Jace reaches out reluctantly to touch the darkly pulsating prism. Its warmth should feel pleasant, instead it makes his skin crawl. For it’s not just a pretty crystalline thing, it’s a prison, and inside… his parabatai, trapped like a fly in amber.
Alec’s lying on his side, one arm slightly outstretched, knees lightly bent, still in the same position in which he landed after he was hit with a violent burst of dark magic, after he tumbled and rolled across the stone floor, and before the malevolent energy imprisoned him inside the shimmering crystal.
“I can still feel him,” Jace says softly, hand still pressed against the surface of the prism, eyes fixed on his parabatai’s pale face. “He’s alive in there. I don’t know how, but he is.”
Magnus joins him, arms wrapped around himself protectively. He’s exhausted; he hasn’t slept since it happened, desperately trying to find a way - any way - to break the spell. “Yes, Alexander is alive just… trapped in time.”
Jace finally looks away from Alec. “Why did he do it? Why did Asmodeus dothis to Alec? He’s a demon, I get that, but we’ve never fought him before, he had no reason to hold a grudge against us.”
Magnus closes his eyes. He seems to crumple, shoulders rounding even more, as the slithery voice of one of the Princes of Hell echoes through his head…
“Now he’ll never leave you, Magnus, he’ll never age and never die… Isn’t it a wonderful gift that I’ve given you? Am I not generous…?”
Magnus swallows, his heart aching, and without opening his eyes, he whispers, “He did it because he’s my father. Asmodeus is my father and he hates me and he wants to destroy everything that I love…”