Home > Son of the Dawn (Ghosts of the Shadow Market #1)(8)

Son of the Dawn (Ghosts of the Shadow Market #1)(8)
Author: Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan

“Wow,” Alec breathed.

“What about that vampire?” Isabelle demanded, outraged.

Alec said: “What vampire?”

Mom hushed them.

Jonathan Wayland had gold hair and gold eyes, and those eyes had no depths but only shiny reflective surface, showing as little as if they were metal doors slammed down on a temple. He did not even smile as he came to a stop in front of them.

Bring back that Silent Brother, was Isabelle’s feeling.

She looked to her mother, but Mom was staring at this new boy with an odd expression on her face.

The boy was looking back at her. “I’m Jonathan,” he told her intently.

“Hello, Jonathan,” said Isabelle’s mother. “I am Maryse. It’s nice to meet you.”

She reached out and touched the boy’s hair. Jonathan flinched but held himself still, and Maryse smoothed back the shining gold waves the wind had ruffled.

“I think we need to get you a haircut,” Mom said.

It was such a Mom thing to say, it made Isabelle smile at the same time as she rolled her eyes. Actually, the boy Jonathan did need a haircut. The ends of his hair were spilling over his collar, untidy as if whoever had cut it last—too long ago—had not cared enough to do a good job. He had the faint air of a stray animal, fur rough and one breath away from a snarl, though that did not make sense for a kid.

Mom winked. “Then you will be even more handsome.”

“Is that even possible?” Jonathan asked dryly.

Alec laughed. Jonathan looked surprised, as if he had not noticed Alec before then. Isabelle did not think he had paid attention to any of them except her mother.

“Say hello to Jonathan, kids,” said Isabelle’s dad.

Max stared up at Jonathan in awe. He dropped his stuffed rabbit on the cement floor, shuffled forward, and hugged Jonathan’s leg. Jonathan flinched again, though this time it was more of an instinctive rear back, until the genius figured out he was not being attacked by a two-year-old.

“Hello, Jonathing,” said Max, muffled into the material of Jonathan’s trousers.

Jonathan patted Max on the back, very tentatively.

Isabelle’s brothers were so not showing sibling solidarity on the issue of Jonathan Wayland. It was worse when they got home and made awkward small talk even though everybody really wanted to go back to bed.

“Jonathing can sleep in my room because we love each other,” Max proposed.

“Jonathan has his own room. Say ‘Sleep well, Jonathan,’” said Maryse. “You can see Jonathan after we’ve all had a little more rest.”

Isabelle went to her own room, but she was still buzzing with excitement and could not sleep. She was painting her toenails when she heard the tiny creak of a door down the hall.

Isabelle leaped up, the toenails of one foot painted sparkly black and the other foot still encased in a fuzzy pink sock, and ran to the door. She edged it open a fraction and poked her head out, and caught Alec doing the same thing from his own room. They both watched the silhouette of Jonathan Wayland creeping down the corridor. Isabelle made a complicated series of gestures to determine whether Alec wanted to follow him together.

Alec stared at her in total bafflement. Isabelle loved her big brother, but sometimes she despaired about their future demon-hunting endeavors. He was so bad at remembering her cool military-style signals.

She gave up and they both hurried after Jonathan, who did not know the layout of the Institute and could only retrace his steps to the kitchen.

Which was where they found him. Jonathan had his shirt pulled up, and he was dabbing a wet dishtowel along the red cut running up his side.

“By the Angel,” said Alec. “You’re hurt. Why didn’t you say?”

Isabelle hit Alec in the arm for not being stealthy.

Jonathan stared at them, guilt written across his face as if he had been stealing from the cookie jar rather than injured.

“Don’t tell your parents,” he said.

Alec left Isabelle’s side and ran to Jonathan. He examined the cut, then shepherded Jonathan toward a stool, making him sit down. Isabelle was unsurprised. Alec always fussed when she or Max fell down.

“It’s shallow,” Alec said after a moment, “but our parents really would want to know. Mom could put an iratze on—or something—”

“No! It’s better for your parents not to know it happened at all. It was just bad luck one of them got me. I’m a good fighter,” Jonathan protested sharply.

