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It's Time To Lose Your Virginity, Brother Dearest

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"…. Which is the reason why we're taking him to a strip club tonight."

Alec jerked back to reality, a cold sensation sinking straight to his gut.

Shit. This was the reason why he never zoned out whilst Izzy was speaking. Firstly because she was his sister. And secondly because she was his sister. Isabelle was never as happy as whenever she decided to take his perfectly normal life and turn it the fuck upside down.

And a strip club on his birthday was one sure way of doing so.

"I refuse!"

"Come on Alec," Izzy said with an innocent smile as she sidled up to him. She took a strand of hair and twirled it between her fingers and Alec resisted the urge to snort. Like her hair twirling ways would ever get him to change his mind. Who the hell did she think he was? Meliorn? Fuck no! Besides, he still didn't get why the hell anyone ever bought the innocent act. She'd been a little terror since their mother brought her home a couple of months before his second birthday, and she was still one today.

He was never going to forget that for a moment.

"…Which is why I think it will be so much fun. Think of all those hunky men you can drool over."

He'd zoned out again, but at least this time around, he knew what they had been talking about and what his automatic response would be.

"The answer remains the same, No". He made sure to glare at her some more, just in case she was getting any ideas but Izzy merely rolled her eyes.

Someone scoffed from the corner of the room and Alec glared at Jace. "Seriously, if you don't back me up on this, I will make sure I put up your buck naked pictures all over the school server," he threatened and watched with an air of smug satisfaction as Jace wiped off the smirk on his face.

But then, Jace was back to smiling moments later. "You'll only be doing me a solid." He pushed his hips off the couch and waved his hands over his extended form. "A body like this needs to be appreciated. Especially by those gorgeous, gorgeous babes in Psych." He of course tossed a wink in Izzy's direction as he finished and Izzy giggled.

Alec rolled his eyes. "Who said anything about the pictures being of recent you?" That wiped the smug grin off of Jace's face and Alec felt his lips curve into a smile. With Jace's alarmed expression at the look on his face, Alec was sure he'd successfully conveyed his 'I'm going to fuck you up so bad, you will regret the fact that we are brothers,' smile.

Whoever said Izzy was the only sibling who could turn her brother's life upside down was clearly a delusional idiot.

He pulled out his phone and waved it in Jace's face. "I've got two words for you. Baby pictures."
Jace went from alarmed to horrified in two seconds flat and Alec had to smother a laugh. He watched Jace contemplated reaching for the phone and Alec raised it high up in the air and put one finger out to stop him. "Nah. Not happening little brother. Maybe when you've grown an extra four inches, you might stand a chance of getting it from me."

He headed to the door and stopped to toss over his shoulder. "Remember Jace. It's your reputation, or making sure Izzy doesn't rope me into some lame ass twenty-first birthday party at a stupid strip club. The choice is yours."

He watched with immense satisfaction as Jace slumped back into his seat, looking utterly miserable as he avoided Izzy's eyes.

Izzy though turned her eyes to him and Alec smirked at her before opening the door and heading out. He had an alternate dispute resolution class in thirty minutes and if he left immediately, he could make it to class with enough time to spare. Something niggled at the back of his mind, but he pushed it away.

He'd covered all his bases as far as Izzy was concerned. There was absolutely nothing she could do, to get him to that strip club.

***

"… And finally, Alec, Simon and Clary. You three will make the tenth group." Professor Starkweather, gave a nod in their direction, packed the sheaf of papers that was their assignments and walked out of the room like he had a place to be and couldn't spend a moment more with his students.

With the way Simon was grinning at him and Clary looking like she wanted to get into his head and extract everything she could get for their assignment from it, Alec understood just how the man felt.

"So tell me Lightwood, why haven't we seen you around?"

Maybe because I'm the idiot who had no idea that I needed one more mediation course to graduate, and so instead of taking it with those in my class at the right time, I'm stuck taking it with your class, and dealing with your idiotic questions.

"I'm not in your year."

"Yeah, I already figured that out. I know like everyone in my class," Simon replied with a quick grin.

Seriously dude? If you already knew that, why the hell did you ask the question in the first place?

His thoughts must have reflected in his eyes because Clary placed one hand on Simon's shoulders and turned the conversation back to their assignment. "Anyway, how are we going to do this?"

"Simple. We all do the research and pull up relevant case files. We agree on which scenario we want to portray for the class. Two of us agree to be on opposing sides and the third person is the mediator for the case." Alec muttered the last part as he felt his phone vibrate and although he could sense Clary and Simon's eyes on him, he ignored the two of them to glance at his cell.

Mum and Dad are home. Seems they remember that it's your birthday today. Said something about wanting to take us to some fancy place for dinner. Reservation is for seven. Knowing you, you will need to change so get back home as soon as you can.

Fuck!

Just what he needed. Another night with their mother reprimanding him for not keeping Izzy and Jace in check whilst their father tries and fails to get her to calm down. This was so not how he'd planned his birthday.

What the hell happened to a day spent reading up for his assignment, heading to the gym and then coming back home to crash with a good book?

"Family emergency?"

Alec turned to find Clary and Simon peering over his shoulder and reading his text.

Seriously, what the fuck was wrong with these people? What happened to understanding the need for personal space?

"Yes. Can we agree to meet on Wednesday? That will give us enough time to narrow down what cases we want to look at and the reasons why they're best suited for Professor Starkweather's assignment."

Simon and Clary gave quick nods and Alec spun on his heels, his mind busy trying to work out exactly which outfit his mother would deem most appropriate to welcome his twenty-first year with.

Shit. Maybe Izzy could help him pick out something suitable.

***

Alec walked into an otherwise silent apartment that held no trace of either Jace or Izzy. Strange that he was the one who got in early, but knowing Izzy, she probably got distracted with Meliorn or something, and Jace was probably at the gym. Their mother wouldn't bat an eyelash if Jace showed up to dinner wearing only a pair of jeans, but Alec didn't have that luxury. Figures.

A quick glance at the clock had him picking up pace. If he moved quickly enough, he might just be able to pull off a shower and work on his assignment before they had to leave for dinner.

His shower was cold and brisk and he stepped out into the room to find Izzy lying on his bed and thumping through a cookbook.

He hid a wince.

Thank heavens that they were going out to dinner, instead of him being subjected to Izzy trying to bake him a birthday cake or something.

He still had nightmares of the last cake she'd attempted to bake but which had instead exploded and turned their apartment into a parody of the witch's gingerbread house from Hansel and Gretel. He'd spent the entire week picking out shredded pieces of coconut from his hair.

"I didn't hear you come in," Alec said as he dried his hair and stepped towards his closet.

He caught Izzy's shrug from the corner of his eyes, and breathed a sigh of relief when she rose from the bed and came to join him at his closet.

He'd been worried that he might have had to beg Izzy to help him choose something appropriate, and knowing Izzy, she would have wielded that power over him and choose the most out there piece of clothing she could find.

She gave his closet the once over and released a long drawn out sigh, that had Alec fighting the urge to spread his arms wide in an attempt to keep his clothes far away from Izzy's judgmental eyes. Sure she could always choose something that would flatter him immensely, but Izzy never made the choice without first critiquing his style.

"Seriously Alec, for a gay guy, you sure have no sense of style. Aren't you ashamed of yourself?"
Alec rolled his eyes. "Not all gay men have to wear flaming clothes and be covered in glitter. We all have what we like, and this is what I like."

Izzy snorted. "Black, black, and oh look," she pulled out one of his shirts "more black."
"It's slimming and goes with everything," Alec replied. "It's just like you always say Izzy: you can never go wrong with black."

Izzy snapped her fingers "Damn straight. But you need a pop of color." She cocked her head and gave him a huge smile that had him considering taking a couple of steps back.

Nothing good ever came from Izzy getting that look in her eyes. "Iz," he started to say, but she cut him off and ran out of the room.

She was back, moments later holding a pale green shirt. "Wear this with that," she said, as she pointed to a pair of black jeans. "It will bring out the color in your eyes. Plus, it's not too far a departure from what you normally wear."
The fact that he agreed with her choice actually worried him and he stared suspiciously at Izzy who stared right back at him, looking utterly innocent in a way that had the alarm bells ringing in his head.

"You're suspiciously agreeable," Alec muttered.

Izzy shrugged. "Well, we both know that mum likes you in more simple and proper looking clothes. At least this way, you look good and it wouldn't be such a shocking change that mum would have a problem with it."
He found himself nodding at her words, just as the front door slammed open and Jace's voice rang out. "I'm home! Give me five minutes and we can be on our way."

Jace's five minutes always ended up being thirty and Alec and Izzy chuckled.

Izzy pushed forward a gift box covered with a balloon themed wrapping paper. "The shirt I'd gotten several months ago and just forgot to pass it on to you. This however, is your birthday present." She leaned forward and placed a sweet kiss on his cheek and Alec found himself pulling his sister closer to him. No matter how much she sometimes drove him batshit crazy, he loved her more than life itself and he knew she loved him right back.

"Use it tonight. You'll smell amazing." Izzy pulled away and tossed him a wink as she walked out of his room.

Alec opened the box and just like he'd suspected, she'd gotten him cologne. He braced himself for something light and fruity, but was pleasantly surprised to realize it smelled musky and earthy.

A quick glance at his watch confirmed that he had just enough time to finish his philosophy assignment before they had to head out.

He pushed away thoughts of birthdays and focused on his assignment, so he can have it out of the way and be able to actually enjoy his birthday dinner.

***

"I thought you said they had a reservation for seven," Alec asked as he gazed into the restaurant from their prime position on the street outside the restaurant. The place was practically empty, except for the two sets of couples that spent the entire time gazing into each other's eyes.

His parents were conspicuously missing.

"Izzy," Alec started to say as he turned around, only to stop short at the look in Izzy's eyes. Jace wasn't faring any better as his eyes darted around, refusing to meet Alec's eyes. "You have got to be kidding me," Alec growled and glared at the two of them. "Seriously Izzy? And Jace, did you forget our conversation this morning?" He reached for the phone and waved it in Jace's face. "Because I haven't."

"Oh brother. Just let it go Alec," Izzy muttered as she grabbed Alec's phone, and shoved it back into his pocket. "Besides, I already deleted all the pictures, and transferred the ones on your Cloud into mine. So you can't threaten Jace with them."

"You what?!" Alec and Jace both sputtered.

"When," Alec asked and nearly smacked his forehead when Izzy grinned back at him. "You wiped it while I was in the shower."

"Exactly," Izzy crowed, looking utterly pleased with herself.

"You said you were going to delete it," Jace whined as he crossed his arms and glared at Izzy.

On another day, Alec would have felt sorry for him. Imagining Izzy getting a hold of his baby pictures was hell, especially when one considered that she could decide at any moment to share the wonder with the world. Jace had a higher chance of nobody seeing those pictures if they had been with Alec. But, he'd gone behind his back and colluded with their sister, and so Alec felt no sympathy for him. Instead, he smirked, and felt immensely satisfied at Jace's outraged gasp.

Izzy however, walked up to him and unbuttoned the first couple of buttons on his shirt. "You're going to a strip club Alec, not a business presentation."
"Well excuse me for being dressed up because someone lied about it being a dinner with mum and dad," Alec retorted.

Izzy sighed, as she ran her fingers through his hair. No matter which way he ducked to try avoiding her fingers, she was able to ruffle his hair until she appeared pleased at the result she'd been able to get. "If I'd told you that you should come early so you can make it to the strip club, will you have agreed?"
Damn. She knew him too well.

She gave him a knowing glance and snapped her fingers at Jace who pulled out a burgundy colored blindfold and handed it over to her.

Izzy turned to look at him with a smile on her face.

"Oh hell No!" Alec scrambled back, away from Izzy and the blindfold but she just tsked and stepped closer.

"Think of it as part of the surprise."

He was just about to protest when she added, "it's your twenty-first birthday Alec. I just want it to be special. Besides, what could the blindfold do anyway?"

Obviously prevent him from knowing exactly which strip club they were going to and how they were going to get there. That way, she would be able to spring some sort of unpleasant surprise on him and he wouldn't be able to sneak out because he would have no idea where the quick exits were.

It really did suck when your sister knew you so well.

Alec sighed and bent a little, feeling the night sky and sights turn dark as Izzy slipped the blindfold over his eyes and neatly tied the piece of cloth.

He felt a warm strong arm grip his arm and leaned in slightly to whisper to Jace. "If this goes in any way wrong, forget those baby pictures, I will do everything I can to make your life a living hell."

Turns out that when one makes threats to one's siblings, it shouldn't be done when one has a blindfold on.

Izzy and Jace merely chuckled at his words and Jace led him along.

Alec tried taking note of everything he could sense, and the number of steps they took, but they walked for too long, and he was sure all those curves and twists were merely Izzy, taking them on a mery-go-round to throw him off, so he would have no idea exactly where they were headed to.

They finally came to a stop and Alec felt the thumping of the base beat traveling from the soles of his feet to make a ringing in his ears.

It had him even more cranky because if there was anything he hated, it was too loud music that didn't give him the chance to hear the lyrics and appreciate the intricacies of the song.
He doubted if it was something to complain about though as he was sure the music they were playing was more Nicki than Bob, and with the way he could feel Izzy practically vibrating beside him, she was enjoying the beat.

Either that, or she was shaking with excitement at the thought of her evil plans finally coming to fruition. He wouldn't put it past Izzy to be delighted by it all.

He waited for Jace to take off the blindfold and was stunned when instead of the blindfold being taken off, he felt Izzy's softer hands, wrap around his arm and pull him further into the club. The music vibrated all around him, so much so that he was sure he could feel the walls shaking with all that noise.
Izzy though didn't let up and they walked and stopped intermittently every time he heard Izzy apologize to people they ran into on their way to wherever it was that Izzy wanted them sitted at.

He heard a couple of people laugh and hoped he was able to pull off his sneer even with his eyes covered. As if there was anything remotely funny about being dragged to some strange place on your birthday because your baby sister was obsessed with getting you to see some strippers.

Alec drew back at the thought and turned to whisper to Izzy, hoping against hope that she could hear him over the music. "You know, if the obsession is with me seeing a strip show, there are a ton of movies and videos that we can watch which will give me the same effect at a more cheaper price. Just order some pizza, Jace will get the popcorn and we can pig out and enjoy."

Izzy gave a lilting laugh and patted his arm. "Brother dearest. There's watching a strip show on your computer and then there's getting a performance from the best stripper in town. The difference is astronomical."

The best stripper in town? Who the hell was that and what the hell had he done to earn the moniker.

He finally felt the back of his legs bump into something hard and dropped into the chair at Izzy's command. And then, there were fingers in his hair as he felt Izzy loosen the blindfold and pull it off.

He'd been prepared to be hit with flashing lights and was pleasantly surprised to see a dark room with just a little lightning around the stage area. The stage was at the moment empty, and Alec wondered if the best stripper in town knew that he was running late, and that he had in his audience, someone who would rather be home with a good book and a glass of wine, than sitting here and watching him shake his ass.

He was just about to ask Izzy when this anticipated performance was meant to start when Izzy suddenly lifted her finger to his lips to get him to hush. At the exact same time, a man walked up to the stage. He was black, had buzzed hair and was totally shirtless. The only thing he had on was a towel, and was that the name of an antiperspirant printed on it?

How weird.

"Ladies and gentlemen, it's the moment you've all be waiting for. Please give it up for the amazing, the fabulous, the electrifying, and oh so seductive, Magnus Bane."

The crowd around him surged to their feet and released a scream that almost had Alec ducking for cover. As he glanced around to take in the frantic expression on their faces, he could almost taste the desperation in the air.

Damn. What the hell was so special about a stripper?

Chapter Text

"Magnus. You're up in five."

Magnus nodded at the boy—Dave? Don? Derrick?—whatever his name was. He’d been working at the club for just over two weeks now and Magnus still didn't remember his name.

Magnus watched him walk away and took a moment to stare at the ass. 

Yup. That was probably the reason why he couldn't remember the guy. Spectacular asses were usually remembered and unfortunately for poor Dorian? Daniel? Damien? his ass was just average.

He wasn't the most memorable of the assistants the club had employed in the last year but he knew how to do his job and that, Magnus respected. Give him someone who had the brains to do the job any day, any time. And if he ran into someone who had the brains and the ass? Well, that was a blessing.

Five minutes till show time.

Magnus nodded at Maia and then closed his eyes so she could apply the glittering blue eye shadow, he favored on Friday nights.

"Sure we can't convince you to do two songs," he heard Luke ask.

He held back a sigh and didn’t bother opening his eyes. "Same question you've been asking for the past three years Garroway. And the answer remains the same, till hell freezes over and my mama decides to bring me some ice chips from down there and pop them in my drink."

Luke snorted. "That doesn't even make sense. Besides, why the fuck would you expect your mama to be in hell?"

"You expecting me to dance to more than one song makes even less sense. We keep doing this song and dance Luke, and you know quite well that my answer’s never going to change." Magnus replied and tilted his head to the side when Maia indicated he do so. "As for my mama, she was hell all the way. Something about not wanting to miss all the good stuff, and seeing that all the fun people are in hell…" He shrugged and left the rest of it unsaid.

Maia tapped his forehead. All done. Magnus blinked open his eyes to look at Luke who was in nothing but a towel—typical—and who was presently scratching the back of his head, and looking guilty. Very guilty.

That set the alarm bells ringing. Luke only did that when he’d fucked something up and managed to rope Magnus into some idiotic scheme all at once.

"What did you do?"

"Well…."

"Spill it Garroway," Magnus hissed. "I don’t have all night."

"I kind of might have collected some money so you can give someone in the audience a one on one performance tonight," Luke explained in a rush.

"You what?!"

"Well, see, it's the guy's twenty-first birthday."
How sweet. Oh to be young and naïve and inexperienced. Of course Magnus was only five years older, but he was sure he'd seen more of the world—the good and the bad—than the birthday boy could ever hope to dream.

"And his sister wanted him to have the dance. Something about the boy being uptight and needing to get his cherry popped."

Magnus raised an eyebrow and Luke put his hands straight up in the air and took some steps back for good measure, like he needed to distance himself from the situation. "Hey, her words, not mine."
"Well I don't do virgins. I have no interest in spoiled immature brats, and I am only dancing to one song," Magnus hissed. "Now get the fuck out of my room and cue me in. I barely have a minute left."

Luke spun around on his heels and walked away and Magnus harrumphed as he slid into his shimmering satin shirt. The golden brown hue went perfectly with his skin and paired with his black skintight leather pants, made him look like a walking sex dream.

He turned around to catch a glimpse of his ass at all angles, courtesy of the myriad of installed mirrors on the walls.

Who the hell was he kidding? There wasn’t any like in this equation. He was a walking sex dream.

He reached for the gold threaded skull choker his mother had given him, back when they’d still been a happy family and which he wore for all his dances—he was superstitious. Sue him—and heard footsteps approaching. Only one person walked with that unhurried gait.

"Any chance that you might deign to actually be nicer to him," Ragnor asked as he joined him.

Magnus shrugged and clipped his choker on . "I'm a stripper not his mother. There's no rule that says I have to be nice to him."

"Huhn-huhn," Ragnor rolled his eyes. "You can't keep hiding who you are behind all that bluster and sass my friend."

"Speak for yourself. I can do whatever the hell I damn well want to."

He faintly heard the sound of Luke introducing him and inclined his head at Ragnor. "That's my cue."

Ragnor wriggled his fingers and just as Magnus got to the door, tossed out, "Oh, and Luke wanted you to know that the birthday boy is the dark haired boy sitting right in front of the stage. You can't miss him."

And why the hell should I give a fuck?

"I'll be sure to tell the DJ to have one more song ready." Ragnor winked. "Just in case you change your mind."

Like that was ever going to happen.

He flipped off Ragnor who chortled and stopped behind the curtain for a moment, to center himself.

His fans had come for a show and it was only fitting that he give them the best show they would ever dream of. Sure it would only be one dance, but it was going to be the damn best dance ever.

He had a reputation to uphold after all.

***

Dancing in itself was an art; a form of self-expression, and a strip tease was the most elevated form of dancing to be had.

He was sure a lot of people would disagree with that logic—particularly proponents of ballet and ballroom—but the man who'd taught him how to turn his entire body into a movement of man and sex had believed in those words and they were the words Magnus was willing to live and die by.

Which was why the minute the opening beat for 'Tonight' kicked in, he spun around, dropped to his knees and began humping the floor.

I know you want me. I made it obvious that I want you too.

He jumped back to his feet, spun around and began working his hips, taking the moment and movement to unbuckle his belt, inch by slow inch.

So put it on me, let’s remove the space between me and you.

He heard the crowd cheer, saw them thirst, and when he leaned back to whine his entire torso, making each moment languorous as he pulled apart his shirt—his buttons flying in every direction—they screamed his name.

Now rock your body (oh). Damn I like the way that you move

A woman had her hands out, tears streaming down her face. He slid over to her corner of the stage, held onto her hand, ran his lips, feather light from her elbow to her wrist and placed a soft kiss on her open palm.

Here’s the situation: been to every nation, nobody’s ever made me feel the way that you do.

He flicked his eyes up to look at her and she shrieked and made to grab at him. He dodged her with a laugh and moved on to the man standing beside her.

You know my reputation, given my reputation, please excuse me, I don’t mean to be rude. But tonight I’m fucking you.

The man grinned lasciviously back at him and Magnus tossed him a wink, dropped on all fours to twerk his ass right in the dude’s face.

Oh, you know Oh, that tonight I’m fucking you

He felt lean fingers attempting to slide into his pants and pulled away with a naughty tsk, using the momentum to drop his shoulders to the floor, hips tilted up, as he began to thrust up at the ceiling. 

Oh, you know, that tonight I’m fucking you.

He swung back to his feet, pulling off his shirt and tossing it into the crowd. They scrambled for it, some of them even dropping their money in their haste to be the one to claim the prize.

Oh you know, that tonight I’m fucking you.

He heard someone screaming that she had it, and chuckled as he pirouetted, back to his spot beneath the lights. They crowd screamed some more and he took in the cheers and lust and shimmied to the front, cartwheeling till he landed yet again on his knees and his heart stopped as he stared into hazel eyes.

Holy shit. Who the hell was that?

You’re so damn pretty. If I had a type, then baby it would be you.

The guy stared back at him, gaping but still managing to look unimpressed, even though the dark haired woman to his left was screaming whilst the blonde to his right had on a full smirk.

I know you’re ready, if I never lied then baby you’d be the truth.

Magnus' world though, had narrowed to that one moment. That skip of a heartbeat when he'd caught the other guy swallow as Magnus rolled his hips.

Here’s the situation: been to every nation, nobody’s ever made me feel the way that you do.

Something niggled at the back of his mind as he whined his hips on autopilot. Just because he was trying to figure out the identity of the hot as fuck guy sitting in front of him didn't mean that he was going to ruin the rest of the show that people had paid good money for his dance.

And then it hit him. Dark haired boy sitting right in the front.

Magnus smiled. Well hello there the birthday boy.

You know my motivation, given my reputation, please excuse me, I don’t mean to be rude, but tonight I’m fucking you.

He dropped on his back, placed both feet solidly on the floor and began to thrust up. He heard the crowd scream, heard even some of them cry and swallowed a laugh. It wouldn't do for any of them to think he was laughing at them. Most especially the gorgeous boy whose eyes he held as he thrust up.

Oh you know oh, that tonight I’m fucking you.

His thoughts wondered back to the crowd again and although he might be cynical enough to treat this like another day at work, he knew he was there to sell them a fantasy and as the song wound down, that was exactly what he did.

The crowd exploded at the end of the song and he pushed himself to his feet and gave them a cheeky bow.

His eyes scanned the crowd, but settled back on the dark haired guy who had his arms crossed, and was trying to look unimpressed.

Magnus however, had spent way too many years being able to tell when someone wanted him and it was clear as day and written all over his face. The way that tongue flicked out to lick full lips, that slight flush on his face, and how he kept shuffling on his feet, body tense and primed. He wanted Magnus.

And Magnus? Magnus wanted him right back. He could just hear Ragnor chuckling in that I so knew it way of his, but he didn’t care. Young, dark and devastatingly handsome was his kryptonite and there was no way in hell he was letting that boy leave the club without knowing that his interest was returned.

Magnus caught movement from the corner of his eyes and noticed Luke just about to step on stage.

They knew the drill and had it down to a tee. Magnus would do his performance—just one—not matter how much the crowd begged for more—and sure enough, they'd already taken to chanting his name like he was a god—and Luke would show up to introduce the next act. Which was usually Raphael. And although Raphael had his core demographic, most of Magnus' regulars welcomed him with a lot less enthusiasm than Raphael would have liked. It was probably why even though they were good friends, Raphael hated his guts.

Magnus caught Luke's eyes and gave him a subtle shake of his head. He saw Luke's steps falter and smirked at him.

Take that Garroway. I will be giving one more performance tonight but you most certainly did not see that coming.

He saw Luke signal to the DJ, who turned to look at Magnus. Magnus nodded and then walked up to the cordless mic.

He felt the energy in the crowd shift as they realized that this wasn't over yet. Some of them started to murmur but quieted when Magnus held up his hand.

Magnus pulled the rest of his fingers back and leveled one finger at the dark haired boy who looked alarmed to have the attention of the entire room shift to him.

"It's your birthday isn't it? "

The boy started to shake his head, whilst the girl beside him began clapping excitedly.

"Come on up."

The words echoed in the room and everyone seemed to suck in a breath. Except for the boy who looked just about ready to bail. Thankfully his friends—siblings?—jostled him out of his seat and pushed him to the stage.

He almost stumbled but Magnus slid forward on his knees and grabbed his hands to keep him from falling.

Gorgeous hazel eyes connected with his and widened slightly as the boy sucked in a breath.

Magnus smirked and pulled the boy up till he was standing right beside him.

His smile widened as he took in the sight.

Damn the boy was tall.

"What's your name," he asked and watched long black lashes slowly close over those beautiful, beautiful eyes before lifting up again so Magnus could catch the flecks of green in them.

The boy looked dazed and licked his lips, causing Magnus' eyes to slide over to them. Fuck, he wanted to taste them. He could imagine grazing them with his teeth, and then running his tongue over them, afterwards.

He swept his eyes back up to stare at the boy who swallowed audibly before answering, "Alec."

"Is that short for Alexander," he asked and hid a smile at the very obvious shudder that wracked through Alec's body as he said his name.

Alec gave a quick nod and Magnus switched on the mic and turned to the crowd.  "Today's Alec's birthday," he called out and the room cheered. Some even going as far as calling out birthday wishes to Alec who interestingly enough seemed like he wanted to hide from the spotlight and vanish into the ground.

His eyes kept darting around like he was searching for something and the minute Magnus noticed that they'd landed on the exit, he reached out and grabbed a hold of him.

There was no way in hell he was letting this one go.

"And to celebrate this monumental occasion, we decided that Alec here will be getting a dance from yours truly."

The crowd screamed, he noticed the black haired girl and the blonde grinning like cats that ate the canary, and Alexander? Alexander made a "meeep" sound that Magnus found utterly adorable.

Magnus gave the nod to the DJ, who cued in "Skin".

But damn, Ragnor knows how to choose a song.

Magnus settled Alec into a chair and dipped down low till his hands held on to Alec's thighs and Alec stared up at him.

The mood is set. See you already know what’s next.

He saw Alec gulp and pushed forward till they were nose to nose, Alec’s warm breath feathering against his neck, raising goosebumps across his skin.

Now it was his turn to suppress a groan, although with the light pant Alec released, he was sure his want was painted all over his face.

Forget it being a dance Alec wouldn’t forget, Magnus was sure neither of them would forget this dance.

TV on blast, turn it down, turn it down. Don’t want it to clash with my body screaming out now.

He pulled Alec’s hands and splayed them over his torso, moving and grinding as those slender fingers held on and dug in, whilst beneath Magnus’s fingers, Alec’s thighs flexed with controlled effort.

I know you hearin’ it, You got me moaning now.

 His eyes swept up and met Alec’s who looked at him like he saw no one else nor heard no one else in the room.

It was just the way he liked it.

What he didn’t understand though was why Alec was having the same effect on him.

I got a secret that I wanna show you, oh. I got a secrets imma drop em to the floor, oh.

But then, he felt tentative fingers brush against his nipple, and he threw his head back and moaned.

No teasing, you waited long enough.

He pulled his head back, breath coming fast as he watched Alec.

Go deep, imma throw it at ya, can you catch it?

He licked his lips, saw Alec’s eyes go wide. Smirked as he saw him swallow.

Now it was his turn for his fingers to dig in, using the momentum to pull Alec until he was barely sitting on the edge of the chair.

Don’t hold back, you know I like it rough.

He pushed away from Alec. Saw those fingers absently reach out as if to keep him there, and gave a wicked grin as he turned his ass to face Alec.

Know I’m feeling ya, huh

He heard the crowd whoop and stared at them with unseeing eyes. His attention on giving Alec just the right wiggle and thrust, seconds before he yanked the pants off, leaving him in the electric blue boxer briefs he favored because they went best with his makeup on Fridays.

Know I’m liking it huh

The crowd screamed, but he was almost certain that he heard Alec release an audible gasp.

Logical reaction. He did have a great ass after all.

So why you standing over there with ya clothes on?

He spun around to face Alec who look like he was well on his way to swallowing his own tongue.

Baby strip down for me, Go on take em off.

His chest heaved with exertion and his lips were slightly parted. Those gorgeous eyes were wide open and tracked Magnus as he slithered back to Alec’s chair.

Don’t worry baby, Imma meet you halfway coz I know you wanna see me.

Which meant that Alec was so distracted that he gasped when Magnus neatly pulled him of the chair and slid him right beneath him on the floor, keeping his hands palm up so he could brace Alec’s head against it.

No heels, no shirt, no skirt, all I’m in is just skin.

He aligned himself so their groins were connected to each other and ground down.

No jeans take em off, wanna feel your skin.

Alec gasped.

You a beast, oh, you know that I like that.

Alec’s nails scoured his back and Magnus groaned.

Come here baby, all I wanna see you in is just skin.

His fingers teased the edges of Alec’s jeans, dipping in slightly to brush against soft skin and Alec moaned, which then turned into a whine when Magnus’s fingers danced away.

Magnus chuckled and bit back a whimper when Alec pinched his nipple.

Oh oh oh your skin, oh oh oh just skin, oh oh oh I’m loving your skin oh oh oh.

In one smooth move he slid off Alec, lay flat on the floor with his hands extended behind him and his feet shoulder width apart.

All in baby, don’t hold nothing back. Wanna take control, ain’t nothing wrong with that.

He pulled Alec to join him, sitting that pert ass right over his clothed cock as he jerked up, enjoying the little gasps Alec released and the way those lean fingers clung onto his arm.

Say you liking how I feel, ain’t gotta tell me that

Alec ground down on him and Magnus nearly slipped.

Just put your skin baby on my skin.

He flipped them yet again, with Alec back beneath him. Fingers laced together with Alec’s as they humped and grinded to the final chorus.

As the last note died down, he heard the roaring of the crowd as if from far away but paid them no mind. His full undivided attention was on the man panting beneath him. Sweat had stuck his shirt to him and the dark hair looked on just the right side of messy that screamed sex.
It suited him well.

And when Alec tried jerking up to grind himself against him, Magnus pulled back slightly to gaze down at him.

Oh no. This wasn't going to be rushed. He had every intention of taking his time with Alec. That dark hair and those brown eyes that deepened into green. Those long legs and that full mouth. He needed a night or two, to taste every inch of him and have him screaming his name.

As Magnus leaned forward and slipped a sheet of paper into Alec's back pocket—thanking the heavens and Ragnor for always insisting he have his number written somewhere on his person—he took a moment to grab that gorgeous ass and pull it to him till they were groin to groin, cock sliding against cock, the only thing keeping them apart being Alec's snug jeans and Magnus' boxer briefs.

He felt, more than heard Alec's groan and smirked. His teeth lightly grazed Alec’s earlobe and he felt Alec shiver against him. Placing his mouth carefully beside Alec's ear, he whispered.

"Call me."

 

Chapter Text

As they stepped out of the club and walked towards his car, all Alec could hear was a ringing in his ear.

He could see Izzy’s mouth moving and Jace still had on that perpetual smirk he’d developed ever since Magnus Bane had called Alec out from the crowd.

At the thought of that name, Alec’s breath hitched and he released it with a low drawn out whoosh.

What the fuck?

His mouth felt dry, his palm itched. His cock throbbed and his ass could still feel the imprint of those strong hands as Magnus had dragged them close, so he could feel that unmistakable bulge that those briefs didn’t attempt to cover up one bit.

Fuck!

Alec suppressed the groan that wanted to come out. But he couldn’t do the same for the shivers that wracked his body. And Izzy, with her sharp eyes and just as fast mind caught the movement.

“Alec. Are you okay?”

Alec found himself nodding, and he continued walking even though he noticed that Izzy and Jace had pulled up to a stop and were now eyeing him.

He didn’t need to look at them to know what he would have seen: the curve of their lips as they fought to fight the smile that threatened to spill forth. And then Izzy caught up with him and Jace joined them both moments later, and they were now full on smirking.

“So…” Izzy started.

“Magnus Bane,” Jace continued, and then did the idiotic eyebrow wiggling thing he did that always made Alec want to smack him hard when they were kids. Now that they were adults, he felt that urge even more. But his glares have proved ineffective in shutting Jace up, and as far as Izzy was concerned—pftt—he might as well have on a sign that read ‘Just go ahead Izzy’.

Why the fuck did the heavens hate him so much?

“That was quite…” Izzy picked up from where Jace had left off.

“The performance,” Jace finished with a big grin.

There were days he loved his siblings to pieces—swear to God, he did—and other times when he just couldn’t stand them. Especially days like today when those words just brought images back to his mind.

Images and sounds.

Like the sound of Magnus’ voice, calling him “Alexander”.

The feel of that compact body as it slid over him.

The heat of that cock through the too thin material of the briefs.

And Magnus’ breath on his ears and hands on his ass.

Fuck, he was even sure he could hear the crinkle of paper that was Magnus’ number, still in his back pocket.

He so didn’t want to think about that right now. Nor did he want to think of whispered promise that stirred an ache in him; an ache that something told him, Magnus Bane would do a great job of relieving.

Which meant logically, Alec should stay far away from Magnus.

He could see it. That daredevil spark in those brown eyes. The knowing smirk of those full lips. And that body that screamed a promise; a promise that Alec knew would lead to him being addicted and never being able to let go.

Magnus Bane was a flaming ball of fire that would consume everything and everyone that dared come too close and Alec’s sense of self-preservation was screaming at him to stay far, far away.

Purple painted nails snapped in front of his face and Alec returned to Izzy looking at him with concern whilst Jace looked quizzical.

“Alec, are you okay,” Izzy asked. Gone was the teasing and in its place total concern.

God he loved her. Loved them! And how they dropped all the jokes and teasing, the minute they felt that something was wrong. Even if the something that was wrong was that he was in the wrong headspace, daydreaming about Magnus Bane.

He tapped Izzy’s nose lightly and chuckled when she rolled her eyes. “I’m fine Iz. Nothing to worry about.”

“You sure,” Jace pressed. He had his head cocked to the side and was staring at Alec with narrowed eyes, that made Alec feel very uncomfortable.

Most people met his siblings and assumed that Izzy was the one most suspicious and the one to immediately decipher whatever was wrong with Alec. And that in itself was hilarious because more often than not, Jace would just as easily figure things out.

Jace was way smarter than most people gave him credit for, and the minute Alec saw those eyes trained on him, he pulled himself taller and smiled at his brother. “Seriously. It’s alright.”

It worked well enough because Jace lost the suspicious glint. But then, the smirk came on in full force and Alec had to stop himself from rolling his eyes.

“So,” Jace drawled. “Magnus Bane.”

“The name of the stripper that Izzy paid,” he gave a pointed look at Izzy, “to give me a birthday dance.”

“And damn did he deliver,” Izzy crowed as she rubbed her hands together in delight.

Alec rolled his eyes and Jace huffed, but then narrowed his eyes. “And so?”

See, the thing with Jace was that sometimes he had a conversation going on in his head, and failed to let others in on what he was thinking. Which meant that times like now when he made incomplete sentences, he had everyone trying to puzzle it out.

Alec though wasn’t in the mood—it was late and he was horny—so he bit the bullet. “What?”

That just made Jace confused. “What, what?”

“You said, And so,” Alec reminded him. “And so, what?”

Jace shrugged. “Nothing. It just seemed like you were focused on the fact that Izzy paid for the dance.”

Okay, he’d lost him. And with the way Izzy’s brow furrowed, it would seem like Jace had lost her as well.

“What?”

Jace stuck his fingers in the front loops of his jeans and leaned forward, shoulders hunched like he so didn’t want to be talking right now, but the words he wanted to say, had to be said. “I know you Alec. You’re probably stuck on the fact that Izzy paid for the dance that you’re thinking that that performance,” he jerked a thumb back at Pandemonium, which Alec realized, they were quite a distance from, “only happened because it was paid for.”

Fuck.

See? This was the reason why he said Jace was way too smart for his own damn good.

Izzy though had picked up on it and her eyes widened as she immediately reached for Alec, fingers splayed across his chest as she looked into his eyes.

He wished he could look away, because fuck it, Jace was right. That was what he had been thinking and he was sure Izzy would give him the lecture about him being desirable and anybody would be blind not to notice how ‘hot’ he was. And he knew that looking away would just give Izzy the go ahead she needed to give him that lecture, but at the same time, he was sure she could read it all by just staring into his eyes.

He just couldn’t win in this situation.

“Oh Alec,” she murmured and pulled him into a hug, fingers splayed across his back as she patted him lightly. She finally pulled back and gave a little smile. “Trust me, if Magnus didn’t want to give you that dance, he wouldn’t have.”

“And you’re sure of this because,” Alec asked. Sure his voice sounded a bit gravelly but neither of his siblings commented on it.

“Because he’s Magnus Bane,” Izzy replied and smiled. “Even when we were making the request, Luke warned us that there was a ninety-nine percent chance that Magnus would turn us down. Apparently, he never does two dances in one night and he almost never agrees to give a personal dance.” She shrugged. “We went on a wing and a prayer that he might just say yes.”

“And he did,” Jace grinned.

“You said ‘we’,” Alec said, stuck on Izzy’s words. “I thought you were the one that paid for Magnus.”

Izzy snorted. “Please. Like I can afford Magnus Bane all on my own.” She nudged her chin at Jace. “Jace also contributed.”

Alec spun around to stare at Jace who shrugged, then walked over and swung his arm over Alec’s shoulders. “Think of it as my way of making sure you got a birthday you would never forget.”

“With that performance?” Izzy chuckled. “I’m sure he’s never forgetting that dance. Not in this lifetime anyway.” She fanned herself and winked at him.

Alec flushed and then wished he could control his body when Jace chortled.

“So tell me,” Izzy dropped her voice and leaned closer. “What did Magnus tell you?”

Huh?” He was sure his voice sounded strangled, and the way Izzy’s lips twitched at that too high question, confirmed it. He tried again, this time going for a more level tone. “What are you talking about?”

Izzy rolled her eyes. “Seriously Alec? You think you can hide it from me? I saw how close you and Magnus got at the end.” They both heard Jace’s strangled cough and ignored him. “And I could have sworn I saw his mouth move. So tell me, what did he say?”

Yeah right. Like there was any way in hell Alec would tell her about Magnus’ number and request that Alec call him. Knowing Izzy, she would call Magnus with his number or something and set up a meeting, then have Alec show up at some unknown destination, surprised as fuck to see Magnus waiting for him.

Now that was alarming and totally something Izzy could do.

He kept his cool as he shook his head. “There was nothing said Izzy. He gave me a dance, we wrapped up…”

Another strangled cough from Jace, that made Alec glare at him. “Shut up Jace.”

Jace held up his hands in a ‘hey, I’m totally innocent way,’ and Alec rolled his eyes and focused on Izzy who was looking really suspicious. “Seriously Izzy. He said nothing.”

“Hmmm. Why don’t I believe you?”

Alec shrugged. “Last time I checked, it’s a free world. You can believe whatever you want to believe. It doesn’t mean I’m not telling you the truth.”

“Riiight,” Jace drawled.

Alec didn’t even look at him as he flipped him off.

Jace of course wasn’t offended and just chuckled.

“Well, if we’re done with this ‘talk’,” Alec sneered the last word, “could we start heading home? Some of us have assignments due on Monday that we have to get started on.”

As he ushered his siblings into his Tesla, he tuned out Izzy’s dig about him being too serious and needing to loosen up a bit, and Jace’s commentary about Magnus being the man for the job.

He tuned them all out as he drove home.

The only thing he couldn’t tune out? Magnus’ eyes. His scent. The feather light brush of fingers against his abdomen. The seductive whisper asking Alec to call him.

Fuck, it was going to be a long weekend.


 “Hello Alec.”

Alec pulled away from his phone to stare, stupefied at the number calling him.

How the hell did he get my number?

“Alec? Are you there?”

“Unfortunately,” Alec replied, rubbing his forehead with the pad of his fingers as he tried to figure out how the hell his number had gotten to the one person he most certainly didn’t want having said digits.

“Whew,” Simon breathed and Alec could just picture the grin that accompanied his wry chuckle. “I thought you’d hung up or something.”

At least he knew that his suddenly calling me would have had me hanging up on his ass.

“How did you get my number,” Alec blurted out. He really wasn’t one for guessing and wondering how the hell Simon had found him.

“Oh that was easy. I had a chat with the Professor.”

He what?!

“Told him that I wanted to reach you but didn’t have your number. Once he confirmed that we were in the same group, he handed it over,” Simon declared cheerily. But then his voice dropped as he muttered. “Although he did wonder why the hell I was disturbing him when we should have exchanged numbers from the onset.”

Maybe because I didn’t want you calling me at past nine on a Monday night to tell me about how you’d gotten my number from our professor?

“What do you want Simon,” Alec sighed. He was sure he sounded tired and he hoped that Simon would get the hidden message and get on right with it.

Simon however wasn’t one to actually read between the lines if the way he kept on yammering was anything to go by. “But then I explained that you had a family emergency and had to leave in a hurry. That seemed to appease him well enough and he handed it over. Of course he had to toss in a sarcastic ‘sure you don’t want Clary’s number as well,’ but I figured he was joking because he smirked. Like seriously, can you imagine Starkweather smirking? I never thought I would see the day.”

And he never thought he would see the day when a dude from his class would be talking his ear out on a school night whilst he had a ton of things to do. “Simon,” he snapped, and the tone finally got through to Simon who finally stopped talking. “What do you want?”

There was a momentary pause, like Simon was trying to center himself. “Oh yes. Well, I know we agreed to meet on Wednesday.”

“Yeah. Which is why I don’t know why you’re calling me on a Monday night.”

“Um. Because we never agreed on a time or a location, or anything as a matter of fact,” Simon replied in a rush.

Alec thought back to their last meeting and had to suppress a sigh as he realized that Simon was right. Damn. If he hadn’t been so focused on making it back home so he could get ready for dinner with his family, he would have remembered. “Okay. But, can’t we just meet in school?”

“Clary and I have classes all day Wednesday. We won’t be free till five, and I asked around. All the empty halls after five have already been taken by the other teams.” Simon replied.

Shit. If he hadn’t been so distracted, they would have made this decision in the last week and would have already gotten a lecture hall they could use. “So what are our options,” he asked.

“Well, I suggested we use Clary’s, but her mother’s redecorating at the moment and knowing how enthusiastic Jocelyn gets about remodeling, I’m sure the place wouldn’t be conducive for a study session,” Simon chuckled, in the way of one who’s had the experience way too many times and considers the memory a fond one.

Alec though couldn’t relate. His mother had never remodeled their home and the townhouse he and his siblings now called home was courtesy of their late grandmother, who just like her daughter-in-law, didn’t see any reason why she would wreck something that was already working for her.

“Which is why we can’t have it at my place either.”

Alec only caught the tail end of the conversation and blinked at the fact that he’d been so distracted he had no idea why Simon didn’t think they could use his own house for their meet.

He however had no interest whatsoever in asking Simon to repeat himself—he just couldn’t deal with the chatter—and so moved on to their next option. “The way I see it, we can use a restaurant.”

“Too noisy,” Simon cut in.

“Coffee shop?”

“Clary likes to get into character and she can get very dramatic. We might get kicked out.”

Alec doubted the possibility of that happening, especially because no self-respecting business would kick out paying customers just because one of them was acting like she had a couple of screws loose. But, he could easily admit that he had no interest in being the cynosure of all the eyes in the place when that happened.

What this meant of course, was that they had only one choice left. He sighed and braced himself, even as he made the statement. “I guess that just leaves my place then.”

There was a momentary pause that had Alec wondering if maybe Simon had hung up.

But then Simon’s voice came right back on and he realized it was all wishful thinking. “Wow. Really?”

“Do you have another place in mind? I’m open to suggestions,” Alec snarked.

“No. Your place is fine. Wednesday?”

He said it like a question and Alec rolled his eyes. “That was what we’d initially agreed on, isn’t it?”

Simon chuckled. “Yeah. Um, time?”

“Let’s do six,” Alec replied. “I’ll text you my address and you can pass it on to Clary.”

“Oh okay, I’ll be sure to…”

Alec ended the call. He so didn’t need the guy’s thanks or another long explanation that was utterly unrelated to the present conversation.

He pulled out his phone and his fingers flew over the keys as he texted his address to Simon and hit send.

Seconds later, his phone dinged with a glasses wearing emoticon, grinning widely. Beneath it were the words: ‘you’re way cooler than cool’.

There was no denying it. Simon Lewis confused the fuck out of him. And not in a good way either.

Not like…

His eyes drifted to a closed drawer and he opened it, and pulled out his conflict resolution introductory text. Right in the center of it was the sheet of paper he’d spent the last couple of days, looking at so many times, he could see it in his dreams.

He ran his fingers over the cursive loop that seemed oddly fitting to the owner of said handwriting and thought of gold threading through a skull chocker, a long neck that he’d wanted to work over with his lips and teeth, a compact body that pinned him down and strong thighs he ached to get his hands on.

Alec sighed as he slid the paper back between his textbook, softly closed it and put it back in the drawer.


 The thing about having lived, fairly comfortably all your life, was the fact that it never occurred to you that the place you called home, might seem imposing to others.

That was probably why it took him a while to notice that Clary and Simon weren’t behind him like he’d assumed. Instead, they were still on his stoop, staring up at the his grandmother’s townhouse with wide eyes as they tried to take it all in.

Alec suppressed a sigh and walked back out to join them. He gave the house a once-over, wondering what they could see from their position as outsiders. Did they see the home his grandmother had built with money she’d earned on her own, years after her first husband died, and before she married the second? Did they see how much care and detail she’d put into furnishing the first place she’d ever truly called her own? Could they see the amount of love and care he, Izzy and Jace poured into this house that was more home to them than their parents’ mansion? A mansion that was even bigger than the house Clary and Simon were presently gawking at?

“You know, if we have plans to get this study session started, we have to do it inside,” Alec murmured and jerked his thumb at the front door.

That seemed to startle Simon and Clary back into reality and Simon grinned and looked so excited that Alec took a couple of steps back, just in case the dude decided that it would be a good idea to attempt to hug him.

“Wow,” Simon breathed.

“Your house is very nice,” Clary added.

Unlike Simon, she didn’t look like she was about to jump on him and Alec found himself nodding and gesturing at the house. “Thanks. Shall we?”

They moved immediately, trailing behind Alec as he opened the front door and ushered them in.

He’d been expecting that they would be the only ones around and was thus surprised when Izzy stepped out from the living room, just as he closed the door.

“I thought you were out with Meliorn tonight?”

Izzy shrugged, her eyes sweeping over to the visitors that were behind him.

Alec turned to make the introductions, but Izzy beat him to it, and had her hands stretched out and a sultry smile in place as she faced Clary. “I’m Isabelle.”

Clary smiled right back but then got a strange look in her eyes as she stared at Izzy. Simon waved in Izzy’s direction and Izzy nodded at him, but turned her eyes back to Clary who was staring back at her with a dazed expression.

Izzy’s smile widened and sent the bells in Alec’s head ringing in alarm.

Oh hell no!

He knew that expression. He recognized it, and there was no way in hell he was letting Izzy bring drama to his study group. Especially a study group that would decide whether or not he would be graduating this year.

Trying to be subtle about it, and well aware that he’d probably failed, and spectacularly at that, Alec wound his hands around Izzy’s and pulled her away from Clary.

Just before he broke the contact between Izzy and Clary, he took in the little circles Izzy had been making over Clary’s wrist and shook his head at his sister who narrowed her eyes at him.

He jerked his head towards his room and pulled Izzy after him. They were almost at his door when he tossed over his shoulder, “make yourself at home.”

