“I know it’s a lot to digest,” Jace said. He reached out to clap Kit on the back. “But Clary and I will be here for as long as you need us to—”
The clap on the back dislodged one of the daggers in Kit’s pocket. It clattered to the ground between them, winking up from the granite floor like an accusing eye.
“Right,” Jace said into the ensuing silence. “So you’re stealing weapons.”
Kit, who knew the pointlessness of an obvious denial, said nothing.
“Okay, look, I know your dad was a crook, but you’re a Shadowhunter now and—wait, what else is in that jacket?” Jace demanded. He did something complicated with his left boot that kicked the dagger up into the air. He caught it neatly, the rubies in the hilt scattering light. “Take it off.”
Silently, Kit shucked off his jacket and threw it down on the table. Jace flipped it over and opened the inside pocket. They both gazed silently at the gleam of blades and precious stones.
“So,” Jace said. “You were planning on running away, I take it?”
“Why should I stay?” Kit exploded. He knew he shouldn’t, but he couldn’t help it—it was too much: the loss of his father, his hatred of the Institute, the smugness of the Nephilim, their demands that he accept a last name he didn’t care about and didn’t want to care about. “I don’t belong here. You can tell me all this stuff about my name, but it doesn’t mean anything to me. I’m Johnny Rook’s son. I’ve been training my whole life to be like my dad, not to be like you. I don’t need you. I don’t need any of you. All I need is some start-up money, and I can set up my own booth at the Shadow Market.”
Jace’s gold eyes narrowed, and for the first time Kit saw, under the arrogant, joking facade, the gleam of a sharp intelligence. “And sell what? Your dad sold information. It took him years, and a lot of bad magic, to build up those connections. You want to sell your soul like that, so you can scratch out a living on the edges of Downworld? And what about what killed your dad? You saw him die, didn’t you?”
“Yeah, but somebody sent them. The Guardian might be dead, but that doesn’t mean no one’s looking for you. You’re fifteen years old. You might think you want to die, but trust me—you don’t.”
Kit swallowed. He tried to picture himself standing behind the counter of a booth at the Shadow Market, the way he had for the past few days. But the truth was he’d always been safe at the Market because of his dad. Because people were afraid of Johnny Rook. What would happen to him there without his dad’s protection?
“But I’m not a Shadowhunter,” Kit said. He glanced around the room, at the millions of weapons, the piles of adamas, the gear and body armor and weapon belts. It was ridiculous. He wasn’t a ninja. “I wouldn’t even know how to start to be one.”
“Give it another week,” Jace said. “Another week here at the Institute. Give yourself a chance. Emma told me how you fought off those demons who killed your dad. Only a Shadowhunter could have done that.”
Kit barely remembered battling the demons in his father’s house, but he knew he’d done it. His body had taken over, and he’d fought, and he’d even, in a small, strange, hidden way, enjoyed it.
“This is what you are,” said Jace. “You’re a Shadowhunter. You’re part angel. You have the blood of angels in your veins. You’re a Herondale. Which, by the way, means that not only are you part of a stunningly good-looking family, but you’re also part of a family that owns a lot of valuable property, including a London town house and a manor in Idris, which you’re probably entitled to part of. You know, if you were interested.”
Kit looked at the ring on Jace’s left hand. It was silver, heavy, and looked old. And valuable. “I’m listening.”