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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6. Ridge's Past and Disappearances

 

      When I opened my eyes the next day, it was to find sunlight streaming through my window. I lay where I was in the cape covered, comatose Ridge’s arms thankful that I hadn’t adopted that aspect of being a vampire. I was in my dress when I dragged myself out of Ridge’s arms, forcing myself to leave his calming embrace, and out of bed. Clothing myself in jeans and a chequered shirt I thought of when Ridge had nearly bitten me the night before. He had been so apologetic and had refused to even kiss me for the rest of the night, worried that he would hurt me.

      Dad wasn’t around when I went downstairs for breakfast. He was probably avoiding me.

      “Morning, sweetie,” Mum smiled as she put some ingredients into the blender. “Good sleep?” she wasn’t treating me any differently at all.

      “It was alright.” I muttered grabbing a bowl and filling it with cereal.

      I half considered going and sitting in the café with the few Undead that were in there, but I didn’t. Instead I poured milk on my cereal and sat at the kitchen table.

      “I’m sorry about your father, Danira.” Mum said hesitantly.

      I shrugged and shovelled cereal into my mouth. “He should be the one apologising.”

      Mum walked over to me and placed a hand on my shoulder. “I know, sweetheart. You do understand that we will both love you no matter what happens?”

      “Yeah, Mum, I know.”

      I was sure that Mum would love me no matter what, but I wasn’t so convinced about Dad. After all I was now half what he hated most in the world. It was a miracle that he had given in and let me continue to see Ridge.

 

      As it was Sunday and I had finished my college work, I worked in the café all afternoon. When the sun had finally set I sprinted up the stairs, taking them two at a time.

      Ridge had just drained a blood bag when I burst in. He licked his lips to remove any traces of blood.

      “Let’s go out somewhere.” sitting down beside Ridge I slipped my arm through his.      

      He pressed his cool lips to my temple. “Where did you have in mind?”

      “I’m not sure. I just want to get out of here.” I felt stifled, like I was in a cage.

      “Come on.” Ridge said standing up and holding out a hand.

      He pulled me to my feet, and then up onto his back. Without any warning Ridge jumped out of the window and flew over the rooftops of the houses in my neighbourhood. He didn’t stop until we reached the public gardens. Jumping off his back I gazed around at the flowers, trees and bushes.

      “I haven’t been here before.” I told him as he laced his fingers through mine.

      Ridge smiled. “It’s beautiful at night. It’s nicer at spring and summer of course.”

      We walked around the gardens and it seemed so right to be there with Ridge. It was almost like we were in a world of our own. His cool hand felt perfect wrapped around mine.

      “Ridge, what age were you when you were turned?”

      He gazed up at the sky, his eyes reminiscent. “I was twenty. My father was a Baron and had some enemies, one of who publicly humiliated me so I challenged him to a duel. That day at sundown we met for the duel. The bastard cheated and shot me before we were told to fire.”

      I gripped Ridge’s hand and leaned my head against him, surprised but pleased that he was telling me this. I knew that he didn’t like to talk about his past.

      “Jet was a friend of my fathers and was visiting us at the time. He found me, alone and bleeding to death and offered me immortality. I accepted and when I could control my thirst enough to leave the estate I found my murderer and got my revenge.”

      “I’m so sorry, Ridge. That’s awful.”

      His dark eyes were heavy. “My father knew what Jet was, so he understood when I appeared in his study when I was supposed to be dead what I had become. I was so grateful that he didn’t throw me out, but I couldn’t let anyone in the town see me, so I ended up travelling with Jet.”

      “You’ve known him for a long time then.” I commented, recalling that Ridge was three hundred and twelve years old. “Plus you look pretty good for your age.”

      He smiled at this. “Not as good as Jet does.”

      “How old is he?”

      “I don’t know. I don’t think Jet even knows exactly.” Ridge replied.

      I nudged him with my shoulder. “Is Ridge your real name?”

      He shook his head. “No, I changed my name long ago. I’m not who I once was. I reached a point where I needed to change my life, and Jet encouraged me to change everything I could about myself.” Ridge drew me into his arms looking suddenly worried, as if I wouldn’t want him anymore. “This is who I am now, Danira, and I’m a vampire that is in love with you.”

      Smiling I kissed him, a pleasant warm fuzzy feeling in my stomach. “I know that and I don’t care about your past. I’m sorry I brought it up, I just wanted to get to know you a bit better.”

      What had Ridge’s old life been like if he had changed it and was so worried that I wouldn’t want him anymore? I couldn’t help but wonder.

      “By the way,” I grinned. “I love you too.”

 

      It was back to college the next day. A policeman came and gave us a talk, warning us that some people had gone missing recently so we should be careful and not talk to any strangers etc.

