|The Denna Dilemma
Author: hrhrionastar PM
AU: What if Denna joined the Merry Band at the end of Light? Zedd/Denna, Richard/Kahlan, Cara/Kahlan. Spans season 2 from Light to Tears.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Romance - Denna & Zedd - Chapters: 2 - Words: 10,522 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 4 - Published: 09-12-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7377286
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Title: The Denna Dilemma
Characters/Pairing: Zedd/Denna, Richard/Kahlan, Kahlan/Cara (also implied Cara/Leo, Cara/Dahlia, and past Darken/Cara and Darken/Denna)
Spoilers: heavily for all of season 2, particularly post Light
Beta: brontefanatic, with my heartfelt gratitude. All remaining mistakes are my own.
Summary: My answer to the discussion question on peoplespalace: What if Denna joined the Merry Band at the end of Light?
Denna listened in wide-eyed astonishment to the saga of Darken Rahl's unnatural conception and childhood suffering, and then decided that it explained a lot.
She exchanged a meaningful look with Cara, who was maintaining a pose of utter boredom.
She was even moved to feel sorry for Zedd, who was so kind to her. It couldn't have been easy, first having Panis Rahl, a trusted friend, murder your own father, and then later rescuing Richard from certain death as an infant.
Denna marveled at Zedd's bravery, and was once more thankful Darken Rahl remained in the Underworld.
She was laughing at some inconsequential remark of Kahlan's, the sun warming her hair and making the hilt of the Sword of Truth sparkle, when she saw him.
For a moment, Denna couldn't breathe. She thought her heart might burst, it was beating so hard.
She took in details like the grass bent under his feet and the faint odor of sweat carried to her on the wind, and knew this man was no waking nightmare—no figment of her imagination.
Sheer terror held her paralyzed.
Then he saw her.
The terror on the man's face when he beheld Denna was balm to her wounded soul.
"Walter," she purred, unconsciously tensing her muscles preparatory to making a snatch for him. "Long time, no see."
Walter actually shrieked, and Richard frowned reprovingly.
"Rahl?" he asked doubtfully. "Denna, who's Walter?"
"That is not Darken Rahl," Cara drawled, even as Denna prepared to explain.
"Lord—Darken Rahl's body double," she said, gesturing to Walter. "I assure you, the resemblance is entirely superficial."
"Please," begged Walter.
Denna sneered. Of course he had some sob story, but it took Richard and Kahlan in tandem to calm him enough to deliver it, under Denna's watchful eye.
Her very presence was quite enough to reduce Walter to begging, whining cooperation with everything Richard asked.
It was nice to be feared again.
"What did you do to him?" Zedd said. "Or should I not ask?"
Only then did Denna feel slightly defensive. "Nothing. I helped him learn to impersonate Lord Rahl. I didn't even break him—he's just naturally that much of a sniveling coward."
"It takes all kinds," Cara remarked.
If this was an oblique hint to Denna to back off, Cara might have spared her breath; at that moment, Darken Rahl's shade appeared.
Denna swallowed hard.
His gaze swept the group, lips twisting a little as his eyes passed over Cara, before addressing Richard. Apparently, he wanted to exchange the scroll of Valdaire (lost in the commotion with the many-faced Panis Rahl), for Walter's body, and a return to the Land of the Living.
Denna was not sure whether to be glad or furious that he didn't acknowledge her.
The thought of him back in the same world with her made her tremble, and it took all her training to present even a semblance of calm.
Nor could she consider sweet, bumbling Richard much protection…although it would not be wise to discount the fact that he had endured her training without breaking.
Denna knew she could have broken him eventually; she had just gone about it the wrong way. Now that she knew Richard better, it was obvious that hurting his friends or miscellaneous 'innocent' people in front of him would have destroyed his will to resist long before his own pain would have accomplished the task. If she could have made him feel responsible for Kahlan's death…
And then there was Kahlan, who could kill her with a touch and so far had refrained for no reason Denna could see, except for the Mother Confessor's firm conviction that hair like Denna's deserved some consideration…there were worse things to be noted for.
Denna smiled a little, thinking of how Kahlan approved of her hair and how Cara was jealous, even though the uneven cut Triana had given her actually suited Cara.
Richard's hair was boring, but Zedd's was long and silvery. It matched Denna's gold.
She was pulled out of her inconsequential thoughts with a jolt when her eyes met Lord—Darken Rahl's, for one brief instant.
