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The Angel in Blue

Chapter Text

Detective Alexander Lightwood looked at the pitiable woman on the king sized beg in the luxurious apartment on the upper East Side in Manhattan. He’d seen much in his eight years assigned to the homicide division of central of the NYPD, but he’d never seen anything like this. The only part of the woman not covered in blood was her golden hair.

“Camille Belcourt,” his partner, Jace Herondale, said, reading the woman’s ID in the black leather wallet on the dresser.

Crouching beside the bed, Alec studied the body. She was nude, her body on display, spread eagle, arms above her head, making an X. Whoever had killed her had shot her in the middle of the forehead and split her from neck to groin.

“She was a call-girl,” Jace said from behind him.

Alec stood, brushing his knees. “How do you know?”

“Her datebook. Beside each appointment are initials and dollar amounts.”

“Who was her last appointment?”

“J.R.,” Jace read. “The price is. . . holy shit! Twelve grand.”

“We’re in the wrong business.”

“No kidding,” Jace replied. “J.R. It’s fake. It’s got to be fake.”

“Jack the Ripper,” Alec answered.

“Fuck that, Alec. That’s not what it stands for.”

The chief medical examiner, Dr. Catarina Loss, arrived and moved into the room. “Christ,” she whispered holding her long fingered hand over her mouth.

“Hey, Doc.”

“Dr. Loss,” Alec said. “Can you tell me if the victim still has her liver during this initial exam?”

A short woman with dark hair and eyes and a musical accent, Dr. Loss glanced back at the body on the coral colored silk sheets. “Of course.”

Dr. Loss bustled past him, carrying her hospital bag. Alec moved away from the beds that she could get to the body. As the doctor put her gloved hand inside the victim’s abdomen, Jace turned away with a gag. It took her less than a minute. “You’re on to something, Detective Lightwood. Her liver is missing. I need to get her into my house so that I can give you more information.”  Dr. Loss said, standing and removing her protective gear.

Jace gaped at her. “You’re kidding.”

“I do not kid, Detective Herondale.”

Looking at Alec, Jace scoffed, “Jack the Ripper.”

“Are we looking for a copycat?” Alec wondered aloud. “I can’t say, but this is an odd coincidence.”

“She isn’t the last, Alec,” Jace whispered.

As the crime scene team came in, Alec shook his head. “No, she isn’t.” With a look over his shoulder at the blood soaked woman on the bed. “We’re gonna be busy, Jace. This isn’t gonna be over soon."

 ***

At his desk in Central at eight o'clock that morning, Alec typed a report for his captain, Luke Garroway. Jace sat at the adjoining desk, yawning hugely. 

"Stop that," Ordered Detective Julian Blackthorn, sitting beside them. "It could spread."

"We got a call just after four this morning and Alec just worked straight through to our shift. You know how he is."

"I told you to take a nap," Alec replied, not looking up from his computer screen. "This seemed more efficient than going home."

"Said the man who doesn't have a warm body in his bed," Jace joked. 

Alec didn't react, but Jace was right. He hadn't been with anyone in over a year. He didn't have much confidence outside of the job. His homosexuality had been hard for him to accept, and had been even harder for his father. Robert Lightwood had kicked Alec out of the house when he'd come out of his family at seventeen.

Jace had asked Alec to be his roommate and the two got a small apartment until they both attended the police academy. After graduating, Alec and Jace were assigned to homicide and worked their way up to detective, living in the same apartment until their captain had introduced Jace to Clary,  his stepdaughter. He'd been lost after that. Jace and Clary lived together now and Alec was alone. As he usually seemed to be. Alec dated, sometimes. He hadn't had a date in about two years, maybe more. He hadn't had sex in closer to three. He really needed to get his priorities straight. Alec had never introduced anyone to Jace or his sister, Isabelle. No one he'd met had ever been important enough.

"Nope," Alec finally responded. "No warm bodies for me."

"Why are you punishing me for it?" Jace complained. 

"Hey," Alec replied. "You asked me to be your partner. You knew what you were getting."

Laughing, Jace answered affectionately, "Yeah." Turning to his computer, Jace reported, "The vic was arrested four times for solicitation. She fell off of the grid about eighteen months ago. Her finances are insane. Two hundred thousand in her primary checking. Over a million in offshore accounts."

Emma Carstairs, Julian's partner, whistled. "Prostitution is lucrative."

"She was high end," Alec said. "But this is something else. Have electronics check her computer."

"Blackmail?" Jace asked as Alec sent his report to the captain. 

"So I suspect."

After checking through a few pages on his screen, Jace gasped, "Oh, holy shit!"

"What?"

"She's connected to Magnus Bane."

"Who?" Alec asked, baffled.

"Seriously, Alec?" Julian moaned.

"The High Warlock of Brooklyn," Emma provided. "He's the head of Bane Enterprises. Manufacturing. Entertainment. Hospitality. He's richer than God."

"So he likes hookers," Alec said.

"He sure doesn't need them." Emma sighed.

"Really?" Julian said. "I'm right here, babe."

Emma winked at her partner. Alec didn't know how they did it, had a romantic relationship while also maintaining a partnership, but the pair made it work. Even though their relationship was against procedure, Luke Garroway allowed it because he believed that their partnership was only stronger because of their love for one another.

"Either way, he can afford blackmail payments. Let's get an appointment to see him."

Jace nodded. "I'll call his office."

"Okay, I'll notify next of kin."

With a sigh, Jace picked up his desk phone and began to dial.

 ***

Opening the refrigerator, Alec groaned. His eyes were burning from all of the time he'd spent on his computer. He popped a pain reliever, glad to be home.

Behind a protection wall, Simon Lewis, a computer genius and Alec's little sister's boyfriend, found a list of Camille Belcourt's clients, whom she'd been blackmailing; Axel Mortmain, a prominent lawyer, Sebastian Morgenstern, an advertising executive for a major firm, John Shade, the owner of a restaurant, Aidous Nix, the head of a Wiccan sect, and Woosley Scott, a fourth Generation business owner. Even though he wasn't on the list, Magnus Bane was still on Alec's short list. 

Alec had pulled up a photograph of Magnus Bane on his computer. He was the most beautiful person Alec had ever seen; skin the color of caramel, hair of inky black, almond-shaped phoenix eyes of a startling green-gold. Magnus Bane sparked an interest in Alec's stomach. And lower. 

After eating scrambled eggs, Alec went to bed and dreamed of smooth tan skin and gold green eyes.

***

Alec and Jace were able to get an appointment with Magnus Bane at eight-thirty the next morning. In the enormous office building, they were led to a gleaming office of oak and glass. Alec's first glimpse of Magnus Bane was of his long back and rangy body as he looked out the window at the grey, slush covered city. Alec couldn't stop his eyes from wondering down to the ass in the perfectly cut suit.

Turning, Magnus smiled as his assistant introduced them, "Detectives Lightwood and Herondale, Mr. Bane."

"Thank you, Ragnor. Detectives, please have a seat. Can I get you anything? Coffee? Tea?"

You. . . in bed. . . on that desk. . . naked, Alec thought, but replied, "No, thank you. We're fine." Alec sat in one of the three crimson leather chairs in front of the massive desk beside Jace.

"What can I do for you, Detectives?"

"We have a few questions about Camille Belcourt," Alec responded, having finally regained his composure.

"Did she get arrested again?" Magnus asked, exasperated.

"No, sir," Alec answered. "She's dead."

Dar eyebrows furrowed, Magnus gasped, "Dead?"

"Yes," Jace replied, his amber eyes watching Magnus suspiciously. "She was murdered around one o'clock yesterday morning. You were with her the night before."

Magnus's green-gold eyes flicked to Jace. "Yes. She accompanied me to a charity dinner."

Making notes on his phone with a stylus, Jace inquired. "Did you go to her apartment?"

"Yes," Magnus answered simply.

Of course he's straight. "How long did you stay there?" Alec asked.

"Long enough to drop her off at her door," Magnus stated, his eyes meeting Alec's again.

"You didn't sleep with her?" Jace demanded.

"Not in years. And I never paid her." Yep straight. "You said she was murdered."

"Yes, Mr. Bane," Alec answered. "Where were you from midnight to two A.M. yesterday?"

"Am I a suspect?"

"It's just a routine question, Mr. Bane. Besides her killer, you may have been the last person to see her alive," Alec replied. "Your whereabouts, Mr. Bane?"

"Interesting. You can call me Magnus, Detective." With a sigh, Magnus stood. "I need coffee. Are you sure I can't get you anything?"

"We're fine," Jace answered.

When Magnus returned to his desk, he sat back comfortably with a black mug with glittery flakes and "FABULOUS" written in rhinestones. "Between midnight and two, I was in bed."

"Alone?" Jace asked.

Magnus's gaze flicked to Alec's, "Unfortunately."

"How did you know Camille Belcourt?"

"We've been friends for years. We met in high school."

"Did you know that she was a prostitute?" Jace queried. 

Nodding slowly, Magnus sipped his coffee. "I did."

"You said you've never paid her for sex." Alec said.

"I never had to."

Great. "Did you pay her for anything else? Like blackmail?"

"No."

"When you last saw her, did she tell you about a client who bothered her?" Alec asked, moving away from the blackmail angle. He knew faces, and Magnus Bane was not lying about that. He'd never given Camille Belcourt money, even if he had slept with her.

"No. We didn't talk about her work." The phone on his desk beeped. "I'm sorry, Detectives. My next appointment is here."

"That's all right," Alec replied. "We have all we need for now."

Jace left first as Alec pulled a card from his jacket pocket. "If you remember anything, please call, Mr. Bane."

"Once again, call me Magnus." He looked at Alec's card and reached into a desk drawer. "Here you are, Detective Lightwood. My personal numbers are on the back."

"Uh. . . Thank you."

Magnus laughed. "I'm giving them to you so you can call me any time."

"Excuse me?"

"Just call me, Detective."

"Um, yeah. Sure," Alec stuttered.

Magnus smiled and winked at Alec as he passed.

Maybe Magnus Bane wasn't as straight as Alec thought.

Chapter Text

Jace and Alec went to the offices of Black, Dark, and Mortmain to speak to Axel Mortmain, a senior partner. He was listed on Camille Belcourt's blackmail list and had paid her a grand total of $18,000.

Their victim as intelligent in her blackmail. She never took more than her quarry could afford. Mortmain could afford more than eighteen large, but Camille took relatively little, not so much that hurt him, but enough to pad her bank account.

They were met in the lobby by a receptionist. She was tall with a dark bob and crimson nails that clicked when she typed.

"Welcome to Black, Dark, and Mortmain. How may I help you?" she asked, her voice thick with the Bronx.

"We need to speak with Axel Mortmain," Alec said.

"I'm sorry, Mr. Mortmain is unavailable."

Alec and Jace showed her their badges. "We need to speak with Axel Mortmain," Alec repeated.

"May I ask what this is about?"

"You may. Just don't expect an answer. Mortmain."

With a sigh, the receptionist lifted the phone on her desk, her nails clicking as she dialed. "Mr. Mortmain has two cops demanding to see him." She paused to listen. "I dunno. They won't tell me." Another pause. "Alright." After hanging up, she said, "Mr. Mortmain's office is on the twenty-third floor. He will see you."

Without another word, Jace and Alec made their way to the twenty-third floor via elevator. Where Magnus Bane's office was elegant and stylish, Axel Mortmain's was opulent and modern. Instead of an Oak desk, this one was glass, sleek and, in Alec's opinion, pretentious. 

Axel Mortmain sat behind his glass desk, which held no personal items, no photographs or nicknacks. He was a squat man and somehow reminded Alec of a toad. He had to use prostitutes.

Behind Mortmain, a young polished man in a grey suit with a slate tie stood silently. Alec thought that he was probably cold and made a mental note to check the man out.

"May I see your credentials, gentlemen?"

Both Alec and Jace showed him their badges. "Detectives Lightwood and Herondale, homicide," Alec said curtly. 

"Homicide?" Mortmain exclaimed.

"Before we start, may we have the name of your companion?" Jace asked, his phone out and his stylus in his left hand.

"I don't think that's necessary."

"You misunderstand," Jace interjected. "That wasn't a request. What's your name?"

"Nathaniel Gray." 

"Thank you, Mr. Mortmain," Alec said. "You are acquainted with a prostitute named Camille Belcourt, are you not?"

"I know no one by that name."

"You're aware that lying to the police conducting an investigation carries a penalty of up to five years in prison in the state of New York, right?" Jace asked, not looking up from his screen.

"I'm a lawyer. Of course I'm aware."

"So, when was the last time you saw Camille Belcourt?" Alec asked.

Sighing, Mortmain replied, "About six weeks ago. I took her with me on vacation."

"You didn't take your wife?"

"She prefers to vacation on her own."

"Where did you go with Ms. Belcourt?"

"A villa in Tuscany."

"Snazzy," Jace scoffed.

"How long were you there?"

"Twelve days."

"Where were you the morning of the eighteenth between midnight and two A.M.?" 

Mortmain was taken aback. "Excuse me?" he asked fronted.

"We need your whereabouts for that time period."

"Mr. Mortmain and I were working in his home until well past three," Nate Gray provided. "I stayed the night there."

"What were you working on?" Jace asked.

"We were finalizing a defense strategy on an upcoming case. That is all we have to say on that subject." Mortmain said, hastily.

"You were paying her for blackmail. What did she have on you?"

Mortmain sighed. "I was visiting a whore, Detective Lightwood. I am a prominent citizen. That is enough."

Pulling out a card, Alec stood. "If you think of anything, please call."

Jace and Alec left without a backward glance. Once they were in Jace's police issue sedan, Alec said, "They're lying."

"Oh, yeah." Jace replied. "Where to now?"

"Woolsey Scott."

***

Woolsey Scott was gruff and spoiled. Alec didn't like him on a personal level, but he couldn't put his finger on the reason why.

"Yes, I knew her. Yes, I paid her. Every month like clockwork. She had the upper hand and I deserved it."

"Wait," Jace interrupted. "You aren't mad at her? She took you for forty-two thousand."

"At first, yeah. I was pissed. But, I applaud her for playing the game better than I did."

"What did she have on you?" Alec asked. At Scott's growl, he assured, "Whatever you tell us won't be made public." Unless you killed her. 

With a sigh, Scott stood and paced. "She knew that I'm bisexual."

Alec nodded, his face impassive. "I'm assuming that is a big deal. Did she threaten you?"

"Not outright. She was more subtle than that. She coyly asked for monthly payments to keep it quiet. I own a sporting goods manufacturing company. If my customers even thought I fucked men, sales would be devastated. It was all very civil."

"How did she find out?"

"I went to a very intimate party with a friend of hers, at his loft in Brooklyn. He doesn't know that she was blackmailing me, by the way. I'd known Camille for years, so I didn't think anything of her attending the little get together. I spent the night with him." 

"Who is the friend?" Jace asked.

When Scott hesitated, Alec reassured him, "We won't release any of your information."

"He's out, but. . . I don't want him hurt. He's a good guy. He didn't have anything to do with this."

"A name, Scott," Jace growled.

Sighing, Scott replied, "Magnus Bane."

Alec really should have seen this coming. On the outside, Alec's face was placid, but for some reason, he was dancing inside. It was ridiculous! Magnus Bane was a suspect. A prime suspect. But he couldn't stop himself from wishing-

"Where were you between midnight and two A.M. the eighteenth?"

"I was with my lover. She's one of our interns."

Scumbag. 

"And she'll verify that?"

"Of course."

Taking the information about his lover from Woolsey Scott, Alec gave him a card with the order to call if he remembered or thought of anything.

Woolsey Scott's alibi checked out. The young intern was flustered, but cooperative, and Alec moved Scott to the bottom of his short list. No matter how unlikable, Woolsey Scott hadn't murdered and mutilated Camille Belcourt.

"I am getting lunch and you can't stop me," Jace said on the bustling sidewalk.

"Just go to a cart."

"I will not! My body is a temple, Alec, and carts don't sell food, they sell saturated fat."

"Oh, please," Alec groaned. "We're on a roll."

"I am going to a deli owned by John Shade, where he is today, according to his assistant."

"Nice save."

"I worked hard on that."

While Jace ordered their sandwiches, Alec questioned John Shade and immediately removed him from the list. The man actually cried. He had visited Camille eight times in a two month period, when he and his wife were having marital problems. The month after Shade and his wife reconciled, Camille had begun her extortion. Shade had paid to keep her quiet. When Camille had died, Shade had been in New Jersey with his wife. Just to be safe, Alec contacted the hotel he claimed to have stayed at. The manager confirmed that John Shade had been there, in the penthouse suite, and agreed to send surveillance footage.

That afternoon, jace and Alec crossed the bridge into Brooklyn to interview the last two on their list for this run, Sebastian Morgenstern, who had called in sick that morning, and Aidous Nix, who could be found in his church in Brooklyn.

At Morgenstern's townhouse, Jace impatiently rang the bell. Eventually, a muffled voice asked, "Yes?"

"Sebastian Morgenstern?" Alec asked.

"Yes?"

"Detectives Lightwood and Herondale, NYPD. We have a few questions for you."

"About what?"

"The murder of Camille Belcourt," Jace answered. "Do you want to talk about this through a speaker?"

The door opened moments later. Jace and Alec had their badges out for him to study. He opened the door and invited them to enter.

Sebastian Morganstern was bedraggled with puffy eyes and a red nose. "What is this about?"

"Are you acquainted with Camille Becourt?"

"You're here, so you know that I am."

"Okay," Jace said. Seeing that he'd had enough of this guy already, Alec let Jace take point. "And she took you for eight grand in extortion money. Where were you between midnight and two the morning of the eighteenth?"

Taken aback, Sebastian answered, "I was here. In bed."

"Alone?"

"Yes. The woman I've been seeing is outta town."

Alec and Jace exchanged a look.

 

After leaving Aidous Nix's church, Jace coughed. "That guy was nuts."

Alec nodded. "I think that an orgy is a pretty good alibi."

Jace laughed. "It's the best alibi, dude. We're at end of shift. Let's call it a day." Alec nodded. "I'll see you tonight, right?"

"Huh?"

"Isabelle's dinner party?"

"Oh. She's not cooking, is she? If so, I can't be there. I have ebola."

Laughing, Jace said, "She's having it catered."

"Thank the angel."

***

Alec didn't have to leave particularly early to get to Isabelle's apartment because she lived in the same building as he, Jace, and Clary. All three apartments were on the same floor. When she was in town, she came to him at inopportune times. But when she was elsewhere, he was lonely and missed her.

He arrived and knocked. To his surprise, Alec was greeted by Simon Lewis, Isabelle's long time boyfriend and one of the electronic detectives at Central. "Hey, Alec." 

"Hey," Alec said entering. "You're spending a lot of time together. . . here."

"I'm trying to get him to move in." Isabelle said, entering from the kitchen.

"Is it working?"

Simon grinned and looked away.

Yep. It was working.

Isabelle kissed Alec's cheek. "How are you, Alec?"

"I'm fine. Just a lot of work."

"More dead people?"

"You know how it is." Alec said, accepting a glass of wine from Simon. "You look good Iz." Alec gestured to the red dress she was wearing that stopped just below her crotch and plunged to between her breasts. 

"Thanks. It's new."

And just shy of being legal.

Jace and Clary arrived and dinner began. Alec drank more wine and ate amazing chicken in an herbed butter sauce and rice. He couldn't help but feel a bit alone, like a fifth wheel. Here he was with two couples. Alone. 

After saying goodbye, Alec returned to his apartment. Once again, alone. He stripped off his clothes an lay down. His sheets were cold, which only punctuated his loneliness.

 

Before sunrise, Alec and Jace stood over another body. Once again, she was blond with a bullet hole in her forehead and was cut open. They discovered that she was a prostitute. In her datebook, Jace had found an entry telling them that J.R. had struck again.

Picking up an envelope with a gloved hand, Alec asked Jace, "What do you make of this?"

It was addressed to Alec and Jace growled, "Open it."

Breaking the seal, Alec read the blocky lettered missive.

 

DETECTIVE LIGHTWOOD,

I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU WILL TRY YOUR BEST TO FIND ME, BUT WE BOTH KNOW HOW THIS ENDS. YOU WILL NOT CATCH ME. I AM TOO GOOD, TOO SMART FOR YOU. I WILL BE WATCHING YOU. ENJOY THE GAME.

J.R. 

"He sounds like you," Alec joked, trying to keep things light.

"Not funny, Alec." Jace, who'd always been like a brother to Alec, was afraid. "He's challenging you, Alec. You need to be careful."

With a sigh, Alec crouched to look over the naked, bloodied woman. She was young. High class. Not as high as Camille Belcourt, however.

"Jessamine Lovelace," Jace stated, making notes on his phone. 

"How old is she?"

"Nineteen," Jace replied sadly.

As the morgue team swept in, he stood. "Run a make on her. Let's go in to Central."

Alec ordered the uniforms to do the knock on doors and left the apartment building with Jace. "You know we're going to the media, right?"

"Shit. Yeah. I know."

The press conference was scheduled for ten that morning. Alec notified Jessamine Lovelace's next of kin, an aunt, so he was cleared to release her name. 

As they stood behind the police commander, Charlotte Bramwell, Jace whispered, "Fifty bucks says the note has leaked."

"I don't bet on a sure thing," Alec whispered back.

"I have every confidence in Detectives Lightwood and Herondale. They have the full resources of the New York Police Department. In order to protect the public, my detectives will give the details of the case."

She had promised to cut off the press conference after fifteen minutes, which reassured Alec, as he'd lost the game of rock, paper, scissors against Jace to decide who spoke.

"Around one o'clock in the morning on January eighteenth and around two-thirty this morning, an unknown subject entered the homes of Camille Belcourt and Jessamine Lovelace, both prostitutes, and brutally murdered and mutilated them. The NYPD urges all of those in this business to be cautious.

"If at all possible, do not take new clients. Do not go out alone. Partner up when you take your stroll. The killer goes by J.R. If you have any information about this unsub, please call the hotline number provided.

"Please don't assume you're safe."

"Detective Lightwood!"

"Yes?"

"Is this a serial killer targeting prostitutes?"

"It's hard to say if this is a serial killer at this time, but we are exploring that possibility."

"Do you think that the murderer is cleaning up the streets by killing prostitutes?"

"No," Alec said simply. "Murder isn't the answer to any problem. If the killer wanted to clean up the streets, there's a safer, more legal way. These two women didn't deserve to die, no matter their profession."

"Detective! The killer left a note for you! What did it say?"

Jace elbowed Alec lightly and he fought not to laugh. "Yes. The unsub left a note. I am not at liberty to tell you what the note said at this time."

"Do you think the killer is watching right now? What would you say to him?"

Alec thought for a moment. "I believe the unsub is interested in what is happening in this case. What we are doing to find him, what we knew about him, what the media and police are saying about him and his victims. My partner and I will work diligently until this unsub is caged. He thinks he'll get away, but he won't. We're going to find him and we are going to put him away."

"That's a very bold statement, Detective."

"We are following all leads," Jace replied quickly. "The NYPD is doing everything possible to stop these murders. We need all in this profession to proceed with caution and follow the guidelines found on the NYPD website. Please be careful."

Charlotte Bramwell stepped forward and ushered them back, dismissing the members of the media.

Jace and Alec returned to their desks. While he started to read the medical examiners report on Camille Belcourt's autopsy, Alec's desk phone rang.

"Homicide, Lightwood," he answered absently. 

"You're wrong, you know. You'll never find me."

Alec's gaze met Jace's and he snapped his fingers, signaling for Jace to begin a trace.

"Why do you say that, J.R.?"

"Because I'm smarter than you are, Detective Lightwood. I am smarter than anyone in your department."

Alec wrote on a pad, Cocky. 

"So you're educated?" 

"More so than you," J.R. replied. "You barely graduated high school. You fuck other men. I'm shocked your father hasn't killed himself in shame. He must hate you."

He's not wrong. 

"Is that why you called me? Because I'm gay?"

Jace's gold eyes were cold and angry when they met Alec's calm blue ones.

