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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20. Monstrous Sandals and a Stake to the Chest

 

      I couldn’t help but smile at my reflection in the mirror. The toga looked so stupid. The sandals were worse though; brown and strappy they were hideous. I completed my outfit by placing a crown of ivy on my head. I had just tucked the emerald necklace under my toga when I heard a voice.

      “Danira, please can we talk?”

      Twisting around I found Xavier stood outside my window. His blue-silver eyes were pleading with me. What a stalker.

      “Go away. I have nothing to say to you.” I span on my heel and strode away from him, heading for the door.

      He sighed. “I didn’t want to have to do this but...” when Xavier spoke again his voice was laced in power. “Danira, walk over to the window.”

      I froze and my muscles tensed. Then I frowned. I still had control of my body, but wasn’t Xavier compelling me? Xavier repeated his order but still nothing happened. There was no feeling like a puppet as someone else made me act against my will. I grinned and had taken a step towards the door when an idea hit me. What if I pretended to be under Xavier’s control? Then I could take him by surprise and get rid of him once and for all. While my back was still facing Xavier I retrieved my stake from my pocket.

      “Walk over to the window.” Xavier ordered again, sounding like he was gritting his teeth.

      Slowly I turned around, amazed that I still had control of my body. Maybe it was due to my being half vampire? But vampires could control other vampires. It just depended on the age difference. I took a jittery step towards Xavier, pretending to look furious, which wasn’t exactly hard. When I stopped in front of the window I glared at him hatefully.

      “Open the window.” when the window was open Xavier gave me a sorrowful smile. “I’m sorry that I had to do that but you left me no choice.”

      I hid a grin. He was going to be a hell of a lot more sorry in a few seconds.

      “Invite me in.”

      Instead I threw myself at him, and because I had taken him by surprise I ended up pinning him to the ground.

      “Why the hell are you wearing a toga?” Xavier demanded as he fought against my hold.

      Shaking my head I pressed my stake to his ribcage. “Of all the things you could have said, you chose that?”

      His blue-silver eyes grew alarmed at the sight of the stake. “Danira,” he cried shocked. “You wouldn’t.”

      “Want a bet?” I snarled, digging the point of the stake into his skin.

      Xavier winced and gave a forced laugh. “Ok then, tell me, why are you so strong?”

      I raised an eyebrow and pushed the stake through his skin, making him cry out in pain. Xavier tried to throw me off him, but I had the advantage.

      “I wouldn’t do that if I was you.” I told him with a smile, driving the stake further into chest. “Now, answer me this, when someone tells you that they want nothing to do with you, and they don’t reply to your letters, does that mean that they want you in their life?” Xavier didn’t answer so I wiggled the stake around, causing him to groan in agony. “No it doesn’t.”

      “I had to see you again.” he told me, his eyes wild. “Please, can’t we just talk?”       “That’s what we’re doing, isn’t it?” I demanded my jaw clenched. “So what is it that you want to tell me so much?”

      “Pull the stake out.” Xavier begged.

      I smirked. “I don’t think so.” plunging the stake deeper into his chest I asked. “How much further until the stake pierces your heart, do you think? I’d watch what I say if I were you. What is it that you want to talk to me about?”

      Xavier’s eyes were full of pain as he asked. “How did you survive? I saw them sacrifice you.”

      “Yeah thanks for your help, by the way, you really saved my ass.” I glowered, gripping the stake tightly.

      “I tried you know I did.” he argued.

      “Spare me the sob story. Is that all you wanted to know?”

      “Can we start over again, please Danira? I have more control of myself since then. I still love you.”

      “I told you before that I’m never going to trust you ever again. I want nothing to do with you.” I pushed the stake in further to reinforce my words.

      “Please,” Xavier yelled in agony. “I have something that might interest you.”

      I narrowed my eyes. “Oh yeah, what’s that then?”

      “Danira, what are you doing?”

      I glanced over my shoulder. Aidan was stood in my room by the window, dressed in a toga with his arms crossed. Xavier used my momentarily diverted attention to his advantage and shoved me off him, yanking out the stake that protruded from his chest, and throwing it on the ground with a clatter, before disappearing.

      “Coward!” I yelled after him. Scrambling to my feet I faced Aidan. “Damn it Aidan. What did you do that for?” I demanded furiously.