He didn’t wait to hear Simon and Clary’s response, but pushed Izzy into his room and closed the door behind them. “What the hell Izzy,” he hissed.

Izzy just shrugged and settled down on his bed.

“I thought you were with Meliorn,” he pointed out, even as he cast his mind back to try and figure out if maybe Izzy had said anything about being broken up with her boyfriend.

“I still am.”

“And you’re flirting with Clary?” Call him old-fashioned but he still believed in the school of thought that cheating is a no-no. “You have a boyfriend!”

Izzy rolled her eyes. “It’s an open relationship Alec.”

Oh. Now that had never occurred to him. Although now that he thought about it, there had been those moments when Izzy had been seeing other people for a while. But she usually went back to Meliorn so he’d always assumed that those had been more of her and Meliorn taking a break and not a sign of their open status.

“Besides, we were thinking of looking for a third anyway,” Izzy said with a smile and a wink.

Alec shook his head. There was no way in hell he was getting into that discussion. Unlike Izzy, he had no interest in learning about his siblings’ sex life. “Just stay away from Clary, Iz. I mean it.”

She shrugged and smirked in a way that said she had no interest in listening to him and Alec sighed.

There went his chances of graduating this year.

Izzy must have noticed something in his eyes because she rose from the bed and wrapped her arms around his neck, chuckling against his chest. “Don’t sweat it Alec. I won’t hurt your friend.”

“Friend,” he groused. “Seriously Izzy?”

She chuckled. “Whatever. Besides, you should be more focused on getting some. I mean come on, you still haven’t called him yet, have you?”

He did not just gasp, neither did his heartbeat falter. Although that knowing look in Izzy’s eyes said that she wasn’t bluffing or anything. She really did know about him having Magnus’ number. “Will you ever stop snooping Iz?”

She laughed and walked towards his door. “Doubt it. Just like you know I won’t stop pushing until you call him.”

Alec opened his mouth to protest but she held up a finger and tsked. “Seriously Alec. Grow a pair and call him.”

And with those words of wisdom given, she opened the door and walked out, leaving Alec with the stark image of Magnus’ leather covered ass doing the thrust and wiggle, moments before Magnus yanked off his pants and showed off startling blue boxer briefs that clung to that muscled ass like it had no interest in letting go.

Fuck his life.


 You forgot to replace the milk in the fridge. It’s obvious your mind isn’t here. It’s probably with a certain stripper with a sexy ass name. Have you called him yet big brother?

Alec scowled as he removed the magnet holding up a slip of paper that held Izzy’s elegant handwriting. He should have known Izzy’s plan would be to hound him until he made the phone call.

Unfortunately for her, he was just as stubborn as she was.

He tossed the paper in the trash and grabbed his jacket.

He had a carton or two of milk, to pick up.


 You left the tap on when you left this morning. Seriously bro. Just call the guy already, before you flood our entire house and run up the utilities bill.

Of course Izzy would recruit Jace to try and wear him down.

He had the nosiest, most busybody siblings ever known to any man. But at least one of his sibling came home in the afternoons to snack.

He didn’t want to imagine what would have happened if Jace hadn’t come home early enough to shut the water.

Of course, he refused to think about the fact that he had been thinking of Magnus whilst in the shower.


 Mum’s going to be in town in a couple of days. Sure thinking of that has you all stressed out. Which is probably why you should call Magnus. I’m sure he will be all too happy to help relieve you of all that stress.

Damn. She even added a smiley to this one.

Alec balled up the note and trashed it as well, even as he noted at the back of his mind that just like Izzy had predicted, he was all stressed out at the thought of seeing their mother soon.

He pushed the thought away though and concentrated on preparing his notes for his class presentation. Thankfully, his team had been able to get some work done, even with how Izzy spent their entire study session flirting with Clary when she and Simon had come over.

Clary though had surprisingly enough been levelheaded enough to fully concentrate on their assignment when it was time to get to work, and they were all set to get an “A” on the presentation.

Tomorrow was D-day and he was pumped at the thought that nothing could go wrong.

Of course when he caught a whisper along the edges of his mind, reminding that Friday would make it seven days since the dance and Magnus Bane asking him to call, he pushed it away.

He was sure anyway, that Magnus would have forgotten all about the man he’d given one hell of a dance to, and who he’d asked to call, but who had ended up not calling anyway.

Men like Magnus, moved on to the next one when the present company refused to reciprocate the interest. He wasn’t one to stay pining and waiting for a phone call that would never come.

And if that thought had him feeling just a tad bit sad, Alec refused to confront it.


 Watching the first three groups stutter and stumble their way through their presentation would have had a bigger man feeling sorry for them.

Alec though, in this one moment would easily declare to anyone who dared to ask, that he was most certainly the lesser man in this scenario. It was taking every ounce of his self-control not to burst out laughing in glee at the fact the groups are just proving that his team would blow them all out of the water.

There was no way in hell Professor Starkweather would not be utterly impressed with their presentation, when this was what the competition looked like.

He chanced a glance at Clary and was pleasantly surprised to find her smirking at the spectacle.

Well would you look at that? Clary Fray does have a bit of a mean streak. Who would have thought?

Of course Simon looked like he was suffering from second-hand embarrassment, but Alec had interacted with him so many times, he wasn’t surprised at Simon’s sympathizing with the enemy.

Just as Alisha—the group’s mediator—stumbled on her UN reference, Alec’s phone vibrated.

A quick glance confirmed that it was from Izzy, which was surprising in itself because she knew he had a presentation and didn’t want to be disturbed.

SOS Alec. Mum’s flipping her shit. Something about her society meeting and both of you having an agreement that you will be done with classes before 4 and will be able to accompany her to the place.

Shit. Shit. Shit.

He’d been so caught up in the class that he’d forgotten about the meet. Or the fact that his mother had insistently warned him that he had to show up.

Nothing pissed off Maryse as much as her children letting her down at the kind of public event where she would have otherwise had the chance to flaunt them in the faces of the other families who didn’t have their ‘pedigree’.

Fuck! She was going to kill him.

“Alec. Are you okay?”

Simon’s concerned words washed over him and he opened his eyes to see him and Clary looking at him with such concern, Alec was a bit taken aback.

They’d been course mates for a couple of weeks and teammates for a couple of days but that didn’t warrant the level of concern they were showing him right now. But there they were, looking concerned as Clary muttered, “if you have to go, we’ll just tell the Professor that you had a family emergency.”

“He’s not known to being lenient even in the face of such excuses,” Alec pointed out.

Simon shrugged. “So? Your family’s more important. We’ll make up the grades with the next assignment.”

For every time he thought Simon Lewis was the most annoying person he’d ever met, the man said things like these that had Alec softening just a little bit, towards him.

He was just about to reply when his phone buzzed again.

Izzy.

I texted her to let her know that I’ll go with her. Sure it’s not the heir apparent or the golden child, but I’m sure her friends wouldn’t mind seeing me for once. Especially seeing that they can spend the whole day making snide remarks about my choice in lovers.

Alec winced.

Are you sure? I won’t mind blowing this class so I can be there.

Seconds later, his phone vibrated again.

Positive. Just think of this as you owing me one.

Fuck. On the one hand, he was relieved that he would still get to make his presentation. But on the other, he felt those pangs of worry, screaming at him to call his sister back and tell her that he will deal with it.

Their mother might be hard on all of them—except for Jace who was obviously her favourite—but she was extra hard on Izzy. Their dad had tried comforting Izzy once by stating that it was because Maryse Lightwood saw too much of herself in her younger daughter.

That just made Alec feel though that there was some internalized self-hatred going on in his mother’s head, which she seemed fixated on meting out on her only daughter.

His phone vibrated again.

I mean it Alec. Sit your butt in class, kick ass, and come tell me all about it when you get back home tonight. I’m sure I’ll need the distraction.

Alec sighed and put his phone away.

He caught Clary and Simon’s eyes and shook his head. “We can go on with it.”

“You sure?” That was from Clary.

“Positive.”

Simon nodded and then turned back to flipping through his notes. “Well then, let’s show these bozos exactly how to re-enact a UN resolution situation, or what do you think?”

Alec chuckled.

Well would you look at that? Turns out Simon has a bit of snark as well.


 “Izzy,” Alec called as he dropped his bag and walked into the living room.

Sure enough, Izzy was sitting there, looking utterly miserable with a glass of wine in her hand.

Fuck.

He strode over to join her on the couch, interlaced his fingers with hers and just sat there, breathing in and out and silently offering her comfort and strength.

Izzy stretched out and placed her head on his thighs. He reached out and brushed his fingers through the thick waves of her hair, still keeping silent and not saying anything.

She finally sighed; a resigned sound that twisted something deep within Alec. He watched helplessly as she closed her eyes and looked even more wretched and found himself speaking. “I’m so sorry Iz.”

Dark eyes met his and Izzy gave a wobbly smile. “I told you not to be.”

Alec snorted, moved his fingers down her face to tilt her chin up slightly. “And you thought I would listen? Me? The one with the stick stuck up his ass?”

Izzy guffawed and Alec watched with relief as she sat right back up. “You’re never going to let us forget that are you?”

Alec smirked. “And lose my chance of holding it against you and Jace for all eternity? Never.”

Izzy harrumphed. “That’s the thanks we get? Here we were trying to save you from having to go on that blind date with Mrs. Pedovsky’s nephew and this is how you repay us?”

Alec kept a straight face even though everything in him was straining to chortle as he remembered the almost ill-fated blind date.

Izzy rolled her eyes. “And to make matters worse, mum actually…” She trailed off and her eyes clouded over.

Damn. And here he’d thought he had been doing a fairly good job of getting her to not think about her evening with their mother.

“Want to talk about it,” he asked.

Izzy ran her hands over her face and shook her head.

“Anything I can do cheer you up?”

She perked up and looked up at him, giving a soft smile as she slowly nodded. “You could return the favour you owe me.”

“Anything,” Alec immediately replied, mind working quickly to try to think of exactly what it was that Izzy needed him to do and how quickly he could do it so he could see his sister smile again.

She reached behind the couch and pulled out a sheet of paper.

Just the sight of it made Alec freeze because he knew that paper. He recognized that handwriting. He’d religiously studied it every night for the past seven days.

“Izzy,” he started to say, but she raised one hand and shook her head.

“You promised anything, remember.”

Fuck.

Soft, slender arms found their way around his neck and Izzy pulled him closer. Now it was her turn to offer him comfort and strength whilst he stared down at the paper and the number that had been calling out to him since the previous Friday.

“What are you so afraid of Alec?” She said the words, soft and low.

Alec swallowed. “That I’ll get hurt. That I will get too close and he will wreck me.” He licked his lips and his fingers tightened over the sheet of paper. So fragile and thin and yet with the power to make him feel all topsy-turvy. “He’s so far out of my league Iz.”

Izzy clucked and now it was her turn to tilt up his chin so he was staring into her eyes. “And you are amazing, thoughtful, kind, gorgeous and so giving of everything you are. He would be an idiot not to see it.”

“You didn’t mention my ass,” Alec found himself saying, and laughed. “I have a pretty great ass you know.”

Damn, the things that came out of his mouth.

Izzy though just smiled and teased him right back. “Trust me Alec, he’s very aware of your ass.”

Alec snorted and Izzy waggled her fingers at him. “Call him Alec. It’s time.”

Alec sighed, grabbed his phone and headed to his room. The minute the door closed behind him, he stared down at the sheet of paper in his hands, took in a deep breath and keyed in the number.

The minute he heard that velvety voice answer with a “Hello,” he couldn’t breathe. Everything he’d planned on saying just… vanished.

Fuck. He sounded even better than he had on Friday if that was possible. Like lazy sex on a Saturday morning, unhurried and decadent with that flare of heat.

“Hello?”

The inflection had changed to slight confusion and Alec forced himself to speak, before Magnus would assume it was a prank call and hang up.

“Hello Magnus. It’s… Alec.” 

Chapter Text

"So what you're trying to tell me right now is that you're not going to Pandemonium tonight?"

Raphael's eyes slid to the vase to the right—the one that held the peonies Cat had gotten Magnus for his last performance—and Magnus took a couple of steps back.

With the way Raphael was bristling at him, he was fairly sure that vase would come flying straight at him in any moment. And that was something he couldn't have happening to him. Especially because he was still hoping that there would be a call from Alexander.

At the sound of the name, Magnus held back a sigh.

Fuck. He’d expected Alec to have called him already. A couple of days of silence was expected, especially with how shy Alec had been when he’d first called him up on that stage. But radio silence for a week? He hadn’t expected it.

Worse still was the feeling in his gut at the suspicion that Alec might not just call him.

He heard Raphael take in loud calming breaths and turned his attention to his friend who thankfully had stepped away from the vase.

Now, he just stood by the large windows glaring at Magnus like he was imagining the myriad of ways he could set his hair on fire.

Magnus lightly touched the spiky strands. Reflex action.

“Why,” Raphael finally gritted out.

Magnus shrugged. “No reason.”

“You have got to be shitting me,” Raphael scowled and ran angry fingers through his hair, tousling them in a way that still managed to look artfully chaotic.

If not that Magnus knew that any attempt at deflecting the conversation would result in Raphael damning Cat’s anger and breaking that vase over Magnus’ head, Magnus would have praised Raphael for that move.

The new hair cut suited him.

“Magnus,” Raphael hissed, and Magnus’ eyes swung back to him.

“Give me one good reason why you would give up a chance of a night at Pandemonium—a night where you can make a boatload of money—to stay at home, on a Friday night?”

Magnus still didn’t respond and Elias who’d walked into the living room, with twin glasses of wine in hand—one of which he extended to Magnus who received it with a smile and a nod of thanks—spoke. “You do know that technically, he doesn’t need the money right?”

Raphael turned his glare on Elias and Magnus had a moment of gratitude that should there be any flying missiles, he would not be the recipient of it. Of course, he felt slightly bad for poor Elias who would surely spend some days in bed trying to recover from the assault, but it wasn’t so bad that he would look a gift horse in the mouth and not be grateful that for a moment, Raphael’s attention was on someone else.

“Excuse me,” Raphael bristled.

Elias shrugged in the way of those who had no idea they were moments away from being incinerated by Raphael Santiago. “He co-owns Pandemonium. You co-own the Hotel Dumort. Between the two of you, you don’t need the money.”

“Spoken like the truly ignorant,” Raphael hissed and stomped over to the bar to pour himself a drink—scotch, neat.

Magnus held back a smile at how predictably prissy Raphael got.

He caught Ragnor who was also smirking at Raphael, and the two of them shared a moment of commiseration.

Or at least they did, until Ragnor’s mouth curved in a smile that sent warning bells jangling in Magnus’ head.

He knew that look.

It never spelled anything good for him or the little secrets he might have hoped to keep from some of his friends—namely Raphael—who he knew wouldn’t be too happy about whatever bomb it was that Ragnor was about to drop in his lap.

“Ragnor,” he started to say, but he wasn’t fast enough.

“Or maybe it has something to do with that boy. The one whose call you’re still waiting on.” Ragnor gave a smug smile and then feigned confusion as he tapped his chin with his finger. “What was his name again? I can’t seem to remember.”

“Alec,” Cat offered and gave a little giggle as Ragnor winked at her.

Magnus felt Raphael’s scorching glare and didn’t bother looking at him.

Instead, he sprawled on his couch and took a gulp of his wine. If anything, he was sure he would need it to brace himself against the shit-storm he was sure Raphael was about to let loose on him in five… four…three…two…one…

“YOU HAVE GOT TO BE SHITTING ME!”

Fuck.

Magnus couldn’t even be pleased at the way Ragnor had winced at Raphael’s shout. He was too busy trying to convince his ears that it wasn’t an explosion that had set them ringing. Nope. It was one of his oldest friends cursing up a storm.

And boy, was Raphael on a roll.

He however had to call a halt to things when Raphael started cussing out his dick. “Seriously Raphael. No insulting the ‘D’”.

That only had Raphael sneering as he pointed his finger at said dick. “There shall be insults. Especially because I am sure right now, all you’re thinking with right now is that thing. Dios Mio. How the hell did I get stuck with such an idiota?!”

Magnus didn’t even bother replying. He just rolled his eyes and took in a mouthful of wine, taking the time to swirl it around his mouth, letting the familiar taste settle him for a moment, before swallowing.

“I think it’s cute actually.”

Everyone’s eyes swung to Cat stretched out her legs till they were practically lying across Ragnor's lap. She gave Magnus a knowing smile as she twirled her dark hair between her fingers.

Other women might use it as a distraction or a way for them to appear coy. But Catarina Loss did it when she was deep in thought and considering all the possibilities. And the way she was staring at him right now, with that look in her eyes, had Magnus shifting in his seat.

“What are you talking about,” Raphael murmured.

Magnus rolled his eyes.

Of course Raphael would gentle his tone when talking to Cat. If it had been anyone else who had referred to Magnus’ fascination with Alec as ‘cute’, Raphael would have jumped down the person’s throat faster than the person could even finish the thought.

But with Cat, he practically became a tabby.

Magnus caught Raphael’s eyes, raised a single brow and nudged at Cat’s direction.

Raphael scowled.

“Nothing really,” Cat said and everyone’s attention turned to her once again. “It’s just that I haven’t seen you this anxious for a phone call in forever.”

Ragnor nodded sagely at her words and both Magnus and Raphael scowled at him. They were doing it for different reasons but Ragnor who was utterly oblivious to it all—or most likely ignoring them both—merely gestured at Cat to continue speaking.

“Usually, you would have waited a couple of days, and then moved on if you still didn’t get the call.”

“Which is exactly what I was hoping would happen,” Raphael groused, and then shut up when Cat gave him a warning look.

Magnus smiled at the sight, but then froze when Cat turned to look at him, her knowing smile back on her face. “But you didn’t.”

What did she expect him to say in the situation? Even he had no idea why he couldn’t get rid of the memories. He had no idea why every time he closed his eyes, he saw long, lean legs, a full mouth, a pink tongue that kept darting out to lick those lips and those hazel eyes. He had no idea why he could he could still feel Alec groaning against his chest, or feel the way those nails raked over his back. And he most certainly had no idea why the fuck he hadn’t moved on yet either.

“You like him.”

Magnus’ eyes swung to Cat who smiled softly back at him. “No I don’t.”

She laughed. A light tinkering sound that echoed in the sudden silence of his apartment—understandable when Cat suddenly dropped a bomb about Magnus liking someone; a bomb that had everyone freezing in shock at the declaration. “You do.”

She said it with such certainty that Magnus was stunned into silence.

A snort broke the silence though and Magnus gratefully turned to Raphael who although had huge respect for Catarina, was at the moment sneering at her and her words. “Like? Indeed! How the hell do you expect him to like someone he’s only met once? Someone he just gave a paid dance to.”

“Hey,” Magnus snapped at Raphael. “It had nothing to do with the money.”

Raphael waggled his fingers in a ‘sure, I know that’ way and continued speaking. “I mean come on. It’s Magnus. Our Magnus!”

He pointed at Magnus and Magnus suddenly found himself the cynosure of every eye in the room. Usually, he would have been flattered but something warned him that whatever was about to pop out of Raphael’s mouth wouldn’t be in any way pleasant.

“The man doesn’t like little boys he’s only met a couple of days before.”

Magnus nodded.

“Hell, he rarely likes all those privileged brats who show up at Pandemonium, thinking that because he dances for a living, they can buy him. Of course they have no idea that not only does he co-own the club, but he also has more money than they can even dream of.”

True that.

“And most importantly. He’s a Casanova, not a Lover.”

“Hey!” Magnus exclaimed, and glared at Raphael who didn’t look a bit repentant.

If anything, Raphael pulled himself up and stood just a bit taller. He dropped the now empty glass of scotch and reached for the blazer he’d dropped on the couch when he stepped into the apartment. “We both know I’m telling the truth here Magnus. Even if Cat doesn’t believe me.”

Magnus’ eyes swung to Cat whose lips had firmed into a thin line. She alternated between glaring at Magnus and Raphael, and Magnus turned back to Raphael.

“Just come with me. Let’s dance. And knowing you, you will find someone to take home tonight and will have forgotten all about the boy before the night ends,” Raphael said, his eyes trained on Magnus.

As far as advice went, it wasn’t really a bad one. He’d waited long enough anyway, and Alec still hadn’t called him. And although he knew he could just as easily talk to Luke and get the number of Alec’s sister—the one who’d paid for the dance—he refused to destroy his self-respect by calling a man who it was clear had no interest in him.

The answer was pretty clear-cut.

Which made it all the more confusing when Magnus found himself saying, “Either way, I still want to stay in tonight.”

He caught Cat’s grin from the corner of his eyes, and heard Ragnor chuckle.

Raphael though hissed, narrowed his eyes like he was back to wishing that Magnus go bald, and then flounced out of the room.

Elias, ever the peacemaker hurried after him and Magnus ran fingers through his hair as he leaned back in his seat.

“Good choice,” Cat started to say, but stopped when Magnus shook his head.

He didn’t need anyone telling him that he should wait or that he was waiting because of some boy who wasn’t interested in him.

He was staying at home tonight because this was the first work night in seven years that he’d decided to take off.

It had nothing to do with the phantom phone call he was waiting for, from a man who he hadn’t been able to get out of his head.

He heard the clattering sound of his phone buzzing and considered ignoring it.

Something told him that it might likely be Raphael and he had no interest in being lambasted on the phone. Right now, all he needed was his drink and a good night sleep.

Something to get his mind off a certain dark-haired boy his mind liked to drift to.

“Not going to pick that,” Ragnor finally asked.

“I can’t deal with Raphael right now,” Magnus sighed and closed his eyes.

“It’s not Raphael,” he heard Cat say, and opened his eyes.

“Who is it then,” he asked, even as he stretched out his hand to grab the phone.

“No one you have saved,” Cat was saying as Magnus took in the number.

And if his heart had raced a little faster at the possibility that the person on the other end of the line was the man he was hoping to speak with, well… it wasn’t something anybody but him would know.

“Hello.”

The word breezed out of him, surprising him with how relaxed he sounded.

He could feel Cat and Ragnor’s eyes on him, but ignored them to focus on… breathing?—on the other end of the line.

Magnus brought the phone away from his ear to give the number another glance, his mind working quickly as he wondered if maybe it was a prank call.

He pushed aside the disappointment that wanted to take root at the realization that it wasn’t Alec calling after all, and tried again.

“Hello?”

This time around, there was a response and at the sound of the voice, Magnus froze.

“Hello Magnus. It’s… Alec.”

“Alexander.”

The name was a whispered prayer, and Magnus caught that little hitch of Alec’s breath, even as he wondered if the other man caught his.

He heard a noise and glared at Ragnor and Cat who were leaning forward, their expression eager as they tried to catch every single second of his conversation with Alec.

He rolled his eyes, flipped them off and turned his attention back on the one man he’d been hoping to hear from for the last seven days. “Alexander,” he said and added a little chuckle, hoping that it hid his nerves. “I thought you’d misplaced my number. It would surprise you how often it happens when you have it written on a paper rather stored on a phone.”

Alec gave a throaty laugh and Magnus sank back into his seat.

Fuck.

If this was his reaction when the other man laughed, he wasn’t going to last.

“Sure you weren’t just worried that I’d forgotten all about you. Or worse, that maybe I wasn’t interested?”

The teasing note of the words had Magnus snorting.

Yeah right.

“Sweetheart. I'm the catch. And last time I checked, you weren’t blind. There is no way in hell, forgettable, not interested and my gorgeous self can be in the same sentence.”

Now it was Alec’s turn to snort and Magnus found himself smiling at the sound.

“Big ego much?”

Magnus shrugged. “That’s not the only thing about me that’s big, Sweetheart.”

The words flew out before he could take them back and Magnus froze when he heard Alec sharply inhale.

Fuck. Seriously, you know better Bane. Not everyone is okay with you coming on so strong.

He didn’t bother looking at Ragnor and Cat, who’d been murmuring to each other, all through his conversation and who were now also silent.

He could feel their eyes on him, could even sense Cat shaking her head at the faux pas. Ragnor on the other hand, he was sure was silently tsking at him, and probably muttering about how he was awful at this.

The only good thing about the situation? Raphael wasn’t around to confirm exactly how stupid he was being.

No one insulted your intelligence level as Raphael did.

“Uh…. I guess that’s a bit... Well, I guess you’re…” Magnus started to stammer, his mind working quickly to try and provide him with the right words that would get Alec to keep talking to him.

But then, a merry laugh rang out, high and bright, and it had Magnus grinning, even as relief washed over him. He took a gulp of wine.

No one laughed like Alec was currently doing if they were still angry.

“Good to note,” Alec said. “We’ll be sure to…confirm that…at another time.”

He’d been about swallowing when Alec started to speak and so found himself choking on the wine, gasping as he held his hands up to prevent Cat from rising from her seat to come and tend to him.

He wasn’t dying, even though he felt like it at the moment. And the way his pants tightened as he tried taking in deep breaths to keep himself from imagining exactly when and how he would be able to have Alec confirm his… size, wasn’t helping matters.

Alec chuckled and Magnus found his eyes narrowing slightly.

The little shit was messing with him.

Easy for him to laugh when he wasn’t the one assailed with very vivid images of what he planned to do with body. Or exactly how slowly he would go as he tasted every inch of Alexander.

“Feeling better,” Alec asked.

He still sounded like he was trying hard not to laugh and Magnus lips twitched.

“Yeah,” Magnus replied, his voice sounding just a bit hoarse.

“So, how do we do this?”

Magnus’ eyes widened.

Damn. For someone who acted practically virginal at the club, Alexander really was quite the bold one.

He turned his attention back to the call though and caught the tail end of Alec’s words. “You did say I should call. Remember?”

Ha. Not what I was talking about then. A real shame.

“What would you like to do,” Magnus asked. He nodded in thanks as Cat refilled his wine glass.

“I don’t know. What do you want to do,” Alec tossed right back.

Oh. Alexander dear. There are so many things I want to do to you. So many things I want you to do to me.

Of course, Magnus didn’t say what he was thinking aloud. “I was thinking something simple. Maybe dinner? We could take the time to… know each other better?”
He ended it as a question, giving Alec the chance to back out or take him up on the offer.

There was a brief moment of silence. But then, Alec’s voice came on strong. “That sounds like a plan. Where do you want to meet?”

“My place?”

The words hung between them, silently daring Alec to make that choice and take that plunge. It was one thing for them to do their flirting but it was another for Alec to make that decision and come over. Especially because they both knew what would most likely happen.

Dinner was going to take a while.

“Sure. How does seven tomorrow sound?”

Magnus smiled. “Sounds perfect.”

Long after Alec had hung up, and Ragnor and Cat grilled him for information on the part of the conversation they hadn’t been privy to, Magnus’ mind was hard at work, mentally sifting through his wardrobe.

What the fuck was he going to wear to his date?


 

Magnus Bane didn’t do relationships.

He didn’t do dates.

He didn’t stay awake all night, thinking about a phone call from some guy he’d only just met.

And he most certainly never obsessed about what a good date idea would be for someone he only met a week before and who just called him hours before.

He didn’t do all these things.

Which was why he was as confused as Luke was at the moment. Even though he was the one presently asking Luke for the number of the person who’d paid for his dance with Alec.

Ragnor who’d shown up moments after Magnus had walked into Luke’s office, snorted.

Raphael, who had shown up moments after Ragnor did—Ragnor always did like to gossip—scowled.

Luke looked confused as fuck. But thankfully, he said nothing. Just reached across his desk, grabbed a note pad and a pen and scribbled something on the page.

Moments later, Magnus was on his way out of the office, with Ragnor and Raphael trailing behind him.

“So you don’t show up yesterday for your dance….”

“How did it go anyway,” Magnus cut in. “Did they miss me?”

He grinned when Raphael bristled, knowing full well that although his regulars would have indeed missed Magnus' performance, Raphael wouldn’t be willing to admit that because that would mean that they found him wanting in some way.

And Raphael Santiago’s pride was miles long and would in no way allow him admit that his audience would have preferred it if Magnus had been the one giving the dance.

“So why do you need that,” Ragnor asked as he motioned at the sheet of paper. “The boy already called you and agreed to a date.”

Magnus glanced down at the sheet of paper and the name scrawled on top of it.

Isabelle

“Yeah well…” Magnus shrugged. “I figured it wouldn’t be a bad idea to call her up. Ask her if there’s something her brother likes. Maybe, try and make it just a tad bit special.”

Ragnor raised an eyebrow, and Raphael released a string of expletives that had Magnus stepping far away from him.

Partly because he couldn’t deal with Raphael calling him a simple-minded simpleton who’s thinking only with his dick—and in Spanish no less—and partly because he needed some quiet to make his call.

Seconds after it rang, his call was picked and he heard a laughing female voice ask, “Hello?”

He’d always believed that a person’s voice said a lot about who they were. And if Isabelle Lightwood’s voice was anything to go by, this was a woman who loved to have fun and laugh at life and herself.

She was just his type of person.

“Isabelle. Hello. This is Magnus… Magnus Bane. I don’t know if you remember…”

“Well, well, well. Magnus Bane,” Isabelle crooned. “I’d been wondering when I would get the chance to talk to you.”

Interesting. “You have?”

Isabelle chuckled. “But of course. It’s not every day someone gives my brother a dance that kept him up all night for seven days straight. And then had him laughing like a loon during a phone conversation.”

Magnus preened. “He couldn’t stop thinking about me?”

He heard a scoff from behind him and ignored it. Raphael can go fuck himself for all he cared. It would serve him right for eavesdropping on Magnus’ call.

Isabelle laughed. “Don’t tell him I said that.”

“It will be our little secret,” Magnus whispered and Isabelle laughed again.

Damn, she was a happy woman.

“So what can I do for you Magnus?”

Okay, how to go about this? “Uh, I don’t know if Alexander mentioned it to you…”

“You asked him out on a date,” Isabelle completed for him.

He pulled up the vague memory of a dark-haired girl standing beside Alec during his performance. He hadn’t paid much attention to her, or the blonde who had been standing beside her and so couldn’t remember exactly what she looked like. But if she looked anything like her brother, he could just imagine her full lips curved into a smile.

“And I was wondering if you had any ideas.”

Silence.

“You know. For the date.”

More silence.

Magnus pulled the phone away from his ear to glance at the screen.

Strange. The call was still connected. But Isabelle wasn’t saying anything.

“Isabelle?”

Hearing her name seemed to have done it because Isabelle sighed. “That is so sweet.”

What?

“And so romantic.”

Huh?

“I kept telling Alec to try things out, and that he might just be surprised, but did he listen to me? Nope.”

What was she talking about?

“And now here you are, planning ways to make your very first date, special and unforgettable.”

I’m what?

“You know what? Where are you right now?”

Magnus glanced around at the club. It wasn’t nighttime yet so they were almost empty. But some stragglers still remained. “Pandemonium.”

“Okay. I’ll be there in thirty minutes,” Isabelle said.

Magnus was just about to ask her why she felt like she had to come over when he heard her talking to someone in the background.

Alexander?

“Okay, make it forty-five Jace takes a while to get ready.”

And with that, she hung up, leaving Magnus to stare at his phone as he blinked up at his friends. One of which was patting his shoulder comfortingly whilst the other glared at him and crossed his arms.

“Idiota!” Raphael hissed.

For once, Magnus wondered if maybe, Raphael might just be right.


An hour later, Isabelle stood in front of him, waves cascading down her back, lips painted a brilliant red and with a glint in her eyes that confirmed for Magnus that indeed, here was a woman who loved life and life sure as hell fucking loved her right back.

“Isabelle,” Magnus greeted and Isabelle grinned.

“Call me Izzy,” Isabelle—Izzy said with a wink, and Magnus nodded.

Behind her stood the blonde who was at the moment glaring at him.

“That’s Jace,” Isabelle said as she jerked her thumb in Jace’s direction. “Ignore him. And his lack of manners.”

Jace glowered and Magnus shrugged. His plan had been to ignore the man anyway.

Izzy glanced around with unbridled delight, reminding him of Charlie seeing the Chocolate Factory for the very first time. “So this is what Pandemonium looks like during the daylight.”

“Empty and in need of a good scrubbing,” Jace muttered and Magnus rolled his eyes.

“Do you want a tour,” he asked Izzy who shook her head and took her seat in one of the booths.

Jace slid in right beside her and Magnus sat across from the two of them.

Of course he kept his eyes on Izzy who smiled at him. “So, your first date huh?”

She wriggled her brows and Magnus leaned back and winked at her. “Yup.”

“Any plans?”

“Nope. That’s why I called you. Is there… anything Alexander likes,” Magnus asked.

Jace snorted. “You can start by calling Alec for one.”

Magnus’ eyes swung to Jace and Izzy pinched him, much to Magnus’ satisfaction.

Served him right.

“Seriously Izzy,” Jace yowled.

“Behave,” Izzy hissed and Jace crossed his arms and although he looked mutinous, he didn’t say anything.

“Forgive my brother,” Izzy began and Magnus’ eyes drifted over to her. “He’s just worried about Alec and…” Her hands wandered to the jeweled necklace she had on as she played with the ruby pendant. “It’s a first for him.”

And by first, she meant?

Izzy though didn’t complete the thought. Instead, she brightened and then started listing out activities that she ticked off using her fingers. “He likes movies. Old movies.”

“Old movies. Got it.”

“He’s a fan of Italian food. And sometimes Mexican. Alec would kill for a Quesadilla.”

At the words, Jace snorted and Magnus turned to look at him.

His face had softened in the duration of time when Izzy had been speaking and now he had on a soft smile as he shook his head. “That is true.”

Magnus nodded. “Italian or Mexican. Got it. Anything else?”

“He’s more of a stay indoors with a good book kind of person,” Jace said, startling Magnus who had barely been dealing with the fact that Jace wasn’t glaring anymore, and now had to deal with him offering Magnus dating advice. “So no clubs. At least not for the first date.”

Magnus nodded. “Okay. Anything else?”

Izzy opened her mouth to speak, but saw something over Magnus’ shoulder that had her stopping. Meanwhile, Jace sat up straight, his face stuttering close.

Magnus held back a sigh.

Only one person had the ability to scowl everyone into silence.

Raphael.

“Seriously, Raphael,” he muttered, without turning around.

Raphael slid into the booth beside him, and then left enough space for Ragnor to join him.

Ragnor too?

“What are you two doing here,” Magnus asked.

Raphael shrugged and Ragnor steepled his fingers underneath his chin and rested his elbows on the table.

Magnus sighed and waved at them. “Izzy. Jace. Meet Raphael and Ragnor.”

Jace was back to his scowling ways, but Izzy grinned and waved.

Ragnor nodded and Raphael leaned back to cross his arms.

Seriously. What the fuck was wrong with the two of them?

“Is there any reason why you two are here,” Magnus hissed, eager to have them leave so he could go back to pumping Izzy and Jace for information that would help him in becoming the perfect first date.

His friends though just ignored him.

“You’re Alec’s sister,” Raphael finally spoke.

Izzy nodded. “And you’re Magnus’ friends.”

Raphael made a face. “Unfortunately.”

Magnus glared at him. What a jackass.

“Have you had the talk with him yet,” Raphael asked.

“We were on it. Before you interrupted,” Magnus pointed out dryly.

Raphael rolled his eyes. “Dios. Who is talking about your stupid talk about what you should do on your date?” He turned to Ragnor. “Like since when did it become so difficult? You take the boy out to eat. You have some drinks. You get back to your apartment. You fuck. You move on.”

“Let me guess. You’re not in a relationship at the moment?”

The words surprisingly enough came from Jace and Magnus stared at him in open-mouthed surprise.

Jace was at the moment, glaring as hard at Raphael as Raphael was at him.

They were so fixated on staring each other down that Magnus half expected the club to combust. Either that or someone would whip out a weapon and start shooting.

“Whether or not I’m in a relationship is not your business. Boy,” Raphael finally hissed.

Jace bristled. “I am not a boy.”

“Yeah. Because cutting in when someone’s talking is something adults do,” Raphael sneered.

“Yeah. Because it’s very adult-like to reduce your friend’s emotions to something as physical as a casual fuck,” Jace tossed right back at him.

“Says the child with that ridiculous hair. What is that? Dyed casual blonde,” Raphael scoffed.

“Says the adult wearing a jacket that looks just like the one my Grandfather was buried in. And for your information, I didn’t dye my hair. I’m all natural. Check out my roots.”

“As interesting as this conversation is,” Ragnor interrupted, and Magnus almost shouted at him. Like seriously, he’d been enjoying the banter, especially with how Raphael just kept getting redder by the second. Hell, Raphael might have been about to yank Jace’s hair to confirm the not dyed ‘roots’. “I think it’s best we stick to the reason why we’re all here.”

“And what reason would that be,” Magnus asked.

Raphael flicked lint off his suit and glared mutinously at Jace. “We guessed they would harass you about not breaking their brother’s heart. Yadda Yadda Yadda.”

Magnus snickered. “That’s so not why they’re here. We’ve been talking about the date.”

“But we were just about to get to that part,” Isabelle stated and Magnus’ eyes flickered to her. Gone was the playful glint in those dark eyes or that smirk on her lips. Her eyes had hardened, her mouth firmed up. “You hurt my brother Bane, and I will make your life a living hell. Are we clear?”

She finished with a smile that didn’t reach her eyes and Magnus found himself liking her even more.

Isabelle Lightwood was an undisputed badass and she owned that shit.

Someone scoffed and Magnus sighed as he turned to Raphael, prepared to catch the sneer on his friend’s face.

Instead, he was stunned to find Raphael, full on glaring at the Lightwoods. His hackles were up and he looked about ready to bare his teeth at them.

What the…?

“Same goes for your brother. He does anything to break his heart...” Raphael began and stopped as his eyes slid over to Ragnor.

Ragnor placed both hands on the table and leaned forward till his nose was practically in front of Izzy’s.

“We will tear him apart. Limb from limb.”

What in the actual loving fuck?

Magnus’ eyes swung from Raphael to Ragnor and back again.

Neither of his friends looked at him though. Instead, they were having some sort of telepathic war with the Lightwoods who met them glare for glare, without budging.

Finally, Izzy’s eyes softened and she smiled.

Ragnor sat back in his seat, and smiled back at her.

Raphael and Jace continued glaring at each other.

“Glad we understand each other,” Ragnor stated, looking as calm as you please and Izzy winked in response.

As for Magnus?

He was wondering what the fuck his friends were doing issuing threats to a boy he’d planned to take on a date, fuck and move on from.

Seriously. It wasn’t like he had any plans of actually being in a relationship of some sort with Alec Lightwood.

It was just sex. Plain and simple.


 

Long after Izzy and Jace had left, Magnus sat in silence, with a brooding Raphael and a contemplative Ragnor.

Around them was the bustling sound of people setting up Pandemonium for the night's performance but none of them paid them any attention.

Finally, he turned to look at his friends, and caught both Raphael and Ragnor's eyes on him. "What was that for?"

Raphael shrugged and his eyes skittered away.

Ragnor gently placed his hands on the side of Magnus' cheek, a soft smile on his face as he replied. "Because they needed to know. Their brother might be important. But so are you."


 

At exactly seven that night, his doorbell rang.

He buzzed up Alec without thinking twice and in the seconds it took Alec to make his way up to his apartment, Magnus had a brief moment where he wondered if he might have just let in a serial killer who would kill him and take off, moments before his actual date showed up to find his freshly dead and still bleeding body on the floor.

But then, Alec, was stepping into his apartment and Magnus found himself smiling, thoughts of serial killers and morbid deaths a thing of the past as he stared at the other man.

He’d gone with a blue collared shirt for their date. A dusky blue that brought out his eyes and stretched across his torso like it had been tailored for him.

With the way he scrunched up his nose as he pulled on the shirt, Magnus would lay good money on the fact that it had been Izzy who’d bought Alec the shirt.

He let his gaze slowly travel up. Sweeping up those long, long legs, that gorgeously slender torso, those arms, that corded neck, and finally up to meet those hazel eyes that had widened slightly as they took him in as well.

He took note of Alec’s flushed face and did a little spin, knowing fully well that he looked utterly fuckable.

It was the reason why he’d paired the bronze draping shirt---with the gorgeously deep V that stopped inches shy of his navel—he'd picked up on his trip to Morocco with the black leather pants Raphael had always called scandalous but which Magnus thought was just the right touch of sinful; appropriate for a first date.

And if Alec’s eyes, and the way he kept licking his lips was any indication, Magnus' outfit choice was perfect.

“Alexander. Make yourself at home.”

He walked further into his apartment, noting that Alec followed after him; a bit hesitant, sure, but he did follow.

Magnus walked over to the bar and poured himself a scotch: neat. "Fancy a drink?"

Alec looked a bit unsure, but shrugged. "Okay."

"Fancy anything in particular?"

All he got was another shrug. Although this time around, Alec eyed the bar like he expected it to jump at him and chew him right up.

Magnus refused to accept that he'd just thought of the look as cute.

Instead, he focused on making just the right drink. Something sweet that Alec would enjoy, but with just the right kick that no one would think of calling it a virgin.

They were both grown ass adults. And he would feel like shit if his date was drinking something distinctively non-alcoholic.

With his mind thus made up, he built Alec's drink and when he was done, turned around to present it with a flourish.

Alec scrunched up his nose. "What's that?"

Magnus held back a smile at the suspicious glare Alec leveled at the drink he held. "That, sweetheart, is the singularly best and sweetest thing you would ever taste. It's a White Russian, and I'm sure it would be perfectly suited to your taste."

Alec it would seem didn't agree with him, if the way he continued to warily glance at the drink was any indication.

Magnus snorted, reached for Alec's hand—ignored the warmth that pooled in his belly at the touch, and Alec's indrawn breath and wide eyed stare—and gingerly placed the old fashioned glass in his hand.

He looked down into Alec's eyes and smiled. "Try it."

Alec kept his eyes on him as he raised the glass to his lips and took a sip.

Magnus knew the minute he caught a taste of the cocktail.

Hazel eyes widened, and that tongue flickered out to catch a lingering taste. And then, Alec, went back for more.

So much more that Magnus had to reach out and take the glass from him.

If his cock throbbed at the way Alec subconsciously followed the glass like he couldn't let it go, which then brought to mind images of Alec being that devoted to his body, well, Magnus wasn't going to share that with anybody.

Alec made a little sound that had Magnus chuckling, but which then had Alec glaring at him because Magnus had laughed at him.

Magnus tsked. "Seriously Alexander. If you rush that, our date would be over before it even began."

Alec still looked mutinous at that, and his eyes swung between looking at Magnus and looking at the glass, which Magnus set on the end table across from Alec.

It was an expression that had Magnus vowing to feed Alec with so much delicious cocktails that the other man would automatically think of him every time he saw someone having a drink—any drink.

He spotted the little bit of cream smeared at the corner of Alec's lips, and without thinking leaned forward and swiped it off.

Or at least he tried swiping it off.

Instead he froze, with his thumb so close to Alec's mouth that he could feel the warm gust of air that was Alec breathing, and those soft, and yet so full lips.

His eyes swung to Alec whose eyes were centered on him and staring at him with open-mouthed surprise.

Fuck. He looked utterly fuckable at the moment.

A real pity because Magnus had decided that he was going to take things slow.

Or rather, that had been his plan.

Because just as he tried to pull his thumb away from its prime spot on the corner of Alec's mouth, that pink tongue flickered out and grazed the pad of his thumb.

Once.

Magnus' breath hitched.

Twice.

He was sure his pupils were dilated.

Thrice.

Magnus' breath whooshed out of him and the exact same moment Alec turned his head and took in the entire thumb into his mouth.

Fuck.

Magnus moaned.

And Alec took that as permission to graze the pad of his thumb with his teeth, all the while staring up at Magnus from beneath those luxurious lashes, as those gorgeous eyes twinkled.

Magnus didn't think.

He just reached. Fingers wrapping around the base of Alec's neck, sliding over that soft skin as he angled that head and sank his fingers into those uber soft strands that Alexander called his hair.

He heard Alec moan but was so far gone that he didn’t even smile at hearing the sound.

No. The blood was pounding in his head and his heart was racing several miles a minute as his mind focused on just one thing.

As his lips covered Alec's, sliding over those warm and soft lips, he heard a moan.

His? Alec's?

He didn't care.

All that mattered right now was that Alec had parted his lips and Magnus slid his tongue into that warm cavern of a mouth.

His tongue glided over Alec's, both of them dueling as they tried to inhale the other.

Fuck he tasted sweet. Sweet and creamy and alcoholic.

Thank the heavens for White Russian.

Magnus felt himself stumble as Alec pulled him, but then he was landing on muscled thighs as he found himself sitting on Alec's lap.

Not one to waste the moment, and thankful that it wasn't an armchair that would have hindered him, he spread his legs so he had them on opposite side of the chair, a move which placed his clothed cock directly over Alec's. They both groaned as Magnus shifted and rolled, grinding down on that cock, staring down at Alec whose mouth was hanging open and whose pupils had blown wide.

Magnus leaned forward for another messy kiss and moaned into Alec's mouth as he felt lean fingers close over his ass and begin to knead it.

Fuck it would be so much better if we were doing this with fewer clothes.

The minute he had the thought he froze, causing Alec whose fingers had been trying to make their way into his pants to stumble to a halt.

Bleary eyes opened to look at him and Magnus gave a minute shake of his head and slowly rose from the seat.

He took several steps back and stared at Alec who was panting and staring right back at him with a confused expression. "Magnus?"

There was so many questions in that simple utterance of his name, but Magnus had no idea where he was to start. Or what he was meant to say.

But the minute he saw the hurt star to cloud those eyes, he found himself talking, anyway. "It's not you, you know."

Of all the ways he'd thought he wanted the conversation to start, that hadn't been it. And he found himself smiling at the eye roll that got him.

"Seriously. I just… thought you might want to take things slow. Maybe get dinner first…" He trailed off at the frown that swept across Alec's face.

"So, what you're telling me right now, is that you stopped for my own good," Alec asked as he rose from the chair.

Magnus watched those long, long legs slowly unfold, until Alec was standing at his full height.

"You stopped because you wanted to, what? Protect my virtue?"

Actually, it was more of a case of keeping him from making a mistake. But Alec, didn't even give him a chance to speak. Instead, he just kept walking as he stalked closer to Magnus. "You were trying to help me keep my virginity."

He was so close, that Magus found himself subconsciously taking several steps backwards until his back connected with the wall. Not like that helped because Alec just keep coming closer, until he had both his arms on the wall, both of them placed on either side of Magnus' head; effectively boxing him in.

Magnus glanced up at Alec, whose eyes were back to being fixated on Magnus' lips. "We can do dinner later. Hell we can even go to the movies if you want. But I came over because I want more." Those lean fingers slowly stroked across Magnus' cheek and Magnus found himself leaning into the touch, his gaze on Alec. "And I want it with you."

Even as he was saying the words, Alec surged forward, his mouth connecting with Magnus’ and Magnus moaned.

Heavens know he'd tried his damndest to stay away and give Alec the chance to come to the decision on his own.

But the decision had been reached and Magnus wasn't one to say 'No' to a man as gorgeous as Alec Lightwood wanting to have sex with him.

He took hold of Alec's arm and pulled him close, lips sealing over that hollow in his throat that Magnus had wanted to taste since forever. That earned him a moan as Alec's fingers tightened around his arm.

But Magnus didn't stop.

He instead continued to work his teeth and lips, placing little nips here, and little kisses there, all the whilst walking an unsuspecting Alec into his bedroom, swallowing those needy whimpers that Alec released when Magnus trailed soft kisses behind his ears.

As the room door closed behind them, Alec startled and his eyes widened as he took in the fact that they were in fact in Magnus' bedroom, and what he was looking at were red satin sheets.

He turned around, and then froze when he noticed that Magnus had started taking off his clothes.

The shirt went first, and he noticed Alec's eyes as they ran over his torso, taking in the dips and curves of muscles he was proud to display.

Alec visibly swallowed, but made no move to take off his clothes.

Magnus didn't mind though. He was willing to do the stripping for both of them. Especially because he was so looking forward to finally getting his hands on Alexander.

He kept his eyes on Alec, working and thrusting his hips as he oh so slowly loosened the buckle of his belt, and then pulled it through the hoops of his pants.

The belt clattered to the ground and Alec jumped a little at the sudden sound.

Magnus chuckled.

"Relax," he breathed and pushed Alec back till Alec's legs collided with the edge of the bed. He fell backwards and landed on those sheets, blinking several times, as he tried to wrap his head around the fact that he was lying on Magnus' bed.

But then, his attention was drawn to Magnus, and Magnus grinned as Alec tracked his every moment, taking particular interest as he unbuttoned his pants.

Wanting to make it as much of a show—he was a performer. Sue him—as he could, he turned around and presented his ass to Alec.

He heard Alec released a strangled sound and chuckled, even as he thrust and rolled his hips, working his body in the same way he'd first displayed it for Alec on the night they'd met.

