Chapter Thirty-Seven

Remembrance: written by Kora Knight & Raven Foxx 

"Never Giving Up"

JAZZ
Landing soundlessly on a high-rise rooftop, Jazz plops down on the ledge and just allows himself to breathe.

He's tired.

So tired.

And deep inside, he sometimes wishes he could just sleep and never wake up. His chest hurts constantly. More specifically, his heart. He's been holding on to Seth so tightly, fighting desperately to not let the male slip through his fingers, that he feels like he’s one big, giant callous.

Split and bleeding.

He pauses, spotting the first lights of daybreak peaking over the dark horizon. Such beautiful light rising from the darkest part of the night.

Jazz stares at it, a small smile surfacing at the blatant metaphor presenting itself.

With a silent nod of thanks, he stands and expands his angelic wings, then takes to the skies, heading back to his weary heart’s anchor.

 

 

* * *

 

 

SETH
Sitting alone in his earthen cell, Seth frowns at the clamminess of his flesh. This solitude is like a knife in his black-as-night heart. He strains to sit up straighter. Immediately, his head swims.

“Jazz,” he rasps.

No reply.  

Glowering, he shoves up off the bed, his muscles feeling like Jell-O inside his body. One shaky step, then another. The bones in his legs threaten to collapse, then promptly do just that, sending him sprawling.  In his utter fatigue, he spills to the ground, unable to brace. His head strikes a rock. Hissing at the sharp pain, he blinks as warm blood trickles into his eye.

Damn it.

With shaky hands, he attempts to get up, but his strength is wholly gone. He needs essence, the kind he can stomach. And he needs it now. He can feel it. He’s on the precipice of wasting away. Muscles trembling, he snarls and tries again to push himself up, but again his body betrays him and drops to the ground. Breath leaves him on a groan.

Jazz promised he wouldn’t leave.
He lied.
He always lies.

With a breathless curse, he goes limp as his stinging vision fades to black, his hair and naked body slick with sweat. In his mind, once again, he is lost in the great void, his father’s hard, cruel laughter filling his ears.

 

 

* * *

 

JAZZ

 

Almost there.

 

Jazz continues to fly back to Seth as fast as his warrior wings will take him—which, truth be told, is pretty fucking fast. A loud crack rents the night sky as he breaks the atmosphere’s sound barrier. A heartbeat later, he touches down soundlessly at the mouth of the cave.

Hitting the ground in mid stride, a duffle bag strap draped across his chest, he enters the cavern’s sleeping quarters—and gasps in alarm. Seth is sprawled out on the ground, face down, his head in a puddle of blood.

“Shit! Seth! What happened?” He drops his bag and races over. Rolling Seth over, he pats at his cheek. “Seth! Seth, wake up!”

Seth groans.

Aw, God. He’s got a nasty gash on his brow.

Jazz grimaces at the sight, then curses. Seth had woken while he was gone. Had needed Jazz and… Jazz hadn’t been there for him.

Heart clenching with guilt, he tugs Seth up against his chest, then buries his face in Seth’s neck and groans, “I'm sorry. Please forgive me. I thought I’d be back before you woke.”

An exhale rattles past Seth’s lips.

Jazz pulls back and eyes the vampire anxiously. “Seth. You gotta wake up for me. It’s me. It’s Jazz. Come on. Come back.”

But again, Seth doesn’t respond.

Jazz’s heart jacks into his throat.

Not fucking good.

Picking Seth up, he carries him back to the bed and lays him down, then promptly retrieves the duffle bag he’d left on the ground. Pulse thumping, he sets it on the nightstand and digs out a bag of dark red blood. Compliments, incidentally, of a rehabilitated warlock. He’d sensed the male earlier that day in the city and, on a whim, decided to intercept him on the street. To Jazz’s luck, not long ago, the warlock had changed his evil ways, no longer practicing black magic, but white.

Fortunately, this didn’t change his DNA, his fundamental essence. Dirty deeds or not, his blood still runs dark. In other words, it still holds the signature Seth needs, it’s just not nearly as concentrated—a perfect temporary solution. And how nice of the warlock to offer a few pints for the road. Granted, he’d been hesitant when Jazz had asked for the ‘donation,’ but after promising him a night fly on the next equinox, he’d happily agreed.

Old habits die hard, Jazz supposes, but that’s neither here nor there to him. All he cares about is getting his starving lover what he needs.

Yanking off the bag’s cap, he lowers it down to Seth's mouth. “Open for me, vampire. It’ll help.”

 

SETH
The first drop on his tongue all but makes his taste buds sizzle. Parting his lips further, he closes his mouth over the opening and begins to suck. Warm, thick fluid spills onto his tongue, a myriad of flavor and dark power, instantly absorbing into the membranes lining his mouth. In his mind, an image flashes of a male he does not know, the strange scent of caramel and cinnamon imbedding his senses.

He growls and gulps faster.

