Author's Note: Hello, there. This is my first foray into writing detailed fan-fiction and I have decided to start off with the Legend of the Seeker book series. I just re-read the entire series a few days ago and had some ideas running through my head the entire time. I have made some changes dealing with certain character deaths whom are no longer dead in my story as well as introducing a handful of new characters that I hope you enjoy as well. This story will more closely follow the book series, however, elements of the television series will occasionally pop up as well. Before I forget to mention it, these characters as well as Legend of the Seeker are not mine and belong to Terry Goodkind. I will also include a longer summary so that you, the reader, can gain a better understanding of what my story will be about. Ten years have passed since the defeat of Emperor Jagang and his armies. Lord Richard Rahl and the Mother Confessor, Kahlan Amnell have had many years of peace and prosperity throughout D'hara and the Midlands. Settling into family life, they are ready to continue their happy, idyllic lives with their family and friends. That all changes when a child Confessor is brought to Aydindril and that fragile peace is shattered. With a cast of new, as well as old characters, our two heroes must race to find anymore surviving Confessors, solve a series of mysterious deaths, and quell the Northern rebellions. All this and more will be revealed in The Darkest Hour. Please read and review and I hope you enjoy the story!
Her Royal Highness, Princess Sonja Nicolette Amnell Rahl, first of her name, daughter of Lord Richard Rahl, ruler of D'hara and the Mother Confessor, Kahlan Amnell and future Queen of D'hara, Galea, and Kelton was unequivocally bored almost to tears. In a moment of pure indulgence, her mother had allowed her to take a break from the monotony of her lessons and play in the royal gardens for an hour or so. No sooner was she left alone, however, Sonja clambered through the rose bushes, hopped the short wall separating the second path leading away from her tutors and Mord-Sith guards and disappeared back into the Confessor's Palace to enjoy her new found freedom. Wandering the corridors by herself she pondered what sort of mischief she could get into until her absence was noticed. With a grin, she began heading towards the armory and training ground until she suddenly stopped and worried at her lip. Due to an unfortunate incident nearly a month ago involving herself, Mord-Sith Cara's son Mason, and two "borrowed" rapiers, the children had been forbidden to hold anything sharper than a butter knife for the foreseeable future. If it had not been for the common sense of Mason's younger sister, Sofia, who had run to get help as soon as they began to practice with their newly acquired weapons the healers might not have been able to complete their magical stitches in time. Sonja did not wish to get in trouble again and reasoned with herself that there would be more guards near the weaponry who would undoubtedly lead her back to her tutors and lessons.
Hearing foot steps behind her, she hid behind a large decorative vase that stood in an alcove. A servant carrying an empty tray walked by and disappeared down the stairs close to Sonja's hiding place. Once she was sure she was alone again she ran down the staircase and peered around the corner. If she continued to follow the hallway, she would end up quite close to the Great Library, another of her favorite spots to be in. It was a seven story structure that dominated the western side of the Palace. She could get lost for hours reading about different places and people that thrived throughout the Midlands. Unfortunately, Mord-Sith Berdine commanded control of the countless volumes of books, scrolls and manuscripts hidden behind the ornate double doors. Sonja had been left unsupervised in the library only a week previously. To pass the time as she waited for her friend and Berdine's daughter, Artemis, to arrive she had decided to pass the time juggling the ink pots that lay out among the tables. She had been doing quite well until Raina, Berdine's wife had accidently startled her and the ink had spilled over nearly a dozen priceless books, ruining them. Sonja had never seen Berdine and Artemis look so upset before. While Raina tried to calm down her family, Sonja slipped away and hid the rest of the afternoon. Her parents had been greatly disappointed in her and Sonja was subsequently banished from the Great Library until Berdine allowed her entry. Sonja decided not to press her luck and reluctantly turned down a different corridor leading away from the books. The last place she could think of to go was to the Royal Stables where she could at least practice jumping. Her riding instructor said she was a natural on the back of a horse which had filled her with a sense of pride. At least one of her teachers found her to be an excellent student. Her languages, history, and etiquette teachers all stated that she tended to lose focus in their classrooms which had resulted in her less than stellar marks. As she strolled down the towards the main entryway, she happened to glance out of one of the stained glass windows lining the left side of the hall, Streaks of rain raced down the glass, putting an end to any chance of riding today. Her parents did not like her riding in the rain as she would get sick and her horse could slip in the mud. Scowling at the change to her plans again, Sonja was quickly coming to the conclusion that it might have been better to stay in her lessons than aimlessly wandering throughout the Palace. As the rain increased in volume above her, she slowly made her way back down the hall, dragging out each step as she went.
