Chapters 23-27- Britta
The Winter Fantasy Pilgrimage
Ever sneaks into Damen’s home. She notices that the house is bare, save for a refrigerator filled with the mysterious red liquid, a recliner, and a pile of foreign DVD’s. Ever continues to explore the house when she comes to the door that Riley found locked. The room is filled with antique rugs, chandeliers, silk draperies, and paintings depicting Damen in costumes representing several centuries. Each painting reads his name and the name of various master artists: Pablo Picasso and Vincent Van Gogh. As she continues to look around, she finds first edition novels and books all signed by classic authors like, William Shakespeare, and Emily Bronte. A chill runs down Ever’s spine as she realizes that these items are not the markings of a mere history buff, but they are Damen’s treasures collected throughout the years. Ever rushes out of the room, never wanting to come back again. Just as she reaches the bottom of the stairway, she hears a scream and races towards it. She finds Damen on he floor, blood dripping from his face with Haven thrashing on the floor beneath him. Ever lunges for Haven, an Damen holds her back. He tells her to stop, but Ever continues, caring only for the safety of her friend. She demands to know what he’s done to Haven. Damen tells her that she has it all wrong. He tells her that he’s the only one who can help Haven, but Ever knows that he is killing her. Ever allows herself to go limp, providing the distraction needed to spring forward and help Haven. She notices two small holes in the center of Haven’s tattoo. Just as Ever reaches for her phone to dial 911, Damen grabs it from her and says that he was hoping that he didn’t have to do this.
Ever wakes with Sabine looming above her asking if she is feeling okay. Sabine remarks that Ever must have had some weekend. Ever only remembers the beach, Evangeline, Damen staying over and making her dinner and breakfast the next day. During the ride to school, Ever asks Miles if he has heard from Haven, and Miles says that he hasn’t. They meet with Damen when they arrive. Damen sticks by Ever the entire day, questioning if she is all right, and making pleasant conversation. During lunch, Miles notices that Damen continues to speak up for Ever, and comments on it. Ever asks Miles for his phone to contact Haven, she has a strange feeling about her. Miles tells her that he had heard from Haven, and she said that she’s at home sick with the flu. Ever continues to go through the motions as if she is okay, but she feels uneasy. She wishes that Damen would’ve ditched school because he continues to hover over her. At the end of the day, Ever tells Damen that she needs to be alone. Exhausted, Ever goes straight home to sleep. Ever wakes in the middle of the night with a strange feeling that she isn’t alone. She calls out for Riley, but already knows that it isn’t her. She hears a sound like slippers across carpet, and questions whether it’s Damen. Ever gets out of her bed, and turns on the light to find that she is alone, and realizes that it might have been her dreams that have her so fearful. In the dream, Ever runs through a dark canyon, towards a glowing light, and away from Damen.
When Ever arrives to school the next day, she runs past Damen, and rushes to embrace Haven who stands near the gate. Haven wonders at Ever’s behavior. Haven explains that depression over Evangeline’s death made the flu much worse. She says that every night she would go to bed wearing one thing, and in the morning she would be wearing something completely different, as if what she originally had on had vanished. Ever wonders about Drina, and Haven tells them that Drina is in New York City. Ever asks Haven if she’s had dreams of a canyon, and Haven says that she didn’t, but she had dreams involving lots of blood and gore. As soon as Haven mentions the blood, Ever passes out. She comes to hearing Damen asking if she is all right. Haven says that this is how her sickness started and recommends that Ever rest. Damen insists on taking her somewhere where she can rest. He takes her back to his house. Ever observes his house in awe, wondering if the antiques are all Damen’s. She notices a photo of her on his coffee table, and asks when he took the picture. Damen remarks that Ever acts as if she’s never been to his house, and Ever has no knowledge of ever being there. Damen insists that she had the sunday before after the beach. He tells her that he took the picture one day when she wasn’t looking at school. Ever rests on the sofa, and insists they get back to school, but Damen cares only for her health. Ever pulls away from him, saying that she doesn’t want him to get sick, and Damen replies that he doesn’t. Ever shakes her head and goes over everything that she’s discovered about him: he never gets in trouble with truancy, has Picasso paintings, can cook a five star meal, he’s emancipated, and has lived in key cities all around the world. Ever’s words catch in her throat as what’s been bothering her rises to the surface. She realizes that there is something otherworldly about Damen. She questions whether he is a ghost but strikes it off of the list. Ever rises from the couch, and tells Damen to take her home.
