Blood Calls to Blood

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Bound in Blood

Author's Note: Finally continued this - but shocked myself with a complete and utter lack of smut. Prepare yourself for darkness and death instead... It was only a matter of time until our boys were found out, after all.

***

When Alec didn’t show up at the Hotel Dumort for three nights in a row, Jace knew that something was wrong.

There was no way his precious Shadowhunter would willingly stop coming to him, the pull between them so strong separation became almost painful as more time passed. The reciprocity of their bond was not something Jace had planned on when he’d started his game, but he’d quickly grown to relish it. Being with Alec made him feel more alive than he had since his first death 150 years ago, and he was willing to put up with a little discomfort if it meant he got to keep this connection.

On the fourth night he was pacing his room restlessly after trying yet again fruitlessly to reach Alec on his phone, when Raphael announced that a Clave delegation headed by Maryse and Robert Lightwood demanded to see him.

“It’s seems to be time to meet the parents…” His second-in-command seemed altogether too amused, but then he had been warning Jace about getting involved with a Shadowhunter from the start. Still, Jace couldn’t allow any disrespect and hissed a warning that made Raphael lower his eyes, chastised, before setting his shoulders and going downstairs.

The Lightwoods were just as formidable as reports would have it, and Maryse didn’t waste any time with preambles, icily dismissing Jace’s sardonic greeting, “You are hereby accused of enthralling a Shadowhunter, a clear violation of the Accords. Will you accept the Clave’s authority and come with us peacefully?”

“Is it still a crime if the Shadowhunter in question is more than willing?” Jace asked, but it was a rhetorical question in the face of the disgust and anger he could feel radiating from every single one of the five fully-armed Nephilim facing him. He sighed and shrugged nonchalantly, but his mind was racing, calculating the odds of escaping. It didn’t look good, especially since he couldn’t count on the whole-hearted support of the New York Clan, several of whom were still sore that he had wrested control from Camille. Also, he wanted, needed to see Alec again, and this was probably his best chance. Finally, he nodded, resigned. “I’ll come with you if you’ll let me see Alec.”

“You are in no position to make demands, Downworlder,” Maryse hissed, and Jace barely managed to hide a flinch at the insult. However, the way she said it jostled something in his mind.

Keeping his voice even he smirked insolently. “Aren’t I? I wonder if all of your subordinates know the full history of the oh-so-honorable Lightwood name… It must burn you to know that your son chose a Downworlder as his lover.”

Maryse started forward, and for a second Jace wondered whether he’d miscalculated and was about to meet the business end of her Seraph Blade, but her husband held her back, whispering urgently into her ear until her shoulders slumped in weary acceptance. Still, she continued to vibrate with cold fury, and Jace knew he had made an enemy. Well, it wasn’t as if he’d ever expected Alec’s family to welcome him with open arms.

It was Robert who agreed to Jace’s terms, and Jace allowed himself to be escorted out of the Hotel after handing over control of the Clan to Raphael. Despite knowing that there was a good chance that the Clave would punish him harshly, he didn’t allow any sign of weakness to show and added, “Only until my return, of course.”

“Of course,” Raphael replied dryly, his eyes mocking, but Jace knew that he could count on him to look after the Clan properly. Shaking off the Shadowhunters that tried to grab his arms, he met Maryse’s eyes challengingly, until she whirled around and stalked away. Jace followed her in an easy saunter, projecting a studied air of carelessness. Ever since being Turned he’d made it a point to stay away from all things Nephilim, preferring to take his revenge on the vamps that had used him for sport instead of facing the pity in the eyes of his family and friends, and now he was walking right into the lion’s den. There was no doubt in his mind, though, that Alec was worth it. Alec was worth everything.

That didn’t make walking into the Institute any easier. Jace had never been to New York, back when he was alive, and of course they hadn’t had the technology now so prevalent, but there was still something undefinably Shadowhunter about the halls he was led through. Nephilim were moving around purposefully, but the sideways glances they gave the small group surrounding Jace told him that the rumor mill was as active now as it had been in his day.