She was so lost in thought that she failed to realize there was someone in her path. Running into a strong body she braced herself and glanced up into the waiting, turquoise eyes of a blonde Mord-Sith. Taking a gulp she muttered hello. The Mord-Sith crossed her arms over her chest and glared at the child in front of her.
"Shouldn't you be at your lessons, Princess?" the woman asked dryly, already knowing the answer. Sonja shrugged her shoulders and kept her head down.
"I was allowed a short break so I went for a walk." Sonja eventually replied. It wasn't a lie but she knew she was in trouble. She was always in trouble.
"Are you telling me that two hours of wandering the Palace, avoiding both your lessons and guards is a short break?" the woman asked with a small smile. Sonja shyly grinned. She truly had not realized how much time had passed. Looking around, she discovered she was almost at the front of the Palace where visitors were allowed entry to speak their piece to the Mother Confessor.
"I should throw you over my shoulder and take you back to your lessons. I'll have them teach you about the beliefs of the Mud People in High D'haran for the rest of the day." The Mord-Sith warned. Sonja's eyes grew big at the threat.
"Please, Aunt Cara, I don't want to go back to my lessons today. Why can't I just have half a day of studies like Benji and Sofia get? It's not fair." She pouted. Cara smiled sadly at the young girl.
"You know as well as I do that you have much larger responsibilities and obligations than they do. You are not only royalty which requires its own extensive knowledge to learn how to lead but you are the daughter of two powerful magic-wielders. When you grow up, you will be the magic against magic and that requires even more training and learning." She explained. Sonja furrowed her brow, but did not protest. Sighing, Cara picked up the girl and began carrying her down a different hallway.
"I have an idea. Why don't you join your mother in the Accords Hall and watch her judge over the people. Then, you can see why your parents require such extensive training and lessons." Sonja nodded in response as her aunt carried her through the halls. Outside of the large doors that led to the throne room, Cara set her down.
"Your mother is just inside. You may sit up near the throne with her. I will see your family at dinner tonight, now behave, Princess." Cara winked at her young charge and walked back down the halls. Sonja smiled a gap-toothed grin and turned towards the two soldiers of the First File who guarded the entry way. Recognizing the bearded one, she tugged on his sleeve.
"Do you have any candy for your favorite Princess?" she asked. The other guard chuckled as he watched the display. The man with the beard made a shushing noise and dug in his pocket, pulling out two pieces of wrapped caramel.
"Please do not tell I gave this to you. I do not want it to ruin your appetite, Princess." Sonja simply gave him her best smile and skipped into the room, her mouth already filled with the sticky sweet. The room was crowded and it took Sonja a few minutes to maneuver around the groups of people waiting to discuss their grievances. Near the back of the room, a large throne perched above everyone's heads. The woman sitting upon it wore a white dress, cut square at the neck and her face was blank as she listened to a man with many rings upon his fingers. Only her green eyes flashing with her temper gave away that she did not want to continue this conversation.
"I believe that I have heard enough. The Wizard Keep will not be re-opened as it is filled with dangerous magic that even my husband does not want to disturb. While I agree that it was once a place filled with great learning, it no longer has enough teachers to run it effectively. If and when I do decide to re-open it, those positions will be filled with people who I believe are the most qualified, Lord Wyte." She glared at the man as he began to sputter his protests.
