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.


17. Betrayal and a Trip Down the Hill


The next time my feet touched the ground was so that we could cross a rickety and very unsafe looking wooden bridge. I had slept for over an hour, and had woken feeling refreshed, albeit still with a sore butt.

Stretching my sore limbs, I asked Ridge how long it would be until we reached Mourner’s Lake. He had taken over guard duty sometime during my slumber.

“Not long.” he said, turning to face me. Then after hesitating a moment, he added. “I meant what I said before, Danira. I wasn't being malicious. Xavier is compelling you.” Ridge’s dark eyes were searching my face, wary of how I would react.

I shook my head, unable to believe that he was still going on about that. “Ridge, just stop it already.”

“Has he ever told you how he feels about you? Has he told you that he loves you?” he demanded.

 “He...” I trailed off trying to think of a time when Xavier had told me that he loved me, but Xavier had never said those three special words to me.

“You have gaps in your memories, don’t you?” Ridge’s expression was unreadable but I noticed the tense way he was holding himself.

“I...” my resolve was crumbling and tears formed in my eyes. If I thought really hard then I could see that there were hazy parts to my memories. My memories of times alone with Xavier. “He wouldn't. Stop saying things like that. Xavier wouldn't do something like that to me.”

Ridge grabbed my hand. “You know deep down that it's true, Danira.”

“But why would he?” then the realisation dawned on me. “Blood... he’s been drinking my blood hasn’t he?”

“Probably,” Ridge growled.

Betrayal and rage boiled in my guts, making me clench my jaw. I should have known. He was a vampire and vampires couldn't be trusted. None of them. Hurt and betrayal poisoned my veins. I couldn't let my guard down for one second.

I glanced down to find Ridge’s fingers entwined with mine. He hurried to withdraw his hand when he realised that I had noticed. An emotion flickered through his eyes too quickly for me to read.

“The lake is just up ahead.” Xavier’s sudden arrival sent a shiver of terror down my spine.

I didn’t dare look at him in case it would inform him that his spell on me was broken, or for fear that it would renew the compulsion.

There was a rustling as Xavier searched for blood in the rucksack Ridge was carrying. Then Ridge was crossing the bridge, leading the horse after him. I followed at what I deemed to be a safe distance, worried that our combined weight would be enough to break the decaying wood and send us falling down into the cascading river below.

Once on the other bank, a cry caught my attention. Xavier was in the middle of the bridge having what seemed to be a fit. His handsome face was contorted in pain and I felt the urge to run over to him. However, Ridge with a pale hand on my shoulder, and the betrayal that still stung me deep down, prevented me from doing so. Eventually, Xavier had crossed the bridge and stopped gasping nearby. Ridge rolled his eyes and tossed him a bag of blood. I turned away feeling conflicted. Part of me was glad that Xavier had suffered, but the other part that was still under his hold, felt guilty and upset. My eyes fell on the almost black water that was rushing by. Ridge had told me it was the River of Death.

“What just happened?” Xavier’s worried tone filled my ears and I could feel his gaze on me. He was probably wondering why I hadn’t spoken to him yet.

“Haven’t you heard the myth that vampires can’t cross running water?” Ridge sighed, clearly annoyed at the hold up.

I gave a small nod. When I had been younger, my parents had always told me myths about the Undead so that I could protect myself if the need arose.

Xavier however, didn’t seem to have known about this particular vampire myth. “Why didn’t you collapse then?” he asked, embarrassed and aggravated. His eyes were burning into my skin but I forced myself not to look at him.

Ridge obviously didn’t like his tone, because his answer was full of hostility. “I hadn’t just drunk human blood.” then turning to face me, he gestured that I should get back on the horse.

Shaking my head I glanced at Xavier whose back was fortunately facing us.

Ridge followed my gaze and raised an eyebrow as if to say. Have you forgotten what I told you?

My reply was to roll my eyes. Of course not, I just want to talk to him alone.

He seemed wary, but knowing that I wasn’t going to back down on this Ridge gave a reluctant nod. Then after removing the rucksack, he transformed into a bat and flittered away.

Xavier was by my side in the blink of an eye, looping an arm around my waist and brushing loose strands of hair from my face. “Danira, what’s wrong? Why won’t you look at me?”

