Suddenly Magnus heard loud yelling from Alec's side and then the sound became muffled as though the phone had been dropped.
Then a voice, that was not Alexander's spoke, "Goodbye, Alec is busy now,"
The dial tone sounded incredibly loud in Magnus' ear. Dragging the cell away, he pushed redial and waited as the phone rang and rang. But the call never connected.
"Oh god!" he exclaimed, turning back to the girls, "I think something dreadful just happened, we need to tell the Captain Shadow security!"
Pushing his way to the barrier that separated the fans from the entrance to the room where the panel was due to take place, Magnus caught the eye of one of the security guys, all dressed in black. Clary and Maia settled next to him and waved frantically at the man, making him come their way.
"Excuse me," he paused to check the guys badge, "Raj. I really need your help!"
The man didn't speak, but nodded slightly to acknowledge Magnus.
"I was just on the phone with Alexander Lightwood, and there were sounds of a struggle. I know he's here, backstage, and there was a strange voice that spoke on his phone, so someone needs to go check if he's okay." Magnus was frantic with worry and the words all rushed out of him, tangled together.
The man simply stared at him, in disbelief. "Right sir. I see. So you," and here he gave Magnus a once over, not bothering to hide his expression of disgust, "Were talking to Alec Lightwood on the phone? And then you heard a struggle and a strange voice. Of course you were sir," He managed to make the word 'sir' sound like an insult, ignoring Clary and Maia's protests. "I hate to destroy your wild illusions, sir, but Alec Lightwood isn't even in the building. So run along and join the queue there so you can enjoy the panel like all the other fans."
Clary and Maia spoke up at once, talking over each other to tell the man that Magnus wasn't lying and that Alec needed help. But the man just ignored them, eventually turning his back and walking away.
"Oh god!" Magnus frowned, fingers tugging at strands of his hair, "What can we do? Anything could have happened to Alec and that guy won't even listen to us!"
"Don't worry, let's try someone else! Maybe one of the publicity people will be out in a minute and we can ask them to help us! Or Jace?" Clary said, trying to stop her friend from freaking out.
"No, it'll be too late, we've gotta get someone to help him now!"
"Magnus, Mags, calm down! There's really nothing we can do at this exact second. Alec is strong, he will be okay..."
"Magnus?" asked a voice from near by. "Is your name Magnus?"
Alec was in trouble.
He had been ambushed from behind, suddenly. A cloth had been pressed to his nose and mouth while he and Magnus had been speaking and although he had struggled and kicked out, the chloroform had made his head woozy and he had collapsed on the floor, dropping his phone.
Through the fuzz in his head, he had heard a voice say he was busy. It was cold and unfeeling. He had tried to shout for Magnus, but his mouth felt like it was full of felt and he couldn't form the words.
Then he blacked out.
Waking slowly, his head aching, he tried to lift himself from the ground. But he was stretched out on his back on the hard, concrete floor, arms pulled tight above his head. His hands were handcuffed together; the cuffs wrapped around the leg of an old radiator that was attached to the wall. And he couldn't move his legs as a woman was straddling him, manic expression on her face and a large, shiny, butcher's knife in her hand.
"Hello, Alec!" she cackled, voice rising and falling as she spoke. "How are you feeling? I was getting worried because you didn't seem to want to wake up. We can't get married if the groom can't say 'I do' after all! And I do so want to marry you, my love!"
"W...a....a...t?" Alec croaked out, voice cracking as he tried to speak. "Wh..o're u....?"
"Oh my handsome fiance! I can't believe you don't remember me? You wanted to marry me, remember? You picked me up and spun me around and you even kissed my cheek! It was love at first sight! You cannot have forgotten that!"
As she spoke, the woman traced patterns with the knife on Alec's torso over his plain T-shirt. He could feel the point of it trailing across his skin and tried not to breathe too deeply or make any unexpected movements for fear she would press it harder and risk cutting him.
"D..don...memba...." he ground out, throat parched from the chloroform, unable to control his voice.
"You do! You do! You do!" she shrieked suddenly, whipping her long, blonde hair backwards and forwards, strands hitting his face, causing him to scrunch his eyes shut. Her empty hand made a fist and pounded on his chest, pushing the air from him in gasps.
