Title: The sway in the pine

Rating: PG

Words: 407

Characters: Richard, Kahlan

Story:

Richard lightly dozed in the wayward pine, his arms wrapped around the warm round bundle that was his sleeping son. So many memories passed through his thoughts of the events that had happened in the last year. It almost seemed unreal.

It was finally a time of peace, the battles fought and wars won fading into a distant memory like the sounds of clashing swords. The lands had united and worked together to thwart the efforts of the now fallen Emperor Jagang, many lives were lost, given willingly for the price of freedom.

For this and for so many other reasons he was grateful. To know that his son could grow up as he did, in the forest, running around in the woods, catching fish and getting his hands dirty was a blessing. To be able to spend it with his love Kahlan was truly more than he could have ever hoped for.

It was a tough pregnancy; George Cypher Rahl was born in a wayward pine high above the camps near the war grounds, his first cries drowned out by the battle sounds. Kahlan had fought alongside her army and it was only at the insistence of her husband that she retreat to attend to the imminent arrival of their child.

The tree had always been a secret symbol to them; it was the first place that Kahlan admitted her feelings towards Richard and also where they shared their first passionate kiss. Now it was a place of solitude, the knotted boughs now a safe place to watch the world below.

He enjoyed the gentle sounds of summer, the cooing of the songbirds and the low gentle thrum of the bees going about their day.

A glimpse of white below made him pause; the Mother Confessor had strolled past, intent on her quest.

Curious, he gently scooted to peer below being careful not to wake the sleeping warmth in his arms.

Kahlan was gathering herbs and at one point paused to pick a flower. She was definitely not one to take time to smell the roses so he wondered what she was up to.

Slowly she stood up as if sensing his eyes on her. She smiled that special smile up at him and ever so gently laid her cradled hand on her still flat waist.

Grinning ear to ear, Richard whispered to his son, "looks like I will be building another cradle for your sister".