Not long after they moved in together, Eva’s black-outs got so bad that her relationship with Seven became strained-as his thoughts started drifting back to his ex Faye, who was all but a ghost to him now …
So when she insisted that he take her to French’s Forest, to visit with his reclusive family for the first time, the horror of introducing her to his strange fanged kin was secondary in concern, next to his mounting fear that Faye would grow dangerously jealous of Eva-and try to take back what She felt was rightfully Hers …
i: To French’s Forest For Love
“Eva …” Seven said softly, nudging his new love nervously—wishing she would wake. She had been slipping in and out for an hour now―curled up against him.
He brushed some stray red tresses back from her slumber-some face―exposing her neck, which he now gently kissed—hoping to gently rouse her.
He did not want to disturb her, but he could not resist it. He gently bit her. She moaned under the shallows of sleep—smacking her black lips, nostrils flaring.
It always made him edgy whenever she nodded off, for he knew how Faye would start cutting in at the shadows.
Even in the most serene hours that Eva ever slept―he had watched for his ex Faye to make Her next entrance—and so his life had slowly become unlivable.
Being so constantly at attention—forever unsure when She would come again—he had already spent too many a quiet sleepless morning in solemn prayer.
Likewise, watching over Eva in deep meditation, every dark and stormy night—he would hope against all odds, that Faye would never again return into his life.
This was his last chance at love.
He had eventually theorized that the reason Faye mainly materialized while Eva was undone from wakefulness, was because it was at those times that his subconscious was more easily swayed over Her way—allowing Her to thus more accurately sense his presence, wherever he was at―even as far beyond the reaches of French’s Forest as New London.
‘Come back to Me, Seven,’ She would beckon to him. ‘Come back to the woods where you’ve always belonged. Look inside the dark recesses of your heart—and you will find I have always been waiting there, still caged by these crooked trees that you once called home.’
Plus, to make matters worse, Eva often suffered from fainting spells—due to an old childhood concussion—during which times Faye’s appearances increased.
Eva even knew when a spell was coming on, for her mind would cloud over in what she called her ‘black thoughts’―and nothing blocked them.
Her eyes would roll back—leaving him scrambling for her smelling salts—looking over his shoulders in every direction for Faye to suddenly materialize.
So far Eva had always recovered from every episode with a braver determination―but there ever remained this underlying tension between them―forever braced for anything, in anticipation of pending future occurences.
Everything had really started getting worse once they began living together.
Due to different work schedules, Eva had taken to falling asleep before Seven.
For a few months everything was uneventful—but then one dreadful midnight, to his heart-sinking horror he heard a small scratching at the window.
He snuck across the room to peek outside—but there was nothing there.
Cranking the pane open, he leaned out to take in the cool damp night air.
There was a stillness about the city that soon left him most darkly disquieted.
A train whistled in the distance like woodwinds heralding a calm before dawn.
Crawling back under covers―he lay awake listening to the random urban soundscape—and just like he did every night, he thanked his lucky stars that French’s Forest was many miles away.
He slowly closed his eyes―and his mind’s eye rolled over the city’s towered skyline―observing the myriad denizens of the streets far down below beneath him.
No matter how dangerous the alleys of New London ever were, the woods of his youth were what truly always haunted his days, what reminded him of real fear.
Everyday thugs and thieves left him most immensely reassured in contrast to the memory of the terror that was Faye.
Growing up in French’s Forest had steeled him for the big city streets in ways only he would ever now truly understand.
The haunting sounds of an eerie breeze―and the traumatic memories of ghoulish, supernatural encounters—were enough to numb him to the worst kind of scum New London could ever conjure up.
The truth was in contrast to French’s Forest this town seemed so very tame.
Now just then he began to sense a growing malevolence at the gates to his mind—which worried him to no good end.
He tried to shut out the feelings by closing his eye-lids―but there came to him an awareness of a third presence in the room. After he could deny it no longer, he opened his eyes once more―and gasped to see Faye’s silver body slithering upside-down across the ceiling toward him—hissing as She did—insidiously menacing in Her deliberate approach, silently stalking Her prey.
Her long black hair hung down hiding Her horns—exposing Her wickedly pointed ears. Her green eyes glowered and glowed down at him. Her silver skin sometimes seemed silken as tissue—sometimes molten as lava. She took on many forms—but always cast a formidable terror into any who looked upon Her.
He tried to scream for help, but nothing sounded—and Eva remained fast asleep, apparently deeply undisturbed.
He tried to move, but he found himself paralyzed—and Faye hovered down on to him now—with a dark, mischievous intent emblazoned upon Her face in a malevolent expression of rage.
As She descended—he could not protest—and She took his carnal body that night, for hours on end, grinning evilly throughout—with Eva curled up quietly next to him, wholly clueless to the dark trespass and ongoing transgression.
From that day forward he felt hollow in spirit, in the hellish after-thoughts that he had irreversibly spoiled his love with Eva by letting Faye get through his guard, to have him Her way against his wishes.
He had been used and toyed with like an animal to Her cunning eyes and seductress smile. His will was suspended for just one night, long enough to ruin the rest of his life, long enough to lose it all.
But he knew it would serve nothing to tell Eva now, for that would be a selfish act, just to make himself feel better, when it was Faye who was to blame not Eva. Evan did not deserve to be punished for Faye’s fallen ways. He would be brave.
Now at least, he hoped that by bringing Eva back to the Forest, he could redeem himself, by proving his feelings for her—and finding some inner peace again.
He would introduce her to his family—and if nothing else—for once and for all—Faye would know who he truly cherished—and with whom he was truly finished.
Faye would grow terribly jealous, he knew in his heart, and possibly try to intervene—but he had no choice, he had to show Eva how he truly genuinely felt.
(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, Rian Torr)