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Page 24

“The Clave has changed,” said Emma.

“Not all change is for the worse,” said Horace. “This has been a long time coming.”

Julian swung his feet up, planting his boots on Horace’s desk. Emma blinked. Julian had always been rebellious at heart, but rarely openly. He smiled like an angel and said, “Why don’t you just tell us what you want?”

Horace’s eyes glinted. There was anger in them, but his voice was smooth when he spoke. “You two have really fucked up,” he said. “More than you know.”

Emma was jolted. Shadowhunter adults, especially those in positions of authority, rarely swore in front of anyone they considered children.

“What do you mean?” she said.

He opened a desk drawer and took out a black leather notebook. “Robert Lightwood’s notes,” he said. “He took them after every meeting he had. He took them after the meeting he had with you.”

Julian went white; he clearly recognized the notebook. Robert must have written in it after Emma had left his office with Manuel.

“I know what you told him about your relationship,” Dearborn said with relish. “Parabatai in love. Disgusting. And I know what you wanted from him. Exile.”

Though the color had left his face, Julian’s voice was steady. “I still think you should tell us what you want from us.”

“To fall in love with your parabatai is, shall we say, a breach of contract. The contract you’ve made as Nephilim, with the Clave. It desecrates our holiest of holy bonds.” He set the notebook back in its drawer. “But I am not an unreasonable man. I’ve come up with a mutually beneficial solution to all our little problems. And a few of the big ones.”

“Solutions aren’t usually mutually beneficial when one party has all the power,” said Julian.

Dearborn ignored him. “If you agree to be sent on a mission to the Land of Faerie, if you promise to find and to kill Annabel Blackthorn there and bring back the Black Volume of the Dead, I’ll honor the terms Robert set out. Exile and secrecy. No one will ever know.”

“You can’t be sure she’s in Faerie—” Julian began.

“You have got to be kidding,” Emma said at the same time.

“My sources say she’s in the Unseelie Court, and no, I am not ‘kidding,’” said Dearborn. “I would swear it on the Mortal Sword, if Carstairs hadn’t broken it.”

Emma flushed. “Why do you want the Black Volume? Planning on raising some dead?”

“I have no interest in some warlock’s pitiable book of necromantic amusements,” said Horace, “save keeping it out of the hands of Annabel Blackthorn and the King of Unseelie. Do not even consider trying to fob me off with imitations or fakes. I will know, and I will punish you. I want the Black Volume in the control of Nephilim, not Downworlders.”

“You must have older, more capable people who can do this?” said Julian.

“This mission must be carried out with the utmost secrecy,” Dearborn snapped. “Who has a better reason to keep it a secret than you?”

“But time works differently in Faerie,” said Julian. “We could wind up coming back ten years from now. That won’t help you much.”

“Ah.” Dearborn sat back. There was a pile of cloth behind him, in one corner of the room: Emma realized with a jolt that it was the tapestry of the Battle of the Burren, thrown away like so much trash. Strange for a man who claimed to value Nephilim history. “A long time ago, three medallions were given to the Clave by the Fair Folk. They prevent time slippage in Faerie. One is missing, but you’ll be given one of the remaining two. You can return it when you yourselves come back.”

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