"I contacted you despite your amoral choices, Detective Lightwood. You're no better than the prostitutes I'm killing."

Alec scribbled. Gay = Prostitute 

"Is that why you're killing them? Because they're dirty? Or is it sex that you're punishing?"

"You'll have to figure that out on your own, Detective. Goodbye."

The phone call ended with a click as the unsub hung up. "Anything?" Alec asked Jace.

"He's downstairs, in front of the building."

As Alec and Jace raced out of the division, Emma Carstairs held out kevlar vests. Rushing down the stairs, Alec slipped his vest over his black sweater and fasted it. His weapon was in his hand before he and Jace hit the sidewalk. Even though he knew they wouldn't find the unsub, they were prepared. They found a payphone hanging off of the hook with a sticky note attached, written in the same blocky print as the note left with Jessamine Lovelace. 

GOOD LUCK, DETECTIVE LIGHTWOOD

J.R.

"Shit!" Jace exclaimed as citizens shuffled past and Alec holstered his weapon. 

"I'm going to call a crime scene team. Maybe they'll find something."

***

Jace left Alec at his desk as he poured over the ME reports, Camille Belcourt's autopsy, and Jessamine Lovelace's preliminary. Both victims showed signs of recent sexual activities. No semen. Of course the unsub would be careful enough to leave nothing of himself.

As the next shift entered the bullpen from their briefing, Alec's phone rang. For a moment, he stared at it. With a sigh, he picked up the receiver. "Homicide, Lightwood."

"So official," said an amused voice.

"Mr. Bane?"

"Ah. We're still on that, are we? What will it take for you to call me 'Magnus'?"

"I-I'm not really sure."

"You're adorable."

"I am?"

"Of course you are," Magnus chuckled.

Alec's cheeks burned. He wasn't used to people calling him "adorable." Hell, he wasn't used to people noticing him. Swallowing, Alec asked, "Have you remembered something new, Mr. Bane?"

"Magnus."

Exhaling softly, Alec whispered, "Magnus." A shiver went up his spine at the sound of the other man's name on his own lips.

Magnus made a sound in his throat. "I saw your press conference today. You were amazing."

Pleasure blooming in his chest, Alec asked, "Is that why you called?"

"One of the reasons. I wanted to tell you that I knew Jessamine Lovelace. I didn't know her well, but I did know her."

Grabbing a pad and pen, Alec asked, "How did you know her?"

"You've changed into a cop."

"I'm always a cop. Answer the question."

"Mmm, forceful. I like that. She worked for one of my hotels, Kastil, until it came to my attention that she was turning tricks in unoccupied rooms."

Alec blinked. "You found out. How?"

"Oh, yeah. I found out. I like to micro-manage once in a while, so I was in the hotel and she approached me. She was my event planner and assistant manager."

"Did she solicit?"

"Yeah. Anything I wanted for a thousand. I fired her that day. I never saw her again, but it's hard to forget that."

"Did you sleep with her?"

"Jealous, darling?" 

Yes. "Answer the question, Magnus."

With a laugh, Magnus replied, "I love it when you're forceful. No. I didn't sleep with her."

"Okay. May I see you to get a better interview?"

"You can see me anytime, Detective Lightwood."

"Alec," he said automatically.

"I'm sorry?"

"That's my first name," Alec replied, feeling stupid for giving in to Magnus's flirting. Of course he was just messing with Alec. Someone so glamorous would never actually notice Alec. He was so average, so ordinary, so. . . insignificant.

"Short for Alexander?"

"Yeah."

"Alexander. It suits you. Strong. Protector."

"I'm not those things."

"You are. I could tell when I met you. You're wonderful."

Alec didn't know what to say. No one had ever spoken to Alec the way that Magnus did. "Should I make an appointment to see you tomorrow."

"Of course not! Come to my loft. I'll make you dinner."

"Tonight?"

"I'm home now, darling. I'd love to see you tonight."

"You want to see me?"

"Yes, Alexander. Why wouldn't I?"

"I'm a cop. We're usually not welcome. Also, I'm. . . not really attractive and I'm a terrible conversationalist." He was taking a chance here. Trying to determine if his quick, confusing feelings for Magnus were reciprocated.

"First, Alexander, the fact that you're a cop is hot. I'm hoping you'll put on a uniform and fulfill one of my fantasies with handcuffs. Second, you're doing just fine talking with me. And finally. . . What? You are the sexiest person who has ever sat in the visitor's chair. I'm thinking of having a plaque made for your ass."

Choking out a laugh, Alec said, "Give me your address."

***

Alec got off of the subway a block from Magnus's building and walked, huddled against the icy wind. When he arrived, Alec was met by a haughty doorman.

"May I help you?"

"I'm here to see Magnus Bane."

The liveried doorman lifted a receiver off of the desk and dialed. "Mr. Bane, you have a visitor." A pause. "Excuse me, sir?" The doorman looked at Alec. "I couldn't say, sir. I suppose he's attractive."

Alec snatched the phone from the doorman. "Magnus." 

"Ah. As I expected. The most beautiful detective in the city. Give the phone to Pete. I'll clear you."

His cheeks pink, Alec gave the phone to the doorman. After he hung up with Magnus, he led Alec to a private elevator and used a master keyed code. Alec rode to the top flooring was met by Magnus when the door pinged open. 

"I'm so glad you came."

"Really? I'm here to interview you."

"So? I'll use any excuse I can to get you here." Magnus said, moving to him and pushing Alec's raven hair out of his eyes. "Who made you believe that you're undesirable? Who hurt you?"

Alec wanted to pull away, but couldn't; he was captivated by the gold-green eyes and silky voice. "I don't wanna talk about it."

Magnus nodded. "When you're ready, I hope you'll confide in me."

Alec met Magnus's eyes and nodded.

"Now, ask your questions so I can try to convince you to take off that hideous hideous sweater."

Looking down at it, Alec asked, "What's wrong with my sweater?"

"It doesn't fit you properly and it has holes in it. It's unravelling and you should take it off, Alexander."

"That's subtle," Alec laughed.

"I thought so, but really, you should."

Snickering, Alec shrugged out of his peacoat. "That's as much as you'll get for now."

Magnus grinned at him and took his coat. "I'll take it. What would you like to eat?"

Alec shrugged, pushing the sleeves of his sweater up to his elbows. "I haven't eaten today, so I'm easy."

"You haven't eaten today? Alexander, you need to take better care of yourself. If you don't, I will."

Alec's gaze snapped up to meet Magnus's. That sounded serious. That sounded like permanence. "I don't need a keeper."

"You dress like you're homeless. You don't eat all day. You look like you haven't slept. I'd say you need something."

"Magnus."

"Alexander. Come on. Let me feed you."

Alec ate sweet, succulent lobster with a well dressed salad and amazing, creamy pasta. "Did you make this?"

"I wish I could say 'yes,' but no. I ordered it in and, if you'd said you hated lobster, I would have ordered pizza."

"I love pizza, but this. . . worth it." Alec said with a smile. Magnus grinned back.

Taking a sip of the dry, white wine, Alec asked, "So, Why the 'High Warlock of Brooklyn'?"

Magnus smiled at him. "It's an old nickname from some friends of mine. They say that everything I touch turns to gold. Granted, Midas would be a smarter nickname, but that's what they called me and it stuck."

"Are you still friends with those people?"

Magnus nodded. "Most of them. Camille is dead. Ragnor works for me. Alexi is a competitor, but still a friend. Malcolm is my media liaison. Woolsey is still a friend, even if he and I have no coordinating business interests. I tend to inspire loyalty."

Alec could see that. "And are you loyal, Magnus?"

Magnus's eyes turned sly as they met Alec's. "Extremely, darling."

As the evening ended and Alec knew everything Magnus knew about Jessamine Lovelace, Alec slipped back into his coat.

"I want to ask you to stay."

"I can't," Alec replied.

"Because I'm a suspect?"

"Person of interest," Alec corrected. "I don't think you killed anyone, Magnus."

"Why?"

Taking a deep breath, Alec said, "Your sexual orientation."

"You don't think I killed two women because I'm bisexual. Albeit freewheeling."

Alec nodded with a small smile as he buttoned his coat. Magnus's hands covered Alec's. "Why's that, Alexander? What makes you think that?"

Alec's eyes rose to meet Magnus's. "The unsub called me."

Magnus's hands tightened. "He spoke to you you? What did he say? Are you okay?"

"I'm fine. It was just a phone call. He told me that my father must be ashamed of me because I barely got through high school and I. . . well quote, 'fuck men.'"

Running a shaky hand through his meticulously styled hair, Magnus asked, "Did he threaten you? Do you think he'll go after you?"

"No. I don't fit the profile," Alec said, knowing that he could have been lying. He remembered the unsub saying that Alec's sexuality was equivalent to prostitution.

"Unless he thinks that 'queer' equates 'whore.'"

Alec glared at Magnus. "I'm not a whore," he growled through gritted teeth. His father had called him names like that and worse when Alec had come out to his family. 

Touching Alec's ivory cheek, Magnus said, "I know you're not, darling. If you were, I'd have you in bed already. True, that's where I want you, but I wouldn't respect you. I would be so intrigued by you."

"You're intrigued by me?"

Magnus took a step closer. "Very much so."

His mouth descended on Alec's and the cop melted into Magnus's arms as he returned the kiss. Magnus held Alec tight, making love to his detective with his mouth. Alec wanted Magnus more than he'd ever wanted another person. Pulling away, Magnus asked, "Are you sure you have to leave? You could stay here and go to work in the morning."

"In the same clothes I wore today? That wouldn't tip anyone off."

"I'll buy you new clothes. I'll buy you a department store."

"Then I would be a whore." Alec touched Magnus's face. "When I sleep with you, I want you to be clear of this. I'm working it."

"You're trying to clear me?"

"I'm just doing my job, Magnus."

With a quick kiss to Alec's lips, Magnus grinned. "I bet you are, Detective. When you're ready, I want you, Alexander. More than I should, considering I hardly know you. I can't wait to have you, darling." 

Alec kissed Magnus again. "Have fun in Europe, Magnus. It'll be nice to know that you'll be out of the city."

"Take care of yourself, Alexander. Call me. I want to hear your voice while I'm there." Magnus just needed to know that Alec was all right. He was more worried about the phone call from the unsub than he let on. "I will miss you, darling."

"I'll think about you."

Magnus pressed his lips hard against Alec's. "I hope so."

Chapter Text

Three days after his "date" with Magnus, Alec stood over the body of another prostitute. A man this time. His hair was long and dark, caked with blood. The killer had castrated him and mutilated the body after shooting him in the middle of his forehead. Just like the others. He lay naked, spread eagle, making an X on the filthy alley ground, where he'd done his business. Left there in the open to be battered by the elements.

Jace returned after interviewing the woman who'd found the body. "He goes by Meliorn. He was on the stroll with the woman who answers to Kaelie. He got a bite and left to see the client."

"And Kaelie didn't see the client?"

"Meliorn got a text."

"Text? We can order a prostitute by text?"

"Apparently."

***

At his desk at Central, Alec thumped his forehead on his desk. While doing a background check on Meliorn, he had found the last thing he wanted. Meliorn was connected to Magnus. He had been a recording artist for one of Magnus's recording companies and had been dropped when he missed four performances in a row.

Magnus had fired him personally. 

Alec sighed as Jace stared. "We have to bring him in for formal interview, Alec. He's connected to all three."

"He didn't do it, Jace."

"I know, Alec. We have to."

Alec hadn't hidden his budding relationship with Magnus from Jace. Magnus was innocent of this. He wasn't even in the country. Jace believed in Magnus because he trusted Alec's judgment. Alec just needed to prove that Magnus didn't do it.

Alec called Magnus from his cell.

"Alexander, good timing. I just got into the hotel room. I do hope you're up for phone sex."

"I wish this were a social call, Magnus."

"Ah. Who is it?"

"Meliorn."

"He's a prostitute?"

"He was," Alec paused, steeling himself to say what he needed to say. "I need you to come in for formal interview."

"You know I'm in Paris."

"I know. I need you to come back. The twenty-sixth at two."

Magnus's voice went cold. "I will see you then, Detective." He hung up without another word to Alec.

His heart seized as he looked at the smart phone in his hand. Alec had barely had a chance with Magnus before, now he had none. He'd never thought that Magnus could love him, but he had thought, for a few days at least, he'd had a small chance at happiness with Magnus. It was over. Alec had never felt so much for another person before, and now it was over.

Because of his job. Because of who and what he was.

"You okay, Alec?"

"He's done with me."

"You don't know that."

"Yes I do, Jace. It's over."

"Alec," Jace said, sitting. "You haven't been on a date in like two years. Have a little faith. He's still into you."

Alec stood and moved to the coffee pot in the break room. He poured himself a cup, even though it was sludge and barely consumable. He needed something to do with his hands or else he would fall apart.

He hardly knew Magnus. How could he care so much about someone he didn't really know?

Returning to his desk, Alec poured of Medical Examiners' reports, crime scene reports, and uniforms' reports. He made notes to re-interview Mortmain and Sebastian Morgenstern. He called Magnus's apartment manager, ordering the surveillance footage to prove that he had left two days before for Europe. He called the airport for Magnus's flight logs and plan for his private plane to prove that he did, in fact, leave the country. He called the hotel in Paris, owned by Bane Enterprises, and ordered, badgered really, the hotel manager to confirm Magnus's presence, requesting that surveillance footage be sent to him.

At home, Alec sat at his computer, his eyes red-rimmed as he watched video surveillance from a bank across from Meliorn's murder site. Both Camille's and Jessamine's buildings had solid security but apparently cameras were down on the days the murders occurred. It was very convenient. 

Watching Meliorn enter the alley, Alec examined the body of the man who followed him. It was not the rangy body that Magnus flaunted, but a tighter, stronger one. The unsub was closer to Alec's size. Taller, more muscular than Magnus. Taking a screen shot, he sent it to Simon, asking him to analyze the body type and compare it to Magnus's. He refused to rest until he proved Magnus's innocence.

In his captain's office, Alec sat, listening to Luke Garroway telling him that, even though Alec's evidence had cleared him, he still had to interview Magnus.

"It's a waste of time."

"I know, Alec. We have to cross the 'Ts' and dot the 'Is'. We need to clear this so you can explore other avenues of investigation. Your gut told you Magnus Bane didn't do it, and you've cleared that road block. You need to interview him so that you can remove him from your short list."

"I don't like it."

Luke nodded. "I know. If he has a problem, I'll handle it."

A knock sounded on the door, and Jace popped his head in. "He's here."

Alec's stomach dropped. "I'll close this up and send you a report."

Luke nodded.

As Alec exited the office, Jace asked, "Are you sure you wanna do this?"

"No. I don't want to. I have to."

"I can do the interview."

"So he can think I don't believe him? If I send you in, he'll think I believe he killed those prostitutes. Even if he never talks to me again, I need to finish it."

Jace sighed and stopped Alec outside of Interview C. "You look like hell, Alec. Are you sure?"

"I need to Jace. If there's even a chance. . ."

Clapping a hand on Alec's shoulder, Jace grinned. "I'll go handle a media release."

"Thanks."

Opening the door, Alec took a deep breath. Without a word, he sat across from a silent, unwrinkled, unafraid Magnus. He watched Alec, his gold-green eyes cool, as Alec placed a digital recorder on the table and pressed the record button. "Mr. Bane, this interview is being recorded. Do you understand?"

"Yes," Magnus answered frigidly.

"How did you know Marcus Rodgers, AKA Meliorn?"

Magnus steepled his hands. "He was a recording artist for one of my recording studios. Talented, as I recall. About ten months into his contract, he had a national tour. He missed performances in four different venues. I cancelled the rest of the tour and his contract."

"Were you angry?"

"Disappointed," Magnus answered. "I had so much faith in him and he let me and his fans down."

"Were you disappointed in Jessamine Lovelace when you fired her?" He had to push hard and hope that Magnus didn't break down, didn't hate him too much.

"No. I was. . . amused, a bit angry that she was using my place for her side-line."

"Angry enough to kill her?"

"No, I fired her and that ended it for me."

"You were the last person to see Camille Belcourt alive. Did you go into her apartment? Did you go in, have sex, then cut her open?"

Magnus's hot green-gold eyes met Alec's cool blue ones. "No."

"Where were you on January 18th between midnight and two?"

"Home. Alone. In bed."

"And on January 20th between one-thirty and three AM?"

"Again. Home. Alone. In bed."

Alec had his building footage to prove that Magnus hadn't left his building either of those nights. Hell, there were cameras on his floor, one right outside of his door. Magnus had gone home the nights of each murder and stayed there.

"And January 23rd between two-thirty and four AM?"

"Paris, France. I would have been headed to or at my Paris headquarters. You can get surveillance footage from the building to verify."

He already had. "Thank you."

Someone knocked on the door. Alec moved to open it and Jace told him that Simon was done with the body matches. Luke said that they were good to spring Magnus. Alec nodded, ending the recording. "You're free to go, Mr. Bane." Opening the door, Alec gestured for Magnus to leave.

Magnus passed Alec without a word.

"I'll make sure he gets off okay," Jace said, trailing after Magnus.

Alec moved back to the rickety metal table and picked up his files and recorder. He looked at himself in the two-way mirror, knowing now that he would always be alone. He'd missed his chance. He would never find anyone like Magnus. Anyone who would look at him the way that Magnus had.

***

"You don't have to escort me out. I know my way."

"Yeah, I know." Jace said, stepping onto the surprisingly empty elevator with Magnus. Once the elevator door closed, Jace hit the emergency stop button. Emergency lights came on as the elevator slammed to a stop.

"What the hell?!"

"What's going on?" Jace demanded.

"You stopped the elevator. Why are you asking me?"

"I mean with Alec. He was so happy after his night with you. Now, he's sure that whatever you were building is over. Is he right?"

Magnus adjusted the cuff on his crimson shirt. "Yes. His suspicions ruined it."

"Suspicions?" Jace asked, incredulously. "Are you fucking kidding me? He's busted his ass over the last two days to clear you. He's barely slept. I've seen him eat a cracker and drink his weight in coffee. And you're pissed at him? He's killing himself to get you out of this, and you're gonna walk away? Maybe you don't deserve him."

Shaking his head, Jace restarted the elevator.

***

When Jace returned, Alec was typing his report of what he hoped would be his final interview with Magnus.

"You okay?"

Alec nodded. "It's over now. Forget it."

"You wanted him."

Alec sat back and smiled sadly at his partner. "Yeah. I'll get over it."

Jace sat at his desk. "Were you hoping for. . . something. . ."

"Like you and Clary? Like Simon and Izzy?" Alec asked with a shrug. "Is it too much to ask?  I thought we had a connection. He respected me. He wanted me, even though I'm. . ." What? A cop? Forgettable? Not good enough? "It doesn't matter, Jace. It's over. I'm a cop. That's all I'll ever be. Now drop it. We've got work to do."

At home that evening, after re-interviewing Axel Mortmain, with his aide of course, and Sebastian Morgenstern, both without anything new to give him but still maintaining their shifty natures, Alec sat at his computer, trying to find a solid connection between the three victims. He also looked for connections with Magnus. Whoever was killing these prostitutes was framing Magnus. 

His eyes burned as he read. He was exhausted and wanted to call it a night and go to bed, but he wanted to work so that he didn't think about what he had lost with Magnus. What could have been.

His cell phone rang, an unknown number on the display.

"Lightwood," he answered.

"Hello, Detective. Are you enjoying your evening?"

Alec closed his eyes and, taking up his iPad, texted Jace and used a record app to document the call.

"How are you J.R.?"

"I am very well," his voice was muffled, but sounded cultured, perhaps faintly British, something he had registered before, but hadn't thought of it. Axel Mortmain was English. "You've been working too hard, Alec. You're looking tired."

His head snapped up. Alec moved to the window that overlooked his desk and looked across the building next door. He could make out someone on a balcony waving.

"So you know where I live."

"I know a great deal about you, Alec." He'd stopped calling him "Detective" or "Detective Lightwood," almost as if they were becoming more intimate. "Why didn't you arrest Magnus Bane?"

"I try to avoid arresting innocent people," Alec replied, unable to text Jace, to warn him where their unsub was because the man was watching. He didn't want to tip the man off. "Why are you framing him?"

"I'm not," J.R. said insincerely. "You worked very hard to clear him. I'd almost think that you like him."

Shit. He had to be careful. "He didn't do anything, and we both know it. I don't want to put an innocent man in a cage. I want you in one."

"Hmm. So you'd say he's a good man?"

"Better than most."

J.R. laughed. "Oh, Alec. You're so naive. Don't worry. I am done with Magnus Bane. If you hadn't made it so easy, I would have left him alone."

"Are you thinking of hurting him?"

"Of course not, Alec." J.R. said, exasperatedly. "You're the reason he was in this. I could tell you liked him the first time you met. He was smitten as well, so I wanted to mess with you. He's out of this now. He's actually not a bad man, even if he. . . well, his sexual preferences are. . . eclectic."

How long has he been watching? Alec was worried and made a mental note to put a uniform on Magnus. He wasn't taking a chance with Magnus's life. 

"It was very good to talk to you, Detective. Good night."

Alec didn't wait. He bolted out of the apartment in only a pair of grey lounge pants. He didn't even pause for shoes. Jace's apartment door opened and they raced down the stairs and outside together. The sprinted down the sidewalk, but were unable to find the person, not that Alec really expected to. Alec hadn't gotten a good enough look at the man. He resolved at that point to close his blinds. 

"Shit!" Alec panted while Jace called in the contact and a BOLO. 

"I'm sorry, Alec. Go get dressed. We can't do anything here. I'm going to go secure until the uniforms get here."

As the pair passed an alley, movement caught Alec's eye. Jace was on the phone with Luke. Someone whimpered. A couple in the alley was being held at knife point. Moving stealthily, Alec tiptoed into the alley in the shadows, not feeling the cold.

"Stop crying and give me the purse, bitch."

The woman shook as she handed the man her purse. Alec sprang, grabbing the man's hand as he was about to swing the knife. He was able to push the knife down so that it sliced into Alec's side instead of his face.

Without missing a beat, Alec punched the mugger in the throat with a quick, short-armed jab. With a grunt, the mugger's eyes rolled into the back of his head and he slumped onto the concrete.

Alec checked on the couple. Both were shaken, but unharmed. Blood gushed from the wound as he handcuffed the mugger, staining his lounge pants.

"God damn it," he groaned, staunching the blood with his hand on his bare skin.

"I can't take you anywhere," Jace said from the opening the alley. Jace called for an ambulance while Alec leaned against the building, paler than usual. Telling them to hurry, Jace crouched to check on the unconscious mugger.

Alec slid to the sidewalk, his hand over his wound. "Jace," he called. "I'm gonna pass out."

As the black and white squad car arrived, Jace knelt beside Alec, shrugging out of his jacket and slipping it over the wound. "He's in the alley," Jace called to the uniformed officers. "Take him in and book him on attempted robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. We'll throw in assault with a deadly on a police officer and see how that goes. List Detective Lightwood as arresting officer."

"Yes, sir," one of the officers said, passing the two detectives and disappearing into the alley.

"Alec, I need you to hold on. Help is on the way. Stay awake."

Blood continued to gush, soaking Jace's black jacket. Alec had thought it was just a scratch, but it was apparently much more serious. "I'm going into shock, Jace. When I pass out, you have to keep pressure on the wound or else I'll bleed out."

Even though he was close to unconsciousness, Alec was trying to help Jace. His life had been spent taking care of others. Jace, Izzy, their little brother, Max. Alec rarely thought of himself. Jace always thought that was because Alec didn't believe he deserved to be put first, to be anyone's priority. His father had drummed it into his head that he wasn't worthy, that he was sick, disgusting. Maybe Alec had begun to believe it. Maybe that was why Alec rarely put himself out there. But Alec had reached out to Magnus Bane, only to get kicked in the teeth again.

As the EMTs arrived, Alec slumped. Jace maintained pressure until the medicals had Alec secured in the ambulance.

