number and awaiting the next one. He had started to lose count, the world having dissolved into a haze of blood and agony, resulting in Lorenzo having to say the number for Alec to then repeat it. He started to forget why he was enduring this, why some magical force had him up against the wall. His body screamed for release, for oblivion, but magic prevented him from blanking out. His whole body was a mess of pain and sticky fluids – sweat and blood everywhere. He had lost control of his body and had disappeared into a whirlwind of pain and terror inside his own mind; lost in the agony and the knowledge that his torment would only increase with each passing moment as he awaited the next hit. Everything was hurting; it hurt to just breathe, his eyes had black and white spots dancing in front of them, his whole body ached horribly. If he had been in slightly less pain he might have become aware that the magic holding him by the wrists was so strong his wrists were a bloody and bruised mess as the weight of his body had become a deadweight, making his shoulders dangerously close to being pulled out of their sockets. Everything had stopped making sense; time didn’t exist. Nothing existed but surviving the agony of the stroke and awaiting the next one, knowing it would fall yet praying ever so feverishly that it wouldn’t.
“Nine…nine…” Alec tried to speak, his voice hoarse and barely auditable. He had to say something, a number. Why? What did he have to say? If he hadn’t been so out of it he would have started to worry that the blood loss was making him delirious, a clear warning sign he had not only reached the edge of his endurance but had stepped far over it.
“A hundred,” a voice came from somewhere, angry, harsh…out of breath. “Say it!”
“Hund….red,” Alec mumbled weakly, obeying the order on instinct, unsure the words were heard. His throat was aching and rough from screaming, having reduced his voice to a bare whisper. His vision had blurred, he could only see shapes and outlines. His back, buttocks and thighs hurt like they were on fire. Were they on fire? Was he on fire? It felt like it. He wanted to turn his head to look but something told him he shouldn’t; he couldn’t. Why couldn’t he move? Why shouldn’t he move? What was happening? He gave a surprised and painful yell when the magic holding him suddenly dissolved and he sank ungracefully to the floor, gasping for air as stars and dots blinked in front of his eyes. He half lay/half knelt in a pool of his own torment, blood from the floor making every part of his body even more bloody than it already was. He had landed on his side and quickly found it was the better option; even a small attempt to sit up had him yell out loud as pain flooded through him when his abused skin and open wounds made contact with the floor. He had been punished before where he had been denied passing out, the pain stopping just in time to ease him off the edge before pushing forward again. But he had never before endured the pain full on, constantly, without being able to find release in darkness. He tried to draw breath and felt his breathing was shallow, shaky and weak, his lungs felt like they were burning. Another ragged breath told him that his ribs were at the very least bruised, making each breath even more painful than it already was.
“It’s done.” The voice was soft, coming from somewhere. For a moment Alec wasn’t sure who was speaking, his eyes on the floor as he tried to force the dots and spots away so he could see properly. He fought to make any coherent thought but it was difficult, the pain blinding him in every sense of the word. A hand on his chin lifted his face up so he could see the Warlock and looking at him helped some of his memory return. The look in the older man’s face wasn’t entirely unkind which puzzled him.
“…’one?” Alec got out, hopeful. Would the pain finally end? Was it finally over?
The deed done Lorenzo felt his anger had disappeared with it, the sheer physical power of delivering the punishment making him mentally and physically exhausted. He knew the Shadowhunter didn’t deserve his pity, Lilith knew none had been offered to his mother and him, yet he allowed himself to soften just the slightest. He nodded but then added, “I will come by the infirmary in the morning and help Magnus but only if you follow these two rules – you must heal the Mundane way, no healing rune, and you can’t ever tell Magnus what happened here.”
Alec was in too much pain to register the precautions of the latter condition but healing the Mundane way….he had only done that once before after his father’s partially brutal punishment and he remembered the healing process to be slow and agonizingly painful. Alec got a resolved look in his eyes; never mind that now. He would survive. All that matters was Magnus. He nodded or at least tried to but he was in too much pain to complete the movement.
“Say it!” The harsh words echoed off the walls, making Alec instinctively flinch.
“Y…yes,” Alec got out.
Lorenzo released his hold on him and stood up. Alec tried to get to his feet but couldn’t and had to stay put, gasping heavily for breath, more sweat appearing on his forehead. His hands were sticky with blood and as he tried to wipe his forehead, blood got smeared over his face as well. He wondered how he would possibly get back to the Institute; as soon as Lorenzo no longer used magic to prevent him from passing out he was certain he would collapse right away. As if aware of his thoughts Lorenzo used magic to help him up and stay in an upright position, his feet floating a few inches off the floor. Finally facing out into the room and away from the wall Alec was both relieved and disappeared would he couldn’t see the instrument Lorenzo had used to beat him with. He must have conjured it up and gotten rid of it when the deed was done.
The way the young Shadowhunter fought to keep himself somewhat upright inside his magic grip despite the pain, sweat, tears and blood made Lorenzo’s anger disappear a little. He reached for and found Alec’s steele inside his discarded shirt. It felt like forever for both of them since Alec had taken it off but it had only been a little more than an hour. Lorenzo forced it into Alec’s weak right hand, closing his own over it to ensure Alec wouldn’t lose his grip on the instrument.
“Activate the Stamina rune and keep it active– it should help you keep up appearances,” Lorenzo tried to say it matter of fact. Alec’s angel blood would help him heal quicker even when done the Mundane way – he had to remind himself that this was a greater kindness than his mother had ever gotten. He avoided the Shadowhunter’s eyes; he didn’t want to admit that the weakness in Alec’s hand as he tried to find the specific rune on his broken and bloodied body sent a wave of shame through him. Even though his back was the worst, the whip had wrapped itself around him from the back, which meant that there were bloody lines on his ribs and sides, leaving only the middle of his chest and stomach untouched.
Sweat was in Alec’s eyes, the agony making his brain fuzzy. He couldn’t find the correct rune, his hand around the instrument weak and shaky and he would have lost his grip on it if not for Lorenzo’s hand covering his own.
Lorenzo had spent quite some time studying his enemy, getting to know their weaknesses. He managed to identify the correct rune on Alec for him, even though it was now broken apart by bloody welts. He guided Alec’s hand to it and it activated when the steele passed over it. The rune combined with Lorenzo’s magic meant that Alec instantly seemed to shake some of the haze, the pain had sent him into, off him and all his senses seemed to sharpen. Unfortunately, his reawakened senses also meant the intense pain in his body hit him again full force, making him hiss in agony. The deed done Lorenzo unclasped his hold on Alec and his arm fell limp back at his side, the young man unable to contain a whimper of pain at even this small movement. Lorenzo put the steele on a nearby table. He then used his free hand to open a portal, still holding Alec magically in the air with the other, blood dripping from his feet onto the floor of the apartment. It mixed into the other bloody fluids on the floor, creating a gruesome pattern of agony and torment. Alec was suddenly happy this was no longer Magnus’ place, their place. He wasn’t sure he would ever be able to set foot here ever again.
“It’s for the infirmary in the Institute,” Lorenzo said simply as Alec gave him a questioning look as he saw the portal.
Alec tried to not show his relief and gratitude but it must have showed because Lorenzo looked uncomfortable and quickly he magically pushed Alec through the portal. Alec landed hard on the hospital floor in front of Magnus’ bed in the infirmary, gasping for air, tears of pain staining his eyes, making them even more red and puffy than they already were. His eyes went to Magnus’ bed at once and saw he was still unconscious, looking so frail in the large bed. The sight filled him with love, fear and determination; this was why he had done this and for Magnus no sacrifice would ever be too large. Reassured that for now at least Magnus was alright, or as alright as he could be till Lorenzo came, he relaxed enough to focus on himself. Finally alone and now sure Magnus wouldn’t be able to hear him, he finally allowed himself to let out a muffled cry of pain. He registered with some surprise that his steele landed beside his feet and briefly wondered why the Warlock hadn’t kept it as a token of his victory. When the portal closed behind him the room was only broken by his tears and pained breaths, blood now dripping onto the floor he was sitting on. He tried to find as comfortable a position as possible but everything hurt. He drew a breath of shock, his vision blurring and he let out a loud scream of pure torment as he visibly felt it when Lorenzo’s magic left him, leaving him barely conscious.
“What in the world!” Catarina Loss gasped in surprise and shock as she saw the young Shadowhunter. She had sensed the magical disturbance and as she had gotten closer she had heard the pained sounds. She could barely recognize the young archer; he was lying on the floor, blood everywhere, gasping for air, tears in his eyes. His shirt was gone and his back was a bloody mess of crisscrossed welts, wounds, bruises and cuts. It was hard to tell where else he was injured as he had blood everywhere; stains on his face, hands, even on his pants or what was left of them…In short, he looked horrible and on the edge of passing out.
“’ tarina,” Alec mumbled, weakly reaching out a hand for her but quickly had to let it fall down to support himself against the floor to prevent himself from falling, wincing in pain the movement had caused him. He hated his weakness but right now any friendly face was a relief. She rushed to his side, reaching out a hand to touch his shoulder, trying to touch him in a place with the least apparent injuries. Despite her carefully chosen spot and feather light touch she could fell his body tense under her fingers and saw the unwanted flicker of fear in his eyes, his body instinctively pulling away in fear of more pain. She gave a worried look at this, knowing it meant healing would have to include a mental component as well.
“Where’s your….steele?” Catarina questioned, worry in her voice. She had never forgiven or trusted any Shadowhunter as quickly as Magnus had but she had warmed to the lover of her old friend and seeing him like this was tearing at her heart. As she spoke the question she saw the metal instrument lying beside his broken body.
Alec shook his head, wincing at the pain it caused him. “No!” He got out through clashed teeth. She was surprised that he managed to catch her hand before she made contact with the small instrument. She gave him a confused look but his grip around her wrist was surprisingly strong, his eyes clouded in pain but determined. “Can’t….”
Why in the world would he refuse using the healing rune? Maybe this was some weird Shadowhunter thing. She had always been told they used very extreme methods to get such great fighters out of what was essentially kids.
“Magic?” She questioned but Alec gave a small shake. She let out a frustrated sigh as she could see each breath, each movement caused him pain. She guessed he had used his Stamina rune; else he would surely had passed out already. “Well, at least let me patch you up the Mundane way then,” she said with a hint of annoyance in her voice, masking her care and worry.
Alec nodded weakly in gratitude and she used magic to help him float towards an empty hospital bed standing against the same wall as Magnus’ bed, maneuvering him in the air so he laid on his stomach. Even though his back had taken the blunt of the assault the soft sheets still touched painful welts which had wrapped themselves over his shoulders, around his ribs, torso and thighs. He let out a small whimper of pain.
“Shh…This will help,” Catarina said softly and Alec had a short moment of panic as he saw a needle in her hand – he was terrified of needles, as a Shadowhunter he had never before used Mundane medicine but had heard horror stories of how barbaric it was. However, the panic was short-lived as Catarina expertly found a vein in his arm and sank in the needle. The pain from the needle was so tiny compared to the agony his body was in that he barely felt it. Then, within seconds his eyelids started to flutter as darkness started to close around the edges of his eyes.
“han….k…u,” Alec mumbled as he gratefully let himself sink into oblivion, finally free of the pain.
* * * *
Alec was awaken by sharp pain flowing through his body, like fire spreading from his back and into his shoulders, ribs, buttocks and thighs. His skin felt like it was in flames, his nerve endings raw and exposed. He moaned in pain.
“Hi, hi. Take it easy,” Catarina was next to him, speaking softly. He was still on his front, his face turned to the side. She bent down so they were eye to eye. With a mother’s softness she wiped a tear away from Alec’s cheek he hadn’t realized he had shed.
“Hurts…” Alec mumbled, hating himself for admitting it.
“I know, honey, but I can’t give you more Morphine right now. I expect you have never had any before so we have to go slow as I am not sure how Mundane medicine reacts to angel blood,” her voice was filled with sympathy.
Alec tried to hide his disappointment and would have nodded he understood if not for the pain cursing through his spine made him stop. Now that the ordeal was over and the adrenaline of it all had faded the agony was stronger, more forceful and persistent.
“Try and lie still,” Catarina advised. “I put your steele on the side table in the event you get your senses back and decide to use a healing rune.” She really hoped he did; why stay in such excruciating pain when he didn’t need to be? Alec’s closed face and the hard look in his eyes told her that that wasn’t gonna happen. She sighed unhappily before explaining what had happened while he had been unconscious. “I have cleaned you up and given you some clean sweat pants to wear.” Seeing his alarmed look she added, “Magically; I never touched you. Never worry.” He visible relaxed; the idea of his body again being at the mercy of another person was not something he felt ready to face just yet. “I have cleaned, sewed and bandaged your back and the worst welts. You had two broken ribs and several bruised ones. Whoever did this to you must have had superhuman strength!”
Or just magic to help him along, Alec thought darkly. Catarina gave him a reassuring smile. “The next few days will be difficult but I am mostly concerned that some of the deeper cuts might get infected so it’s important you let me clean and care for the wounds carefully.”
“’K,” Alec got out through bruised lips.
“Here,” she held out a small container with ice cubes, putting one carefully into his month. The ice felt like heaven. The water helping him as he suddenly discovered he felt parched. Compared to all the other agonizing feelings his body was screaming at him he hadn’t noticed it before now.
“’…ore,” He whispered and she fed him another.
“Slowly, little at a time,” she instructed. They sat in silence for a while as she fed him more ice. She asked if he needed to pee but Alec embarrassed recalled he had lost control of his body during the ordeal and mumbled in the negative, blushing furiously.
“Do you want to talk about it?” she asked him finally, sitting by the edge of the bed. Her movements were slow and gentle, like you might be with a frightened animal.
“No,” he said hoarsely. He never wanted to talk about it. He had done what needed to be done. Lorenzo had gotten the price he wanted and Magnus would be saved. Life could go on. There was nothing more to say.
“You should tell Magnus,” Catarina advised. Keeping secrets between lovers was always a bad idea, in particular keeping them from a man like Magnus who had been hurt and betrayed before. He would likely not see this omission of the truth as a kindness but would be more likely to see it as a betrayal.
Alec looked at her with piercing eyes. “NO! And neither can you. Promise me!” She was once again surprised at how hard a grip he had managed to get on her wrist considering his weakened state but his eyes held fear – more fear than she would have thought a Shadowhunter capable of showing. But not fear for himself; fear of losing Magnus.
“Alec, Warlocks are very territorial and possessive towards people they care for. Magnus wouldn’t take kindly to not knowing that someone had done this to you. He would need to know.” It hang unspoken between them that he would want to know so he could take revenge but that was out of the question. Not only was the deal made but Magnus was without his powers now; going up against Lorenzo would be suicide. Furthermore, Alec feared what Lorenzo might do if he broke their deal.
“No. Promise me!” Alec persisted.
Catarina sighed, only giving in because she saw how truly afraid he looked at the prospect of Magnus knowing. She briefly wondered if this was because he as a Shadowhunter didn’t want to or maybe more likely couldn’t admit to having been hurt in this manner? Yet that didn’t seem right as he had no problems showing the fear in his eyes to her now. Something wasn’t right about this whole situation.
“Ok, I won’t tell him.” She gave in mostly to get him to relax and ease his grip on her; such excitement wasn’t good for him in his weakened state.
Alec visibly relaxed, released his hold on her and laid his head back on the pillow. “How’s Magnus?” He asked. He could barely make out the other hospital bed from his line of vision.
“He should wake up soon,” Catarina reassured him as she looked at Magnus with a fond smile on her lips.
A wake of panic hit Alec; he couldn’t see him like this. He gripped her wrist again in panic, his eyes tearing into hers. “Promise me you will get me upright before he wakes up!”
Catarina looked at him in disbelief, getting annoyed with his tendency to hold onto her when he should be resting and healing! “I will do no such thing! You are in no condition to be on your feet.”
“Give me any drugs you can think of or use any magic you know… that doesn’t include healing,” he added that part when she gave him a hopeful look which soon disappeared at his words, “Do whatever it takes but get me upright before he wakes up!” Alec persisted, his voice desperate and pleading.
Catarina looked down at him stubbornly, defiantly. No way was she helping him weaken his body further. It went against all her medical training. Alec softened his gaze, his eyes beseeching, his voice begging. He released his grip on her wrist, suddenly aware that he in his panic had held her wrist hard enough to leave marks. “Do it for Magnus. Please. Do it as if his life depends on it…. For it does.”
Catarina looked shocked at him. What in the world? She glanced at Magnus lying in the other hospital bed. The man had saved her life; she owned him everything. If this was true, and from Alec’s look of urgency and desperation, the way his whole body seemed to be pleading with her, she was sure it was…she had no choice.
Even though her medical oath screamed at her in protest, her loyalty to Magnus won out. “I will help you.”
Chapter 4 coming soon
Chapter 4: The lie
Alec and Catarina come up with a lie that will ensure Alec can stay in the infirmary without anyone knowing what happened.
Thanks much to Cynthia Russell for amazing and quick beta. All remaining errors are my own.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“I have everything I need right here!” Magnus yelled angrily, defiantly but with a hint of despair after Lorenzo as he had lost his magic again, for the second time. He let Alec pull him close, his mind in too much pain to register the turmoil inside his lover, the small tremors running through his body, the force of sheer will it took him to stay upright and not cry out in pain at even his lover’s touch. Without his magic Magnus felt useless, defenseless, naked and out of touch. He had never before been without his magic; he had never been mortal before. Losing both his magic and facing mortality… It was close to breaking him. He tried to pull strength from Alec, figuratively and literately as he clung to his body. If he had had his magic he would have felt Catarina’s magic surrounding Alec, helping keeping him on his feet but as it was he didn’t.
Lorenzo looked at the two men, Magnus now facing away from him as if he could no longer stand to look at him. Alec gave him a not so well-hidden murderous look over his lover’s head but there was hint of fear beneath it, his body and mind still vividly remembering the agony he had brought him. The young Shadowhunter was still here, still fighting for Magnus. Lorenzo had thought surely it couldn’t be real – no Shadowhunter could love that selfishly. Yet there he was….Alec had nothing now to gain by standing by Magnus and everything to lose. Magnus had lost his powers, his influence…yet the Clave would still consider him a Downworlder. Alec was risking exile, de-runing, losing his position, everything he had worked for, everything it meant to be a Shadowhunter. Yet he stayed, his arms protectively around the older Warlock. By instinct Alec seemed to try to move his body as a shield to stand between Magnus and Lorenzo as best as he could despite his weakened state and the flicker of fear he tried so hard to control; neither of which he had managed to hide as well from Lorenzo as he had hoped.
Lorenzo had gotten his revenge and had managed to break not only his enemy but his angel had broken too, had surrendered to the punishment he had inflected willingly. He should be happy, satisfied, but instead Lorenzo just felt a sense of emptiness, of loss. Could he possibly have been wrong? Not about the Clave and Shadowhunters in general mind you but…he glanced at Alec, seeing his struggle to remain strong, to keep his end of the bargain for Magnus despite clearly being in agonizing pain…could he possibility have misjudged Alec? As Lorenzo walked out the door he was the High Warlock, he had his magic, he had Magnus’s apartment and he had gotten his revenge….yet he felt all the poorer for it compared to the love and tenderness he saw between Alec and Magnus as they embraced each other as if for dear life. Could he have misjudged the situation? Could he have been that wrong? Was he….he didn’t want to think it but the thought was there….had he become like them, like the spiteful and hate-filled Shadowhunters who had hurt his mother so horribly and scared him for life…had he turned into his own worst enemy? He walked out of the infirmary absentmindedly with a foul taste in his mouth, his mind refusing to grant him the peace he sought as his thoughts kept spiraling out of control, making him relive every moment he had spent with the brave young Shadowhunter and he started to realize…he hadn’t broken either Magnus nor Alec. In fact, despite his struggles and denials, he was starting to realize he was the one falling apart and he was starting to wish he could put everything back together.
Magnus hugged his young lover close as if he was a life raft in a dangerous and unknown sea. If he hadn’t been so depressed, if he hadn’t been so devastated and out of touch with himself, he would have noticed how Alec flinched as he held him tight, he would have noticed the small gasp of pain drawn from his lips. As it was he didn’t notice nor did he notice Catarina hovering nervously just behind them, while keep glancing at Alec.
Alec pulled back from the embrace, fighting the pain, fighting to stay on his feet, fighting to look at Magnus with nothing but love in his eyes. He was endlessly grateful for Catarina and her magic, for his Stamina rune, for the drugs she had given him for without that he would have passed out long ago.
Alec reached out a hand to stroke the older man’s cheek, the love and tenderness, the pure undisputed happiness he felt at seeing his lover back on his feet, alive and well, pushed all the pain aside if only for a moment. “I love you,” he whispered hoarsely.
Magnus reached up a hand to stroke Alec’s cheek. “I love you too,” he said, the words true but the love not enough to ease the feeling of loss from his magic. He wanted Alec to be enough – he had given his magic for Jace without hesitation. No, not for Jace but for Alec and he would do it again. Yet, he couldn’t deny this agony he felt, this emptiness, this loss. What if Alec wasn’t enough? His eyes were determined as he fought to convince himself that Alec would be enough. He would simply make their love enough for him. Somehow…
“Alec!” Jace’s voice rang through the infirmary, his eyes desperately searching for his parabatai. One of his hands were holding onto Clary, afraid to leave her alone for a minute until this whole situation with her brother could be resolved. She looked worried but a smile lit her lips as she saw Magnus back on his feet.
“Biscuit!” Magnus gave Clary a big hug as soon as Alec and he broke apart. Her light washed over him and drove some of his darkness away. Clary had always been a bright spot for the Warlock and somehow she was easier for him to relax around for she had not been the one he had sacrificed everything for. He knew it was unfair to feel like this but it was true nonetheless.
Jace came to stand in front of his brother, having let go of Clary to allow her to hug Magnus but he still glanced at her from time to time to be sure she was safe. The action wasn’t lost on Alec who smiled a little; his parabatai was the ultimate soldier and the ultimate protector. Clary would be well taken care of with Jace by her side.
Jace gave Alec a piercing look which made Alec lower his eyes to the floor. Damn, he hoped he hadn’t given anything away. He couldn’t let Jace know; he would likely want to murder Lorenzo with his bare hands no matter what Alec would say regarding how it would jeopardize the deal and thus Magnus’s life.
“Are you alright?” Jace asked worried, scanning his body for injuries. He couldn’t see anything wrong but Alec was wearing all black, covering his whole body, like normal. He had learned the hard way that not seeing obvious injuries on his brother didn’t by far mean he was ok and he had also learned that the more Alec would insist he was alright the less chance that he was in fact alright.
Alec nodded, regretting doing so when the action brought a wince of pain to his face. He kept his eyes lowered, afraid looking into his brother’s eyes would betray his secret. His eyes had always been annoyingly expressive and they had betrayed him before in the past, showing emotions he hadn’t wanted others to see he had. “Yes.”
“I felt a flash of pain yesterday and then you closed the bond,” Jace questioned, not believing him but wanting to as his mind was afire with worry for Clary. He had meant what he had said earlier; to him Clary was worth everything, anything. He felt bad feeling like this but from the moment he had laid eyes on Clary nothing else had mattered – not even his parabatai. He had put Clary above and before everything and anything. He felt bad thinking it, saying it. As the Owl he had almost killed Alec and they had never really talked about it. Jace was good at not thinking about it – his primary focus to get Clary back – and Alec had never expected anything but then he never did. Alec had forgiven him for what happened while his body had been laying beneath his, being broken and bruised, while he as the Owl had slowly, agonizingly slowly, pierced his skin with his own arrow. And yet, even then, Alec had looked up at Jace with eyes filled with love, forgiveness, sadness and loss, angry at himself for failing him but never once angry with Jace. Alec was almost never angry with Jace even though Jace knew he often deserved it.
“Sorry. I just needed to be alone with my feelings,” Alec lied, avoiding the other’s eyes but lifting his head looking at a spot on the wall behind Jace where Magnus and Clary were talking, laughter and joy in their voices which warmed his heart. “With Magnus and all…” he trailed off. As lies went this one was particularly bad but Jace gave him a reassuring smile, buying the lie because he wanted to believe it, he needed to believe it so he could focus on Clary.
“It’s ok. Just remember to take care of yourself.” Even when he said it Jace knew it was silly to say because if there was one thing Alec was bad at it was taking care of himself. He was, however, great at taking care of everyone else.
“Of course.” The answer was too quick but Jace nodded in relief. He drew Alec into a hug, surprised when he heard a small gasp of pain escape the other man’s lips. His eyes were questioning when they drew apart but Alec shook his head or would have but a pained grimace stopped him.
“I slept in a bad position by Magnus’s bed,” Alec lied.
Jace nodded, again knowing deep down it wasn’t true but wanting to believe it was. Clary needed him and to be able to focus on her he had to convince himself that his parabatai was alright and therefore he did…he believed it with an intensity that you can only feel when you cling to lies.
* * * * * *
Izzy and Simon also dropped by to welcome Magnus back, the infirmary now alive with warm hugs and greetings. Only Catarina and Alec were apprehensive, trying hard not to show impatience. It took what felt like forever before Alec thought it would be alright if he snuck out, saying a lame excuse about an important Clave meeting. Magnus looked a little puzzled at him, a hint of hurt in his eyes but let him go after a quick kiss.
Each step towards his office felt like trial by fire but Alec made it, sweat staining his brow and his legs visibly shaking from the effort. He made it to his desk and leaned heavily against it, using it as support, his head bowed as he drew deep breaths, trying to get enough air.
“Now, that was royally stupid!” Catarina hid her worry and concern behind anger as she came up behind him, opening and closing the door behind her using magic. She almost reached for him in concern when she saw the sweat on his forehead and his pained breathing but stopped herself; she knew every part of his body had to feel like it was on fire and even the lightest touch would hurt like Hell. She was amazed he had withstood the hugs from Magnus and Jace without breaking down but she had quickly come to realize that the young Shadowhunter was nothing if not resilient – and apparently not a stranger to pain, she thought with a sympathetic wince.
“…Thanks,” Alec mumbled weakly, giving a small smile which quickly turned into a grimace. “Painkillers?” he asked hopefully.
She was already way ahead of him and had taken out a syringe from the small bag she was holding. She had prefilled it, just waiting to get Alec alone so she could use it.
“This might hurt a little,” she warned as she drew closer with the needle. Alec gave her a deadpan look and she looked sheepishly away from his gaze; this pain was nothing compared to the pain he was already in. He hissed as the needle dug into the side of his neck, one of the few places on his body which were free from wounds. She quickly emptied it and pulled it out. She looked at him worriedly; he looked like Death itself, almost swaying on his feet even though he was holding on to the table and even though her spell was helping him stay upright. Even that and the rune Lorenzo had had him active wasn’t enough to keep him going.
“You are going to have to come to the infirmary,” Catarina said firmly, her mind made up. She couldn’t keep helping him prolong his agony. Not only did it mean she was helping inflict pain but it could jeopardize his recovery.
Alec shook his head stubbornly, his eyes flashing with pain at the movement but determination won out, his lips pressed together in a stubborn thin line.
“I know Lorenzo did this to you,” she said, ignoring his shocked and fearful expression. “Don’t worry; I promised I won’t tell and I won’t. I love Magnus too and I know what would happen if you broke your end of the deal.” If he did Lorenzo would break off the deal and Magnus was back where he started; dying.
“Then you know that’s impossible,” Alec managed to get out. Why were the drugs taking so long to work? He thought, frustrated.
“I gave you morphine last night. Your angelic genes are fighting the efforts of it now that it has been introduced to your body. It will take a few more minutes to kick in,” Catarina explained, guessing his thoughts from the agonizing look in his eyes. She briefly considered guiding him to sit down but that would likely hurt his back and buttocks more. He really should be in the infirmary, on IVs and lying on his stomach so he hurt as little as possible and certainly not walking around.
“Ohhhh,” Alec let out a surprised and almost happy sound and smiled a little as the morphine finally kicked in. The tension left his body and he almost dropped to the floor despite everything trying to keep him upright. He managed to catch himself and was able to turn and face Catarina fully, his back now to the desk.
“Wow….th…that’s good stuff,” Alec got out, smiling goofily at her, sounding drunk.
Catarina suddenly now more than ever understood what Magnus saw in this Shadowhunter; he was like a diamond in a glass box – strong yet ever so fragile.
“There must be a way to get you to the infirmary without anyone knowing about….what happened,” Catarina said out loud, finding it hard to talk about his torture; feeling almost as if his pain were her own. How did Shadowhunters normally get hurt? She lit up when an idea came to her.
“I know!” she exclaimed and her loud voice made him give her his full attention despite the drugs overall making his attention fleeting. “How about we say we went for a walk….for coffee or something,” seeing his disbelieving face she added, “Fine, then for a patrol or I had to check the protective wardings and you went with me to protect me,” she could easily protect herself in her opinion but she knew this aspect would appeal to the young Shadowhunter’s protective and self-sacrificing nature. As she had guessed his face showed approval at this last suggested lie so she figured they should go with that, “Anyway, we went outside and got attacked by demons. We fought them off but you got injured.”
Alec tried to focus but it was hard. Were there stars glowing around her face? He tried to catch one but his hand only caught empty air in front of her face. She looked questioning at him but as a medical professional she knew what the drugs were doing to him and ‘happy drunk’ Alec was better than ‘about to pass out at any moment from agony’ Alec.
“Yes…could work,” Alec agreed, his voice slurred from the drugs. “But if I got injured…how did I get injured?” He sounded seriously puzzled and looked at himself. He didn’t seem injured though there was this weird constant pain at the back of his mind, trying to force its way forward but he didn’t let it. He didn’t want to remember it.
“Damn!” She hadn’t thought of that. It wouldn’t really seem plausible that they would have been attacked and somehow Alec ended up with wounds and cuts from a lashing which would have taken considerable time to deliver. There was only one option and she winced even as she knew what it was.
“You will have to have another injury,” she said softly, a pained look in her eyes. This went against her medical training and everything in her was screaming to her that this was wrong but she couldn’t see any other way. To save Magnus, to save Alec….there was no other way. In that moment Catarina had never hated another Warlock as much as she hated Lorenzo.
“I need another injury,” Alec repeated, tasting the words, his drugged mind fighting to make sense of them. Another injury….the words sobered him up somehow. So he was already injured….Another injury…so no one would question why he was in the infirmary…a fairly severe one. And something which could be explained as needing Mundane healing. He locked eyes with Catarina and knew her thoughts had gone the same way.
“Bite or knife wound….infected with demon venom,” Catarina said slowly, remembering what she knew of Shadowhunters and their weaknesses. One should always know ones enemies and many a time over her long life they had been just that. Such wounds she knew would require Shadowhunters to heal the Mundane way.
Alec nodded in agreement, hoping the pain the movement flashed through his damaged but drugged system would clear his head a bit further.
“Knife wound,” Alec concluded – a bite wound would be too difficult to mimic. But it couldn’t just be any knife – it had to be a demon knife, long and sharp, almost like a small dagger.
Catarina nodded grimly, not liking this plan at all but there was no other way. At least when he was in the infirmary she could properly treat him. She made a hand movement and conjured up a demon dagger. The mere thought of injuring the young Shadowhunter almost brought her physical pain; she was a healer now, no longer a warrior. She had put that part of her life behind her.
Alec noticed her struggle and knew what she was thinking. She had sworn an oath to do no harm; how could he ask this of her? A determined look was in his eyes; he couldn’t and he wouldn’t. He took a deep breath, praying to the Angels he had enough strength left in his right arm to do this.
Before Catarina could react he had grabbed the dagger from her hand and before she managed to get much more than a surprised sound out he had plunged it into his right upper thigh with all the strength he could muster. The pain was blinding and white spots appeared before his eyes as he let out a yell of agony. He sank to the floor as his injured leg gave out under him, the agony overwhelming. He was both relieved and frustrated that he had had the strength he needed; the dagger was now buried in his thigh, going straight through, the edge of it sticking out on the other side of his leg. His drugged mind made him look with morbid fascination at the drops of blood polling around the edges of the wound where the knife stuck out. Weird…he had expected more blood.
