There was a hand on her shoulder. Richards' hand. Excitedly pointing out some rare bird only his woods guides' eyes could have spotted, Richard had unconsciously put his hand on her shoulder.

He did it so thoughtlessly, so naturally, as if there was nothing strange about touching a Confessor. Kahlan tried to pay attention to Richards' teachings on the patterns on the winter coat of a Southern Wood Sparrow. It was very pretty, but Kahlan admitted Richard could have been talking about snails and she would have enjoyed listening to him.

He was completely taken by what he was talking about, and Kahlan found it impossibly endearing. Richard went on with his story, now using his both his hands to emphasize his words. The place where he had touched her tingled. Kahlan couldn't quite remove the smile from her face as she watched Richard.

A while later, Richard had left them behind a bit with an enthusiastic pace that Zedd and Kahlan wisely chose not to try to keep up with. They were walking in silence. Kahlan was smiling a little, the same half-smile as before, Zedd noticed. She looked up at him, and he opened his mouth, but Kahlan cut him off. She wasn't smiling anymore. "Don't." She saw his face and continued. "I know what you're going to say."