“Now, tell me about that Shadowhunter of yours!” Tessa says, curling up in one corner of Magnus’ couch, a glass of wine in one hand and a giddy smile on her lips.
“Oh,” Magnus sighs, rolling his eyes. “Catarina and her big, big mouth!” He tsks, settling down in the other corner of the couch, a colorful drink held in his bejeweled fingers.
Tessa’s eyebrows shoot up in disbelief. “So it’s true?”
“Well, yes,” Magnus admits a little bashfully. “His name is Alexander, Alexander Lightwood, and…”
Tessa snorts into her glass. “One of Will’s Lightworms?” she wheezes.
Magnus grimaces. “Lightwood!” he corrects her primly, then he looks away and mumbles, “And yes, it’s the same family.”
Tessa’s laugh fills the air. “You and a Lightwood? By the Angel! Not just a Shadowhunter, but a Lightwood?”
Magnus scowls at her. “You don’t have to keep repeating it. I’m not all that thrilled that he’s a Lightwood either, believe you me!”
“Don’t tell me demon pox still runs in the family!” she jokes.
Sighing, Magnus turns serious. “Worse. Alec’s parents were in the Circle.”
All amusement flees from Tessa. “Oh, Magnus…” she whispers, tilting her head sadly.
He shakes his head. “It’s even worse yet: They hate me personally. Because I was there when they were murdering our people twenty years ago. I witnessed it all, and they hate me for having seen them at their worst. I’m a living reminder of their failures. And now I’m dating their son.” He groans and lets his head fall back against the backrest. “I think they might have swallowed if Alec dated a man or a Downworlder. But both and me in particular? I’m their worst nightmare!”
Tessa looks down into her glass. “But if Alec’s parents were in the Circle…” She pauses. “I’m not doubting your judgment but…”
Magnus turns his head towards her. “Alexander’s nothing like his parents. He’s quite amazing and his sister, Isabelle, is a delight, too. It’s like…” He waves a hand. “It’s like they embody everything that their parents lack.”
Tessa smiles at him softly. “So, you love him, huh?”
Magnus pauses and twirls his drink in his hands for a moment. “I have loved many people in my life,” he says in the end, “but for many years now, I’ve felt… dried out. I started to believe that I lost something essential when Camille betrayed me, something I could never get back.”
“And you found it with Alec again?” Tessa reasons quietly.
Magnus looks at her and his eyes shine. “I can’t remember ever feeling like this before. When he’s sad, I want to make him smile again because I ache for him. And when he’s happy, I feel like bursting because my heart’s so full…”
Tessa’s smile widens and it’s full of affection. “Yeah, you’re in love, Magnus Bane. At last. This is what true love feels like. Trust me on this…”
A pall of nostalgia settles over them when they remember Will Herondale, gone for many, many years now…
“I’m very happy for you, my friend,” Tessa says and reaches out to squeeze his hand. “I hope I’ll get to meet this man who enthralled you so. He must be truly exceptional.”
Magnus blinks hard, returning her grip. And then a mischievous grin lights up his face. “Oh, and did I mention how sexy my Alexander is? My dear, he’ll take your breath away!”
Tessa just laughs.