Remembrance: written by Kora Knight & Raven Foxx 

Chapter Three

"Ulterior Motives to Innocent Fun"

JAZZ JAGGER

Jazz had some free time to kill until night fall, when all the freaks come out and it was time to punch in for ‘exterminator’ duty. With a wicked grin, a 2-liter of club soda and a handful of balloons, he settled down in the afternoon sun roof of his SoHo apartment building. He peered over the ledge, keen eyes scanning sidewalks below. And that’s when he saw her. A mischievous chuckle rumbled up his throat. Stealthily, he took aim. A few seconds before she walked under his anticipated target spot, Jazz released the bloated balloon. 

A grin sliced across his youthful features as the healthy splat sounded and a furious shriek erupted.  Bull’s-eye. Unable to resist, he peered over the edge. On the wet sidewalk below, Zeta glared murderously up at him. A booming laugh tore from his mouth as he fell back, holding his sides. “Oh, hell yes! My aim is SWEET!!”

But two seconds later he was yelping in surprise when none other than Zeta appeared on the rooftop out of nowhere.

“What the hell was THAT for?” she snarled, hair dripping into her eyes.

Her peeved expression only intensified Jazz’s gut-clenching howls of laughter. “THAT, my dear, was for FUN!” he crowed happily. “And so much fun it was!” He let out another guffaw, gasping for much-needed breath. “Aw God, you should have seen your face! Priceless!” He erupted into another fresh bout, laughing so hard he choked on a snort.

Zeta growled, then promptly stalked over to give him a kick. When Jazz hooted again, she dropped down onto her knees and switched her tactics to punches. “Not funny, you jerk! I’m soaked. And my hair is fizzing!”

Flat on his back, Jazz lurched and twisted, trying to dodge her punches. Unsuccessful, he quickly restrained her wrists. “That fizz is called club soda.” He beamed. “Ain’t it grand?” She bristled at his chipper explanation and her peeved, wet puppy dog look set him off again.

She growled anew and tried to tag his face with her restrained fists. But Jazz swiftly flipped her over and pinned her to the ground. With her wrists restrained on either side of her head, he grinned down at her. Then wagged his brows. “Tell you what,” he chuckled smugly. “You forgive me my transgressions, little hybrid, and I’ll let you launch a few of those puppies yourself.”

Zeta stilled, blinking up at him. He could tell she was contemplating his offer. Her eyes flashed as a wicked grin emerged. “Fine,” she murmured salaciously, even as she continued to try and get free. “But don’t think I can’t see through your angelic façade. You are a naughty, naughty boy, Mr. Jazz.”

Jazz laughed. “Naughty comes in varying degrees,” he countered, “as I suspect you already know. But this here is just some innocent fun.”  He grinned, giving her wrists a little squeeze. “So you’re game then? Whoever hits the most targets wins.” His lips curve in challenge. “Unless you’re afraid of losing?”

As he waited for her reply, Jazz licked his bottom lip. Then absently bit it. Truth be told, he was surprised by how fun it was to have a squirming female beneath him. Even with those ambiguous vibes she was once again emanating. They didn’t seem to bother him so much today. Was he growing accustomed to them? It felt like they were growing on him in their odd and ambiguous exquisiteness. Like dark chocolate. Sweet with a defining bitter bite.

Zeta regarded Jazz silently, utterly still beneath him. Finally she gave a curt nod. “You’re on, angel boy.” When he quirked a startled brow, she grinned. “Yes. I know what you are. Now stop gawking at my awesome perception skills and get off my before I knee you in your celestial nads.”

Jazz barked out a laugh. “Whoa. Feisty kitty.” 

He graced her with an impressed smile as he rolled off and got to his feet. Graciously, he pulled her up too, and eyed her in a new light.  Something was definitely lurking beneath her sweet-smelling skin. Something that demanded he be cautious. He couldn’t – wouldn’t - let his guard down. Not around her, not around anybody. But that didn’t mean they couldn’t have some fun in the meantime. Oil and vinegar may not mix, but damn, they were still really great together.

Zeta laughed huskily, straightening her tight-fitting outfit before attempting to salvage her hair.

Jazz grinned, then sauntered over to his stock pile to load up two more balloons. “Okay,” he instructed excitedly, “first one to hit their target wins round one.” He flicked Zeta a smirk over his shoulder, then knotted the soda bombs securely.

She strode like a panther to his side, a smug light flickering on her features. “Hand ‘em over, fly boy. Let me show you how it’s done.” 

Jazz snorted, but handed her both balloons. “By all means, female. Have at it.”

