Remembrance: written by Kora Knight & Raven Foxx
"Tell me you're mine and I'll stay."
It’s been a slow shift at the pub and, ultimately, Jazz is let off early. He can easily fly home in a matter of minutes, but it’s a mild night, clear and crisp, and the fresh air feels good in his lungs. So, he decides to foot it, taking a few detour routes just to extend his walk.
He hasn’t allowed his mind much down-time lately to wonder where ever it naturally wants to go. He used to love giving his brain free reign, to roam, to soar, to anywhere it felt like taking him. But lately his thoughts always tend to veer in a certain direction. To a certain male.
So, Jazz has intentionally been keeping himself distracted, too busy to think. Tonight, though, his mind demands a chance to stretch its proverbial wings, and he’s just too tired to fight the driving urge.
Standing on the building across from Trinity Pub, he watches his angel walk out and into the night. Lazy steps guide Seth from rooftop to rooftop. When the distance is too great, he melts from shadow to shadow, entering one, then emerging from another three rooftops down.
He can feel the darkness surrounding him, can sense whatever evil is near. It’s been only a short time since he removed his darkness from Jazz, but now that he had, it allows him to hide now from the angel’s radar. Seth, however, can still feel Jazz inside of him. After all, he’d taken his essence from the angel, but he hadn’t taken the angel’s essence from himself.
It is that part of Jazz inside him that has drawn Seth this close to Jazz now. A part Seth just can’t get out of his system, out of his mind. And seeing him again now, even at this distance? It makes Seth want to steal Jazz away and force him into his bed.
Why can he no longer be that monster he once was?
Growling, he rubs his face. If only he could get that damn male out of his mind.
Jazz turns down a dark street.
Seth sighs in disapproval.
Is Jazz seeking danger out? What is he thinking?
Frowning, Seth slips through the shadows, continuing to follow him. He can't believe Jazz would put himself at such risk. What if a— His thoughts halt as he spots a shadow split from the recesses of an alley doorway, insidiously falling into line behind his boy.
Jazz shoves his hands into his pockets, gazing downward as he meanders through the back alleys. Empty cans litter the ground. He kicks one as his mind continues to stray—to the vampire, always to the vampire when it’s given the chance.
He wonders what Seth is doing at this very moment. Ever since he stole his essence back from Jazz—without his consent. Grrr—Jazz hasn’t been able to sense the vampire anywhere. And for some reason, that pisses Jazz off.
“Not cool, Seth,” he mumbles, scowling at the asphalt. “I should seriously track your ass down and—"
Abruptly, something nails him in the back of the head. Stars instantly assail his vision. The alley starts to tilt.
“What the fuck?—"
He tries to turn and face his attacker but is nailed again—by a baseball bat to the face.
“Motherfucker!” he barks as tunnel vision ensues, his feet stumbling backward. “You’re gonna pay for that—” An upper cut next, with that same bat, sending him fly back onto the ground. His head hits the pavement with a sickened thud. A dizzy curse escapes him. “Shit, that hurt.”
Standing on the edge of a rooftop, Seth seethes as he watches the human male strike down his angel.
“Oh, no he didn't,” Seth snarls, baring his fangs in disdain.
Soundlessly, he drops off the ledge and deftly lands atop Jazz’s attacker, growling as he knocks him to the ground. The mortal grunts a livid curse.
Seth glares at him, grating out, “How dare you attack what his mine?” Sparing a look to Jazz, who’s now struggling to sit up, he turns back to his assailant and grabs him by the collar. With a flick of his forearm, he sends him crashing into a building, then grins as the scent of blood immediately assails him. Eyes flashing, he stalks back over to him and slams his fist into the mortal's gut. Over and over, feeling his beast rising within him. Roiling, he roars and sends the mortal crashing into another, his ramping rage quickly stealing his grip on control.
Seth's going to kill him.
As much as Jazz wants to do it himself, he can’t let it happen.
Groaning, he lurches to his feet, wiping the blood from his mouth, and determinedly forces his feet to stumble forward. His vision is still sketchy. He blinks repeatedly to try and clear it. He’s got to move quick. Seth has already done massive damage to the mortal. The human can’t afford too many more hits.