***

Magnus glared down at the report on his tablet. One of his retail outlets was steadily losing money, missing stock. Instantly, he deduced that someone was stealing from him. He'd have to take a trip to Madison Avenue in order to look things over. 

Somehow, the news report broke through his irritation.

"In other news," the dark-haired man with too big, too white teeth said solemnly. "The detective in charge of investigating a series of prostitute murders by the culprit dubbed 'J.R.' was wounded tonight stopping a mugging."

Without realizing it, Magnus was on his feet, his tablet, the report forgotten.

"Detective Alexander Lightwood was stabbed this evening when he saved a couple during an attempted mugging. A civilian witness took this cell phone footage."

The screen changed to a grainy, shaky video that showed Alec, barefoot and topless, in a pair of poorly fitted grey lounge pants. He slipped into an alley lit only by a street lamp, so it was hard for Magnus to see exactly what happened. He watched a dark shadow slump onto the ground and moments later, Alec staggered out of the alley, clutching his side as his blond partner, Herondale, entered it.

The video ended and Magnus was left with only the anchor on screen. "Where is he?" Magnus demanded, even though the man couldn't see or hear him.

"Detective Lightwood is currently being treated at Memorial Hospital."

Magnus was out the door before the sentence was complete.

***

Bursting through the Emergency Room doors, Magnus found Jace, Alec's partner, with a dark haired beauty and a pretty red-head.

"Where is he?" Magnus demanded, pounding forward.

"Magnus?" Jace asked, standing. "How did you know. . ."

"Media report. Where is he?"

"He's in surgery." The dark-haired woman with Alec's porcelain skin provided. "The knife hit his spleen."

"Clary, Izzy. Will you go to the cafeteria and get some coffee. And I'd love some pudding."

"Subtle, Jace," the brunette said.

"Just go, Iz."

The red-head kissed Jace and the two women walked away.

"I know what happened, there was a cell phone video."

Jace nodded. "I saw it. It doesn't exactly make him look good."

"No, his chest does that."

Laughing, Jace shook his head. "I'll take your word for it." Sobering, he said. "The unsub called him. He was watching Alec through his window."

"He knows where Alec lives?"

"We tried to catch him, but he was already gone."

"Is that why he was wearing pajama pants?'

Jace nodded. "Alec recorded the conversation. He goaded Alec with you."

"Me?"

"Yeah. He admitted that he was framing you. He did it because of Alec's. .  . admiration for you."

"Will he turn on me?"

Jace shrugged. "He might. I think Alec is a more likely target."

"Alec?"

Eyes flat, Jace nodded. "He'll be okay. He can take care of himself."

"He's in surgery right now for a knife wound," Magnus said, incredulously. 

"This is a fluke. He'll be fine." Jace gestured for Magnus to sit while he did the same. "I think you need to know something about Alec. He's been my best friend since we were nine. His dad, Robert, is a real piece of work. He's always made Alec think that he wasn't worthy. Always. . . less than Izzy and Max. He always believed that. Always.

"When we were seventeen, Alec couldn't hide anymore. He came out to his family. Robert kicked him out. Alec and I moved into a tiny apartment together and he worked constantly to pay his way, and sometimes mine. His grades slipped. He barely got his high school diploma. Even though he's the smartest person I know, he couldn't go to college because his GPA was so low at the end. We got into the Police Academy. And he proved himself there.

"When we were still uniforms, someone murdered Alec's little brother, Max. He was nine. That's why he is a homicide detective. Whoever killed Max was never found. Alec blames himself, even though he couldn't have stopped it. What's worse is that Robert blames him too.

"Alec still doesn't believe that he deserves to be happy. You know, until that night with you, he hadn't been on a date in over two years? And sex? I don't even know when he last got laid. He really liked you, Magnus."

And Magnus had misjudged him. Alec had carried the weight of clearing Magnus because it was the right thing to do. And he cared about Magnus. He'd worn himself to the bone for Magnus. Had destroyed his health. And Magnus had turned away. Just one more person telling Alec that he wasn't wanted, that his best wasn't enough.

"I'm an idiot."

"No argument there. Alec is a good man. He'll forgive you."

"Will he? I did. . .  I should have believed in him. He believed in me, didn't he?"

Jace nodded. "Yeah."

The women returned. The red-head gave a go-cup and a pudding cup with a plastic spoon to Jace. "Vanilla? I wanted chocolate."

Izzy sat besid Magnus. "So are you dating Alec?"

"It's complicated."

"Oh? Did he arrest you?"

Laughing, Magnus shook his head. "I thought he wanted to."

"Ah. But he worked himself half to death to clear you, and you didn't realize it until it was too late."

"Did he tell you?"

"No, Mr. Bane. I watched my brother over the last few days, and you look really guilty." Izzy said. "You care about him, don't you?"

Magnus nodded.

"Good to know. Make sure he knows that. He always needs to know that he's important. He's lived long enough without love."

"I know what your father did."

Izzy shook her head. "I was sixteen. I haven't talked to him in a decade. Alec just accepted it, like he deserved it."

"He didn't. He. . . He's the most amazing person I know."

Izzy's smile was brilliant. "I like you, Mr. Bane."

"I'm glad," Magnus laughed.

"I don't like many people, Mr. Bane. It helps that you're gone over my brother. He must like you a lot, considering he worked so hard to prove you didn't do anything. He also told me your name. He's never talked about anyone. Ever. But, he said your name."

"He talked about me?"

"As much as Alec does. He just told me that he'd met someone. He has never even told me that he liked anyone. Then, last week, he told me that he'd spent some time with you and he was thinking of. . . well, dating you. Alec has never had a serious relationship. He told me your name and I know that he was in for the long haul. I hope you know that he isn't easy. He doesn't. . ."

"I know," Magnus said. "He's a gem. I'm going to see him through this, and I'm never letting him go again."

***

After several hours, and Magnus's growing fear and irritation had made him take to pacing, a harried doctor in green scrubs approached them. "Is this Alexander Lightwood's family?" Magnus and the other's moved to him. Isabelle leaned on a young man in black framed glasses and a Star Wars teeshirt. He'd been introduced to Magnus as her boyfriend, Simon Lewis. Magnus liked him a great deal. He was warm and cared about Izzy. He was here to support Isabelle as well as Alec.

"I can only speak to his family." the doctor said.

"We are family," Jace replied.

"All of you?" the doctor asked, looking at Magnus's black hair and phoenix eyes.

"Yes."

Shrugging, the doctor replied, "Mr. Lightwood came through surgery with no problems. I expect him to make a full recovery. He's in Recovery right now and you can see him in an hour."

Magnus's knees went weak with relief and he sat heavily, his head in his hands as he tried to keep the hot tears from falling.

A strong hand rubbed his back. "See. He's fine," Jace said. "We'll get him through this."

Magnus could only nod, unable to keep all of the tears inside.

It was ludicrous to feel so much for a man he barely knew. But he did. He felt far too much, yet he didn't want to stop the feelings. He fully intended to embrace them, to keep the man who'd caused them.

After Isabelle and Jace saw Alec together, they let Magnus go into the room alone, to be alone with him. Alec lay on his back, an oxygen mask over his face, an IV in his hand, a monitor beeping with his vitals. He was paler than usual, almost grey. 

Magnus sat in a chair beside the bed, and took Alec's left hand, the one that wasn't feeding him fluids.

"I'm sorry, darling," Magnus said. "I know you're not here because of me, but if you'd died. . . I didn't believe in you and I could have lost you."

Magnus watched Alec's eyelashes flutter as they opened. His blue eyes were glazed and unseeing and he groaned.

"Alexander?"

His answer was a grunt.

"Don't worry, darling. I'll get a nurse."

Magnus told the nurse, Aline, that Alec was awake and Magnus thought he may be in pain. He wanted to ensure that Alec was comfortable. Always.

Returning to the waiting room, he smiled at the others. "He's awake."

Chapter Text

Magnus sat at a round table in the waiting room with Jace after leaving Alec asleep in his hospital bed. While Jace read reports from the crime scene unit, the Medical Examiner, and from the uniforms, Magnus edited media releases and read stock reports. They had sent the others home to rest. Jace had gone to pick up his work and Magnus had his assistant, Ragnor Fell, deliver his laptop and other things he needed. Now they sat, working in a companionable silence.

Magnus tried not to brood. Even though Jace thought it was a bad idea, Magnus wanted to see the man who'd stabbed his. . . Alec. His Alec. He wanted to destroy the man, if only for touching what was his.

A dark-haired man entered the quiet waiting room and approached the nurse's station. Magnus watched him, something familiar about him.

"Shit," Jace whispered.

"What is it?" Magnus asked.

Jace stood. "Robert," he called.

The man, Robert turned to Jace and strode to them. Magnus stood as well. Robert. Alec's father. The man who had destroyed Alec's confidence. Who had abused him without ever having raised a fist.

"Jace," Robert greeted. "What happened?"

He didn't even look at Magnus.

Jace's gold eyes flicked to Magnus then back to Robert. "Alec was stabbed stopping a mugging."

"And the doctors say. . .?"

"They expect him to make a full recovery."

"I want to see him."

"He's asleep," Magnus said, his hands in his pockets. He didn't hide his disdain for Robert Lightwood.

"You look familiar," Robert replied, looking Magnus over for the first time since entering the emergency room. 

"This is Magnus Bane, Robert. He's. . . with Alec, I suppose."

"Ah, head of Bane Enterprises." Robert groaned. "Well."

Magnus's eyebrows winged up. The man's manner infuriated him. "Well. . . Yes. You may see Alexander, but you will show him the respect he deserves, otherwise, I'll have you removed."

Jace looked at him sharply. "You can do that?"

"I'm a board member and I paid for the new cancer wing. Yeah. I can do that. And I will."

"My relationship with my son is none of your business."

"Oh," Magnus said, bearing down on the man, just slightly taller but still quite intimidating. "I disagree. It's very much my business. Despite your abuse, Alexander is amazing, smart, and brave. So much better than you raised him to believe. Better than either you or I deserve. If you want to see him, you'll respect him. You don't want to make an enemy of me."

"Magnus," Jace warned. "Robert is the district attorney."

"I don't care if he's the almighty Thor," Magnus told Jace. He turned back to Robert. "You are never going to hurt Alec again."

"Mr. Bane?" Aline, the nurse, said behind him. "Detective Lightwood is awake and wants to see you."

Magnus nodded. "I'll tell him you're here. If he agrees to see you, you'll see him, but I'll be there."

Turning on his heel, Magnus stepped through the halls and into Alec's room. He's bed was inclined, the IV was still in his hand, pumping fluids into him. Alec's eyes were closed but Magnus must have made a noise because those blue orbs met his.

The oxygen mask was gone, but Alec's voice was raspy when he spoke. "I thought I was dreaming. I thought that I woke up and you were here. It wasn't a dream, was it? You were here."

Magnus nodded. "I was here."

Alec nodded slightly. "I'm sorry, Magnus."

Moving to the chair, Magnus sat and took Alec's hand, looking into his face. "Why? It isn't your fault. You were doing your job, Alexander. You're alive. That's what matters."

"I had to question you. We had to put it on the record. I had to close it out. It was the only way to keep you out of it."

"I know you were protecting me, darling. I know you were taking care of me. I'm sorry I didn't trust you."

"You barely know me, Magnus. You didn't know what I was doing."

"I should have figured it out." Magnus kissed his long, pale fingers. "I want to go back, darling. I want to start where we left off before I went to Paris."

Alec's eyes widened. "You. . . you want to. . . be with me?"

Cupping his hands around Alec's cool one, Magnus said, "More than anything, Alexander. I find that I want you more than anything."

Alec closed his eyes. "Will. . . Will you kiss me?"

Chuckling, Magnus moved to take Alec's face into his warm hand. "Oh, darling. You never have to ask. Before too long, you're going to get tired of me kissing you."

"Never," Alec replied, leaning forward and pressing his lips to Magnus's.

Magnus was sure to be gentle, even as he wanted to wrap around Alec, to hold him and never let him go.

A throat cleared behind them and Magnus reluctantly stood. Robert Lightwood stood the doorway. Alec paled more than Magnus thought possible.

"D-Dad?"

"Darling," Magnus said, drawing Alec's eyes. "If you don't want to see him, I'll get rid of him."

Alec smiled gratefully. "No. I'll talk to him."

"Fine. I'm staying."

"Thank you, Magnus," Alec whispered.

Magnus sat and watched Robert enter the room. "How do you feel?"

Magnus's fingers squeezed Alec's. "I'm groggy and sore. Why are you here?"

"My office called to tell me you'd been wounded in the line of duty. I came as soon as I heard."

"That was twelve hours ago," Magnus said.

"Yes. No one bothered to inform me of your condition. Neither Isabelle nor Jace deemed it necessary to contact me."

"Why should they?" Alec demanded. "You made it clear ten years ago that I'm not your son. You haven't spoken to me. Even on the job, you avoid me."

"Alexander-"

"No, Dad." Alec interrupted and winced. "If you can't accept me for who I am, then you have no business here."

Robert sighed, "Alexander, I am trying. You're my son and I love you, even if I don't agree with your. . . lifestyle."

Alec hissed out a breath, to which Magnus said, "Darling, you need to press your pain button."

"It'll make me sleepy."

"Yes, sweet pea, I know. Press the button. I'll be here when you wake up." Magnus kissed his forehead as Alec pressed the red button that distributed pain medication. 

When Alec had fallen asleep, Magnus escorted Robert out. "If you want a relationship with Alec, you'll have to work. He doesn't trust you right now, and he's right not to. If you hurt him again, I will ruin you."

Robert's dark eyes, his daughter's eyes, met his, understanding in them. "I'll keep that in mind."

Robert left Magnus in the hallway outside of Alec's hospital room, hoping that he was right to stand as a shield for Alec.

***

With three murders, the commander, Charlotte Branwell, called the FBI. Jace was livid. He didn't want to share the case with the FBI, but it was procedure. Even though Alec reminded Jace of this, his partner continued to pace.

Magnus had arranged it so that Alec had a luxurious, private room, despite Alec's protests. So early into their budding relationship, Alec was learning that Magnus could be stubborn, and it was easier to just give in to some things. It had a couch, where Magnus had been sleeping for three days, and a small nook where he had set up a data and communications center. Magnus had not left Alec alone, but set up an office of sorts in the hospital room. After seventy-two hours in the hospital, Alec was foaming at the mouth, ready to leave, and it looked like that would happen soon as Alec had been out an about for a while.

Now, he sat up in the hospital bed, in a pair of blue and white stripped pajama pants, his torso bare save for the gauze bandage that covered his stitches. Magnus couldn't fault the view. Alec's chest was broad, porcelain smooth, and made Magnus want to be indecent.

"How are you so calm?" Jace demanded.

"Because I expected this," Alec answered. "We're dealing with a serial killer. I'm not equipped or. . . smart enough, I guess, to investigate. We need a task force, and that means feds."

"Alexander, darling," Magnus interjected from his nook office, never looking up from his computer. "Do not ever say that you're not smart enough to catch this dick. You'll make me angry."

Jace grinned at Magnus. "See. Even our former prime suspect knows you're better than the feebs."

"Just that he was a prime suspect should tell you something about my competence."

"I dunno," Magnus said. "I'm pretty suspicious."

"I don't like it, Alec. I don't want feds to sweep us and take the credit. You've been working yourself to death. There's a murder board in your hospital room!" Jace exclaimed, gesturing to the board in the corner beside the private bathroom that held the photos of the victims and other data, and copies of all of the notes from the unsub and transcripts of his phone calls.

"I've fumbled, Jace. I let my personal feelings blind me to too much. I spent two days clearing Magnus instead of trying to find whoever killed those people."

"And I thank you for that, darling."

"I'm going to be on medical leave for at least another week and then, I'll be on light duty for at least another week after that. We need all of the help we can get."

Jace swore. "We're gonna get this son of a bitch, Alec."

"I know, Jace. And we need to use all of our resources. Even the feds.

Sighing, Jace slumped into a chair. "I hate when you're right."

"You must be mad a lot." Magnus joked.

Alec grinned. "Just coordinate with the feds. Use Emma and Julian. Use Simon. Call in whoever you need."

"You expect me to work my fine ass off while you sit around recovering at Magnus's? Oh, no. He's got enough space for the loft to be primary HQ for our team."

"Yes. I've got plenty of room."

"You know it's against procedure for me to be involved in an ongoing investigation while on medical leave. I've been removed as primary."

Jace shrugged. "Who gives a shit?"

Magnus barked out a laugh. "Jace gives a solid argument. He is the primary on your case, darling. And you did just tell him to use all of his resources. You are a juicy resource."

A young woman in a red and white apron entered, pushing a cart with an enormous vase of wild flowers. "Good morning, Detective," she said cheerily. She placed the flowers on a shelf beside a vase of red roses that Magnus had brought and gave the card to him.

"Thank you," Alec said, looking down at the envelope. The blocky lettering on the envelope made his blood run cold. "Oh, shit."

Magnus, who had seen Alec's face fall upon seeing the note, stopped his work and moved to him. "What is it, darling?"

"Is it from him?" Jace asked.

Alec nodded.

Magnus clutched Alec's shoulder as he opened the envelope.

 

DETECTIVE LIGHTWOOD,

I AM SORRY YOU WERE HURT IN THE LINE OF DUTY THOUGH THE FOOTAGE OF YOU MAKES YOU APPEAR VERY COURAGEOUS, I HOPE YOU MAKE A SPEEDY RECOVERY. WE HAVE NOT YET COMPLETED OUR GAME.

J.R.

 

“I’m getting you a bodyguard,” Magnus said. 

“No, Magnus,” Alec said, tossing the note aside. “You promised you wouldn’t go overboard. That’s the only reason I agreed to stay with you while I recovered.”

It was true. Alec had been stubborn on that front, even more so than Magnus. Magnus had brought up the idea the day after Alec had awoken and stopped taking the pain medication. He wanted Alec to stay in his loft while he recovered from the stab wound and surgery. Alec had roundly refused. It was far too soon for him to be living with Magnus. He could recover in his own apartment. Isabelle and Clary could take turns looking after him. Magnus threatened to move into Alec's apartment (actually he threatened to buy the building then Alec couldn't refuse to allow him to enter at all times). Realizing that Magnus would not budge from his position, Alec gave in. He would move into the loft until he had recovered as long as Magnus promised not to go overboard and hire a nurse or something for him.

Magnus had agreed.

“No,” Magnus replied, slipping a hand into Alec’s midnight hair. “You agreed to stay with me because I’m irresistible.”

“Like a terrier," Alec said. He held Magnus’s hand, and grinned up into his startling gold-green eyes.

It was inconceivable that Alec needed Magnus. Things were happening so quickly. . .  It had to be like a quick flame, right? Hard, hot flame that burns brilliantly, but ends quickly. Alec couldn’t think, or believe, even though he wanted to, that Magnus would ever want him on a permanent basis. No one ever had. It was odd to have someone notice him. He was so. . . invisible. 

“I can hear your brain, darling.” Magnus said. “Whatever you’re thinking, I want you to stop.”

Magnus gave him a quick and whispered, “Don’t question it, Alexander. I’m here darling. And I’m not going anywhere.”

“Welp. . .” Jace said, clapping his hands. “I’m gonna go now. I’ll see you guys later.” 

“Put your team together,” Alec called. “We’ll get some work done.”

Jace nodded and closed the door behind him.

“I am with you, Alexander, because I want to be with you. I don’t know what kind of morons you’ve associated with before, who didn’t notice how beautiful and amazing you are, but I’m not one of them. You are with me, darling. No one else matters. Not to me. I don’t have a family like you do. I don’t know how it happened, but you are vital to my happiness.”

“It’s too fast, Magnus.”

“Yes, darling. It is, but it’s somehow  the most important thing in my life. You are the most important thing in my life.”

Alec gripped Magnus’s hand and dragged him down to meet his lips. “I need you, Magnus. For so many things.”

“More than just my money?”

Alec shrugged. “Give it all away. I’d be just as happy with just you.”

“Yes, darling, but I’m spoiled.”

Laughing, Alec pulled Magnus down to join him in the hospital bed and laid his head on the other man’s chest. “I’ll do my best to make sure you stay that way.”

Magnus didn’t speak, just kissed the top of Alec’s head. As long as he held Alec, Magnus would never hurt. He didn’t understand how, but this man, this amazing, beautiful man, was his. The thing Magnus found hardest to accept was how completely Alec had wormed his way into Magnus’s heart without even trying. Alec, who didn’t think he was worthy, who accepted that others were more important, was proving to be what Magnus needed to live. Alec, in his innocent, unassuming way, had awakened something in Magnus, something he’d thought long dead. Magnus had been jaded for years. Closed off from any real emotion. Then, one day, he’d turned from the dreary view of the city to see a tall, raven-haired beauty with the most amazing blue eyes and ugliest sweater he’d ever seen. And he’d been lost.

Alec had been checking Magnus out that day, too. Granted, his detective was more subtle than Magnus. He’d loved seeing the blush that had graced Alec’s cheeks when Magnus had winked at him. That was new to Magnus. Someone who’d been embarrassed or innocent. Maybe that was where these feelings were coming from. Alec was pure, unspoiled. Not a virgin, but new to these strong, possessive, all encompassing emotions. Hoping that Alec never changed his mind about giving Magnus a second chance, he held Alec tighter. he didn’t want to blurt anything out that would seem too rash.

“I’m glad you wanted to start over, Magnus,” Alec said, sleepily.

“Darling,” Magnus said into Alec’s hair. “I hope this doesn’t make me seem ridiculous, but I was terrified that you would tell me you didn’t want me.”

Alec sat up slightly and looked at him. “Not want you? How could I not? You’re gorgeous and glamorous. I’m the one who-“

Magnus pressed a finger over Alec’s lips. “Don’t you dare finish that thought. I will make you believe that you are wonderful and worthy if it’s the last thing I do. But first, we need to get you back on your feet and put a murdering bastard away.”

“Then, do you think you’ll go on a real date with me?”

“Darling, I’ll go on a date with you now. In fact, there is a charity dinner the day after tomorrow. I’d love to show off my beautiful, heroic detective.”

“I dunno. What’s it benefitting?”

“Arts in public schools.”

Alec nodded. “Okay. As long as I won’t embarrass you.”

“You never could, Alexander. I will be the envy of every person there. And. . . Don’t worry about your wardrobe. i’ll have that taken care of.”

“Please don’t go overboard, Magnus.”

“Shh, darling. Go to sleep. I never go overboard. You’ll look amazing. Trust me.”

***

Alec was released the next day, to Magnus’s delight. Jace met them by the door with the limo Magnus had ordered.

“Seriously, Magnus?” Alec demanded from the wheelchair Aline had forced him into. “I thought you said you don’t go overboard.”

“Come, Alexander, this isn’t me going overboard. The RV I wanted to use so that I could see to your comfort would have been overboard. Jace talked me out of it.”

As Alec stood, Magnus took his hand and guided him to the open limo door. When Alec was settled, Magnus nodded to Jace and, without so much as a glance at the limo driver who stood back waiting for everyone to get in, climbed in to sit in the seat beside Alec. Jace sat across from the couple. The driver closed the door and climbed behind the wheel. 

“I’ve set up where you indicated, Magnus,” Jace said. “Everyone will be there at 1600. The feds are coming, too.”

“Alright. I’ll order something for dinner.”

“What’s going on?” Alec asked.

“Magnus is letting us work in his loft. We thought you would heal better if you had the work. So I set up a. . . well a War Room of sorts in the formal dinning room at the loft.”

His eyebrows winged up, but Alec was somehow not surprised. Magnus seemed to like to be in the middle of the drama. “What's new with the case?” 

“Well, the unsub hasn’t contacted me yet, even though he probably knows that I’ve got your case load while you’re laid-up.” Magnus reached over and took Alec’s cold fingers, lacing them with his own. “I’m bringing Nate Gray in for questioning.”

“What did you find out?”

“He used to date Jessamine Lovelace.”

“Isn’t he a lot older than her?” Alec asked.