Catarina managed to catch him as Alec started to fall, unbeknown to him sounds of pain was coming from his lips. She was unable to hold him up completely and he started to slip little by little towards the floor; the magic she was already using on him and had been using for some time starting to take its toll on her strength as she had already used magic to try and give him and Magnus the best care she could.
“Damn it!” Catarina mumbled, knowing it would hurt like hell when his backside would touch the floor. She knew what he had done for her and she was equally parts grateful and frustrated at him. Why did this Shadowhunter think he had to carry the weight of the entire world? How could he be this selfish? She had never met any Shadowhunter like that and she briefly wondered if he could be a changeling.
In her attempts to keep him from slipping completely to the floor her arms around his body had tightened and they now felt like fire, the dagger felt like fire, everything felt like fire. Alec bit his already bruised lip until it bleed to stop himself from screaming. He couldn’t let anyone hear him.
“That should do the trick. Can we now go to the infirmary?” she asked with more anger in her voice than she intended, her worry again making her lash out at him. She didn’t wait for his response, not sure he could respond judging from how much pain he was in. Instead she managed to barely balance his weight with one hand and quickly made a hand gesture with the other and opened a portal to the infirmary. She turned her full attention back to him and half supported/half dragged him through the portal with her. As she had just been in the infirmary she knew which room was empty and had taken Alec there. As soon as the portal closed behind them Catarina used her magic to let Alec fly to lie face down on the nearby bed. He gasped loudly in pain at the movement, finally free to voice his pain out loud. His hands found the bedsheets and he lashed hold of them as if for dear life, trying to distract himself by focusing on gripping them as tightly as possible.
“I can’t give you more Morphine just yet but I need to remove the dagger so I can clean, sew and close the wound,” Catarina warned him when she was at his bedside, looking at the wound. The dagger had sealed it fairly well; there was less blood loss than she had feared. She would have to deal with the wound the Mundane way as this was the wound they would use to show anyone else why he had to stay in the infirmary for the next few days. And after that…well, they would figure that out when they came to it because Alec needed a lot more both mentally and physically than a few days to heal from this.
Alec fought down the fear of the thought of even more pain but managed to control himself. Please, let it all be over soon, he prayed silently.
Not wanting him to wait any longer she pulled out the dagger in one quick motion, having prepared water, cloth, disinfections and other things she needed on the table next to Alec’s bedside. Alec screamed loudly as pure agony burned through his already weakened and bruised body before he mercifully passed out.
Catarina tried to work quickly to clean and close the wound; she was certain Jace would have felt Alec’s pain and if he were still at the Institute he would be here any moment. Luckily but unbeknownst to her Jace was busy trying to find a way to help get rid of the mark which bound Clary to her brother. While Jace had indeed felt the pain when the danger went into Alec the feeling of pain had disappeared instantly when Alec had passed out. As his parabatai rune stayed intact Jace had convinced himself Alec was fine….just fine. He knew it wasn’t true of course but he needed it to be true so he could focus on helping the woman he loved…the woman he would die for and the woman for whom he would let anyone die in order to protect. He tried to send calming and healing waves towards Alec through their bond before letting the matter slide from his mind, preoccupied with his current predicament with Clary and Sebastian.
Chapter 5 coming soon
If you like this story you will probably like my story 'Enemy of the State' so feel free to check that out if you wish. :)
Chapter 5: Lorenzo meets Andrew
Lorenzo is starting to think maybe he misjudged Alec. Meeting Andrew helps him further along on his road of self-discovery.
Thanks much as always to my very very hard-working beta Cynthia Russell. All remaining errors are my own.
So...did you guys remember that I told you I don't do black and white heroes or villains? And did you notice the tag about 'redemntion'? Hence here we are. If you want to jump to see what is going on with Magnus and Alec then you can go to the next chapter (when I post it); however, Lorenzo's journey will be affecting what is happening to Alec and thus between Alec and Magnus so just keep that in mind.
This chapter is for Justmymalec who really wanted another chapter so here you are, hon. Hope you like :)
Warnings: Lorenzo is in a dark place so this thing with Andrew has some darker undertones. Let's see...there are some control issues, very mild smut and mild D/s.
“Are you alright?” The voice of a young male Shadowhunter interrupted Lorenzo’s confused thoughts as he walked through the hallways of the NYI. He had wanted to steer towards the exits but his thoughts had distracted him so he honestly wasn’t quite sure where he was now. All the hallways looked the same to him.
Lorenzo turned to face the Shadowhunter, a forced smile on his lips. “Making sure I don’t see anything I shouldn’t?” His voice was bitter, filled with contempt. Typical Shadowhunters; always believing a Warlock was up to no good. However, despite his dark thoughts about Shadowhunters in general he couldn’t help but notice and appreciate how handsome this young blond Shadowhunter looked.
The man shook his head, smiling warmly at him. Lorenzo was surprised at the effect the smile had on him; he wanted to smile back. “Not at all. You just looked…lost.”
Maybe because he was lost, Lorenzo thought in a moment of self-realization. He had been so certain he knew what was what when it came to Downworlders, Shadowhunters…Magnus, Alec. He was no longer so sure. And if he had been wrong…what did that mean? He had envisioned himself a fair man, a just man…he wasn’t a hero by any standards but he had certainly never seen himself as a villain. But if he had been wrong…wouldn’t he then be the villain of this story? The thought was disturbing to put it mildly.
“I was just about to leave,” Lorenzo said matter of fact though he found that his voice had softened as had his gaze.
“I’m Andrew Underhill,” the man introduced himself and offered his hand in greeting. His eyes were kind, his expression open.
Lorenzo shook the offered hand, feeling weirdly drawn to him. He had never before in his life felt drawn to any Shadowhunter – in fact he had at best accepted them and in general distrusted and despised them. But there was something unusual about this Shadowhunter – he was different than the others somehow. His strength seemed tempered by a gentleness, almost fragility that both his demon and human sides found appealing…very appealing.
Lorenzo flashed his most charming smile, hoping to lose himself in this feeling for a moment or two to forget the internal turmoil he was in. “Lorenzo…”
“The High Warlock of Brooklyn,” Andrew interrupted him with a smile.
“Yes,” Lorenzo confirmed, a bit surprised. He was certain they had never met; he would have remembered. He held on to Andrew’s hand a bit longer than necessary, his grip a bit stronger, a bit more possessive than what was acceptable. He was pleased when Andrew didn’t pull back until he released his hand.
Andrew seemed almost perplexed, fascinated, as he looked into Lorenzo’s eyes. Then he blushed and looked away.
“I…I do have some papers here regarding some cases I would like to talk to you about,” Andrew managed to say, nodding at the papers in his hands. “As High Warlock, I mean,” he added quickly, too quickly as Lorenzo flashed him a knowing smile.
Lorenzo looked more closely at the young Shadowhunter, letting his eyes travel up and down his – very pleasing - body. There was something about him…when their eyes met he saw kindness, openness, warmth…and desire? Interesting. Well, maybe there was a way for him to figure out what was going on after all. To get to the bottom of things. To explore why he was suddenly having doubts about what he had done, about Alec, about Magnus.... At the very least a way for him to understand how come Magnus had been so fascinated by a Shadowhunter he had sacrificed his powers and his immortality, everything that made him who he was, for the Nephilim.
Lorenzo flashed his most charming smile. “Well, why don’t you follow me to my mansion and we could look at it there?” With those words he made a hand gesture and a portal appeared.
Andrew looked hesitant, looking from his papers to the portal to Lorenzo and then back again. “I am not sure...”
“Don’t worry, young Shadowhunter. I won’t bite you…” he stepped towards the portal before he added over his shoulder, “Unless you ask me to.” Andrew’s blush sent shivers through Lorenzo. More and more interesting.…
“Okay,” Andrew agreed, something between hesitation and excitement in his eyes. As he stepped through the portal with Lorenzo he was having trouble looking the Warlock in the eyes, likely afraid what Lorenzo would be able to read there.
They exited in Lorenzo’s living room. When the portal closed behind them Andrew looked around at the splendor of the place…and quite a few portraits of Lorenzo that decorated the walls.
“Do you like what you see?” Lorenzo asked with a knowing smile, nodding towards the golden ornaments whereof quite a few were dedicated with precious jewels, the antique and delicate furniture, the paintings made by famous painters of himself, landscapes or famous members of the aristocracy he had known while in Europe. Looking at Andrew as he observed the room and all its splendor he didn’t have the look of envy or greed most mortals had when they saw the wealth Lorenzo had managed to accumulate over his lifetime; instead he seemed to genuinely be admiring the beauty, the artwork itself. It left Lorenzo a little breathless but also a little suspicious; could Andrew truly be that good-hearted? Being a Shadowhunter Lorenzo would have expected him to act self-righteous in some way, making some comment about how he had likely gotten such wealth. So far Andrew was everything the typical Shadowhunter wasn’t and it was only fueling the chaotic feelings he had inside regarding his possible misjudgment of Alec.
To distract himself from his dark thoughts Lorenzo conjured up two cocktails. Andrew quickly placed his papers on a nearby table and took the offered drink.
“Very beautiful. The craftsmanship is exquisite and I don’t believe I have ever seen the Monet over there anywhere else; made just for you?” Andrew commented, his eyes on the Monet on the opposite wall in the room.
Lorenzo nodded, pleasantly surprised at the comment. He himself was fond of almost all types of art but had never in his long life met or heard of a Shadowhunter who had any kind of art appreciation. “Yes, he was a close friend.” He paused, touching his glass to Andrew’s before taking a sip, his eyes intense on the contradiction of a Shadowhunter before him. “I have never met a Shadowhunter who cared for art – or knew anything about it. As a warrior society it was my understanding that your species didn’t really have a concept of art and beauty as such.”
Andrew took a sip of his drink as well, turning from admiring the painting to looking at Lorenzo. “We normally don’t. It’s not a common activity nor encouraged.” Andrew’s voice was manner of fact but held a hint of sadness that indicated his love for the arts had clashed, likely painfully, with the warrior society he had been born into. Lorenzo was surprised that he felt a surge of protectiveness at hearing that sadness, feeling a weird desire to take it away. This was ridiculous; he had just met him! It was just sexual desire; as soon as he had claimed him as his it would go away.
To move ahead with said plan Lorenzo smiled seductively at the mortal before he asked, “But you understand beauty?”
“I do,” Andrew responded softly, his eyes locked with Lorenzo’s, his gaze appreciative as he looked at the Warlock, a blush in his cheeks before he lowered his eyes to the floor.
Lorenzo felt desire wash over him; by Lilith the Shadowhunter was so beautiful – strength and submission wrapped into one. It was almost, but only almost, enough for him to throw caution to the winds but he hadn’t lived this long if he had let his desires dictate his actions. Despite his pull and appeal then Andrew was still a Shadowhunter.
“Do you like the view?” Lorenzo asked, changing the topic, and gestured towards the large garden facing windows. Puzzled by his change in topic Andrew still did as expected and turned to look out over the manicured gardens. Having ensured Andrew as suitably distracted by the view Lorenzo did a hand movement and mumbled a few words – a truth spell. Whenever asked a question Andrew would answer truthfully. If he chose to answer. The spell wouldn’t compel him; Lorenzo prided himself on not forcing people to do anything ever. Yet again the dark thought formed in his mind…if he had been wrong then hadn’t he forced Alec to endure….he forced the thought out of his mind.
“Very. The taming of nature is something I have always found fascinating,” Andrew agreed with a smile before he turned back to look at Lorenzo.
“Well, in that case…To us,” Lorenzo said with a seductive smirk as he touched their glasses together again. There was something about Andrew – so strong yet so soft-spoken, seemingly very intellectual in all the ways Lorenzo preferred a man to be…an unusual mix of introspective wondering and raw power. It was an intoxicating mix which made him feel alive with desire and again this weird need to…to, what? Protect him? He had never felt like that before. Not since his mother had passed.
“To us,” Andrew mumbled, blushing again as he took a sip.
He blushed so prettily, Lorenzo thought and only just managed to stop himself smiling at the man like a bedazzled idiot.
“Why did you agree to come here now with me?” Lorenzo asked, curious and intrigued. Despite his growing arousal he was no fool; this was a Shadowhunter all the same and Shadowhunters always had hidden agendas; Clave orders they had to follow and obey no matter the consequences to Downworlders.
“I have seen you join the Cabinet meetings after you took over from Magnus Bane and…” Andrew paused, looking down into his drink before he looked again at Lorenzo, “I wanted to meet you.” He seemed a little surprised he had worded it like that but the spell also meant he wouldn’t think about it.
“I thought you were fascinating; I have read your file. And also…handsome,” as soon as the words were out of his mouth Andrew blushed furiously, covering his mouth with his free hand. “By the Angel! I am so sorry!” He got out, embarrassed at the words he had just spoken.
Lorenzo laughed warmly, a kind look in his eyes. His expression and the warmth in the laugh made Andrew relax, his embarrassment fading.
Andrew found him handsome, did he? Interesting, Lorenzo thought.
“It’s alright. I find you quite pleasing too.” Lorenzo said seductively, giving him a sensual look, undressing him with his eyes. Andrew looked down again and finished his drink in one go. With a self-satisfied smirk Lorenzo magically refilled it before finishing his own and refilling his own drink too.
“Thank you,” Andrew said softly, looking at the floor.
He looked so endearing like that, eyes downcast that Lorenzo wanted nothing more than to give into his desires. Maybe having a Shadowhunter would help spread some light on his confusing emotions on…well, his entire worldview.
“You are pretty when you blush, little Shadowhunter,” Lorenzo said softly, taking him under the chin and lifting his head up so their eyes met. He was pleased when Andrew didn’t draw out of his grip.
“I…I’m not little,” Andrew whispered, hoarsely, his eyes dark with desire.
“I am certain I will see that soon enough,” Lorenzo said with a seductive wink which made Andrew blush even more.
“By the Angel,” he mumbled, trying to lower his head but Lorenzo was still holding his chin and he tipped his face upwards a bit so their eyes met again.
Shadowhunters – clearly a sexually repressive bunch. Would be fascinating to teach Andrew to let go and give into his desires, Lorenzo thought.
“I really don’t think he has anything to do with our current situation and even if he did I am quite certain he and I are not on speaking terms,” Lorenzo said with dark humor but also a hint of gloom in his voice, his grip on Andrew’s chin becoming stronger as the demon in him flared up.
“Lorenzo,” Andrew whispered, stopping, unsure what to say, his eyes clouded with desire but also hesitation. They shouldn’t be doing this; the Clave was not just dead set against gay relationships but relationships with Downworlders was almost as bad….but it felt so right somehow.
“Kiss me,” Lorenzo ordered, not wanting to give Andrew time to think and regret where this was heading. He played a hunch, his voice a low rumble, his eyes shining bright with lust. Andrew was a soldier who had grown up in a repressive society, being told wanting this was wrong, that what he liked, who he was, wasn't alright, wasn't good enough…he was quite certain his hunch would pay off – it had in the past when it had come to Mundane lovers who had had a similar background. The desire in his voice made the command soft.
Andrew hesitated for a moment before he leaned in and softly, carefully, touched their lips together. Lorenzo made their drinks disappear as he took one hand behind Andrew’s head in a firm grip, deepening the kiss. Andrew easily gave his tongue access, giving into the kiss with everything he had. Lorenzo kissed him again, harder, more forcefully, his tongue easily conquering the other man’s mouth, enjoying his small moans of pleasure. With his other hand around Andrew’s waist, he walked them backwards till Andrew was pressed firmly against the nearest wall. Andrew was holding his hips, moving against him to touch as much of him as possible. It was as if Andrew’s hands were fire and Lorenzo lost control of his glamour and golden scales began to appear over his body. They didn’t cover his whole body but ran in a pattern from his spine and down the back of his legs and arms, also covering his palms and the top of his feet and closing a little over the front of his body – like armor plates.
“By Lilith!” Lorenzo swore and pulled back, leaving Andrew to look dazed and confused at him.
“What’s wrong?” Andrew asked uncertainty. He frowned, reaching out a hand towards him. “Did I do anything wrong?” he asked softly, hesitantly.
Lorenzo gave him a surprised look. He would never have imagined a Shadowhunter asking that of a Warlock. He waved a hand at him and shook his head. “No. Just give me a minute.” He fought to regain control. He had never before lost control like this when having sex and they hadn’t even started yet. Did that mean he had been doing it wrong then – or now?
Andrew saw the change in Lorenzo’s appearance; saw the golden scales on his palms. His face quickly changed from surprise to warmth; the golden scales looked like the sun itself had endeavored the Warlock with small flakes of pure gold. It was beautiful. Before Lorenzo could move Andrew reached for him and pulled him back into a hard kiss, enflaming both his demon and human half. Lorenzo closed his arms around him again, unsure why he was continuing but deciding to enjoy it none the less.
When they finally pulled apart for breath Andrew said, “Was that why you stopped? Because your glamour failed?”
“Yes. I mean…as a Shadowhunter surely…” Lorenzo’s voice died out, hating how vulnerable he sounded at that moment. He knew how people viewed his mark….the mark of the Devil…even more so as it was snake scales; the animal most associated with Hell itself.
“What? I wouldn’t want to be reminded you’re part demon?” Andrew asked with an honesty brought on by the spell.
Lorenzo nodded, unsure where this conversation was going but ready for anything – the truth spell would make sure Andrew couldn’t lie to him now that he had decided to speak. “Yes.”
Andrew shook his head. “I knew from when I first saw you that you were part demon. Wanting you to hide that would be ridiculous,” he said firmly. He gave a shy seductive smile as he carefully touched the scales on Lorenzo’s right palm with one hand. The golden flakes were almost shining, smooth and fine, like a snake’s. “It’s actually quite…sexy,” he mumbled, embarrassed.
Lorenzo had never expected to hear that from anyone, least of all a Shadowhunter. There was no doubt Andrew meant it; the spell meant he couldn’t lie. The implications of this on his worldview, on his opinion on Alec, on Shadowhunters drowned in the overwhelming desire Andrew’s words had enflamed in him, not made less by his touch on his scales – they were very sensitive and he had never had another being touch them since his mother’s passing.
“Oh, really?” Lorenzo mumbled, his demon side finding his words exciting and his human half was both in shock and in bliss – he had finally found a person besides his mother who was not appalled at his Warlock mark but instead saw it as unique…beautiful. And that one person…was a young Shadowhunter no less!
“Really,” Andrew said with a smile and a nod. He planted a soft kiss to the scales on his right hand, drawing a moan from Lorenzo’s lips which made him smile in triumph.
Lorenzo recovered somewhat when Andrew drew back and stroked his chin with a tenderness that surprised even himself.
“Any idea what we should do about it?” Lorenzo’s voice was unsteady from lust; he was barely holding back from taking the other man right here on his living room floor.
Andrew’s eyes were aglow with desire and his response was instant, pure emotions and without filter. “Well…you could fuck me into the next century.”
Lorenzo laughed at the shocked expression on Andrew’s face at having said that; the spell making his words direct and true at every response.
“I would enjoy doing just that, mi hermosa nephilim [My beautiful nephilim]. I would enjoy that very much!”
Andrew was about to ask what the Spanish words meant but forgot all about it when Lorenzo pulled him into his arms forcefully and kissed him almost brutally making all coherent thoughts leave his mind. Lorenzo reluctantly drew back a little, making Andrew look up at him with the most adorably dazed expression on his face. Too horny to bother with something as Mundane as stairs Lorenzo did a hand movement and made a portal before pulling Andrew close and into a possessive kiss, one hand around his waist. He pulled the other man with him through the portal and Andrew gave a small yell of surprise when he landed on his back on Lorenzo’s bed in his upstairs bedroom, Lorenzo on top of him as he with a quick movement closed the portal. His surprise quickly drowned in desire as Lorenzo started undoing his pants.
For the rest of the day no one could get a hold of the Shadowhunter nor the High Warlock as they gave in to their desires and each other – luckily for them both they were not expected anywhere.
Chapter 6 coming soon
Chapter 6: Alec wakes up
Alec wakes up at the infirmary with Magnus by his side. Things doesn't go as planned.
This chapter is for master_girl and Justmymalec as thanks for keeping me motivated with this story.
Thanks much as always to my ever awesome beta Cynthia Russell; my writing parabatai! You rock!
Warnings: Well, Alec is still injured. Other than that...angst and lots of it.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Alec’s hands were held in place, his back was on fire, the agony coming in waves. He felt fear unlike any he had felt before; he was expecting another attack but he couldn’t pinpoint from where. He was stuck in a swirl of pain and darkness, the only sounds his own screams of pain, the only colours black and red as his blood mixed into the emptiness surrounding him. He didn’t know why this was happening but he knew he had to bear it, he had to get through it. He couldn’t breathe; he couldn’t move. Something was wrapped around him, holding him in place. Panic engulfed him and he fought to free himself. He couldn’t be trapped; he had to get free! He struggled harder.
He heard the words but they seemed far away. Something touched his cheek and he instantly lashed out, his fist making contact with flesh. The pained sound arose him completely as if someone had thrown cold water on him; Magnus! And he was in pain.
Alec opened his eyes, realizing he had been fighting with the covers on the hospital bed, his forehead wet with sweat, making his hair stick to it, his breaths coming in big, painful gulps. He fought to get his heartbeat and breathing back under control; it had just been a dream. He was angry with his own weakness at having been unable to control himself. Waking up, his body reminded him of where his nightmare had come from as pain shot through him from his back and the knife wound in his thigh. It had seemed like a good idea at the time but it was damn painful now; his thigh felt like it was burning, throbbing with pain. He had been stabbed plenty of times before but the pain had always subdued quickly thanks to a healing rune, he hadn’t been expecting this returning throbbing combined with a weird itching sensation, making him almost wish Catarina hadn’t bandaged him so well so he could scratch it even though he knew doing so would be a mistake. He had a feeling the itchiness was likely due to whatever Catarina had applied to help his leg heal. He could feel the stiches and pins she had put in to hold everything together; it was an odd sensation – almost barbaric compared to using a healing rune. He knew from his previous Mundane healing experience that he would be left with scars from both the whipping and the knife wound. He wondering how he would be able to explain the scars on his back to Magnus without betraying anything; his first idea was to try and claim the demons who had attacked him had scratched him with their claws on his back; hopefully the scars would be so faint by the time the discussion would arise that it would seem plausible.
“Are you alright, Alexander?” Magnus’s worried voice brought Alec back to the present. His lover was sitting beside his bed in a similar manner as he had done for Magnus just a few nights earlier, rubbing his cheek, giving him a worried look. He sat close but at a careful distance; clearly wanting to be certain he wasn’t going to be hit once more before he leaned in again.
“By the Angel! I am so sorry,” Alec apologized, embarrassed and worried as he saw he had been the one who had caused the pained sound from the other man. He reached out a hand to gently touch the damaged flesh on his lover’s cheek. Magnus didn’t flinch at the touch though Alec knew it had to be tender and would likely leave a bruise.
“You have an excellent right hook,” Magnus said, forcing a smile and a light tone though the worry in his eyes were clear. He caught Alec’s hand and removed it from his cheek. He took it to his lips and tenderly kissed the knuckles, making Alec blush at the gesture.
“Sorry,” he repeated, feeling guilty that his own weakness had brought Magnus pain. He squeezed Magnus’s hand to try to emphasize his words.
“No need,” Magnus said and shook his head, smiling disarmingly to make Alec understand it was of no consequence to him. He paused for a moment, his expression growing serious and concerned. “Was it about the…attack? Do you want to talk about it?”
Alec lowered his gaze, unable to look into the worried eyes of the man he loved more than life itself when he knew he was lying to him. It had been about the attack but the one that had really taken place; not the lie he was telling everyone. He hated having to lie to Magnus but he saw no other way. He was afraid of what would happen should Magnus know the truth but he was equally afraid the lie could end up destroying them as his lie about the Soul Sword almost had. He had been forced into making difficult choices many times in his life but somehow this dilemma right here and now seemed like the hardest he had ever had to make.
“I’m fine,” Alec settled with, biting his lower lip, avoiding Magnus’s eyes.
Magnus knew he was lying but decided not to push the issue. Instead he sighed in frustration.
“I can’t believe you got injured right outside the Institute….I should have been there. I should have done something,” Magnus said defeated, feeling useless as he sat by his lover’s bedside. What good was he without his magic, without his powers? He hadn’t been there when Alexander had needed him; he would never forgive himself for that.
Seeing the pain on Magnus’s face Alec felt even more guilty, knowing it was his lie that caused it. He made a dismissive gesture with the hand that wasn’t holding on to Magnus.
“It was nothing,” Alec insisted.
“Nothing?! Catarina says you have to stay in bed for at least a week!” Magnus looked pained and shocked, clearly not understanding why Alec seemed to want to downplay this demon attack.
Alec grimaced; damn. Hopefully he could convince her that a few days was enough…Though as he shifted to try and see Magnus better he had to wince at even that movement; laying on his stomach didn’t make for a good position to talk.
“Let me help you, darling,” Magnus said, his voice soft but holding an edge of pleading; he needed this Alec realized. He needed to feel useful even without his magic. Before Alec could draw back Magnus leaned over to help with the pillows and Alec realized something warm and sticky was on his back…blood. Afraid it would be noticeable through the bandages and plain t-shirt he was wearing he drew away from Magnus.
“I’m fine.” The words were harsher than he had intended and he saw the look of hurt on Magnus’s face as he pulled a little back. Damn; this wasn’t going how he wanted it to go.
Alec reached out and stroked Magnus’ cheek, careful of the injury he had caused. “I’m sorry… I’m just a bit…edgy,” he said, not entirely a lie.
Magnus nodded, leaning into his touch as if for dear life. “I understand.” He noticed the flicker of pain crossing Alec’s face though he was trying to hide it. Worry and concern fought for dominance over his sense of guilt and depression in Magnus’s eyes.
“Let me help you sit more comfortably,” Magnus said, clearly wanting to distract himself from Alec’s hurtful words with doing something useful. Though Alec hadn’t meant it his withdrawal and the faked demon attack had only fueled Magnus’s spiral of self-doubt and depression. He wasn’t good enough, he was useless now. He could no longer protect Alec like a proper Warlock should. He was mortal now….basically a Mundane. Powerless….
Alec instinctively tensed and tried to scoot away from Magnus’s helping hands but sharp pain shot through his body, making him stop in his tracks.
“No, wait,” Alec begged but it was too late. Magnus had gripped his shoulders firmly but lovingly and was turning him over and up to lie on the pillows so he was on his back. The pain running through him at the movement was intense, borderline unbearable. He bit his lower lip until it bleed to prevent himself from screaming. The pain was increasing…he couldn’t take it. He had to stay silent…but he couldn’t. It was too much.
Just as Alec’s damaged back made contact with the bed and he felt he had to scream, that he could no longer endure the agony crashing through his body like waves of fire, suddenly a warm bright flame went through his body, numbing the pain. It felt like an internal blanket, healing, like a balm. Before he had time to question it, to register it, it felt like he was being flooded with warmth from head to toe. He sighed auditable as the pain in his back faded more and more until it completely disappeared. Within seconds the feeling left him and he almost shot up upright in bed; wincing slightly from the wound in his thigh. He felt no pain from the whipping at all; it was the most amazing feeling in the world. He almost felt high, lightheaded.
“Are you alright, darling? I think maybe I saw a light around your body…Was that Catarina healing you, a spell of hers taking effect?” Magnus asked worried as he finished arranging Alec against the pillows and drew back. Magnus couldn’t deny it wounded him deeply that he could no longer heal Alec himself and even more that he couldn’t feel the magic he was certain had just touched Alec’s body.
“Yes…yes, I’m fine,” Alec couldn’t help but say with a smile. He turned from side to side and could feel even the bandages were gone. He instantly frowned in concern; had Lorenzo gone back on the deal? He felt himself start to hyperventilate in fear and panic at what it would mean for Magnus if Lorenzo had gone back on his deal but before it escalated a fire message suddenly appeared and Alec instinctively caught it. Looking at it Alec could see it was a secret fire message where the letters were only visible to his eyes, the intended reader.
Alexander Lightwood, I have healed your wounds. Our deal still stands and my condition stays; you are not to tell Magnus or anyone else of our arrangement. – Lorenzo Rey
As soon as Alec had read the message it dissolved into small embers that vanished before they fell on the bed. Alec drew a relieved breath, smiling in relief. Magnus was safe. He didn’t know why Lorenzo had changed his mind but he wasn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth.
“What was that?” Magnus asked worried. He knew a fire message written with magic when he saw it but who would write secret messages to Alec? At his position next to Alec’s bed he couldn’t help but be in the line of vision when Alec had read the message and no letters had appeared which could only mean the fire message was written with magic so only the intended reader could see the letters.
“Just a message from the Clave. Nothing to worry about,” Alec lied, forcing a smile.
Magnus couldn’t quite conceal the pain in his eyes. Alec was closing him off; he didn’t believe he could be useful. Worse, he didn’t trust him. Was this to be his life? Alec’s partner and nothing more? He was a Prince of Hell…the High Warlock of Brooklyn! No, he had been those things. He was nothing now. But why wouldn’t Alec admit a Warlock had written the message? Yes, the Clave could be employing Warlocks but it seemed unlikely the message was confidential Clave information. The Clave didn’t really communicate confidentially through fire messages, knowing Warlocks could easily hack into them as fire messages were by essence a magical communication tool and simply not trusting Warlocks enough to help make them as the secret would then be known to the Warlock in their employ.
“Really? Well, maybe I should just find a quiet place to knit then, should I, darling?” Magnus asked darkly, deliberately trying to hurt Alec like he felt he had been hurt, trying to convey a little of all the pain he held inside. He had given up his magic and immortality for Alec and this was how he repaid him? With selfishness?! He loved Alec with everything he had, everything he was or ever would be. But maybe Alec didn’t feel the same way. Did he love Alec more than Alec loved him? Was this relationship a repeat of his relationship with Camille?
“Magnus! Please…don’t do that,” Alec begged, wounded. Why was he acting like this? He had suffered greatly for Magnus and this was the thanks?! Magnus was healthy again; he was mortal. What was the problem? They could finally be together, live out their lives together. There were no barriers anymore. The memories of seeing Magnus in an Institute hospital bed just a few days ago, almost dying, flashed through his mind, making him relive the horror and agony at the thought that he could be losing him forever. Magnus was worth any sacrifice and that thought cooled his anger somewhat.
“Do what, darling? I can’t do anything, remember?” Magnus said mockingly, his voice twisted with pain as he made a hand gesture to use magic to conjure something and of course nothing happened. Though he knew nothing would happen he still felt wounded, pained and his face fell, when it did; a part of him somehow still hoped against all hope that his magic would return though he logically knew it would never happen.
The pain on Magnus’s face made Alec forget about his own anger and pain for a moment. How he longed to take that pain away any way he could. Magnus had lived for hundreds of years but as an immortal, as a Warlock. The Warlock society had their own rules, their own way of doing things. He had been taken from all that. Of course he would mourn that loss; of course it would be difficult. However, Alec would just have to show Magnus how amazing Mundane life could be. He would come around; Alec just had to show him the right things, the best things.
“You can do anything, everything. I love you for you, I already told you that,” Alec reminded him, willing to give, to be the first to say the words, to mend the rift between them so they could move forward.
His words softened Magnus’s expression and he suddenly seemed to really see Alec again.
“You look much better now,” Magnus remarked, deliberately changing the topic, relief and confusion in his voice. How could Alec seem so much better just from lying on his back instead of his stomach?
“Thanks,” Alec said with a smile. He felt a lot better though he was still puzzled as to why Lorenzo had done this. However, as long as he had as little to do with Lorenzo as possible moving forward everything would be great.
Silence fell between them, not quite comfortable but entirely uncomfortable either. Magnus’s depression and feelings of inferiority combined with Alec’s secret and mounting lies regarding his injuries were starting to build a wall between them that neither man knew how to tear down.
