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Magnus drove down the narrow, lonely road to investigate Mrs. Ramsbottom’s worried hint that hooligans in her neighborhood were up to no good. And indeed, there was light burning in the late Mr. McGraw’s old cottage.

Magnus drove up to the house and got out of his car. After a short but thorough inspection of the surrounding area, he noted the license plate of the foreign car in the driveway and went to the front door of the cottage. He noticed that all the blinds were closed and only the light above the entrance was burning. With one hand on his belt, he knocked on the door.


Alec didn’t expect any visitors to knock at his front door and therefore opened the door with a mixture of curiosity and caution. What he also hadn’t expected, was that a more than just handsome man was standing at his doorstep.

Cute, Alec thought and secretly cursed his fate, which always throws such men in his direction only in the most inconvenient sections of his life. If things had settled in a few days at the latest, it didn‘t matter anyway. This botched opportunity made Alec sigh deeply. 

His counterpart must have misunderstood his sign. „Sorry for the late disruption. Is everything all right with you?“

Only now did Alec notice the uniform. A stunning man in uniform. Fate doesn’t do things by halves, that much is clear.

 „Yes, thanks for asking, Officer …“


„Inspector Bane.“ Magnus didn‘t know why he wanted to impress the stranger with his original rank. Granted, he was cute, built muscular, beautiful hazel eyes, but Magnus was here professionally.

„Alec,“ the man introduced himself with a ravishing smile. „What brings you to me, Inspector Bane?“

„Your neighbors saw light in a cottage that they thought were uninhabited. I’m here to see to it, and to scare off uninvited intruders.“

Alec took a step back and let Magnus enter. With a gesture to various boxes in the hall, Alec replied: „I just moved in.“

Magnus weighed the degree of unprofessionalism in case he offered his help in the renovation, when suddenly a dark figure slipped from the back of the house into the hall. Magnus was on high alert when he saw the gun aimed at Alec with deadly precision. Before Magnus could draw his weapon, a dagger stuck neatly between the attacker’s eyes. The man was dead before the body hit the ground.


Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Shit!

For weeks, he and his team have carefully planned and prepared the trap and now this bad timing? He hadn‘t intended to involve the local police in his lucrative assignment. Alec was the organizational head of a very special organization. This organization was so special that only selected customers could take advantage of their 'special' services. After all, this kind of problem solver isn’t found in the local yellow pages.

Alec looked at Magnus and weighed his chances. Magnus‘ expression changed from surprise and astonishment to admiration and … desire?

„Who are you?“



Chapter Text

"Who are you?" Inspector Bane whispered, more to himself and less a question addressed to the man who stood just a few feet away from him, running his hand through his hair. 

He never lost sight of Alec as he walked to the corpse lying on the ground, squatted down and felt for the pulse despite the unmistakable dagger in the man's skull. Magnus rose slowly and cautiously, drawing his weapon, which he aimed at Alec. Alec raised an eyebrow first, then his arms. 

"If you have more weapons, now is the perfect time to bring them out very slowly and put them all on the ground."

Alec obeyed with a smile that Magnus couldn't place. He expected Alec to hide one or perhaps two more knives and that he would simply throw them on the floor between them. 

But oh no! Of course not. Alec doesn’t just lift his black t-shirt. He slid his hand under the hem of the shirt, trailing his belly and slowly pushing up the fabric with his thumb, revealing a glorious sight. At first Magnus saw the narrow line of hair running from the belt to below the shirt. More and more of Alec's defined abdominal muscles became visible. 

Magnus liked what he saw, he couldn't deny it. Unfortunately, he couldn't hide his reaction either. 

With his other hand Alec drew two thin knives and a small firearm, which he wore laterally in the waistband of his black jeans, which he laid on the floor and gave them a nudge with his foot, when Magnus nodded his head toward the front door.

Alec leaned forward and brought out another weapon from an ankle holster and a dagger from the shaft of his boots. Magnus watched as Alec ran both hands along the inside of his thighs as he straightened up. 

With a swing of his hips, Alec turned around. Looking over his shoulder, he pushed his t-shirt up at his sides with both hands a little bit and revealed more daggers stuck in his waistband. His gaze was a clear challenge, as he made no move to disarm himself. 

Magnus blood slowly started to boil. If Alec had thrown one garment at a time on the ground instead of an impressive number of weapons, Magnus beginning arausal couldn't have been bigger. This actually turned him on. 

This little shit. He does that on purpose. Just wait, two can play this game.


Since Alec continued to look into Magnus' eyes during this striptease of a different kind, he noticed that Magnus swallowed dryly several times. 

If it was on a whim that Alec turned his back to Magnus because he just enjoyed it, to tease Magnus even more, or simply to waste time, he couldn't tell himself. 

In any case, Magnus came a few steps closer, still aiming with his weapon at his head, and pulled out the daggers from his waistband, which he threw out of reach. 

For Alec, it would have been easy to overpower and disarm Magnus. But he missed the opportunity, if he ever wanted to take it, because Magnus pressed him against the wall with one hand between his shoulder blades. 

He is strong. I didn't expect that. This man definitely works out.

Magnus put his gun back in his holster and pulled out his handcuffs. "Hands where I can see them." 

Alec showed his cooperation by leaning his hands against the wall at next to his head. With his body weight, Magnus pushed Alec even further against the wall as he handcuffed him. 

In other circumstances, Alec wouldn't have minded getting tied up by Magnus, preferably to the headboard of his bed, but the timing was just a little bit ... inappropriate.

Fate, when this all is over, we both need to have a serious word.

