Chapter Thirty-Four

Remembrance: written by Kora Knight & Raven Foxx 

- Contained -

JAZZ
After aimlessly flying with an unconscious underlord in his arms, Jazz finally locates the secret cave that Seth had once led him to. Specifically, on that bittersweet night weeks ago, when they ultimately ended up going their separate ways. But it’s the only place he can think of to take the unstable vampire. Somewhere where no one can find Seth, nor hear his calls for aid.

Jazz eyes it in the distance, nestled inconspicuously in the overhang of an ominous cliff. And they’re arriving just in time. Dawn is approaching, the eastern sky already beginning to illuminate with soft oranges and blues.

Flapping his wings over to the cliff's opening, Jazz gently lands on his feet. With Seth still in his arms, he turns to take one last look at the sunrise. Warily, he frowns. Is he doing the right thing? Or will his plan do more harm than good? Can he accomplish his goal? Succeed in this on-the-fly endeavor? After all, he'd only just come up with it in that alleyway.

He doesn’t know. Can’t see the future. But, damn it, he’s got to do something. And avoiding the vampire just isn’t fucking working.

With a heavy sigh, he turns and carries Seth deep into the cave, laying him on the same bed they’d laid on before. He's been able to keep Seth sedated with his continuous physical contact, but once their bodies part, the tranquilizing effects will recede. The stronger the specie, the quicker, and Seth is strong. It won’t be long before his brain's back online.

Jazz works swiftly. Tugging angelically-enchanted shackles from his jacket, he makes quick work of tying of Seth's wrists to the bed posts. They’ll dampen the vampire’s power. Ankles shackles go next. Seth starts to stir, moaning as the sleep fog starts to fade.

Jazz stills, his stomach flip-flopping, but then quickly resumes, needing to finish his next task before Seth wakes—a cloaking blessing to keep the cave hidden. Methodically, he covers the walls with glowing symbols. When complete, he decides to tack on another blessing; the inability to cross the threshold without his permission. For any to enter or leave, Jazz must first speak a unique word. A password of sorts, that deactivates corresponding blessing. This way, Seth can’t leave if ever Jazz is away—or rendered unconscious. God knows, he can’t put anything past his captive.

Brushing off his hands, he turns back and approaches Seth's rousing form. He only has a few minutes before the underlord awakes. Wasting no time, he climbs onto the bed and allows himself the pleasure of straddling Seth's hips. With serious eyes, he tugs open his captive’s button-down shirt and splays both palms over Seth’s chest.

Seth's pecs twitch beneath his touch. Jazz sighs. What he's about to do could destroy everything between them. But he has no choice. It’s either this or sending Seth into the deepest, darkest depths of Hell. And he just can’t do that.

Not to Seth.
Not ever.

Closing his eyes, he begins to murmur an ancient blessing, one that will bind Seth's powers away indefinitely, until Jazz himself releases the inward restraints. He has to take every precaution. Can’t risk Seth possibly escaping. Because if Seth did? Before Jazz can reach his intended goal? All of mankind would suffer his wrath.

With that in mind, Jazz ramps up the energy flowing down his arms, sending it through his glowing palms and into Seth's chest.

 

SETH
Coming to, Seth frowns, struggling to see through glazed eyes. “Where—”

White heat lances him. He arches off the bed, howling as the darkness inside him is wrenched into submission. Soon after, the stranglehold lets up. Groaning, he tugs against his chained wrists against the headboard. His darkness is being bound, he realizes, to a place where he cannot reach it.

Panting through dry lips, he looks up at Jazz and bares his fangs. Jazz ignores him and keeps going, an angelic blessing whispering past his lips.

Seth’s body begins to quake. “Stop,” he rasps, all but pleading. “Do not torment me this way. Kill me if you must, but please don't do this.”

So weak. He felt so weak.

Above him Jazz exhales, then eases off his thighs and lays beside him.

The haze in Seth’s mind clears further. Jazz hadn’t obliged his wishes. He’d merely stopped just now because he was finished. Seth can feel it. All the dark magic inside him, bound tight.

Gnashing his teeth, he growls in the silence, “How could you do this to me? How?”  

Anger stokes like a bonfire inside of him. Giving into it, he lurches up, pulling violently on his chains. “Let me go,” he barks, “or so help me, I will skin you. Drown you in agony for doing this.” Turning his gaze to Jazz, he glares at him with utter contempt.