“Thanks for sitting with me. I love you,” Alec said again, again trying to reach Magnus, holding out his hand for him. Magnus hesitated for a moment before he took his hand and then to Alec’s great delight he stood up and gave him a warm hug. Alec hugged him back as if clinging on for dear life, still amazed at how the movement did not hurt. The pain from his thigh was easily ignored compared to the other injury.
When they drew apart Alec pouted his lips for a kiss but Magnus deliberately missed them and instead kissed his forehead tenderly. Alec was both relieved and annoyed at that but became more determined. Magnus had kissed him; he still wanted him. He would just have to show him how amazing Mundane life could be.
“I love you too, darling. I am just…” Magnus started to say but then fell silent just when Alec had hoped he would be honest. He felt a wave of disappointment when Magnus instead plastered on a fake smile and said, “I am so relieved you seem so much better. Catarina is a truly amazing healer. I must remember to gift her one of those bottles of wine she likes so much.”
Alec tried to smile back; this was guarded Magnus, not the real him. This was Magnus trying to protect himself. “Yes, she is.”
They continued having light small talk for a while but Alec was starting to feel he was losing touch with Magnus. His responses and expressions were becoming more and more theatrical, more and more the “public” Magnus, the guarded Magnus, very similar to how he had been when they had first met. No vulnerability, no real emotions shining through.
Catarina showed up and checked on him; clearly happy to see for herself it truly was only the knife wound she had to deal with. She also promised that Alec could leave in just a few days which made Alec relieved; he was eager to get back to work and for things to return to normal. However, when she had left and Alec had mentioned he would soon get to go ‘home’ Magnus had simply smiled politely, pain shining in his eyes and Alec wanted to slap himself when he remembered that Lorenzo had taken Magnus’s loft; Magnus had no home. Well, Magnus would keep staying with him. It would be fine. They would find an apartment and move in together. Everything would be great. Alec got lost in his fierce belief he could resolve it all if he just did the right thing, acted the right way. It was just a matter of getting it right. He was already thinking of all the things he wanted to do for Magnus when he was released from hospital to show him how loved he was, how important he was.
Unbeknownst to Alec Magnus was stuck in his own thoughts though they were much darker. The more Alec tried to mother him, protect him, the more useless he felt, the more he was convinced he had no true value without his powers. It was a vicious circle none of them seemed able to break at the moment – Alec was determined to prove to Magnus how important he was by catering to his every whim while Magnus just wanted to feel useful, something Alec in his eager to keep Magnus safe, protected and happy was completely missing, instead shielding him from anything remotely dark, dangerous and hurtful. What Alec was not realizing was that a Warlock, a Prince of Hell, someone as powerful as Magnus had been, would fade and wither away under such well-meaning protection; instead Magnus had always thrived during turmoil and conflict when he was useful and needed.
Why did Lorenzo change his mind?
How will Alec and Magnus resolve this situation?
When will Magnus know the truth?
And…what revenge are awaiting Lorenzo?
Stay tuned.....Or in other words; feedback is treasured. ;)
Btw, if you want more hurt Alec go read my story "Enemy of the State" - lots of hurt/comfort and if you stick with that story you will also get to see a very protective "I will burn down the world to find you" Magnus as well ;)
Chapter 7: Lorenzo and Catarina
Lorenzo talk with Catarina
Thanks as always to Cynthia Russell for beta - you are my writing parabatai and I love you! Any remaining errors are my own.
This chapter is Lorenzo focused - go to the next chapter (when it's up) if you want to fast forward to Malec.
Warnings for this chapter: Well, talk about the torture Alec endured. Also, clear mentions of a D/s and light Dom/sub undertones for the Lorenzo/Andrew relationship. Avoid this whole chapter if such a "darker" take on "Love" isn't your thing. As Catarina would say; Lorenzo is a selfish bastard but in this story he is MY selfish bastard so there you are ;)
Those of you sticking with me through this darker journey; thank you and enjoy! :)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Lorenzo awake with a shock, one hand intuitively forming a fist, ready to use his magic. It took a moment for him to remember where he was and whose warm body was lying on his chest. When he did, he relaxed and tightened his arms around the young blond Shadowhunter. Despite Andrew clearly having been quite innocent and inexperienced Lorenzo had to admit the last almost 12 hours had been about the best hours of his entire life. Sex, shower, food, sex, a movie, sex, shower…repeat. Andrew had proven that with his Stamina rune he was certainly able to match Lorenzo’s endurance and what the young man lacked in experience he more than made up for in enthusiasm. The sex had been anything but gentle; it had been desperate, possessive, rough…If he had been with anyone else than Andrew it could even have been called violent but whenever Lorenzo demanded he bent, he knelt, whenever he needed him to obey he did. There had never been any power struggles between them; the demon in Lorenzo sought to dominate and the angel in Andrew sought to serve.
What might have seemed like an unusual and impossible match had turned out to result in perfect harmony as they had fallen in sync with an almost uncanny ease, as if they were made for this. Never in all his years would Lorenzo have imagined it would be with a Nephilim he would find his most perfect sexual partner to date; Andrew had the strength, endurance and passion Lorenzo wanted in a sexual partner and the eagerness to submit, a desire to be claimed in every meaning of that word, that his demon side needed.
At first Lorenzo had feared maybe he was too rough but Andrew seemed to enjoy it the more possessive and demanding he got; almost crave it. The physical signs of their passion was all over Andrew’s body; he was covered in hickeys and bite marks; a few having even drawn a little blood. His lips were swollen and he had bit his lower lip. His wrists had faint red marks from where Lorenzo had used magic to restrain them. Andrew slept now on Lorenzo’s chest with a smile upon his lips, seeming completely at peace and very well-fucked. Lorenzo didn’t think he had ever looked more beautiful. He tried hard not to overthink the fact that the demon in him was enjoying it a little too much to see his marks, his claim, all over the angel’s body. He should probably heal the marks before Andrew went back to the Institute, at least the noticeable ones but Andrew hadn’t yet asked him to and well…he was enjoying the view.
A surge of magic reminded Lorenzo why he had awaken; someone with magic had entered the mansion. Only someone he had invited could do that; his wards were strong and few, Magnus being one of those few while he had still had his magic, could break through them (one of the reasons Lorenzo had resented him; he had learned the hard way that if you weren’t the strongest in the room you could just as well be the slave; there was nothing in between).
Suddenly Lorenzo’s brain caught up with him; Catarina Loss had weeks ago asked to speak with him; knowing she was Magnus’s friend he had spitefully delayed the meeting. He felt a stab of embarrassment at having done that now; it really was beneath him both as a man and as a leader. However, Magnus had pushed all the wrong buttons in him; reminding him of his own struggle to rise above his unfortunate birth. Not wanting to explain this whole thing he had going on with Andrew, whatever it was, he carefully got out of bed, using magic to ensure the battle trained Nephilim didn’t awake when he got up. He put on a robe and went downstairs.
Catarina was standing in the living room and as he came closer he could see her eyes and whole expression was just radiating hatred. Because he was now High Warlock and not her friend? Because he had refused help with the whole Jace and the Owl thing? Maybe but no…He was quite certain Catarina didn’t really care about Shadowhunters in general nor the one called Jace or anyone else for that matter. However, she did care about Magnus and this much hatred left only one possible explanation… she had to somehow know what he had demanded in payment for taking his magic back; likely she also knew or at least suspected that he had wanted to banish Magnus to the Spiral Labyrinth if he hadn’t lost his powers. He really needed to get his emotions about Magnus, Alec and everything in between under control; emotions made you careless and careless got you killed.
“Lorenzo,” Catarina almost spat the name out like it was a curse as soon as she saw him.
Lorenzo found himself swallowing a lump in his throat. He felt like he aught to apologize to her; he was feeling very off-center lately. His normal confidence and arrogance shaken as his whole world-view had been questioned. He had always been able to wear arrogance like a shield around himself, protecting his emotions even from himself. Yet he was having difficulty doing so now when he needed it more than ever.
“What can I do for you?” He tried to fake annoyance, crossing his arms over his chest.
“A truth spell? You are more presumptuous than I thought,” Catarina said with a warning look, waving a hand around to indicate the air around them.
“It’s not for you. Now, what do you want?” Lorenzo repeated. He knew well that the spell would only work on very young Warlocks, those younger than a hundred. He should have known Catarina would be able to sense the spell though, even if it didn’t effect her; in the chaos of his mind he had simply forgotten about it.
“I was going to ask you about helping Magnus with Jace but that’s not really relevant any longer, is it?” Her words were like arrows, her eyes aflame, her hands formed fists at her side.
She hates me, Lorenzo realized and he suddenly also understood that he did actually care whether he was hated or admired, whether he was liked and worse…he actually preferred that some, the right some mind you as he still very much felt most of the world could go fuck itself, didn’t hate him. It was not a good realization for a man with the kind of past he had.
“You know,” his words were matter of fact and he was proud he was able to say it without emotions shining through. He didn’t have to clarify what they were talking about.
Catarina didn’t reply but her expression made it clear she did know what he had done to Alec; Damn! He felt shame like he hadn’t felt in years. Being as old as he was, as Catarina and Magnus were, lashings were not viewed by any of them as an offensive or even unusual punishment but the crime had to fit the punishment. And had that really been the case here? He hadn’t been wrong…had he? His brain decided to betray him and metaphorically hit him hard in the face with a brutal awakening. Whom did he think he was kidding? He wasn’t that unintelligent! He had just spent 12 amazing hours with a Nephilim; clearly some of that breed were not completely a waste of space. Clearly some of them were not arrogant or racist or cruel…Looking into Catarina’s eyes and face he suddenly realized that all of those words described his own actions towards Alec perfectly. The realization was like voluntarily swallowing poison and required at least the same amount of courage; it left a bitter taste in his mouth. How he suddenly wished he could go on playing dumb and deny all of this, deny the truth he had seen about himself. Fuck! What had he done?!
“Lorenzo? Are you down here? Do you want me to make some breakfast for us? I have a few hours before I…” Andrew’s voice echoed in the silent living room, making both Catarina and Lorenzo turn towards the stairs with looks of shock and horror but for completely different reasons.
“Andrew…” Lorenzo started to say, his voice made harsh due to his discomfort at suddenly having Andrew, dressed only in a fluffy white towel around his hips lock eyes with the clearly furious female Warlock. In this state of undress two facts were obvious; he had clearly just had sex and he had hickeys and bruises all over his body and marks around his wrists.
“Oh! Sorry. I didn’t know you had guests. I’ll..” Andrew blushed and clearly wasn’t sure what to do with himself, having stopped halfway down the stairs. Realizing how he looked Andrew held around the wrist with the most obvious red marks, blushing even more, looking down.
“Go back upstairs. I will be there momentarily,” Lorenzo said, his voice not completely unkind but the order in the voice was clear. He was surprised he didn’t want Andrew to feel uncomfortable and even more surprised at how possessive he was feeling; he didn’t want anyone but himself to look at him like this.
Andrew nodded hesitantly, a hint of hurt in his eyes, clearly unsure what he had done wrong but he quickly went back upstairs.
“By Lilith! What’s with you and Shadowhunters?!” Catarina yelled at him, her hands on her hips.
“What do you mean?” Lorenzo asked puzzled. He had no desire for Alec; that was not what had happened. Surely she would have known that or what in the world was she talking about?
“Don’t play innocent with me; I could see the marks on him from here,” she insisted, nodding her head in the direction Andrew had disappeared.
“No, no,” he shook his head. “It’s not like that.” At her disbelieving look he added, “He liked it.” Why was he suddenly feeling like he needed to explain himself and justify his actions? Fuck.
“Let’s speak plainly here for a moment,” Catarina said, clearly fighting to keep calm. “You are playing with this one’s mind and body,” she waved towards the stairs as she spoke, “while you have his friend fighting in the infirmary because he according to your orders can only heal the Mundane way. Am I getting this right?”
“What? No!” he shook his head, his face having gone pale. Damn. Of course Andrew and Alec had to be friends. And Catarina wasn’t supposed to know anything about this but he assumed she had figured it out because if Alec had broken his promise and told her then he would have told Magnus too and magic or not he was now quite certain that if he had done that Magnus would have been on his doorstep in rage. Good thing that hadn’t happened; after what he had started to realize Lorenzo would really prefer not to kill a defenseless former Warlock, despite everything.
“Really?” she gave him a skeptical look.
“Look, I…” Lorenzo drew a hand through his hair; this was getting complicated all of a sudden. Life had been easier before; Shadowhunters had been evil – all of them. Now…now there were too many grey areas.
“What, High Warlock?” The title was a mockery.
Lorenzo gave her a threatening look; enough was enough. He had given her quite a lot of leeway because she was friends with Magnus and Alec and he was feeling bad now about everything but he had his limits.
“Careful now,” he warned. He might be confused but he wouldn’t be challenged. But she was right; he had to close this thing about Alec. With a wave of his hand he conjured back the whip he had used on him, making Catarina give him a disgusted look. He ignored it. He let the whip hover in the air in front of him as he touched the bloody ends; Alec’s blood. He tried hard not to connect feelings with what he was doing so he worked quickly. His right hand now red with Alec’s blood he said a spell, pulled out some of his own hair and put it into his bloody right hand. He made a fist and golden flames was all around his closed hand. When he opened it again the blood and hair had vanished. He made a wave with his hand and the whip disappeared as if it had never even existed. He feverishly hoped his conflicting feelings would be banished in the same manner.
“A healing spell?” Catarina said, more a statement than a question. She was clearly still angry but seemed a little less so now and relief was in her eyes.
Lorenzo nodded. It was a well known spell; as a Warlock you could heal any injury you had given another being by using some of your own strength. Being Immortal had certain advantages as Warlocks could heal quite severe wounds. However, despite Lorenzo’s strength he felt weakened by the spell and fought not to sway on his feet. He needed a drink and replenish his energy; luckily he had an angel lying upstairs waiting in his bed. He considered drawing on some of Andrew’s strength without asking but decided against it; not for some moral scruples but simply because he really wanted Andrew to offer and after the last 12 hours he was quite certain he would.
“All the wounds in connection with the….with,” Lorenzo found he couldn’t say it which really annoyed him; it was a sign of weakness not to stand by what you wanted and not to take it when it was there. He had to get a grip on this situation and quickly. “They have all healed, instantly.”
Catarina nodded, having figured as much. “I won’t say thank you. This is the least you can do,” she warned him.
“What do you mean?” Lorenzo asked, puzzled. It was done now. Alec was healed and no one would ever know. What more was there to do?
“If this thing with that Nephilim boy I saw against all odds isn’t you fucking him literally and mentally for some twisted reason then you need to do a lot more than this to save your relationship with him,” she cautioned him.
“What? He doesn’t know about this and I forbid you to tell him!” his voice was almost panicked.
“I won’t tell him but not for your sake; for Magnus’s,” she promised, her voice dark. Then she got a little more gentle as she added, “Besides, you will tell him yourself…eventually, if you truly care for him.”
Lorenzo smirked, shaking his head. “I doubt it. Unlike Magnus and yourself I am not prone to suicidal tendencies. I fight with everything I have for what I want and right now I want that Nephilim.”
“Loving a mortal takes courage,” she told him, pained experience in her voice.
Without thinking Lorenzo responded, “Well, I could fix that too if need be.”
She looked at him in disbelief; had Lorenzo seriously just been thinking about making the Shadowhunter boy immortal?
“Without his knowledge? Shadowhunters are told to kill themselves before letting themselves be turned by either vampire or werewolf.”
“Well, that would indicate two things; that the boy had a choice in this and that I wouldn’t have convinced him to go ahead with it,” Lorenzo said and gave a dark smile. “My money is on option two but I would use option one if I wanted him forever and option two wasn’t available.”
“You’re a possessive, selfish, manipulative bastard,” she said but there was a small hint of admiration in her voice when she said it; all Warlocks had demon blood and some indulged in it more than others. There was something to be said for a man with so clear and direct views on the world. It made it easier to know where they stood.
Lorenzo smiled ominously. “And you’re a self-righteous witch; we both know you are only here for Magnus. If you had no friendship with him you wouldn’t be here and none of this, including the Nephilim waiting for me in my bedroom and whether or not he was there willingly or not…well, let’s just say we both know you wouldn’t be here and you wouldn’t truly care either.”
“In that case remember to stay away from what’s mine in the future, including my friends,” she warned, not disputing his claim. She might be a healer but she was no saint and she was no Magnus Bane; her services were not for free and truth be told the Clave, Idris and all Shadowhunters could go to Hell for all she cared – except for Alec and a handful of his closest friends who had grown on her. Most of the species, however, were a repressed, self-righteous, racist and condescending bunch, which she had little use for now or ever.
He gave a short nod, accepting her condition and she nodded back; something for something. He wouldn’t get in her way and she wouldn’t get in his way.
“Was that all or did you come here for something else?”
“Everything I came to say I think you will do better figuring out on your own. Strangely enough…you seem like you might actually be on the right path,” she said matter of fact, letting her surprise show.
Annoyed with her tone of voice Lorenzo’s eyes narrowed as he looked at her. “In that case…” Lorenzo offered his hand in farewell but Catarina simply looked at it.
“We are not quite there yet,” she said but her voice had the hint of a promise that maybe someday they would.
Lorenzo nodded and dropped his arm back to the side, surprised at how pleased that made him. It was like the more she fought him on this the more he wanted to win her over; he really was a dominating bastard.
Catarina turned around and made a portal to the Infirmary of the NYI. Though she knew the healing spell Lorenzo had used she still wanted to make sure it had actually worked.
Lorenzo watched where she had left long after the portal had closed after her; her words giving him pause. He needed to figure out what in the world he was feeling; what he was going to do now.
He wrote a quick fire message to Alec which would allow himself some time to think. Feeling frustrated and lost he conjured up a cocktail and drank it quickly before making another. In the back of his mind Catarina’s words were echoing – what he had done wasn’t enough. This was not going to go away this easily. His mind was in turmoil; how do you recognize with yourself that you have become the very person you hate? How can you possibly live with knowing you have turned out so lost…turned out to be the villain you have spent your whole life hating and resenting? Can the unforgivable ever be forgiven? Should it?
He went upstairs to find Andrew, knowing that the man’s loving smile and warm body would enable him to forget all about this for a while at least. Andrew had said he had a few hours before he had to get to work; screw breakfast. There was something else, someone else, he would much rather be screwing until the young man could barely stand on his feet or form coherent thoughts. That would surely keep his brain busy for a few hours. And then he did have a well-stocked bar….and he was certain he could talk Andrew into coming back the same evening…Yes, that was how he would get through this. He just needed to keep his mind busy and nothing said busy more than excessive drinking and intense sex – and lots and lots of it. Thank Lilith for those useful runes he was finding out Shadowhunters had, which enabled them to keep up with Warlock passions…Agility, flexibility, stamina….oh, so many possibilities!
This chapter exist due to feedback from you guys so feedback works! ;)
And feedback is highly motivating. Just saying ;)
Next chapter is all Malec!
For those of you following my story "Enemy of the state" then chapter 5 is up and it is all about Magnus wanting to burn the earth to rescue Alec. You are welcome! (That chapter was written just for you guys leaving feedback and wanting this!). If you love this story you will love Enemy of the state, I think. :)
Thanks for reading - feedback is treasured!
Chapter 8: A life without magic
As Magnus struggles with coming to terms with a mortal life without magic, Alec fights for normalcy in their relationship.
Thanks as always to my amazing beta Cynthia Russell who is a Goddess and so wonderful for betaing all my stories; even the really long 200+ pages ones!
Warnings for this chapter: We are back to Malec so lots of angst, talk of depression (lots of talk about depression and depressive behavior actually) and Alec being self-sacrificing as always. Also, the short timespan that seems to exist in canon doesn't work for my story so here 6 weeks passes between Magnus waking up and Alec proposing.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Alec had been released from the infirmary after three days and after another week or so, the wound in his leg had almost healed thanks to the advanced healing his Angel blood gave him. Another week after that and he was able to slowly start up his exercise routine again. While both the wounds on his back and the one in his thigh had now healed completely the scars left from the ordeal, mentally and physically, were still very much present. As each day passed the scars faded more and more but they stubbornly remained; no amount of iratze runes seemed to change that and Alec should know; he had tried quite a few by now. Alec wasn’t by any means a person who really spent a lot of time, or any time actually, wondering about his looks. His difficulty with accepting the scars on his body were the fact they were there as a reminder; not so much because of the memory of the pain he had endured but because they reminded him of the lie he had told Magnus and the secret he even now kept from him. Luckily though, the scars were in places he himself had difficulty seeing which made it a little easier. In fact, at times he could almost pretend they weren’t there. He had wondered how to explain the scars on his back to Magnus when they next made love but increasingly that worry seemed far away; they hadn’t been intimate since his ordeal with Lorenzo – a wall of pain and hurt standing between them - and every day seemed to take them further apart. The longer they didn’t touch the harder that wall was to cross.
It had now been almost six weeks since Lorenzo had taken Magnus’s magic back, six weeks since Alec had made the deal with him to make it happen. Alec had imagined that thereafter everything would be perfect; would be better. It was over; they were together. What more was there to it? Having been so close to losing Magnus Alec had been overly cautious of his boyfriend and his safety, having been mentally beating himself up that he hadn’t noticed that Magnus had been slowly killing himself whenever he had used Lorenzo’s magic. He was making up for that mistake now; he was making sure Magnus was never in any danger, trying to check he ate right, slept well and was in general being overly fuzzy and attentive when it came to his health. He also ensured he didn’t bring any worries to him and left work at his office, never bringing his work challenges with him home anymore. Though they stayed in his room in the Institute together till they could find an apartment to move into didn’t mean they had to focus on his worries regarding Institute business or the whole thing with Clary and her brother. Magnus had enough on his plate adapting to a mortal life without magic; Alec was determined to make his transition as easy and smooth as possible.
Alec had been plagued by nightmares after his ordeal with Lorenzo, in particular the first few weeks, which had made Magnus concerned and worried, not understanding what was going on. It was not just because he had promised Lorenzo to stay silent that he didn’t talk to Magnus; a part of him didn’t want to relive it by talking about it and he didn’t want to burden Magnus. If Magnus did know the price paid for his health, for his life, he would feel guilty and Alec never wanted to cause him any pain. Luckily, after Alec had repeatedly claimed he was fine whenever Magnus would wake him up or after he had comforted him, Magnus had now stopped asking him about it. Alec knew he was hurt and annoyed over his lack of openness but Alec thought that a small price to pay for his mental and physical health. Fortunately, his nightmares now also happened less frequently that he had gotten a bit more distance from the ordeal and Alec thus hoped that soon it wouldn’t even be an issue.
Alec was aware that Magnus felt increasingly uncomfortable staying at the Institute but he had refused any of the flats they had looked at together. So to help him feel better till they found something Magnus would like, Alec had ensured they would either eat alone, on the balcony or they would go out to eat. Alec had done his best to talk about fun or light topics, to explain to Magnus about mortal life and life without magic, trying to show him the fun of it, the possibilities. The first few weeks Magnus had put up a good front but increasingly he had fallen more and more into depression. He had taken to visiting the Hunter’s Moon or other bars or establishments to drink and forget. Alec hadn’t commented on Magnus’ drinking; he had after all always drank heavily as most Warlocks he had met did. However, now being mortal the alcohol was effecting him more and Alec was finding it hard to maintain his façade of ensuring they didn’t talk about anything even potentially negative.
They had agreed to go out to eat tonight, meeting at the Institute, in Alec’s room, before leaving together. However, that was now almost one hour ago and Alec was torn between worry and annoyance though he told himself he just had to be patient. Magnus had never been without his magic and he had lived for centuries; of course it would take more than a few weeks for him to get used to life as a mortal, life without magic.
All Alec’s good intentions of being understanding almost vanished when Magnus finally arrived, swaying a bit on his feet, smiling, clearly in a good mood, as he opened the door to their room before closing it behind him.
“Where were you?” Alec asked as he came to give him a quick kiss hello. He tried to keep the hurt and bitterness out of his voice but didn’t quite succeed. His tone made the slightest flicker of pain cross Magnus’s face and Alec instantly felt like kicking himself; what was he doing?! He needed to be understanding, supportive! This couldn’t happen again.
“Happy hour at the Hunter’s Moon. You should come with me tomorrow night, darling,” Magnus said with a smile that didn’t reach his eyes. These days his smiles almost never reached his eyes.
“I thought we were meeting at nineteen hundred hours before going out to eat,” Alec said, trying to stay calm, unaware he had formulated it like a military event.
The military phrasing for their planned meeting time didn’t escape Magnus’ notice and it was like a dagger to his heart, reminding him that everyone else, Alec more than most, had something to do, somewhere to be. They could contribute. He had lost all that.
“Well, as you know I don’t have anything to do anymore so it’s difficult to keep time when no one needs you anywhere,” Magnus said with false cheerfulness that was dripping in so much pain it cut Alec’s heart in two and made all his previous anger disappear in an instant.
“You are always needed here,” Alec said lovingly, kindly, putting a hand on his nearest arm.
Magnus smiled a little sadly, giving his hand on his arm a squeeze before pulling away.
“As what?” Magnus mumbled before going to the small bar trolley Alec had gotten to the room to make Magnus feel more at home. Yet it sometimes felt like the more Alec tried to make it more homey for Magnus the more frustrated and distant Magnus became. Alec was unsure how to help him; he tried so hard. He just wasn’t good at this comforting role but for Magnus he would do his best. He tried to hide his own pain and disappointment and fought even more to hide his growing resentment and anger; he had suffered for Magnus and he was still miserable. Why couldn’t he just be happy? Why couldn’t everything just be alright?
“I was thinking about that the other day. You could help me here, at the Institute,” Alec suggested, answering Magnus’ question.
“Doing what?” Magnus asked, pain making his tone sharp while he poured himself a drink.
“Well, advice on Downworlder business and help with the paperwork and…” Alec thought out loud. Magnus helping him with the paperwork associated with running the Institute would make a boring task fun, Magnus was sure to have great insights on all matters of strategy and as a bonus the most dangerous thing that could happen to him would be a paper cut.
Magnus made a face. “From high warlock of Brooklyn to glorified secretary, is that what you mean?” His voice made it clear he was insulted, something between horror and deep sadness flashing over his face. Was this really his life, was this all he was good for now? Had he fallen that low, that far? Magnus took a big gulp of his drink, hoping the alcohol would chase away the taste of failure sticking to his tongue.
Alec looked shocked at him; that wasn’t what he had meant at all. “What? No?!”
“Stop pretending, Alexander,” Magnus said sternly, as if talking to a child. “There’s no use for a Warlock without magic among Downworlders and any position someone who is basically a Mundane can hold here is filled according to family name and prestige. It’s not like someone like me would ever sit on the Council; I am not even allowed into Idris.”
“Well, who says that can’t change?” Alec insisted stubbornly. He saw nothing wrong with the idea; people should be on the Council based on merit; not their race or birth.
“Alexander, be realistic,” Magnus reproved him with a defeated air; it was a nice dream but it was just a dream. Most Shadowhunters didn’t even approve of mix marriages between the races; the idea of a Downworlder, even a powerless one, sitting in a position of power and influence in any organ of importance in Idris; that was never going to happen. There truly was no place for him anywhere. The thought made him grimace and he emptied his drink in one go.
Alec took a calming breath, deciding to let the matter drop for now. Magnus clearly just needed some time to get used to things; he was certain he would be more open to the idea when he had gotten more used to mortality.
“Did you have a nice time?” Alec tried for a light tone, faking a smile. It seemed he did that more often than not, faking smiles, faking everything was going well, that he was ok, that Magnus was ok, everything was ok, almost as if he kept faking it then it would become reality.
“Splendid,” Magnus claimed in a cheerful voice that was very out of place with the pain reflected in his eyes. “A drink, darling?”
“Sure, why not?” Alec agreed, massaging his temples. Things so rarely seemed to go the way he wanted them to with Magnus these days; he didn’t understand what he was doing wrong.
“How was your day? Done any interesting Demon slaying or Clave intrigues?” Magnus asked as he handed him a martini, his voice light, indicating he had retreated emotionally like he so often did these days.
Alec nipped at the drink while Magnus downed almost half of his. “It was ok. Patrol, training, some paperwork. Lots of paperwork and boring meetings,” he said, waving a dismissive hand to indicate it had all been rather dull and boring. Truth be told he had gotten injured on the hunt; nothing serious but a demon had managed to cut him, drawing blood. An iratze had quickly fixed it. Then there was the Clave; they were still fighting him every step off the way regarding his inclusion of Downworlders; he was fighting to rally supporters while trying to figure out who was against him. And then of course the biggest headache; Clary and her brother. That situation remained unresolved. But Alec was determined not to burden Magnus with any of this.
Alec’s response made Magnus’s eyes harden but he looked down into his drink, hiding it. “Yes, clearly not nearly as exciting as my day.”
Alec looked hopeful at him, hoping against all hope Magnus would tell him he had enjoyed the day. “What did you do?”
“Trained in the morning….then drinking,” he said sarcastically, feeling bad at the hurt his tone brought to Alec’s eyes but somehow still wanting to hurt him though he knew it was unfair; he had taken the choice to make this deal for Jace to help Alec. It had been his decision even if he had done it for Alec.
Magnus finished his current drink after giving Alec a small salute with his glass. He so wanted Alec to be enough but he had nothing left; he was nobody, he was nothing. He was lost. There was nothing for him to hold on to and he was beginning to realize relying only on Alec wasn’t enough; not on his own. He needed purpose, he needed to feel needed…he needed a life!
“Oh.” Alec didn’t know what to say; he knew Magnus was hurting he just kept hoping it would all just go away. “Anything else?”
Magnus raised an eyebrow at him. “I didn’t know I had to inform you of my schedule.”
“Of course you don’t,” Alec quickly assured. He paused, trying to get the evening back on track. “Anyway, where do you want to go eat tonight?” He again found a smile and a false cheerfulness.
Magnus looked forlorn for a moment, feeling guilty when he could see Alec struggling, trying to make him happy. He took a deep breath. “Sorry. I’m just…”
The apology instantly made Alec smile for real, his expression tender, his eyes loving. “It’s alright. I was just worried about you when you were late.”
Magnus’ eyes flashed with anger. “Why? Because I am basically a Mundane now; useless!” The self-doubt and misery in his expression was heartbreaking, making it clear his anger was simply a byproduct of his pain.
“Magnus! No,” Alec insisted, shaking his head. He moved closer to him, putting a hand on his arm.
Alec fought to be supportive but the more he fought to keep Magnus safe inside a small metaphorical glass bowl of protection, fearful to ever lose him, even more now that he was indeed mortal….the more Magnus felt useless, a burden….like he had nothing to contribute.
Magnus sighed and gently but firmly removed Alec’s hands from his arm, feeling he needed the distance; he needed to find himself. He was drowning in everything Alec; his room, his career, his everything. Nothing was him anymore; nothing said Magnus anymore. He needed something to still be his.
Magnus tried to smile, to soften the hurt Alec’s eyes flashed him when he had removed his hand from his arm. “Anyway, you wanted to eat so let’s eat.”
“I didn’t want it like this,” Alec said sadly, not understanding why everything was going so horribly wrong. Magnus made it sound like eating together was a command.
“Then what, Alexander? What do you want?” Magnus snapped, frustrated, hurt.
“I….I want you to be happy,” he said quietly, frustrated.
“Happy? Look at me!” Magnus yelled, agonized. Spreading his arms out to indicate all of him.
“I am looking at you,” Alec said, puzzled. He looked beautiful like always though with more make-up on then he had taken to wear after they had started dating, more like how he had appeared when they had first met. He had some circles under his eyes but otherwise he looked just as beautiful as ever to Alec but Hell…Magnus would still be the world’s most handsome man to Alec when he was 90 years old.
Magnus shook his head. A part of him loved Alec for truly not seeing the difference in him, for still loving him. The problem was just that Magnus could see the difference, in fact he could only see the difference and nothing else and he did not, could not, love what he saw. And thus he couldn’t take comfort in Alec’s perspective.
“You don’t understand,” Magnus said pained, softly.
“Understand what?” Alec asked, a hint of annoyance and frustration in his voice. He was about to put his hand on Magnus’s arm again but stopped at the last moment. “Please, talk to me.” His voice was soft now, pleading.