Unlike that dance, his present pants weren't the kind he could easily rip from himself.

But what this meant was that he had the satisfaction of bending down to try and get the pants off, one leg at a time.

What it also meant was that Alec, who'd seen that ass—just like Magnus had wanted him to—hadn't been able to control himself and had so leaned forward and bitten down on said ass.

Magnus released a guttural moan and spun around so quickly; he was able to catch Alec, torso stretched over the bed, practically falling over so he could get his face on Magnus' ass.

Magnus kicked off his pants—not caring where they landed—, shoes and briefs, and now it was his turn to stalk over to Alec's.

Alec's eyes widened as he tried pulling back but Magnus merely placed his hands on his shoulders and pushed him back on the bed, sliding his naked body over Alec's clothed one, groaning at the friction it created, even as Alec moaned.

"Guess what was the first thing I imagined doing to you during our dance," Magnus whispered as he worked the buttons of Alec’s shirt, slowly revealing that sinfully delicious skin, fingers brushing against the jutting collarbone, reveling as Alec’s breath hitched.

“What,” Alec replied, voice hoarse, eyes flitting from Magnus’ eyes to his fingers as he oh so slowly pushed Alec’s shirt off of him.

But damn, Alec was one hell of a man. And Magnus mentally apologized for having ever thought of him as a boy.

Those pecs and abs moved as Magnus trailed one finger from Alec’s collar bone, down to the start of the happy trial that dipped beneath his jeans.

His eyes flickered up to Alec whose face was flushed and Magnus chuckled. “Breathe,” he whispered, as his mouth ghosted over the pelvic “V”. He flickered his tongue to taste and Alec gasped and those hips shifted.

But that just wouldn’t do.

Magnus had plans for Alexander, and shifting wasn’t allowed, until he was well and truly ready.

He started with the sturdy leather boots and socks, and sent them flying. Then made quick work of the buttons of the jeans, and then inch by inch, with his eyes on Alec pulled them free.

They joined their compatriots at the corner of the room.

Not like Magnus gave a fuck.

Because he most certainly didn’t.

Nope. His eyes were on that impressive bulge, straining against Alec’s boxer shorts, and that dampness that had his mouth watering.

He raised his eyes to meet Alec’s dark gaze and winked. “Someone’s happy to see me.”

Alec gave a strangled moan turn laugh and Magnus grinned.

He hooked his thumbs beneath the shorts, brushing that soft skin he’d only gotten a taste of during their dance.

This time around though, he could do more than touch.

And so he pulled the shorts off, watching with keen fascination as the move was momentarily halted by Alec’s cock standing tall and proud. But with a little tug, they crested over it, wandered down those legs and found their way to the other articles of clothing that Magnus could bet littered Alec’s floor at the moment.

With Alec just as naked as he’d wanted—needed—him to be, Magnus ran his eyes over that lean form, taking note of the myriad of tattoos that Alec had so far, successfully managed to keep hidden beneath his collection of shirts and jeans.

Fuck, there was even one curved around his left flank, long and glorious and Magnus had the ache to trace every line with his tongue.

Soon. You'll have many more days to do it.

It was a promise and a prayer because he just knew dragging this any longer would kill the two of them.

He slid his arms beneath Alec’s ass, grabbing those twin globes and squeezed. Hard.

They both groaned, and Alec threw his head back, but then startled when Magnus in the next moment, used the momentum to pull him forward.

Alec's feet dug into the mattress. His legs spread wide, and his back lay flat on the bed. Magnus groaned at and leaned forward to take a long swipe from the root of Alec’s cock to the pearly tip.

Alec whimpered.

Magnus swallowed.

Fuck that tastes so good. I want more!

He wrapped his arms around Alec’s thighs and pulled him closer still, close enough that he had that gorgeous, pale cock right in front of him; the flared head, red and engorged, looking so warm that Magnus’ hands found their way to enclose it in a firm grip.

Alec gasped, then groaned when Magnus’s finger swiped across the sensitive head. “Magnussssssssss.”

The drawn out hiss almost made Magnus chuckle. Almost.

Instead, he leaned forward, mouth perched over Alec’s cock, eyes on Alec who was looking up at him. He winked, and swallowed, throat flexing wide as he took in the entire girth.

Alec howled, thighs shaking as they closed around Magnus’ head, clenching tight like he was scared Magnus would leave.

Magnus had no intention of going anywhere.

He hummed, sending vibrations up the length, knowing what it was doing to Alec who was babbling incoherently above him.

He pulled back, saliva dripping as he stared back at Alec with his blown eyes and panting mouth, flushed face and heaving chest.

And then he went back in for more, stopping halfway down that cock as he started to bob his head, mouth moving over warm flesh, stopping occasionally to lightly scrape the side of Alec’s cock with his teeth.

“Fuck,” Alec expelled.

Magnus pulled back and grinned. “In a moment sweetheart. First, I need to taste…” And with that he leaned forward to capture those balls in his mouth.

Alec groaned.

Fuck, how he loved that sound.

Lean fingers dug into his hair and tugged. Hard.

Magnus didn’t care.

He rolled those balls in his mouth. First the left, then the right. His fingers reached above him to take that cock in his hand and as he jerked Alec's cock, he moved his nose down to Alec’s ball sack and inhaled. Loving the scent that was all Alec.

“Fuck. Shit. God!”

Magnus smiled. He continued stroking Alec’s cock, every movement, slick and even, the precum coating his hand, making it easier, all the whilst he continued rolling those balls in his mouth.

“Magnussssss. I’m gonna….”

At the words, Magnus pulled back with a pop, causing Alec to whine. Those dark eyes opened and glared at him and Magnus chuckled.

“You aren’t coming just yet sweetheart.”
That got him another whine.

“Nope. You aren’t coming till I’m so deep inside of you, every breath you take from the minute you leave this apartment will remind you of me.”
Alec swallowed.

“You aren’t coming till I’m so deep inside you, the feeling of you shattering in my arms will hunt your dreams… and mine.”
Alec panted.

Magnus stretched across the bed, hands going to the drawers he kept by the side of his bed, fingers searching blindly for that bottle and the foil wrapper, all the while, he kept his eyes on Alec.

As his fingers closed over the lube and the condom, he grinned and pulled them out, holding up to Alec whose swollen mouth and parted at the sight.

Magnus leaned forward to taste those lips, his tongue running over the bottom lip, gliding over the minor cut that was most likely the result of Alec biting down hard to keep himself from screaming.

Magnus tutted, causing Alec’s eyes to swing to him.

He smiled rather than responding to the question in Alec’s eyes.

If Alec actually thought they were going to do this without him becoming a screaming mess, he had no idea what he was getting into.

Keeping his eyes on Alec, he brought the wrapper to his teeth and cleanly tore it open.

The hiss Alec released at the move was immensely satisfying. Even more satisfying was the way that tongue flickered out to lick his lips when Magnus knelt on the bed, took his cock in hand, kept his eyes on Alec as he rolled the condom on.

“Turn over,” Magnus breathed and Alec barely hesitated before he did just that, instinctively pushing out his ass as he waited.

He could feel Alec vibrating on the spot, fingers drumming on his thighs, restless as he waited for Magnus to do… something.

Usually, he would have waited, dragged this out, made Alec beg for it.

But they were both so close, and something told him they would have another chance at this.

So he poured some of the lube on his palm, slicked up his cock and fingers and crawled over till he was draped over Alec.

At the contact, both their breaths whooshed out, and Magnus’ fingers crept over, lightly going over that crack, every touch making Alec give subtle jerks whilst Magnus’ cock clenched.

He dipped one long finger in, working it nice and slow, like they had all the time in the world and there was no need to rush.

Alec at first froze at the intrusion, fingers tightening on the sheets. But soon, he was panting and moving his hips, ass clenching around Magnus’ fingers, searching for more.

Magnus carefully slid in the second finger, scissoring them around, stretching but careful. He leaned forward to place open mouthed kisses at the back of Alec’s neck.

Alec shivered.

Magnus ran the rest of his fingers down the curve of Alec’s spine.

Alec moaned, body switching from trying to pull away from Magnus’ fingers in his ass, to wanting the fingers on his skin.

The minute Alec started backing right back up, and riding his fingers, Magnus pulled back, and turned Alec’s face to his, tongue sliding into Alec’s mouth as Alec started to whine.

The whine turned into a moan and Alec kissed him back. Their tongues lazing dueling, sliding in and out of each other’s mouth just as slowly as Magnus’ fingers sliding in and out of Alec.

He pulled away from the kiss, and Alec’s mouth instinctively followed him.

Magnus smiled.

Alec blushed, his lips curved into a smile.

Magnus reached for him, fingers curling around Alec’s side as he pulled him closer, balancing that pert ass on his own thighs.

Alec’s breath hitched, his eyes blown wide as he greedily studied Magnus’ face.

Magnus’ slipped his hands underneath Alec’s thighs, lifting him up and settling him down on his cock, his tip barely slipping in as he watched Alec’s face.

Alec bit down hard on his lower lip, eyes squeezed shut, taking calming breaths.

And just as Magnus was about to speak, he moved. A slight nudge that had the head of Magnus’ cock sliding in.

Fuck.

Now it was Magnus' turn to squeeze his eyes and hold his breath, waiting because it took every ounce of willpower he had not to flip Alexander over and pound into him.

Alec shifted again, baring down some more, not stopping until he’d slid completely down Magnus’ entire length, his ass cheeks resting on Magnus’ thighs, breath wheezing out of him as he took in clean even breaths.

He felt… tight. Hot. And unfuckingbelievably good.

Fuck.

“Are you just going to sit there?”

The murmured words were strained but Magnus could still hear the laughter running through it.

He glared at Alec who looked back at him, winked and then rolled his hips, sliding up and down Magnus’ cock, riding it and clenching his ass with every movement, making every movement slow and deliberate, a smirk on his face as he destroyed Magnus.

Magnus whimpered, his fingers finding their way to Alec’s thighs, digging in as he held on for the ride; holding back because this was Alec’s move.

Or at least it was. Until Alec whispered. “Magnus. Fuck me.”

Three words, and he snapped.

He pulled out, and Alec whined and then whimpered when Magnus pushed him down till Alec was on all fours.

Magnus knelt behind him, cock in hand as he slid it all the way in, hands braced and curved beneath Alec’s stomach, and mouth open and wide on Alec’s back as he pushed in.

They both groaned. Feverish and high.

“Fuck,” Alec whimpered.

Magnus chuckled—surprising even himself because he was definitely not in the position to be laughing. “I’m about getting to it wweetheart.”

“Well, when are you…”

Magnus didn’t let him finish. He pulled back out, inch by slow inch, reveling in the high and broken sound Alec made, and then just about laughed as Alec’s whimpered when he pushed right back in.

He must have made a sound because the next thing he knew, Alec was pushing back, ass clenching, sounds pouring out of him, working his hips, matching him speed for speed as Magnus pistoned in and out of him.

Magnus bent even further, driving his dick in deeper, sweat trickling down his body, gasping to the sounds of Alec’s groans.

Until he shifted and Alexander Lightwood screamed.

He fucking to god screamed and Magnus chuckled and continued hitting the spot, reveling in the howls pouring out of Alec’s mouth, watching with dark delight as Alec’s fingers scrambled to find purchase on the sheets which just kept slipping right through his fingers, smiling, as Alec started pleading incoherently.

Ass and hips working as he kept plunging into that heat, until he finally found pity on him and reached for Alec’s cock. It was so freaking hot and hard, desperate to find release.

Magnus stroked it hard and fast, in tandem with his trusts, finding Alec’s mouth in a sloppy kiss as they both raced to their release.

He pressed his thumb down on the head, swallowed Alec’s shout as he splattered all over Magnus’ hands, hot and wet and continued thrusting, feeling the heat building, his nut sack tightening, until he finally exploded.

He threw his head back and now it was his turn to howl as his hips jerked erratically, thrusting into Alec as he filled the condom, all thoughts wiped completely clean.

It took him a long while to catch a breath and took him even longer to finally pull out of Alec, both of them hissing at the sensitivity.

He disposed of the condom, then joined Alec back in his bed, pulling the other man closer to him as they both slowly drifted off.

He was just about to totally fall into the arms of sleep when he heard Alec whisper against his ear. “Um, Magnus. I’m hungry.”
Magnus chuckled and opened his eyes to meet smiling hazel eyes.

Suddenly overcome, and having no idea the reason why, he leaned forward and placed a careful kiss on Alec’s nose, watching with a satisfied smirk as Alec smiled shyly right back at him.

“Sure. Italian or Mexican?”

Chapter Text

It took him a couple of moments for him to actually hear the words.

Which shouldn't have been surprising really. He was distracted after all. By the feel of those warm soft and lean lips against the bridge of his nose? When he could still see the twinkle in those brown eyes smiling down at him, and see those lips curved into a smile. A smile that at the moment had turned quizzical.

“Alexander?”

Alec returned to the moment, just as Magnus repeated the question. “Italian or Mexican?”

"Mexican," Alec replied. Sure he could go for Italian, but he'd been craving Fajitas for a while now.

Magnus smiled and then those long, lean fingers drew circles on Alec's back, sending his body into a tizzy as it alternated between sleep and arousal.

Fuck those lazy strokes were driving him crazy.

"Do you want to us to head out or do you want us to eat in," Magnus asked.

"I'm not sure," Alec replied, his attention focused on those fingers as they ghosted over his ass, and then returned to draw a line down his spine.

Magnus though, continued talking. Like he had no idea the effect he was having on Alec.

Alec shifted to look at him and caught the barely repressed smug grin.

Oh, Magnus knew what he was doing all right. And he was having a shit ton of fun at it.

Tease.

"Well, let's see. There's this small family owned Mexican restaurant: La Madre, a couple of blocks away from the loft," Magnus said as he shifted to place a small open-mouthed kiss at the base of Alec's neck.

Alec sighed. "How small?"

"Very small."

A kiss behind Alec's ear.

"Think cozy."

A kiss behind the other ear.

"Intimate."

"Sounds good," Alec murmured, eyes drifting close as Magnus continued placing little kisses all over his back.

"It is good. The people are nice. The food is great. The view is gorgeous and the music is unbeatable."

"You're working really hard at convincing me to let us head out for our date," Alec murmured and smiled into the sheets at Magnus' throaty laugh.

"Well, the second option is just as good," Magnus murmured and slowly turned Alec to face him. Alec was treated once again to the sight of those warm, laughing eyes. "We could stay at home. I'll rent a movie. We'll order food, still from the Mexican place and after we're done…." Magnus ran his fingers down Alec's forearm and Alec shivered, causing Magnus' mouth to curve into a smile. "You can choose to spend the night if you want. It will be just as intimate. Just as cozy." He waggled his eyebrows and Alec grinned. "But with less people around."

"Sounds perfect," Alec said as he leaned forward, waiting for Magnus to kiss him.

So he was of course startled when Magnus instead jumped off from the bed, his ass doing a little wiggle as he bent to slide his feet into slippers—wait where those bunny slippers?—and then reached for his phone.

Before Alec could blink, Magnus was on the phone, placing their order, and leaving him decidedly disgruntled at the absence of Magnus in bed with him.

Like seriously though. Why wasn't the man snuggling in bed with him?

"So, Quesadillas," he heard Magnus ask and his stomach grumbled in response, reminding him that he'd been so anxious about their date that he hadn't even bothered to grab breakfast or lunch.

Alec shook his head. "Usually I would have said yes. But I'm craving Fajitas right now. Preferably chicken."

Magnus nodded and then turned to place their orders, Fajitas for Alec and Enchiladas for himself.

He ended the call and spun around lightly on his feet, the movement graceful, and ended it with his hand stretched out to Alec as he gestured to indicate the rest of the loft. "Dinner should be here in twenty minutes. Want to have a tour whilst we wait?"

Alec wound his fingers around Magnus' and allowed himself to be pulled up, their torsos colliding for a moment, and Magnus grinned and then gave a dramatic wave to the bedroom. "This, is my bedroom."

Alec rolled his eyes. "Like I hadn't figured that out already."

"Hey! No insulting the bedroom, " Magnus exclaimed with a twinkle in his eyes.

Alec laughed and then pulled away, eyes taking in the room.

He felt himself blush at the sight of his clothes and Magnus' scattered all over the place, discarded in their haste to get their hands on each other.

Of course Magnus noticed and chuckled as well, but Alec ignored him, choosing instead to take in the room, with its King sized bed, high vaulted ceilings, large windows that let in so much natural light whilst giving a stunning view of the outside world.

It probably said a lot about Magnus that his bedroom had so much open space. Alec could imagine waking up to the gentle rays of the sun and opening his eyes to be greeted by the view outside.

It suited him.

Magnus also had a real to world vanity table, an oak masterpiece that Alec was surprised to see, not because he hadn't been expecting Magnus to have such a haven for his makeup, but because he hadn't noticed it sooner.

He ran his hands over the polished wood, taking note of the myriad of drawers, some of them open to reveal their contents. "Just how much cologne do you use," Alec asked as he took in what looked like fifteen different bottles.

He heard Magnus chuckle and then closed his eyes to take in Magnus' scent as the man himself stepped up to him and wrapped his arms around Alec's waist. "Not enough apparently."

"And eye shadow," Alec asked taking note of the powdered bottles of varying colours and shades and which had him hoping he got the chance to see Magnus wear them all.

Magnus chuckled. "Not enough as well."

And then there was the glitter. The myriad of bottles that contained the shimmering goodness that brought out the jeweled tones of Magnus' brown skin. Magnus had laid them out in separate drawers as well, just inches away from the nail polish.

And damn, did he have a collection of nail polish.

It had Alec checking out what colour his nails were painted at the moment and Magnus wiggled the purple coated nails at him and then walked into a closed off room—probably the bathroom—only to walk back out with a house coat. Two as a matter of fact.

He slid into one and then offered the second to Alec who only spared his clothes one glance and then slipped into something more comfortable.

"Nice place," Alec said as he walked behind Magnus who led them straight to the living room, with its uber comfortable couch, the armchairs that dotted the room, artwork on the walls, the large screen TV and a whole ton of potted plants.

Unlike the vanity table, which he hadn't noticed, he'd noticed the plants when he'd arrived. He gestured at them. "You like flowers?"

Magnus cocked his head to look at them, finger tapping his lower lip, looking like he was deep in thought. Alec though could only focus on how soft and full those lips looked and the collection of lip-gloss, Magnus had carefully arranged on his vanity table.

"I don't mind them. But Cat loves them, so I've learned to live with them," Magnus finally replied.

"And Cat is," Alec asked, just as the doorbell rang and Magnus perked up.

"One of my best friends," Magnus replied as he walked to the door to get their food.

He returned moments later, with his hands laden with bags and then set up right on the couch, pulling out dishes and cutlery and passing over the bowl with the grilled chicken and vegetables, salsa and the tortillas to Alec, whilst he just transferred his Enchiladas to his plate and pulled out the guacamole.

After he'd made sure that they were both settled in, Magnus turned to Alec. "I'm sure you've seen both, but which would you like to watch? Lawrence of Arabia or Some Like It Hot?"

Alec's eyes narrowed. He'd had his suspicions when Magnus had not only offered him the choice of Italian or Mexican but then had guessed his favourite Mexican dish as well. And now, he knew about his love for old movies.

Magnus shifted and there was that flash of emotion that confirmed it for Alec. And he could bet he knew exactly who had supplied Magnus with the information.

"Izzy," he stated. It wasn't a question. He knew.

"And Jace," Magnus added.

Now that was a surprise. Usually Jace stayed away from such meddling, claiming that he was Switzerland and he didn't want to meddle.

"Why," Alec asked.

"Why what," Magnus tossed right back, cutting neatly into the Enchiladas and then sliding the forkful into his mouth. He closed his eyes and hummed, his expression the very definition of bliss.

It made Alec hungry in so many ways and he started making a taco of his Fajita, carefully wrapping the grilled meat and vegetables in his tortilla. "Why go to Izzy and Jace?"

"Because I wanted our first date to be special."

Alec froze just as he was about to bite into his Fajita, eyes flicking up to meet Magnus' eyes, catching the surprise in Magnus' eyes as well which was confirmation enough that the words had slipped out almost subconsciously.

Fuck. How the hell was he supposed to keep himself from falling for Magnus Bane when the man did things like this? Fucked him like a god and then minutes later confessed to having met with Alec's siblings so he could make their first date special and one that Alec would love?

Seriously though, how the hell was he expected to keep his heart safe?

He took note of the way Magnus drummed his fingers against the couch and the way he wouldn't meet Alec's eyes.

It was a beautiful juxtaposition. Magnus that could one moment be so confident and in the next moment be worried about a slip-up and the fact that he might or might not have revealed too much.

To spare them both, Alec gestured at the screen. "Some like it hot," he said and then bit into his Fajita.

He moaned, the mix of salsa, the piping hot chicken and vegetables and tortilla reawakening his taste buds and reaffirming his love for Mexican food.

He opened his eyes and blushed at the barely banked heat in Magnus' eyes as those brown eyes tracked every movement of his face, narrowing as Alec slowly ran his tongue over his upper lip to catch every bit of salsa that had gotten on his lips.

"Tease," Magnus whispered, his voice hoarse.

Alec winked at him, gestured at the television and then went back to his meal.

"Why Some Like It Hot though? I wouldn't have taken you for the romantic comedy type," he heard Magnus ask.

Alec shrugged. "Osgood. That, 'well, nobody's perfect' line gets me every time." Even thinking of the ending scene had Alec chuckling again and when he noticed Magnus' blank expression, he tsked. "You've never seen Some Like It Hot have you?"

Magnus shook his head.

Alec grinned. "You're in for a treat."

Magnus smirked. "And it seems like you're all done with yours." He gestured at Alec's now empty plate and then chuckled when Alec gave his equally empty plate a pointed stare. "Seems like we both worked up an appetite."

The words were followed with a wink and Alec chuckled.

Magnus reached for the bowls, walked into the kitchen and came back not with plates, but with stacked scented candles.

"What are you doing," Alec asked, curious as Magnus started setting the scented candles all over the room.

"Ambience sweetheart," Magnus grinned. "We might not be heading out to watch the movie, but nothing says we shouldn't make it a big production."

And with that, he lit the candles one at a time, turned off the lights, causing the room to be bathed in the golden glow of the candles and then started the movie.

Magnus settled back into the couch, back against Alec; Alec's head found its way and rested on Magnus' shoulders, his arms went around the other man, pulling him closer; their fingers entwined, and they spoke in easy tones, as the movie started.

As they watched the opening sequence with Joe and Jerry performing in a speakeasy, Alec thought to himself that yup, Magnus Bane had just set the standard for the ideal first date.

Which begged the question: How the hell was he supposed to just keep this light and easy and not fall for the man?


 

They watched the movie till late and Alec drifted off to sleep with Magnus in his arms. And they would have spent the entire night on the couch—which surprisingly enough was extremely comfortable—but Magnus woke them up and they headed to bed at some time after one in the morning.

What this meant though was that Alec who had slept without his alarm on and who hadn’t spent the night in his own bed for the first time ever, woke up late.

As he slowly blinked himself into consciousness, three things immediately registered.

That truly, watching the sunrise through those high ceilings was the second best thing any person could wake up to.

The best thing, being the sight of Magnus’ gorgeous face which was conspicuously not beside him, and which was the second thing that Alec noticed as he woke up.

The third thing he noticed though was that Magnus’ side of the bed was still warm, meaning he hadn’t left too long ago.

He was considering drifting back to sleep with the hope that when he finally did wake up, Magnus would be back in bed beside him, but his eyes drifted to the clock on the bedside cabinet and it took a full minute for it to sink in that yes, the time really did say seven-thirty.

Fuck!

He didn’t think. He just rushed into the bathroom, had the quickest shower known to man, and ran back out, temporarily panicking at not being able to see his clothes anywhere.

But then he noticed his jeans neatly folded on the chair and his shirts on top of them.

They looked clean, making him wonder when exactly Magnus had woken to not only have his clothes cleaned but also spun long enough for them to dry.

Something warm bloomed in his chest but he pushed it aside to examine it at another time.

Moon about Magnus Bane doing his laundry later. Get to class on time right now.

He rushed out of the room and then stopped short at the sight that greeted him. Magnus had on only green lycra shorts that molded to every inch of those thighs and that ass.

Alec found himself drawing to a stop but he just couldn’t stop himself from looking. Especially as that fine man danced around the room and set up the table with—holy shit, was that waffles he smelled?

Just as his nose confirmed it that yes, that was waffles, Magnus turned around and spotted him.

No. His heart did not just skip a beat as that slow smile spread over Magnus’ face. “Alexander,” Magnus breathed. “You’re up.”

“Um yeah,” Alec replied, fingers nervously drumming against his thighs. He wanted so badly to stay and that just had him wanting to run away just as badly. “I have to go.” He waved his phone. “Running late for class.”

"It's Sunday," Magnus pointed out.

Alec nodded and hurried to explain. “It’s not a regular thing but my class arranged to have an assignment briefing with one of my Professors and I can’t be late.”

“Have breakfast first,” Magnus said as he plated the fluffiest and most decadent looking waffles, mouth pursued in concentration as he tried to get it right. He smiled when he had it all plated and then walked over to the couch, placing the plate on the end table. After which he walked up to Alec and curled his hands around Alec’s bicep, using that momentum to pull him over to the couch and get him to sit. “Seat. Eat. You don’t need to stop at home first. You’re already dressed.”

Alec opened his mouth to thank him for the dry-cleaning but Magnus nodded and continued speaking. “So, you have enough time to have breakfast and still make it in time for your class. Coffee or juice,” Magnus asked as he walked back to the kitchen.

Alec studied the waffles.

Fuck they really did look good. And Magnus was right. If he didn’t head home, he could just as easily make it on time for his class.

And more importantly, it would give him just a little bit more time with Magnus.

That settled it. “Coffee,” he said.

“With or without cream,” Magnus replied.

“With,” Alec said and settled down on the couch, reaching for the plate of waffles. He bit into one and just about moaned.

Fuck. Magnus Bane could cook. Who would have thought?

How the hell did the man keep getting even more and more perfect?

He opened his eyes and caught Magnus smirking at him. “That good huh?”

Alec chuckled. “Ever modest.”

Magnus shrugged. “Modesty’s for those who are not as amazing as me.” He balanced a steaming cup of coffee right in front of Alec and then picked up his glass of juice.

“Well, you shouldn’t be modest about your waffles. They’re amazing,” Alec murmured as he took a sip of the coffee. He hummed. “And your coffee too.”

Magnus beamed. “You like? I don’t take coffee so I was hoping I’d get it right. You know. For you.”

Yup. The butterflies were here to stay. “Uh… That’s… Wow…” He stopped for a moment and tried again. “What did you put in it?”

Magnus shrugged. “Coffee.”

Alec rolled his eyes. “Duh.”

Magnus chuckled. “Vanilla extract, cinnamon and just a bit of cocoa. I’ll make sure to have them around so next time you come…” Now it was Magnus' turn to freeze and he and Alec stared at each other for a long moment that was only broken by the ringing of a phone.

Magnus’.

And with the way Magnus looked upon seeing the number, Alec would bet that it wasn’t a pleasant call.

Magnus held up a finger and walked away to take his call.

Alec used the opportunity to eat his waffles and drink his coffee. He was just finishing when Magnus stepped back in and although he had a moment when he looked troubled, he brightened when he saw Alec.

“Hey,” he murmured and his eyes drifted to the remaining waffles and the empty cup. “You’re done.”

Alec nodded. “Yeah.”

Magnus waved his phone. “Sorry about the call.”

Alec shook his head. “Don’t.” He tried fishing. “I’m guessing it was important.”

Magnus’ grimace confirmed it even though he tried forcing a smile. “It’s no big deal really.”

It didn’t seem like it wasn’t a big deal to Alec. But he could respect Magnus not wanting to share that information just yet. “I have to go,” Alec said and grabbed his jacket.

He and Magnus stood still for a moment, the air suddenly turning just a bit awkward. But then Alec decided to bite the bullet and walked up to Magnus, placing his hands at the base of Magnus’ neck and pulling him in for a kiss.

Magnus sank into him, mouth softening against his and parting so Alec could slide his tongue in. They kissed lazily, for several minutes, neither of them in a rush to break the kiss, taking the moment to breathe each other in.

When they finally parted, they sighed. “I’ll call,” Alec said, and Magnus nodded.

“And if you don’t, I will.”

Alec nodded.

He leaned forward to press his lips softly against Magnus, catching that unique Magnus taste for one more moment before he turned around and left.

Outside the loft, he pulled on his jacket and for the first time since he’d gotten to Magnus’ checked his phone.

He had only two texts. One from Izzy.

Hello Brother Dearest. Is it safe to assume that you’ve finally had your cherry popped and can now boast of having lost your V-card? Especially to that delectable man, Magnus Bane? Waiting for the details Alec. And you bet your ass, you are going to be giving them to me.

The second text was from Jace.

Congrats on getting that ‘D’ bro. Unlike Izzy, I have no interest in learning the details. But I’m proud of you tho’. I mean, Magnus Bane…. Not bad. Not bad at all.

His siblings everyone. Nosy as fuck and no respect for his personal space.

Alec rolled his eyes and slid his phone back in his pocket.

He had a class to get to.


 

"Does everyone understand the assignment?"

The class all nodded in unison and Professor Starkweather's eyes narrowed.

He probably figured that most of the class were lying and didn't understand the assignment, and were merely nodding because they had plans that evening and didn't want him in the class for much longer.

Alec knew that Professor Starkweather had every right to be suspicious. If the last presentation had been anything to go by, half of the class were total idiots who paid little to no attention to their coursework and probably didn't do any research when they stepped out of the room.

His eyes swung to his teammates, to Clary taking note studiously in her notebook whilst Simon pored over his textbooks.

He might have found them annoying at first but now that he saw what the others in class had to deal with in terms of teammates, he felt pretty good about his team.

Of course, it wasn't a compliment he was ever going to tell them to their faces.

By the time he turned his eyes back to the front of the class, Professor Starkweather had already disappeared, as had half of the class.

Those who remained where in their small clusters, talking about the assignment.

Well aware that the last time they'd done this, he hadn't been around, Alec glanced at Clary and then at Simon, who surprisingly enough had been quiet all day.

It was strange and unusual for the man who could never stop talking and Alec wondered if he should say something.

But even as he was having that thought, Simon spoke. "Um, yes. So I know the assignment is due in a week."

Clary nodded, Alec kept a blank expression.

"But I won't be in town starting from Wednesday." He shrugged. "Family emergency."

Did it say a lot about how things have changed that the first thing that popped into Alec's mind was to ask what was wrong?

"Is everything okay," Clary asked, her face filled with concern as she touched Simon's shoulder.

Simon gave a shaky smile. "It will be."

His eyes flickered up to Alec and Alec gave him a slight nod. He might not be Clary touching Simon and asking Simon if he was okay, but he hoped Simon knew that he was just as concerned.

Simon's smile wavered slightly but he gave Alec a quick wink.

Yeah. He'd gotten it.

"So what do we do," Clary asked as her gaze shifted between Simon and Alec.

"We start working on it today. Finish it up in three days. Free up Simon so he can take the time off." He gestured at himself and Clary. "We will type it up and put together the powerpoint, and email it to him so he can familiarize himself with the material." He looked at Simon. "Will that work?"

Simon smiled. This one was less shaky and more filled with wonder. "You guys are amazing. Thank you."

Alec shrugged. It was the least he could do. Especially with how Simon had been so quick to suggest they screw the assignment so Alec could handle the emergency with Izzy. Sure, it turned out to not be a family emergency, but it was the thought that counted and Simon Lewis had with one sentence proven that family was as important to him as it was to Alec.

"So, Alec's," Simon asked and turned to Clary.

She nodded. "Alec's."

Wait. What was happening at his place?

They caught the quizzical look on his face and shrugged. "It was nice the last time we were there," Clary said, and then blushed.

Alec's eyes narrowed.

Damn it.

Izzy had gotten to her.

"So we figured, why not have it there today as well. It saves us time. Out of all our houses, it's the one that's closest to the school. And," Simon dug his hands in his bag and then came back out holding up a lunchbox—who they hell still used a lunchbox in college? "Mum made some Carimañolas."

Clary grinned and rubbed her hands together with glee. "God! Your mother's Carimañolas are the best Simon."

Simon grinned and nodded all at once, reminding Alec of a golden retriever. "I know." He turned to look at Alec and extended the bowl. "I'm willing to share."

Alec's eyes narrowed. He refused to be bribed by Simon's mother cooking especially since he had no idea if it would be worth him being saddled with Simon and Clary in his house, with Izzy making goo-goo eyes at Clary.

"You did say we have to get started immediately," Clary reminded him.

Alec deflated. "Fine." The only thing he could hope for was that Izzy wasn't home. And Jace wasn't around either.

And considering that it was Sunday evening, the odds that they were at home was at its barest minimum.


 

Turned out, he was wrong. His siblings were at home.

Even worse, they'd made him a cake.

A cake celebrating the loss of his virginity.

Seriously. The stupid cake actually had Congratulations on losing your virginity written on it.

The banners they'd strung up said the same thing.

And both his siblings had shit eating grins as they waited at the door, jumping him the moment he stepped into the room.

"Alec, I'm so proud of you," Izzy gushed, her face so radiant, it glowed.

"Alec, you dog," Jace crowed and swung his arm around Alec's shoulder.

What made it all worse?

Clary and Simon were behind him the whole time and had witnessed everything. Sure, they looked shocked—people usually did when they realized just how crazy his siblings could be and how so not like him, they were—but then Simon laughed—causing Jace and Izzy to finally notice that they had company and Clary grinned.

"I guess congratulations are in order huh," Clary said.

Alec didn't even both replying. He just scowled. Hoping that that would be enough to shut her up.

Clary smiled right back at him.

Alec turned to Izzy, who was waving and smiling at Clary as she tried to get Clary's attention.

She finally did and Clary smiled back shyly.

Alec held back a sigh and nearly groaned when Jace whose attention had been switching between Clary and Izzy finally placed it together and smirked.

That would be another week of not only dealing with them meddling into his life but Jace would also make sure to ask Izzy about Clary. And Izzy?

Izzy would share.

Because she liked to share.

Because nothing gave her great joy like giving Alec a headache whilst she shared explicit details about her love and sex life. Especially when Alec was around to hear it.

Oh, Izzy liked to share.

But when she stepped towards Alec with a slice of his virginity losing celebration cake, Alec took a step back. "Did you bake it?"

Izzy pouted and from behind her, Jace shook his head.

"I actually went to the store to buy it," Izzy replied.

Alec nodded, relief flooding his body that at least, the cake wouldn't have him hospitalized. But then the words sank in. "Wait you what?!"

Izzy looked confused.

Alec pointed at the cake. "You mean, you went to a store, and ordered a cake and told the people there that you wanted 'Congratulations on losing your virginity' written on it?"

Izzy beamed. "Yup."

Fuck his life.

"Matter of fact, they've even offered to bake you another one, on the house, when you officially get your first boyfriend," she added proudly. "Of course I told them that you were well on the way, and the server, what was her name again," Izzy turned to Jace.

"Marie," Jace replied.

Izzy snapped her fingers and nodded. "Yes Marie. She was so thrilled for you Alec."

What the fuck?

"And she wanted to know if your soon to be boyfriend was cute," Izzy said. "Funny isn't it?"

Actually no. It wasn't funny.

"I told her he wasn't."

Wait what?! What the hell did she mean by Magnus wasn't cute? Has she seen the man?

"I told her that he is more than cute. The man is fineeeeeeee."

Well yeah. He is one hell of a man isn't he?

Alec grinned and then wished he hadn't when Izzy noticed and clapped her hands together, looking extremely delighted at the reaction.

Alec ignored her and turned to Clary and Simon. "Ready to get started."

They nodded and then Simon pulled out the lunchbox from his bag and extended it to Izzy. "I brought Carimañolas. Would you like some?"

Before she could accept it, Jace grabbed the bowl first and grinned at Simon. "It's food. We would love some."

He gave his patented Jace grin that had Simon smiling and nodding as he gestured at Jace to have at it.

Jace did.

And then he moaned.

Alec was used to his brother sounding indecent when you fed him proper food. It was expected because Jace didn't cook, Izzy couldn't cook, and Alec only cooked on occasion. So, when you brought him homemade food, he fell in love with the food. If the homemade food was delicious, he fell in love with you.

Not in an 'I want to marry you' way, but more in a 'you have a piece of my food-loving heart way'.

Except, someone hadn't given Simon that memo because if the way he was staring at Jace was anything to go by, that moan was giving him ideas.

And trust Jace, the idiot was still making indecent noises as he gobbled up the snacks.

"You're eating not shooting a porno," Alec chastised and reached for one of the Carimañolas. He bit into it and closed his eyes, enjoying the blend of yuca, cheese and hmmm…. Ground beef.

Delicious.

If Simon brought food every time he came over for their assignments, Alec could easily get behind them turning his house into a permanent study center.

"You didn't bring some Suero on the side," Izzy asked as she chomped down on the Carimañolas and kept her eyes on Simon's bag like there was more food hiding somewhere in it.

Simon shook his head. "Was in a rush when I left home this morning. I just grabbed what I could and headed out. Next time?" He turned to look at Alec, asking for permission and Alec nodded.

Simon smiled.

But then Jace gave a whimper and looked betrayed as he stared at his now empty hands and the empty lunchbox, then back at Simon who made a strangled sound, and followed it up with a laugh. “I’ll bring more next time I’m around,” Simon promised.

Jace beamed.

Simon made a choking sound.

Alec sighed.

Of course he got saddled with the teammates who lost their heads when they met his siblings. Although out of the two of them, he felt sorrier for Simon. Izzy at least had been known to hook up with both men and women, but he’d never seen Jace with a man.

“We have to get started,” he told his teammates and gestured at the door to his room.

“Yeah, in a moment,” Izzy said and turned back to the cake. She cut up several slices, and handed over saucers filled with cake to Simon and Clary. “Some cake to help with your studying.” She cut off a huge chunk—and yeah he could still see the virginity lettering on his. Izzy wasn’t very subtle—and passed it onto Alec.

Alec picked up a fork and dug in as he walked to his room. Clary and Simon walked behind him, and continued talking to Izzy and Jace.

Hopefully, his siblings would give them the time the needed to get their assignment sorted out.


 

His siblings were idiots and Clary and Simon were not too far behind them.

Alec scowled at Izzy and Jace who were at the moment smiling and chatting with Clary and Simon respectively.

He glanced at his textbook and the back at his watch.

Thirty minutes wasted on Izzy basically telling Clary how perfect she thought she was. She’d complimented her hair colour, her foundation, the mascara that made her eyes pop, the way she lined her eyes. And now, she was harping on about how much she liked her lipstick and how the shade went perfectly with Clary’s skin tone.

It was basically one sentence away from "is this lipstick fruity and can I taste it? You know, for research?"

Jace meanwhile was—what the fuck? Why the hell was his shirt off?—and now Simon was looking at that chest like he wanted to spend the rest of the day worshiping it whilst they were both lying horizontal.

“Jace,” Alec snapped and the conversations grounded to a halt. “What the fuck are you doing?”

“Huh?”

Alec pointed at the shirt. “Why’s that off?”

Jace shrugged. “Wanted to show him Ronaldo’s signature on my jersey.”

“And you needed to take it off to show him,” Alec asked as he crossed his arms. Jace shrugged in the way of one who had no hang ups about his body and was always up for flaunting it, and Alec was sure he caught Simon’s murmured ‘I don’t mind’.

Jace must have too because he smirked at Simon. But when he felt Alec’s eyes on him, his eyes skirted away.

Izzy meanwhile had missed the entire drama.

She was at the moment, smiling at Clary as she rubbed Clary’s necklace between her fingers.

“Seriously, you both have to leave,” he said as he pointed at his siblings. “Simon has to be out of town in a couple of days and we need to get started today so we can pull it off in time.”

“But I’m bored,” Izzy whined, but managed to still smile at Clary all at once.

Clary giggled.

Giggled!

And then her face cleared when Alec glowered at her.

“Don’t you have assignments to do? Books to read,” Alec asked.

“I’m all caught up.” Izzy shrugged. “It was pretty easy.”

Of course it was. Izzy was smarter than anyone he knew and normally that filled him with a lot of pride and admiration. But when she was cutting into his study time, he got really angsty.

He glared at Jace who shrugged and leaned back on the bed, his forearms keeping him elevated enough so he wasn’t full on lying on the sheets.

Alec caught Simon staring at that long line of body Jace was so conveniently showing off. When Simon met his eyes, he looked away and Alec shook his head.

“I’m all done," Jace said and winked at Simon. Kinesiology’s awesome.”

He really needed to rethink this whole ‘Jace had never dated a boy before’ belief system he’d had going because it would seem his brother had been keeping things from him.

“What do I have to do to get you two to leave?”

The minute he asked the question, he knew.

Izzy brightened.

Jace smirked.

Fuck he’d walked into that one. Of course that had been their plan from the onset. Push him till he had no choice than to agree to their terms so he would be allowed to study with some peace and quiet.

“Well… We were thinking,” Izzy started.

“It’s Sunday you know,” Jace continued.

“Well, duh, genius,” Simon piped up and their eyes all swung to him.

He ducked his head and mumbled an apology whilst Izzy tsked and continued speaking. “We just wanted a night out. Mum will soon be back.”

Alec tensed at the reminder. Fuck, with all that had been happening with Magnus, he’d totally forgotten about their parents’ telling them that they would be back in town that week.

“And you know we need a fun night to brace ourselves for that,” Jace said. He wasn’t speaking for himself but for Alec and Izzy, because he knew that although their mother liked him, she was harder on Alec and Izzy.

“So we thought we could stop by at Pandemonium,” Izzy began to say, and stopped when Clary gasped. She looked quizzically at Clary but when Clary just shook her head and gestured at her to continue speaking, she picked up from where she left off. “And you would get to see Magnus again.” She smirked. “And who knows, maybe he just might offer you another dance.”

Simon started to cough and Alec turned to look at him. Clary was patting his back and murmuring something to him, and Simon looked like he was half choking and half laughing.

“Is there something wrong with him,” Alec asked as he pointed at Simon.

Clary shook her head.

He eyed the two of them, senses nagging him that there was something they weren’t telling him.

“Magnus, Alec. Think Magnus. And how surprised he would be to see you tonight,” Jace said.

They had him and he knew that they knew that they had him.

It was in Izzy’s laugh and Jace’s smug grin.

Normally, it would rankle that they led him straight to where they wanted, but he did want to see Magnus again.

He smiled at the thought of surprising Magnus who would have expected a phone call but not a personal visit, and the smile seemed to be the confirmation that Izzy and Jace needed.

They jumped up and headed out, calling out over their shoulder. “We’ll head out at eight.”

Eight.

That gave them five hours to make some leeway in their assignment and him, another night with Magnus.

He could work with that.


 

What he couldn’t work with was the fact that Izzy had ‘invited’ Clary and Simon over with them to Pandemonium. And being Clary and Simon, they’d said yes.

He might have begun to like them as teammates but he wasn’t ready to have them be a part of this part of his life.

Of course nobody paid attention to him and his scowls. Instead, they walked on ahead, hand in hand as they laughed and chatted.

Alec meanwhile alternated between scowling and taking in the passageway that led to the main room where the stage was situated. He knew that the changing rooms were on the other side of the stage, and Magnus was probably in one at the moment, and that the doors they were passing at the moment probably led to the private rooms where some of the dancers gave private performances.

He could just imagine Magnus pulling him into one of those rooms, eyes glittering and lips curved into a smile as he leaned forward to make a whispered promise about them picking up from where they left off at their dance on stage.

Just as Alec imagined Magnus’s hands sliding underneath his shirt, he snapped back to the present at the sight of someone waving their hand in front of his face.

He returned to find Jace looking at him, eyes filled with concern. “Is everything okay?”

Alec looked around, at everyone else in the hallway who had all stopped and were looking at him with varying degrees of confusion, and nodded.

Jace looked doubtful for a moment, until one of the private rooms opened and a man walked out adjusting his pants and shirt looking half embarrassed and half pleased.

Another guy came out moments after and Jace’s went from confused to smug. He gave a pointed stare at the room and Alec hurried on ahead.

He had just about gotten to the rest of their party when Jace swung his arms around Alec’s shoulders.

Thankfully, he didn’t say anything and all five of them walked through the curtains and then Alec was staring at the stage on which he’d met Magnus just a little over a week ago.

Someone was dancing on it at the moment, and the crowd was cheering for the dancer.

It wasn’t the screaming madness that Magnus induced, but it wasn’t bad at all. And the man dancing on stage could move. Not as well as Magnus of course. But then again, how many people could move like Magnus?

Fuck. Even in his thoughts, he was mooning all over Magnus Bane.

He was so fucked.

The dancer finished his performance to the cheers of the crowd and Alec watched him give a bow—who would have thought that a person could scowl that hard even in the face of all those cheers—and left the stage.

“Clary. Simon.”

The words came from a dark skinned man—wait, wasn’t that the guy in the towel from the previous week?—who was upon them in seconds and who pulled Clary and Simon into a hug.

Clary laughed and Simon beamed.

Alec, Izzy and Jace though stood confused as they watched the reunion.

Finally, the man let Clary and Simon go and the two of them looked at the siblings with mutual sheepish expressions.

“I’m guessing you both are familiar with Pandemonium huh,” Alec snarked.

Simon ducked his head and Clary shrugged. “Luke. Alec is the last guy in my team. You know, for school. Alec, Luke's my stepdad.”

Luke grinned and took Alec’s grip in a strong grip.

“Hey.”

“Hey.

Luke shook Alec’s hand a couple of times and then let go.

Clary motioned at Luke and whispered something into his ear.

Whatever she said had Luke’s eyes wandering over to Alec in surprise.

It had Alec wishing he knew exactly what was being talked about, although he had his suspicions that it had something to do with a stripper he was hoping he would get to see tonight.

He was just about to ask if Magnus was around when Luke beat him to it. “Yeah. He’s coming on next actually,” Luke said with a knowing grin.

Jace chortled.

Izzy giggled.

Simon snorted.

Clary chuckled.

Alec flipped his siblings off and ignored Simon and Clary.

Luke was just about to say something when the man who had been dancing on the stage walked up from behind him. “Luke, Magnus needs…”

He trailed off the minute he noticed that Luke wasn’t alone and his eyes narrowed.

“Clary,” he said with a solemn nod.

Clary beamed. “Hi Raphael. Great performance out there.”

Raphael nodded right back and then his eyes drifted to Simon. “You brought the fledgling.”

It took a moment for Simon to reply. Not surprising considering that he’d been ogling Raphael who had walked up to Luke without bothering to put on either a shirt or pants. All he had on was his boxer shorts and the sweat he’d worked up, dancing and Simon’s eyes followed every droplet, looking entranced.

Alec held back a snort.

It would seem his teammate had a thing for shirtless men.

The thought had Alec’s mind flashing back to Magnus working his torso as he pulled his shirt off himself during his performance.

Maybe he wasn’t in the position to talk of another person’s obsession with shirtless men.

The words finally clicked for Simon who exclaimed. “Hey. I have a name.”

“Of course you do fledgling,” Raphael replied, looking bored as he turned to the others. His eyes swept over Alec and Izzy but then narrowed on Jace.

“Raphael, this is…” Luke started to say and stopped when Raphael motioned at him to stop.

“I know who they are,” Raphael sneered. His eyes wandered back to Alec and sized him up, starting from his hair, right down to his shoes. “So it’s you huh?”

“Huh,” Alec blurted. Forgive him for not being articulate enough, but something in Raphael’s stare rankled.

“You’ve met Alec huh, Raphael,” Simon asked.

Those dark and assessing eyes swung from Alec and narrowed on Simon who didn’t look a bit bothered that Raphael was at the moment glowering at him. “We’ve been working together in a team for class. He’s pretty cool.”

“Is that so,” Raphael sneered.

Simon nodded enthusiastically.

Damn, the guy really couldn’t read social cues could he?

“He’s here to see Magnus,” Simon declared and turned to beam at Alec.

Alec scowled at him.

Simon shrugged and turned back to Raphael who was also glowering, but who was instead glowering at Alec, making Alec want to take a couple of steps back.

What had he done to piss off the other man? The person Raphael should be pissed at should be the man who just couldn’t stop talking.

“And so, we figured why not come along too? After all, I haven’t seen you all in a while,” Simon said.

“Dios. Do you ever stop talking,” Raphael finally exclaimed.

“Maybe he needs something to help shut him up,” another voice interrupted.

Raphael huffed. “Shut up Ragnor.”

The man—Ragnor—chuckled. “Touchy Raphael. Did I hit a nerve?”

Raphael growled and stormed off, and Simon trailed after him, mouth working as he continued to babble.

Seriously, Simon had no understanding of social cues.

