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.


16. All Tied Up and Angry Words


When I was younger I dreamed of having a normal life, a life where my only worries would be about grades, boys and being popular. I used to think that if I wished hard enough, and that if I worked hard enough, that I would wake up one morning and all the zombies, vampires and other monsters that inhabited my life would be gone. That I would be normal. But sitting in a grotty basement, gagged with my hands and legs bound and dried blood congealing on my neck, I realised that would never happen.

There was no one else in the basement with me and I wondered for the hundredth time whether I was going to die in this dreadful place. Or would Xavier and Ridge rescue me? I didn’t dare to hope.

The door opened with a slam and two vampires descended the stairs, appearing before me. I recognised the one that had brought me here, but not the other. Both were rather plain looking for vampires.

“Told you it was her.” my captor beamed proudly, his hands on his hips.

His companion seemed surprised. “You actually did it, Kurt. The Vampire Lords are going to be mighty pleased with you.” I winced at the mention of the Vampire Lords. “Did you have to take a bite though?”

Kurt gave a shrug. “It was necessary. Do you want a taste?”

I squirmed in my seat, pulling against the ropes that tied my hands and legs together. They cut into my skin but I was more concerned with the vampire that was eyeing me hungrily. He licked his dry lips and Kurt slapped him on the back. “Try not to make a mess. The Vampire Lords would prefer it if she was in one piece.”

My protests were muffled by the filthy rag in my mouth, and the chair shook as I tried to escape. The vampire approached me looking very hungry.

Then suddenly Ridge and Xavier burst into view. My heart swelled with hope at the sight of them. Ridge pounced at Kurt and Xavier attacked the vampire that had been about to take a bite out of me. Kurt was quickly dispatched, but as Xavier was a young vampire, he was having a harder time than Ridge. Xavier hissed in pain and fell to the ground wounded, but then Ridge was in his place and it only too a few seconds before there was another pile of ashes on the ground. Ridge retrieved the metal triangle that was essential to finding the Infinity Blade, from Kurt’s ashes, before releasing me from my binds.

Xavier wedged himself in between us before I could even open my mouth. “Oh thank God we found you.” he cried, kissing my hair.

Looking over his shoulder, I mouthed the words ‘thank you’ to Ridge. He was oozing concern, but only gave a nod in reply. I had the feeling that if Xavier hadn’t been there Ridge would have done something else.


The back entrance of the home belonging to the recently deceased Kurt led us to the edge of the marketplace that I had seen earlier. It was still busy, and the vendors were flogging anything they could. A tall vampire bumped into me and Xavier hastily drew me to his lean frame . Ridge was on my other side, looking for a way to escape. The vampire that had walked into me froze and slowly turned his head to meet my scared gaze. His nostrils quivered and I pressed a hand against my bloodied neck.

“Human,” he whispered, glassy eyes filling with hunger. When he repeated the word again it was louder. “Human!”

Horrified I realised that I had lost the enchanted bracelet. Now there was no hiding what I was.

I flinched against Xavier as Ridge stepped in front of me protectively. By then other vampires had realised what I was and they were crowding around us, eyeing me excitedly.

“A human? Here?”

“I smell it.”

“Come here little human.”

Their murmurs and calls were too much. I covered my ears and blinked away tears.

“Back off,” Ridge snarled, suddenly seeming much taller. “Nobody is touching her.”

“She’s the one the Vampire Lords want.” a voice shouted.

There were more murmurs at this.

“She’s mine. I’m taking her to the Vampire Lords.” a bald vampire announced.

He strode towards us but was stopped by a redheaded woman. “Why should you get all the glory? I saw her first.”

“No I did!” the tall vampire insisted, fangs out.

That was when the fighting started.

“Get Danira out of here.” Ridge hissed to Xavier who promptly barrelled his way through the crowd, with me pressed against him.

I glanced back trying to find Ridge. “Ridge!” I cried. I didn’t know what he was going to do, but I didn’t want him to get hurt.

He shook his head at me while fighting off the vampires who had realised what was happening. “Get her somewhere safe!” he told Xavier.

Minutes later and I was in Xavier’s flat sat on the sofa. My hands were shaking and tears kept forming uncalled in my eyes. Xavier appeared and silently handed me a wet cloth to wipe the blood from my neck. I put it in the bin when I was finished and sat back down on the sofa.

Xavier was beside me and he scooped me up onto his lap. “You’re safe now.” he whispered kissing my head and face.

I gave a small sob and rested my head on his shoulder. “It was horrible.” I said, watching as Xavier took my still shaking hands in his. “The way they were looking at me.” I suddenly felt sick. “If something happens to Ridge I... And what if they follow us here?”

“Ridge will be fine.” he gave me a sad smile, his eyes shining. “They won’t follow us here. Ridge won’t let them.”

