Remembrance: written by Kora Knight & Raven Foxx 

Chapter Twenty-Seven

"What do you want from me?"

JAZZ
Restless, fitful sleep. Jazz tosses and turns all night long. He just can’t sleep. Every time he closes his eyes, Seth would appear in his mind.

He groans, rolling over to bury his face in his pillow. His fists clench the cool cotton as he squeezes his eyes shut in frustration.

‘Cause that’s what he’s feeling.

Frustration and nothing more.

Yeah... right.

‎He rolls onto his back and frowns up at the ceiling. His stomach hurts. His throat burns. His skin is getting itchy. And his heart is starting to get antsy. Again. He rubs his sternum.

Does withdraws come with chest pain?

Grimacing, he rolls onto his side and stares across the quiet room. Fuck. He’s not only in need of another blood fix, but is starting to miss that fucking vampire, too.

Just what he needs....

‎Absently, his thumb begins to stroke his lower lip as memories force themselves to the front of his thoughts. Memories of Seth's mouth lingering on his. So warm and hungry. So eager and willing. So much passion in such simple ministrations.

Jazz shifts beneath his sheets. Seth is just as much a drug to him as the blood that pumps inside that vampire’s veins. Hell, if Jazz is honest with himself, he'd admit that he's become just as addicted to Seth the man these days.

When in the fuck had that happen?

‎He scrubs his face with a heavy sigh. What is he going to do? Now he’s got a double purge to tackle. Clearly, he isn’t going to be able to do one without the other. They are practically one in the same. But can he do it? Is he strong enough, mentally, physically, to purge both all at once?

He rolls onto his back again and presses his fists to his eyes. His jaw ticks. He doesn’t want to do it. Every fiber in his body revolts against the idea of detoxing himself of Seth. Jazz groans anew. Because this can’t go on. It isn’t healthy. They aren’t compatible. It would always be a love-hate relationship with them. He stills.

Love?

No. No, he meant like/hate.

He nods once to himself.

Yeah.

He chuckles darkly. ‘Cause honestly, what the fuck is there to love about Seth Masters?

‎He rolls back onto his stomach again, unable to stay still. So restless. His body is perpetually in a state of unease these days. He bunches the pillow under his chin and stares at his headboard. Memories of Seth gripping its bars floods forward.

Yeah... What is there to love about that dark, twisted vampire...

Definitely not the way he looked at Jazz with those intense yet vulnerable eyes. Just because they make Jazz's insides vibrate doesn’t mean he loves them...

Seth’s warm hands definitely aren’t loveable, either. Just really strong. And sure.

And affective.

Jazz may love how they grip in his hair or kneed slowly at his back, but that doesn’t mean he loves them.

 And Seth may have a really great voice, what with the way it turns to buttery velvet when he speaks so soft and sultry just inches from Jazz lips. Or the way they relay the most unexpected sentiments from Seth's guarded mind. Like a silky balm that coats Jazz's entire body, soaking deep into his soul.

Yeah, Seth's voice and those words he speaks in the quiet moments they'd spent together, Jazz didn’t love them, he just... reveled in them is all.

He lets out a sigh.

And fuck, that smile.

And that laugh.

So rare. Which always made them that much more priceless to Jazz. How he loves... wait… likes... to amuse that vampire.

Ugh.

It starts to dawn on Jazz that the list of "likes, not loves" is a lot longer than he’d thought.

The realization gives him a new, profound understanding.

He’ll never stand a chance against Seth's ways.

He’s going to need to wean himself off the guy. Carefully. Methodically. And he can’t encourage Seth at all in the process. Can’t send him mixed signals. Just needs to track Seth down when he can’t hold out any longer, when he simply can’t function without dance with Seth’s vein. And then that’ll be all it is. A mere exchange of sorts.

Hopefully Seth will understand.

Frowning, Jazz slowly tugs the sheets over his head as the pain in his chest surpasses the withdraw aches in his body.

God, it hurts so fucking bad...

 

                                                                                * * * * *

 

SETH
It’s been a few nights since he’s last seen his angel, and Seth finds himself exploring yet another human market. It’s a struggle to stay away from Jazz, to give him time to accept his changes. To come to terms with the fact that there is no going back. That Seth isn't going to let him go.

Not now. Not ever.

Silently, he moves through the crowds. Even with the recent rain and snow, people are still out shopping. Hat drawn low, heavy coat hiding his frame, he navigates the early morning masses. A low warning growl emerges when a man reaches out to offer him some of his kiosk’s fruit. The male jerks back and quickly shuffles away, attempting to try his hand with someone else.