Magnus hesitated, considering it for all of a few seconds but then shook his head sadly as he replied, “You wouldn’t understand.”
“Not if you never talk to me!” Alec almost yelled in frustration.
Magnus reconsidered for a second but then withdrew back into his shell; he had centuries of practice hiding his feelings; it was not a habit easily broken.
“You can’t possibly understand what I am going through,” he snapped, feeling more alone than he ever had. A warlock without powers; had there ever even been such a thing?
His words felt like cold water being thrown in his face and Alec’s eyes shone with fury. “I could try! But you never let me in!”
Now Magnus was getting angry too. “I don’t let you in?! That’s rich, Alexander,” he said darkly. “Tell me, any interesting news from the Clave? Maybe another Mortal Instrument you need to keep hidden from me?” He asked sarcastically.
Alec gave him a wounded look, some of his anger fading. “That’s not fair. I apologized for that.”
“Yes, you did and that’s supposed to make everything alight, isn’t it? You apologized, you got Lorenzo to take the magic back and then what? Everything is just supposed to be alright?” Magnus’s words died out, his voice between an accusation and a plea for he too had wanted everything to be alright; he hated himself for not being alright. In fact he hated everything at the moment. He added quietly, “Is that what you want?”
“Yes! Ok, yes, that’s what I want!” Alec yelled frustrated, not caring that anyone walking past his room outside in the hallway was bound to hear them arguing.
Well, that was what Magnus wanted too, for everything to be alright but he wasn’t, and everything hurt and the world was nothing but darkness and pain and it was frustrating and was driving him mad. It was like there was this constant pain inside and he really wished he had something more concrete to blame instead of just a vague that’s how he felt explanation. Pain, frustration, anger….it all seemed to be mixing into one these days. It was like dying, just slowly and all the time.
“Well, do you know what I want? I want my magic back!” Magnus yelled pained, pouring himself another drink, downing it all in one go.
“Maybe if you tried to stop escaping this all the time,” Alec said and caught his wrist as he was about to reach for the bottle to refill his glass again, trying to make him stay in this moment with him.
Magnus looked from where he was holding his wrist to his face, his expression closed and pained.
“Let me go,” Magnus said softly with barely concealed hurt and anger.
Alec stubbornly shook his head; he wasn’t giving up on this. “So you can go drink some more?” He said sarcastically. He saw the pain in Magnus’s eyes and wished he hadn’t said it.
“It’s none of your business!” Magnus tore himself free, turning his back to him.
“Magnus, I don’t…” Alec started frustrated, running a hand through his hair, trying to apologize.
Manus shook his head as he turned around to face him, his eyes filled with pain. He waved a dismissive hand at him to get him to shut up.
“I can’t do this right now,” Magnus mumbled in agony and turned towards the door.
“Please…don’t go,” Alexander was aware he was begging but he didn’t care. However, he stayed where he was, not reaching for him though he wanted nothing more but he needed Magnus to make his own choices. He would never force him to stay if he didn’t want to.
Magnus took a deep breath, his eyes filled with hurt as he turned to look at him. “I love you, Alexander, I really do but this….I don’t know if I can do this. I don’t fit in anywhere.”
“Of course you do!” Alec protested hotly, tears starting to swell in his eyes. “I love you; you fit with me.”
“As what, Alexander? A live in decoration for your office?” He spat the words out, pained. He was the son of a Prince of Hell, he had been one of the most powerful Warlocks ever…what was he now? What was left of him now?
Alec shook his head, tears starting to run down his cheeks but he didn’t seem to notice. “No!”
Magnus smiled sadly, turning to the door. “I need to go. Sorry about dinner. We will talk later, ok?” The latter was said over his shoulder with a small smile, trying to soften the blow.
Alec forced himself to nod and tried to smile back. “Ok, later.”
They both knew later meant never. Magnus nodded and tried to give a reassuring smile back before he left. Alec knew he would go where he had gone almost every other night; back to the Hunter’s Moon to get drunk and try to forget the agony that had become his life, the meaninglessness, the lack of purpose, the nothingness that was all around him.
Alone and lost Alec looked at the door Magnus had left out of for several minutes before something gave way inside him and he sank to the floor, sobbing quietly. This was not how things were supposed to go. Magnus was mortal now; they could finally be together, live mortal lives together, grow old together. He felt cheated, powerless. He wasn’t sure what to do, where to go. How could he save Magnus from himself?
Suddenly, in the middle of his misery and self-pity Alec got an idea. Magnus just needed to feel he fit in; he would just have to show him how much he loved him and how well he fitted into his life. It came to him then; he knew what he needed to do, what would make Magnus truly feel loved and cared for. The very idea made him smile happily through his tears, convinced he had found the solution to Magnus’s depression, to everything.
He wiped the tears away with the back of his hand and stood back up with a determined look. He decided he would pay his mother a visit the next morning and ask for the family ring. He had a very important question he wanted to ask Magnus. He would have the chef prepare a special meal on the balcony and arrange for roses…it would be perfect.
In his daydreaming of marrying Magnus Alec didn’t consider anything else, didn’t stop to think whether such a gesture was the correct one to help Magnus heal. All he knew was that his lover was hurting and feeling lost and Alec wanted to take the pain away the only way he knew how; by giving him everything of himself that he had to give.
I hope you all enjoyed this chapter. As you all now know - Alec is left with scars so let's see how that works out. ;)
Next chapter I will again contrast what Malec did with Lorenzo and Andrew. If you want to jump ahead to the next Malec chapter then wait for chapter 10.
As you can probably all tell we are starting to come to the explosive finale soon. So, just curious....how do YOU guys think this will all end?
Chapter 9: Lorenzo & Andrew: The "Alec" issue
Lorenzo considers how to resolve things with Alec and talk with Andrew.
Thanks so much to my ever lovely beta Cynthia Russell as always.
The chapter mentions the Warlock laws; they will be explained further later on and will also become more important. No warnings for them (yet); just keep it in mind.
Warnings for this chapter: This chapter is about Lorenzo and Andrew and shows a relationship with Dom/sub undertones that goes beyond the bedroom. The relationship is completely consensual and the focus in this chapter is on the relationship itself. If you find such relationships disturbing then go to the next chapter; I am not paying for your shrink bills, ok? ;)
There is also talk about the torture Lorenzo subjected Alec to but the main warning for this chapter is the nature of the relationship between Lorenzo and Andrew.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Please read the author's notes above for warnings for this chapter!
Lorenzo was sitting in the living room downstairs of his mansion in one of his elaborate and fine morning robes. It was in the middle of the night, a glass of whiskey in his hand, while Andrew was sleeping in his bed upstairs, thinking about what to do with his Alec issue with a thoughtful expression on his face.
Lorenzo had kept seeing Andrew since their first time together. In fact they had met every day. Each day Lorenzo would wake up thinking that today he wouldn’t feel a need to see the other man and yet each day he found he responded to Andrew’s messages asking if it was ok that he came by after work. The more he was around Andrew, here in his home, the truth spell still in effect, he had come to realize that Andrew really was everything he seemed to be. Kind-hearted, gentle, loving…oh, so very very giving. He was supportive when needed, submissive in a way Lorenzo had never seen before both sexually and in all aspects of their relationship. Yet Andrew’s submission carried strength, power. It hadn’t taken long for Lorenzo to realize that Andrew felt safe within the relationship they were building, safe and secure when he could submit and Lorenzo himself could only ever give of himself when he knew he had that kind of power. Yet as the days passed Lorenzo had started to realize that while it was Andrew who was on his knees it was really him who had the power for he held Lorenzo’s happiness within his grasp. For the first time in his life that thought didn’t scare him for he knew the choice was still his; the choice to allow himself this. He had never in his life been in a relationship which satisfied him as completely as being with Andrew did; all his fears and insecurities, his demonic need to possess and his human need for affirmation and adoration – Andrew fulfilled it all.
As each day came and went Lorenzo started to realized that both his demon and his human half were increasingly reluctant to see Andrew leave in the mornings, were increasingly reluctant to know that Andrew wasn’t 100% his all the time, for the rest of time. With each touch, each memory he was building with the young Shadowhunter the more Lorenzo’s need and desire to possess him completely increased. Lorenzo had long ago learned life was best lived according to one rule: Want, Take, Have. He was a collector of all things fine and rare and when he wanted something he wouldn’t shy away from using any means necessary to ensure he got it. He was starting to realize that after almost six weeks of seeing Andrew every day that he had to make a decision; he either had to let him go, now, while he still could, or he would have to own him, make him his for the rest of the man’s natural life – even beyond that if he had anything to say about it. Catarina had been right in her assessment; he was a possessive, selfish and manipulative bastard and if that meant he got to have what he wanted then he was fine with it.
Yet…the whole experience was clouded by what had started this. He didn’t like being wrong and he hated being indebted to anyone. He was now faced with two challenges; he had wronged Magnus and he had wronged Alec. He couldn’t deny any of those two points any longer which just left him with how to resolve it in a way that didn’t leave him ruined. It wasn’t difficult to know what he had to do to correct the wrong with Magnus; the Warlock community had rules and rituals for such things, hell, there were whole books on how to resolve disputes between Warlocks to prevent all out magical wars that would devastate the Mundane world. He knew what he had to do – he just preferred to wait till he had a better hand. It could be compared to a Mundane trial; wouldn’t you want to go into it with the best lawyer imaginable? In Lorenzo’s case he was waiting for two things, firstly, he had had people following Magnus and was aware the man was in a very bad place due to losing his magic and his immortality. Lorenzo couldn’t blame him. He would rather be dead than without his magic. However, leaving himself to the mercy of a deeply depressed Prince of Hell…not on the top of his to-do list. So…he would wait a little longer in the hope things would settle down one way or another. Then came the problem he was currently trying to solve. He stood a better chance with Magnus if he had resolved the matter between Alec and himself. There were no rules in the Warlock community for how to handle such a situation; it could be left up to Magnus’ discretion how he wanted that infraction dealt with but Lorenzo wanted Alec to speak his case. So how do you get someone you have humiliated, beaten and tortured to speak up for you? Tricky, that one.
He had been unable to make himself go back to Magnus’ loft since he had met Andrew - while the evidence of what he had done to Alec was long gone – magic made both cleaning and redecorating easy –his mind wouldn’t let him forget. He had done everything he could to break Alec physically and mentally. He would now have to admit that he had never really broken his spirit; Alec had managed to hang onto the memory of Magnus and had pulled through. When he had done it he had thought the memory would bring him pride or joy or even the smallest flicker of peace…but now it only brought him frustration, shame, guilt and a deep feeling of failure that was worse than any he had ever felt in his entire life. It left a bitter taste in his mouth and a dull ache in his heart, knowing now that if Andrew could be everything he was…chances were then Alec was too. What was worse…Having Andrew in his life meant he could imagine what Alec and Magnus felt for each other. Every day he feared for Andrew’s life – without his knowledge Lorenzo would often trail him during his hunts, kill demons in his path before they reached him. He would worry the Clave would find out about their relationship and harm him in some way; he might have changed his mind on Alec and Andrew but he still hated Shadowhunters in general and the Clave in particular and didn’t trust them. He was certain the Clave would love to be able to get back at him for killing several of their own (no matter how long ago it was; Warlocks never forgot and it seemed neither did the Clave).
His mind was going in circles. Images came to him of Alec speaking at cabinet meetings, speaking of change, how he had worried about Magnus, defended him…how he had humiliated himself by crying, begging him to help the older Warlock…how he had withstood the pain; despite every fiber in his being, every military training he had, telling him to move he had taken the whipping beat after beat until his legs hadn’t been able to carry him and his arms hadn’t been able to stay on the wall. Even when Lorenzo had used magic to hold him upright to continue the punishment the young Shadowhunter had taken it, met him blow by blow…in that moment, with those images dancing before his eyes Lorenzo had never admired anyone more. He hated knowing he had misjudged Alec so severely, hated knowing he had delivered a punishment that had been unjust, hated knowing he had been wrong.
Lorenzo finished his drink and refilled it magically, having lost count how many times he had done that during the night already – Warlock tolerance made it more difficult to tell as he was only now starting to feel a slight buzz. His mind was on fire with images but none of them helped him answer the question on his mind; how to approach the Alec situation. He tried to shake his head to clear it but the images remained. He tried to focus on finding solutions, moving forward, repress his fears and doubts yet forbidden, hidden deep inside him was a tiny voice trying to make itself heard. A voice he hadn’t heard in a long time, a voice he wanted to silence more than anything in this world and any world. That horrible voice that said he wasn’t good enough, that voice that said this was all a show – his mansion, the self-portraits, the title as High Warlock…and now that voice was screaming at him, yelling inside his skull…See what you have done, demon! See, they were right! You are worse than they are! Unworthy! A freak!
He downed his drink and used magic to make himself another, finishing that one too in one go before yet again making his glass refill, hoping, wanting to drown that annoying voice in the alcohol so he could focus on something constructive. The voice kept screaming at him; he couldn’t sleep at night as he kept imagining he could smell the blood from the young Shadowhunter in the air just like that night…that he could feel it on his hands, running warm, red and sticky. Sometimes the dreams changed and instead of Alec being whipped it was Andrew. He knew there was only one way to end this; he had to settle this matter once and for all.
“Are you alright?” Andrew’s soft and slightly worried voice startled him.
Lorenzo turned around in the chair and faced him. He smiled as he saw Andrew was wearing one of his own robes, matching the one he was wearing. He found a smile which was only half faked; seeing Andrew always eased his mind. “Of course.”
Andrew walked over and bent down to kiss his lips tenderly. “You seemed…” Andrew started when he drew back from the kiss but then stopped himself, not sure what to say. Out of habit and needing to feel grounded, calm, Andrew bent on one knee on the floor next to Lorenzo’s chair, looking up at him, a hand on Lorenzo’s knee. The Warlock smiled fully now, feeling calmed by the gesture, the trust in it. Seeing this Andrew sat fully on his knees next to his chair and leaned against his leg, sitting so he could easily look up at him. He often sat like this next to Lorenzo’s chair instead of in one of the empty chairs beside him; Lorenzo had never needed to discuss this with him, never needed to express that he wanted him to, for him to feel secure and calm nor had Andrew ever needed to explain that he needed to do this to feel safe and loved. It was one of many reasons why Lorenzo had started to realize he wanted Andrew, needed him, with him now and always. Everything he had ever desired in a partner Andrew simply did.
Lorenzo reached out a hand and stroked Andrew’s hair and he leaned into the touch eagerly. Seeing Andrew like this, open, vulnerable, kneeling next to him…it was the most beautiful thing Lorenzo had ever seen and it made him realize he wanted to preserve this forever.
Lorenzo took a deep breath; the alcohol finally giving him the courage to do something he should have done long ago. He had to be honest with Andrew – at least with some elements of this. Lying to him was not how he wanted this to go on; not with him. With anyone else he had ever been with; sure. But not with him. He wanted Andrew to stay willingly, knowing what he was getting into.
“I have to tell you something,” Lorenzo said calmly, his voice almost echoing in the otherwise silent room.
Andrew frowned but still leaned into his touch. “Ok…I don’t like where this is going.” His voice was worried.
Lorenzo emptied his glass and magically refilled it, making a matching glass of whiskey appear in Andrew’s right hand. “You probably won’t,” Lorenzo agreed darkly. “The day we first met and you came here…”
“Yes?” Andrew encouraged him on when his voice died out, taking a sip of the drink in his hand.
Lorenzo took a deep breath, closing his eyes, preparing himself for a fight…for losing Andrew. This was always how things ended; he wasn’t exactly an easy man to be around. When Lorenzo spoke his voice was even and calm, “I had cast a truth spell on the mansion. It’s still in effect.” He didn’t regret doing it nor that he had never stopped the spell; he had done what he needed to do. However, it was time now for the truth even if it meant Andrew would leave.
Andrew gave a wry smile, clearly relieved this was Lorenzo’s big reveal. “Is that all? I am a direct person but not normally that direct. I figured you had used some kind of magic,” he simply responded, a small blush coloring his cheeks as he recalled what he had said that night…and many other nights since then. He lowered his eyes to his drink, trying to ignore the fact that thinking about sex with Lorenzo was turning him on. There was something incredibly liberating in being able to say what he needed and having Lorenzo give it to him without judgement, without asking why or how.
Lorenzo couldn’t help but smile; Andrew looked endearing, almost fragile, sitting like this at his feet, his eyes lowered, feeling secure enough, strong enough, to show how comfortable kneeling was to him, trying to hide that just thinking about their violent and passionate sex that first evening was turning him on. It was also a turn on for Lorenzo but he did nothing to hide that fact, comfortable with expressing his needs and desires.
“Why didn’t you say anything?” Lorenzo asked, a bit puzzled.
Andrew shrugged as if it hadn’t been important. “I know a little from the file the Clave has on you what you have been through.”
Lorenzo raised an eyebrow at him, questioning. “And you are not going to ask me to remove it?”
“No.” He paused and looked up at Lorenzo, nothing but acceptance in his eyes. “I figured it calms you to have this assurance that it is literally impossible for me to ever deceive you.” He took another sip of his drink before he put it on the sofa table next to him.
Lorenzo shook his head; most people would certainly either never accept the spell, the lack of honesty about it or at the very least demand it went both ways. Andrew just accepted it. A better man would likely have wondered what had happened to him in the past to act in this manner but Lorenzo wasn’t a good man; instead he was simply grateful for the win and wasn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth. His eyes were bright with a rare gentleness as he leaned down, kissing Andrew’s lips lovingly as if he was the most precious thing in the universe. Increasingly Lorenzo was starting to think that he was which was both terrifying and amazing. When they drew apart Lorenzo stroked his cheek tenderly. “You are the most amazing being I have ever met.”
Andrew blushed and smiled happily, grasping his hand and squeezing it, taken back by the unusual tenderness of Lorenzo’s touch, used to their touches being more about sex, dominance and passion than anything else.
“Likewise,” Andrew said hoarsely.
This time Lorenzo couldn’t met his gaze which was rare for him. He was a man who stood by what and who he was; he had rarely felt he had been given reason for pause.
“You really wouldn’t be saying that if you knew the things I have done,” he said softly. He had done many things that by most standards would be considered bad or downright cruel and evil but he didn’t care about that. He only cared whether he had done what he himself would consider to be fair and what he had done with Alec hadn’t been fair.
“Do you mean how you avenged your mother?” Andrew asked softly, carefully. He rarely asked anything of Lorenzo and certainly nothing about his past. It had been an unspoken rule between them but something in Lorenzo’s voice had made him ask now.
Lorenzo’s head flew up, panic written on his face. Andrew knew what he had done to Alec? How was that possible? Had Alec broken their deal and told him? No, he couldn’t believe he would do that; it would go against everything he had come to believe the man stood for.
“You know about that?”
Andrew frowned, confused by the panic in Lorenzo’s voice. “About killing the Shadowhunters who did it? Well, no one knew for certain – no bodies were ever found – but the Clave always suspected.”
“Oh, that.” Lorenzo sighed in relief and made a dismissive gesture with his free hand, indicating he thought that of no consequence. He felt no shame about doing that; they had more than deserved it.
Andrew looked worried and puzzled up at him, leaning his whole body towards him, turning so he could put his hands on Lorenzo’s knees and look up at him with an intense gaze. “What’s really wrong, Lorenzo? Something seem to have been bothering you lately. Even though you always try and put up this carefree facade around me I can feel you’re unbalanced.”
Lorenzo was both pleased and frustrated with how well Andrew seemed to be able to read him after such a short time together.
“If you knew…” Lorenzo took a deep breath, frustration and shame colouring his voice and whole body language. For a moment their roles were reversed as this time he lowered his eyes. “If you knew what I have done you wouldn’t look at me with such…adoration.”
Andrew gently touched his cheek and Lorenzo finally looked into his eyes. “How can I not; I think…I am falling in love with you,” Andrew said softly, his voice and eyes filled with tenderness and affection.
Lorenzo was torn between happiness and panic at hearing those words. He had heard them before but never since his mother had they sounded sincere; sure, many a girl or beautiful man had said it but their eyes had been on what he could give them; a pretty trinklet, a safe place to stay for a while…Andrew seemed to really mean it.
For once in a very long time Lorenzo was for a moment unselfish as he spoke honestly, warningly, “You really shouldn’t.”
Andrew looked hurt and puzzled, pulling his hand back to lay with the other on his knees. “Why? You don’t feel the same?” He asked softly, insecurity making his voice so soft Lorenzo could barely hear him.
At his hurt tone Lorenzo felt his resolve to at least try to be unselfish for a moment start to crack. He took a firm grip under Andrew’s chin, making him look up at him. “I…Yes but you don’t know me. I am not a good man. You don’t know what I have done.” His voice was dark, pained…breaking.
At his words Andrew instantly brightened. He had only heard the first part, chose to only focus on that. Lorenzo did love him. That was all that mattered. That was all he cared for. He ignored the warning, ignored the darkness in his tone. He loved him; whatever else had been in that sentence wasn’t important nor would he allow it to be important.
“I know enough,” Andrew insisted, strongly, smiling affectionately. “Nephilim love once, fiercely. Having fallen for you….there is nothing at all you could do or tell me that would change my feelings for you,” he continued with absolute certainty.
Lorenzo smiled back, losing his resolve to be selfless. Nothing at all to change his mind…that was promising. Very promising. He could certainly work with that!
“I have heard about this regarding Shadowhunters. I always wondered if it’s true,” he mused.
Andrew nodded. “It is.”
Lorenzo’s smile widened; that sounded perfect. However, before he could explore that more he needed to find a solution to his Alec problem before it became a bigger issue for him than it already was.
“You know Alexander Lightwood, don’t you?” He asked thoughtfully.
Andrew looked surprised at him, unsure where this was going, taken back by the abrupt change of topic. Of course, for Lorenzo this was returning to the original topic that had awoken him in the first place but Andrew was unaware of that.
“What type of man is he? Is he a just man or would be seek retribution?” Lorenzo asked, needing to get a better understanding of him if he was to find a solution.
Andrew was thoughtful, trying not to answer the question with a question of his own. He convinced himself that Lorenzo had to have good reason to ask such an odd thing at this time of night. “Yes…if it’s only for himself I don’t believe he would ever seek revenge. But if it involves others then I am not so sure.”
“So…what would make him forgive in those cases too?” Lorenzo looked at Andrew with an expression that made it clear he was hanging on every word.
“That’s a weird question…when I don’t know what you want him to forgive,” Andrew answered softly, wanting to help but very much in the dark here.
“Amado [beloved]…just answer me,” Lorenzo ordered but the desperation in his voice made the order sound more like a plea.
I really need to learn Spanish, Andrew thought. It cut at his heart to hear Lorenzo so lost when he was normally always so confidant and self-assured. He tried to think carefully before replying. “Well, as mentioned he cares deeply for those around him so what you did helping him with removing your magic from Magnus...”
Lorenzo shook his head, his expression darkening even more. “No.” His voice was firm and certain.
Andrew was a little taken back with his tone and the darkness on his face mentioning the favor he had done both Alec and Magnus by removing his magic from the older Warlock. What an odd reaction. However, he let it go and instead focused on trying to come up with something else. “Ok…well, I guess helping his friends in some way. He’s the self-sacrificing type of leader…maybe if he saw that in you...” Andrew’s voice died out, unsure what else to suggest.
“Do you really see me as the self-sacrificing type?” Lorenzo asked darkly, sarcastically.
“I think you have been hurt a lot but I also firmly believe that you want what you see Alec and Magnus has – friends, love, companionship - and with that also comes the desire to sacrifice for those you love,” Andrew replied with the honestly brought on by the spell but Andrew just smiled, clearly completely at ease with knowing he was under the spell.
Lorenzo shook his head, amazed at Andrew’s innocence, his goodness. He didn’t want to correct Andrew in his naïve assumptions; sacrifice for those he loved – maybe, maybe… but only two people in the world would come close to being in that category and his my mother was already dead. He smiled almost predatory, giving Andrew another warning, becoming increasingly convinced that by the end of this night Andrew would either belong to him for eternity or not at all. “Mi mas querido [My most beloved], you are too good for me. I can’t match such qualities but now that I have you I will never let you go,” he said softly, kissing his lips possessively.
I really do need to learn Spanish, Andrew again thought, smiling as they drew apart, joy floating over him like waves when he realized he had made Lorenzo happy.
“Maybe…but you still got me,” Andrew said softly, answering the first part of Lorenzo's statement, feeling himself smile happily at the possessiveness in Lorenzo's tone at the last part of his sentence; always belonging here, to him...that seemed like a dream come true. He couldn't quite believe he might be so lucky; that Lorenzo would want him for good. Before he got lost somewhere between happiness and anxiety he focused on Lorenzo's dilemma and asked more seriously, “So…how can I help?”
“What do you mean?” Lorenzo asked, raising an eyebrow at him.
“Well, something has clearly happened between Alec and you,” at Lorenzo’s alarmed look he quickly added, “No, no one told me but the way you two avoided looking at each other at the Downworld Cabinet meeting last week…. how unsettled you looked around him, how you two tried to avoid each other completely and how angry he looks at you…it was clear even before this conversation,” Andrew explained simply.
Lorenzo sighed; sometimes Andrew was almost too perceptive for his own good but he again tried to make an effort to be honest. Andrew deserved to know what he was getter into…well, some of it at least.
“True.” Lorenzo paused. He didn’t want to explain what had happened but he wanted Andrew to have the opening to ask now if he needed to because he would never give him this chance ever again. “You are not going to ask me what happened?”
Andrew shook his head; if he knew he would have to make a choice and he didn’t want to have to choose between Alec, a man who had become his only real friend at the Institute, and his lover. It was best not knowing; it was safer that way for he had a gut feeling he would not have liked what Lorenzo would have told him.
“No. You will tell me if or when you are ready.”
Lorenzo couldn’t help but smile fondly. He couldn’t believe he was actually going to get out of this conversation with Andrew so easily. He wasn’t sure whether he would have told him the truth or not had he asked but by replying as he had Andrew had ensured he never needed to figure that out – nor did Andrew ever need to make a choice between Alec and Lorenzo.
This Nephilim, his Nephilim - he couldn’t believe he of all people could say that – he made everything …better somehow, as if Lorenzo himself got anointed through his innocence. His smile faded as he remembered what he had done to Alec. He needed to correct that mistake before he could relax. He needed to make things right. He was not a good man, he never would be. But he wanted to be a fair man, a just man. And for that he needed to make this situation with Alec right.
“Well, I guess what I need is…A way to help him or his friends. Something meaningful…something…” He paused but decided to be honest for once, “Something that can’t be easily forgotten or dismissed.”
Andrew looked worried but didn’t comment. “Okay….I am guessing this means it has to be a big gesture then?”
“Relatively, yes,” Lorenzo confirmed with a firm nod as he took a sip of his drink.
“Not your life!” Andrew said sharply, fear gripping his heart.
“Preferably not, little Shadowhunter,” Lorenzo agreed with a small reassuring smile and quite a dose of humor; he wanted to make things right but not that much. “But basically up to that.”
Andrew was unhappy to hear that but accepted it – for now. He also didn’t try to comment on Lorenzo’s nickname for him; he had actually come to like it in a way. It was always said endearingly and it made him feel cared for. His upbringing would demand he didn’t feel that way but then nothing of his relationship with Lorenzo would ever be approved or even understood by his people, his society or his culture.
“Well, I suggest we pool our resources – listen to the gossip and whispers from Idris, the Downworld…” Andrew’s voice died out as he thought out loud about what could be done.
Lorenzo nodded; it was worth a shot. “Listening for…?” Lorenzo asked, realizing he of course didn’t know the names of anyone Alec might care for who wasn’t Magnus. There was of course the obvious solution which Lorenzo had quickly dismissed; he could have made a deal to give up his magic to get Magnus his own magic back. He knew for a fact such a deal would be possible but he also knew he would never ever make a deal to give up his magic for anything or anyone – ever. He would rather die than be without his magic. It was simply not a solution worth wasting time on. Besides giving Magnus back his magic there really wasn’t anything Lorenzo could offer Alec when it came to Magnus that would slightly interest him; he was certain of that. So that meant looking for someone else.
“His sister, Isabelle, his little brother, Max, his parabatai, Jace,” Lorenzo nodded when he heard the name Jace, now recalling that that was the name of the one Magnus had come to request his help to save. “Then there’s Jace’s girlfriend, Clary and her vampire friend Simon. Further from him I would imagine Magnus’ closest friends like Raphael, Catarina and the little Warlock girl Madzie.”
“I would have heard if there was anything with any of the Warlocks so that leaves the Shadowhunters and vampires,” Lorenzo said thoughtfully. “I will go talk to the Seelie Court – they are half angels and half demons and thus often have unique information from both worlds.”
Andrew nodded. “Ok, just be careful. In the meantime I will see what I can find out when I return to the Institute tomorrow,” Andrew said and reached up a hand to hold around Lorenzo’s neck, a questioning look in his eyes. Seeing Lorenzo’s acceptance in his eyes, he drew him down and into a passionate kiss. Lorenzo put a hand around his neck as well and pulled him closer, deepening the kiss with an almost desperate need. Andrew easily surrendered under his hands, enjoying the feel of strength and power from his lover.
When they drew part for breath Lorenzo’s eyes were cloudy with desire. “Tu amor me salva todos los dias [Your love save me every day],” he mumbled softly.
Andrew didn’t understand the words and was beginning to suspect Lorenzo spoke Spanish on purpose when he wanted to be romantic, knowing Andrew wouldn’t understand and thus felt safe and secure in voicing his feelings without feeling exposed or weak because of it. He did understand the love in his tone and eyes though which made him smile.
We are going to start with a short rant on manners. I monitor comments on all my fics but that doesn't mean that flames attacking me personally for how "dark" you find this story (or any of my fics btw) is acceptable. I am human too (shocking, I know!) and such words are hurtful and also not very motivating in terms of keep writing. :(
If you on the other hand is enjoying the story I would love to hear from you; even just a one word encouragement would be treasured. :)
Next up; the Malec proposal which means we return to a love that’s basically the opposite of this; mutual self-sacrifice and angst and then eventually fluff with rainbows and kittens (no, no kittens or rainbows in the next chapter but it sounded good, right?) ;)
Chapter 10: Proposal - the Alec way
Alec is proposing to Magnus and no one, not Magnus himself and not even a certain demon Prince, can stop him!
Thanks as always to my amazing beta for doing a great job - also as always.
Chapter warnings: Angst and even more deal making and sacrificing but then it's Alec so what else is new? I mean… How else would our boy propose?! ;)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
The next morning Andrew saw Jace and Alec walk down an otherwise empty hallway of the Institute together and followed them, walking briskly to catch up, needing to deliver some reports to Alec.
“You are nervous,” he heard Jace say to Alec, giving him a searching look.
Alec shook his head. “No, I’m not,” he denied.
Jace raised an eyebrow at him. “I can feel it. Why are you nervous?”
Alec sighed softly, clearly giving up his denial. “I am going to propose to Magnus tonight.” The excitement was clear in his tone as was his worry and nervousness.
Jace smiled widely as he stopped walking, forcing Alec to do the same. “Really? Congratulations.” He gave him a big hug, holding him tight for a moment.
Alec smiled his thanks as they drew apart, his eyes soft and happy, enjoying the encouragement and support from his parabatai.
“I just want everything to be perfect,” he admitted, biting his lower lip nervously.
“He will get to be with you for the rest of your lives. Believe me; that will be all that matters,” Jace reassured him, still smiling: Their parabatai bond was fully open at the moment which meant the happiness he felt for Alec and Alec felt for Jace’s support was mixing together, making them both just in general feeling happy and drowning in each other’s joy.
“I hope so,” Alec mumbled under his breath, his expression becoming darker and more serious, his smile fading as he started to send waves of worry and concern through their bond.
“It will be fine,” Jace reassured him, sending waves of comfort back.
They saw Andrew come towards them and Jace nodded to them both before leaving to go find Clary.