"But Mother Confessor, the Midlands needs to have the knowledge to defend itself. It has been only ten years since Jagang and his armies decimated the Midlands and D'hara. We should protect the people from that kind of savagery before it happens again." He finished proudly, glad he had been able to reiterate his point. Kahlan merely raised an eyebrow and stood from her chair.
"Trying to prevent a war before it happens will only lead to more people losing their lives. I will not pay the price of other people's lives just to avoid Fate. This conversation is finished and you are dismissed, Lord Wyte." Her voice echoed throughout the chamber and the red-faced man stammered his apologies as he was led out of the room. As the crowd began to murmur among themselves, Sonja pushed her way through the last throng of people and reached the dais.
"Hello, Mother. I missed you at breakfast." She called out as she ran up to the throne. Kahlan turned her head away from where she had been speaking with her Mord-Sith guard and managed to catch her daughter before Sonja collided into her.
"What are you doing out of your lessons, Sonja?" she questioned her daughter after a hug.
Sonja waited for her mother to sit down before she clambered onto her lap.
"You said I could take a break, remember Mother?" she answered, turning her wide eyes onto her mother. The Mord-Sith guard snorted. Sonja had always been a handful and was always looking for loopholes or half-truths to get her way.
"That was nearly three hours ago and you know it, Sonja." Kahlan answered firmly, "We could have had lunch together but I received word that you were still missing from your walk around the gardens." Sonja looked away from her mother's glare.
"I'm sorry, Mama. My lessons are boring when it's just me and I have to take twice as many as Benji and he's older than me by two years!" she protested. Kahlan sighed. As a young Confessor, she had had lessons with many other Confessors to relieve the boredom. Her daughter would not have that until the twins were five years old. She ran her fingers through her daughter's long hair and Sonja hummed in response.
"Aunt Cara said I should come here and learn what Confessors do since I don't like my lessons. Can I just stay in the throne room all day instead, Mamma? Pretty please?" she asked, making sure to pout her lips like Aunt Cara had taught her. Kahlan chuckled.
"You still have to attend your lessons, little one. However, I will let you leave them twice a week and you can stay here in the throne room with me. Cara is right, you should see the way Confessors mete out justice and fairness." Glancing at the Mord-Sith who had been unabashedly listening to their conversation, Kahlan gestured for the woman to come closer.
"How many more do I have, Hally?" she asked quietly.
"Only three more and the first two should be resolved fairly quickly." Hally assured her. Kahlan nodded.
"Very well. After I hear the remaining grievances, I will be having an early dinner with my family and do not wish to be disturbed until morning, Hally." Kahlan said, giving the Mord-Sith a small smile. Hally nodded once in agreement.
"Understood, Mother Confessor. You should enjoy the time with your family and I will pass along that you and Lord Rahl are to be left alone in the family quarters until tomorrow morning."
"You promise, Mamma?" Sonja asked. She rarely had her mother all to herself and looked forward to spending time with her, her father, and the twins that evening. Kahlan kissed the top of her daughter's head and motioned for the next person to step forward.
"I promise, Sonja. I have missed spending time with you and your sisters. I want to be the one that tells you three a story tonight. Now hush, little one. We have to listen and guide our citizens now." Sonja settled herself on her mother's lap and carefully watched the proceedings. The first grievance was a bald farmer who claimed his neighbor had stolen one of his sheep and eaten it. When Kahlan questioned the neighbor, it turned out the man had taken the sheep as payment for chopping firewood. Kahlan allowed the man to have the sheep as the first man admitted he would not be able to pay until the summer. The next grievance involved a sad-eyed woman who said her son had run away to Fleet Street and would not return. At some point, Kahlan had covered her daughter's ears and their conversation was muffled. Kahlan had finally uncovered Sonja's ears and simply said if the boy was over fifteen than it was his choice and as long as the woman had other sons to help with the workload than they would have no need of the runaway. The woman had thanked her and walked slowly away.
"Where is Fleet Street, Mama?" Sonja asked curiously. Hally hid her laughter as a coughing fit to see the Mother Confessor's reaction to her eldest daughter asking where the best whorehouses were located in the city.