“You must be Alec,” Ragnor said and Alec turned to look at him.

“Do I know you,” Alec asked.

Ragnor smiled. “No we haven’t met. Not yet anyway.” He extended his hand and shook Alec’s. “Ragnor Fell.” He then turned to Luke. “You have to go introduce him. The crowd’s already angsty.”

The words startled Luke who squeezed Clary’s shoulders briefly and then hurried to the front of the stage.

Ragnor headed back towards the changing area and Alec noticed that Izzy wasn’t with them anymore. He noticed her waving at him from a spot, a couple of seats away from the stage—and wait, was that a mechanical bull on the stage?—and made to grab Jace, only to stop short at Jace, glowering at… nothing?

"Jace," he called, snapping his fingers to get Jace's attention.

Jace finally turned to him, scowl still in place and Alec motioned at Izzy and their seats.

The sight still didn't put Jace in a better mood and he stomped over to take his seat beside Izzy.

Sure Jace had the hottest temper of them all, but usually, Alec knew the reason why his brother was angry.

This anger though, blindsided him and he had no idea why Jace looked so pissed. "Psst," he whispered.

Izzy turned to look at him and Jace remained in his spot, arms folded, teeth clenched. The entire posture screamed that Jace was sulking and it just made Alec desperately want to know the reason why.

"What's up with Jace," Alec whispered and grabbed Izzy's arm, as he subtly pointed at Jace. "He was okay when we left the house but immediately we got here, he started acting weird."

Izzy turned to look at Jace who wasn't paying any attention to either of them, but was instead glowering into space.

She smirked. "He's just pissed that he isn't the center of attention anymore."

And then she left it at that with no explanation or follow up statement. Leaving Alec to flounder because now he had to deal with Izzy speaking in riddles whilst Jace was still glowering.

But then the lights went down. The crowd screamed. The curtains parted. Magnus stepped out in all his glory and Alec forgot to breathe.

Fuck.

He'd slid into fire engine red leather pants that molded to every inch of his skin like he had on body paint instead of clothes. Every curve and every muscle was on full display, including that bulge that drew everyone's eye. And he'd completed the look with suspenders.

Nothing more.

All that brown skin on full display.

That muscled chest that had Alec's fingers twitching because he really wanted to explore them.

Those pebbled nipples he wanted to taste with his mouth.

Those long hanging necklaces that crested at the top of that bulge, swaying with every movement he made.

The spotlight brought out the streaks of blue he'd put in his hair and went perfectly well with that purple eye shadow and black eyeliner.

Alec's breath caught.

Had he really had sex with this man? Had he really kissed him? Had he really gone on a date with him? Eaten breakfast that Magnus made for him?

Him? Alec Lightwood?

How the hell had he gotten this lucky?

And then Ciara's 'Ride' came on and Magnus started moving, swaying from side to side, hands running down those gorgeous thighs as he smiled like he had a dirty secret and everyone knew that the song was a promise.

I can do it big. I can do it long. I can do whenever or however you want

He spun around, ass to the audience, arms stretched out as he wound his way down, then back up again, circling his hips and working his torso.

I can do it up and down. I can do it circles.

He cartwheeled, dropped to the floor slid up the rest of the way and popped up right in front of a girl who screamed and reached for him, her hands grabbing his suspenders.

To him I'm a gymnast. This room is my circus.

He grinned at her, slowly pulled her hands away from his, placed a careful kiss on both her open palms and winked. She wheezed. Magnus chuckled.

I market it so good. They can't wait to try-uh-uh-uh-uy me.

He spun around, spread his hands out, pushed his hips forward and moved it to the left and right and all the way down.

I work it so good; man these… try to buy-uh-uh-uh-uy me

And then Magnus did the one thing Alec had most certainly not been expecting through the entire dance. He ran up and swung over the bull.

And then someone turned the fucking thing on!

They love the way I ride it. They love the way I ride it.

Hips working, abs turning, Sweat glistening as he rode the bull.

They love the ride I ride it. They love the way I ride the beat. How I ride the beat.

He held onto the bull with one hand and ran the other hand down his torso, tweaking his nipple in a move that dried out Alec's mouth and had the room scream.

Fuck!

I ride it. They love the way I ride it.

He leaned back, mouth pursed, abs clenching, face ecstatic and then bit his lower lip.

What the fuck?!

They love the way I ride it. They love the way I ride the beat, like a freak freak freak, uh.

The bull came to a stop and Magnus jumped down from it, twirling around till he was facing Alec's side of the audience.

Ooh ooh ooh. Oh baby baby baby

His eyes landed on Alec and he grinned, spread his legs, jutted his hips forward, once, twice and then brought it down in tune with the staccato beat.

Do you like it up, when I'm up, when I'm down, when I'm down

He put his fingers between his suspenders, slowly push them off his shoulders, leaving his torso completely bare as he whined his hips.

Ooh ooh ooh. Oh baby baby baby he can't stand to look away while I'm whirlin' this around.

Alec swallowed and although he would have thought Magnus couldn't see the action from that far away, Magnus smirked, spun around, dropped to one knee and rolled the other leg, hip moving as he worked his ass.

Ooh ooh ooh. Oh baby baby you like it now take it up and down

He turned back around, put both hands to the back of his head and moved from side to side, swaying to the left and then to the right with a laugh.

Ooh ooh ooh. Oh baby. He love it when I twirl this thing all around.

And then he reached for a chair held onto the back of the chair as he rode out the final chorus, keeping his eyes on Alec the entire way as he rode the chair to the finish.

As the crowd cheered and chanted his name, Magnus' eyes stayed glued on Alec, chest heaving, eyes laser-focused.

Alec on the other hand couldn't breathe. He just stood there, cock hard and painful, mouth dry and eyes focused on Magnus.

"Now that's what I call a performance," he heard a voice say, and the moment was broken.

Alec blinked and turned to Jace who was now grinning at him. Gone was the glower and in its place was that self-satisfied smirk that was replicated on Izzy's.

They didn't need to say it.

He knew they were feeling pretty pleased with themselves that they'd managed to drag him out of the house and he'd lost all reason at seeing Magnus dance. And at this point, he really didn't care.

He turned back to look at Magnus who was bowing and blowing kisses at the crowd who cheered for him.

Magnus' eyes caught Alec's and he mouthed 'changing room'.

Alec nodded.

Magnus grinned.

And then he was gone; walking back out the curtain he'd stepped out through.

"Head back to the spot where we'd seen Luke. Walk straight on. His room's the third one on your right," Izzy said and when he opened his mouth to speak, she held up a hand and winked. "You're welcome big brother."

There was a brief moment when he wondered how on earth Izzy knew where Magnus' changing room was, but then shrugged it off. Of course Izzy would know. She knew everything.

He murmured his thanks, placed a kiss on her forehead, bumped fists with Jace and hurried to go find Magnus.


 

Magnus' changing room was what he'd expected and what he hadn't expected all at once. Unlike his loft that had a collection of art on the walls, myriad of antique vases, some of them empty and some of them filled with flowers, courtesy of his friend, Cat, his changing room had only one big vase—a Ming, Magnus had called it as he ran loving fingers over it—which was filled this time around with red roses, also courtesy of Cat.

There were mirrors all over the walls, reflecting Magnus and Alec in every which way and whilst the sight of it made Alec want to hide away from it all, Magnus preened in front of them.

There wasn't any makeup to be seen, except for one stick of lip-gloss on the table. Magnus had explained that Maia—his makeup artist—kept the makeup. Something about her needing to keep it far away from Magnus to prevent a reoccurrence of the time when Magnus had decided to experiment with clashing colours a couple of minutes before he was to get on stage. Apparently, Maia hadn't liked the finished look, although Magnus had claimed that he'd looked pretty good.

Alec believed Magnus.

If Magnus said he looked good, then Alec believed he looked good. Magnus always looked good either way.

Even though right now, Alec was looking at everything else but Magnus. When he'd been standing in front of that stage, watching Magnus move to the beat of a song, and their eyes had connected, following through with Magnus' mouthed suggestion that they meet at his changing room had seemed like a good idea at the time. Now however, he was not so sure.

If anything because he was back to not being able to breathe.

"Alexander," Magnus called and Alec turned to look at him, instinctively responding to the soft smile on Magnus' face. "You know, when you promised to call this morning, I was expecting only that. A call. Not that you'd show up here." He waved his hands and Alec's eyes followed the gleam of the plethora of rings he had on both hands. "Not like I'm complaining of course."

Alec snorted and Magnus grinned. "You can blame Izzy and Jace for that. They were the ones that suggested we come to Pandemonium tonight."

Magnus tsked. "Blame them?" He slithered over to Alec, every step deliberate and predatory and Alec's eyes tracked the movement. "I should thank them." And with that, he leaned forward and pressed his mouth against Alec's.

They both moaned and Magnus took the opportunity to slide his tongue into Alec's mouth.

Alec's hands wandered down and cupped Magnus' ass, pulling him closer till their groins aligned.

They both groaned and Magnus threw his neck back, revealing that long neck and that bob of his Adam's apple.

Alec's moved his mouth to Magnus' neck, working his teeth and lips from the bottom up, slowing making his way back up to Magnus' mouth when suddenly the door to the changing room burst open.

"Magnus. Luke needs…"

Alec jumped.

Magnus made this whimpering sound that had Alec curling his fingers to keep himself from showering that mouth with all the kisses it wanted.

They both turned to Raphael whose unimpressed stare switched from Magnus to Alec and back again.

"Let me guess, you just couldn't knock," Magnus huffed.

Raphael crossed his arms. "Says the guy who has no idea what privacy means and who thinks it's okay to just barge into other people's changing room."

Magnus groaned. "It was one time Raphael. Let it go! Besides, it wasn't like Samuel, Scott, Sean, whatever minded anyway."

Raphael growled. "It's Simon. And we both know why he didn't mind. He's way too much of an exhibitionist."

Magnus smirked. "Which is why he's so perfect for you." Then looked confused. "And why I don't understand how the hell he stands your stick in the mud ass."

"¡no seas estúpido!," Raphael hissed.

"Exactly what I want to tell poor Sheldon. I mean, why the hell is he interested in your grouchy ass," Magnus retorted.

"For the last time Magnus. It's Simon," Raphael gritted.

"Wait. Simon, Simon? Like Simon my teammate Simon" Alec asked and then wished he hadn't spoken when Raphael turned that glare on him.

He held up his hands and took a couple of steps back. "Ignore me. Just imagine I'm not here."

Raphael scowled even harder and then pointed at Magnus, releasing a furious torrent of Spanish and then stormed out of the room, making sure to slam the door so hard, Alec was sure even the walls shook.

"He seems very angry," Alec said and then wanted to slap himself on the back of his head. Talk about stating the obvious.

Magnus smiled. "Raphael is always angry."

Alec nodded. "You know him well."

Magnus grinned. "He's one of my best friends."

And even as Alec was dealing with that unexpected information—was that seriously how best friends acted?—Magnus was leaning forward to cup Alec through his jeans. "How about we move this to somewhere we won't get interrupted?"

And just like that. All thoughts of angry best friends faded away.


 

They stumbled into the loft, arms wrapped around each other, tongue gliding against tongue, their moans turning to groans and then turning to whimpers as Magnus' hands slid beneath Alec's shirt and Alec's hands found their way inside Magnus' pants.

Magnus tweaked Alec's nipples, first the right, and then the left.

Alec released a long drawn out whine and his head dropped to Magnus' neck, to that point his neck curved into his shoulder, biting down as his hands dug into Magnus' ass.

Magnus cried out and then pulled back.

It was Alec's turn to whimper as he tried following Magnus only to stop when Magnus placed his hands on his chest and grinned.

"In a moment," Magnus said, voice hoarse and eyes dark. "I want to taste you first."

And with that, he slowly sank to his knees, fingers working fast as he unbuckled Alec's belt.

Alec threw his head back, every brush of those lean fingers against his skin causing him to shiver.

And then… the vibration started.

What the?

He glanced down and caught Magnus' just as confused expression. "Alexander. Your pocket is vibrating."

Oh. His phone.

He reached down and pulled it out, half tempted to ignore it at the sight of Magnus on his knees, looking up at him with an expression that made Alec think of 'worship'.

Fuck.

This had better be worth it.

He unlocked his phone and right there for him to read was a message from Izzy.

SOS Alec. Mum and Dad are in town and they're asking for you. Come home ASAP!

Fuck!

The next message was from Izzy as well.

I told them you had a study session for school and will be home in an hour max. Tell Magnus you will see him soon and come home. Now!

Magnus must have been able to read it on his face that something was wrong because he was fixing Alec's belt right back and running his fingers through Alec's hair to attempt styling it.

"Magnus. I have to…"

"Go. I know." Magnus smiled, and pulled him in for a kiss. Soft and over way quicker than Alec would have liked.

But he really had to go and seconds later he stood outside the loft, responding to Magnus' wave.

He finally set out to leave when Magnus cocked his head to the side, indicating that he get a move on.

But he'd barely taken a couple of steps before he stopped and looked back at the loft.

It was just as he'd suspected and warned Izzy about. Of course Magnus turned out to be even more amazing than he'd expected him to. And of course he was already falling for him. All of which led him to that very important question.

Could Magnus Bane feel the same way about him?

Chapter Text

As he walked back into the loft, it suddenly felt… empty. The one place he’d always thought of as his home was suddenly not as homey anymore. And it had everything to do with Alexander Lightwood.

Magnus sighed.

What on earth was he going to do with the man? Things were spiraling out of control way faster than he’d anticipated. Hell he’d never expected the spiraling out of control. What he’d been expecting had been…

Been what exactly?

Wasn’t it obvious? A dance. A couple of nights of hot sex and then they would go their separate ways. Except, sex with Alec turned out to be more, and when he’d woken up that morning and seen that dark hair, and then found himself wishing that Alec open his eyes so he could catch a glimpse of those gorgeous hazel eyes, he’d headed to the kitchen to distract himself from how… right Alec looked, lying in his bed.

But then, distraction had become him making breakfast and making Alec coffee and the next thing he knew he was making plans for the groceries he would get in preparation for the next time Alec spent the night over—a slight that either Alec hadn’t caught or had decided to say nothing about, which was something that Magnus was grateful for.

And just as he’d thought he’d had everything under control, and managed to put Alec out of his mind and his own ridiculous request that Alec call him—like seriously, what the fuck had he been thinking—he’d spotted Alec at Pandemonium, head taller than everyone else there, and those eyes fixated on him in the way that had him wanting desperately to give the performance of his life so he could see the tiny twitches on that gorgeous face that confirmed that yes, he was doing a great job in driving Alexander Lightwood to the brink.

And he’d succeeded to, and had come close to yet another night spent with the man; a night he knew would have sent him even further down the hole he hadn’t wanted anything to do with. Ever since…

His phone rang, pulling Magnus’ thoughts away from his past to… Cat calling?

He glanced at the time.

Almost ten.

“Catarina,” he said, already reaching for his jacket, even as he laced up his boots. If Cat was calling him that late, it meant it was an emergency that couldn’t wait and Magnus had to head out immediately.

“What’s wrong?”

“It’s Nico. She’s here.”

Four words that had him racing out of the house, keys in one hand and his phone in the other as he focused on hailing a cab so he can make it on time. Because he knew Nico and nothing screamed trouble like her being away from home at ten at night.


He arrived at the studio a couple of minutes past ten-thirty, panting and harried but relieved to find Nico with her headphones on, dancing to Lamar with her eyes closed as she shut out the world. Micro braids spilled down her back, her high-tops still with the glittery 'N' she'd painted on the day she'd decided she was going to live her truth.

But most importantly, she didn't have any bruises, nor did she look like she was in pain.

But Nico was good at hiding the things she didn't want anyone to know anything about, so when Cat noticed that he'd arrived and headed straight to him, the first thing Magnus asked was, "is she okay?"

Cat's eyes drifted to Nico and she smiled. Not a happy smile, but more a melancholic one. "She will always be. She's strong you know."

Ragnor joined them moments later. "Kind of like a very stubborn dancer we all know and love."
Magnus laughed and at the sound, Nico spun around, noticed him and came bounding over to hug him.

She held on for a long moment and Magnus hugged her back, kissing the side of her head as he ran his fingers through her hair. When he heard a sniffle, he pulled back to grip her by the arms and stare into her eyes. "Is everything alright love?"

She shrugged, eyes averted as she went back to her headphones, her music and shutting out the world.

"Her father," Magnus noted. It wasn't a question because all of them knew exactly the kind of man Michael was.

"Another argument about the fact that his son is Nicolai, not Nicola and he would not settle for Nico getting it into her head that she's a woman." Cat sighed. "Of course I’m paraphrasing. His exact words were worse. And then he followed it by kicking her out of the house."

All three of them maintained their silence and kept it even after Raphael, Luke and Elias joined them. They spent the time watching Nico dance, and Magnus' racing heart calmed down some at how happy she looked, moving a body that she was slowly coming into and growing to love even more than she'd thought she would.

For the first time since she'd been born Nicolai Andrews, Nico was happy and fuck, it tired him that her father couldn't see that and be happy about it.

"Sorry I interrupted your date," he heard Cat say and turned to her. She gave him a soft and apologetic smile.

Magnus shook his head. "You didn't."

Ragnor's eyebrows went up and Magnus chuckled. "Alec’s sister called. Apparently, his parents are back in town and they wanted to see him. He left minutes before you called."

Cat nodded and everyone's attention turned back to Nico. Magnus sighed. "So what are we going to do?"

"I can take her out to get her something to eat," Elias suggested. "I know she isn’t be a fan of Marissa's cooking."

They all chuckled. Nico was quite vocal about her dislike for the oily greasy meals Marissa loved cooking, and it was always a treat when she and Marissa got into an argument about what real food should taste like.

"I was thinking the Chinese down the block," Elias suggested.

They all nodded.

"After that, we can take her to Alaric’s. I'm sure he would have a bed to spare. At least for a couple of nights," Luke said as he and Elias walked up to Nico and tapped her on the shoulder.

Magnus knew the minute Elias told her about the food.

She packed up her headphones and was out of the door before Elias and Luke could even blink.

It was adorable and so fitting to her that Magnus swallowed her laugh that was moments away from being a cry.

The minute the door closed behind her, Raphael whirled around, fists clenched and mouth hard. "You know this would be so much easier if I just went to her house now and punched that fucker that calls himself her padre in the face."

"And then not only would he take it out on her when he comes to get her back." Cat started to say, and held up her hand when Raphael wanted to interrupt her. "And we both know that he will. Why? Because his pc ass can't stand the fact that people would know he kicked his daughter out of the house for being trans. So yeah, he will come back, and instead of us focusing all our energy on how to permanently get him out of her life, we will be busy fighting a lawsuit and trying to keep your ass from going to jail because you were stupid enough to punch one of the most powerful men in the city."

Raphael shrugged. "But at least I would have broken his nose. For that, I will gladly go to prison."

Magnus made to reply but Raphael clicked his tongue and walked away, calling over his shoulder. "Yes I know. No prison. We need to think of ways to help her rather than getting ourselves locked up."

Magnus nodded.

"We also need to think of ways to handle this," Raphael said as he returned, hands loaded with notices and mail.

Magnus knew exactly what was in those envelopes. He sighed as he looked around the warehouse space that he and his friends had sunk their money into converting into a dance studio. He looked at the gleaming windows and the hardwood floors, the barre Cat favoured when she was stretching and training her students and the myriad of mirrors he'd had installed because nothing thrilled his dancers like being able to watch themselves move.

The studio had as much of his heart as Pandemonium did—even though Pandemonium was just a couple of buildings away—and because of people's greed, he had to deal with the possibility of it being taken from him.

He flipped through the mail, absently noticing that everything was from ScyCorp, until he got to the very last mail and it felt like all the air had been sucked out of the room.

Fuck!

He must have made some sort of noise because Raphael was at his side in a flash as were Cat and Ragnor.

All four of them glanced down at the last letter.

"Fuck," Cat breathed.

Magnus laughed, and everyone's eyes swung to him, all concerned. "Nothing. It's just, you rarely cuss," he pointed out to Cat.

She shrugged. "Only when it's worth it, and trust me, that snake writing to you calls for it."

"What the hell does she want now," Raphael growled, eyes intent on the letter like he wanted to shred it and stomp on the torn pieces.

"Don't know. Don't care," Magnus replied as he did just that. He tore up the letter, balled it up and then tossed it in the trash. "She probably figured she might catch me unawares seeing that I haven't bothered to even read her emails."

"She's been reaching out to you," Raphael hissed, fists balled tight as he vibrated in place.

Magnus reached out and smoothed down his shoulders. "Calm down. She's not even worth it."

"But she wants something though," Ragnor murmured and Magnus turned to look at him. He might not be given to physical violence, the way Raphael was, but there was no mistaking the fury in his eyes. "She only reaches out to you when she wants something."

Magnus shrugged. "Yeah well, this time around, she won't be getting anything from me. Not a damn thing. Besides," he waved the sheaf of letters. "We have other things to concern ourselves with. When's the meeting scheduled again," he asked Ragnor.

"Next week. They haven't picked a day and time yet, but they said they will let us know," Ragnor replied.


Just got home. Talk to you soon.

The thing about fucking a virgin was that they always wanted more. They wanted dates and romance and flowers and the whole sappy nine yards.

The thing about fucking a virgin named Alexander Lightwood was that unlike regular virgins who usually weren't able to get enough of Magnus Bane, Alec was doing a very good job of staying away from him.

Sure Magnus was aware that with school and his parents being in town, Alec wouldn't have as much spare time on his hands. It was understandable. Back when he'd been working and attending classes as well, things had been tough as well. He knew that. He got that.

What he didn't get was the fact that four days after Izzy's text had come in and interrupted them, Alec hadn't sent him a text, other than the one he sent when got back home that night.

Not a single one.

Instead, he was back to the radio silence of wondering whether or not Alec was even into him.

"Trust me Magnus. He is."

Ragnor's voice with that dry tone snapped him back to reality and he blinked at his friends. Cat was smiling fondly at him, as was Ragnor. Raphael though was scowling.

Magnus couldn't hear whatever it was that Raphael was murmuring but he was sure he heard the word 'idiota' at some point and flipped Raphael off.

Raphael hissed and stomped off to pour himself a drink.

Magnus almost asked him to make him one as well, but didn't want to risk saying a word for fear of Raphael deciding to dump the drink on his head instead.

And so, he was surprised when Raphael returned with two glasses of scotch, one for himself and one for Magnus.

Magnus raised an eyebrow. "Thank you."

Raphael grunted. "Maybe it will get you to stop moping and talking to yourself."

"I wasn't talking to myself," Magnus grumbled.

"You were," Cat, Ragnor and Raphael exclaimed, and Raphael added an eye roll to his.

"Seriously old friend, you're obsessing over nothing," Ragnor said. "It is quite obvious that the boy is besotted with you."

"And you know this how," Magnus asked.

"They way he looked at you during your dance," Ragnor pointed out.

"And how fast he wanted to get into your pants in the changing room," Raphael muttered. "Dios. Why the fuck are we talking about this?" He pointed at Magnus. "Stop being such a niño."

"I am not a child," Magnus grit out as he sat up and glared at Raphael.

"You're over here whining about a boy not calling you. What do you call that if not childish behavior," Raphael snapped back at him.

Magnus sank back into his chair, mouth set into a hard line as he took a big gulp of his scotch, enjoying the sharp then mellow burn as it slid all the way down.

He drummed his fingers on the chair and then reached once again for his phone, ignoring Raphael's snarl and Ragnor's amused chuckle as he once again stared at that lone message he'd received from Alec.

Just got home. Talk to you soon.

Obviously, he and Alexander needed to have a conversation about the definition of the word 'soon', but that would only happen when Alec finally decided to reach out to him.

He saw Raphael getting ready to say something else and was just about braced for it when Raphael's phone vibrated.

The minute he read the message, his expression changed and his mouth tightened. "ScyCorp has set the date and time for the meeting. It's in two days. At three."

Magnus slammed back the rest of the scotch and walked up to his drinks trolley to make an extra one for himself and for his friends as well.

They all needed it.


If there was one thing Magnus could not stand during peace talks, it was having to head over to the office of the enemy to have said talk.

Firstly, because the ScyCorp office was on the other side of the town and secondly, because by the time they finally arrived, most of the other business owners were sweaty and tired and exhausted—not him of course. He still looked good—whilst the ScyCorp execs and their cushy lawyers look relaxed, rested and as clean as a whistle.

The psychological games had already begun.

"Thank you for coming over," the lawyer—Pangborn started to say.

Magnus rolled his eyes. "Like you gave us much of a choice."

Pangborn's face twitched, glaring for a miniscule of a second before it smoothed over and he gave a smile as phony as the fake ass suit he wore. "But you always have a choice Mr. Bane. I'm sure I made that clear at the phone call I placed to you last Sunday."

"Uh-uh," Magnus conceded with a nod. "Tell that to Marissa who was harassed by your staff members two nights ago who came into her restaurant, claiming to want food but then started a fight and left the place in shambles and several thousands worth of structural damages."

Pangborn shared a look with the execs and the other lawyers with him. He smiled at Marissa, the look a little bit cocky and a little bit smug and Magnus wanted to punch him in the face to wipe it off. "I'm sorry Mrs. Alvarez. We have no idea who those people were? Are you sure the five of them worked for us?"

Raphael hissed. "Te destriparé como a un pez."

Pangborn blinked and then glanced around, looking for clarification from the people on his side of the table. His eyes narrowed when Marissa giggled and just as he made to talk to her, Magnus spoke.

"You said five."

Pangborn cocked his head. "Excuse me."

"I never mentioned how many they were. I said staff members. You said five," Magnus pointed out, spotting the moment when it sank in for Pangborn that he'd just confirmed that ScyCorp really had been the ones responsible for the attack.

Pangborn attempted to recover. “I just mentioned a random number. I’m as surprised as you are at how accurate it was.”

Magnus brought up his nails and admired the ruby red polish he’d painstakingly applied the night before. “How convenient,” he scoffed.

“But we are happy that you brought up the attack,” Pangborn said and everyone on his side of the table sat up. Pangborn meanwhile leaned forward like he was about to confide some secret to his friends. The business owners on the other end of the table, being the friends in this situation. “We think it’s a clear sign that it’s about time you move out of that neighborhood Mrs. Alvarez. Clearly, you don’t feel safe there and if hoodlums can attack your business whilst your friends couldn’t come to your rescue, do you really think it’s a good idea being on their side during this negotiations.”

Marissa made to reply but Pangborn continued talking. “And trust me when I say we at ScyCorp are willing to help make the transition easier. Not only will we get you somewhere better, but we will help in making sure that word gets out so your regulars,” he gave a barely concealed sneer, “will know your new location and you wouldn’t lose any business.”

“Except her business is focused on feeding those within our neighbourhood who can’t afford fancy restaurant food. They know they can come to her, be well fed and she would accept only the barest minimum from them,” Magnus pointed out.

One of the execs snapped at him. “We were addressing Mrs. Alvarez. Not you.”

Magnus held his hands out. “Oh please. Don’t let me stop you.” He waved in Marissa’s direction. “Please continue.”

“Actually, I agree with Magnus,” Marissa said, her voice low and soft. “I don’t want to move.”

Pangborn turned to his team and Magnus spoke up. “Quite frankly, you’re all wasting your time. We are well aware that you’re trying to get us out of our businesses, not because you’re concerned for us or what we do. It’s all about building those condos and the money you can make for it. And our answer will always be ‘not interested’.”

Everyone on his side nodded and Magnus caught Luke’s eye. “You can keep sending us threatening mails or sending your people to come harass us, it won’t change anything, except help us build our case against you.”

Pangborn snorted and Magnus’ eyes narrowed. “Let me get this straight.” He pointed at the business owners. “You all are willing to put your businesses in the hands of this man?” He turned the finger to Magnus. “This man who knows nothing about law and probably doesn’t even have a degree?”

Raphael leapt from his chair, face set into a snarl. Just as Magnus reached out to calm him down, he heard the one voice he had hoped he would never have to hear again in his life: musical poison that slithered down his spine, as venomous as the owner of said voice.

“Pangborn,” she drawled and stepped into the room. ““Magnus does have a degree.” The blood red sheath dress she had on emphasized her slim figure, and the teetering heels she had on as she sashayed into the room, gave her that air of authority and power she reveled in. “He put himself through night classes at the community college. Or am I wrong Magnus?”

“Camille,” Magnus murmured and her lips curved into a smile.

“He might be a…” she paused as if looking for a word and tapped her chin with a finger, then snapped said finger and continued her stroll into the room. “professional dancer, but it doesn’t mean that he’s uneducated.”

Raphael snarled.

Ragnor scowled.

Luke’s back straightened.

And all the other business owners’ eyes swung between the five of them, before finally settling on Camille who had finally reached Magnus’ seat.

She leaned forward, those long acrylic nails, grazing his cheek and Magnus forced himself not to shiver. Fuck if he would give Camille the satisfaction in knowing that feeling her hands on him made his skin crawl.

She chuckled and leaned even further in, till her lips were just by the side of his ear as she whispered. “You should have replied my mails Magnus.”

She pulled back, tsked and walked to the head of the table where one of the execs pulled out a chair and smiled as she slid in.

She returned the smile, razor sharp and hard and then turned to face the rest of the table.

There was silence for a moment until she gave a pointed glance at Pangborn who immediately started with the introductions. “Miss. Belcourt, these are the business owners on fourth and seventh, and we’re attempting to negotiate with them…”

Magnus snickered and Pangborn glared, but then addressed the business owners when Magnus shrugged and said nothing more. “This is Miss Camille Belcourt, the GMD of Belcourt holdings. ScyCorp is one of their subsidiaries.”

Camille arched a brow. “And how’s your talk going with them so far? I’m guessing not so well.”

Pangborn’s eyes darted around the room, whilst Camille continued to smile.

When he finally nodded, she sat forward, steepled her fingers together and balanced her chin on them as she stared at everyone else in the room. “I don’t have Emil’s patience, so I’m only going to say this once, and I do hope that you have enough good sense to read between the lines to figure out exactly what it is that I’m saying.”

Everyone shifted in their seats, although Magnus caught the barely concealed glee on the face of the execs. If that hadn’t set the bells ringing, watching Camille grin whilst her eyes remained as cold as ice did.

“Let me start with you. Leroy is it,” Camille asked.

“Yes,” Leroy replied from behind Magnus, his voice strong and sure, with no apprehension whatsoever.

“How’s your wife doing,” Camille asked with a smile.

“Wha—excuse me,” Leroy stuttered. Gone was the calm confidence.

“Your wife.” Camille gestured at one of the lawyers who pushed a file towards her. She flipped through the pages, every movement casual and deliberate, the very picture of cool, calm indifference. Unless you’d dated her for several years like Magnus had and could catch those side glances she kept throwing at Leroy, even as she delighted in seeing him slowly unravel. “Ha. There it is. How is Amara? Has she gotten her papers yet?”

Fuck.

Magnus didn’t need to glance behind him to know that Leroy had probably paled. He could feel it. It was in the way every one of them sucked in their breaths at the question. Knowing without Camille having to finish that sentence, exactly what she was saying and what she was implying.

“And then, there’s Alaric.” She nodded at Alaric who merely crossed his arms and tried to appear imposing. Camille saw through it though and her smile became sharper. “Your shelter is laudable. Except, I don’t think the Government would be giving you any medals for sheltering out-of-status immigrants. No matter how noble the work you’re doing is.”

Shit.

“And Mrs. Alvarez.” She turned those dark eyes to Marissa. “A couple of thugs coming in to harass your clientele,” she made a face at the word, well aware that Marissa’s clientele was made up more of the hungry and homeless who she’d made it her mission to feed, and who Camille would never think deserved to be called that “is nothing compared to that case of vermin infestation that you’re currently…facing.”

“But I don’t have any infestation,” Marissa replied, sounding confused.

Camille smiled. “Not yet anyway.”

Bitch!

Camille had always been in tune with him because she turned to look at him, her face still set in a cruel smile. “As for Mr. Bane, I don’t think any parent would feel comfortable with a man of your…” She paused and winked, “talent being near their kids. I mean, I know some of the kids don’t have parents who care, but some of those parents do care and I’m sure even the world would agree that a man such as yourself might… touch one of those kids.”

Raphael shot out of his seat, screaming “Jódete!”

Camille laughed, the sound high and stringent. “You wish Raphael. And of course that brings me to you. Like they say, you can take the child from the street, but you can’t take the street from the child.”

“Fuck you,” Raphael snarled, fists tightly clenched as he glared at her. Even Ragnor reaching out to rub his shoulders didn’t make any difference.

What it did though was put Ragnor on Camille's radar. She laughed. "And if it isn't Professor Fell."

At the words, Magnus, Raphael, Luke and Ragnor flinched.

Fuck.

Camille chortled, then brought her fingers to her lips in mock dismay. "Ooops. My bad. It's Mr. Fell now isn't it, Ragnor."

Ragnor said nothing in reply, but it didn't stop Camille. "How long has been now Ragnor? Five years? Six?" She grinned. "How long has it been since the highly esteemed Professor Fell, fell from grace due to… what was it again?" She cocked her head and glanced at Pangborn who wasn't attempting to hide the fact that he was full on grinning at this point. "Ah yes," Camille snapped her fingers. "Embezzlement and sexual assault."

"It was never proven," Luke gritted out, for the first time since the meeting started, losing the calm he'd managed to keep.

Camille laughed. "Please. Like we all don't know that in the case of the school verses a student, the school would always side with the professor."

"Even when the student in question is the daughter of the dean? Well known for skipping class and thinking that her father would bail her out, until she realized that it wouldn't work on Ragnor," Luke pointed out.

Camille gave a delicate shrug. "That's what you say. It's what the parents say that matter isn't it?" She waved a hand in their direction. "I know you all are silent partners in Magnus' school, but be realistic, which judge would look favourably on any of you. I mean, look at you." She rolled her eyes. "And by ‘look at you’, I mean you as well Luke. Former gang member who married his former gang leader's ex-wife, whilst raising the man's child. What's the brat's name again? Chloe?"

"Clary," Magnus snapped. "Her name is Clary and you know that very well Camille."

"I heard she's in school now. Congratulations" She settled back in her seat, looking pretty smug. " Are you sure you don't want to consider our offer. I mean, surely a young brilliant girl's education shouldn't have to depend on the mercy of paying customers who showed up to watch some men," she did a shimmy, "shake that ass. And I'm also certain that the peanuts Jocelyn manages to bring in from those laughable pieces she calls art isn't helping much. Tell me Luke, what can single dollar bills get you?"

"So far, it's paying Clary's education. She's in her second year if you didn't know, and it's working wonders in keeping us clothed, fed and housed. But I'm sure it's not much to you," Luke snarked.

Camille smirked, accepted the file Pangborn extended to her and flipped it open. "Our final offer. Seven hundred and fifty for the individual spaces and an extra hundred and fifty to get you settled in wherever you decide to move to." Her gaze swept across everyone in the opposite corner of the room. "I would suggest you take it and you get back to us within two weeks. If we receive no response, we will take it to mean that you're not interested and we will make our move. And trust me, none of you will like the outcome to that."

And with that said, she rose to her feet, nodded at the execs who smiled back at her and walked back the way she came, taking a moment to stop at Magnus' seat and once again, ran her finger across his cheek. "Hmmmm. Still looking good Magnus. You aged well."

"Pity we can't say the same for you," Magnus heard Ragnor mutter.

Camille merely laughed and continued stroking Magnus' cheek. "But I don't think you can continue pulling in crowds for much longer though. We all know stripping is a young man's game. I mean, look at Luke for example?"

She gave Luke a pointed look, laughed and then walked out of the boardroom.


They stepped out of the ScyCorp office, drained and exhausted and silent.

Magnus watched Marissa, Alaric and Leroy walk away with their shoulders hunched and their steps heavy. They didn't say a word, just walked away without looking back.

Magnus couldn't blame them. They'd all been eviscerated at a meeting that they'd assumed they would have an edge at—the edge being the united front that they wouldn't let ScyCorp push them out of the area they'd come to think of as their home.

Nobody had been expecting the end result. Nobody had been expecting Camille.

And if he'd only replied her mail once, maybe he would have known and they could have planned better, strategized better, figured out what ScyCorp was up to and what lengths they were willing to go. Maybe they could have…

"Don't even think about it," Luke's voice intruded on his thoughts and Magnus snapped back to the present and to Luke staring back at him. It was almost nighttime but Magnus could still see Luke's eyes and they were furious. "It is not your fault."

"What," Magnus asked, well aware of what Luke was talking about but unwilling to confront it.

"You're thinking it's your fault aren't you," Luke replied.

"That if maybe you're resumed contact with that… bitch, you could have seen it coming," Raphael added.

"That you could have done something to prevent the end result," Ragnor tossed in his own two cents.

"Which is a stupid thing, especially when you consider that Camille has always been a manipulative liar," he heard Cat add, and turned around to see that she'd joined them. Weird. He hadn't noticed when she'd arrived.

He was just about to ask when she beat him to it. "My shift ended early for once, which surprised me, so I came straight here." She shrugged. "Ragnor texted me about what happened." She cupped Magnus face, chuckling a little at the glitter her fingers came in contact with. "Only you Magnus, would go to a meeting like that, with your glitter on and," she waved at his coloured tips. "gold in your hair."

"I was trying to make a statement," Magnus sniffed.

"And what statement is that," Cat asked with a smile.

Magnus winked. "That they can't afford me love. Not even in their wildest imagination."

Cat threw back her head and laughed. "That is most certainly true." She continued smiling although her smile turned sad. "You're not to blame. Camille is. ScyCorp is. People who would choose profit over keeping businesses who are giving back to the society—even if in your case Luke, it's hot guys shaking their asses to the screaming public," she teased Luke who chortled. "Those people are the ones to blame. Not you. You all are amazing."

They all awww'd at the words, although Raphael merely crossed his arms and grunted.

"Luke!"

The words had Luke turning around and Magnus waved at Jocelyn and Clary who had come to pick Luke up. They waved back at him, and then looked at him in askance when the first thing Luke did when he got to where they were standing was pull them both in for a hug.

The sight had something tugging in Magnus. The look of concern. The comforting touch. The whispered murmurings as Jocelyn and Clary rubbed Luke's back. And the way all three of them got into Jocelyn's Honda and drove off.

"Shall we," Ragnor asked and motioned at his four by four.

They all slid in and drove in silence to Magnus' loft, each of them lost in their own thoughts.

When they pulled up in front of Magnus' loft, Magnus was surprised to see Simon, already there and waiting. "Well, if it isn't Sherman," he commented and felt dark amusement at how quickly Raphael's head spun around so he could look at his… Magnus still had no idea what the were. Raphael being the stubborn prick he was, refused to say.

The minute they stepped out of the car, Simon bounded over to them and Magnus braced himself for a barrage of words he had been hoping he would be able to avoid. This night wasn't one for words. He just wanted some peace and quiet, but knowing Simon, he wouldn't be getting that.

Except, the minute Simon got a good look at Raphael's face, his mouth snapped shut and his face transformed to one so filled with concern that Magnus almost gasped.

What the hell? Fuck buddies didn't look at other fuck buddies the way Simon was looking at Raphael at the moment.

What the hell was going on?

Still saying nothing, Simon pulled Raphael in for a hug which surprisingly enough Raphael returned. And then Simon pulled back to whisper. "Come. Let's go home," and Raphael nodded.

It was so surreal; Magnus couldn't help but laugh, causing Simon and Raphael to swing around to stare at him, although Raphael's was more scowl than stare. "So I take it that you two are officially, officially dating?"

Simon beamed and nodded, whilst Raphael growled. "What self respecting adult says officially, officially dating? What are you twelve?"

"What self respecting adult bristles like a cat and chooses fighting with a guy as a way of showing that he's interested in him," Cat asked before Magnus could speak. "Can you really blame us for not knowing that you two are together. You fight him like he's a dog and you're a cat," she said as she pointed at Simon and Raphael.

"Very well put," Ragnor pointed out and Cat winked back at him.

Raphael continued to scowl whilst Simon just gave a soft smile.

"Wait. Does he really do that," Magnus asked, turning to look at Cat. "Like he fights everyone he likes?"

Cat and Ragnor took a moment to consider it, and then Ragnor nodded. "Yup. Remember Tomas in junior high?"

Magnus snickered. "He punched his nose, and then called him his boyfriend two weeks later."

"And then there was Andrew in senior year. Didn't he nail him on the back of his head with a football," Cat asked.

Ragnor chortled. "And then you caught them kissing under the bleachers didn't you Magnus?”

Magnus at this point was doubled over laughing. "And you should have seen his face too."

"Happy to see you all laughing at my expense," Raphael huffed and scowled at Simon when Simon giggled.

"And then there was Christopher in the first year of college. God, how those two used to argue," Magnus said as he carefully dabbed at the corner of his eyes, not wanting to smear his makeup. He would rather he removed it himself with his wipes when he got in, than for him to smear it and become known as raccoon eyes. Knowing Raphael, he would be sure to have photographic proof. Speaking of Raphael, "and then the librarian caught them making out between Justine and Juliette."

Cat howled, her eyes dancing merrily as she held onto Ragnor. "Marquis de Sade would have been so proud. Who knew his books would have been so inspiring."

"Especially with that interesting way Raphael had decided to use his tie as a cock…"

"And look, we must be going," Raphael cut into Magnus' words, dragging Simon whose eyes looked like they were about to boggle out of his head at what he'd just heard. He trailed after Raphael, mouth working fast as he tried getting answers out of Raphael.

"He's going to talk his ear out tonight," Ragnor solemnly declared.

The three of them looked at one another, and then burst out laughing. "But really though, his courting methods are… interesting," Magnus pointed out.

"Yeah. Which has me worried about your boyfriend's brother," Ragnor said as he watched Raphael and Simon's retreating form.

"He's not my boyfriend," Magnus corrected, and rolled his eyes when Ragnor and Cat merely smirked at him. "Not yet anyway. And more importantly, why are you worried about Jace?"

Ragnor raised an eyebrow at him. "Seriously?"

Magnus was confused. "What?"

"You didn't see all those sparks flying when he and his sister came to warn you about breaking their brother's heart," Ragnor asked.

Magnus scoffed. "Please. They were just argu…" He broke off as his eyes widened and he stared in horror at Ragnor. "It can't be."

Ragnor snorted. "Like we don't know that Raphael shows his interest by getting into pissing matches."

Magnus panicked, and then sighed when he found the point he was looking for. "He's with Simon."

Ragnor shrugged. "You didn't see how Simon was checking out the brother whenever the brother was too distracted scowling at Raphael to notice him staring."

Magnus rubbed at his aching temple. "This is just too much."

Cat crooned and patted his back like he were a child. "Poor baby."

Magnus swatted her away and glared. She laughed. "Why are you so upset anyway?"

Magnus sighed and crossed his arms as he murmured underneath his breath.

Ragnor and Cat exchanged glances. "You have to speak up Magnus. I didn't hear what you just said," Cat said.

"I said, Raphael would probably be in a relationship with Jace before I get that chance with Alexander," Magnus muttered sullenly.

This just set off Cat and Ragnor who started laughing. "Seriously Magnus," Cat said with a roll of her eyes.

Magnus harrumphed. "We all know Raphael works fast. Give it two weeks max and he will be in some three-way relationship whilst the universe will continue to try and keep me and Alec from having another date."

"Somehow, I doubt that." Cat giggled. "I don't think the universe itself will be able to stop you from going after what you want. I mean if even Camille…"

And just like that, the tense silence that they'd managed to suppress was back, along with thoughts of Camille Belcourt and the fact that even years after she'd walked away from him and broken his heart, she could still make him bleed.

Magnus sighed. "I think I'll call it a night."

"Want us to spend the night," Ragnor asked. "Cat is off for the next couple of days and I've got nowhere I have to be at."

"There's no need for you guys to do that. I'll be fine." He noticed the worried look they exchanged and gave a forced smile. "Seriously. I'll be fine. Nothing a good night's rest can't fix."

They both looked at him for a long moment, and then gave solemn nods as they walked away. "But if you change your mind, just call. We'll come running over," Ragnor called out. "No matter how late it is."

And knowing them, they most likely would.

Magnus waved back at them as Ragnor drove off, and walked into the loft, dropping his phone on the end table as he sank into his couch.

He was just about to take off his boots when his doorbell rang.

Fuck.

He was so tired and he so wasn't in the mood to try and convince Ragnor and Cat that he would be fine.

He considered ignoring them, but when the bell rang yet again, he pushed off from the couch and went to open the door, only to stand there shocked at the sight of Alec, fingers running through his hair, jaw covered in stubble that would have done wonders for Magnus if he'd been in the mood for it, and lips curved into a soft smile, a smile that then turned uncertain the longer Magnus stood at the door staring at him in shock.

"Magnus," he said, his voice a tad uncertain. The words snapped Magnus back to the present and Magnus motioned for him to enter the apartment.

When they were in his apartment, Magnus turned to look at him. "Alexander."

Alec shuffled from one foot to another, eyes focused on Magnus. "I'm sorry I haven't really been in touch."

"It's no big…"

Alec cut in. "It is. It is a big deal.  Things have just been crazy with mid-terms coming up, the internship I just got, and my parents…" He trailed off and shook his head. "Either way, I have been busy but it wasn’t a good enough reason to not get back to you like I promised. I'm sorry."

He looked so earnest that all of Magnus' doubts faded away and Magnus gave him a small smile.

Magnus could read the moment Alec relaxed at his apology being accepted. But then, he must have seen something in Magnus' expression because he walked up to him and slowly cupped his right cheek, his hazel eyes soft as he asked. "What's wrong?"

That voice, those words filled with so much concern was his undoing and Magnus closed his eyes as the events of the day hit him hard: the meeting gone wrong, seeing Camille, realizing that she wasn't sorry and was still the nasty bitch who had put down all his friends and Magnus hadn't been able to see it then because he had been too enamored with her.

"Magnus."

Fuck.

When was the last time someone other than his friends had said his name with such tenderness? He was used to it being screamed by crowds watching his performances, or being moaned by lovers. But to hear it with that tenderness wrecked him.

And seeing that tenderness reflected in those beautiful eyes as Alec looked down at him, destroyed him.

"If you don't want to talk, I understand," Alec said, voice still soft.

Magnus sighed. "It's a long story."

Alec smiled and gently tugged at Magnus' hand and didn't let go even when they were both sitting on the couch. "Lucky us then that I don't have classes tomorrow morning."

Magnus chuckled. "Where do your parents think you're at?"

Alec shrugged. "Probably back at home. They're out of town again," he added.

"Oh. And when will they be back," Magnus asked.

Another shrug. "None of us can say. They breeze in and out, whenever they feel like it."

Magnus nodded and then fell silent.

He startled when Alec started playing with his rings. First the one on his pinky, and then the one on his index finger. He went from one hand to another, each movement, careful but strong, fingers stroking the bottom of Magnus' palms, moving from the tips of his fingers to his inner wrist and back again.

Magnus found himself relaxing with every stroke and touch, and the words came pouring out. "I met Camille at Pandemonium," he started. Alec hummed, but said nothing and Magnus continued the tale. "She was beautiful. God was she beautiful." If he closed his eyes, he could still see it. That moment when he'd been in the middle of the dance and had spotted her. Her with her black hair set in a chignon, those pearls around her long pale neck, and those red lips curved into a smirk.

When his eyes had met hers, she'd raised her glass in a toast to him, winked and then walked out of the club. He hadn't been able to get her out of his mind and had waited and waited till she showed up again. When she finally did, he'd been thrilled.

"She made it a game, Alexander. For two weeks, she would come to the club, just before my set was to start. She would wait till she caught my eyes, lift up her glass in a toast and then walk away. It was frustrating but fun, and when she finally stayed long enough to give me her number…" Magnus shook his head, trying to displace the memories of how perfect he'd thought that moment was. "We moved fast, Camille and I. Burned so bright and so fast. My friends were worried but," his eyes drifted back to Alec's hands and the way they kept playing with his rings, even as Alec stayed silent, waiting for him to tell his tale. "I was lost in her. I couldn't see anything but her. Couldn't see how she disrespected my friends, disrespected their pasts, even though theirs was quite similar to mine."

He stopped, fingers clenching on Alec's as his thoughts switched to said past.

Alec continued stroking his hands, never stopping in those movements that let Magnus know that he was there and he was listening. "My mother died when I was younger. Suicide. My step-father was an abusive asshole and she couldn't take it anymore."

Alec gave his hands a slight squeeze but said nothing, and for that Magnus was grateful. He didn't want any of those platitudes with people saying they're sorry when he had no interest in hearing it. "With my mother out of the way, he started on me. I was his escape." Magnus gave a bitter chuckle. "Or rather, I was one of his escapes. The other was booze and one day he had too much to drink and crashed his car. The meds said he was DOA."

