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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2. Crushes and Silver

 

      Gina, Faith and Debbie had quizzed me thoroughly upon my return to college but I had explained my absence by telling them that I had been really ill. So now whenever I coughed or sneezed Gina kept teasing my by saying maliciously “Oh no watch out, Danira is going to be off for another month.”

      I bit back a retort when she said it the next day and instead I told my friends. “I can come to the sleepover.”

      Gina’s mouth dropped open in surprise, but both Debbie and Faith looked pleased.

      “Yes! It’s going to be so much fun!” Faith smiled clapping her hands together in joy.

      Debbie smiled at me. “Managed to convince your dad then?”

      “I just asked my mum in the end.”

      I had never actually been to a sleepover before and didn’t know what I would need to take, so I asked Faith.

      “Just a sleeping bag, a pillow and pyjamas,” she told me.

      “Don’t forget to bring chocolate and popcorn.” Gina interrupted.

      I nodded, mentally noting all these items down.

      “So it’s on Friday night?” I asked wanting to make sure.

      “Yes Friday night, as in tomorrow when we break up from college, Danira.” Gina flicked her shoulder length brown hair in annoyance. “You’d better turn up.”

      “I said that I’m coming didn’t I?” I demanded becoming frustrated.

      Gina stalked off across the courtyard without a word and I glared after her.

      “What’s her problem?” I asked nibbling at the corner of my sandwich.

      Faith watched Gina, a knowing look in her eyes. “Ok, don’t tell Gina I told you, but she’s totally jealous of you because a guy she likes fancies you.”

       I nearly choked on my food. “Wait, what?”

      Debbie gazed around the courtyard and pointed to a skinny dark haired guy who was in our English classes. “Yeah Scott Bates, she’s had a thing about him for a while now.”

      Faith snickered. “But he likes you, Danira.”

      “No way, seriously?”

      Debbie nodded, adjusting her glasses. “Yeah, do you like him?”

      “Nope,” shaking my head I drank my water.

      “Why not?” Faith asked intrigued. “He’s totally hot. Gina says he’s got a six pack.”

      I suppressed a snort. I knew what six packs looked like, thanks to my dreamy vampire boyfriend, and there was no way that Scott had one. Tearing my thoughts from Ridge and his muscular chest I sighed. “I just don’t.”

      Debbie’s eyes were narrowed in suspicion. “Oh my God,” she squealed, her eyes growing wide. “You have a boyfriend, don’t you?”

      “What? No of course I don’t.” I spluttered. Then seeing Gina strutting back over to us I begged. “Can we change the subject please?”

 

      Annoyingly for the rest of the day whenever we saw Scott, Faith and Debbie would elbow me and waggle their eyebrows conspiratorially. So it wasn’t really surprising that I was in a bad mood when I got back home.

      “Good day?” Mum asked as I dumped my bag on the kitchen table.

      I also put a cardboard box on the table, the contents of which I didn’t want Mum to see.

      “What’s in the box?”

      “Project,” I replied stuffing a biscuit in my mouth. I then grabbed my bag and the box and took them up to my room.

      When college had finished I had popped to the shops and bought a mini fridge, which I was going to use to store blood for Ridge, seeing as how he had said it was a good idea. Taking the fridge out of the box I plugged it in. Concealing it under my desk I decided to grab some blood bags from downstairs later. Now Ridge wouldn’t have to leave to get blood seeing how he didn’t want to drink mine. I touched my neck engrossed in my thoughts. I wouldn’t have minded if he did drink my blood. He had before.

      “Let me see your neck.”

      I jumped at Dad’s command and turned to see him scowling.

      “What? You have got to be joking.” I laughed.

      “I’m serious, Danira, show me your neck.” he strode over to me, a row of stakes strapped across his chest.

      With a sigh I pulled my collar down. “See? Nothing,”

      Dad walked off with a grumble and I rolled my eyes, wishing that I could just skip to tomorrow morning so that I could miss what was definitely going to be a disaster tonight.

 

      “Can you please behave yourself?” I asked Dad as we waited with Mum in the living room for Ridge to appear.

      He scowled at me from where he was sat on the sofa. I was glad that he was no longer wearing the strap of stakes.

      Surprised that both Mum and Dad were sat with me I asked. “Have you closed the café?”     

      Dad nodded. “For the first time since you were born.”

      Wow it looked like Mum and Dad were serious about getting to know Ridge then. They didn’t even close the café at Christmas.

      Dad had his eyes fixed on the clock. The Sun had only just set but I knew that he was already criticising Ridge for being late.

