Being Jem, Tessa reflected, must be a great deal like being the owner of a thoroughbred dog that liked to bite your guests. You had to have a hand on his (Will’s) collar constantly.
“You may choose your friends, but not your unlikely saviors,” Magnus said cheerfully.
“The problem will be proving it,” said Jem. “Benedict will deny everything, and it will be his word against yours—and you are a Downworlder—”
“There’s Will,” said Charlotte, and frowned. “Speaking of, where is Will?”
“Having a lie-in, no doubt,” said Jem, “and as for him being a witness, well, everyone thinks Will is a lunatic as it is—”
“Ah,” said a voice from the doorway, “having your annual everyone-thinks-Will-is-a-lunatic meeting, are you?”
“It’s biannual,” said Jem. “And no, this is not that meeting.”
“Then tell me what it is quickly. I have important business to get to. I plan to sulk all afternoon, followed, perhaps, by an evening of Byronic brooding and a nighttime of dissipation.”
“Dissipate all you like. I only want your assurance that you will tell no one what transpired between us last night on the balcony.”
“Oh, that was you,” said Will, with the air of someone who has just recollected a surprising detail.
“Spare me,” she snapped, stung despite herself. “We were under the influence of warlock powders. It meant nothing. Even I do not blame you for what happened, however tedious you are being about it now. But there is no need for anyone else to know, and if you were a gentleman—”
“But I am not.”
“But you are a Shadowhunter,” she said venomously. “And there is no future for a Shadowhunter who dallies with warlocks.”
His eyes danced with fire. He said, “You have become boring to tease, Tess.”
“Then give me your word you will tell no one, not even Jem, and I will go away and cease to bore you.”
“Unrequited love is a ridiculous state, and it makes those in it behave ridiculously.”
“That demon woman you were lounging with on the divan,” said Will. “Would you call her a friend, or more of a business associate?”
Benedict’s dark eyes hardened. “Insolent puppy—”
“Oh, I’d say she was a friend,” said Tessa. “One doesn’t usually let one’s business associates lick one’s face. Although I could be wrong. What do I know about these things? I’m only a silly woman.”