To Serve and Protect: A sequel to Hood Academy

I do not own the characters, but I do love to take them out from time to time to play!

Branches caught and pulled at her clothes and body as she ran madly through the forest. The pounding of her heart was almost loud enough to cover the sounds of the approaching guards. Almost. Tears fell down her face as she realized that this was the end. It had been a hard life, but it was still her life, and damn it she wanted to live. She wanted her children to grow up, and start families of their own. She held her infant firmly to her chest as twigs and rocks sliced her feet, arms, and face. Her oldest son was leading the way chopping at the larger branches as he went. She heard a small scream a few feet behind her, turning around she saw her only daughter face first in the mud. A mother does not think. She only reacts. When one of her children are in danger she doesn't calculate the risk and make a decision. She runs crazily against all obstacles and barricades fighting tooth and nail. She grabbed Amy's arm and hauled her to her feet with a strength one only possesses during an adrenaline rush. The guards were even closer now. She could hear their breathing coming out in huffs. She said a quick prayer, if it was their time to die, if God could not save them, please let it be fast and painless for her children. Please do not let their last moments on this world be too unbearable.

As the small family made their way up and over a hill they found themselves being grabbed and pulled to the ground, hands covering their mouths to keep them from screaming. A lone woman stood at the top of the hill, her bow aimed down at the soldiers. "Halt," her voice exuded power, "the people of Nottinghamshire are under our protection and have safe passage through our forest. You and your men do not."

The family was slowly released as their captors stood to back up the young woman. The small band in no way out numbered the guards, but they were incredibly intimidating with their weapons ready for battle. The guards all looked at their adversaries trying to measure them up. There was a tall, thin lad with two large axes in his hands. You could tell that he was skilled by the way he held them. A short, dark woman stood next to him with fierce determination on her face and a sharp blade in her hand that gleamed in the sunlight. Two more men stood next to her. One taller than the trees armed with nothing but a large bit of wood; the other had a cheeky smirk on his attractive face, his blue eyes full of threat and merriment. But by far the most intimidating was a lanky fellow with a green hood pulled over his head. On his hip rested a wicked, curved blade, his hands expertly holding two arrows at the ready on his odd shaped bow. He seemed incredibly protective of the first woman who appeared and the scruffy looking man beside him holding a sword and shield at the ready.

No one moved. The small group kept the same fierce looks on their faces. The looked down coldly at the guards. The hooded man lifted his head slightly and smiled at the soldiers, "I believe my wife said that you were unwelcome. I suggest you leave before you upset her further." He let the arrows loose, the guards ran off as the projectiles imbedded into the ground where their feet had been.

Once the threat had dissipated the hooded figure turned to his wife and in his best impersonation said, "the people of Nottinghamshire are under our protection, and have safe passage through our forest." He was rewarded with a glare, "you practiced that didn't you."

She smiled up at her loving husband, "maybe a little." She turned to the small family huddled in the dirt, "you are safe now. This is-"

"Your Robin 'od," the small boy interrupted her. His voice was full of shock and awe.

Robin ruffled the kid's hair, "that I am, and this is my gang," he waved his arm indicating the group of men and women surrounding him.

I wanted to wait until I was finished with High School is Hard Enough in Your Own Country, but I couldn't stop thinking about this story. I want to take a moment to thank each one of you who reviewed Hood Academy. I heard so many wonderful things from all of you, including multiple requests for a sequel. I really hope that this story will live up to everyones expectations. I promise there will be lots of Robin/Marian and Will/Djaq. Also this story will introduce the Locksley baby!