The coldness there made her shiver, even though it was a warm day.
She thought she saw the promise of pain and worse, Lord Rahl's displeasure, in his eyes.
But Richard was Lord Rahl, Denna remembered. She'd sworn the loyalty oath to him, and she had felt the pull of the Bond. She clung to the thought as much as Cara still did.
It got her through the interminable time before Darken Rahl's shade disappeared.
Someone touched her arm, and Denna jumped. He was gone, thank the Creator—though not for long. Richard was already arguing himself into agreeing to Darken Rahl's proposed trade, and it wasn't as though L—Darken Rahl would give them much of a choice.
"Rahl can't hurt you anymore," Zedd promised Denna.
Although she knew it was a lie, Denna clung to the reassurance, and smiled shakily.
Zedd had power—he was the First Wizard. He might be able to protect her.
Denna was surprised to realize that she feared for Zedd as well as herself. L—Darken Rahl was a dangerous enemy. She would not care to lose Zedd—or any of them—even if their deaths permitted her to escape Darken Rahl's vengeance.
Richard was too polite to openly doubt her; Kahlan was peremptory and condescending but otherwise oddly accepting.
Zedd was kind and powerful and easy to talk to and much too forgiving and oddly and persistently compelling…
And Cara—well, she and Denna had been rivals for so long that it had all the comfort of familiarity, and Denna was determined that if Richard was Lord Rahl, she and not Cara would be his First Mistress. It was high time she got her agiel back from her Sister.
Especially now that they were going to resurrect Darken Rahl.
"Do you think you could take Denna with you to get Renn?" Richard suggested, after Rahl had presented them with a dilemma, a mass extinction, and a scroll that now only had objective existence in his twisted mind.
Renn was a Listener, and Richard hoped that the boy would be able to read Rahl's thoughts—if anyone could.
Kahlan was going to save the nightwisp and her babies, and Richard wouldn't dream of sending her alone; she and Cara were already gone.
The tension between Rahl and Denna was setting Richard's teeth on edge. It was bad enough that Kahlan glared indiscriminately in his wicked brother's presence, and Cara, unusually quiet, seemed determined to ignore him.
Whenever Rahl looked at Denna his lip curled in contempt.
And whenever Denna's unwary glance caught his, the color drained from her face.
Richard remembered, with vivid clarity, Rahl's slighting comment about Kahlan, and how he, Richard, clearly had reason for having brought Cara and Denna on the quest…
And then the studied insult, directed at them all: "Are you running a Mord'Sith Outreach Program, my dear brother?"
Just as though Richard had wanted Cara and Denna to recite the loyalty oath!
But if they were going to insist he had authority over them (or rather, Cara was going to insist he had authority over Denna), Richard could hardly shirk the corresponding responsibility to come to their defense..
Cara was a dear friend, and Denna was…well. Denna was his problem now, not his brother's.
Still, if Zedd could get Denna out of the way for awhile, Richard thought the tension between himself and Rahl might be lessened a little.
He averted his eyes from Denna and Rahl.
Rahl was now whispering venomously at Denna. Creator only knew what he was saying to her.
Richard sighed, and turned back to Zedd. "Well?"
Zedd was watching Denna too. He looked concerned.
"Of course, my boy," Zedd said. "An excellent idea."
This left Richard alone with Rahl, which brought with it new problems.
"Even you can't be foolish enough to trust Denna," Rahl said conversationally. If the sardonic emphasis he placed on 'even you' could be considered polite conversation. "She is utterly without loyalty. A parasite, clinging to you because she fears my vengeance."
Richard could not help wondering if there were some truth in this accusation, but he also couldn't help dwelling on the irony of Rahl warning him about Denna—just as if he, Rahl, were not helping Richard because he feared the Keeper's vengeance. Just as if Richard could really trust either of them, no matter how much he wanted to.
He believed Denna was trying to change. He believed Rahl was trying to change.
But Richard couldn't hazard a guess as to how successful they were going to be.
Zedd had vowed not to ask what Rahl had said to Denna.
They'd left Richard with his tyrannous brother, and only Renn would be able to save them from Rahl's company on the remainder of the quest. Zedd was anxious to be rid of Rahl, whom he didn't trust.
Renn was their only hope.
It was the first time Zedd and Denna had spent this much time alone since she'd taken him prisoner all those months ago, and he found himself unable to stop watching her.