Jace nodded. “He was arrested for it. The charges were dropped when Jessamine, who was fifteen at the time, told investigators that she told Gray that she was eighteen. She looked older than she was, so they were inclined to believe that he was unaware that she’d lied.”

“Have you found a connection to Meliorn?"

Jace nodded. “Meliorn has been arrested seven times since Magnus fired him four years ago. Every time, he uses a lawyer, a junior partner at Black, Dark, and Mortmain.”

POP.

Alec nodded. “Does he know Magnus?

“Alec, until two weeks ago, you’re the only person in the city who didn’t know who Magnus is.”

Magnus snickered. 

“Shut up. I don’t get out much.”

“Yes, darling. Because when you do, you get stabbed.” He kissed Alec’s fingers. “Don’t worry. I’ll take care of you.”

Alec shook his head. “I want to be in the interview, but I’ll settle for watching.”

“Oh, you’ll be in my ear. I may be the primary on record, but you’re the one the unsub challenged. I think that, in his eyes, you’re still in charge.”

Magnus said nothing, just continued to hold Alec’s hand, almost afraid to let him go. This “unsub,” as both Alec and Jace called him, was too focused on Alec for Magnus’s comfort. This man, J.R., had called Alexander, sent him letters, had watched him. Knew where Alec lived. It was too much. Magnus wasn’t going to share him. He would do whatever was necessary to ensure Alec’s safety. Of course, Alec wouldn’t like knowing that Magnus wanted to protect him, but, as far as he could see, not too many people had protected Alec.

When they pulled up to the building, the doorman, Pete, opened the limo door. The driver did not get out again to see them inside. Magnus exited first and helped Alec out. As he stepped onto the sidewalk, Alec winced.

"Let's get you up stairs and resting."

"Hello, Detective Lightwood. I hope you're feeling better."

Alec nodded. "I feel better than I did four days ago." Magnus placed a hand on Alec's waist and escorted him into the building. Magnus held Alec close, hyperaware of his surroundings. He wasn't taking any chances with Alec. Maybe he should hire that bodyguard.

In the elevator, Alec leaned a little heavier on Magnus. He hadn't taken any pain medication since he first woke up, not liking how out of control they made him feel. Magnus understood his reluctance, but he wouldn't allow Alec to stay in pain. 

Once Magnus had Alec in the loft, Magnus helped him sit on the god and scarlet sofa. Jace flopped onto a matching chair. "You are taking a pain pill," Magnus said.

"I don't-"

"Alexander," Magnus began with forced patience. "I am going to take care of you whether you want me to or not. You should get used to it. Now, you're taking the fucking pill."

Whirling, Magnus moved into the kitchen to get Alec some water to wash down the medication.

Alec didn't think that he would enjoy someone taking care of him, had never had anyone who wanted to. It was odd, but he kind of enjoyed how angry Magnus had gotten over his not wanting a pain pill.

"He's yours, Alec." Jace said softly.

Alec turned to his long-time friend. "Are you sure?" He was almost afraid to hope.

Jace nodded. "I'm sure."

Magnus returned, giving the pill to Alec. After he'd swallowed the water and the pill, Alec patted the place on the sofa beside him. Perhaps he could have this. Perhaps he could dare to hope on last time. 

***

The man known as J.R. watched Magnus Bane help Detective Lightwood into the building. Alec would be back on his feet soon. Then he could get back to work. He just had to wait for the right opponent, nothing against Detective Herondale.He just had a report with Alec. As long as Alec was injured, the whores of the city were safe.

 

Chapter Text

Warm lips pressed against his cheek. A hand cupped his shoulder. A voice whispered in his ear. "Darling, it's time to set up for your briefing with the task force."

Magnus had climbed onto the bed and sat beside him. Alec turned, pulling Magnus into his arms and settled back down, holding Magnus against him. "You see," Magnus said. "I was right. The nap did you some good."

Alec kissed Magnus's hair. "You do me good."

"I wish, love."

Alec rolled Magnus onto his back beneath him and straddled his hips. "Anything you want, Magnus."

Alec gave in to the temptation that Magnus's lips presented. When Alec nudged at his lips with his tongue, Magnus readily parted them Long fingers threaded through Alec's hair as Magnus growled deep in his throat and flipped Alec onto his back. Alec's long legs wrapped around Magnus's waist as Magnus's lips slid along Alec's throat and chest. Alec moaned, tossing his head back. "Magnus," he sighed, digging his fingers into Magnus's back, arching into the searching lips, the caressing hands.

Though Alec was thoroughly enjoying the feel of Magnus against him, he winced as his side twinged in pain. Magnus notice and immediately pulled away.

"No, Magnus. Don't stop."

Magnus framed Alec's face with his hands. "I'm sorry, darling. I won't hurt you."

"But-" 

"Shh. I want you. I think you can tell that, darling."

Alec nodded, infuriated that his wound, which didn't really hurt, had stopped Magnus from continuing his sweet torture. He had waited long enough. He wanted Magnus. In him. Around him. On him. Under him. Over him. He just wanted Magnus. And he would have what he wanted. Wound be damned.

"Your partner has returned and wants you to help set up for the briefing with the feds. The tailor will be here tonight for a fitting."

"A fitting?"

"Yes, Alexander. You're with me now. You need to have a better wardrobe."

Reluctantly, Magnus rolled off of Alec and the bed. He moved to the closet and pulled out a pale blue sweater and khaki slacks, both of which he'd had Ragnor pick up. Alec's fashion sense was. . . nonexistent. Now, Alec would dress well, would know that he was important. His. 

"That doesn't look like something you would wear," Alec said, gesturing to Magnus's glamorous "at home" wear, the emerald green silk shirt with the sapphire broach, his black slacks, his coal lined eyes and glittered shadow. How could Alec ever live up to this man. He didn't think he could pull off things the way that Magnus did.

"Oh, no, darling. This isn't for me. You're wearing this." Alec climbed out of the bed.

"I didn't have that when I came here, and I know Jace didn't bring it."

"Of course he didn't. You didn't have it. I bought it for you."

"And you promised you wouldn't go overboard."

"And I haven't. I want you to be comfortable."

"I'm comfortable in my clothes."

"I also want you to look good."

Crossing his arms over his bare, chest, Alec said, "You've got a real hate on for my clothes."

"Yes, for two reasons. One: they're ugly." Magnus said, leaving the clothes on the bed for him and moving toward him. Running his hands over Alec's shoulders and arms, Magnus finished, "Two: They cover all of this. I'd hate anything covering your body."

Alec wrapped his arms around Magnus and slid his lips down the column of Magnus's throat. "Are you sure we have to leave this room. We could just go back to bed and. . ."

"Magnus," someone called from the doorway.

They turned as a tall man with bleached white hair in a navy suit with a slate grey tie entered. 

Recognizing the man as Malcolm Fade, Magnus's media liaison, Alec relaxed. "Am I interrupting something?" he asked, grinning as if he knew he had.

"I wish," Alec mumbled, stepping away from Magnus.

Magnus replied, "Of course not. I'll meet you in the sitting room." Malcolm turned with a shrug. "Alexander you'll need to sit in on this meeting. It's about you."

"Me?"

"Yes, and our. . . relationship."

"Relationship?"

Magnus stopped on his way out of the bedroom. He turned back. "Yes," he closed the bedroom door. With his hands in the pocket of his black, sparkled pants, Magnus moved back toward Alec. "That is what this is, right?"

Alec had never thought of actually having a relationship with anyone, let alone a man like Magnus. Were they in a relationship. Did Magnus want that with Alec?

Alec set the sweater back on the bed. "Is that what you want, Magnus?"

As he pulled his hands out of the pockets, the flecks in Magnus's pants caught the light, glinted. He didn't touch Alec, just stood there, silently. Feeling the need to do something with his hands, Alec turned back to the bed. Magnus had been quiet for too long. Perhaps he didn't want it.

A light touch on his bare back made Alec stiffen. "I want that, Alexander," Magnus said quietly. "I want you. All of you. Is it what you want?"

Alec turned and, taking Magnus's hand, kissed the palm. "Yes. I want that."

Magnus's grin was brilliant, beautiful. "Good. So you're mine, and I'm yours." At Alec's nod, Magnus kissed Alec's cheek and patted his ass. "Get dressed."

***

In the formal dining room, Alec looked over his notes and those that Jace had made over the last few days, from his interviews. Knowing that they would get very little from Nate Gray in the next interview, Alec had told Jace to put a tail on him. Perhaps, if he were the killer, they could stop a future murder.

"Alec," Magnus said from the doorway. "They're arriving, darling."

Alec nodded and moved to the door. "Is it odd that I'm nervous? I've never worked with feds before."

Magnus ran a hand over Alec's raven hair. "Don't worry, my Alec. They'll love you. You're efficient, smart. . . amazing. No one could ever mistreat you, darling. No one will. won't allow it."

Alec wrapped an arm around Magnus's waist. "I'm a cop, baby. I get mistreated every day. It's part of the job."

Nipping at Alec's bottom lip, Magnus said, "Not in this house."

"Hey, Alec," Emma said cheerfully, Julian following a bit more sedately. "You look like you're feeling better."

Alec and Magnus separated, and both returned to the dining room. "I'm feeling much better, Emma, thank you."

"So, you're Magnus Bane?" she asked. "You're even hotter in person."

"Babe!" Julian exclaimed.

"What? It's true. Even you would sleep with him."

Magnus laughed. "As tempting as that is, I'm very taken."

Emma made a cooing sound. "It's so sweet that you don't hold Alec's job against him. Most people wouldn't date someone who interrogated him."

"Interviewed," Alec corrected from the far end of the table, not looking up from the notes he had in his hand.

Emma shook her head. "The point is. . . you aren't letting his job come between you. That's really rare."

But Magnus had let Alec's job come between them. He'd walked away from Alec and couldn't say for sure if he would have gone back if Alec hadn't been hurt. Even before he'd heard that media report, however, he'd been softening toward Alec. He'd had a chance for Jace's assertions to sink in. Alec had worked himself into the ground for him, even though he'd known Magnus would blame him. Would leave him.

"I like Alec for who and what he his."

Alec moved forward. "Emma, Julian, the kitchen is that way. Go make coffee."

Knowing when to make themselves scarce, the couple left.

"Stop thinking about it, Magnus."

"I almost lost you. Almost let you go."

Alec rubbed his hands over Magnus's shoulders and chest. "I'm here. You gave me another chance. I'm with you."

Magnus pressed his forehead to Alec's. "For the record, you gave me the second chance."

As if by design, they wrapped their arms around one another. Alec was surprised by how easily they fit. Magnus had accepted Alec into his home, accepted Alec's need to work. "We both got a second chance." Alec took Magnus's lips gently.

Magnus's hands flattened over Alec's cashmere covered back, deepening the kiss.

"Guys, the feds are here," Jace said.

With a heartfelt sigh, Magnus stepped away from Alec. We'll revisit this later."

Alec intended to.

***

The feds, as it turned out, were Julian's older brother and sister, Helen and Mark Blackthorn, which boded well for them. They didn't push themselves ahead of Alec and Jace, and were more than happy to meet at Magnus's loft (because the food was "amazeballs"). They also agreed to join Jace on his interviews the following day with Nate Gray, Rufus Hastings, Jeremy Pontmercey, and Hodge Starkweather. They even wanted Alec involved. Alec and Jace had gotten lucky.

That night, after the team had left and Alec had endured the fitting with the cold and efficient tailor, Alec shrugged out of the sweater. The man's hair had been a shock of pink and he wore a matching pinstriped suit. Alec didn't want to wear anything like what Magnus wore, something outrageous, sparkly, but he did want to be with Magnus. So, he would do what he had to. Even groan internally every time he saw new clothes.

"You're magnificent, darling." Magnus said, holding a glass of wine out to him. He'd changed into a crimson silk robe.

"I'm glad you think so," Alec replied, taking the glass.

Pleased that Alec hadn't argued with him, Magnus grazed his fingers over the symbol over Alec's right pectoris. "What is this?" Magnus had seen the scrawling black tattoo dozens of times, but hadn't asked about it.

Alec, as if he didn't know what Alec meant, looked at it. "Oh. It's a symbol for parabatai, Jace has one just like it. It's symbolic of men who fight together. In Ancient Rome, parabatai took care of each other, watched each other's back. They were closer than brothers. We thought it was fitting."

Magnus smiled. "Why didn't you ever go for Jace?"

Alec laughed. "I had a crush on him for a while when we were teenagers. I got over that. It started to feel. . . I think the word 'Eww' describes it best."

Giggling, Magnus gave Alec a smacking kiss. "I'm glad. I'd hate to think of your partner as a rival for your affections."

Taking Magnus's face in his hands, Alec lowered his lips taking Magnus's with sweet, almost desperate tenderness. "Baby, you don't have any rivals."

Magnus's knees felt weak. The way those blue eyes watched him with heat and obvious affection made Magnus's heart flutter and stomach jump. It was a good thing that Alec chose that moment to take Magnus's wine. He placed both glasses on the dresser and took Magnus into his arms. The kiss Alec gave him did not help Magnus's weakness.

"Angel, Magnus. The things you do to me."

Magnus couldn't argue that point because Alec was doing the same things to Magnus. Fisting a hand in Alec's hair, Magnus crushed his mouth over plush lips. Alec met him beat for beat. His fingers deftly unknotted the belt of Magnus's robe and shoved it off of his shoulders.

Magnus's skin was smooth and baby soft.

They ended up on the bed in a angel of lips and limbs. 

It didn't take Magnus long to get Alec naked, tossing the khakis and black boxers away without a care. Alec's skin was pale, marred by a few scars, and his nearly healed wound. But Magnus, in all of his travels, had never seen anything so beautiful in his life. He gently kissed his way down Alec's body, tonguing the tip of Alec's cock.

Wanting more of him, Magnus pushed Alec's legs apart and up toward his shoulders. Giving a low, animal growl, Magnus delved into Alec, mouth and tongue, into his pure heat. The noises that Alec made spurred him on.

"Oh, Angel," Alec gasped.

Magnus attacked his flesh with his tongue, licking and sucking at the puckered hole, lapping at it, burying his whole face against Alec, who was burning with pleasure. Alec arched and cried out. Magnus's breath came out just as fast as Alec's, making lovely sounds against Alec's flesh.

"Magnus. Magnus, please."

Magnus moved back up Alec's body, taking his lips. Not wanting Magnus to get away, Alec wrapped his legs around Magnus's waist, rocking the hard length of their cocks between them.

Using the lube from the bedside table, Magnus slicked his fingers and slid two into Alec, then three, the stretch a beautiful burn, making Alec moan and rock against Magnus's hand. "Magnus, baby. Please."

Magnus pulled his fingers out of Alec and, after slicking on a lubricated condom, guided himself into Alec. Alec gasped at the feel of Magnus inside of him. Alec's fingers dug into Magnus's back and shoulders as he arched into Magnus, taking him deeply, almost to the point of pain. Relishing in the sensation, Alec buried his face against Magnus's neck, whispering his name over and over.

"Oh, Alexander," he said, kissing the side of Alec's head. "You feel too good."

"Magnus. You're inside me. You feel perfect inside me."

Magnus began to move, his cock swollen, driving heat and friction began to build almost immediately. Magnus curled himself around Alec as he rocked, kissing his detective.

"Yes," Alec sobbed. "Yes, Magnus. More."

Grunting, Magnus complied. Alec cried out with each deep thrust. Alec's cock, trapped between them, felt impossibly hard, swollen to the point of pain. Magnus was filling him completely, his body, his mind, his heart.

"Magnus, I'm gonna. . ."

Magnus groaned and thrust deep, Alec's pleasure forcing him to give into his own. Burying his face against Alec's neck, Magnus cried out. His cock pulsing, Magnus filled the condom deep inside Alec. Magnus's orgasm triggered Alec's and he came between them, painting their stomachs with hot seed. Alec's climaxing channel made Magnus moan as the walls of his ass milked Magnus's still spasming cock.

Collapsing against Alec, Magnus tried to catch his breath. "Oh, darling. You've. . . That was. . ."

Alec pressed his lips against Magnus's throat. "For me, too, Magnus."

Pulling out of Alec, Magnus padded to into the ensuite bath and threw the condom away. With a warm, wet washcloth, he returned to Alec, who lay exactly where Magnus had left him. He wiped Alec, careful of his still raw wound, and himself then, after tossing the soiled rag in a hamper, climbed into bed beside Alec. Pulling Alec into his arms, he covered them with the gold comforter. Settling back with Alec lightly dosing against him, Magnus yawned.

"You know you'll never get away from me now, right?" Alec said.

Pulling Alec closer, pillowing him against his chest, Magnus replied, "Darling, you'll need a buzz saw to get rid of me. You're the most amazing person I've ever met. I. . . I think I'm falling in love with you."

Alec's head rose and he looked up at him. "Really?"

Self-conscious, Magnus nodded, "If you don't-"

Alec covered Magnus's lips with three fingers. "Don't, Magnus. I do. It's improbable, impractical, but I do. I'm falling for you, too, Magnus." He stretched, kissing Magnus softly, gently, then settled back against Magnus's chest.

His heart lighter than he could ever remember it being, Magnus kissed Alec's ink black hair and, closing his eyes, slipped into a dreamless sleep.

***

Sitting at the enormous dining room table with a cup of coffee at his elbow, Alec listened to Mark and Helen explaining the interviews they'd done with Jace. He tried to keep his mind on the case, to stop it from wandering to Magnus. Last night was the most amazing experience of Alec's life. 

He had awaken wrapped around Magnus and hoped that he did so for many years to come. . . forever.

"We checked on all alibis," Mark was saying. "Nate Gray doesn't have one, nor does Rufus Hastings. The PA wants us to arrest Gray. He's issuing an arrest warrant."

Alec sighed and nodded. It felt like his father was jumping the gun because they didn't have all of the data needed to arrest Gray. "Bring in Mortmain, too. They're hiding something together. Maybe you can get Mortmain to roll over on Gray. What about Sebastian Morgenstern?"

"He was at a conference in Connecticut. He's clear," Jace said, looking particularly grouchy.

Jace hadn't liked Sebastian and had wanted him to be the killer. Alec didn't think that he was J.R., but it wasn't like the district attorney was going to ask him. Robert Lightwood had never asked his son's opinion.

"I don't think we should stop investigating," Alec said as Magnus entered the dining room. "Not until we can prove it."

Helen nodded. "We won't close it until we're sure."

"Darling," Magnus whispered into his ear, his voice raspy, causing a shiver to run down Alec's spine. "We need to start getting ready to go."

Alec nodded. "I'm sorry, everyone. We need to get ready to go to a benefit."

As Helen, Mark, Julian, and Emma gathered their things, Jace approached the couple. "Be careful, Alec. We haven't caught J.R. yet. He's. . . I dunno. Fixated on you. Be cautious." Jace rarely looked worried, so Alec nodded.

"I'll take care of him," Magnus said, rubbing a hand over Alec's back.

"I know you will," Jace said, picking up his file bag. " Have fun tonight."

"We will," Alec told him, showing him to the door.

When they'd seen everyone out, Magnus kissed Alec, deep and thorough. "I need a shower," Alec said.

"Funnily enough, so do I."

Smiling, Alec followed Magnus into the bathroom.

***

After a steamy shower session with Magnus, during which Magnus proved that he was limber and stronger than he looked judging by how easily the business man had picked him up, Alec looked down at the tailored suit.The silk shirt was black with a high collar and was held together with a pearl. The suit pants had simple lines and were a midnight color that matched the shirt. The only color in the ensemble was the pale gold jacket. Magnus had told him he wouldn't need a tie because of the collar. All he needed was the pearl.

Magnus watched Alec dress quickly and efficiently, as he did most things. His hands had hesitated before shrugging into the silk shirt, as if he weren't sure he could wear it. But he'd put everything one and looked. . . amazing.

"I was right," he said.

Alec turned. Magnus's hair was expertly styled, glitter catching the light and shining. His blue eyeliner and blue-gray shadow made the gold in his eyes pop. His sapphire jacket perfectly matching Alec's eyes and the threads of silver in it and his pants glittered like his hair. He wore a silver silk shirt with a glittered tie.

"No one can overlook you."

"To see you, they would."

Alec shook his head and ran a comb through his hair.It just bounced back to its usual insanity.

"Come, darling," Magnus said. "It's time for me to show you off."

***

The benefit, as it turned out, was held at the luxurious hotel where Jessamine Lovelace once worked and turned tricks, Kastile. The stately building towered in the style of the country homes of British royalty. In the limo on the way, Magnus told Alec that he'd named it for the Indonesian word for Castle.

"Are you from Indonesia? Alec asked.

Magnus nodded. "I came here when I was nine."

Remembering something Magnus had said once, Alec asked, "Where is your family, baby?"

Magnus looked as if he would be sick. "I didn't want to ruin our relationship with this story quite this early."

Alec reached over and gripped his hand. "Nothing you say can do that."

Magnus squeezed Alec's fingers. "My mother hanged herself in the barn on our property when I was eight. My. . . My stepfather. . . He told me that I was a demon and that she killed herself because of me. He tried to drown me in a creek. I hit him with a rock and left him." Magnus's gold-green eyes met Alec's. "He died. I killed him."

Alec nodded. "Then what?"

"Isn't that enough?"

"How did you end up here?"

"Monks. They took me in then took me at an orphanage. I ran away because of the tedium, and I ended up here."

"What did they do to you at the orphanage to make you to run away?"

"Who says they did anything?"

"I'm a cop, baby. I know things."

Magnus smiled. "The orphanage was hard. No one wanted a nine year old kid, they all wanted babies. The keepers weren't. . . exactly nice."

"Did they beat you?"

"No. No, they never beat me. It was more like they didn't care. Any slap I got was careless."

Alec kissed Magnus's cheek. "No one will ever touch you carelessly again. Just me, and I care too much for you."

Magnus looked into his eyes. "I killed my stepfather, Alexander."

"Yes, baby, you did. And I'm glad you did it. You were a child defending yourself and you had no choice. You're alive and you're here with me. What about your father?"

Magnus shrugged. "I don't know him."

Alec smiled at Magnus. "Fathers aren't that big of a deal, as far as I can tell."

"You will be one day."

 

As they stepped into the ballroom, Magnus slipped into the ballroom, Magnus slipped a hand around Alec's waist. "Deep breath, darling."

Alec kissed Magnus's cheek as they made the rounds.

The night went fairly well, until Alec met on of Magnus's exs. 

Everyone at the party treated Alec with a great deal of respect. Some even called him a hero. He'd told them that he wasn't, he'd just done his job. Magnus had called him "my hero," and it had begun to take with the crowd there. 

"So, this is the hero," a golden-haired man sneered as he approached. "Your tastes have slipped, Magnus."

"Actually, I'd say they've refined, Richard."

Alec looked between the pair, sensing the tension, he said, "Maybe we should all take a step back."

"I'm sorry, Detective," Richard said. "But, I feel like you should know exactly what you're getting with Magnus Bane."

"I'm a very good judge of character," Alec told the man.

"Not that good."

"Richard," Magnus warned.

"I gave you. . . so much of me, Magnus."

"Yes. You gave it to many, Richard."

"If you'd paid a little attention to me, I wouldn't have had to."

"You're kidding, right?" Magnus demanded. "I found you fucking someone in my bed. We had a date and I'd waited for two hours. Then I came home. Don't try to blame this on me."

Richard raised his hand as if to slap Magnus. Alec held the man's forearm in an unrelentingly hard grip. "It would be a good idea for you to go. Don't let me see you around Magnus again. I'd hate to have to arrest you for assault," Alec said, the words in a low, threatening voice, but his words didn't seem true. He'd love to send Richard into the tombs, to put him in cuffs for even threatening to hurt Magnus. For hurting him in the past.

Tugging his arm out of Alec's grip, Richard turned on his heel and left the couple without so much as a parting quip.

"I'm sorry about that, darling."

"You have nothing to apologize for. I do have one question, though."

"Okay."

"The bed. Am I going to be fucking you on the same mattress that he used to cheat on you?"

Shaking his head, Magnus laughed. "Completely new bed."