 

JAZZ
Jazz stills, wincing as the vampire spews venomous threats, pinning Jazz with a glower that could bludgeon.

Damn. Seth's taking this even worse than he’d feared. But he can’t turn back now. He needs to finish what he's started.

Squaring his shoulders, Jazz meets Seth's glare with his own angry get-up. “Shut the fuck up, Seth. You're here ‘cause you made a very bad decision on my stomping grounds. My turf.” Indifferently, he resituates himself at the end of the bed. “Truth be told, you should be thanking me. If I hadn’t been feeling merciful, you'd be chained to some slimy wall down in Gehenna right now. Most likely with a few disgusting creatures feasting on your entrails.”

 

SETH
‎Seth snarls and yanks on his chains, his muscles straining. “Fuck you and the white horse you road in on. That is my domain. You and your little pansy siblings are trespassers.” A low growl escapes him. “This is the last betrayal you will blow to me. I'm going to kill you for this, Jazz. Even if I have to gnaw off one of my fucking wrists to do it.”

Jazz’s face falls. He clears his throat. “You don’t mean that. I know you don’t. Not after everything we’ve been through.”

Seth laughs harshly. “Don’t give me those eyes. If you cared so much you would never have done this.” Holding Jazz’s gaze, he tries to compel him. “Release me,” he murmurs. “Let me go. Prove you care. You know deep down that you don't want me to suffer.”

Jazz sighs, clearly undaunted.

The compulsion hadn’t worked.

Furious, Seth roars, yanking once more on his chains, so violently that his shoulder pops out of socket. Pain streaks through the site. Seth bellows in pain, “If anyone is going to feast on entrails, it is me on yours!

 

JAZZ
‎Jazz bites back a curse, watching Seth losing his cool, the vampire’s words still echoing through his brain.  Seth is right, after all. Jazz doesn’t want him to suffer. What’s more, he does want to show the man that he still cares.

With a slow inhale and exhale, he crawls across the bed and sits beside the underlord’s seething body. Gripping Seth’s bicep with one hand and palming his shoulder with the other, he gently guides the bone back into its socket. Seth’s howl rents through the cavern. Angrily, he bucks, once more spewing malicious threats and promises. He doesn’t care that Jazz just helped him, that much is blatantly clear.

Frowning, Jazz tries his best to just ignore him. Seth is angry. And hurt. Feels betrayed. Jazz gets it. But the words still cut like a blade right through his heart. How can he calm him? Get him to chill? The railing vampire is all but feral. Jazz slides his hand from Seth's shoulder to his neck, then cups his face. Slowly, he thumbs his cheek, then strokes his strong, stubbly jaw. Seth snaps at his hand with his teeth, but Jazz ignores it. Just continues to caress his monster's heated flesh.

“Be still, Seth,” he breathes, staring sadly at his face. “Please. You know I won’t hurt you.”

 

SETH
Stilling, he narrows his eyes. “Won’t you? Haven't you already?” He grinds his molars. “Release me, angel. Release me now, then run and hide.”

Jazz’s thumb grazes his bottom lip. Seth’s thoughts derail. His chest tightens.

Damn Jazz for, even now, making Seth feel.

“You can’t do this to me,” Seth mutters. “Think of all the creatures I control, all the miscreants in your city left running wild with no one to answer to. Think of Anton, my son,” he hisses, “free to do as he pleases, for who else would ever stand up to him but his father.”

Jazz frowns and looks away.

Seth jerks angrily on his chains. “Damn you,” he grates through clenched teeth. “What do you want from me?"

 

JAZZ
Slowly, Jazz blinks down at him, their eyes locking in the silence as both simply listen to the other's heartbeat. Jazz slides his thumb across Seth's lip again, his sad gaze following his finger's movement, as if that solitary digit has begun to hypnotize him.

He licks his own lip. Swallows. God help him, but he can’t help what he's about to do. He'll pay the price for this indulgence later. He's tired and emotionally drained, doesn’t have the strength to fight the powerful urge. Leaning forward, he brings his mouth toward Seth's. Just as they are about to make contact, though, Seth hisses at him angrily, then jerks his head as far away as possible. But Jazz is determined to take what he wants. What he needs.

