Heart of Time (Knight Traveler)

Heart of Time (Knight Traveler) by Regan Black Read Free Book Online

Book: Heart of Time (Knight Traveler) by Regan Black Read Free Book Online
Authors: Regan Black
but she stays with us,” the squire replied. “Alone, she is in danger.”
    “Bull. The woman,” she bit out each syllable, “can take care of herself.”
    Gawain saw neither a bull nor any other imminent danger. “Explain yourselves,” he demanded. If Morgana targeted Nick’s woman they needed to act immediately. Gawain looked her over from head to toe, ignoring her indignant gasp at his extended perusal. “Have we met before, Tara?”
    “No.” Her nostrils flared and her full mouth thinned to an angry line.
    Gawain sensed something more lurking beneath her temper and indignation, but Nick swiftly interrupted the questions parading through his mind.
    “I’ll explain everything and it will make sense soon enough. I hope,” Nick said. “We can’t discuss it out here on the street.”
    Gawain set his feet, wanting answers now. Here. People barely acknowledged the three of them as they hurried about their business in every direction. “No one appears concerned with us.” He couldn’t decide if that was a boon or an insult. In Arthur’s realm, he would be recognized and welcomed, his return celebrated. But the realm had grown immense over the centuries. Gawain reeled in his troubling thoughts. “What year is it? Who is the king?”
    “That can wait.” Nick rolled his eyes. “It’s irrelevant anyway. Follow me.” His hand clasped tight on the woman’s arm, he turned his back and walked away.
    “Halt!” This was Gawain’s quest. He’d given his word to his king, regardless of time or unfamiliar terrain. Nick could not be allowed to forget who was in charge. Gawain knew he needed guidance through the rules of this world, yet he would not traipse about uninformed, led by a man he didn’t know well enough to trust.
    The younger version of his squire turned, urging Gawain to approach. “It’s the twenty-first century, sir,” he explained in a voice no more than a coarse whisper. “Your squire, Peter, was my grandfather many times over. In every generation one of us is chosen, trained, and prepared for the eventuality of your return. I am a modern day squire, if you will.” His gaze turned to steel, an expression his ancestor had not mastered in Gawain’s time. “That is all I will say about it out here. Lingering in public isn’t smart.”
    Nick’s statement and obvious concerns only raised more questions. Gawain reached for the hound, the contact settling both of them. “This is impossible.” The buildings, the sheer number of people and developments he could not put into words threatened to overwhelm him.
    “Apparently not so much,” the woman grumbled, crossing her arms. “He managed to keep all those pesky details from everyone. Even family.”
    “Especially family,” Nick corrected with a wry twist of his mouth. “We need to get off the street.”
    “I see,” Gawain said. The response wasn’t a complete lie, though it was close. Not even his hound had picked up a trace of Morgana’s presence. Could he believe this O’Malley’s tale? Would this man prove more faithful than his ancestor? “Why did you bring your woman into this?”
    *
    “For the love of God, drop the act. I’m not his woman.” Tara wanted to give her temper free rein, wanted to shout and possibly throw a well-aimed punch or two. Anything to get this pair of men to understand she wasn’t helpless, inept, or stupid. Furious with the entire impossible, messy turn her life had taken, she jerked her arm out of Nick’s grasp. “I’m his cousin .”
    “Show some respect, Tara,” Nick grumbled under his breath.
    She ignored the stranger and went toe to toe with Nick, wishing she’d worn heels to put her closer to eye level with him. “Respect? I can’t believe you hired an actor to make fun of me. This is a disaster. I’ll fess up to mom and dad and see what they have to say.”
    Nick caught her, stopping her escape again. “They’ll only tell you to listen to me. He’s real,” Nick whispered. “Magic,

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