 

JAZZ
“It worked,” Jazz murmurs as his dark, bloodshot eyes follow Seth through the crowded street.

He’s used all the strength he has to will Seth to his location. Well, to at least his corner of Soho. He knows if he’d tried to get him to his apartment it never would have worked. But getting merely Seth close? That has a chance.

And just as he’d hoped, it worked.

He smiles slightly, then pushes off the brick building he’s been leaning against. A good distance from his target, he saunters out of the shadows, shoving his hands into his jacket pockets as he follows after the dark lord.

 

SETH
Seth can feel the little shit, just as sure as he can tell that all the people around him are mortal.

No, that isn’t entirely true. There is a wolf checking out a stand of freshly butchered meat.

Casually turning a corner, Seth steps into an alleyway and swiftly melts into the brick wall of a building. Watching, waiting. When his angel turns the corner and finds the alley empty, Seth grins—then snakes a hand out and wraps it around Jazz’s throat.

Jerking him back against the wall, his arm the only thing visible, Seth growls, “What the fuck are you doing following me, angel boy?” Jazz goes ramrod stiff against him. “Have you come to tell me you've accepted your change?” His voice drips with impatient anger. “That you want me back?”

 

JAZZ
Jazz curses, then lets loose a dark, husky chuckle. He’s pinned to a building by a fucking arm, for fucks sake. But it’s the arm of the one he's been burning for…

His heart rate kicks up speed, the blood in his veins pumping faster. Pounding in his ears as Seth's scent assails him.

“Fuck you, Seth,” he grunts. “I'm not accepting crap. I'm gonna find a way to fix this shit myself.” He struggles against Seth’s hold. “Now stop being a bitch and let me go. I wanna see your face.”

Shoving Jazz aside, Seth emerges from the wall, his features appearing to morph from brick to flesh. “You are one stupid angel,” he snarls, “to assume you can change what you are now.” A cruel laugh rumbles in his chest. “You think your god is going to take you back?”

Jazz squares his shoulders and lifts his chin defiantly.

Seth narrows his eyes. “You have to accept it. You have no choice. You're mine and mine alone.” His jaw ticks with another deep rumble. “So quit fighting me. Fighting us.

Jazz looses a growl of his own and steps up into Seth's grill. “Don’t be so archaic, vampire. For fuck’s sake. Didn’t you get the memo? People don’t own each other anymore. Not in this day and age.” He gives Seth a half shove. “But while we're on the topic of me being yours, let’s explore the subject from my point of view.” He crosses his arms and cocks his head. “What if I want you as mine and mine alone? Hmm? What if I want you to live off my blood and no one else's? What if I want to be the only one who gives you what you need?”

Seth scoffs arrogantly, giving him a look that says Jazz is insane for even entertaining such an idea.

Jazz bristles, biting his tongue. “Fuck it,” he grates out, turning around. “You know what? Never mind.”

 

SETH
Seth shrugs with a smirk. “You simply want what you cannot have.”

In truth, though, he too wants things just as Jazz has described. Only the two of them with nothing else mattering. But that isn’t possible.

“I have had only you in my bed, angel,” he mutters. “Let that be enough.”

Jazz snorts irritably and flashes him an ambiguous look.

Seth stiffens, instantly at unease with Jazz’s sudden spiteful demeanor.

He grabs his angel’s arm and tugs him close. “Listen to me,” he snarls. “If you so much as go near someone else, so help me, I'll rip them apart then make you eat their fucking flesh. Are we clear?”

Jazz goes rigid again, glowering up at him angrily. But his expression also says he understands and won’t test Seth.

Relaxing a bit, Seth grins coldly and turns to leave.

 

JAZZ
Jazz groans, shoulders sagging as he watches the vampire walk away. This is all such a huge mess.

His face twists in hopelessness. Slowly, he slides down the building’s rough brick, not caring that it’s abrading the skin on his back, and tiredly settles onto his haunches. Resting his forearms on his knees, he drops his head.

“Seth,” he mutters softly. “Don’t go. Just... Just stay.”

 

SETH
Seth pauses just seconds before melting into the shadows, his angel’s reluctant plea tugging at his heart.

Closing his eyes, he turns around, then lifts his lids but can’t look at his angel. Instead, he turns his gaze to the mouth of the alley, watching life pass without a care in the world.

To be so fortunate, his insides groan.

