Would You Like Brains With That?

Currently re-writing.

Portal Keepers Book 1.
A job at a café for the Undead, a ghost best friend, and an annoying handsome vampire protector. Danira has it all.

Danira isn't your average girl. For generations her family has looked after the portal that links the Realm of the Undead to the Realm of the Living, by running a cafe for the Undead that are travelling through the portal. Then news reaches Danira and her parents that the Vampire Lords want to take over control of the portal and wreak havock amoung the Realm of the Living.
An adventure of hot vampires, zombies, ghosts, mummies, and life-threatening danger is thrust upon Danira, and she must try her best to protect the Realm of the Living, by preventing the Vampire Lords from obtaining the Infinity Blade, which has the power to change the portal. As well as saving her world can Danira resist the dashing vampires that cross her path? Some are more dangerous than others.

Cover by Zillah Designs.

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15. A Reunion and Bloodlust's Crypt

 

“I am so glad to see you.” I laughed, throwing my arms around Xavier.

He smiled, pleased to see me, but was tense. “It’s not safe for you here. Come with me.” Xavier put an arm around me protectively and led me through several narrow alleyways, his eyes darting around anxiously. “I won a flat in a game of poker, would you believe. The things some people bet.” he gave a half hearted laugh while leading my over to a large grey building.

There were several other flats in the building, so Xavier rushed me inside quickly. His own flat was surprisingly modern for the Realm of the Undead. There wasn’t much furniture, and the only rooms were a living room, a kitchen, which only had a fridge in it, and one bedroom.

Xavier sagged against the front door, obviously relieved to be inside. “What are you doing here?” he asked, rubbing his face with his hands.

My joy at finding Xavier deflated like a hot air balloon. “Aren’t you pleased to see me?” I whispered, unable to hide my hurt.

His eyes widened at my voice and he pulled me into his arms, holding me close. “Of course I am.” Xavier told me, pressing his lips to my head. “But it’s not safe for you. Why are you here?”

We moved through to the living room and I told Xavier everything that had happened since I had last seen him.

“That explains the strange clothes.” he laughed, pulling me onto his lap. He heaved a sigh. “Ah, I’ve missed you.”

My lips found his. “I’ve missed you too. I didn’t know where you’d gone.”

Xavier stroked my hair saying. “I didn’t think I would be so long.”

“What have you been doing?”

“Research.” he answered, resting a hand on my thigh.

“About?”

“The Infinity Blade and the Vampire Lords.”

My blood ran cold. “Did you find anything out?”

“Not much.” Xavier admitted.

I didn’t know whether to be relieved or disappointed.

He noticed my silence and nuzzled my neck. “I won’t let anyone hurt you.” he promised.

I gave a weak smile. “I know.”

Xavier leaned in to kiss me but there was a knock on the door. “Stay in the bedroom.” his expression was strained and I saw his fangs glinting dangerously underneath his lip.

I went to the bedroom, but left the door slightly open so that I could hear what was going on.

“What?” Xavier’s voice was gruff.

Whoever was at the door seemed unaware of Xavier’s annoyance at being disturbed. “Hey man, just delivering the usual.” the tone was cheerful.

There was a rustling noise as Xavier accepted whatever it was the man was delivering.

“Half of it is A positive, and the other half is O negative.”

Oh. It was blood.

“Thanks.”

“Did I come at a bad time? Have you got a lady friend over?” when Xavier didn’t answer the man added. “Or perhaps a male friend?”

Xavier slammed the door shut and I silently closed the bedroom door. Turning my attention to the bedroom, I noticed that it was bare except for a double bed and a wardrobe. Curious I opened the wardrobe door only to find jeans and t-shirts.

“See anything you like?” I jumped but smiled when Xavier wrapped his arms around my waist and kissed my neck. “Because I do.”

Laughing as he twirled me around to face him, I pressed a hand to his solid chest. “I bet you say that to all the girls.”

Xavier regarded me seriously, his fingers gently grasping my jaw. “There is only you.”

I felt my knees go weak and if he hadn’t been holding me, I think I would have collapsed. I really wanted to kiss him at that moment, but I forced myself not to. It took a lot of effort. “I have to go to Bloodlust’s crypt.”

“I’m coming with you.”

