No Use Crying Over Spilt Blood

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Portal Keepers Book 2 (The sequel to 'Would You Like Brains With That?').
Danira travels back to the Realm of the Undead to stop humans being used as blood-slaves.

Cover by Zillah Designs.

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13. A Business Card and a Rogue Petal

 

      He held out a hand to me. “May I have this dance?”

      I was completely baffled. What was a vampire doing coming over to the human side of the ballroom and asking me to dance with him? Surely that broke like a hundred vampire rules?

      I must have said yes though, because he placed a hand on my waist and took my hand in his own. Placing my free hand on his muscular arm I let him lead me as we slowly danced. I kept my gaze on the vampire’s shoulder, my cheeks burning because everyone was staring at us.

      “What is your name?” his voice was smooth like silk and my eyes flickered involuntarily up to meet his.

      “Danira,” I answered.

      “I’m Luca. Lord Luca Harlin.”

      Did I have to call him ‘your Lordship’ or ‘my Lord’ then?

      Luca had short, curly blonde hair and hazel coloured eyes. Several rings adorned each of his cool, pale hands. His touch reminded me of Ridge.

      “Who is your owner?” Luca asked his eyes on my collar, obviously not recognising the crest on it.

      “Ferriday,”

      His lips curled into a smile. “I’ve never heard of him.” when the song ended Luca kissed the back of my hand. “It has been a delight, Danira.” he slipped something into my hand before gliding away.

      Leila was at my side in an instant. “Oh my God, what just happened?”

      I was in shock as I opened my hand and looked down to find Lord Luca’s business card. “I have no idea.”

      Leila continued babbling about how weird that had been and I nodded not paying attention to a single word she was saying.

      Feeling hot I fanned my face and turned to Aidan. “Do you know if there’s somewhere I can go for some fresh air?”

      He nodded and took my clammy hand in his before leading me through the throng of human bodies. We walked down a corridor and found some doors that led outside.

      “Are you alright?” Aidan asked me as I leaned against the cold brick wall.

      I nodded, my eyes closed against the dim grey light of the Realm of the Undead. “You can go back inside if you like. Thanks for bringing me out.”

      He sounded reluctant. “Will you be alright to find your way back?”

      “Yes, thanks Aidan.”

      I heard his footsteps as he went back inside and then it was silent.

      When I had cooled down I opened my eyes. Cruel green eyes stared back at me. Nevrac. He was barely inches away and had trapped me in his arms which were on either side of me.

      “It looks like I’m not the only vampire whose attention you caught.” his voice was cold and sharp, just like the fingernail which was travelling down my throat.

      “What do you want?” I asked, my voice shaking.

      There was something about this guy that set me on edge. The stake strapped to my leg suddenly felt very heavy. I longed to use it, but Nevrac was probably faster than me.

      His lips curled into a sneer as he retracted his arms. “Nothing human, I want nothing...for the moment.”

      Nevrac left and I breathed a sigh of relief, my heart pounding in my chest.

 

      As soon as we returned to Ferriday’s estate I went straight to my room and changed into some PJs. Sitting on the windowsill with my legs pulled up, I rested my head on my knees and stared out of the window.

      Why was it that so many people were missing from my life? Ridge, Gina, Bertie and Jayden...

      There was a knock at the door and it opened, making me jump.

      “Hey, I just wanted to check that you’re alright.” Aidan walked in looking concerned.

      I smiled. “I’m fine.”

      He nodded but seemed unsure. “Ok then, I’ll leave you in peace. Goodnight, Danira.”

      “Night, Aidan.”

      Aidan gave me a smile and left my room, shutting the door behind him. I rested my cheek against the cool glass of the windowpane and closed my eyes.

 

      “Danira,”

      I stirred in my sleep. Cool lips pressed against my cheek and my eyelids fluttered as I slowly awoke. The room was dark. The only light was coming through the drawn curtains, so my eyes took a while to adjust.

      “Who is it?” I asked, stretching underneath the bedcovers.

      “It’s me.” a familiar voice answered from beside me.

      My heart leapt and I turned to find Ridge lying beside me, smiling his wonderful smile.

      “Ridge,” I cried throwing my arms around him. “I’ve missed you so much. Where have you been?”

      He chuckled and his luscious lips brushed mine.

      “I’m sorry I didn’t mean to be away for so long.”

      Tears of joy streamed down my face and I kissed him deeply, pulling him as close to me as possible.

      “I love you, Danira.” Ridge whispered into my ear, his cool breath tickling me.

      Laughing I peered up at him to see that he had disappeared. “Ridge?” I said, sitting up, my heart plummeting.

      Tears trailed down my neck and I started sobbing. It had been a dream, a wonderful and cruel dream. Sobs racked through me and I clung to my pillow. 

 

       I had been up and dressed for hours by the time Aidan walked into the kitchen. He was surprised to see me.

      “Morning, you’re up early.”

      “Couldn’t sleep,” I mumbled my eyes sore from all the crying I had been doing.        

      Aidan grabbed some eggs from the fridge and started to fry them.

      “Ferriday said that the next ball we go to will be the one he is hosting. Do you know when it’s going to be?” I asked, resting my head in my hands.

