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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18. Togas and Persistence

 

      “Is your ball going to have a theme?” I asked Pegasus.

      We had left Ferriday’s warehouse and Luca had bid us farewell, kissing my hand before gliding away. Then Ferriday, Aidan and I had walked straight from the warehouse to Pegasus’s estate, which was very similar to Ferriday’s. I guessed that all the estates in the Castle were similar in design. However Pegasus’s mansion wasn’t filled with paintings like Ferriday’s was, instead there were bookcases filled with dusty tomes in every available space. Remembering how Jet’s house had been filled with books, I thought that he would like it here. I wondered where he was.

      Pegasus, Ferriday and Scott, Leila, Aidan and I were all stood in the ballroom, which also had bookcases in it, and was about the same size as Ferriday’s ballroom.

      Pegasus beamed at me. “Yes, it’s going to be Roman themed.”

      I raised an eyebrow questioningly and Leila looked as if she could barely contain herself. “It’s going to be a toga party! We have to wear togas and there are going to be columns and Roman statues.” she cried, bouncing up and down on the spot, her dungarees squeaking.

      I laughed. Leila was so excitable.

     

      It was mid afternoon when Aidan, Ferriday and I returned to Ferriday’s mansion.

      “Does Pegasus work with books?” I asked Ferriday when we were inside.

      He nodded. “Yes, and he has probably read every book ever published.”

      Hmm, I would have to ask Pegasus about the Infinity Blade and Lady Prenalla when I saw him next then.             

       Ferriday wandered off and Jayden and Bertie arrived back. Aidan left us alone, saying that he had better start preparing dinner because he was cooking for Leila, Scott and me tonight.

      “Where have you two been?” I asked with a smile.

      Bertie was scratching his nose and wouldn’t look at me, which was suspicious, but Jayden answered. “We’ve just been looking around the Castle, since this is my first time here.”

      “Of course, what do you think?”

      He gave a smirk. “That I haven’t been missing out on much.”

      Bertie’s lips twitched slightly at this.

      “Bertie, what’s that matter?” I asked worried.

      He reluctantly looked at me and said in a not very convincing voice. “I just really want to play Zombie Bombing, but there are no zombies in the Castle.”

      Not buying a word he had just said, I said slowly. “Oh yeah, I was wondering why there weren’t any around.”

      “That will be due to the metre thick ring of salt that surrounds the Castle.” Jayden informed me.

      At least the vampires were protecting all the humans from the zombies.

      I gave a dry laugh. “Yeah that would explain it.”

      Bertie disappeared off without another word and I made to go after him, but Jayden placed a restraining hand on my shoulder.

      “What’s the matter with him?” I asked.

      Jayden shook his head. “It’s nothing, don’t worry about it.” he gave me a brief smile before striding away.

      I was left wondering what was going on with Bertie and Jayden.

 

      “I’m so excited about the ball.”

      Smiling I laughed at Leila who was practically radiating happiness. “Really, I would never have guessed.”

      She rolled her eyes at me and ate some of her pizza before saying. “Aren’t you excited? It’s going to be fun.”

      I took a big bite out of my slice of Aidan’s homemade pizza, giving a shrug.

      Scott licked his fingers. “You look great in a toga I don’t know what you’re worried about.”

      Leila, Aidan and I gaped at him.

      Leila’s slice of pizza even slipped from her fingers. “What?” she exclaimed.

      Scott blushed and I guessed that he hadn’t meant to say that out loud. “I... err... one time at school we had to dress in togas for History...”

      I had completely forgotten about that. It was strange that Scott had remembered. I also hadn’t realised that Scott and I had even gone to the same school. How odd.

      Smiling Aidan ate his pizza but Leila still looked shocked. Scott stared down at his plate.

      “I’m sure it will be fun. I’m just anxious about bumping into certain vampires, that's all.” I told them.

      Scott looked relieved at the change in topic. “Lord Harlin? I thought you liked him.”

      “I do like him. No, it’s Nevrac that I’m worried about.” I replied picking at my food.

      “Why?” Aidan asked concerned.

      “I seem to have attracted his attention.” a shudder ran down my spine at the memories of what had happened at the balls so far and I suddenly felt doomed.

