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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41. Introductions and Screams

 

      I woke with a gasp and sat up just in time to see Xavier snap Ridge’s neck.

      “No!” I yelled scrabbling to my feet.

      Ridge’s body slumped to the ground and I jumped on Xavier’s back, my hands wrapping around his neck.

      “You bastard,” I snarled.

      Amused at my attempt to kill him, Xavier chuckled. “Looks like Ridge isn’t so tough after all.” then he flung his head backwards, head butting me.

      Cursing I clutched at my nose and slid off his back. Xavier spun around and pinned me to the wall. Blood was streaming from my nose.

      “Ridge interrupted us before. I didn’t get to finish my drink.”

      I squirmed in his grasp, scanning my surroundings for a weapon. The Infinity Blade was impaled in the wall nearby. Xavier bit my neck and I flinched but stretched my arm out, reaching for the sword. My hand clamped around it and I slid it out of the wall. Strength surged through me and I thrust the Infinity Blade through Xavier. Swearing he clutched at his side and before he could do anything else I thrust the stake form of the Infinity Blade through his heart. Of course, Xavier didn’t burst into ashes, but he did fall to the ground unconscious. The Infinity Blade healed all my wounds as I ran over to Ridge who was still dead. Tears slid down my cheeks even though I knew he would come to life at any moment. Ridge’s dark eyes snapped open making me jump and I breathed a sigh of relief.

      “Danira,” he murmured smiling. “Thank goodness you’re okay.” Ridge sat up and drew me into his arms. “I should never have left you.” he buried his face in my hair, holding me close. “When I saw him drinking from you I... I thought I was too late.” his voice broke but he continued. “I failed to protect you, I’m sorry.”

      I opened my mouth to tell him that it didn’t matter, that I was alright, but I was interrupted by Xavier.

      Laughing cruelly he staggered to his feet, rubbing his chest. “Yes you failed again, didn’t you, Ridge? You never do seem to be able protect her from me.”

      Ridge started shaking with anger and his lips curled back to reveal his fangs which glimmered dangerously. He stood up and I did the same.

      “You can’t kill me either,” Xavier taunted grinning widely. “You can’t stop me.”

      A snarl burst from Ridge’s lips. His dark eyes were wild and enraged.

      “Danira will be mine.”

      It was when Xavier mentioned my name that Ridge hurled himself at Xavier, now more animal than man. He had yanked the stake from my hand and I watched as Ridge and Xavier battled with each other. They moved so quickly that they were blurs to my pitiable human eyes but I could see the white flash of fangs, the brown of the Infinity Blade, and the red of vampire blood. Their snarls were vicious and I thought they would never end, but eventually the two vampires stopped moving. Xavier crumpled to the ground, the stake form of the Infinity Blade protruding from his heart. Ridge was in a crouch beside him, the cuts on his face already healing. Wiping the blood from my face I went over to him and placed a hand on his hunched shoulder. Ridge, who was still in hunter mode, mistook this as a threat and the next thing I knew he had pinned me to the ground and his fangs were barely an inch from my face. Nostrils flaring, Ridge moved his mouth to my neck. He licked the dried blood from my neck and then Ridge’s fangs slid through my skin with ease and I felt a shiver of thrill as he drank my blood.

      I winced as Ridge started drawing my blood with increasing enthusiasm and I whispered. “Ridge, you’re hurting me.”

      He didn’t seem to hear me at first, but after a while he disconnected himself from me. Ridge’s dark eyes had a hint of something untamed in them. It looked like the fight with Xavier had released a beast that didn’t want to be caged just yet. Ridge leaned back in towards me and ran his tongue over the holes he had made. My heart went crazy in my chest and then Ridge was kissing me like never before. He was usually so careful, but this time he wasn’t. Ridge’s touch felt like it was burning my skin, even though his skin was cold, leaving me breathless. I guiltily thought that I liked this Ridge that was ruled by his desires, especially when his hand moved to the waistband of my jeans. That’s when I realised that at the moment Ridge was more like Christian. I felt fear at this and had to use all my strength to push Ridge off me. His dark eyes stared into mine and I watched as the hunger in his eyes was replaced with confusion.