She was fascinating.
He knew what it was to fight one's way back to the cause of truth and justice after having lost everything—and he knew what it was to feel completely alone.
He hoped Denna knew she wasn't alone anymore.
Zedd hoped Rahl had not convinced her that helping them save the world was folly—although if he had it would be hypocritical, unless of course this was all some deeper game to win back into the Keeper's good graces…
But that was why they were going to get Renn. That, and the information contained in the Scroll of Valdaire.
It occurred to Zedd that Renn might also be helpful in discovering whether or not Denna planned to betray them.
He felt guilty for even entertaining the thought, after the months she'd spent helping them, but there it was.
She was much harder to read than Cara. Zedd knew he was not wrong about Denna, knew in his heart that her remorse was sincere—but he couldn't explain why he was so sure. She was a talented actress.
Her vulnerability, the glimpses he had caught of the woman behind her veneer of sly sophistication—it might all be a trick.
Zedd was sure it was not—but he'd been wrong before.
All the Mord'Sith were unreadable.
Even so, mistrusting Cara would be impossible now. Cara and Kahlan were so close that suspecting one would mean suspecting the other, and Kahlan loved Richard with all her heart.
It was Denna who remained elusive, and Zedd was not such a fool as to discount the immense influence he'd sensed that Rahl had over her mind.
He cleared his throat. "What did Rahl say to you?" he asked, and instantly wanted to take the words back. He hadn't meant to pry into her privacy.
"Nothing," Denna murmured. Then she looked up, and went on without inflection. "He told me I was nothing—weak, disloyal, foolish and helpless."
Zedd reached out to take her arm, but she stopped suddenly, and whirled to face him.
"And he was right," she said, still in that flat tone.
"Friends are for the helpless," Zedd quoted back at her, smiling gently. "At least you have them now."
Denna stepped a little closer. "Are you my friend?" she asked.
"Of course," Zedd said automatically.
Denna reached up suddenly and pulled Zedd down to her, brushing her lips lightly against his.
Then she stepped back and sauntered down the path.
Zedd was left to wrestle in silence with the realization that he might want to be more than Denna's friend.
"She wants to be a better person," Renn said, frowning. "But she's not sure she can do it. She thinks it would be easier to find a way to sabotage your quest than to complete it."
"I stand by that," Denna said, ignoring the unnerving sensation of having her thoughts spoken aloud. "It would be easier."
She didn't look at Zedd, sure he was disgusted with her. What had she been thinking, kissing him like that? He hated her—and if he didn't, he should.
Richard's mother was also Zedd's daughter. Denna felt she should have known that particular death was going to come back and haunt her…and she wished the Listener's presence didn't make everything she most wanted to conceal rise to the surface of her thoughts.
"Let's go save Richard from Rahl," Zedd suggested.
Denna suppressed the usual frisson of fear at the reminder of her former master, and they started back to Richard.
Kahlan did not like the look of the Mord'Sith who'd accosted them.
It occurred to her that Rahl might have been right: were she, Richard, and Zedd on some kind of side mission to rescue and reform Mord'Sith?
It was an odd role for a Confessor, but Kahlan endeavored to fulfill it with grace.
But this Mord'Sith was trouble. The way Cara was looking at her made Kahlan's heart sink, and her fingers curl into fists with jealousy.
"The true Lord Rahl is in danger," said the Mord'Sith, whom Cara had addressed as Dahlia. "I need your help to save him."
"Darken Rahl may have used magic to return to the Land of the Living," Cara scoffed, "but Richard is the true Lord Rahl."
"I'm not talking about Darken Rahl, or the Seeker. I'm talking about your son," Dahlia announced.
"Your son?" Kahlan gasped, at the same moment as Richard.
She felt shocked and a little hurt that Cara had never before trusted her with this important information, as well as stricken to the heart at what Cara must have endured. She, Kahlan, wanted children, and could not imagine the pain of giving them up.
"Many Mord'Sith bore children," Cara said defensively.
"Not many bore children fathered by Darken Rahl," said Dahlia.
"Your son is dead," Denna announced.
Cara whirled, hair flying, and pinned Denna to a nearby tree, leaving Kahlan to keep an eye on Dahlia.
Kahlan was not sure she followed all of this, but she was sure that Dahlia was a threat.
"What?" Cara was demanding.
"He was killed at birth, on Lord Rahl's orders," Denna said matter-of-factly. "I thought you knew."