      Leila seemed to have found her voice, and she placed a hand on my arm, making everything seem brighter. “I’m sure that he will grow bored. He loves to terrorise people. It’s nothing personal.”

      I had the feeling that it was personal, but I nodded and gave her a weak smile.

      “Who is the other vampire that you’re worried about running into?” Aidan asked.

      Pulling a face I answered. “Xavier, the vampire I poured blood on.”

      “You two have a history then?” Scott questioned.

      “He just doesn’t seem to comprehend that I want nothing to do him.”

      Leila giggled. “You’re quite popular with men aren’t you, Danira? How does your boyfriend feel about that?”

      At the thought of Ridge my heart quickened. I spoke slowly to make sure that my voice stayed steady. “I don’t know. It’s been ages since I saw him.” wanting to change the subject before I started crying I said. “Leila, would you mind helping me wash up? That was delicious by the way Aidan.”

      We grabbed all the plates and I filled the sink up with hot water.

      “Do you like Jayden?” I asked as I passed Leila a plate to dry.

      I had caught her staring at him a few times. Her hand froze and I had to push the plate into her palm.

      “I... well... he is very handsome.” she muttered her cheeks red.

      Smiling encouragingly I said. “Why don’t you get to know him? He’s really nice.”

      Leila shook her head. “Nothing could ever come of it though.”

      “That’s not true.” I told her.

      She gazed at me with wide eyes. “Danira, he’s a vampire and I’m a human. It would never work.”

      My heart plummeted. “What do you mean? It could totally work.”

      “You’ve been reading too many teenage vampire romance novels. Vampires and humans can never be involved romantically without it ending badly.”

      I turned away, my eyes filling with tears, and bit my tongue hard telling myself not to cry.

      “Are you alright?” Leila asked, placing a hand on my shoulder.

      I nodded but my hands were shaking. “Yeah,” I told her, my voice breaking. “I’m fine.”

 

      After breakfast the next morning, Aidan, Ferriday and I went over to Pegasus’s estate to help him prepare for the ball which was to be the next day. I hadn’t seen Bertie or Jayden in Ferriday’s mansion, and I wondered if they were avoiding me.

      “Danira, can you help me move this statue?”

      I was dragged from my thoughts by Aidan who was stood beside a marble statue of a naked man. Walking over to him, I helped Aidan pick up the statue, nearly ripping his arms from their sockets because I had forgotten about my super strength. We put the statue down beside a column and I gazed around at the transformed ballroom, which now looked like a Roman temple. There were columns everywhere, and statues were dotted around the room. Ivy hung from the ceiling and clung to the columns. Pegasus was really going all out for the ball.

      Ferriday called me from the other side of the ballroom. “Oh, Danira would you mind going back to my estate and getting the painting of the Roman soldier from the hallway?”

      Knowing exactly which painting he meant I strode out of the ballroom and left Pegasus’s estate. As I made my way up the path to Ferriday’s I could see someone walking towards me. It was a blood-slave.

      “Are you Danira?” she asked hopefully, a white envelope clutched in her hand.

      “If it’s from Xavier I don’t want it.” I told her, balling my hands into fists.

      She sighed. “He said that you might say that, and that if you did then I had to tell you that he will hurt me if you don’t take it.”

      With a groan I held out my hand and the slave put the crisp envelope onto it.

      “Thank you.” she told me, giving me a small smile and hurrying off before I could change my mind.

      Walking towards the front door of Ferriday’s mansion, I tore open the envelope wishing that Xavier would just disappear from my life forever.  

 

      Danira,

      Please can we start over?

      I know I have done some unforgivable things in the past, but I have more control over myself now. I will not harm you ever again.

      I still have feelings for you. Please can we meet?

      Come to the below address so we can make a fresh start.

      Yours now and forever,

      Xavier.

 

       I rolled my eyes and screwed the letter and envelope up. Why couldn’t Xavier just give up and accept that I wanted nothing at all to do with him? I stuffed the paper ball into my pocket and opened the front door. The painting of the Roman soldier that Ferriday wanted was just to my left. Lifting it off the wall I carefully tucked it under my arm before walking back to Pegasus’s mansion.

      “I hope Ferriday knows that you’ve got that.”

      I turned and found myself face to face with Lord Luca Harlin.

 

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