“Andrew, do you have…” Alec started to ask as soon as Andrew reached him but didn’t get to finish before Andrew handed him the reports he wanted.
Alec smiled as he took the reports from the other man who clashed his hands behind his back as soon as they were empty. “Thank you.”
Andrew nodded in response and Alec noticed the thoughtful look on his face. “What is it?”
Andrew hesitated, unsure if he should say anything. “It’s really not my place…” His voice died out and he looked down, feeling insecure.
“I am your friend. You can tell me anything,” Alec reassured him, putting an encouraging hand on his shoulder. Andrew smiled at him as Alec withdrew his hand.
“I couldn’t help but overhear about the proposal; congratulations,” Andrew said sincerely, happy for his friend.
“Thank you but I feel that is not what you wanted to talk to me about?” Alec said insightfully.
After a short pause Andrew explained, his voice soft and thoughtful, “Have you considered Magnus might need his magic to feel whole?” Andrew paused, unsure if he should go on when he saw how Alec’s face fell and he looked like someone had kicked him in the gut. Maybe he shouldn’t have said anything but something told Andrew that Alec had thought the same; he just hadn’t wanted to face it. “He’s a warlock without anything; his powers, his position. Have you considered the timing of your proposal?”
Alec frowned, feeling like someone had just thrown ice water at him. “Yes but…I can’t give him his powers back,” he admitted with a lost tone.
Magnus had only given up his powers for him, to help him save Jace and not only had he almost died due to his sacrifice but he was now also miserable beyond words. It broke Alec’s heart and he just really wanted to fix it; he wanted to take away the pain he saw in Magnus’ eyes on a daily basis these days, he wanted to take away the turmoil inside him which was now driving Magnus to try and forget his pain and suffering in drink. He just wanted Magnus to smile again, be happy again. He wanted them to be happy together again. If offering Magnus the rest of his life, his love forever, sealed in the proposal he was planning would not help…what would? What else could he do? What else did he have to offer, to give? What other option did he have? He refused to give up on Magnus; that was just never gonna happen. Ever!
He should have known someone as insightful as Andrew had noticed Magnus wasn’t feeling well. In fact he would be surprised if it had gone unnoticed by anyone in the Institute by now. Alec had wanted Magnus to get over it, to be ok with being mortal now, being a Mundane in anything but name but if he was honest with himself…would he have handled it any better if suddenly he had been de-runed, cast out without anything to do, everything that had used to define him now gone, unable to help like he used to? Would that not also leave him broken and lost? He had wanted to pretend he was certain Magnus would get over it but a part of him, a voice in the back of his mind, somehow….he had never really believed it. He had wanted it to be true….but he had logically known it was unrealistic. Magnus had lived for hundreds of years as a warlock, he had never lived without magic. It was beyond stupid to believe he would recover from something like that quickly and even more to believe Magnus would not be left with scars for the rest of what life he did have left. No amount of wishing reality was different would ever change that. Hearing the words from Andrew meant he could no longer deny these truths. The reality he didn’t want to face had slapped him in the face; Magnus was suffering and it was his fault because he had gotten Magnus to make this huge sacrifice for Jace, for him. He had likely condemned Magnus to suffer for the rest of his life! What kind of boyfriend did that? What kind of person would ever be able to live with themselves knowing the person they loved more than life itself was suffering every day because of the sacrifice they had done for you?
Andrew noticed how Alec’s expression had now turned into one of pure misery and he really regretted saying anything. Maybe having left him with the happiness he had had earlier, fake as it was - because he was certain it would never save Magnus like Alec wanted it to -…well, maybe it had been kinder. He had not expected this when he had started to speak; he had only brought it up hoping Alec would acknowledge Magnus was clearly miserable and needed help, a lot of help, and not a proposal. However, he couldn’t bear to see Alec so sad, knowing his words had caused it so he forgot about his intentions and was simply driven by a desire to want to try and fix it, to give Alec some hope. He lit up when he remembered something that might be helpful. “Well…”
When Andrew didn’t continue Alec gave him an intense look, the one word giving Alec hope. Was there a way? Could this be fixed? He needed to know! He prompted Andrew to go on, his eagerness making his voice sharp, “What do you know?”
Andrew hesitated but then said, “I overheard Lorenzo talk to another Warlock about how a Warlock can’t live without their magic, how they would both rather die than live without it.” In Andrew’s mind the conversation had showed Lorenzo cared for Magnus while Lorenzo had done it from the perspective of keeping your friends close but your enemies closer and had thus had Magnus followed by the other Warlock who had come by his mansion to report back to him.
“I overheard Lorenzo say it should be possible to barter a deal to get the magic back but I fear the price might be quite high,” Andrew admitted regretfully. He was quite certain of this since both Warlocks had dismissed the idea out of hand.
“You talk to Lorenzo? When did this happen?! And he thinks about this?” Alec asked surprised, shock on his face. Before Andrew could respond he waved a dismissive hand. “Never mind that.”
He didn’t have time to go into that; that wasn’t really the important aspect of this. Alec got a determined look on his face; he could fix this! Finally, he could fix it and fix it for good. And then they could finally be happy together. He was not giving up on Magnus, he was not giving up on them! He had created this mess when he had had Magnus do this to help Jace at his behest. A part of him had known Magnus would do anything, sacrifice anything, to ensure he was happy and if his happiness required Jace then Magnus would do whatever it took to ensure Jace would be there. Magnus had sacrificed something far greater than his life; he had sacrificed his feeling of self; his very essence. Magnus deserved at least the same level of commitment, of sacrifice, in return from the man who loved him. And by the Angel; he would get it! Alec would see to it that Magnus understood that for once it was someone else sacrificing for him; just like the first gift of many Alec had bestowed upon the Warlock. Magnus was so used to doing things for others; it was time he got to see some of that returned to him.
“Find me the closest Warlock medium who is powerful enough to reach Edom and explain I want a medium to help me so I can broker a deal with Asmodeus, the demon Prince,” Alec ordered, his face set in clear lines of strength and determination.
Andrew was really starting to doubt it had been a good idea to ever say anything to Alec; making deals with demon princes seemed like a really bad idea. However, he could see Alec was expecting him to react so he dutifully responded, “Yes, Sir.”
A few hours later Andrew had found such a person for Alec and he had wasted no time visiting her. Andrew had insisted he follow him there, just in case, but stayed at a respectful distance. He remained by the door, observing everything closely, ready with his blade should anything happen.
Alec had taken a seat across from the warlock medium, an elderly woman, who had summoned Asmodeus, Magnus’s father. While the woman never changed in appearance her voice and body language changed when she channeled the spirit of the demon prince.
“Who dares summon me?” The voice from the old lady’s mouth was filled with authority and strength.
“Asmodeus I presume?” Alec asked, raising an eyebrow in question from across the table.
“Correct.” The female medium paused, looking him up and down before adding, her voice filled with dismay and annoyance, “You are the Nephilim my son loves.”
“Yes,” Alec acknowledged, his voice strong and certain, his posture straight and authoritative. “I want you to give him his powers back.”
Asmodeus laughed wickedly. “Why would I do that?”
Alec’s eyes narrowed in annoyance at Asmodeus laughing at Magnus’ expense, laughing at his pain.
“If you care…” Alec started to say, his eyes and voice darkening with a hidden threat and growing anger.
“Your summoning spoke of a deal,” Asmodeus interrupted him, waving an impatient hand, clearly not interested in Alec’s evaluations of his parental affection nor of his threats. “This line of argument doesn’t sound like a deal,” Asmodeus added with narrowed eyes. There was a clear warning at the end of that statement, warning Alec not to waste the prince’s time.
Alec’s lips were a thin line and his eyes flashed in irritation and frustration. “I want you to give Magnus his magic, his own magic, and his immortality back.”
The medium raised an eyebrow questioning. “And in return?”
Having no idea what price such a thing could have and not owning any material possessions he was forced to open the negotiations from a point of weakness. However, his voice remained strong.
“What would it cost me?”
Asmodeus was thoughtful for a moment. “I was going to use my son’s desperation to my advantage so if I give him his magic and his immortality back now the price will be high.”
Alec sighed in annoyance and snapped, “Just say it already.”
Asmodeus gave him an intense look as he looked him up and down as if he was a horse he was considering whether to buy or not. He smiled darkly as if he found something he liked. “Your soul.”
“My soul?” Alec questioned, surprise and shock clear on his face and in his voice. He had never even heard one could barter with souls….
“Yes,” Asmodeus confirmed. He paused, seeing the astonishment on his face. “If it is too high a price for my son’s happiness…”
The words brought Alec out of his surprised state and he interrupted him with a strength and determination that made his allegiance to Magnus clear. He was not letting Magnus suffer for another second and he was not going to accept losing him; not even to himself!
Asmodeus couldn’t believe the words which had just been spoken. Such a rare gift; a Nephilim soul and willingly given! This was worth so much more than Magnus’ magic!
“Well…that was surprising,” the demon prince admitted.
Alec gave him an impatient look, not interested in the internal power struggles in Edom. “How do we do this then?”
“Well, for this to work Magnus has to accept the deal,” Asmodeus warned.
Andrew had been following his boss and friend negotiations and was really starting to worry but when he heard this he was relieved. That was obviously never going to happen.
Alec frowned in concern at this; Magnus would never agree to that. However, what if he didn’t need to know? An idea was forming in his mind.
“How precisely does he have to accept it?”
“You simply say the words ‘For you I give my soul. Do you accept?’ When Magnus says yes the deal is done,” Asmodeus explained.
Alec nodded grimly and took out a ring box from his jacket, opening it up for Asmodeus to see. Inside was a ring made of silver and with an L on it.
“I want you to enchant this ring so when he says yes and I place it on his finger his magic returns,” Alec demanded, his plan now fully formed. He could do this! He could fix it, make it right. Magnus would be happy again and then…finally, they could be happy again…together.
“You don’t trust me?” Asmodeus questioned, a dangerous edge to his voice.
“Of course not,” Alec replied evenly and kept holding the open ring box in front of him.
Andrew tensed, his hand on the handle of his seraph blade, ready to strike but he relaxed when he heard Asmodeus laugh.
“You are not as stupid as most Nephilim then,” Asmodeus admitted with something close to admiration in his voice. It wasn’t that Nephilim in general trusted him but most Nephilim just wasn’t that strategic in their way of doing things which was a strength for someone like him who had a very strategic mind and who loved to manipulate people till he got what he wanted from them. Alec was different; his wit seemed to almost match Asmodeus’ own which he found intriguing. He could see what his son had seen in him. Though of course love and sacrifice was weakness; Magnus should just have claimed him and been done with it!
“Thanks I guess,” Alec said dryly. “Now, enchant it already.”
Asmodeus looked slightly amused at Alec’s impatience and waved a hand over the ring. Red flames of magic glowed around it before fading away.
Alec nodded slightly and closed the ring box before he put it back in the pocket of his jacket.
“Then I close the connection,” Alec said, speaking the words that would alert the medium to return and the connection to be broken.
Asmodeus smiled at him. “I shall look forward to seeing you when your soul comes to Edom…for eternity,” his voice was filled with dark promise. All the fun he could have with this one….
Alec managed not to shiver at the tone of his voice; however, Andrew visible shuttered when he heard it, having been uncertain until now what precisely it meant to sell your soul.
“First when I die,” Alec said defiantly.
Asmodeus nodded; Alec’s defiance just made him more eager to play with him. “When you die I shall enjoy breaking you….which for me would be like a blink of an eye,” he said with a glare.
Before Alec could respond Asmodeus’ presence disappeared and the manners and voice of the female Warlock returned. She gave Alec a questioning look.
“Did you get what you wanted, Shadowhunter?” she asked.
“I did,” Alec responded with a nod of his head. Even though Asmodeus’ words worried him he was smiling internally. He had done it. he had actually done it. he had gotten Magnus’ magic back and soon….soon they would be together as husbands till the day they – no, now only he as Magnus would again be immortal – died. Knowing what was awaiting him in death made Alec determined to enjoy his life with Magnus to the fullest. He felt certain that the wonderful memories they could build together would help sustain him for quite a while when his soul did go to Edom. Not forever of course – he would break eventually – after all, the afterlife was forever, but with the memories of the life and the love he would share with Magnus, that would keep him going for a long time. He was certain of that. And after that….after that it wouldn’t really matter anyway. He would have had a full life with Magnus, a life filled with love and joy - maybe they would even adopt children; he had always wanted that. It was more than he had ever hoped he would have and more than most people got and it was more than enough for him.
“My payment?” She asked as she reached out a hand towards him.
“Here,” Alec said as he handed her a pouch containing the only thing of value he had had handy; a white gold necklace with the rune symbol for Endurance. It had been a gift from his parents’ for his Rune ceremony and he wasn’t fond of parting with it as it was one of very few things they had really given him but to have been able to make this deal for Magnus it was a small price to pay.
The woman took the pouch and smiled. “Nice doing business with you.”
Alec rose and shook her hand before turning to leave. He nodded to a clearly still shocked Andrew on the way out to indicate he should follow him out which he did.
“Andrew, I want you to make sure Magnus shows up at the balcony in my room at 1900 hours tonight, precisely,” Alec ordered him as they walked out of the woman’s shop and out on the street. His mind was on his plans for the proposal. He wanted everything to be perfect; he didn’t want to waste another minute he could have shared with the man he loved.
“Yes, Sir,” Andrew promised, fighting to get his head back in the game. He frowned for a moment before starting to say, his worry and concern clear in his voice, feeling guilty he had ever brought up his concern regarding Magnus and his need for magic in the first place, “About this deal…”
“The deal is between Asmodeus and I. No one else needs to know. You understand?” Alec ordered, giving him a piercing look.
“Yes, Sir,” Andrew promised, though feeling uncomfortable as he did. However, he was thinking about Lorenzo and how he had wanted him to help find out something about Alec and the people he cared about. Lorenzo’s needs superseded anything else for Andrew and thus he convinced himself that the order didn’t really cover his lover.
Alec nodded and visibly relaxed at hearing this. He looked at his watch; it was almost 1700 hundred hours which meant Happy Hour. “You will most likely find Magnus at the Hunter’s Moon.”
“Yes, Sir,” Andrew nodded his understanding.
“Whatever it takes!” Alec added sternly. He was not going to give Magnus a chance to screw this up! He was having his proposal and he was gonna do it right even if it meant getting Magnus there on time bound and gagged. Screw this; he had found a way to fix this and he wasn’t missing as much as one second where he could have been with Magnus.
“Yes, Sir. Of course, Sir.” Andrew promised and he and Alec parted ways; Alec returning to the Institute to prepare for his proposal while Andrew went to the Hunter’s Moon to find Magnus and find a way to get the Warlock to arrive precisely on time.
Alec had gotten the chef to prepare a special meal, he had put over some romantic music, there were candles and roses everywhere. He had dressed in a nice black outfit he knew Magnus loved seeing him in and the ring was in the pocket of his jacket. The champagne was in the cooler, wine was on the table, the cocktail trolley was fully stocked…he was ready.
Magnus burst into Alec’s room at precisely 1900 hours, looking nervously around, fear and panic in his eyes and expression. He spotted Alec standing in the middle of the room, smiling widely when he saw Magnus; just on time. Alec added a mental note to send Andrew a nice bottle of wine or something as thanks for managing to get Magnus to arrive so precisely.
“Alexander! Alec, are you alright?” Magnus asked fanatically, worry in his voice as he all but ran to Alec and gave him a soul-crushing embrace.
When he drew back he cupped Alec’s face, his expression fearful as he fanatically searched him for injuries.
“Yes.” Alec said with a warm smile, nodding to empathize his point. He put one of his own hands over Magnus' right hand that was coverng his cheek.
“Andrew said you had been injured,” Magnus explained, frowning when he was starting to realize Alec looked suspiciously healthy.
“I’m alright,” Alec assured him, still smiling happily. Tonight was going to be the best night of his life! He couldn’t wait to start spending the rest of his life with Magnus.
“So, you’re not injured?” Magnus asked, just to be certain, starting to calm down.
Alec shook his head, still smiling. “No.”
“Thank Lilith!” Magnus said relieved. Then he frowned. “Why would Andrew say that then?”
“I wanted you here and told him to get you here by any means necessary,” Alec admitted honestly and made a small hand gesture to indicate he considered it unimportant how he had made this happen as long as Magnus was here now.
“Oh.” Magnus said, looking down, embarrassed that Andrew would know he wouldn’t have come back for anything less than thinking Alec was hurt. “Why?”
“Come,” Alec said with a joyful smile that could have lit stars, taking Magnus’ hand and leading him out onto the balcony. Alec released his hand and looked at him expectantly as he looked around at the lit candles, the champagne, the roses, the decked out table…it was romantic, it was perfect. And it was breaking Magnus’ heart. He wanted to say he was able to feel the love and the joy and he could but only a little; even now it was drowning in the void of depression and loss he felt inside.
“Alexander, I…” Magnus started to say, softly, brokenly. He wanted to do such romantic things like this with Alec but not like this; not as a way for Alec to try and save him from himself. He didn’t want his pity. Alec deserved so much better than a useless Warlock.
“Shh,” Alec urged, seeing the pain in Magnus’ eyes. He bent on one knee, determined not to let Magnus do or say something that would prevent him completing his proposal. He was doing this; no one was going to ruin this moment for him; not even Magnus himself!
“Alexander…what are you…?” Magnus asked shocked when he saw Alec on one knee in front of him, taking out a ring box from his jacket. Was he….proposing? How could he still love him? Why would he? He was broken now, useless.
“Magnus, I love you. I will always love you. To you I give my heart, body and soul,” he opened the lid of the box and showed him the Lightwood family ring. “I want to spend the rest of my life with you. For you I give my soul. Do you accept? Will you marry me?” Alec asked seriously, his voice filled with warmth and affection but his speech had been carefully constructed and worded to ensure it fulfilled the requirements of the deal he had made with Asmodeus. Alec tensed as he looked at Magnus for an answer, not only because his happiness depended on it but also as his deal with Asmodeus and thus Magnus’ happiness depended on it.
No matter how sad, how broken, how depressed, Magnus felt he had never stopped loving Alec. He didn’t deserve him, he knew he didn’t but he couldn’t help it. He still wanted him and so he let himself be greedy and needy and selfish. He nodded his acceptance, tears coming to his eyes, a soft smile curving his lips. When he saw Alec was still waiting for a verbal response he said, “Only if you will marry me too.”
Alec smiled at that but pressed, “Yes, you accept?”
“Yes, I accept. I accept!” Magnus repeated loud and clear, smiling widely, mistaking Alec’s need for a confirmation as nervousness and insecurity. He couldn’t believe this was happening. He shouldn’t have said yes, he knew it. Alec deserved better. He was shattered, damaged, no good for anything or anyone. But he was caught up in the moment and he wanted this more than he wanted life.
Alec smiled back and took the ring out of the box, putting the box on the floor beside him. He took Magnus’ right hand and slid the ring on his ring finger, luckily one of the fingers he wasn’t already wearing a ring on.
“Alexander, I…” Magnus began, his voice filled with emotions, a lump in his throat, as he helped Alec to his feet and was about to draw him into a kiss when the ring started to glow with red flames of magic. Suddenly Magnus’ whole body was surrounded by red magical flames and Alec took a step back from him, shielding his eyes from the brightness.
“What the...” Magnus mumbled confused but then he felt it. He felt his magic returning as the red flames spiraled around him. It was like blood had suddenly returned to his veins or air to his lungs. He was becoming complete, whole again. The flames slowly dying out and Magnus drew a shady breath full of emotions. He almost didn’t dare to believe it; it had to be a dream. He didn’t dare believe it was true; that it had happened. When the flames were completely gone he made a hand gesture, his hand shaking and he held his breath until he saw a fireball of blue magic appear inside the palm of his hand. He almost giggled; feeling light-headed with delight. He had his magic back! His joy knew no bounds; he had Alec and his magic! He felt almost high at the thought. He knew in the back of his mind there had to have been a price for this; it wouldn’t just have happened but for right now all he could think about, all he could feel was the amazing feeling of being complete in body and soul; together with Alec and having his magic back. He finally felt like himself again. With a wide grin he snapped his fingers and his outfit and make-up instantly changed to colors of black, red and gold in honor of the proposal he had just accepted.
“I have my magic back! I have my magic back!” Magnus said excitedly, smiling joyfully. Alec smiled happily and they laughed together as Magnus drew him into a huge embrace, kissing his lips while still laughing and smiling.
“I have you and I have my magic! Truly, I wish for nothing more!” Magnus said joyfully, holding around Alec’s waist and letting magic flow around them in circles, making them literally fly and spin around a few centimeters above the ground while lights danced all around them and small fireworks appeared in the sky, making the balcony look even more romantic.
Alec smiled happily, joy shining in his eyes. “I love you,” he said softly, fondly as he put his arms around Magnus’ neck when he finally put them back on the ground. There was no price that would have been too high to see Magnus this happy again, this joyful. Andrew had been right; Magnus was finally complete again.
“I love you too,” Magnus said happily, still high on endorphins as he kissed him passionately. He had just pulled back from the kiss when a fire message flew through the air and Alec easily caught it.
“What is it, darling?” Magnus asked worried when he saw Alec’s smile fade and he started to frown in worry as he kept on reading.
“Alicante is under attack. I have to go,” Alec said, anxiety in his voice as he released his hold around Magnus and pulled back from his embrace and made as if to turn towards the door, his mind instinctively going into leader and Shadowhunter mode.
Magnus put a hand on his arm, stopping him. Alec looked questioning at him.
“We have to go,” Magnus corrected him with a smile, his voice determined and strong. “I am coming with you.” His expression became soft, filled with love and affection and he winked at him as he added, "You are the future Mr. Lightwood-Bane after all."
Alec smiled widely and nodded; he loved the sound of that; Lightwood-Bane. “I hoped you would say that.”
So...not what you guys was expecting for the proposal or what? ;) Hope you all liked it though.
Proposal the Alec way obviously had to be full of sacrifice, angst and a romance that will define the ages because that's just our boy! :)
Feedback is very much loved and a great motivator so... 'hint, hint'
I know several of you spoke of a bad proposal but Alec would not give up; he was going to get his proposal damn it! But....yes, the angst is building! It's not good. :(
Yes, yes....Magnus will find out about this too. It'll be a mess (come on; you know you love it!). Yes, there's a happy ending but I would be very surprised if someone have guessed how we reach it. Ok, maybe a few have guessed. Have you? ;)
Next up....Keeping with the tradition of me contrasting Malec with Lorenzo/Andrew....Let's see how a proposal can be done when it's done completely the opposite way to Alec. let's see how Lorenzo will pull it off! ;)
Chapter 11: Proposal - the Lorenzo way
Proposal - now done the Lorenzo way
Thanks much to my great beta for her help as always.
Chapter warnings: This story deviated from the canon timeline and added 6 weeks but warning anyway for Lorenzo being able to just know in that time that he wants to have Andrew but then...who wouldn't want to claim him as their own? ;) Also, just a reminder that Lorenzo/Andrew are still in a D/s relationship - consensual of course - but avoid this chapter if such relationships are not your cup of tea. As it's a D/s relationship there are talk about claiming, kneeling.... I think that's about it. There's also some very mild smut in this chapter near the end. Hints of past abuse and how that has made "love" into what it is now for both men. And there are some curse words in this because Lorenzo has no filter.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Read the author notes - this chapter features a consensual D/s relationship so avoid if you don't want to read about it
When Andrew returned from work that evening he found Lorenzo in the living room by the sofa table, papers everywhere. Lorenzo was looking down at the papers, frowning but when he looked up and saw Andrew in the doorway he smiled.
“Good evening, young one,” Lorenzo said as soon as he saw him, making Andrew smile shyly back at him.
“Come greet me properly,” he said and Andrew eagerly went to him and bent down to give him a kiss. Lorenzo put a hand on his neck and deepened the kiss possessively. When he released his hold on him they were both panting, eyes dark with lust.
Andrew smiled warmly at him, “Good evening,” he said as he went to make them both a drink the Mundane way; he knew Lorenzo could just use magic but he liked doing things for his lover.
“Thank you, amado [beloved],” Lorenzo said as Andrew handed him the drink. Lorenzo noticed that Andrew put his own drink down next to him on the sofa table and with a wave of his hand he conjured a cushion by his chair, mentally considering adding a carpet to the living room and moving some of the chairs to another room since Andrew rarely sat on them anyway and he didn't really give a shit whether or not any unannounced guests were comfortable as long as Andrew was.
Andrew smiled contently when he sat on the cushion, leaning against Lorenzo, feeling safe and at peace, feeling the stress of the day disappear. They sat in silence for a few moments, taking a few sips of their drinks, just enjoying being close, Lorenzo occasionally stroking Andrew’s hair in a way that was both gentle and possessive and that made them both smile.
Andrew wanted to talk to Lorenzo about Alec but waited for him to open the conversation.
“The Seelie Court is in turmoil,” Lorenzo said softly, thoughtfully, breaking the silence. “I have been unable to find a way in. I am still looking for a functioning gateway.”
“Maybe you could then ask them about the deal I heard Alec make with Asmodeus to give Magnus his magic back,” Andrew suggested hopefully, looking up at him with eyes filled with hope that he could somehow fix it.
“What? Seriously?!” Lorenzo asked shocked and annoyed. This was getting ridiculous. Couldn’t these people stop with the self-sacrificing just long enough for him to get out of this debt he owned them so he didn't have to deal with it?!
Andrew nodded, his eyes cloudy with concern and worry. “Yes. He offered his soul in exchange.” A Nephilim soul in Edom…Andrew could think of few fates worse than that.
Lorenzo’s expression darkened. “Well, of course Asmodeus would take such a deal.” At Andrew’s puzzled expression he explained, “It would mean when Alec dies his soul belongs to Edom, a Nephilim soul, freely given. It would be a huge source of power for him." When Andrew still looked confused, he explaned further, "A soul is a power source and an Angel-blooded soul freely given...that is pure and raw power beyond your wildest dreams. With such a source of power Asmodeus would be unstoppable.” Which meant it was a huge prize for Edom as Nephilim souls normally always belonged to Heaven…and thus not easily wrestled back. Damnit! Couldn’t Alec have offered up some Mundane babies for sacrifice or something like that as people had done in the good old days?! He was certainly not making this easy for Lorenzo; a part of him almost felt as if Alec on purpose was making it difficult for him to find something he could fix to pay his debt to the Shadowhunter which wouldn’t literally cost him an arm and a leg.
“Oh,” Andrew said with a defeated air, sadness flooding his eyes, his voice sounding small and pained. “Now what?”
“Well, apparently they all love to sacrifice left and right constantly so I will go to the Seelies to hear if they know more about the nature of the deal he made and hear what else is going on,” Lorenzo said sourly. This deal Alec had made would not be easy to unmake. Great! The papers in front of him contained reports on all the Shadowhunters Andrew had mentioned to him that mattered to Alec, which he had gotten from some of his people. The reports clearly indicated that all the mentioned Shadowhunters seemed quite fond of sacrificing themselves so he needed to get an overview of what was going on so he could pick something to fix which would have the smallest price for him – and soon before the whole group had managed to barter away everything and anything they had!
Lorenzo emptied his drink and magically refilled it while Andrew took a sip of his, thoughtful but certain that somehow Lorenzo would find a solution he could use.
“I am grateful you are doing so much to help Alec. You really are an amazingly kind person,” Andrew told him after a few moments of silence, still smiling to himself, feeling love for the Warlock as almost a tangible thing in the room, making him happier than he could recall ever being. He took another sip of his drink before putting the glass back on the table.
Lorenzo’s hand around his neck suddenly went from making small circles on his skin to having a hard, almost bruising, grip, forcing his head all the way back so it was almost uncomfortable and compelling him to look up at him. Andrew didn’t try and escape the bruising grip, simply leaning into it and looked up at him, questioning, a puzzled expression on his face.
“You think I am doing this because I am a good person?” Lorenzo asked darkly, laughing a little. “I am doing this because I owe Alexander something and I don’t like to owe people anything.” Andrew still looked puzzled so he elaborated, wanting Andrew to truly know what he was agreeing to or get out now while Lorenzo would still be able to let him go. “I am not a good man, little Shadowhunter. I never will be. I am selfish, possessive and dominating.”
Andrew gave a small smile, pressing himself closer to Lorenzo’s nearest leg, the movement made difficult by Lorenzo’s still bruising grip around his neck.
“I have noticed,” Andrew commented dryly but there was both humor and fondness in his voice.
Lorenzo released his grip on Andrew, happily surprised when the other man made no move to inch away from him. Andrew took a hand to his neck, massaging the tender flesh a bit but didn’t seem bothered, smiling lovingly up at the Warlock when he dropped his hand back to his lap.
“Then why would you stay because I will warn you now, once, and only once, you can leave now, or stay mine forever. There is nothing in between,” his tone was dark and possessive. He had been thinking about this for some time and knew he had to make this offer now or he never would. He wanted Andrew and what he wanted he took and what he took he kept forever and he didn’t share.
Andrew simply smiled, love in his eyes. “Lorenzo, I told you, Nephilim love once, fiercely. I have chosen you.” His voice was soft and warm, filled with affection and dedication.
“Why?” Lorenzo gave voice to his rarely voiced self-doubt. “I am everything Nephilim are not. I am not self-sacrificing, I do not fight for a higher cause or a higher purpose; in fact I believe in no higher purpose than myself.” Lorenzo paused before he continued, his expression and voice serious, a clear warning in it, “If you say yes to be mine now I would never let you go. You would belong to me for the rest of your natural life so think carefully about your answer.”
Lorenzo had feared Andrew would at least hesitate at the possessiveness of his words and tone but he should have known that if he hadn’t been put off by it by now he wouldn’t be bothered by it. In fact, the words seemed to please Andrew, he looked almost blissful, relieved even, and Lorenzo’s eyes darkened with desire and warmth at seeing this.
“Then I have only one question…Would you have only me for the rest of my natural life?” Andrew asked softly, blushing a bit at the honesty of his request.
Lorenzo was again taken back by Andrew’s words; his request was carefully worded to take Lorenzo’s immortality into account and made it clear he never expected anything else than what could be his in one lifetime.
“Oh, believe me, my pretty, you more than satisfy me,” Lorenzo said with a sexy smile. Andrew smiled back but clearly still expected an answer. Lorenzo stroked his cheek tenderly and Andrew eagerly leaned into the touch. “Yes, my little Shadowhunter. That would be my oath to you.”
Andrew leaned closer, looking up at him with eyes filled with relief, joy and happiness. “Then I am yours. For the rest of my natural life.”
“Are you certain, amado [beloved]?” Lorenzo took a deep sharp breath, unsure what it was about Andrew that had made him give him more warnings, more chances to change his mind and live a normal life, a normal relationship, than he had never imagined he would do for anyone. Though in his Spanish endearment to Andrew likely laid the answer to his question.
“I will never be anything else than what I am; I will be a jealous possessive lover. I will be selfish; it is who I am. I can’t change; I don’t know how to. I would want you to move in here with me, today if we do this, and never be out of my sight. If I should wish to relocate somewhere else, maybe back to Spain, I would expect you to be by my side. Would you truly want that? To follow with me as we journey together through what is left of your mortal life?” Lorenzo asked him directly.
Andrew nodded, his eyes and smile warm and loving, his expression sincere. “Yes, because I can’t love any other way,” Andrew admitted, his voice quiet and he lowered his eyes to the floor, blushing, as he continued, trying to explain precisely why he felt he needed this, wanted this in his lover, “Your commands bring me security and safety. I know if I follow them I am loved; I don’t ever have to fear I am doing something wrong or that you will abandon me or stop loving me as long as I stay within them. You give me what I need.”
A better man would likely have paused now, hearing the past pain in Andrew’s voice. Lorenzo heard it, realized he had been hurt horribly in the past, that he had suffered. That because of that he sought security in love by bending to him, by giving in. A better man would likely have wanted to help him heal so he would be able to feel secure without metaphorically (and at times physically) kneeling. But then Lorenzo wasn’t such a man. Instead he relished in the words, knowing Andrew would and could be his forever.