      “It’s in a few days I think. Ferriday will be sure to put on a show.”

      Aidan passed me a plate with fried eggs on and I thanked him before saying. “Is that all we do then, just go to balls?” I said the eggs warming my hungry stomach.

      “Mostly, but that’s only because Ferriday is one of the few vampires that doesn’t drink from his slaves. If we were owned by a vampire like Nevrac then we would have other things to do I am sure.”

      I shuddered at the thought. “Does Nevrac scare you?” I asked, my voice trembling slightly.     

      “Did something happen yesterday at the ball?”

      Looking away I answered. “No, it’s just that he seems... like a very cruel vampire.”

      Aidan picked at his eggs. “I’ve heard that Nevrac is one of the worst.”

      Great and I had caught his attention.

      “Do you know if we’re doing anything today?” I asked clearing away the plates.

      He shrugged. “I’m not sure.”

      I thanked Aidan for breakfast and went to my room. I had left it in a mess and wanted to tidy it up. Pulling back the curtains, grey light filled my room and I straightened my pillow and bed covers. Something white caught my eye and I picked Lord Luca Harlin’s card off the floor. I sat on my bed scowling at it. Luca’s name and address stared up at me. Why had he danced with me? It had been so... random. I ran a hand through my hair and a red rose petal floated down onto my lap. My heart felt like it had been gripped by a vice. How had that gotten in my hair? I had showered earlier that morning so surely it should have washed away? Chucking the petal out of my window, I watched as it dropped to the ground. I had forgotten there was no weather in the Realm of the Undead, and so the petal wouldn’t be blown away like I had hoped. I closed the window and perched myself on the windowsill, staring at the rose petal, willing it to fly away.

 

      “Hey, Danira,”

      I practically jumped a foot in the air. Then seeing that it was only Leila, I laughed and pressed a hand to my beating heart feeling embarrassed. I had been sat by my window, deep in thought.

      “Are you ok?” she asked sitting down on my bed.

      I nodded in answer to her question and Leila picked Lord Luca’s business card up off the bed.

      “It’s so weird that he danced with you. Everyone is talking about it, even the vampires.”

      “Brilliant,” I sighed rolling my eyes.

      Her face was filled with concern as she looked at me. “Danira, what’s wrong?”

      Not wanting to talk about it I shook my head. Leila was determined though and joined me on the windowsill. Putting an arm around me she said. “It’s a bit overwhelming isn’t it, discovering that there is this whole other world and that creatures like vampires are real. Then there’s the fact that there’s no sun, moon or stars here.”

      I rubbed my temple. “I already knew about vampires and the Realm of the Undead.”

      At Leila’s shocked expression I said to her exactly what I had told Aidan the day before.

      “Oh my gosh that’s... wow! So what’s wrong then? Is it having your freedom taken away?”

      “It’s not really that...” I gazed at Leila considering whether or not I should tell her about Ridge. However I wasn’t sure how she would react if she found out I was dating a vampire. My heart panged at the thought of Ridge and I felt tears form in my eyes as I recalled my dream. In the end I said. “My boyfriend is missing I’m just worried about him.”

      “Was he taken by a vampire? I’m sure that you will find him.”

      “Thanks, Leila.” I said managing a small smile. It was probably best that she thought my boyfriend was a human.

      “You’re welcome.” she beamed at me. “Anyway, what I came to say is that Ferriday and Pegasus are having a meeting with some of the members of their society and they all bought their slaves with them.” standing up she grabbed my hand, hauling me to my feet. “You have to come see everyone!”

      Leila practically skipped all the way to the kitchen where seven blood-slaves, including Aidan, were gathered around the breakfast bar. There was food on the counters which I supposed Aidan had prepared.

      “Everyone you remember Danira?”

      They all twisted around to look at me. I waved shyly, recognising them from the ball. Leila introduced them all, and it turned out that they all belonged to different vampires.

      Aidan smiled at me, moving over so that I could stand beside him. “You ok?” he asked.

      I nodded and nibbled on a biscuit.

      “Do you think the vampire that danced with you will come to Ferriday’s ball?” the girl that Leila had introduced as Nadia, who was stood on my other side asked.

      Answering with a shrug I said. “I don’t know.”

      Everyone gazed at me curiously and then Leila commented. “He gave Danira his business card.”

      All the girls in the room giggled.

      “What’s his name?” Aidan asked eating some crisps.

      “Lord Luca Harlin.” I muttered, wishing that they would all stop staring at me.

      “He sounds dreamy.” Nadia sighed.

      Leila laughed. “He is. I still can't believe that he danced with you, Danira. Nothing like that has ever happened before.”

      Wanting to change the subject I coughed and said. “Hey have any of you guys heard of a human slave called Gina? She’s a friend of mine and I’m trying to find her.” since I hadn’t seen Gina at the ball last night I figured that maybe one of them might know her. No one did though and I felt disappointed. “Well if you hear of a human called Gina, can you let me know?”

      Everyone said that they would and then we were interrupted by a knock on the door, which opened and Ferriday appeared. “Danira, can I speak with you please?” he asked his eyes locking onto mine.

 

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