Summary: Richard goes in search of an evil sorceress becoming her captive. It's up to (a pregnant) Kahlan to save him. This is a continuation of my story "The Awakening". I don't think you don't need to have read that story first. I tried to explain where necessary…but if you feel a little lost, you might want to read that one for background.
Richard goes in search of an evil sorceress becoming her captive. It's up to (a pregnant) Kahlan to save him. This is a continuation of my story "The Awakening". I don't think you don't need to have read that story first. I tried to explain where necessary…but if you feel a little lost, you might want to read that one for background.Chapter 1
"You doing okay?" Richard asked her as he pulled his cloak tighter around her to ward off the evening chill. Kahlan nodded, leaning into him. She was thankful for the warmth of his cloak and to be in her own clothes again. The sororal women who had held her captive for almost a month had forced her to not only leave her things behind, but to wear one of their prayer dresses made of the sheerest gossamer. Richard had brought her travelling clothes for her, knowing she would want them once he'd found her.
She whispered in his ear, "Tell me Richard."
"I love you Kahlan." It was a simple gesture they had taken to recently. Whenever one felt the need all they had to say was 'tell me'. The other would comply with their words of love. Just a few small words really, but it helped give them strength when they needed it.
They were still making their way back to Holly Mead, the town where Martha and Rachel now lived. The nights were getting quite cool and Richard had wrapped his cloak around her to keep her warm. It felt good to be with him again. Married barely a day when she was taken, she couldn't wait to get back to town and just be with him. She felt an inner chill at the thought of the descendants spell that Giller and the sororal woman, Reetha, had implanted in her quite some time ago. She had since learned that this spell worked as a beacon, so that whoever created it, as Giller and Reetha had done, would be able to find her. She learned that it lay dormant in her for all this time only to be awakened when she conceived a child.
She smiled at the thought. She and Richard now knew that they had conceived a child.
"Is that smile for me?" he asked still standing in front of her with his hands on her collar. He could see her thoughts had taken her away.
"In a way, yes. I was just reminding myself that we're going to have a baby."
"That does bring a smile to the face now doesn't it?" He shared one with her now.
Richard wrapped his arms around her when the memories of what had happened back near the temple sent a cold shiver through him. He couldn't bear to think of it and pushed the thoughts from his mind.
"Are you able to ride more today? We could make camp…unless you would rather we head for home." Richard was concerned about her and didn't want to push her too hard. After all she had already been through, the last two weeks of riding had been difficult. It had rained almost everyday, making their journey slow and uncomfortable. Kahlan insisted she was fine, though he knew it was more difficult for her than usual.
"Home? Where's that?" she asked.
"We need a place to settle, at least until the baby's born. I was thinking maybe near Holly Meade. I thought you'd like being close to Martha and Rachel. I know they would enjoy it."
"I'd like that Richard." She let out a sigh. "You're right, let's set-up camp for the night. I think I've had enough riding for today."
He kissed her forehead. "Why don't you water the horses in the stream. Zedd and I will take care of setting camp."
Kahlan was happy for the sunny morning. The rain finally seemed to be gone and the air was cool and clear. It looked like it would be a warm day once the sun fully rose. She rode along side Zedd. They hadn't seen Richard for a while now. He'd been riding in wide sweeps around them, keeping watch for Reetha. Zedd had warned she would be back. As long as Kahlan carried the child within her, the beacon of the descendants spell would show Reetha exactly where to find her. This struck fear in Richard's core, pushing him to stay vigilant in his watch.
From atop her horse, Kahlan spoke to Zedd as they made their way through the sun dappled forest. "I'm glad you did what you did, Zedd. But I am a little surprised."
"I surprised the Mother Confessor? How is that?"
She looked at him from the corner of her eye. He knew full well what she meant. "Bringing me back. I know the code the Wizard's follow. Using the grace the way you did…to bring me back…goes against it. It goes against the way of nature."
He gave her a thin smile. "Richard made it quite clear he didn't care to hear about the code. He'd just lost his wife: the last living Confessor, and the child she carried." He paused, recalling that dreadful, desperate scene. "He let me know the Seeker would be lost as well." He let out a deep sigh at the memory of all that had taken place. "Richard opened my eyes. He showed me there was nothing natural about what happened." He smiled affectionately at her. "I'm glad he did child. I'm glad he did."
