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Not Without You Excerpt

Shannon felt the earth move beneath her feet and she jerked aside the shower curtain. She braced her hands along the tile to keep herself from falling after she heard a loud explosion, only moments earlier, that was still ringing in her ears. She grabbed a white fluffy towel from the bar next to the shower stall and wrapped it around her still wet body. She ran into her bedroom and jerked the curtain aside to look out the window.

Gasping out loud, she saw a huge fireball less than a mile from her house. "Oh, my God." She grabbed the cordless phone on the night stand next to her bed and dialed nine-oneone as she pulled on a pair of pink lace underwear from her dresser drawer. "Yes, I need the fire department right away. Something crashed in a field about a mile from my house," Shannon told the dispatcher as she slipped on her panties. She gave the dispatcher her address as she pulled on a pair of jeans and a long sleeved shirt, trying to calm her shaky nerves. She breathed in several deep breaths.

"No, I don’t know if there were any survivors. I’m sure that if there are, then someone could be hurt out there," she told the dispatcher, then placed the phone back onto the charger. She pulled on a pair of socks and laced up her running shoes, then dashed out of her bedroom and down the stairs. She used her fingers to comb her still wet hair from her face before she ran out in the cool night.

Breathless once more, she halted next to the fire. Shannon could feel the intense heat just a few feet away. Her arm went up to block out the brightness of the fire. It didn’t do any good as she took a step back while trying to peer inside among the four foot high flames. Her guess was that an airplane had crashed, one of those small commuter-type planes.

Another thought suddenly entered her mind...

"My God, what if there is still someone in there?" she cried out while she was gnawing on her finger as she eyed the darkened plane, and hoped that maybe the people had escaped. She inched her way around the charred mess as she looked around the area where the plane had crashed, looking for any survivors. She wondered if whoever had been flying this plane had managed to jump before it crashed. At least she hoped they had.

"Hello?" She yelled over the roar of the fire with her hands cupped over her mouth. "Is anyone out here?" She wiped her teary eyes as smoke stung them and they began to burn.

She wiped her cheek with her fingertips as she searched frantically for any survivors from the crash. She had left a black smudge in her wake on one cheek. Hoping that if anyone had survived they would hear her calling out for them as she searched for anyone who could be hurt or... Shannon gulped at the thought of death. She paused for a few moments, and waited, listening carefully.

No one answered her call, all that she could hear were the flames lapping at the wreckage.

"Hello?" She cried out again, in a louder voice. Her throat began to burn from inhaling the thick smoke that was surrounding her. Her eyes continued to water as the tears streamed down her face. She blinked rapidly. Her hair was dried from the heat of the fire and she used her hand to push her hair away from her face. She glanced around using the light from the fire to continue her search for any survivors.

Still, there was no answer. She began searching with the flashlight pointed to the ground as she moved away from the crash and the fire. Searching. Thinking that whomever owned the field was going to be angry and demand some retribution for the loss of his alfalfa. But she continued her search. Shannon glanced over her shoulder, toward the deserted highway, wondering where the fire department was at the moment. Then she remembered that the nearest town was forty-five miles away. And it had only been thirty minutes since she had called them.

She heard a soft groan to her left and she swung the flashlight in the direction from which she’d heard the moan, relieved since she was beginning to doubt that anyone had survived the crash. It sounded like at least one person was still alive.

There! On the ground, someone was there, hurt. She ran over to the person and kneeled beside them, dropping the flashlight beside her. She reached out with a hand touching the base of his neck, feeling for a pulse. Shannon cried out as she felt the pulse under her fingers that were pressed to the side of his neck.

In the distance she could make out the wail of the siren of the fire trucks getting closer.

Shannon looked back down at the man, glancing over his body. "He’s huge," Shannon whispered, taking a closer look at his angular face. She fingered a lock of his shoulder length dark brown hair thinking how soft it felt.

Her gaze moved up to lock with maroon eyes. Maroon? she thought. She cried out as she realized that he was awake. She let go of the lock of hair and she scooted back, stunned, yet, relieved that he was finally awake. Shannon stared at him for a moment.

She placed a hand on his shoulder as he tried to raise himself into a sitting position. "Lie still. Help is on the way." She was concerned over the bruises that covered his handsome face. Worried about the gash to his temple, Shannon placed her fingertips along the blood dried cut and he batted her hand away. Shannon sat back as she watched over him with a worried gaze.

Darr didn’t understand what this blue-eyed woman was saying to him. He looked over his shoulder where his ship had crashed. His breathing became erratic. Looking wildly around him, he was trying to figure out where he was, since nothing looked familiar to him. He started to panic and his eyes grew wider as he took in the fire that was quickly spreading toward them. Where in the hell am I? he asked himself.

"Where am I?" He asked her in a demanding voice as he turned his gaze back to the

female sitting beside him. He saw the confused look in her eyes as they widened.

She looked at him strangely, and he knew that she didn’t understand him either. Darr then placed his palm against her cheek, one of her auburn curls falling next to his hand as he felt the softness of her face, and gazed into her beautiful blue eyes. A white-hot electrical shot went through his hand into her. Shannon cried out at the intense pain that racked through her body and she stiffened against his hand.

Darr dropped his hand as he felt the white-hot electricity shoot through him as well. He scooted back from her, stunned at what had just happened. He looked at his hand then at her, seeing she was as confused and stunned as he was when she stared back at him. Her blue eyes were wide as she scooted further away from him.