Chapter Thirty-Three

Remembrance: written by Kora Knight & Raven Foxx 

"I would have given you this world, but

instead you choose it over me."

JAZZ
It’s been a few weeks now since Jazz has started secretly following Seth on his nightly hunting excursions. He can’t seem to help himself. He misses the fucker more than he ever thought possible.

So much for purging the guy from his system.

But another part of him feels compelled, obligated to keep tabs on the vampire. Like it's somehow his responsibility to make sure Seth stays within reasonable boundaries. Hell, it is his responsibility. He's a mission angel, for fuck’s sake. Thing is, he's been doing this "side job" solo without his siblings. Which makes it different, not the usual job that the trio engages in together.

This is personal. After all, Jazz had a part in driving Seth to his current recklessness. He knows he did. So it’s the least he can do for all those poor fuckers Seth gets ahold of.

Truth be told, Jazz has been lenient with the vampire. Maybe too lenient. Okay, definitely too lenient. Always standing back in the shadows and allowing the male to feed off of criminals... just so as long as he doesn’t kill the douchebags. Jazz knows that Seth needs it to hold on to his sanity, and since Jazz is partially to blame for his current state of mind, he permits a bit wiggle room for the male.

That being said, though, Jazz isn’t lost to the fact that Seth seems to be getting worse with each outing. Every night he becomes more aggressive, a bit more hostile than before, each feeding taken a bit further, draining his victims to more dangerous levels. It’s now at the point where Jazz is strung completely rigid with each human the vampire targets.

Partially from jealousy, yes—Jazz has long since admitted that reality to himself—but also from the fear that very, very soon, he’s going to have to physically intervene. And when that happens, he has no idea how Seth will react. Most likely not well. Problem is, Jazz's mental influence on Seth is becoming less and less affective. it takes all the strength he has these days to will Seth not to drain his prey completely. To show mercy.

Jazz groans inwardly with dread. Something deep inside is telling him tonight is going to be the night.

Will he be able to implement his back-up plan if needed, while engaging the vampire he's been trying so hard to stay away from?

With a soft curse and an anxious pulse, Jazz takes to the skies once more, heading toward the male who still holds the reigns to his heart and soul.

 

 

* * *

 

 

SETH
‎Seth moves through the shadows, more a part of them than the human race, the darkness caressing his hot flesh like a lover. Each night since Jazz had abandoned him, he’s awakened feeling crazed and hungry, and every night he hasn’t hesitated to give in to it.

Strangely, however, despite going out with the intent for bloodshed, he always seems ultimately distracted by a gentle whisper. One that caresses his mind as he feeds on his prey, coaxing him to abandon them before they expire.

Tonight will be different.
He’ll make sure of it.

Entering a dark alley, he finds a male looming over a small woman, snickering as he rears back to strike her yet again. Seth’s tongue darts over his lips, tasting her fear and the male’s malevolence.

“Do it,” he growls, all but daring the man to act.

The human spins around, a glinting blade clutched in his hand, a sneer on his face.

Seth doesn’t move, just eyes him coolly.

Abruptly, the mortal rushes him. “You want some, too?” the idiot barks. “I'll give you a taste of what I got.”

“Fool,” Seth hisses.

At the very last second, he whirls around and grabs the human from behind. Snarling, he slams him into the wall, then buries his fangs into male's neck, ripping into his flesh as hot blood rushes into his mouth. His eyes glaze over, he can feel it as he feasts. Shuddering, he drops the empty shell of man at his feet. His feverish red gaze turns to the girl.

Trembling, she scampers backwards, sobbing, “Please. Please don't hurt me.” With her shirt torn open, she raises her hands to shield herself.

Stepping from the would-be rapist, Seth grins and moves to stand before her. “Come, child,” he compels her, pulling her up to her feet. “Come to me and let me ease your pain.”

She eases instantly at his words and settles obediently against his chest. “Yes,” she whispers, turning her head to offer her throat.

 

JAZZ
Jazz lands soundlessly atop the roof directly above the underlord’s location.

Shit. He needed to be here ten minutes sooner.
The guy on the asphalt looks deader than fuck.

Jazz glances at the girl in Seth’s arms.

And she looks completely under Seth’s compulsion.

Jazz watches her body undulate. Ire races through his blood.

Hell, she looks like she'd gladly do Seth against that wall.

Body rigid, Jazz knows he needs to get down there and quell the vampire’s dark energy, that and do damage control with the newly deceased male. But in this moment, all Jazz feels is the howling of his heart, demanding he unwrap Seth’s arms from around that female.

Ultimately, though, his sense of duty powers to the forefront, and Jazz silently drops off the roof's ledge and spreads his wings. Their large span instantly catches air at just the right angle, allowing him a controlled descent.

Touching down at a brisk-paced walk, he stalks towards Seth. “Damnit, vampire,” he grates. “Why do you gotta be like this? I didn’t want to have to take you out.”

Seth narrows his eyes at him from over the woman's shoulder.