He grips Seth's head securely. The vampire snarls. He isn’t going make this easy. Jazz inwardly grins. Can’t help it. He loves the underlord's fiery passion. Always has. So stubborn and fierce. Jazz emits a soft purr. Before he knows what he's doing, he slides his knee over and straddles Seth’s lap. Seth bucks with a growl. Jazz anchors himself tightly with his thighs, then holds Seth’s head still and leans down, hovering his mouth hovering just above the angry vampire's.

On a low growl of his own, he grazes Seth’s lips as he speaks. “Stop being such an asshole, Seth. Wasn’t it you who told me to enjoy little pleasures such as this?” He nods slightly. “Yeah, I'm pretty sure it was. Just be grateful I'm not stripping the flesh off your friggin’ back and telling you to like it. Now shut the fuck up for two seconds and—” Intentionally cutting his sentence short so as to not give Seth warning, he crushes his lip to the vampire's on a tired, blissful moan.

 

SETH
Stilling beneath Jazz’s touch, Seth rumbles, watching him press closer. “What are you doing?” he mutters roughly.

Jazz doesn’t answer, just presses his mouth harder against Seth’s. Seth snarls, aching to deepen the kiss, to seek so much more of his angel—until the memories of what Jazz has done to him surge back to the forefront. Sinking his fangs into Jazz's lip, he draws blood. Jazz jerks back. Seth darts his tongue out over his lips to taste the ambrosia.

Gaze never leaving Jazz's mouth, he murmurs, “Explain to me what you're doing.” His hands clench, aching to touch and torment his angel. “Explain to me what this is about, and maybe I’ll forgive you.” His voice is soft, belying his motives, a show of tenderness amidst his plotting. Veiling his very real intentions for cruel revenge. He even attempts a half-hearted smile. “If you wanted to master me, all you need do is say the word.”

 

JAZZ
‎Lip throbbing from Seth's bite, Jazz’s heart kicks in his chest, the underlord's brief reciprocation of his kiss an unexpected surprise. Jazz wants more. But Seth wants answers—and most likely an opportunity to skin him alive.

Sighing atop him, Jazz presses his forehead to Seth’s. “I'm desperate,” he mutters. “I can’t live without you.” He chuckles darkly. “But I can’t seem to live with you either.”

Seth grunts, seemingly unwilling to show any sign of mutual feelings.

Jazz breathes against his mouth, “I don’t know if it’ll work—foresight was never one of my gifts—but I have to try.”

 

SETH
Seth freezes beneath him, Jazz’s words distracting him from his plotting. “Try what?” he growls faintly. Jazz doesn’t answer, just teases his lips. Seth groans in frustration. “You have to let me go. Jazz. I can feel your energy everywhere. It surrounds me. Surrounds this cavern. It’s too damn much.” He frowns, searching Jazz’s face. “If you don't want me to suffer, you have to release me.”

Jazz’s gaze sobers. He looks away.

Seth sighs and rocks his hips. “I would have given you anything, Jazz. Anything. But instead you capture and torture me.” He clenches his jaw, his anger kindling. “What game will you plan next?”

 

JAZZ
Jazz goes rigid with resentment. Sitting up straight, he glares down at Seth. “You think I wanna torture you?” His brows furrow. “I'm not the dark lord in the room, buddy. I'm the angel, and we angels don’t do torture, FYI.”

Seth grunts incredulously.  

Jazz bristles. “I'm serious as a heart attack. We don’t. That is, unless you suddenly consider my lips on yours a form of torture.”

Seth doesn’t respond, just averts his gaze.

Scowling, Jazz climbs off the bed and starts to pace. “And I'm not playing games. I've told you before and I'll tell you again—” He pauses and looks at Seth. “I'm not, nor have I ever, played games with you. Everything I’ve ever done or said has been real.”

Seth doesn’t meet his eyes.

Exhaling, Jazz starts to pace again. “And what I'm gonna do here is real. It may not be fun, might even get uncomfortable, but I'm committed to seeing it through. When I set my mind on something, I don’t ever back down.” He glances Seth’s way. “So don’t bother wasting your breath trying to sway me.”

 

SETH
Seth scoffs and turns to glare at him. “That you’re an angel doesn’t mean shit. If you were so moral, you’d release me.”

Jazz grunts and rolls his eyes. “Moral, not stupid.

Seth grumbles and glares into the darkness. “You know I have to feed. When tomorrow night comes, you must bring me someone or let me go.”

Jazz fidgets and looks away.

