He could hear her calling; soft whispers in the mind, her essence surrounding him. The darkness engulfed him. He felt her pain. Her pain was his. It was like a dagger plunging deep within his gut, twisting, the blade embedding deep to take away his last breath.

No!

The limp body of his prey dropped to the pavement with a dull thud. He shot up and ran down the alley as fast as his legs would carry him until his body began to evaporate, turning into nothing more than a black mist, floating through the air. The pain became worse the more he neared her.

He moved unseen from alley and past the people on the busy streets. Finally approaching her apartment building, the mist faded and he returned to his solid form. He went up the stairs three at a time. The pain was worse now. When he came to her door it was set ajar. Pushing it further open, he stepped inside, quickly closing the door behind him with is foot.

"Julie!?" he cried, his black eyes scanning the room frantically. He ran into the bedroom and stopped short.

She was there.

She laid on the floor, her blonde hair damp and nothing covering her body but a bloodstained towel that was wrapped loosely around her. Her legs we curled slightly beneath her, eyes closed as she faced the ceiling. Steam came from the bathroom, the sounds of running water from the shower hitting the tile.

He dropped to his knees at her side, gathering his beloved up into his arms. His hands became wet with the blood beneath her. "Julie, answer me!"

She opened her brown eyes, dull with pain and forced a weak smile upon seeing his face, "Tyler…"

"Oh no, Julie, what happened?" He brushed the damp hair from her face, leaving a small smudge of blood on her forehead. The smell of the crimson flow was tempting, but his love for her was stronger.

"I was…shot," she pushed the words past her lips, her thin dark brows drawing together in pain. "I'm dying, Tyler."

"Shh, you're not going to die, my sweet." He held her closer to him, stroking her hair. "I swear you will not. I will not let you."

She turned her face to look at him, lifting a shaky hand to gently caress his cheek with the last of the strength she could summon. "I love you," she whispered, her hand dropping to her side before she breathed out her last words, "my dark angel."

"No!" He drew her even closer when he could no longer hear the weak beat of her heart, his canine teeth growing in length as they slid from their sheaths. He kissed her neck, his canines sinking into the soft flesh of her neck. He drank quickly. Pulling back from her, he slit his wrist with his thumbnail and brought it to her lips, "Drink!" When her lifeless lips didn't move, he commanded again, "Drink, damn you drink!"

Still, she did nothing.

Slowly, he pulled his wrist from her lips and gently pressed his lips against hers desperately, kissing her. With a strangled sob, he pulled away, "No… You can't leave me here alone." He sat there for a long time, just holding her, his eyes closed tightly. Finally, he stood, lifting her up into his arms and carried her to the bed. He laid her down and brushed her cheek with the back of his knuckles, "I love you, my darling Julie."

Slowly, he made his way out of the apartment being sure to lock the door behind him. Dawn was approaching. He could sense it with every fiber in his being but he know that this time, he would see the sunrise for the first time in three hundred years and finally he would be free.