Jazz growls through clenched teeth. “Let. Her. Go. And back the fuck up against that wall.” In the blink of an eye, he manifests a set of platinum, glowing shackles. “Nice and slow, Seth. Don’t make this harder than it needs to be.”

 

SETH
Agitated at being interrupted, Seth levels the angel with a cold empty look. “Fuck off. I'm busy,” he growls. His gaze drops to Jazz’s hands, to the sight of glowing shackles. He glowers incredulously. “You would bind me? Threaten me?” He bares his fangs. “How dare you. Of all the things I—” He snorts in disgust. “You want me to go quietly? To what? My death? To some portal so you can thrust me into the underworld?” He grunts. “Fuck you, Jazz, and the white horse you rode in on.”

Without warning, he laughs and thrusts the female at Jazz. “You can thank yourself for each death to come, when this city runs red. For this betrayal,” he starts to fade, “I will save your loved ones for last.”

 

JAZZ
Jazz moves quick. “Don’t think so, friend.”  

Lightning fast, he catches the woman, then lights up his other hand and throws out his arm, pitching a glowing-orb fast ball at Seth's receding form. It nails him dead in the chest, sending the vampire stumbling backward. Just like that, he returns to complete corporal form.

As Seth gapes in shock and rage, Jazz sets the woman down against the wall, no longer worried that Seth will vanish into the shadows. The energy bolt he nailed him with is a power dampener, temporarily shutting off all the vampire's paranormal abilities.

Jazz glances at Seth over his shoulder. He’s visibly beyond pissed. In his fury, he throws his head back and belts a bellow.

Jazz quickly moves to the man on the ground. Lighting up both palms, he splays them square on the dude's chest. “May there be mercy for your jaded soul.” Then just like that, the male is gone. Just in time, too, ‘cause now Seth's glowing red eyes are pinned hard on Jazz. His fangs are bared, too, and dripping with venom.

Jazz braces himself as he stands back up. Squaring his shoulders, he stares Seth down, motioning with both hands for the vampire to bring it on. “You pissed at me, brah? Huh? You wanna take a shot? Come on, then. Let’s do this.”

Seth approaches with nostrils flaring.

Jazz’s armor instinctively starts to emerge, but he forces it back.

This needs to be a fair fight.

 

SETH
With the angelic power still wreaking havoc through his system, Seth is in no mood for games. He can't believe that Jazz has done this to him, that his angel would do him physical harm and threaten him.

Breathing deeply, he snarls, approaching, “Is this what you wanted all along? To play with me, then bring me to my knees? Was the bounty on my head just too much to resist? I would have given you this fucking world, but instead you choose it over me.” Rage boiling under his skin, he draws on his darkened powers, only to find them dampened from the angel’s power.

Seething, he lunges forward and shoves Jazz into the wall, slamming his palm against Jazz’s chest. “I want you to feel what you've done to me, boy. I want you to feel the pain I feel.” Fingers twitching, he fights the urge to dig them deep into Jazz’s flesh, wanting nothing more than to rip out Jazz's heart as Jazz did to him. Before he can do anything, though, a strange pressure makes him glance down. Jazz’s hand on Seth’s chest, burning bright with angelic power. All strength inside him instantly vanishes.

No…

His gaze darts back to Jazz’s. “Why...?” he rasps, his thick voice cracking.

So lost in his anger, he’d let down his guard and now...

Shoulders slumping, his hands drop like lead.

Betrayed again. How could his angel do this?

 

JAZZ
‎As first, Jazz feels a morbid satisfaction that Seth has barreled right into his trap. All Jazz needed was contact to be able to infuse Seth with his angelic tranquilizer. It's a weapon used often in his work to extract demons from this realm. After all, very few go easily. Most need to be neutralized before being portaled out. And Seth sure as fuck is no exception.

But as Seth goes limp in his arms, his eyelids closing, something brakes, the expression on Seth’s face a knife to his soul. He hurt him. Deeply. He didn’t mean to, though! Didn’t want to! For fuck’s sake, Jazz’s favorite thing is the sound of Seth voice!

Well... That and the sight of his smile...

Maneuvering to hold him more securely, Jazz swipes the hair from Seth’s face affectionately, then thumbs the blood from his lips and exhales sadly. He doesn’t want to send him away. Sure, Seth will find his way back eventually, but... Jazz doesn’t know what he's going to do without him around. The thought of not being able to lay his eyes on him is staggering. But Seth has become just too mindless, too deranged, a threat to mankind. Jazz can’t, in good conscience, set him free.

Staring down at Seth’s beautiful face, Jazz tries to memorize every feature. Fuck, with him out cold like this, like he's sleeping or some shit, he actually looks like an angel, too...

An angel...

Jazz blinks. “An angel,” he murmurs, thoughts drifting. And then his eyes snap wide. “An angel! That’s it!”

In a split second, he takes to the skies with Seth held tightly in his arms.

He's officially a mission angel on a mission.

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