Chapter Eighteen

Remembrance: written by Kora Knight & Raven Foxx 

"Angel Offering"

ANTON BLACK
Kicked back in a chair next to the fireplace, Anton curls his lip as Jazz walks into the room. He’s carrying that kitten; the one Anton had heard through the grapevine that Daddy-O had given to him. Anton glowers, more than a little irritated that his father is going so soft with this angel. Anton isn't stupid, he knows this being has some sort of hold over him.

Looking Jazz up and down, he raises a brow and smirks. “Don't tell me dear ole dad let you off your leash for the day.”

JAZZ JAGGER
Jazz frowns. “Yeah,” he drawls. “I'm off the friggin’ leash. What’s it to you? After all, I figured you’d be busy off torturing Zayta or some other poor soul.” Walking over, he pours himself two fingers at the wet bar, setting the kitten down on the counter.

Anton shrugs with a chuckle. “Zayta was set free the day after she had her punishment.” He reaches for his glass of blood wine on the side table and takes a drink. Licking his lips, he sets it back down. “You do realize that as long as Pop’s has a hard-on for you, he's never going to let you go.”

Jazz swallows the contents in one upturn of his glass, but nearly chokes at Anton's remark. “Dude. Are you always such a dick, or does it get you off to talk about your old man's cock?” Picking up Rex, he meanders around the room.

Anton rolls his eyes. “It’s kind of hard to miss, the way he pants after your ass.” He flashes Jazz a look of contempt. “You’re just a play toy that he'll rid himself of once he gets bored.” Propping his feet up on the ottoman, he folds his hands across his stomach.

Jazz can feel the vampire’s gaze following his every move. ‎Stopping in front of the fireplace, he contemplates Anton’s words, then sets Rex on his shoulder and crosses his arms. “I’m no one's play toy,” he mutters. “You don’t know what the fuck you're talking about.”

Anton smiles smugly as he lounges in his chair.

Jazz narrows his eyes. “Did it ever occur to you that maybe your old man enjoys quality company, not just a body to sate himself with?” He looks Anton up and down harshly. “Not everyone is like you.”

Anton takes another drink from his goblet, then rests it on his stomach and stares at Jazz. “Denial is such a bitch, isn't it? My father does whatever the hell he wants. If all he needs is companionship,” he laughs sarcastically, “he isn't exactly lacking, now is he?”

Jazz rolls his eyes. “I said quality company, not quantity. Big difference, bro.” With a heavy sigh, he scrubs his face. “This place is fucking with me. I can feel its darkness breaching my barriers. It makes me feel sick. And dirty. How can you stand it down here?”

Anton snorts. “Do you think the people down here are good like you? Get real. When you've never had good in you to begin with, boy toy, then the darkness doesn’t affect you. And news flash, it's all dark down here.”

Jazz slides him a dirty look.

Anton smirks. “You've drank from him, haven't you?”

Jazz says nothing.

Anton chuckles. “I can tell you have. Can smell it. Your fever for him is ripe.” His dark grin widens as he rolls the goblet between his palms. “There's no going back for you now, boy toy.

Jazz stills, bristling at his words. “Don’t call me that,” he grits through clenched teeth. 

When the vampire merely laughs and calls him “boy toy” again, Jazz lets out a growl. Taking the kitten off his shoulder, he tosses it onto a nearby chair and stalks over to Mr. Dickhead. Looming over him, Jazz shoves a finger into his face. “I said, don’t fucking call me that. I'm no one's frickin’ toy, and I sure as shit don’t have any damn fever for your old man.”

Jazz can feel his face twisting into a mask of disgusted frustration. “You rodents down here are all sick in the head.” He scowls then turns and stalks to the door, swiping his cat up along the way. Shoving the thing open so hard, it slams against the stone wall, popping off one of the hinges.

Behind him, Anton laughs, his smug smile nauseatingly palpable. “When you get to the boyfriend stage,” Jazz hears him calling, “let me know. I'll be sure to advertise it to the rest of the shit heads down here so they don't rape your ass like my father will.”

Jazz storms down the corridor, Anton’s dark chuckle icing his veins.

 

* * * * *

 

JAZZ
It’s been two days since Seth has visited Jazz in this realm, and he’s not quite sure what to make of that. The dark lord had never come back after they’d been interrupted the other day—even after he’d asked Jazz to wait for him.

