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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42. A Warehouse of Screams

      The warehouse didn’t look particularly exceptional from the outside; it was big, grey and metal. But from the shrieks and screams that were emanating from it, I knew that something very bad was going on inside. On the way over, Ridge had told me the purpose of the warehouse but I was having a hard time grasping what he was trying to tell me because he wasn’t explaining it very well; he was obviously distraught that he, or rather Christian, had been part of it.

      As we sat on the roof of a house, watching the warehouse keenly, wincing at the screams which had yet to stop, Ridge tried to explain it to me again. “You know how farmers have sheds where they milk cows...” I already didn’t like where this was going. “And they have special equipment to milk the cows? Well think of the warehouse as a cowshed, and as the blood-slaves as the cows.”

      My eyes nearly popped from their sockets as I gasped and seized Ridge’s arm. “They’re draining the blood from humans,” I cried sickened.

      Ridge nodded. “They don’t kill them, but the humans are on the brink of death.”

      I stood up, determined that by the time I came out of the warehouse no one wouldn’t be able to tell what it had been, and I was about to jump when Ridge stopped me.

      “I know the layout, follow me.”

 

      The screams were deafening inside the warehouse and I felt sorry for Ridge with his enhanced senses. I wondered how the vampires working there could stand it, but then I saw that they were wearing ear defenders, which was good because they wouldn’t be able to hear Ridge and me coming. Also my scent would get mixed up with all the blood-slaves’.

      “Why don’t they compel the humans to stop screaming?” I had to shout to make myself heard.

      “Maybe they like seeing their pain.”

      Ridge then gestured for me to follow him as we snuck down a corridor past a room of vampires who were draining a group of humans; the humans were hooked up to some sort of machine that was taking their blood and putting it into bottles.

      I placed my hand on the door handle and took a deep breath, preparing myself to do some serious ass kicking, but Ridge grabbed my arm and pulled me away.

      “We can do more damage in the control room, come on.”

      Reluctantly I let Ridge direct me through the maze of corridors. We killed any vampires we came across. By the time we reached the control room, my shoes were covered in vampire ashes. We peered through the door to find that there were five vampires inside the room. Five against two? Easy.

      I took a deep breath to prepare myself and Ridge raised an eyebrow at me, asking if I was ready. I nodded and we erupted into the room. Five seconds later there were five piles of ash on the floor.

      Ridge gave a low whistle and gazed at the Infinity Blade in wonder. It had killed all of the vampires. It was almost as if it had a mind of its own.

      “I wish I could take some of the credit, but it did all the work,” I said, feeling somewhat wary of the weapon in my hand.

      The screams were shut off as the door slammed closed behind us.

      “So what now?” I asked.

      The room was packed with monitors and control panels. Moving closer to the monitors I saw that they showed where the blood-slaves were being kept. They were packed into metal cages with barely enough room to move around. Gritting my teeth I turned to face Ridge who was examining the panels.

      “This one controls the human holding area,” He told me. “We can free them all.”

      “We need to kill all the vampires first. How many do you think there are?”

      Ridge’s dark eyes met mine. “Hundreds,”

      Running a hand through my hair I asked. “Is there a power source? Maybe we can blow the factory up, after we’ve rescued the blood-slaves of course.”

      “There’s a generator.”

      “Okay, I’ll free the humans and you’ll blow up the generator.”

      Ridge looked worried. “Can’t we do it together?”

      “I’ll be fine,” I told him smiling. “You know I will.”

      Ridge kissed me. “Be careful,”

 

      An hour or so later I could still hear screams ringing in my ears even though the warehouse was now a pile of rubble and dust. Having summoned the portal and fixed it using the Infinity Blade, Ridge and I watched as the liberated blood-slaves disappeared through the no longer distorted swirling mass.

      When the last human had left the Realm of the Undead Ridge laughed and drew me into his arms, spinning me around. I smiled and kissed him tenderly. Pulling away when something velvety, that wasn’t Ridge’s finger, stroked my arm I looked down just in time to see a feather, that was pure white and as long as my forearm, fall to the ground. I frowned and gazed around. Where had that come from? It was huge!

      My attention was drawn back to Ridge when his lips skimmed my jaw and he gave a groan. “I’m thirsty.” He sighed, eyes filled with hunger.

      “I’m sure Ferriday wouldn’t mind giving you something to drink.”

     

      “The Vampire Lords will pay for what they did.” I muttered under my breath, my brow knotted in a scowl as I knocked on the front door of Ferriday’s mansion.

      Ridge was silent, his expression pained. He wouldn’t look at me for fear that his eyes would be drawn to my neck. Nobody answered the door so I opened the front door, wondering why someone hadn’t come to let us in.

      “No!” I screamed when I saw a body on the ground.

      Aidan was as still as a statue, his eyes wide open and his skin as white as fresh snow.

      “Aidan,” I whispered, touching his neck in hope of finding a pulse, but there was none. He was stone cold.

      Ridge knelt down beside me. “He’s been drained of blood.”

      Just as the thought to do so formed in my head, the Infinity Blade brought Aidan back to life. He wheezed for oxygen and colour steadily returned to his complexion.

      Helping Aidan to sit up I demanded. “Who did this to you?”

      His blue eyes were overflowing with terror. “He... he came not long after you left.” Aidan spluttered.

      “Who?” I asked, thinking that Aidan would still be dead if it wasn’t for the Infinity Blade. Its power scared me sometimes.

      “I didn’t recognise her,”

      Standing up, I drew myself to my full height and said. “Where was everyone else?”

      “Still in the ballroom,” Aidan answered. “Danira, I died didn’t I? You brought me back to life?”

      “Yes, but it was the Infinity Blade, not me,” I replied, softly.

      “Thank you,”

      Not knowing if Aidan was talking to me or the sword in my hand, I told him to stay where he was. Ridge and I dashed down the corridor to the ballroom. The doors were wide open and covered in blood. Ridge’s fangs instantly lengthened, but he forced them away. Leila, Scott and Kelsey were crumpled on the floor, plastered in blood. There was a pile of ashes close by. I presumed that they were Ferriday’s remains. There was no sign of Gina.

      “There should be some blood in the study next door,” I told Ridge who seemed to be having a hard time controlling his thirst. He thanked me and by the time he had come back, Leila, Kelsey and Scott had all been returned to life.

      “Danira,” Kelsey sobbed as she clung to me, smearing me in her blood. “It hurt so much!”

      I held her close and tried to comfort her. Gazing around the room I saw that Aidan was hugging Leila. Scott had gone off to find Gina.

      “Better?” I asked Ridge who came to stand beside me.

      He nodded and gave me a weak smile.

      “I can’t find Gina anywhere,” Scott announced when he returned seconds later.

      “She probably ran away,” I muttered, kissing Kelsey’s messy hair.

      Aidan’s voice was quiet as he asked. “Can the Infinity Blade bring back vampires?”

      Lowering my gaze to the gleaming ring on my finger I replied. “After everything it has done I would be surprised if it couldn’t.”

      “Danira, let me do it,” Ridge said. He sounded worried, probably because I had told him what had happened when I had brought all the zombies’ victims back to life.

      I shook my head. “I’ll be fine.”

      I crouched down beside the mound of fine ash that had once been Ferriday. Closing my eyes I reached into the power of the Infinity Blade.

      Seconds later I was on my hands and knees retching, with blood streaming from my nose.

 

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