Remembrance: written by Kora Knight & Raven Foxx
Jazz hadn’t seen his new buddy Zayta around much lately. He kinda missed her ornery self. The last time they'd hung out they were dodging New York City's finest after dousing a couple pedestrians with soda-filled water balloons. He smiled at the memory as he lounged on his couch. He had the night off from demon patrol and was halfway considering calling her. Would the number she gave him actually work?
* * *
Zayta couldn't put it off any longer. Despite how much she liked her new friend Jazz, orders were orders. The only reason she knew him to begin with was because her master had commanded it so. It hadn’t been hard to befriend him. He was exceptionally outgoing. She smirked. Maybe it was an angel thing. But her dry smile faded quickly. The problem was, she’d genuinely started to like the guy. She didn’t want to turn him in. She’d rather keep him for her own little play dates. He was cool. And fun. And hotter than hell. A small shiver sluiced up her spine.
What to do, what to do. Her gaze slid over to her cramped quarters’ dry-rotted kitchenette countertop. A vial of swirling green liquid glowed ominously. Her master had given it to her over a week ago to use when the time was right. She frowned at it thoughtfully from across the room. Maybe she could use it, but once Jazz was unconscious, whisk him off to some hidden corner of the continent to enjoy for herself. Her eyes glittered with desire. He would make one yummy sex toy. She licked her lips absently.
Her shoulders slumped on a sigh. Who was she trying to fool? If she ever pulled a stunt like that, her master would hunt her down and punish her relentlessly for the rest of her long-lived days. Her mouth curved cruelly. No, the vampire lord was not one for mercy, didn’t even grasp the concept of forgiveness, and certainly would never support the idea of a swift and timely death for ones’ sins. He’d take great pleasure in making her suffer for betraying him.
She shuddered at the thought. Yeah, fuck that. As much as she liked Jazz, he wasn’t worth eternal torture. With a grumble, she tugged out her cell from her skin-tight pants pocket and dialed up the object of her frustration.
Jazz’s iPhone broke into song, vibrating across his coffee table’s distressed wooden surface as Moves Like Jagger filled the small room. He lifted a brow, then swiped the thing up. Zayta. He grinned. Speak of the devil. “Zayta,” he drawled into the receiver, “I take it your done avoiding me.”
Zayta’s lips twitched at his boyish smugness. He must be younger than she thought. “Well you know. I’ve had places to go, people to see.” Jazz chuckled. “But enough about little ole me,” she smirked. Her cool smile softened as she shifted on her feet. “What about you, Angel Cake? You busy? Mind if I drop by?”
Jazz’s brow lifted in surprise. He scanned his apartment with a grimace. The place had definitely seen cleaner days. He cleared his throat and got up from the couch. “Um... I was kinda hoping to get out for a bit. Stretch my legs. Get some fresh air. How about I meet you somewhere instead?”
Zara paused, tilting her head as if pondering his tone. Finally, she shrugged. “Ok. How about SoHo Café?” She looked down at the vial in her hand. Drugging one’s drink. Cliché, but for a reason.
Jazz growled happily at her suggestion. “Coffee. Oh hell yeah. That actually sounds perfect. Need to have my head in the game when it’s time to clock in. And nothing says wide awake like a double-freaking espresso. Meet you there in ten.”
Zayta laughed huskily. “See you then, fly boy.”
Zayta hung up and quickly hit speed dial. Time to check in with her master and give him the heads up. A few minutes later she was hanging up again, but this time her insides were no longer warm and fuzzy like when she’d been talking to Jazz. Now her blood ran cold, her skin crawling with disquiet. The vampire lord had sounded pleased and yet his voice had held an unmistakably ominous vibe. It made her flesh want to turn inside out.
She shuddered for the second time at the mere thought of the dark lord. She couldn’t screw this up. The repercussions were too harsh to even think about. Yanking her jacket off the back of the couch, she shrugged the soft leather on, then quickly flashed out of the room. She needed to beat Jazz to their meeting spot so she could buy his drink and spike it.
She appeared in the alleyway adjacent to the café and quickly took a look around. No one around but a couple idiot tools arguing nearby. She side-stepped their escalating dispute and quickly made her way inside. Five minutes later and she was sitting in a back corner booth, two steaming cups of high-test sitting morbidly in front of her. She stared at the empty vial in her hand and wondered what she’d just condemned her friend to.
“I’m such a bitch,” she muttered.
* * *
Seth laid in wait silently in the shadows beside the café. He’d begun to have doubts in the girl, she’d waited so long. Truthfully, had she not called him tonight, she would have found herself thrown into the dungeon by morning.
A cold smirk curved across his features as he watched her from across the street. Now to see what she’d do. Would she do her job or force his hand punishing hand? “Do not disappoint me, child,” he murmured.
* * *
A few minutes later, Jazz sauntered through the doors, his hands shoved deep in his pockets. He spotted Zayta instantly, holed up discreetly in the back of the café. He chuckled at her seating choice and headed over to greet her.
“S'up, little troublemaker.” He smiled. “Long time no see.”
Zayta smiled up at him. “Now what makes you think I’m a troublemaker? I never make trouble.” Jazz snorted, sliding into the booth across from her. She watches him tentatively. “So, how you been, pretty boy? Still experimenting wreaking havoc in the mortal world?” she teased, settling her chin into her hand as her foot slid up his calf. He jerked slightly, making her grin.
