Title: The Amulet
Characters: Richard / Kahlan / Zedd
Rating: PG-13 / T
Timeline: Sequel to "The Confession"
Story Type: Adventure / Drama / Romance
Summary: Sequel to my story "The Confession", Richard, Kahlan, and Zedd pursue new information regarding Darken Rahl that leads them into something bigger than any of them could possibly have imagined. Reading my other story "The Confession" not an absolute must, but it would definitely help you out.
Richard stood for a moment taking in the breath-taking beauty of the landscape that spread itself out before him. He had not seen anything like it since leaving Hartland. He had seen many remarkable places all over the Midlands, but nothing compared to this. It almost made him homesick, but not enough to make him want to return there just yet; at least, not without Kahlan.
The sparkling blue lake lay nestled in the valley of the Emerson Hills. The hills themselves seemed as if they rose up from the lake like protective arms, cradling the water. Enormous thick clumps of trees spotted the hills, adding to the vastness of the expanse before him. The hills gently sloped and curved creating valleys and ravines here and there.
Kahlan had told him the hills were named after Edwin Emerson. He had settled there a thousand years before, developing the town that still bore his name and that lay on the other side of those vast hills.
As he stood mesmerized by the scenic view before him, arms suddenly snaked around his waist, prodding him out of his trance. Without even turning to look, Richard knew the arms that embraced him from behind. He knew her scent, her touch, her presence. As she rested her chin on his shoulder, her long dark tresses tickled his ear, but he was not about to pull away. A hundred war wizards couldn't make him move away from her or that spot at this moment.
"A kiss for your thoughts," Kahlan murmured in his ear.
A smile spread across his face at the sound of her voice, her breath caressing his ear. Placing his arms across hers to keep them firmly in place around his waist, he replied, "Oh, just taking in the beauty of this place, thanking the spirits that you're safe again…glad that Zedd is still asleep and hopefully won't interrupt us again this time."
A soft giggle escaped her lips at Richard's teasing of their old friend. "Three can be a crowd sometimes, I guess."
"Sometimes?!" Richard exclaimed as he turned in her arms, no longer able to stand not looking into her clear blue eyes. He preferred to take in the beauty that was his Confessor, beauty that was more breath-taking than the landscape. He gently caressed her cheek with his thumb, her face still displaying the unsightly yellow-green remnants that were lingering reminders of her attack.
Many of the physical signs of her abduction and torture such as her cuts had healed and the bruises were slowly vanishing. Even the remains of her bruises couldn't distract from her startling beauty, though, Richard determined.
She had refused to let Zedd erase the marks those wicked men had left on her once his powers had been restored, preferring rather to let them heal on their own. Seeing how he had healed her life-threatening injuries and the majority of her pain had eased, Zedd relented to let her be.
Richard, on the other hand, had a difficult time accepting why she wouldn't want Zedd to just erase every single trace of what she had endured, including the memories. For him, it was a glaring reminder of how he had failed her, failed to protect her from their vile hands.
Kahlan had said that she wanted to heal on her own, deal with all of it in her own time and in her own way. While she was shaken to the core over what those wretched animals had done to her, she also didn't want to so easily forget the gravity of her duties and the lives that were affected by her decisions.
Richard, wanting nothing more than for his Kahlan to be completely healed, had tried to reason with her only to end up arguing. It pained him deeply to see the turmoil and the horrors of what she had endured displayed on her body and face.
In the end, Zedd had to pull Richard aside to quell his building frustration and confusion over her decision. He had eventually relented, but only after finally recognizing he was adding to her anguish by not respecting her wishes. He couldn't bear to be the cause of her pain.
And now, peering into her bright blue eyes, Richard stood in awe of her strength and determination. She refused to let those two men have any victory over her and instead embraced it as an opportunity to become even stronger because of it.
"I'm not interrupting anything, I hope," Zedd called out from a distance as he approached the couple.
Resting his forehead against hers, Richard and Kahlan heaved a collective sigh as they reluctantly resigned themselves to the fact their intimate moment had just come to an abrupt halt.
"You still owe me a 'lesson', Seeker," Kahlan enticingly whispered, reminding him of their combat lesson that had rapidly grown into something much more before being interrupted by Zedd then too.
"Oh, I have definitely not forgotten that," he answered breathlessly as he pressed a quick kiss to her forehead.
Unwillingly, Richard released his hold on Kahlan as they both turned to face the approaching Wizard. Richard attempted to focus his attention on Zedd, but found it profoundly difficult, though, with Kahlan standing so close beside him, her hand massaging his back and moving ever lower until it came to rest on his backside. Giving it a few pats, she cast a seductive smile his way, causing him to blush.
"You are a bad girl," he murmured as his mind began to swim with need, a devilish smile spreading across his own features.
"You have no idea…hopefully someday you'll be lucky enough to find out."
Desire clouded his dark eyes and his breath hitched as he tried to speak, words failing him as he attempted to rein in the longing that was beginning to stir inside him.
Finally, Richard replied, "I swear on my life we will be together someday soon."
"I sure hope so because I don't know how much longer I can last," she whispered fervently, causing Richard to release a low moan.
"Keep it up and I'll take you right here," Richard warned, voice heavy with desire.
Kahlan could tell by the look in his eye and on his face that she had pushed him as far as she dare. It was just so unbearable to be this close to him and not have him. She so desperately wanted to show him what she felt, what she dreamed about him at night. It was so difficult to keep it all bundled up inside. Why did love have to be so complicated for them?
"There you two are; I've been looking for you," Zedd said, breathless from the hike up the hill from their camp.
As he approached, Zedd looked from Seeker to Confessor, taking in the rosy color of their cheeks, unable to hide the mischievous smiles plastered on their faces.
Keeping these two apart was growing more and more difficult by the day. Zedd just prayed to the good spirits that when they finally figured it out, Richard's love would be able to prove true in the face of Kahlan's powers. Deep down, he was confident it would.
"We should get going soon; it's still at least another day of travel over those hills before we reach Emerson," Zedd informed them as he turned to head back to camp. They had the name of another resistance cell leader who might be able to provide further information about Darken Rahl's plans and he wanted to get there as soon as possible.
Kahlan and Richard lingered behind, not really wanting to leave just yet.
"Are you coming?" Zedd finally called out at them over his shoulder.
"Yes, we're coming," Richard sighed with much dismay as he and Kahlan began following the Wizard. It would have been a beautiful place to spend time alone with Kahlan, Richard thought to himself.
"Those two, I swear!" Zedd mumbled under his breath, a smile touching the corners of his mouth. He remembered what it was like to be in love, to not be able to get enough of the one you loved.
Emerson was a town that rested in a valley in the midst of the Emerson Hills. Settled a thousand years before, it had steadily grown from a little village into the thriving town that it now was. Known for its rich supply of balsam trees, it was a source of lumber for many surrounding communities. But also, unbeknownst to many, it was rumored to be the hiding place of the Amulet of Eelum.
Rumored to be hidden somewhere in the caves of the Emerson Hills, the Amulet of Eelum was said to contain great magical powers, powers that were rumored to rival that of the Boxes of Orden. In the wrong hands, the owner of the Amulet possessed deadly power…
*Well, there's the beginning! Hope you all enjoyed it. Reviews and constructive criticism appreciated! :)