For a moment, Emma saw through Clary’s expression into the past, remembering the girl who’d chased her into a small room in the Gard, refused to leave her alone and grieving, who’d told her, Heroes aren’t always the ones who win. They’re the ones who lose, sometimes. But they keep fighting, they keep coming back. They don’t give up.
That’s what makes them heroes.
They were words that had carried Emma through some of the worst times of her life.
“Clary,” she said. “Can I ask you something?”
“Nightshade,” Emma said. “The vampire, you know—”
Clary looked surprised. “The head vampire of L.A.? The one you guys discovered was using dark magic?”
“It was true, right? He really was using illegal magic?”
Clary nodded. “Yes, of course. Everything in his restaurant was tested. He certainly was. He wouldn’t be in prison now if he hadn’t been!” She put a hand lightly atop Emma’s. “I know the Clave sucks sometimes,” she said. “But there are a lot of people in it who try to be fair. Anselm really was a bad guy.”
Emma nodded, wordless. It wasn’t Anselm she’d been doubting, after all.
It was Julian.
Clary’s mouth curved into a smile. “All right, enough of the boring stuff,” she said. “Tell me something fun. You haven’t talked about your love life in ages. Are you still dating that Cameron Ashdown guy?”
Emma shook her head. “I’m—I’m dating Mark.”
“Mark?” Clary looked as if Emma had handed her a two-headed lizard. “Mark Blackthorn?”
“No, a different Mark. Yes, Mark Blackthorn.” A touch of defensiveness crept into Emma’s voice. “Why not?”
“I just—I never would have pictured you together.” Clary looked legitimately stunned.
“Well, who did you picture me with? Cameron?”
“No, not him.” Clary pulled her legs up to her chest and rested her chin on her knees. “That’s just the thing,” she said. “I—I mean, who I pictured you with, it doesn’t make any sense.” She met Emma’s confused look with a lowering of her eyes. “I guess it was nothing. If you’re happy with Mark, I’m happy for you.”
“Clary, what are you not telling me?”
There was a long silence. Clary looked out toward the dark water. Finally she spoke. “Jace asked me to marry him.”
“Oh!” Emma had already begun opening her arms to hug the other girl when she caught sight of Clary’s expression. She froze. “What’s wrong?”
“I said no.”
“You said no?” Emma dropped her arms. “But you’re here—together—are you not still . . . ?”
Clary rose to her feet. She stood at the roof’s edge, looking out toward the sea. “We’re still together,” she said. “I told Jace I needed more time to think about it. I’m sure he thinks I’m out of my mind, or—well, I don’t know what he thinks.”