Jazz closes the distance and grips Seth's shoulder from behind, concentrating all his focus on slowing him down. The vampire resists with a fierce determination, but Jazz can’t let him keep going. As a mission angel, the urge to protect mankind trumps even his survival instincts. He must protect his Maker's creation at all costs. This man is lost, but he’s still capable of changing, of being found.
With all his strength, Jazz spins Seth around. “No, Seth. Don’t—”
His jaw drops at the sight. Seth's expression. His eyes. The underlord is teetering on the brink of madness.
Jazz sucks in a breath and swallows, then speaks calmer. “I'm ok, Seth. Look at me. I'm good.”
“He touched you,” Seth grates out. “He hurt you.”
Jazz shakes his head. “Let me handle him. He attacked me, so he's mine.”
He holds Seth's stare until the vampire finally backs off, Seth’s nostrils flaring from the fury still boiling inside him. Fortunately, he shows respect of the unspoken rights to avenge one's attackers.
Jazz exhales and inclines his head in a silent show of thanks, then turns to the unconscious male who's now slumped on the ground. Squatting down next to him, Jazz inspects him. “He's inflicted with evil. His soul is sick. It needs healing. I can begin it, but it'll be up to him to finish it.”
With that, Jazz lights up his hand and splays it atop the human's chest. Drawing out the vileness to the surface, he grips it and, with a yanking-away motion, rips it from the human's festering soul. A bitter frown etches his features as he glares down at the essence in his hand. His fist grips tighter. Then tighter still, until the entity in his grasp bursts with a sickening pop.
Wiping his hand on his jean-clad thigh, Jazz stands back up, unable to meet the vampire’s gaze. “Thanks,” he murmurs, eyes on the ground, “for having my back.”
What the fuck?
Scowling, Seth eyes his angel, then the male on the ground. “He attacked you and you help him?” He grunts in aggravation. “You can't be serious.” When Jazz levels him with a dry look, Seth drives his foot into a trash can, sending the thing careening down the way. Turning back to Jazz, he grins sardonically. “I should’ve let him hit you more. Maybe it would’ve knocked some damn sense into you.”
Jazz rolls his eyes. “I have sense.”
Seth’s grinds his molars. “Then why? Why must you do this? Is not the law an eye for an eye”?” He smirks and picks up the male’s bat. “He struck you. Two times. I saw it with my own eyes. I believe he now deserves two strikes in return.”
Jazz’s lips twitch a little. “That’s the Old Law, Seth. Get with the program.”
Seth scoffs, but while he'd like nothing more than to strike the mortal fool again, he decides to let it go and tosses the bat. “How about you try watching your back. Next time I may not be near.”
He slides Jazz a condescending smirk, then turns to leave, forcing one step in front of the other. lf he didn't, he'd end up staying and, with Jazz so intoxicatingly near, would succumb to his desires. His burning need.
Jazz bites his tongue with a frown, watching the vampire take his leave. So fucking badly he wants to tell him to wait. To stop and come back. To tell Jazz how he's doing. How life's been treating him. Blah blah blah. Hell, anything as long as it keeps Seth around a little longer. But Jazz knows his limitations, and he has none where Seth is concerned. The smartest thing to do him go—
Abruptly, dizziness envelopes him.
What is going on?
Jazz stumbles backward, falling against a dumpster with a bang. Grunting, he drops down onto his haunches and holds his head. That human must’ve hit him harder than he realized. Or maybe it was when his skull had kissed the pavement... Either way, now that his adrenaline is waning, he's beginning to really feel it.
Out of his periphery, he sees Seth pause, then look Jazz’s way over his shoulder. Jazz groans and drops onto his ass. Will the underlord think him weak? A pathetic excuse of a male? “I’m good… No worries…”
Seth is instantly at Jazz 's side. Sighing heavily, he sinks to one knee. “Don’t worry. I’m going to help you.”
Tenderly, he lifts Jazz into his arms, then into through darkness, appearing a moment later on Jazz’s balcony. When the doors open obediently, he steps into Jazz’s room and carefully lays his angel on the bed. In a flash he has him naked.
Jazz stiffens, then opens his mouth to protest.
“Be quiet,” Seth cuts him off.
Making water bowl appear, a sponge and soothing herbs included, he sets to methodically bathing his angel. To his relief, Jazz doesn’t stop him. As silence fills the room, Seth wonders again if he could be in love with this male. If, somehow someway, it could be more than lust and possession. He’s never known love, though, so why could he possibly think himself even capable?
