Chapter 41:

Chapter 41

Prince of the Sun

Jace felt so completely drained of all his energy. Sleep was impossible for him but after the day he had he just needed to lie down for a while.

He slowly made his way up the stairs toward his quarters, being dismissed from all formal activities for the rest of the day. He didn’t know how he would be expected to focus on anything anyway. His hands still trembled a little. Gaufrid had trained him to defend himself as well as attack other myths yet he never believed he would have to stab someone close to him. But it seemed that it truly was the right thing to do. That’s what he had to believe anyway.

There was a sense of relief within him. Though he hated that things had ended the way that they had, it was completely over. There was no lingering unpleasantness that he was dreading. Now everything would return to the way it was. Jace without a girlfriend. Though having his heart broken in such a way made him wary of finding a new one there would always be that part of him that sought love.

However there was something new within his life.

He opened the door to his quarters and there he was, Zebedaios. Sipping some tea by the dark window, a second cup beside him at the other seat. He smiled as Jace entered the room. This time he didn’t bother wearing the mask at all his shattered eyes on full display.

Jace closed the door behind him, locking it. He didn’t want to talk to anyone anyway.

Demons were sensitive to the emotions of those around them, feeding off sadness and despair so Zebedaios would always have a pretty good idea of what was going on in the palace. Jace returned his smile as he sat next to the demon, pleased that he used his powers for good.

Jace took a sip allowing the warm sweet liquid to calm him while they both sat in comfortable silence.

He placed the tea cup down before saying, “I hope your day was better than mine.”

“It is my nature for that to be the case,” Zebedaios said cryptically.

“What do you mean?”

“Let’s just say I feel very powerful today,” Zebedaios said, a little bashful.

Jace shook his head. “At the very least everything is now resolved. But she tried to kill Nikita.”

Zebedaios raised his eyebrows, “Kill Nikita, that’s much further than I thought she would go.”

Jace sighed. “I can’t help but think it’s my fault.”

Zebedaios quickly got up and was by Jace’s side. “I’ve seen the curse and what it can do. It is not something you can control and you did your best.”

Jace suddenly stood and kissed him.

Zebedaios’ lips welcomed his. All of his worries seemed to melt away in that moment. It was perhaps a guilty pleasure he was indulging it yet what else was he supposed to do after such a day. The kiss filled his heart pushing out all the awful feelings he had collected. It was almost as if the demon was feeding on them and only leaving the happy feelings.

Jace smiled and opened his eyes, breaking away from the kiss but as he opened his eyes Zebedaios’ face looked different. His face was contorted as if something was causing him terrible pain.

“Zebedaios…” Jace whispered.

“Something isn’t right,” Zebedaios said through clenched teeth.

Jace held the demon, his body was so tense. Yet Jace could see nothing that was bothering him. Dread filled Jace, he wondered if it was dangerous to be near Zebedaios when this was happening. Yet he couldn’t bring himself to leave the demon.

“What can I do to help?” Jace said softly into his ear.

“Someone is trying to take control of my soul,” Zebedaios managed to get out, sounding like someone was strangling him from within.

Someone trying to process a demon, Jace had never heard of such a thing. Was their target Jace himself? He knew the walls surrounding his own soul were strong and tight making possession very difficult. Though for a being that was mostly soul such as a demon it should surely be more difficult. This unseen threat was larger than Jace could comprehend.

“Who is it?” Jace whispered.

Zebedaios let out a pained sound and he lost his balance clutching his head. Jace caught him quickly, his horns butting into his chest solidly.

Jace swiftly picked up the demon, knocking over a few stacks of books with the Zebedaios’ boots. He rushed over to the bed and placed Zebedaios down gently, holding his hand as the demon writhed in pain clutching his head with the other hand.

With horror all that Jace could do was watch. He hoped that it wasn’t the Phoenix that was causing Zebedaios so much pain. He stroked the demon’s hand, big and teal. Zebedaios had long fingers that ended in black sharp and pointed nails, almost like claws. They gripped onto Jace’s hand, with all of the pain he was in.

Zebedaios started to pulse, becoming incorporeal for a second at a time, his skin becoming darker and lighter with each breath he took. He thrashed trying to take control of his own mind. Zebedaios was fighting a really difficult battle that Jace couldn’t help with even slightly. He just sat by silently watching.

Slowly Zebedaios’ breathing returned to a more normal rhythm, though his face was contorted.

“Myth Hunters,” was all Zebedaios could say but it was all he needed to say.