Seth eyes him suspiciously. “You want me to feed from you alone.” When Jazz doesn’t deny it, anger flares. “You remember what happened. What happened the last time I took your energy.”

“I remember,” Jazz mutters, jaw tense.

Seth closes his eyes. He can’t believe that Jazz would consider that again. It makes no sense. The outcome would be agony. Exquisite pain. Anxiety spiking, he growls, voice rising. “Just tell me. What, Jazz. What do you truly want from me?

 

JAZZ
Cursing, Jazz falls back into pacing. “I don’t know. Okay? So don’t ask me that, because I truly don’t fucking know.”

Frustrated, he stops at the foot of the bed and gazes sadly at Seth. A part of him feels so ashamed to have restrained the man like this. On a groan, he lays it out, clear and simple as he leans against the bed post. “And yeah. As a matter of fact, I do plan to feed you exclusively. You'll just take my essence in smaller amounts is all.”

Seth stiffens, clearly not liking the plan.  

But Jazz just continues to state his case. “I gave you wings the last time you fed from me, Seth. That’s got to mean something!” He pushes off the bed post to starts to pace again, mind churning. “The way I see it, you sprouted wings because you got some suspicious in that DNA of yours. Something that did the opposite of reject my essence. Maybe the reason you got sick was ‘cause my blood’s purity in your system forced your body to purge the evil toxins that came in contact with it.”

He flicks Seth a hopeful look. The vampire looks unconvinced. “It makes sense,” Jazz insists, “and I'm going to test my theory. With some patience and resolve, we can free you from your shackles. I'm going to free you, Seth. And then you and me?” He nods, as if to himself. “And then you and me might actually have a chance.”

Ambling over to a chair, he slumps down and drops his face into his hands.

Please, God. Please let this fucking work.

 

SETH
Jazz is serious.
Bloody hell.

Terror fills Seth’s eyes. Heart rate spiking, he growls, “You can't do this.”  Jazz would have to remove the darkness from inside him. “Listen to me, if you try this, you're going to end up fucking killing me. Is that what you want? Because that’s exactly what's going to happen.”

Jazz drops his hands and eyes him warily.

Seth struggles to sit up, chains jingling. “Jazz, you can't. If you care for me, if you want me, then damn it, fight with me. Don’t change what I am. I won’t be what you want anymore. I won’t be me,” he grates, struggling anew. “I won’t be me.

 

JAZZ
‎Jazz groans. Seth sounds panicked. Fuck. He truly doesn’t think this can work. Jazz was really kind of depending on a little concurrence. He can’t afford to start second guessing himself. Not now. Hell, not ever. Lunging up, he slams his fist into the cold cave wall. Rock and dirt go flying.

Frustrated, Jazz spins around with a tormented shout. “You're not gonna die, damnit! I won’t let you! So don’t fucking say shit ever again!” He stalks over to the bed, eyes flashing with emotion and frowns at Seth. “I'm gonna take care of you. Just like you did for me back in that alleyway in the city. I swear it. I'm gonna make shit okay.” And still, despite his vow, uncertainty assails him. He swallows. “You'll see. You just gotta trust me.” he murmurs.

Inhaling deeply, he swipes his knuckles down Seth's strong, stubbly cheek, then turns and heads for the exit. He needs to get away from here. Needs some air.

 

SETH
‎Jazz is leaving him alone. Alone and chained.  

Incensed, Seth shouts after him, “Don’t you do this! Get back here! I command you to fucking release me this fucking instant!”

Jazz keeps going. Doesn’t look back.

Seth roars, grappling furiously with his restraints. When he exhausts every ounce of energy, he falls back and groans.  A nightmare awaits him. One he cannot defend himself against. A world of hurt delivered to him by his angel.

 

* * *

JAZZ
Jazz returns a few hours later. His nerves are still shot, but at least his heart isn’t jackhammering inside his ribcage anymore. Approaching the bed, Jazz frowns down at Seth. He’s sleeping, but far from peacefully. In truth, it looks like the guy is in serious distress. Tugging at his binds, his mouth open and panting. Jazz's heart goes out to the miserable creature laid out defensively before him. And still Jazz leaves him bound. But not alone.

Never alone.

Climbing silently onto the mattress, he settles down beside his vampire, then pulls him close and nestles his face into Seth's neck. With his angelic powers, he guides Seth’s mind to a place of pure serenity.

Tonight, his beautiful vampire will sleep in peace.

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