But then the bag is ripped from his lips. He hisses and bares his fangs, needing more, demanding more. His eyes open in time to watch Jazz shoving another bag toward him. Seth snarls and sinks his fangs into it before Jazz can even pop the lid. Blood explodes into his mouth. He greedily gulps it down, his every cell beginning to thrum with renewed vigor. Hallow cheeks fill steadily in. Heat suffuses his flesh. He can feel it turning from ashy gray to flush.

Short moments later, Jazz takes the bag again, but this time, Seth merely licks his lips, dazedly seeking the last drops left on his mouth. More hints of cinnamon on his tongue. “I suddenly,” he rumbles groggily, “have a craving for snicker doodles.”

 

JAZZ
Jazz blinks, then busts out laughing, relief rushing through him like waters crashing through a dam. When Seth looks up at him, he just laughs harder, palming Seth’s cheeks with trembling hands.

“Fucking vampire. I'll show you snicker doodle.”

 He crushes his lips to Seth's and ravages his mouth, all his pent-up anxieties morphing to ferocity. Liquid fire. Raw emotion. He’d been afraid he’d lose the fucker, and the thought had wreaked freaking havoc on his sanity. His lips curve widely against Seth's mouth. A mouth that’s become far too easy to kiss.

Seth growls, sounding drunk, and grips Jazz’s biceps.

Jazz pulls back, panting. With hooded eyes, he gazes down at him, then smiles. “Hi.”

 

SETH
Seth is reeling, not just from the rush of dark blood flowing through his veins, but the desire that Jazz just poured into his system. His muscles heat and tighten.

“Jazz,” he rasps. “You came back to me.  You came back to me, my angel…”

With a rumble, he jerks Jazz down to him and claims another kiss. But just as Jazz reaches to fist his hair, Seth shoves him off again. Jazz is tasty, but Seth isn’t done yet. Wants more to drink. Reaching in the direction of where he easily scents more blood, he grabs another bag from Jazz’s duffle and hungrily bites into it. Crimsons spurts onto his chest. Groaning, he swallows the headiness down, not lost to the feel of Jazz’s warm hands possessively clutching him.

 

JAZZ
Jazz's heart pounds as he watches his decadent vampire consume his fill. Above his steady gulping, he swears he hears Seth's heart pounding, too. A glorious fucking sound to his angelic ears. His lover lives another day. He nearly thrums as he stares at his vampire. “I told you, I’m not going anywhere. I have a job to do here, remember?”

He brings Seth's hand to his mouth and kisses its knuckles, then presses them to his cheek. A contented sigh emerges. Seth watches him quietly. Jazz gazes down at him, then brushes the slick hair from Seth's brow. “I'm not fuckin’ giving up,” he murmurs. “I'm not.”

 

SETH
Unable to help it, Seth smiles weakly. “You are such a soft-hearted idiot.”

He feels alive again. Arching his back, he stretches happily atop the bed. Everything is suddenly so much more exquisitely sensitive.

“Fuck me,” he rumbles, “that was good.” 

He grins. Jazz grins right back in spades. Then Seth smears a hand through the blood on his chest. “Where did you get this?”

 

JAZZ
Jazz’s eyes drop to watch Seth's splayed hand traveling over his thick pecs, the sensuous motion making him want to join in on the fun. Next thing he knows, he totally is. Both hands meet up with his vampire’s, one hand’s fingers twining with Seth’s while the other roams down his torso. So slippery and smooth, the feel of hard, slick nipples under his palm making Jazz moan before he can stop himself.

“From a warlock...” He leans down and laps Seth’s collar bone, then moves up his neck. “He took pity on my desperate state...” A suckle on Seth’s lobe. Seth shivers. Jazz grins. “I'm pleased with its results.” He nibbles down Seth’s jawline. “You're lookin’ good again.”

 

SETH
“I’m feeling good again,” Seth moans, eyes growing heavy.

He was so turned on. He could feel his blood like fire coursing through his veins. But the need to sleep is now descending with a potent fury, too.

Burying his red-stained hands in Jazz’s hair, he holds his angel close to his chest. His fists tighten and relax as his steady breathing slows. Lethargy is upon him. His hands drop down to his sides. Slumber as heavy as death has come to claim him.

 

JAZZ
Still nuzzling Seth affectionately, loving the feel of his vampire beneath him, Jazz chuckles as he senses Seth suddenly taken by sleep. He lifts his head and looks at his beautiful lover’s unconscious face. The soft snore slipping from his lips makes Jazz smile. He'd just pulled them out of a very precarious situation. And he'd likely have to do it again very soon. Which sucks, but for now, he’s just too happy to dwell on that fact.

Getting up, he grabs a washrag and gets busy cleaning up Seth's chest until not even a smidgen of blood remains. Seth never even stirs. Jazz smiles and tosses the cloth, then slides back up beside him as close as he can get.

As he drifts off to sleep, the first restful sleep he’s had in days, Jazz breathes into the darkness, “Never givin’ up...”

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