Kit’s phone buzzed in the pocket of his gear jacket. Really? Well, if it were something important, whoever it was would leave a message. He was kind of busy battling demons at the moment. One of them was creeping up on him, but he jumped back and sliced through its tentacles like butter.
Kit was getting pretty good at being a Shadowhunter, if he did say so himself. Training with Clary and Jace for hours on end every day didn’t hurt either. They didn’t go easy on him, but they were patient with him. He had sparred with everyone in the New York City Institute at least once, and the training left him in a constant state of exhaustion.
When Jace had taken care of the last demon – sliced its head off nice and clean – he, Kit, Clary and Simon all piled in the car to go home. The four of them were covered in black ichor, so naturally, it got all over the car. Kit wondered how long it would take to clean and how many air fresheners it would take to get rid of the horrible stench.
“Damnit!” Julian said. Kit wasn’t answering his phone. He probably wouldn’t answer text messages either, if he were busy. Not quite knowing what to do – but knowing he had to do something – he left a voicemail.
“Hey Kit, it’s Julian. Call me back as soon as you get this. And get Jace on the phone.”
Short, simple, and to the point. That was Julian’s style. But what he was about to try and pull off needed to be special. And he had just the person in mind to help him start the project.
Julian waited patiently in the training room, hands clasped in front of him. Christina was wielding a short sword in the mirror. A few minutes later, she broke her concentration. “Oh, Julian. Didn’t see you there. What’s up?”
“Christina, can you help me propose to Emma?” Julian asked.
By the time Kit got back to his room at the Institute, Kit had nearly forgotten about his phone. He pulled off his jacket and took his phone from the pocket. He had a voicemail. From Julian, of all people. Had something happened to Ty? Or was it something else?
He found Jace in the music room playing the piano. Kit was no music connoisseur, but he could tell that Jace was good. His face was twisted in concentration, almost as if he were in pain. When the song ended, he looked up and saw Kit standing in the doorway.
“Oh, hey Kit,” Jace said, “What’s up?”
Kit held up his phone. “Message from Julian. He wants both of us to call him back.”
Jace was on his feet before Kit finished. “Let’s go in the library.”
Christina had never been in Julian’s studio before. She’d never had reason to go in; it was his private space. A place where he could go to escape the burden of running the Institute for a little while.
“So, what did you have in mind?” she asked Julian.
“Well, I was thinking of doing a photo collage or something,” Julian said as he rummaged through the cubbies of art supplies across the room. He laid some poster board on the table. “How do you say ‘Will you marry me?’ in Spanish?”
“It would be ‘¿Quieres casarte conmigo?’” Christina told him. “You know, I’m really happy for you two. It’s about time.
“Were we that obvious?” Julian asked.
“Well, when you took the kids to England, Emma wasn’t herself. She put on a brave face in public, but behind closed doors, she was really melancholy. She tried to hide it, but I could tell. We spent lots of long nights together in my room.”
“Honestly, I felt the same way.” Julian said. “I thought being away from her would be easier, but it actually made it worse. There wasn’t much fighting to do because we were in the countryside, and that stuffy old house gave me cabin fever. The kids were able to distract me during the day, but when I was alone with my thoughts at night, I wanted to be at home fighting demons by her side. I was feeling so many things that I almost had a breakdown.”
A ringtone interrupted the conversation.
“Do you mind if I take this?” Julian asked.
“Not at all. Go ahead!” Christina said.
“Okay. I’ll be right back.”
Stepping outside his studio, Julian fished for his phone in the pocket of his jeans.
“Hey man, it’s Kit. You wanted to talk? Jace is here too; you’re on speakerphone.”
“Hiiii!” Jace said obnoxiously.
“Haha, hey guys. Yeah, actually I did. I have a surprise up my sleeve.”
“Sounds like my kinda party!” Jace said. “Seriously bro, Clary and I will help in any way we can. We’ve always got your back.”
“What’re you thinkin’?” Kit asked.
“Well,” Julian said, “I know I’m going to propose to Emma, but I need help with some of the details.”
“And …?” Jace said. “C’mon, man, you can’t just leave it there!”
“Can we come to New York and make it one big happy family affair?” Julian asked. “Because if you think about it, we’re all related now in a way. We both claim Kit.”
“Hey now!” Kit butted in, “No one has any ‘claim’ to me. But I am loyal to both families, so your larger point is still valid.”
“Sure you can!” Jace said, almost as if Kit hadn’t spoken. “Shall I have Clary set up a portal for you?”
“That would be great!” Julian said.
“Alrighty then! Just let us know when you’re ready.”
“Later man! See you soon.” Kit said as they hung up.
Julian went back inside his studio to check on Christina.
“What was that about?” Christina asked as he walked over to her.
“Just making other plans for the proposal” Julian said. “I really like what you’ve done so far.”
“Thanks. Happy I could help!” Christina said.
Christina was almost done with the first poster. She’d painted a big ¿Qué? in cursive in the middle of the poster with light pink paint. She’d placed the photos Julian had provided around the word in a circle, expanding from the word to the edges of the poster.
As soon as they hung up the phone, Kit and Jace knew they had to inform everyone else. Even Jace admitted he had no clue how to handle this. They were walking back from the library when they ran into Clary.
“Hey hon,” Jace said, sweeping her up into his arms with a kiss.
“Someone’s in a good mood!” Clary replied, wondering what had gotten into her boyfriend.
“That’s cause we have a surprise up our sleeve.”
When he told her about Julian’s plan to propose to Emma, she was almost as giddy as he was.
“Of course I can make a portal! Just let me know when he’s planning on coming,” she said with a wink.
Kit, who’d been off to the side to avoid his cousins’ sappiness – sometimes their PDA made him want to vomit – took it as a green light and immediately texted Julian.
“We’re all in. You guys just need to get here.”