If they didn’t already know why the Lightwoods had arrested a vampire while their oldest son was being held somewhere, they doubtlessly soon would, which suited Jace just fine. He wanted everyone to know that Alec was his, and he hoped Alec had put up a fight when they confronted him. He had yet to see his beloved fight in earnest, but they had sparred together, and Alec’s strength and grace had been beautiful to behold. Needless to say their training sessions had always ended with Alec on his back, eyes darkening as their limbs tangled in ways that had nothing to do with fighting.

Out of the corner of his eyes Jace caught sight of a dark-haired girl leaving a room that was being guarded, and even if he hadn’t recognized her as Alec’s sister Isabelle, the pulsing in his blood would have told him who was behind that door. Digging his heels in with all his not-inconsiderable strength, he forced his captors to stop and demanded coldly, “Let me see him, now.”

He could tell that the fact that he’d been able to tell where Alec was worried them, and Maryse still looked furious beneath her imperious facade, but Jace simply crossed his arms and stared her down coolly. The Lightwoods exchanged a glance that contained an entire conversation, and finally Maryse nodded in acquiescence. “We will bring him to you once you’re secure. You have my word.”

Knowing that she had him, she smirked slightly, and Jace had to fight the urge to bare his teeth at being thus manipulated. He had no desire to be secured, but his need to make sure Alec was okay outweighed all other considerations, something the Lightwoods doubtlessly counted on. Scowling, Jace agreed to her bargain and let himself be led away.

They passed Isabelle Lightwood, and if Jace had been anyone else, he would have flinched under the weight of the anger she directed at him. As it was, the intensity of the fury in her dark eyes actually made him feel a bit better, direct proof that Alec must have made it clear that he chose Jace over his family. Giving her one last look before they turned a corner, Jace licked his lips and winked at her, smirking when her hand instinctively moved to the blade in her thigh holster.

His amusement didn’t last long, however. Taking an elevator down, he soon found himself in what was doubtlessly a dungeon, if a rather modern one, being strapped into a foreboding-looking chair. When they fastened his arms and legs with very secure constraints, Jace couldn’t help but snarl in anger, trying uselessly to get free. This made the Shadowhunters surrounding him smirk, and with great effort Jace forced himself to regain control.

“Impressive,” Maryse remarked condescendingly, and Jace shot her a poisonous glare. “You seem to be marginally less ruled by your instincts than the average Downworlder. We’ll see how long that lasts.”

Jace suppressed a snappy comeback about Shadowhunter maximes not having changed, not wanting this intelligent woman to be tempted to go digging into his background. Instead he settled on squaring his shoulders and meeting her eyes head-on. “I have survived more than you can imagine, Shadowhunter, I’ll survive you. And now I want to see Alec.”

For a moment it seemed as if the Lightwoods might go back on their word, but in the end Robert dispatched someone, and soon Jace could feel the familiar sensation of Alec approaching. Even before being able to lay eyes on him, something inside of Jace began to sing with the knowledge they were about the be reunited. Immediately after, of course, the reality of their situation came crashing down on him again, and he waited tensely, ignoring his guards in favor of staring at the elevator door.

When it opened and Alec’s tall form stepped through, he couldn’t suppress the hunger with which his eyes roamed the sight he’d been craving. He was dimly aware that Alec was flanked by two Shadowhunters, but all that counted was that he was there, only a few feet from Jace, looking at him with a desire that matched the heat Jace felt flickering through his own body.

“Jace!” Alec started forward, only to be held back by his guards. The sight of unwanted hands on what was his made Jace’s temper snap, and he hissed angrily, pulling against his restraints with every muscle in his body. Alec went lax, seemingly giving up, and a narrowing of his eyes was the only warning anyone got before he tensed and tore himself out of the grip on his arms. Then he was in front of Jace, dropping to his knees, hands wandering over Jace’s body as he reassured himself that his lover was well, and Jace didn’t see anything else, his entire focus on Alec and every spot they were finally, finally touching.

“Are you alright?” Alec inquired anxiously, shaking off hands that were trying to pull him away again. Jace nodded, smiling helplessly, and wished desperately that his hands were free. Instead he rubbed his cheek against Alec’s reassuringly, and Alec turned his head, their mouths sliding over each other.