He got another squeeze, and this time around, squeezed right back, just as gentle as the one he'd received. "I bounced around foster care a lot." He gave another laugh. "God, I bounced around a lot.”

Magnus glanced up at Alec whose face was still set in soft lines, no judgment in the depths of those eyes. They were an open book and Alec made no move to hide the plethora of emotions he was feeling. Magnus could read the worry in them. The anger directed at those who had hurt him. And the desire that he wished he’d been there to protect Magnus from it all.

But there was no judgment.

"I learned how to dance in one of the many homes I'd stayed in during my time in foster care, and I discovered that dancing was an out for me. A way for me to find some peace outside of myself. Thankfully, I got enough good grades to move on in classes and when I finally got to stay with the Senters, these two brothers who might not have been the most affectionate but who made sure I went to school, fed me, housed me, made me feel safe for the first time in a long while, I had the chance to start living like a regular boy again. I met Raphael, Ragnor and Cat on our first day at Junior High and we bonded. Boy did we bond," Magnus chuckled. "Even back then, Raphael was one to throw a punch if you insulted his friends, Ragnor would plot your demise and get back at you months after it's completely slipped your mind, and Cat is the type to smile at you whilst poisoning your drink."

Alec laughed and Magnus grinned. "They're good people," Alec murmured.

Magnus nodded. "That they are. And I met yet another good person the summer I turned eighteen. I snuck into Pandemonium, told Luke I could dance better than any of the dancers he had and negotiated with him my pay based on not just my weekly salary but also a cut on individual people who paid to see me dance. He was down for it when I told him I planned on using the money to put myself through school. Raphael joined me a couple of months after and pulled off the same deal." Magnus snickered. "He was always trying to beat me. Such a little shit."

Alec chuckled. "And Ragnor?"

Magnus' smile faded. "Ragnor was always meant for greater things. And he found it too. A position teaching at a University in the UK. Until a false embezzlement and sexual harassment suit had him not only leaving everything he had there, but also saw him running to the States and deciding that he needed a break. He's spent the past two years, sometimes dancing at Pandemonium and sometimes just being there to support us, whilst living off of his nest egg. Last time I asked him if he was still taking a break, he confirmed it. But said he some sort of an 'inkling'," Magnus made quotation marks at the word and Alec snorted. "Into what he was going to do next."

"And your friend Cat?"

"A doctor at the Metropolitan hospital and loving every moment of it," Magnus said, feeling extremely proud. "We'd always known she was going to do very well. And she's amazing at it."

Alec smiled that soft smile that was fast becoming Magnus' undoing. "Your friends all sound amazing."

Magnus smiled back. "They all are." His smile faded. "But Camille didn't think so. She couldn't see beyond a person's past, nor was she willing to believe that people can rise above it. She constantly put them down and called them names. And because they didn't want to take away my happiness, they didn't say a word. Just held it all in, so I could be with the woman I thought was the love of my life."

Magnus gave a bitter laugh.

"What happened," Alec asked, sounding even gentler than he had when they'd started the talk.

"She got tired? She got bored? Maybe it was both? Maybe it was because I started talking more about my plans for when I quit stripping. Or maybe her parents were pressuring her to bring home a boyfriend. Either way, she broke things off with me, said she was sorry, but she had bigger fish to fry and I was only good for fucking anyway. No offence." He chuckled at that, the laugh sounding hollow even to his own ears as he held tightly onto Alec's hands. "She wished me luck, and when I begged her, I fucking begged her, she laughed in my face and asked how someone like me could think I could end up with someone like her. "

Even remembering made him flinch and he startled when Alec let go of his hands and brought both of his to cup his face, staring into his eyes as his fingers slowly stroked his cheeks. "She hurt you."

Hurt?

Magnus gave a broken laugh. "She didn't hurt me Alexander. She broke me." He closed his eyes for a brief moment and opened them again as he gave a sardonic smile. "And now she's back again, this time around intent on not just crushing me, but destroying my dreams as well." He saw the question in Alec's eyes and answered them. "I have a dance studio, a couple of meters away from Pandemonium. It's an old warehouse and the most beautiful thing you've ever seen." He smiled as he thought of that space that was all his, the joy spreading within him at the thought. It was the same joy he'd felt when he'd paid for his apartment and could categorically say it belonged to him. "Everyone pitched in to help me acquire it of course. Cat and Ragnor and Raphael and Luke. Because you see, they know how important it is to me. They know that it's always been my plan to own a dance studio and make it this welcoming place for kids to come and drop whatever troubles them outside the door. They know it's all about me helping other children the same way dancing helped me. But now, that studio could be shut down because a big corporation wants to tear down the buildings in that area, including Pandemonium, and convert the entire block into a bunch of soulless high-rise condos. And of course Camille shows up as the top boss overseeing the project and you can bet that she will try to make sure that she pulls it all down. A chance to not only destroy my dreams, but to target Luke and Raphael too? She's probably cackling right now at how amazing it all is."

He slumped back as he finished, utterly exhausted and back to being miserable at having to confront his past.

The barest stroke of fingers against his leg had him opening his eyes and sitting up, surprised to find Alec kneeling in front of him, hands wrapped around his boots. "Alec. What are you…"

"Shhhh," Alec cut in as he slowly shook his head. "Let me take care of you tonight." Magnus made to protest but Alec added, "please."

Magnus sighed and sat back, giving up the reigns to Alec who unlaced his boots and then slowly pulled off the first boot, then the second. Next went his right sock, then his left. He watched through half lidded eyes as Alec moved the boots and carefully placed them beside the couch, and then placed his hand in Alec when Alec held out his hand towards him.

Alec pulled him up and whilst holding his hand, led him into his bedroom.

He settled Magnus down in front of the vanity table and walked around till he was behind Magnus and unhooked the necklaces, taking them off, one at a time. And when he finished with that, he took off Magnus’ ear cuff and then pulled off the all the rings.

With all of Magnus’ jewelry carefully stored away, Alec  looked around the vanity table and nodded when he finally found the wet wipes Magnus used to take off his makeup. Magnus was about to ask him how he knew what was which, but then remembered that Alec had a sister and something told him that Izzy was the kind of sister who would get her brother to do something like that.

And then, he stopped thinking, breath catching in his throat when Alec whispered, "close your eyes," and proceeded to wipe off his eye makeup, starting with the right, and moving onto the left. He was gentle as he moved down Magnus' face, replacing a used cotton pad with another as he slowly took off Magnus' makeup.

Next he moved on to Magnus’ nails, using the cotton pads and the nail polish removal to carefully take off the colours, moving from one fingernail to another. And then he sank to his knees, hand curved beneath Magnus’ foot, keeping it balanced as he slowly took off the polish, toenail by toenail.

"All done," Alec finally said after a short while and then pulled Magnus up and walked him towards the bed, stopping when they were a couple of inches from it.

"Uh," Magnus started to say but Alec merely placed one finger on his lips and slowly shook his head. His fingers went to Magnus' belt and unbuckled it. He pulled the belt through the loops and carefully pulled it free. Then he unbuttoned Magnus' pants, pulled them down and gestured for Magnus to step out of them, first one foot, then the other. Next his fingers found Magnus' boxer brief and he pulled that down as well. He then rose to his full height and then worked on the buttons of Magnus' shirt, working them all free so he could slip them off of Magnus, leaving him totally bare.

Alec turned away from Magnus and carefully folded all of Magnus' clothes on the chair. He then started taking off his clothes. First his boots, then his shirt and his pants.

"Alexander," Magnus started to say again.

"Shhhh," Alec repeated, and then stood to his full height, completely naked now that he'd kicked off his underwear.

He interlaced his fingers with Magnus and pulled Magnus with him, into the bathroom, motioning at Magnus to hold on for a moment.

He turned on the showerhead, hands outstretched as he turned the dial to be sure that the shower was at the right temperature.

Magnus knew when Alec had confirmed it. Alec gave a little nod and reached for Magnus' hand, slowly pulling him forward until Magnus stood beneath the showerhead.

Magnus sighed, feeling the warm water run down his body, soothing aches he hadn't noticed he had until that very moment.

His eyes opened when he felt warm hands on him and came face to face with Alec who was now beneath the showerhead with him. In his hands was a soapy loofah and with strong strokes, he cleaned up Magnus, starting with his arms, then his torso, his thighs and then his legs. Every movement was gentle and careful, unhurried and in no way sexual, even when he was washing up Magnus' dick.

He slowly turned Magnus around and washed his back, his ass, the back of his thighs and legs, and then turned Magnus back around to ask. "Where's your shampoo?"

Magnus had no idea where he had the presence of mind to point to the cabinet with how spaced out he was feeling at the moment. But he did, and seconds after Alec went to get him shampoo, he was back with a dollop in his hands and he worked it into Magnus' hair, turning Magnus pliant in his arms as all Magnus could do was groan at the feel of those lean fingers rubbing into his scalp, slowly working in the shampoo to get rid of all the products he'd put in during the course of the day.

After the washing came the rinsing and when that was finally done, Alec turned off the shower and walked to the door to pull two of the 'MB' monogrammed towels Ragnor had gotten him as a joke the day he'd moved into the loft. He wrapped one into a turban to soak up the moisture in Magnus' hair and the second he used to pat Magnus down, still careful in his ministrations, occasionally glancing up at Magnus to smile at him every time their eyes met.

When he was finally done, he pulled Magnus out of the bathroom. "Do you wear anything to sleep?"

Magnus nodded slowly and pointed at the door leading to his closet.

Alec disappeared for a short while but reappeared with the lilac print silk pajamas Magnus had picked up on his trip to Turkey. They were his favourite and he only ever brought them out when he'd had a terrible day and needed to feel comforted.

And Alec had pulled them out at random.

He laid them out and then helped Magnus into them, starting with the pants and then the top. Alec on his own walked out into the living room and then walked back in with a black tank top and drawstring pants which he pulled on.

They were his size, which meant he'd left his house with every intention of spending the night at Magnus'.

With both of them dressed, Alec walked back up to Magnus, untied the turban, tossed both towels into the hamper for dirty laundry, pulled back the duvet and helped Magnus in between the sheets.

He then slid in behind Magnus, arms wrapped around Magnus as he placed a soft kiss at the back of Magnus' head. "Good night Magnus."

"Good night Alexander," Magnus replied, still feeling like he was in a daze.

His emotions were churning, his heart racing. No one had ever pampered him like this. Even with Camille, she hadn't been able to wring this wealth of emotions from him. If Camille’s leaving had broken him, Alexander Lightwood’s would destroy him.

Chapter Text

Waking up to Magnus Bane lying right beside him was everything he'd always thought it would be.

The sunlight streaming through the windows shone on Magnus' hair, making the black strands shine and the blonde tips pop. Its soft rays touched that cheek, illuminating a face that was soft but made of strong lines. Those full lips were slack, and Alec smiled at the sight of that little bit of drool that had gathered at the corner of Magnus' mouth.

Magnus Bane drooled in his sleep. Who would have thought?

Alec ran his eyes over Magnus' form, relieved to see that chest rise and lower steadily, and the ease with which he sprawled over the sheets, taking up almost all the space, even as his hands remained entangled in Alec's.

Alec glanced at their hands, tempted to run his fingers over that soft skin, but not willing to risk it for fear of accidentally waking Magnus up.

He had no plans of doing so, any time soon. At least not until he'd gotten the chance to make Magnus some breakfast.

Just as he made up his mind to pull his hand away and go do just that, those long eyelashes fluttered open and he was staring into warm brown eyes.

Magnus blinked. Once. Twice. "Alexander," he breathed and Alec felt his breath hitch.

He would never get used to how cherished Magnus made his name sound. It was nothing like the angry undertone his parents put into it any time they called him by his full name as a child.

With them, 'Alexander' meant he was in a shitload of trouble and Maryse and Robert were both angry and disappointed in him.

With Magnus, 'Alexander' made him think of mornings in bed, fluffy waffles, dances that set his nerve endings blazing, warm, kind and passionate eyes, and full lips curved into a smile.

It was the antithesis to the emotions his parents evoked in him. Magnus was the antithesis to everything his parents were.

"Alexander," Magnus called again and Alec's attention snapped back to him. He caught the look that flashed across Magnus' face, the vulnerability mixed in with the questions in those eyes.

Magnus was probably wondering if last night had been too intense. If maybe Alec wanted to bolt. It saddened him that the thought would even occur to the beautiful man. That anyone would have made him think that he was someone that should be abandoned after he'd bared open his heart.

Alec leaned forward, took note of the wariness that flooded those brown eyes, before they closed and Magnus sank into the kiss. Inch by slow inch.

Magnus' hands rose, those long lean fingers reaching out to cup Alec's cheek, and then it was Alec's turn to lean into the kiss, his tongue sliding lazily against Magnus, relearning every crevice of that mouth.

God he'd missed this.

Someone moaned, and Alec slowly pulled back, smiling at the little whimper Magnus released at the loss of the contact.

When Magnus glared at him for smiling, Alec laughed outright and placed a quick kiss on the tip of Magnus' nose.

That got him a huff that turned into chuckle as Magnus shook his head. "Tease."

Alec raised an eyebrow. "Says the man who makes it his mission to dance and drive me wild without even giving me the chance to touch," Alec blurted unthinkingly.

The minute the words sank in, he stared horrified at Magnus who cocked his head and studied him for a long moment.

Alec fought the urge to fidget at the contemplative look in Magnus' eyes. But then that mouth quirked in a smile, and Alec forgot to breathe. "Well then, remind me to give you a private performance when next you're at Pandemonium. Never let it be said that I am a tease."

The blur of images that flashed in front of his eyes had him gasping, and soon he was coughing at the saliva that had gone down the wrong path because Magnus Bane had promised him a private performance at Pandemonium.

What the fuck.

Magnus rubbed his back, but Alec glared at him through narrow eyes, well aware that Magnus was laughing at him if Magnus’ vibrating form was anything to go by. "It's not funny Magnus," Alec grumbled but that just seemed to set Magnus off and he collapsed back on the bed, laughing so hard Alec was sure that Magnus had tears at the corner of his eyes.

He crossed his arms and tried to look stern but he was sure he failed. Seeing Magnus so relaxed and happy was doing things to his insides and had him suddenly wishing that he could do that everyday. Make Magnus Bane laugh in some way or the other. Because right at that moment, he was sure he'd never heard anything as beautiful as the sound of Magnus laughing, nor had he seen anything as beautiful as that radiant smile.

Magnus finally stopped laughing as he tried to catch his breath. Alec joined him on the bed, and the two of them stayed side by side in comfortable silence, staring up at the ceiling.

"You don't have any classes this morning," Magnus finally asked.

Alec reached for his phone and checked the time. "Not for another two hours," he replied with a shrug.

Magnus nodded.

"You know what this means right," Alec asked, and laughed when Magnus waggled his eyebrows.

"We get to have a quickie," Magnus teased. "Trust me, we can get a lot done in two hours."

Alec chuckled. "I was thinking more along the lines of shower, and then breakfast. I can't make waffles as good as yours. Actually, I don't think anyone's waffles can be as good as yours," he admitted and grinned at Magnus' 'of course' shrug. "But I make a mean scrambled egg. Do you have bread, peanut butter and jam?"

Magnus nodded.

Alec smiled. "I make a mean PB&J as well."

Something flashed across Magnus' face and Alec's brought his hands to cup that face, his fingers tracing over Magnus' jawline as he stared into those brown eyes that had gone from light and flirty to soft and vulnerable in a millisecond.

Magnus Bane wore his heart in his eyes, and every time Alec got just that small glimpse of it, it brought him to his knees.

"You don't believe me," Alec whispered.

Magnus gave a half smile. "That you make a mean scrambled eggs and PB&J sandwich? Talk is cheap Alexander. Tasting is believing."

No. He'd meant about wanting to take care of Magnus. And he knew Magnus knew that that was what he meant as well. But he could see it on Magnus' face. Magnus didn't want to talk about it. At least not right now, and Alec understood that.

"Well then, I guess I'd better get to work proving it to you huh," Alec replied, and returned Magnus' relieved smile. He gestured at the bathroom. "Do you want to shower first or should I?"

Magnus waved him along. "You go in first. I have to check up on Raphael, Ragnor and Cat."

Alec nodded and pushed off from the bed, slipping out of his clothes on the way to the bathroom. He heard Magnus' sharp inhale and chuckled as he entered the bathroom, barely catching Magnus grumbled, "you're such a tease Alexander."

He set the water to warm and lathered up, working quickly so he was out of the bathroom just as Magnus was hanging up.

Magnus quirked a brow. "That was fast."

Alec shrugged and wrapped the towel around his waist. He purposefully ignored the hungry way Magnus' eyes followed the movement, although he was nearly tempted to give in when Magnus' tongue flicked out to lick his lips. "I don't see any reason to spend more time than necessary in a bathroom," he pointed out, and then wished he could take it back at the sight of the gleam in Magnus' eyes.

"Sweetheart. It all depends on what you're doing in the bathroom," Magnus whispered as his eyes dropped to rake over Alec, starting with his feet and going all the way up till they met his eyes. "You have to be certain you reach everywhere. Isn't that what mothers are always saying?"

Alec snickered. "I'm sure they weren't thinking what you were thinking when they insisted their kids scrub everywhere." He sniggered at the innocent expression Magnus gave him in response. "So did you get through to them?" Magnus looked confused so he clarified and waved at the phone Magnus still held. "Your friends. Where you able to reach them?"

Magnus rolled his eyes and rose from the bed, swinging one leg off the bed and then the second joined the first in a move that was so graceful, Alec was tempted to ask Magnus to repeat it. "Raphael was grumpy as always. He has a hangover, it's too early to talk, blah-blah-blah." Magnus scoffed. "Like it's my fault he was probably up all night with Sherwin." He shuddered and Alec grinned. "As for Ragnor and Cat, neither of them is answering my calls. They'll call me back when they're with their phones."

"Good." Alec gestured at the bathroom, and smirked when Magnus swallowed at how the towel shifted slightly at the movement. "It's all yours."

He could feel those brown eyes boring into his back, even as he walked out of the bedroom and into the living area, every movement casual as he struggled not to give into the laughter that was bubbling forth. But the minute he heard the muttered, "fucking tease," he let the laughter rip, and laughed even harder when that just got him a screeched "not funny Alexander" in response.


The eggs were done. The sandwiches ready and the juice pressed. And the happy satisfaction he'd felt as he'd made them breakfast vanished at the sight of Magnus' glittering eyes and the hard set to his mouth. He carefully placed the glass of juice on the tray he'd managed to scrounge up from Magnus' shelves and walked over to Magnus.

He hadn't seen Magnus look that mad or distraught since…

Oh.

"It's them isn't it," he asked. "The same people who called you the last time I slept over."

Magnus glanced up, looking half shocked that Alec was standing right in front of him. He'd probably been so lost in thought that he hadn't even heard Alec approaching. He slowly nodded, and it was like with the act, he lost all that anger and just shrunk into himself. "Yes. The ScyCorp lawyer, Pangborn."

 Alec nodded and pulled Magnus with him till they were sitting on the couch. He rose to grab the breakfast tray and then settled back in, gesturing at Magnus to dig in. "What did he want?"

Magnus blinked at the sandwiches, then glanced back up at Alec. Alec motioned at him to eat up, and he sighed but picked up one of the sandwiches and took a bite. "What else? To rub it in my face that we have about a week to make our decision, and to inform me that some of the other business owners have already started calling him."

"Do you believe him?"

Magnus cocked his head and studied Alec who waited silently for his reply. "He has no reason to lie at this point," Magnus replied and Alec wanted to rail at ScyCorp for putting that tone in his voice. Magnus Bane should never sound so dispirited. He was a man meant for loud passions not this subdued shell that Camille and ScyCorp were trying to turn him into. "And I can't blame them either. Marissa just wants to feed those who can't afford to feed themselves, Alaric just wants to keep a roof over the heads of people who need one and Leroy wants to keep his family together. I understand them reaching out to ScyCorp. I just wish there was something I could do."

"Maybe I can help," Alec said and then hurried to explain when Magnus frowned. "Listen okay, I'm just saying maybe I can look into it. See if there's any way we can keep ScyCorp away from the neighborhood permanently."

"I can fight my own battles Alexander," Magnus said, his voice as hard as his eyes.

Alec nodded. "Of course you can. You're Magnus Bane!" He reached over and entangled his fingers with Magnus'. "You're brilliant. You're tenacious. You're focused. You're more than capable of handling ScyCorp on your own, especially with your amazing friends by your side." He brought up Magnus' hand and laid a soft kiss at the back of the palm. "Just think of me as having an extra pair of eyes in your corner." Magnus still looked uncertain, so Alec added. "Besides, this might just be the reason why I got that internship at the law firm. Lots of reference materials, books and big shot lawyers whose brains I might get the chance to pick."

Magnus sighed.

"Please Magnus. Let me help."

Another sigh but this time around, it was followed by a nod and Alec grinned as he leaned forward to kiss Magnus, breakfast forgotten as they both sank into the kiss. Alec sucked on Magnus' upper lip and Magnus nipped at Alec's lower lip. They were just about to deepen the kiss when the sudden clattering of the doorbell had them springing apart.

"Fuck," Magnus breathed, sounding half disappointed and half exasperated. He rose from the chair and Alec took a brief moment to admire the navy blue lounge pants and overcoat Magnus had slipped into after his shower. Compared to Alec's all black ensemble of black jeans and a black t-shirt, Magnus looked like he was dressed to receive a queen.

The queen it turned out, was the man from Pandemonium—Ragnor, and a dark haired, dark skinned woman with with dark eyes that lit up when she saw them. Alec guessed must be Cat.

"Seriously, what are the two of you doing here," Magnus grumbled as he crossed his arms and glared at his friends. He glanced at Alec and pointed at the two visitors. "Alexander. Ragnor and Cat. Ragnor, Cat, meet Alec."

Cat smiled at him and Ragnor waved. "We've already met." And with that said, he turned to glance around the loft, looking bored, until his eyes lighted on the breakfast. And then quick as lightning he was on the couch, face closed in bliss as he dug into the food.

Alec held back a laugh and Magnus looked outraged as he opened his mouth, probably to lambast his friend, but was cut off by Cat who grabbed his face and shook her head. "Seriously Magnus. We're your friends. Of course we will be here to see you first thing in the morning. With how you looked yesterday? Of course we'll be worried."

The words calmed down Magnus who looked a bit sheepish, but then was back to looking outraged when Cat gave a cheeky grin and continued speaking. "It's not our fault you have a man in your bed. You could have just called us to let us know."

"I did," Magnus growled. "Several times." He pointed his finger at his friends looking like he was just about ready to set them on fire, and the sight had Alec grinning. "But neither of you even bothered to pick up your phones."

Cat looked surprised whilst Ragnor continued stuffing his face. "You called," Cat asked and then dug in her bag, only to look up and give a sheepish shrug. "I think I forgot my phone at home."

Magnus spluttered. "Seriously, what do you think those things are for? They're called mobile phones for a reason. They're meant to be mobile!"

Ragnor finally took a break from eating to give Magnus a droll stare. "And all this spluttering I'm guessing is because we interrupted you and your boyfriend?"

"Yes and the fact that you're presently eating…" Magnus trailed off and Alec found himself looking down into panicked brown eyes.

Fuck. The minute Magnus had casually said 'yes', Alec had forgotten how to breathe. And now Magnus was staring at him, looking panicked at the admission.

His friends though were looking from Magnus to Alec and back again, clearly waiting for the details. Alec though couldn't reply because all he could hear was Ragnor calling him Magnus' boyfriend and Magnus confirming it.

"I mean, I'm pissed that you didn't pick up your call, and now you're eating my breakfast," Magnus said, speaking so quickly, Alec was sure everyone in the room knew precisely what he was trying to do: damage control. "And I won't call Alexander my boyfriend per se," Magnus started to say.

"So what would you call him," Ragnor interrupted with a slight smile as he gestured at Alec.

Magnus' eyes jumped from Ragnor to Alec and back again, and Alec had to hold back a laugh at the mischievous twinkle in Ragnor's eyes. Even Cat looked like she was halfway to laughing out loud.

"Well he's my… he's my…" Magnus started to say and faltered.

Alec pushed away from the wall and walked up to him, taking satisfaction in the way Magnus' eyes widened with each step he took closer to him.

When they were finally standing toe-to-toe, he leaned forward and pressed a soft kiss to Magnus' lips, pulling back when he was tempted to deepen the kiss. "I'm his boyfriend," Alec informed Ragnor and Cat.

Cat hid a laugh behind her hand whilst Ragnor did nothing to conceal the big grin on his face.

Magnus meanwhile, was looking up at him, stunned.

Alec's phone beeped and he pulled it out and glanced at the screen.

Time for class.

"I'll talk to you soon," he said and then smiled when Magnus rolled his eyes, remembering the last time he'd spoken those words. "For real. I'll get back to you."

Magnus quirked an eyebrow.

"I promise."

Magnus sniffed. "I'll hold you to that."

"You should." Alec leaned forward to kiss Magnus again, pulling him closer as he deepened the kiss.

They broke apart with a sigh, and Alec promised once again to stay in touch. He waved at Cat and Ragnor—who was now pushing some sandwiches in Cat's direction whilst he rapidly drank the juice—, and smiled at the sight of Magnus scolding Ragnor for eating his breakfast, something that Ragnor continued to look unapologetic about.

He chuckled as he stepped out of the house and had just pulled up his Uber app to call himself a car when his phone beeped.

So, boyfriend huh?

Alec chuckled at the text, especially with the side eye icon Magnus had included in it.

Yeah well, I figured it was best I quickly make my claim. Can't have you giving dances to other twenty-one year olds now can we?

Just as he slid into the car, he got another message.

Now now Alexander. You're the only twenty-one year old I have every intention of giving future dances to. Like that private dance I promised you. Don't think I've forgotten about that.

Fuck. How the hell was he meant to concentrate in class with that image in his head?

A minute later, he got another text.

And yes Alexander. There shall be no concentrating in class today. Think of it as the perks of having Magnus Bane as your boyfriend.

Yup. He was fucked.


Turned out that Magnus didn't need talk of private dances to fuck with his head during class. Nope, his boyfriend didn't need to make sexual innuendos to have him in la-la land.

All he needed it turned out, was a ton of pictures and a ton of sweet endearment.

Alec's phone vibrated yet again and although he had the thought that he could just as easily keep it unread, he had no self-control when it came to Magnus which was why he checked out the text and found himself smiling at the sight of a kitten with its eyes closed and its white snowy nose pushed against the screen. The message underneath it read:

What do you think about being parents :) ?

Alec smiled, but then tried to look stern when he caught Professor Starkweather's eye. After the professor looked away, he quickly typed out a response.

I don't know if I really see us as parents. It might get lonely.

Just as Professor Starkweather started explaining the role advocacy plays in a work environment, his phone buzzed again.

Pfft. Obviously we'll get two. And she's a 'she'. Not an 'it'.

Well excuse him for not being able to tell.

We don't even have enough time to spare for one and you want to get two? Also, how could I have known she's a she? You have to take pictures of her from underneath to be sure.

A couple of seconds later, another beep.

Alexander. I'm shocked at your utter disrespect for her privacy. Why would you want to see a picture of her privates? Especially when there's a sign calling her a babe in her selfie.

Wait, there's a what?

Alec scrolled up to the picture in question. Adorable kitten pressed against the glass. Nothing special about it.

I can't see it.

"Does anyone have any questions," Alec heard Professor Starkweather ask, and then tuned him out when his phone vibrated again.

In the reflection silly

What the hell did he mean by ‘in the reflection’. There was nothing to see in the… oh. As Alec stared at the reflected sign with the words "what a babe" he shook his head.

"Are you sure Mr. Lightwood?" Alec's eyes snapped to Professor Starkweather who had now crossed his arms and was looking at him suspiciously. Alec gave a quick glance to confirm that his phone was out of sight, before he resumed eye contact with the professor, making sure that he channeled confidence without necessarily answering the question. Seconds passed and Professor Starkweather finally nodded and glanced away to address the rest of the class. Alec ignored the pointed amused smirks Clary and Simon were tossing his way as he pulled out his phone to reply the message.

And the fact that you used a reflected surface to tell me about the kitten's gender just confirmed why we will not make good parents.

"See you next week," Professor Starkweather declared as he packed his notes, causing Alec to have a moment of panic.

Why next week? They were meant to have a class on Friday. It was in fact his last class of the week.

"He's going out of town for a week," Simon whispered and Alec glanced at him. "Plus, he said we've caught up with the material anyway so we should consider it our weekend starting early."

Alec nodded in thanks and Simon grinned widely and gave him double thumbs up.

The guy will never stop being weird.

Pfft. What do you know? I already have plans on getting them matching onesies :).

The attached picture showed two cats, wearing matching pajamas as they stared towards the camera.

Alec guffawed and then brought up his hand to cover his mouth when the entire class and Professor Starkweather who'd just gotten to the door turned to stare at him.

The professor shook his head and stormed out the door in a hurry to get started on his holiday. Alec wished that he could do the same because if the way Clary and Simon were grinning at him was anything to go by, then those two were about to make his afternoon a tiring one.

After withstanding almost five minutes of the two of them grinning at him without saying a word, he broke the silence. "Just say it," he snapped.

"So, you and Magnus," Simon started and waggled his eyebrows.

"Stop that," Alec snapped, wishing he could erase mental image he now had of Simon waggling his brows.

 Simon replaced it with making finger guns and sending winks Alec's way.

Alec wasn't sure which one he hated worse.

"And now you're texting him all day," Clary said with a smile. She wasn't waggling her brows or winking, thankfully. Although Alec didn't know if that soft and proud smile she had on her face was any different though. "Interesting. I've never seen you be so distracted in a class. You didn’t even take any notes.”

At the words, Alec glanced down at his notepad which sure enough didn't have a word written on it.

Fuck.

"No worries though. You can borrow mine," Simon offered.

"Thanks," Alec replied and accepted the offered note.

Simon shrugged.

Gone was the playful man of a couple of seconds ago. This Simon looked serious and filled with concern as his eyes drifted to Clary, and then back to Alec. Alec was just about to tell him to spill it when Simon finally spoke. "How's Magnus doing though? You know, with the whole ScyCorp situation?"

Interesting. He could get Clary knowing all about it, considering that Luke was part of the situation, one of Magnus' friends and Clary's stepfather but he hadn't thought that Simon's thing with Raphael would warrant the latter telling him about ScyCorp.

Simon must have noticed the questions in his eyes because he explained. "Raphael's my boyfriend."

Wait what?

He was sure his eyes boggled. That was the only explanation for why Clary chuckled and Simon looked offended. Just mildly offended though. It made Alec wonder exactly what needed to happen to make Simon Lewis blow a gasket.

"Seriously, I see no reason why the thought of my boyfriend telling me things has you looking like you're about to have a stroke," Simon huffed.

"Raphael is your boyfriend," Alec parroted and then wanted to kick himself for repeating the word. He blamed it on the fact that he'd been slowly trying to prepare himself for when Jace would come to him and inform him that he was dating Simon. With the way his brother had been going on about Simon, he'd assumed the two of them were well on their way towards becoming a couple. To hear now that Simon had apparently been playing his brother had him floundering.

He had no interest in Jace's sex life in any way or form. But fuck. Simon Lewis was playing his brother. He glared at the man in question and Simon took a couple of steps back, looking alarmed.

"Hey. What did I do," Simon exclaimed.

"You're dating Raphael," Alec gritted.

Simon still looked confused. "So?"

"So," Alec hissed. "What about my brother? I thought you were into Jace."

Simon looked even more confused. "But I am."

Wait what?

"You're what," Alec asked.

"I am interested in Jace," Simon said, picking the words carefully like Alec was just a bit dimwitted. Alec wanted to smack him. Hard.

"But you're with Raphael," Alec pointed out.

Simon shrugged. "So? Raphael's interested in him as well."

What the fuck?!

He was a good person dammit. He didn't deserve this! First Izzy was sniffing around Clary whilst being in a relationship with Meliorn and now Simon and Raphael wanted to bring their drama into his family as well?

How the hell did he get into this?

"So what? You and Raphael have an open relationship too," Alec asked, resigned to hearing the one word he knew was coming but he still wasn't braced for.

"Nope," Simon replied and Alec's released a relieved breath he had no idea he'd been holding.

So no open relationship. He was not getting a repeat of the Izzy situation.

"We're polyamorous," Simon declared proudly, and there went the relieved breath that Alec had been reveling in.

Fuck.

"You know what I mean right. Like we both think it's totally cool to bring in a..." Simon started to say and stumbled to a halt when Alec held up a finger.

Alec gave a tight smile. "I got it."

Simon looked like he was half tempted to continue with his explanation anyway. But something in Alec's eyes must have warned him off because he shook his head and looked away.

Just as Alec made to speak to Clary, Simon leveled those eyes on him and took in a fortifying breath that had Alec wanting to take a step back because the warning bells were ringing loudly, screaming at him that he did not want to hear what Simon was just about to drop on him. "So, any chances that Jace might be interested."

Alec blamed it on the alarm bells and the fact that nowhere in his head did it occur to him that Simon would be asking him this, because he asked. "Interested in what?"

Simon smiled. "Me and Raphael. You know. Being with the two of us." He completed the statement with a  waggle of his eyebrows that had Alec needing mental bleach to wipe clean all the images that popped into his head.

Hell no. He had no interest in imaging his brother having sex. Nope. Not at all.

"I can't answer that," Alec replied. "Ask Jace."

It was meant to have ended there, but then Simon gave a loud sigh and his eyes dropped to the ground, looking the most depressed Alec had ever seen.

Fuck.

Where was the chirpy guy who could never shut up? Where was the annoying classmate who smiled even when he was getting insulted by his boyfriend? Where was the resilient Simon Lewis that he'd come to know and just barely tolerate?

Please tell him he hadn't broken the guy?

Alec sighed.

Fuck. He couldn't believe he was doing this. "Don't knock it," he said and Simon perked up, looking up at him with barely disguised hope.

Damn. Was he really that invested in getting Jace to agree to their relationship?

"Jace is always up for trying out new things. Trust me. He first started out wanting to be a cop, then he wanted to be a fighter jet pilot, and then he wanted to be in the navy. And then one day he came home, said he wanted to own a health fitness chain and so he was going to study kinesiology." It was the longest he'd ever spoken to Simon and Simon looked up at him like a thirsty man at the water fountain trying to soak up every bit of information Alec was able to give him.

It was weird. That Jace was able to affect someone so much that the guy would be so invested in trying to learn more about him in order to get to him. It was weird. But good. Good because if that look on Simon was anything to go by, Simon had every intention on worshipping the very ground Jace walked on.

"So yeah," Alec continued and nodded at Simon. "He's always up for new experiences."

Simon beamed and then stretched out his arms as he stepped forward.

Alec took a step back and shook his head.

Hell no. He might want his brother happy but it didn't mean he was going to stand for being hugged by one half of his brother's potential boyfriends.

The thought almost had him snorting. Imagining that grumpy puss Raphael with an hyperactive Simon and the always physical and meddling Jace was comic gold.

He had to remember to text Magnus to tell him.

Thinking of Magnus had his thoughts screeching to a halt as he remembered what had started the conversation.

ScyCorp.

"Do you know when they started harassing them? Did they start with all the business owners or did they start with one person and then move on to the others," Alec asked, his eyes sweeping from Clary to Simon and back again.

Simon shrugged. "It's been about eight months now I think."

"Eight months," Alec asked.

Simon nodded. "Yeah. Cuz I remember. It was our anniversary. Raphael and I had plans for dinner. But then he came home pissed as fuck." He glanced up at Alec. "If you think Raphael is grumpy, you should see him mad."

Uh, he would rather not, thank you very much.

"Of course that was also when the letters from Camille started arriving," Clary added and both she and Simon grimaced at the sound of the name.

It had Alec both wanting to meet and hoping never to meet the woman. Because as much as he would love to see this woman that had had something as precious as Magnus' love and then treated it like dirt, he had the suspicion that should he ever meet her, he would be tempted to punch her in the face. Except, he wasn't one to hit women, so yeah, his hands were tied on this one.

"So they came around eight months ago. Who did they start with," Alec asked.

Simon and Clary looked at each other and then stared into the distance like they were waiting for the answer to drop in their laps. Simon spoke first.  "Marissa." He hurried to speak when Alec merely looked questioningly back at him. "She owns a restaurant. Mostly feeds the homeless and the runways."

Alec nodded. "She said 'no' I assume?"

Simon nodded. "Yeah. And then she went to tell Magnus. So when they came to talk with Alaric next, Alaric already knew and he too said 'no'."

"What does Alaric do?"

"He runs a shelter," Clary replied.

Alec nodded. It fit with what he'd been expecting. Magnus wouldn't get as invested in the neighbourhood if the other business owners weren't as focused on giving back to the society as he was.

"Then they came to Luke. Magnus was last," Clary added.

He'd been expecting that as well. ScyCorp wasn't stupid. They went for the weakest link first and cast their feelers out, making sure that the strongest was left for last. They probably expected to receive a 'not interested' even before they'd approached Magnus.

"I'm guessing Marissa and Alaric were the first to approach ScyCorp,” Alec guessed and was surprised when Clary shook her head.

"Nobody's gone to see them just yet," Clary said.

Weird. But hadn't Magnus said Pangborn had called… Ha. He'd been trying to feel Magnus out. Well, that was a relief.

Alec gave a little smile and the smile widened when Clary and Simon looked confused at seeing him smile.

"Is that an ‘I'm about to lose my shit everyone run for cover’ smile, or an ‘I might have figured out a way to save the business district and keep all the men in our lives happy’ smile, although in Clary's case, that man is her step-father," Simon said, and then grimaced when he realized how what he'd just said could be interpreted. He mouthed a 'sorry' at Clary who waved the words away, whilst Alec had to stifle a laugh.

"No. Think of it as my 'I'm really interested in meeting everyone in that district' smile. How long have they all had their businesses there," Alec asked.

"Luke's been there now for almost fifteen years," Clary replied. "Same with Alaric because they moved there together. They're old friends," she answered the question even before he'd thought to ask it.

Okay. So that was one more strong bond in that neighborhood.

"And Marissa's been there for just as long. Leroy's been there for ten years. Magnus is the youngest. His dance school's just three years old," Clary finished.

It said a lot about Magnus Bane that he was the youngest age wise and had the least amount of business experience and yet they all looked up to him for direction.

If he could figure all that out in such a short time, then ScyCorp who have been following up on this deal for months must have figured it out as well. Meaning, this wouldn't be a simple resolution of them finding some legal loophole to save their business.

"Any ideas," Clary interrupted and Alec squinted at her, momentarily confused as to what she was asking for. "Do you have any ideas for how we can push back on ScyCorp?"

Alec shook his head. "Nothing yet. We do know though that the businesses have been around for over a decade. They've contributed to the community and ScyCorp's plan is to tear down the entire district and build condos there. Right?"

Simon nodded enthusiastically. "They're trying to gentrify the district."

Clary grimaced. “And Camille’s trying to make Magnus’ life hell again.” She pointed at Alec. "Did Magnus tell you that Camille threatened them?"

"He just said she's set out to ruin them," Alec replied, confused. Magnus hadn't mentioned anything about threats and Alec would have readily disregarded the words as an exaggeration but if the way Clary was looking was any indication, this was no exaggeration. "What kind of threats did she use exactly?"

"Threatened Leroy's wife with deportation. Threatened to let the authorities know that the homeless in Alaric's shelters are primarily out-of-stay immigrants and Marissa's presently dealing with a rodent infestation thanks to ScyCorp," Clary said listing them all on her fingers.

"She called Raphael a street thug and Luke an ex-gang member," Simon picked up from where Clary left off, their synchronicity one Alec would have admired if not that Simon was enlightening him on the many ways in which Camille Belcourt had tried once again to break Magnus Bane.

"She called Ragnor a rapist and a thief," Simon said, face red as his fingers dug into the flesh of his palms.

Alec couldn't even take the moment to admire Simon truly angry because he was well on his way to exploding on his own.

"Then she threatened to talk to the parents about Magnus supposedly touching their kids," Simon said.

Forget civil. If he ever saw Camille Belcourt, he would break her.

And he was going to start by taking this deal she'd already assumed was in the bag away from her.

His other phone beeped and he pulled it out to silent it. He had twenty minutes to get to the law firm. "I have to go." He waved his phone at them. "If you see, hear or remember anything, call me."


Alec took a moment to stare up at the monstrosity that was Clave Law. The titanium steel office was made of part steel, part glass and all money, and it showed in the strong lines and the minimalist look that still managed to scream, classy, expensive and cold all at once.

It was not where he'd seen himself getting his internship. But, his mother had pulled some strings and then guilt tripped him into attending the interview. It had gone well and in barely a week later, he'd gotten notified of his position and had been resuming there at the end of every school day.

He was still convinced that his mother had a hand in the situation and had probably insisted on choosing the most uncomfortable timeslot available so he would finally quite that blasted program and put his attention on what truly matters: Law. Preferably family law because that's what the family had practiced for decades and he was fairly sure his mother still had the glass paper holder with his name and the attached attorney-at-law designation by the name, for whenever he decided to return to law.

Let it not be said that Maryse Lightwood believed in giving up before accomplishing what she wanted to accomplish.

Of course, he was just as stubborn as she was, and he had no intention of ever picking up that mantel of being a lawyer.

Just as he took in a deep fortifying breath and made to step into the building, his phone rang.

Speak of the devil.

"Hello mother," Alec said as he started walking towards the firm.

"Alec," Maryse said, her voice cold and abrupt. "Max is on his way."

Alec stumbled to a stop and brought bought his fingers to rub at the ticking vein that had popped up in the middle of his forehead. Someone please tell him he'd not just heard what his mother had just said. "I'm sorry mother. I don't think I heard you properly. Did you say Max is on his way?"

"If you 're having hearing problems Alec, go see a doctor," Maryse said briskly. "And yes, Max is on his way. He should be at La LaGuardia in say four hours."

"What is Max doing in New York mother, and why am I just hearing about it," Alec asked even as he brought out his phone and set an alarm so he could beat Lower Manhattan traffic and be at the airport in time to pick up his baby brother.

Maryse didn't immediately reply and when she finally did speak, she sounded distracted. "Apparently it's his mid session break or something. The school sent word but it skipped my mind," Maryse said and sounded so unconcerned that Alec balled his fists. "Anyway, I called back when his homeroom teacher left a message to notify me that he was on his way to the house." She took a break to murmur something to someone in a low tone and then came back on. "Of course I told her to take him to the airport. Why would she bring him home when there's no one to receive him? I'm still in Miami and your father's still handling business in Colorado."

"Did you tell her," Alec hissed.

"What?"

"Did you let her know that no one will be around? I'm sure she'd informed you prior to today, that Max's mid session break is coming up and he will be coming home," Alec gritted. "That was why you chose the school isn't it? Because according to you, they keep the parents abreast of everything going on with the students."

Maryse sighed and even before she spoke, Alec knew what she was going to say.

His mother, just like she'd done with him and with Izzy and occasionally with Jace, had forgotten. She'd been notified that Max would be coming home and hadn't even bothered to keep her calendar free for when he would return.

"What airline's he flying," Alec finally asked, and then had to suppress a groan at the longer than necessary silence that followed his question. Of course their mother would have no idea what airline her fourteen year old son was flying on. Hell, he could bet that she wouldn't even know if he was flying on his own or if the teacher had sent an adult along with him. "You know what, never mind. I'll find him," Alec said. "Goodbye mo…"

"Heading into the Clave," Maryse interrupted, the words carefully spoken as she waited for his reply.

He could picture her in his mind's eye. Her thick black hair tucked into a bun, her makeup a study in minimalism, her nails painted in clear polish because Maryse Lightwood did not do colour and her fingers twirling a pen around as she waited for a response.

"Yes," Alec replied. "I'm just about heading in."

"Good. Good. Victor tells me that you show great promise," Maryse said, sounding happier for the first time since the call began. Hell, she sounded proud, and the old Alec, the one who'd lived for validation from his parents; the one who'd wanted nothing more than to make them proud would have taken the rope she'd just handed down to him and used it to tie himself to a lifetime in law.

But he wasn't that Alec anymore, and there was no way he was letting his parents put him in that position. "I've not been doing anything important really. Just sorting out the files and organizing the library."

"Even if all you did was mop the floors, you're still closer to who you should be. As opposed to spending even more time in that mediation program you call a degree," Maryse sniffed.

Alec rolled his eyes.

Here we go.

"Law is a career. It's what our family does. And even if Isabelle continues to play at being a pathologist,"

"She's not playing mother," Alec cut in. "She's top of her class."

Maryse sniffed. "And she has the brains to be top of her class in med school. But does she even try? Of course not. She's okay with settling for second best."

"Izzy didn't settle for second best," Alec growled.

"Well she wouldn't, if her big brother hadn't decided to deviate from a law degree for some useless degree in mediation. Mediation" she scoffed at the word. "Even the intern at the law firm can handle a mediation. Mediation is as useless as the idiots who actually get a degree in it. What a waste."

"That's enough mother," Alec warned, not like it helped because Maryse just continued with the rants.

"And then Jace decides to give up the chance to be in the military for a degree helping people maintain their physical shape?  He couldn't even choose physiotherapy? He had to choose Kinesiology?"

"That's enough mother," Alec hissed.

"I don't know why I'm so surprised though. It's obvious that they are took a cue from you. If you'd only done what…"

Alec ended the call.

He was sure there would be hell to pay. Maryse wasn't the kind of person you hung up on, or walked out on, but there was no way he was going to allow himself listen to her as she continue to spew her poison.

He and his siblings were happy. They were as far away from their parents as they could be, and choosing the programs they wanted, whilst living their lives without having to do so for their parents.

He was proud of their choices, and he would never choose any different. He was also sure that Izzy and Jace would say the same thing.

The only downside to it was Max and the fact that they only got to see their baby brother a handful of times during the year.

But even as he had the thought, Alec grinned at the thought that yes, in a couple of hours, Max would be in New York and the Lightwood siblings would be reunited again.

His phone beeped and he considered ignoring it. It was most likely his mother and he had no interest in talking to her or listening to anything she might have to say.

But the thought of missing an important text from someone who was not Maryse had him checking his phone and when he saw Magnus' name, he grinned

He opened the message and laughed out loud at the image of Magnus' bed and the plethora of stuffed cats that had taken over the bed. The text underneath it read Baby steps?

 Alec shook his head and walked into the office with a big grin on his face as he typed out his reply.

Baby steps? More like kitty steps.  

And if he had his ears plugged and spent the next hour listening to the recorded sound of Magnus laughing, well, no one else needed to know.


Thud.

The cabinet snapped shut with a satisfying bang and Alec glared at the desk and the ton of papers and books that hadn't done anything to help him come any closer to his plans to help Magnus keep his dreams and the dreams of his friends alive.

"It won't catch fire you know." The words had him turning around to meet blue eyes that were smiling at him. Trust Lydia to look impeccable at past two in the afternoon. "Because trust me, I've tried glaring at case files with the hope that they would either bring me answers or get burned to rubble. Neither of what I wanted happened."

"Maybe you didn't glare hard enough," Alec grumbled and dropped back into his chair, rolling it till the back of the chair hit the wall and came to a stop. He glared around the room that Clave Law used as a library. They were down on the second floor, and although the big windows gave a terrific view of the city, Alec couldn't see anything but the disappointing ache that he might not be able to help Magnus out after all.

"What are you looking for anyway," Lydia asked as she dropped into the second available chair. She too rolled her chair back till she was also leaning against the wall, and she turned to look at Alec.

Alec stared back at her. Lydia Branwell, junior attorney extraordinaire who had also come from a family of lawyers but had decided that although law was her passion, pro bono law cases were her passion, was an unexpected high point of him getting an internship at Clave Law. He'd assumed he was going to do his three months in the place and then move on without developing any attachments, and although he had been right on a lot of counts, becoming friends with Lydia had been unexpected but had made his time at Clave Law turn out to be not as terrible as he'd expected it to be.

Alec sighed. "I don't know where to begin."

Lydia dug around in her purse and pulled out a stick of gum. She extended one towards him and he shook his head. She shrugged, unraveled it and popped it in her mouth. "Give me the cliff notes."

"Well, a big corporation is thinking of turning one of the less ritzy neighbourhoods in New York into a bunch of high end condos and are pressuring the owners to sell and move away. I'm trying to figure out a way to help the business owners keep their property whilst making sure that the corporation never bothers them again."

"And by corporation, you mean…" Lydia said and gestured at him to complete the sentence.

"ScyCorp."

Lydia whistled. "Damn. You're going head to head with the Belcourts?"

Lightwood frowned and Lydia chuckled. "I swear Lightwood. If not that I've met your parents and I know you have the Lightwood look, I would have doubted that you come from old society."