"Never you mind where, Sonja. Just do not ask your father that question, please." Sonja huffed and crossed her arms. Listening to grievances was almost as boring as lessons, but she wouldn't dare admit that to her mother. The last person walked to the dais and gave the Mother Confessor a short bow as they pushed the hood off of their face. They must have been caught in the storm, as their clothes dripped rain water onto the polished floor. With the hood down, the crowd was able to see that it was a young woman in her teens with long, sandy colored hair that fell past her shoulders. The girl stood at attention like a soldier and Kahlan was impressed that she looked straight into her eyes without fear.
"I have come a long way to speak with you, Mother Confessor." The girl spoke with a slight accent but her words carried throughout the crowded hall. Sonja leaned forward to listen.
"It is a private but extremely important matter that requires your attention. Please, if you would grant me a private audience, I will explain in further detail." The girl finished and unflinchingly gazed at the Mother Confessor. Kahlan wore her Confessor's Mask as she stared down at the teenager.
"If this matter is private, have you already spoken with a healer then?" she asked. Snickers could be heard as the girl flushed but did not look away.
"I am not in need of a healer, Mother Confessor. I simply need to speak with you about a matter that should not be spoken about in this hall." The girl again stated firmly.
"It may be important to you, but the Mother Confessor is a busy woman and cannot judge the matter until you tell her what it is." Interjected Hally, looking the girl up and down. The girl sighed deeply.
"With all due respect, I was not talking to you, Mord-Sith and I will not give away any details while in front of this crowd." The girl glanced at Hally, who raised her eyebrows but said nothing further. Kahlan kept her mask in place even as the whispers began swirling throughout the crowd. Who was this girl to speak like that to a Mord-Sith? Was she just foolish? And why did she require a private audience with the Mother Confessor? It was practically unheard of unless it warranted a Confession. The girl ignored the rumors already spreading in the crowd and continued to train her dark blue eyes on Kahlan.
"Will you please grant me a private audience, Mother Confessor? That is all that I ask." the girl said without fear. Kahaln stared at her for a few moments. The girl's hair was wet from the rain and a cloak covered the rest of her body. She was close enough that Kahlan could see a sprinkle of freckles across the bridge of her nose and that her eyebrows were slightly darker than her hair color. The teen did not break her gaze and Kahlan felt those eyes were familiar even if she could not place why.
"I cannot grant you an audience until I know the reason why you want one. Tell me what your grievance is and I will do my best to rectify it, child." Kahlan finally said. The girl's eyes flashed blue flame as the audience waited with baited breath for the stranger's response.
"No." the girl simply said. The crowd gasped and the gossipers began whispering among themselves. No one had ever defied the Mother Confessor before. Even Kahlan allowed her mask to crack a little so that she could raise an eyebrow in surprise. Hally growled and sent the girl a fierce glare for her disrespect but the teen ignored it.
"If I cannot speak to you privately than I do not wish to speak with you at all." The girl turned and began heading to the door. Kahlan could only sit in stunned surprise as the crowd held their breath and made a path for her exit. Halfway to the doors the girl paused.
"Does the name, Phoebe Grace mean anything to you?" Seeing the blank look on Kahlan's face the girl scoffed and headed back to the doors. Kahlan's face was blank, but not with a Confessor's mask. Her face was impassive as she sorted through her memories of her time as a young Confessor being trained in the Palace. She remembered a girl with strawberry blonde hair who had shared her lessons as well as her desserts with her. Shy, but with a wit that could cause even the most learned of scholars to look like first year students. She had loved to travel and had been sent to the Wilds only a few short years before Darken Rahl had started massacring Confessors. Kahlan had mourned her death as no one had heard from her in the years since. The fact that this young teen stated her name as if it was a common occurrence for her to do so, shocked Kahlan to her core. Abruptly, she stood up from the throne, catching Sonja on one hip.
"Stop." Her voice rang out through the hall and the girl paused with one hand on the door.