Then Alec was roughly yanked away from him, and Jace shook his head in warning when he saw that he was about to fight them off. Alec subsided immediately, warmth rushing through Jace at this show of obedience. Smiling at the tall Shadowhunter as if he was the only person in the room, he said softly, “Don’t worry, my love. They can’t keep us apart.”

Hearing the term of endearment Alec’s worried gaze softened, and Jace relaxed into their connection. Alec obviously didn’t care one bit what his fellow Shadowhunters thought, not once looking away from Jace, their blood bond pulsing between them. It was almost as if they were still touching, and Jace’s fangs lengthened from their own volition, Alec’s eyes darkening with desire at the sight. He heard Robert Lightwood whisper something, sounding outraged, but he didn’t care what was said.

Neither did Alec, who was ignoring his parents as he did everyone else, right until his mother broke into the reverie they shared, saying sharply, “That’s enough. Alec, you’re making a fool of yourself! Take him back to his room.”

“No, I want to stay! I need to stay, make sure you don’t hurt him.” If his mother’s disapproval affected him, Alec didn’t show it, struggling to continue holding Jace’s gaze as he was dragged away. Until the elevator doors closed, Jace kept smiling warmly, his mind reaching through their bond until Alec calmed down and allowed his guards to take him. Jace sent wave after wave of reassurance and love, not wanting Alec to do anything foolish and being fairly confident the Clave wouldn’t throw more at him than he could handle.

After exchanging a long look with his wife, Robert followed his son, leaving Jace alone with Maryse and two other Shadowhunters, all of whom were radiating disgust and anger. Alec’s mother began to smile unpleasantly, waking the first stirrings of worry inside Jace. “You make me sick. You have taken my son, and you can trust that I will make you pay for it.”

She was talking almost conversationally, and Jace swallowed before regaining his composure and saying blandly, “Your prejudice is showing. Alec has simply chosen a different path than you had in mind, unencumbered by the restrictions you imposed on him. You forced him to hide a part of himself. He’s happy with me, and I would never hurt him.”

“Are you claiming that you love my son? You, a soulless, undead monster?” Maryse’s bark of laughter held no trace of humor. “You tricked him, robbed him of his free will and turned him into not much more than a subjugate, subject to your base desires.”

She had started pacing, but now she stopped and leaned closer, her hand coming up and gripping Jace’s face tightly. Sharp pain shot through him, and he shook his head sharply, dislodging Maryse and revealing the silver ring that had been the cause of his discomfort. At a short nod from her, the two guards proceeded to immobilize his head with thick straps around his forehead and neck. Jace began to struggle in earnest, but it was no use, and Maryse smirked down at him before once more pressing her ring into his cheek.

Swallowing back rising nausea, Jace closed his eyes and focused on what she’d been saying. Breathing through the pain, he replied firmly, “I don’t care what you call me or my feelings for Alec. I admit that I might have tricked him at first, but he stays with me by choice, as do I. You won’t understand, but Alec and I were made for each other.”

For a moment, Maryse stood frozen, and Jace wondered whether she would surprise him by mastering her anger. Then her eyes narrowed, and she ordered sharply, “We will see how strong your feelings are. Raj, bring me the UV ray!”

After that the world was pure agony as Jace was subjected to thorough torture, every pretense that this was a proper interrogation discarded. At first he tried to keep his composure, not give Maryse the satisfaction of seeing his pain, but that quickly became impossible. He’d never felt anything like this, every passing of concentrated sunlight cutting through him, and he began to wish for the release of unconsciousness. He wasn’t granted this mercy, however, the torture stopping, but only to be replaced by more silver being applied, usually right against the light-induced wounds.

Jace’s voice was hoarse from screaming - initially insults, then begging, until even that became too much of an effort and wordless screams turned to whimpers. He just wanted it to stop, even death beginning to seem like a release, although he didn’t want to leave Alec. Thoughts of his Nephilim lover were the only thing stopping Jace from losing his mind completely, and no matter how Maryse taunted and threatened him, he refused to deny the bond that more and more felt like the only thing connecting him to life.