Alec nodded and kissed Magnus lightly. "Let's hurry up and get out of here. I need to get you out of these clothes."

***

They didn't even make it back to the loft. As soon as the driver was behind the wheel, Magnus rolled up the partition and pulled Alec into his lap. Alec straddled him, covering Magnus's lips with his. Magnus made quick work of his pants, turning them inside out and hooking them over Alec's shiny black shoes. Alec rubbed his bare skin over the bulge beneath Magnus's pants, creating a horrible friction, making him want Magnus with an urgent, keening ache.

Magnus reached into a compartment in the panel of the car door and got the lube he'd stored there. Coating three of his fingers, Magnus slipped a finger into Alec.

"Oh, Angel," Alec groaned as Magnus's finger moved in and out, eliciting gasping little noises in Alec's throat, so he added more.

"I want to make you scream, darling. God." Magnus breathed, his fingers pumping in and out of the tight ring of muscle. With his free hand, Magnus grabbed a condom. Alec took it from him and, tearing it open, rolled it over Magnus's engorged flesh.

Magnus pulled his fingers out and, lifting Alec, turned him around, something Alec found very hot. No one had ever manhandled him so easily. Toeing his shoes off, Alec positioned himself so that he could sink down, easing down, taking Magnus's length. When he bottomed out, Alec sighed, rocking his pelvis. Magnus gripped his hips and set a brutal pace. Alec took himself in hand and stroked himself to the beat, arching back to turn his head and kiss Magnus. Long, deep strokes. Short, fast one. Alec writhed above him, crying out with each brutal thrust to his prostate.

They hit their climax together.

Alec lay, panting atop Magnus, his head thrown back on Magnus's shoulder. Magnus's hands ran over Alec's chest and stomach. "You'll need to have your limo cleaned."

"Oh, no. I'm having it bronzed.

Alec laughed, and kissed Magnus deeply. 

***

J.R. listened to them fuck. It was obscene. it was arousing.

Apparently he'd been right all along. Detective Alexander Lightwood opened his legs for money. Detective Alexander Lightwood was a whore.

 

 

*Link to my Tumblr has been requested. You can follow me here.

Chapter Text

Alec stretched, pleasantly sore from a night spent making love with Magnus, who, Alec learned, could be wild and inventive. Magnus's arm was around his waist and his breath was on the back of Alec's neck. Sighing, Alec closed his eyes again.

"How did you sleep, love?"

"Mmm. Good. Better than I ever have before."

"I'm going to take the blame for that."

"You should, baby."

Magnus kissed Alec's throat and nibbled his ear lobe.

A buzz made Magnus groan. "Damn it."

"Who is it?" Alec asked.

"I'm expecting Ragnor and Malcolm. They aren't supposed to be here this early."

"It's after ten, baby."

"Shit." Magnus slipped into his royal blue ankle length silk robe. Looking down at Alec's long, milky white body. "God, you're beautiful." Alec blushed under Magnus's appretiative gaze. "I have to let my employees in. Or fire them. I haven't decided."

Grinning, Alec got on his knees on the bed. "I'll still be here later," Alec said, kissing him. "I'll make coffee."

"What would I do without you?"

"Masturbate," Alec answered with another kiss.

Someone knocked on the door and Magnus reluctantly pulled away. "I'd better let them in."

Alone in the room, Alec got out of the well-used bed and pulled on a pair of blue cotton pants and a black long-sleeved teeshirt. Padding out of the bedroom, Alec found Magnus in the living room with his media liaison and admin.

"Ah, Detective," Malcolm said, with an enormous smile, his light British accent exceedingly appealing. "You are a wonder for the media."

"Huh?" Alec asked.

Magnus kissed his forehead, "I'm going to get dressed."

He left them.

Alec looked at the two men. "Get comfortable, guys. He'll be a while. I'm going to get some coffee on."

"I'll help you and tell you all about what the media is saying about you."

Malcolm followed Alec into the kitchen, chattering the entire way. "Magnus's popularity has skyrocketed, Detective."

"Why?" Alec asked, filling the coffee tank with water and selecting a filter.

"Because of you." Malcolm replied excitedly. "You were in the media, visibly standing for your victims, stopping that mugging. Magnus and I decided that the truths the best policy in this situation."

"What situation?"

"You and Magnus. You agreed to it, Detective."

Oh, yeah. Alec hadn't been listening during that meeting. It had been tedious, and he hadn't really cared. "Yeah. Right."

"Anyway, you and Magnus are very popular. I think that you need to be more visible."

The coffee done, Alec put the pot on a heating pad on a tray with four cups, sugar and cream. "What do you mean? How visible?"

"I just think that the two of you should be in public more often."

Picking up the tray, Alec said, "I don't know how I feel about that. We'll see what Magnus says. I'm. . . I'm not really comfortable in the public eye."

"I've noticed, Detective. But, we'll come up with something. May I ask when you return to work?"

"Monday," Alec said. It was Thursday, and Alec was foaming at the mouth. He wanted to feel useful. "It'll be nice to be back. I know what I'm doing on the job."

Malcolm nodded. "You aren't like anyone Magnus has been with. Most of them have used him to further their agenda. You'd take him without all of the money, without the publicity, wouldn't you?"

Alec nodded. "I'd prefer it." He picked up the tray and carried it not the living room.

Magnus emerged from the bedroom as Alec set the tray on the coffee table. Magnus hadn't taken too much time to dress, as he usually did, well according to how long Alec took to put on clothes. He emerged from the bedroom in a rhinestoned teeshirt with tight jeans, his eyes lined with black and smokey. Alec grinned at the shirt, "BLINK IF YOU WANT ME." Always.

"Coffee, darling. You're wonderful." Magnus said.

Alec sat on the crimson and gold threaded sofa beside Magnus while Malcolm told Magnus all about the media reaction to his putting with Alec. Magnus actually understood all of the crap he was talking about. 

"I don't want to milk my relationship with Alec for media attention." Magnus said, taking Alec's hand and causing him to blush. "He's more than a media blip, Malcolm."

"Of course he is. Of course you are, Detective. I'm just excited about how well-received the two of you are. I think we need to release some sort of statement."

"Like what?" Alec asked.

"Like how you met."

"I questioned him in regards to a murder investigation," Alec answered, his voice and eyes cop-flat.

Magnus liked how Alec looked when he worked, having seen it several times over the past week. He would miss having Alec with him all of the time when he went back to work, but they'd cross that bridge when the came to it.

"You are a suspect in a murder investigation?" Malcolm asked, his eyes wide.

Ragnor, who was busy texting, looked up. "Yeah. Where have you been?"

"Person of interest," Alec corrected.

"You don't think people will want to know that, in spite of Magnus possibly being a killer, you fell for him."

Magnus kissed Alec's fingers. "And what about me? I fell for the cop who was investigating me."

"Yes," Malcolm said, making notes on his phone. "It's so romantic. . ." Looking up at Magnus, he said, "We need to talk about Richard."

Magnus felt Alec stiffen beside him.

"What about him?" Magnus asked, slipping a hand around Alec's shoulders.

"Well, we're getting a lot of calls about how the meeting between him and Detective Lightwood went."

"He was a dick," Alec said.

Malcolm barked out a laugh. "I'm sure he was, but we can't say that to the media.

"I don't know what you want to say, Malcolm. It was barely civil," Magnus said. "Richard immediately attacked when he got the chance. Alec handled everything perfectly and stopped Richard from causing a scene."

"I stopped him from doing something that would've gotten him arrested."

"Oh, my!" Malcolm exclaimed, one hand on his chest.

"Did he try to hit you again?" Ragnor asked.

"Again?" Alec demanded. "What do you mean 'again'?"

"It was nothing," Magnus began.

"The hell it was," Ragnor said. "Richard came to the office three days after Magnus dumped him."

"Ragnor," Magnus warned, but Alec gripped Magnus's knee to silence him and nodded to Ragnor.

"Richard punched Magnus in the face. He had a bruise for weeks. We had Richard removed by security and banned from the building."

"I should have arrested him," Alec said.

"Next time, darling."

"There'd better not be a next time." 

Malcolm grinned. "This is great. I know just how to spin it."

The phone by the couch rang. Magnus picked it up, telling Pete, the doorman, to send whoever was down there up. "Jace and your task force are here."

Alec nodded and stood. "I'll be in the War Room."

"War Room?" Malcolm asked.

"Detective Lightwood doesn't really believe in medical leave. He's been working here," Ragnor explained, not looking up from his phone. 

Malcolm looked delighted. "This is wonderful. You're awesome, Detective Lightwood."

"I am?"

"I've been saying it since I first met you," Magnus said, standing and kissing Alec's cheek. The knock on the door came as expected. "Go do your deducing, darling. I'll order lunch."

"You don't have to feed them, Magnus. They're cops. They're used to being hungry."

"Not here, Alexander."

Magnus moved to open the door as Alec headed back to the formal dining room.

***

Alec sat across from Helen, Mark, and Julian beside Jace and Emma. 

"What is the plan for today?" he asked Jace and the others.

"Emma Julian and Mark are going to interview Hastings. I think he's too angry and brutal to kill the way our unsub has. I believe, if it were Rufus Hastings, the murder would be worse, the victims would be beaten to death. Helen and I are going to take Nate Gray following his arrest," Jace said. "Mortmain will be questioned immediately after."

Helen pushed a box toward Alec. "Jace and I will be wearing an earbud and I want you to  help us flush out some information from Gray, a confession if you can. The unsub has contacted you, and you'll know what to look for. He hasn't contacted Jace for a reason."

"Why?" Jace demanded. "I'm easily as awesome as Alec."

"Flashily so, Jace," Helen said with a smile. "Maybe the unsub prefers his opponent to be more sedate."

"He hasn't contacted me since I left the hospital."

"I think he's waiting for you to return to work," Jace said. "I think he wants to play with you."

"Why me?" 

"That's an excellent question," Magnus said, from the doorway, his voice hard. "This came for you," Magnus held out an envelope. 

Alec stood and, moving to Magnus, took the note. He met Magnus's eyes. "Why don't you stay?"

Nodding, Magnus sat at Alec's right side, the head of the table. Returning to his seat, Alec opened the envelope. Feeling Magnus's hand on his thigh, Alec looked at the paper. The lettering was blocky, as always, but the pen had been pushed hard on the paper, as if J.R. were angry while he wrote it.

DETECTIVE LIGHTWOOD,

YOU'VE DISAPPOINTED ME. HOW CAN YOU BE WITH A MAN WHO YOU ONCE SAW AS A SUSPECT? PERHAPS YOU WANT HIM FOR THE MONEY? IF THAT'S THE CASE, DETECTIVE, YOU'RE NO BETTER THAN THE WHORES I AM GETTING RID OF. THINK ABOUT THAT, ALEC.

J.R.

Alec looked at Magnus. "Are you sure you don't want a bodyguard," Magnus asked.

He shook his head and touched Magnus's hand, still on his thigh.

"He's turned on you, Alec. He's put you in the same category as his victims. You need to be careful. He could go for you," Helen said.

"You're kidding, right?" Emma scoffed. "That's what he's hoping for."

Jace nodded. "It could work. We could swing it to our advantage. You'll need to be wired."

"You cannot really be thinking this," Magnus said, his gold-green eyes hot. "Alexander. . . "

"If I can stop this unsub from killing someone else, I'm going to do it."

"I need to speak to you in private, Alexander."

Alec stood and led Magnus out of the dining room. Once the door was closed behind them, Magnus grabbed Alec's arm and pulled him into the bedroom.

"I don't like it."

"I know, baby. I don't have a choice. I have to try to stop him. If that means I paint a target on my back, so be it."

Magnus framed Alec's face. "Please don't. Don't talk like that. Your job terrifies me. I don't want to think about you in danger, but, as I'm dating a cop, that's something I have to get used to."

"Magnus. I'll be careful. I promise."

"I know, darling."

Magnus had tried not to press Alec, but. . . "I want you to stay here."

"I am."

"No, I mean. . . at least until this is over. I'd feel better knowing that you're here. I want to feel you against me. It'll reassure me that you're all right."

Alec kissed Magnus's lips. "I'll stay."

***

When his cell phone rang, Alec's stomach jumped. He'd been waiting to hear from Jace, telling him when he and Helen were ready to interview Nate Gray.

"Lightwood," he answered. 

"Alec. He's blown."

Pushing to his feet, Alec demanded, "What do you mean? You put a tail on him."

"Yeah," Jace sighed. "He shook the tail."

"Son of a bitch!" Alec exclaimed. "You put out an APB?"

"Yes. All Points and a BOLO."

Alec sighed. "Bring Mortmain in, Jace. I'm on my way."

"Alec. You're on medical leave."

"I don't give a shit. I'm coming in."

Groaning, Jace replied. "I'll tell Luke."

Alec hung up and turned to see Magnus holding Alec's coat.  "I'm coming with you, darling."

Alec didn't want to fight with him, so he shrugged into the coat. "I'm sorry, Magnus."

"Don't apologize for this, Alexander. You need to find Nate Gray. I just want to watch, darling."

Alec smiled. "Let's go, baby.

At Central, Jace met them. "Mortmain is in A." He strode beside Alec to the door. "You can observe in there, Magnus." 

Nodding, Magnus went through the door into Observation.

"Are you sure you're up for this?"

Alec pushed up the sleeves of his blue, chocolate lined cashmere sweater that Magnus had insisted he wear, his coat hung on the coat rack in the bullpen. "Yes. Let's find Gray."

Jace entered the interview room, filled by Alec.

"Detective Lightwood," Mortmain greeted. "It is good to see you out and about."

"Thank you," Alec replied, sitting at the metal table. "It feels nice to be out and about."

"Now that the pleasantries are behind us, maybe we can get down to business," Jace snarled, sitting in the seat beside Alec. "Where is your assistant, Nathaniel Gray?"

"I can't say that I know. Isn't he at his apartment?"

"No, you prick. He isn't, but you know that."

"I am Nathaniel's boss, not his keeper. I don't know where he is."

"Mr. Mortmain," Alec said. "Perhaps it would be best to tell us what you do know. Why did Mr. Gray run?"

"Because you were coming for him, no doubt."

"If he were innocent, why did he not stand up and face us?" Jace demanded.

"You've already decided he's guilty, Detective."

"You don't think he is?" Alec asked gently.

"I think. . . It doesn't matter what I think."

What kind of lawyer couldn't lie?

The kind who's covering something.

"What is it, Mr. Mortmain?"

"It's nothing."

"Come on, Axy. . ." Jace sneered. "Give us something. You're in the business. You know that Robert Lightwood will give you a deal for Gray."

Mortmain suddenly turned calculating. "I want complete immunity."

"For?" Jace asked.

"Anything I admit to."

"What do you know?" Alec asked.

"Complete immunity."

Robert Lightwood, who had been in the Observation Room, breezed in. 

"Axel."

"Robert. I assume you heard my terms."

Robert nodded. "The State of New York agrees to give you immunity from any charges that could be filed based on anything you tell these officers."

Mortmain's smile was that of the cat's that got the cream. "Excellent doing business with you, Robert."

Robert nodded, taking the third chair in the room beside Alec. "Now, what do you know?"

Mortmain leaned back in his horrifyingly uncomfortably chair. "I don't know where Nathaniel is."

"Mr. Mortmain, we can't guarantee your immunity if you lie to us," Alec reminded him.

Sighing, Mortmain replied, "I don't know where he is, but I know why he ran."

"Why?" Alec asked.

"Because he knew all of the whores who were killed."

"How?" Jace demanded, standing.

"He ran them."

"What do you mean?"

Mortmain looked at Alec. "I mean that all of them answered to Nathaniel. He was, what you would call an agent. No client meets with one of his escorts without his go ahead."

"So he knew each of the clients? He knew everyone who the victims saw? Jace asked. "He pimped them?"

"He made all appointments for them. He vetted all of the clients."

"So the only way the unsub could get any of them was to go through him?"

Mortmain nodded. "Unless he's the one who killed them."

***

Alec watched his father shake hands with Captain Garroway. He sat at his desk across from Jace, with Magnus perched atop it, reading and answering emails on his phone. Robert Lightwood had been in the same room as Alec for over an hour and he hadn't said a single word to his son.

"Darling," Magnus said. "I want to invite Isabelle and Simon and Clary and Jace for a dinner party on Saturday."

"A dinner party?" Alec asked.

"Yes. Would you like to invite your parents?"

Alec watched his father leave the division without so much as a word for his son. "No," Alec replied. "I think everyone will have a better time without him."

***

Back in Magnus's loft, Magnus asked Alec to get wine for them before they went to bed. Magnus went into the bedroom to make a few phone calls he'd been neglecting. He poured each of them a glass of Pinot Noir and padded into the bedroom.

Magnus lay sideways on the bed, on his stomach, talking on his cell phone. Naked. His smooth caramel skin glistened in the soft lamplight. Because Magnus hadn't noticed he'd come in, Alec placed the glasses on the dresser and shed his clothes. Silently, quickly, Alec slinked to the bed and pressed his lips against Magnus's thigh. Magnus stiffened and jumped slightly.

"What are the projections?" he asked whoever was on the other end of the line.

Alec kissed first one of Magnus's ass cheeks, then the other. Magnus moaned then "Nothing. I stubbed my toe."

Alec laughed, moving to the base of Magnus's spine. Rubbing one globe of Magnus's alluring rear, Alec kissed his way up Magnus's back, paying attention to each shoulder blade.

"Yes," Magnus said, managing to sound both breathless and brisk. "Just send it."

Alec nibbled Magnus's neck. With his free hand, Magnus reached back and gripped Alec's head, easing his own back to give Alec better access to his throat.

"Mmmhmm. Yes. Send the report and I'll look it over then give you an answer."

Alec ran a finger over Magnus's puckered hole. Magnus gasped. "What?" he said into the phone. "I think I saw a mouse. I have to go. I need to. . . get a cat."

Without another word, Magnus hung up and turned his head to take Alec's mouth. "You're evil," he said against Alec's lush lips.

"I know, baby," Alec replied, kissing Magnus again.

Alec was already hard and wanted to bury himself in Magnus. Magnus seemed to know this. He got onto all fours and trapped Alec's long cock in the cleft of his ass. Magnus purred, low in his throat, pressing back against Alec, silently begging. Chuckling, Alec pressed open-mouthed kisses on Magnus's back and slid his cock up and down, so close to where Magnus wanted him.

"Are you sure, Magnus."

"Now, Alexander. Take me."

Grabbing the lube, Alec slicked his fingers over Magnus's entrance. Two fingers slid in easily and he crooked them just right to make Magnus pant. The stretch was a good burn, a slow tingling fire traveling over Magnus's body, lightening him up with pleasure.

Alec reached over and got a condom. Pulling his fingers from Magnus's body, he slid the condom over his engorged flesh. Pressing his rubber clad member against Magnus's prepped hole, Alec stayed still as Magnus pushed back on it, bearing down, feeling it slide inch-by-inch inside him. once Alec was sheathed completely inside Magnus, he grabbed Magnus's waist and withdrew then pressed back inside.

Magnus cried out with each thrust, slamming his own hips back against Alec's pistoning hips. He came completely untouched. Alec didn't stop. Not even when Magnus slumped to the bed. One of Alec's hands slid under his chest and raised him back into Alec's arms. Lowering his lips to the back of Magnus's neck, Alec nuzzled it. Thankfully, he didn't stop fucking Magnus.

The snapping of Alec's hips grew more frantic, less measured, and Magnus realized he must be close. The pleasure was so intense that Magnus realized that he was going to come again, with just Alec inside of him, his lips on Magnus's neck, soft moans and growls coming from the detective's throat.

Magnus came with a hoarse cry. Alec lost his rhythm and, thrusting erratically, moaning louder, came deep inside Magnus.

After showering together, Magnus and Alec lay tangled together in the lake sized bed. "I have something for you," Magnus said, his head on Alec's broad chest.

"You do?"

Magnus nodded, reaching into the night stand on his side of the bed. He gave Alec a small box.

Alec opened the box. On a pillow of cotton, a key winked up at him.

"Is this. . . ?"

"It's to the loft. I want you to feel comfortable here."

Alec placed the box on his nightstand and, cupping Magnus's cheek, whispered, "You're wonderful." He kissed Magnus gently, sweetly. "Thank you."

"Anything for you, darling.

***

Nate Gray glared at the whore on the bed. Detective Lightwood would pay for this. He would pay dearly.

Chapter Text

They'd hung a banner.

WELCOME BACK, ALEC.

He smiled as he sat at his desk, and found a wrapped box. Opening it, he grinned at the scarf. It was blue, matching Alec's eyes. Magnus. 

Magnus had made love with Alec that morning, wishing that he didn't have to go finish his job. He'd explained to Magnus that he had to find Nate Gray.

Magnus had gone back to work, too. Alec worried about Magnus because, even though Alec had the dangerous job, Magnus was a target. If anyone wanted to get to Alec, to hurt him, to destroy him, they just had to go through Magnus. 

Taking his phone out of his pocket, he texted Magnus.

Hey, baby. Thanks for the scarf. SENT 8:08 AM.

"Hey, dude," Jace said, setting a box of donuts on Alec's desk. "Welcome back."

"We both know I never actually took any time off."

Alec's phone blipped, and Alec read the text from Magnus.

 

I'm glad you like it, darling. You know, it matches your eyes. RECEIVED 8:10 AM

 

You've got a real thing for my eyes. SENT 8:11 AM

 

Darling, your eyes cause me to think naughty things. RECEIVED 8:12 AM

 

Alec laughed. 

 

Well, you can do those naughty things later. ; ) SENT 8:13 AM

 

His desk phone rang and Alec set his cell down to answer it. "Homicide, Lightwood."

"Welcome back, Detective Lightwood."

The voice was muffled. Familiar. The faint British accent nagging at his memory.

"What do I call you now? J.R. or Nate?" Jace jumped and began a trace.

"I prefer the name I sign off with, Detective Lightwood."

"Okay, J.R. Why are you calling?"

"I wanted you to know that I've left you a gift. I want you to have the whore who once laid with your lover."

Alec's eyebrows knit. "What do you mean?"

"I'm sure your partner is tracing this call. You'll find your gift here. Soon enough."

"Why, J.R.? Why are you doing this?"

"Because whores offend me, Detective Lightwood. People who fuck them offend me. You offend me."

"Me?"

"You've been fucking that rich bastard like a cat in heat. You're as bad as the street sluts."

"I'm sorry that my relationship with Magnus offends you." Alec said, glancing at Jace.

"It isn't the relationship, Detective. If you were in love with him, that would be one thing. You're fucking him for a comfortable place to sleep, for new clothes, for fancy scarves."

Alec's head jerked. "How do you know about that?"

The phone clicked as J.R. hung up.

"Shit! He knows about the scarf Magnus left here for me."

Jace nodded. "He's in an apartment across the street."

Grabbing his cell, Alec ran down the stairs and across the street.

***

Darling, that sounds amazing. RECEIVED  8:14 AM

 

Is everything okay? RECEIVED 8:34 AM

 

Alec? I'm about to call in the calvary. RECEIVED 8:51 AM

 

Alexander????!!!! RECEIVED 9:08 AM

 

As the crime scene crew and morgue team swept into the empty apartment, Alec looked at his phone. He sent a text to Magnus to try and calm him, because he seemed quite frantic.

 

I'm sorry, baby. I got a call from. . . Well, you know. Richard is dead. SENT 9:13 AM

 

J.R. . .  Gray, had destroyed Richard Masters. He'd left the man's face recognizable, but had shot Richard in the middle of the forehead. Then, he'd mutilated the body just as he had the others. Cut off the genitals, split the torso.

"He isn't a prostitute," Jace said, looking at Richard's data. "He owns a nursery, for plants, not babies. Why did Gray chose him?"

"He used to date Magnus," Alec said, looked down at his phone, then returning his gaze to the pitiable man on the dirty mattress on the floor. 

 

What do you mean? He killed Richard? RECEIVED 9:15 AM

 

"He what?" Jace demanded. 

"He dated Magnus a while back. Cheated on him."