He was so vehement it was almost alarming. If he hadn’t been ten years old, Isabelle would have thought he was worried they might send him away for being an inadequate soldier.

“You’re obviously great,” said Alec. “You just need someone to have your back.”

He put his hand lightly on Jonathan’s shoulder as he spoke. It was a small gesture Isabelle would not even have noted, except for the fact she had never seen Alec reach out like that to anyone who was not family and that Jonathan Wayland went perfectly still at his touch, as if he was afraid the tiniest movement would scare Alec away.

“Does it hurt a lot?” Alec added sympathetically.

“No,” Jonathan Wayland whispered.

Isabelle thought it was perfectly clear Jonathan Wayland would claim having his leg cut off did not hurt, but Alec was an honest soul.

“Okay,” said her brother. “Let me grab a few things from the infirmary. Let’s deal with this together.”

Alec nodded in an encouraging fashion and went to fetch supplies from the infirmary, leaving Isabelle and this weird bleeding boy alone together.

“So you and your brother seem … really close,” Jonathan said.

Isabelle blinked. “Sure.”

What a concept, being close to your family. Isabelle refrained from being sarcastic, as Jonathan was both unwell and a guest.

“So … I guess you’re going to be parabatai,” Jonathan ventured.

“Oh, no, I don’t think so,” said Isabelle. “Being parabatai is a little old-fashioned, isn’t it? Besides, I don’t like the idea of giving up my independence. Before I am my parents’ daughter or my brothers’ sister, I am my own. I’m already a lot of people’s something. I don’t need to be anyone else’s anything, not for a long time. You know?”

Jonathan smiled. He had a chipped tooth. Isabelle wondered how that had happened, and hoped it had been chipped in an awesome fight. “I don’t know. I’m not really anyone’s anything.”

Isabelle bit her lip. She had never realized before that she took feeling secure for granted.

Jonathan had glanced at Isabelle as he spoke, but immediately after he returned to watching the door through which Alec had disappeared.

Isabelle could not help observing that Jonathan Wayland had lived in their home for less than three hours, and he was already trying to lock down a parabatai.

Then he slouched farther into his chair, resuming his too-cool-for-the-Institute attitude, and she forgot the thought in annoyance that Jonathan was such a show-off. She, Isabelle, was the only show-off this Institute needed.

She and Jonathan stared each other down until Alec returned.

“Oh—would you rather I put on the bandages or do you want to do it yourself?”

Jonathan’s face was opaque. “I can do it myself. I don’t need anything.”

“Oh,” Alec said unhappily.

Isabelle could not tell if Jonathan’s expressionless face was to ward them off or protect himself, but he was hurt. Alec was still shy with strangers, and Jonathan was a closed-off human being, so they were going to be awkward even though Isabelle could tell they both really liked each other. Isabelle sighed. Boys were hopeless, and she had to take charge of this situation.

“Hold still, idiot,” she ordered Jonathan, seized ointment from Alec’s hands, and began to smear it over Jonathan’s cut. “I am going to be a ministering angel.”

“Um,” said Alec. “That’s a lot of ointment.”

It did look a little like when you squeezed the center of the tube of toothpaste too hard, but Isabelle felt you did not get results without being willing to make a mess.

“It’s fine,” said Jonathan quickly. “It’s great. Thank you, Isabelle.”

Hot Series
» Vampire Academy Series read online
» Crossfire Series read online
» Fifty Shades trilogy read online
» Kate Daniels Series read online
» Black Dagger Brotherhood Series read online
» Cassandra Palmer Series read online
» Rosemary Beach Series read online
» Sea Breeze Series read online
» Too Far Series read online
» Shatter Me Series read online
» Thoughtless Series read online
» Marriage to a Billionaire Series read online
Most Popular
» Drawn into Love (Fluke My Life #4)
» Nightchaser (Endeavor #1)
» Right Where I Want You
» Tangled Like Us (Like Us #4)
» Be the Girl
» Playing for Keeps (Heartbreaker Bay #7)
» If I Only Knew
» Vengeance Road (Torpedo Ink #2)
» 99 Percent Mine
» Free (Chaos #6)
» Work in Progress (Red Lipstick Coalition #3
» Moonlight Scandals (de Vincent #3)