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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12. Shopping and Segregation

 

      I think I would have slept all day if Aidan hadn’t woken me up at nine o’clock.

      “C’mon you need to get up. Ferriday is waiting to take you shopping.”

      With a groan I dragged myself out of bed but only when Aidan had left, because I had slept in my underwear due to my lack of other clothing. I dressed and washed before eating breakfast in the kitchen with Aidan.

      “Are you coming with us?” I asked him as we walked down a hallway to meet Ferriday.

      “I don’t need to. Anyway you’ll be fine.”

      Ferriday was waiting in a room with a huge fireplace. “Are you ready, Danira?”

      I nodded and followed Ferriday to the front door which Aidan opened for us.

      “I should warn you that while we are in public you should call me master, and that you shouldn’t make eye contact with anyone.” Ferriday informed me as we walked down the path. “Stay close to me as well.”

      Doing as he had said, I followed directly behind Ferriday and didn’t look around as he led us out of the posh sector of the Castle and into the lower town. In the distance I could hear the shouts of the slave market and I shuddered. I had been very lucky that Ferriday had bought me.

 

      After we had been to the shops and were walking up the path back to Ferriday’s estate I asked. “Why are vampires suddenly using a currency?”

      He sighed. “It is one of the latest initiatives of the new Vampire Lords. No doubt it is a way for them to make money.”

      We reached the front door and Aidan opened it for us. “Pegasus is here to see you.” he told Ferriday.

      I dumped my bags on the floor. Pegasus? Surely he didn't mean the legendary flying horse?

      Ferriday grinned at me. “Pegasus is a dear friend of mine, you must meet him.” he gently took my wrist and pulled me down the hallway to the room with the big fireplace. “Pegasus, what a pleasant surprise it is to see you, my friend.”

      So it turned out that Pegasus was a vampire and not a flying horse. I was rather disappointed. 

      Pegasus smiled at Ferriday and then he saw me. “Who is this Ferriday? You’ve been to the slave market again haven’t you?” his tone was teasing and I wondered if Pegasus was one of the good guys. Pegasus’s curious brown eyes were fixed on me and I stared back at him, taking in his expensive looking suit and his waist length white hair.

      “Where are my manners?” Ferriday laughed. “Pegasus this is Danira. Danira, meet my good friend Pegasus.”

      Pegasus closed the gap in between us in two strides and took one of my hands in his own.

      “It is a pleasure to meet you, Danira.” he said pressing his cold lips to the back of my hand.

      I smiled. It looked like Pegasus was a good guy then. My eyes fell on a young girl who had been stood hidden behind Pegasus. She had a collar around her throat, and blonde hair cut into a bob. She gave me a small smile and her eyes were curious.

      “Why don’t you three go and talk?” Ferriday suggested.

      Aidan led us out to the hallway and I picked up my bags before we made our way to the slaves’ quarters.

      “Hi, I’m Leila.” the girl told me smiling.

      “I’m Danira.”

      Aidan took us into the kitchen and we sat down at the breakfast bar.

      “You’ve been shopping then?” Leila asked. “Are you coming to the ball tonight?” at my nod she turned to Aidan. “What about you?”

      He laughed. “Of course I am! I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

      I was intrigued. “Why? Is it a special ball?”

      “It’s being hosted by Nevrac, a very powerful vampire.” Leila told me. “Pegasus has been talking about it for weeks.”

      “So has Ferriday.” Aidan commented.

      “What happens at these balls?”

      Leila answered. “Mostly the vampires just stand around and talk. Pegasus lets me wander around so I get to chat with other humans. Some people even put food out for the human slaves.”

      “Will any of the vampires hurt us humans?”

      Aidan replied with a shake of his head. “Not if you belong to someone else, usually anyway.”

      “Are you Pegasus’s only slave?” I questioned Leila.

      She spun on her barstool. “Yep, but he’s bound to want another one now that Ferriday has bought you. He doesn’t drink from me, which is such a relief. I never want my blood to be drunk by a vampire. Did you get here yesterday?”

      “Yes,”

      “I got here the day before Aidan.” Leila told me, sticking her tongue out playfully at Aidan who did the same back. “That was two weeks ago now.”

