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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15. Admirers and Dancing with a Lord

 

      I stepped through the crowd of vampires, my eyes fixed on the tray held in my hands.

      Every now and then a pale hand would shoot out and grab a glass of blood. When there was only one glass of the red liquid left I headed back towards the banquet table.

      “You’re wearing my gift.”

      I stopped mid stride and turned to see Lord Luca Harlin. He gave me a charming smile and took the remaining glass of blood from my tray.

      Curtsying low I said. “Thank you, my Lord. It was very kind of you.”

      His hazel eyes were amused. “I don’t suppose you would be willing to dance with me again, Danira?”

      “Only if my master allows it, he was upset when you didn’t ask his permission last time, your Lordship.”

      Luca raised a blonde eyebrow and reached out a hand to my neck. His cool fingertips touched the skin there. “I do hope that he didn’t hurt you because of my actions.”

      “No, my Lord, he didn’t.”

      He looked relieved. “Good, then I will go and find him immediately to ask if I may dance with you tonight. I hope to see you again soon, Danira.”                   

      I curtsied, watching as Luca flashed me a smile before disappearing off towards where Ferriday was chatting to some important looking vampires. The vampires around me were staring at me curiously and I quickly slipped away out of the ballroom and into a hallway. Leaning against the wall, I closed my eyes. The last thing I needed was to be noticed, especially when I was planning on bringing down the blood-slave operation.

      “I see all the drinks have gone then.”

      Turning I saw an unfamiliar vampire stood nearby. His hands were clasped behind his back and he regarded me like a cat that had cornered its prey.

      “I am afraid so sir, however there are plenty more back in the ballroom.” I said, keeping my voice polite.

      He inched towards me licking his lips. “Maybe I could drink from you instead.”

      “If that is what you want sir, then of course you may.”

      I bared my neck and the vampire glided to my side. His fangs were dripping with saliva and his eyes were filled with hunger. Before he had the chance to plunge his fangs into my exposed neck I whacked him with the tray, using all my strength and catching him off guard which meant that he landed several metres away down the hallway where he lay dazed on his back.

      I smiled sweetly as he scrambled to his feet. “Try to drink my blood again and I will stake you, understand?”

      The vampire fled down the hallway so I think he understood. Looking down at the tray I saw that it had a big dent in it that was the exact shape and size of the vampire’s head. “Oops,” I smirked.

      That was when a cold hand clamped onto my shoulder. I tried to flip whoever it was, but they had must have seen my fight with the other vampire, and so were prepared and used my strength against me, pushing my face against the wall.

      “You had better not ruin this dress.” I growled my cheek squished. “Ferriday will have your head.”

      The vampire pulled my arms tighter around my back and I kicked at them, connecting with flesh. My attacker gasped and fell to their knees, releasing me. Whirling around hatred bubbled in my stomach when I saw who it was.

      “Xavier,” I hissed in disbelief.

      He didn’t answer. He was in too much pain. I grinned. It seemed that I had kicked him in the groin. Good. I ran away down the hallway while he was incapacitated, thinking that maybe I should go back and stake him. By then I was in the ballroom, so I hurried over to where the humans were grouped.

      “Danira!” Leila cried waving at me.

      I joined her by the banquet table. “Hey, are you having a good time?” I asked, picking up a new tray and loading it up with glasses of blood, trying to act normal.

      She nodded excitedly. “Yeah, it’s great! Have you tried the cakes? They're so good. Aidan’s such a wonderful cook.”

      “Uh huh,” I muttered, gazing around the ballroom for Xavier to see if he had followed me.

      What the hell was he doing here anyway? Why did he have to come back into my life?

      “Are you looking for someone?” Leila asked intrigued. “Lord Luca is still talking to Ferriday you know.”

      Following her gaze I saw that Ferriday was talking animatedly to a smiling Luca. As if he knew I was looking at him, Luca turned around and his eyes met mine. His smile increased. I turned back around so that I was facing Leila, my cheeks slightly red.

      “He is sooo checking you out right now.” Leila beamed.

      I gave a nervous laugh which faltered when I saw Nevrac staring at me intently with three depressed looking human slaves behind him. He drained his glass of blood and with a shudder I tore my eyes away from him. But I could still see the feral look that had been in Nevrac’s cold green eyes.

      “I’m going to help Aidan.” I told Leila lifting up the tray.

