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.


6. An Apology and a Confrontation


I had to be dreaming because the voice calling my name was too silky and magical to be real. The voice called my name again and I felt myself waking up. I pulled the duvet over my head, closing my eyes tightly and wishing for sleep so that I could hear the voice again, but it didn’t disappear.

“Invite me in, Danira.” the magical voice insisted.

“Ridge,” I sighed, knowing that sleep would not be mine again until I did as he requested. “Fine, come in.”

It didn’t occur to me as I spoke those words that I had invited Ridge inside before.

Seconds later the covers were delicately peeled off my face. I groaned in protest and rolled over. Goose-bumps were trailed down my cheek by a slender finger.

I swatted the cold hand away. “Stop it. Let me sleep.”

“But I came to apologise.”

The silky voice made me freeze. That wasn’t Ridge. Fear filled me. It was Xavier.

My hand inched under my pillow towards a hidden stake. “What do you want? Leave me alone.” I growled, radiating hostility.

Seated where he was on the edge of my bed, Xavier’s face was hidden in the darkness of the night. Yet there was just enough light for me to see his lips curve into a smile. The moment my hand grasped the stake, Xavier reached out and wrapped his fingers around my wrist.

“You don’t need to fear me. I told you, I’ve come to apologise.”

All my worries about being drained of blood vanished in an instant. They were replaced with trust. Trust in Xavier.

“I believe you.” I whispered, releasing my hold on the stake and sitting up.

Taking both of my hands in his, Xavier kissed them gently. The sensation sent butterflies scattering around my stomach.

“I am so sorry that I nearly hurt you earlier.” he told me.

Even though I couldn’t see his blue-silver eyes, I knew that they were fixed on my face, gauging my reaction. I glanced away, my cheeks hot and my hands still enclosed in Xavier’s.

“I won’t ever hurt you.” he promised, pressing cool lips to my head.

My eyes closed of their own accord and in my final moments of consciousness, a spine tingling sensation followed Xavier’s lips as they travelled from my head to neck.


“You know that you could just give them cauliflower and they wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.” I said smiling as memories of playing Zombie Bombing filled my head. “That way the kitchen wouldn’t stink all the time.”

Mum acted as if I hadn’t spoken and handed me two plates of steaming brains. Staring at those grey brains I didn’t know why I had spent all day at college wishing that I could go home. I scrunched my nose up and held the plates out in front of me as I quickly walked out to the café.

The two zombies’ heads snapped up with an audible crunch and I hastily placed the plates in front of them. I hurried away before I could see them rip into the brains. Rex padded after me.

“You can go upstairs now.” Mum told me as soon as I walked back into the kitchen.

Surprised I said. “ But it’s not time yet.”

Mum practically shoved me out of the kitchen raising her voice. “Go upstairs now.”

I was shocked at her behaviour. Mum never raised her voice at me. Something was definitely wrong. I ran upstairs before she could tell me off for loitering.

“Good evening.”

I jumped about a foot in the air when I opened my bedroom door to be greeted by Ridge who was leaning against one wall in a regal manner.

“Sorry if I frightened you.” he was grinning revealing perfect, white teeth.

“Do you have to come in here all the time?” I sighed wishing that I had never invited him in. I closed my door behind me and Rex, who didn’t even glance at Ridge.

Ridge moved to sit down on the end of my bed but I stayed standing. Rex flopped down on the floor beside me, nearly crushing my feet.

“Your father is out the back by the portal. There are some vampires.”

My eyebrows rose.

“Want to see?” Ridge asked flashing me a grin.

Shrugging I made to walk to my door. “Sure, I’ll watch through the living room window.”

“Danira,” his voice was teasing. “I’m disappointed. You need to think bigger. We will get a much better view from the roof.”

I was instantly suspicious. “Won’t they hear or smell us?”

“If the wind is blowing towards us and not away from us we should be invisible.”

Why was Ridge suddenly being so nice to me all the time? He never used to be like that.

“Do you want to see what’s happening or not?” Ridge asked when I didn’t say anything.

Mum had seemed rather flustered which made me curious. I nodded.

“Jump on my back.” he said standing up.

Staying where I was I folded my arms across my chest. “No way.”

“Unless you would rather that I carried you?”

