The Miracle of Life
Here is a new Cara and Kahlan story, a sort of follow up on the one I published earlier this year, called Revelations. You do not necessarily need to read that one to understand this, but it may be a nice start anyway :)
So, here Cara is, as she promised to Kahlan, carrying their first child. BUT I have to say, I've never been pregnant myself, nor do I have any specific medical knowledge, so I'm sorry if there are any inconsistencies there- feel free to come with any suggestions! But the fic will give snippets throughout Cara's pregnancy, as Kahlan recalls it.
Also, I've read 12 (there are 16) of the Sword of Truth books, some of the story relates to that. Another note is that Richard is a minor character as well, and he is married to Nicci, in the books she turns out to be quite different from what we've seen in LOTS. I saw the series before I started reading the books, so in my head Kahlan looks like the beautiful Bridget Regan and Cara like Tabrett Bethell.
Enjoy the read, and let me know what you think!
Dawn was still a few hours away when Kahlan awoke in their still dimly lit bedchambers. Her arm rested on top of the pillow next to her, one that should hold Cara's head, however, did not. Kahlan immediately felt cold as she missed the presence of her wife. As she turned towards the balcony, she saw Cara leaning against the doorframe, one hand gently caressing her protruding stomach. She was wearing nothing more than a simple nightshift. The summer breeze danced through the air, brushing Cara's blonde hair from her face, she was absolutely mesmerizing. She stood, gazing, as Aydindril came to life below.
Kahlan pulled the covers away and rose silently as she made her way towards their balcony, halting just behind Cara. She placed a gentle hand on her wife's shoulder, not wanting to alarm her.
Cara didn't flinch; «I always know it's you. » she whispered, unmoving.
«Still, I wouldn't want you to accidentally fall off the balcony. » Kahlan said with a grin as she slid her arm around Cara, resting one hand on top of Cara's on her belly.
Cara turned then, arching an eyebrow; «Funny. I am Mord-Sith, I do not simply fall off balconies. »
Kahlan enjoyed having a balcony in their chambers, not all did. The Mother Confessor's Palace was vast, especially the multiple personal rooms of the Mother Confessor and her Consort. As custom, Kahlan and Cara would only stay in one of the rooms for either weeks or months at the time, then change. This was a security measure designed to throw off any assassin from attacking them in their personal bedchambers. Before a potential assassin would be able to enter the room however, they would need to pass two of the Mother Confessor's personal guards, trained in D'Hara, a personal gift from Richard Rahl. The Lord Rahl was still a close friend to both Cara and Kahlan.
This habit however, they had decided to end, now that their child would need a room too. Both Cara and Kahlan were confident that the additional soldiers would be able to protect them. And Cara would of course never let her guard down when it came to their child's safety. A trait lingering from her days serving as Mord-Sith.
Waving off Cara's sarcasm, Kahlan chuckled, and placed a light kiss on her lips, «I know. » she paused as she gazed over Cara's shoulder to assess approximate time till sunrise.
«Come back to bed with me Cara. »
Cara sighed, looking somewhat frustrated, «I couldn't sleep, the child won't stay calm; as if it's playing Ja'La dg Jin in there. »
Ja'La dg Jin is of the language High D'Haran, and translates to The Game of Life. A brutal game, to Kahlan's opinion, commonly played in the Old World, meant to represent the struggles of life. Many players often got killed during the game. Kahlan had been fortunate enough, only having to spectate once, while visiting the cities of Tanimura and Altur'rang, establishing relations between the Mother Confessor and the citizens of the Old World.
Kahlan laughed then and placed her palms on either side of Cara's stomach, «First, our child is not it, it's she or he. Second, how did you come to think of the Game of Life? » she asked as her gaze swept the plains beyond the city.
Cara shrugged, «I don't know. » she said honestly, then smiled at Kahlan, «But yes, I will come back to bed. We still have a few hours until sunrise. »
Kahlan was slightly surprised that Cara had come to that conclusion as well, without having to turn to look at the sky. She supposed she had been standing there for a while, and would've thought of it earlier. The mighty mountains surrounding Aydindril would certainly allow for later sunrises, which Kahlan didn't mind at all. Ultimately, that meant she had longer mornings to spend in bed with her love.
They walked barefoot across the marble floor, that felt cold to the touch, even during the summers.
Beneath the covers yet again, Kahlan quickly tangled her legs with Cara's.
«You're cold.» Cara murmured.
Kahlan pulled back her legs and propped herself up, resting her head in her hand.
Cara turned around to face her, «I didn't mean that I wanted you to move.» her piercing green eyes met Kahlan's.
«I know.» She paused for a moment, «Is the baby still keeping you awake?» Kahlan asked as she looked down lovingly.
«Mm.» Cara nodded in response and turned to lie on her back, one of the few positions that were actually comfortable these days.
Wriggling down in their bed, Kahlan's head rested on Cara's shoulder. She lifted Cara's nightshift, revealing her undergarments, she then placed a light hand on Cara's bare belly. And indeed, the child was moving beneath her touch.
