Chapter 9

Still holding Kahlan in his arms, Richard looked up to see Cara and her sisters enter the room. She walked to stand next to the lifeless Lord Rahl lying in a pool of his own blood. Richard wasn't sure, but he thought he saw the hint of a smile cross her lips. Cara's leather creaked as she bent down over the body. She pulled open a pouch tied to his belt and pulled out the key to a rada' han. She had known her master well.

"What of Rahl's inner circle?" he asked her.

"My sisters and I have seen to them already, Seeker." She handed the key to Richard. "This would be the key for her collar. Now that you are both free, where will you go?"

He took the key from her hand and freed Kahlan from the device. "What do you mean 'where will we go'? We're going to put the boxes together."

Cara explained she didn't see the need, Rahl was dead. They hadn't lost much of their own time before being sent back from the future. Why risk it when they might not defeat Rahl a second time?

"I don't want what's happened here to be part Kahlan's life. If we go back to before this began, it will be erased, because it won't have happened. And, my dear friend and grandfather is now dead. We need to go back to before that happened."

"But we don't know what went wrong, Seeker, how will you know what to do this time?"

Kahlan loosened her grip on Richard, "Shota is here. She's in the dungeon. Perhaps she can help us." Richard stood and helped Kahlan from the bed. The group set off to find the witch woman.

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Shota told them the magic of orden, Agiel and confession had to all be done at precisely the right time. She thought perhaps the Seeker's timing had been off the night Nicholas came to him. He must not have put the boxes together at exactly the right moment, sending them to an alternate past from the one they'd left. Shota would be with them this time to help guide them.

They were here now at the circle of stones, the full moon high in the sky. Richard and Kahlan stood off away from the group, talking in private. Shota watched the stars and the moon, Cara and her sisters watched Shota.

Seeing the stars alignment, Shota spoke up, "It will be soon now, Seeker. Be ready."

Richard took Kahlan's hands in his and pulled her close to him. "With any luck, you won't remember any of what happened here."

"But why will you remember Richard?"

Shota seems to think it has something to do with the fact that I went into the future first, then came back here to this time. You never actually left our time. You lived it as it happened. We're going back now to fix it."

Kahlan thought back to the day by the pools of hot springs. "Is there no way for me to remember any of it?"

He seemed to know what she thinking. His hand stroked down the length of her hair, "I'm afraid not."

Sadness came over her face. She touched her hand to his cheek and leaned in for a tender kiss. He pulled her tight, knowing things would soon change. As he held her she whispered into his ear "Thank you for coming for me, for rescuing me from Rahl." She pulled back so she could look into his face, she spoke softly, "I love you Richard Cypher. I'm sorry I won't remember telling you this. But, at least you will remember." He sunk his fingers deep into her hair, his hands holding her tightly, "I love you Kahlan, more than life itself." He pulled her to him in a warm kiss. Kahlan was breathless when his lips at last left hers. She smiled up at him. "Perhaps one day you'll remind me."

He smiled back, "Of that, you can be sure."

The End