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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31. A Proclamation of Love and Nevrac's Speech

 

      “I missed you while I was gone.”

      I was at Luca’s mansion leaning back on the sofa. He had returned the day before and I was visiting him to say that I couldn’t see him anymore. Luca was nice and he obviously cared about me, but if he was going to try and kiss me all the time then I couldn't spend time with him. Ridge was the only man for me and Luca needed to realise that.

      “Did you find any interesting antiques?” I asked gently flicking the sequins on a nearby cushion.

      “There were a couple of interesting pieces but nothing extraordinary.”

      I nodded, not looking at him.

      Taking my hand in his, Luca said. “Danira, what’s wrong? You’ve barely glanced at me since you arrived.”

      “There’s something I need to say, but I don’t know how you’re going to react.” I pulled my hand from his grasp and gazed up into his hazel eyes.

      “What is it?”

      “We can’t spend any more time together. I told you that I’ve got a boyfriend, but you just don’t seem to get what that means.”

      His face dropped and his voice conveyed his anguish. “Where is he then, this boyfriend of yours? If he loved you then he wouldn’t have let you come to the Realm of the Living, or he should have come with you. You need someone that can take care of you. I can do that. I can give you anything you want and need.”

      “I love him with all my heart and always will do.” I told him, moving my gaze away.

      “He’s a vampire, isn’t he?” Luca asked.

      I was shocked, and didn't see the point of lying. “How did you know?”

      Smiling sadly he replied. “You don’t flinch at my touch. It must be hard for you, having a vampire for a boyfriend.”

      “What do you mean?” I demanded a cold edge to my voice.

      He shrugged. “Only that, as you are the daughter of the Portal Keepers, your parents mustn’t approve.”

      So he did know.

      “I won’t tell anyone, don’t worry.”

      I stood up. “I have to go.”

      In the blink of an eye Luca was in front of me, one of his hands resting on my cheek. “Please let me spend time with you, Danira. I love you.”

      “I’m sorry Luca, but that’s why I can’t be around you.”

      The next thing I knew his lips were on mine. Luca crushed me to his chest, making it impossible for me to escape. I struggled in his grasp, writhing and squirming. I bit down on his lip, slicing through it with my teeth. Luca cried out, releasing me in surprise. Blood spilled from the wound and he gazed at me in shock.

      “You asshole,” I snarled before slapping him with all my strength.

      He staggered his hazel eyes unreadable.

      If I had less self control then I would have staked him. Instead I glared at him before striding out of the room. Luca didn’t try to stop me.

     

      “I can’t believe that you’re not coming with us.” Leila pouted.

      “Someone’s got to look after Kelsey.”

      It was the day after my trip to Luca’s mansion, and there was a ball on but I wasn’t going. Christian and Aurelia were bound to be there and I couldn’t face seeing them together. I was just using Kelsey as an excuse, which Leila probably knew.

      Kelsey bounded into my room and jumped at me. “We’re going to have so much fun, Danira! It’ll be great, just the two of us.”

      Ferriday, Pegasus, Aidan, Leila and Scott were going to the ball, but not Bertie and Jayden. They had gone off travelling, hoping to find the Infinity Blade. I had wanted to go with them, but they had disappeared one morning out of the blue. I didn’t know where Jet was. I hadn’t seen him for a while.

      Kelsey and I stood at the front door waving goodbye to everyone.

      “What do you want to do first?” I asked.

      Grinning she turned to face me. “I want to bake some cookies!”

      I tried to be as enthusiastic as Kelsey while we baked, but my thoughts kept going to Ridge, or rather Christian.

      Kelsey paused in her cookie dough cutting. “Danira, you’re crying.”

      I blinked, realising that she was right. “Oh, I’m sorry.” I said wiping my tears away. I couldn’t even blame it on onions.

      “I don’t want you to be sad.” Kelsey told me wrapping her arms around me.

      “It’s ok, sweetheart. I’m fine. Come on let’s get these in the oven.”

      Once the cookies were cool enough we lay on my bed and ate them. Kelsey seemed to prefer my room to hers. We didn’t have a TV or anything so were a bit limited as to what we could do, but we ended up playing with each other’s hair. My red streaks had washed away long ago without my noticing. Eventually Kelsey stopped her chatter and fell asleep. I soon joined her.

                 

      The atmosphere was sombre when I walked into the kitchen the next morning.

      “How was last night?” I asked as I made myself breakfast.

      Aidan, Leila and Scott were all sat around the room and their expressions gave nothing away.

      Eventually Aidan spoke. “Nevrac made a speech.”

      I felt my blood run cold. “What did he say?”