Cara looked stricken, and it was all Kahlan could do not to reach out and hug her.
She turned back to Dahlia, who gasped, "Cara, don't listen to her—you know she's always been a conniving little sneak. You can't just abandon everything we—these people, they don't love you like I do. They couldn't."
Kahlan personally considered that her love for Cara was far more genuine than anything felt by this woman. Using her son against her like that was hardly the action of someone who cared for Cara.
Cara just glared for one long moment, and then she turned away in apparent disgust.
"Cara!" Dahlia cried, starting forward. However, before Kahlan could reach out and Confess her, Denna had smoothly grabbed her white agiel from the holster at Cara's calf and met Dahlia's attack.
It was over quickly, a flurry of moves almost too fast to follow. Kahlan, watching, didn't dare blink lest Dahlia or Denna gain the upper hand while her eyes were closed.
So this was how Mord'Sith fought Mord'Sith. Despite herself, Kahlan was impressed.
Dahlia was plainly desperate. Kahlan saw the moment Denna got under her guard. She pressed her agiel to Dahlia's heart, and the other woman slumped to the ground.
Denna tossed her hair back and sheathed her agiel in a holster at her waist. Her eyes dared anyone to comment, but Kahlan's only concern was for Cara.
She shared a look with Richard, and saw her own sorrow mirrored in his eyes.
After an uncertain pause, Richard flipped open the compass and started walking. Denna and Zedd followed.
"Cara?" Kahlan asked.
Cara looked up, but her face was empty. Free of all emotion, like a statue.
Kahlan hugged her Mord'Sith—hers in a way that Denna wasn't and someone like Dahlia could never be—trying to convey her sympathy without words.
But Cara didn't return the embrace, and when she spoke at last, all she said was, "We should catch up with the others."
Richard sent Denna, Zedd, and Cara to help some poor innocent villagers escape strangulation by snakevine not long after Dahlia's failed attempt to lure Cara into a trap.
Denna considered this unfair. Richard might want a little time alone with Kahlan, but that was no excuse for separating Cara from the one person who seemed best able to reach her through her grief.
Without Kahlan, Cara lapsed into monosyllabic replies to questions. She inaugurated no conversations on her own account, and Denna didn't know how to talk about what had happened.
Should Denna give Cara the details of her son's death—or what she knew of them? Or would that make it worse?
Denna was not used to such concern for someone else's feelings, particularly Cara's. She was a rival. Denna ought to be using this pain against her, the way Dahlia would have.
But it seemed almost unfair to do so, when Cara was so far from herself.
Denna and Cara yanked the snakevine from the ground, laying the corpses of the plants in neat piles which Zedd then burned.
Sometimes, the snakevine fought back.
Denna found the whole process oddly symbolic.
She knew she was always going to be one of those who fought back.
When the task was complete, they found Richard and Kahlan again. Zedd had to use a magic ring someone was kind enough to actually offer them. With it, he was able to talk with Richard through several tons of solid rock.
It was unnerving to only witness half of the conversation.
But at the end of it, Zedd called out words in an ancient language Denna didn't know, and then the Stone of Tears appeared in his palm.
Denna was impressed, but she did wonder why they couldn't have done that in the first place.
Several awkward minutes later, Richard and Kahlan stumbled through the rock face and joined them.
Zedd held out the Stone of Tears to Richard, but Denna, prompted by a reckless desire to push her luck, snatched it first.
She could have done anything then. Darken Rahl would welcome her back with open arms if she brought him the Stone of Tears. Or the magic it contained might keep her safe even from him.
Richard and Kahlan looked shocked and horrified, and Cara wrapped her fingers around her agiels.
But it was Zedd's expression that brought Denna's fantasies of power crashing down.
He looked hurt.
Shame washed over Denna, and grief that she might cause him pain. Why had he ever given her a second chance? She didn't deserve his kindness or his friendship.
But at least now he was paying attention to her.
Denna smiled slyly, raised the Stone of Tears to her lips, and gave it a mocking kiss.
Then she held it out to Richard. "Lord Rahl," she said sweetly.
Richard took it. Cara let go of her agiels. Kahlan raised her eyebrows, but made no comment.
And Zedd smiled.
The affection in that smile warmed Denna, and she knew she'd made the right choice.
Cara had not demanded the agiel back from Denna, even though she'd seemed about to betray them. She hadn't.
