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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1. A Tip and an Argument

 

      “A five pound note is that it?”

      Ridge looked up at me from where he was sat at the table. “You think you deserve more than that?” he asked, arching an eyebrow.

      “I know I do.” I told him, crossing my arms. “You’ve had how many drinks, three? I delivered them all quickly and with a smile.”

      Leaning back in his chair, Ridge laced his fingers behind his head. “What if I wanted to give you a tip that wasn’t money?”

      I glanced at Dad who was stood in the corner watching us disapprovingly. Pulling out my notebook I scribbled something down. “I’m afraid that I only accept cash, sir.” with my back to Dad I tore a page out of my book and slid it to Ridge before picking up his empty glass and taking it to the kitchen.

      The note read: ‘Come to my room at 10.

          

      “I’ve told you before, it doesn’t matter. I don’t mind.”

      Ridge glanced away disappointed with himself.

      With a sigh I sat on his rock hard stomach, straddling him with my legs. “Ridge, look at me.”

      Slowly he turned his gaze to meet mine.

      I tried to convey my love for him through my eyes and placed a hand on his cool face as I smiled. “Don’t beat yourself up about it. It’s just one of those things.”

      He frowned and played with the lace trim of my camisole top. “What if I had hurt you though?” Ridge asked his dark eyes fearful. “I couldn’t live with myself if I hurt you.” 

      Leaning down I kissed him gently on the lips. “You didn’t and you won’t. You need to have more faith in yourself. I totally get that when my heart is going crazy and blood is pounding through my veins that you will find it hard to control yourself.”

      Ridge raised an eyebrow. “You really don’t mind, do you?”

      “To be honest, I’m just glad not to be dead.” I said as I lay down beside him on my bed.

      Ridge reached out and pulled me into his arms.

      “Maybe things would be better if I had come back as a vampire.”

      He hissed and shook his head. “Don’t say that, Danira. Your human life is a gift and you should treasure it.”

      Ridge’s dark eyes stared into mine and I looked away ashamed.

      After a while I said. “I am… glad to be human, it’s just that it seems like such an inconvenience sometimes.”

      Like when I wanted to make out with my vampire boyfriend but couldn’t for too long because he was worried that he wouldn’t be able to fight the urge to drink my blood. I touched the area of skin that Ridge’s fangs had grazed. If I had come back as a vampire things would have been so much easier.

      Ridge must have known what I was thinking because he changed the subject. “What’s the worst tip you’ve ever had?”

      “You mean aside from your measly five pound note?” I asked, resting my head on his chest. “I’ve had ‘don’t eat yellow snow’ a few times.”

      He chuckled at that and brushed the hair from my face. “What about your best tip?”

      I held out my wrist. “I like this bracelet.” it was the ankh bracelet that a mummy had given me before my adventure in the Realm of the Undead.

      “You didn’t like my tip?”

      “Which one?”      

      Ridge pulled me on top of him and gazed at me with his charming smile. “The one just before,”

      “Hmm,” I said playing dumb. “I don’t remember... which one was it again?”

      Pressing cool lips to my jawbone, he said. “I think that it went something like this.” Ridge trailed kisses across my skin, making it feel like it was on fire.

      My heart was fluttering like a hummingbird’s wings. “No, I think it was more like this.” running my fingers through his dark hair I kissed him tenderly on the lips.

      Ridge slipped a hand under my top, his skin cold to the touch. The kiss deepened but then Ridge drew away, eyes on the door. “Your father is coming. I should go. Goodnight, Danira.” he gave me a quick kiss before disappearing out the window.

      I quickly covered myself with my duvet. There was a click as my door opened and I closed my eyes, pretending to be asleep. There was silence as Dad’s eyes scanned the room, making sure that I was alone. Once he was satisfied that Ridge wasn’t here, Dad closed the door and returned downstairs.