Kahlan smiled with awe at their child, one created of true love.
Wizard of the First Order, and dear friend, Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander, had provided them with the necessary magic, none of which depended on him being present, thank the spirits. Cara was afraid she would be unable to bear a child, after the brutal birth of her son. However, the night their child was conceived, they both knew. A confessor always knows, and that night, their love had taken them somewhere neither of them could explain, to an altogether new level of pleasure and higher understanding of each other. There was no doubt, Cara would bear their child. Behind public walls Cara was frightened and worried that harm would come to the child, then Zedd had visited and assured them both that all was well.
Over the next passing weeks, Cara had only occasionally been ill, sprinting to the joined bath chambers in the early morning, or evening. Kahlan remembered one particular time when Cara had come back from a meeting with the soldiers she had been training, wearing her red leather, her face ashen. The next moment, she ran for the next room, Kahlan right behind. Cara had fallen to her knees, throwing up. Kahlan was there then, gathering Cara's hair gently, brushing it from her face. Cara stayed there for a few moments, Kahlan could hear Cara's gloved hand creaking, as she formed it into a fist. Her back straightened then, and she leaned back into Kahlan, «I'd forgotten about this part.» She'd whispered.
Kahlan stoked her hair, «I know love, I know. I'm sorry.»
After a few moments, Kahlan passed Cara a washcloth, and she wiped her mouth for a second time.
«It's alright Kahlan, I don't mind. It's worth it.» Cara had said then.
Kahlan smiled at the memories as she could now still feel the child moving without stop. She inhaled lightly and started humming a tune, a lullaby she knew well, White Grows the Lily, while drawing small circles on Cara's stomach. Soon, the child started to settle, and Kahlan hear Cara chuckle.
«It's working.» she whispered.
A few minutes passed, and it seemed the child was still. Kahlan looked up at Cara for confirmation, who gave a slight nod and a smile. Kahlan then settled on Cara's shoulder again and whispered, «We shouldn't wake the baby. Try and get some sleep». She smiled one last time as she placed a soft kiss in the crook of Cara's neck.
Cara hummed in response and closed her eyes.
Kahlan sat behind her large oak desk in her office, struggling to concentrate on the boring task at hand. She slammed her hand on top of the stack of reports that needed her attention. A moment later, one of her personal guards dipped his head in,
«Is everything alright Mother Confessor?» the broad shouldered D'haran looked concerned.
Kahlan looked up with a reassuring smile, «Yes, sorry, just wish I didn't have to read all of these.» She motioned with a hand over the reports before her.
The guard gave polite nod, and was about to return to his duty.
«Eulich?» Kahlan called.
He swiftly turned, «Yes Mother Confessor?»
«Have you heard anything from the Lord Rahl? When is his estimated arrival?» Kahlan asked.
«I don't know Mother Confessor, but I'll send two scouts to meet him, then one will ride back with a time estimate.» He spoke in a deep voice that would drive anyone a step back. Before he turned to his task, he clapped a fist to his heart in salute, an ancient custom amongst D'Haran Soldiers.
Kahlan found it a nice gesture, she smiled, «Thank you.»
One of the young kitchen maids entered her office quarters some time later, bringing her tea and some freshly baked bread with raspberry jam. Kahlan nodded her thanks, and leaned back in her chair, once again contemplating Cara's pregnancy. Her face blushed then, and she was thankful she was alone. She had thought of the evening celebration when the Mother Confessor and her Consort had officially announced the conception of their child.
Much to Cara's dismay, Kahlan wanted to carry on the tradition of inviting officials from the surrounding lands to join their celebrations. It was a special occasion, and one like no one had ever seen before. When Kahlan's own mother had done the same, her father, King Wyborn of Galea, had been confessed to her. No one now really understood how it was possible for Kahlan to have a mate that was not confessed, and no one could ever know. If such knowledge was not kept secret, it would corrupt future confessors from experiencing the same. Cara had figured it out, knowing that she could not possibly love Kahlan any more than she did, she loved her with everything she was; and that protects her from confession. A confessor's magic is made of love, any who is confessed lives only to please their confessor, and will die if not given the chance.
The festivities had started, Kings and Queens approached Kahlan and Cara to congratulate them. Kahlan wore her white confessors dress, with small alteration, one that was fitting for a celebration such as this. In stead of the usual black laces, it was fitted with white ones, which, in Cara's opinion made Kahlan look all the more beautiful. She herself was wearing her usual leathers, although loosened around the stomach to allow the extra room she needed.
A quartet of musicians played joyous music in the background, large candles lit the large hall, creating a somewhat romantic but festive sphere.
Finally it was time to get seated at the grand table, Kahlan and Cara sitting at the head. All the food anyone could want and imagine was there. During the course of the dinner, various officials would personally say a few words for the occasion. The Mother Confessor graciously nodded her head and smiled in thanks.
