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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5. Rex and Spilt Blood

 

Sunday night I went upstairs to my bedroom afraid that Ridge would be there. But what I found was much weirder.

“What is that!?”

I had opened my door to find Dad and a creature that looked like it was a mixture between a bear and a dog. It lifted its huge head and turned its golf ball sized eyes to look at me.

Dad was cross at my outburst. “This is Rex.”

Hearing his name Rex stood up and I immediately backed away. He was HUGE! Standing on his long four legs, his head came up to my waist and I noticed that his tail was longer than my arm, and that his paws were the size of dinner plates.

“So you were serious about going to see a man about a dog.” I stated, unable to understand the sheer size of what I now realised was just a gigantic dog and not a half bear half dog beast.

Dad smiled. “Rex here is going to guard you. He’s going to follow you everywhere.”

Dad never exaggerated so when he said everywhere he meant everywhere. I gulped imagining Rex following me into the ladies loos.

“Won’t people see him?” I asked, after all he was pretty hard to miss.

Dad rolled his eyes at me. “Normal humans won’t be able to see him.”

It still upset me that I wasn’t a ‘normal’ human.

“Rex,” Dad spoke in his ordering tone. “This is Danira. It will be your job to guard her. Do you understand?”

Rex barked in the affirmative, a deep woof that made me wince, surprised my window hadn’t rattled.

“Do not let anything or anyone harm her.” Dad ordered.

I was surprised when Rex growled, his hackles rising making him look nearly twice as big, and then he woofed again and padded over to me, his massive tail wagging. I hoped that he wouldn’t knock any of my stuff over.

“Stroke him then.” Dad said when I just stared at Rex.

Kneeling down so that mine and Rex’s eyes were level, I said. “Uh hi, Rex.”

I held out a hand and Rex sniffed it, his shiny black nose quivering. Then he barked happily and licked my hand.

“Eww.” my hand was covered in saliva so I rubbed it on Rex’s fur, making his tail thud on the floor.

“Good, now remember your orders Rex.”

I wondered how intelligent Rex was. Could he understand everything we were saying?

“Dad,” I said slowly standing up and pulling him out into the hallway.

Rex followed us out but I told him to go back into my room, which he did.

“Dad, why couldn’t you just get a normal dog?” I whispered, not wanting Rex to hear what I was saying.

Dad sighed. “Come on, Danira, he is well behaved and will protect you all the time, which is something I can’t do. Please do this for me.”

I glanced into my room at Rex whose head was tilted to the side, his massive brown eyes fixed on me.

“Oh alright then,” I sighed giving in.

It was four days before Ridge reappeared.

Eventually I got used to having Rex follow me everywhere, though it was still strange seeing those luminescent brown orbs of eyes before I went to sleep every night.

“Ridge, you’ve been nursing that pint of blood for nearly two hours now. Either leave or finish it and have another.”

“Why hello to you too, Danira,” Ridge said, lacking his usual enthusiasm. In fact he seemed a bit sad. He drained his glass in one go, before saying. “I’d like another drink, please.”

“What would you like, sir?” I asked, pointedly looking at Dad, who was sat with Rex in the corner of the café, from the edge of my eyes.

Ridge pretended to read the menu. “Hmm, what would you recommend?”

“The eye of newt smoothie?”

He shook his head and leaned back in his chair, tapping his long fingers on the table. “No, just another pint of blood. Actually, make it a blood-alcohol cocktail. I like those little umbrellas.”

“Excellent choice.” I muttered turning around and walking off to the kitchen.

Dad stopped me before I could get there. His eyes were fixed on Ridge as he spoke to me. “Is he annoying you?”

I looked back at Ridge, contemplating saying that yes he was indeed annoying me, but I knew that Dad would do something over the top like throw him out. Turning back to Dad I shrugged. “No more than usual.”

He nodded, eyes narrowed on Ridge.

I grabbed some blood from the fridge and poured it into a glass, as well as some vodka before popping a cocktail umbrella in and returning to the café. “Here you are.”

Ridge’s cool fingers brushed mine as I placed the glass down on the table and I hid a shudder at his cold touch. He had slipped something into my hand and my eyes widened when I saw the wad of notes.

“You’ve never offered me a tip before.” I commented with a frown.

Ridge gave a million watt smile. “For that I apologise.” then his smile vanished and he lowered his voice, leaning forwards. “Come away with me, we can do whatever we want and I will protect you. You will always be safe with me.”

I burst into laughter unable to stop myself. “What? Are you serious? Why would I do something crazy like that?”

He stared at me, his dark eyes pleading as I tried to determine his intentions. Why on Earth would Ridge want me to go away with him?

Wiping tears away from my eyes I pushed the money back into his hands. “I don’t want your money.”

“Keep it.” Ridge muttered downcast, turning away from me.

I rolled my eyes and left the wad of notes in his open palm.

The bell above the door rang indicating that a new customer had entered the café and I gratefully stepped away from Ridge only for my eyes to widen at the sight of the newbie. He was gorgeous. As gorgeous as Ridge, but also the opposite of Ridge. Ridge wore the usual vampire getup of old fashioned clothes that had been the height of sophistication centuries ago and had dark hair and eyes. Whereas the new guy was dressed in dark jeans, a tight black t-shirt, and was wearing a studded belt complete with cowboy buckle. He had blonde hair and blue nearly silver eyes. There were two similarities between Ridge and the new guy’s outfits though, the shiny knee high boots and jet black cape.