Alec shrugged. It wasn't his fault that any time his parents had tried dragging him to some society function so he could meet their old moneyed friends, he'd always found a reason to not be in the room. And the same went for Izzy and Jace as well.

Not everyone who came from money was as down to earth as Lydia Branwell. The rest he couldn't stand and so always made sure to give them all a wide berth.

Lydia snorted. "Yeah, yeah. The golden boy who keeps a low profile. Everyone talks about you Alec. You and your siblings and how removed from our society you all are."

Alec rolled his eyes.

Lydia chucked again and wiggled her fingers. "Well either way, if you're going against the Belcourts, you're going to need all the help you can get." She shuddered. "Those snakes know how to sneak their way through the fine print and even if they don't, their very expensive lawyers find a way out for them."

Tell him something he didn't already know.

Lydia slid him a glance and grinned at him. "But this is interesting."

Alec warily stared back at her. "What is?"

"Your sudden interest in law. Your mother would be so proud," Lydia said and then laughed when Alec grimaced. "Of course she would be back to being displeased if she learns that you're on the side of the business owners and not the Belcourts."

True. Maryse Lightwood was a firm believer in old money siding together with old money. It was some sort of elitist club that she didn't believe other people should be allowed to gain access into.

"So what changed," Alec caught Lydia asking. She had a knowing look in her eyes, as she waited for his response.

Alec shrugged and claimed ignorance. Sure Lydia wasn't as bad as Isabelle, wanting to hear all the details of his sex life—something Izzy still asked him about every single day—but Alec still felt weird talking to her about it.

Just as he made to speak, his phone vibrated. He pulled it out and glanced at it.

A picture message from Magnus.

He opened it without thinking twice and all the breath whooshed out of him at the sight of a shirtless Magnus, wearing leopard print boxer briefs that hugged him so perfectly well, Alec could just about make out the outline of his dick. The text underneath read: Does this still count as kitty steps? And yes Alexander. I'm doing this to torture you :).

Fuck.

He heard Lydia whistle from over his shoulder and spun around to face her. Lydia though reached out and grabbed his phone, bringing it closer to her face as she ogled Magnus. "Damn. Who is that?"

Alec felt the heat creeping up his ears as he replied. "My boyfriend. Magnus."

Lydia whistled. "Well colour me impressed." She looked up from the phone and grinned. "Your boyfriend is well endowed."

"Branwell," Alec snapped, face flushing red as he grabbed his phone.

Lydia burst out laughing. "What? You can't tell me getting fucked by that wasn't an experience."

"Lydia," Alec gaped. "Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?"

"Nope. But something tells me that your mouth wants to have its way with your fine boyfriend's cock," Lydia replied impishly.

What the fuck? And he'd thought Izzy was bad. At least in her case, he'd known what to expect. Who would have thought that Lydia Branwell would have the mouth of a sailor and the restraint of one as well?

"Fine," Lydia drawled. "No more talk about your boyfriend's dick. Tell me. How did you meet? What does he do?"

She looked so eager that Alec couldn't find it in himself to not say anything. So he told her about the strip club, and Izzy and Jace's surprise present. He told her about the dance—which had her whistling again and exclaiming that she wished she could have seen it as well—and about Magnus asking him to call. He told her about calling Magnus and their date, glossing over them having sex, although Lydia waggled her brows like she already figured out what had happened. He told her about Magnus making breakfast the morning after and him seeing him later that night. He told her of the radio silence and spending the night at Magnus' and then talked about ScyCorp and them trying to shut down not only Pandemonium and Magnus' dance studio but the other businesses in the area as well.

The minute he started talking about ScyCorp, gone was the playful Lydia Branwell who was telling him to give her details. In its place was the attorney whose keen eyes didn't move away from Alec's face when he started telling her the story. When he finished, she sighed. "It's not going to be easy."

"I never expected it to be," Alec replied.

She nodded. "Okay then. Let's get to work."

They'd barely settled in when his phone's alarm beeped.

Alec was momentarily confused until it hit him.

Max. Fuck.

"Something wrong," Lydia asked.

"Max is coming into town today," Alec replied.

Lydia waved him off with one hand whilst she flipped the pages of one of the case files they'd managed to locate to see if the case had any buried insight they could use. "Don't worry. I've got this."

She must have sensed that he was about to protest because she looked up from the  case file and smiled. "Seriously Alec. I've got this. Go. Pick Max up. Spend some time with him. If I find anything, I'll call. If not, we will continue searching tomorrow."

He grabbed his phones and his jacket, walked over to her and placed a gentle kiss on her cheek. "Thank you," he murmured and strode out of the office moments later, mind working fast as he tried to figure out the fastest route that would get him to La Guardia on time.

Max was coming home.


"You've grown even taller."

Alec chuckled as he pulled his brother into a hug. "Seriously? I haven't seen you in six months and that's the first thing you say," he asked as he smiled down at his baby brother.

Max grinned up at him. His blonde hair was tousled. His dark eyes twinkled as he grinned. He looked happy. A bit exhausted, as was expected from the sudden flight, but he was okay.

"Missed you," Alec said as he pulled Max into a hug.

Max gave the token little brother protest, which just had Alec chuckling some more as he hugged him even tighter. Max stopped struggling immediately and Alec lowered his head as he inhaled the scent of Max, and took in the fact that after six months, he finally had his baby brother in his arms.

Someone bumped into them and they finally pulled apart although Alec glowered at the asshole who hadn't even apologized for bumping into them.

Max's chuckles pulled him away from thoughts of retaliation. "What," he asked, smiling because seeing Max happy made him happy.

Max shook his head. "Nothing. I've just missed your scowls is all."

Alec snorted and reached down to grab Max's luggage. "Woah. What do you have in there? Rocks?" Max snorted and Alec gestured at him. "What does your teeny weeny frame want with all of this anyway?"

Max rolled his eyes. "Dude. I'm five foot seven at fourteen. I'm tall for my age. You're the one who's a freak."

"Huhn-huhn. Whatever you say shorty," Alec teased as they walked out of the airport.

"Giant," Max grumbled.

"Pocket sized," Alec replied.

"Freak of nature," Max retorted.

"Vertically challenged," Alec laughed.

"Hulk," Max replied.

"itsy bitsy," Alec tossed right back and brought his fingers to show just how small he considered his baby brother.

"Doofus," Max gasped amidst his laughter.

"Love ya," Alec said and smiled at Max's mouthed 'back at ya'.


He loved New York. Anyone who knew would agree to the fact that Alec Lightwood loved the city and it's madness and its eclectic personality.

But the one thing he couldn't stand? The damn traffic.

And the idiots who thought that it made an iota of sense for them to honk at him when they were practically at a standstill.

Alec stuck his finger out the window and flipped off the asshole that had been honking like a madman.

The driver honked yet again in response and Alec stuck the other finger out to give him a double whammy, then moved back inside the car and sighed.

Max chuckled. "Ease up Alec. We'll get home soon enough."

"I hate traffic," Alec grumbled and crossed his arms.

"I don't think there's anyone in the world who loves it," Max said in the way of one who was still too young to have a license and so had never had to drive in traffic before.

Alec gave him a month tops. He was sure his brother would punch someone in the very first month he was licensed to drive a car. And he would laugh his head off the minute Max came over to inform him of the altercation.

"You know, normal people turn on the radio to while away the time," Max commented.

Alec huffed. "Radio is garbage these days. Same old cookie cutter music that the labels are pushing out for the unknowing masses to swallow."

"O-kay then," Max said and turned to look at Alec. "Someone's in need of a distraction."

"No radio," Alec reiterated.

Max held both hands up in the air. "No radio." He dropped his hands and smiled. "Just talking."

"What do you want to talk about?"

"You," Max replied. "Tell me big brother. Have you finally found yourself a boyfriend?" The words were said in jest and Alec flushed. "Wait, what?" Max squealed and then grinned. "You've gotten yourself a boyfriend?"

Alec nodded.

"And you didn't tell me?" Max screeched and then rolled his eyes "I'm sure Izzy and Jace already know, but because I don't live with you guys, I'm always the last to know."

"Actually, they don't know yet," Alec admitted and chuckled at the way Max's eyes lit up. "Like, they know the guy, but they don't know we've made it official yet. I haven't told them."

"I'm the first to know? Score!" Max did a fist bump and then grinned. "Tell me. Who is he? What's his name?"

"Magnus Bane."

"Oooh. Magnus Bane." Max winked and Alec snorted. "Sounds like quite a guy."

"He is," Alec replied with a smile, warmth flooding his entire system as he spoke about Magnus. "He's so strong, Max. So amazingly strong especially with the way life keeps trying to get him down and how he refuses to just lie there and let it roll over him. He's so intelligent, even that first day that I saw him, I could it. The way his beautiful mind worked and how quickly he thought of everything. He's brave and focused with big dreams for himself and his friends. And he's also soft, and vulnerable and beautiful." Alec sighed. "God is he beautiful." The traffic still wasn't moving so he turned to face Max who was smiling as widely as Alec was. "And he's so graceful. Every movement he makes is so strong and sure and graceful."

Max chuckled. "You already called him that."

Alec laughed. "That's because he is." His laugh trailed off and his eyes wandered over to the windows. "He's so perfect and I don't know what he even sees in me."

He felt warm fingers envelope his and looked down at Max's hands on his, and then looked up to meet his brother's eyes. Max was smiling. "I can see what he sees in you. A man as amazing as Magnus Bane I'm sure can see the love, and care, and loyalty and strength and bravery and intelligence that is Alec Lightwood. You're just as amazing as he is big brother, and I think it's beautiful and if you don't mind me repeating it, amazing," Alec and Max chuckled, "that you two found each other."

"When did you become so smart," Alec said as he leaned forward and ruffled Max's hair. Max gave an outraged squawk that was so close to what Jace would have said had it been his hair that had been messed with, that Alec chuckled. 

"Hey. Don't mess with the hair," Max grumbled as he patted down the strands.

The car ahead of them finally moved and Alec moved the car into drive. "That little brother, is exactly what Jace would have said."

Max rolled his eyes. "Please. His hair can't even compare to mine."

Jace would have said that too.


They got home three hours after they left the airport. Considering the gridlock they'd encountered shortly after they'd left La Guardia, Alec considered it them having made it in good time.

Max though didn't agree as he was out the door even before Alec had braked. Alec chuckled, parked the car and walked in to the sight of Max being hugged by Izzy and Jace who'd crowded him on the living room floor.

All three voices were raised in excitement, as they all screamed to make themselves heard.

"You know, if you all just spoke one at a time, you wouldn't need to scream each other's ears off," Alec pointed and held his hands up when Izzy leveled a glare at him.

"I don't want to hear a word Mr.-I-spent-the-night-at-Magnus'-and-didn't-even-bother-coming-home-till-nighttime," Izzy said.

"Hey. I brought Max home," Alec pointed out.

Unfortunately, it didn't make Izzy calm down any less. But then, she was giving a full grin that had him braced for an inappropriate question. So, when all she was, "how is he? You both good," Alec still feeling dazed, nodded.

Izzy nodded as well and then turned to smile at Max. "Good."

Wait. That was it? What happened to the inappropriate questions about how the sex went? What happened to her trying to work in a sexual innuendo or three in the space of a five minute talk? And why the hell was Jace not grilling him as well?

"That's it?" Alec asked. "Nothing else?"

Izzy shrugged and gave him a half lidded smile. "Should there be more? Is there something you want to tell us and want us to react to?"

He was just about to tell her it was no bother, but then something in her expression caught his eye and he knew.

"Max. You told them?"

Max shook his head. "Nope. Wasn't me."

"Who else would it be if it isn't you," Alec hissed.

"Maybe someone else who learned that you've now been upgraded to boyfriend status," Izzy muttered as her eyes glittered. "Mind telling us why I had to hear it from Clary?"

Clary Fray. He knew she would come and bite him in the ass one day. Damn.

"I was planning on telling you Iz. Didn't want to say it over the phone so I was going to tell you when I got home," Alec said and held his breath when all he got instead was Izzy glaring at him suspiciously.

Thankfully, Izzy wasn't one to bear grudges because she was smiling moments later. "Seriously. Next time, just send a text. Right Jace?"

Jace grunted and uncrossed his arms. He smiled at Max. "Want to watch Luke Cage?"

"Yes please!" Max exclaimed so enthusiastically that his siblings all chuckled. Every time he'd called home, it had been to complain about the lack of TV and how the school restricted movies and shows. The only time he got to catch up was when he was back with his siblings and Jace grinned as he pointed to Izzy. "Okay. Get your assignments done and grab the ice cream." He pointed to Alec. "You make popcorn." And then pointed to himself. "I'll get the drinks."

"What should I do," Max asked.

"Sit there and look pretty," his siblings answered as one, and then laughed as Max dramatically rolled his eyes.

As they all settled in front of the television an hour later, with a big tub of ice cream between them and a large bowl of salty and sweet popcorn, Alec watched his siblings laughing and smiled.

Yup. It was good to have Max back at home.


Tuesday morning, Alec was feeling like he was on top of the world. His baby brother was back at home. His parents were as far away from him and his siblings as they could be. His boyfriend started the morning by sending him a shirtless pic that had him spending ten more minutes in the shower—seriously Magnus must work out like a beast to have a body that fine—and he was flying high because he had the feeling that yes, Tuesday was the day he and Lydia would find what they needed to kick ScyCorp to the curb.

Turned out he was wrong. They found nothing on Tuesday but even more confirmation that they didn't stand a chance against ScyCorp.

Wednesday wasn't any different, even though Lydia chatted with several of the partners, to see if they could offer any advice. They liked her better. Something about Alec's bedside manner made them curter with him. But when it was Lydia asking the question, they answered with smiles and gave her detailed explanations. Not like their longwinded conversations helped in any way either. They still found nothing by Wednesday.

Thursday started with Lydia asking. "Sure there are no about to go extinct wildlife in the area? Like on someone's roof for example?"

Alec glanced up from yet another bunch of case files he'd been pouring over. "Um, I don't think so. Why would there be wildlife there anyway? It's a fully inhabited neighbourhood, not a park."

Lydia shrugged. "Never say never."

"You forget I've been there Lydia. No wildlife to be found there," Alec pointed out. He turned back to pouring over the books, and ignored Lydia's muttered comment about him being blind to the wildlife if there was any to be seen anyway.

A loud thud had him looking back up just as Lydia dropped a stack of even more books on his table. Alec raised a brow in question.

Lydia shrugged. "We've spent the last three days looking at law cases. Maybe we can find something in the history of the neighbourhood."

Alec had just been about to protest when he cocked his head and considered it. Lydia might just be right after all.

He nodded and took the book at the top of the pile. Lydia did the same, and they spent Thursday reading up on the fourth and seventh.

But by the time it was time for him to head back home, they still hadn't found anything. "This isn't working out Lydia," Alec sighed, feeling the crushing weight of inadequacy as he pushed away from the desk.

He'd had such high hopes that he would be able to find something that might help, and yet here he stood on Thursday evening. He still hadn't found anything and they were days away from the end of the week that ScyCorp had given Magnus.

"Maybe, we're going about this wrong," he heard Lydia say. His eyes met hers and although she looked as fatigued as he did, she didn't look like she was out for the count. If anything, the fire that shone in her eyes screamed that she wasn't ready to give up just yet.

It fuelled Alec's resolution as well.

"What do you suggest we do," Alec asked.

Lydia motioned at him to rise and swung an arm over his shoulder. "Right now, I think we should both head home." Alec started to protest but she shushed him. "Listen to me. Go home. Hang out with your siblings. I'm sure they all miss you." She was right about that. "Chat with your boyfriend. Don't think I didn't see that picture he had someone take of him straddling that chair." She waggled her eyebrows causing Alec to laugh even as arousal slithered through him as he remembered the purple boxers brief with the black lacy edges that Magnus had been wearing in the last pic he'd sent. "And tomorrow," Lydia continued, "tomorrow, we take a tour of the fourth and seventh. Because something tells me that we might just find what we're looking for there."

Alec shook his head. "But I've been there Lydia. There's nothing to be found."

Lydia smiled. "You've been there at night. We're heading there tomorrow morning, immediately after your last class ends at eleven. Besides, with everything we've read about the history of the neighbourhood, we will be seeing it with fresh eyes."

She had a point about that. He'd read up so much about the area, he was sure he knew more about its history than Luke who'd been there for over a decade would know. "Okay. Meet you there at eleven-thirty?"

Lydia nodded as she pushed him out the door. "Wouldn't miss it."


"It has…." Lydia trailed off as she slowly spun around, looking carefully at the well-worn buildings and the people shuffling along the sidewalk.

"Character," she and Alec breathed at about the same time. They looked at each other, smiled and turned back around to take in the street.

Seeing it in the daylight was infinitely better. Alec could see the skinny little girl, walking out of Marissa's restaurant with a loaf of bread as big as her arm and an even bigger smile on her face. The sight tugged at his heartstrings, especially when the girl began to skip along.

He could see a stream of people pouring out of a building he suspected was Alaric's shelter. They each had a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and food in the other as they set out for the day.

Pandemonium wasn't bustling like it would should it be nighttime, but the workers outside the building were laughing and happy, and Alec felt the sudden urge to call Magnus and ask him if he was around, so he could come show him the studio that made him so happy.

Lydia started walking, and Alec fell into step beside her. They walked around, taking note of the route and the buildings, some of them looked abandoned and some of them looked residential. "I wonder if ScyCorp has reached out to the building owners as well."

"They might have. Magnus never mentioned them though, so I always assumed it was just the businesses. I don't think it's their plan to take over the entire neighbourhood. Just a section of it," Alec replied as they continued their trek.

They walked around the neighbourhood twice and found… nothing. "This isn't working Lydia," Alec muttered, when they started their third tour of the street. "I see no wildlife, no crumbling building that should be preserved, nothing we can use to help them."

Lydia Branwell wasn't the type of person who gave up easily. Nope. She was the type of person who kept pushing and digging until she found what she was looking for. But even she looked tired and at her wit's end. "I know," she sighed.

She sounded so close to giving up that Alec found himself pointing to the end of the street. “What about we move on to the next street? See if anything there might spark something up."

Lydia perked up so fast that Alec chuckled and they moved onto the next street.

He was just about to ask Lydia what she thought when he stumbled on the sign. "Wait, is that…" He trailed off and stepped closer. "Well I'll be damned," he whispered. "It can't be. It can't be this easy," he repeated, staring at the sign as his heart started beating faster.

Fuck.

It had been right under their nose all along?

"What is it," Lydia asked as she glanced at the house and the sign, and then back at Alec.

Alec grabbed at her hand and pulled. "Let's go. I have to check… Have to confirm… It just might be it… Fuck… Could we really get this lucky?"

He pulled her along, tuning out all of Lydia's questions about what he was talking about, his mind working fast trying to piece it together, terrified of saying what he hoped for fear that he would jinx himself and it would lead to yet another dead end.

And so, he spent that afternoon and evening pouring over the books, pulling out the various city maps, the ones starting from the early nineteenth century to the late twentieth century. Lydia watched him work like a mad man for several hours, not able to see what it was that he could see in his mind's eye, and when he finally figured it out, a smile so wide and so big broke across his face that Lydia hurried over to look at the map and the text he held in his hands.

He knew the minute she figured it out as well. She gave a merry laugh and ruffled his hair. "Good work Lightwood."

Alec chuckled, the relief singing through his body making him feel as light as a feather. "Thanks."

"So are you going to mediate," Lydia asked as she sat back in a chair and kicked off her shoes, letting her toes sink into the rugged floor. She smirked when all she got was a confused look. "Seriously? You haven't considered being their mediator?"

"I don't really have a practicing license Lydia," Alec pointed out.

"So? You'll be the lead and I will come with you as your support," Lydia replied. "Although I don't think you'll need me. You have it all figured out, plus I don't think ScyCorp will want to take this to court."

Hearing it made Alec grin even wider and he shrugged. "Well, only if Magnus wants me to be. I'll have to talk to him first."

Even as he had the thought, his eyes wandered to the clock on the wall. Past eight on a Friday night. Fuck. Where had the time gone?

Lydia's eyes followed his and then came back to rest on him. She smiled. "You should go see your boyfriend."

He pulled out his phone. No text from Magnus yet. But there was one from Izzy.

I'm guessing it's going to be another late night? Take a break big brother. Go visit your boyfriend. Jace said he will be at Pandemonium later so you can meet up there.

Alec typed out a quick reply.

What about you?

Her reply came a couple of seconds later.

Staying home with Max. Clary's coming over.

He texted her back in two seconds flat.

Behave.

She texted back.

I have no plans to do anything you and Magnus don't have planned for tonight

Alec blushed and furiously typed out a reply.

Max is around!

His phone rang a moment later.

"I'm serious Izzy," he said and all he heard was Izzy laughing merrily.

She finally stopped laughing long enough to reply. "Alec, go meet your boyfriend. I'll behave myself. Besides, I'm sure Max won't be that traumatized at seeing two girls kissing."

"Wait. All you've done is kiss," Alec asked and then wished he could take it back when Izzy gave a soft laugh.

"I didn't know you were that interested in my love life Alec. I wasn't planning on telling you this but did you know that Clary does this thing with her tongue when she…"

Alec ended the call.  Served him right for asking inane questions in the first place.

He walked over to grab his jacket and stopped by Lydia's chair. She had her head bent and was scribbling away in her notebook. "Sure you don't want me to stay," he asked and smiled when Lydia just raised her left hand and wiggled her fingers at him, whilst she continued writing with her right. She didn't even glance up.

On his way out, he placed the call. "Magnus. I'm on my way."


As always, the pounding beat of whatever song the DJ was playing poured out from within Pandemonium and set his senses tingling.

He’d sent off his a text to Magnus the minute he’d been a couple of minutes away, and so was relieved when the  bouncer gave him a nod and waved him into the club. He ignored the plethora of dirty stares he got from the people still waiting in line and stepped inside, pulling out his phone to send another text to Magnus to let him know that he’d arrived.

Just as he made to do just that, someone grabbed his arm and he turned around to find… Magnus. “Hey,” he started to say and stopped when Magnus pulled him towards one of the private areas, unlocked the door and pushed him in.

The door closed with a click and just as Alec spun around to ask what was happening, warm lips covered his and he moaned as he sank into the kiss, his mind going hazy as teeth and tongue clashed in greeting. Magnus finally pulled back and Alec sighed as he opened his eyes to meet his boyfriend’s smiling ones.

“Hi,” he croaked and Magnus’ mouth quirked up at the side. Alec cleared his throat and tried again.

“Hey.”

Magnus hummed and motioned at him to take a seat.

The act had Alec giving the room a quick look around, taking in the leather couches—all in black of course—, the lone single back chair that was right in the middle of the room—strange that a chair like that was there—, the drink trolley at one corner and the music deck in the other corner. Light switches took up residence right by the door and Alec wondered why anyone would need so many?

Movement at the corner of his eye caught his attention and his eyes followed Magnus as he walked to  the deck, whistling a tune Alec couldn’t place as he looked through the iPod attached to it. “Any song you like in particular,” Magnus asked.

It would seem like he and Magnus weren’t on the same page. “Song?”

Magnus spun around and levelled a sultry smile that had Alec’s pants immediately getting tighter.

Fuck.

“I did promise you a dance didn’t I?”

Shit.

“And to be more precise, it was a private dance I promised. Wasn’t it?”

Holy shit.

“And last time I checked,” Magnus waved his hands, the rings on his fingers glittering. “This is a private room.”

Alec swallowed. He was so not going to survive this.

“Oh honey, neither of us will survive this,” Magnus chuckled, the sound low and delighted. “And yeah, you just said that aloud.”

Fuck his life.

“Oh I’d rather fuck you. Or have you fuck me. Either way is fine.”

Alec gasped and Magnus chuckled, then keyed in a song, Alec wouldn’t have recognized if not for the fact that Izzy had made it her anthem from the very first day she’d heard it: Ariana Grande’s Everyday. Alec subconsciously dropped into the single back chair.

Anytime I'm alone, I can't help thinking about you

Magnus spun around, fingers spread out, twirling them around in the air as he levelled his eyes on Alec.

All I want, all I need, all I see, it's just me and you

He levelled one of those fingers at Alec, brought it back, licked it from base to tip and then winked.

Fuck.

He giving me that good shit that make me not quit, that good shit

Alec swallowed and Magnus smirked, dipping his fingers into the waistband of his pants to push them down just a little bit and then released so it snapped back in place, swaying from side to side in rhythm to the song.

He giving me that good shit that make me not quit, that good shit

He spun around and started working his waist, ass bouncing in tandem to the beat.

Oh he give it to me everyday, everyday, everyday (eve-ry). He give it to me

He went down to the floor and Alec’s eyes followed the descent, eyes glued to the ass as Magnus had both hands on the floor and whined.

Everyday, everyday, everyday (eve-ry)

He rose from the floor and whined as he slowly unbuttoned his shirt, eyes on Alec, hips jutting forward as he licked his lips, every movement slow and calculated as he slithered forward, dropping the navy blue see through satin shirt on the ground.

Oh, he give it to me, everyday, everyday, everyday (eve-ry). He give it to me

He dropped to the floor the minute he got to the chair, hands gripping the lower rungs of the chair as he stared up at Alec.

Everyday, everyday, everyday (eve-ry)

Fuck.

His hands found their way to Alec’s thighs and he held fast on to them as he rose half way up, hip right in front of Alec.

Anytime, anywhere, baby boy, I can misbehave

He started whining his hips, every roll and turn setting Alec’s nerve endings on fire.

Breathe me in, breathe me out, feel me I'm running through your veins

Alec didn’t think. He just reached, hands curving around that ass as it flexed beneath his fingers.

He giving me that good shit, that make me not quit, that good shit

They both groaned and before Alec could blink, Magnus had swung his legs over so he was straddling Alec’s thighs, ass resting over his clothed cock.

He giving me that good shit, that make me not quit, that good shit

And then Magnus ground down, every slide and glide dragging that ass over his cock.

Oh, he give it to me everyday, everyday, everyday (eve-ry). He give it to me

Alec whimpered and Magnus groaned and then he went slower, making every movement drawn out and sinful.

Everyday, everyday, everyday (eve-ry)

He moved from side to side, his smirk so blinding Alec reached forward, curved his hands behind that beautiful head of hair and pulled Magnus down, their mouths colliding, mouth open wide as their tongues battled it out, all the whilst Magnus’ hips didn’t stop grinding down on Alec’s clothed dick.

Oh, he give it to me, everyday, everyday, everyday (eve-ry). He give it to me. 

Magnus nipped at his lower lip, bit down on it and sucked, and Alec’s fingers found their way down Magnus’ back and held onto those gyrating hips.

Everyday, everyday, everyday (eve-ry)

Magnus’ fingers found their way into Alec’s hair and sank in, those lean fingers pulling on his strands. Alec groaned and Magnus moaned and then he pulled away, swinging back off the chair.

I put that work on you everyday. When the night fall 'til the sun come

Alec whimpered, and then groaned when he saw Magnus’s working his belt. He yanked it off and then started on his pants.

You done fell in love with a bad guy. I don't compromise my passion

Alec pulled at his shirt, not in any way concerned about the buttons. His one focus, getting out of his clothes as quickly as he can.

It's not what you do for me, I'm doing the same for you

And the minute he was naked, Magnus pushed him back on the chair. In one hand he had a tube of lube, in the other, he held a condom.

I don't be tripping or making mistakes I made too many in my past (that's right)

Keeping his eyes on Alec he tore open the condom and then rolled it down Alec’s dick.

I fight for the things you believe in.

Fuck.

And just as quickly, he lubed up Alec, fingers lightly brushing the head of Alec’s dick. Alec jerked and Magnus smirked.

I got your body and put it on drive, baby

And then still with that devil-may-care smirk swung both his legs over the chair.

I got the keys and we about to take us a vacation

His hands shot down to grab onto Alec’s dick and then he guided it home, both of them groaning as Magnus slid down, inch by slow inch down the entire length, until he sat, ass globes resting on Alec’s thighs.

Shit. Fuck. Damn. Oh.

I'm about to put all this vintage loving on you Baby like it was the late 80s

And even as Alec was trying to breathe through so he wouldn’t blow his load, Magnus started to move, sliding up and then working his way down, ass contracting and flexing in tandem with the movement.

When you ride on me, baby rotate it

He leaned forward, mouth clashing with Alec’s, ass working, sliding up and down, moving from side to side, every movement driving Alec mad.

He giving me that good shit. That make me not quit, that good shit                                                                                                                                                                                      

Alec raised his hands and gripped Magnus’ hips, fingers digging in deep as he thrust up, panting, and groaning into Magnus’ mouth.

He giving me that good shit. That make me not quit, that good shit

Magnus’ ass flexed, momentarily tightening around Alec’s cock and he whimpered. He shifted slightly, thrust deeper and Magnus threw his head back and cussed.

Oh he give it to me. Everyday, everyday, everyday (eve-ry). He give it to me

Alec spread his thighs wider and continued thrusting hard, hitting that spot, reveling in Magnus’ howls and the sheen of sweat that covered Magnus’ body.

Everyday, everyday, everyday (eve-ry)

And when Magnus started to shake, Alec picked up speed, feeling Magnus’ control start to fracture even as Alec’s balls began to tighten.

Oh, he give it to me. Everyday, everyday, everyday (eve-ry). He give it to me

Still keeping one palm on Magnus’ hips, the other worked up Magnus’ abs and up to his nipple. He gripped the tight nub and tugged and Magnus gave a keening sound and spluttered, his cum coming in spurts as Magnus’ head dropped onto Alec’s shoulder and he bit down.

Everyday, everyday, everyday (eve-ry).

And then it was Alec’s turn to howl as he thrust deeper, hips jerking erratically as he buried himself deep and came.

His breath was coming in short bursts, and he was still shaking as he came back to earth. He looked up into Magnus’ face and smiled when Magnus smirked at him.

Magnus leaned forward, and his ass momentarily tightened on Alec’s dick, causing just that hint of pain. “Missed you,” Magnus said as he pulled back from the kiss and then rose off from Alec.

“Missed you too,” Alec said as he rose and stretched, pulling off the condom and wrapping it up in the tissue Magnus handed over to him. “The private room comes fully stocked,” Alec pointed out with a smile, and laughed when Magnus winked.

“At Pandemonium, we’re always prepared,” Magnus said and handed over Alec’s clothes.

Alec slipped into them, surprised and thankful that he hadn’t lost any buttons or torn up his clothes in his haste to get out of them.

He turned and found Magnus with his pants on and trying to button up his shirt. “Let me,” Alec offered and walked over to help Magnus with the buttons, making sure to brush at every available patch of skin his hands could reach.

By the time he was done, he looked up and caught Magnus’ grin, and grinned in reply. “There. I think we’re good to go,” Alec said and reached out for Magnus’ hands, intertwining their fingers.

He unlocked the door and they stepped out into the deserted hallway.

The door closed behind them and Magnus spun him around so Alec had his back to the door. He raised their intertwined fingers and pushed it back so it was high over their heads. He stepped closer so they were pressed, torso to torso, hip to hip.

Magnus smiled and Alec smirked, eyes falling close as he waited for Magnus’ mouth to reach his.

Just as he felt that warm breath inches away from his mouth, a voice that made even his skin crawl spoke. “Well isn’t this cozy.”

Alec heard Magnus’ sharp intake of air and opened his eyes to stare at the dark eyes of a woman who most would consider beautiful, if they considered poison beautiful, that is.

She slinked over to them, walking gracefully on high heels, her dark hair falling down her back in waves that further helped to make her look striking.

She reminded him of a viper, and with the way Magnus had tensed up beside him, Alec could guess that this was the infamous Camille.

Alec met her eyes and stood up even taller when her dark eyes raked over him. She smirked at him and then turned to address Magnus. “You still like them young and dark-haired I see.” She waved in Alec’s direction. “Pity this one has ‘heartbreaker’ written all over him as well. Don’t you ever learn Magnus?”

Alec opened his mouth to retort but Magnus gave his hand a little squeeze. “What are you doing here Camille,” Magnus asked.

Camille shrugged and gave a smug grin. “I came to watch your performance.” She brought her finger to her lips in mock dismay. “Or am I not allowed to? Is it wrong for me to come here.”

Alec felt his nails break skin with how hard he was squeezing his fists to keep himself from speaking.

Magnus gave a smile as phony as hers and waved her towards the door. “Well, don’t let us keep you. It’s straight ahead.”

She smirked and walked up to Magnus. When she stretched out her hand as if to stroke his cheek, Alec hissed and met her smile with a glare.

She chuckled, but pulled back her hand and walked on ahead, only to come to a stop when she almost bumped into Raphael, Simon and wait was that Jace?

Was that a hickey on his neck?

Even as Alec registered that yeah, that was a hickey and that there were matching ones on Simon and Raphael, and all three of them looked out of sorts, Camille cackled. “Well, well, if it isn’t Raphael. Still trying to catch up to Magnus?”

“Bruja,” Raphael hissed and grabbed hold of both Simon and Jace—who had finally caught sight of Alec and was waving at him—and pulled them far away from Camille.

Camille gave a scornful laugh and walked past the curtains, disappearing from sight.

Alec turned to look at Magnus. “Sure you want to perform with her in the crowd? I’m sure Luke will understand if you can’t go on tonight.”

Magnus cupped the side of Alec’s cheek and smiled. “As long as my boyfriend is here,” he said and Alec chuckled, “his beautiful eyes will be the only ones I will see.”

Alec leaned forward and kissed him, cupping Magnus’ face with his hands, his fingers stroking Magnus’ cheek. He pulled back and smiled at the soft look on Magnus’ face. Gone was the agitation Camille had brought him, and in its place was contentment. Alec hoped to bring joy to those eyes as well. “I’ve got good news,” he said and smiled at Magnus’ confused expression. “I’ve found a way to help you guys beat ScyCorp and keep them and any other moneygrubbing company away from you and your neighbourhood.”

Chapter Text

Long strides. A furrowed brow. Fingers that drummed against his thighs as he strolled from one corner to the other. Magnus watched Alec as avidly as everyone else in the room did; waiting for him to tell them the good news that Alec had said he had to tell them.

Magnus had thought that he could convince Alec to tell him what it was that he’d found to push back ScyCorp with. But Alec had been quite insistent on keeping it a secret, stating that he wanted everyone gathered when he shared the good news. But nothing could dim that brilliant smile, or take away from the delighted giggle Alec had released at the thought, when he'd said it aloud.

It made Magnus, who had been feeling quite a bit skeptical, ease back just a little, and let himself believe that maybe, just maybe, after six months of dealing with ScyCorp, they might all finally, be seeing the last of them.

Magnus shifted in his seat and felt a twinge. Damn. He didn’t even want to imagine how his ass would have felt if he hadn’t thought to prep himself—he'd known ordering that pink glitter Adam by Godemiche the morning after he'd first seen Alec naked was the right call. Like come on, it was a pink glittering dildo that looked quite close to Alec's size—the minute he’d gotten Alec’s text that he was on his way to the club.

He probably would have been walking with a noticeable limp. Although if he was walking with a limp thanks to Alexander Lightwood’s well endowed dick, he couldn’t quite complain now could he?

He shifted again, and smiled at the thought, catching Alec’s eye.

Alec raised a brow in question and Magnus gave a subtle shake of his head and gestured with his chin to the rest of the room, reminding Alec of everyone else, waiting patiently for him. Magnus caught Raphael’s scowl and mentally rephrased the thought. Well almost everyone.

Just as Raphael opened his mouth—probably to nag about Alec taking too long to get started—Alec started talking. "Before I get started, I have a quick question to ask. Luke, you've been here the longest, am I right?"

Luke gave a slow nod.

"So, in all your years of living in the neighbourhood, has anyone ever mentioned the Gibbons House to you," Alec asked.

Luke cocked his head in thought, looking mildly contemplative for a moment. But after a while, he shook his head. "Nope. Never heard of it."

Alec glanced around the room, his eyes silently questioning, looking to see if anyone else had heard of the name.

Everyone though shook his or her head, and Alec smiled. It was a slow smile. A brilliant one. One that had Magnus smiling back in response, even though he had no idea what it was that Alec was smiling about.

"It's interesting really," Alec started to say. "How we forget our history so soon. Especially when New York history is as colourful as it can be."

"Can you just get to the point," Raphael snapped, huffing as he crossed his arms and tapped his foot against the floor. "Some of us have work to do."

"Oh sorry," Alec replied and ran his fingers through his hair.

Magnus glared at Raphael.

Raphael stared back stonily.

"Back in the early nineteenth century," Alec began, and once again held everyone's attention, "a network of secret routes and safe houses, organized primarily by abolitionists came into being. That main reason for existing? To help the escaping slaves find their way to territories where they can be free."

"Thanks for the history lesson," Raphael snarked and Magnus hissed.

Alec though didn't pay either of them any mind and just continued speaking. "New York at the time was quite active in that scene and it wasn't uncommon to find different houses popping up as safe houses on the Underground Railroad. One of such houses is the Abigail Hopper Gibbons house." He grinned. "Which conveniently enough, is considered a historic landmark."

"Good for Abigail Gibbons, but what has that got to do with us," Raphael asked as he glanced around the room. Everyone present nodded and turned quizzical eyes to Alec who didn't look offended at the question.

Matter of fact, he looked practically giddy.

"You see, during the 1863 draft riots, the Gibbons house was attacked and historians have professed that the Gibbons daughters escaped through the roof, and made it onto adjacent buildings from which they then able to slip away," Alec said.

"Still not getting your point Alexander," Magnus replied, as he still tried to understand exactly what Alec was getting at.

Alec turned to look at him and gave a broad grin. "The Abigail Hopper Gibbons house is right between eight and ninth, with a network of underground pathways to help not only the slaves escape, but some have even said that they might have aided the daughters in their escape as well." He laughed a merry sound and turned around to grab one of the available chairs, which he pulled forward and then plonked down into. He gripped the rungs of the chair tightly and leaned so far forward that Magnus was half worried that he would topple over. "And thanks to city maps, I am pleased to tell you that yeah, some of those escape tunnels and pathways led right here." He spread his arms wide to encompass the room. "To not only pandemonium but your entire neighbourhood actually." He chuckled. "And that gentlemen, and lady," he inclined his head in greeting at Marissa who although looked just as stunned as the rest of them, smiled back at him, "is how we can beat ScyCorp. We'll get the neighbourhood declared an historic district."

Could it really be that simple?

Magnus looked around the room, his eyes landing on the occupants one at a time. Luke had his head cocked to the side as he stared into space. Alaric was looking at Luke, his forehead furrowed like he hoped Luke could telepathically tell him what he was thinking. Raphael for the first time since they'd stepped into the room wasn't scowling. Instead, he looked thoughtful as he stared at the ground. Leroy and Marissa were both staring at each other, trying to read each other's mind.

Magnus though, Magnus had eyes for Alec, his shoulders tensed up as he stared into the eyes of the man that was giving him hope, hope he wasn't sure he was allowed to reach out to and claim.

But then Alec gave him a wink and mouthed, "it will work. Trust me," and Magnus allowed himself to smile.

At that same moment, Luke finally stared Alec in the eyes and nodded. "What do we have to do?"

"Can we get started on it immediately," Marissa piped in eagerly.

"How soon will we be able to get the designation," Alaric asked.

"Will that be able to keep ScyCorp away though," Raphael asked, bringing the eager chatter to a halt. He shrugged. "Not to be a downer, but something tells me that this process will take forever."

The question made Alec's grin grow even wider and Magnus had to fight a chuckle. He looked like a kid at a candy store, excited at all the possibilities and how much fun he was going to have.

Excitement looked good on Alexander Lightwood.

"Usually, it would take anything from six months to a year. But," he held up a hand to quell the panicked response, "if we partner up with a historic society willing to not only fast track the process but to also ensure that you're not bullied in any way, then things go much smoothly." His eyes swept across the room, lingering on one person and moving on to the next. "It means your wife can still be safe Leroy, and no, the government wouldn't be shutting down your shelter and your restaurant."

"But the ScyCorp bitch said…" Leroy started to say and stopped when Alec gave a cocky grin.

Fuck. Confidence looked good on him as well.

"ScyCorp has way too many skeletons we can just as easily use to threaten them with as well. And they have more to lose if we drag everything they've swept under the rug, right out into the open." He steepled his fingers behind his head and leaned back, the very picture of cool, calm and utterly fuckable. "So yeah. Ignore everything the ScyCorp bitch said," his eyes wandered over to Magnus, and they darkened, "she can't do shit."

Marissa looked at Leroy who looked at Alaric who looked at Luke. They all looked worried, although Luke looked more contemplative than worried. Raphael though, just stared at his shoes.

"Hey," Alec said softly, pulling every eye in the room to him. When he'd confirmed that he was the cynosure of all their eyes, he gave a soft smile. "It will work. Trust me."

Five little words and Magnus felt the atmosphere in the room subtly shift from wariness to the small beginnings of hope. Marissa gave a half smile. Raphael sat up straight. Leroy leaned forward and balanced both his hands on his thighs, his eyes laser focused on Alec. Alaric for the first time since Alec had stepped into the room shifted his gaze from constantly trying to read Luke to staring at Alec.

Luke nodded and rose to his feet. "So what do we do first?"

Alec stood as well. "Right now? Enjoy the weekend. We begin with the SPHO on Monday." He whipped out his phone and keyed something in. "I'll be sure to reach out to everyone to let you know the time and place."

With that said, the room emptied out, with Raphael hurrying out first—Magnus held back a snigger. If he was asked to guess, he would say Raphael was feeling just a bit anxious about the boyfriends he'd left in his changing room—then Leroy, Alaric and Marissa following after.

In seconds, the only people left was he, Luke and Alec.

Luke walked up to Alec, hand extended. For a microsecond, Magnus read the surprise on Alec's face, but Alec accepted the handshake. "Thank you," Luke said, sounding solemn even as he gave a warm smile.

Alec returned the smile. "It's nothing really. I just figured an extra pair of eyes might help."

"And they have," Luke admitted. "So thank you." He turned around to look at Magnus. Magnus recognized that mischievous glint in his eyes and wasn't surprised when Luke spoke. "Got yourself a smart boyfriend there, Bane."

Magnus snorted, and grinned at the pleased look on Alec's face. "Nah," Magnus corrected. "He's brilliant."

Alec went from slightly pleased to cocksure in two seconds flat.

Damn. Now he had Magnus wanting to spend the day with him in bed, constantly telling him just how amazing he was even as Magnus made him fall apart in his arms.

"Earth to Magnus."

Two fingers snapped in front of his face and Magnus startled, then turned to stare at Luke who had a knowing smirk on his face. "Fantasizing are we?"

Magnus flipped him off and Luke chuckled as he strolled out. He paused at the door, and Magnus watched his expression go from teasing to soft as he stared at Alec who was at the moment, typing away rapidly on his phone, totally oblivious to the world as he sent rapid fire texts to whoever was texting him back, and then stared back at Magnus.

Happy he makes you happy old friend.

Magnus nodded back in response, not saying a word but still able to communicate with his friend.

Thanks.

After minutes of just watching Alec with his mouth pursed as he chatted with whomever he was talking to, Magnus cleared his throat.

The response was instantaneous. Alec looked up and smiled. "Hey," he said, his voice low and soft.

"Hey," Magnus replied as he walked over and pulled in Alec for a kiss, soft and tender and sweet. His hands found their way to the back of Alec's head, sliding into those soft strands at the base of his head as Magnus tilted his head to take the kiss just a little bit deeper. He finally pulled back and smiled into hazel eyes. "Thank you," he murmured.

Alec gave a little sigh and nodded. "I'm just happy I could help."

"And you most certainly have. How did…" Magnus' train of thought was cut off by the loud beeping of Alec's phone. He raised a brow. "Same person?"

Alec nodded and looked a tad sheepish, even as he whipped out his phone and sent a reply. "It's Lydia."

"Lydia," Magnus asked as he raked his brain trying to see if Alec had at some point mentioned this Lydia person. He came up blank.

"Yeah, Lydia Branwell," Alec replied, sounding half distracted as he continued typing on his phone. When he finally hit send though, he looked up and then gave a rueful grin. "Sorry. Lydia's a friend from the law firm. We've spent the last couple of days trying to puzzle out a way out to ScyCorp." He gestured with his phone towards the windows and Magnus' eyes followed the movement, wondering if Lydia was outside Pandemonium at the moment. "Even now, she's still at the firm, putting together everything so we're fully prepared for Monday's meeting with the SPHO."

"You have good friends, Alexander," Magnus said as he stepped a bit closer.

Alec grinned. "I know."

Damn, he loved cocky Alexander Lightwood.

Just as he leaned in to kiss that mouth yet again, Raphael stumbled into the room. "Magnus, I was wondering if…" He trailed off as he spotted Alec and Magnus and how close they were standing. "¡Dios mío! Seriously? Again?"

Magnus was just about to snap back that it was in no way Raphael's business how many times in a day he decided to fuck his boyfriend, but Alec beat him to it. "I don't see how you're one to talk," Alec said, much calmer than Magnus would have said it.

Raphael's eyes narrowed. "Excuse me."

Alec pulled at his shirt to show off his collarbone. "His hickey!" Raphael looked confused so Alec clarified. "Jace's hickey dammit. He had one right here," Alec pointed to his collarbone.

Was it wrong of him that whilst his boyfriend was outraged at Magnus' friend for making out and hickeyfying—was that even a word?—Alec's own brother, all Magnus could think of, see and focus on was that beautiful jutting collarbone and how he desperately wanted to work it over with his mouth and teeth so Alec too can have a hickey. That way, he would match with his brother.

At the thought, Magnus snickered, and when that had both Alec and Raphael turning to glare at him, he held his hands out. "Ignore me."

"So what are you going to do about it Lightwood," Raphael said, trying to sound unconcerned. The key word being 'trying' though, because even if Alec couldn't see it, Magnus could read his friend like a book and Raphael was feeling just a little bit anxious that his new boyfriend's brother might not approve of his brother being with Raphael.

Alec crossed his arms. "At the moment, nothing." Just as Raphael sighed, he stepped forward to tower over Raphael. Not like that made Raphael cower in response. Nope. Raphael stood up straight and matched him, glare for glare. "But hurt him and I will kill you."

Woah!

"Break his heart and I will kill you."

Alec was on a roll.

"Make him cry, and I will kill you."

Raphael had stayed in place, blinking up at Alec in stunned surprise when the threats started. But on the last bit, he got a little smirk that half had Magnus wishing he could duck for cover—because he was sure Raphael was about to make some snarky remark that he shouldn't be making because, hello, Alexander Lightwood was laying down the law—and half wishing he could stay in his position so he could get a prime view of what was just about to go down.

Raphael snorted.

Alec's eyes narrowed.

Strike one.

The snort turned into a loud snigger and Raphael shook his head.

The corners of Alec's mouth tightened

Strike two.

"So you're telling me that Jace Wayland, the Jace Wayland, actually cries," Raphael asked. "Seriously?"

Alec crossed one arm over his stomach and brought the other arm up, so his palm partly covered his face whilst his fingers massaged his forehead.

Strike three.

"So what? You find it offensive for a man to cry, or is it just Jace," Alec finally asked in a cold voice, as he dropped his arms and glared at Raphael.

Raphael audibly swallowed and looked slightly panicked. "No I wasn't… I didn't…. it wasn't…"

"Raphael? Finding a man tears offensive? Please," Magnus cut in with a laugh, looking to diffuse the situation. Raphael sent him a grateful look that then turned into an alarmed one when Magnus smirked at him in return. "I mean, he bawled like a baby back when we were in high school."

"Magnus," Raphael exclaimed.

"You should have seen him Alexander," Magnus continued, pleased to see the corners of Alec's mouth twitch even as he tried maintaining his stern face. "He had snot coming out from his nose."

"It wasn't snot," Raphael grit out.

Magnus raised a brow. "Oh, so that watery thing dripping from your nose was?"

"Rain. It was raining."

"In February?" Magnus smirked. "Try again buddy."

"Why was he crying," Alec asked, sounding more curious than cold.

Now it was Magnus' turn to go mute whilst an agitated Raphael pointed a shaky finger at him. "Because he decided we should go for a ride in my dad's Dodge. My dad's new, shiny and expensive dodge." He glared at Magnus whose eyes were on the brilliant night sky and how amazing it was that it was a starless night. "And then, he crashed it!"

"It was an accident," Magnus exclaimed and rolled his eyes. "Sheesh. Almost a decade and you still make it seem like I said, 'hey look at that tree. Let's see if the Dodge can dodge it."

"That was exactly what you said," Raphael growled.

Ooops.

Alec turned to look at Magnus, his eyes dancing as he chuckled. "What were you thinking?"

"He wasn't thinking," Raphael grumbled as he crossed his arms. "His ass was baked. He was baked and he drove my father's Dodge. Estúpido idiota," Raphael hissed.

"Hey," Magnus exclaimed. "Isn't that too much?"