In hindsight, Kahlan should have known this was not an event for Cara, and she should definitely have foreseen her next actions.
King Gregory from the Old World rose and spoke of the great rule of the Midlands under the Mother Confessor. It was then, Kahlan felt the palm of Cara's hand on her thigh. At first she didn't think anything of it, she considered it a romantic gesture. Soon, she discovered Cara had other intentions; in lightning speed her hand slipped through the split of her white dress, and was on the inside of Kahlan's thigh, Cara's fingertips brushing against her undergarments. She halted, but moved her hand upwards, slowly, teasingly. Involuntary shivers ran up Kahlan's spine. But she grabbed Cara's wrist under the table and stopped her from moving further. She narrowed her eyes at Cara in warning.
«…express nothing but happiness to the Mother Confessor and her Consort.» King Gregory finished. He stood awkwardly for a moment, awaiting Kahlan's thanks.
Kahlan snapped her eyes back at him, and smiled, and thanked him for his kind words, still holding a firm grip on Cara's wrist. The King sat down, and she rose, letting go of Cara's wrist.
«Thank you all, for your wonderful words.» She paused and folded her hands in front of her, portraying very much ruler the she was. «You must excuse Lady Cara and I, as we have some urgent matters to attend to.» She paused again, as she wore her confessor's face. «Worry not, we will return as soon as possible, we wouldn't want to miss the celebration of the year! In the meantime, please, enjoy all the food, wine and ale you can possibly eat and drink! Dance, converse, celebrate- as we do!» Kahlan nodded and smiled.
Once a step from the table, she shot Cara a glare, and she too left the table. As they walked in silence to the nearest hall, the quartet started playing their music once again.
Kahlan's office chambers was close, so she cut through the dark halls and went inside, waiting for Cara, who shut the door behind her.
«What in the name of the Creator do you think you were doing?» Kahlan hissed, fisting her hands at her side.
Cara looked amused, and in her very own way crossed her arms and quirked her lips upwards in a satisfied smirk. «Well, Mother Confessor, I do believe those kind of actions led us to this.» She said and gestured to the slight swell of her stomach.
Kahlan rolled her eyes as she chuckled, «Cara, you know that's not appropriate during such an event.»
Cara arched an eyebrow, «It's your fault your know, my heightened needs.»
«My fault?» Kahlan shook her head slowly, still smiling. She briefly put her palm to her forehead.
Cara looked dead serious, «Yes, this state that I'm in, it makes me crave more sex.» She paused, «It's called hormones.»
Kahlan blushed slightly, «Hormones?»
«Yes, Zedd warned me about it. I will crave specific things. Like certain foods.» Cara explained, pressing her lips together.
«Zedd told you this?» Kahlan stared in disbelief.
«Yes.» Cara nodded.
Kahlan ran her fingers through her hair, «Glad I wasn't there for that conversation.» she sighed.
Her arms still crossed, «Well? As I said, you're the solution to my problem.» Cara stated, a slight smirk on her lips. Her eyes traveled the length of Kahlan's body, lingering on her cleavage.
Kahlan strode slowly towards Cara and stopped before her. The dimly lit room, light provided by the moon alone, served to be quite seductive as she stood before Cara. She placed her hand on Cara's chest, gradually dragging her index finger downwards, between her breasts, and then further. Cara's eyes darkened as she leaned in, wanting more. Kahlan's lips were on hers, soft at first, then with more passion. Kahlan bit down on Cara's bottom lip, earning a soft moan from her consort. Kahlan took great pride in knowing that she was the solution to Cara's so-called 'problem'; she would happily solve it time and time again.
A short while later, they returned to the party, both with slightly blushed cheeks.
Kahlan chuckled to herself at the memory. A moment later, Eulich entered after a slight knock, «Mother Confessor?»
Kahlan looked up, «Yes?»
His red and black leather armor creaked as he shifted his weight, «Lord Rahl is just about to enter the gates, he arrived sooner than anticipated.»
Kahlan rose from her chair, «Alright, thank you. I will go down and meet him straight away. Will you and Egan accompany me please? I'm sure Richard will be happy to see you again.»
Eulich tapped a fist to his heart, «Of course Mother Confessor.»
Kahlan made her way around her desk, «It's Kahlan, Eulich.» she smiled.
Kahlan found it important that all staff and soldiers in Aydindril worked there and served at the Palace because they wanted to, not because they had to. Richard had asked Eulich and Egan to serve as Kahlan's personal guards for her protection, but mostly for their own benefit. The two guards both had wives that were originally from Aydindril, and wanted to return there. Both Eulich and Egan were loyal protectors of the Lord Rahl, and had initially declined their wives wish. Richard appreciated and valued their will to serve very much, but he did not wish to see any of his people heartbroken. To that end, he had given them the opportunity to follow their wives, and still serve the Lord Rahl through protecting the Mother Confessor. They wore the armor of the Dragon Core, as they were the most feared soldiers across the lands. During battle, Kahlan had frequently asked them and their fellow soldiers to bring back the severed ears of their enemies. Although it might seem grotesque, it was a gesture that gave them motivation, and in their view proved loyalty. Fortunately, it has been a long time since the last Kahlan had asked that of them.
