Chapter Fourteen

Remembrance: written by Kora Knight & Raven Foxx 

"Zayta, you gotta get me out of here."

Although Zayta won't admit it, she misses Jazz ridiculously, to the point that it’s becoming too much. She has to see him, make sure he’s all right.

Sneaking into his private quarters, she’s disappointed to discover he isn't there. She decides to wait and surprise him when he returns. Making herself comfortable in one on the chairs, she quickly becomes incredibly bored. Soon she ends up wrenching into odd positions in the chair to keep herself entertained while she waits.


Jazz walks through the door, but slams on the breaks at the sight of Zayta. Her visit is completely unexpected. He doesn’t know if he should be happy or pissed to see her.

Taking a step forward, he shuts the door behind him and leans over to drop his cat on the floor. Startled, she quickly rights herself in his chair.

“Hey, Z,” he mutters. “Fancy seeing you here.”

Zayta fidgets with the straps on her dress. “Hello to you, too.” Lounging back in her chair, a small smirk tugs at her lips. “I missed you. Figured I’d see how you were doing.” She looks him up and down. “It seems the Masters is treating you well.” She glances around the room. “I don't even think my room is this nice.” Her smirk turns to a smile as she peers down, eyeing the cat now rubbing against her leg.

Jazz regards her quietly, still unsure how to feel about her little visit. Rubbing the back of his neck, he clears his throat. “If by ‘treating me well’ you mean, subjecting me to cruel and unusual forms of punishment,” he drawls, “then yeah, he's treating me pretty good.”

She looks up and meets his eyes. A cold grin curves his lips. “Guess I’ve got you to thank for that, don’t I, Z? Thank you. I will never forget your kindness.” Dropping the façade, he frowns and flops down on his bed. “I need to get the fuck outta here,” he mutters up to the ceiling.

Zayta frowns and stands up, then crosses her arms defensively. “I had my skin torn from my flesh for merely ‘taking too long,’ fly boy. I’m sure you can figure out what would’ve happened to me if I hadn't done it at all.” She looks down at her feet. “You're amazing and all, Jazz, but I’m still a demon. I gotta save my own hide if I wanna survive.” Inhaling deeply, she lifts her gaze back to his. “But for what it’s worth... I… I'm sorry.”

Jazz stares at her. He can hear her sincerity, her genuine remorse. With a groan, he grabs her wrist and yanks her down on the bed beside him. For the longest time, both just lay there staring at the ceiling.

Finally, Jazz speaks. “I know you were in a rough spot. I'm sorry for what happened to you and I'm sorry I couldn’t stop it from happening.” When she just shrugs, he sighs heavily. “I don’t know how you all keep your sanity, what with all that demon blood pumping through your veins.”

Turning on his side, he looks her dead in the eyes. “I have it in me now, too,” he utters dejectedly. “Seth's blood. It’s in me. I can feel it. Taking root in my soul.” His frown deepens. He searches her face. “I'm fucked, aren’t I, Z? Doomed. Tell me,” he implores anxiously. “What will become of me now?”

Zayta sighs and settles her hand atop his chest.  “That's hard to answer, angel cake. Demon blood affects different entities… differently. But here’s the thing. You can wallow in your self-pity until it drives you completely insane, or…” She flashes another of her snarky little smirks “… you can do yourself a favor and try to enjoy it. Hell, look at me,” she chuckles darkly. “I get off from being flayed. How doomed am I?”

Jazz recoils at her words and sits up. “God,” he groans. Dropping his face into his hands, he shakes his head in disbelief. “This can’t be happening. Not to me. I'm an angel. I should be able to beat this shit.”

Turning, he peers down at her as she lounges on his bed, then abruptly grabs her forearm. “You gotta get me out of here. I can feel myself changing. Drawn to things that I shouldn’t want. Consumed by things I should never set eyes on.” He swallows hard. “Please. There's got to be a way to get me outta here.” His eyes go wide as something occurs to him. “My siblings! Get my siblings to find me, Z! Please! I don’t have much longer. I can feel it. The changes are happening so fast. I don’t trust myself here anymore.”

Zayta eyes him with a frown, then gets back up and re-crosses her arms. “You want to leave? Yes, of course you do,” she growls. “Never mind that I'm all alone and you were my only shot at having a friend here.” Standing, she starts to pace, her blue eyes flashing to angry black.  Evidently, she didn’t like the thought of him leaving.

Jazz’s brain churns as he watches her pace. “Maybe you can come with me. Run away from this place and never come back. My siblings and I can put a cloak blessing on you so no one can find you. You'd be safe.” He stands and walks over to her. “You don’t wanna be in this hell hole any more than I do. So let’s work together to get the fuck outta here.”

She shakes her head. “I’m a demon. This is where I belong and you know it. I can't just leave. My darkness, it’ll torment me always to return.” She growls again, then pulls him close and plants a hard kiss on his mouth. “Stay here. Make the most of it, Jazz.” A cruel smile curves her lips. “I can guarantee you some moments of… happiness but can’t make any promises of getting you out of here.” Pivoting on her heels, she turns and heads for the door.

Still stunned by her kiss, Jazz finally snaps out of it and beats feet after her. “Wait,” he snaps, grabbing her arm. “Just as you can’t leave because of you’re a demon, I can’t stay because I'm an angel. This place is gonna kill me, Z! You know this deep inside!”

He frowns at her, then looses an angry growl of his own. “You got me here, female,” he grits through clenched teeth. “Now get me out!”

Zayta tenses with a hiss.

Jazz blinks and backs off, abruptly reigning in his newfound temper. Drawing in a breath, he tries to talk in a calmer tone. “Look. If you can’t do it yourself, then find my siblings. They'll do it. I know they will. Please… Just think about it.”

Zayta scowls at him for a long moment, fidgeting on her feet.

Finally, she shrugs irritably. “Yeah sure, angel cake. Whatever.”

With that, and one final ornery show of her fangs, she turns and storms from the room, slamming the door.

Mind reeling, Jazz just stands there, frowning down to his soul. In this moment, he’s so frickin’ torn, it physically hurts. He has to go. He knows he does. But a part of him doesn’t want to. A part of him wants to stay and see where things go. With Seth. Jazz still wants to help him. Still wants to lure him out of the darkness. And for a while, he’s actually been letting himself believe that he can.

But who is he kidding?

Seth wasn’t just any fucking guy. Not even just any vampire. He was a dark lord. Jazz might get the man to waver at times, but change him? Make him see the light? In truth, that probably isn’t even possible. Seth’s very essence most likely isn’t even capable.

Distraught, Jazz breathes a curse and curls up on his bed. His kitten snuggles beside him, making him think of the time Seth lounged with him too. Jazz’s chest squeezes uncomfortably. He shouldn’t be thinking of Seth like this. He should hate him. He’s his captor. Is keeping Jazz prisoner, for shit’s sake.

“Aw, God,” he groans in the quiet. “I’ve lost my mind.”

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