      “He said that he was speaking on behalf of the Vampire Lords.” Scott answered. “That it had come to their attention that some vampires aren’t drinking from their blood-slaves, and that some are following that new ‘vegetarian’ fad where you only drink animal blood. They have proclaimed that if any vampires are found to be untrue to their natures in those ways that they will be burned or staked.”

      “What? But... they can’t do that, can they?”

      “And as if that isn’t bad enough,” Leila said scratching at her collar. “There are even more zombies around the Castle.”

      I chewed my lip. Why did things have to go from bad to worse?

 

      Jet came to see me that afternoon. We sat in the kitchen. I didn’t know where everyone else was. They were probably worrying about the Vampire Lords new rules.

      “Do you have a house in the Castle?” I asked.

      Jet nodded. “Yes, I have an estate in the Castle, which is fortunate given the mass of zombies that is gathered around us. No one is being allowed to leave or enter the Castle so the only means of escape is the portal which is still not functioning properly.”

      “Do you have any idea why the zombies have suddenly started surrounding the Castle?”

      “No, no one knows why.” Jet gave a small cough and said. “Danira, I’ve been thinking of reasons why Ridge could have reverted back to Christian.”

      I felt my throat close up and nodded for him to continue.

      “The only reason that seems plausible to me would be if a vampire had compelled him.”

      “Hang on there is this vampire, Xavier, who seems to be obsessed with me. I had the thought that he might have been compelled to fall in love with me. What if Xavier and Ridge’s becoming Christian are linked somehow?”

      He scratched his chin. “It’s possible, but who could have done it?”

      “The Vampire Lords and Lady Prenalla...” I trailed off.

      The answer suddenly seemed so obvious. Lady Prenalla. It was her. She thought of humans as playthings. But why was she making my life a misery? I felt like going to her house in Gore and giving her a piece of my mind.

      “It’s Lady Prenalla,” I told Jet, rubbing my temple. “For some reason she is making my life hell.”

      “Lady Prenalla?” he repeated in shock.

      The kitchen door suddenly burst open and Leila and Scott walked in.

      Leila was carrying a bunch of flowers so big that her face was hidden. “Guess who these are from?!” Leila cried bounding to my side.

      “I don’t know.” I replied, eyeing the bright and exotic flowers without interest.

      Leila giggled. “Lord Luca Harlin.”

      Jet made a distressed noise and I turned to him to see that his expression was one of alarm.

      “What’s wrong?” I asked, feeling dread seep into my bones.

      He muttered an excuse and practically fled from the room.

      Great, what now?

      “What was that all about?” Scott asked with raised eyebrows as he sat down beside me.

      “I have no idea. Is there a card?”

      Leila put the flowers on the kitchen counter and handed me a white pristine envelope. I tore it up.

      “Why didn’t you read it?” Leila asked disappointed.

      I explained about my visit to Luca’s estate.

      Leila gasped and then jumped up and down saying. “Oh my God! I knew it! I knew he loved you!”

      “You can have the flowers.” I told her before leaving the room.

 

      Two days later Luca came to Ferriday’s mansion. He wouldn’t leave until he saw me so I reluctantly met him in the gallery.

      “Danira,” he reached out to stroke my cheek but my glare made him stop. “Please agree to spend time with me again. I will control myself, I swear. I can’t stand the thought of not being able to see you.”

      I turned away, planning to leave the room, but Jet was suddenly in front of me.

      “What’s the matter?” I asked, not liking how distressed he looked.

      Jet glanced distrustfully at Luca who was standing silently beside me. “You can’t spend time with him. He hasn’t told you something important.”

      “What?”

      “He was Ridge’s murderer.”

      In the blink of an eye I had forced Luca up against the wall, and was holding a stake to his chest. “You’re the one that killed him,” I growled, wrapping a hand around his neck and squeezing.

      Luca was confused and wheezed. “I don’t know anyone called Ridge. Danira please let me go. Don't do anything you might regret.”

      “Can you hear yourself?” I laughed bitterly. “Do you seriously think that I would regret staking you?”

      He didn't answer.

      “Does the name Baron Christian Lamont ring any bells?” I asked, slowly pushing the stake through his skin.

      Crying out in pain, Luca replied. “Yes I know him. I... I killed him.”

      I drove the stake further into his chest.

      Luca’s voice was desperate as he begged. “I’ve changed since then, please, Danira, you must believe me. I'm a different person now. I love you and want to be with you.”

      Shaking my head I let go of him, not wanting to touch him any longer. “Stay away from me. I want nothing to do with you ever again.”

      Jet and I left the room and when Luca tried to follow after us, Jet snarled in warning.

      So Luca was Ridge’s murderer. All that time I had been with him not knowing... I shuddered at the thought.

   

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