Angels Twice Descending (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #10)(6) by Cassandra Clare, Robin Wasserman

“Never!” he said indignantly, and smoothed out his T-shirt, which had a baker’s dozen holes in the soft cotton and read I’M COSPLAYING AS MYSELF in letters nearly too faded to read. “Did you, uh, did you happen to bring Isabelle with you?” He tried to keep the hope out of his voice.

Hard to believe that two years ago, he’d come to the Academy in part to escape Clary and Isabelle, the way they’d looked at him like they loved him more than anyone else in the world—but also like he’d drowned their puppy in a bathtub. They’d loved some other version of him, the one he could no longer remember, and that version had loved them, too. He didn’t doubt it; he just couldn’t feel it. They’d been strangers to him. Terrifyingly beautiful strangers who wanted him to be someone he wasn’t.

It felt like another life. Simon didn’t know if he’d ever get all of his memories back—but somehow, despite that, he’d found his way back to Clary and Isabelle. He’d found a best friend who felt like his other half, who would someday soon be his parabatai. And he’d found Isabelle Lightwood, a miracle in human form, who said “I love you” whenever she saw him and, incomprehensibly, seemed to mean it.

“She wanted to come,” Clary said, “but she had to go deal with this rogue faerie thing in Chinatown, something about soup dumplings and a guy with a goat head. I didn’t ask too many questions and—” She smiled knowingly at Simon. “I lost you at ‘soup dumplings,’ didn’t I?”

Simon’s stomach growled loudly enough to answer for him.

“Well, maybe we can grab you some on the way,” Clary said. “Or at least a couple slices of pizza and a latte.”

“Don’t toy with me, Fray.” Simon was very touchy these days on the subject of pizza, or the lack thereof. He suspected that any day now his stomach might resign in protest. “On the way where?”

“Oh, I forgot to explain—that’s why I’m here, Simon.” Clary took his hand. “I’ve come to take you home.”

* * *

Simon stood on the sidewalk staring up at his mother’s brownstone, his stomach churning. Traveling by way of Portal always made him feel a bit like puking up his lower intestine, but this time he didn’t think he could blame the interdimensional magic. Not entirely, at least.

“You sure this is a good idea?” he said. “It’s late.”

“It’s eleven p.m., Simon,” Clary said. “You know she’s still awake. And even if she’s not, you know—”

“I know.” His mother would want to see him. So would his sister, who, according to Clary, was home for the weekend because someone—presumably a well-meaning, redheaded someone with his sister’s cell number—had told her Simon was stopping in for a visit.

He sagged against Clary for a moment, and, small as she was, she bore his weight. “I don’t know how to do it,” he said. “I don’t know how to say good-bye to them.”

Simon’s mother thought he was away at military school. He’d felt guilty lying to her, but he’d known there wasn’t any other choice; he knew, all too well, what happened when he risked telling his mother too much truth. But this—this was something else. He was forbidden by Shadowhunter Law to tell her about his Ascension, about his new life. The Law also forbade him from contacting her after he became a Shadowhunter, and though there was nothing saying he couldn’t be here in Brooklyn to say good-bye to her forever, the Law forbade him from explaining why.

Sed lex, dura lex.

The Law is hard, but it is the Law.

Lex sucks, Simon thought.

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