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Authors: Iris Johansen

Touch the Horizon (17 page)

BOOK: Touch the Horizon
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Where was Kadar? Selene wondered impatiently. She had been out here a good five minutes and he still hadn’t appeared. She didn’t know how long she could keep Lord Douglas from taking her back to the hall. He was a boring, stodgy young man and had been shocked when she’d suggested going out to the courtyard. “It’s a fine night. I do feel much better now that I’ve had a breath of air.”

Lord Douglas looked uneasy. “Then perhaps we should go back inside. Lord Ware would not like us being out here alone. It’s not fitting.”

“In a moment.” Where
was
he? She had felt his gaze on her all evening. He would have seen—

“The Saracen was watching us,” Lord Douglas said. “I’m sure he will tell Lord Ware.”

“Saracen?” Her gaze flew to his face. “What Saracen?”

“Kadar Ben Arnaud. Isn’t he a Saracen? That’s what they call him.”

“Who are ‘they’?”

He shrugged. “Everyone.”

“Kadar’s mother was Armenian, his father a Frank.”

He nodded. “A Saracen.”

She should be amused that he had put Kadar, who could never be labeled, in a tight little niche. She was not amused. She fiercely resented the faint patronizing note in his voice. “Why not call him a Frank like his father? Why a Saracen?”

“He just seems…He’s not like us.”

No more than a panther was like a sheep or a glittering diamond like a moss-covered rock, she thought furiously. “Kadar belongs here. My sister and her husband regard him as a brother.”

“Surely not.” He looked faintly shocked. “Though I’m sure he’s good at what he does. These Saracens are supposed to be fine seamen, and he does your silk trading, doesn’t he?”

She wanted to slap him. “Kadar does more than captain our ship. He’s a part of Montdhu. We’re proud and fortunate to have him here.”

“I didn’t mean to make you—”

She lost track of what he was saying.

Kadar was coming.

She had known he would follow her, but Selene still smothered a leap of excitement as she caught sight of him in the doorway. He was moving slowly, deliberately, almost leisurely down the stairs. This was not good. That wasn’t the response she wanted from him. She took a step closer to Lord Douglas and swayed. “I believe I still feel a little faint.”

He instinctively put a hand on her shoulder to steady her. “Perhaps I should call the lady Thea.”

“No, just stay—”

“Good evening, Lord Douglas.” Kadar was coming toward them. “I believe it’s a little cool out here for Selene. Why don’t you go fetch her cloak?”

“We were just going in,” Lord Douglas said quickly. “Lady Selene felt a little faint and we—”

“Faint?” Kadar’s brows lifted as he paused beside them. “She appears quite robust to me.”

He’s not like us
, Douglas had said.

No, he wasn’t like any of these men who had come to honor Ware tonight. He was like no one Selene had ever met. Now, standing next to heavyset, red-faced Lord Douglas, the differences were glaringly apparent. Kadar’s dark eyes dominated a bronze, comely face that could reflect both humor and intelligence. He was tall, his powerful body deceptively lean, with a grace and confidence the other man lacked. But the differences were not only on the surface. Kadar was as deep and unfathomable as the night sky, and it was no wonder these simple fools could not understand how exceptional he was.

“She was ill,” Lord Douglas repeated.

“But I’m sure she feels better now.” Kadar paused. “So you may remove your hand from her shoulder.”

Selene felt a surge of fierce satisfaction. This was better. Kadar’s tone was soft, but so was the growl of a tiger before it pounced.

Evidently Lord Douglas didn’t miss the threat. He snatched his hand away as if burned. “She was afraid she would—”

“Selene is afraid of nothing.” He smiled at Selene. “Though she should be.”

BOOKS BY IRIS JOHANSEN

Touch the Horizon

The Golden Valkerie

Capture the Rainbow

A Summer Smile

Stormy Vows/Tempest at Sea

Stalemate

An Unexpected Song

Killer Dreams

On the Run

Countdown

Blind Alley

Firestorm

Fatal Tide

Dead Aim

No One to Trust

Body of Lies

Final Target

The Search

The Killing Game

The Face of Deception

And Then You Die

Long After Midnight

The Ugly Duckling

Lion’s Bride

Dark Rider

Midnight Warrior

The Beloved Scoundrel

The Magnificent Rogue

The Tiger Prince

Last Bridge Home

The Golden Barbarian

Reap the Wind

Storm Winds

The Wind Dancer

TOUCH THE HORIZON

A Bantam Book

PUBLISHING HISTORY

Bantam Loveswept edition published September 1984

Bantam mass market edition / October 2008

Words and Music to “See You Shine” by Roger Whittaker, Tembo Album TMT-3778 © 1980, Tembo Music, Canada (CAPAC). Used by Permission. All Rights Reserved.

Published by

Bantam Dell

A Division of Random House, Inc.

New York, New York

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

All rights reserved

Copyright © 1984 by Iris Johansen

Bantam Books and the rooster colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.

www.bantamdell.com

eISBN: 978-0-553-90557-1

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