"Sir," said a CSI, holding out an evidence bag containing a blood stained envelope. "This was under the body."

Alec took it and answered Magnus. 

 

Yeah, baby. He did. Don't leave your office. Don't meet anyone you don't already know. Please be careful. I'll be over there to take you home. Don't go anywhere without me. SENT 9:18

 

Slipping on gloves, Alec opened the evidence bag and the note. 

 

DETECTIVE LIGHTWOOD,

I HOPE THIS GIFT IS APPRECIATED  LIKE YOU, HE FELL FOR MONEY. HIS INABILITY TO BE FAITHFUL CAUSED THIS. BUT THEN, IF HE'D BEEN LESS OF A WHORE, HE'D PROBABLY STILL HAVE MAGNUS, WHICH WOULD STOP YOU FROM BEING SUCH A SLUT. REALLY, ALEC? FUCKING A BILLIONAIRE IN THE LIMO? YOU REALIZE YOU'RE NOT ALONE IN THOSE, RIGHT?

J.R.

 

Alec felt cold. 

"Gross. You banged in the limo?" Jace asked.

"He was there. . ." Alec tried to remember the driver. When they'd arrived at the benefit, Alec had been reeling from Magnus's childhood and returning. . . he'd been too turned on to notice the driver. But he remembered that the driver that night had kept his face turned away. He could remember the build, much like Alec's. Tall and muscular, like the video of the man going into the alley with Meliorn. 

Like Nate Gray's

"So, that's my guess." Jace said. "Still, I almost don't ever want to ride in that limo. . . Almost."

 

Don't you think you're being a little overprotective, Darling? RECEIVED 9:26 AM

 

"Is that Magnus?" 

Alec nodded as Mark and Helen stepped up beside them.

"This is your boyfriend's ex?" Helen asked, gesturing to the body being loaded into the black body bag.

Alec didn't like the term "Boyfriend," it was so high school, but he nodded.

"And you had an altercation with him last week?"

Alec kept his face placid. "In the strictest definition of the word."

"You know we have to question you, right?"

"What?" Jace exploded. "We know who killed him. Why do you have to question Alec?"

"Because I know the details of the case," Alec said mildly.

"Alec would never-"

Alec placed a hand on Jace's shoulder. "Magnus?"

"Yes, we'll need to question him."

Alec nodded. "Go to him," he told Jace. "Jace, I need you there because I can't be."

Jace nodded, understanding. "I'll take care of him for you. This is such bullshit. Neither of you did this."

"They just need to clear it."

"Nate Gray called you. I traced the call myself."

Alec nodded absently. "It's procedure, Jace. The law is hard, but it is the law."

"Fuck that Alec."

"Just go question Magnus." As Jace turned away, Alec called to him. "Take care of what's mine."

Jace nodded with a small, reluctant smile.

Alec texted Magnus.

 

 Yes. Because you're important to me. So important. Sent 9:31

***

Alec had told him what to expect and Jace had called to inform him that he and one of the feds were on their way to his office. Magnus wanted to know why Alec wasn't coming. Last time he'd been interviewed, Alec had done it himself, even though he knew that it could mean the end of their budding relationship. He'd questioned Magnus because he believed in him. Why was this time different?

When Jace and entered the office with Agent Helen Blackthorn, Magnus asked, "Why didn't Alec come?" 

Jace sent a glare to Helen. "He's currently being questioned by Agent Mark Blackthorn."

Magnus stalked forward from his spot behind the desk. "Excuse me?"

"Richard Masters threatened you and Alec had a physical altercation with him. This is procedure." Helen said, her tone brisk. Her eyes told Magnus that she thought this was bullshit.

"The hell it is. This is a witch hunt. You know he didn't do anything."

"I know, Magnus." Jace said.

"Then why are you here?" Magnus demanded. "You should be with him."

Jace moved to him, saying quietly, "He asked me to take care of you. He wants me with you, Magnus. Let me do this."

Magnus knew that Alec was protecting him, and that pissed him off. He wanted Alec to be selfish once in a while, to watch out for himself.

Magnus sat behind his desk, "Ask your questions. I need to check on Alec."

"He can handle this, Magnus."

"I know. He shouldn't have to, though. Procedure. . ." Magnus scoffed. "He's the best you dicks have."

Jace nodded with a smirk. "He is and he can take care of himself."

"And everyone else, too, apparently."

Helen sat, pulled out a recorder, and began the recording of the interview. "We need to know your whereabouts between 2300 and 0100 last night."

Magnus grinned. "In bed."

"Alone?" Helen asked, though she knew the answer.

Magnus shook his head. "No. Alec and I went out last night. We had dinner and drinks, then we went to a show. We got home at about midnight, perhaps just before."

"And then you went to bed?" Helen asked. Jace refused to meet Magnus's eye.

Magnus smiled in memory. "Oh, yes we did."

"Gross," Jace said under his breath, closing his eyes.

"Detective Lightwood will corroborate that statement?"

"As he's the one who was balls deep inside me, I'd say 'yes.'"

"Why?" Jace whispered. "Why do you put these images in my head?"

Magnus grinned. "After we made love, we took a shower and. . . well, you've seen his ass."

Jace groaned and Magnus felt his heart lighten.

"Then we went to bed and slept until six this morning, when we got up and got ready for work. I kissed him 'goodbye' this morning at about 7:30."

Helen nodded. "When was the last time you saw Richard Masters?"

"Last Wednesday, the twenty-seventh. Alec and I went to a benefit at my hotel, Kastil. Richard was there and was rather rude."

"Detective Lightwood had a physical altercation with him, is that correct?"

Magnus sighed, "Richard tried to slap me. Alec grabbed his arm to stop him from striking me."

"Did he hit Mr. Masters?" Jace asked.

"No. He protected me, then sent Richard on his way."

"Did you or Detective Lightwood contact him after that?"

"No. We went home and I fucked Alec's brains out."

"Seriously?" Jace demanded. "I mean, seriously?"

Magnus laughed. "I assumed you wanted me to be honest."

"I, for one, approve of your honesty. Now that this is out of the way," Helen said, stopping the recording. "We can look for Nate Gray."

"You think he's J.R.?"

"Simon completed a matching program for Gray's body type and that of the killer on video at the Meliorn scene. The match was about ninety-three percent, so we're fairly sure it's him."

"Why is he fixated on Alec?"

"Nate Gray has a history of obsession. He's been arrested twice for stalking, but got off on each charge, he's a lawyer, after all," Jace told him. "His obsessions aren't always sexual. So he's chosen Alec as a type of opponent. His profile says that he won't just give up. He'll keep going until he's stopped."

"Will he go after Alec?"

"I think he will," Jace supplied.

Magnus nodded. "I expect you to keep an eye on him, Jace. Take care of him."

"We'll take care of him, Magnus. Try not to worry."

***

Sitting across from Mark Blackthorn in Interview C, where Alec had interviewed Magnus, Alec's heart pounded. Although he thought he had nothing to worry about, Alec also knew that things could turn at any point. J.R., Nate Gray, had done this right. He'd thrown a wrench in the investigation by killing Richard. He'd known that they would have to stop looking for him in order to waste time clearing Alec and Magnus. Luckily, Julian and Emma were out tracking him down. Gray hadn't counted on the sheer number of good cops in the department. 

"You are aware that this interview is being recorded."

"Yes," Alec replied with a nod.

"You don't want a department representative?"

"I don't need a rep."

"Very well," Mark said. "Where were you between the hours of eleven and one last night?"

"I was in bed with my. . . boyfriend, Magnus Bane."

"And you were asleep at that time?" 

Blushing, Alec answered, "No. At around that time, we returned from a date around midnight and then we. . . We made love."

Nodding, Mark asked, "You are aware that Richard Masters was an ex-lover of your current lover, Magnus Bane?"

"Yes."

"When was the last time you saw Richard Masters?" Emma asked.

"The first and last time I saw him was on January twenty-seventh at approximately 2245 at a benefit at Kastil. He was. . .well, honestly, he was a dick. He attempted to strike my companion, Magnus, and I stopped him. He left to avoid arrest."

"And you didn't speak to him again?"

"No. I didn't even think about him again until my partner and I found his body this morning."

"How did you find the body?" Mark asked.

"At about 0815, I received a call from the unsub known as J.R., suspected to be Nathaniel J. Gray. He told me that he had a gift for me. My partner, Detective Jace Herondale traced the phone call to a room where we discovered the body of Richard Masters. A note was left on scene in which the murderer taunted me with this act."

"And your lover, Magnus Bane, will corroborate your whereabouts?"

"Yes."

The recording was stopped. "Thanks, Alec. Let's get back to work."

***

When Alec stepped off of the elevator in Magnus's office building, Ragnor was packing his computer bag. "Hi, Detective," he greeted. "He's waiting for you."

"Thanks, Ragnor. Have a good night. I'll get him home safely."

Ragnor looked up at him. "I know you will, Detective. Thank you."

Alec moved into the elegant office where Magnus stood, exactly where he'd been the first time Alec had seen him, facing the city, his back to the room. He was more sedately dressed than usual, something he did when working in the office, in a slate gray suit and shimmering gold tie, his hair styled as usual, and his eyes lined in black. He was just as lovely dressed in the suit as he was in silk.

"Will murder always come between us?" Magnus asked, almost too quiet to hear.

Alec stiffened with the question. Murder was between them. It was how they'd met, but now. . . Magnus had been dragged back in after Alec had dug him out of it. Here he was, after having been questioned in the murder of his ex. Standing alone, looking out at the city, Magnus seemed. . . smaller. He looked despondent, tired.

Alec had done this to Magnus.

Nate Gray had killed Richard for Alec. By definition, Alec had brought murder to Magnus. He had wrapped Magnus in a new murder. It was best for Magnus if Alec stepped away. He'd never deserved Magnus. Alec had been selfish to think that he could have him, selfish to love him.

"I'm sorry I brought this to you, Magnus."

Magnus turned. "What do you mean?"

"Richard is dead because of me. You were questioned because of me. . . Again. I'm poison."

Silently, Magnus stalked past the desk. "Are you?" Magnus asked, his voice low, dangerous. "Is that what you think?" Reaching him, Magnus gripped Alec's arms. "How could you think that?"

"I'm trouble for you, Magnus. I'm bringing danger. . . murder to you."

"No. That douche nozzle, Nate Gray, brought murder to me. You're trying to stop him. You're doing everything you can to protect me. Now you're going to stand there and tell me you're poison? Fuck that, Alexander. I love you. You're the best thing to ever happen to me, and I'm not letting you go." He pulled Alec into a hard, desperate kiss with teeth and tongue. "I'm never letting you go."

Alec looked into Magnus's hot gold-green eyes. "You love me?"

"Of course. Why wouldn't I?"

"It's too quick."

"Far faster than I expected, darling. But it's right, you're everything I've ever wanted. I love you. You're mine, and you're staying with me."

"I love you, Magnus. I love you so much-"

Magnus crushed his mouth on Alec's, pulling the detective into a brutal, searing kiss.

Alec moaned into the kiss, his hands moving to the hem of his sweater. He tried to pull it over his head, but Magnus's hands were in the way. Magnus's hands moved to tear at the button and zipper of Alec's pants.

With the pants unfastened, Magnus pushed Alec against the bar in the office, face first. "You said that you are poison," Magnus began, rubbing Alec's now bared bottom. "You need to stop thinking that way, darling."

Magnus's teeth grazed over tender flesh.

"Oh, Angel, Magnus. Please. Please fuck me."

"I'm going to."

He unapologetically shoved Alec down against the bar. Alec thrust back to Magnus, begging Magnus to take him.

So Magnus did.

He didn't have any lube in the office, something he would have to rectify if Alec was going to visit him at work. He spat on his hand and gave his thick cock a squeeze and entered Alec, spreading and pleasing. 

He took Alec hard, showing him how vital he was, how much Magnus wanted him.

"Yes," Alec whimpered. "Yes, Magnus."

Alec nearly sobbed with each thrust, attempting to get a grip on the bar. He arched back as Magnus's cock brushed against that sweet bundle of nerves deep inside of him. "Magnus," he panted. "Oh, fuck."

Magnus reached around and gripping Alec's cock, stroked. His own member was leaking precum in long strings, moistening Alec's channel for him, better than saliva. 

Alec pressed back, submitting to Magnus's pounding. 

"Please, Magnus. Please." He was shameless, begging, pressing his hips back, rutting into Magnus's fist. Beautiful. 

Magnus stroked Alec in time with his thrusts, each of them sobbing the other man's name.

They hit the wall together.

Alec's orgasm shot against the bar while Magnus's flooded Alec's tight, spasming channel.

Panting, Magnus lay his head against Alec's back. "Christ, Alexander. You're going to be the death of me. I forgot a condom."

Alec didn't bat an eye. "I don't plan on sleeping with anyone else for the rest of my life, do you?"

Grinning, Magnus said, "Never, darling."

"Then that's that. You're clean. I'm clean. I think we're okay."

Magnus kissed Alec's bare throat. "I love you, Alexander. Let's go home."

***

At the loft, he made long, slow love to Magnus, showing him how much Alec loved him, needed him, cherished him. 

While Magnus and Alec breathed as one, elsewhere in the city, another whore breathed her last.

Chapter Text

“Okay, who’s going to talk to the media?” Mark asked outside of the press room.

“You’re  the feds, you should do it,” Jace replied.

“Alec is the primary. He should  do it,” Helen argued.

“I’m on light duty.”

“What does that have to do with a press conference?” Mark demanded.

“I’m allergic to things I don’t wanna do,” Alec said.

Helen laughed. “Let’s settle this in the age old manner of cops.” She held out both of her hands, one flat, the other atop it in a fist.

Jace grinned, mimicking Helen’s stance.

“Choose carefully Jace,” Alec said. “I never win this game, so I’m riding your coattails here.”

Jace smirked. “On three?”

Helen nodded.

One, two, three. Shoot.

Helen’s hand lay flat.

Jace’s hand was split, two fingers in a sideways V.

Scissors cut paper

Helen nodded. “If any questions are directed toward you, you have to answer them.”

“Of course, Agent Blackthorn,” Jace replied, straightening his black button down-shirt and covering it with a blazer.

With a sigh, Helen and Mark led the way into the press room. Richard Masters’s murder and warned the public to be on the look out for the suspect, Nathaniel J. Gray. Helen and Mark fielded questions like they were fielders for the Dodgers.

“Detective Lightwood!” someone yelled.

All other media personal fell silent as if they all wanted to ask Alec a question, wanted to hear what Alec had to say.

Alec stepped up to the podium with a sigh. “Yes?”

“Richard Masters was once Magnus Bane's lover.” Stomach dropping, Alec nodded. “Does the fact that the victim once physically assaulted your lover affect the way that you investigate his murder?”

Jace stepped forward, as if he were going to snarl at the reporter. Alec held out his arm to stop his partner.

“No,” Alec replied. “Richard Masters once attacked Magnus Bane following the conclusion of their relationship. Mr. Bane chose not to press charges and Richard Masters stayed away from him. My personal feelings about the way that Richard Masters treated Magnus Bane will not influence the way that I investigated his murder. Richard Masters, no matter what he has done, didn’t deserve to be murdered.”

“There’s a rumor that the killer known as J.R. killed Richard Masters because of your relationship with Magnus Bane.”

Alec took a deep breath. “Richard Masters was killed because J.R. wants to cause fear. He chose Richard Masters to punish me, that’s true, but Richard Masters didn’t matter to J.R. I was his target.”

“Do you think that he will target you?” someone yelled

Alec didn’t say anything for a moment. “I can’t say what J.R. will do.” 

But Alec hoped he would. He hoped that J.R. came after him because he could stop him, and save someone else.

***

While he was sitting at his desk, Alec’s cell phone rang. Picking it up, he looked at the display. Magnus

“Hey, baby.”

“Mmmm. I love the sound of your voice.”

“I’m not having phone sex with you while I’m at work.”

“Gross,” Jace gagged.

“Pity,” Magnus laughed. “I actually called to let you know that I’ll be a bit late tonight. I have a Skype conference tonight.”

“Okay. I’m still coming to pick you up.”

“I can take the limo, darling.”

Thinking of the note from J.R. with Richard’s body, the note that had berated him for having sex with Magnus in the limo. 

“No, baby. I want you with me.”

“I love it when you get all possessive,” Magnus replied, not knowing about the note. “Very well, darling. I should be ready by eight. We’ll have a late dinner and fuck like rabbits.”

Alec heard Ragnor in the background, “Seriously, Magnus!”

“That sounds awesome, babe. I’ll see you then. I love you.”

Smiling, Alec replied, “I love you, too.”

As he slid his phone into his pocket, Alec looked up at Jace. He sat at his desk, the sleeves of his black shirt rolled up, arms crossed over his chest, grinning.

“What?” Alec asked.

“Nothing.”

Alec’s phone pinged with a text. He glared at Jace as he picked up his phone to read the text.

It was Isabelle.

 

You told Magnus that you love him?! RECEIVED 1:54 PM

 

“Really?” Alec asked. “You told her?”

“I told Clary, too.”

“Dick.”

“Yup.”

 

Yes. I told Magnus that I love him. I do love him. SENT 1:55 PM.

 

Alec put his phone on his desk and went back to the ME’s report. “I hate you, Jace.”

“Yeah. I know, man.”

When his desk phone rang, Alec sighed. “Not again.”

“Homicide, Lightwood.”

“Detective Lightwood?”

“Yes.”

“This is Officer Styles in dispatch, sir.”

“First day, Styles?”

“Yes, sir. First call, actually.”

Laughing, Alec asked, “What do you have, Officer?”

“Well, sir, there is a young woman dead in Midtown. Gun. . . Gunshot wound to the forehead. He body is mutilated.”

“Shit. Give me the address, Styles.”

With the address in hand, Alec grabbed his coat. “Come on, Jace. Gray got another one.”

***

In his eight years as a cop, Alec had seen a great deal. This was the worst thus far. 

She lay on the bed, nude like he others, her arms spread, her legs spread apart with one hiked up against the wall. On the bedside table, Gray had placed all of the flesh he had peeled from the body in a neat pile.

“Never a dull moment with you, Lightwood,” Dr. Loss said, breezing in.

“Mmhmm.”

“ID in the purse over here,” Jace said. “Maureen Brown. It’s fake.”

“Run her.”

Doctor Loss examined the body. “Her heart is missing.” She said, mildly.

“It’s in the sink in here,” a CSI called from the bathroom.

“Christ. He went all out this time.”

“He’s escalating,” Helen said, looking at the body over Dr. Loss’s shoulder. “He’s mutilated all of the bodies, but this is the first time he’s damaged the face beyond the gunshot wound to the forehead.”

“We have to get him.”

“Agreed. Let’s get more cops on the street.”

“I’ll call it in,” Mark said, pulling out his phone and leaving the crowded flop.

“I think I found her,” Jace said. “Maureen Brown, age. . .  fifteen. Runaway from Nebraska.”

“Shit. Catarina, we need to confirm ID,” Alec said.

“Of course,” Dr. Loss said, standing. “I’ll run for ID when I get her back to my house.”

Alec nodded.

“We need to find this asshole, Alec. We have to take him down.”

“We’re going to, Jace.” Alec said. “We’re going to.”

***

In Captain Garroway’s office, Alec sat beside Jace, reporting to Luke.

“We need you to approve OT, sir. This task force won’t rest until we find Nathaniel Gray.”

Luke nodded. “Overtime is approved. Jace, do me a favor and ask Clary to go to my house and stay with her mother. If you ask her, it’s sweet. If I do, I’m being overprotective and invasive.”

“Don’t worry, Captain,” Jace said. “I’ll get her there.”

“Thank you,” Luke said. “Get this son of a bitch, boys.”

Alec and Jace left the office. “You call Clary. I’m going to book a conference room.”

Alec’s phone pinged and he looked at the display. A text from Magnus.

 

I just saw that you have a new murder. Are you okay, darling. RECEIVED 5:48 PM

 

What had Alec done before he had Magnus? Before he had this touchstone? This man?

 

I’m okay. I’ve just gotten overtime approved. I’ll take a break to come and pick you up and take you home. Then I have to come back to work. I'm going to get him, Magnus. SENT 5:49 PM

 

Alec booked Conference Room B and he went in to set it up.

 

I want to go back to Central with you. RECEIVED 5:53

 

Alec wanted to keep Magnus out of this. He didn’t want to drag Magnus into this again. But. . .  He couldn’t say “no” to Magnus. 

 

Okay, baby. Bring something to work on, because you’re not getting involved. SENT 5:59 PM

 

Yes, darling, because last time I was involved, you got banged in my office. I’d hate to have you return the favor against your desk. SENT 6:01

 

Alec laughed.

 

I love sex with you, sweetheart, but I’m not into being watched. It’ll wait until we get home. SENT 6:00 PM

 

It took him a moment to realize that he’d called Magnus’s loft “home” twice now. He’d never even thought of his apartment as home. Now, after only a few weeks, of staying there, the loft in Brooklyn was home. Magnus was home.

Looking down at his phone, Alec typed a quick message.

 

I should get back to this. I’ll see you in a few hours. I love you, baby.  SENT 6:04

 

I love you, too, darling. RECEIVED 6:05 PM

***

Magnus ended the Skype conference, and looked at Ragnor. “Thank you, Ragnor. Why don’t you pack up and head home. Alec will be here soon.”

“You’re really into him, aren’t you?”

Magnus nodded. “I used the ‘L’ word.”

“You did?”

Magnus grinned. “Yes. I’m gone for this guy. I’m in this for the long haul, for once.”

Ragnor smiled. “I’m happy for you, Mags. He’s perfect for you.” He picked up the papers that needed to be faxed. “I’ll take care of this and go home for a bubble bath.”

Magnus nodded. “Thank you, Ragnor.”

Ragnor shut the door behind him and Magnus looked at the end of the day stock report.

After a while, he stood, stretching, and moved to pour a cup of coffee. The door behind him opened. 

Alexander. 

“You’re early,” Magnus said.

Turning, Magnus discovered it wasn’t Alec, but someone much more sinister. Nate Gray stood inside his office, holding a pistol, pointed directly at his head.

***

Alec, in the passenger seat of Jace’s police issue vehicle, groaned at the traffic. “This is gonna take forever,” Alec said.

“Chill. We’ll get there. He’s safe in his office. It’s got good security.”

Alec nodded as his phone rang. Magnus’s name popped up on the display. “Hey, baby. We’re on our way, but traffic is murder.”

Magnus’s voice was muffled, as if he were talking through cloth, his pocket maybe. Butt dialed. Alec smirked.

“What are you doing here, Mr. Gray?”

“Oh, Angel,” Alec whispered, his heart stopping. “Jace, get there. Gray’s there. He’s got Magnus.”

Jace flipped on the sirens and shoved his way between a cab and a minivan to blaring horns and middle fingers. Zipping between vehicles in the traffic, Jace asked, “You’re sure?”

“It sounds like Magnus called me from his pocket. He wouldn't think of this as a joke.”

Alec kept the phone to his ear, listening to Magnus’s voice while Jace called in all available units, giving the address to Magnus’s office building. He couldn’t hear much, about every other word from Magnus was distinguishable, but he could hear Magnus’s voice. While cold terror spread through Alec’s veins, his heart thudded with the relief of knowing that Magnus was alive. That he could still save him. That hope was not lost. 

Gray yelled something.

“Christ. Hurry, Jace.”

***

“What are you doing here, Mr. Gray?”

“You know who I am. Good. That saves time.”

“I’m sleeping with the cop looking for you, of course I know who you are.”

Nate’s face pinched. “Please don’t talk about it.”

Magnus shrugged nonchalantly, hoping that he'd dialed Alec's number, that he could hear this, that he was coming.

“I ask again, Mr. Gray. Why are you here? You should be out of the country by now.”

The pistol in his hand never wavered as he shrugged. “Detective Lightwood has ruined my life. I think I’ll fuck his up.”

“So you’re what? Going to kill me? Like you did all the others?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Nate said cagily. “I’m not the person they’re looking for. I didn’t kill my money makers.”