As they made their way down the corridor, Kahlan spotted one of the maids, «Anna, have you seen Cara?»
The maid bowed her head, «Yes, Mother Confessor, she's asleep, resting for an hour or so.»
Kahlan smiled, «Thank you. We'll let her sleep.» Cara was resting a lot these days, the child was nearing its term.
Soon, Kahlan, along with Eulich and Egan were at the gate. They could see Richard riding in, surrounded by a ring of soldiers from the First File, and a second ring of a least a dozen Mord-Sith.
Kahlan grinned as he approached, she looked up at him atop his large war horse, «Preparing for an attack Lord Rahl?»
Richard laughed in response as he hopped down his horse. He engulfed her in a fierce hug, lifting her off the ground. He let go of her, and smiled, «It's good to see you Kahlan.»
«You too Richard.»
«Eulich! Egan!» Richard exclaimed. He clasped hands with them and they spoke for a moment.
He turned his attention back to Kahlan, and they made their way towards the Palace. The First File and Mord Sith took the horses and supplies as Eulich and Egan showed the way to the stables.
«Nicci sends her regrets that she couldn't join me.» Richard said as they passed the inner gates, entering the steps leading up to the palace.
Kahlan walked beside him, «That is alright Richard. I do hope the Lady Rahl can join us soon.» she smiled.
Richard chuckled, «She doesn't like it when people call her that.» he shook his head, «The magical barriers inside the People's Palace, those which are supposed to weaken the gift of any but a Rahl, has somehow failed. She is working with Nathan to correct it.» He smiled again, «She promised she would join us as soon it was done.»
Concerned, Kahlan looked over at Richard, «Is it a simple task? Does she and Nathan know how to restore it?» she paused from ascending the stone steps.
Richard put a hand to her shoulder in an effort to reassure her, «Relatively, it's just time consuming. That's why Prelate Annalina and several Sisters of the Light are helping. Nicci wanted to stay behind to overlook the process, and aid in any way she could.»
Kahlan sighed in relief and continued walking, «I'm glad to hear that. I hope it will be restored soon.»
«Enough about that!» Richard waved away the seriousness of the topic, «How is Cara?» he asked with a wide smile.
«She is well. Although she's quite intolerable these days; she threw an apple at my head the other day.» Kahlan laughed.
Richard joined her, «She must quite a sight.» he paused, «Any day now?»
«Any day.» Kahlan said in confirmation. The thought made her feel uneasy, and she ran her hand down her side nervously.
Richard noticed, and placed a gentle hand to her back in an effort to ease her worries.
«I don't think she wants you to see her in her current state, as she calls it.» Kahlan chuckles.
«I'm sure she's just beautiful.» Richard says.
Kahlan nods, «She is. I'll go see if she's awake, I might be able to persuade her to come see you.» she winked at him.
Richard grinned, «I hope so!»
Kahlan made her way into their bedchambers, and as quietly as she could, closed the massive oak doors behind her. No matter how slowly she attempted to shut them, the weight of them would always offer small squeaks. She spotted Cara lying in bed, on her back. Her large stomach visible through the covers, although nothing would hide the size of her belly at this state. Kahlan smiled softly to herself as she moved closer, tip-toeing across the floor. She watched the gentle rise and fall of her wife's chest for a moment. She sat down on the edge of their bed, which dipped slightly in her weight, and placed a hand on Cara's belly, «Cara, love?» she said softy. It seemed Cara was in a deep sleep, for she didn't stir. Kahlan smiled again and leaned down and placed a soft kiss on her lips. At that, Cara's eyes fluttered.
«Hmm?» she hummed in question.
Kahlan stroked some of Cara's blond hair from her tanned face, «Richard is here.»
Cara opened her eyes, «Why didn't you wake me sooner?»
«I wanted you to sleep. You need more rest now.» Kahlan smiled at her.
Cara sat up slowly, pushing off the white silk covers, «Despite that, you should've woken me up.» she held a firm grip on Kahlan's arm to pull herself up more.
«Well, I woke you now didn't I?» Kahlan looked pleased.
Cara leaned in and kissed her, softly, lovingly. She ran her tongue along Kahlan's bottom lip, and Kahlan welcomed the contact. Her large stomach was pressed against Kahlan, somehow making the kiss more intimate. Cara pulled away slowly.
«What was that for?» Kahlan mused as she smiled, catching her breath.
«I dreamt you were sleeping next to me. I guess I just missed you.» Cara said in a heartfelt manner.
Kahlan helped Cara get dressed before they were to see Richard. Cara had refused wearing any sort of maternity dress, which was quite understandable as such dresses would make any woman look positively enormous. Cara had spoken to various seamstresses, one of whom had eventually sown Cara a deep red dress with tight fitting suede material. The dress itself was quite simple, no particular details apart from lace swirls of the same colour along her V-shaped neckline, which exposed ample cleavage. The fabric delicately clung to Cara's body, and Kahlan had a hard time keeping her eyes off her, which Cara found amusing.
