“One must always be careful of books,” said Tessa, “and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.”
– Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Angel
Tessa blinked away the tears in her eyes — and stared.
There was a boy standing in front of her. He couldn’t have been much more than a few years older than she was — seventeen or possibly eighteen. He was dressed in what looked like workman’s clothes: a frayed black jacket and trousers, and tough-looking boots. He wore no waistcoat, but a a thick leather belt with a number of weapons hanging off it circled his waist — daggers and folding knives and things that looked
like blades of ice.
In his right hand, he held what looked like a sort of stone — it was shining, providing the light in the room that had nearly blinded Tessa. His other hand — narrow and long-fingered — was bleeding where she had gashed the back of it with her pitcher.
But that wasn’t what had made her stare. He had the most beautiful face she had ever seen. Tangled black hair and eyes like blue glass. A scar across his right cheek that somehow didn’t mar his looks but only enhanced them. He looked like every fictional hero she’d ever imagined in her head. Except she’d never imagined one of them cursing at her while shaking their bleeding hand in an accusing fashion.
He seemed to realize she was staring at him, because the cursing stopped.
“You cut me,” he said. His voice was pleasant. British. Very ordinary. He looked at his hand with critical interest. “Now, is that any way to treat someone who’s just trying to rescue you?”
“Rescue me?” Tessa echoed. She blinked at him. “Who are you?”
“Will,” he said, and held out his bleeding hand. “Will Herondale.”