      “Scott Bates wasn’t at college today.” Debbie told me as we walked home.

      I sighed. “Can you please stop teasing me about that?”

      “That’s not why I said it, I was just wondering where he was.”

      “He’s probably tied up Gina’s basement.” I muttered.

      Debbie laughed saying. “Yeah, maybe, anyway I’ll see you tomorrow. Have a good evening, Danira.”

      I waited for five minutes before entering the café to make sure that Debbie was definitely gone. Dad wasn’t there. It was so obvious that he was avoiding me.

      “Hey, honey.” Mum called.

      I popped my head into the kitchen. “Hi Mum, I’ve got a letter for you from college. Some people have been going missing.”

      She read it quickly, having to use her glasses. “Oh dear, that’s not good. Do you think it could be the Undead?” she asked with worried eyes.

      “Probably, anyway I’ve got some homework, so I’ll come down and help out when I’ve finished.”

      Pounding up the stairs I smiled when I opened my door to find a comatose Ridge still on my bed. I had been kind of anxious that I would come home to find a pile of ashes on my bed and Dad standing over them.

      I had just finished my homework when a grinning head popped out of the wall.

      “Hey, Danira,” Bertie said.

      “Hi Bertie, how are you? I haven’t seen you in ages.”

      He walked through the wall and floated over to where I was sitting in my chair. “I’m good thanks, just been wandering around as usual.” he gestured to Ridge. “You two are still together then?”

      “Yeah why, are you surprised?” I asked slightly annoyed at his question as I pulled my legs up.

      He shook his head. “No I was just checking. You two are great together.”

      Smiling with my eyes on Ridge’s comatose form, I wished that vampires didn’t sleep during the day. I wanted to be with Ridge all the time. It seemed unfair that I could only spend a few hours with him a day.  

      “Why is your dad out by the portal?” Bertie asked his hands in his pockets.

      I frowned. “I didn’t know he was. I haven’t seen him in ages.”

      We moved into the living room and peering through the window I could see Dad prowling by the portal, which was distorted from the Infinity Blade debacle.

      “Is the portal still playing up?”

      Bertie was admiring the new decorations as he spoke. “Yeah sometimes, like just now I was in Gore when I came through but the portal sent me to the Castle. By the way I think there’s something going on there.”

      I turned to face him scowling. “Great, what are they up to now?”

      “Well I wasn’t there long, but they seemed to be setting something up in the main square of the lower town.”

      I sat sideways on the windowsill and pulled my legs up. Leaning my head against the windowpane I said. “Is Lincoln still the only Vampire Lord?”

      Bertie somersaulted in the air as he answered. “Lincoln? No he disappeared a while back. There are three new ones now that appeared out of nowhere.”

      Looking out of the window I was surprised to find Dad staring at me. I glared at him and pulled the blind down so that I couldn’t see him anymore.

      “What was that all about?” Bertie asked curiously.

      “I’m half human and half vampire.”

      His expression didn’t change, he just shrugged and said. “Cool.”

      “Not cool. Dad now hates me, and I’m worried that the next time I wake up I will crave blood.”

      Bertie laughed. “Oh come on, your dad cannot hate you.”

      “He hasn’t talked to me since I told him, and he’s avoiding me.”     

      “He probably just doesn’t know what to say.”

      I gave a grunt in reply before saying. “You will let me know if anything else happens in the Realm of the Undead, won’t you?”

      Bertie nodded. “Of course I will. So do you have fangs then?”

      “No, at the moment I’m just really strong, but if I have just one drop of vampire blood then I’ll become a full vampire.”

      Bertie let out a low whistle. “Wow that sucks. Do you want to be a vampire?”

      I twisted some of my long black hair around a finger as I considered his question. “Sometimes I wish I was, but I’m not sure.”

      “Danira,”

      I looked up at the sound of Ridge’s voice, surprised at how late it had gotten. Turning back to talk to Bertie I saw that he had disappeared. Ridge came and sat beside me, pulling me onto his lap. I kissed him on the lips, glad that he was awake. Just the sight of him sent my heart into overdrive.

      “Bertie was here but I think you scared him away.” I teased.

      He laughed. “How was your day?”

      “Weird,” I said playing with his shirt collar. “A policeman came to tell us to be careful because there have been some disappearances. Then Bertie visited saying that there are new Vampire Lords that appeared out of nowhere, and they are building something in the Castle.”

      Ridge frowned as he digested what I had just told him. “Hmm maybe I should go and see what’s happening.”

      “Do you think that the new Vampire Lords are the cause of the disappearances?” I asked, not really wanting him to leave, but knowing that I shouldn’t stop him.

      “It seems likely.”

      “Typical,” I mumbled. “Why can’t they just leave things as they are?”             

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