Ever races from Damen’s car, hoping to find Riley, but is disappointed. She crumbles on her bed, feeling as if she has to relive Riley’s death all over again. Sabine tosses her the peach hoodie that Ever has forgotten all about; The one she had on during the first week of school, and in the photo that Damen took of her…before they had even met. The next day, Ever drives past Damen when she arrives to school. During class, Damen tries to get her attention, but she ignores him, and he causes the entire school to succumb to a stupor. Ever’s afraid that Damen has killed everyone, but Damen assures her that he hasn’t. He tells her that he can read her mind, and that he’s been able to since he first met her. Damen tells her that he hasn’t been stalking her, and Ever wonders why she should believe him. Damen tells her that he has never lied to her about anything important. Ever stands, ready to fight against him, and Damen reaches for her in anguish, and asks if she believes that he did all of this to kill her. Ever wonders why he didn’t just kill her and Haven while he had the chance. Damen assures her that he would never hurt her. Damen explains that Haven was on the brink of death, and that the tattoo on her arm was severely infected. He was merely sucking the infection out of her, as one would do with a snake bite. Ever shakes her head, assured of what she saw. She tells Damen that she only wants him to go back to his coffin and leave her alone. Damen tells her that he isn’t a vampire…he is an immortal. He continues to assure her that he means her no harm, but Ever believes that he is lying. Damen tells her that he was he one who saved her that day in the woods, but Ever becomes inconsolable, angry that he saved her and not the rest of her family. Damen says that he couldn’t stand to lose her again. Ever tells Damen that she never wants to see him again. Damen pleads with her not to say that unless she really means it, but Ever tells him that she hates him and that she never wants to see him again. When Ever looks up, she is surrounded by thousands of tulips, and realizes that Damen is gone.
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“But when I look around again, the chill down my spine tells the undeniable truth, these aren’t merely antiques, nor are they heirlooms. These are Damen’s personal possessions, the favored treasures he’s collected through the year’s” (Ever- Chapter Twenty Three, 170).
“It was similar to the one I had before, where I was running through a dark windswept canyon, my filmy whit dress a poor defense against the cold, inviting the wind to lash at my skin, chilling me straight through to my bones…I was so focused on running, my bare feet carving into the damp, muddy earth, heading toward a hazy refuge I couldn’t quite see. All I know is that I was running toward a soft glowing light. And away from Damen” (Ever- Chapter Twenty Four, 179)
“I couldn’t stand to lose you again…Not this time. Not again” (Damen, Chapter Twenty Six, 195).
“I know this is going to sound horrible, and trust me, I don’t mean to be, but it’s almost like she’s turning Haven into an acolyte…a follower, a worshipper, a clone, a Mini-Me” (Miles- Twenty Seven, 204).
“They were wild!…Damen was in some of them…It wasn’t that kind of dream. It was more like he was saving me, like he was fighting these evil forces to save my life. So bizarre…Oh, speaking of, Drina saw Damen in New York” (Haven- Twenty Seven, 208).
1. Where do you believe Damen disappeared to? What do you think he was doing in New York with Drina? Do you think Drina is lying?
2. Why do you believe Drina is growing so close to Haven?
3. What do you think of this exclusive party that Drina has invited Haven to?
4. How do you think Damen knew Ever before hand?
5. Do you believe that Ever will see Riley again?