"I wish to speak to you privately. Hally, please escort this girl to my private rooms as I do not wish to be interrupted." The stranger grinned but it was such quick flash of a smile that Kahlan was not sure if it had been real or not. The Mord-Sith who had been guarding the throne, gave Kahlan a short bow.
"It shall be done, Mother Confessor." Hally walked to the girl and escorted her out, giving a smirk to the guards who remained on high alert for any signs of trouble. Sonja was unsure what had just happened but realized her mother's plans might have just been changed, again.
"Momma," she whined, tugging on the edge of her dress. "Did you forget about dinner? You promised!" Kahlan sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose.
"Yes, yes I did. I will still be there for dinner but I will need to leave early to speak with my guest." She tried to soothe her daughter but Sonja squirmed until she was put down.
"You said you would be with us all night. You said!" On Sonja's cheeks were two bright spots of color, a sure sign that her temper was about to erupt. Kahlan reached out to draw her daughter closer, but Sonja skipped down the few steps of the dais out of reach of her mother. A second Mord-Sith guard slipped from behind the crowd and edged closer to the mother and daughter staring match.
"Momma, you said that you would stay. You have to stay otherwise it's a lie and Confessors can't lie." The girl stated triumphantly. Kahlan slowly walked down the steps until she stood tall in front of her daughter.
"I did not lie, Sonja. I promised to tell you a story and I shall. I just have to leave for a few minutes to speak with a guest, it will not take long." She tried to assure her daughter but Sonja was too upset to listen. She stamped her foot, knowing it irritated her mother.
"That's not fair! You never see me anymore. I hate being a Confessor and I don't want you to be one anymore either, Momma!" Sonja stamped her foot again and crossed her arms as she began to cry.
"Sonja Nicolette Amnell-Rahl…" Kahlan started, but seeing their audience she instead picked up her insolent daughter and carried her from the throne room, Confessor mask firmly in place. Raina turned towards the crowd.
"Court has been dismissed for the day. Thank you for coming, it has been a pleasure. The guards shall see you out." She purred before turning on her heel and hurrying after Kahlan. Raina followed the shrieks that Sonja continued to let out down the halls and up throughout the Palace. Guards and servants alike stepped out of the way of the Mother Confessor as she carried her temper-tantrum throwing daughter to the Family residence.
"Put me down, Mama! I wanna walk!" Sonja protested. Her mother ignored her outbursts, face set in a grim line.
The First File guards stationed in front of the family wing of the Palace wisely stepped out of Kahlan's way as she strode into the apartments. Once Hally knew that the Mother Confessor and her daughter were safely inside, she leaned against the wall directly opposite the guards.
"Long day, Mord-Sith?" one of the guards asked politely. Raina huffed out a breath.
"I firmly believe that Princess Sonja's middle name should have been trouble. She's either causing it or it finds her" She said in answer. The guards chuckled softly, never letting their guard completely down as they scanned the halls for potential threats. Inside the apartments, chaos ensued. Kahlan had hoped the apartments would be empty and she could speak privately with her daughter but her husband came out of their bedroom when he heard his daughter's cries. Seeing her father, Sonja cried harder and held out her arms towards him. Richard took a step towards her until he saw his wife's face imperceptibly tighten with his movements.
"What happened?" he asked instead. Kahlan struggled to talk louder than her daughter's sobs.
"She is upset with me for not being able to attend dinner tonight due to an unforeseen circumstance so she threw a tantrum from the throne room to here." Kahlan said, walking with her daughter towards the couches that made up the sitting room and sitting down. Richard followed closely behind, rubbing the back of his neck.
"Mama said she was coming to dinner. She promised and now she's going to leave again. She always leaves. I hate Confessors, I don't wanna be one anymore." Sonja told her version in between sobs. Kahlan's face whitened at her daughter's words and Richard tenderly took his daughter from his wife's lap so that he could talk to her.
"I am sure that it hurts your feelings that Mama said she would come and now she can't. That must make you pretty sad, Sonja." He said, rubbing her back. Sonja nodded and her sobs slowly diminished.