      His expression was one of fear as he held up his hands in surrender. “Hey, I’m sorry I just thought that it was strange that you were straddling a vampire, but maybe you do that everyday.”

      I took a deep breath to calm myself. “I had a stake in his chest.”

      “I couldn’t see the stake. Who was that?” 

      Snatching my stake off the ground I replied. “That was Xavier, the vampire that I poured blood on, the vampire that won’t leave me alone!”

      Aidan gave a sheepish smile. “Oh sorry, I can see why you’re so upset then.”

      I jumped back inside and closed the window behind me. “Why did you come and see me?” I asked, moving to look at myself in the mirror to check that my toga hadn’t been ripped.

      “It’s time to head over to Pegasus’s.” he answered.

      “Let’s go then.” I told him, my gaze hovering briefly on the red collar that felt heavy around my neck.

      As we walked down the path, Aidan said. “How come you were strong enough to overpower him?”

      I blanched and mumbled. “I... caught him by surprise.” 

      As we strode though Pegasus’s mansion towards the ballroom, something occurred to me. There were lots of things that just didn’t add up. First of all there was Xavier. There was something really odd about how he just would not leave me alone. It was like he was obsessed with me. Almost like he was being compelled... A shiver ran down my spine. That would definitely explain his behaviour. But who would compel a vampire to be in love with me? Then there was Aurelia. Why had she tried to make me think that Ridge had been unfaithful? Finally there was Lady Prenalla. I was beginning to wonder if her whole ‘you’re the only one that can save the Realm of the Living’ spiel had been a lie. What I couldn’t figure out though, was why? Why would she want me to come back to the Realm of the Undead? Nothing made sense.      

 

      The columns seemed outrageously white once the ballroom was filled with vampires and humans, who were all dressed in dark colours.

      Leila appeared nearby holding a tray and winked at me, gesturing with her eyes that I should look behind me. I slowly swivelled on my heel, clutching my own glass laden tray, and found Lord Luca Harlin gliding through the crowd of popularity craving vampires towards me.

      “Lord Harlin,” I smiled with a curtsy.

      Luca grinned at me, his hazel eyes dancing as they took in my toga. He picked a glass from my tray and he sipped at the ruby red liquid. “You look delightful.”

      I shook a sandaled foot. “Even these monstrosities?”

      “Maybe not those, no.” he smirked. “Do I have to ask Ferriday’s permission to dance with you again?”

      Searching the crowd for Ferriday I saw that he was talking with Nevrac. Alarmingly Nevrac’s eyes suddenly found mine. My breath caught in my throat and I found myself unable to move as his cruel green eyes bore into mine.

      “Danira,”

      I jumped as Luca’s cool hand touched my arm, but fortunately I didn’t spill a single drop of blood from the glasses on my tray.

      “Are you alright?” he asked eyebrows furrowed in concern.

       I smiled but knew that it didn’t reach my eyes. “Yes I’m fine, sorry. I don’t think that you will have to ask Ferriday again.”

      Luca’s pale hand was calming from its position on my arm, and he lifted his other hand to my chin which he touched, before his slender fingers moved to my neck. My pulse quickened as Luca flicked my collar, an unreadable look passing through his eyes. “You’re wearing the necklace.” he smiled in approval.

      The emerald was hidden underneath the folds of my toga, and was tangled up with my key necklace when Luca lifted it out. He gave a hiss as the silver burnt his skin and the necklaces fell against the nape of my neck as he let them go. Dread filled me. Had Luca had enough time to examine the key necklace? Everyone knew that the symbol of the Portal Keepers was a key.

      “I have to go.” I whispered, my hands shaking, making the blood slosh around in the glasses on the tray.

      Luca looked deep in thought and let me walk away. Did Luca know who I was now?

      My eyes fell on a dark head of hair and my heart leapt. Ridge! As the vampire turned and slid away, tears pooled in my eyes. It wasn’t him. Sniffing I spotted Aidan and strode over to him.

      “Hey, how’s Scott coping?” I asked.

      He gave me a smile. “He was a bit jittery at first. I don’t think his old master ever took him to any balls. But he’s fine now.”

      I made my way back over to the vampires, keeping my eyes low not wanting to attract any unwanted attention.

      “Turn around human.”

      Recognising Nevrac’s cold voice I closed my eyes, suddenly overwhelmed by horror. His attention was exactly the type that I wanted to avoid.

 

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