"I'm all for a rough foreplay," Alec commented as Magnus shoved his leg further apart with his foot. 

Out of the corner of his eye Alec could see that Magnus' mouth twitched in an attempt to suppress a smile. 

Magnus probed Alec's back and front for more weapons before he ran both hands up Alec's thigh.

"Shouldn't you invite me to dinner first, before you make closer acquaintance with my ass?" 



"Alec, are you alright?" He heard a voice that was well known to him. 

Alec groaned inwardly. What was it with him and the timing? Did the cavalry have to break through the door just now, where he wanted to try out how far he could come with his flirting attempts? 


As soon as Magnus heard the foreign voice, he took a step back and drew his weapon. Two more people enter the cottage on the same path as the intruder just a few minutes ago. 

Distracted, Magnus turned his attention to the newcomers, who didn't seem at all impressed that Magnus had pointed a gun at Alec. 

"Hey, Jace, compliment your infallible sense of perfect timing." 

The man addressed with Jace looked between Magnus and Alec and showed a grin that was not at all apologetic. 

Magnus turned his attention back to Alec and now could explain why Alec's companions haven't lost their coolness, because Alec aimed a gun at Magnus. 

Damn it! How could he free himself from the handcuffs so quickly? Where does the weapon come from? 

The last question answered by itself, because he noticed the piece of tape hanging from the underside of a side table. 

Okay, I'm obviously dealing with professionals. He was definitely prepared.

It wasn't the first time that Magnus looked into the muzzle of a weapon. But although he was aware of the seriousness of the situation and the danger he was in, he found this moment incredibly hot. 

"You have killed him? Shit! Alec, he could have given us valuable information about Valentine's whereabouts." A beautiful woman with long, dark hair looked at Alec reproachfully.

"What do you think I should have done, Izzy? As you can see, I'm not alone."

Just like Jace had done before, Izzy looked back and forth between Magnus and Alec. "Alec in protective mode, I see." Her beaming smile was stunning. 

"Mr. P. will not be pleased..." Jace nudged the body lightly with his foot. 

"Jace, stop calling him Mr. P.!" Alec actually rolled his eyes!

"But he is our president."

"Still! And if Maryse ever finds out you're calling her M, your fancy British accent will not help you either. She will never change your name to a number. "

"Guys, seriously? Again?"  


The three argued with each other as if Magnus weren't present at all.

Izzy knelt beside the dead man and systematically searched his jacket and trouser pockets. "May I introduce: Emil Pangbourne," read Izzy from the ID.

"We'll take him to the institute. Maybe there'll be found something in the autopsy that can help us." Alec accepted the ID Izzy handed him.

That caught Magnus' attention. 

He had learned about "The Institute" through a wiretap on a drug mogul. But no more than that the suspect didn't want to attract the attention of "The Institute". There was never more evidence, nobody talked, though Magnus had tried everything to find out more. 

He had no idea if "The Institute" was the good guys or the bad guys. Well, at the moment he wasn't closer to answering that question. 

Both could be the case and at the moment he tended to the last possibility. He had never had a weakness for the bad guys, but there was a first for everything. 

"I will inform my team that the corpse can be picked up. I would like to start the autopsy as soon as we get back home." Izzy pulled her phone out of her pocket.

"Even at the risk of interrupting your cozy evening planning, but nobody goes anywhere, certainly not Mr Pangbourne."

So far, the trio had ignored him despite his uniform and the weapon he had pulled. Magnus thought it was time to remind them that he was here in his official position as a law enforcement officer. 

"Our Emil here is dead. He won't go anywhere anymore."



"No one is going to leave the scene here. I'll call the local medical examiner and ask for reinforcements. In the meantime, I'm expecting some answers."


"What takes you so long?" A new voice announced the arrival of another person. "It's all ready for the interrogation and the evaluation of the operation. We're just waiting for you guys."

The newcomer made the hallway a little more crowded and Magnus took a step back and a little to the side to keep everyone in sight. 

"Oh ..." she said as she became aware of the situation. "Uh, is he dead?" The girl glanced at the corpse and headed quickly for Jace, who hugged the petite redhead. 

"No, Clary, he's just sleeping. He only closed his eyes so the light wouldn't blind him."



"Let's get back to the topic now, please. The corpse doesn't get fresher the longer we're staring at it. As I said, I'd like to start the autopsy today." Izzy was rational. She wiggled the phone in her hand. 

"What do we do with him?" Clary pointed at Magnus.

"He has a name, Clary, it's Magnus." Alec raised his hand and let his handcuffs dangle from his index finger. 

"I would have preferred to share this experience with you in a somewhat more cuddly atmosphere," Alec said flirtily. "but I don't want to be picky now."

Magnus smiled, allowing himself to indulge in that thought for too short a moment.

"Don't you forget a little something?"

"So far, I have always been adequately ... prepared."

Of course, Magnus understood Alec's innuendo.

"Actually, I'm talking about this." Magnus nodded in the direction of his weapon.

"Oh, yes, right. You can give it to me for the time being. You will get it back at the institute."

Magnus' expression changed from disbelief to irritation. 

"Alec, what do you mean, when you say you want to give him his gun back at the institute?" Jace questioned him.

"We will take Magnus with us to the institute."

Immediately, a three-part protest sounded. Alec's expression remained blank. He kept a close eye on Magnus, apart from that he ignored the discussion. 

Magnus was torn. He analyzed the situation and weighed his options. He could refuse. The consequences might not be pleasant. 

But if he was honest, he didn't want to miss the opportunity to find out more about "The Institute". That was perhaps his first and only chance.



Magnus nodded.

"Okay!" Alec smiled brightly.