It’s all he can do not to stalk back to Jazz, yank him to his feet and carry him home. It would take seconds to get to his dark apartment. How he’d love to toss Jazz down on his bed and take him as he’s ached so badly to do. But the mere fact that he hasn’t yet is a sign in itself that Seth is clearly changing, too.

Since when does he not just take what he wants?

He groans.

What the fuck has Jazz done to him?

 

JAZZ
Jazz rises to his full height and walks over to Seth, their eyes locked with every step he takes. Reaching out, he grips the vampire's tense bicep. His brows wrench in conflict.  “Life in this world is hard. I'm beginning to truly understand the struggles of humans and the tribulations they’re forced to endure. And it’s all because they care. About something... or someone. It’s the nature of the beast.”

He chuckles humorlessly. “The beast. See? It’s not so different from you after all.”

Seth grunts, tugging half-heartedly to free his arm.

Jazz grips him tighter, his smile turning to a snarl. “To live is to care. Is to feel. And to feel is to hurt. To ache. To suffer.” When Seth stills, Jazz groans. “I suffer for you, Seth. You are my pain. You are my struggle. But you’re also my most intense pleasure. What makes my soul feel truly alive. Don’t—” He grimaces and shakes his head. “Don’t make this shit so difficult, vampire. Please.”

 

SETH
Seth frowns, the angel's grip on his arm like a brand, burning into his flesh through his shirt.

“Then what,” he grates, staring into Jazz’s eyes, “do you want from me?”

Not breaking their gaze, he slowly inhales his angel's sweet scent. “Consider this your final chance,” he snarls softly, “to be free. To fly and be with your kind. Because if you don't do this now, you’re never leaving.”

 

JAZZ
Jazz's head drops back, a frustrated growl resonating in his chest.

Dragging a hand through his hair, he looks back at Seth. “Have you heard anything I’ve said?  Or do you just not give a shit?”

He grabs Seth's lapels and tugs him deeper into the alley, pushing him into the dark shadows of a recessed metal door. He can tell their conversation is coming to a close, but he still has shit to collect. Seth isn’t listening to him, is choosing to shut him out by keeping everything black and white.

The bitter taste of yet another defeat settles on Jazz’s tongue.

Fuck it.

He doesn’t have the energy to argue anymore.

In the blink of an eye, he snaps his mouth closed around Seth's neck, his teeth sinking deep to get what his body craves. Needs. Has to have.

Seth rumbles, his body tensing, but he doesn’t push Jazz away. Doesn’t resist.

Thank fuck.

Nevertheless, Jazz drinks rapidly just in case he changes his mind.

 

SETH
Knees threatening to give out, Seth groans deep, raw pleasure rising from within.

He clutches Jazz’s hips and pulls him harder against him. “Fuck, Jazz. How can you do this to me then push me away like you do?”

Short pants shoot from his lungs as he struggles to control his anger. Anger that’s warring violently with his desire.

 

JAZZ
Jazz moans against his vampire’s flesh, the feel of Seth's kneading hands making his hips roll in response—just like they always do when he drinks from this male.

Licks of flames delve from his gut into his groin, needy moans forming in their wake. It’s pointless to try and contain them. Jazz works the flesh with his tongue, directing the blood into his mouth and down his throat.

He swallows greedily.

More.

He can’t get enough.

 But then Seth abruptly shoves him back. By the intensity of his glare, Jazz can tell he’s still waiting for some sort of answer.

Jazz sighs and wipes his mouth. “It can’t be like that, Seth,” he pants. “It can’t. You know it can’t.”

 

SETH
Breathing raggedly, Seth stares at his angel, the mere sight of Jazz with Seth’s blood on his lips driving him mindless.

“Damn you,” Seth hisses, his emotions getting the best of him. “Why can’t you just be mine?”

Jazz looks away.

Seth narrows his black eyes. “You want to be ashamed of me? Fine,” he snarls. “But I dare you to look me in the eye and tell me you don't want me.”

Jazz's brows furrow in confusion. “When did I ever say I didn’t? Why else would I not want anyone touching you—or you touching them? Just for the sake of being a dick?”

He stalks back up into Seth's grill. “You're the one with the issues, Seth. Not me. You got a lot of shit to get straight in that head of yours before you'll ever give yourself to another. Before you'll ever really be free.

“But in the meantime?” He shakes his head somberly. “Don’t expect the road to go one-way only—at least not with me. I'm not giving you shit of me until I get the same in return.” Pivoting around, he heads towards the alley's opening.