      “Danira,” he frowned, looking surprised as he licked his bloodstained lips. “What just happened? Did I do that?” Ridge asked in shock as his fingertips grazed my neck.

      “You don’t remember?”

      He shook his head and cupped my cheek as worry spread onto his face. “Did I hurt you? I’m so sorry, Danira.” Ridge pulled me into a hug, whispering. “Please forgive me. I... I didn’t mean to. I love you so much.”

      Stroking his back I replied. “It’s okay, I know you didn’t mean to, but Ridge... you were Christian.”

      Ridge withdrew, his dark eyes filled with alarm and he ran a hand through his hair in distress.

      “It looks like Christian doesn’t want to be barred away again.” I sighed unhappily.

      Ridge groaned in misery.

      I sat up and focused on Xavier, surprised that he hadn’t come back to life yet. Maybe it was because the Infinity Blade was still in his heart. I considered leaving it there but I would need it again.

      “What shall we do about Xavier?” I asked getting to my feet, stumbling slightly when I became lightheaded.

      Ridge was at my side in an instant, supporting my weight. “We could try drawing a circle around him like we did for Aurelia?”

 

      Ridge and I left Xavier’s house soon after that. I had done as Ridge had suggested and we had left before Xavier had woken up, not wanting to hang around.

      After Ridge apologised to me for the thousandth time, I placed a hand on his rock-hard chest, stopping him in his tracks. “No more apologies, ok? I’ve forgiven you.” I told him.

      Ridge opened his mouth to speak but stopped when he saw my expression.

      Gazing around the empty street, I weighed the Infinity Blade in my hand. “Can we go to Ferriday’s estate?” I asked. ”I want to introduce you to everyone. Then we can start thinking about attacking the Vampire Lords.”

      Ridge nodded and holding hands we ran with vampire speed through the Castle, both absorbed in our own thoughts. I could tell that Ridge was thinking about what had just happened because of the confusion and fear on his face. My thoughts were on the Infinity Blade. It could heal so would it be able to make me fully human again? Chewing my bottom lip I wondered if I actually wanted to be fully human; after all having vampire strength, speed and agility was very useful. I would have to have a serious think about it later when I didn’t have things like the Vampire Lords and Xavier to worry about. My eyes widened as it occurred to me that if the Infinity Blade could make me fully human, it might be able to make a vampire human. Glancing at Ridge I wondered how he would react if I offered to make him human. Maybe after all this was over, Ridge and I could live our lives together as humans and raise a family? But if Ridge was human would he still want to be with me?

      I dragged myself from the millions of thoughts that were buzzing around my head when we arrived at Ferriday’s estate. In my hand the Infinity Blade transformed into a ring and I knocked on the front door, smiling at Ridge, who still looked preoccupied.

      “Danira, what are you doing back so soon?” Aidan’s eyes went to Ridge and he frowned in confusion.           

      “Aidan this is Ridge. Ridge, Aidan.”

      They shook hands and Aidan said. “You got him back then? I’m happy for you. Come inside! The others will be so pleased to see you.”

      Everyone gathered in the ballroom when they heard what had happened. I was greeted by Leila, Kelsey, Scott, Ferriday and Pegasus. Jayden and Bertie were out. I didn’t know where Gina was, probably in her room. Kelsey nearly squeezed me to death when she saw me. I was bombarded by questions about why Ridge was himself again and tried to answer them all.

      Pegasus glanced at his watch. “I have to go; I have a meeting. Lovely to see you again, Danira, and it’s a pleasure to meet you, Ridge.”

      I gazed after Pegasus with a frown. I wasn’t sure if I could trust him; why had he told everyone that he hadn’t been invited to the Vampire Lords’ ball when he had? What was he hiding?    

      Leila dragged me away from the others. “He is so hot, Danira! You’re so lucky.” she practically squealed.

      I smiled; Ridge would have heard Leila’s comment.

      “Gina’s in her room, do you want me to go get her?”