“You're an angel, Jazz,” he mutters, diverting his mind from its train of thought. “You're supposed to be smarter than this.” Jazz twitches when Seth skims the dripping sponge over his side. Seth smirks. “Are your ribs broken? Surely, you're too hard-headed to have suffered damage to your skull.”
Jazz chuckles through a shuddering breath. “That tickles… And my head is perfect, fuck you very much.” Trying to sit up, he winces, palming the back of his cranium. “Shit,” he groans. “Maybe my head’s not hard enough. I wonder if mission angels can get concussions.”
Seth rolls his eyes and shoves him down again. Jazz’s playful grin ebbs. Gripping Seth’s wrist, he stares at the vampire.
Just as beautiful as ever.
Maybe more so, even.
He blinks slowly as Seth holds his gaze, then frowns and clears his throat. “I've missed you.”
Hand planted on his angel's chest, Seth stills, Jazz’s words like a fresh slash of his heart. Scowling, he looks away and forces down the hard lump in his throat. “Don't start,” he speaks faintly.
Helping Jazz sit up again, he pulls him close and inspects his head, gently inspecting Jazz’s scalp with roaming fingers. In seconds, he finds a nasty gash. Absently raising a hand to his lips, he readies to slice open his finger, the pauses. Now that his darkness has been removed from Jazz system, this wouldn’t be wise.
His chest tightens. He drops his hand. “I’ll have to bandage your head.” He frowns. “Or maybe your siblings should heal your wound instead.” Looking down at the male against his chest, Seth feels a full-body ache. An ache to kiss his angel and hold him closer. But the way things between them stand… “Yes,” he nods, “I think that would be best. I will go and you can call them in to help you.”
Leaning against Seth's warm body is almost more than Jazz can bare. Nuzzling his face into the vampire's shoulder, he breathes in his rich, heady scent. His eyes close, his fingers tightening around Seth’s wrist again. “No. Just… wait.”
Seth looses a soft growl.
Jazz presses his face into the vampire's neck. “Relax,” he murmurs, eyes still closed, “I'm not gonna do anything. Don’t want anything from you. I just... I just don’t want you to leave just yet.”
Seth exhales, clearly not thinking it a good idea, but Jazz ignores him, forcing a smile. “My face hurts like a son of a bitch. You sure you weren’t sitting back watching my head get beat in like a piñata?”
Jazz’s warm breath against his neck sends a faint shiver down his spine. Of its own volition, his hand raises to sink back into Jazz’s hair, but he catches himself at the last second and shoves away.
“Enough,” he growls. “I'm tired of these games, of your charms. I'm in no mood to be fucked with yet again. Let your siblings come and help you now. I'm leaving.” With firm resolution, he stands and forces his feet to move.
Jazz groans and quickly rights himself. “No. Don’t go.”
Frustrated, Seth glares at the aggravating male over his shoulder. “Why? You're the one who told me to fuck off with your little parting gift.” He smirks coolly. “Don't you remember? Or have you suddenly changed your mind?”
To his disgust, his heart thumps faster.
Was that hope swelling in his chest?
Jazz has no idea how badly Seth wants to yank him against his body.
“Make up your fucking mind,” he growls. “I'm not a friendly bastard. You know this. I don't sit around and play patty cake. And you need to be healed.”
Jazz scowls, then grumbling, flops back onto his sheets. Whatever, dude. Leave. I'll see you around.”
Unable to stop himself, Seth snarls and stalks back over to the bed. Grabbing Jazz’s shoulders, he tugs him up and crushes their mouths together for a heated kiss. Ending it as quickly as it starts, he smirks. “One last taste. Now I'll go. Watch your ass because I won’t anymore. I do believe you've played with me enough.” Letting go, he turns and walks back out, his instant erection a reminder of how much he desires his angel. But to be with Jazz meant inflicting fresh wounds upon his soul.
Jazz stares after him, still dazed by the fleeting, unexpected kiss.
Shit. Seth’s lips had been sweeter than fuck.
But Jazz had barely had a chance to reciprocate.
The fucker. Yeah, who's playing who here....
Frustrated and angry, he scrambles off the bed after Seth, but his balance is still out of whack, so he plows into the door jamb. Pain sears through his shoulder. He curses. “Just hold the fuck up! You don’t get to say stupid shit like that and then waltz the fuck out of here. Fuck that BS.” Lunging out the double doors, he nearly trips over his feet, sending him flailing right into Seth’s chest.
