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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8. Hitching a Ride and Dessert

 

College became a blur of lessons, and it felt that Rex had always been in my life. All too soon it was Friday night, Debbie’s birthday. I had managed to persuade Dad to let me go to her birthday party, which was at a restaurant in town, knowing that Debbie would be really disappointed if I didn’t go. Dad had been reluctant to give me permission, but I had pointed out that as I had Rex with me, no one would try anything. He still made me take an arsenal of weapons with me though.

So on Friday after college, Gina, Faith and I went straight to Debbie’s house. I had bought Debbie a voucher as I hadn’t known what to get her. Gina muttered something mean under her breath but Debbie had liked the voucher, telling me excitedly about this CD that she would buy with it. I had smiled pretending that I knew the band she was talking about.

Debbie’s mum dropped us off at a restaurant telling Debbie to call her when we wanted picking up.

The meal was pretty good and Gina only made a few snide comments about me, so I had a fairly enjoyable time. Rex sat beside me, invisible to everyone else, and every now and then I would catch his expression which was generally one of boredom. I did, at one point, have to stop him from trying to steal someone’s chicken, which was extremely awkward as to everyone else it looked like the chicken was attempting to jump off the plate of its own accord.

The sun had set by the time we had finished, and it had become chilly reminding us all that summer was long gone. We all waited outside the restaurant for Debbie’s mum, chatting about college. When Gina started talking about boys I decided it was time to leave.

“I’m going to walk home.” I said.

Dad would be wondering where I was and if I stayed out too much longer he would probably do something embarrassing like come looking for me.

Faith looked wary. “Are you sure? It’s pretty dark now.”

“It’s not far to my house. I’ll be fine.” turning to Debbie, I said. “Can you thank your mum for me? I really enjoyed the meal. I hope you had a good birthday.”

After hugging everyone, even Gina, which was a rather uncomfortable experience and a shock, I set off down the road, Rex padding happily at my side. The cold had set into my bones and I rubbed my arms to get warm. Glancing around, I turned into an alley telling myself that I would soon be home.

It wasn’t long before I began to regret my decision. It probably wasn’t such a good idea to be out in the open when the Vampire Lords were planning to sacrifice a human. I would be the perfect target. What had I been thinking?

Suddenly something swooped down from the sky with a squeak and landed on my shoulder. I cried out in surprise and the blood drained from my face when I saw that it was a bat. Beside me, Rex gave a yawn, as if to tell me to hurry up.

Good evening, Danira. Ridge’s voice materialized in my head.

Glaring, I tried to prise him off my shoulder, but Ridge just dug his claws in deeper making me wince. “What do you want?” I sighed, continuing on my way.

It’s not a very good idea to be out at this time of night. All sorts of things come out when the sun goes down.

Rolling my eyes I muttered. “Yeah I know, like bats that don’t know when they’re not wanted.”

Mind if I hitch a ride? he asked, ignoring my previous statement.

“Yes actually. I’m not a taxi, a late night snack or a toilet.”

I don’t think of you as any of those things.

With a beat of his wings, Ridge flew off my shoulder and landed on Rex. I had to bite my lip to stop myself from laughing when Rex snapped his massive teeth at Ridge, a deep growl coming from his throat. Ridge immediately launched into the air again and returned to my shoulder.

“Who says I won’t bite too?” I asked, giving the bat on my shoulder a glimpse of my canines.

Ridge’s laughter resounded in my head. Somehow I think Rex’s bite would be worse.

We were nearly at the café when Ridge suddenly transformed back into human form. He held a hand out to stop me from going any further and I glanced around anxiously. Rex’s ears were twitching and he let out a low snarl. I took a step backwards when I saw the dishevelled vampire that was being supported by the alley wall. His mouth was covered in blood and behind a nearby dustbin I could see the remains of his dinner, a young woman.

Clamping a hand over my mouth to stifle a gasp, I felt bile rise in my throat.

The vampire lifted his eyes to my face and grinned, revealing bloodstained fangs. His eyes were beady and he had a large amount of facial hair. “Well, well, looks like I’ve just found my dessert.”

“Don’t even think about it.” Ridge snarled, pushing me behind him.

Rex was growling so much he was vibrating, and his hackles made him look even more ferocious.

“Oh just a little taste, mate.” the vampire insisted, completely ignoring Rex.

Grabbing my elbow, Ridge led me away.

“She’s a nice bit of skirt.” the vampire commented as he walked after us. “Young is always best.” addressing me he laughed. “I bet you like it rough don’t you, honey? I can show you a good time.”