“What?” I asked feeling slightly dazed. “No, ‘it’s too dangerous, go home’? Just that you’re coming with me?”

He raised an eyebrow and ran a thumb along my bottom lip. “You don’t want me to come?”

“No. That’s not what I... that isn’t what I meant at all.”

He cut off my flustered muttering with a press of his silky lips to mine, making my heart flutter. Then Xavier started pulling me towards the bed, but I stopped him.

“I have to go.” running a hand through my hair I groaned. “Ridge is going to be furious with me.”

Xavier’s expression darkened. “Let me deal with him.”

I tapped him lightly on the shoulder. “Don’t be mean to him. He’s been really helpful.” unusually helpful.

“That doesn’t mean I have to like him.” he grumbled.

 

The crypt was deep underground. To get to it we had to pass through two huge, elaborate metal gates. Gnarled trees, dead and black, stood either side of the crypt entrance, tall and silent guards of what lay beneath our feet.

Unease gripped my body and I took Xavier’s hand for reassurance.

“You ok?” he asked giving my hand a squeeze.

I shook my head. “No.”

Taking a deep breath I started walking. Nothing happened when we passed through the gate, much to my relief. A dark, dank tunnel led us downwards. I had to rely on Xavier who, with his superior eyesight, made sure that I didn’t walk into the tunnel walls. After what seemed like an age, we arrived at the cavern that was Bloodlust’s crypt. It was illuminated by a single lantern which was sat beside a stone podium, on top of which resided a golden urn.

Suddenly, and rather violently, my hand was wrenched from Xavier’s. I lost my balance and ended up sprawled on the dusty, stone floor. Snarls filled my ears and with a moan I rolled onto my side. My gaze fell on the two vampires that seemed to be wrestling nearby. Ridge was currently pinning Xavier to the ground. Both of them were bearing their fangs, their eyes filled only with undisguised hate for each other.

“Stop it!” I cried, scrabbling to my feet. “Ridge, get off him.” it was futile trying to yank him off Xavier, but that didn’t stop me from trying.

Ridge turned his dark eyes to me, ignoring Xavier who was trying to break free. “What is he doing here? And where have you been?”

His tone was accusing and I instantly felt bad. However, when Ridge shifted his grip on Xavier, causing him to cry out in pain, all I felt was anger. My words came out surprisingly harsh. “Release Xavier and I will tell you.”

If Ridge was surprised by my tone he didn’t show it. He silently stood up. For a moment I thought he might hug me, but after throwing a glare at Xavier, he went and leaned against the cavern wall, his expression indecipherable. Xavier stood up, dusting himself off. Placing a hand on his arm, I sent him a look asking if he was ok. He brushed his blonde hair from his eyes and put an arm around my waist. From the corner of my eye I saw Ridge’s lips twist into a grimace.

“I’m sorry I ran away.” I said, breaking the stifling silence that had fallen. “But I was just so annoyed at you for leaving me alone.”

Ridge’s cold exterior melted, though only a little. “I shouldn’t have left you there. I’m sorry. I was only trying to protect you.”

“That’s what I’m here to do.” Xavier’s blue-silver eyes were narrowed.

With a cough I gave him a sharp pinch before asking Ridge if he had found the next clue yet.

He shook his head and put his hands in his pockets. “I don’t know where it could be.”

I glanced around the cavern. It was curved and empty except for the lantern, urn and the podium. “Is it in there?”

Ridge raised an eyebrow but neither he nor Xavier made a move to open the urn.

I sighed and handed Xavier the torch. “Fine, I’ll do it.”

“Be careful of the ashes.” Xavier told me.

“I will.”

I gently pulled the lid of the urn off and tried not to flinch as I stuck my hand inside. Surprisingly I didn’t find any ashes as I felt around the inside of the urn.

“Anything?” Ridge asked, watching me closely.

I frowned. “There are no ashes but... hang on... the wall is weird.”

There was an audible click and then I was pulling a triangular piece of dull metal from the urn. Ridge, Xavier and I all stared at it silently. I turned the thin piece of metal over in my hands and wiped it to see if an inscription would appear. Words blazed into existence.

Under a shimmering mass we wait, keeping the secret we mourn, for until one comes to claim it, we will never be released.