      Walking slowly over to the side of the ballroom that the vampires were congregated on, I kept an eye out for both Xavier and Nevrac.

      “Everything alright, Danira?”

      I gasped but it was only Pegasus. His eyes narrowed and I knew that it was because he could hear my jittery heartbeat.

      “Yes, thanks.” I smiled offering him a glass of blood which he declined.

      I snaked through the vampires, my eyes constantly on the move.

      “I just want to talk to you, Danira.”

      Freezing at the voice I reluctantly span on my heel to face Xavier. “You’ve already used that line on me, Xavier.” I spat, glaring hatefully at him. “Just leave me alone.”

      The vampires nearby were watching us with interest and I turned to stride away but Xavier grabbed my wrist, his blonde hair flopping over his eyes as he lunged forwards.

      “For the last time I want nothing to do with you.”

      Xavier’s blue-silver eyes pleaded with me. “Please let me explain myself.”

      I smiled. “No, let me.” I picked up a glass from the tray and emptied its contents over Xavier’s head.

      The vampires surrounding us gasped and stared at me in shock. Pivoting on the spot I turned around and walked away only to find my path blocked by Nevrac who was gazing at Xavier over my shoulder. His three human slaves flinched when he spoke.

      “Who is that?” he asked, his fangs gleaming. When I didn’t answer, Nevrac fixed his eyes on me and took a glass of blood from my tray. “Another of your admirers?” he stroked my cheek and my knees trembled.

      “Excuse me,” I muttered, practically running away.

      “My, you are popular aren’t you?”

      Jumping in surprise I sent the tray falling. Lord Luca Harlin grabbed it before a single drop of blood could be spilt. I placed a hand on my pounding heart and thanked him, reaching out for the tray. Luca handed it to a nearby vampire whose eyes widened in shock.

      “Come with me.” Luca grabbed my hand and led me out of the ballroom to the same hallway that I had been in before.

      “What’s wrong?” he asked, peering at me in worry.

      His concerns were touching but I merely shook my head saying. “Nothing, my Lord,”

      Luca reached out a hand and touched the clammy skin of my cheek. “You can tell me, and you don’t have to call me ‘my Lord’ when we’re in private.”

      “I must just be tired.”

      This must have been a good enough answer because he took my hand in his, the cool touch of his skin strangely reassuring, reminding me of Ridge. With a smile Luca led me back into the ballroom, near the orchestra who were playing a slow song. Mind you, all of the songs they played were slow.

      “I hope that you have enough energy to dance with me.” Luca said, pulling me close.

      We started dancing and I soon felt all my worries slipping away. I felt like I could trust Luca. I knew that he wasn’t spending time with me so that he could drink my blood.

      “Why do you dance with me, my Lord?” I asked, my curiosity getting the better of me.

      He smiled. “When I first saw you at Nevrac's ball I thought that you were a vampire.”

      “Why?” I interrupted.

      “You are so graceful and beautiful.”

      Blushing I didn't know what to say.

      Luca's voice was soft as he continued. “However then I saw the collar around your neck. I was disappointed but then it occurred to me, why couldn't I still dance with you?”

      “It's rather unconventional, isn't it?” I smiled, uncomfortably aware that nearly everyone in the room was watching us.

      “Yes, it is.” Luca turned his eyes to our surroundings. I thought he seemed sad.

 

      Waking at midday the first thing I heard was the sound of Aidan and Leila arguing.

      “She has to open it now!” Leila cried.

      Aidan yelled back. “Leave her alone. She’s sleeping.”

      “Not anymore.” I muttered, rubbing my face and dragging myself out of bed.

      Quickly dressing in some jeans and a t-shirt, I opened my bedroom door to find Aidan and Leila fighting over an envelope.

      “This came for you.” Leila told me, snatching the envelope from Aidan’s grasp and holding it out for me.

      I took the envelope from her and went into the bathroom.

      “Hey!” Leila said, banging on the locked door. “Aren’t you going to open it?”

      I had. “It’s not from Lord Harlin.”

      Sitting on the edge of the bathtub I ran a bath, staring at Xavier’s handwriting.

       Danira,

      Please let me explain myself.

      I would like to talk to you in person.

      Come to the address below.

      Yours always,

      Xavier.

      I pulled a face and scrunched the note and envelope up into a ball. There was no way I was going to that address. When would Xavier finally get that I wanted nothing to do with him?

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