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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28. Nevrac's Accusation

 

      In the nights leading up to the ball, that was being hosted by someone called Baron Christian Lamont and his partner, I got hardly any sleep. My thoughts were plagued by zombies and murdered blood-slaves. I had to do something, but I had no idea what.

      “You should go to the ball.” I told Aidan as I sat beside him in the kitchen.

      He smiled and shook his head. “No it’s fine. You go and enjoy yourself. Anyway, you’re all dressed up and ready to go.” Aidan said gesturing to the deep purple dress that I was wearing.

      “I’m half asleep.” I protested.

      “I’m sure that you will perk up later on.”

      “What are you two arguing about?”

      We turned to see Bertie and Jayden stood in the doorway, both in suit and ties.

      “Ooh don’t you two both look handsome.” I smiled ignoring Jayden’s question.

      Bertie gave me a small smile that didn’t last for long; he had to concentrate so that the suit didn’t just fall off him onto the ground.

      Aidan gave a sigh. “Danira is trying to persuade me to go to the ball instead of her.”

      “Maybe that would be a good idea.” Jayden muttered at the exact same time as Bertie cried. “Don’t go!”

      “You don’t want me to go?” I asked hurt.

      Bertie avoided my eyes and stuffed his hands in his pockets.

      Moving over to me, Jayden placed a pale hand on my arm. “It’s just that you look very tired.”

      Much to Bertie and Jayden’s dismay Aidan said. “No you should go out an enjoy yourself, Danira.”

      I eyed Bertie and Jayden with suspicion. What were they hiding? Why didn’t they want me to go to the ball? “Aidan’s right.” I said, determined to find out what they were hiding. “I’m going.”

     

      When Pegasus appeared with Leila, who was dressed in an aqua coloured dress, and Scott, who was wearing a black suit, Ferriday, Jayden, Bertie and I bid Aidan and Kelsey goodnight before leaving the mansion.

      “Are ghosts even allowed to go to the balls?” Leila asked, after saying for the hundredth time how excited she was.

      I shrugged and hid a yawn. I could feel Jayden’s eyes on me, and raised an eyebrow inquiringly at him. He gave me a smile that didn’t quite reach his eyes before looking away. Something was definitely going on.

      In answer to Leila’s question, Ferriday said. “Not usually, but both ghosts and mummies are allowed to attend this ball.”

      “Who is this Baron Christian Lamont?” I asked.

      Pegasus replied. “He’s an influential vampire who has returned after disappearing for nearly one hundred and fifty years. Apparently he is putting on quite a show.”

      “It’s a shame that Lord Harlin won’t be there.” Leila sighed, moving to walk beside me.

      I thought that it was probably a good thing he wouldn’t be going. I knew that I needed to do something about him. He was way too intimate with me, which was a shame as I enjoyed his company.

      “I’ve never been a guest at a ball before.” Scott commented.

      “Bertie and I have never even been to a ball.” Jayden said.

      There was a long and diverse queue to get to the front door of Baron Lamont’s mansion, and I listened as the others in the queue talked. It seemed like this Baron was quite popular. Eventually we made it to the front door and stepped inside the entrance hall which was filled with colourful banners and balloons. As we approached the host of the party I kept my eyes on the floor.

      “Introducing Mr Ferriday.” a nervous blood-slave announced.

      “It’s a pleasure to meet you.” Ferriday gushed, shaking hands with the host.

      A female voice replied, which was odd because Baron Christian Lamont was supposed to be male. “How wonderful to meet you, Ferriday, I do hope that you enjoy yourself tonight.”

      My eyes grew wide. I knew that voice. Risking a glance upwards I saw Aurelia looking as goddess-like as the time I had seen her in the café. Her blonde hair was lustrous and her red lips were set in a pout. A slender, pale hand with bright red nails was resting on her tiny waist and she was dressed in a revealing red dress that clung to her in all the right places. Aurelia’s eyes flickered to me briefly and her lips curved into a smug smile.

      I frowned following Ferriday as he led Bertie, Jayden and me to the ballroom. Behind us Pegasus was introduced to Aurelia with Leila and Scott standing silently behind him.

      “Wow,” Bertie gasped.

      I turned my attention the ballroom and my mouth nearly dropped open. The ballroom had been made to look like the inside of a big top. There were clowns, strongmen, ballerinas, stilt walkers and even trapeze artists. Balloons covered one of the walls and streamers were strewn over the floor. There was a banquet table that was covered in bottles of blood, but no human food or drink.

      Ferriday suddenly bowed and I realised in horror that Nevrac had appeared. I swiftly curtsied and Bertie and Jayden bowed. Ferriday greeted Nevrac who had four slaves with him this time. Just how many did he have?

      Feeling Nevrac’s cruel gaze on me, my muscles tensed and I clenched my hands into balls.

      “I’ve never seen you drink from your humans.” Nevrac commented accusingly. “You do drink from them, don’t you?”

      Ferriday’s answer was shaky. “I... yes your Grace I drink from them all the time.”

      “Do it now then.” he said harshly.

      I silently brushed the hair from my neck and waited for the feel of fangs. Ferriday hesitated a moment before gently bending my neck so that he could have easy access to my blood. Nevrac’s eyes were locked on mine and I didn’t flinch as Ferriday carefully sunk his teeth into my neck. He only drank a couple of mouthfuls before detaching himself. Nevrac gave a sniff and glided away without a word.

      “I’m so sorry about that, Danira.” Ferriday whispered. “I didn’t hurt you, did I?”

      I shook my head.

      Leila suddenly jumped beside me, with Scott and Pegasus following close behind. “What happened?” she asked, her eyes fixed on the bite marks on my neck.             

      “Don’t ask.”

      “How come there’s no music?” Bertie said, waving to a ghost that he recognised.

      Pegasus answered. “The host wants to make a big speech.”

      “Is Aurelia his partner?” I wondered aloud.

      Ferriday made a small choking noise. “You know her?”

      “She visited the café once.” my skin was hot. “Please excuse me for a moment.”

      Bertie went to follow me but I shook my head. I wanted to be alone. I disappeared down a corridor and leaned back against the cool, cream coloured wall. I didn't know why, but seeing Aurelia had given me a really bad feeling in the pit of my stomach.

      A cold hand wrapped itself around my wrist and I flicked my eyes upwards to find an unfamiliar vampire leering at me. In the blink of an eye he was dust. I stared in shock at the stake in my hand. I hadn't meant to do that. I had done it without thinking. The stake slipped from my grasp and landed in the pile of ashes on the stone floor.

      “Danira?”

      Turning to the source of the voice I gasped. “Jet?”

      

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