Lorenzo took a hand under Andrew’s chin and tipped up his face but Andrew kept his eyes lowered, embarrassed by what he had just admitted to Lorenzo.
“Look at me,” he ordered softly. Andrew instantly did, the obedience making Lorenzo feel secure in the endearment he himself was bestowing upon the Shadowhunter. Andrew might feel this was the only way he felt safe loving someone but this, having someone obey him like this, was the only way Lorenzo could feel safe loving someone as well.
Lorenzo noticed the hint of insecurity in Andrew’s eyes and quickly reassured him, “You give me what I need as well, my beautiful one.”
Andrew smiled then, completely at ease with the pact they were making. He would never again be alone, he would never again have to feel insecure, doubtful whether he was doing the right thing, never again doubt where he stood. He felt at peace knowing that. “Then I have no fears.”
“And you would sit like this, at my feet, even if your fellow Shadowhunters came here to consult with me?” The question was a test; Lorenzo had no desire to humiliate Andrew but he was curious how comfortable he was within the bounds of their relationship.
“I would trust you not to put me in a position I can’t coincide but yes, if I had to choose between my own world and you I would choose you,” Andrew said directly, not flinching, not looking away. “But I trust that you would only ask something like that of me if there was no other way.”
Andrew’s naked trust and complete dedication to him had Lorenzo’s heart skip a beat. “Of course, my little one, of course,” Lorenzo assured him, kissing the top of his head and Andrew relaxed against him, smiling again.
“So….this is real? You truly wish me to be yours for the rest of my life?” Andrew asked softly, still unable to quite believe it.
“Yes, amado [beloved].” Lorenzo made a hand gesture and a ring magically appeared around Andrew’s right ring finger. It was made of platinum and had the letters LR on each side. The top of it had several small black diamonds on it. “Would you wear this as the symbol of the vow we have given each other?” Even though Lorenzo by now fully expected Andrew to agree a part of him was still expecting some level of protest at wearing something that was so clearly a mark of ownership, of belonging.
“Yes. Always,” Andrew promised in a voice filled with awe, looking at the ring on his finger with shiny eyes, a lump in his throat. Lorenzo loved him so much that he wanted the whole world to see; he felt overwhelmed at the thought.
“The ring is enchanted with a protection spell and an ownership spell. It will repeal most common attacks on your body like a shield and will let any Downworlder know you belong to me so that if they should go ahead and attempt to harm you they have been warned that any attack on you will mean an attack on me,” Lorenzo explained. The latter was mainly important when it came to Warlock justice. It meant Lorenzo would be free to punish the Warlock who chose to ignore the warning and attack Andrew anyway when he had known he belonged to him, as he saw fit, without involving anyone else.
“Thank you,” Andrew said softly fighting back tears of joy. “I never thought…”
When his voice died out Lorenzo encouraged him to continue. “Never thought what, my beautiful Nephilim?”
“That anyone could ever love me enough to want to do this, give me this,” Andrew finished, his face and voice filled with too many emotions for Lorenzo to catch them all.
Lorenzo smiled warmly. “To what? Claim you?”
Andrew blushed a little but nodded. Claimed, loved…To him the words were the same, “Yes.”
Again, a better man would probably have tried to teach Andrew that love didn’t have to mean possession but then again…Lorenzo had already established he just wasn’t that good of a Warlock so instead he basked in Andrew’s adoration and happiness at knowing he would now and forever belong to him. Lorenzo had never thought he would want a partner but Andrew was everything he had ever wanted. It hadn’t taken him long to realize he simply needed to claim him as his; the very idea that anyone else would even consider touching him had his blood boil and Andrew being mortal meant waiting just one more day to claim him was a day wasted.
“You are perfection,” Lorenzo said with reverence as he looked at the young man kneeling at his feet. Overcome by emotions himself Lorenzo took a bruising grip on his hair and forced him into a hard kiss. Andrew eagerly leaned into it, opening his month to give his tongue access, surrendering to him with his whole body. Lorenzo dominated his mouth, biting his lip, drawing blood, making Andrew moan from pain and pleasure. When Lorenzo drew back both men where panting, fighting for breath, fighting to control their desires, eyes filled with hunger.
To help himself calm down Andrew asked something he had been thinking about for a while now, “Did you…did you follow me the last few nights when I went on patrol?”
“My pretty one, I have followed you on every hunt you have been on since I first saw you,” Lorenzo said honestly, lust still shining in his eyes. “Why?”
While most would probably consider that stalking because well, frankly, it was, Andrew found it really sweet and endearing. “Really?”
“Of course,” Lorenzo said easily. “You are mine and the demons need to understand that too.”
“Is that why there are fewer and fewer of them for me to kill on each hunt I go on?” Andrew asked, almost to himself.
“I would hope so,” Lorenzo said and smirked. “Some understand to stay away from what’s mine but those who don’t I kill when I see them.” When Andrew didn’t respond Lorenzo asked, “Why? Do you mind?” He was certain he didn’t but he wanted to hear him say it.
Andrew shook his head, smiling. “You killing demons? No of course not. I am just…surprised.”
“No one before you has ever considered me ….well, important or worthy enough to do something like that,” Andrew admitted, blushing, his eyes on the floor. “In fact, before you no one has ever considered me worthy of anything. Alec was the only one who showed me kindness.”
Lorenzo took a firm hand under his chin, turning his head up to look at him. “Look at me, young one,” Lorenzo ordered and Andrew instinctively did so. “You are mine now and I will never let anyone hurt you ever!” He swore hotly and Andrew smiled lovingly. “All of you from now on belongs to me; your joy, your love…your tears and your pain. It’s all mine and only mine.”
Andrew swallowed a lump in his throat. “I am all yours,” he swore and something in him told him this was akin to wedding vows. They had promised themselves to each other and nothing would ever break that bond. Born out of need, passion, desire, pain and despair they would now belong to each other as long as Andrew lived.
Andrew’s surrender fueled Lorenzo’s passion and within seconds he had him pressed against the floor of the living room, using magic to help tear his clothes off while remaining almost fully clothed himself, leaving bite marks and bruising kisses all over his body, making Andrew moan with desire as Lorenzo’s mouth left a trail of fire on his body. It was hard, almost brutal, passionate and quick as Lorenzo took him with little preparation on the floor of the living room and they both came explosively with loud screams of pleasure. Afterwards Lorenzo cleaned up magically and simply held Andrew close, his touch now soft and gentle, conjuring up a warm blanket to cover them with. Soon they slept, smiles on their lips, Andrew lying with his head on Lorenzo’s chest while Lorenzo had his arms wrapped around him in a manner that was equal parts tender, protective and possessive.
When the sun started to rise Lorenzo used magic so not to wake Andrew as he got up and dressed. He had finally thought of a gateway into the Seelie realm he believed would still be open and needed to see what was going on for himself. There had been rumors of the Queen’s uneasy alliance with the half demon son of Valentine. Such chaos could be used to his advantage to get the information he wanted. He made a portal to take him the location of the gateway to the realm and with one last look and a warm smile at the still sleeping Andrew he went through it.
Unknown to him Andrew was soon awoken by a fire message explaining that Alicante was under attack, making him leave to defend his home at once. He sent off a fire message to Lorenzo, explaining what was going on before he hurried off, not knowing Lorenzo was already in the Seelie realm and thus the fire message would first reach him when he returned to New York.
I would love to hear what you think.
So have any of you come around to actually liking how the Lorenzo/Andrew pairing is done in this story yet in all its imperfect and anything BUT simple, "normal" and straightforward glory? ;) No? Well, I will keep working on you then ;)
Next up - we will get back to Malec where Magnus is starting to realize just what Alec did for him...And he's not happy about it I can tell you that!
Oh, I need to ask....detailed sex for Malec in an upcoming chapter; yes or no? (I could glossy over the details like I just did above with Lorenzo and Andrew). Let me know!
Chapter 12: Alec and Lorenzo talk
Alec and Lorenzo talk as they plan to go to Edom after Magnus
Thanks much to my beta for great - and quick! - help.
So I forgot I needed Magnus stuck in Edom so you get this chapter before the Malec chapter.
Chapter warnings: Lorenzo and Andrew are still in a D/s relationship. Talk about deal making, revenge...Also, Clary kills her brother before they all go to Edom and the Seelies know about it almost as soon as it happens and about the angels’ revenge. That's how it works for this story.
That's about it. Nothing much to warn about here.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Please read the author's notes for chapter warnings
“Andrew told me you want to see me?” Lorenzo said with an air of irritation at this when he entered the office of the head of the New York Institute. He wore an air of arrogance and indifference around himself like a protective cloth.
For Lorenzo mere hours had passed. He had managed to finally enter the Seelie Realm only to find the Queen dead and the realm in chaos. Soon after he had heard from Meliorn, his contact, that Alec had indeed traded his soul for Magnus’ magic but of the names he had asked him to investigate another name stood out; Clary. She had killed her brother after the battle of Alicante using angelic rune power, thus invoking the anger of the Angels and they were going to effectively de-rune her and take her memories of the Shadow World within the next few days, using Mundane timeline. Apparently, Alec wasn’t the only one with a self-sacrificing streak. Lorenzo was annoyed that solving the Clary issue could well prove even more expensive for him than trying to resolve the Alec issue as Heaven was known for asking just as high a price for forgiveness as Hell was. However, of the two of them Clary’s issue was, proportionally, smaller, the price the Angels demanded of her less than what Alec had given Asmodeus. Therefore, that would be a place to start. But by Lilith; why couldn’t these people just stop sacrificing themselves all the time, at least till he had settled his debt and would no longer be involved in this mess?! Moreover, why couldn’t any of them have more normal problems? Like money… he could do money. Or a desire for something….there were few wishes his magic couldn’t help him fulfill. But of course they were not going to make this easy for him. He wasn’t sure who ‘they’ were but he really hated them for making this so difficult!
However, the news had also made Lorenzo aware of the time difference between the Seelie Realm and the Mundane world and he had returned to New York at once, fearing for Andrew’s life. He had instantly gotten the message Andrew had sent when he had went to fight for Alicante and then instantly another message saying the battle was over but at a high cost; after several hours of fighting Magnus had gone to Edom and had chosen to stay there to ensure the rift opened by Valentine’s son stayed closed. Lorenzo had just read this news when a third fire message had reached him; Andrew telling him that five days after the battle for Alicante Clary had used her angelic rune power to kill her brother, ending that threat finally, and he begged Lorenzo to come to the New York Institute to help Alec travel to Edom to rescue Magnus. Lorenzo could tell that this latest fire message had just been written today. While only hours had passed in the Seelie realm five days had passed for everyone else.
Lorenzo had felt annoyed and frustrated; all he wanted to do was go get Andrew and keep him safe and close, then negotiate a deal so he could get his debt to Alec out of the way, then deal with Magnus because that was starting to become urgent now that Magnus had his powers back and as a Prince of Edom….he could easily defeat Lorenzo if he really wanted to and they both knew it. And then finally he could close this chapter of his life and focus on enjoying Andrew.
He had made a portal to the NY Institute at once, wanting to claim he was annoyed about this whole situation but in reality all he felt was worry for Andrew even though his fire messages had clearly stated he was fine. As soon as he had entered the Institute Andrew ran into his embrace with only the slightest hint of hesitation as Alec had also been in the room. Lorenzo had held Andrew close in a protective and possessive embrace, ignoring the shocked and angry look on Alec’s face before he had left the room without saying a word; too shocked at the display to say anything. Lorenzo had silently vowed to himself that he wasn’t going to let Andrew ever be in such danger again as he had been during the battle of Alicante. Andrew had patiently let Lorenzo scan him, with his magic, to ensure he was indeed unharmed. Andrew had then pleaded with him to help Alec get Magnus back which had resulted in Lorenzo saying yes because he was really starting to get a Pavlovian response to Andrew begging…he did look so amazingly beautiful, his voice so soft, his eyes so intriguing…. So Lorenzo had said yes, Andrew had been shining like a sun and Lorenzo had been unable to do anything else than kissed him, the kiss rough and possessive. Andrew had easily surrendered to it, melting in his embrace, his mouth opening up for him, warm, inviting, submitting and trusting like all parts of Andrew were.
Andrew had then left to tell Alec the good news while Lorenzo had settled to waiting till everything was ready for them to go to Edom using the Alliance runes Clary was going to draw. Lorenzo saw no reason to stop her doing that; the angels was going to want their revenge anyway; she could just as well get the most out of it. Andrew had returned a little later and asked Lorenzo to go see Alec in his office; apparently, Alec had insisted on talking with Lorenzo in private. Andrew hadn’t asked why but couldn’t quite hide the curiosity from his eyes. So, Lorenzo had gone to the office of the head of the Institute with an annoyed sigh; all of this was delaying his negotiations, thus his deal, thus him getting out of this mess so he could take Andrew and fuck him senseless for days which was really all he felt like doing right now!
Lorenzo hadn’t seen Alec for weeks, not since the last Council meeting. The interaction they had had after Lorenzo had asked Alec to pay for him helping Magnus with his own suffering…well, they had been cold and brief. This one was not likely to be different. However, with Magnus having his powers back and everything else that was going on Lorenzo wanted this matter between them resolved quickly.
“Some people knock,” Alec said dryly as he rose from behind his desk, his face a mask of careful controlled emotions just like he had been during their previous encounters. However, under the surface were hints of anger, resentment…maybe even the slightest instinctive reaction at seeing him which Alec quickly got under control; fear.
Lorenzo shrugged as he closed the door behind him with a wave of his hand, using magic to do so. He came closer and stopped before the desk.
“I am not some people,” Lorenzo reminded him, his arrogance a shield he wore so comfortably the words came instantly to his lips.
Alec rolled his eyes at the statement, anger and something else, something hidden deep in his eyes…a residual fear at having Lorenzo so close to him, separated only by the desk, he was doing his best to control and ignore.
“What did you want, Alexander?” Lorenzo asked directly, impatient to get on with things, crossing his arms over his chest, the reaction one of self-protection.
“Mr. Lightwood,” Alex corrected him with an angry hiss as he also crossed his arms over his chest in the same instinctive need for self-protection. “Only Magnus gets to call me Alexander.”
Lorenzo narrowed his eyes at the unusual strong reaction to a name; his own name even but just nodded; it wasn’t like he really cared what he called Alec. “Very well, Mr. Lightwood. What did you wish to discuss with me?”
“Did Andrew tell you why you are here?” Alec asked evenly.
Lorenzo could tell Alec was trying to get to a point but decided to play along. “Yes. Go to Edom and get your boyfriend back,” he deliberately had just enough of an edge on the word boyfriend that it was borderline insulting. It wasn’t that he really cared they were together but he did care that they kept on with this self-sacrificing bullshit until he had settled his debt with them. Seriously; he was gone a few hours, ok, fine, a few days in Mundane time, and then Magnus sacrifices himself by going to Edom?! Great! Oh, it was of course a little tempting to let Magnus stay in Edom so he never had to repay his debt but while Lorenzo was many things – hot-headed, arrogant, passionate, possessive and self-centered he was not stupid. Magnus was a Prince of Edom and Alec was clearly not going to give up on him. Magnus would eventually return to the Mundane realm so better to aid him in getting here so the eventual confrontation between them would go just a little smoother. Well, after whatever deal he would have to make to win over Alec it sure as Edom had to go smoother because by Lilith it wasn’t small potatoes he would have to negotiate – angry angels from a disobeying Nephilim (Clary) and a power hungry ruler of Edom (Alec). Great! For once his humble birth was an advantage; he had clawed, cheated, stolen, killed and tricked his way to the top and neither Heaven nor Hell would stop him now! He would settle this matter and be done with it and he didn’t care how he had to get it resolved but he damn well would! And if he could piss off some angels or Nephilim in the process….just an added bonus of course.
“Yes,” Alec said grimly. He gave Lorenzo a dark look. “Free of charge of course.”
“Free of charge?” Lorenzo repeated and raised an eyebrow at him, the protest instinctive and a gut reaction to Alec’s show of power over him which he instinctively curled away from – having lived on the bottom of society he would never again accept to be at the mercy of someone else. Of course he would do it free of charge; Andrew had begged this of him and he normally never asked anything of him. This was his gift to Andrew. And besides…he was so not going to make another deal with Alec. He was not even going to go there.
“You owe me, Lorenzo,” Alec reminded him, his eyes dark and angry, his face set in hard lines.
“Actually, Nephilim, there is an unpaid debt between us which is unrelated to this matter,” Lorenzo said evenly but his own eyes also had a hint of anger. He refused to be talked to like this even if they in reality were in agreement. “Warlock law.”
“Lorenzo,” Alec said warningly, his eyes flashing.
Lorenzo decided he really didn’t have time for this bullshit so he did a dismissive hand gesture. “Never fear. Free of charge it is.” As soon as he said it Alec visibly relaxed a bit. “Was that all?”
Alec was silent for a second before looking suspiciously at him. “How was Andrew able to contact you?”
Lorenzo didn’t feel like hiding his relationship with Andrew but didn’t feel like Alec had any rights to the details of it either. “I am the current High Warlock.”
“Yes but…” Alec paused questionably, thinking of how Andrew had run into the Warlock’s arms. When had that started? And what was Lorenzo doing to his dear friend? “We both know that’s not why he contacted you. He was certain you would come. Why would he be certain?” Alec snorted, his eyes filled with dismay and contempt. “You are not exactly the helpful type.”
“No, I am not,” Lorenzo agreed unashamedly.
“You two have something going on,” Alec finally said it out loud, tasting the words in his mouth and almost choking on them. Sweet Andrew….with Lorenzo? Really?
Lorenzo looked defiantly at him. “So what if we do?”
“If you hurt him, Lorenzo, in any way, I will find you and I will end you!” Alec warned, waving a threatening finger in his face.
Lorenzo looked calmly at him, angering Alec more by being so calm in the face of his threat.
“If I did hurt him, Shadowhunter, I would let you,” Lorenzo replied calmly, evenly, his voice almost kind.
Alec looked shocked at him, dumbstruck, not sure how to respond to that. This earned him a satisfied smirk from Lorenzo by having caught him off guard.
“You…care for him?!” Alec asked surprised. No, no way! Lorenzo didn’t know how to care for anyone but himself! It didn’t fit into Alec’s worldview that anything else should be true. it was easy to hate Lorenzo for what he had done. He didn’t want to think of him as a real person who might also have feelings such as….well, lust or love or whatever the Hell this was.
“Andrew belongs to me,” Lorenzo said coolly, evenly, but his eyes flashed possessively.
Alec’s eyes narrowed dangerously and his hands formed fists. Andrew most certainly did not belong to him! If Andrew had gotten caught up in this and couldn’t get himself out then Alec was going to save him from himself!
“I would have him transferred,” Alec said darkly, pausing, wanting to see how Lorenzo would react but as Lorenzo simply tensed but remained silent he pressed on, “I could even have him de-runed for his association with you.”
“You wouldn’t dare!” Lorenzo gasped shocked at him, a look of pure disbelief and horror on his face.
“Oh, you will find I would dare quite a lot!” Alec threatened. Of course he would never do it but if his threat meant that Lorenzo backed away and left his friend alone then fine.
“Hypocrite!” Lorenzo spat out the word, the insult twisted by his frustration and anger at hearing Andrew threatened. His fisted hands started to glow and his Mark became exposed. Scales appeared over his body as his magic begged to be released on the source of someone threatening what was his. He restrained himself with difficulty; hurting Alec would indeed be counter-protective to this whole exercise of settling his debt but damnit! He was really testing the waters now.
“Maybe but what do you care?” Alec hissed angrily, hatred and contempt in his voice. “He’s your possession.”
“He’s mine in all ways that matters. You would never understand,” Lorenzo’s tone was dark and his eyes flashed dangerously.
“If you lay one hand on Andrew, if the Clave dare make any move towards him, I swear they will discover just how capable I am at killing your kind! I got away with it once and believe me; I can do it again. I have ways of killing and burying your kind so that not even your Clave would know what is going on!” Lorenzo warned, done playing nice, done listening to this nonsense.
Alec’s anger faded at that, having gotten the reaction he wanted but hadn’t thought he would get. “You…really care for him?” He asked again, softly this time. He looked at Lorenzo with pure disbelief. What was going on?!
Lorenzo’s mark was still visible, a clear sign of how upset he was but his anger was starting to fade. “I would never harm him!” Lorenzo hissed angrily. The idea that he would harm Andrew was absurd! It was like suggesting someone would smash a Fabergé egg; you don’t do that with prized possessions. You protect them, care for them, cherish them and in return you know you are special, worthy, unique for you have something so precious everyone will envy you (he of course owned a Fabergé egg for precisely this reason; that it was rare and unique and he therefore needed to be able to tell the world it was his).
Alec was silent for a moment, thoughtful, not sure what to believe. So instead he simply said, “Well, then we have that in common at least.”
Lorenzo’s glamour was back up his façade in place, his anger gone as he realized Alec had been testing him. Not that that didn’t annoy him but he decided to let it go for now. He took a deep steadily breath and his magic faded from his hands when he unclasped them.
“I guess we do,” he said evenly.
Alec was silent for a while. He didn’t understand this thing between Lorenzo and Andrew, he probably never would but Andrew was a grown man and Lorenzo didn’t seem to want to harm him. But he would keep an eye on them both just in case. It wasn’t like he trusted Lorenzo.
“So…Edom?” Alec said to get the conversation back on track.
“I will go,” Lorenzo confirmed. “However, on the condition Andrew stays here.”
And with that comment Alec’s anger returned full force. “You have no command over my troops,” he warned darkly.
Lorenzo nodded, his eyes narrowing, his voice a low and dangerous rumble. “True but I have over my mate. Either you command him to stay here or I will.”
“Try again,” Alec advised coldly, a challenge in his eyes.
Lorenzo sighed, annoyed Alec was forcing him to say it. Though clashed teeth, his eyes shining with anger he got the words out, “I want him safe, Nephilim.” He spat out the last word as the insult he considered it to be.
Alec actually gave a small smile at that, his anger disappearing again. “Very well. Andrew stays.”
Lorenzo nodded his thanks, the nod as small as he could make it because damn it; he really disliked being forced into a corner like this. This was why Lorenzo hated dealing with people whose intelligence could match, or surpass, his own. They were not so easily fooled or manipulated, unfortunately.
“I do have another question though before we leave,” Alec said slowly.
“Yes?” Lorenzo said in a tone somewhere between annoyance and urgency. He really just wanted this whole rescue mission over and done with so he could start his negations and finally settle this matter; and preferable before Alec or someone else among his little circle of friends decided to do something even more stupid and sacrifice something else that would then require fixing and just add to the ever increasing price he would have to offer to do so! Seriously; someone needed to put leashes on the lot of them and then lock them inside a padded room for their own good – Magnus included! That mental image actually had him smiling inwardly.
“Asmodeus….” Alec started to ask, needing to know what they could except from him in Edom. If he were there, surely Magnus would now know what deal he had made. They hadn’t had time to talk about it. The battle had been raging when they had arrived in Alicante and they had had other things on their mind when Magnus had gone to Edom, like reconfirming their wedding commitment with Magnus giving Alec a wedding ring he conjured as well to show his own commitment to their plans for the future.
“Yes, your soul deal,” Lorenzo added for him when Alec didn’t seem to know how to continue.
“Andrew told you?” Alec asked with a raised eyebrow. He wasn’t supposed to do that but then after his break-up with Magnus when he didn’t tell him of the Soul Sword he could understand.
“Of course,” Lorenzo confirmed easily, a challenge in his eyes should Alec say something regarding it.
“Never mind that now,” Alec said quickly and waved it away with a hand gesture. “What do you know?”
“Do you mean how will he react with Magnus in Edom with him?” Lorenzo clarified.
Alec nodded. “Yes.”
Lorenzo paused, thoughtful. “Well, while he doesn’t yet have your soul his claim to it is something almost tangible in the air for all magic users. I sense it around you as well; I can see it in your aura. The more time passes since you made the deal, the more visible it becomes. My guess is that if Magnus hadn’t left for Edom only hours after you had made the deal he would have sensed it too.”
“And what does that mean?” Alec asked, unsure what that really meant, as he of course wasn’t a magic user himself.
“It’s a bit like owning the Mona Lisa while a war is brewing,” Lorenzo explained. Alec looked puzzled at him, a blank expression on his face. “The Mona Lisa?” No reaction from Alec on that. “Shadowhunters! They teach you nothing important!” Lorenzo mumbled under his breath. Poor Andrew having grown up in such a society. He had gifted Andrew some art supplies a few weeks ago and he admired how skilled he was, how interested in all things art he was. It was a hobby unheard of among Shadowhunters until Clary had shown up, her passion for art a leftover from a Mundane upbringing, but it was not encouraged or considered a “normal” Shadowhunter activity; being considered too docile in nature.
“What are you talking about?” Alec snapped, annoyed.
“The Mona Lisa is a rare painting and easy to recognize so owning it during a war would make you a target,” Lorenzo clarified, speaking as if to a child.
Alec nodded understanding at that, annoyance in his eyes at Lorenzo’s tone. “So Asmodeus is afraid someone takes the deal for my soul from him somehow?”
Lorenzo nodded. “Something like that. A Nephilim soul freely given to Edom has never happened before so there’s no precedence but my understanding is that the deal can’t be stolen but someone, like Lilith, could capture him and keep him prisoner till your soul went to Edom and then it would be possible to force him to use your soul to her ends instead of his.”
“Ok,” Alec nodded slowly, frowning. Edom politics rivalled high level Clave in-fighting.
“Therefore, it would be in Asmodeus best interest to not get involved but travel to one of the adjacent demonic realms till the battle with Lilith is done,” Lorenzo finished his explanation.
“He can do that?” Alec asked surprised.
Lorenzo nodded. “Greater Demons can freely travel between demonic realms. So can those of royal blood…. like Magnus”, Lorenzo said, adding the last bit about Magnus because if Alec didn’t know about the Mona Lisa he wouldn’t count on Magnus having explained Warlock abilities – or Law as evidenced earlier – to his boyfriend either.
“And you?” Alec questioned curiously. Would be worth knowing if they ever needed that ability for future battles.
Lorenzo shook his head, a bit annoyed at having to admit to this shortcoming. “No, only those of royal blood can do this.”
“So what would we find in Edom?” Alec asked, always the strategist, wanting to be ready and prepared for anything.
“Well, with Asmodeus likely in another demonic realm his castle would be empty. Magnus would make his way there,” Lorenzo mused.
“Why? He dislikes his father,” Alec protested.
Lorenzo shrugged this off as unimportant. “That may be, but the castle is the source of Asmodeus’ power and thus the source of Magnus’ so he would go there. He would be able to fend off Lilith for longer from there.”
“Would you be able to guide me there?” Alec asked eagerly. He needed Magnus back and he needed him back now. They had a wedding to plan after all. He was toying unconsciously with the ring Magnus had given him, now firmly on his finger as a reminder of their love and their commitment to each other.
“Yes. I can sense his magic,” Lorenzo confirmed. At Alec’s questioning look he added, “Magnus is of royal blood. We, Warlocks, we can all sense that.”
Alec nodded, his face set in firm lines, a determined look in his eyes and his voice strong when he spoke, “Ok, you will pair up with me then.”
Lorenzo frowned. “I am not sure that’s a good idea.” He really preferred to team up with someone else given their history as long as the matter remained unsettled.
Alec gave him a cold look; he had no time for this. Magnus needed him!
“I am certain you can keep yourself in check,” Alec said sarcastically.
Lorenzo sighed, irritated. “Fine!”
“Good. Now, let’s get going,” Alec said determined and went towards the door, Lorenzo following him.
“Oh, by the way,” Alec said darkly as he turned towards Lorenzo just before he reached the door who gave him a puzzled look. “I owe you this." With that Alec promptly hit Lorenzo hard in the face, making the Warlock take a step back.
“Fuck!” Lorenzo hissed, holding a hand against his nose. It was bleeding and his nose was clearly broken. The Nephilim knew how to hit.
“I owed you that,” Alec said menacingly as he with satisfaction saw the blood running over Lorenzo’s hands and face from the broken nose.
Lorenzo gave him a look Alec couldn’t decipher and then removed his hands and did a hand movement and the blood was gone and his nose fixed. Alec gave him a disappointed look at seeing this.
“Actually, you don’t owe me anything. I owe you,” Lorenzo said calmly and Alec looked puzzled at him, not understanding the reference. “Warlock Law. Never mind,” he added when Alec was still confused. “Speaking off…” Lorenzo did a hand gesture and with a flourish and a pretend annoyance he handed Alec the piece of paper he had just conjured up.
“Deed for…” Alec started to read aloud from the paper Lorenzo had given him. He looked shocked and surprised at Lorenzo.
“I have no need for Magnus’ flat and frankly the design is beneath me and not my style. Thus I am handing it back to him as it is starting to just be a nuisance,” Lorenzo said with an arrogant air and a dismissive hand gesture. Truth was the flat itself was beautiful but Lorenzo would never go there again anyway so why keep it? Besides, for Andrew’s safety he needed Magnus away from the Institute after his return from Edom. Well, for everyone’s safety but Andrew’s was the only one he cared about. Besides, the gesture should further help soften Magnus for their upcoming trial.
“And…” Alec pressed, having no interest to return there if things looked like they had when Lorenzo had gotten his payment from him.
“I have moved all my things and everything is back to how it was before you came to me that day to beg me to help remove Magnus’ magic,” Lorenzo reassured him. He added, “I suggest you get Magnus there as soon as we leave Edom.”
Alec looked at the deed in his hands and then walked over and laid it carefully on his desk. “Thank you for the loft, it means a lot to Magnus but why are you doing this? We both know you despise Magnus,” Alec asked confused and suspiciously.
“Well, maybe less now than before after seeing him so broken without his magic but yes,” Lorenzo admitted. He had no great fondness for any ruling elite, from any race, his own included.
“I still want to know why,” Alec insisted, suspicion clear in his tone.
“What Magnus has been through living without magic for so long…he will need to go somewhere after Edom where his magic is at ease. Your only real bet is the flat,” Lorenzo said honestly.
“Oh…really?” Alec questioned, raising an eyebrow at him, clearly not believing him.
Lorenzo nodded seriously. “He could find it hard to control his magic. He could end up destroying the Institute and everyone in it as his Edom royal blood and magic would sense that place and everyone in it as a natural threat. At the flat his magic would feel more at peace, more at ease.”
Alec frowned. “I don’t believe you,” he said frankly.
“Then don’t but you still run that risk,” he said calmly, a hint of annoyance in his tone. “Magnus will need to ground his magic, to reconnect with his power and to reassert his dominance here in this realm. It’s an instinctive thing, a Warlock thing, connected to his demonic side. Your room here, at the Institute, won’t do.”
Alec nodded slowly, that did actually make sense given he had just gotten his magic back after so long, then he had been fighting in Alicante and then gone directly to Edom. Besides, it was the only explanation that made sense. It wasn’t like Lorenzo would offer up the flat for no reason.
“Ok, I will consider it,” Alec agreed.
“Do that…carefully. And if you portal here, to the Institute, know that I will portal here too, and I would then take Andrew with me somewhere else at once while you two tempt fate because neither of you want to admit Magnus even has a demonic side,” Lorenzo warned with some dismay in his voice.
Alec nodded grimly, seriously. So that was the real reason; Andrew was in danger. Then that settled it; he would ensure they went to the flat. He wasn’t risking anyone’s life when there was an easy way to ensure there was no risk.
“Ok, we will go to the flat directly from Edom.”
Lorenzo looked relieved. “Good. We have a deal then.” He paused before he added, “I will still be portaling here to get Andrew so make sure your people know that. We wouldn’t want any unnecessary problems,” he added the last with a warning note.
Alec nodded, agreeing with that. “I will make sure they know.” He paused before he added, “Come on. Let’s go save Magnus.” His voice was strong and his face resolute, his desire to save Magnus stronger than his desire for revenge as he nodded to Lorenzo to follow him out of his office.