Her grinned widened as she weighed the liquid grenades in her palms. “Watch and be amazed.”  She leaned over the side, her eyes locking on to two targets instantly. “Bombs away, human low-lives.”

Jazz’s brow lifted at her degrading remark towards mankind, but was quickly distracted by the fallout of her assault. He busted out laughing as two pedestrian heads below exploded with soda. “Aw shit! You're already up by two! Damn!” Again, he peered over the ledge, then quickly jerked back, eyes wide. “Oh fuck! Mr. Angry Suit just spotted me!”

Zeta just pointed and laughed. “You’re in deep shit now!”

He scowled, even as his lips twitched furiously. Finally, he barked out a laugh and marched over to fix up a full armful of balloons. “Shit. I protect humans, not cower to them.” In seconds flat, he was back over at the rooftop’s edge. As he got another bird’s eye view look-see, he cursed out a laugh. “Crap. He's running this way! I'm gonna buy us some time.”

Without a second thought, he chucked a barrage of water bombs over the side. They pummeled the male mercilessly, bursting at his feet and slowing his pursuit. Jazz howled with fresh laughter. “Oh, sweet! Look Z!” He pointed in delight. “I got him dancing and shit!” Below, the male dodged and lurched across the pavement, desperately trying to avoid the onslaught.  The sight was beyond hilarious.

But then Jazz sucked in a gasp. “Oh crap,” he muttered. “Pissed off police man at ten o’clock.” He turned to give Zeta a potent look. “Run!”

She let out a squeal of utter glee. “You better not fly off on me now, Jazz!” she laughed. “Or I WILL hunt you down and kick your ever-loving ass!”

Both broke into a sprint toward the stairwell. “Alright,” Jazz laughed, yanking the door open for her, “but just so we’re clear, our game was a forfeit! You so did not win!”

 

* * * 

 

SETH MASTERS

The sound of thick-booted soles upon broken brick and gravel ended the silence of the underground crypt. The looming shadow moved through the tunnel from his palace toward the punishing grounds. Here Seth came often to listen to the sounds of torment and suffering.

He paused briefly and smiled, noting the addition of fresh bones piled atop the others, reaching the ceiling and making their way down the hallway. He reached out and lazily stroked a finger along the still damp bits, stained with life giving blood. Blood that not long ago had flowed vitally through veins and living tissue. Ultimately it had poured free, however, when the flesh of its owner had been ripped painfully to shreds. How delightful it had been to witness the creature being hunted down, devoured ferociously by his pets.

One such pet moved at his side, ever on guard now in its full lykae form. “Worry not,” Seth chuckled, his voice thick and rustic in its long-since-dead language’s lilting accent. “You will have another chase soon enough.” 

He continued forward and entered a second chamber, its space split into sections, each segment enclosed by brick. Unique symbols were etched above each sealed door, and from behind them, the screams of lost souls wailed unceasingly at a whisper’s strength.

Behind Seth, the werewolf entered the room too, as if unable to resist the sounds of torture and the scent of fear. It let loose an excited howl, the anxious bellow echoing from wall to wall. The sound tore painfully into Seth’s keen ears. He snarled irritably, lashing out to backhand the stupid beast. The lykae flew clear across the room.

“Silence!” he hissed, his eyes squinting against the chamber’s brightly flickering torches. His vampire retinas were ever extra sensitive. As he glared over at the werewolf, his stomach stabbed abruptly with pain. Perhaps his need to feed was making him exceptionally irritable, fore he no longer was in the mood to suffer the foolishness of that mutt.

He left the room on a growl and headed to his private chambers. There he fed on the female awaiting him, then sauntered to his black velvet bed. Tangled in its covers, sleep was insistent to avoid him. But he needed the rest, an escape from all that was weighing on his mind.

And still his thoughts churned.

He knew his pet Zeta would soon be either bringing him that angel or proving that she was nothing but a disappointing investment. In his current mood, he wouldn't mind killing another worthless spawn. But for some reason, his son believed in her.

He twisted in the smooth coolness of his sheets and stared into darkness. A set of red eyes watched him from the far end of the room, its glowing gaze growing larger as it departed from the shadows to move toward its lord. Saying nothing, it settled its weight upon the bed. Seth sighed, slowly rolling over onto his stomach. Cold hands slid gently along his back.

“Give it to me, Master,” the deep male voice purred. “Let go and give it to me.”

Skilled hands rubbed away Seth’s stress. He could feel his body relaxing as he allowed the tension to drain. Sometimes it was hell being the master, and yet in moments like this, it felt damn good to be worshiped.

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