A/N: Not edited, quick. One-shot. Not the best, but something I threw together in Sociology class. Enjoy.
Another day with the Seeker
"Madrone wood," Richard pointed towards a large stump that rested on the forest ground, "best for burning. Lasts the longest, too," he smiled over at Kahlan who walked behind him, listening to his lectures. He'd been going over trails, teaching her how to track as well, showing her the best places to set up a lean-to if need be. His woods guide side of him was kicking in, and he was recounting all the necessary information she would need in case they were ever separated.
Zedd had left them the night before. He had gone off with Cara to a village called Blondin, in search of information for the Stone of Tears leaving Kahlan and Richard alone to follow the ancient compass that was leading their way.
Kahlan smiled at him as he spoke, just happy to be in his presence alone. Though they both new they could never express their love for one another, they still sometimes acted like a couple. Especially Richard. She tried pulling away, tried maintaining her distance, but whenever he looked at her with those big brown eyes of his, she couldn't help herself. There had been a few times where they slipped up and ended up kissing, but it was rare and far between when those slip-ups happened. Kahlan made sure of it.
He picked at the grassy dirt beneath him, "Bucks have been here," he looked up at here, "you can tell. They paw the grass away from a patch of ground to mark their scent as a warning to others. This is his territory," he glanced up and looked around, "this is fresh. He must be nearby." Kahlan knelt down to have a look at the ground. Only an experienced hunter would know what Richard was talking about. Kahlan couldn't see any paw marks. She tucked a strand of hair behind her ear and nodded towards him. He smiled at her and lifted his pack back on to his shoulders as he stood up.
Kahlan stood up next to him and briefly noticed his hand brushed hers when she did. She hadn't realized how close they were to each other. She gave him a small smile and started walking up the trail again, trying to suppress the mighty urge to grasp hold of his hand. He followed after her and walked close beside her.
Kahlan glanced at him from the corner of her eye and couldn't help but smile. His brown locks were constantly getting in his eyes and he was continuously running a hand through his hair to try and push it aside. His face had changed since the first time they had met; showed more maturity. She figured anyone would age tremendously with what he's been through. She silently laughed as he let out a frustrated breath, again pulling a strand of hair from his eyes. He looked at her when he heard the stifled laugh.
"What's so funny?" he asked, not impressed. He stopped walking and turned to face her. She smiled and reached out, brushing a strand of brown hair away from his forehead.
"Perhaps you should just give it a quick trim?" she suggested, an eyebrow rose over a blue eye. Richard nodded in agreement.
"Well, when I find a pair of scissors, I will," he turned and started walking again, "I don't think cutting it with a dagger or sword would work all that well." He claimed. Kahlan smiled.
"Probably not," she said in response, again feeling him close at her side. He always walked close beside her. Even when Zedd and Cara were with them. He never walked this close to anyone else. She knew he was trying to protect her, keep her safe from whatever jumped out at her. She didn't mind. Any closeness and any touch of Richard's she didn't mind at all.
They continued walking until they both decided to stop for lunch. Kahlan's stomach was demanding some form of sustenance and she could hear Richard's grumble as well. They both stopped by a stream to fill their water skins and grab a bite to eat.
As she sat on the grassy field near the stream, Kahlan pulled out her dagger and laid it on the ground next to her so she could cross her legs comfortably. Richard sat in front of her with his legs sprawled out beside hers and placed his sword next to him as well. He handed her a piece of bread and pointed at her dagger, "You know I've never asked you, though I've always wondered…where did you ever learn to fight so well, Kahlan? I've never met a woman who had your skills." He plopped a piece of bread in his mouth as he looked over at her. She looked up from her bread as she picked at it and glanced over to her dagger.
"My father was a General. He was a trained, skilled fighter and was brilliant when it came to battle tactics. He started training me as soon as I could walk; even when my mother died and he took Dennee and me…he still trained us. Said it was for our own good that we knew how to fight. Than, when we were placed with the Sister's of the Light, they started training us as well. All Confessor's are trained, Richard," she looked over at him, "Most people fear us and would rather see us dead." She stated matter-of-factly. Richard's intense gaze never left hers.
"Not everyone," he whispered, his eyes softening. She gave him a small smile and took a quick nibble of her bread.
"No," she sighed, "not everyone I suppose," she absently played with a loose strand of hair as he continued to stare at her.
"I'm glad you're so well-trained," he finally said, breaking the awkward silence, his eyes still never leaving hers. "I don't know how many battles we've won because of you," he smiled a small smile. "Though I must admit, I don't enjoy the fact that you're placed in danger all the time," he admitted.
Kahlan pushed her hair back over her shoulder, "I'm not a mere woman from Hartland, Richard. I can handle myself," she stated, wanting him to know she didn't need to be protected as much as he tried.
He smiled at her, "no you're definitely not," he lifted an eyebrow, "thank the spirits for that." She gave him an odd look.
"What's wrong with the women in Hartland?" she questioned. He finally broke his gaze and looked at his legs lying out in front of him.
"Nothing, I suppose…they just seem boring now that I've met you," his brown eyes came to hers once again, "I've never met a woman like you before; a woman who demands power just by her presence alone. A woman who can fight off fleets of trained soldiers without pause, yet at the same time retain her femininity," he gave her a soft smile, "You're very rare…and not just because you're the last confessor," his smile broadened.