      Lying on my back I stared at the ceiling. If Dad knew about Ridge’s late night visits then he would be furious. I wasn’t allowed to see Ridge, despite the fact that he had been the one to bring me back to life. That didn’t seem to matter to Dad at all. I’d tried to talk to him about it, Mum too, but as far as Dad was concerned, there was no way that his daughter was ever going to date a vampire. Ever since the sacrifice Dad had been even more anti vampire than before, which I hadn’t thought possible. Large groups of vampires weren’t permitted in the café and Dad sometimes threw them out for no reason at all. Ridge wasn’t fond of sneaking around behind Dad’s back, and I didn’t particularly like doing it either, but it was the only way that we could be alone with each other.

      I rested a hand on my stomach, my fingers tracing the scar that the Infinity Blade had left. Then with a sigh, I moved onto my side and closed my eyes.

    

      “Do you think you’ll be able to go to Faith’s sleepover?” Debbie asked me as we walked home.

      I ran a hand through my hair absently. “It depends if my dad will let me.”    

      It had been two months since I’d been sacrificed and I was still catching up on the college work that I had missed. Plus Dad didn’t seem to like letting me out of his sight.

      Debbie frowned, pushing her glasses further up the bridge of her nose. “But you’ve nearly finished all your work, haven’t you? So why wouldn’t he let you? Plus it’s the last time we’ll probably see each other again until next year.”

      It was the last week of college before our two week holiday for Christmas and New Year.

      “He’s just being a bit strict at the moment.”

      “Oh, well I hope you can come.” Debbie said waving as she continued on walking.

      Standing still I waved back, waiting until she had disappeared before I strode to the abandoned warehouse that posed as the café. My key necklace glowed and the café appeared before my eyes.

      “Danira!”

      Horror filled me at the sound of Debbie’s voice and I whirled around to see her running over.

      “Yes?” I asked trying to keep calm, after all Debbie wouldn’t be able to see the café, only the warehouse.

      “I forgot to give you this.” Debbie handed me her Maths notebook, which I had asked to borrow so that I could write up the last of the notes I had missed.

      “Oh thanks, I had forgotten about that.” I laughed.

      Debbie’s eyes narrowed. “Hey, where’s your house? I thought you lived at the end of this road but there’s just this abandoned warehouse.”

      “Yeah, I live just behind it. I would invite you in, but my dad...” I ended my sentence with a shrug, hoping that she wouldn’t want to see where I lived.

      She nodded. “Oh that’s ok. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

      I watched as Debbie walked away, and I waved when she turned around. My grin was forced and hurt my cheeks. I breathed out in relief when Debbie had finally gone.

      “You’re late.” Dad greeted me as I walked into the café.

      Taking my bag off I went into the kitchen, where I dumped it on the floor. “It’s nice to see you too, Dad.” I took a glass from a cupboard and poured myself a drink. “If you must know I’m late because Debbie nearly caught me going into the warehouse.”

      Dad’s eyes practically popped out of his eye sockets. “What!?” he cried. “I thought I told you to be careful? What if she had found out?”

      Anger welled within me and I snapped back. “I am careful! She came back to give me a book. Why are you being so tough on me all the time? Aren’t you glad that I’m alive?”

      I grabbed my bag and pushed past him before running up the stairs, passing a shocked looking Mum as I did so. Slamming my door I stomped over to my bed which I threw myself on. Tears of frustration stung at my eyes.

      There was a knock on the door and even though I didn’t answer, Mum came in anyway. “Sweetheart, what’s the matter?” she asked. She sat down on my bed and started stroking my hair.

      I lifted up my head to look at her. “I just wish that Dad would get off my case.”        

      “I know, honey, he’s just worried about you.” Mum sighed.

      Straightening up I scowled. “Why? I’m safe now.” then it clicked. “It’s because of Ridge isn’t it?”

      She nodded and took my hand. Her skin was rough from years of cooking and cleaning. “We know that you trust him, but your father and I barely know him. That’s why your fath... we don’t want you to see him.” Mum corrected herself but not quickly enough.

      I opened my mouth to tell her that I didn’t really know Ridge that well either, but then stopped myself. She wouldn’t be too pleased to hear that, but so what if I didn’t know about Ridge’s past? All I cared about was who he was now.