Seth snarls and lunges after him, grabbing his arm in an iron vise, then jerks his angel back into the darkness with him.

“Don’t you walk away from me,” he snaps. “I'm not finished with you.” Glaring in exasperation, he grits through his teeth. “Just because I have to feed from another, because I’m incapable of feeding from only you, you suddenly think it gives you a pass to go messing around with whomever you want?”

Jazz gapes.

Seth grunts darkly. “I've told you how it must be. How it has to be.”

Pushing away, he exhales warily and begins to pace. “It's really very simple, Jazz. You mess with another and I will kill them.” A cruel laugh emerges. “Even if you're not with me.” He turns and grins coldly, then abruptly goes still, a low, deep growl rumbling up his throat. Pinning Jazz with a killer glare, he bolts straight for him, hand rising rapidly to strike.

Jazz’s eyes flare wide. At the very last second, Seth shoves him to the side and plunges his talons into the darkness behind him. They burrow into the shadows, the sound of tearing flesh following suit. A pained scream fills the alley. Seth jerks his arm back with a snarl, green blood covering him as a goblin dangles from his grip. The body jerks and twitches as it dies.

Seth roars, flinging the body against a dumpster ten yards away. “No. One. Touches. Him. But me!

 

JAZZ
Jazz just stands there in shock, mouth hanging open and everything.

What the fuck?

He hadn’t even sensed that demon thing behind him. If it hadn’t been for Seth’s swift reaction, he'd be a headless angel right now.

He curses, frazzled, and drags a hand through his hair. “Holy shit, dude. That was beyond fucked up. I mean, I didn’t even—and you moved so fast—I never even—” But Seth's irate expression has him shutting the fuck up.

The vampire looks like he’s barely holding it together.

Jazz swallows. Seth is going to explode if he doesn’t do something pronto.

Before he can think better of it, Jazz throws out his cloak and lets his huge wings bust forth. Snapping his arms around Seth's torso, he rockets them into the sky, his mind spinning wildly like a cyclone. He needs to get Seth away from everything, so there’s nothing around that he can attack.

He can feel Seth bristling in his arms, his entire body locked up rigid and tight. And still Jazz takes them higher, gunning it straight toward a stretch of billowing clouds.

As his powerful wings flaps steadily, he murmurs into Seth's ear, “Chill with me up here, cool? No talking. Just a whole lot of quiet.”

 

SETH
Seth groans, allowing his body to ease. Into Jazz’s neck, he nuzzles his face. Slowly, of their own volition, his fangs begin to extend. He tightens his arms around his angel, realizing somewhere in his awareness that they are no longer in New York. Jazz has somehow carried them fast and far—the earth below disappearing down below.

His chest aches. His mind whirls.

He suddenly needs his Jazz so bad.

Closing his mouth over his angel's neck, he sinks his incisors deep. A startled intake of surprise and pleasure shake Jazz’s body. Seth gulps hungrily at his blood, downing it quickly, taking his fill. Again, their bodies begin grinding together in need.

Seth growls, releasing Jazz’s vein. “Jazz.”

He presses his mouth to his angel’s. As their lips brush together, their tongues slipping into each other’s mouth, Seth drinks from their impassioned kiss, too. It’s a different kind of feeding, but a feeding nonetheless.

Allowing Jazz to feel his intensions, what he truly is doing, Seth swallows down his first gulp of the angel's power.

Of Jazz’s life force.

At first, it’s amazing. His body throbs with power and life. He can feel an unearthly golden glow lighting his eyes.

But it’s over as quickly as it begins.

Jerking back, though still in Jazz’s arms, he begins to cough and gag. Searing fire tears through his torso, his face contorting in torment. He bucks and writhes as Jazz stares at him in alarmed confusion. But he can only stare back in shocked desperation. Never has he felt such pain, such agony wreaking havoc on his body.

“Jazz?” he croaks.

Jazz’s hold on him shifts restlessly. “Seth! What’s—”

But before Jazz can finish, Seth’s back arches hard, a scream like no other ripping from his throat. In the blink of an eye, a razor-sharp pair of blue-black wings erupt from his back. Flesh tearing, blood rains down, disappearing into the atmosphere below.

Jazz barks out in shock. Seth bucks again in pain, the action jarring him cruelly from Jazz’s grasp. Dropping like lead, he plummets toward the earth, limbs and wings flailing helplessly.

Howling, he reaches for his angel. “JAAAAAAZZ!

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