The new guy caught my gaze and grinned. “Hi, I’m Xavier.”

He held out a manly hand and I shook it without thinking, aware that his touch wasn’t repulsive to me like Ridge’s had been.

“I’m Danira.” the words had left my mouth before I even thought about saying them. “I haven’t been here before, can I just sit anywhere?” I could see his mouth moving but his words were delayed slightly.

Shaking myself from the trance that I seemed to have gone into, I released his hand answering. “Yes, anywhere you like.”

“I think,” Xavier said as he wondered around the half-full café. “That I will sit here,”

He chose a seat not far from Ridge’s table and I took the opportunity to sneak a glimpse at Ridge. He was watching us with his mouth set in a grimace and his dark eyebrows slanted in anger. I found that odd but soon forgot about it when I turned back to Xavier.

“What can I get you, sir?” I asked, my pen and paper in hand, ready to take his order.

His blue-silver eyes were fixed on me. He hadn’t even glimpsed at the menu. “What do you offer for vampires?”

“We offer plain glasses of blood, or blood-alcohol cocktails.”

Xavier smiled causing my heart to flutter. He was using his powers on me! I realised in horror.

“A blood-alcohol cocktail would be great. Do I get an umbrella with it?” Xavier swept a pale hand across the table, gesturing to the mini umbrella in Ridge’s glass.

There was a clatter as the cutlery was knocked off the table by Xavier as he swept his hand and I gasped as the knife fell, cutting the back of my hand. I watched as blood welled in the cut and instinctively clutched my hand to my chest.

“Just a scratch,” I muttered looking up.

I hastily stepped backwards from the fanged beast that Xavier had transformed into. His face was contorted into a look of pure hunger and licking his lips he stared at my hand. Then Ridge was in front of me and I was sprawled on the floor having been pushed back by him. He was crouching defensively over me, ferocious snarls coming from his fanged mouth. Rex was beside him growling menacingly, his hackles so big he looked nearly twice his normal size.

“Come on.”

I was hefted up by Dad. He pulled me protectively into his arms and ran with me out of the café, Rex trailing behind to prevent anyone from following us. Dad didn’t stop running until we were in the bathroom.

“Where’s the First Aid kit?” he cried sitting me on the edge of the bathtub before rummaging around in the cupboards.

“Over there.” I pointed at the cupboard above his head and he practically wrenched the door off.

Rex appeared in the doorway and woofed questioningly at me.

“I’m fine.” I muttered gazing at my hand. “It’s not deep.”

Dad was flinging bits out of the First Aid kit.

“Dad,” I said worried. I stood up, placing a hand on his shoulder. “Dad calm down, I’m safe now. It’s only a scratch.”

He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. “I know, I’m sorry Danira, I just... I don’t know what I would do if anything happened to you.”

I watched as he angrily brushed tears away and I pulled him into a hug.

“I’m lucky Ridge was there.” I muttered.

Everything had happened so quickly, if Ridge hadn’t been there Xavier might have sucked me dry of blood by now. I shuddered at the thought and then shuddered again. Why was Ridge suddenly being so nice? First the tip and then saving me. It was like he was a different person. The old Ridge, who terrorised me, would never have acted that way. Was he trying to gain my trust?

Having regained his composure Dad led me over to the sink and washed the cut.

“I told you it wasn’t deep.”

He silently dried my hand and covered the cut with a plaster.

“Thanks, Dad.”

He nodded mutely then sighed. “I had better throw that guy out if Ridge hasn’t done it already. We owe Ridge, we owe him a lot.”

I just hoped that Ridge didn’t want anything in return.

If Xavier had any sense he wouldn’t come back. At least not for a very long time anyway, because if Dad ever saw him again he would probably do something over the top like decapitate him, and stick his head on a pike outside as a warning to everyone else.

Dad wouldn’t let me go back downstairs to the café, so I sat in my room figuring that someone would eventually appear wanting to speak to me. I was right.

“Danira.”

I jumped and sat up, as did Rex who was next to my bed. Rex jumped to his paws and his hackles rose as he started growling. I made no move to stop him.

Ridge calmly held out a hand, from where he stood next to my open window, which Rex attentively sniffed.

“That’s right, I protected her remember?”

The massive dog turned silently to face me, an eyebrow raised, before flopping down beside my bed panting contently. Some guard dog.

Ridge sat down on my bed beside me.

Brushing some hair behind my ear I said. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.” he replied bitterly. At my confused look he added. “That fool should have been more careful instead of showing off like that.”

I raised an eyebrow quizzically. “Showing off?”

“He was making himself more... attractive to you.” Ridge snarled angrily.

I nodded. So that was why I had found it hard to tear my eyes from him for even a few seconds.

Ridge gazed at me with his dark eyes. “Is the cut deep?”

I stared at my hand. “No, it was barely a scratch.”

“That boy has no control he should have known better.” he glanced at me and gave a small smile. “I just wish that my gallantry hadn’t been necessary.”

I held his gaze for a while before looking away. It annoyed me that Ridge had been the one to save me after I had told him a while ago that I didn’t need his help.

He stood up to leave. “You should sleep. You have college in the morning.”

Grabbing his sleeve I stopped him. “Wait, will you answer my questions about the Infinity Blade?”’

Ridge’s eyes flickered from me to the window. “No, Danira. I’m sorry.”

“But why not?” I persisted. “I need to know.”

He shook his head solemnly, eyes filled with anguish, and left without another word.

 

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