Whatever. The guy is a walking, talking irritating mystery.

Jazz sighs, swiping up Rex from the bed. The little guy lets out a small, yet fearsome protest. The sound makes Jazz smile. His tiny buddy wants to keep sleeping.

Too bad, so sad.

Plopping Rex onto his shoulder, Jazz pads to his room's unlocked door. Seth’s been allowing him to wander freely for the past week. Jazz has since seen some pretty wild—and disturbing—things. But he’s getting stir crazy, that burning hunger for Seth's blood making him restless. He’s got to move and get his mind off it.

Yanking the thick wood door open, he heads out with Rex to check out an unexplored part of the compound. The corridors feel especially cool. Goosebumps erupt all over his body. He wishes he'd thrown a shirt on before heading out. Rex must be feeling it too, despite his furry coat, because he burrows into Jazz's neck with a tiny chowl. Absently, Jazz rests a hand atop his little buddy as he continues further down the sconce-lit passageway.

His eyes are sharp, despite the darkness, and his senses keen. A small, skinny goblin skitters by with a stuffy-nosed snort.

Rex lets out a teeny hiss.

Jazz smirks.

And still they wander.

The distant shrieks aren’t unusual but something rubs Jazz the wrong way. His eyes narrow. An eerie presence looms ahead. His finger begins to tingle. Looking down, he finds the bloodstone ring that Seth gave him has started to pulse, the crimson gem appearing to pulsate like a heartbeat.

His steps cautiously slow, his training as a mission warrior kicking in. His steps become soundless. Up ahead, the door slams open as an ogre-looking male limps out with a scowl. He pins Jazz with a glare, loosing a repulsive bray as he stalks by.

Jazz grimaces. Gross.

“Dude,” he mutters to Rex as he keeps on keeping on. “Did you get a look at that one? Talk about being sautéed in wrong sauce. Geez.”

He shudders, then chuckles as Rex nips at his skin. The little guy clearly wants him to turn around so they can get back to rough-housing in their room. But Jazz is angel and angels are naturally curious—even more so, incidentally, than cats.

He shakes his head. “Sorry, Rex. I gotta see what this biz is all about.” He reaches the door the ogre ambled out of, the same place that ominous vibe is coming from, and quietly slinks insides—like a ninja angel warrior and shit.

His brows hike high at the sight. The place is overrun by black vines, literally busting through the stone walls and flooring. Like ivy's evil, other half, albeit without any leaves, it’s sprawled across everything. Wrapped around the columns that line the large, long room, canopying everything as it branched across the ceiling. Crude candles flicker everywhere, giving the room an eerie vibe. At the back of the chamber is an ominous, big stone altar.

 Jazz stiffens as Rex digs his tiny claws into his shoulder.

They should go, they should. Jazz knows this intrinsically.

But something dark and seductive calls him forward.

He frowns at the unfamiliar feeling, but steps forward anyway. Sultry murmurs prompt him on. Are they in the room… or in his head? Jazz clears his throat and slowly heads toward the altar. Rex looses a worried yowl and starts to tremble.

‎Jazz’s brows furrow.

He suddenly doesn’t want to be here.

This place is beyond bad. He doesn’t care what its deal is anymore. He just wants to get the fuck out, sensing intrinsically that whatever dwells here is way out of his league.

He grunts uncomfortably, trying to will himself to move—to turn around and beat feet back into the hall. But his body isn’t budging. Like it’s decided to take orders from someone else. That voice in his head, maybe, that’s started to laugh, telling him to put his hands on the altar.

Jazz tenses and looks down at his ring. It’s pulsing like a strobe light, making the room flicker in bright red rays. His hands start to rise. He watches in horror, heart hammering as they settle atop the surface.

“No,” he hisses. “No... Oh, fuck... What the hell is going on?”

‎The laughing in his head grows louder. He can feel its presence everywhere. In every nerve ending and fiber of his body. As if it’s been hiding there, growing, ever invisible to his awareness. He groans as his fingers splay flat atop the cold stone. The only thing he knows of that takes place on an altar is sacrifice.

The voice croons like a sultry snake. Raissssssse your knee now, angel. Climb on top of the ssssssslab of ssssssstone and pressssssent yoursssssssself like a good little offering.