      Biting my lip I shook my head. “No, it’s ok. I’ll see her later.” I wasn’t sure if that was a lie or not.

      Then Leila’s expression changed and she whispered. “Does he know about Luca?”

      Ridge was at my side in a flash, his hands clenched into fists and a murderous glint in his eyes. I quickly sent Leila a glare to let her know the extent of what she had just done.

      “Lord Luca Harlin?” Ridge demanded his voice smothered in anger.

      Dragging Ridge out to the corridor, I stared into his dark eyes hoping that Christian wasn’t going to make an appearance. I placed a hand on his cool cheek and nodded in answer to his question. Ridge snarled and started shaking with fury.

      “Ridge,” I whispered as soothingly as possible. “You got your revenge, remember? You killed Luca.”

      He closed his eyes and I could slowly feel the rage dissipating from Ridge. He sunk down the wall and sat on the wooden floor, his head in his hands. Joining Ridge on the floor, I looped an arm around him and held him close, waiting for him to speak.

      “Luca is a vampire?”

      “Yes,” I said, resting my head against him.

      Ridge gritted his jaw. “Then either a vampire found him after I had killed him, or a vampire knew what I was going to do and gave him vampire blood.”

      I nodded silently, relieved that he had calmed down.

      “How did you meet?” Ridge asked after what seemed like an eternity.

      Looking down at my feet, I replied. “At a ball, he... took an interest in me.” my cheeks reddened and I felt Ridge’s gaze on me.

      “He has feelings for you?” he demanded outraged.

      I bobbed my head before hanging it in shame. Ridge lifted my chin and kissed me roughly.

      Resting his cool forehead against mine, he murmured. “Frustrating as that is, I can hardly blame him.”

      My heart skipped a beat when Ridge’s lips brushed mine and I told him. “You are the only one for me, Ridge, now and forever.”

      His dark eyes were shining with tenderness as he said. “You don’t know how much that means to me, Danira.” placing a finger to my wrist so that he could feel my pulse, Ridge looked into my eyes. “Words can’t express what I feel for you.”

      “Then show me,” I whispered, pressing myself against him, my pulse leaping in anticipation.

      Moving his mouth to my ear Ridge whispered. “I would, but Leila is by the door watching and listening to us.”

      In one smooth movement, I jumped to my feet and opened the door, making Leila fall forwards. Seeing that she had been caught she grinned sheepishly and muttered an apology before returning to the ballroom. I closed the door and Ridge came up behind me, wrapping an arm around my waist and kissing my jaw.

      “I’ll show you later, I promise.”

      Spinning around, I crushed my mouth to Ridge’s and whispered. “I look forward to it.”

      His eyes were overflowing with desire and I bit his lip mischievously. I dared him to do something back with a flirty smile, but Ridge shook his head. It seemed to take a lot of effort for him to do that. Then Ridge suddenly stiffened.

      “What is it?” I asked suddenly crammed with unease.

      When he didn’t answer I thought that maybe he had been compelled to stay still, but then Ridge spoke.  “I can hear screaming.”

      “Is it another zombie attack?” I enquired twisting the Infinity Blade around my finger nervously.

      Ridge shook his head and his tone was troubled. “No this is different.”

      We hurried back into the ballroom where Ferriday was staring out of the window.

      “You can hear it too?” I asked.

      He nodded anxiously.     

      Turning to Leila, Aidan and Scott I said. “Don’t leave the mansion.” then I asked Ferriday. “Can you stay here and protect them?”

      He nodded, his attention still fixed on whatever was happening outside. I took Ridge’s hand and we ran to the front door, which I opened and peered out of. In the distance I could hear screams.

      “Where are they coming from?”

      Ridge didn’t reply and I saw that his expression was strained.

      “What is it?” I asked, my heart tumbling down to my stomach.

      His dark eyes looked disgraced. “I... I didn’t want to tell you because it’s too awful, but I found plans for a warehouse at my estate. The Vampire Lords wanted Nevrac to build it. I think Christian was working with him.” Ridge continued clutching my hand tightly. “The screaming is coming from the warehouse that they wanted to be built.”

      “Take me there.”     

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