"St...op!" he tried to yell, but it only seemed to enrage her further and she continued to pound on his chest, waving the knife around too, it's shiny blade glinting at him.
"You love me! You love me! You do, you do!" she yelled, voice now guttural and angry.
"Okay!" he managed to gasp, voice hissing through his teeth. "Okay,"
"You love me?" she asked in a childlike voice, her arms freezing, a small smile playing on her lips, "You do! Of course you do!"
Then suddenly, she was lifting her weight off him and standing. She dropped the knife on the floor with a clatter, just out of Alec's reach. He stared at it sadly as he tried to think of a way to escape. But his head was still feeling heavy and his mind kept wandering off. He was thinking about Magnus. About his beautiful eyes, almost golden when the light caught them just right; his beautifully styled hair, bright blue strands amongst the ebony; his sexy voice and the serious way he had asked if Alec wanted him to sue someone; his muscular biceps that were just the right size to cuddle him close; and of course the soft tips of his fingers where they had stroked over his tattoo on his side. Magnus...a man he could easily fall in love with.
Thinking about Magnus, distracted him from the horror show that was his life right now. Trapped in a room with a mad woman, tied up and unable to escape or get anyone to help him. A single tear curled down his cheek. He had to face the facts, he could die right here if he couldn't work out what to do.
After a moment, Lydia was back, her phone clutched tightly in her hand. She bent to straddle him once more, her legs fitting snugly down the sides of his thighs.
Then she waved her phone in his face. His own picture stared at him. He and Jace, arms around two girls, one of them clearly the woman in front of him.
"Do you remember this? The first time you put your arm around me and told me I was beautiful? One of the best moments of my life," Her eyes had a far off expression and her voice had turned soft and lilting. "My friend told me I should ask you to marry me, she was going to ask Jace too, but she never did. But I asked you...I asked you so many times! I sent you letters you know? I told you everything - how I feel about you and what we could do together and how I already planned the wedding and how we could go on honeymoon to visit my family. I love you Alec and our wedding is going to be perfect."
Alec's stomach churned. The woman was insane. Looking at the picture, he could vaguely recall meeting her. Not really though, the fans faces became interchangeable after a while he met so many. The poses were always very similar and unless someone truly caught his eye, like Magnus, he wasn't able to remember them. But he was pretty certain he knew who this woman was. He was pretty certain she was the reason he was not allowed to be at the convention.
Testing his theory, he spoke quietly in case he was wrong and it enraged her, "L...Lydia?" he asked.
"Yes my beautiful fiance?" she asked, beaming down at him, crazy eyes rolling a little.
"Ummm...we can't get married,"
His words flipped a switch in her, and suddenly she had the sharp knife back in her hand, the point of it grazing his neck as she hissed out, "Why the hell not?"
"Magnus?" the man asked, looking down at him.
"I'm Magnus, yes," he replied trying to place the man. Had they met before? He too was dressed head to toe in black and the earpiece suggested that he was security like Raj.
"I couldn't help but overhear you speaking just then. Could you tell me what you mean about Alec?"
So Magnus repeated his story and was taken aback by the grave expression that overtook the man's features.
"Thanks for your help," he rushed out and then turned to leave.
"Wait," Magnus yelled, clutching at his arm, pulling him back, "Can't I come with you? I need to know if he's okay? I can't bear not knowing?"
"I'm sorry," the man replied, loosening Magnus' grip on his arm, "Listed personnel only. I'll..." he paused, clearly deciding what to say, "I'll get him to call you?"
"You do that! Now go find him and make sure he's okay!"
Magnus collapsed against the barrier, Clary and Maia clutching onto him at either side. "It'll be okay, Mags, that guy really did listen. He was going to check on him. Don't worry..."
"How can I not worry? Alexander is clearly in danger. I can't go to this panel Clary. You and Maia go in, I have to wait in case he calls. I'm gonna go to the bar and get a stiff drink."
Suddenly a voice announced that the Captain Shadow panel would be starting in five minutes and that the doors were opening and that people should take their seats quickly.
