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Toren turned to the drenched woman still in her underwear under his twenty-first-century jacket. “Dress yerself, milady,” he said, his burr thicker than she’d ever heard. “Ye’re about to meet Elizabeth.”

Kat swallowed. “Elizabeth who?” she squeaked.

The double doors began to open and a loud voice proclaimed. “Laird Toren MacCallum of Loch Melfort to see Queen Elizabeth, Sovereign of all England and Scotland.”

Kat’s mouth dropped open. Who? What? Where were they? When were they? How were they? The questions banged into one another in her mind like crazed bumper cars.

“Clothe yerself.” Toren’s voice broke through the mental fog. Kat instantly poured magic around her and Toren, covering them in Elizabethan court clothing. So her degree was of use despite what Roger at the bank said. 

Kat leaned into Toren and touched his arm. Her nails dug in enough to catch his eye and she tried to keep the panic out of her voice. “As long as I touch you, they see you dressed also in Elizabethan clothing.”

“We canna be separated?” 

As the doors began to swing inward, Kat spoke low over the heart hammering in her ears. “Not unless you want them to see how evil rainstorms trash Armani suits.” How utterly impossible that she was still able to joke in a moment like this. She’d just been sent back in time. Ridiculous, she must be dreaming. She’d had the melting, twisting-into-thread nightmare since she was a kid, but she’d never ended up at Queen Elizabeth’s court. Maybe a tree branch had struck her head and she was unconscious. She would play along until the Yellow Brick Road appeared and she’d skip her way to the Emerald City.