Cara and Kahlan, along with their personal guards, Eulich and Egan, made their way down the corridors to the main hall, where they would expect to find Richard. As they turned the corner and entered the hall, they spotted Richard casually talking to Zedd, whom had also arrived during the afternoon from the Wizard's Keep, not far from the city of Aydindril. Both of their faces lit up as they saw Kahlan and Cara, in that moment, they looked very much like the grandfather and grandson they were.
Zedd smiled widely and stood with open arms as Kahlan approached him, «It's good to see you Kahlan.» he said as he hugged her close.
They pulled apart, «You too, Zedd.» Kahlan smiled.
They looked over as Cara awkwardly hugged Richard, although she was very happy to see him. She'd been the most loyal protector of Lord Rahl for a long time, a bond that would never disappear, both in a figurative and literal sense.
«Cara, you look absolutely radiant!» Zedd exclaimed.
Cara didn't reply, and looked less than amused, «I just want the child to declare its arrival. I'm tired of looking like this and feeling heavy as a horse.» she sighed.
Zedd placed a hand on her shoulder, «I'm sure it'll happen soon dear one.»
Cara looked up on him, her eyebrows suddenly creased in concern, «Zedd, can you please tell me if the child is alright?» she asked as she placed a gentle hand on the top of her belly. Immediately after the conception of the child, Cara had confided in Zedd the difficult birth of her son which had ultimately killed her. Zedd had been understanding and made sure that they were both healthy.
Noticing Cara's concern, Kahlan moved to stand at her side, placing her hand on the small of Cara's back.
Zedd looked up at his grandson, «Richard my boy, why don't you make your way to the dining hall? We'll join you shortly.»
Richard gave an understanding nod and turned to leave.
Kahlan continued stroking circles on Cara's back as Zedd turned his attention to Cara. His hand hovered in front of her stomach, his eyes closed in concentration. As he opened his eyes he smiled, «All is well dear ones.» he paused as he retracted his hand, «Active little fella.» His eyes widened as he realized the slip of his tongue.
Cara and Kahlan stared in disbelief, «It's a boy?» Kahlan managed.
Noticing the hesitation in Kahlan's voice, Zedd quickly spoke, «Worry not, I didn't sense confessors magic.»
Cara visibly relaxed, «How is that possible?» she asked, as her hand slipped to her side to hold Kahlan's hand.
Zedd's furry brows drew together, «It must be because you carry the child Cara, and the confessors magic is not a part of you. Therefore I assume that there was either a chance of you bearing a daughter with confessors magic, or a son with no such magic. The Creator has been kind.» he smiled.
Zedd looked from Kahlan to Cara, «I'll leave you for a moment.» He threw is arms up, «I expect there is spiced soup in the dining halls!»
Kahlan and Cara stood facing each other, smiling, still contemplating the reality of it all. Kahlan dipped her head, staring at Cara's belly, and placed a hand on top of it, «A boy.» She whispered in astonishment.
Cara was grinning as she watched Kahlan, «All is well.» she said and leaned in to place a kiss on Kahlan's lips, smiling into the kiss. «Let's go join everyone.» she said.
As they turned, Kahlan held Cara's hand in both of hers, stroking her palm with her thumb.
They entered the massive dining hall, marble pillars in each corner, silk fabric decorating each. Fresh, delicate flowerers of various colours were intertwined in the fabric. The cool white marble was welcoming in the summer evening. The people there turned as Kahlan and Cara entered. Cara's eyes widened in surprise at the attendance of her Sisters of the Agiel. Berdine was the first to greet her, «Well, Mistress Cara, don't you look pregnant.» She smirked. They clasped arms in greeting, Mord-Sith did not hug. Soon, the other sisters crowded around to greet them. They all had a deep respect for Kahlan, many of them referred to her as a fellow Sister of the Agiel. Rikka was one of the Mord-Sith who was working close with Richard, taking up the task of being his personal guard, along with Nyda and Raina. The three of them bowed their heads in greeting at Kahlan, «Mother Confessor.» they said in unison.
Smiling, Kahlan waved a hand, «It's Kahlan to you.»
Rikka arched an eye brow, «We don't even call the Lord Rahl Richard.»
Kahlan shook her head as she chuckled, apparently no Mord-Sith but her wife would refer to her as Kahlan.
After some time of chatting, Kahlan spread her arms, «Let's eat!» she smiled, looking over at Eulich and Egan, «You too.»
They both tapped their fists to their hearts, «Thank you Mother Confessor, but we would rather eat later. We must keep and eye on you the Lady Cara.»
Kahlan bowed her head in thanks, and sat down next to Cara. Once seated, she leaned close and placed a peck on her lips, «Everything all right?»
«Yes.» Cara replied contentedly.