It hurt Kahlan's heart to hear that Richard would have ended his life as well. Yet she knew she would feel no differently if it had been he who was lost to her…they loved each other desperately, that was certain.
Having arrived back at Martha's inn, Richard and Zedd sat down to a meal while Kahlan rested in the room she and Richard had shared on their wedding night. Richard brought the conversation around to what weighed heavily on his mind. "Zedd, I'm going after Reetha."
Zedd sat back, a serious look on his face. "You don't need to go after her, Richard. She will come."
"I know, Zedd, but when? She might come tomorrow, she might come 2 months from now or 7 months from now…we can't just sit here waiting for her. Kahlan's going to have a baby. I don't want her constantly looking over her shoulder, wondering when she'll strike. One day, Reetha will come; for Kahlan and for our child. I'm going to go to her before she has that chance. She's a serious threat, one I intend to remove." Richard's countenance was deadly serious.
Zedd could see he wouldn't be able to change his mind but pushed further, "And if she comes while you're away? What then Richard?"
"You'll be here. I trust you to watch over her while I'm gone."
"Richard, that's suicide. She's a sorceress. If you go on your own she'll cut you down in an instant with her magic. Besides, I know their temples, where to look for her."
"You can't come with me. I'll not leave Kahlan here alone." His decision was made. He would not leave her without protection.
Richard slipped quietly into their room not wanting to wake Kahlan. On this moonless night the room was pitch black. Groping his way in the dark, he pulled off his boots and his shirt and lay on the bed.
He pulled himself up to Kahlan's back, needing to feel her warmth against him and slipped his arms around her, his hands settling low on her belly, knowing their child rested there. He nestled his face in her hair. He hated to think of leaving her already.
Kahlan, was awake and rolled in his arms to face him. She put a hand to his chest. "I've been waiting for you" she said quietly. "I thought you'd forgotten about me."
He pulled her closer. "Not a chance Kahlan." He gave her a deep kiss, one she returned fully.
"That's better" she murmured.
He knew she wouldn't like his plan and didn't want to share it with her now, now that they were finally together again and alone. All he wanted was to lie in her arms and feel her warm body against his. When he told her he would be leaving come morning he feared her discontent…
"Richard you can't be serious. We're only just together again. It's dangerous! You can't go alone." So many reasons against his plan filled her mind, yet she knew he would go. She knew he had to. But she didn't want him going alone. It was far too dangerous for him.
"It's more of a danger for all of us if I don't. I have to go Kahlan. I want Zedd here with you. I have to go alone."
Kahlan thought for a moment. "Chase isn't too far away, please Richard, send for him. He can stay here with me and you can take Zedd with you. You need Zedd's magic against her and he'll know where to look for her."
"Have you been talking to Zedd? He said the same thing about coming with me, about needing his magic." He paused giving it thought. It did make more sense and he would trust Chase with his life. He would have to trust him with Kahlan's as well.
He put his face close to hers, glad to get the matter behind them, "Okay. I'll send for him in the morning. Zedd and I will go as soon as he get's here."
She kissed him, relief filling her heart at his words. She didn't like the idea of him going, but knew he must. At least he would have Zedd by his side.
Lying on his back, Richard held her face close to his, her brow resting against his. In the darkness he couldn't see her. But he could feel her, and that sent his heart beating wildly. "Tell me Kahlan" he whispered.
She whispered back "I love you Richard."
He gripped her tighter. "I'm sorry I'll be leaving you before we've really had a chance to be together."
She slid her hands up his chest, wrapping her arms around his neck, clasping her fingers in his hair. "We can be together now..." She kissed him; deep and sensuous. Still on his back, Richard kept firmly to the bed as Kahlan's kiss traveled along his throat to his chest, her tongue caressing him as she kissed down to his firm stomach. Richard's breathing was ragged with desire. It was so dark he couldn't see her though she was right before him. Her lips on his skin sent fire through his veins. Her presence so overwhelmed him, he lost all sense of being. She seemed a shadow in the darkness as she roamed his body; feeling him, tasting him, urging him. She was like a whisper in the night come to make love to him; he surrendered to her fully.