"Mama promised, Daddy. She promised." She whispered. Richard nodded and looked over at his wife. Grief was still visible in his wife's green eyes and he ached to comfort her as well.
"Do you know why Mama isn't coming now, baby girl?" he asked. Sonja shook her head and wiped at her tears.
"Mama has to talk to a woman about grace and it's private." She said, proud that she had remembered. Richard gave Kahlan a confused expression over his daughter's head and Kahlan interpreted what their daughter meant.
"I have to speak to a young woman about a name that she knows and the conversation would be best spoken in private." Kahlan's eyes took on a haunted look and Richard could not even begin to guess the reason why.
"Well it seems that your mother has a good reason for not being here tonight but that doesn't excuse you for throwing a fit and hurting your mother's feelings, Sonja." He said, making sure to look into his daughter's eyes that were nearly identical to his own. Sonja sighed and reached out to hug her father.
"Sorry Daddy." She said, nestled against his chest. He nudged her and jerked his head over to Kahlan. Understanding the unspoken command, she climbed off her father's lap and into her mother's.
"I'm sorry, Mama. I'm sorry for being mean to you." She spoke into her mother's dark tresses. Kahlan hugged her close.
"I am sorry as well, little one. I made you a promise and then nearly broke it. I will be here for dinner tonight, no matter what." She played with her daughter's long hair as Sonja hugged her back and gave her a grin. Richard stood and reached for his daughter's small hand.
"Why don't you go play in your room for a little while before your sisters wake up from their naps. I'll take the three of you to pester Aunt Cara and Uncle Ben before dinner." He said, brown eyes crinkling with mischief. Sonja giggled.
"Okay, Daddy!" she chirped. She gave her mother a quick kiss before skipping down the hall and to her room. Richard laughed at how easily her mood shifted and took a seat next to his wife who was also shaking her head at their daughter's antics.
"So who are you meeting, love?" he asked as he ran his own hands through his wife's hair. Kahlan gave a small frown as she answered.
"I am not entirely sure. I have never met her before but she knows the name of a Confessor that I grew up with here in Aydindril. I haven't heard that name since before the quads hunted Confessors down one by one. She asked me for a private conversation in front of the entire crowd. I have never met someone that brave or foolish to request the Mother Confessor like that, especially given how young she looks" Richard gave a low whistle.
"Well I am not sure what to make of that. Just be careful and make sure your meeting is over by dinner time or Sonja will break the door down to get you." He chuckled, trying to lighten the mood. Kahlan leaned her head into his shoulder.
"Sonja is becoming quite a handful and not just with us, I hear." She murmured. Richard nodded, he had been hearing the same.
"She is certainly embracing being a princess of both the People's and Confessor's Palaces." He said carefully. Kahlan sighed.
"I do not want any of our daughters to be spoiled but I am afraid that is exactly what is happening with Sonja. Everyone is so charmed by a child Confessor that also happens to be a Princess that she has developed the habit of always getting her way" she explained. Richard nodded.
"She doesn't think about consequences which will be dangerous once she develops her Confessor abilities." Kahlan added. Richard rubbed his free hand along his chin.
"Should we send for Nicci then? She helped me control my gifts, I am sure she could do the same with a seven year old."
"That would work. She has me as well to help guide her when she develops Confessor abilities but Nicci is the most knowledgeable on both Additive and Subtractive magic. Who is to say she doesn't have that as well with her father being a War Wizard?" Kahlan agreed.
"I will speak to the Mord-Sith and guards about not being so lenient with her too. I do not want to find out about her antics days after they have happened. She will one day rule all of D'hara as well as Galea and Kelton and needs to take more responsibility for her actions." Richard kissed his wife's temple as they sat comfortably in silence for a few minutes. Glancing at the time, Kahlan untangled herself from her husband's arms.
"I want to check on the girls before I meet with my visitor." She explained. Richard remained lounging on the couch.
"Go on ahead, I need to conserve my energy before I take our three trouble-makers on a trip throughout the castle to antagonize Cara." He said.