Hours passed and the dining hall was filled with laughter and joy, all of them enjoying the evening together. They were catching up on each others lives, and Kahlan welcomed it as it was finally a change from discussing formal matters. When it was close to midnight, Cara excused herself, and left the dining room. Kahlan noticed of course, and was immediately concerned. Her gaze met Zedd's, and he understood. Kahlan rose, and Zedd was right behind her, «Do you think it's time?» Kahlan asked.
«I don't know child, it could be.» he replied as they rushed to Kahlan and Cara's bedchambers, as they hurried, Kahlan's white dress flowed around her, emphasizing her determination, and she was a stark contract to the dark halls.
They reached the oak doors, and Kahlan turned to Zedd, «Would you wait out here for a moment please?»
As Kahlan entered their chambers, she saw Cara standing out on their balcony. The night winds rippled through her red dress, displaying her beauty. The majestic allure was somewhat disturbed by her strained posture, her hands gripping the railing in front of her.
«Cara?» Kahlan called as she approached her.
Cara didn't move, but as Kahlan moved to her side, she could see Cara gritting her teeth, her jaw muscles tightening. A few seconds later, she relaxed.
Kahlan ran a gentle hand down her back, «You're having contractions aren't you?» she whispered.
Cara looked over, her facial expression indifferent, «I'm not ready.»
For a moment, Kahlan was concerned that Cara had somehow built her walls back, those which she'd spent such a long time letting go of. And now Kahlan understood, it was a defense mechanism Cara clung to, especially as she was now on the verge of relieving that pain that ended in such devastation the last time she'd experienced it. Kahlan met Cara's eyes for a moment before she rested her forehead against Cara's, «It will be alright Cara.» She paused as she circled her arms around Cara's waist, «I'm here.»
They pulled away from each other, «Zedd is waiting outside, do you want him to check on you?» Kahlan asked.
«Only if he uses his magic. I don't want him beneath my skirts.» Cara replied with an arched eye brow.
Kahlan chuckled, «I'll go get him. Sit down in the meantime, love.»
Cara did as she'd been told, and seated herself in the large rocking chair that Kahlan had given her some time into Cara's pregnancy. Cara had scoffed at first, but had come to like it as it proved to be quite comfortable in her state. The rocking chair was placed on the red rug in front of the fire, providing a warm, private place to enjoy the silence, or the company of each other.
Zedd entered the room and smiled at Cara, «Well, dear one, you think it's time.» Again his hand lingered above her stomach and he focused his attention for several seconds. «You are quite right.» he paused and raised his index finger for emphasis, «But I'm quite sure nothing substantial will happen until the morning.» She smiled gently over at Kahlan as he rose, «It will be a long night, try and get some sleep. Both of you.» he folded his arms as he made his way towards the door, «I'll call for a midwife, and talk to Richard. Don't worry about anything Kahlan. Be with you wife.» he finished and placed a reassuring hand on Kahlan's shoulder.
«Thank you Zedd.» He nodded in response and exited the room.
Kahlan went to the fireplace, and sat on the knees in front of Cara, «You heard what he said, lets try and get some sleep.»
Cara nodded, and took Kahlan's extended hand as she rose. Cara's body was tense as she stood in front of the bed. Kahlan took up position behind her, and gently moved Cara's long braid from her back. Her upper neck now exposed, Kahlan started unlacing the back of Cara's dress, doing so in the most warmhearted manner. When the laces were done, Kahlan pushed the dress off Cara's shoulders and it fell to the floor, pooling at Cara's feet. Kahlan then bent her head to place small kisses along Cara's neck and left shoulder, tracing her hand along Cara's arm. Kahlan turned around and retrieved a clean nightshift, further turning to face Cara. She slipped the nightshift over Cara's head.
They stood, staring at each other for a few moments, «It will be alright Cara.» Kahlan reassured her once again, and kissed her gently.
Cara smiled, «It will.» she paused and returned another kiss, «We will be now that I have you.»
They both went to bed, Cara soon fell asleep. Kahlan lay awake for a little while longer as she wondered how she could so easily fall asleep through reoccurring contractions. Perhaps it was a result of her Mord-Sith training, or rather a result of her being broken. Kahlan shook her head in an effort to think of something else. She moved closed to Cara and placed a hand on Cara's lower stomach as she lay on her side. She would occasionally feel the muscles beneath her hand contract, but only barely. Feeling it against her palm demanded a substantial amount of concentration, and soon, she too, drifted into sleep.
It felt that she'd been asleep for mere moments when she woke to a loud gasp, and she was surprised to see that it was morning. She was further surprised to notice that Cara had also been asleep for that long. Her attention snapped to Cara, as she groaned. On instinct, Cara widened her legs as wetness stained the covers. Kahlan shot up from bed, having gone to bed in her confessors dress. As soon as she was up, and at Cara's side, Cara screamed, «He's coming!» she yelled.
Kahlan placed the palm of her hand on Cara's cheek, «I know love. I'm going to ask for the midwife.»