      “He will need to feed before he comes here.” I muttered, staring out the living room window.

      “Do you like the new decorations?” Mum asked, trying to lighten the mood.

      I gazed around the room taking in the new sofas, rug and bookcase, lamp, flowerpot and photo frames. “Yeah Mum,” I said nodding. “It looks great,”

      There was a knock on the door and I quickly sprang up and opened it before Dad had even gotten to his feet. He threw me an annoyed look.

      “Ridge,” I beamed, opening the living room door.

      He smiled at me, making my heart race and I thought, not for the first time, how lucky I was that he was all mine, the gorgeous vampire who I loved with all my heart.

      “Can I come in?” Ridge asked when I just stayed where I was staring at him.

      Returning to my senses I stepped aside. “Of course you can.”

      Mum and Dad had stood up and were waiting to be introduced properly to Ridge.

      “Ridge these are my parents, Carlton and Henrietta. Mum and Dad, this is Ridge.”

      Dad shook Ridge’s hand and there was a sizzling sound. The smell of burning flesh made my nose crinkle in revulsion. It was when I saw Ridge’s pained face I realised that Dad was wearing a silver ring.

      “Dad!” I cried in outrage.

      “Nice to meet you properly, Carlton.” Ridge was calm, but I could tell by his tensed shoulders that his hand was hurting him a lot.

      Mum stepped forwards. “Please call me Ria.” she told him with a smile.

      He nodded and shook her hand. Fortunately there was no sizzling of vampire flesh this time.

      I dragged Ridge over to the sofa with me and handed him a glass of blood, peering at him in worry. I glared at Dad as he and Mum sat down, but he sent me an innocent look which I didn’t believe for a second. I could totally imagine him hiding pieces of silver in my underwear, which sounds so wrong, but you know what I mean.

      I snuggled against Ridge and got an angry stare off Dad in return.        

      Good. I thought with a smirk. It serves him right. I can’t believe he did that.

      “So Ridge,” Mum said pleasantly. “What are your hobbies?”

      I groaned. It was going to be a long night.

 

      Nearly two hours later it felt like I had been in an episode of The Apprentice. My dad could totally give Lord Alan Sugar a run for his money.

      Mum, Ridge and I were still in the living room, but Dad had wandered off somewhere.

      I gave Ridge a quick hug muttering. “I am so sorry about that, I had no idea it was going to be that bad.”

      “I thought it went well.” Ridge told me with a smile.

      “Deluded much? Anyway let me see your hand.”

      He placed his cool hand in mine. There was only a slight discolouring to the patch of skin that Dad’s silver ring had burnt. I ran my thumb over it, wondering why it was that injuries caused by silver took so much longer to heal for vampires.

      “I’m so sorry. Dad was bang out of order to do that.”

      Ridge smiled and squeezed my hand “It’s alright. Your father has a reputation to uphold.”

      “Yeah for being a grumpy old man,” I muttered.

      My pulse quickened as Ridge brushed the hair from my face. “I should go.”

      I sighed in disappointment and glanced at Mum from the corner of my eyes. She was pretending not to watch us.

      “It was a pleasure to meet you properly, Ria. Thank you for inviting me.”

      We all stood up and Ridge kissed the back of Mum’s hand before leaving. I gazed after him longingly.

      Mum was smiling at me. “You really care about him, don’t you?”

      “I love him.”

      “I can tell that he loves you to.” she replied, looking like she was going to cry.

      “Mum, what’s wrong?” I asked, pulling her into a hug.

      “Nothing, I’m being silly.” she kissed my head. “It’s just that you’re growing up so fast.”

      Dad appeared in the doorway and my mood soured.     

      “You went too far this time, Dad.” I said through gritted teeth.

      He narrowed his eyes at me but said nothing.

      Mum stroked my cheek and turned to Dad. “He seems nice, Carlton. He really cares for her. He won’t hurt her.”

      “You can’t be sure of that.” Dad growled.

      “Danira trusts him, which means that I do too.”

      My breath caught in my throat as hope bloomed within me. “Does that mean that I can go out with him?”

      Dad opened his mouth to speak but Mum was quicker. “Yes darling, you can.”

      I jumped up and down in delight, flinging my arms around her. “Thanks Mum!”

      “Time for bed,” Dad ordered glowering at Mum unhappily.

      I kissed Mum goodnight and strode to my room, ignoring Dad as I did so.

      Then for the first time in my life, I heard my parents arguing.     

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