I nodded making more tears spill down my cheeks.

“I won’t let them touch you either.” Xavier told me solemnly. “No one will hurt you ever again, Danira. I promise.”

He stroked my cheek and gazed at me with such love that I could barely stand it.

I threaded my fingers through his soft blonde hair. “I know.” I murmured, closing my eyes as Xavier pressed his lips to my jaw.

His lips skimmed my neck, making my heart race inside my chest. Xavier paused when he reached the area Kurt had taken a bite of earlier. I felt him tense as he fought the urge to drink my blood. It seemed that the puncture marks in my neck were too much because Xavier’s fangs nipped my skin, making my breath catch in my throat.

If Ridge hadn’t walked in at that moment I don’t know what would have happened.

Xavier jumped away from me like he had been electrocuted and disappeared into the kitchen.

“Ridge,” I stood up and went to step forwards but stopped myself. He didn’t look happy. His gaze was resting on me heavily, and accusingly. Feeling my cheeks redden I said. “How did you stop them from following us?”

“I compelled the ones that were younger than me and used them to help.”

“Are you hurt?” I asked surprised at how much concern I felt.

He answered with a shake of his head. Xavier hovered in the doorway not meeting my eyes.

“We need to leave.” Ridge told us moving back towards the front door. “It won’t take long for them to realise where we are, and the Vampire Lords will know that you are here by now, Danira.”

“Where are we going? We don’t know what the clue means.”

His dark eyes were fixed on my face, refusing to look at Xavier at all. “I worked it out before. We have to go to Mourner’s Lake.”

Xavier joined me by the sofa. Lacing his hand through mine he said. “Let’s go then.”

Ridge narrowed his eyes and I wasn’t sure if it was because of my and Xavier’s joined hands or because Xavier had said ‘let’s’, indicating that he was coming with us. “You should pack some blood. As a young vampire you do not have any self control.”

Ridge’s words were full of contempt and I felt Xavier bristle with anger. I sent him a meaningful look to silence him before he could say anything to encourage Ridge’s dislike for him further.


Hours later and the soreness of riding Lady Prenalla’s horse for such a long time was preventing me from a much needed snooze fest. I still felt rattled from what had happened at the marketplace. Fortunately our exit from Bloodlust had been easy after we had got some supplies from Tiberius, who had been very helpful, almost like he had known we would have to make a quick exit.

For the hundredth time I was jolted from the edge of slumber. I gave a groan and rubbed my face. Aware that the arm around my waist belonged to Ridge, I scanned the horizon for Xavier. Only dead trees and barren ground filled the view.

“You shouldn’t trust him so much.” Ridge said.

It took a moment for me to realise that he meant Xavier. “Why not?” I demanded hotly.

Ridge gave a sigh. “He’s a young vampire, Danira. You should know better. What would your father say?”

“What does it matter to you? It’s none of your business anyway.”

Anger was flowing through me, making my face hot. Ridge didn’t answer which only served to add to my frustration. Yanking the horse’s reins from his undead hands, I forced the horse to stop before jumping off and striding away.

“Danira,” Ridge cried also dismounting the horse. “Wait!”

Increasing the length of my stride I continued forwards, lead by my stubbornness. Ridge soon caught up with me, leading the bizarre horse after us.

“Danira, I...” he sounded sad at having angered and upset me. “Please, I’m just worried about you.”

I gave a bitter laugh and continued to avoid his gaze. “Since when have you ‘cared’ about me? You made my life a living hell. There were times that I cried myself to sleep because of you.”

“I didn’t know... I didn’t mean to.” my words seemed to have hit home.

“I don’t want your excuses, Ridge.”

A pale hand shot out and grabbed my arm, twirling me around to face him and pulling me against his chest. Ridge’s voice was hard when he spoke. “He’s compelling you, Danira.”

“What's this? Don't tell me that you're jealous. I've found myself another protector and you can't wait to get rid of him so that you can have me all to yourself again.” I snapped, my blood boiling with outrage.

His expression darkened. “I'm telling the truth, Danira. I would never make something like that up.”

I strained against Ridge's grip but he wouldn't let me go. “You can't stand to see me happy, can you? You're pathetic.”

Ridge released me, looking wounded. Without a word he launched himself into the air and flew away.

Xavier appeared moments later. “What was that all about?” he asked, slipping an arm around my waist.

“Nothing,” I muttered.

Smiling he drew me into his arms and pressed his lips to mine, making my heart dance. “Come on, back on the horse.”

He helped me up into the saddle and once we were on our way, I said. “Could you compel me to fall asleep? Every time I’m about to drift off I wake back up again.”

“If that’s what you want.”

Xavier kissed my head and a dreamless sleep claimed me.

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