That was what mattered.
It seemed they were still Sisters after all.
The loss of her son was greater than any Cara had ever suffered, and she hated the feeling that she should have known long before this.
She barely acknowledged any of the others, taking refuge in her most austere Mord'Sith inscrutability.
But Richard had the Stone of Tears now, and they were nearing the end of the quest. They reached the sands not more than a day from the Pillars of Creation before running into any more trouble than miscellaneous bands of banelings or Sisters of the Dark, easily dealt with.
Then Nicci appeared, and sent a bolt of lightning hurtling toward Richard. Without thinking, Cara reached up to block it.
Nicci collapsed to the ground, rendered unconscious by her own magic, and Kahlan hurried forward to Confess her.
If Cara had been thinking clearly, she would have wondered at Nicci's sending magic against two Mord'Sith. She must have known they would just reflect it back at her.
But she was too far away to do anything when Nicci leapt to her feet and Confessed Kahlan with her own power.
Zedd met Cara's eyes, and she knew the only way to stop Kahlan now would be to kill her.
Cara drew her bow as Kahlan rode away after her Mistress. She had thought nothing could reach her heart, but her fingers shook.
The choice was between letting Confessed Kahlan return to Nicci and killing her possibly past hope of revival. Cara's dormant feelings stirred.
She could not bear the thought that Kahlan might die and she, Cara, would be powerless to save her.
Then Denna snatched the bow and arrow from Cara's hands and shot at Kahlan's rapidly retreating back, all without pausing to indulge in any heart burnings, or even something fundamental like aim.
Cara saw Kahlan go down and something seemed to break deep within her. It couldn't be her heart, because that was frozen beyond repair.
Cara paused only to glare at Denna, saying harshly, "If you've damned her past being revived—"
The rest of the thought was implicit, and therefore superfluous. Every second counted with the Breath of Life.
On her knees beside Kahlan with no memory of how she'd even gotten there, Cara called forth the power from her most secret place, that last little flicker of hope at the center of a Mord'Sith's soul.
Kahlan didn't stir for three frantic heartbeats.
Then color returned to her cheeks, she breathed in, she opened her eyes, and she grabbed a handful of Cara's hair and kissed her.
Cara had no fault to find with this rough treatment.
The ice around her heart started to melt.
Denna concealed her relief that Kahlan had survived even from herself, quickly focusing instead on the heated kiss between Kahlan and Cara and the question of whether or not Richard knew about the Confessor's feelings.
On the one hand, it could be the perfect thing to convince him Cara didn't deserve his trust, or at least not more than Denna. On the other, he deserved to know, even if it hurt him.
And on the third hand (or the foot, perhaps), it seemed unfair that Cara should have succeeded in getting between Richard and Kahlan where Denna had not.
Zedd and Denna reached the two women just as Kahlan said, "we have to go back to the others." She pulled herself reluctantly from Cara's embrace. "Richard needs us."
That much was certain.
Denna glanced at Zedd, wondering what he was thinking. The tension between them of late was masked from their companions with politeness on his side and snide remarks on hers (if she'd forsworn her 'wicked ways,' at least she still had the attitude), but they hadn't been alone together since the kiss.
Did his warm smile when she had given Richard the Stone of Tears mean he forgave her?
But there was no time to think about that now. Denna thought Richard had more sense than to give the Stone of Tears to the Keeper, but she wouldn't feel comfortable until she had him in her sight again.
There was not a second to waste.
Richard turned his head desperately, wishing he could see…that had sounded like Kahlan's voice.
And now the unmistakable noise of fighting. "Declan, what's going on?" he demanded.
He didn't know what he would have done without Declan. When glass had come flying out of nowhere and blinded him, the boy Richard had rescued from the dead town near the Pillars of Creation had guided him the rest of the way. They were close, now—soon it would all be over.
"The Mother Confessor's in trouble!" Declan replied, confirming Richard's fears.
"Take this to the Pillars," Richard said, folding Declan's fingers over the Stone. He had to help Kahlan.
"Richard!" That was Denna's voice.
The next instant, her agiel connected with his stomach. "Stop that child!" she screamed.
Richard, taken aback but with quick reflexes, brought his Sword up to meet Denna's attack.
He had no time to mourn that she'd betrayed them after all.
He wondered how long she'd been planning this eleventh hour treachery.
Was she working for the Keeper, or was it his brother who still held her loyalty?