"You are nearly as bad as the children." Kahlan laughed and turned down the hall towards the bedrooms. The first door on the right led to a bathing room and the twins' nursery was right next to it. She carefully opened the door and peered inside. The curtains had been drawn to keep the afternoon sun out while they napped but she easily made out the two forms in their beds. Kahlan stepped inside the room and weaved around the scattered toys until she was kneeling between both beds. The child on the left had Richard's brown hair and it fell in curls around her lightly freckled face. Kahlan knew that if the child opened her eyes she would be staring into a pair of green eyes that would be identical to her own. Kahlan merely kissed the top of her head and wrapped the discarded blanket around her daughter.
"Sweet dreams, Cassandra. I love you always." Kahlan bent her head over her remaining child. This one had dark hair like her mother's but the eyes were hazel and often filled with mischief. In her sleep, she clutched a toy owl that Sonja had given her last year during the Festival of Masks. It was her daughter's favorite toy and rarely left her side. Moving the dangling arm back on the bed, Kahlan ran her fingers through the straight dark hair and kissed her cheek.
"And I love you always, Katherine. Sleep well." Kahlan stood and crept from the room, shutting the door carefully behind her.
"Mama, are they still sleeping?" the voice startled Kahlan but she turned to see her oldest daughter standing in front of her holding something behind her back.
"Yes, Sonja. Your sisters are still asleep. I am afraid you will have to wait a bit longer before you can terrorize your Aunt throughout the Palace." Sonja nodded and moved her hands from behind her back, holding a folded paper.
"Okay, Momma. I made you something this morning." Kahlan walked with Sonja down the hall towards her own room and away from the sleeping twins.
"What did you make me, little one?" Kahlan asked as she opened the paper.
'It's a picture of our family, Momma." Sonja pointed out the figures throughout the paper.
"There's grandpa Zedd eating. And Aunt Berdine holding a book. Artemis is holding one too since they like to read. Aunt Raina is holding her agiel because she likes to fight. Aunt Cara is wearing red and is standing next to Uncle Ben and I put Sofia and Mason there. They all have yellow hair and Mason is holding a sword. He can hold a sword in my drawings right, Momma?" she asked, waiting for Kahlan's amused nod before continuing.
"And Cassie and Kate are there near the middle because they are the littlest. Daddy is there with his Truth Sword and there is you, Momma wearing your white dress and I'm there holding your hand. Look my dress is white too, even though I don't like dresses." Sonja beamed with pride as her mother looked over the picture but her smile grew smaller when she saw her mother's tears.
"Do you not like it? I worked really hard on it and I didn't mean it when I said I didn't want to be a Confessor. I wanna be just like you, Momma." Kahlan kneeled in front of her daughter and lightly held her shoulders.
"This is a wonderful present, Sonja. I love you so much and I am so proud to be your Mother" she said before hugging her and planting a kiss on top of her daughter's head.
"I have to go now but I am going to keep your present with me, okay?" Sonja grinned, showing off the gap where a loose tooth had been a few days previously.
"Okay, Momma. I love you too. Have fun at your meeting and don't forget about dinner." Kahlan gave a chuckle.
"No, I will not forget about dinner and reading you girls a story. I will see you in a few hours. Help with the twins and be good for your father, please." Sonja smiled and skipped down the hall with her mother, climbing into her father's lap as her mother walked towards the doors.
"I'll be back in a while, Richard. I love you. Try not to antagonize Cara too much." Richard gave a similar grin to his daughter.
"We will behave, Kahlan. I love you too." He called as his wife gave him her special smile before leaving the apartments.
"Are you ready to go wake your sisters and find Aunt Cara?" he said, raising an eyebrow at his eldest daughter. Sonja let out a whoop and raced down the hall. Richard chuckled to himself. Cara had no idea what was in store for her when he and his three daughters finally found her. Hand in hand, the father and daughter walked down the hall towards the nursery. Sonja tugged on her father's shirt with her free hand.
"Daddy, I have a question."
"What is it, Sonja?" he asked.
"Where is Fleet Street?" she asked innocently. Richard groaned.