“Let’s,” Lorenzo mumbled under his breath as he walked out of the office after Alec. As soon as they got back from Edom Lorenzo needed to finalize this deal for Alec so he could talk to Magnus, Warlock to Warlock. He could no longer delay; Magnus had his powers back and things had been put in motion that couldn’t be stopped. He needed this resolved now.
So...Did you like it?
Moreover, do anyone want to read about Magnus seeing Alec's scars and finding out about the deals and sacrifices Alec has done for him? If you want to see that in the next chapter let me hear from you. :)
Chapter 13: Magnus discover the truth
When Magnus and Alec return from Edom Magnus sees Alec's scars.
Thanks so much to my amazing beta as always.
This chapter is dedicated to Justmymalec because apparently I am very easy so leaving me two kind comments for the same chapter means you get what you want so here you are, my darling ;)
Chapter warnings: Sex! Detailed sex - blow job and anal sex. So avoid if it's not your thing. Also, Magnus sees Alec's scars and is one pissed off Prince of Hell so if that's not your thing avoid this chapter too.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Please read the author's notes for chapter warnings - there's sex in this chapter - !very detailed sex! - and Magnus is one pissed off Prince of Hell so if you want fluffy forgiving Magnus look elsewhere!
Alec couldn’t believe he finally had Magnus back and with his powers! The last many weeks had been Hell; Magnus losing his powers, him almost dying, his deal with Lorenzo, Magnus’ depression and drinking and their distance from each other, then his deal with Asmodeus for Magnus’ powers, the battle of Alicante and Magnus going to Edom for what had ended up being almost six days but had felt like an eternity. On top of everything then he keenly felt the weight of his lies to Magnus to cover for all the deals and things he had done to make up for the sacrifice Magnus had done for Jace, or rather done for him so he wouldn’t have to lose Jace.
Getting Magnus back had proven surprisingly easier than they had thought thanks to the Heavenly Fire. Lorenzo had been right; Asmodeus had been in another demonic realm and Magnus had been at his father’ castle. They had destroyed Lilith and Edom too, enabling Magnus to leave with them. Lorenzo and Magnus had first portaled Izzy, Simon, Clary, and Jace out of there, then Meliorn had been portaled out after Lorenzo had pulled him aside and had arranged for them to meet up a few hours later for Lorenzo to talk further with him about this whole deal making business. Finally, Lorenzo had portaled to the Institute to get Andrew while Magnus had portaled him and Alec to the loft after Alec had explained about the deed, that the loft was his again, and the warning Lorenzo had given.
Alec and Magnus exited from the decaying Edom through a portal in the living room of Magnus’ loft. Alec had instinctively tensed but when he saw the loft was nothing like when he had been there last and Lorenzo had tortured him, he relaxed. Everything was back as it had been when Magnus had owned it and Alec could almost pretend the whole deal with Lorenzo had never happened. Almost.
“Alexander,” Magnus said his name like a prayer as soon as the portal closed behind him. He was overcome by emotions; he had his powers and his loft and Alec. He was truly back! He finally felt like himself again.
“Magnus! I was so afraid I had lost you,” Alec admitted as he melted into his embrace, clinging to him for dear life. He had wanted to stay strong but he couldn’t help it; tears started to fall from his eyes as he hugged him close.
“Schh, my love. Schh. Everything is alright,” Magnus calmed him, his voice soft and smoothing as he stroked his hair tenderly, holding him tight and safe. They stood like that for several minutes until Alec’s tears started to still.
Magnus kissed the top of his head. “I am so sorry for everything,” he said softly, heartfelt, guilt and self-discrimination in his voice.
Alec drew back and looked up at him, his cheeks wet from his tears, his eyes confused. “Why are you sorry?”
Magnus stroked his cheek tenderly wiping away his tears. “Because I wasn’t there for you.” He paused and admitted with a hint of misery and self-hate, “I got lost inside my own head, my own misery. Without my powers…” His voice died away, remembered pain in his eyes.
“It’s ok. I understand,” Alec assured him though in reality, he didn’t but he just wanted the pain gone from his eyes.
“I love you,” Magnus said tenderly as he claimed his lips. The kiss was soft at first, tender and affectionate. They hadn’t been intimate for weeks and it was almost new, like testing the waters. Alec put his arms around his neck and pulled him closer, deepening the kiss. When they drew back they were both panting for breath, eyes dark with lust.
“I love you too,” Alec said affectionately. He smiled lovingly before claiming his lips again, this time using his tongue to try to gain access, needing to feel him, feel connected to all parts of him. Magnus let him invade his mouth but after a few seconds of giving into the kiss, he used his magic to move them so Alec was now pressed up against the nearest wall and he was now dominating the kiss instead. When they drew apart, they were both painfully hard.
“Sorry, I don’t know what came over me. I….” Magnus started to say but Alec shook his head.
“I want this. I want you. No more talking,” Alec insisted, his voice strong and edged with desire.
Magnus grinned at that as Alec pressed their lips together in a hungry kiss, his arms going back around Magnus’ neck to hold him close.
“You are entirely too dressed,” Magnus mumbled passionately as he with a snap of his fingers had both of their shirts off their bodies. Alec hummed his agreement and his pleasure at seeing his lover’s perfect chest, running his hands all over him from his shoulders to his chest to cupping his ass and back up again. Alec was so caught up in the moment, in his love and passion, he had forgotten he still bore the evidence of Lorenzo's punishment on his back.
“Still too dressed,” Alec complained when he dropped to his knees in front of him and started to undo Magnus’ belt with such eagerness his hands were shaking. He managed to get the belt lose and tore it off with a triumphant sound that made Magnus chuckle.
“Finally!” Alec breathed with satisfaction as he managed to free Magnus’ cock from the trappings of his pants. It sprung free, hard and inviting before his eyes. Without pausing Alec eagerly put it into his month, all the way down, putting his hands on Magnus’ hips for support. It had taken some practice but he had learned how to ignore his gag reflex so he could take his lover so deep he would hit the back of his throat.
“Fuck!” Magnus breathed as he with half-closed eyes looked down at Alec eagerly moving up and down on him, using his tongue and his lips with such skill one shouldn’t think Magnus had been his first lover. It had been so long since he had felt his lover’s warm mouth and sinful tongue Magnus knew he wasn’t going to last long.
“So good,” Alec mumbled as he pulled off for a moment to breathe, his voice hoarse from the aggressive sucking and loving every moment of it. He hummed in pleasure as he sucked Magnus again, all the way down. The vibrations made Magnus moan in pleasure.
“I….I’m close,” Magnus warned, giving his lover a chance to pull off if he didn’t want to swallow but instead Alec just sucked even more eagerly, going all the way down on him again. With a loud noise and a firm grip in his hair Magnus came explosively down Alec’s throat. Alec eagerly swallowed, licking him clean with an affectionate smile and a content look in his eyes.
“That was…” Magnus started to say but his brain had left his body and his voice died out, feeling high on endorphins, his eyes half-closed, releasing his grip on Alec's hair as he pulled almost all the way out of his mouth, smiling widely.
“Fuck me. I want to feel you inside me,” Alec pleaded as he pulled off him completely, knowing his lover’s body well enough to know when he was about to get over-sensitive.
Magnus’ eyes darkened with desire, his Warlock endurance ensuring he was already starting to harden again. He was about to reply when he noticed something on Alec’s back. He frowned in confusion. What was that? He had never noticed it before. Was that...scars? Weird scars. Strips. What the Hell?
“These scars…” Magnus said shocked and pained, looking at them more intensely, making Alec look self-conscious, nervous and blushing. “They look like whip marks,” he suddenly realized in horror and at once his desire was completely gone like someone had thrown ice water on him. He should know what whip marks looked like; he had seen quite a few in his days as whipping used to be a common form of punishment.
“What happened?” Magnus asked sharply, fear, anger, concern, worry and pain for what Alec must have endured fighting for dominance, making him feel like it was hard to breathe.
Alec shook his head, looking down for a moment, feeling unsure, exposed and put on the spot. He crossed his arms protectively over his naked chest. He had forgotten about the scars. For the first time since he had made the deal with Lorenzo he had actually forgotten about them. He had been so caught up in having Magnus back, in his relief and joy, in his love and affection that he had actually forgotten.
“I want to tell you, I promise but if I do…This moment will be ruined,” Alec said sadly, softly, agonized. He had just gotten Magnus back; he didn’t want to lose him to dark memories already. He was afraid of the consequences if he admitted to Magnus it had been Lorenzo who had hurt him. Magnus had seen the scars for himself, Alec hadn’t told him anything yet so the deal was still safe – was still in effect. He would just have to keep it that way; somehow. Yet he didn’t want to keep lying…he didn’t want to keep deceiving Magnus. He didn’t want to think about all of this right now. In fact, he didn’t want to think at all; he just wanted to get lost in the feel of Magnus, in the joy of having him back with him, finally.
“No moment with you can ever be ruined,” Magnus said softly, tenderly as he reached down and stroked Alec’s cheek before rearranging his clothes.
“I want this evening to be ours, just ours,” Alec insisted as he looked up at him with wide and pleading eyes.
“Alexander…I need to know,” Magnus insisted, caught between fear, pain, anger and a need to do whatever Alec wanted to make him happy.
“And I need this evening. I need you,” Alec insisted stubbornly, his lips set in a firm line. “Please,” he added more softly.
Magnus really wanted to pressure him, demand he talk right now, the demon in him wanting revenge for what had happened to Alec and wanting it now. However, Alec was still looking up at him, his eyes pleading. Magnus reached down and helped pull Alec to his feet with his hands around his shoulders. Alec looked hesitant at him, hopeful.
“Alright. We can talk tomorrow,” Magnus forced himself to say, not liking it at all. He wanted to kill whoever had done this to his lover and do it very slowly and painfully! Preferably there would be lots of blood and screaming and agony involved for whoever had hurt his Alexander. Like lots of it! In fact…there was no amount of agony in this world Alec’s attacker could suffer that would ever satisfy his bloodlust at this moment.
Alec smiled widely at Magnus’s acceptance. “Thank you,” Alec said warmly.
“You shouldn’t thank me for putting you first, darling. It’s the least I can do,” Magnus insisted and meant it even though he still was fighting his desire for revenge on the inside.
Alec hesitated and looked down, self-conscious. “I know they look bad,” he said softly. He had seen the scars in the mirror and while they had faded as each week had gone by, they still stuck out, a reminder of something he wished he could forget.
“They don’t,” Magnus insisted tenderly, shaking his head slightly in denial to emphasize his words.
“You keep looking,” Alec countered, his voice matter of fact, the words making Magnus try not to look at the scars visible from this angle which wasn’t many; some hints here and there where the whip had wrapped itself around his torso.
“Because they are a sign of pain you have had to endure,” Magnus clarified, agony at knowing this in his voice. However, Alec wasn’t convinced and looked down in humiliation, his arms around his torso, feeling ugly and lost and not good enough.
“Alec, look at me please,” Magnus pleaded when Alec was still refusing to look at him, embarrassed and shy over the scars, feeling inadequate now more than ever at looking like this in front of the handsome and perfect man he called fiancé. Finally, Alec did look at him, the soft and loving tone in Magnus’ voice his undoing. The pure love and admiration in Magnus’ eyes almost took Alec’s breath away.
“I don’t think less of you because of them and you don’t look any less beautiful in my eyes,” Magnus assured him tenderly.
Alec scanned his face, trying to see hints that he didn’t really mean it but saw nothing of the sort. Just pure love shining there. Alec hadn’t known how much he needed to hear Magnus say those words until he did.
“Thank you,” Alec said heartfelt, almost tearfully.
“You don’t need to thank me for that either,” Magnus said softly with a hint of pain. This time his echoed pain was directed at whoever had made Alec this insecure, this convinced he wasn’t worth being put first because in Magnus’ eyes Alec always came first and always should. He had gotten lost, he had drowned in his own pain and he had lost sight of Alec’s pain. He vowed that would never happen again. Even if it took an eternity he would make amends and he would ensure Alec knew and felt every day how precious he was to him.
“I love you,” Alec said passionately, lovingly, his eyes shining.
“I love you too,” Magnus replied affectionately and leaned in to give him a tender kiss. He was smiling fondly as he drew back from Alec, happy at seeing his lover’s eyes shine, seeing him smile so beautifully when suddenly he paused. He frowned as he sensed something in Alec he had been too distracted to notice before, caught up in all the other new feelings of being back from Edom.
In Edom Alec and everyone else who were not of demon blood had all given off weird auras, stained auras. Looking at Alec now he noticed it was still there and it shouldn’t be. There was still a stain on Alec – on his soul to be precise. Oh, no! Surely not! Magnus felt like his world was crumbling and he was breaking apart and he couldn’t breathe! Please, don’t let it be true! He paused as he thought he could guess where the scars came from and where the stain, the mark, on Alec’s soul came from too. Please, no. No!
“My powers…What did you promise my father in return for giving them back?” Magnus asked softly, brokenly. His powers weren’t worth this; hell, his life wasn’t worth this!
Alec bit his lower lip nervously, avoiding his eyes. “How do you know I promised him anything?”
“Because he’s a Greater Demon and does nothing for free and you are a terrible liar, my darling,” Magnus said frankly, fear and pain at what Alec had likely done reflecting in his eyes and voice.
“Can we talk about it tomorrow?” Alec implored, looking him in the eyes, his expression desperate and pleading, wanting this evening to be just for them for the first time in weeks and weeks.
Magnus hesitated again. He really just wanted to shake the truth out of Alec; he wanted to know, he needed to know who had hurt him so he could take revenge. His blood was boiling, screaming for revenge. However, Alec was more important than revenge…wasn’t he?
Magnus forced a smile to his lips and nodded, fighting his emotions, fighting his need to hurt whoever had hurt Alec.
“If you wish, my love,” Magnus said, forcing the words out, forcing a smile while his hands made fists and his anger was boiling inside of him.
“You already know, don’t know?” Alec asked softly, looking searchingly at his face.
“I have a feeling,” Magnus admitted, his voice filled with regret and pain. Alec shouldn’t have done this for him. He shouldn’t have done this for anyone.
“What do you know?” Alec asked, his voice small and hesitant, needing to know despite himself.
“I thought you didn’t want to know,” Magnus said, fighting to stay calm.
“Please… tell me,” Alec begged, needing to know. He was tired of lying; he was tired of having anything separate them – physically or metaphorically. A part of him didn’t want Magnus to know, didn’t want him to carry that burden but another part of him really wanted him to know everything, to finally have everything out in the open so they could move on.
Magnus sighed, his heart breaking, tears at the edges of his eyes, his voice hoarse and devastated. “Few things would be worth more to my father than owning my magic. Nephilim power would be one of those few things”
“Power?” Alec questioned.
“Your soul,” Magnus clarified, his voice breaking, his agony, fear and pain at saying those words clear in his eyes and face. “A soul is like a powerful battery. There is no greater power source. It is one of the only offerings that would surpass him owning my magic.”
Damn! He knew. And he clearly wasn’t happy. Alec blushed in embarrassment, looking down as he mumbled, “You are too clever for your own good.”
“Yes, sometimes I am,” Magnus admitted softly, brokenly, having so desperately wanted to be wrong. “Alexander, how could you do that? Nothing is worth your soul, least of all me.”
Alec shook his head furiously in denial at this, his eyes tearing into Magnus as if to force him to see things from his perspective. “You are worth everything!” He said strongly, assertively.
“Darling…You don’t understand what you have done,” Magnus said anguished, tears threatening to fall from his eyes. “Your soul will be denied entrance to Heaven. You will instead spent eternity in a demonic realm.”
“We destroyed Edom,” Alec reminded him.
“Yes but there are many demonic realms. Your soul would simply travel to the one my father is in at the time. Knowing him he would have made himself king there by that time,” Magnus said darkly.
Alec shrugged, a determined look on his face. “Well, I assume you were never going to Heaven anyway so what would I want there?”
“Alexander, please be serious,” Magnus scowled him.
“I am serious,” Alec insisted stubbornly with love and affection shining in his eyes. “We will find a way. We always do.”
Magnus couldn’t help but look at him in astonishment at Alec’s love for him, his commitment to follow him anywhere, even into Hell for eternity.
“I will fix this. I don’t care what I have to do. I will fix it,” Magnus swore hotly, pained. He didn’t care what he had to do, what he had to offer, what deal he had to make. He would ensure Alec’s soul was saved.
“Please…let’s not talk about it tonight,” Alec pleaded as he put his arms around his neck and leaned in close. “Tonight, I just want to feel you,” he told him, his eyes filled with hunger and need. He wanted to not think and not worry just for a few hours. Just for a few hours he wanted to feel safe, happy and content. He wanted to forget the world for awhile.
Magnus looked into his eyes and saw what he wanted, what he needed and he gave in because he wanted and needed the same. Ignoring Alec’s protests, he used his magic to scoop him up into his arms, bridal style.
“Magnus! Put me down!” Alec insisted but he put his arms around his neck and couldn’t hide his smile. He was enjoying this show of Magnus’ power, in reality not wanting down at all. There was something primal, needy, hungry and yet safe and loving at being carried like this by his lover into the master bedroom.
“Like this?” Magnus teased as he gently put him on the bed and looked down at him.
“Not quite,” Alec said with a grin as he sat up on the bed so he was facing him, sitting on his knees and reaching for him, putting his hands on Magnus’ hips.
“Too dressed?” Magnus asked with a knowing wink.
“Way too dressed,” Alec agreed hungrily.
With a snap of his fingers they were both fully naked and Alec drew a deep breath of admiration when he saw his lover’s whole body again after so many weeks. Damn, he was so handsome, his golden skin smooth and flawless. Unlike his…Even before the whipping he had had scars from past battles, past punishments, old runes.
As if knowing his thoughts, his doubts, Magnus said with a voice filled with admiration and awe, “You look so beautiful, my angel.”
Alec smiled, blushing as he leaned back on the bed, laying on his back and waved a hand at Magnus, beckoning him nearer.
“I can’t believe you’re mine,” Magnus whispered in wonder as he knelt on the bed between Alec’s legs.
“More doing; less talking,” Alec demanded hoarsely as Magnus put his fist around his hard member.
“Oh? Like this?” Magnus asked with a teasing wink as he started to run his fist up and down before adding his mouth, increasing his pace as he kept going up and down. Alec almost bucked off the bed as he tried to push further upwards and into his mouth and hand.
“Fuck, yes!” Alec mumbled feverishly, shaking his head from side to side, his eyes half-closed from pleasure as he grabbed at the bedsheets with his hands to have something to hold onto.
Magnus smiled at seeing his lover like this, his own cock hard and aching at the sight. He pulled back, releasing him and Alec made a displeased noise.
“Or maybe more like this?” Magnus asked passionately as he conjured lube and put a generous amount on his fingers before he slowly pushed one digit inside him.
“Yes, yes, yes!” Alec yelled, eagerly pushing down on the finger inside him. God, he had missed this. Missed feeling Magnus inside him, feeling taken, full, and loved.
“So eager, so compliant, opening up for me so beautifully. You will be the death of me, Alexander,” Magus mumbled feverishly as he fucked him hastily before withdrawing and adding a second finger, moving them in and out quickly.
“Please…fuck me,” Alec pleaded frantically, needing more than this. Needing to feel Magnus, needing to feel that connection, the assurance he was there, he was real. “I need to feel you inside me.”
“There’s nothing I want more,” Magnus promised and hastily added a third finger, moving them in and out; despite his arousal he wanted to make sure Alec was properly prepared after so many weeks without them having had sex.
“Fuck, yes!” Alec cried out, leaking pre-come from excitement.
“You like that?” Magnus mumbled, his voice hoarse and dark from desire. “Or do you want something else?”
“Please,” Alec begged, pushing down on his fingers to feel as much of him inside himself as possible.
“Let me hear you,” Magnus said lustfully as he kept fucking him with his fingers, laying down a quick and hard rhythm that had Alec screaming with want.
“Fuck me. Please fuck me!” Alec cried out, feeling almost dizzy with need, his arousal only heightened by saying the words aloud.
Magnus couldn’t have kept teasing him anyway, he was rock hard. He quickly withdrew his fingers and positioned himself at his opening. He looked into Alec’s eyes, saw his eagerness and his desire reflected there and started pushing in, trying to go slow as it had been so long since they had last done this but Alec wouldn’t have none of it. He pushed down, forcing Magnus all the way inside him. He winced at the burn but forced himself to breathe through it, the thought of the intense pleasure that would follow almost making him giddy.
“Yes!” Magnus mumbled as he was fully buried in his lover, echoing Alec’s scream of pleasure of having the Warlock fully inside him.
Magnus tried to stay still for a moment to let Alec get used to his size and then, when he felt Alec’s body relax around him, he started to move slowly in and out, going almost all the way out before pushing back in.
“Faster! Harder!” Alec pleaded, frustrated at the slow torturous place, needing more, needing to feel him.
“Fuck, yes!” Magnus grunted as he starting to pound into his lover with harsh and quick strokes, repeatedly hitting his prostate, driving Alec closer to the edge and letting out loud screams of pleasure.
“Fuck! I’m…I’m close….I….I can’t,” Alec mumbled incoherently as he wrapped both his legs and his arms tight around his lover to force him even closer, his fingers scratching at his back.
“Then come. Come for me,” Magnus got out through clashed teeth, barely holding on himself but wanting Alec to come first, wanting him to have this moment.
“Yes!” Alec yelled loudly as he came all over his stomach without having touched himself, too wired and emotional from everything that had happened to need much to push him over the edge. Dots were around the edges of his vision and Alec sank boneless back onto the bed, a smile on his lips, his eyes half-closed, endorphins coursing through his system, making him feel high.
“So beautiful. So beautiful for me,” Magnus mumbled as he kept pumping into his lover, faster and faster, chasing his own release. Alec clasped his muscles around his member to try to speed up his release, feeling spent and over-sensitive but wanting to feel Magnus come inside of him. A few seconds later Magnus came inside him with a loud grunt, barely managing to hold himself up so he didn’t collapse on top of Alec.
Magnus scarcely had the present of mind to pull out slowly and roll over so he was laying on the bed next to Alec instead of on top of him. With a snap of his fingers, he had cleaned them both up, and added a blanket to cover them with. Alec snuggled close, putting his head on his chest, feeling sated, fulfilled and happy for the first time in ages. He knew they would have to discuss some unpleasant things in the morning but for now, the world was at peace, he was at peace. For right now, everything was perfect.
Alec smiled as he fell asleep with his head on Magnus’s chest, his lover’s arms wrapped around him protectively. Finally, everything was how Alec wanted it to be. Finally, everything was back on track.
Unknown to him Magnus had a dark look in his eyes. Someone had clearly hurt Alexander and if it truly were Asmodeus as he suspected, he would find him and destroy him utterly. And if it had been someone else…well, then it would just be that much easier to torture them to death slowly for what they had done to Alec for only his father came even remotely close to match his powers – no one else would stand a chance against his wrath!
Then…then he would get Alec’s soul back, even if he had to destroy all the demonic realms that existed until none was left. Even if he had to rage war on Heaven and Hell and anything in between he would save Alec’s soul and he would get revenge for what had been done to him. No one hurt someone he loved and got away with it!
Don't tell me I never do anything for you guys; you wanted sex and Magnus to see Alec's scars so that's what happened. Did you enjoy it? Any other wishes you guys have?
Do please leave me a comment; I will worship you forever and who doesn't want to be worshipped once in a while, right? ;)
And I'm just curious; have anyone figured out how this will end yet? Any wishes for HOW you want it to end? ;)
Chapter 14: Lorenzo's plan
Lorenzo explains his plan to Andrew and ends up digging a bigger and bigger hole for himself in his desire to keep being the object of Andrew's adoration.
Thanks so much to my ever amazing and overworked beta - she is doing 3 large WIPs at the same time for me! Thanks so much, hon!
Chapter warnings: Religious debate, Lorenzo and Andrew are still in a D/s relationship but it is very mild here, talk on deal making
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Please read the author's notes above for chapter warnings
Lorenzo had portaled to the New York Institute directly from Edom and had found Andrew waiting for him with a smile on his lips and a relieved look on his face. After sharing a warm embrace and a passionate kiss Lorenzo had explained that Magnus was back with Alec at his loft and that Edom was no more. Andrew had been very happy to hear that; relieved that Alec had the man he loved back. Lorenzo had made another portal for them almost immediately, wanting to talk to Andrew in private regarding the next step of his plans.
They had all arrived back in the Mundane world from Edom in the afternoon. Lorenzo estimated he would be having one pissed off Prince of Hell on his doorstep at the latest by lunchtime tomorrow if he hadn’t resolved this the legal way, e.g. according to Warlock Law, before then. Well, that was with the expectation that surely even Magnus would know what to do with a willing Nephilim in his home and in his bed after being apart – and it wouldn’t include talking; that was for certain!
“Thank the Angel you are safe,” Andrew said relieved as soon as they exited the portal in Lorenzo’s living room, melting into his embrace and laying his head on his shoulder as he held him. Lorenzo made a hand gesture and closed the portal while holding Andrew around the waist with the other hand. Lorenzo stroked his cheek tenderly before putting the hand on the back of his neck and pulling him into a warm and possessive kiss. Andrew instantly melted under him and when they drew apart they were both panting, fighting for breath, lust and desire in their eyes.
“I am quite certain no angels were involved in this,” Lorenzo said with some amusement but a hint of darkness.
“Edom…it must have been horrible there,” Andrew said sympathetically with a shudder, unable to even imagine how horrible a demon realm would be.
“Boring, not horrible,” Lorenzo answered thoughtfully. At Andrew’s surprised look he added, “I am half demon, mi hermosa Nephilim [my beautiful Nephilim],” Lorenzo reminded him.
“Yes…but not demon demon,” Andrew insisted stubbornly.
Lorenzo smiled a little at that, fondness and hunger in his eyes.
“So innocent you are,” Lorenzo said and ravished his lips hungrily, making Andrew moan and press himself impossibly close to him; so close he could feel his arousal. This time Lorenzo had to pull back with great effort.
“Ok, little one, enough of that or I will forget the plan and just take you to the bedroom to fuck you senseless,” Lorenzo warned with hunger in his voice.
“I…I like the sound of that,” Andrew admitted shyly, looking down.
“So do I,” Lorenzo said lustfully. “But I also like the idea of still breathing,” he said in a darker and more somber tone. Warlocks were many things; forgiving was not one of them. Magnus might deny his Demon half but that didn’t mean it wasn’t there.
“What do you mean?” Andrew asked confused, worry in his eyes.
“Never mind, mi hermosa Nephilim [my beautiful Nephilim],” Lorenzo said with a dismissive wave of his hand.
“Come, I will explain what I learned in the Seelie Realm and the next steps,” Lorenzo continued as he took Andrew’s hand and guided him to the sofa.
When he reached it and sat down he pulled Andrew down into his lap. The Shadowhunter gave a small surprised yelp but quickly put his arms around his neck, and snuggled his head against his neck. Andrew just held him close for a moment, scenting him, feeling him, really accepting he was back and safe.
Lorenzo stroked his hair softly and kissed the top of his head. Then he pulled back a little and put a hand under Andrew’s chin, lifting his head up so he could see his face. He was almost taken back by the trust and warmth reflected there.
“I will explain what I discovered in the Seelie Realm and what I will do next but I don’t want you to worry about it. There’s nothing I can’t fix,” Lorenzo said with an arrogant smirk.
Andrew did feel a ping of worry at that but Lorenzo’s words calmed him. The Warlock would fix it. He just had to have faith, give in, and let him do whatever he needed to do. He could do that; he wanted to do that.
Andrew smiled gently as he replied, “I trust you with everything I have and everything I am. You know that.”
Lorenzo smiled at that before claiming his lips in a bruising and possessive kiss that Andrew eagerly leant into. When Lorenzo drew back Andrew gave a small disappointed whine that made Lorenzo chuckle.
“Later, little one. I promise. When this is all over,” Lorenzo said hungrily, a dark promise in his eyes that made Andrew shiver with desire.
“Later,” Andrew repeated, equal hunger in his eyes before he looked down, blushing.
Lorenzo grinned, releasing his grip on his chin. He shifted Andrew’s weight on his legs slightly as his pants had become just a little too tight.
“Anyway,” Lorenzo began, having to clear his throat to get his brain back on track. “The Seelies had heard whispers from the Angels regarding both Alec’s deal with Asmodeus and then apparently they have an issue with Clarissa Fairchild.” At Andrew’s surprise at that name Lorenzo explained, “Apparently the Angels feel she has been using her unique rune drawing powers in ways that are contrary to their wishes and seek to punish her for this.”
Andrew frowned, concerned despite Lorenzo’s promise. “That’s terrible.”
“Well, Angels are in general dicks,” Lorenzo said darkly, flippantly.
Lorenzo had never before had any dealings with the beings but after what his mother had suffered, so pure and so strong in her faith in Heaven and the Angels…if they had been alright with letting her suffer and die like that then he had no use for them. Their lack of action to help his mother back then made the Angels equally as guilty as Shadowhunters for her brutal passing as far as he was concerned.
“Ah…” Andrew didn’t know what to say to that. While he felt it seemed like a small matter to seek punishment for as Clary had only ever used her powers to help people as far as he knew, he was raised to follow the rules from Heaven and the Angels. Being here with Lorenzo was likely already breaking several Angelic rules; he really didn’t want to anger them further by speaking disrespectfully about them.
“But anyway,” Lorenzo continued, “This is actually quite a unique opportunity.” He paused. “Well, she’s an idiot for defying them so openly but anyway; self-sacrifice seems to be a trademark of not only Alec but his little group of friends too,” Lorenzo concluded with something between disgust, annoyance and disbelief.
Andrew frowned, a concerned look on his face. “How is this a good opportunity?”
“Well, you told me she is a friend of Alec’s,” Lorenzo said, worried now he had gotten it wrong. His hatred for the Angels wasn’t great enough to interfere in this mess if he had no personal stake in it. OK, whom was he kidding? He would not openly oppose the Angels unless he had a personal stake in doing so. While he loved the idea of pissing off those self-righteous beings the risk didn’t outweigh the potential benefits otherwise.
Andrew nodded. “She is but maybe more importantly she is the lover of Jace Herondale; Alec’s parabatai,” Andrew clarified, knowing that while Alec had grown fond of Clary she was mainly important to him as an extension of Jace; his parabatai and the man he would do anything for. Well, after he had met Magnus he guessed he was now the second man Alec would do anything for.
“So…” Lorenzo began, wanting to make sure he understood it correctly.
“So whatever Jace feels Alec will feel. So if anything were to happen to Clary it would devastate Jace and thus it would devastate Alec,” Andrew elaborated, forgetting sometimes that since Lorenzo wasn’t a Shadowhunter he wouldn’t know of such things as how a parabatai bond worked.
“That sounds like a horrible deal – this whole parabatai thing,” Lorenzo said with a grimace. He wouldn’t want another being to know his emotions; that was too much power to give someone. Imagine; you would barely be able to lie without being discovered. No, thank you! Lorenzo’s whole life was built upon lying to others but most importantly lying to himself. Lying about what he needed, what he wanted, what he had done….pretending to have a self-confidence and arrogance that in reality covered a deep-seated insecurity he had never really managed to overcome, no matter how much wealth and power he had accumulated.
“I guess it depends on your perspective,” Andrew agreed, having never thought of it like that.
“So now there are two potential issues to get sorted; one with Heaven and one with Hell; good thing I am so amazing then,” Lorenzo said with a wink when he saw Andrew’s worry. It had the intended effect. Andrew smiled and his whole body seemed to relax. He tightened his arms around his neck a little.
“What do you have in mind?” Andrew asked, feeling more and more sure that Lorenzo had this covered.
Lorenzo did not have this covered. He had no idea what he was doing. However, he would never admit to that. He would wing it till he made it; it had worked before so it would again. Right? Besides, he simply adored the way Andrew was looking at him right now; so full of love and trust and awe and he wanted to keep seeing that in his expression.
“Angels and demons share some traits – one of them is that if you offend them amends has to be made and another is that they can’t withstand a good deal,” Lorenzo explained. “And I happen to be an expert at making deals!” He said arrogantly.