Magnus nudged Clary and Maia towards the line but they didn't budge. "No way, Magnus," Clary said, tossing her hair over her shoulder, "I'm not leaving you like this,"
"I agree," said Maia, linking her arm through his, "We are coming with you, no way we're leaving you alone right now."
"Besides," Clary smiled, though it didn't quite reach her eyes, "Maia and I can ask Jace all the questions we want when you and Alec start dating!"
She reached over to fistbump Maia and both girls giggled a little nervously. But it worked, and despite his worry, a small smile spread on Magnus' lips.
"As long as he's okay and I actually get the chance to ask him on a date, girls," Magnus replied, before the smile dropped and was replaced by a worried frown. He looked down at his phone and hovered his finger over call. Maybe Alec would answer him this time?
The sound of his phone ringing seemed to startle Lydia, she growled angrily, then thrust herself upwards to crawl over to pick it up.
"Hmmmm, Magnus," she said, "With a heart? Is there something you need to tell me, my love?" she asked, glaring over at him.
"No..." Alec said sadly, "It's a friend."
"Let's see, shall we? Let's say hello to him!"
She pressed her hand over Alec's mouth, before thumbing the answer button and putting the phone on speaker. Magnus' frantic voice shot out of the receiver "Alexander? Alec? Are you okay? What's happening? Why did you hang up?"
And then, when there had been nothing but silence for a few seconds, "Alexander?"
"Alec's busy right now," Lydia sing-songed, her voice sounding childish and playful, "He can't do anything for himself!" she giggled, hand pressing tighter on Alec's mouth as he tried to speak. Only muffled sounds were able to escape and Magnus couldn't hear them above Lydia's voice.
"Who is this?" Magnus asked, voice turning cold. "What have you done to him?"
"Done? To my beautiful fiance?" she asked, her own voice growing darker, "I would never hurt him. I love him. I want to be with him forever and have his children, and when he dies when he's still young and beautiful, I will have him stuffed and we will be together for all eternity. My love. My love. MIne!"
Alec heard Magnus take a deep breath and when he next spoke, his voice was calmer, his fear hidden behind his serious tone.
"Wow! You do love him. I have no doubt," Magnus began, speaking slowly and gently like you would to a child, "You're clearly very special if Alec wants to marry you,"
"I am! He does! He asked me and I said yes and we are going to be married," Lydia replied, "Lydia and Alec forever!"
"Your name is Lydia?" Magnus asked, and Alec could hear his professional tone leaking into his voice. "It's a pleasure to meet you like this Lydia. I'm very happy for both of you. Do you think I could hear Alec tell me about how he proposed though? That must be a lovely story and I'd like to hear him tell me."
"Nooooo," Lydia suddenly yelled, the tone of her voice pure anguish, "He won't remember, he can't remember...maybe it's the gas I used to knock him out, but he can't remember we're engaged. And I love him Magnus and he should remember! Why won't he?"
"It's okay, Lydia," Magnus, said, continuing his gentle approach, "You know what us men are like, it's always down to the lady to make sure we remember birthdays and anniversaries. I'm sure Alec does remember, why not let him tell you, tell us?"
"I could..." Lydia admitted, loosening her hold on Alec's mouth. His jaw was locked slightly and he carefully moved it side to side to try and get the blood circulating properly again so he could speak, if she would let him.
"Magnus? You think he does remember? Because, I can't marry him if he doesn't remember...He must...If he doesn't want me I don't know what I'll do! He's my whole life!" she wailed. Again her grip loosened on his mouth and he took a deep breath.
"I remember..." Alec managed to croak out, speaking around her hand, "Tell her I remember Magnus!"
"See," Magnus began, relief in his voice as he heard Alec speak, "Alec remembers, Lydia,"
"He does?!" she exclaimed, voice coming back to life as she gazed down at Alec. He tried to muster a smile, but at most could only manage a small grimace.
"He does," Magnus confirmed. "Now why don't you tell me what's happening there? Where's your fiance? Is he on the sofa?"
"Oh no," Lydia said, grinning down at Alec, "He's too big for me to lift onto the sofa, plus I was worried he didn't remember me so I thought I should help him to stay with me in case he tried to leave me, he's on the floor. Next to the radiator..he's a little tied up!" she giggled.