Seth hisses in irritation, struggling briefly to keep them both standing.
Grimacing in pain, Jazz grabs his arms and grits through clenched teeth, “Let’s get something straight right the fuck now, vampire. I'm not, and never have, played your ass. I never told you to fuck off. And I never asked you to watch over me.”
Seth eyes him incredulously, then tries to turn away, but Jazz holds fast. “No. I'm not finished. That ring I gave you? That wasn’t a parting gift. That was me trying to show you how much you mean to me, damn it. That I don’t ever want you to forget me.”
Anger growing, he shoves Seth against the balcony’s outside wall. “So fuck you for turning my whole world upside down!” Abruptly, his features twist into a mask of emotional torment. “And fuck you,” he groans, “if you think you can just kiss me whenever you want.”
Jaw tense, he points back inside. “That fucking shit you pulled in there? Goddamn it, that just wrecked me all fucking over again! I've been trying to get over you! That shit ain’t helping!” Gripping Seth’s shoulders before he can stop himself, he mutters under his breath, “God help me,” then crushes their mouths together in fresh desperation.
The instant their tongues clash, passion crashes through Seth’s veins. Moaning, he snakes his arms around Jazz’s body and lifts him up, feasting upon his angel's exquisite mouth. “Then I’ll stay.” With a growl, he dumps Jazz back onto the bed, his heart swelling as he smiles down at his angel. “Tell me you're mine and I'll stay.” He hungrily rakes Jazz’s body. “Fuck,” he whispers. “You make me want to give you everything.”
Body trembling with unbridled emotions, he descends back on Jazz’s lips, ready to devour his angel all night long.
Jazz moans against his mouth, fire and ice warring inside his veins. Seth's kiss is lighting him on fire like it always does.
But then realization hits.
Seth misunderstood Jazz's words, interpreted them to mean Jazz wants another go. Another chance at working things out between them.
Jazz’s insides freeze with dread.
Fuck. How is he going to break it to him?
He doesn’t want to hurt Seth any more than he already has. Was trying to explain that he hadn’t meant to hurt Seth the first time around! But now? Now he’s about to do it all over again.
Son of a bitch, but he tastes so good…
Feels so good in Jazz's arms.
It makes Jazz want to throw his resolutions to the wind and say, Fuck it. Take me now.
But they'd just be in the same boat as before. At a stale mate. An impasse.
Jazz forces himself to slow their kiss. Loosening his grip on Seth's sides, he lets out a panting whimper.
Seth pulls back and eyes him in confusion. Jazz can’t hide the remorse on his face. Seth's expression hardens instantly, understanding what’s about to happen. Again.
Baring his fangs, he jerks off of the bed.
Panic slams Jazz's chest. Seth is leaving this time for good. He is never going to see the vampire again.
Jack-knifing up into a sitting position, Jazz grabs Seth's arm. “Wait! Seth, please. I didn’t mean for you to think— I mean, I wasn’t trying to mislead you. I— I just wanted you to know that—” Seth rips away from his grip. “Listen to me!” Jazz shouts. “I've never meant to hurt you!”
Seth laughs harshly. “No. Of course not. You just wanted to make me a fucking fool.” Grasping Jazz’s wrist, he slaps the token ring into his palm. “Give this to your next pet. I'm through. Watch your own ass.” Bitterness fills him. “I thought you were different.” He laughs hoarsely. “What an idiot I am.”
His voice drops all emotion, as does the expression on his face. “I'll never be good. I'll never be something of worth, but I could have been so much for you. You made my heart beat again so you could stomp it back out of existence.”
Snarling low, he slashing at his own chest with a claw. Blood drips down his flesh. “Well, enjoy the sight. Because of you, this city will run red very soon. It’s time for me to be what I was born to be.”
Jazz's heart drops as Seth vanishes in a great gust of fury.
Oh, God. How many innocent people has he just sentenced to death?
Jazz scrubs his face. This can’t go on. Seth is veering out of control and taking an exit ramp to the Interstate of Insanity. Jazz cannot allow Seth's imminent rampage. But what can he do? Or more to the point, what is he willing to do?
Dropping back onto his sheets, he stares out the balcony doors and frowns. “You force my hand, vampire. This won’t be pretty.”
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