CHAPTER 5

Violeta picked up a large piece of firewood from her yard and hit de Beaufort in the head with it with all of her strength. The bounty hunter swayed from side to side with dizziness as he staggered towards Violeta now.

"Traitor! You would side with a vampire over me, one of your own kind?! I'll show you what I think of people like you!" de Beaufort said with an angry glare in his eyes.

Katherine concentrated all of her remaining strength into one powerful blow as she punched de Beaufort in the jaw. The vampire hunter looked like he was about to fall over any minute as he slowly staggered away from the two women.

"Leave her alone. She hasn't done anything!" Katherine said angrily.

The vampire hunter wasn't done yet. He staggered towards Katherine with a vial of holy water in his hand and threw the whole bottle in her face. Both of them were shocked when the water had no effect!

"What?" de Beaufort asked in shock.

"You see? She's not evil. The holy water has no effect on her because she's not evil!" Violeta proclaimed with a wide smile.

"That's not possible. It affects all vampires. It's not possible," de Beaufort said in confusion.

He hurled another vial of holy water at Katherine and again it had no effect. He howled in anger and bewilderment at the lack of response from her to the water.

"I don't understand either," Katherine said to de Beaufort as much as to herself.

"I do. It's because you're not evil like I said," Violeta said happily.

"That's right. My mum's a good person. You leave her alone! She's never hurt anyone," Amanda shouted from a few feet behind them.

Katherine looked toward her daughter in horror. She hadn't wanted de Beaufort of all people to know about her! She silently mouthed at her to go away. Amanda didn't listen, however. She stood her ground and glared at the vampire hunter in brave defiance.

"You've stolen and brainwashed a child? You must be evil! Why did the water not work then? It must have not been blessed right. Yes, that's it. It doesn't matter. I'll still destroy you, monster!" de Beaufort shouted in fury.

He drew his stake on her again and charged towards Katherine like a madman. Katherine caught his arm before he could stab her, and the two of them struggled with each other for several minutes. Amanda then began kicking and hitting de Beaufort from behind as she tried to defend her mother. Violeta joined in and began to hit the insane hunter as well.

The vampire hunter seemed to be unaffected by the attacks of the other two. He just kept struggling to attack Katherine until he finally succeeded and stabbed her in the chest with his stake!

Katherine screamed and fell to the ground in pain. The stake had missed her heart, but it still left her helpless on the ground anyway as she writhed there in agony.

"No!" Amanda screamed in despair.

The vampire hunter laughed and pushed the little girl to the ground. He then pulled out a sword as he prepared to cut Katherine's head off.

"Leave her alone! You are not to touch her. She is innocent of any crime," a man's voice called out to him.

He whirled around to see who had spoken and smirked as he said, "Hello, Van Helsing! I should have known that you'd be here to defend her. You're yet another traitor to your own kind, aren't you? You're the worst of them. You actually married one! You degenerate!"

Suddenly de Beaufort was picked up off the ground and thrown several feet in the air by a beautiful brunette woman who seemed to have appeared out of nowhere. As he hit the ground, he snarled in rage at the woman who had attacked him.

"Evil witch!" de Beaufort snarled at her.

"I don't appreciate your taunts to my husband!" Ileana Van Helsing shouted back.

Violeta looked at her in shock. She had heard rumors that Professor Van Helsing, the greatest of the vampire hunters, had married a vampire, but now she could see that it was true. She could tell that Ileana was a vampire from the paleness of her skin.

As she watched her though, she also got the same feeling from her that she had gotten from Katherine. This woman was not evil. She could feel that. She also knew it from watching her. She could have easily killed de Beaufort at any time, but she didn't attack him. She was waiting for him to make the first move.

"I'll stake you just like I did the other one, witch!" de Beaufort said as he ran towards her with another stake in his hand.

He was quickly knocked to the ground by a single punch from Abraham Van Helsing. Then before he could get back up again, Abraham knocked him out with a solid punch to the jaw!

Ileana slowly pulled the stake out of Katherine, and Katherine smiled at her as she weakly said, "Thank you!"

Amanda slowly walked towards her mother, but she was afraid to touch her for fear of hurting her. Katherine was still bleed from her chest where the stake had been. Amanda could see that it was rapidly healing though because it wasn't gushing as rapidly as it had been a minute ago when the stake had first been removed.

"Is she going to be alright?" Amanda asked Ileana.

"Yes. She'll heal quickly," Ileana assured her.

"How? Vampires have no powers in daylight. You shouldn't have such strength in the daylight either," Violeta asked Ileana curiously.

"My wife is a special case. She isn't like other vampires. She is unaffected by their weaknesses, and she keeps her powers twenty four hours a day," Abraham said.

"How is that?" Violeta asked.

"Let's just say I was enchanted by a good witch. She also gave me the ability to heal others," Ileana said with an enigmatic smile.

"The world is so much stranger than I thought," Violeta said with a small smile on her face.

"You have no idea," Ileana said with a slight laugh.

Katherine stood up with no wound on her chest at all now. Amanda ran up to her and hugged her.

"Are you alright, mum?" she asked her in a worried voice.

"I'm fine now. Don't worry about me," Katherine said as she kissed her forehead.

"I always worry about you," Amanda admitted with a grin.

"That was what I was just about to say about you," Katherine said to her as they hugged each other tightly.

Ileana smiled at the scene before her. It touched her that the human child loved Katherine so much. It made her think that maybe someday there was hope for her to have a child too just like the 'good witch' had told her would happen.

"Who is Countess Karnstein? You seemed like you knew her, Katherine. Who is she, and why does she hate you so much?" Violeta asked.

"She's an evil vampire who loves to kill and cause trouble. She's also one of Dracula's wives. She usually goes by the name Carmilla. She's tried to kill me several times in the past. I'd hoped that she would never find me again. I even went and hid in a crypt in an old abandoned cemetery far from any other villages in order to escape from her. Somehow she still found me anyway," Katherine said.

"Was she the one who called to me the night you found me?" Amanda asked her in sudden realization.

"Yes, sweetheart. She was going to kill you if I hadn't been there. I still don't know why she wanted you so badly," Katherine said.

She had her suspicions though. She suspected that Carmilla had been behind the accident that killed Amanda's parents although she had no idea what she had stood to gain from it. She wasn't ready to tell her daughter that yet though. She didn't want to needlessly upset her about something that might be only mere speculation on her part.

"Why does she hate you though? You never said," Violeta asked.

"She hates me because she couldn't turn me into her slave. I resisted her and fled from her. She's the one who turned me into a vampire against my will. Also because I . . ." Katherine hesitated and shame filled her face.

"What is it, mum?" Amanda said as she could feel that her mother was hiding something.

"She hates me because I was Dracula's friend when he was human, and he was still obsessed with me even after he turned into a vampire. She's jealous of me for some reason because of that. It's why she turned me. She wanted to remove me as a threat to her. I wasn't one though. I stopped wanting anything to do with him when he started hurting people after he became the Prince. He was no longer the person I had known as a child. Something had changed in him even before he became the undead," Katherine explained.

"That explains why she wants to kill you, but why not do it herself? Why hire this pathetic lump? Why try to frame you as the one who attacked the others?" Violeta asked as she gestured at de Beaufort.

"I don't know," Katherine said.

"I think that I do. I'm afraid that I may have caused all of this by my actions," Abraham admitted with pain on his face.

They all turned to him with eager faces as he began to explain what he meant.

Next: The reasons behind Carmilla's actions, and the truth about what happened to Amanda's parents.

To be answered in future chapters: Why is Katherine not evil? What makes her different?