Then, suddenly, the pain stopped, although aftershocks still ran through Jace, and he couldn’t get his eyes to open. Completely unexpected sounds reached his ears, the clashing of weapons and dull thuds of bodies hitting the ground. Forcing his mind to the present, Jace managed to open his eyes - just as Alec dropped to his knees beside him.

“Jace, Jace, what have they done to you?” he asked, frantic with worry, and Jace wanted to reassure him but couldn’t find the strength to speak. Peering over Alec’s shoulder while his lover began to unbuckle his restraints, he saw three bodies on the floor. Unconscious, not dead, he noted dispassionately, only to sack forward when Alec removed the strap around his chest. Strong arms held him easily, the beloved warmth of Alec’s body enveloping him. He was talking, a litany of love and reassurance, and for the first time since he had been Turned Jace allowed himself to be weak.

Finally, he managed to make a questioning sound, which Alec rightly interpreted, answering, “I didn’t know what they’d do, but I felt you, felt your pain, and I knew I had to get to you.”

“Would…” Jace licked his chapped lips and tried again, “wouldn’t have made it if it wasn’t for you. Thank you.”

“You wouldn’t be in this situation if it wasn’t for me,” Alec replied, voice full of shame. “I’m so sorry, Jace, you would be much better off without me.”

Jace shook his head decisively and managed to lift his head enough to meet Alec’s pained gaze. “No. Never say that. Without you my life is not worth living, Alec.”

There had been no trace of encanto in his voice, yet he could feel Alec relax against him immediately. An open, vulnerable smile bloomed on his face, and Jace couldn’t help himself, he caught him in a tender kiss. It felt like coming home, and they lost themselves in each other for a long moment, before Alec broke away, visibly collecting himself. When he spoke, he was all business, “We need to get going, they’ll soon notice that I… disabled my guards. Are you alright to walk?”

“I’ll manage,” Jace lied. His strength was returning, but he hadn’t fed in too long and healing was slow. Alec just stared at him, unimpressed, and Jace, admitting to himself that he rather liked this more forceful side of his lover, amended apologetically, “Okay, so you might have to help me a little.”

“I have a better idea,” Alec replied, and bared his neck in way of explanation. Jace considered refusing, strangely disquieted by Maryse Lightwood’s earlier accusation that he’d turned Alec into a subjugate. Once again seemingly able to read his thoughts, Alec rolled his eyes and stated impatiently, “Now’s not the time for scruples. I know you won’t take too much, I need to be in fighting shape.”

Jace grinned, really liking this version of Alec, before letting his fangs descend and biting down. The ambrosia of Alec’s Nephilim blood rushed through him, and Jace lost himself in the familiar ecstasy. His body started healing immediately, pain receding quickly, until it was so manageable that Jace felt his cock begin to take an interest. As much as he would have liked to continue, this wasn’t the time, however, and he tore himself away regretfully.

“You with me, Alec? I didn’t take too much, did I?” he inquired worriedly. Alec’s eyes were glazed over, and he swayed for a moment before recovering from the effects of Jace’s bite. Shaking his head, he grabbed Jace and claimed his mouth in a quick, dirty kiss before getting to his feet and offering Jace a hand. Jace grinned and sprang up without help, completely recovered and almost giddy with the absence of pain. “Alright, so how do we get out of here?”

Alec’s answering smile died. “It won’t be easy. We might have to fight our way out.”

“Then we’ll do that,” Jace replied with an air of confidence he didn’t quite feel. They were in the heart of a well-guarded Institute, although at least the wards were bound to be directed outwards, to stop intruders from getting in, not people getting out. He grabbed Alec’s hand and gave it a reassuring squeeze, taking a surprising amount of comfort from the contact as well.

Side by side they left the dungeon behind, taking the stairs instead of the elevator and sticking to back passages in hopes of escaping notice. They had no such luck, however, and before they could reach one of the Institute’s backdoors they ran into a group of seven Shadowhunters led by Robert Lightwood.