"Richard, get out of my way!" Denna shouted in frustration.
"I won't let you do this!" he screamed.
After that it was a blur. Richard was at a disadvantage because of his blindness, but Denna fought wildly, with apparently no thought for her own safety.
Richard got under her guard and ran her through, even as her agiel found his heart.
Kahlan—he thought desperately, and then he crumpled to the ground.
"Cara!" Kahlan shouted, running to where Richard and Denna lay, both eerily still.
The Con Dar had inflamed her blood when she saw Cara beset by so many Sisters of the Dark it seemed she must be killed, but now it left her.
Nothing was more important than the fact that Richard was dead.
This couldn't be happening.
It was all her fault.
If she had just run straight to Richard, instead of getting distracted trying to protect Cara—her feelings were a jumble, but she knew she'd betrayed Richard, knew her affection for Cara was wrong…
She didn't acknowledge Zedd and Cara right behind her, as she sank to her knees beside Richard's body.
Cara was on his other side, breathing life back into him as she had for Kahlan…
A tear fell from Kahlan's cheek. She wept for Richard, for Cara, and for the world.
The Keeper had the Stone, and they had already lost.
Zedd waited in an agony of suspense for Cara to finish reviving Richard.
The boy was his responsibility, as well as being the Seeker of Truth, and most importantly, his beloved grandson.
But the fear in Zedd's heart was only partly alleviated when Richard coughed, and Kahlan smiled tremulously.
He cradled Denna's body in his arms, and not for the first time, wished he had the power to reverse death.
Cara blinked, and then she was there, summoning the Breath of Life once again.
Afterward, she returned to Richard and Kahlan, which was good because Zedd needed a moment alone with Denna, here at the end of the world.
Denna opened her eyes.
Zedd smiled down at her tenderly, unable to think of anything to say that would adequately express his feelings.
At length, he settled on a platitude. "You're all right," he assured her. "You're safe now."
A blatant lie, of course.
By this time, Denna had had ample opportunity to wriggle her way out of his arms, but she showed no inclination to do so.
Instead, she smiled up at him with that look of hers so full of wicked promise, and drawled, "Why, Wizard. I didn't think you cared."
Before Zedd could assure her that he did care, much more than he ever would have expected to, and at least partially against his will, but that hardly signified because they'd lost the Land of the Living and the Keeper was victorious and they were all going to die, Cara asked, "What's this?"
And Zedd and Denna both looked up and beheld a glittering Stone, just like the one Richard had given away.
"How—?" Denna asked.
"I don't—" Kahlan said, staring.
"Your tears," Zedd explained briefly.
And then they all got hurriedly to their feet and made for the Pillars.
The world was saved.
Denna's relief was profound, despite knowing that Darken Rahl was still alive, out there somewhere and plotting to take back the throne of D'Hara, like as not.
Richard and Kahlan and Cara were all wrapped up in plans of their own, which, if Denna knew Kahlan, would involve going back to Aydindril (that supposed paradise), and if she knew Cara, would involve a Rada'Han and a bed…(Not that a Mord'Sith couldn't manage perfectly well with a floor, or any flat expanse.)
And Denna, in theory making dinner, had Zedd all to herself, and the satisfaction of a different appetite on her mind.
"We shouldn't," he said, when she put her arms around him. But he returned her embrace. "I'm too old for you."
"I died today," Denna pointed out.
Of all the objections he could have chosen, that one worried her least. And she found it oddly endearing that he was apparently feeling guilty for taking advantage of her.
"You gave me a second chance," Denna mused, tracing one finger lightly down Zedd's cheek to his lips. "How did you know?"
"Well," he said lightly, "I am the First Wizard, after all."
Denna smiled at that. So much power…it was impossible not to be drawn to Zedd.
It was impossible not to feel grateful for the kindness that had brought her out of her darkness.
It was impossible not to revel in the knowledge that he cared for her, and that his affection was not forced at all.
Impossible—so why try?
She stretched, and kissed him—a real kiss this time.
Then she did something that made him say with a grin, when they broke apart to breathe, "Minx."
Denna laughed. "You love it."
"I do," he said, in such a gentle way, looking at her with eyes full of emotion, that Denna had to swallow back tears.
Mord'Sith did not cry…and she was still a Mord'Sith, even if she had broken every single tenet of her training at least once.
And now she was breaking another.
She was falling in love.