Cara nodded through her gritted teeth.
Moments later, the midwife was in the room, she'd been ready since the night before. The room next door was ready as well.
The midwife made a quick examination of Cara, confirming that the water had broken. There was only the problem that they needed to get Cara into the next room, as she would be unable to walk there by herself.
As Kahlan considered for a moment, Richard was at the door, knocking, «Sorry to disturb, just let me know of there's anything you need.»
Kahlan shot a glance at Cara, who immediately understood Kahlan's intent, and started shaking her head furiously. Kahlan ignored her, «Actually Richard, there is something.» she started as she walked towards him, «Can you please help Cara to the next room, she can't…» Kahlan almost pleaded.
Richard gently squeezed her forearm, «Of course Kahlan.»
Turning, Kahlan made her way to stand next to Cara, she leaned down and kissed her brow, «Please let him help you.»
Cara's jaw flexed, and she gave Kahlan a firm nod.
Soon Richard swapped places with Kahlan, watching Cara calmly.
«I would prefer getting there myself.» Cara said in a strained, low, voice.
Richard placed his hand on Cara's upper back, in an effort to get her to lean forward. Reluctantly, she did. In silence, Richard placed his one of strong arms around her waist, and another under her knees. Richard looked down at her once before nodding, and lifted her swiftly up in his arms. As he lifted, another contraction hit Cara and she screamed, Richard could feel her whole body go rigid in his arms.
Gripping his green linen shirt, Cara looked up at him, «Hurry.»
Although the distance to the next room was only about 30 paces, it seemed he could't get Cara there soon enough. Kahlan walked in a hurried pace next to them, unable to comfort Cara. The contraction passed, and Cara's head slumped to Richard's shoulder in apparent exhaustion. As they entered the next room, Richard carefully lowered Cara into the bed, and made sure her back rested against the mass of pillows.
«Thank you Richard.» she whispered.
He smiled warmly, «See you later Cara. I'll be just outside.» As Richard turned to leave, Kahlan placed a hand on his shoulder in thanks, and moved to Cara's bedside. She sat down of the edge of the bed, and took up Cara's hand in hers. At that moment, a petite woman seemed to appear in the room, her dark grey hair pulled back in a messy bun, a headband tied around her forehead to prevent any loose strands from falling in her face. She wore a grey dress with a white apron. Magda, their midwife had done all of the previous examinations during pregnancy, and Cara had become somewhat comfortable with her.
Kahlan turned to look at her, «Hello, good to see you Cara.» She smiled warmly, «It seems the child has announced its arrival.»
«Has it!?» Cara growled.
Magda chuckled at Cara's sarcasm, «I'll do another examination of you Cara, let's see how you're doing.» She spoke in a fluid manner, reflecting her experience of midwifery and dealing with frustrated mothers during birth. Cara was hesitant about letting anyone examine her, but she too understood the necessity. Kahlan placed a gentle hand on Cara's knee, slowly pulling it to one side, she did so as she placed a kiss to Cara's temple, «It's alright.»
As Cara was examined by the midwife, Kahlan had reached over to find a wet washcloth and padded it to Cara's forehead first, and then her chest; the entirety of her seemed to gleam with sweat.
Magda clasped her hands together as she rose, «Well Cara, it seems it's all going quite swiftly. You're ready to push.» she spoke she turned to gather her things.
«She is?» Kahlan asked in surprise.
Magda chuckled, «Yes. The child is eager to see the world.» she chirped in a manner that made Cara's heart beat even faster due to the amount of irritation that woman caused.
«Kahlan,» Magda started, «Why don't you get seated behind Cara, you'll be able to give ample support.»
Kahlan rose, and gently made Cara bend forward while removing the pillows she was to replace. She slipped behind her, and pulled Cara to her, «I'm here.» she whispered in Cara's ear.
Cara's body stiffened as a contraction ripped through her, sharing a glace with Magda, Kahlan placed her palm on Cara's knee, effectively pulling Cara's legs up, giving the midwife the necessary access.
«Push now, Cara.» Magda ordered sternly, but with a smile.
Kahlan stoked her palm up and down Cara's outer thigh, «Breathe love.» she said in a calm voice. Kahlan felt Cara doing so as her chest expanded as she inhaled.
Cara was remarkably determined through the pushes, letting out occasional groans. Kahlan would frequently run the wet cloth over Cara's brow, and gently brush Cara's matted hair from her face.
Hours passed and Cara became increasingly exhausted, now leaning heavily back into Kahlan, who whispered reassuring words in her ear.
Magda too, noticed Cara's fatigue, «Almost there Cara, a few more pushes.»
Fueled with new motivation, Cara straightened her back slightly and pushed, now screaming. Kahlan's heart ached at the pain her love felt, but she knew Cara wouldn't want her to feel that way. Pain was a natural part of child birth, and Cara would happily endure it. Gripping Kahlan's hands in front of her, Cara let out a last scream, and fell back into Kahlan.