“Alec, son, please…” Alec’s father pleaded, pointedly ignoring Jace while lowering his blade. Jace couldn’t help but notice that the other Nephilim didn’t.

Next to him, Alec tensed, but his voice was calm as he replied, “Father. Just let us pass.”

“You know I can’t.” Robert seemed genuinely conflicted, loathe to harm his son. “It’s not your fault, Alec. Just step aside and let us arrest this… this monster, who forced himself on you.”

He couldn’t even bring himself to say Jace’s name, so palpable was his distaste. Alec didn’t flinch, however, responding firmly, “Jace didn’t force me into anything. And you can’t have him.” Jace saw his hand tighten on the hilt of his blade, as he bit out, “Not after the way mom tortured him. It made me ashamed to be a Shadowhunter.”

“Your mother only wants to protect you,” Robert explained, but feebly, without conviction, obviously realizing that there was no changing Alec’s mind. Jace reached out, squeezing Alec’s hand quickly, and they exchanged a glance that said everything. Then Jace gripped the knife he’d taken from one of the unconscious Shadowhunters in the dungeon, and they charged.

It was close quarters, and everyone appeared reluctant to go for the kill - well, Robert’s Shadowhunters didn’t want to kill Alec, Jace mused as he stunned another warrior with the hilt of his weapon. He himself was fair game, and he had to hold his instincts firmly in check as he avoided yet another sharp seraph blade. These were, or had been, Alec’s people, had once been his people, and he didn’t want Alec to have their blood on his conscience.

This reluctance was their undoing, in the end. Jace was going hand-to-hand with a Shadowhunter, only his vampire strength enabling him to stop the woman from killing him, when he felt rather than saw Alec stumble. Pain lanced through their bond, and he whirled around just in time to catch his lover as he fell to the ground, a blade doubtlessly meant for Jace embedded in his chest.

Through the roaring in his ears, Jace heard Robert call Alec’s name, and everything and everyone seemed to freeze. Every warrior present knew without a doubt that this was a killing blow, and Jace screamed his anger into the Shadowhunters’ shocked faces, fangs out, bloodlust singing in his veins.

A trembling hand against his cheek brought him back to himself, and he stared into Alec’s eyes, which were clouding over. His mind suddenly clear, Jace gathered the tall body to himself, lifting him easily with the strength Alec’s blood had gifted him with, and before Robert Lightwood or any of the others could regain their wits, he’d raced past them and out the door.

Luckily it was night outside, and Jace ran as he’d never run before. He didn’t know what he would have done if it had been day, and he had no time to worry about what-ifs. He knew that the Hotel Dumort wouldn’t be safe, but luckily that wasn’t where he was headed. There was only one place for Alec now, and Jace reached his goal quickly, lowering Alec’s body to the cemetery ground with the greatest care.

There was still life in his beloved, and Jace admired the strength it must have cost Alec to hold on for so long. Pressing a lingering kiss to his forehead, Jace whispered with every last bit of encanto he had in him, “There is no pain, my love. You can let go now.”

Alec’s dimming eyes fixed on Jace’s face, his body relaxing as it forgot about the pain from his still-bleeding wound. Their hands clasped, he forced out in a weak voice, “Don’t… don’t want to leave you, Jace.”

“Then you won’t,” Jace choked out all with the ferocity of a sacred vow, and red blood dripped on Alec’s face as vampire tears rose to his eyes. Alec smiled softly and nodded once, eyes sliding shut. Jace held him gently, repeating the encanto whenever it seemed as if Alec was feeling any pain. Finally, with one last gurgling sound, Alec’s chest stopped moving, and Jace gasped as their connection weakened.

It didn’t break, however, and Jace breathed a sigh of relief, feeling the thin strand of his power bind Alec to him, the blood they’d shared defying death. Alec was still his, and soon he would rise again. Jace had to prepare, to make Alec’s transition as easy as possible when he returned a fledgling vampire.

With one last kiss to Alec’s motionless lips, Jace said goodbye to his mortal warmth. He would miss it, but they would have forever to get used to one another again.

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