Chapter 15: Shadows of the Mind

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Chapter 15: Shadows of the Mind

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Jace knocked on Isabelle's door, mentally slapping himself.

He was Jace Herondale. He didn't knock.

Without waiting for a granted permission, Jace turned the knob and walked in.

He saw Isabelle on the floor, her legs on the seat of a Victorian high backed chair as she did push ups, a layer of perspiration on her forehead.

"What are you doing?" Jace said. Isabelle had disappeared from the infirmary an hour ago and Jace had spent the whole half hour searching for her. The other half was spent making sure Clary was okay and stable.

"Defying the laws of nature. What does it look like, smartass?" she growled as she tried to steady her rattling breaths. She counted softly to herself as she did another set of push ups, her arms visibly shaking with strain. Jace wondered idly how long had she been at this. "Now, get out." she spit, a drop of sweat rolling off the side of her face and onto her carpeted floor. She lowered her upper body until her chin nearly touched the floor before pushing herself up again.

"Bite me," Jace said, casually walking into the room and sitting on Isabelle's bed.

"Gladly. Just let me wrap up." Isabelle did one more push up before standing straight, flexing the muscles of her arms and shoulders.

"What do you want, Jace?" Isabelle sighed, grabbing a white piece of cloth that was hanging by the headboard of Isabelle's bed. She wiped it across her neck and forehead, looking at Jace with a resigned look.

"You left the infirmary just like that. The moment Tessa gave the thumbs up on Clary and Jem's condition, you just left."

"It's a free country," Isabelle said, shrugging out of her sweat soaked tank top, leaving her only in her shorts and a fuchsia colored bra. Jace continued looking at his sister, the sight of an almost topless Isabelle didn't faze or irk Jace out. He had seen Isabelle in underwear only plenty of times and once completely topless after a tipsy night at a vampire club.

"Yeah...you leaving without reason is definitely the precise example of a citizen living in a free country." Jace said, smiling as Isabelle slipped into her bathroom. Jace heard the water run.

"You know Jace, technically, we aren't even citizens of this country. We live completely off the grid. No ID's, no passports, no driving licenses-well, not genuine ones, anyway..." Isabelle said, her voice muffled through the sound of the shower and the door. Jace knew that Isabelle was now stalling, trying to avoid what Jace was going to ask her. Jace tuned out, looking at his fingernails. They were long yet bitten. He had to get his hands on a pair of nail clippers.

A few seconds later Isabelle stepped out fully dressed, her body smelling faintly of lavender.

How she had managed to take a bath and change in fifty seconds flat was beyond Jace.

"Will you stop being a baby and tell me what's wrong with my baby sister?" Jace said, looking at Isabelle who plopped herself in front of her vanity, running a comb through her wet hair, avoiding eye contract with Jace through the mirror.

"No." Isabelle said, tugging at the sleeves of the pink three quarter shirt she wore.

"And I'm accepting that one syllable answer...because?"

Isabelle didn't answer but instead looked around the room, sighing as she caressed the frame of her vanity table.

"I miss my room." Isabelle whispered.

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