ix. When Death Blows In

Once they were out of earshot, Eva squeezed Seven’s hand hard—sharply inhaling. She sensed something wrong.

Okay, now tell me about this Faye …” She knew She was in on it.

Please don’t worry about it. She really is nobody. I’ll tell you everything in the morning—okay …?” Seven pleaded.

But who is She? I mean―is She your ex? I’ve heard you say Her name before … in your sleep.” She had indeed.
“Let’s drop it?” he said, starting to tense up. He knew this way led trouble.

Okay―sh-eee-eee-ssh,” she grumbled. “I don’t really care if you loved someone else once, Seven—I know how much you love me now.” She bowed off.

More than anything else in the world babe. I love you beyond the stars. Nobody will ever match your light to me.”

When they reached the first landing, she swung him about to face her. “Please … Please … Please … Piggy-back me?” she pleaded, pouting. She won him over.

He let her jump up on his back.

They climbed up the last of the steps together, adrift in the bliss all fawns in love enjoy. Theirs was one to envy surely. They rolled onto the guest bed, legs under a heavy-knit duvet―chests bare between cool covers, as their limbs entangled and lips crushed. They fawned.

They are all so crazy …” she whispered in his ear. “Yet somehow, they treat you like they think that you are the odd one out,” she mused. She murmured.

Hm. You noticed …” he calculated.

Difference with me is,” she purred. “I know you are,” she said, pinching him.

Hey!” he said—gently slapping her hand away. He knew she only kidded.

He was never as happy before―as he was right now. It was remarkable.

You are so beautiful,” he said. “I could kiss you forever—never need another again.” He meant every word.

I like you too.” She meant it too.

Hey!” he jabbed back at the joke.
“Kidding babe,” she purred. “You know all I want in the world is to love you. If I had one wish—and only one—that would definitely be it.” She was legit.

They fell quiet for a little time.

So did you and Olin go to the same school together when you were younger?”

Yes … French’s Forest Elementary, about twenty minutes from here—then we bused into New London for secondary school … We were both fish out water.

Olin hated it. Since he couldn’t go outside at recess―they started calling him ‘Count’ all of the time. I think it really troubled him and set him apart from us.

I think that it was traumatizing for him. He got this scowl about him that he could not shake for many, many years.”

That is so sad. Did he recover?”

I think it’s why he’s jealous of me—because I look … Normal … Next to him.

He got alot better after I left for NLU―since it gave him space to work on his self-esteem. But I think he festered.

Anyway, so now, it’s almost like he’s overcompensated―become too confident—too charismatic—always out all night, chasing every tail. He’s got it all.”

Ah, yes … I sensed he was a player. It was weird … He licked my hand and then I suddenly felt dizzy … It was odd.

Next thing I knew you were there, holding me. It was like I had lost time. Have you ever felt like that before Seven?”

Every single day that I spend without you,” he said and they embraced kissing passionately and then tenderly.

Their lips broke as they rested foreheads together cherishing oneness. Symbolism of their entwining was enough.

Seven rolled over nodding. “His charm has become supernatural―but I can promise you, it endlessly infuriates him how you and I have something he will never understand. To him you are prey.”

What do you mean? I don’t get it.”

Love. He thinks it’s a prize. He never understood love comes when given. I mean he has never given it to be privy.”

That is too bad … He seems lost.”

He’s better off alone anyway now.”

Have you told him all that ever?”

Hardly. Having a deep conversation with Olin is not exactly an everyday occurrence. I mean, never.”

But you’ve tried it, I’m sure.”

Few times … His eyes would glaze over—and he would stare out the window into the woods—almost as if for something or someone to come fast to his rescue.

Later on, I tried to tell him he could have Faye—that I didn’t want Her. But then he thought I was only playing games with him—mocking him. He hated me.”

Oh—that is sooo frustrating …”

To say the least. I was trying to tell him that She was the one haunting me—not the other way around. But then he thought I was just being a braggart.”

Maybe he just needs to get laid.”

Probably. I don’t know about his dating life. I don’t ask him―to tell you the truth … The truth is I’d rather not know.”

Aw … Well then he sounds really screwed up—but he is your brother—so it must be hard. I can’t imagine how hard.”

He is the only brother I’ve got.”

She giggled. “Well keep your inner Olin under wraps tonight―or I won’t sleep a wink,” she purred, now changing gears.

Not tonight, babe.” He grinned.

What? Why?” She pouted sadly.

Not here …” He felt too naked.

You’re just scared of getting caught, aren’t you? You don’t want your family hearing us. That is it isn’t it?”

That is not it.” He plainly lied.

He could not bring himself to explain to her that they were in fact in direct danger just being there in French’s Forest at all―and that by making love―with their pheromones wafting aloft―they would be making their presence well known to Faye.

So he turned a cold shoulder on Eva—and she thought that she had said something wrong. But by the next morning he was acting normal once more—so she carried on assuming he had just been tired. Little did she know the truth.

(Special Author’s Note: If you are enjoying The Silverskin, you can buy the full 400 page Revised & Expanded 10th Anniversary edition paperback here. Forever Yours In French’s Forest, Sincerely, Rian Torr)

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