Sure. And that’s why you’re standing there with a gun.

“Are you going to kill me?” Magnus asked.

“I’ll do it if I need to.”

Fighting to remain calm, Magnus said, “You realize that if you kill me, my Alexander will hunt you to the ends of the Earth. He will never stop searching for you. There will be nowhere you can hide.”

“You think that your ass is that good? Lightwood is just fucking another slut.” Gray shouted.

Shrugging one shoulder, Magnus replied, “I am a pretty great lay, but I think that, since he loves me, you’ve made a mistake. You should leave before something happens that you can’t take back.”

Nate cocked the pistol. “Oh, no, Bane. I’m not leaving until Lightwood pays. He loves you? That’s how he’ll pay.”

Hurry, Alec.

****

It had only been minutes since Alec had gotten the call, but he felt every second as if it were a year. 

The vehicle screamed up to the curb and they both jumped out, racing into the building.

Alec could hear Magnus’s voice. He was no longer listening to the words, just holding on to the fact that Magnus was alive, and seemed calm. Hold on, baby. I’m coming. 

Because Magnus’s offices were on the twenty-third floor, the elevator was quicker than the stairs, and Alec didn’t want to be winded when he reached Magnus. He needed everything he had. He had to get to Magnus, had to save his heart.

The elevator stopped; Alec and Jace swiftly left it, weapons drawn and cleared the lobby. Ragnor Fell lay on his side, one arm extended out, a pile of papers scattered about. Alec moved over to him and, holding his weapon in his right hand, crouched, checking for a plus at Ragnor’s throat with his left. 

The pulse beat steadily beneath Alec’s fingers.

“He’s unconscious,” Alec whispered to Jace.

Jace nodded, indicating the closed door.

Alec nodded back, standing.

They moved to the door together.

Jace quietly turned the nob. The door silently swung open silently and they could hear the conversation. 

“He loves you?” Gray sneered. “That’s how he’ll pay,” Nate said.

“Don’t be stupid, Nate. If you do this, you can’t come back from it.”

“Lightwood needs to pay.”

Alec’s gaze met Jace’s amber eyes. He’d brought this on Magnus. 

“Why, Nate. What has he done?”

“I’ve been in a flop in Hell’s Kitchen because of that self-righteous fag! He ran me out of my home. The whores have turned on me. One of those bitches pepper sprayed me.”

“Well, you are mutilating them.” Magnus said mildly. “It’s hard to blame them.”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about,” Gray growled.

Jace nodded to Alec. Now.

Three.

Two.

One. 

They burst through the door, weapons raised. Alec moved swiftly to block Magnus’s body with his own.

“NYPD,” Jace called. “Nathaniel Gray, drop the weapon.”

Gray looked from Alec to Jace. He kept the gun in his hand, raised and pointed at Alec now.

“Drop it, Nate,” Alec ordered.

“Drop it?” Nate scoffed. “You’ve ruined my life. I’m going to ruin yours. You love that flamboyant fucker? What is wrong with you? You're disgusting. Both of you.”

He tightened his hold on the trigger, but didn’t complete the action of squeezing it. Alec got a shot off, hitting him in the upper shoulder. Wheeling around, Gray dropped the pistol and fell to the ground in a sobbing heap. 

Jace stepped to the wounded man while Alec kicked the gun out of Gray’s reach. As Jace handcuffed the suspect, Alec felt a shaking hand on his back.

Turning, he found Magnus. He was so pale. Alec holstered his weapon and scooped him into his arms, murmuring in his ear. “It’s okay, Magnus. I’m here. I’ve got you, baby.”

“I’m okay.” Magnus practically whimpered.

“You’re a stand-up, Magnus. You did so well, stalling until I could get to you.” Alec crushed his lips over Magnus’s. “Are you sure you don’t wanna run away from me as fast as you can? Get a restraining order?”

Magnus gripped Alec’s shoulder. “Don’t be an idiot. You’re never getting away from me. Don’t make me fuck you against that bar again with your partner in the room.”

“Magnus!” Jace yelled. “I still don’t wanna know!"

Alec laughed and, burying his face against Magnus’s throat, whispered, “I love you, Magnus. I love you so much it makes me stupid.”

“Oh, my darling. You could never be stupid.”

When Gray was gone, Jace moved to them. “Are you okay?” he asked Magnus.

Magnus nodded pulling away from Alec. “You got here just in time.” His startling gold-green eyes flicked back to Alec’s blue ones. “You got to me in time.”

***

Back in the loft, after having Magnus checked by the EMTs on site, Alec held Magnus against his chest. Feeling Magnus’s skin against his, Alec could finally breath and release the cold terror that had lived in him during that too long drive to the office building, during the elevator ride, during the standoff. 

“I’m here, Alexander,” Magnus said. "I’m not going anywhere.”

“I’m sorry, baby.”

“Don’t be sorry, darling. This wasn’t your fault. Nate Gray came after me because he’s insane. I didn’t matter to him. If Jace had been the primary, he would have gone for Clary.”

“I don’t know if that’s better, Magnus.”

“It means that Gray wanted to hurt someone you love. I’m flattered that he came after me.”

“Of course he went for you. I love you. How could I not?”

Magnus’s lips pressed against Alec’s chest. “I know, darling. I love you, too.”

Chapter Text

Alec awoke, his face buried in Magnus's neck. Magnus's bottom wiggled against him.

"You're going to get exactly what you're asking for if you keep that up," he mumbled against Magnus's throat.

"As you've said, that's exactly what I want, darling."

Alec flipped him onto his back and courted his mouth skillfully, distracting him, pulling him deeper. Holding Magnus's arms above his head, Alec nuzzled his throat, kissed his chest, suckled at his nipples.

Alec's strong hands ran over Magnus's rangy body, spread his legs. He buried his face between the thighs, taking Magnus's cock deep into his throat.

"God! Alec!"

Alec ignored him, bobbing on the cock while running his hands up Magnus's thighs. It only took a few moments for Magnus to melt. He rocked into the sensation and begged for Alec to take him. Reaching beneath the spread thighs, Alec pressed one finger against Magnus's puckered hole. Magnus handed him the lube, which Alec used to slick across the lovely hole in which he would take his pleasure. He slipped his fingers in one at a time, stretching his lover. Magnus cried out with the sweet burn.

"Alexander. Please, darling, I need you."

Alec moved up Magnus's body and, removing his fingers, took himself in hand and guided his engorged flesh into Magnus.

"Oh," Magnus moaned as Alec entered him. As Alec pressed in and out, he reached down and stroked Magnus with a firm grip. His thrusts became faster and harder and Magnus held him against him, moaning his pleasure, gasping his love.

The rush of Alec's thrusts heated Magnus's blood and he pushed into each snap of Alec's hips, moaning with each movement.

He screamed Alec's name as he came, his cum pooling between them.

Alec flooded him within moments, filling Magnus with heart, soul, and seed.

"God, darling," Magnus groaned. "The day I met you was the third best day of my life."

Alec pulled back to look down at Magnus incredulously. "Third?"

"Mmhmm. The first is the day you told me you love me, followed closely by the first time we made love."

Alec smiled. Those were amazing days. "I have to take a shower and go in. Nate Gray is being cleared for questioning today."

Magnus kissed Alec long and deep. "Be careful with him, Alexander. He may try to get under your skin. You're stronger than he thinks."

"You have so much faith in me, Magnus. Thank you."

Running a hand over Alec's midnight hair, Magnus said, "I love you. You never have to thank me for believing in you."

***

Jace was waiting at the hospital when Alec stepped off of the elevator. 

"You look pleased with yourself," Jace said. "Like you got laid this morning."

Alec grinned.

"Eww, dude."

Alec laughed as they arrived at the hospital room where Nate Gray was handcuffed to the bed. "My sex life aside, how do you wanna play this?"

"You're the one he's obsessed with, you do the talking."

"No. No, I don't think that's the way to play it."

"I know, but I was really hoping you'd go for it."

"Noup," Alec said. "Your laziness is showing, Jace."

"Yeah, well. I'll go in hard. You stand silently. Play the soft one."

"I always do."

"Because no one believes my 'good cop'," Jace replied, opening the door.

Jace entered the room first, followed by Alec. Gray sat up in the bed, his right hand cuffed to the bed guard. "I want my lawyer," he said immediately.

Nodding, Jace pulled his cell phone out, and left the room.

Alec stood in the corner, his arms crossed and stared at Gray silently. Gray was sweating, as well he should. This man had held Magnus at gunpoint. This man had threatened to kill the man Alec loved. His scowl was very real. He had never wanted to tear a suspect limb-from-limb before. The violent dislike for Gray shocked Alec.

"Why are you just standing there?"

Alec didn't answer, just pulled out his phone, and texted Magnus.

 

I need you to talk me out of ripping Gray's throat out. SENT 9:58 AM

 

"Aren't you going to ask me anything?"

Alec didn't reply.

 

Darling, I don't think I can. Did he lawyer up? You thought he would. RECEIVED 9:59 AM

 

Yes. He did. Aren't you even going to try to stop me? SENT 10:00 AM

 

No. He pointed a gun at me. It's really hot that you could be driven to violence for me. RECEIVED 10:03 AM

 

Baby, you drive me to do a lot of things I normally wouldn't. SENT 10:05 AM

 

Mmm. So, are you going to use those handcuffs on me? RECEIVED 10:06 AM

 

LOL. I'd like to see you handcuffed to the bed. We'll see how things go when I get him. SENT 10:07 AM

 

I like it when you call the loft "home." RECEIVED 10:08 AM

 

Maybe you can call it "home" for a while and move your stuff in. RECEIVED 10:08 AM

 

Alec's somber face broke into a wide smile.

 

I'll call my super and put in my notice. SENT 10:10 AM

***

Nearly an hour later, Axel Mortmain stalked into the room. "I certainly hope you haven't been questioning my client without an attorney present."

"Of course not," Jace said from the recliner beside the bed, not looking up from his phone. "I've been popping bubbles with a cat and he's been. . . I dunno. What are you doing, Alec?"

"Checking my stock portfolio."

"See," Jace said. "You date a billionaire, you start worrying about financial crap."

"Well, as fascinating as all of this is," Alec said. "We should get started." He put his phone in his pants pocket. "Nathaniel Gray, you have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be held against you in the court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you. Do you understand these rights as they have been read to you?"

With a sigh, Nate said, "Yes."

"And you are aware that this interview is being recorded?

"Yes."

"Good," Alec said. "Let's start with the question want the answer to."

"Detective," Mortmain croaked. "It's best if you keep your personal feelings out of this."

Alec's dark eyebrows knit. "You want me to keep my personal feelings out of this? Sure. Mr. Gray, two nights ago, you threatened Magnus Bane."

"Detective," Mortmain interjected. "You can't make that statement without proof."

"You're kidding, right?" Jace laughed. "We arrested him in the office. We caught him holding the gun on Magnus Bane."

"Until he has been convicted, you cannot make an accusation of that nature."

"Yes, we can," Alec growled, not caring that he was no longer keeping to the original plan. "This isn't a trial. It's an interview. We can ask anything we want."

"Why do you hate whores?" Jace asked mildly. "I mean, you run them."

"I don't hate them," Nate said, but his face, snarled and angry, disagreed with that statement.

"C'mon Nate. You're fucked," Jace said, standing. "Three of the five victims worked for you. You had pictures of Alec Lightwood all over your apartment you sick little shit."

Gray clammed up.

"My client's hobbies are not relevant."

"Seriously? Are you trying to say that Gray's a photographer? Who. . . What? Takes pictures of people who just so happen to be investigating a serial killer who's stalking them?" Jace demanded. Turning to Nate, he continued. "You killed them because they were handy. The whores were easy targets, and you didn't really need the money they made."

Nate's nostrils flared in temper, but he remained silent.

"Why me?" Alec asked softly. "Because I'm the primary investigator? Because of your connection to the victims? Because I'm gay?"

Nate flinched.

Bingo. 

Alec met Jace's amber-gold eyes and nodded.

Jace rolled those amber orbs and took a deep breath. He really didn't want to do this. "Is that your problem with Alec? He's banging another dude and you can't stand it?"

"Don't talk about that!" Gray gagged.

"Seriously? A man who deals in sex, has a problem with sex?" Jace asked.

Nate was pale, sweaty.

"Who hurt you, Nate?" Alec asked softly.

Nate's dodgy eyes rose to meet Alec's concerned ones.

"Detective, my client's life is no-"

"You didn't have sex with Jessamine Lovelace when she was fifteen, did you?"

"No," Nate whispered.

"You didn't have sex with any of them."

"No."

"Why does sex disgust you?"

***

Sitting at his desk, Magnus glared at Ragnor. "You shouldn't be here."

"You need an admin."

"I can call a temp. Go home and rest."

"C'mon, Magnus. Who can handle all the shit you do?"

"I'll get two temps. Go home, Ragnor."

Ragnor crossed his arms over his chest. "Do you want me to go over your appointments or not?"

Magnus had already lost most of the day because his office had been a crime scene. Alec had finally cleared it for use that morning, but Magnus hadn't been able to do so because he'd needed to have the carpet completely replaced as Nate Gray's blood had soaked through the carpet after Alec had shot him.

Now, at nearly three o'clock, Magnus could finally do his work. Picking up his phone, he texted Alec.

 

Hello, darling. I am finally back in my office. I may be late tonight. SENT 2:42 PM

 

I understand. I'm sorry it took so long to clear it. I had to make sure I had all of the evidence from your office. Gray isn't getting off on this. RECEIVED 2:44 PM

 

Don't apologize, Alexander. You're doing your job. SENT 2:45 PM

 

I will see you at home, darling. SENT 2:45 PM

 

Okay, sweetheart. Be careful. I love you. RECEIVED 2:46 PM

 

I love you, too. SENT 2:47 PM

 

Malcolm Fade breezed into the office.

"Are you all right?" he asked.

Magnus smiled at his friend. "I'm fine. Alec got here in time. Besides, Ragnor is the one who got knocked out."

Malcolm looked at Ragnor. "Are you okay? Shouldn't you be at home resting?"

"I'm where I should be."

Malcolm shrugged his shoulders, "I've scheduled a press conference at 5:20 PM today. You'll use this time to inform the public of Nate Gray's attack on you and, if you want, you can talk about what Detective Lightwood did to save you."

"Really, Malcolm?" Ragnor asked. "You couldn't wait a day?"

"We need to jump on this, Rags. The media is chomping at the bit, trying to get information on this. You were attacked, Magnus. People want to know that you're okay."

Sighing, Magnus replied, "I need to tell Alec."

***

I may be later than I thought. Malcolm scheduled a press conference at 5:30. RECEIVED 2:54 PM

 

Okay, baby. I hope everything goes well. I love you. SENT 2:55 PM

 

Of course. I know how much we both enjoy press conferences. I love you, too, darling. RECEIVED 2:55 PM

 

At his desk in the homicide bullpen, Alec typed his report of their interview with Nathaniel Gray for Luke. He had to listen to the recording of it, to relive it all over again in order to get all of the details into the report.

Nate had refused to admit that he'd killed any of the victims. He had clammed up and Mortmain had stood as a shield for Gray. He had ended the interview due to his client's mental anguish.

Nate had admitted, due to Alec's gentle prodding and Jace's aggressive pushing, that he had been molested by a friend of his father. He had never had counseling because he'd never told anyone.

He'd never had consensual sex, had never touched his sex workers. His disgust for Alec stemmed form his inability to understand why or how Alec could let another man touch him, let someone like Magnus inside him.

Gray had known nothing but pain at the hands of another man. 

Alec pitied Nate. He had had a hard childhood, a horrific first sexual experience. But he couldn't keep that pity when he remembered the gun pointed at Magnus.

Nate had needed therapy so that he could deal with what had been done to him. He hadn't gotten what he needed.

Alec thought about Magnus's childhood. His stepfather had tried to kill him. Both Magnus and Nate had had horrible childhoods, but had dealt with them in very different ways. Nate had taken a path which led him to deal in a trade that he hated and feared. Magnus decided to be rich, be important.

"You okay, dude?" Jace asked.

Alec looked at Jace. "Something doesn't feel right, Jace."

"What do you mean?"

Alec's dark eyebrows furrowed. "Something is wrong here. Something with Gray."

"Yeah. He's fucked up."

"No argument," Alec said. "But I can't say for sure that he killed our victims because they work in the sex trade.

Jace's face pinched. "Richard Masters and Maureen Brown. They weren't prostitutes."

No. Richard, Magnus's ex-lover, had been murdered to punish Alec. Maureen Brown. . . She was a fifteen year old runaway from Nebraska. There were no indications that she'd been a prostitute.

Why had she been killed?

Alec remembered the girl's mother's tears when he'd told the woman that her daughter was dead.

A parent should never have to bury a child.

He couldn't help but think of his little brother, Max, who had been murdered at nine. Alec hadn't even been allowed to attend the funeral. He'd always hoped to see Max again, after he'd been kicked out at seventeen. Max was killed when Alec was nineteen, and he hadn't seen his younger brother in two years. The last time he saw Max was when he visited him in the morgue. That was how he said goodbye to his baby brother. He shook that memory away.

He had to figure out what was going on. Why Nate Gray didn't feel right. . . 

He had to go to jail. He'd threatened the love of Alec's life and he'd pay for it. But murder. . . ?

"You want to keep this open, don't you?" Jace asked.

Alec nodded. "It doesn't feel done, Jace."

Knowing how Alec's gut worked, had saved Jace's life, had saved several lives, Jace nodded. "Okay, buddy. Let's get to work."

"I have an idea," Alec said, lifting his desk phone.

The voice answered quickly, "Thank you for calling Magnus Bane's office, this is Ragnor Fell. How may I help you today?"

"What are you doing there? You should be at home."

"Why is everyone saying that to me?" Ragnor demanded.

"Because you were knocked unconscious two days ago."

Ragnor sighed, "And Bane Enterprises would fall apart without me."

Alec laughed. "I believe it. Can you tell me the name of Magnus's limo driver?"

He heard Ragnor shuffle. "Don Tolley."

"Okay. Thanks." Alec said. "Hey, Ragnor."

"Yes?"

"Don't overdo it."

"If it isn't your boyfriend, it's you."

"Take care of him," Alec ordered softly.

"Always, Detective."

Alec did a run on Don Tolley. 

"Shit," he hissed.

"What?"

"I should have done this before, but there was so much going on. Magnus's driver was reported missing the day after I got stabbed."

Jace nodded, typing on his computer. "I'll check on John Does in the morgue."

***

Don Tolley's body had been mutilated, fingers cut off and teeth yanked out. A blood test had had just proved that John Doe 8517874 was Don Tolley. Dr. Loss was checking again just to make sure.

Alec called Magnus, but he didn't answer, so he left a message. "Hey, baby. I'm headed home soon. Jace is coming to pick you up. I'll let him explain it, but I need you to stay with him. Please be careful. I love you."

He hung up as Dr. Loss entered her office. "I've double checked the results. You were right, Detective. It is Donald P. Tolley."

Alec sat back. "Fuck."

"What's going on here?" she asked,sitting on top of her desk. "Who is this man?"

Alec looked up at her." He was my boyfriend's limo driver. Whoever has been killing my victims has been driving Magnus around." Unable to sit anymore, Alec stood and paced. "That fucker has been driving him. He had access to Magnus. He could have-"

"Alec," Catarina said, softly, her voice melodious with her accent. "Magnus is alive and well. You've seen to that."

He looked at her again. "I always will."

***

Magnus sighed as Jace sauntered in.

"What the hell is going on?" he demanded. "Why isn't Alec the one to pick me up? Why is anyone picking me up? Nate Gray is in jail."

Jace's hands slipped into his slacks pockets. "Nate Gray is in jail. Alec doesn't think he's J.R."

"Why?"

"Because your limo driver was murdered weeks ago. Whoever has been murdering our victims has been driving you. He was driving the night that you and Alec. . . um."

"Um?" Magnus asked, then his eyebrows rose. "Ah. The night we had sex in the back."

Jace's eyes closed. "Yes."

"And Alec didn't tell me because. . .?"

"He thought you had enough to worry about."

"And that's why he's been so overprotective."

Jace nodded.

"Get me home, Jace. I need to make my boyfriend pay for keeping me in the dark."

"Why?!" Jace cried. "Why do you do these things to me?!"

Magnus laughed, "I have to get my enjoyment somewhere."

"Like you don't enjoy sex with Alec."

"Well. . ."

"GOD! Now I need to wash my brain."

"I hope you dream about it."

"I might," Jace complained.

***

With a sigh, Alec stepped off of the elevator and into the loft that he had decided to call "home." 

It had been a real bitch of a day. He moved into the bedroom, toed off his shoes and removed his weapon and badge, placing both on the dresser. The knock on the door confused and shocked him. Pete hadn't told him to expect a visitor. He usually called. 

Alec moved to the door and looked through the Judas hole. 

Malcolm.

With a sigh of exhaustion and relief, he unlocked the door. He didn't have the energy to deal with Malcolm, who was a bundle of it. 

"Hey, Malcolm."

"Ah, Detective," Malcolm said, sweeping into the room. "Is Magnus here?"

Alec shook his head, looking at his watch. It was just after six. "He should be just about done with his press conference."

Something isn't right. Malcolm had set up the conference. Why didn't he know where Magnus was? Alec's gut told him that there was something wrong here. He suddenly wished that he hadn't left his gun on the dresser. He felt the need to have it in his hand.

"You scheduled the press conference. You should have known that he isn't here."

Malcolm's usually innocent face snarled. "Yes. Yes, I know he isn't here. He doesn't need to be involved in this. It's between you and me."

From his brown jacket pocket, Malcolm pulled out a revolver. 

Alec held his hands up, almost casually. "What did you do to Pete?"

"He's alive. He wanted to call up here, like he usually does. I needed the time to make sure that Magnus stayed away. Ragnor said that Magnus is still in his office, so I know that he won't be here yet. He'll find you, though. I don't want to hurt him, but you need to go."

"Why? Are you in love with him?"

Malcolm laughed. "No. Magnus is a good man. He's always been a good friend."

"So why did you frame him for murder?"

"That was a coincidence. Not Camille. She was a bitch and she needed to die, she always was. I hated the way that she treated Magnus, hell, the way she treated all of us." Malcolm said. "It was a coincidence. I'm glad you didn't think that it was him."

"British accent," Alec whispered, remembering hearing it on the phone.

"Yes. It's hard to hide. I was born and raised in Cornwall. You picked up on it on the phone?" At Alec's nod, Malcolm said, "I'm honestly surprised it's taken you so long, Alec."

Alec's eyes met his. "Really? You hid how batshit insane you are so well."

"I did, but you're so smart. I thought you'd have figured it out by now. At any rate, you would have soon. You've been looking for Tolley. I thought you'd just let it go, and arrest and try Nate Gray for it. What a sick fuck! Can't have sex, that one. He throws up every time he tries."

"So you did frame Gray?"

"Of course. He's the reason she's dead."

"She?" Alec asked, wishing he'd been smart enough to see this.He was such a friggin' idiot! God! Malcolm had asked about Magnus's being a person of interest in Alec's investigation. He'd set up a press conference for it shortly after he and Alec had met. He'd known about the investigation and Magnus's involvement the entire time. He'd known everything! He had wanted to know what day Alec would be going back to work. He'd been too interested in his and Magnus's relationship. He'd known too much.

"Who's 'she'?"

"Hmm?" Malcolm asked. "Oh! Yes. She was my wife, Annabelle. Annabelle was a cop. She worked in Vice and went undercover as a prostitute. She was scooped up by Gray and she was getting ready to set up a sting on him and all of his whores. She was killed by one of the clients she was going to arrest. He stabbed her eight times before her partner and the other cops involved in the operation could get to her. 

"I lost my wife. But no one could tell me about it. Our relationship was a secret because her family would never approve of it."

"I'm sorry you lost your wife, but she was a cop. We strap on our weapons knowing that every day could be our last. We strap on those weapons knowing that we could leave the ones we love to grieve."