Raphael stubbornly shook his head. "You're an idiot for driving the Dodge into the tree. And a hundred percent stupid for thinking it was a good idea to tell my father that I was the one who'd been driving."

Alec turned astonished eyes to Magnus and Magnus shrugged.

What? His sense of self-preservation had kicked into high gear and he'd said the first thing that had popped into his head. Not like him attempting to push Raphael underneath the bus had resulted in anything different.

"So, you got him punished for your crime," Alec teased.

"Nope," Raphael replied, looking smug. The bastard. "My dad didn't believe him." Alec raised a brow and Raphael chuckled. "It's kind of hard for it to have been me driving. I still hadn't figured out how to drive a stick. Plus, Magnus lies so casually, my dad knew well enough to take everything he said with several pinches of salt."

Alec burst out laughing and then it was Magnus' turn to glare at Raphael who looked unrepentantly smug.

"You were saying you would kill him if he hurts Jace," Magnus tossed out, getting vicious satisfaction in the way Raphael blanched at having the matter revisited.

Raphael's eyes wandered over to Alec who was back to scowling at him. "As I was saying," Alec began, all traces of humour removed from his voice. "You hurt him, I will kill you, then bring you back to life so I can kill you all over again. It will be an endless cycle of me killing you and deriving satisfaction from it. Are we clear?"

Raphael looked like he was half tempted to say something, but then he huffed, spun on his heels and made to walk out of the room, only to draw up short when Alec spoke again. "The same goes for Simon too. You hurt him, you're dead."

Raphael gaped.

Magnus gasped.

They looked at each other, then at Alec who shrugged. "What? He might be annoying, but he's not all that bad."

Raphael got a glint in his eyes.

Damn.

Magnus knew that look. That was the look of a man who was about to spill your worst secrets to the one person you didn't want to hear anything about it.

He was just about to warn Alec when Alec immediately shook his head. "Don't you even think about telling him Santiago. I will deny it with my dying breath."

Raphael sniffed and walked away, saying nothing in response.

Alec squinted at the now empty doorway and then looked at Magnus. "Please tell me he's not going to tell him?"

How could he promise that when there was a high chance that Raphael was doing that at that exact moment? Especially considering that Raphael would most likely consider it as payback for Alec giving him the protective big brother speech.

So he didn't confirm or deny it. Instead he laughed and reached forward to tug at a lock of hair that had fallen over Alec's forehead. "He's grown on you hasn't he?"

He didn't need to clarify who he meant. Simon Lewis grew on people. It was his charm.

"So, want to spend the night at…"

Alec's phone vibrated again, cutting off Magnus' words.

Damn, Lydia was a chatty friend.

"Um, Magnus, I have to leave," Alec said, looking utterly apologetic. "Apparently, there's nothing to eat at home, and Izzy's offering to make dinner." He shook his head as he muttered. "She just doesn't get it and Max is panicking and I'm really sorry."

Magnus smiled and tugged lightly on Alec's ear, chuckling when that got him an eye roll. "It's nothing to worry about. Besides, you should spend every moment you can with your brother before he leaves. When is he flying back?"

"In four days," Alec said sounding morose.

Magnus leaned forward and placed a kiss on the corner of Alec's mouth, pulling back with a smile when Alec turned his head to try and catch the kiss. "Family's important. Especially little brothers."

Alec chuckled. "Tell me about it." He quickly typed out a message and when he got a reply seconds later, he turned a smile so brilliant it made his eyes sparkle.

Magnus found himself smiling back, and nodding and agreeing to everything Alec was saying, watching lazily as Alec once again sent off another message, until something caught his attention and everything screeched to a halt. "Wait what? I'm sorry, what did you say?"

"Max is thrilled that you accepted and is looking forward to meeting you," Alec beamed.

Wait I did what?

"Izzy says that she will get the sheets ready for tomorrow, and you can bed down in the living room," Alec added as his he read the latest text and then he snorted. "Stupid thinking. Why would I allow you sleep anywhere other than in my bed. Pfft."

He turned to look at Magnus who was still reeling at the news? Invite? Whatever the hell was happening at the moment?

"You don't mind right? Like I know you agreeing to spend the night tomorrow just because Max asked me to invite you over is one thing. I don't want you feeling uncomfortable in any way." He looked so anxious that Magnus found himself shaking his head, and Alec beamed. "Good. I can't wait," he crowed, leaned in to brush his lips against Magnus', and then was out of the door, even as Magnus' head continued to replay the events of what just transpired.

Had Alec just invited him over to meet his siblings?


"Seriously Magnus. You have to calm down."

That statement didn't deserve a response so Magnus did not bother giving it one. He heard Cat huff in frustration and continued pacing.

"I don't know why you even bother," he heard Raphael mutter. "He's not going to listen. Obstinado. Thy name is Magnus Bane." Magnus had every intention of ignoring him, until Raphael added. "Besides, it would do him good to have to replace his precious Persian rug after he's worn a hole in it."

That half vicious statement stopped him mid stride and Magnus glanced down at his gorgeous rug with its rich crimson hue.

Fuck it.

He dropped into the only available couch in his loft.

His sinking into the couch seemed to be what his friends had been waiting for because immediately they all flocked to him—all but Raphael of course. He kept his moody perch on the windowsill, one leg folded underneath himself and the second leg balanced on the sill in a perfect arch.

Sexy motherfucker.

"Seriously though. What's the problem?" Gone was the teasing note that had been present in everyone else's voices. Magnus met Ragnor's eyes, seeing only concern in their depths. "It's obvious he considers you very important. Why else would he invite you to meet his family? Plus, you've already met Izzy and Jace, and survived."

"Yeah, but," Magnus sighed and closed his eyes to bring back the memory. "You didn't see how he looked talking about Max. How happy he looked when he informed me that his baby brother wanted to meet his boyfriend." At that, Magnus leapt back to his feet and resumed pacing. "This is important you guys. What am I going to wear? What do I bring along? Would a fourteen year old think I'm trying to bribe him if I give him a blank cheque? Wait. Can I give a fourteen year old a cheque?"

Raphael made a clucking sound. "Seriously, you're acting crazy mi amigo." Magnus glared at him, but that did nothing to stop him as he just continued talking. "You don't have to sweat it so much. Be yourself, be nice, bring them wine, try to find a common ground with the child." He shrugged. "At least that was what I did with Simon's sister."

Talk of Raphael's meeting with Simon's family had everyone grinning. Even Luke snorted, and then grinned when that made Raphael scowl.

"But seriously though. How did you and Rebecca get along," Magnus asked as he turned around to look at Raphael. Raphael had never been willing to divulge the details and even now he looked like he was just about to give them some curt response about them minding their business.

But then Raphael sighed and surprise, he actually answered. Or rather he murmured his response and Magnus brought his hands to his ear. "Wait, come again," he said, doubting his ears because there was no way Raphael had just said what he'd said. But then, Raphael repeated it, looking like a sullen seven-year-old child and Magnus looked at Ragnor and then Cat and Luke and all four of them burst out laughing.

They laughed long and hard, and laughed some more with how put out Raphael looked by them laughing. Magnus pointed. "Let me get this straight," he spluttered on the word, "you, actually talked fashion with her? Like you talked about her hair and makeup and she liked your suit?"

Raphael huffed and crossed his arms. "It was a Hugo Boss."

Magnus nodded, masking his face into a serious one. "So, you helped her apply her makeup in your Hugo Boss suit?"

"Fuck you," Raphael said succinctly and Magnus burst out laughing again.

They were all still laughing when Clary walked in. She raised her brows and stared at them. But then she took note of Raphael's scowl and pointed at him, although she directed her question to Magnus. "What's wrong with him?"

The question just made Raphael scowl even harder. "Apparently, Raphael's missed his calling," Magnus answered. "He should have been a makeup artist."

"Shut up," Raphael grumbled.

Clary sat on the edge of the couch and Magnus reached over to tuck a strand of her hair behind her ear.

She grinned.

He winked. "Hello biscuit. What are you doing here?"

Clary looked at Luke, and then glanced back at him. Magnus rolled his eyes. "Seriously Garroway? Seriously?"

Luke held his hands up. "Hey. You were almost being hysterical. I figured we could use all the help we could get."

Magnus glowered. "Hysterical? Seriously?"

"Blame whichever version of you was wailing about making a good impression on your boyfriend's baby brother," Luke snarked.

Raphael snickered.

Cat hid a laugh behind her hand.

Ragnor chuckled.

But Clary smiled and scooted closer. "Really? You're meeting his family? That's awesome."

"Yeah, but according to these three," Magnus said and pointed at Raphael, Ragnor and Cat, "I'm just overreacting."

Clary's forehead furrowed. "Why do they think you're overreating?"

"Because I've already met Jace and Isabelle." She still looked confused so he added. "They came to see me in Pandemonium just before Alec and I had our first…" He trailed off, wondering how delicately he could say the words, especially with how attentive Luke was looking at him, "date," Magnus completed, and mentally patted himself on the back. "They gave me the whole, you hurt our brother, we will break you speech."

Clary shrugged. "That doesn't count." She gave a dismissive wave. "That first meeting can't be compared to him introducing you as his boyfriend to his siblings, and giving you all a chance to bond." She waggled her brows and Magnus laughed. "And trust me, it's a big deal. I mean, it's Alec Lightwood. The dude barely said anything to me and Simon until we became partners, and even then, it took him a while to unwind." She sniffed as her eyes swept the room. "They don't get it because they don't know him as well as we do."

Huh… Interesting choice of words.

"And you especially don't want to be listening to anything from Raphael," she said scathingly. "Unlike him, you don't need a personality transplant in order to leave a good impression."

Woah! Where did that come from?

"Fray," Raphael growled and for the first time since he'd taken his perch on the windowsill, got down and stormed over to Clary.

Clary stepped up to him, meeting him, glare for glare.

Interesting.

Magnus' eyes wandered from Raphael to Clary and back again. From the corner of his eye, he noticed Cat and Ragnor doing the exact same thing, all of them invested in what drama was about to land in their laps.

"What," Clary barked. "Are you seriously going to claim to be a nice guy Raphael? Because nice guys don't tell their boyfriends—fuck, you weren't even boyfriends then—about Izzy, Meliorn and I's relationship."

Magnus winced. Damn. And if the guilty look that flashed across Raphael's face was anything to go by, the fallout must have been devastating. Unlike Alec who had been cool with the situation, strangely enough, Jace would have made his disapproval of the situation very clear.

"I didn't mean for it to happen that way," Raphael conceded, as much as an apology as he was willing to give.

Clary though wasn't having any of it and just kept glaring at him. "He interrupted us. Interrupted us," she screeched.

Magnus caught Luke's flinch and grinned, even as he reached for the headphones he kept on his laptop. He tossed them at Luke who caught them with a grateful look and then with lightning speed scrolled through his phone, plugged his ear and blocked out the world.

Clary was so caught up in the conversation that she didn't even notice.

Neither did Raphael who was now scowling at her. "I already apologized," Raphael hissed.

"If by apology you mean you grunted, mumbled something even Izzy couldn't hear, and mind you she's a master at hearing things you'd rather keep hidden, then no, your apology wasn't accepted then, and isn't accepted now."

"So, the apology you offered after the Simon debacle when you said we were even, was not heartfelt," Raphael asked, voice going low.

Clary gulped.

Magnus grinned.

Oh this gonna be good.

"That's got… of course I… You know Raphael," Clary stammered.

Magnus' eyes swung from Raphael to Clary and back again, taking a moment to land on Cat who was holding up several bags of store bought popcorn. He gave her the thumbs up and she nodded and went around Clary and Raphael to take up her space beside him on his couch.

"What do I know Clary," Raphael asked, his eyes darkening. "That you took Simon drinking even though we've both had talks about the fact that he needs to stay sober for my sanity, and his?"

Oooh. It is good.

Magnus held back a laugh at remembered images of Simon and how he just couldn't handle his liquor. Hell, Magnus still didn't think he'd seen anything as hilarious as a naked Simon trying to take a dive into the fountain at the Bellagio when they'd been there for Luke's bachelor's eve party. At the thought, he stopped and shook his head. Nah. The most hilarious thing had been Raphael trying to keep his boyfriend from entering the fountain which had just resulted in a very naked Simon trying to hump Raphael right in the middle of the Vegas strip.

"Seriously Raphael, I told you it was an accident," Clary pointed out.

Raphael crossed his arms. "An accident that wouldn't have happened if you remembered that he is not the easiest to deal with when he's drunk."

"Simon didn't have any complaints when I saw him the next day." Clary smirked and eyed Raphael. "Matter of fact, he was walking with a little limp the next day."

Now it was Raphael's turn to splutter whilst Clary was the one looking smug.

Ragnor snuck around and joined Magnus and Cat on the couch. Things were getting a little tight not like any of them minded.

"This is better than reality TV," Cat whispered and Magnus nodded.

"Do you think this makes us bad friends," Magnus asked and Cat and Ragnor shrugged in the ways of the unconcerned.

"I wonder if he attempted humping his leg in public again," Ragnor whispered and Magnus released a little giggle.

The sound had both Raphael and Clary turning to glare at them. All of them except for Luke who Magnus caught mouthing the lyrics to Abba's Dancing Queen.

"Not funny," Clary and Raphael hissed as one, and then glared at each other because of how in sync they both were.

Cat reached beside the couch for her handbag and pulled out several chocolate bars. She handed one to Ragnor, one to Magnus and kept one for herself. "Just pretend we're not here, huh, and just keep going," she said as she gestured at Clary and Raphael.

All three of them tore their chocolate wrappers and bit into the bar, giving grateful nods when Ragnor passed around the bowl of popcorn as well.

"Like seriously, I don't get why you have to keep drinking anyway," Raphael grumbled, and Magnus winced. Damn. Trust Raphael to bring that up. Just because he was a teetotaler didn't mean he had to alcohol shame those of them who enjoyed drinking.

Magnus of course released a grateful sigh when his hands curved around a glass of wine—courtesy of Cat, again—and he took a generous swallow.

"Raphael," Clary warned.

Raphael didn't listen. "Seriously. You lose all sense of reason Clary Fray." Clary puffed up, about to light into Raphael when Raphael spoke. "Like that time when you called me crying because you just learned that Izzy was in a relationship, and you hadn't waited long enough to hear the exact details. Remember how much you drank and how sad you were? I was the one who came to pick you up at the bar. You spent the night in my house, crying about how everything was unfair. Do you remember that?"

Clary had a brief moment of remorse, and it showed clearly on her face. But then she sniffed and she was back on a roll. "I do. And I'm thankful for that. Which is why it pisses me off more that you knowing fully well how everything went down, still went ahead and told Jace and he crashed our date. Our first date!"

"Huh, but what's Jace business with the whole issue though. Last time I checked, you said Izzy was the one that made the offer and you and Meliorn just decided to go along with it. Why would he take it out on Meliorn, rather than taking it up with his sister" Magnus asked. Clary narrowed her eyes at him and Magnus threw his hands wide open and pointed at himself, Ragnor and Cat—the latter two who were still watching everything that was going on with avid eyes as they stuffed themselves with chocolate and popcorn. "Explain it for those of us that are trying to keep up with you."

Raphael flipped him off and Magnus sank back in his seat.

Well, it hadn't hurt to try.

"You know, I get him being protective of his sister and all. But she's a grown woman and he had to come barging in like a... a…" Clary trailed off and blushed.

"I think they were just about to do it," Ragnor whispered to Magnus and Magnus nodded in agreement.

"Nah. I think they were in the middle of doing it," Cat whispered back. "She won't be this upset if they'd gotten down to it."

Cat had a point.

"She would be more upset if she never even got a taste," Ragnor protested stubbornly.

"And I know she would be more upset in the middle. Have you ever had to stop right before an orgasm? It's hell," Cat replied.

"Shut up," both Raphael and Clary hissed.

"And yes, Ragnor is right. We were just getting to it," Clary added.

Ragnor looked quite smug and Cat harrumphed.

Magnus high-fived Ragnor without taking his eyes off Raphael and Clary.

"Fine we interrupted your first time. Whoopdeedoo. You can't seriously expect me to believe that ever since, you guys haven't had sex yet," Raphael grumbled and then crowed when Clary blushed. "But of course. Meliorn wouldn't wait when he has the chance to be in a relationship with two women. I could see it the first time I met him."

"We're not in a relationship," Clary corrected, her voice succinct. "It's just sex."

"Well would you look at that," Magnus said, not able to keep quiet anymore. "Little Clary Fray is all grown up. Deciding that she can have only sex and not the relationship."

Clary giggled in response and then blanched when she heard a cough. Both she and Magnus turned to look at Luke who was staring back at Clary.

"Has the music stopped playing," Clary whispered at Magnus who leaned over dramatically pulled one ear of the headphones off of Luke who sat there immovable like a statue.

Magnus was met with silence.

Poor Clary.

He turned to her and gave a slow nod "Sorry biscuit. You've got some explaining to do."

Still maintaining his silence, Luke rose from the couch, nodded at Magnus, Ragnor, Cat and Raphael. He cocked his head to indicate the door, as he stared at Clary, and then walked out of the loft.

"Either way, you're an adult. Nothing they can say but be careful, blah blah blah."

The words surprisingly enough came from Raphael, and Clary stared in stunned surprise, before her face blossomed into a smile and she winked at Raphael who was back to scowling like he could ever deceive any of them into thinking that he didn't care, waved at the rest of them, and was out of the room seconds later.

The silence had barely had time to settle when Ragnor rose from the seat, disappeared into the tiny room Magnus had converted into a cellar and reappeared moments later with a bottle of an Apartado Gran.

"2013 Rutini," Magnus asked.

Ragnor grinned. "You betcha." He waved the bottle at Magnus and then carefully placed it on the table. "You can never go wrong with a Malbec."

"And the price is just right," Cat said as she rose from the couch and headed into Magnus' bedroom. "Not too pricey, and not so expensive that they would think you want to buy them over."

But what if he wanted to buy them over? What happened then?

Cat reappeared and held in her hands his silky red Hedi Slimane shirt.

Good choice. An unembellished shirt that would make all his jewelry pop out some more.

He gave her a thumbs-up and she beamed, then held out a pair of charcoal gray jeans. Just as Magnus started to frown, she pulled out his Paul Parkman's Blue suede and leather boots to complete the outfit and he grinned

"So, you've got what you're taking over there and what you're wearing. Anything we're missing," Ragnor asked as he looked around.

"Nope. I think he's all good," Cat said with a smile and walked up to him to place her palm against his cheek. "They will love you. You'll see."


Izzy was the first one at the door when he pressed the doorbell. Even as he was opening his mouth to extend his greetings, she extended a fried pastry towards him. "Here, try it out. I just made it."

Just as she shoved the pastry in his mouth, Alec, Jace and a fourth person who Magnus assumed was Max, appeared behind her. "Hey Iz. Is something's burning?"

She immediately spun around on her heel and ran straight towards a room that Magnus assumed was the kitchen.

Interesting really. He couldn't smell anything burning.

And then, Alec was in his space with a serviette paper in one hand. "Spit it out." He looked so frantic that Magnus did just that.

Alec wrapped up the paper and gave a grateful nod when Max handed him a paper bag. The paper bag was passed to Jace who was out of the house so fast, that Magnus was sure if he'd blinked, he would have wondered how he moved.

He was back in the house just mere seconds before Izzy returned. Her eyes narrowed on her brothers like she suspected that something was wrong. But then she turned a blinding smile at Magnus. "You've eaten the Churros already? Wow. You must have really liked it. Delicious isn't it?"

Magnus caught Alec's eyes and Alec gave a subtle nod. Magnus smiled at Izzy. "Yes I did. Thank you."

Isabelle delightedly clapped her hands and grinned. "That's awesome! I will make more."

The horrified expression that immediately crossed her brothers' faces had him suspecting that eating anything made by Izzy Lightwood was a bad idea. Even as he tried coming up with an excuse that would work in getting Izzy off her must feed Magnus train, Alec spoke up. "Sorry Iz. He already ate. Cat and Ragnor showed up and took him out to dinner. How was the steak?"

Magnus nodded. "Excellent," he lied without blinking.

Izzy looked momentarily disappointed, but then shrugged. "Well, next time then." She noticed the wine Magnus still held and smiled. "Is that for us?" When Magnus nodded, she beamed. "Maybe I will try my hand at a flambé." And with those horrifying words, she reached for the wine and then strolled back into the kitchen.

Alec and Jace chased after her seconds later and Magnus had to stifle a laugh. He would rather Izzy not be around any inflammable objects whilst he was in the house, thank you very much.

He felt eyes on him and glanced down to Max who was staring up at him, an inscrutable expression on his face.

They stared that way for a while, with Max staring at him and Magnus staring right back, not saying a word. Magnus would have bristled if he'd found any form of judgment in Max in Max's eyes, but he found none in them. The stare was more curious than judgmental and after a long moment, Max burst into a smile that was so like his big brother's that Magnus found himself smiling back instinctively. And then, Max whispered. "I snuck into a strip club once," and Magnus realized that in all the different topics he'd practiced talking with his friends about, they'd never quite covered the what to say when your boyfriend's fourteen year old brother drops the I've been to a strip joint bomb on you.

What exactly did one say in this kind of situation?

"Interesting. Where," Magnus asked, hoping that his tone sounded calmer than he was feeling at the moment.

Max leaned back against the wall and shoved his hands deep in his pockets.

He was a tall child. Give him a couple more years and he would be just a couple of inches shorter than Alec. The Lightwood brothers were a tall bunch.

"Back in L.A.," Max replied.

"L.A.'s where your school's at," Magnus said, not really asking because he had a faint recollection of Alec mentioning it once.

Max nodded. "Yeah." He made a face.

"Not a fan of school are ya," Magnus asked. It was his turn to lean against the wall as he studied the youngest Lightwood sibling.

Max scoffed in a way that reminded Magnus of Jace and followed it up with an eye roll. "Dude. You don't even want to get me started."

Magnus stifled a laugh and Max sniffed. "Easy for you to laugh," he grumbled and pulled his hands out of his pocket and crossed them. "All the rules, and restrictions and lack of privacy. It gets too much you know."

Magnus nodded. He did know. "I did a one month stint at an All Boy's School when I was much younger. Catholic," he added, and smiled at Max's commiserative look.

"Man that must have sucked," Max muttered.

"You have no idea," Magnus replied, thinking back to younger him and how he'd been desperate to get out of the place. That was one foster family he'd been thrilled to leave as much as they'd been thrilled to see the last of him.

"Did you at least play any pranks on them," Max asked.

"Nope," Magnus replied and chuckled when Max gave him a deeply disappointed look, like Magnus had just singlehandedly ruined his fantasy of boys playing pranks on their teachers. "But I had a lot of fun messing with their heads," Magnus added.

Max perked up. "How?"

"I discovered make up," Magnus said and smiled at the memories that came pouring in. "And I discovered glitter. And jewelry. And that I didn't need to spray paint someone's car or glue their ass to their seats in order to make my statement."

Max nodded. "What happened?"

"I became a legend at detention. And at applying my make up as fast as they could wipe it off." He snickered. "It became a game. They saw me in the morning, and would wipe it off me. And then right in the middle of mass, I would sneak off to the back and reapply it, so I had my make up back on just as we were filing out."

Max chuckled. "It must have driven them mad."

"You have no idea," Magnus replied, grinning at the remembered memories.

"Then what happened," Max asked.

"The foster family finally got tired of all the trouble I was getting into and asked that I be reassigned away from their home."

Max's eyes softened. "I'm sorry."

Magnus grinned. "There's no need to be. I wanted to be gone from there as much as they wanted me gone. Plus, after them, came the family I stayed with till I turned eighteen. So yeah, it was all good."

Max nodded, and they fell silent again. This time around, lost in thoughts.

"So, how did you pull it off," Magnus asked, breaking the silence.

Max gave a mischievous smile. "Faked a doctor's appointment."

"How do you fake a doctor's appointment?"

Max smirked. "You chat up a medical student who has a crush on your gorgeous sister and agree to get him a date with her if he helps you out."

Magnus snickered. The little shit. "And did it work?"

Max brought his fingers to his mouth and dramatically blew on them. "Like a charm."

"And the medical student didn't feel like he was cheated?"

Max looked affronted. "Hey! I keep my promises," and then he grinned. "Of course the deal was a date, not a relationship." He chuckled in the way of the truly satisfied, and Magnus had to hold back a grin. "I set them up on a blind date. Izzy didn't feel a connection to him. The guy was heartbroken." Max shrugged. "But hey, at least I helped one of his dreams come true."

"You're a regular Santa Claus," Magnus said dryly.

Max winked.

Damn. He was like a mix and match of all his older siblings, and Magnus felt sorry for the world. It wasn't ready for a grown up Max Lightwood.

"So did you enjoy it," Magnus asked.

Max shrugged. "It wasn't bad. The first one we went to was so-so."

"We?"

Max nodded. "I went with a friend."

"And the ones that came after the first," Magnus asked.

It was at this point that Max beamed. And suddenly, gone was the cool, calm and collected air that he'd been trying to channel. In its place was the giddy excitement that reaffirmed that Max Lightwood might be growing up into a formidable adult, but at this stage, he was still on the cusp of adulthood.

"One. And trust me, after visiting 'La Sita', I didn't want to visit any other club," Max replied. "I mean, they were all killing it. Helen Black. Blanche Davidian. Anna Conda. Iona Taylor. Rue Bella. Queef Latina." As he spoke, his eyes lit up so bright, Magnus smiled at the sight.

It was why it took a while for it to sink in.

Oh.

"You went to a drag club," Magnus asked with a smile.

Max eagerly nodded.

Magnus chuckled. "I went to several back when I was in school as well. I think it was Ragnor who started us off. It was my sixteenth birthday and he said we were going to spend it with the most fabulous people on the planet." Magnus laughed. "He was right. Once you go drag, you can't go back."

Max placed a hand over his heart and gave a dramatic sigh. "Preach it."

Magnus chortled and Max winked. "So how did you sneak in," Magnus asked. Back when he, Ragnor, Cat and a very reluctant Raphael had lied about going on a school trip but had instead gone to celebrate Magnus' birthday, Ragnor had been able to get them in because he'd been friends with the club's manager and had promised to not only keep an eye on all of them, but had also ensured that they hadn't been given anything to drink or been in any sort of compromising position. The perks of having a friend who was older than the rest of them.

Max chuckled. "We snuck in with another party. This large group of college freshmen who were loud and drunk."

"And it worked?"

Max shrugged. "For a little while." He grinned. "Until we got busted and had to bail." He sighed. "But I still can't ever forget it."

"It's not an experience easily forgotten," Magnus murmured, staring at Max who was looking into the distance, probably rehashing the memory. "Say what if I promise, when you turn eighteen, we will throw you the biggest birthday party ever at The Abbey. Hell, we can even go on a Monday and you might just get to see Jackie Beat."

The smile that spread across Max's face at the suggestion was glorious. But then it waned. "That's assuming you and Alec are still together in four years."

The breath caught in his throat at the words.

Fuck.

He'd never thought that far ahead. Hell, he'd just been taking things one day at a time. And now he wasn't sure if the churning in his stomach was at the thought of their relationship lasting and exceeding four years, or that they wouldn't make it at all.

It was a thought for another day.

Magnus leaned forward and reached out, placing a finger underneath Max's chin. He tilted the head up and met Max's eyes. He smiled. "Even if Alec and I are not together by then, I will still show up, and take you to the most fabulous birthday party ever, because fabulousity like yours, deserves to be celebrated on a grand scale."

Max giggled and Magnus grinned at hearing the sound.

He pulled back and returned to his position of leaning against the wall, both of them exchanging small smiles every time they caught each other's eye.

It was this sight that greeted Alec when he returned and he looked from Max to Magnus, with a half pleased, half confused expression. "What's so funny?"

Magnus' eyes slid over to Max who gave him a subtle shake of his head.

So he hadn't told his siblings then. Okay.

"We were just talking about F1 2016, and how easy it would be for me to leave his ass in the dust," Magnus smoothly lied.

Max snorted and Magnus huffed. "As you can see Alexander, your brother doesn't believe me."

"Please don't tell me that's what you want to do tonight," Alec groaned as he shook his head. He tried looking stern but couldn't quite pull it off with how pleased he was looking at seeing Magnus and Max get along. "We won't be able to get any sleep."

"Actually, we agreed we will battle it out on another night," Magnus interrupted, and then rubbed his hands together in glee. "Tonight is all about RuPaul's Drag Race, and you dear Alexander," Magnus said as he pulled his boyfriend closer and kissed him, long and slow and deep. By the time he pulled away, Alec looked suitably dazed and Max was smiling at the two of them, even as he shook his head at their antics. Magnus sent him a wink. "You're going to watch it with me." He noticed Jace and Izzy who'd stepped out from the kitchen and were now smiling at them. "Matter of fact," he waved his hands to encompass all five of them. "We're all going to watch it."

"Any popcorn dear," Magnus asked Izzy who nodded.

"Yeah, there is some store bought ones. Be right back," Izzy said and disappeared.

"Drinks," Magnus directed the question at Jace.

"Wine for us," Jace said as he walked towards the refrigerator. "Soda for Max."

Five minutes later, all five of them sat in front of the TV with Magnus and Alec cuddling up on one couch, and Max, Izzy and Jace splitting up the other three couches amongst themselves.

The conversation was light and easy; the laughter light and breezy, especially when Alec joined them in echoing the, "The time has come for you to lip-sync for your life' line, and then followed it up by doing just that.

Who would have thought that Alexander Lightwood could lip-sync perfectly to Beyonce's "Run the world," complete with a sashay down the living room that would have made even Rupaul himself, very proud?


They'd all been so focused on Alec's talk about going to the SPHO that it had totally skipped their minds that Monday was the deadline they'd been given by ScyCorp. And so, when Raphael had called Raphael, just as he was deciding if his purple shirt said serious business owner, or if he should just go with the sky blue one, Magnus hissed.

Fuck.

"I'll be there in thirty minutes max," Magnus promised and reached for the blue shirt.

He made it to Pandemonium in twenty-five, and all the business owners made their way to the ScyCorp office.

This time around, as they walked into the building, there was an extra pep to their step, and Magnus was sure that Pangborn noticed because the lawyer's eyes narrowed for a brief moment before he smiled. "It's been a week."

"Give the man an award," Magnus snarked. "He can count."

The only other attorney with Pangborn hissed, but qietened when Pangborn raised a hand.

It said a lot about how confident ScyCorp was feeling that the only people they'd sent in for the meeting were the lawyers needed to close the deal.

Cocky assholes.

Pangborn pulled out a folder and flipped it open. He picked up a pen and carefully placed it on the open pages. "Just sign here, and we can all get out of each other's hair."

Marissa snorted.

Leroy snickered.

Raphael smirked.

Alaric sniggered.

Luke chuckled.

Magnus smirked.

And Pangborn and the other lawyer whose name Magnus had no interest in remembering exchanged a quick look and then glanced back at them.

Magnus let them stew in their thoughts for a long moment and then pushed away from the desk and rose to his feet.

Everyone did the same.

"Thank you so much for your generous offer," Magnus began and was doubly satisfied at how uncomfortable Pangborn looked as he adjusted his tie. "But we've decided that we're not going to take it."

Now it was Pangborn's turn to shoot to his feet. "What is that supposed to mean," he gritted out.

Magnus gave a lackadaisical shrug. "Exactly what I just said. Tell ScyCorp that their offer was very generous, but we're not interested."

"You will regret this Bane," Pangborn hissed. "Mark my words." He stormed out of the conference room, not waiting for the other lawyer who hurried along, trying to catch up with him.

Magnus snorted, and then looked around the room, taking note of the happy smiles and smug grins. "We have a meeting to get to," Magnus stated and they all practically crowed as they walked out of ScyCorp.


Filling out their documentation at the SPHO was surprisingly anticlimactic. And it reflected not just in his eyes but in the eyes of everyone else gathered there with him as well. Everyone but Alexander of course.

Hell, even when they'd all winced at having it confirmed that it would indeed take months before their district can be awarded a historic district status, Alec had merely nodded, thanked the official and led them out of the offices.

He must have finally noticed how down in the dumps everyone was looking because Alec spoke. "Hey," he called out softly and everyone's eyes swung to him. "This is just the start. And it can be made to go even faster. All we have to do is impress…"

He trailed off when his phone vibrated and glanced at the screen. Whatever he saw must have stunned him because Alec looked dazed when his eyes met Magnus.

Magnus walked up to him, curious as to what had put that expression on Alec's face. He noted absently that Luke and Raphael were shepherding Alaric, Marissa and Leroy to the car and waving at them when they called out their goodbyes.

And then, Raphael and Luke also left, and it was only him and Alec left. "What's wrong," he asked, just as the phone rang, and startled Alec.

After that, it was a long one-sided conversation, punctuated by "yes, mother," and "no mother," and finally ending with "okay, mother."

As Alec hung up, he seemed deflated. And when Magnus reached out to touch him, his eyes were the most apologetic Magnus had ever seen. "I'm sorry Magnus."

"For what," Magnus asked.

Alec sighed. "We're having dinner with my parents. Tonight."

Fuck.


Dinner was at Masa, in Columbus Circle.

And it confirmed exactly the fears Alec had shared with him after dropping the bomb that they were having dinner with his parents.

Dinner was going to be a battle of our family status is better than yours, so how dare you date my son.

It was the one fear that Alec had and as they took their seat at the table, with Maryse looking cold and detached, and Robert looking uninterested and distracted, Magnus prepared himself for the dinner from hell.

Thankfully, Max, Izzy and Jace sat beside him and Alec and took up most of the talk as they decided on which Sushi they should get.

After their orders had been placed, Magnus found himself the focus of Maryse Lightwood's eyes. "So, Magnus is it?"

Magnus nodded. "Yes. Magnus Bane."

Maryse sniffed. "Bane. Of the Colorado Banes?"

Magnus snorted, and then disguised it as a cough when Maryse glared at him. He reached for the glass of water and took a couple of sips of water, fighting hard to not laugh whilst drinking so he would not become a spluttering, choking mess at the table.

When he was certain he was well and truly composed, he answered. "Actually no. Just a regular Bane."

That got him another sniff, whilst he heard what sounded like a mild snort from Robert. His eyes swung over to the man, but Robert had his phone in his hand and seemed to have tuned them all out.

Must have been a mistake then.

"So tell me Magnus, what do you do for a living," Maryse asked.

As one, the Lightwood siblings all sucked in a breath, and glanced at each other.

"I'm a dancer," Magnus replied. "Although at the moment, I'm more focused on my dance studio over on the fourth and seventh."

"Dance studio huh," Maryse murmured.

"Yes. It used to be an old warehouse, but now it's just this open space," he threw his hands out trying to dramatize just how big his studio is, "and there's a ton of natural light. It's beautiful."

"And it's all yours?" It was the first time Robert would speak to him since he joined them at the table, and Magnus found it surprising.

He couldn't hold back his proud smile as he replied. "All mine. Bought and paid for."

"Impressive," Robert murmured in reply, nodding his head as he then turned his attention back to his phone.

Maryse didn't look as impressed though. Matter of fact, her face was curved into a sneer.

Magnus was just bracing himself for whatever scathing remark she wa about to toss out at him—and he was sure it would be scathing. No one looked like that if they were about to pay you a compliment—when he heard the one voice he hoped to God was just his ears playing tricks on him.

"Maryse. Robert."

Unfortunately, it wasn't. Because right before his horrified eyes, in walked Camille, teetering on her ever high heels.

Alec who'd had his hands on Magnus the entire duration of their dinner suddenly squeezed Magnus' hands so hard that Magnus had a brief moment when he thought about his blood circulation being cut off.

But then, Camille got to their table and flashed a brilliant smile at Maryse and Robert, and Magnus wondered if fainting would be such a bad idea at the moment.

Maryse rose to her feet and returned the smile, and kissed the air beside Camille's cheeks, whilst Camille returned the gesture. Robert merely nodded at Camille and Camille inclined her head in greeting as well.

With all that done, she then spun around and smirked as her eyes landed on Magnus and Alec. "Well, would you look at that? If it isn't Magnus Bane."

Chapter Text

“Izzy,” Alec called out as he stepped into the house, eyes scanning the room, searching for his sister, well aware that she was the only one who could explain how the hell his mother found out about Magnus.

“Alec,” Izzy said and her voice drew him to Max’s room where she, Max and Jace were currently sitting on Max’s bed, arms wrapped around Max who looked distraught.

“What’s wrong,” Alec said as he sank to his knees, and reached for Max, who averted his eyes and kept from looking at Alec. Alec looked up at Izzy and Jace, who shook their head slightly.

The story was Max’s to tell.

“It was my fault,” Max finally mumbled, his voice so low that Alec had to strain to hear him. “I was talking to Izzy about how happy I was that you had Magnus in your life.”

He finally looked up at Alec and his eyes were filled with so much guilt, that Alec raised his hands and ran the fingers soothingly through Max’s hair. “It’s alright Max,” Alec murmured.

“I didn’t know she was outside the room. I didn’t hear her come in.” The words came out in a rush, like they’d been dying for him to release them. “I didn’t know she was listening in.”

Alec tipped Max’s chin till his eyes were level with his brother. He smiled. “I know.”

Max gave a small smile in response, although his face still looked wracked with guilt.

“What are they doing back,” Alec asked, thinking back to whether or not his mother had ever mentioned anything about returning so soon. Last time they’d spoke, she’d given her perfunctory greeting, enquired about Max and then hung up. Nothing said about being back in town so uncharacteristically soon after they left.

Jace and Izzy shrugged. “She didn’t say,” Izzy replied. “She just stormed off, and I sent you the text. I’m sorry.”

Alec waved the apology away with a sigh. “Nothing to apologize for Iz. It wasn’t anybody’s fault. I just… I didn’t want them to meet him yet.” He made a face. “They’re going to make this dinner hell for him.”

Izzy’s eyes flashed. “Not if I have anything to say about it.”

“We’ll make him feel at ease,” Max promised.

Jace patted him on the shoulder. “The ice queen wouldn’t be able to freeze him out. Not if we can help it.”

They chuckled at the nickname Jace had coined for Maryse after many a late dinner when she’d made her displeasure known by ignoring everyone at the table.

“Where’s dinner at,” Alec asked.

“Masa,” Izzy replied and they all made a face.

“Of course she would go with fucking Masa,” Alec grit out as he pinched the bridge of his nose in an attempt to calm the headache that had risen at the announcement. Of course, his mother would choose one of the most priciest restaurants in the country, not only as a passive aggressive way to make a statement about Magnus not being able to afford their lifestyle, but to also show him the other rich and famous people in their circle and how Magnus would never fit into their world.

Maryse Lightwood was all about making statements.

***

Dinner was a disaster, just like he’d predicted. His mother had taken a look at Magnus, sniffed, and hadn’t attempted to hide her disapproval ever since. Alec couldn’t see what her problem was though. Magnus had dressed down, wearing a deep red velvet shirt on pressed slacks with matching red shoes. His hair was still slicked up though, but the high collared shirt meant he went without any necklaces. He’d kept his ear cuff though, but nothing else. He was even missing the sprinkle of glitter that made him shine even more, and the worst thing of all was that his nails had no colour. He’d painted them with a clear vanish, and nothing else.

Alec hated it.

It wasn’t like Magnus didn’t look good. Magnus always looked good. The problem was that Alec missed his flamboyant as fuck boyfriend with his colours and his way of walking into a room, head held high, cocky smile on his lips and that glint in his eyes.

This Magnus looked subdued, and the fact that he was this way because of his parents, pissed him off. Especially because even after all that effort, Maryse still looked unimpressed.

And so, he spent dinner, alternating between glaring at his mother who pointedly ignored his glares, and sending grateful looks at his siblings who spent the time chatting with Magnus, telling him little anecdotes about the primp and proper crowd who passed by their table with their noses stuck in the air.

His mother, ever one to throw a damper on things, asked if Magnus was a member of the Colorado Banes, and Alec grinned at the way Magnus had snorted at the question and its ridiculousness, and admitting to being just a ‘regular Bane’.

There was nothing regular about Magnus Bane though, and Alec had every intention of telling him that when he got him alone.

But then, his mother brought up what Magnus did for a living, and Alec’s eyes caught his siblings. He slid them over to Magnus who calmly replied that he’s a dancer who ran a dance studio. That finally caught Robert’s attention and he seemed mildly impressed.

Maryse as expected was not impressed. What else was new?

Alec took Magnus’ hands in his, running his fingers on the underside of his palm, silently telling Magnus that hopefully they would soon be on their way. But then, a voice that reminded him of oil sliding on water rang out in the room and the comforting hold he had on Magnus’ hands because a tight grip as he closed his eyes and prayed to everything that was holy that that wasn’t who he thought it was.

He opened his eyes.

The universe didn’t give a fuck about him and what he wanted. Because right before his eyes, in walked Camille, on those high heels of hers, hair put up into a complicated topknot. Her black cocktail dress fitted her frame perfectly; emphasizing her curves as much as it emphasized the fact that very few people in the world could afford that dress.

She walked up to Maryse and air kissed her, and then gave a nod to Robert who repeated the gesture. When she was done giving the perfunctory greeting, she turned around and in a sickening sweet voice, spoke. “Well, would you look at that? If it isn’t Magnus Bane.”

Alec caught the interested look in Maryse’s eyes, and even as she opened her mouth, he braced himself for what would come next.

“Camille,” she said and gestured at the table. “Join us.”

Alec hissed and Jace, Izzy and Max bristled. They’d never met Camille before, but Alec had filled them in on every unpleasant encounter he’d had with the woman and they disliked her as much as he did.

“I couldn’t think to intrude,” Camille simpered, looking like she really meant the words. Anyone else could have believed her, but Alec saw the pleased look she couldn’t quite manage to keep hidden in her eyes.

Maryse ignored the obvious discomfort of her kids, and smiled at Camille. “Please. I insist.”

The three words seemed to be the magic words needed because Camille snapped her fingers and one of the ever present waiters came running up to her. Seconds later, she’d joined their table, thanks to the extra chair the waiter had hurried off to go get for her.

Robert, was back to paying more attention to his phone and the law firm he practically ran from the device. Magnus was paying close attention to the bottle of wine on the table and Alec, Izzy, Jace and Max alternated between glaring at Camille and glaring at Maryse.

Both women ignored them.

“I still can’t believe that your mother’s in town,” Maryse said, reaching for her glass.

Camille tittered. “It’s that time of the year.”

Maryse looked smug as she tapped her chin. “Same doctor?”

Camille winked. “Not everyone has your skin, or your genes Maryse.” Her eyes swung over to Izzy and she smirked. “Your daughter’s very lucky.”

Izzy scowled back in response, not like it did anything for Camille who merely chuckled.

Maryse clucked her tongue. “Yeah well, I keep telling her to never forget to use eye crème at night. She never listens” She slid a disapproving glance at Izzy, and Izzy shrank into herself, unwilling to be the focus of their mother’s eyes. “But then again, I wonder why that’s surprising. She never listens to anything I have to say anyway,” she grumbled.

Alec and Jace both caught Izzy’s eyes and rolled their eyes, causing Izzy to give a soft laugh. When that caught their mother’s attention, Izzy reached for a glass of water and took a sip.

“So, will you be around for the GAHS dinner,” Maryse asked Camille.

Camille tutted. “Seriously Maryse. You should know me better by now. Have I ever missed a GAHS dinner?”

Maryse winked. “Of course not. You’ve been coming ever since your sixteenth birthday, representing the Belcourts in a spectacular fashion.” Camille inclined her head at the high praise and Maryse narrowed her eyes at her children. “A pity the same can’t be said for my own children.”

Why of all the things that was holy did his mother like choosing to bring up this same topic at almost every conversation. Especially if it was a conversation she was having with someone from another moneyed family. She saw one of those spoiled entitled brats and would immediately start bemoaning her children. This was also the reason why Alec stayed far away from all those gatherings, particularly gatherings like the GAHS where it felt like they all came together to talk about their pedigree and how they were better than everyone else.

He’d always thought them a waste of time. Maryse on the other hand thought them essential. Just one more thing he and siblings disagreed with their mother about.

“So tell me,” his mother said after she’d cleared her throat. “How do you know our guest?”

Fuck.

Bring back the GAHS conversation. He would rather talk about a boring party with insipid socialites than give Camille this chance to poison his mother’s mind.

“Magnus,” Camille asked with a laugh. She raised her glass to her lips and smiled at Magnus over the top of the glass. “Magnus and I once dated. Like some, four, five years ago?” She cocked her head and balanced her cheek on her palm. “Right Magnus?”

Alec’s grip tightened on Magnus’ hands. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he worried about hurting Magnus but he needed that touch, that physical comfort. Otherwise he would reach across the table and punch Camille in the face, and damn the fact that they were at dinner with his parents.

Magnus meanwhile said nothing. Just kept looking unflinchingly at Camille, refusing lower his eyes. It annoyed Camille. Alec could see it. A muscle worked in her jaw for a brief moment. But then she relaxed and faced Maryse with a smile.

Maryse meanwhile looked shocked. Her eyes slid from Magnus to Camille and back again. “You dated him?” She pointed at Magnus. “Him? The owner of a dance studio?” Her forehead furrowed. “Why would the sole heir of the Belcourt family date a dance studio owner?”

She sounded so offended on behalf of Camille and the Belcourts that Alec had to grit his teeth, trying his best to at least try and salvage some of the horrific dinner.

Camille laughed merrily, shaking her head, as she looked taken aback, all at once. “If he’d only been a dance studio owner, father might not have minded at all.” She kept her eyes on Maryse and pointed at Magnus. “But as at when we were dating, Magnus was a stripper.”

The shattering of a wine glass echoed in the room, but Maryse was so shocked she didn’t even notice. Hell she didn’t move when one of the waiters came around with a brush to sweep up the broken pieces of her now shattered glass.

“A… st… stripper,” Maryse repeated like she couldn’t fathom the word.

Camille still smiling nodded. “And a very famous one at that.” She chuckled and cast her head back, showing off the diamond choker on her neck, whilst making Alec wish he could wrap his hands around her scrawny neck and wring the shit out of it. “You should see the club on the night he's performing. Just a whisper of his name and there wouldn’t even be breathing room in the place.” She nodded and cast a fond smile at Magnus. “He has quite the talent, our Magnus Bane.”

There was a long stretch of silence, filled with things unsaid. Alec could feel the heat working its way up his neck and most likely to his face. He was flushed. Not out of embarrassment. No. It was rage. Rage that had him shaking so much that he was subconsciously shaking Magnus’ hand as well—wait, that wasn’t him. Magnus was shaking as well.

He wished he had a good look at Magnus’ face. He wished he could see the emotions flickering in the depth of his eyes right now. He wished he could run his fingers down that cheek and reassure him. Unfortunately he wasn’t sitting across from Magnus. The person who had that honour was the viper whose eyes darted around the table, the smugness rolling off of her in waves.

Bitch.

“Is that true?”

The words came out in a low murmur, but Maryse Lightwood might have as well screamed it at the top of her lungs. Everyone at the table was so still, as still as a rodent caught in the gaze of a snake. Even Robert was no longer invested in his phone. Nope, his eyes were on his wife.

“I asked if it is true,” Maryse repeated.

Alec loosened his grip slightly on Magnus’ hand and started to stroke that warm skin, hoping that Magnus would be able to take it as the reassurance Alec hoped he was passing across to him. Alec crossed his throat. “Yes mother. It is true.”

“He is a stripper,” Maryse hissed, her voice high enough to catch the attention of the neighbouring table who glanced at her and then proceeded to whisper amongst themselves. “You brought a stripper to meet us,” she gritted out.

“You wanted to meet my boyfriend,” Alec said, going for calm, and knowing that he succeeded with the way his mother’s eyes narrowed to slits.

“Ooops.” The word brought Alec and Maryse’s attention to Camille who was faking being upset and sad. Of course, Alec didn’t buy the bullshit. Camille wasn’t trying very hard after all. “Now that I think about it though, he does own a dance studio.” She shrugged her shoulders. “Nothing special really. Just a place for homeless kids to hang out.”

“They are not homeless,” Magnus growled, the first words he’d said since Camille joined their table.

“Underprivileged. Runaways. Kids from bad homes. Whatever.” Camille waved the words away and turned back to Maryse. “It’s a fairly decent place. Except, it’s in this neighbourhood Belcourt Holdings intends to turn into a block of condos. You know, for Belcourt Housing.”

“That will never happen,” Alec hissed.

Camille laughed and shook her head as she tsked. “And what makes you so sure? Is it because you took them to the SPHO this morning?”

“The SPHO,” Maryse asked in a sharp voice.

Camille chuckled and turned her gaze to Maryse, lowering her voice in a conspiratorial tone even though everyone at the table could hear what she was saying, and they could hear it clearly too. “Alec fancies himself a mediator. He actually went to the SPHO to lodge documentation to get the neighbourhood started on potentially being declared a historic district.”