      “You don’t mind that he’s a vampire, do you? Well...why don’t you get to know him better?” I suggested, thinking that maybe if I got Mum on my side she might be able to help me convince Dad.

      Mum’s eyes suddenly brightened and I was immediately wary.

      “That’s a brilliant idea, Danira. Why don’t you invite him around for dinner?” she asked smiling.

      “First of all Mum, Ridge doesn’t eat, and second there is no way that we’re doing that!” 

      Mum looked disappointed. “Why not? Don’t you want us to get to know Ridge? If we knew more about him then maybe your fath... we would let you see him.”

      Groaning I put my head in my hands. “It’s just that... it’s so embarrassing.” I glanced up at her, a brainwave giving me a great idea. “Mum, if I agree to it, then I want to be able to see Ridge whenever I want, and I want to go to Faith’s sleepover.”

      “The sleepover I can allow, but I’m not sure about letting you see Ridge whenever you want. You do have to go to college, Danira.”

      “I know that. I haven’t missed a day since I’ve been back.”

      Mum pondered that before saying. “I’ll have a think about it, but I will have to discuss it with your father.”

      I flung my arms around her. “Thanks Mum!”

      She laughed and hugged me back. “Ask him to come tomorrow evening for a drink, since he doesn’t eat.” with a smile Mum left my room, closing the door behind her.

      Tomorrow night was going to be awful I decided, as I grabbed my books from my schoolbag. Dad would be sure to give Ridge a grilling. I just hoped that Ridge could withstand it and still want to be with me afterwards.

     

      “That would be nice.”

      I gaped at Ridge. “Are you serious? It’s going to be awful.”

      He shrugged. “I don’t see how. It will be good to get to know your parents better.”

      I pulled a face, resting my chin in the palm of my hand, making Ridge laugh.

      “What’s the matter?” he asked reaching across the table to take my free hand in his. “Do you want me all to yourself?”

      Smiling I said. “That’s right.”

      Dad gave an agitated cough from where he was sat on the other side of the café.

      “See you upstairs.” I whispered to Ridge as I left the table.

 

      I bit Ridge’s lip playfully but he shook his head, moving away. With a sigh I rolled over and stared at the ceiling feeling sad. Our relationship was complicated. I wanted to kiss him. He wanted to kiss me. But Ridge was afraid that in the heat of the moment he would sink his teeth into me. To be honest, I wouldn't have minded if he bit me. I loved him so much that I really didn't care.

      Seeing how unhappy I was, Ridge yanked me on top of him and stroked my cheek. He kissed me so deeply that I could feel it down to the tips of my toes which tingled in pleasure. Soon my heart was racing as Ridge kissed me passionately.

      Then he pulled away. “No I can’t.” his voice was husky and he closed his eyes. “I’m too thirsty.”

      My lips brushed his jaw, wanting his luscious lips back on mine. “Drink then.”

      Ridge opened his hungry eyes. It looked like he was having an internal struggle as he decided whether to either drink from me, to continue kissing me, or to leave.

      “Not from you. I have to go.” he gave a weighted sigh and stood up.

      I pulled him back down with a strength that surprised us both. I wanted to be as close to Ridge as possible in the time we were together, but Ridge was always ruled by his need for blood.

      “Please,” I whispered. “We hardly get much time together as it is.” glancing at my Minnie Mouse clock I noted that Dad would soon be making an appearance to check that I was alone. “You won’t hurt me, you never do. You’re so gentle.”

      Ridge looked sceptical.

      “I know you worry that you will break some of my bones or something, but you haven’t so far.”

      He shook his head and stood back up.

      “Maybe I shook keep a fridge stocked with blood in my room.” I said, leaning my head on my knees.   

      He kissed the top of my head and smiled. “That might be a good idea.”

      “Don’t go yet.” I said grabbing his sleeve before he could escape.

      Standing up I hugged Ridge and he stroked my hair. I squashed myself against him, wishing that I could stay in his arms forever. I felt so safe and loved in his embrace.

      “Your father is coming.”

      We kissed goodnight and then Ridge was gone and I was climbing into bed. I quickly switched my light off. Just in time too, because Dad opened the door seconds later.

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