The Ghost of St. Giles

A mysterious figure dressed in harlequin’s motley and mask, and wielding two swords. Is the Ghost of St. Giles a guardian of the poor or something much more sinister?

Read order for Ghost’s story arc: Wicked Intentions » Notorious Pleasures, Scandalous Desires » Thief of Shadows » Lord of Darkness » Duke of Midnight

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Caire turned, his eyes narrowing as he saw her plight, and then the man holding Temperance grunted and abruptly went limp. She scrambled away as he fell to the ground. She gasped and looked up and saw…

An apparition, moving silently and swiftly past her. The attackers never even knew he—it?—was there until one was run through. Was she dreaming? Had she been killed and not even known it? For the thing that fought silently and deadly beside Caire now was like nothing she’d ever seen.

He was tall and lean and wearing a black and red motley tunic. His breeches, jack-boots, and the wide-brimmed hat on his head were all black. A black half-mask covered the upper part of his face, the nose grotesquely long, eerie lines carved around the eyes and protruding cheeks. He held a glittering sword in one hand and a long dagger in the other and he used both at once with deadly agility, skipping nimbly over the cobblestones as he fought.

Caire stood back-to-back with the apparition, both figures fighting with grim precision. Caire blocked a blow with the stick in his left hand and followed through with a jab from the sword in his right. The remaining attackers circled the two men like a pack of rabid dogs. But Caire and the harlequin moved together as if they’d fought like this all their lives. No matter how the attackers tried to breech their defenses, they could find no hole. The apparition slashed a man across the chest even as Caire stabbed one in the thigh. One of the attackers gave a shout and suddenly they fled, disappearing into the St. Giles night. Even the man who’d caught her from behind had recovered enough to run away.

In the silence Temperance could hear her own breath rasping in her throat. The pistol in her hands shook violently.

The apparition turned gracefully, his boots whispering against the cobblestones, and swept the hat from his head as he bowed low. A scarlet feather fluttered in his hat as he replaced it on his head.

Then he was gone as well.

Temperance stared at Caire. “Are you badly hurt? Who was that?”

“I have no idea.” He shook his head. His silver hair had come down from its customary tie during the fight and it fanned against his black cloak. “But it would appear that the Ghost of St. Giles is no rumor.”

–from Wicked Intentions