Maryse hissed and Camille’s eyes widened as she raised her hand and waved. She smiled at whomever she was waving at and rose to her feet as she walked around the table to Maryse’s side of the table and air kissed her again. “It was fun catching up Maryse.” She pulled back and smiled. “Let’s do this again sometime? I just saw Richard Atcherson, my date.” She dropped her voice. “We just recently got engaged.”

“Congratulations,” Maryse replied in a monotone. Not like it affected Camille who beamed, nodded at Robert and then walked away from their table, leaving utter destruction in her wake.

The silence held for a long moment and then Maryse growled, every word strung tight as she glared at Alec. “How dare you?”

Alec met her eyes calmly, keeping his silence, even as he continued to stroke Magnus’ hand.

“Of everyone you could choose, you chose him?” She pointed a finger at Magnus and Magnus’ hand flexed beneath his. “It’s bad enough that you’re gay. Hell, I’ve even grown to accept it.”

“Why thank you,” Alec muttered sarcastically beneath his breath.

Maryse’s eyes flashed. “But you chose him? He is the one you chose as a boyfriend?” She threw her hands out, encompassing the entirety of the room. “You not only didn’t choose someone who would fit into our world, no, you didn’t even choose a banker or a lawyer, or a doctor, or someone with a decent profession, you had to choose a stripper?” She spat out the words like it was the filthiest thing she’d ever heard, and for the first time since the dinner from hell started, Magnus flinched.

“Maryse,” Robert exclaimed.

“Don’t Maryse me Robert,” Maryse snapped. “Our son brings a stripper to dinner and you want me to what? Pour the stripper a drink? Ask the stripper how he’s doing? Show the stripper our family jewels. Make him a part of the family?”

“His name is Magnus,” Alec ground out, barely managing to keep his calm. “Call him by his name,” he enunciated.

“And to make matters worse,” Maryse barreled on, “you choose a stripper who is so pathetic that he had to lie about what he does for a living.”

“Mother!” Alec, Izzy, Jace and Max jumped to their feet.

“How dare,” Alec started to say and stopped when he felt Magnus’ hand brush against his arms.

He looked down at Magnus who still managed to look calm even as his eyes glittered. Magnus gave a subtle shake of his head that had Alec swallowing back the words he was just about to say.

Magnus pushed off from the table, the movement, every bit as languorous as he’d always made it, taking special care to fix his shirt and his hair. He smiled down at Maryse and Robert, a smile that they were clearly undeserving of, and Alec wanted to hiss.

“Maryse. Robert. Thank you so much for dinner. It was wonderful,” Magnus stated calmly. He inclined his head at Maryse. “My apologies about the mix-up that just happened. It wasn’t my intention to deceive either of you.” Maryse sniffed and Alec snarled, as did Jace, Izzy, and Max. Magnus though didn’t look bothered. He just continued speaking in that calm voice. “But I do think it’s about time I take my leave.” He gave a wry smile. “I have a pressing appointment to get to.” Maryse’s mouth curved into a sneer, but still Magnus continued sounding way more gracious than she deserved. “Either way though, it was lovely meeting both of you.”

And with those words said, he smiled around the table again, held Alec’s eyes for a millisecond, spun around on his heel and was out of the door as fast as Alec could blink.

Alec didn’t think, he hurried after him, tuning out his mother shouting at him to come back. At another time, he would have been amused at Maryse Lightwood, the person who had drilled into him how essential it was to maintain proper decorum at every occasion, now turning into a screaming harpy demanding her son return to her.

But there was nothing funny about the situation, and even as Alec was stepping out through the doors, he heard his siblings screaming at how rude and disrespectful their mother had been.

Alec though was focused on Magnus. But just as he got outside, he saw Magnus sliding into a cab, that took off before Alec could call out to him to stop.

“Call you a cab Sir,” one of the valets asked him.

“Will it get here as fast as that one that just left,” Alec asked as he pointed at the cab that had disappeared into the distance.

The valet looked apologetic as he shook his head. “Sorry sir. The gentleman was lucky that it had just dropped off one of our regulars.” He gave a hopeful smile. “But you can have one in two minutes at the most. Would that be okay Sir?”

Two minutes. That was way too long for Magnus to be alone, thinking for even a moment that any of the vitriol Maryse had spewed on him was warranted. But there wasn’t any other option.

So Alec nodded and proceeded to wait for the cab.

***

Magnus didn't show up at his apartment until a quarter past eleven. Alec could tell the time to the exact minute because he'd been standing outside the loft for over two hours, waiting for Magnus to return, questions tumbling in his mind as he wondered where Magnus had gone, and if it would be right to call Ragnor or Cat or even Raphael to ask if Magnus was with them.

But he knew that Magnus needed the time alone, and so he waited. Waited for over two hours standing outside the loft doors, slight shivers wracking his body when the cold wind brushed against him, nipping at his heels.

He was just pulling his jacket tighter still when a cab pulled up and out stepped Magnus. The top three buttons of his shirt uncovered, the nightlight making his skin glow. He noticed Alec and tilted his head slightly, an expressionless look in his eyes that had Alec shuffling from foot to foot, wanting to know exactly what Magnus was thinking.

God he hoped Magnus wasn't going to decide that he'd had enough of him. Although he would understand if that was the case. No one would stand for being insulted the way his mother had insulted Magnus, and even remembering the words made him bristle.

His parents. The bane of his existence.

At the thought of the world, he gave a humourless laugh that had Magnus' eyes darting to meet his, eyebrows slightly raised. Although he still maintained his silence as he walked over to join Alec.

They stood like that, side by side, the silence swirling around them as they gaze up at the night's sky and stared at the full moon.

The silence was pregnant, heavy with so many unspoken words, and when Magnus sighed, Alec took the bait. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah," Magnus replied, the word coming out with a long drawn out exhale, as if as he said the word, the tension that had been holding him back went along with it.

They stayed silent for another long moment. "Why didn't you tell them from the start?" He turned his gaze from the sky and looked at Magnus. "Was it me?" The questions poured out, filled with the fear he'd been trying to suppress. "Did I in any way make you think I wasn't okay with it? That I was… ashamed? Because I promise Magnus, I'm not. I'm not ashamed of you or what you do. I'm not…"

The barrage of words ceased when Magnus cupped the side of his cheek, his thumb lightly stroking the side of Alec's face, slow and gentle. He gave a sad smile. "It wasn't you."

"But I…" Alec started to say and stopped when Magnus shook his head.

"I told them the truth Alexander." He stepped closer, so close that if Alec shifted just so, they would be right up against each other. "I own a dance studio. It's my dream, what I've always wanted. And I strip. I strip because I love to. Both are parts of me and I decide which part of me I want people to see when they first meet me. The stripper bit sometimes comes later, amidst certain groups of people," his mouth quirked into a smile. "People like your parents for example." His face smoothed over. "And there's nothing wrong with that. Nor is it because of anything you said, or who they are. So no. I didn't keep my stripper past hidden because I think your parents are snobs," Magnus said with a cheeky grin.

Alec chuckled, the heaviness that had sank its hooks in the pit of his stomach, loosening its grip and floating away.

"And if the situation was to repeat itself again, I would do the exact same thing," Magnus added. "Neither of them are things I'm ashamed of." His smile turned sardonic. "Although I'm not really surprised." He winked at Alec's outraged expression. "Parents from 'pedigreed'" the word dripped with so much scorn that Alec would have flinched. Except, he knew the scorn was directed at the system his family thrived in, and not him in particular, "families understandably have a problem when their son brings home a stripper."

Something about the way he said the word 'stripper' had Alec shaking his head, and then it was his turn to cup Magnus' cheek. "You are more than a stripper Magnus," he said earnestly, looking into those brown eyes, hoping against hope that his eyes showed his honesty and that he meant every single word he was saying. "You work hard. You're compassionate. You have goals. You have dreams. You're good and kind and brave and strong and intelligent and…"

Magnus interrupted him with a laugh and then leaned forward to place a small kiss on the corner of Alec's mouth. "You don't need to cheer me up Alexander." He chuckled. "I am well aware of my own worth. Trust me."

It was Alec's turn to chuckle, relieved to see the light once again dancing in Magnus' eyes. He leaned forward and placed a soft kiss on Magnus' mouth, fingers rising to grip Magnus' arms as he tilted his head and they kissed unhurriedly, lost in the moment, lost in each other standing beneath the moon and outside Magnus' loft.

But then a cold breeze had him give a little shiver and Magnus pulled back with a chuckle. "So, is the plan for us to spend all night out here in the cold, standing on our feet?"

Alec laughed and brushed a soft kiss against the corner of Magnus' ear, then pulled back. "Well, I was waiting for you to invite me in."

They both chuckled at that, and Magnus dramatically opened the door, and gestured at Alec to enter. Alec reached for Magnus' hands, interlacing their fingers and bringing their clasped hands to his mouth. He laid a soft kiss on Magnus' hands, keeping his eyes on Magnus and then tugged. They walked into the loft together, hand-in-hand.

***

He spent the night at Magnus' and had to be in school first thing the next morning. Magnus it turned out was not a morning person and as Alec jogged up the stairs leading to the Townhouse, he grinned at the remembered memories of Magnus wailing about the fact that the sun wasn't up yet and Alec should get out.

Of course Magnus had pulled him in for a quick kiss just as Alec had been about to leave for his class, and then proceeded to wrap himself up in the blankets again for some extra snooze time. But after he'd woken up, he'd spent the rest of the morning, chatting with Alec via text.

All in all, it left a warm and pleasant feeling in his stomach and when Alec stepped through the door and came face to face with Maryse's angry yet cold stare, he grabbed a hold of that feeling and turned it into the armour he was sure he would need to survive his conversation with his mother.

He caught Robert's eyes, but said nothing as he shrugged out of his jacket, taking his time to make sure that it wasn't creased in any way or form. He could feel his mother's glares, boring a hole through his head, but he ignored her as he strolled to his room, carefully put aside the jacket to be dry-cleaned later in the week.

He stepped back out of the room, absently taking note of the fact that Maryse had shifted positions on the couch—she'd probably been pacing when he'd gone in and sat back down when she'd heard his door open—, and walked over to the refrigerator to get himself some water.

It was whilst he was drinking that Maryse's patience finally snapped and she growled. "Where have you been?"

Interesting. He'd been mentally counting down how long it would take for her to finally break. Almost ten minutes was an impressive record.

Alec shrugged, making the movement as lackadaisical as he could. He lifted his eyes from his glass to glance at his mother as he replied. "At Magnus'."

"You were what?!" Maryse screeched as she leapt to her feet. Robert, ever the pacifier jumped up as placed his hand on her arm, probably in a bid to get her to calm down. Maryse shook off his hand and stalked over to Alec, standing almost toe to toe with him as she glared. "How dare you," she hissed.

Alec finished the last of his water, placed the empty glass on the island top and then crossed his arms. "How dare I what? Spend the night at my boyfriend's," Alec snarked. "People do that you know. Spend the night with their boyfriends." He chuckled, but then stopped when Maryse tossed a look of such blatant disgust at him that his back straightened.

"Why doesn't it surprise me," Maryse said and tossed her hands in the air. "It's not bad enough that you gave up a promising future in love to be a mediator," she sneered the word, "but then you're the idiotic mediator who thinks he can go toe-to-toe with the Belcourts and win?" She gave a scornful laugh. "And then you decide that of all the men in the world, you will settle for a stripper?" She eyed Alec. "Truly, when your standard drops, you just keep freefalling till you reach the very bottom."

"Magnus is not the very bottom," Alec grit out and pushed away from the counter, taking steps closer to his mother. "He is the very height, the one thing everyone aspires to, and I will not have you speak about my boyfriend that way."

Robert stepped forward, hands outstretched, trying to maintain some distance between Maryse and Alec. "Maybe if we all calm down."

Maryse pushed him out of the way and stepped up to Alec, glaring up at him as furiously as Alec glared down at her. "You have only one option Alec," she hissed. "Dump that man you call a boyfriend. If you choose to continue to date him, I want you out of this house."

"Mother!"

Maryse and Alec turned to look at Jace, Izzy and Max who had exclaimed and were now standing in the living room as well, glaring at Maryse. Maryse glared right back at them. "Do not 'mother' me, Jonathan, Isabelle. I see you two are accomplices to his madness," she snapped. "Side with him and I will cut the both of you off as well. Don’t think I won't do it." She pointed at the two of them. "Soon you both will bring home nobodies and say that you're dating them as well."

"Clary and Meliorn aren't nobodies," Izzy hissed.

"Simon and Raphael aren't nobodies," Jace growled at about the same time Isabelle spoke.

Robert made a strangled sound and stepped back and Maryse's broke into a laugh so scornful, all her kids flinched. "But of course." She waved at Alec. "You would follow his depravity to the depths of hell if that's the path he set out on." Alec hissed and she raised her hand. "I have heard enough from all of you. I have every intention of cutting all of you off and kicking you out of this house."

"That wouldn't be a problem, mother," Alec sneered, and took satisfaction in the way Maryse's hands tightened into a fist. Good. She was not the only one who knew how to turn a word into a dig. "Unlike you, I don't forget things that easily."

"And what is that supposed to mean," Maryse growled.

"It means that I'm twenty-one, mother. And although neither of you," his eyes swept to Robert as well, "thought it was necessary to even call and wish me a happy birthday, I at least got a visit from Grandmother's lawyer."

At the words, Maryse flinched and Alec broke into a smile. "Yes, mother. I have full access to my trust fund now. The lawyer will be getting back to you, to make sure you refund the almost five hundred thousand you borrowed," he inclined his head at her. "But even with that, there is still enough for us to get by. And as for kicking us out…" His hands took in the entirety of the house. "The house is in our name mother, not yours. Grandmother made certain of that."

Maryse swallowed and Alec took vicious delight in rubbing it in, that although their Grandmother had not been the most affectionate of women, she'd always preferred her grandchildren to Maryse who she hadn't supported Robert marrying. Her reason had been simple. Maryse's family might have been wealthy, but they didn't have the pedigree of the Lightwoods.

How ironic that it was the same line her mother-in-law had once used to hurt her that Maryse used freely in her bid to control her children's life.

"The money will not last forever," Maryse spat.

Alec shrugged. "We'll manage."

She pointed at Izzy and Jace. "And her education? And his plans to own a fitness center? How are you going to afford that?"

Alec shrugged again. "They will soon be twenty-one as well mother. Jace in a year and Izzy in two. My inheritance will see us through. Their inheritance will help them achieve their dreams." Jace and Izzy walked around their parents and came over to hug him, and Alec returned their smiles. As one, all three of them faced their mother. "We don't need your money mother," Alec said, the calm he felt reflecting on his face at the realization that they will be just fine. "We don't need your approval. We don't need your support. We don't need you."

"We'll be just fine," Izzy and Jace added.

Maryse huffed, spun on her heels and stormed off. Robert hurried after her.

The minute the door slammed behind them, Alec released a pent up sigh and turned to look at his siblings. "Thank you. And I'm sorry."

Jace and Izzy shrugged. "It's about time," Jace muttered.

"Besides, you are more of a parent than they ever were," Izzy added.

"Izzy's right," Max piped up and stepped forward. He jerked his thumb in the direction their parents had stormed off in. "I mean, they didn't even notice me."

"I'm sorry Max," Alec said and his eyes dropped to the ground.

Fuck. He'd only considered Jace and Izzy and hadn't considered that Maryse really might cut off Max as well. He should have kept his peace, if anything till his baby brother turned eighteen as well. Or graduated. Whichever one happened first.

"Hey." The murmured words sounded so close to him that Alec glanced up and met Max's eyes. His baby brother was grinning. "I am proud of you Alec."

Alec huffed out a laugh. "Thanks Max. But you're…"

"I'll be just fine. Seriously, they hardly even notice when I'm around," Max said with a smile.

He sounded so casual about it that Alec wanted to rail against his parents some more. No child should ever think that being ignored by his parents was a good thing. "It still doesn't make it right Max."

Max shrugged. "It's like Izzy said. You're all the parent I need. Besides," he wriggled his brows, "you seem to be missing something very important."

Alec found himself responding to the mischievous smile "What?"

He smirked. "Mother paid for my tuition until graduation."

"She what," Jace and Izzy exclaimed.

"How," Alec asked.

Max chuckled. "She got tired of always being called whilst she's in court to be informed that she'd forgotten to pay my fees. Again." He shrugged, but his eyes danced. "And so she decided to pay for it all at once. It's all paid till graduation."

Jace, Izzy and Alec burst into laughter, tickled by the news and the realization that they truly were free of their parents. Max joined them in laughing and all four of them held onto each other as they laughed in relief.

"So, I will just have my homeroom teacher have your number and address as the first person to call," Max said as he wiped at his tears.

"Sure she won't rather call mum first though," Izzy asked.

Max snickered. "Trust me. She would rather call Alec. Mother terrifies her."

All four of them snorted.

"And if mother insists on you coming home for the hols," Alec asked.

Another shrug. "Then I'll bring out the big guns. She'll most likely be so disgusted, she might just ship me over to stay with you guys. Permanently."

All three of them squinted at Max who shrugged, and then looked down as he picked at his jeans. "I might, or might not like drag." His eyes swept up to meet them, braced for their reaction. He tried to hide it beneath an air of bravado but Alec could see what it did to him, how much their support meant to him.

"With your cheekbones," Izzy said with a smile and tugged at Max's cheek, causing Max to chuckle and swat her hands away. She caught one of his hands in his and stared into his eyes, intently. "You will make a stunning Queen."

Jace reached out and ruffled Max's hair. "Plus, you already have the fashion taste of a true Queen."

Max mock glared at Jace for roughing up his hair and the two of them chuckled.

Max then turned to look at Alec and Alec winked. "Well you've got the sass down pat," he said and Max chuckled. Alec wiggled his finger. "But you cannot sashay like I can. You need a bit more training."

That just had everyone laughing and they all came together for a hug, murmuring promises to one another, reiterating their commitment to be there for one another.

***

"So they still haven't logged in the paperwork," Lydia asked as she looked at Alec from over the top of her laptop.

Alec continued pacing from one corner of the room to the other, glaring at the books, the forms, everything in the library that had so far proved useless to him. Hell he'd even tried throwing some of the law books at the wall but it hadn't given him that satisfying 'thunk' that he'd been hoping for.

It instead left him even more frustrated.

"It's probably Camille," Lydia said and Alec spun around and glared at the back of her head. "I can't see you, but I can guess that you're glaring at me."

"You guessed right," Alec said and resumed pacing. "And of course it's Camille. Who else would it be? The fucking Belcourts having the SPHO in their pockets. What kind of country do we live in?"

"One where the rich more often than not, are not subject to the law," Lydia said with a shrug.

Alec resumed glaring at her.

Lydia sighed and spun around, taking away Alec's chance to glare at the back of her head. Of course he just glared at her face instead. "What is it?"

Alec mimicked her shrug. She still looked confused so he clarified. "Of course I know the rich aren't subjected to the law, but at least sound a bit concerned about it," he snapped.

She sighed and he walked back to the desk, dropping into his seat as his phone beeped.

"You know technically, some people would say you belong to that category of rich people you know," Lydia pointed out, just as her phone beeped as well.

Alec shrugged and scrolled through the email. "Well, not for long anyway. As soon as we run through my trust, we will be back to living like everyone else."

"You'll miss the car though wouldn't you," Lydia teased.

Alec made a face. Damn. The only thing he regretted was the fact that his parents had had his Tesla towed. They knew how much he loved that car, and he was sure his mother had taken great satisfaction in making that decision.

But as much as he might have loved the car, he loved his and his siblings' freedom more. Besides, it wasn't like he had the chance to drive the car so often in the city anyway.

"I'm proud of you though. You know that right?"

Alec glanced up at the words and met Lydia's blue eyes. She was smiling softly at him, a proud look on her face.

It made Alec preen just a little and he inclined his head at her.

"So any luck with historical societies," Lydia asked as her attention returned to her mail.

Alec did the same. "None that have enough clout to circumvent anything the Belcourts throw their way." Alec sighed. "I swear, that family has its finger in everything…" He trailed off as he finally read the content of the recent email from the Secretary of the Greater Astoria Historical Society, informing him about their upcoming dinner, and asking him to RSVP if he was coming, and to indicate the number of guests he was bringing along.

He hissed.

"What's wrong," Lydia asked.

Alec shook his phone. "The GAHS annual dinner. I swear, I still don't understand why mother signed Izzy, Jace and I for the thing. Or why she always pays for our membership fees every bloody year."

Lydia chuckled. "Well, at least there's one good news in all the drama."

Alec raised a brow.

Lydia smirked "She wouldn't be paying for next year's membership that's for sure."

"Hallelujah," Alec said fervently. Just one more thing that was going right in his life after he decided to break out of his parent's hold. He should have done it ages ago.

"Wait a minute," Lydia called as her eyes continued to scan the email. When she finally looked up at him, she had on a giant shit-eating grin. "Make that two pieces of good news."

Alec frowned. "What's the second bit?"

She gestured at him to come around and although Alec huffed, he wheeled his chair over to hers and peered over her shoulder, his eyes narrowing in on the spot she was tapping on.

The minute he saw the name, he chortled at his good fortune. "No fucking way," he wheezed.

Lydia who had been laughing right alongside him piped up, "Just imagine Maryse's face when she realizes that she helped make it happen?"

That just set them off again.

When he'd finally stopped laughing, he looked again at the name beside the benefactor to be honoured header, and sure enough, it still said: Tessa Gray.

Alec chuckled and then sent out a quick text to Izzy and Jace.

How would you like to stick it to our parents and Camille, whilst helping out Magnus, Luke, Raphael, Ragnor and the other business owners all at once?

Their response was immediate.

Where?

When?

Alec grinned.

***

RSVP'ing for the dinner had been easy. Finding something he could wear to the dinner had been harder and it just further emphasized the reason why he rarely attended such events.

It was all about putting up appearances and he hated them.

But when Magnus pulled open his door and welcomed him in, Alec forgot how to breathe. His eyes raked over Magnus' form, taking note of the black fitted pants and the navy coat that looked so dark it was almost black. His hair was gelled into a slicked up updo that had Alec's fingers itching to slip through. The myriad of necklaces he wore shone, and he'd even slipped on his ear cuff as well. And on his feet, he had on a pair of Alberto Moretti gold loafers, that dazzled, but not as much as Magnus Bane did.

If he'd been understated at dinner with Alec's parents, this look was as Magnus as he could get. Alec loved it! But then, he also suddenly felt very underdressed.

"Alexander," Magnus asked and tilted his head, a faint smile on his lips, a cocky look in his eyes.

Alec gestured at Magnus. "You look stunning."

"I know. Thank you for noticing," Magnus winked.

Alec grinned, but then his face smoothed over and he gestured at himself. "I think I'm underdressed."

"It's dinner at the GAHS. Of course you're underdressed," Magnus replied simply and when Alec looked even more confused, he explained. "You've been a member since you turned sixteen. The same with your siblings. You don't consider it a big deal anymore."

"Technically, we never did," Alec muttered underneath his breath.

Magnus chuckled. "Add the fact that my friends and I are going to be the only non-whites at your dinner, and of course we will all be dressed to the nines."

Alec frowned. "Why would you guys be the only non-whites there?"

Magnus tsked. "Sweetheart. Even your board members are so white they deserve to be their own flavor of ice-cream."

Alec chortled and when Magnus raised a questioning look, explained. "The comparison is quite fitting. They can be quite bland."

"And they can be quite judgmental too," Magnus added. Strangely enough, he sounded more matter-of-fact than angry. Like it was something that happened all the time and he'd grown used to it. "Which is why when we're invited to such events," Magnus said, and Alec knew that he was not part of the 'we' Magnus was talking about, "we tend to pull out all the stops. It's how we overcompensate. You know. So no one thinks we're the help or we shouldn't be there."

Alec bristled.

Magnus snickered. "Calm your horses Alexander. I haven't been mistaken for the help in a long, long time." He clasped his wristwatch on and gave himself a little nod. "Besides, If you think I look good, just wait till you see how everyone else looks all dressed up."

"They still won't look as good as you," Alec pointed out.

Magnus gave a cocky grin. "I said they would all look good. I didn't say they would look as good as me. No one looks as good as me, Alexander."

He rubbed his fingers across Alec's jaw, dragging his thumb over Alec's lower lip, his eyes tracing the movement in tandem with his finger.

Alec forgot to breath.

When he looked up at Alec, he winked and pulled back, those lean finger sliding back into the pocket of his coat. "Shall we," Magnus asked. "We don't want to be late."

Alec instinctively nodded, even as he wondered how the hell he was expected to survive the night.

***

The GAHS dinner was everything he'd expected it to be: stuffy and pretentious. Everyone had fake smiles and air kissed like Camille and Maryse had done at the dinner table. T They also looked amazingly enough the same. Skin that had been tanned, thanks to a tanning salon, and hair that ranged from brown to black to blond. The men had theirs cropped short, and the women had theirs in a delicate up do. It made Magnus stand out even more, and when they entered the ballroom, they became the cynosure of every eye in the room.

Alec might have missed it but Magnus had mentioned it so he was more observant. And therefore he noticed. The brief moment when assessing eyes raked over his boyfriend's form, something dissecting in the gaze, even as they tried to find Magnus wanting in some way, and still couldn't quite pull it off.

It made him bristle, and he was half-tempted to move in front of Magnus.

Magnus though didn't care. He immediately spotted someone across the room, grinned and casually strolled through the boardroom, like he owned it. The air with which he moved was so charismatic that the crowd naturally parted, giving Alec the chance to see who he was waving at.

It was Catarina, in a dress of such an amazing silvery blue that it made her eyes sparkle. She'd woven her hair into a complicated network of braids and had pinned them with jewels. Jewels that perfectly matched the diamond choker she had on and the bracelets she wore.

She looked stunning.

As did Ragnor who stepped up right beside her, wearing a deep purple waistcoats, paired with black slacks and shoes that had been polished to a high shine. The hands that had been buried deep in his pocket as his eyes scanned the room, popped out as he returned Magnus' hug. Magnus said something that had him chuckling and shaking his head, even as he grinned. Catarina meanwhile beamed, and Alec smiled at the way Magnus pulled her in and kissed her on the side of her cheek.

It was a nice contrast to the air kisses that were going around with everyone else, and just further emphasized how much realer Magnus and his friends were.

He heard a familiar voice that had him turning around and smiled at the sight of Izzy wearing a blood red dress with intricate beading that formed the cleavage of her dress. It was slit to mid thigh, showing off her legs and Izzy worked it like a woman who was utterly confident in the fact that she looked good.

He caught her eye and waved and she grinned.

She was just about to walk over to him when in walked Luke, Clary and Meliorn. Luke, just like his friends had pulled out all the stops with a light pink waistcoat, black fitted pants and a white jacket. A black bowtie completed the look and he looked quite dapper. Beside him stood Meliorn in his all black attire, black jacket, black pants, black shoes, but with a blood red shirt and his hair pulled back into a ponytail. Like Magnus, he'd lined his eyes, the effect dramatic and smoky eyed. He had one arm around Clary whose two-toned turquoise and grey mid-length dress and the gold belt that held it all together made her skin glow. Alec smiled at the way Izzy's eyes lit up when she spotted them, and he didn't mind when she he immediately made a beeline for them.

She walked up to them, extended her greetings to Luke who nodded and placed a quick kiss on Clary's cheek, before walking away to go join his friends. Alone, all three of them spent some time staring at each other before they grinned, and then moved together so Meliorn had his arms around Izzy and Clary and they walked towards their table.

At about the same time, in stepped Raphael, Jace, and holy shit, was that Simon Lewis? The man cleaned up nice. A checkered suit and a black overcoat he hadn't even slipped his arms through. Instead, it lay on his shoulders, leaving his arms free as he adjusted his cufflinks and scanned the room simultaneously. Raphael's white shirt and black pants was paired with a checkered burgundy jacket that was tailored to fit him perfectly. He had opted out of a bowtie, and had instead left a couple of his top buttons undone. Jace, just like Alec was the most underdressed in the group, wearing a simple black tuxedo and a bowtie.

Just as with Izzy, Clary and Meliorn, all three of them headed to their tables, following Jace's lead. It suddenly had him wanting to be with his boyfriend so he spun around, eyes instinctively searching for Magnus.

Magnus, who was at the moment laughing not just with his friends but a couple of members of the GAHS committee. The women looked pleased, the men looked a bit miffed, until Magnus turned his charm on them and Alec watched in astonishment as they melted.

It made him smile. How stodgy old men looked practically in awe in the presence of Magnus Bane.

"Well would you look at that?"

The murmured words came from across his shoulder and Alec stiffened. He'd been well aware that he would most likely run into her. Hell, he'd been expecting to. But it was one thing to expect to see her; it was another to have her be so close to him that his fingers twitched.

He mentally told himself to stay calm and then turned to meet Camille's eyes.

She smirked, although her eyes alternated between looking at Alec and gazing at Magnus. "I would have expected that you would have left him by now," she tsked, and gave him such a pitying look that Alec wished he wasn't at the dinner trying to leave a good impression on Tessa Gray. If it had been anywhere else, he just might have accidentally doused her with champagne.

"Especially with the way Maryse doesn't want her precious son getting together with a stripper."

Forget trying to leave a good impression. If things kept going this way, he just might douse her with champagne anyway.

"I don't give a fuck what you or my mother think," Alec hissed and watched with immense satisfaction as her eyes narrowed. "Unlike you, I don't need my parents' approval. Or their money."

Camille smirked. "Really now." She gestured at the room. "You're going to give all this up, for the sake of a man who sticks out like a sore thumb at a society dinner?"

Alec crossed his arms and grinned. "Yes. I am going to give it all up for the most gorgeous man in the room." With that said, he walked across the room to join Magnus who looked a little startled to see him suddenly appear. But then those full lips curved into a roguish smile and Alec leaned in and kissed his man, in the presence of the members of the GAHS committee and every other prying eye in the room. Magnus gasped, his hands rising to grab hold of the lapels of Alec's jacket and Alec slipped his tongue into that mouth, kissing Magnus like he was starved.

By the time he pulled back, they were both panting, faces flushed and lips swollen. He said his apologies for interrupting the discussion but the members of the committee merely waved his words away, although with the way some of them were looking, they seemed more dazed about the fact that Magnus was taken, and less about the impromptu kiss.

Alec glanced back at the spot where Camille had been standing, but she'd left. He did however catch Maryse's eyes and they glittered in anger before she turned around and walked to the other edge of the room.

"Maryse seems pissed as hell," Magnus whispered. His eyes danced as if he was delighted at the news and Alec grinned.

"What about we piss her off some more. And Camille too?"

Magnus gave that quick grin. "What do you have in mind?"

Alec slid his arm through Magnus', apologized to the Magnus appreciation society, and waved to catch Raphael, Ragnor and Luke's attention as well. He nodded at a woman dripping in silver and jewels, laughing merrily at a corner in the ballroom. "How about we go say hello, to Tessa Gray."

***

"Well who do we have here? Alec Lightwood? Here? At the GAHS?" The words were said with a laugh, a laugh as charming as the owner of said laugh whose eyes twinkled as she winked at Alec.

"Hello Lady Gray," Alec said and inclined his head.

"Pshh," Tessa said and waved the greeting away. "You know you can call me Tessa. How many times do I have to tell you that?"

"Still many more times I'm afraid," Alec said and winked right back at her. She chuckled, and he grinned, then gestured at Magnus. "May I introduce you to Magnus Bane. My boyfriend." Tessa's eyes swung up to meet his and Alec grinned.

"Like anybody couldn't tell after that lip lock," Tessa teased and pulled Magnus into a hug. Magnus looked a bit startled, but went along with it. She pulled back and stared into his eyes. "How do you cope?"

"Excuse me," Magnus asked.

Tessa gestured at Alec. "With the giant, the brainiac, the I think I'm a blonde god, the precocious teen, the Ice Queen and Mr. my phone is oh-so-fascinating?"

Magnus' laugh echoed in the ballroom, sounding so boisterous that all the conversation ceased as everyone turned to look at their corner of the room. Not like Magnus cared, or Tessa, who joined him in laughing. Alec chuckled at seeing them so happy, and ignored the burning heat he could feel at the back of his neck. He knew who was glaring, but had no interest in turning around.

When they'd finally laughed long enough, Tessa pulled out two sets of wipes from her purse and passed one to Magnus whilst she dabbed at the tears on the corner of her eyes with the second one.

"Very accurate description," Magnus wheezed.

Tessa shrugged. "Yeah well, when you've seen them around for long enough, you can tell."

"I'm not a giant," Alec grumbled and crossed his arms.

"Says the child who was five foot seven and then shot to six-three in the space of a year," Tessa tossed right back at him.

That just had Magnus chuckling again, and when Alec glared at him, he winked.

Of course Alec couldn't stay mad at him, and he knew it.

"How are Isabelle and Jonathan though? I could have sworn I saw them," Tessa asked.

Alec nodded. "Yes they are around."

"This is interesting," Tessa grinned. "Not a peep from any of you and suddenly you all show up, and is it me or did they both come with quite the entourage?" She chuckled. "I had no idea they were both polyamorous."

"Well, they do look up to you," Alec teased and Tessa preened, then turned around to wave at her husbands.

Will raised his glass in greeting and Jem beamed and blew her a kiss. She reciprocated and then looked back at Magnus and Alec.

"So, your families are close," Magnus asked, gesturing at Alec and Tessa.

Tessa laughed. "God no." She shook her head. "Maryse and I are just on the same committee. I saw the kids a couple of times and realized that I preferred their company to hers and Robert's." She shrugged. "But I'm a busy woman and work can be tasking at times. It makes it difficult to stay in touch."

"Speaking of work," Alec said and motioned at Luke, Raphael and Ragnor who had stood slightly away from them during their chat, to come closer. They did and he Alec gestured at them. "Meet Ragnor Fell, Luke Garroway and Raphael Santiago."

Tessa smiled and they all smiled back, even Raphael which stunned Alec for a brief moment, so much so that it took Magnus tapping him gently on the shoulder before he realized that he'd totally zoned out at the sight of a smiling Raphael.

"So, what did you want to talk about," Tessa asked.

"The Abigail Hopper Gibbons House," Alec replied.

Tessa's eyes sharpened. "Are they trying to add more floors to it again? I thought that civil suit had resolved everything?"

Alec shook his head. "It's not about the house itself." He paused for a moment, feeling Tessa's slight impatience in wanting to know the rest of the story. She was intrigued and it worked wonders for him and for their cause.

"Spill it Lightwood," Tessa finally snapped.

Alec chuckled. "It's about the underground pathways that spill onto the fourth and seventh."

Tessa tilted her head, eyes going slightly unfocused before she shook herself. "Underground pathways? Are you sure? I've never heard of them."

Alec smiled. "A hundred percent sure. I even have the city maps to prove it."

Tess broke into a slow smile that took over her entire face, making her appear decades younger. She chortled. "So we can turn the entire area into a historic district?"

Alec nodded. "That's what we hope." He gestured at Magnus, Raphael, Luke and Ragnor. "They own businesses in the neighbourhood and have had a little run-in with a company who wants to tear down the buildings and replace them with high-end condos."

Tessa sniffed. "High-end condos? Bah! Like there aren't a million and one of them already. Honestly, I don't understand how New Yorkers think? Why sacrifice a piece of your history and heritage for something that's plastic and fake like a condo?" She leveled her eyes on them and narrowed her gaze. "They will not be touching a single brick in that area if I have anything to say about it. Have you reached out to the SPHO," she directed the question at Alec.

"Yeah," Alec replied. "But there's a ton of backlog and I think someone in the company's trying to stall the process."

Tessa nodded. "It's simply a case of me placing a call to the director. There's nothing to worry about. Which company has been pressing for you to sell," she asked Magnus.

"Belcourt Holdings," Magnus replied.

Tessa grinned and then wriggled her fingers, calling the attention of her husbands. When they joined them, she whispered something to Will, and then whispered something to Jem. Both men caught each other's eyes over her head, gave a slight smile and then nodded.

At that same moment, Tessa picked up the skirt of her dress with one hand, grabbed a champagne flute in the other, and she strode to the podium like a woman on a mission.

A quick glare had the chap who had been speaking scrambling off the stage, and leaving her with full access to the microphone. She grabbed it and gave a blinding smile to the crowd. "Ladies, gentlemen, and everyone in-between or separate. Welcome."

The whispered murmurings that had been scattered all over the room ceased as everyone turned their attention to Tessa. "I know this night has been about honouring not only the Greater Astoria Historical Society and the work we do in preserving the history and heritage of our beloved city, but also my family, and according to you, the wonderful work we do in pushing through for that historical preservation."

A few scattered applause rang through the room and Tessa nodded in thanks. "Well, I've got great news." She gestured at the corner of the room where Alec, Magnus, Raphael, Ragnor and Luke stood. "It has just come to my attention that we now have one more district to add to our historic districts list."

Another round of applause, punctuated with the people whispering trying to figure out where this new district had cropped up, filled the room.

"The Underground Railroad is as much a part of our country's history as it is a part of the state's history and every bit of it that can be preserved should be preserved. It is one of the ways we remind ourselves that New Yorkers have fought for equality, equality that doesn't look at skin or how much you earned, or whether or not society thought you a freed man or a slave. And I am pleased to be a part of an organization that would reinforce that belief which is why the GAHS will support the claim of the business owners of the fourth and seventh, and put our full backing behind them getting that certification and ensuring that their neighbourhood stays safe."

Alec caught the quick grin that swept across Raphael's face, unbridled delight that shone. His eyes swept across the room, and Alec was certain he was searching for Simon and Jace, just like Luke's eyes was searching for Clary, and Ragnor was winking at Catarina.

He felt warm hands wrap around his, and without taking his eyes off Tessa, he squeezed back. He also finally met Camille's eyes, and smirked at the barely disguised anger that had twisted her face into something ugly.

"It has also come to my notice that a foremost family that's a member of our organization is the one behind trying to turn that neighbourhood into a soulless echo of what it should be." Camille stood up straighter, eyes flitting to Tessa who still kept her eyes on the crowd. "I will like to express my total disappointment that one of our own would think to do such a thing, especially after finding out the history of the place, and I will also like to add that should anything, and I repeat anything happen to that neighbourhood, the SPHO process, or should the business owners be threatened in any way…" Gone was the smile and in its place the hard mask that proclaimed to all that this was Tessa Gray, the woman who had built her empire from nothing and combined it with her husbands' empires, at a time when not only was it scandalous for a woman to have such power, but it was unheard of for her to have two lovers and publicly flaunt them as her husbands. "I will destroy them." Her lips curved into a wicked smile. "Seriously. Please. Give me that chance." Her eyes slid over briefly to meet Camille's and she arched a brow. "I dare you to."

Camille blanched, and the minute Tessa's eyes swept back to meet the crowd, she slipped out of the ballroom, hurrying out so fast, she looked like the hounds of hell were chasing her.

Alec snickered, then stopped breathing when he felt the weight of Magnus head resting on his shoulder, and heard that deep chuckle brush against his nape.

Alec shivered.

"I know you said it would all work out once Tessa learned everything. But I did not expect it would be so easy," Magnus murmured.

Alec turned his head slightly, his face inches away from Magnus'. Magnus' eyes swept across his face, the movement so languorous that Alec had to fight the urge to fidget. But then Magnus smirked and whispered. "I'll have to thank you when we get home tonight."

Alec swallowed.

***

They walked into the loft in total silence, Magnus with a faint smile on his face, and Alec trying to find air in his lungs because ever since they'd left the GAHS ballroom, Magnus had kept his hand on his and had spent their entire drive back drawing little circles over his hand. Simple innocuous strokes that others might have dismissed. Except, they kept touching all his erogenous zones. Gliding against his skin so feather light that they drove him insane.

The minute they got into the loft and the door closed behind them he surged forward pulling Magnus to him as he devoured him in the kiss, all teeth and tongue and fire and passion.

Magnus' hand rested on his hips and Alec groaned, pants straining as he tried stepping closer to Magnus.

But Magnus gentled the kiss, slowly taking down the passion, till instead of all that fire, it was lazy strokes and small nips. Those hands on his hips, also gentled, kneading his flesh in a way that made him so boneless that he sighed when Magnus pulled back.

He blinked lazily and Magnus smiled at him. "We're not rushing this Alexander," Magnus murmured.

"But," Alec started to say and stopped when Magnus placed a finger against his lips.

"Tonight. We're going slow."

Alec licked his lips, his heart thudding hard. "How slow."

Magnus gave a wicked smile and pulled back, eyes focused on Alec as he motioned with his head at the door leading to the bedroom. Without waiting for Alec, he headed inside, stopping to drop the cufflinks he'd removed on his vanity. He also took off his rings, the necklaces and his ear cuff.

He spun around after he was done and reached for Alec, turning him around and then pushing him backwards until the back of Alec's knees made contact with the bed. Alec sat.

Magnus went down on his knees and reached for Alec's shoes, pulling off the first shoe, then the second, and then followed it with the socks.

It was a move that had Alec remembering when he'd done exactly the same thing, but that look of barely banked hunger hadn't been in his eyes then, nor had he taken the time to run his fingers underneath Magnus' foot like Magnus just did to him.

Alec jerked and Magnus chuckled. "Ticklish?"

Alec shrugged. "Who isn't?"

"Good point," Magnus murmured and then reached for Alec's belt buckle. He loosened it like he'd taken off Alec's shoes; like they had all night and he had nowhere to be at.

He pulled off the belt and it clattered to the floor, forgotten in the moment.

Next were the buttons on Alec's pants and Magnus's fingers brushed against Alec's skin as he popped first one button and then the other, and then the third and then finally the fourth. Those warm hands spread, cupped Alec's hips, the two thumbs sliding up, rubbing against the stretch of skin that showed when Alec's shirt rode up."

Alec's breath caught, and then he sighed when Magnus only proceeded to pull his pants off, inch by slow inch, dragging his fingers across Alec's thighs as he moved the pants, those dark eyes trained on Alec as he pulled them off.

The pants dropped to the floor with barely a sound and Magnus winked, and then reached for Alec's jacket, slowly unbuttoning it, button by button till he was done. He then pushed them off of Alec's shoulders and with a flick of his hand, had them flying to land at heavens only knew where.

Alec didn't give a fuck. Hell, he didn't give a fuck about breathing anymore. His senses were completely tuned to the way Magnus was at the moment dragging his pinky finger and lightly running it over his collarbone.

He swallowed when Magnus grazed his Adam's apple and groaned when what that got him was a smirk and Magnus pulling his finger away to focus it on unbuttoning Alec's shirt, drawing it out for so long that Alec was practically vibrating when Magus finally slipped both palms beneath his shirt.

He moaned at the feel of those warm hands on his skin, lightly tweaking one nipple and then the other, dragging across, and then running over his skin, the touches so light, they drove him insane.

Magnus finally pulled back, after what had probably been minutes but what felt like hours and then proceeded to kick off his shoes, and get out of his clothes with such speed that Alec almost laughed in relief, thankful that Magnus would finally stop with the torture and the waiting.

Turned out, he was wrong.

Magnus Bane had a plan to kill him.

He had to have one.

Because why else would Magnus join him on the bed, his naked body pressed against Alec's naked body, all their curves and lines fitting perfectly well against each other, and whisper, breath hot against Alec's ear that Alec should turn around.

Alec did. Hell he would say he even turned eagerly.

But then Magnus pushed off, and even as Alec whimpered, he knelt and caged Alec between two strong thighs, and then he leaned forward and his breath ghosted over the line of Alec's spine, moist and warm and unhurried.

Alec buckled into the bed.

Magnus laughed and then followed it with little nips. One at the dip just above his ass that had Alec's fingers tightening in the sheet, and a series of nips and kisses and just that swipe of tongue up his entire spine.

Alec groaned.

Magnus chuckled and spread them all over Alec's back, light small kisses, grazing his teeth in some places, soothing with his tongue in others, and whist he worked Alec's back over with his mouth and his teeth and his tongue, his lean fingers continued dragging little distracting shapes over Alec's thighs, fingers nimble as they danced over his thighs, slid down his legs and then came back up again.

When one of those lean fingers danced so close to his ass that his hole clenched, and then darted away again, he groaned.

"Magnus, please," he begged.

"What do you want Alexander," Magnus crooned, his voice low and husky as he brushed his lips against Alec's ear.

Alec groaned and pushed his dick further into the bed, seeking a release that Magnus was having fun withholding from him.

"Fuck me," Alec sobbed. "Fuck me please."

Magnus spun him around so fast, their dicks brushed for one glorious moment, and then they separated and Alec threw his head back and whimpered.

"What if I don't want to fuck you tonight Alexander?"

Alec's pushed his head back up and met Magnus' eyes, the horror clearly visible in his.

Magnus chuckled and then leaned forward to kiss him, slow and sure and smooth, and Alec moaned as he kissed him back, his fingers finding their way to the shaved edge of Magnus' hair as he sank into the kiss.

Magnus pulled back first and Alec whimpered as he followed that mouth. Magnus laughed and whispered against his lips. "Tonight. I want to make love to you Alexander."

Alec's heart skipped a beat.

Magnus smiled. "I want to make love to you. You brilliant," Magnus leaned forward and placed the softest of kisses against Alec's eyelids, first the left, then the right. "Kind," he ran open mouth kisses against the slope of Alec's neck. "Giving," his tongue slowly slid over Alec's left nipple, then moved on to the right, teeth grazing it just right, making Alec moan. "Focused," he ran little bite sized kisses over Alec's abdomen, causing Alec to shiver and the muscles to flex. "Unassuming," he lifted Ale's thighs off the bed, leaving only Alec's torso and feet planted on the bed and placed light kisses over the first thigh, slowly following every curve and dip, and then he moved onto the left thigh. "Loving," he slid further down the bed, giving him the reach to place little kisses on Alec's legs, kisses that mad Alec twitch and jerk and had Magnus chuckling lightly, even though he continued to place those kisses. He slid back up and just as Alec lifted his head to see what Magnus was doing, he came face to face with a grinning Magnus whose mouth was just inches away from his dick. "Amazing man." Magnus winked and swallowed.

Alec's head fell back with a groan, his fingers scrambling for purchase on the sheets, his hips working fast and hard, driving his dick further down Magnus' throat, searching for…

He sobbed when Magnus pulled back, and groaned when all he got instead was the sound of Magnus chuckling. But then, he heard the pop of lube, and the crinkling of a wrapper, and when he felt Magnus' hands curve around his ass, he lifted up, and sighed when one lean, lubed finger slid in and back out, working him loose.

"Add another," he moaned and would have snapped when Magnus chuckled in reply. But then, another finger joined the second working together, scissoring to stretch him. A minute later, a third finger joined the other two, and Alec could finally feel the burn. He rode all three fingers hard, crying out when Magnus crooked one finger and hit his prostate.

He whimpered when Magnus pulled his fingers out, but he barely had the time to miss them when Magnus was sliding in, long and slow, hands reaching for him to pull him up so they were both sitting up, with Magnus just beneath him, thrusting slow and deep, every thrust hitting his prostate.

Alec's head fell forward, mouth open in silent screams as his balls started to tighten.

He wasn't going to last.

He whimpered.

"Don't worry about it Alexander. Magnus ran quick fingers over his back. "Come for me."

Three words and he screamed and did just that, vibrating as his orgasm rippled through him, even as Magnus continued to thrust, long and deep, making it even more intense.

His vision blurred, spots dancing in front of his eyes, body trembling as he almost toppled over, held upright only by Magnus' hands on him.

But then Magnus' fingers tightened, almost to the point of pain, and then it was Magnus' turn to scream as his orgasm rippled through him, shaking hard as he threw his head back.

Even fucked to an inch of his life, Alec could admire that long curve of neck and how utterly beautiful Magnus Bane looked in that moment.

He leaned forward and placed a soft kiss against Magnus' Adam's apple and pulled back when the shaking had stopped.

Magnus' eyes slowly opened and he stared at Alec.

He smiled.

Alec smiled back.

They separated, Alec wincing at that slight twinge that followed the act. But it was soon forgotten after Magnus had disposed of the condom and they slid beneath the sheets together, arms wrapped around each other.

After a while, Magnus spoke. "But really though. Thank you Alexander."

Alec looked into Magnus' eyes, his mouth suddenly going dry at the wealth of emotions he could read within their depth, emotions he was sure was replicated in his own eyes as well. "Do you think it's too soon," he asked, voice low and unsure.

"To fall in love," Magnus asked. He sounded more confident and Alec envied him.

"Yes," Alec murmured and traced his fingers over Magnus' torso, crisscrossing over his chest and his stomach. He forced himself to look up at Magnus. "It's just been a little over a month since I walked into Pandemonium for an unexpected private dance from Magnus Bane."

Magnus smiled and leaned forward to kiss him. When they pulled back, he grinned. "Sometimes Alexander, it's more than enough."