He cleared his throat, shrugging with a chuckle. “Something like that.” A boyish grin spread across his features. “After our little water balloon adventure? I hit the rooftop a few blocks down with my M47 super-charged water sniper.” He let out a hearty laugh. “Oh my God. Some of the expressions the humans were giving each other?” His guffaws turned into full-fledged howls as he slapped his hand on the table. “Priceless! You have GOT to come with me next time.”
Zayta laughed along with him. “You’ve certainly got no problems with keeping yourself entertained. And at the expense of the humans, too. I’m so proud.” She grinned coolly.
Jazz sighed happily. “Yeah....” His eyes drifted down to the mug she’d slid in front of him. “Thanks,” he grinned. “Next time I buy.”
Zayta inclined her head, and he couldn’t help noticing how her smile seemed to shrink. Did she think he wouldn’t want a next time? He tucked that thought away and took a big, indulgent of his double-time espresso. His eyes slid shut as a deep, happy moan rumbled up his throat.
“Oh yeah,” he growled. “My little piece of heaven right here on earth...” His eyes slid back open as a genuine smile lit his tanned features. “Thank you. I really needed this.” He chuckled, leaning back and dragging a hand through his unruly mane of dark hair. “And I don’t just mean the coffee. My job burns me out sometimes. It’s nice to recharge with someone not connected to all the BS.”
Zayta frowned, watching him take another swallow. “Jazz,” she breathed, her tone seeping with unbidden remorse. “I... I'm so sorry.”
Jazz furrowed his brows. “Sorry? For what, Z?” His vision started to warble. He rubbed his eyes and shrugged. “We're good. You… you don’t need to aplologize for shlit.” Why were his words beginning to slur?
Zayta gave him a sad grimace.
He blinked, then pinched the bridge of his nose. He suddenly felt dizzy. “What the fruck?” He looked back at his friend. There were two of her now. He stomach pitched nauseously. “Aw man,” he groaned. “I don’t... I don’t feel so good.”
The time had finally come. Seth stepped from the shadows and entered the café, his lips twitching into a cruel smile. He slid into the booth beside Zayta and gave Jazz a wicked grin. “Hello angel. Feeling ill?” Zayta shifted uneasily. Jazz stiffened, frowning at him in clear confusion. Seth chuckled, then exhaled a single name. “Anton.” Behind Jazz, his son instantly stepped into view.
Seth turned to place a kiss on his newest servant’s forehead. “You've done good, little girl.” He smirked, stroking her head like a dog. “Indeed. Such a good girl.”
Ramrod stiff, she bowed her head. “Thank you, Master.”
Seth gave her a cold smile, then looked back to Jazz. The angel looked like a drunkard, the way he swayed in his seat. Seth’s smirk curved crueler. “You've been so busy,” he growled, “killing what's mine.” In the blink of an eyes, he was back on his feet, dragging the angel from his seat. “Take Zayta, Anton,” he snarled, his eyes never leaving Jazz’s face, “and teach her not to leave me waiting so long next time.”
Anton nodded and in an instant was gone, Zayta in tow.
Seth sighed smugly, and wrapped his arm around Jazz’s shoulder. “You've hurt enough of my people,” he muttered in the angel’s ear. “Now it's your turn to hurt.”
Jazz’s eyes went wide as he struggled to understand what was happening. His gaze darted around the café, as if using other patrons’ reactions to help gauge the severity of his predicament. Seth smirked as he watched him. The angel warrior didn’t realize, but Seth was using his dark powers to conceal them from the humans.
Jazz grimaced, choking down a gag. What was happening? The evil surrounding the male up against him was so thick he could barely breathe. He tried to shove him away, but his arms wouldn’t cooperate. They felt like flipping Jell-O. He was having a hard time focusing too, seeing double and sometime triple. If he took a swing at the dude, he’d probably hit the wrong one of him.
The male’s dark murmurings slowly sank into his frontal lobe, a few in particular garnering his attention. Zayta had done good. His muscles wrenched tighter. She’d been a part of this fucked up situation? His blurry stare turned upward to blink at the malevolent newcomer. He opened his mouth to tell the fucker off just as vicious pangs tore from his gut up through his torso. An agonized groan was all he could muster. Oh God. He'd been poisoned. Those sons of bitches! But there was nothing he could do. He tried to fight the male off, but it was like wrestling in thick sludge.
His vision began to fade and his body turned utterly limp. He wanted to vomit, feeling the dark male’s hands clutching him tighter, supporting his warrior weight. Don’t touch me, he wanted to shout. Instead, his head just lolled on his shoulders. As his eyes rolled back and as his tongue began to swell, he forced himself to slur out one last conscious sentiment. “Fuck. You. Asshole.”
With an arm around the comatose Jazz's waist, Seth smiled darkly. “We'll see what happens in the end.” He hefted Jazz up higher in his hold, then fell into long, leisurely strides. As he faded ominously from the human realm, his malevolent chuckle tapered out with him.
A moment later, he re-emerged in one of his underworld’s bleak dungeon cells. With a snarl, he slammed Jazz against a stone wall. Chains snaked out instantly to bind his ankles and wrists. A sinister smirk emerged at the unconscious angel’s pain-laced groan.
“You're lucky you’re out cold,” Seth snarled, “or I’d take great delight in beating you right now.”
He cut Jazz one last murderous glare, then turned and stalked from the room, slamming the cell door and locking it behind him. He chuckled in satisfaction, then headed to his private chambers. All this fun had made him hungry. He could hardly wait to tap into one of his waiting little blood dolls.
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