The next thing I knew, Ridge was pinning the vampire against the wall. “How dare you talk to her like that, you son of a bitch.” he roared.

I flinched and backed away, not liking the murderous look in Ridge’s eyes. I had never seen him that angry before. I actually felt frightened of him.

Rex nudged my leg, gesturing that we should be going. I gladly followed him away from Ridge and the other vampire, forcing myself not to look back. I would not want to see what happened next.

“You’re the girl from the café, aren’t you?”

Whirling around I found two seedy looking vampires emerging from the shadows. I groaned inwardly and Rex started barking at them.

“It is her.” the shorter one confirmed with a smirk.

“What are you doing out here so late at night?” the other asked, his green eyes glinting dangerously.

“Please just leave me alone.” I begged heading towards a nearby alleyway.

The vampires moved to follow me but stopped when Rex snapped his teeth at them.

“You shouldn’t be out this late.” the taller of the two vampires told me. “Don’t you know about the price on your head?”

“What price?” I whispered, finding myself unable to move, but due to fear not compulsion.

Sniggering the vampires exchanged a look.

“You don’t know do you?” the shorter vampire asked, twirling the edge of his tidy moustache. “You humans really are so stupid.”

Rex shouldered my leg, wanting me to move. But I had to know what they were talking about.

“Is it to do with the Vampire Lords plan?” I asked, feeling my chest constrict in terror.

The taller vampire raised an eyebrow. “Maybe you’re not that stupid after all. Yes, of course it’s to do with the Vampire Lords plan. They need a sacrifice and they intend to use you.”

I felt like I had walked into a brick wall. “Me...” I stammered unable to believe what I had just heard.

“Whoever takes you to the Vampire Lords will be given a generous reward.” the moustached vampire said, eyeing me greedily.

That was when they pounced at me. Rex launched himself at them and I stumbled away unable to stand the terrible snarls and ripping noises that were coming from the melee. All I could think about was that the Vampire Lords wanted to sacrifice me. Me. I felt numb and detached from the world.

Until I was forced up against the wall that is, and I found myself staring into Ridge’s dark eyes with the breath knocked out of me.

“What the hell were you thinking being out this late at night?” he demanded, seething as he stood before me, trapping me against the wall with his hands on my shoulders.

“Ridge you’re hurting me.” he lessened his grip only a little and I looked away. “Just leave me alone.” I muttered, seriously pissed off with myself for not just waiting with my friends for Debbie’s mum. I was also very worried about what I had just learned.

“Look at me Danira.” Ridge growled, forcing my chin up so that our gazes met. “How many times have I had to save you? You would be dead by now if it wasn’t for me.” I opened my mouth to say that Rex would have protected me, but Ridge interrupted. “Do you want to die, is that it? Do you even care?”

Anger flared to life within me like nothing I had ever felt before. “How dare you!” I yelled shoving him away. I would have slapped him, but I didn’t think that slapping a vampire would be a good idea. “Of course I care. The question is why do you care? Why don’t you just hand me over to the Vampire Lords and stop playing this stupid game? Who do you think you are anyway, my protector?” shaking my head I turned away. “Just leave me alone.”

Rex appeared then, bounding over to me seemingly unhurt, much to my relief. We strode away and I felt Ridge’s stupid dark eyes burning into my flesh every step I took.

 

Plastering a fake smile on my face, so as not to alarm my parents, I entered the kitchen.

“Danira,” Dad exhaled in relief when he saw me. “You’re okay.”

“How was it? Did you have fun?” Mum asked giving me a hug.

I told them as enthusiastically as I could manage that the meal had been nice.

“Homework now.” Dad reminded me sternly.

Nodding I trudged upstairs where I promptly curled up into a ball on my bed. Rex hopped up beside me, making the bed groan in protest, and I buried my face in his fur. My tears fell easily as I wondered how I could have been so stupid. What a brilliant idea walking home in the dark had been. I should have known that it would end badly.

What to do about Ridge? Hopefully he wouldn’t visit any time soon, to allow us both time to cool down. I had been too harsh on him, taking out my frustration on him instead of myself. I would have to apologise to him. That was going to be embarrassing and a blow for my pride.

Then there was the fact that I was the one the Vampire Lords wanted to sacrifice. Why me? There wasn’t anything special about me. Maybe the Vampire Lords just wanted to do it to spite my parents. I wouldn’t have put it past them. I would have to be extra careful from then on.

Rex licked my hand with his long, pink tongue and I stroked him, glad at least that he wouldn’t judge me. Well, at least if he did I wouldn’t know about it. Unless it turned out that he could talk.

 

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