They tried to pull me into the alley, but a hard stomp on a foot and a bite on a hand let me escape to dash toward the street, holding up the fabric of my ripped skirt. A carriage pulled up, the horses reined in before I collided with them. The Duke of Blackford jumped out. My savior, or reinforcements for my attackers?
I started to dash down the sidewalk, but strong arms grabbed me around the middle, wrapping my cloak tightly around me. I kicked out and hit my pursuer by driving the back of my head into his nose. He let go and I ran. Behind me, I heard grunts and thuds, wood against metal, wood against bone.
I glanced back to see the duke thrash one figure with his cane. As my other attacker rose from the ground, he was pummeled down again. I'd have to pass the fight to return to the safety of Lady Westover’s. Too dangerous. I rushed away from the fracas.
Horses whinnied and coach wheels creaked, but no footsteps pursued me. I slowed my pace to a brisk walk, staying as far from the street as I could as I approached the corner. Looking over my shoulder I saw two figures prone on the ground behind me and a large carriage with four horses nearly at my side.
I picked up speed. So did the horses, pulling past me.
The duke’s familiar baritone came from the coach. “Wait, Miss Fenchurch. I’m trying to rescue you.”