“What is that supposed to mean?” I asked, looking up at Ridge and Xavier who both looked as baffled as I felt.

It was then that Xavier and Ridge hissed simultaneously.

“What is it?” I asked nervously as I stashed the metal triangle in my schoolbag.

It was Ridge that answered. “Someone’s coming.” he hesitated a moment before adding. “Turn out the lantern.”

“What?” Xavier cried angrily. “What good will that do? She’ll be blind!”

Ridge fixed him with a heavy stare. “We can attack whoever it is before they realise Danira is here.”

I didn’t particularly like the idea of being stuck in the dark unable to protect myself, but we were running out of time. Kneeling down behind the stone podium, I retrieved a stake from my bag before plunging the cavern into darkness. I tried to take deep regular breaths to calm myself. Even to my human ears my breathing seemed impossibly loud.

There was a muffled grunt and then all hell broke loose. Someone fell to the ground beside me, crushing the lantern. I winced at the ear deafening roars of pain that were far too close for comfort. A hand wrapped itself around my ankle, digging in sharp nails and dragging me along the floor. I lashed out with my free foot and connected with something. It took several kicks, and probably Ridge or Xavier’s help, but eventually my attacker released me. Pushing myself up, I felt around for the wall. Then as suddenly as it has started, the ruckus ended. Adrenaline resided my veins and I bit my lip, not daring to speak. Cold fingers wrapped around my wrist and I gave a cry, aiming into the darkness with my stake.

“Whoa, careful where you point that.”

“Xavier!” relief filled me as he pulled me into an embrace.

“Are you hurt?” he stroked my hair as I pressed my face against his chest.

“No I... I don’t think so.”

“We need to get out of here.” Ridge said from nearby.

The next thing I knew we were flying through the tunnel. Air was torn from my throat, leaving me unable to ask the many questions that were buzzing around my head.

Once outside in the dim eternal grey light of the Realm of the Undead, we paused and I hastily filled my lungs with oxygen. “What happened back there?”

The moment the words left my mouth, a clawed hand gripped my throat. I gave a yelp and found myself face to face with a leering vampire.

“Come any closer and I’ll make the human squeal like a pig.” his voice was filled with contempt as were his eyes.

Ridge and Xavier glared at my captor. There was a glint as they bared their fangs.

“If you hurt her...” Xavier threatened, his words trailing off.

The vampire holding me gave a cruel laugh. “Give me what I want and I won’t have to.” Gesturing to the entrance of Bloodlust’s crypt he added. “Are any of my associates alive?”

Ridge’s reply was a deep growl. “No, and unless you want to join them you will release Danira.”

“You’re not in any position to be giving me orders.” the vampire sneered. I shuddered as he pulled me closer to his lean frame. “Give me the next clue to finding the Infinity Blade.”

“We haven’t got it.” my voice was weaker than I would have liked.

“Lies,” the vampire hissed. “I know you have it and unless you give it to me, I will break your scrawny neck.”

Fear chilled me. “Don’t give it to him.” I told Ridge and Xavier, tears in my eyes. “I would rather die than let the Infinity Blade fall into the wrong hands.”

Ridge’s dark eyes softened, but the blue-silver eyes of Xavier hardened.

“Release her and you can have it.” Xavier was practically vibrating with fury.

“I warned you about giving orders.”

I couldn’t help but shriek in terror and pain as fangs plunged into my neck, drawing blood. Xavier and Ridge cried out in outrage.

The vampire dropped me to the ground and licked his lips. “What is the next clue?”

Clutching at my neck I whimpered where I lay. Xavier’s eyes met mine. They were full of hunger.

“It’s in Danira’s bag.” Ridge sounded defeated and I gaped at him in horror. How could he tell the vampire where it was? Who knew what would happen once the Vampire Lords got their hands on the Infinity Blade.

My bag was ripped from my back and the vampire riffled though it. He grinned in triumph when he found what he was searching for. “Thank you gentlemen.” he said pulling me to my feet. “You’ve been most helpful.” he dropped my bag to the floor before tucking the metal triangle into a pocket.

“Let Danira go.”

The vampire gave Xavier a pitying look. “No can do. Now if you follow us I will kill her. Or worse, turn her. Thanks again.”

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