Jazz jerks, his body revolting, but ultimately it obeys, his foot lifting to maneuver him onto the altar. Rex hisses and scrambles down his back, leaping off him at his tailbone. Yowling at the top of its lungs, it runs for the door.

 

SETH
“Enough!” Seth roars, his deep command penetrating the room like a black velvet bomb. The sight of Jazz climbing onto the alter has enraged him beyond belief.

A hiss of pain tears from the shadows.

Seth growls at the obscure presence. “I know you're stupid, but since when did you turn blind, too, you fool? He wears my blood token upon his hand.” 

Another angrier hiss tornados around them, the vines jerking away from Seth’s rage, the emotion a living, breathing entity in itself. The vines disappear swiftly, only the rustling of their escape heard amidst the darkness.

Seth glowers, then marches over and grabs his angel around the waist, jerking him up and off the massive alter. “If anything is going to sacrificed, it is going to be to me—and it sure as hell isn’t going to be my fucking angel!”

Snarling, he throws his hand out, lobbing a lightning bolt at the alter, then whirls around and shields Jazz as it explodes. Eerie shrieks ring out as rock rains down. Seth shoves Jazz out into the corridor, watching the angel slump against the wall.

Jazz’s shoulders sag, then he groans in equal parts relief and visible shame. “God.” He drops his face in his hands. “I really thought I was a goner.”

Seth fumes.

Jazz looks up with his big brown eyes and winces. “Thanks?” He smiles boyishly. “For the save?”

Seth can feel himself vibrating. “I am master here, angel. I shouldn't have to fucking baby-sit you! You should know by now how to stay out of gods-damned trouble!”

Glaring, he checks Jazz for injuries, then growls and looks away. “Get your cat, wherever the fuck it went,” he mutters, raking a hand through his dusty head of hair. “And get back to your room. Play time is over.”

 

JAZZ
‎Jazz frowns, opening his mouth to tell Seth how he resents his shitty attitude. It’s not like he meant to offer his ass up to some psycho entity. But nothing comes out. Seth just saved his tainted butt, and Jazz’s gratitude outweighs his irritation. With a scowl, he drops his gaze to look for his cat.

Right on cue, Rex tears around the corner, slipping and sliding on the cool stone floor, his frantic little meow echoing off the walls. Jazz’s eyes go wide. Because hot on his tiny pal’s heels is what looks like a dog-sized komodo dragon.

With a growl, Jazz swipes his fur ball into the safety of his hand and kicks the lizard square in the face. “Get the fuck outta here, you overgrown gecko.”

The thing hisses.

Seth bares his fangs.

And just like that, the beast turns and lumbers off.

Sighing, Jazz watches Seth turn and stalk off, too, headed in the opposite direction of Jazz's quarters. “Wait. Seth,” he calls after him. “Hold up, man. Come on. I didn’t mean to—I wasn’t planning on—I just…” He groans, not sure what to say.

Abruptly, pain shoots viciously through his gut. He gasps, wrapping his hands around his middle with a grimace. In a flash, Seth is right back at his side. Yanking Jazz against him, the dark lord offers him his wrist, murmuring soft, frustrated words against Jazz's neck. Jazz groans and latches on, restlessly gripping Seth’s arms. Seth presses into him into the wall, and just like that Jazz feels his anger dissipate, his body seeming to soften against Jazz’s frame.

Unfortunately, Seth’s ire is back again just a mere few moments later, as he shoves away from Jazz’s body and glowers bitterly.

 

SETH
‎Grabbing something from his pocket, Seth lowers it over Jazz's head. “You need to quit avoiding me when you start to feel like this,” he mutters. He situates the necklace around his angel's neck. Inside its pendant, a vial of his blood is safely hidden. “For emergencies, and so you always have a part of your master close.”

Sarcasm drips from his tone, but inside he’s frustrated. Frustrated that that Jazz makes him fucking care. “Go back to your room. The cook will bring your afternoon meal soon.” He glares at the room they just left. “I've got something to do.”

Darkness fills his every membrane as he walks into the chamber, leaving Jazz alone with his ornery cat.

 

JAZZ
Jazz frowns, watching Seth go, then eyes the vial around his neck. “Thanks… Again,” he murmurs with a heavy-hearted sigh. Turning, he plops Rex onto his shoulder and saunters back in the direction he came, both his heart and his soul in a state of deep unrest.

*Guest writer for Anton: Alicia Dawn

 

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