A woman of power throws herself into the arms of the elements, pursued by the only man who can hope to save her.
A cold wind blows, stiff at my side, cutting me open before pinching me closed. It spreads numbness through my flesh. It howls in my ears with a ghostly voice, speaking secrets and warnings and promises. It extends fingers, too: invisible fingers that clutch and claw innumerably at my clothes, my hair, my skin.
Even the crashing of the waves is drowned by the deep moans of the wind, all the power of the ocean beating upon the stony shore falling short of the magnitude of the formless wind, the omnipresent wind. And because of this the wind scares me more, frightens me in a way the churning waters never could. I can see the sea; I can pay witness to its acts.
The wind, though, eludes me.
Just as she does.
Tara Leigh had escaped my senses, run off into the dark wind. She had chosen a perfect get-away: encapsulated in a shroud of darkness, muffled by the wind and the waves, and her path hidden by the water that lapped across the shore.
If I had the nerve, I would applaud her, but this was hardly the time for that.
“Tara?” I call into the blackened beach.
The winds swallow my words as they leave my mouth, tossing them away without thought. Had they been a rag or leaf or paper sheet, they would have tumbled through the air like an erratic ballerina, though pirouetting through three planes rather than two.
“I hope she hasn’t fallen victim to the winds or the waves,” I mutter, even though my words never make it to my ears. “Though it’d be a better fate than if she fell victim to herself.”
And again the moaning of the wind is a ghost all around me, and the waves a heartbeat in the distance. In this place the ocean is the only thing alive, and the wind the last breath of humanity’s collective soul.