Kahlan shifted uncomfortably, not knowing how to take his compliment. She felt her face heat up slightly and she looked over to the creek to avoid his eyes, "Well, you obviously need to meet more women then," she regretted it as soon as she said it. No, she didn't want him to meet more women. She wanted to be his only woman. He sighed in response and pulled his knees up, wrapping his arms around them.
"Too stubborn to take a compliment?" he playfully said with a silly grin on his face. Kahlan's heart jumped, loving the look he gave to no one but her. She playfully pushed at his arm, making him stumble back. He put his arms out to stop him from falling on his back and laughed at her feistiness.
He sat back up and put a hand on her knee, just resting it there as he picked at some of the tall grass around them. She loved the feel of his warm hand on her and wanted him to do more. She shut her eyes briefly and just pictured him running his big, masculine hands up her legs, underneath her dress. She shivered slightly, thinking about the feeling. She opened her eyes quickly, hoping that he hadn't noticed her shiver. He hadn't; he turned and grabbed his water skin. He took a few swigs of it and handed it to her. She took it gratefully and took a big sip herself.
"So," she smiled up at him, cautiously, not knowing where exactly their boundaries were "I guess Anna wasn't boring to you. She managed to infiltrate one D'Haran soldier and wound him. You were interested in her before…"she trailed off, suddenly embarrassed by even bringing her up. Richard looked her in the eye, his brown ones penetrating hers with their ferocity.
"I was…years ago," he said honestly. "And yes I suppose she did manage to wound a D'Haran soldier," he scratched at his stubble. He looked over at her, "what are you saying, Kahlan? I thought we talked about this before?" he questioned.
Kahlan shifted uncomfortably and really, really regretted bringing this up. She nodded and looked down at her hands, "I know…I'm sorry. I don't know why I brought it up," she whispered, hoping he would leave it alone. She hadn't meant to bring it up again, and didn't know fully why she did. She was about to get up when Richard placed a hand on her arm.
She looked up at him, questioning. He reached up and brushed his finger tips across her cheek. She shut her eyes, enjoying the feel of him caressing her. He slowly ran his hand behind her neck and pulled her to him. She went willingly and their lips connected. It was like a bolt of energy flowed through her every time they kissed. She loved the feeling of his soft lips on hers. She felt his urgency, his passion, his love for her in every kiss they shared. She felt it again as he sat up on his knees in front of her and slowly pushed her down on the grass beneath her so she was lying down. They could barely catch their breaths as they kissed. Her delicate hands ran up and down his back as their kiss intensified. Emotions of love and hurt passed through her but she could do nothing to stop herself. She was committed as was he.
Richard held himself above her with an elbow as the other ran through her hair. Kahlan wrapped her legs around his waist, pulling him even closer to her if that was possible. He broke the embrace finally and placed his forehead against hers, panting from lack of oxygen.
"No more talk of Anna," he again ran the back of his fingers down from her temple to her jaw line. His brown eyes searching her blue ones as he spoke, "I love you, not her. Don't ever forget that." He cupped her face in his hand as he kissed her again, a little more gently this time. When he pulled away again she expected him to move and to get up, but he didn't. He stayed on top of her, enjoying their intimate embrace. His fingers traced her jaw line, her lips, her nose. Their eyes never broke contact and they shared each other's breath. Kahlan lifted her hand up from underneath and put it to the side of his face, pulling him down for another kiss. They kissed for what seemed like hours, cuddling, holding each other, needing each other. There was nothing at all sexual about their needs – simply just being with each other was enough.
Feeling Richard's gentle kisses, sucking in her lower lip through his, allowing his tongue to play with hers, feeling his fingers run through the tangles of her silken hair - Kahlan's heart was pounding. With his full form on top of her, so close to her, almost like a protective barrier from the world around them. She allowed her fingers to play with his hair and pushed the limits as she snaked them underneath his shirt, feeling his sides, his stomach, his muscles. Desire rose in her as she felt his velvety skin underneath her cold fingers. She pulled him tighter to her when her hands rested between his shoulder blades. Richard pulled away from their kiss and tried catching his breath. He kissed her forehead as he whispered to her.
"You have no idea how much I want to make love to you right now," his big hand was cupping her face, his thumb stroking her cheek as he spoke. She shut her eyes in pain, completely understanding his meaning. She knew what she had to do. Richard wouldn't pull away, so she had to. She had to be the strong one.
Kahlan pulled her hands from underneath his shirt and gently pushed him off of her, "we should get going," she stated. He sat back and ran a hand over his face, trying to banish the love and desire. She picked up her dagger and put it back in her boot. She was about to stand up when he caught her wrist in his hand.
"Kahlan," he said to her, pleadingly, "I'm sorry...," he couldn't say anything else. She bit her lip and forced a weak smile. She leaned forward and gave him a quick kiss
"I love you," she whispered, placing a hand on the side of his face. He grasped it and kissed the back of it before letting it go, allowing her to stand once more.
"Love you, too," he whispered and stood up as well. Kahlan idly grabbed her pack and started for the forest again…just another day of falling more and more in love with him, another day of knowing they could never be together, never love each other the way they wanted to… another torturous day with the Seeker.