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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28. Locked Away

 

“Please,” I whispered filled with dread. “Please don’t.”

Randolph’s harsh laugh assaulted my ear drums and Ridge’s pained eyes begged me not to give in. Maybe Ridge really did care about saving the Realm of the Living then. The secret society must have been real.

“So what will it be, human? Will you save the traitor, or the Realm of the Living?”

My heart was in my throat and sweat formed on my forehead. I could hear the fire cackling and Xavier grinding his teeth.

Who would I save? Ridge or the billions of humans in the Realm of the Living?

I closed my eyes and my head drooped.

“Don’t give him what he wants, Danira.” Ridge hissed sounding desperate. “I would gladly sacrifice myself.”

Oh Ridge... Dark, handsome, brilliant, confusing Ridge... Only now when I had to make this horrific choice did I realise how much I actually cared for him. I had thought it was just a crush, but I had been so very wrong.

I slowly opened my eyes and looked at him. “I’m sorry.” I whispered.

He nodded accepting that he was going to die for real this time. Except that he wasn’t. I couldn’t let him die even though it meant condemning billions of people to Lord knows what, including my parents. I didn’t care if Ridge was using me, and had been all this time. I couldn’t let the man I loved die.

Seeing that I was about to give him what he wanted, Randolph released his hold on me.

“You have to swear that you won’t hurt Ridge, or my parents.”

Randolph smirked, the Infinity Blade still pressed against Ridge’s neck.

“He doesn’t keep his word.” Xavier warned bitterly.

My desperate eyes bore into Randolph’s. “Swear on your life.”

He sighed. “Very well, you have my word.”

“No, Danira!” Ridge growled, watching in horror as I held out my hand, the ring in my palm.

Randolph’s eyes were greedy as his cold fingers took the ring from me. The three other Vampire Lords leaned forwards in their thrones. Xavier looked disapproving and Ridge’s face was unreadable.

Now that the Infinity Blade and the ruby ring were near enough to each other, both started to glow until, like magnets, they were drawn together. The ring was absorbed into the hilt, resulting in a blinding and eye watering flash of light.

My vision returned quickly but all the vampires were still blinded. I sprang forwards and tore the Infinity Blade from Randolph’s grip, taking him by surprise. Grabbing Ridge I used all my strength to haul him over to the door and I sprinted over to the shadows behind the thrones so that I could get Mum and we could all make our escape.

Fangs plunged into my neck and I shouted in anger as blood was drawn from my body against my will. Soon the excruciating pain was too much and I was enveloped in comforting darkness.

 

I felt like I had run a marathon and then been run over. Twice. The leftover dregs of adrenaline in my system didn’t help at all to keep the pain at bay.

“I was trying to save her.” someone close by protested.

I groaned in agony and placed a hand onto my neck to find that my hands were in chains. I didn’t really notice though because my neck was hurting so much that it felt like it was on fire.

“That Randolph was even messier than you.”

A low snarl was the reply to Ridge’s snide comment.

My hand was covered in a bloody mess when I removed it from my neck and I wiped it on my dress.

“Danira.”

I opened my eyes and was immediately confused. I was curled up in a small metal cage. Wincing as I sat up I glanced down at my shackled wrists. As I rubbed my neck I noticed that there was a cage either side of mine, both of which were inhabited.

Xavier avoided my gaze, his wrists clamped in chains as well, but when I turned to look in the other cage, Ridge’s emotional eyes burned into mine. I crossed the short distance to the metal bars and reached a hand through to Ridge, making my shackles cut into my skin. Taking my hand in his own cold shackled hands, Ridge kissed the back of it.

“I’m so sorry,” I whispered, tears welling in my eyes. “But I... I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t condemn you to die.”

Ridge smiled at me sadly. “I would have done the same in your position, Danira.”

Joy bubbled within me. Ridge felt the same way! Or was he still playing his game?

“Do you know where my mum is?” I asked anxiously.

Ridge shook his head and my heart plummeted, my joy decreased exponentially.

“I tried to save you.”

Any remaining joy shattered like a mirror into shards. Eyes narrowed, I slowly turned to face Xavier who was peering at me hopefully.

“Yes and why did you try to save me?” I asked, unable to conceal my hate for him, not that I wanted to.

His blue-silver eyes quickly flickered to Ridge before returning to me. “I... I have feelings for you.” he whispered.

“If you do then you wouldn’t have ever hurt me like you did.” I told him through gritted teeth. “I don’t need your help, not now or ever.”

Xavier’s shoulders slumped and his eyes were full of disappointment. “Please forgive me, Danira. You are all I think about, all I care about.”

I liked seeing him look so weak and defenceless as he knelt down in his cage in chains, but there was no way I was going to forgive him for what he had done to me.

“You have treated me in the worst possible ways imaginable.” my face grew red with anger and embarrassment. “I can’t believe that...” we kissed. I shuddered at the thought. “You screwed up big time, Xavier. What makes you think that I would ever, ever forgive you?”

Xavier shrunk back in his cage and I thought that I saw a proud look on Ridge’s face. Turning my back on Xavier I took a breath to calm myself and smiled at Ridge. Now more than ever I wanted to kiss him. If the longing look in Ridge’s eyes was anything to go by then it seemed that he wanted to make out too.

There was a cough and a familiar voice said. “Not interrupting anything, am I?”

I blinked and turned to see Jet, looking as pristine as usual.

I hadn’t even noticed before, but the cages were in a wooden building with several small windows. I frowned at the pile of ashes beside Jet’s stylish boots and realised that there must have been a vampire guarding us as well.

“Where are we?” I asked. “I don’t remember anything after...” I gestured to my neck, making my chains rattle. “Being fanged.”

“That was Randolph, the bastard.” Ridge spat angrily.