Andrew smiled but then asked with a hint of confusion and worry, “You mean sacrifices.” It was more a statement than a question.
Lorenzo shrugged. “Can’t you call all deals that?”
At least all the deals he had made could likely be called sacrifices on the behalf of the other person. But then all good deals would work to the advantage of the Warlock and would thus require a sacrifice in return. They were all half demon after all, weren’t they?
“So…you would negotiate with Angels? Or demons?” Andrew asked, a bit confused.
“I never do deals with demons. They can’t be trusted,” Lorenzo said quickly. At Andrew’s questioning look he added, “Never trust a demon deal… or a half-demonic deal. They will never work to your advantage.”
“But…you’re half-demon,” Andrew pointed out confused. He trusted Lorenzo with his life; of course he would trust his deals.
“Precisely, little one,” Lorenzo said honestly.
“Well, I like the deal you made me,” Andrew insisted warmly.
Lorenzo smiled softly. “I know you do. I still think you shouldn’t but it’s too late for that; you are mine now,” he said possessively.
The Warlock placed a hand behind Andrew’s neck and briefly their lips met in a quick, dirty, hungry and possessive kiss. Lorenzo bit Andrew’s lower lip slightly, just enough to make him wince and draw the smallest amount of blood, fueling both of their desires with the aggressive need in the action. Lorenzo licked the blood from his lip with his tongue as he pulled back, his tongue sealing the small cut he had made there. Andrew’s eyes were cloudy with need and desire as he touched his bruised lip, running his tongue over the small, now closed, cut. He fought to focus on the conversation they had been having when all he wanted was for Lorenzo to continue what he had started and mark him all over, making him really feel how much he wanted and needed him.
Lorenzo released his grip on Andrew’s neck, fighting to calm his breathing, noticing his Mark had been become exposed in his excitement and he fought to get it back under control. He shook his head as if to clear it.
“So…as I said, no demon deals. That leaves the Angels,” Lorenzo said to get back to the topic at hand.
“And we can trust them?”
Lorenzo snorted. “Of course not. They will be at least as cruel and vindictive as dealing with a demon.”
“Then…why the Angels?” Andrew asked confused.
“Because despite that the Angels will be direct with the price they want,” Lorenzo explained. Well, at least that was what he had heard, as he had never done dealt with Angels before. “Demons…well, let’s just saw you often first discover the price you truly paid long after paying it.”
Lorenzo was thoughtful for a moment, thinking of Alec and his reactions to him in his office before they had gone to Edom. While the whipping had been brutal to put it mildly the real price, as Alec would discover as the years passed, was the scars that would never let him forget what he had endured, it would be the memories that would always linger, it would be how his body and brain for quite a while still would betray him, make him flicker or fearful as his body would remember the ordeal even if his conscious mind wasn’t going there. Yes, the price he had asked for had been wonderfully brutal. A shame he had used such a deal on a man who had turned out not to deserve it. It was not the deal he had made he regretted nor was it the deal itself he would have to answer for according to Warlock Law; it was that he had made it with Alec. He was certain he could have found plenty Shadowhunters - actually scratch that; all of them except Andrew and Alec - who deserved such treatment.
His words made something unpleasant linger at the back of Andrew’s mind but he pushed it aside.
“And the Angels, they can help Alec?” Andrew asked eagerly.
Lorenzo nodded grimly. “The Angels would prefer Nephilim souls stay out of hellish realms given the power they hold, for obvious reasons. I am doubtful if they can break a demonic deal but it can be investigated. If nothing else then demonic deals can always be traded,” he said thoughtfully.
“What do you mean?” Andrew asked with a frown.
“Well, demonic deals can always be traded, shifted,” Lorenzo explained. He paused before he added, “for a price, obviously.”
“Yes?” Andrew said excitedly. “You could own it then!” He proclaimed with a smile, so certain Alec’s soul would be safe with Lorenzo.
Lorenzo almost physically recoiled at the very thought. Owning the soul of the lover of the Prince of Hell? Yeah…No! Not going to happen ever! Better it went to Hell; then Magnus could go fight them instead of him.
“Not in a million years! When I have gotten this whole mess sorted I want nothing more to do with those self-sacrificing idiots!” Lorenzo protested hotly.
Andrew pouted, giving Lorenzo a confused look, ignoring his jab at Alec and his friends, certain it was just the stress of the situation bringing it on. “Who then?”
“Well, if the deal can’t be broken and the soul returned then the obvious choice would be Magnus,” Lorenzo admitted, hating to say it. Damn, just saying it felt like fire on his tongue. Magnus, with a Nephilim soul….endless power. Great. Just what he needed. As if the older Warlock wasn’t powerful enough already with his royal blood. Life just wasn’t fair! Ok, ok, priorities. Fix this so Magnus’ first priority tomorrow wasn’t to go BBQ his ass.
“Oh.” Andrew paused for a while. “But even if his soul would belong to Magnus wouldn’t he then still go to Edom?” Andrew asked but then remembered Edom had been destroyed so he added, “Go to a demonic realm?”
“Not necessary. Magnus could choose to share his own soul in return. In that way they would be connected forever,” Lorenzo explained.
“What would that mean?”
“Alec would essentially become immortal as Warlocks are immortal,” Lorenzo clarified.
Lorenzo had no strong feelings on immortality. He knew some Warlocks did; they loved knowing they had forever. He had reached great heights in his life, had come up from nothing and now he had Andrew for as long as his mortal life would allow. He had no need for eternity now that he had found him. He was certain there was no being ever born or would ever be born who would be able to complete him the way Andrew could.
“Wow,” Andrew got out, in awe. He looked at Lorenzo in amazement; he had the most wonderful partner! Imagine he could make that happen!
Lorenzo had no clue if what he was saying was even possible. It had never been done. He wasn’t sure he could negotiate a deal like that with the Angels by a long shot. But he loved how Andrew was now no longer worried and he loved it oh so very much when he looked up at him so adoringly, almost like worship. Lorenzo was drinking it in, like a cat who had gotten a bowl of fresh cream.
“And should one die they both die and their souls would either go to Heaven or Hell together; their souls would be intertwined, inseparable,” Lorenzo continued, making Andrew smile adoringly at him as he had hoped.
Lorenzo had no idea if that was true but it seemed likely. Maybe? Mostly he said it because he knew it would make Andrew smile even more, his expression now so full of worship it was downright blasphemous. And… Lorenzo loved everything about that fact!
“So Alec’s soul would not suffer then?” Andrew clarified with a smile.
“Not if Magnus shares his own soul in return then no,” Lorenzo assured, amazed at how easy it was to claim all of this. He had no clue if it was true but it seemed true; it felt true and most importantly it meant Andrew kept looking at him with eyes so filled with wonder Lorenzo felt like a God.
“And the Angels could shift ownership of his soul from Asmodeus to Magnus?”
Lorenzo nodded. “An archangel would be able to do it. Their powers match that of a prince of Hell,” Lorenzo reassured him. Well, they better or why the Hell else were these beings worshipped by mortals and Nephilim alike? Surely they had to be useful in some way….
“And they would do that?” Andrew asked happily.
“For a price; yes,” Lorenzo promised, knowing full well he could make no such promise. Angels were tricky creatures. Just getting them to barter with a half-demon like himself would be an uphill battle. But Andrew didn’t need to know that.
“A price?” Andrew said, his happiness fading a little.
“As I told you, mi hermosa Nephilim [my beautiful Nephilim], Angels and Demons are similar in many ways. Angels would require something in return,” Lorenzo explained but quickly added, wanting to see that adoration return to his eyes, “But as I said; I’ve got this.”
“Ok,” Andrew said, smiling again and Lorenzo couldn’t help but smile back, feeling as if the sun had returned to shine upon him. Then Andrew seemed to recall what Lorenzo had said earlier. “What’s this thing with Clary then?”
“Well, apparently any day now the Angels are planning to remove her memories of the Shadow World in punishment for her using her runes against their wishes,” Lorenzo told him. He paused for a second, mistaking the look of horror on Andrew’s face as directed toward the Angels. “Yes, I know. They are cruel bastards, aren’t they?”
Andrew gasped in horror, thinking of how awful that would be for Clary…and Jace. He didn’t know them well but the very thought was devastating. “That’s terrible!”
“No, no…it’s fine,” Lorenzo assured him.
Andrew really wanted to believe it; in fact, he would want to believe Lorenzo could walk on water, but how was it fine? “What do you mean?”
“The Angels need a sacrifice – but it doesn’t need to come from her,” he said. “It means they are open to a deal on this,” he clarified when Andrew still looked puzzled.
Well, Lorenzo didn’t know that either. He hoped they would be. Maybe? Demons wouldn’t mind punishment being shifted – hell, he had done that with Alec; hurting Magnus by hurting him in a two for one kind of deal – but would the Angels be ok with that? Maybe…if the price was right.
“Lorenzo…what are you thinking?” Andrew asked worried. “You are not thinking about offering your own memories of the Shadow World, are you?” he added worriedly.
Lorenzo shook his head, smiling a little at how naïve and sweet Andrew was; thinking he would sacrifice himself in such a manner. No thanks; that was not happening!
“I can’t offer that, amado [beloved]…I am a Warlock so my very existence is tied to the Shadow World. I basically have no existence outside of it.”
“Oh. Ok, good,” Andrew took a relieved breath. “But then what are you planning to barter with?”
Andrew had suddenly become very much aware that Lorenzo had kept promising to make deals and fix things but had never said what he was going to trade.
“There is only one thing powerful enough that could make the Angels consider bargaining - I will negotiate on my remaining years. I am immortal after all so I have quite a few of those,” Lorenzo said smoothly, a look of triumph in his eyes. Was Lorenzo so arrogant he thought he could barter with Angels and win? That he could beat Angels? Well, yes! Yes, he was. He would get the upper hand on those bastard Angels and he would win. They might think they were good at making deals but he was an expert. In fact, he had perfected the craft! Hell, he had almost invented it. Ok, he hadn’t but he could have.
Andrew looked at him shocked, pulling back from him. “What?!”
Lorenzo nodded, clearly happy with his master plan. He grabbed Andrew’s hands in his, pulling him back against his chest.
“Yes,” he insisted, nodding, his voice firm and strong, discouraging Andrew to go against him on this. “Claiming some of my years should be far too tempting an offer for the Angels not to accept as they would get a pure demonic power source as that’s where Warlocks get their powers and their immortality from. So even if they want to punish her – they would not be able to refuse such a bargain.” His voice and eyes were victorious and self-assured though inside he knew he still couldn’t be sure they would even accept seeing him. The smug bastards seemed to always feel they were just that little bit better than everyone else.
“But…but…what does that mean? Would you…” Andrew couldn’t finish the sentence, couldn’t bear the thought of losing him.
Andrew was starting to hyperventilate and shake ever so slightly. Had he pushed Lorenzo into this? Would he lose him? After giving over everything he was and had to Lorenzo he couldn’t bear the thought of losing him!
“Don’t worry, mi hermosa nephilim [My beautiful nephilim]. I would be fine,” Lorenzo assured him, running smoothing circles over his hands before pulling him closer by closing a hand around one of his wrists, kissing him tenderly. Andrew leaned into the kiss, letting it ease his worries.
When they pulled apart Andrew gave him a piercing look. “Fine? You promise?”
“Yes. Just not immortal. Depending on how good a deal I would be able to get I would still have more years left so basically as close to immortality as one can come. After all; you can take a hell of a lot away from infinity and still have more left than anyone would know what to do with.” His voice was arrogant and self-assured but deep inside he was worried what kind of deal he would be able to get.
Andrew looked concerned at him; he had seen how devastated Magnus had been without his magic, his immortality.
“But…if they take all your additional years…you would grow old…”
Lorenzo grimaced, rejecting the idea, the very thought. He was Lorenzo Rey; there was no chance in all of existence he would broker that poor a deal; besides then he just wouldn’t take it and find another solution. Not that he had any in mind but he would think of something if he needed to.
“Only if I make a very bad deal which I don’t intend to,” he said confidently. He paused before deciding to be honest for once. “Besides, I never had any desire for immortality. I have found with you what I have always wanted and I have more wealth than any man can spend in a hundred lifetimes.”
“I feel the same. I can’t offer an eternity but what years I have are yours,” Andrew said softly, looking lovingly at him.
“I want to live whatever years I get with you,” Lorenzo confirmed affectionately. “Be it forever or a thousand years; I want them all to be with you.”
Lorenzo never dreamt he would ever need to accept a deal for less than a thousand remaining years; that was as low as he would go. What he meant to say with his statement was that he would want to tie their own souls together like he had talked about for Alec and Magnus so he would never again be alone.
Andrew thought Lorenzo simply meant he wanted to be with him as long as he lived and smiled joyfully at him, at the renewed promise. Seeing this Lorenzo smirked and winked suggestively at Andrew to break the suddenly serious mood.
Andrew blushed prettily at the renewed hunger in Lorenzo’s eyes.
“That does indeed sound amazing,” the Shadowhunter admitted, smiling. He had never really thought he would live long; Shadowhunters normally didn’t. But if Lorenzo could get a good deal with the Angels so they could live together and enjoy whatever years Andrew had left then he would be more than content.
Lorenzo nodded, a lump in his throat; it did indeed sound amazing, in his mind’s eye imagining somewhere between 1000 years and eternity together. “Yes.”
“What about your magic? I saw how not having magic destroyed Magnus and…I don’t want that to happen to you,” Andrew said with the honestly of his nature and the clarity given by the truth spell still in effect in the mansion.
Lorenzo shook his head. “You can’t have immortality without magic but in this exchange I would keep my magic – just not my immortality.”
“Are you sure?” Andrew employed worriedly.
Lorenzo nodded with a warm smile, happy to hear his concern for him.
“I am sure,” Lorenzo said but then paused before he added, “However, should the Angels decide they will only deal if they get my magic too...” His voice died away. That was a deal he would never, ever make. Ever. He felt he had to make that clear given that Magnus had taken the opposite choice. “That is a deal I can’t and won’t accept. I would rather be dead than without my magic.”
“What?! No!” Andrew protested fiercely, almost pulling completely away from him in shock and fear. He was not accepting that; surely it was better to be alive without magic than dead with it!
“Shh…young one,” Lorenzo said softly, pulling him back into a warm embrace, ignoring his weak attempts at being let go. As soon as he was back in his embrace Andrew hid his head by his shoulder, snuggling close, finding the feel and smell of the Warlock soothing.
“I am not that young,” Andrew mumbled against his chest.
“To me you are,” Lorenzo reminded him with a smile before getting serious again. “It’s alright. I am certain they will go for my deal.”
When they drew apart Lorenzo’s eyes begged Andrew to understand.
“But Magnus...” Andrew started to protest. He had given up his magic. He had been ok….well, he hadn’t. He had been depressed and miserable and hurting but he would have gotten over it. Wouldn’t he? Would he? Ever? Was it possible to get over something like that?
“Magnus would have tried to live without his magic for Alec and he would have failed. It’s like living without lungs. You can take a few pained breaths but you will die nonetheless,” Lorenzo interrupted him, his voice firm and certain. For a Warlock to live without magic; he shuttered. It was a fate so much worse than death.
Andrew was thoughtful for a moment, thinking about his words, tasting them on his tongue.
“I understand your decision but promise me one thing?” Andrew asked seriously, their eyes locking.
“Anything,” Lorenzo readily agreed, overjoyed that Andrew could understand; he had not expected that of a mortal, of someone who had never had magic.
“If ever, at any time, now or in the future, you are forced to choose between magic or death then come to me first.”
“Why?” Lorenzo asked a bit disappointed. Apparently Andrew hadn’t really understood; he just wanted the opportunity to talk him out of it should the scenario ever arise.
“Because I wouldn’t want to draw one breath in a world that doesn’t have you in it,” Andrew said simply, honestly, his expression serious but his eyes soft.
In the type of relationship they had built Andrew simply could no longer imagine a life that didn’t include the Warlock; he didn’t want to.
Lorenzo almost stopped breathing at hearing that. He should have known Andrew would understand; he had never disappointed him before and he was more certain now than ever that he never would. He had tears in the corner of his eyes and a lump in his throat as he cupped Andrew’s face tenderly.
“I wish I could claim I was such a person that I would ask you not to do that but instead go on without me and all those fine things. But frankly, I prefer to have you with me, even if it wouldn’t be in this world,” Lorenzo said honestly, his voice filled with emotion, need and a possessiveness that even surprised himself in that it extended even beyond death.
“That’s the only way I would want it to be,” Andrew said with equal emotion, smiling happily before pressing his lips against his in a feather light touch. When he drew back, Lorenzo released him and Andrew wiped some betraying tears from his cheek.
Andrew took a calming breath, refocusing on the task at hand. “OK, worst case scenarios sorted,” he said with a hint of humor to lighten the serious mood. He looked at Lorenzo curiously as he continued, “So, back to the plan. How does one summon an Angel or how do we get this thing going?”
Feedback is treasured and loved and worshipped forever!
As I hope some of you have noticed then I have not taken Lorenzo down the traditional hero's journey, as I didn't feel it fitted his character. Instead, he is on the journey of the classical antihero. In this manner Lorenzo is contrary to characters such as Alec and Magnus who have the qualities of the traditional hero and have been on the traditional hero's journey.
As you can tell, we are coming up on the big explosive final! I know at least one reader already guessed there might be some issues related to immortality in this story; well spotted! I am curious….anyone think they know how this will all end? Besides very explosively with a showdown between Lorenzo and Magnus obviously!
Chapter 15: Deals with Angels
Lorenzo negotiates with the Angels. It doesn't go quite as planned.
Thanks much to my awesome beta as always.
This chapter is for June Hodge and justmymalec as thanks for your continued support and dedication to this story. Thank you!
Chapter warnings: Deal making, curse words, Lorenzo doesn't think highly of Angels so that shows. Nothing else I think.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Please read the author's notes for chapter warnings
It turned out that one does not summon Angels; particularly not if you are part-demon. Therefore, against Andrew’s wishes Lorenzo had left for the Seelie Realm alone to find someone to barter a deal for him. Seelies were part Angels and part Demons and thus they could get in contact with Heaven – if Heaven wanted to listen of course.
Luckily Meliorn, as the new King of the Seelies, loved the idea of having a Warlock owing him a favor. By the time Meliorn had made everything ready in his dining hall to be the medium through which Lorenzo could speak with the Angels several hours had already passed in the Mundane world. Lorenzo was keenly aware that time was running out if he wanted to avoid having a Prince of Hell ready to murder him on sight and he would for obvious reasons like to avoid that. Despite Magnus’ humanity he was certain his father would have taught him some quite inventive ways to inflict pain on his enemies that he had no desire to get to know better.
Seelies communicated with Heaven using Seelie magic and Meliorn had communicated that a deal was sought. Finally, when it was around 2200 hundred hours at night New York time, a reply had come that the talks could proceed.
Then the game began. Lorenzo had first tried Clary’s case, thinking it the easiest deal to win given Hell was not involved in this one. He had offered 1000 years in exchange for her keeping her memories of the Downworld. Denied outright. He had then tried the same to get Alec’s soul back into Heaven; certain that Heaven wanted that too. Another outright rejection. Lorenzo grew more and more frustrated and annoyed as he got rejected again and again without any further explanation; he had never dealt with such stubborn beings before. As more and more time passed, Lorenzo had had to stop offering them years to take and instead offer years for him to have left. As the Angels were equally unmoving on both cases, to Lorenzo’s great displeasure, he had started adding them together in the offers he made; he could just as well get as great a deal out of this as possible and he was not letting some arrogant winged idiots get the better of him!
It was now around eight in the morning, Mundane time for New York, and Lorenzo was running out of time. Every time he thought of just giving up and finding another solution – maybe a nice deserted island somewhere with Andrew – he had been reminded of how adoringly Andrew had looked at him. If he left without a deal he would lose that; he would lose that look in Andrew’s eyes. He found he would do practically anything at all to ensure that never happened. Andrew’s adoration, almost worship of him, had quickly become like a drug to him. He had never had that before in his life and he never wanted to be without it. So he fought down his annoyance and irritation and kept bargaining, his anger and contempt at the Angels, his desire to win over them, only adding to his fighting spirit.
Time was running out and Lorenzo had cut his latest offer dramatically; having offered he was left with 1000 years in exchange for a nullification of both Clary’s and Alec’s deals. It was a great offer for the Angels – the demonic power they would gain from his immortal years in this deal would be substantial - and this was really as low as he had been willing to go but never thought he would need to; they would be stupid not to take this offer!
“So…how long does this normally take?” Lorenzo asked impatiently as he reached out with his magic to get a sense of time and did a mental calculation; it was almost nine in the morning now in New York. He really had no time for this! Though he was certain Magnus would be busy doing other things with Alec than talk because frankly, who wouldn’t if you had a willing Nephilim in your bed, then eventually they would get to the talking part as Magnus would obviously see the scars on Alec's back and ask questions about it…and that was what Lorenzo couldn’t have. He needed this in place first. He needed to reach Magnus before that talk if this was to work out the way he wanted it to.
“As long as it takes,” Meliorn said unhelpfully with the calm and patience of an immortal being.
“Great,” Lorenzo said sarcastically and though Meliorn simply looked at him Lorenzo had the feeling he was inwardly rolling his eyes at him. “Any way you can speed this up? I am on the clock here….”
“They have replied,” Meliorn interrupted, closing his eyes as the Seelie magic around him, in the flowers and vines, air and earth, whispered the Angels reply to him.
“And?” Lorenzo snapped impatiently.
“Well….closest translation would be ‘never gonna happen’,” Meliorn said ruefully.
Lorenzo saw red; What the fuck?
“Who do they think they are?! Arrogant fools!” Lorenzo hissed, fuming. He had offered a good deal; actually they should have accepted a long time ago! Angels apparently held more of a grudge than most Demons he knew. The fact that they would grant a Nephilim like Clary special abilities and then punish her for using them showed a level of deviousness, trickery and frankly downright cruelty that would make most Greater Demons blush. Fucking bastards; the lot of them! He had never dealt with any race as annoying and infuriating as this one! By Lilith; he really hated Angels! In that moment he felt like they were to blame for everything bad in his life; he wasn’t quite sure how but they were surely to blame!
“They are Angels!” Meliorn said as if that explained everything and it probably did.
“And? I am Lorenzo Rey!” He said with flourish, his anger and hatred spurring him on; his arrogance and his pride making him unwilling to submit, to give in. He needed to win; he wanted to win, he had to win over them! He was not returning to Andrew in defeat. That was just not going to happen; ever!
Lorenzo took a deep breath; if he was to surrender even more to them he was going down getting the best deal possible because screw them! Screw them all so much!
“Ok, fine! Here’s my counteroffer. Leave me 500 years, leave Clarissa alone and give Alexander Lightwood his soul back,” he snapped impatiently.
This time the response came almost at once, making Lorenzo almost smirk. This surely meant they were interested.
“They say a soul can’t be returned once freely given,” Meliorn told him, relaying the message.
“Convenient they first bring this up now!” Lorenzo said darkly. Until now they had just replied no to all his offers in a variety of ways.
“You could own it,” Meliorn suggested, his voice and expression neutral regarding his feelings on that – if he even had feelings regarding that which he probably didn’t.
“Never!” Lorenzo protested hotly. He could just imagine Magnus’ revenge; if it was bad now…it would be hellfire then…
“Fine, give the soul to Magnus then,” he countered through clashed teeth. He was not fond of giving that man anything but it couldn’t be helped. The enemy of my enemy and all that…after all; he hated Shadowhunters and their whole stupid system, Angels in particular, more than anything – or anyone - else!
Again, the answer came quickly. Lorenzo started to wonder if it was the deal they were interested in or how he was brokering it.
“They say the soul would then still be kept in a demonic realm,” Meliorn relayed.
“Not much help, are they? Useless fuckers!” Lorenzo swore hotly, smirking when his crude words managed to make even Meliorn seem a bit uncomfortable, likely due to the Angel blood he also had in his veins.
“Fine! Offer this then: leave me 500 years, leave Clarissa alone and give Alexander’s soul to Magnus but,” he paused for effort, “intertwine their souls so as long as Magnus is alive so will he be.”
Meliorn looked surprised at him. “You are aware this will effectively make Alexander immortal?”
“Only if Magnus lives for eternity,” Lorenzo replied flippantly.
The Seelie raised an eyebrow at him. “And you are aware this would increase Magnus’ powers to a level which as far as I know has never been seen before?” There was a hint of curiosity in the Seelie’s words; Seelies loved anything rare and if this deal went through Magnus and Alec would indeed be rare and unique in each their own way.
“Magnus Bane is already of royal demon blood; by tying his soul to a Nephilim he would get access to the powers of Heaven as well. It would shake the foundations of magic itself. He may even be able to reshape reality itself,” Meliorn warned him.
Lorenzo cringed at being reminded of that fact; he was not fond of giving anyone anything – well, except Andrew – and he was certainly not happy with anyone being more powerful (or more anything!) than himself but some things just mattered more; like revenge, his hatred of Angels…and Andrew’s love, adoration and affection. Andrew thought he could walk on water and well….he intended to ensure he would keep thinking that!
“Yeah, well…it can’t be helped.” Then he smirked darkly as he added, “Besides…if this deal means a Warlock might become more powerful than an Angel I am all for it! Let him reshape reality, let him burn it all if he wishes! As long as I get a piece, a large piece - something like Europe would be fine - for Andrew and myself, I couldn’t care less what happens to the rest of the world – Heaven and Hell included.”
Meliorn gave him an intense and curious look. “This doesn’t offend you? I thought he was your enemy.”
“Well, I am not quite sure what we are now but we are certainly not friends but that doesn’t matter; I hate the Angels more and I won’t let them win!” Lorenzo said hotly, his arrogance and hatred pushing him onwards and over the metaphorical cliff, his hands forming fists at his side and he only barely managed to control himself from using his magic, knowing it would be viewed as offensive by the Seelies if he did.
“Very well,” Meliorn said but before he was to relay the message Lorenzo stopped him with a raised hand.
“Maybe not remind the Angels of the consequences of this whole soul intertwining thing,” he said pointedly, not wanting anything to stop him now.
Meliorn nodded and relayed the adjusted offer and almost immediately got a response back.
“The Angels counter your offer: They will leave you 200 years, they leave Clarissa as a Shadowhunter, her memories intact but they will take away her rune drawing powers, they will give Alexander’s soul to Magnus and intertwine them so Alexander’s soul will only go to a demonic realm when Magnus’s soul dies; they will effectively fall together.”
Well, at that time it’s really not my problem, Lorenzo thought relived with more than a hint of annoyance and darkness.
200 years was less, much less, than he had planned for or expected but as he thought about it a plan, an idea came to him that would make 200 years worth it.
“Forgiving bunch, aren’t they?” Lorenzo said out loud, referring to the fact that if their souls were intertwined they could of course have chosen to lift them both to Heaven instead of casting them both down. Oh, well... Magnus was a Prince of Hell. Should you fall it wasn’t bad to fall with Royalty by your side. Status always helped; also in Hell.
“I accept their deal on two conditions,” Lorenzo said grimly, keenly aware the time was now 09:25 Mundane time.
“Yes?” Meliorn questioned, raising an eyebrow at him.
“Tell them I want my soul to be intertwined with Andrew’s in the same manner so he will live as long as I will and I want us both to keep our current youth till the day the 200 years are up,” Lorenzo explained his plan, his idea, that would make this deal worth it for him. This deal would give him two things he wanted; Andrew with him till the day he died and increased power as he too would now have access to Heavenly power. He would never be as powerful as Magnus because his demonic powers were less and he would no longer be immortal after this deal but his magic would still get a power boost.
Lorenzo would rather live 200 years with Andrew, in power and privilege, than live forever without either. He had worded his demand carefully, expecting trickery from the Angels; while Alec would automatically stop aging as soon as the deal came into effect it would not be a given in his own deal if not he made it explicit as Magnus was still immortal while he had just bartered his own immortality away. One could live 200 years with youth and vitality – or as a wrinkly corpse. The preferred option was obvious.
“The Angels accept and offer you this in return: When the 200 years are up they will determine whether you two fall to Hell or rise to Heaven together based solely on the deeds conducted by you,” the Seelie King relayed to him.
“Me? Can’t it be Andrew’s deeds?” Lorenzo asked surprised, now certain the Angels were more interested in him brokering deals than the deal itself.
The Seelie shook his head. “No, it has to be you.”
“Of course it has,” Lorenzo said annoyed. Well, he guessed judging them both based on Andrew would be too easy; he was a Saint! “Just to be clear…these rules they will judge me by…are they Mundane rules or Nephilim rules?”
“That would be Nephilim rules,” the Seelie clarified after getting the reply.
“Ok then,” Lorenzo agreed with an arrogant smirk. He could work with that. Mundanes were forbidden to kill for any reason; Nephilim were not. He was certain if he wanted to get rid of someone he could ensure it ended up as self-defense. He would simply learn all the rules and then find all the loopholes.
“Just out of curiosity….why was Magnus and Alexander not offered this chance of judgement?” Lorenzo asked, curious despite himself.
“Firstly, because Magnus is a Prince of Hell and his royal blood forbids him entry to Heaven and secondly then they apparently think it will be very amusing to see you fail at this task they have set for you which they are apparently sure you will,” the Seelie King explained matter of fact. He paused and added, not without some sympathy, “That is apparently your real price for this deal; to know that after your 200 years together you would have made the both of you fall to Hell, to suffer an eternity of torment, due to your own hubris and immorality.”
“Well, I will just have to prove them wrong then. I have had people expect me to fail my whole life and yet I have managed to reach the top. Angels won’t break me; I have had worse and stronger beings try,” Lorenzo swore darkly, not bothered by the threat in the least, certain he could overcome this challenge as he had all others in his life to get to where he was.
Meliorn just nodded, having nothing to say to that. “The deal is done. Your 200 years start now,” Meliorn told him, relying the message the Angels had given him. As soon as he had finished his statement a wave of energy hit the Seelie realm, almost knocking them both over, sending shock waves through the land so powerful it knocked over several chairs in the room and leaves and large branches fell from nearby trees. If there had been any windows nearby there was no doubt they would have shattered.
“Finally!” Lorenzo said, taking a deep breath. He could feel the extra power available to him, like something covering his skin. Andrew’s Heavenly connection felt soft and yielding, warm and kind to counter his own magic which felt dark, angry and violent.
Lorenzo knew the magical shockwaves would have hit everywhere at once; beings without magic would likely feel a brief headache while magical beings would feel it strongly, like a physical push; however, none would feel it more than Magnus as suddenly the power available to him would have grown to an unprecedented level. He might not at first know what had happened but he would know for sure something had happened. He really needed to hurry now.
Lorenzo shook hands with Meliorn, eager to leave and get this whole thing over with. “Thank you for your assistance.”
“I will collect on your debt when the time is right,” the Seelie King promised. Lorenzo just nodded; he expected nothing less.
Lorenzo quickly took his leave; he had no time to waste. Luckily he had left a hole in Magnus’ wards that allowed him to portal into his loft and his bet was that Magnus had not yet discovered it. It was a bit like leaving the backdoor unlocked; you only noticed if you went looking for it and surely Magnus would not have had time for that yet.
He had to hurry; it was now 09:35. He had to get to Magnus’ loft, get this sorted, get back to Andrew and explain the deal he had just made for them and then, finally, he could go back to his original plan of fucking his own Angel into oblivion! By Lilith; why had everything turned out so complicated?!
Lorenzo exited the Seelie Realm and as soon as he reached New York he took a deep breath, braced himself and made a portal to take him directly to Magnus’ loft. The time was now 09:45, local time.
In celebration of my birthday I would love some kudos (you can leave kudos once per story) and some feedback. Pretty please? :)
This chapter almost completes Lorenzo's journey as an anti-hero. It has been great fun for me to write him in this way.
Up next: The confrontation between Lorenzo and Magnus!
So....what should happen? Here are some ideas:
1. Magnus kill Lorenzo
2. Magnus banishes Lorenzo
3. Magnus punishes Lorenzo
4. Magnus forgives Lorenzo after the Angelic deals he made