Remembrance: written by Kora Knight & Raven Foxx
"Hello, Zayta. So nice to finally meet you."
Standing with Jared at the top of their apartment building, Janel looks at the small electronic device in his hand. “You sure this thing will give you the location of this Zayta person's phone? I have to say, I’m impressed with how you tracked down the identity of the last person Jazz was seen with before he disappeared. The corner store salesclerk was very helpful. And then to get that.” She nods toward the GPS in Jared's hand. “When all this is over with, you're going to have to tell me how you managed that little piece of equipment.”
She watches as Jared turns it on, punches in some numbers, then holds it up, moving it around at different angles until he gets a strong signal. He takes off his shirt, tucks it into his pocket, and Janel takes off her jacket. In just her sports bra, she ties the jacket around her waist. Their wings unfurl as they cloak themselves from human detection then step up to the edge of the building. Snapping their wings into action, they rise, banking right to swerve between buildings as they zero in on Zayta's location.
Jared can feel her presence even before he sees her. A mixture of relief and anger flood him when he confirms with his own eyes that she's there. So far, all he knows is that Zayta was the last person to see Jazz. He hopes with all his heart that she knows something about his brother. If she does, and she's responsible for his disappearance....
He points at the restaurant beneath them. “She's on the terrace. Alone. We can get in through the front entrance and say she's waiting for us. I can already feel her maliciousness.” He scowls, remembering how Jazz was always insisting she had a good side, as his feet touch down on the concrete of a nearby alley.
Janel lands on the pavement next to him, she too recognizing the feeling of demon. “Oh yeah, I definitely feel a demon's essence.” Entering the restaurant, they tell the hostess that there’s someone waiting for them on the terrace. She promptly leads them in that direction.
With steely resolve, Jared advances towards Zayta. She would've felt his presence if she isn’t so distracted entertaining herself with a couple a few tables away. She’s clearly been mentally influencing them, for they’re making quite a scene fighting. Everyone is staring at them.
Arriving at her table—and without asking for permission—he sits down next to her. She turns in surprise, her expression saying it all. “Hello, Zayta. So nice to finally meet you.”
Zayta nearly jumps out of her skin. “J─Jazz? What─How─I'm confused. How are you here?” The last she’d seen, Jazz was still imprisoned by her master. How is he here? Wait. He’d said he was ‘finally meeting her.’ She frowns. “Who the hell are you?” Her frown deepens when she realizes the couple across the way have stopped fighting. “Oh damn,” she grouses. “You ruined my concentration. Now my fun is gone.”
Janel sits down on the other side of Zayta. At her startled look, Janel smiles. “So you know Jazz.” Zayta moves to stand, but Janel pulls her back down. “Sit down, Zayta. We’re not done here yet. You see,” she gestures toward Jared, “we miss our brother. And since you were the last one seen with him, that makes you suspect in our book.”
Jared glances at the couple apologizing to each other fervently and shakes his head disapprovingly. Turning back to Zayta, he frowns. “Where is Jazz? We promise not to harm you if you tell us.” He eyes her intently. “But just so you know, our brother is a very important thing. Without him, a part of us dies.” He tilts his head and smiles sweetly. “Perhaps the part of us that reminds us not to torture and kill.”
Zayta frowns, looking back and forth between the two angels. Shit. “It doesn't matter.” She shakes her head. “You can't get to him. You'll both die trying.” She stops, seeing the instant looks of devastation on their faces. Her chest squeezes. She groans. “Ugh. Why can't I just stay out of shit?”
She wants to help Jazz, but she can't get caught. She really, truly, doesn't have a death wish.
Her shoulders droop. “Okay, I... I might—might—be able to get him halfway to you. You'll die if you just storm Master’s home. The demons will kill you and likely kill Jazz out of spite.”
Janel looks at Jared, and with his nod she strokes Zayta's arm, allowing a zap of righteous energy to spike into her. As Zara jumps and tries to stand again, Janel grips her tighter, pulling her close. “I don't think you understand the magnitude of our meeting here, and you most assuredly underestimate the power of our will. So. Would you like to amend your prior statement? Because we’re not interested in ‘mights.’
Zayta scowls. “Geez, lady. Take a chill pill. I can't make promises ‘cause if they kill me you’re screwed.” She worries her lip. “But I might have an idea.” She waves a hand, interrupting the angel chick as she starts to gripe about the 'might' in her sentence. “But I don't know if it’ll work… I could show you how to open a portal... and let you know when to be waiting at it.”
Up until this moment, Jared didn't have a real confirmation that Jazz was in trouble. The dreams, the absence of their brother bond, they were all clues, but… to hear it from the very party most likely responsible for his abduction...
