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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16. Reappearances and Plotting Against the Vampire Lords

 

      After I had my bath I walked around the mansion until I found Aidan and Ferriday who were in the ballroom taking down the decorations.

      Ferriday smiled in delight when he saw me and pulled me into an embrace saying. “Last night was a great success, Danira. Everyone is talking about it. And it’s all thanks to you.”

      I laughed feeling embarrassed and helped Aidan to fold up the Chinese silk that had covered the banquet tables.

      “Has Leila gone?” I asked, rather relieved that I had escaped being interrogated by her. For now anyway. She could be so intense sometimes.

      “Yep,” Aidan answered. “She and Pegasus have gone to the slave market.”

      Ferriday gave a small laugh. “He is holding the next ball and wants another slave to show off.”

      “When is Pegasus having the ball?” I hoped that it wouldn’t be too soon. I wasn't really a party person.

      “In four days. He is busy trying to think of a theme. It looks like your idea has caught on.” Ferriday said.

      Folding away one of the Chinese screens, I commented. “You and Lord Harlin were talking for a while.”

      He smiled at me. “Yes, Lord Harlin is a very interesting man. We are in the same business, you know.”

      “What business is that?” I asked interested.

      “We both dabble in antiques. I will have to show you my warehouse one day.”

      “I would like that.”

      “It’s wonderful. I love going there.” Aidan beamed as he picked up the folded Chinese silk and left the room.

     Clearing his throat Ferriday said. “As far as I could tell Lord Harlin’s intentions for you are honourable. From the people I have spoken to he seems to be much esteemed. I gave him permission to come and visit you. I thought it might be a welcome distraction.”

      I nodded, my thoughts suddenly flickering to a certain golden haired vampire. “Do you know anything about Lady Prenalla?” I figured I might as well ask because the more I thought about it, the more I realised that I knew absolutely nothing about Prenalla. Yet for some unknown reaosn, I had trusted her when she had told me that I had to come to the Realm of the Undead, and look where that had gotten me.

      Ferriday’s eyebrows slanted. “I have heard of her, but I don’t know much about her. Why?”

      “She appeared to me in a dream and said that I had to come to the Realm of the Undead to stop the Vampire Lords.” I had left out that detail when explaining to the members of SPBR who I was.

      “How strange... Why can’t she stop them?” Ferriday asked.

      I shrugged. “I don’t know, but I’m starting to think that it was a trick.”

      “I will make enquiries for you. I’m afraid that I’ve only heard that she is a very old and powerful vampire.”

      There was a knock on the front door and we heard Aidan answer it.

      “By the way, who was that man you poured blood on at the ball?”

      I smiled sheepishly. “You saw that?”

      “My dear, everybody saw it.” Ferriday laughed.

      “He is... someone from my past who I hoped I would never see again. You know, I was surprised that I didn't get lynched or something for doing that.”

      Leila suddenly burst into the room, dragging a very wary looking boy after her. “Everyone this is Scott!”

      I couldn’t have been more shocked if someone had slapped me with a giant cod.

      “Danira?” Scott Bates asked, his eyes widening in surprise.

      “Yeah, hi Scott,” I waved giving him a small smile.

      Leila looked downcast like I had stolen her thunder. “You two know each other?”

      “Yep we go to the same college.”

      “Oh,”

      Aidan and Pegasus trailed into the room.

      Pegasus’s expression was grim as he said. “There are more humans at the slave market than ever before.”    

      Great and at that moment there was nothing I could do about it.

      Grabbing my arm Scott took me to a corner of the room. “They got you too? I’ve been here for a few weeks now.”

      I completely ignored his first question and said. “Pegasus is your first owner even though you’ve been here for that long?”

      He shook his head. “No, I had another owner before him but that vampire didn’t like me so traded me for another human.”

      “Did your old master hurt you?”

      “He drank my blood, but he didn’t beat me like I’ve heard some of the others do.” Scott scowled, looking disgusted.

      “You’ll be safe with Pegasus. He won’t drink your blood.” I said, placing a reassuring hand on his shoulder.

      “I know. Leila told me. What about your master? What is he like?”     

      I smiled. “Ferriday is very kind to me. He doesn’t drink from Aidan and me either.”

      Scott nodded and a glint of hope passed through his eyes when he asked. “Do you think we’ll go back home soon?”

      My face was set in determination when I answered. “If I have my way then yes we will.”