"She shouldn't have been there! She shouldn't have been left alone! You assholes left her and she died because you couldn't be bothered to help her!"

Alec remained silent, knowing that Malcolm was angry and would shoot him, even though he'd had nothing to do with his wife's death. Malcolm was at a point that he would kill Alec just because of his rage.

"I'm sorry. I know that you had nothing to do with it. But I still have to kill you," Malcolm said, sounding truly apologetic. 

"Why?" Alec asked.

"I'm sorry, Alec. Magnus is paying too much attention to you. He's. . . he's turning into one of those whores for you. I can't let that happen."

"He's in love with me, Malcolm," Alec said. "How is he turning into a whore?"

Malcolm smiled. "Magnus falls in love easily. You're not the first and you probably won't be the last."

Alec said nothing. He believed in Magnus. If he was going to die here, he would die knowing that he was Magnus's only one. 

"So. . . You're killing prostitutes because of Annabelle?"

"Yes and no. I was killing them to punish Nate Gray. He's been arrested for the murders of those women. I'm using a different method with you, but you're still one of them. The limo, Alec. Really?"

Alec shrugged one shoulder. "I love him. I want him. I always will."

Malcolm nodded. "That's why this is so upsetting. I don't want to kill you, Alec. But I have to. Magnus is one of the only friends I have. He's family. One day, you're going to hurt him. They all do. But with you. . . I think that it will break him. If you're dead, Magnus will grieve, but he won't be destroyed when you walk away."

"I'm not walking away, Malcolm."

Malcolm shook his head. "They all walk away."

He cocked the hammer on the revolver.

Alec took a breath.

As Malcolm pulled the trigger, Alec leapt.

***

Magnus breezed into his apartment building and looked around. "Where is Pete?"

"Hmm?" Jace asked, looking around. "The doorman?"

Magnus nodded and moved to the elevator. Banging on a janitor's closet stopped him in his tracks. Jace strode to it and pulled the broom handle from the latch. When Jace opened the door, Pete stumbled out.

"Pete?" Magnus asked, rushing to him. "Are you all right?"

"Mr. Fade. . ."

"Malcolm?" Magnus asked. "What about him?"

"Hit. . . Me. . . Upstairs. . . Detective Lightwood."

"Oh, God!" Magnus said. 

"Chill, Magnus. Alec can take care of himself. Pete, are you okay to stay here while I go up to help my partner?"

Pete nodded. Jace helped him to the desk. 

"Pete," Magnus said. "Call the police. I'm going with Detective Herondale."

"Mr. Bane," Pete began.

"No. I'm going."

Jace didn't have time to argue. His partner was upstairs with J.R. The man who'd been stalking him, who'd killed six people. In the elevator, Jace said, "You'd better stay out of the way. If I let something happen to you, Alec will beat the shit outta me."

Magnus laughed. "I believe he can and will do that."

"One good thing came out of this," Jace said.

"And what's that."

"You're not likely to punish Alec if he's being held at gunpoint."

"As someone who's recently been held at gunpoint, I can attest that it isn't that bad. I'm still going to ride him hard and put him away wet."

The elevator stopped on the floor, and Jace said, "Gross, dude. I'm about to burst through a door, and I can see my partner in a saddle."

The situation didn't call for such levity, but Jace was calm, which helped Magnus feel confident in Alec, in Jace. 

They arrived at the door when they heard the shot.

***

Stinging pain tore through him as he landed at Malcolm's feet. He gripped the ankles in front of him and pulled. Malcolm fell onto his butt, dropping the revolver, which skidded across the hardwood floor. Scrambling on top of Malcolm, Alec straddled the man and jabbed his fist several time into the man's face. 

Punch after punch landed. 

Blood gushed from the man's nose.

A groan emitted from his lips.

The door burst open and, holding Malcolm's collar, Alec turned to see Jace, weapon drawn, standing in the entryway. Magnus slipped in behind him. He released Malcolm who slumped to the floor, unconscious. 

"Oh, darling," Magnus said, moving to Alec as Jace flipped Malcolm onto his stomach and handcuffed him.

Magnus pulled Alec into his arms and buried his face against Alec's shoulder. "Are you all right?"

"I'm fine." Alec said. "I got shot, but it's a flesh wound."

Magnus looked up at Alec. "What am I going to do with you?"

"Hopefully, keep me."

Magnus cupped Alec's cheek. "Of course, my Alec. You're mine until the day I die. But if you keep getting hurt like this, I'm going to punish you even more than I already have to."

"Dude!" Jace gagged.

Jace walked away, muttering about saddles. 

"I have to finish this, Magnus."

"I know, darling. You put him away then come to me. This is a crime scene now. I'll be in the owner's suite at Kastil."

"Fancy."

"Of course. I don't do anything in half-measures. Especially not the way that I love you."

"I love you, too."

"But. . . you're still going to pay for not telling me about Tolley and that J.R. was driving me around."

Alec grimaced. "I was going to tell you."

"Yes, darling. I'm sure. But, you didn't."

The uniforms entered and Jace directed them to take Malcolm to the hospital.

"I'll meet you at Kastil."

Magnus kissed him. "I'll take a cab. I can pack a bag for us, can't I?"

"Yes."

"Good. I need supplies."

***

After six hours, Alec had a confession. He had it all. Who, why, when. Malcolm had spilled everything now that he'd failed to kill Alec. 

At two that morning, Alec lay panting beneath Magnus, having been thoroughly "punished."

"You know, I don't feel at all contrite."

"I feel smug," Magnus moaned into Alec's throat. Sitting up he looked down into Alec's blue eyes. "I love you, Alexander, but you need to tell me things when they're important. Especially when they can keep us safe."

"I know. I'll always keep you safe, Magnus."

"And I need everything in order to do the same for you."

"I'm a cop."

"Who's been wounded more, you or me?"

"Shut up."

Magnus kissed him. "I'm right. Say it."

"No."

"Oh, darling. I'll make you say it."

Magnus nibbled at Alec's throat.

In the end, he did make Alec say it.

Chapter Text

Simon rushed into the homicide bullpen. "Alec! Magnus!" he yelled.

All movement stopped. Alec turned away from Magnus who had "dropped" by to leave thirty boxes of donuts.

"Simon? What is it?"

"I was. . . and then we. . . it. . . it moved. . . come," Simon panted.

Alec and Jace exchanged a look and followed him into the entry of Central. One of the electronic detectives held a bundle in a yellow blanket. It moved and whimpered.

Magnus took the bundle and looked down at it. He shifted the blanket and smiled down at the cobalt blue eyes of a seven or eight month old baby. Magnus gazed up at Alec. "It's a boy."

Alec whirled on Simon. "Explain."

"We were leaving and we found him on the steps." Simon held a note out to him.

 

Who could ever love it?

 

Alec moved to Magnus's side and gripped his elbow, looking down at the fussing baby in Magnus's arms. He looked up at Alec and his tiny lips curved up.

"What do we do, Alec?" Simon asked.

"We need to file a report, call CPS. . ."

Alec met Magnus's gold-green eyes.

"Here, darling," Magnus said, holding the baby out to Alec, who took the infant gingerly. Magnus took the note from him and scowled down at it.

The baby, who'd been complaining in everyone else's arms, quieted immediately. "Jace," Alec said, lightly bouncing the infant. "File the report. I'll call CPS."

Jace looked at the baby in Alec's arms then back at his partner. Nodding, he moved to the desk sergeant. Magnus held his phone out to Alec. As he took it, he met Magnus's eyes again.

They were full of something. . . Longing?

Alec dialed and informed Child Protective Services about the abandoned baby boy.

***

The CPS agent who strolled into the homicide bullpen was Jocelyn Fray-Garroway. She walked in and smiled at Jace and Alec. "So," she said. "You found a baby."

"Simon found him," Alec said lamely, looking down at the baby sleeping against his shoulder.

"I see," she said, moving to Alec and taking the dozing baby. "Well. I need to find a foster family for him."

"You're going to put him in the system?" Magnus asked.

Jocelyn looked at Magnus. "Unless someone volunteers to take him, yes."

Magnus took Alec by the elbow and tugged him aside as Luke came out to greet his wife.

"We have to take him, Alec."

"We- We do?"

"I-" Magnus began, looking at Jocelyn and the baby. "I can't let him go into foster care, Alec. It sucks the life out of kids."

"His experience may not be like yours, baby." Alec gripped both of Magnus's arms. "What you went through. . . The system may not always work, Magnus. But it could work for him."

"We can make it work, Alec." Magnus said, almost pleading. "We could give him a great life."

Alec had felt the same longing as Magnus. He'd just turned twenty-seven and. . . well, he wanted a family with Magnus. Alec just thought that it would be further in the future. After they were married. . . maybe. But, looking at the love of his life and the way he wanted this child, Alec couldn't say "no" to him. He'd never been able to say "no" to Magnus.

He nodded. "We'll take him."

Magnus hugged Alec, kissing him in front of everyone in the bullpen. Alec was getting used to it. Magnus was very affectionate and needed to touch and be touched to assure himself that Alec was with him. Alec was happy to do so. Pulling away, Alec said, "Ge a list of the things we need and have someone pick it up. I'll get the paperwork started."

"I love you."

Alec grinned. "I love you, too. Now, get your pretty ass to work, Daddy."

Magnus kissed Alec's cheek and breezed away, pulling out his phone. "You'll need to come back to sign some shit," Alec called after him.

With his phone at his ear, Magnus gave Alec a thumbs up.

Jace looked at Alec. "What's going on?"

Alec moved to Jocelyn. "Magnus and I want to take the baby."

She smiled as if she'd known it was coming, "Are you sure, Alec?"

"Yes," Alec said, more sure of this than anything else. He could do this. He could be a good father. He would be a good father.

"Okay," Jocelyn said, handing the baby boy back to Alec. "I'll draw up the paper work.

***

Back at the loft, Magnus set the baby carrier on the table. He unhooked straps around the baby. They hadn't decided on a name for him and Jocelyn was giving them the weekend to discuss it.

"I'll make a bottle," Alec said, rubbing Magnus's back.

Magnus pulled the baby out of the carrier and held him against his chest. "What are we going to name him?"

Alec filled the bottle with warm water. "I've been thinking about it," Alec said. "Do you think. . . Would it be possible to name him Max." Alec hadn't looked up from the powdered formula he'd been scooping into the water.

"After your brother?" Magnus asked softly.

Holding the bottle out to Magnus, Alec nodded.

Balancing the bottle and the baby, Magnus slid a hand down Alec's back. "I think it's a perfect name, Alec, my Alec. Max. What was Max's middle name?"

"Robert. After my father."

"Mmm. We'll discuss that one."

Alec grinned. "You feed him. I'll get the crib ready."

***

Alec groaned at the sound of the buzzing. He'd been up with Max off an on (mostly on) throughout the night. Magnus had gotten up early to give Alec a break. Now someone was at the door. Climbing out of bed, he slipped on a faded blue tee-shirt and padded into the living room. Magnus was holding Max against his chest while Alec's father, mother, Isabelle, Simon, Jace, and Clary swept inside.

Izzy handed bags to Simon, Jace, Clary. "Let's get this apartment baby-proofed. Clary, those are outlet covers. Jace, you need to install these in the drawers. Simon, sweetheart. These need to go on the cabinets. I'll get this stuff on all of the doors."

"What are you doing?" Magnus demanded. "Why did Pete let you up?"

"I did let him out of a closet," Jace answered, moving to the kitchen. "Where's Alec?"

"Be quiet," Magnus ordered. "He's taking a nap. He was up with the baby all night."

"I'm here," Alec yawned.

"You should be in bed," Magnus said, moving to Alec.

"My family has never been known for subtly, or for being quiet."

"Alexander," Maryse Lightwood said, her voice soft. "Are you going to introduce us to your new addition?"

Over the last several months, Alec's parents, his father especially, had been trying to rebuild their relationship with Alec. It wasn't perfect, it wasn't even almost repaired, but it was on the mend. It took work, but they were all putting the time and effort into it.

"Well, Mom. Dad. Everyone. This is Max Lightwood-Bane. The paperwork isn't complete and the adoption isn't official yet and won't be for a while, but we're working on it."

Maryse's eyes filled with tears.

"Mom. . ." Alec moved toward her but, as Max saw Alec, he let out a desperate wail and reached out for him. Alec took the baby, who gripped both of Alec's cheeks and smacked an open mouth over his.

"Awww!" Isabelle said, her hands over her heart. "He kissed you, Alec."

"Yeah, he does that," Magnus said. "All the time."

Magnus kissed Alec's cheek. "I told you that you'd be an amazing father," he whispered.

"How do you know?" Alec asked, his tone matching Magnus's. "I've only been one for a day."

"And I can tell that you're going to have at least one 'Best Dad in the World' cup."

"Alright, Alec," Maryse said. "I've waited as long as I can. I have to hold that baby."

With the first genuine laugh he'd had with his parent since before he came out to them, Alec handed Max to his mother.

"He needs a bottle," Magnus said. "Alexander, please help me in the kitchen.

Alec followed Magnus into the kitchen.

"Are you okay?" Magnus asked.

"I'm fine. Why?"

"You barely slept last night. You slept less than an hour this morning."

Alec shrugged one shoulder. "I'll be fine. Do babies ever sleep?"

Magnus laughed. "It'll be better soon. I think something may be wrong with him. He has a doctor's appointment first thing on Monday."

Alec got a clean bottle out of the cabinet. "How did you wrangle scheduling an appointment on a Saturday?"

"I'm a billionaire, darling," Magnus said, taking the bottle from him. "I can arrange anything."

Alec smiled.

"Do you want me to get rid of them?" Magnus asked quietly.

It was a simple question that held so much. Magnus was willing to offend his family, to get them out of their home. He would always need Magnus.

Shaking his head, Alec said, "Now that they've got a grandson, they're going to be. .  . insistent. Maybe they'll mellow out later."

"Maybe. If they. . . If they. . ."

Alec touched Magnus's cheek. "I know, baby. They won't do anything to hurt me. Not again. Not with you here."

Magnus kissed Alec softly, gently. "I love you, Alec. I'll always be here. For both of you."

Alec nodded. "I know, baby. I hope you know that I'll do the same."

Magnus kissed Alec again. "Trust me, darling. I remember. You've saved my life."

***

By the time Maryse and Robert left, Alec had fallen asleep on the couch, his head thrown back against the crimson and gold back. Max lay against his chest, his golden brown curls tickling Alec's chin. Each exhale from Alec blew his son's hair in waves. Magnus watched them sleep, smiling.

They'd had Max for about twenty-four hours, yet this little person had wiggled his way into Magnus's heart and was lodged there right beside Alec. Magnus had never felt so much love for anyone. Now he felt it for two. Two people, two unlikely people, had completely taken over his heart, his life.

Max whimpered in his sleep and Alec's arms tightened around the baby. It would seem that Alec felt the same for this tiny person, this little man who had Magnus's strong detective wrapped around his tiny finger. 

Standing, Magnus made a bottle and got the changing table ready for a diaper change. He'd gotten really good at changing diaper. His stalwart, unbreakable detective didn't like it.

He could wade through the blood of the city's dead, but a poop filled diaper made him gag.

Back in the living room, Magnus gently lifted Max out of Alec's arms. Alec didn't stir, didn't seem to notice, such was his exhaustion.

Magnus carried Max into one of the spare bedrooms, which they'd set up as the nursery. After quickly and efficiently changing the packed diaper (Thank God for odor reducing trash bags), Magnus sat in the rocking chair and popped the bottle into Max's mouth.

Rocking, he looked into Max's blue eyes, a shade or two darker than Alec's. "Hello, my little blueberry."

Max's eyes narrowed as he sucked heroically on the bottle. Magnus laughed. "You don't like that nickname? Blueberries are awesome. They give you lots of energy, which isn't something you do. I mean, look at what you've done to your papa. You've sucked the energy right out of him. So, should we call you 'vacuum?'"

The baby reached up and gripped one of Magnus's fingers.

"Oh, Max. What am I going to do with you?"

"Keep him. Love him."

Magnus looked up and saw Alec leaning against the door jam, arms crossed over his rumpled tee-shirt.

"That goes without saying, darling."

Alec nodded, stepping closer.

"You're sure about this?" Alec asked. "You're absolutely sure you want to take him?"

Magnus smiled. "Of course, darling. He's ours. He belongs to us, Alexander."

Alec visibly relaxed, as if he'd been prepared for Magnus to say that he'd been wrong about wanting Max.

Magnus extended his free hand to Alec who moved over to him and took it. "We are a family, Alexander. You are my family. Max is my family."

"It's so fast, Magnus."

"Yes," Magnus replied, shifting Max as the baby finished drinking. Holding Max against his shoulder, Magnus patted his back, eliciting a mighty burp. "Everything we do is fast. We fell in love with each other in under a month. Is it any wonder that we fell in love with him in less than a day?"

Alec laughed and, taking Magnus's hand again, kissed his fingers. "It isn't. It's just like us."

***

After Max's first doctor's appointment, Alec and Magnus discovered the wonders of gripe water and rice cereal. Max, as it turned out, had colic. His poor little tummy was full of gas that all the burping in the world couldn't dislodge. The gripe water alleviated the pressure of the gas and the rice cereal in his nighttime bottle kept Max full, so he slept longer.

The first time Max had slept six hours straight, Alec had checked on him constantly, worried about SIDs or something equally horrible. Alec should never have read anything on the internet.

The second night, Alec lay down beside Magnus, who immediately began to kiss his back.

"Hey, stranger," Alec said. "Are you lookin' for a quickie before I die for a few hours?"

"Darling, I always want a quickie. Especially when I haven't had you in almost a week."

Alec laughed. "You'll survive, baby."

"No. I need sex to live. I need sex from you to keep from turning to stone. Just close your eyes and think of England."

"Baby," Alec said as Magnus nuzzled his neck. "You know that won't happen."

"Mmm. I love that you're such an active participant, darling."

"Well, if it's worth doing. . ."

Magnus, using his surprising strength, flipped Alec onto his stomach. "Don't worry, Alexander. I'll make this quick."

Spreading Alec's legs, his cheeks, Magnus buried his tongue in Alec's tight hole. Alec gasped, shuddering with an unexpected wave of yearning. Magnus had always been talented with his tongue, but this was on a whole new level.

Just as Alec started to get into the waxing and waning of Magnus's tongue, he withdrew. Alec whimpered in protest.

"We're trying to make this quick, remember, darling?" Magnus said, squeezing some lube over Alec's puckered ring.

Wasting no time, Magnus slipped into Alec, entering him in one rough thrust. Alec cried out in a combination of surprise and pleasure. Magnus curled around Alec and slid his hand between Alec's body and the bed, a hand around his cock and squeezed it before jerking it roughly. 

Alec couldn't help but give in to the pleasure of Magnus's thrusts and his ministrations of his hand. He came, riding the waves, letting Magnus have his way with him, until he, too, climaxed, drenching Alec and digging into his hip with clawing fingers.

They collapsed in a heap together on the bed. His breath on the back of Alec's neck, Magnus whispered, "Maybe we should go a week without sex more often."

Alec snickered. "With a baby in the loft, the odds of that are good."

Magnus laughed, rolling off of Alec to look into the clear blue eyes he'd fallen in love with. "Yes, darling, they are. And I'm looking forward to every moment."

 

The End

For Now. . . . 

 

Keep reading for a sneak peak at the sequel, "Blue Shield."

 

 

 

Alexander Lightwood had never been this nervous. A decade as a cop, and his stomach had never felt this jumpy. Not when he was questioning a suspect or a witness. Not when he was standing over bloody death. Not when he was going through a door, weapon raised.

But asking Magnus Bane to marry him was different.

He and Magnus had done everything oddly.

They'd fallen in love after a few weeks together. They'd adopted a child, a beautiful baby boy they'd named Max (after Alec's deceased baby brother) after less than a year together. Now, after two years with Magnus, Alec was ready to marry him.

Though he knew that Magnus loved him, they had never discussed marriage.

Having decided he wanted to marry Magnus, Alec had jumped in with both feet. He hadn't even paused to think. he hadn't stopped at all. He'd just moved forward.

As if this were the job.

Alec had designed the ring for Magnus. Normally, Alec wasn't artistic, he left that to Jace and Clary. Which was why he'd gone to Clary. Clary, whose he'd sworn to secrecy, had tugged every detail she could from Alec in order to get what they wanted. In the end, Alec had told clary what he wanted and why.

It was silver (Magnus had once told Alec that he was silver to Jace's gold, just as beautiful, but more rare) and held an enlaced sapphire (the color of Alec's eyes) and four diamonds, two on either side of the sapphire (Magnus's loved to sparkle). The ring had cost Alec six months' salary, but he had it as his co-hab refused to allow him to pitch in to pay for any bills.

He'd picked it up two days earlier, and it was burning a hole in his pocket. He and Alec were going out to dinner and Alec was going to ask him there. He even whitened to get down on one knee, like a grand gesture.

Isabelle, Alec's sister, and her fiancé, Simon Lewis, were taking Max overnight so that Alec and Magnus could have a "date night."

While Magnus dressed, Alec handed Max's overnight bag to Simon.

Max was nearly three and was abstinent as all hell.

"Don't wanna stay with Aunt Izzy," Max said, stomping his tiny sneaker clad foot and crossing his arms over his Captain America tee-shirt. "Wanna go with you."

"Gee, thanks, kid," Isabelle said under her breath.

"Don't take it personally, Iz," Simon said. "He's two."

Alec crouched in front of his son. "I know, buddy. But Daddy and I need a night alone together."

Pushing out his bottom lip, Max threw his arms around Alec's neck, knocking him onto his butt. "Pleas, Papa. Pleas take me with you."

It was hard, but Alec denied him. "Next time, Max."

"What's this?" Magnus asked, coming into the living room in a shimmering red silk shirt and coal black slacks with a matching jacket in his hand, he wasn't wearing a tie. His eyes were lined in the same coal of his suit and smokey with hints of red glitter, his hair was high with a scarlet streak at the front.

Alec's mouth watered.

Max scrambled form Alec's lap and wrapped his arms around Magnus's legs. "Papa won't let me go with you."

Magnus lifted Max into his arms. "Dady and Papa need some time together, Blueberry. You can come with us next time."

"Promise?" Max asked, playing with the silver loops in the upper cartilage of Magnus's ear.

"Of course, sweetheart."

Max seemed to think for a moment. "Okay!" he said cheerfully. Then kissed Magnus's lips and wiggled until Magnus set him down. He kissed Alec next.

"I love you Daddy. I love you, Papa. C'mon, Aunt Izzy."

Then he was gone.

"What a con-artist," Magnus laughed, slipping into his jacket. "Let's go, darling."

 

At the restaurant, after ordering, Alec slipped the ring out of his pocket.

Apparently, someone else had the same idea as Alec. A man across the restaurant had gotten down on one knee in front of a woman, who had squealed and nodded then had kissed the man to the cheers of the other patrons. Magnus and Alec had clapped along.

"Can you imagine what it would have been like if she'd said 'no'?" Magnus asked.

"I think that you'd have to be pretty confident that your partner will say 'yes' to ask in public."

"Yeah," Magnus said, smiling at Alec.

"Do you ever think about it?"

"What? Marriage?" Magnus asked, taking a drink of his wine. "Not really. I mean. . . Look at us. We have a great life; Our relationship is strong, our son is happy. We have a good home and work we love, no matter how dangerous yours is. We don't need a piece of paper to define our life."

"But. . . isn't that something you want?" Alec asked, gripping the ring box in a tight fist, feeling his confidence draining away.

"It's never been, no."

Alec nearly dropped the boys. He had to work hard to keep his face passive. Alec always had had an easily read face and he didn't want Magnus to know that he was hurt.

Taking a gulp of wine, Alec nodded, shoving the ring back into the pocket of his gray slacks.

His phone rang shrilly. Tugging it out of his inside jacket pocket, he murmured an apology to Magnus as he answered Jace's call. He knew what Alec was doing tonight. If Jace was calling, it was important.

"Lightwood."

"Sorry, dude. We've got a case."

Sighing, Alec asked, "Where?"