The Course of True Love [and First Dates] (The Bane Chronicles #10)

A girl clutched Magnus’s sleeve and gazed up at him, her false lashes dusted with silver glitter. “Don’t go in,” she whispered. “There’s a monster in there.”
I am a monster, Magnus thought. And monsters are his specialty.
He didn’t say it. Instead he said, “I don’t believe you,” and walked in. He meant it, too: the
Shadowhunters, even Alec, might believe Magnus was a monster, but Magnus didn’t believe it himself. He’d taught himself not to believe it even though his mother, the man he’d called his father, and a thousand others had told him it was true.
Magnus would not believe the girl in there was a monster either, no matter what she might look like to mundanes and Nephilim. She had a soul, and that meant she could be saved.

Alec Lightwood, eldest son of the Shadowhunters who ran the New York Institute, had turned up on Magnus’s doorstep, thanked him for saving his life, and asked him out while turning fifteen shades between puce and mauve. In response Magnus had promptly lost his mind, kissed him, and made a date for Friday.

Alec surprised Magnus and the werewolf both by breaking away and lunging at Marcy. Whatever he had been planning, it didn’t work: this time the werewolf’s swipe caught him full in the chest. Alec went flying into a hot pink wall decorated with gold glitter. He hit a mirror set into the wall and decorated with curling gold fretwork with enough force to crack the glass across.
“Oh, stupid Shadowhunters,” Magnus moaned under his breath. But Alec used his own body hitting the wall as leverage, rebounding off the wall and up, catching a sparkling chandelier and swinging, then dropping down as lightly as a leaping cat and crouching to attack again in one smooth movement. “Stupid, sexy Shadowhunters.

Alec was closeted, shy, obviously insecure, and obviously hung up on his blond friend Trace Wayland.

And silver, though few people knew it, was a rarer metal than gold.

A pretty girl with butterfly clips in her dreadlocks put her hand on his arm. “You were amazing,” she told him, her voice fluting. “You have the reflexes of a striking snake. You should be a stuntman. Really, with your cheekbones, you should be an actor. A lot of people are looking for someone as pretty as you who’d do his own stunts.”

Alec threw Magnus a terrified and beseeching look. Magnus took pity on him, putting a hand on the small of Alec’s back and leaning against him. His attitude and the glance he shot at the girl clearly communicated my date.

“No offence,” said the girl, rapidly removing her hand so she could dig in her bag. “Let me give you my card. I work in a talent agency. You could be a star.”

“He’s foreign,” Magnus told the girl. “He doesn’t have a social security number. You can’t hire him.”

The girl regarded Alec’s bowed head wistfully. “That’s a shame. He could be huge. Those eyes!”

“I realize he’s a knockout,” Magnus said. “But I am afraid I have to whisk him away. He is wanted by Interpol.”

Alec shot him a strange look. “Interpol?”

Magnus shrugged.

“Knockout?” Alec said.

Magnus raised an eyebrow at him. “You had to know I thought so. Why else would I agree to go on a date with you?

Being asked out by a Shadowhunter had been among the top ten strangest and most unexpected things that had ever happened to Magnus, and Magnus had always endeavored to live a very unexpected life.

He recognized and accepted this strange new feeling: that he would rather be hurt himself than hurt Alec.

If Jace was gold, catching the light and the attention, Alec was silver: so used to everyone else looking at Jace that that was where he looked too, so used to living in Jace’s shadow that he didn’t expect to be seen. Maybe it was enough to be the first person to tell Alec that he was worth being seen ahead of anyone in a room, and of being looked at longest.
And silver, though few people knew it, was a rarer metal than gold.

If the date is a complete disaster, I’ll text you. I’ll say ‘Blue Squirrel, this is Hot Fox. Mission to be aborted with extreme prejudice.’ Then you call me and you tell me that there is a terrible emergency that requires my expert warlock assistance.

I’m—sorry about being a lousy date,” Alec muttered.

“What are you talking about?” Magnus asked. “You’re a fantastic date. You’ve only been here ten minutes, and I already got half of your clothes off.

Magnus gave Alec a sidelong look as they climbed the rickety stairs. Alec caught the glance, and his breathing quickened; his blue eyes were bright. Alec bit his lower lip, and Magnus stopped walking. It was only a momentary hesitation. But then Alec reached out and caught his arm, fingers tight above his elbow.
‘Magnus’, he said in a low voice.

Magnus had heard the story of how the Nephilim were created many times. They had all left out the bit that said: And the Angel descended from on high and gave his chosen ones fantastic abs.

Magnus had heard the story of how the Nephilim were created many times. They must have forgotten to leave out the bit that said: And the Angel descended from on high and gave his chosen ones fantastic abs.

Magnus, remember what happened the last time you tried to tango. Your shoe flew off and nearly killed someone."

"It was a metaphor. He's a Shadowhunter, he's a Lightwood, and he's into blonds. He's a dating hazard.

Maybe Alexander Lightwood would not break his heart.

Maybe this time was different—maybe this love was different. It felt so different; surely that had to mean something. Maybe the year to come would be a good year for both of them. Maybe this time things would work out the way Magnus wanted them to.
Maybe Alexander Lightwood would not break his heart.

She had a soul, and that meant she could be saved.

The posters bore the words WITH THE PASSING YEARS COMES...IMPOTENCE! Magnus found himself staring at the posters with a sort of absent horror. He looked at Alec and found that Alec could not tear his eyes away either. He wondered if Alec was aware that Magnus was three hundred years old and whether Alec was considering exactly how impotent one might become after that much time.

There was a yell, but Magnus had already risen and closed the door before he could see Alec fall down the steps, as that was the sort of thing a man had to do in private.

You’re sarcastic twelve hours a day, but you’re almost never spiteful. You have a good heart under all the glitter.