Too late, the Watcher thought. Then, from the crumpled wreckage, he heard a voice—an agonized whisper, but to his sensitive ears, she could have been standing next to him, instead of crushed within the mangled and twisted metal that was once her vehicle.
“Help. Please, somebody.”
Covered by the darkness of the foggy night, the Watcher ran toward her, following a debris trail of shattered glass and spilt gasoline. Her car had landed at least one hundred yards from the impact zone, driver’s side down against the highway’s rain-slicked surface road, precariously close to the drop off of the deadly gorge. He glanced briefly at the other car—all but ripped in two from the collision and flung up against the steep rock face of the narrow winding pass. The occupants had been thrown wide. Blood pooled beneath their bodies. The smell of death confirmed what he’d already suspected. No human could have survived that.
He turned his attention back to the trapped woman. He could hear her shallow breaths and weak heartbeat, thankful that she had survived the crash, although in what state he did not yet know. Within seconds, he had peeled back the roof of her car, only to discover her body twisted and broken beyond repair.
The smell of her blood consumed him. Against his will, his sharp fangs slid out. The tantalizing aroma of her blood burned the back of his throat, taunting him. Locking his jaw shut, he battled his inner demon and gripped down hard on her metal coffin, his strong fingers sliding effortlessly into the car’s steel frame. It went against his predatory nature to rein in his natural instincts, but his love and sense of duty for the woman won out.
Unwilling to sate his cravings, he embraced the burn, swallowed hard against the razors lining his throat, willing his fangs to retract. He had to stay strong and do everything in his power to keep her alive. She was the last of their line, the only female in two hundred years. It was his sworn duty to protect her at all costs.
Her heartbeat grew weaker as she continued to lose blood. Searching for the source of the bleeding he saw her femoral artery had been severed. His mind scrambled for a solution but deep down he knew there was nothing he could do. Even if he found a way to close the wound, she’d already lost too much blood.
Screaming a profanity, he ripped the remaining portion of roof from the car’s body and threw it into the canyon below. His infallible strength collapsed and he fell to his knees beside the car looking in, tears of blood welling in his eyes. Feeling the loss of her soul from the world tore at his undead heart.
He had failed her, failed them all.
Joanne grew up in sunny Queensland in Australia and currently resides on the Sunshine Coast with her husband and two sons. She has always had a passion for writing and is a former radio announcer and journalist. Currently she works in her other passion- teaching children the vital life saving skill of learn to swim. In her spare time she likes to drink coffee with her friends and train and compete in triathlons (very badly).
Joanne is currently writing a sequel to Freefall, and a YA Contemporary novel that may or may not take another three years to write. She also has plans to write a sequel to Illuminated Darkness, that will be titled Darkness Enveloped.