      “Do you miss your family?” I asked.

      She nodded sadly. “All the time,”

      Moments later we heard Pegasus calling for Leila so we all walked back to the room we had been in before.

      “I’ll see you both tonight.” she said waving to us as she left with Pegasus.

      “They only live next door.” Aidan told me with a smile.

      “They both seemed really nice.”

      “Are you excited about the ball?” Ferriday asked me.

      “A bit,” I admitted. “But I’m also nervous.”

      “You’ll be fine.” he smiled. “The first one is always the worst. Anyway the next ball after that will be the one I’m hosting.”

 

      Nevrac’s estate was only a five minute walk. I kept my eyes on Ferriday’s coattails as Aidan and I followed him down the road. There were other vampires with their blood-slaves making their way to the ball as well, so we had to line up outside two giant blood red doors before we were allowed inside.

      When it was our turn to be greeted by the host of the party one of Nevrac’s slaves, who was a guy in his early twenties announced our arrival. “Introducing Mister Ferriday,”

      Duke Nevrac was a tall, finely dressed vampire with long blonde hair pulled back into a ponytail, and cruel green eyes. He was handsome, as all vampires were, but there was a certain coldness about his features. After Ferriday and Aidan had bowed, and I had curtsied, Nevrac shook Ferriday’s hand without a word and glanced at me and Aidan. His gaze hovered on me and from the corner of my eye I saw him lick his lips, revealing gleaming fangs. He was seriously creepy.

      When we had left Nevrac I shuddered, feeling sorry for any human that had been bought by him. We walked through to the ballroom and I immediately forgot Ferriday’s advice not to look around. It was beautiful. Duke Nevrac had certainly gone all out for this ball. There were red petals covering the floor, and there was an extremely long banquet table that stretched along one wall of the cavernous room, covered in bottles that I presumed were filled with blood. The ceiling had cherubs painted on it and an orchestra of collared humans were sat on a raised stage, playing majestically. Well dressed humans and vampires were segregated; the humans on one side of the room, and vampires on the other. Ferriday gave us a quick smile before walking over to the vampires. Quickly scanning the sea of vampires I hoped to see Ridge. My heart fell when I didn’t spot him and I felt disappointment. Aidan grinned at me, oblivious to my unhappiness and we went over to the other human slaves.

      “Aidan! Danira!” Leila burst out of the throng of excited humans and hugged us both. “Isn’t it beautiful? There’s no food for us humans though. Ooh I like your dress.”

      Smiling, I glanced down at my emerald green dress and matching silk shoes. “Thanks, I like yours.”

      Leila was wearing a pink knee length dress with black slip-ons. Grabbing one of my and Aidan’s hands she pulled us over to a group of several slaves.

      “Guys, you remember Aidan? And this is Ferriday’s new slave, Danira.” Leila introduced us.

      I smiled and nodded as they all greeted me, deciding that I should try and take my thoughts off Ridge otherwise I would end up spending the evening brooding. “So what’s the point of the vampires bringing their slaves with them if we’re all separated like a bad school disco?” I asked.

      Aidan laughed. “I wondered the same thing.”

      “It’s all about getting the host to see your slaves.” Leila said.

      “Oh well I’m just glad that we don’t have to trail around after Ferriday all evening.”

      “We’re lucky,” Aidan told me. “Some vampires are really strict and don’t let their slaves leave their sides.”

      I followed his gaze and saw a human boy staring at the floor, surrounded by vampires. “Poor guy,” I muttered feeling sorry for him.

      “That would totally suck.” Leila agreed.

      Nevrac appeared at the edge of the swarm of vampires and his eyes met mine. I hurriedly looked away, my pulse quickening in fear.

      “So what do we do now?” I asked, trying to forget the Duke’s piercing green gaze.   

      Leila sighed. “We're not allowed to dance, so we just spend the evening talking.”

      “Do you think they know how to play any Rihanna songs?” I asked gesturing to the orchestra.

      “I doubt it.” Aidan grinned,

      I laughed and someone tapped my shoulder. I gulped wondering if laughing was forbidden and if I was going to be told off. Whirling around, I found myself face to face with a handsome vampire.

 

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