Jared tries to calm himself. He focuses on Zayta and can immediately feel her inner turmoil. He lifts a surprised brow. She is truly repentant—and she is offering to help… A complete 180 from where they’d been a few minutes ago.
Now they really know Jazz is in trouble. And Zayta not only knows where he is but is willing to help them get to him. She isn't lying, that much Jared is sure off. Actually, she’s genuinely downright scared.
Pushing to the back of his mind the fact that if Jazz was in danger it’s because of her, Jared searches deep inside himself for some compassion. Maybe they need a different approach.
“Zayta,” he says, taking her hand. “You know Jazz cares about you. He believes you’re a good person. We all make bad choices, yet those choices don't define us. What defines who we truly are is the way we deal with the consequences of our mistakes. How we make things right.” He lowers his voice to a whisper. “Please… Help us get our brother back.”
Zayta bites her lip harder and nods. “I’ll do my best. How... How can I contact you?”
Jazz's recent plea to her swirls back into her mind; his wanting to escape the Master's clutches. She doesn't know how she’s going to pull this off, but she has to try. She can't just sit and do nothing. Not when she is the reason why Jazz is in this situation to begin with. She has to do something to save him—
and to redeem herself. She just isn't sure how she’s going to make it work.
Janel frowns as Jared telepathically reminds her that Zayta is their best—if not only—option at the moment.
She sighs, acquiescing. “Ok, Zayta. Show us how to open this portal, then do whatever you have to do to get him to it. We’ll take it from there. Now give me your phone.”
Zayta pulls a pink bedazzled phone out of her back pocket and hands it over. Janel’s eyes go wide at the sparkle. Programming her number into it, she returns it to the demon.
“You have twenty-four hours to make this happen, then all bets are off and we’re hunting your ass down. Got it?” When Zayta shifts with a nod, Janel stands. Jared follows suit. Leaning down, Janel adds one more sentiment into Zayta’s ear. “Don't disappoint us. You won’t like us angry.”
* * *
In feigned excitement, Zayta bounces on her feet, a wicked smile lighting her features as she stands in front of Master and Anton. “Please, Master. I want to prove myself to you—that the angel means nothing to me. That all I ever wanted was his body… and stuff. Not his friendship.”
She looks down at her feet, a sign of submission, but mostly to hide whatever might be showing in her eyes. The demon blood in her truly does want to take pleasure in tormenting Jazz, even though she’s doing this in hopes to get close enough to free him.
“Please, Master. Please let me do this.”
Seth narrows his eyes and tilts his head. “And just what are we planning?” He doesn’t particularly like the idea of this female having fun with his male. “Explain your plans, pet, of this show you are offering to me.”
Anton frowns darkly, not sure if he believes Zayta or not. She knows the consequences would be harsh if she fails in her duty to his father. Even death would be too easy of a punishment if she screws this up. Rubbing his goatee, he smirks at a thought. His father isn’t going to like her hands on his new play toy.
Zayta continues looking submissively downward, not wanting to anger her master. The vibes Anton is emitting are making her nervous. Shit, she has to make this work. “I want to please you, Master. Show you my demon potential.” She lets her eyes flash black as she briefly glances up at him. “I thought it would be fun to torment him—emotionally. His angelic soul is so very sensitive. I could come to him as a friend and then turn demon on him. Wouldn't that mess with his head, Master?”
She forces a giggle, trying to show that she wants to torment, rather than a chance to be alone with him so she could free him. She bounces a little on her feet again, hoping it looks like excitement and not nerves. All the while, she holds her breath, waiting for her master to answer.
Seth frowns deeper, his eyes flashing fire at the thought of anyone touching his angel. But she is right on some level. Jazz needs to know the truth of life, needs to see the world as it really is; a cold, cruel place. When Jazz realizes this, he'll want to stay, want to be shielded from the darkness by Seth and Seth alone.
Grunting, he sighs. “I know you thought of him as your friend, Zayta. Speak the truth to me. Just what do you plan on doing to him? Just how do you plan on becoming this monster?” When she gives a look that implies she hasn’t thought that far ahead, he leans back into his throne and smirks. “Bring him here, before me. Chain him up and do as you want for a time. I would like to see what the angel thinks of his friend then.” He grins darkly and nods. “Indeed. Let him see what you truly are.”
Anton watches Zayta closely as his father says his piece, noticing her subtle fidgeting. “If you disobey this time, don't expect dear old dad to be as nice as he was the last time. I won't waste my time interfering with your punishment—because you won't live to see the next day.”
She gives a solemn nod, then heads out to get the angel.
*Guest writer for Anton: Alicia Dawn
*Guest writer for Janel: Jaden Brielle
*Guest writer for Jared: Olga G.
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