Beside him Clary and Maia were desperately trying to listen to Magnus' conversation. He signaled for them to try and get the attention of one of the security guards, but the nearest one was still Raj who had been so unhelpful before.
Hearing Lydia say she had tied Alec up, he held in the gasp that tried to escape.
"Is he okay, Lydia? He isn't hurt is he?" he asked, "You know, if he is, it will be hard to get married as he won't look so handsome in your wedding pictures,"
"He's fine, I made sure he didn't hit his head too hard. There's no blood or anything. I just had to drag him a little on the floor, but he'll be fine."
"Can I see him? Maybe you can switch over to video call so I can see that he's okay?" Magnus asked, trying desperately to think of a way to help Alec without enraging Lydia. "I could help you out, if you were on video I could give you some advice on your hair for the wedding maybe or good colours for your make-up, ask Alec, I'm very good at make-up!"
"He is," Magnus heard Alec's voice at the end of the line, sounding more aware and maybe a little desperate now.
"I don't know." Lydia said, "He's mine and I don't want to share him with you or anyone."
"Oh, that's okay," Magnus said, voice turning steely, "I don't want to share him with you,"
"Let me think...I need to think...stop all the talking now, I don't want to listen. Thinking is hard when there's talking..." she muttered.
Waiting as patiently as he could, Magnus hoped that she would switch to video, then he could march straight over to that Raj guy and prove that something bad was happening to Alec.
Suddenly there was a request for him to accept the video call and he clicked it quickly. A woman's face stared at him. Her grin was lopsided and her eyes half mad.
"Magnus!" she exclaimed, staring into the camera. Her face blocked the whole screen so he couldn't see a trace of Alec behind her.
"Hello, that's me," he said, looking at her through the screen, a shiver or revulsion running down his spine. "Can you show me Alec, Lydia?"
"In a minute," she said, "Oh! You are beautiful...for a man. Alec was right about your make-up. It's definitely perfect. Just amazing! Now, do you think I'm a spring? Or a winter?"
"Zoom out a little so I can see your hair and neck, please," Magnus requested, hoping to catch even a glimpse of Alec.
She did, and he could suddenly see a pair of legs in the top left of the screen. Shoes the same ones Alec had been wearing earlier (what? he had noticed everything about Alec, how could he not?), legs in his black trousers.
"Oh, your hair is beautiful," he smiled as sincerely as he could. "How do you like to wear it?"
"Up, in a ponytail, but I once read that Alec likes girls hair down around their necks so I leave it like this now, for him!"
"Of course you do, Lydia," Magnus replied, staring at her, mind frantically whirring for how he could do this... how could he get her to show him Alec. "Wait, Lydia, you said that Alec didn't hit his head, right? But how's his hair? I mean usually it's really messy, so it might need doing before the wedding can happen. Can you show me it and I can tell you the best way to neaten it up?"
"Oh," she said in a small voice, face shuttering down, "I didn't think about him. How can I make sure he's happy with how he looks? Yes, help me..."
Then the phone was tilted slightly and Magnus could see Alec. He was lying on the floor and he was handcuffed, but he didn't look awful.
Quickly, he rushed over to the barrier and motioned for Raj. The man sauntered towards him as Magnus drank in the sight of Alec as Lydia went over to him and appeared to kneel by his head, fingers curling into his hair. He was staring straight at the camera, pleading for help.
Raj dropped the clipboard he was holding when he saw the image on Magnus' phone, "Oh my god!" he yelled.
And that's when the shit hit the fan.
Lydia's head jerked up and she must have caught Raj's image on the screen as Magnus twisted the phone away.
"Who was that?" she yelled, voice enraged.
"No one, someone walked past me," Magnus said, pleading.
"You liar!" she screamed. And then he watched in horror as she reached for the silver knife, nasty grin twisting her lips. Then her voice changed and she sounded childish again, "You weren't going to help me at all, were you?"
"Magnus!" Alec gasped as Lydia turned to face him.
"Alexander!" Magnus screamed as the screen went black.