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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17. A Trip to Ferriday's Warehouse

 

      The next day Ferriday offered to take Aidan and me to his warehouse. He would have invited Jayden and Bertie as well, but they had wandered off somewhere. I was excited to see what kind of things Ferriday would have in his warehouse, and had to force myself to play the silent, obedient blood-slave. Lots of the vampires we saw in the streets greeted Ferriday and he was grinning as we made our way through the lower town. It seemed that Ferriday was popular now, and I could feel eyes on me as we walked.

      “Ferriday,”

      I recognised the voice. It was Lord Luca Harlin.

      “Ah, Lord Harlin,” Ferriday said bowing.

      Aidan bowed and I curtsied.

      “I was just on the way my warehouse, my Lord. I don’t suppose that you would care to join me?” Ferriday asked pleasantly.

      I could hear the smile in Luca’s voice as he replied. “I would be delighted to.”

      We started walking again, and Luca fell into step beside me. He looped an arm through mine and I gazed up at him in surprise.

      Grinning at me Luca said. “I was just on my way to see you. It has been too long since I saw you last.”

      I gave a small smile. “It was only two days ago, your Lordship.”

      “Exactly,”

      The vampires we strode past gaped at us openly, their eyes flickering from my collar to Luca’s smiling face.

      “Ah, here we are.” Ferriday beamed, pulling an old fashioned key from his pocket, as we arrived outside a reasonably sized, slightly rusty, metal warehouse.

      We waited patiently as Ferriday opened all the locks that were on the warehouse door. Surely locks weren't much of a vampire deterrent? After all, a vampire would be more than strong enough to rip them off.

      As if he knew what I was thinking, Luca lowered his mouth to my ear. His breath was cool on my skin as he said. “The locks are enchanted. They cannot be forced open.”

      I was instantly intrigued. I had never seen many enchanted items and the only enchanted thing I had owned had been the dagger in my bag which had been torn from my back at the slave market. I recalled that Rex and Lady Prenalla’s horse had been changed by people’s wills, i.e. enchantments. How did enchantments work? Was it magic?

      Ferriday slid the door open and Aidan, Luca and I followed him inside.  The warehouse was filled with all sorts of antiques imaginable; mirrors, paintings and sculptures, chairs, tables, various knickknacks and even a few boats.

      Luca seemed impressed. “This is quite a collection you’ve got, Ferriday.”

      Ferriday was obviously pleased at his praise. “Please look around, and if anything catches your eye than I will be more than willing to cut you a deal, my Lord.”

      Nodding Luca grabbed my hand, leading me away further into the warehouse. I cast a glance backwards to see Ferriday admiring something in his collection. Aidan’s gaze was fixed on my retreating form.

      As Ferriday’s antiques collection was set out in aisles, Luca strode down the main one before gently tugging me down a side aisle, which seemed to mostly have ancient looking furniture down it. My eyes were drawn to a magnificent dressing table made from a dark wood, with flowers carved into the edges. I ran a hand along its smooth surface, aware that Luca’s cold thumb was stroking the back of my hand. My muscles tensed and I turned to find him watching me, his lips curved in his charming smile. Maybe I had been wrong about him. Was he going to try and drink my blood?

      “Ferriday has an excellent collection.” I said a tremor in my voice.

      Luca’s hazel eyes were intense as he commented. “Yes he does.” he reached out and ran a thumb along my jaw, making my pulse quicken.

      “I have a boyfriend.” I whispered pulling my hand from his grasp.

      Luca’s expression was unreadable. “Then he is very lucky.”

      Taking a step away, I breathed deeply to calm my pulse and asked. “Will you be coming to Pegasus’s ball, your Lordship?”

      He gave a small chuckle. “Yes I will be there. And I’ve told you before that you need not bother with such formalities when we are alone.”

      I gave a small nod.

      “Do you not want me to go to the ball?” Luca asked, having interpreted my silence to mean that.

      “Of course I want you to go.” I told him. 

      “Excellent, I enjoy dancing with you.”

      We started walking again and I wondered. “Have vampires been avoiding you at all, because you dance with a human at the balls?”

      Glancing at me, Luca gave a sad smile. “Some have... shunned me yes.”

      “Why do it then? Why dance with me?”

      He froze and placed a pale hand on my cheek, surprising me with his speed and gentle touch. “There is just something about you, Danira.”

      From the look in his eyes I knew that couldn’t be a good thing. He was looking at me the way Ridge did. I turned away feeling uncomfortable.

      “Danira,” Aidan was stood nearby, his eyes roaming my neck, checking for bite marks.   

      Luca had disappeared.

      “He didn’t drink my blood, or even try to.” I told Aidan.

      “I thought that I had better check on you.”

      We headed back to the front door and he smiled at me. “This stuff is pretty cool huh?”

      “Yeah, I’d been wondering where Ferriday got all his money from.”

      Aidan glanced at me. “Ferriday does pretty well for himself, and now that he is becoming better known he is sure to have an increase in business.”

      Smiling I said. “Good, he deserves to.” 

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