Magnus dropped the snuffbox back onto the desk and picked up the phone, hitting the speed-dial button for Alec’s number. When Alec picked up he sounded both harried and hopeful: “Magnus? Have you found anything?”
“Nothing. I’m sorry.”
“Oh.” Crushing disappointment made Alec’s voice sound small.
“But I was thinking about parabatai,” said Magnus. “When parabatai are especially close, they can sense if the other is dead, or Changed, or —”
“I know,” said Alec. “I know that. I felt it — for that moment that Jace died, back in Idris. But this isn’t like that.” Magnus could picture him, eyes blue in his pale face, tugging at a snarled lock of his hair. Alec usually looked like he’d fallen out of bed and into a random pile of clothes, rather than as if he’d actually picked out an outfit, and since Jace had gone missing, he’d started to look like he’d stopped brushing his hair, too. “I just feel nothing.”
“Like really nothing? As in . . . nothingness?”
“Right . . .?” Alec sounded confused.
“That actually does give me some ideas,” said Magnus. “I’ll do everything I can to help, you know that, right, Alexander? Not because it’s the Clave, but because it’s you.”
“I know.” Alec was silent for a moment. “It’s good to hear your voice, even if you can’t help,” Alec added, and hung up abruptly.
Magnus placed the phone next to him and sat for a moment, still enough to hear himself breathing. I’m losing him, he thought. I don’t know how or why, but I know that I am.