I said nothing, keeping my gaze fixed on his shoulder. But then Xavier lifted my chin up with a slender finger, making me look him in the eye. I remained silent as he peered at me anxiously. I expected that at any moment my knowledge of Xavier compelling me would disappear. It didn’t. Not even when Xavier pressed his silky lips to mine.

“Please tell me what’s wrong.” he told me, pulling me closer.

No feelings of love overwhelmed me. All I felt now was betrayal and anger.

Behind us the horse gave a snort which spurred me into action and I pushed Xavier away, my fists clenched. Staring at him, my eyes hard, I spoke in a voice that could have frozen even the fiery pits of hell. “I know that you have been compelling me.”

Xavier seemed more surprised than anything else. “No I wouldn’t. I...”

“Don’t lie.” I hissed, my rage growing. “I know that you did.”

His expression darkened and a cold hand snapped out, wrapping itself around my wrist. “I care about you, Danira, but I wasn’t sure if you would feel the same.” Xavier replied.

I narrowed my eyes accusingly. “You compelled me, Xavier. How am I meant to be able to trust you now?”

“I made a mistake. Everybody makes mistakes.” his grasp on my wrist tightened making me wince in pain.

I shook my head saying. “You had a choice and you made the wrong one.”

The change came over Xavier so suddenly that I had no time to react. The next thing I knew I was crying out as he bent my neck, his fangs piercing my skin. I knew only excruciating pain as my blood was taken against my will and then Xavier was pulled off me, his fangs tearing my neck as he was wrestled to the ground by Ridge. I was knocked over and landed painfully on the ground. With a gasp I looked up to see Xavier fighting with Ridge. They were snarling at each other, fangs exposed and Xavier had my blood around his mouth.

The pain flooding my body wasn’t only coming from my neck but I had to get away, away from the vampires. Forcing myself to my feet, I sobbed in agony. Then I was running as fast as my legs could carry me. I was aware that an alarming amount of blood was flowing from what felt like a huge hole in my neck, but a primal instinct pushed me onwards. My left arm was dead and I clutched it to my side, casting a glance behind me and praying that I wouldn’t see anyone following me. I tripped and with a yell I was sent tumbling down a slope. The adrenaline did nothing to stop the increasing pain as I crashed over stones and the stumps of dead trees.

All of a sudden I stopped to find that my face was inches away from the surface of an expanse of dark water. Then I was being lifted up and sat down. I doubled over in pain. An icy hand went to my back and I looked up in fear. Ridge’s dark eyes were overflowing with anxiety until they saw my neck. He tried to prevent his fangs from erupting through his gums but was unsuccessful. Our eyes met and I saw that his were now full of hunger. More blood trickled down my neck and Ridge’s nostrils flared. I hoped that Xavier hadn’t ripped an artery, which would explain the alarming amount of blood that was flowing from the wound on my neck.

“Where is Xavier?” I managed to whisper, still cradling my left arm.

Ridge’s gaze didn’t leave my neck. “The coward ran away.”

“I think I’ve dislocated my arm.”

He managed to drag his eyes away from my neck for a moment. “Do you want me to fix it?” I gave a small nod and Ridge said. “This is going to hurt.”

I felt his hand on my shoulder and then I blacked out.

“...ira... Danira please wake up, Danira.”

Groaning in agony I opened my eyes to find Ridge’s face before me. We were so close that our noses brushed. I was lying on the ground, every part of my body screaming in pain.

“I feel like hell.” I probably looked pretty awful as well.

Ridge brushed the hair from my face, radiating concern.

“Can you help me sit up?” I asked.

He gave a nod and helped me into a sitting position. I swooned feeling lightheaded and Ridge reached out to steady me.

When my vision stopped showing me two of everything, I realised that Ridge had accidentally put his hand on my neck when he had gone to steady me. His eyes were wide with shock and when he removed his hand it was painted with my blood. Despite himself, Ridge licked his lips. In my weakened state I could do nothing to stop him as his mouth went to my neck. He was licking the blood away, his tongue rough on my neck and shoulder, and my heart sped up with thrill not fear. I heard Ridge moan as his tongue hovered over the hole in my neck.


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