Cara's groans were suddenly replaced with the most beautiful sound of a newborn's piercing screams.
«He's here.» Magda announced and she with practiced ease cut the baby's umbilical cord. She leaned over and placed the tiny, red squirming body on top of Cara's chest.
Kahlan's arms around her wife held their little son to Cara, she smiled widely through her tears.
Cara's finger ran across his small cheek as he settled, «He's so tiny.» she whispered.
«He's perfect Cara.» she paused and kissed Cara's shoulder, «I'm so proud of you.»
Before they could fall into a comfortable silence and staring at their son, Magda spoke, «Kahlan, why don't you take him and clean off him a little, while we take care of the afterbirth?»
Kahlan nodded as she untangled herself from her position behind Cara, and placed the pillows back. As she stood, she leaned down and briefly kissed Cara's lips, before taking their son and wrapped him into a clean cloth that Magda had handed her.
Cara smiled up at her, «Nicholas.» she whispered.
Kahlan stared for a moment, then smiled widely. She was surprised that Cara had remembered that name. It was a long time ago, even before they had admitted their feelings for each other, that Kahlan had confided that she'd always been quite saddened at the thought that she would never bear a son, but if she could, she'd always liked the name Nicholas.
When she returned, Magda and some of her assisting maids, had taken care of everything, even helped Cara clean up, and replaced some of the linen sheets with fresh ones; the room was completely cleared. Cara now lay resting, though not asleep, opening her eyes as she spotted them.
«Why don't you introduce him to Richard and Zedd.» she smiled.
Kahlan looked down at Nicholas who stared up at her with his wide green eyes. She returned her gaze to Cara, «I'll be right back.» she smiled one last time before she went into the hallway. One of the maids opened the doors, and Kahlan stepped outside. Richard and Zedd stopped their pacing and jogged over to Kahlan.
«There's someone who would like to meet you.» Kahlan said in a sing-song voice.
«He's beautiful.» Zedd whispered as he stared in awe at the infant nestled in Kahlan's arms.
«How's Cara?» Richard asked, still looking down at Nicholas.
«She's doing well. Exhausted of course.» Kahlan replied, «Little Nicholas took his time.» she grinned as she too looked down at her son.
«He is truly mesmerizing.» Richard said as he looked up at Kahlan, «Congratulations.»
Kahlan smiled in thanks.
«You should get back to Cara, get some rest. We will all be here in the morning.» Zedd smiled.
Kahlan hadn't even noticed that it was early evening, «Good. We will see you soon.» she said and started rocking Nicholas gently as he started to fuss.
Kahlan returned to the bedchamber they'd decorated for their son, and Cara sat, still awake, looking somewhat refreshed. Kahlan placed Nicholas in her arms, «He's hungry.»
Cara smiled at their son, «Will you sit with me?» she asked without moving her gaze from Nicholas.
Kahlan sat beside her for a moment, as she looked at Cara, who looked up, «I will, like before.» Kahlan replied. Before moving, Cara with sudden resolve, pulled Kahlan to her and kissed her. A kiss filled with so much passion and love, that it made Kahlan heart flutter.
«I can't wait to make love to you.» Cara said as she pulled back breathlessly.
Kahlan's face reddened, «Cara!» her eyes darted down to Nicholas who stared up at them with great curiosity.
«What? He doesn't understand.» Cara said.
Kahlan chuckled, «Well, he might, in the future.»
Cara rolled her eyes, «All right, I won't say anything like that in front of him again.»
Kahlan placed a quick kiss on Cara's lips, «Good.» and then she moved to sit behind Cara.
They sat like that for a while, watching Nicholas, an image of them both with his green eyes and dark hair. His tiny hands fisted, resting on his small chest.
Kahlan laughed as his little mouth started opening and closing, «Cara, he's getting hungry.»
No further words were needed as they both chuckled at the sight of their son. Kahlan gently loosened the single lace that held Cara's up shift, and it fell down on one side, exposing Cara's full breast. They didn't move for a few moment, curious to see if Nicholas figured it out by himself. As nothing happened, Kahlan leaned forwards and ran her thumb over Nicholas lips, and placed her other hand beneath his head, on top of Cara's, and guided his head. He latched on without further fussing. As Kahlan pulled back her hand, her knuckles brushed Cara's breast.
«How does it feel?» She asked in wonder.
Cara considered for a moment, «Weird, but good. It's a relief.»
Kahlan hummed in response, «I love you so very much Cara.»
Cara took a hold of Kahlan's hand and kissed it several times, while holding Nicholas to her with the other, «And I love you Kahlan, more than any words can describe.» Cara said with such finality that Kahlan found it hard to believe that a few years ago, Cara wouldn't have uttered such words out loud to anyone.
A while later, Cara had fallen asleep, her head resting against Kahlan's shoulder. Nicholas too was sleeping as he lay nestled in the crook of Cara's arm. Kahlan watched them in awe and wonder, the woman and son she loved more than life itself.
I hope you enjoyed the story! Please let me know what you think!