In his dreams. That was if vampires even had dreams. Reluctantly I jumped on his back, wrapping my arms around his neck. Ridge gripped my legs with his cold hands and the realisation that it could be a trap dawned on me.

“Hang on tight.” he warned.

I closed my eyes and the wind ruffled my hair when Ridge jumped out of the window and flew up to the roof.

Ridge gave a laugh saying. “You can open your eyes now.”

My eyes widened when I saw where he had set me down. We were on the roof next to the chimney. Something nudged my elbow. Turning I saw Rex and did a double take. I dreaded to think how he had followed us up there. Maybe he had grown wings?

“I won’t let you fall.” Ridge told me, his dark eyes ever watchful.

I hoped so and that the plan wasn’t to push me off the roof, but at least Rex was there to protect me, and intriguingly he didn’t seem to find Ridge a threat.

Looking around I tried to locate Dad and the vampires.

“Over there.” Ridge said pointing.

I followed his finger and saw that Dad and three majestic looking vampires were stood beside the stone slab. The slab was in front of the stone archway that was the portal to the Realm of the Undead. Dad was yelling at them and even with my inferior human hearing I could get the gist of what was happening. Dad didn’t want them to go into the café. It was when I saw the moonlight glinting off something one of the vampires was holding that I realised why. My blood ran cold. It was a sword!

Ridge noted my reaction. “It’s not the Infinity Blade, Danira. It has no power.”

I couldn’t help but breathe a sigh of relief before returning to watch the spectacle below.

Eventually the three vampires gave in and disappeared back through the portal. Dad stayed where he was watching the archway for a while to see if they would return. They didn’t and he went inside muttering about there being no weapons allowed in the café. That was apart from his own. I looked up at Ridge and was furious to see how close we were. He must have moved closer when I wasn’t looking. What was he up to?

“I had better get back to my room in case Dad comes looking for me.”

Without saying a word Ridge grabbed me and slung me over his shoulder, as if I weighed nothing.

“Hey!” I cried in outrage.

That was it then, he was taking me to the Vampire Lords. I reached for the stake I had taken to carrying in my pocket but was dumped roughly onto my bed. Ridge transformed into a bat and flew under my bed. Moments later there was a knock on my door.

“Danira,” Dad sounded anxious.

“Yes?” I called sitting up.

The door opened and Dad peered in. “Are you alright?”

Nodding I smiled. “Yeah I’m fine, Dad.”

He quickly glanced around the room, his eyes falling on Rex. How had he got back inside so quickly?

“Ok sleep well.”

I almost said ‘you too’ but the words stilled in my throat. Dad never slept anymore.

“Thanks Dad.”

Ridge waited until he heard Dad go downstairs before he emerged and turned back into his human form. “Why is there an empty cauliflower box under your bed?”

With a sigh I lay back on my bed and closed my eyes. “The box is empty because I threw all the cauliflowers at zombies with my friend Bertie.”

I could hear the smirk in Ridge’s voice as he replied. “You throw cauliflowers at zombies?”

“They think that they are brains.” opening an eye I found him positioned beside me on the bed. “Hey, get off! What do you think you’re doing?”

His dark eyes glittered with amusement as I tried to shove him off my bed. “Is Bertie your ghost friend?”

Pausing in my worthless attempt to move Ridge, I narrowed my eyes wondering how he knew about Bertie. “Yes he is.”

Ridge nodded but said nothing.

I took the opportunity to ask. “So the sacrifice, can it be any human?”

“Danira,” he groaned sounding disappointed. “I told you before, I’m not going to answer your questions.”

“Why not?” I argued jabbing him in the chest with a finger. “You can’t leave a story half finished.”

“It isn’t a story. It’s real life.”

I continued to prod Ridge, hoping to bully him into satisfying my curiosity. “I know that, Ridge.”

Finally having enough of being abused by my finger, not that it would have hurt him at all, Ridge seized my hand and yanked me towards him. I think he must have miscalculated a little, and forgotten how strong he was, because I ended up on top of him. I could feel his cool breath on my cheek as I stared at him in surprise. Ridge’s lips quirked into a smile and I saw his dark eyes flash with something unfamiliar. Clambering to my feet, I hurried to get off him, and turned away not wanting him to see my face which had turned red with embarrassment. Once I had cooled down, I looked back at my bed to see that Ridge had gone. 

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