 

      “It is so weird that you two know each other.” Leila said, crumbs shooting out of her mouth as she swivelled around on the barstool.

      Smiling I rolled my eyes at Scott. Leila hadn’t stopped going on about it since she had found out. It was mid afternoon at that point and we were in the kitchen eating some food that Aidan had cooked.

      “Have you seen Gina at all?” I asked Scott, as I licked chocolate icing from my fingers.

      “No, the only person I’ve seen that I know is you.”

      Chewing on a muffin Aidan said to Scott. “It’s so good to have another guy around.”

      I laughed. “Was your manliness being degraded?”

      Leila giggled, messed up Aidan’s short hair. “You are looking a bit girly actually.”

      He swatted her hand away and Leila stuck her tongue out at him.

      “So how did you cope with the sudden revelation that vampires, ghosts, mummies and zombies are real?” Scott asked his eyes on me.

      I shrugged and shooting Aidan and Leila a look I said. “Ok I guess. It was a bit of a surprise.”

      Scott couldn’t know about that side of my life. It was bad enough that Leila, Aidan, and the members of SPBR knew who I was. Dad would totally flip out if he discovered how many people knew. I wondered how he and Mum were. I missed them.

      “Danira,”

      Leila’s voice broke through my reverie and I blinked. “Hmm?”

      “Who was that envelope from?”

      Looking away I muttered. “No one,”

      Like a crocodile that had caught a zebra, Leila wouldn’t let it go. “It was obviously from someone, so spill!”

      Aidan smiled. “It was from that vampire that you poured blood on, wasn’t it?”

      “Yes,” I answered reluctantly.

      Scott looked shocked. “You poured blood on a vampire and lived to tell the tale?”       I avoided their gazes and nodded silently.

      “I’m surprised he didn’t rip your throat out.” Leila gasped looking impressed.

      Clenching my hands into fists I muttered bitterly. “He nearly did once.”

      A bell rang in the corner of the room. Ferriday had put it there so that we knew when one of us would have to answer the door.

      “I’ll get it.” I said hopping off my stool and sprinting out of there, leaving a shocked Aidan, Leila and Scott in my wake.

      I took a deep breath and opened the front door, keeping my eyes lowered. “Welcome, my master is waiting inside.”

      There was a laugh and a familiar voice said. “But what if it was you that we wanted to see?”

      Bursting into a grin I looked up. “Jayden! Bertie!” I threw my arms around them, so happy to see them. “I was so worried, where have you been?”

      I stepped back and took in their messy appearances. Jayden’s clothes were covered in mud and Bertie’s clothes looked slightly askew.

      “You would not believe what we’ve been through.” Jayden sighed, his eyes narrowing when he saw my collar. “Is that what I think it is?”

      “Yes,” I said inviting them inside. “But I got lucky.”

      Ferriday and Pegasus were standing in the hallway looking curious so I introduced them to Bertie and Jayden.

      “It is a pleasure to meet you.” Ferriday smiled.

      Once Jayden had cleaned himself up, everyone gathered in the dining room around the round, wooden table. Jayden sipped at a glass of blood, looking better without all the mud.

      I was smiling, aware that Leila, Aidan and Scott were staring at Bertie and Jayden with interest.

      “Let’s start from the beginning,” I said. “What happened to you when you went through the portal?”

      Jayden gave a sigh. “The portal sent us to the Murderous Marshes, but as the portal wasn’t in the air but actually in the marsh, I got covered in mud.”

      “The portal is getting worse then.” I murmured thinking that now would be a good time for us to find the Infinity Blade. I absently scratched the scar on my stomach.

      Bertie looked like he was about to burst and he practically yelled at me. “We were so worried when we realised you weren’t with us, Danira.”

      Scott’s eyes looked like they were going to pop out of his head. I hid a groan. Great, so much for keeping him in the dark about my heritage.

      “The nearest town was Gore, so we went there seeing as this is my first time in the Realm of the Undead and Bertie’s sense of direction isn’t as good as he thinks.” Jayden explained.

      Bertie gave a weak smile.

      “It took us all this time to get here.” Jayden said.

      “I'm so glad that you two are safe.” I told them grinning.

      “What happened to you?” Bertie asked, gesturing to the collar around my neck.

      I explained to him and Jayden about my being spat out at the slave market and being sold to Ferriday, who didn't drink my blood. Bertie and Jayden relaxed at that, clearly relieved.     

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