Jet sighed. “I didn’t know about that, but I watched as they dragged, or carried in your case Danira, you all to this building in the lower town of the Castle. Then they put you in cages and now the Vampire Lords are waiting for the portal to appear.”

“It’s good that you didn’t get caught, Jet, but how do they know that the portal is going to appear here? Surely the chances of that happening are incredibly slim?”

“Unfortunately, the wielder of the Infinity Blade can summon the portal.” he replied.

“Great, do you know how long we’ve got?” I asked, squeezing Ridge’s hand for reassurance.

Jet shook his head. “No, unfortunately I do not.” he gestured to Xavier whose eyes avoided mine. “Who is this?”

“No one.”

My tone must have told Jet not to go there, because he changed the subject. “So the plan is that I free you two, we grab the Infinity Blade and then escape.”

Ridge nodded and Jet grabbed two of the bars of my cage, but before he could open them wider to free me I stood up, letting go of Ridge’s hand.

No.”

Jet and Ridge exchanged a confused glance.

“No?” Ridge asked suspiciously. “What do you mean, Danira?”

I was unable to meet Ridge’s gaze as I spoke. “We all know that there is no way that idea will work.” I gestured for Ridge and Jet to come closer before whispering my plan to them.

“NO!” Ridge cried his eyes feral. “No, Danira, you can’t!”

“It’s the only way.” I told him, my voice sad.

I hid my confusion. I really didn’t know why Ridge was acting this way. Surely it didn’t matter to him if I died, unless it was because he had put so much time and effort into making me trust him that he would feel cheated if I died?

Jet nodded reluctantly. “It is the best plan we have, but that doesn’t mean that I like it.”

“Go on.” I said, waving him away, wincing when my shackles dug into my wrists as I sat back down. “Remember the plan.”

With a reluctant sigh Jet kicked the pile of ashes across the floor and took up the position of guarding us. I turned my attention to Ridge.

“Please don’t do this, Danira.” he whispered desperately as he reached through the bars and put his hands on my cheek.

“I have to. It’s the only way to save everyone.”

My heartbeat had quickened at his touch and hunger flashed in Ridge’s eyes.

“You’re hungry.” I brushed my hair from my neck and tilted the bloodied side towards him.

“No, Danira, I can’t.” Ridge told me, closing his eyes and clenching his hands as he tried to control his thirst.

“You need to be strong for what is to come, drink.”

The next thing I knew Ridge had bent the cage bars and I was in his arms. It looked like the thought of feeding had given him sudden strength. I watched without fear as Ridge licked his fangs in apprehension.

“Hurry, we don’t have much time.” I told him when he hesitated, his mouth hovering above the two puncture marks on my neck.

Strangely I barely felt a thing, which was probably because I wasn’t resisting Ridge. I wanted him to drink his fill but Ridge forced himself to stop before then. Pulling away his lips were covered with my blood.

“Thank you.” his voice was husky. Ridge licked his lips and his fangs retracted. His eyes now filled with another type of hunger and he gently ran a thumb over my lips, making my heart leap. “What if you die?”

I stared up at him, placing one of my hands on his neck, my chains jangling. “Then I will have died saving billions of lives. That’s a good way to die, don’t you think?” I asked quietly.

“I wish that it didn’t have to be this way. You must know how I feel about you, Danira.”

I shook my head. “I thought I was just a plaything to you.”

“No, never.” he whispered looking horrified.

A tear rolled down Ridge’s cheek and I wiped it away, letting my own tears fall freely.

“I love you, Danira. I always have.”

I had never felt so overwhelmed with happiness. “And you’re only just telling me now?” I laughed.

“I wasn’t sure if you felt the same way.” Ridge smiled sorrowfully.

“I do, so isn’t it about time that you kissed me?”

When our lips finally met I forgot about everything. All that mattered was that Ridge and I were finally together. We kissed passionately, knowing that this, our first moment together, could also be our last. Tongues touched, hands wandered restrictedly and throughout it all I was just so happy that I thought my heart would burst. Eventually though, knowing that it couldn’t last, I pulled away and Ridge held me in his arms.

“I need to drink your blood.” I told him, panting as I caught my breath.

Ridge tensed but bit his wrist and held it out for me. I drank more than ever before.

Lowering his mouth to my ear he murmured. “Exchanging blood is the ultimate display of love for vampires.”

I shiver of bliss ran through me. “I love you, Ridge.”

“I love you too. They’re coming.” he warned.

We quickly kissed and then Ridge was back in his cage, the bars back to normal. The tangy taste of Ridge’s blood hovered in my mouth and touching a fingertip to my neck I found no fang marks.

A door opened allowing a stream of dim grey light to illuminate the building only slightly more, revealing nothing of interest. Jet straightened up, ready to play his part as our guard. A group of vampires, with Lincoln and Gerard leading them, strode up to the cages. Jet tilted his head to them in recognition.

Lincoln frowned. “I don’t recall seeing you before.”

“I’m new, sir.” Jet said.

Lincoln nodded before asking. “Have the prisoners tried to escape?”

“No, sir.”

Gerard gave a cold laugh. “How disappointing,”

“Let them out.” Lincoln gave Jet a set of keys. “It is time. The portal has appeared.”

Jet opened the doors to all three of the cages, and then Ridge, Xavier and I were man-handled out of the building and led to a huge courtyard where hundreds of vampires were gathered. They all stared at me as Lincoln and Gerard led us through the crowd and down to the castle gate. Randolph and Cameron waited next to the shimmering portal which had formed inside the gate but my eyes were on Mum, whose hands were shackled just like mine. She was stood beside Cameron and her eyes widened when she recognised me. She had lost weight and had cuts on her now hollow looking face.

“Ready to see your world fall human?” Randolph sneered.

 

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