Vampire in the Woods (Merlin's Hoods Book 2)

Vampire in the Woods (Merlin's Hoods Book 2) by Carl Waters

Book: Vampire in the Woods (Merlin's Hoods Book 2) by Carl Waters Read Free Book Online
Authors: Carl Waters
quick jabs at the midsection.
    To her shock, however, the vampire blocked all of her blows. He was obviously well trained, and both quicker and stronger than she, even with the hood’s aid. Before she knew it, he was driving her back, forcing her closer to the trees, where the fighting would be more difficult. She knew the forest better than he did, but she wasn’t as familiar with this section as she would have liked, and knew for certain that the uneven footing under the trees was going to make things far more difficult for her.
    Turning, she dashed toward the nearest tree, thinking to use it as shelter while she at least caught her breath.
    But the vampire was right on top of her, his foul breath on her neck, and she barely got to the tree she’d spotted before he took her to the ground. He threw her sword away from her and then ducked down toward her face.
    Angeline cringed, certain that this was the end.
    “Surrender,” he hissed. “Surrender your life willingly, or you will force me to kill the innocent people you love so much.”
    This vampire was going to kill her. And the world would be left without a Red Hood who knew what she was doing. She’d cursed the entire nation. Put so many lives at risk. Suddenly, and without really knowing how it had happened, she was out of time. And she hadn’t done half of the things she’d meant to do with her life.
    Angeline’s heart broke at that. She was defeated. She’d let the people around her down, sacrificed them to her own inabilities. Turning toward the cottage, she caught sight of the two boys. They were watching her through the window, their eyes wide and frightened. The boys made her think of Adela and Alison—so young, and so beautiful. She hadn’t taught them enough. She hadn’t given them the chance to prove themselves. And she’d made the biggest mistake of all: sacrificing herself without naming an heir.
    She thought about the last sparring match between her daughters. Both girls had showed their talents. They could both have been good Hoods. But Angeline had been truly impressed by Adela’s ingenuity, especially while facing a guaranteed defeat. Yes, she would have chosen Adela, if given the chance.
    Then she realized that it wasn’t over. Not yet. She looked up at the vampire, meeting his eyes, and prayed that he’d watch her face, rather than noticing what her hands were doing. He’d left one hand free—the one that had held the sword, and now she moved it slowly, reaching down toward the small pouch she wore at her belt. A gift from her husband, before he died. “Some place to keep the things you don’t want to lose,” he’d said with a smile.
    Or things she didn’t want discovered.
    She gazed up at the vampire, trying her best to look helpless and defeated. “Please don’t hurt them,” she breathed, hoping she sounded as if she truly believed that he would. “Please, take me and not them. I’m the one you want.”
    With the last word, her fingers found the leather of the pouch and flipped it open. She reached inside, grabbed the bottle of water, and twisted. The vampire hadn’t been paying attention and flew to the side, surprised at the sudden movement. Within moments, Angeline was on her feet, the bottle held securely in her hand.
    “What are you doing, Red Hood?” the vampire hissed. “I have already defeated you. Surely you don’t think to escape. Surely you don’t think to beat me.” He gained his feet, smiling nastily, and she breathed deeply.
    No, she didn’t think to beat him with a sword. But he didn’t realize that she had the holy water.
    She leapt forward without warning, heading straight toward him, and saw him lift his sword. Yes, he would go for the killing blow, she realized; already he was lifting his sword to take her out. She would have to …
    Without thinking, she lifted the bottle and flung it at him, aiming for his face. The bottle hit his skin and exploded into a hundred pieces, the water splashing up

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