And here is the long-awaited (okay, maybe not) sequel: Darken's feelings during Reckoning.


Lord Rahl

Darken has never been happier. Nicholas is all he could have hoped for and more—a bright child, whose inquisitive nature reminds Darken of his own childhood. Unlike his father, Panis Rahl, he listens—encourages that spark of genius in his son.

Part of him wonders if he should have delayed fatherhood so long. His son with Cara—would it have been like this with him?

But he won't think of her. Part of him will always love Cara, but she would not be half the Queen Kahlan is.

And Kahlan was born to be Queen; that Darken is certain of.

He walks with Nicholas in the garden, patient, educating…and he drags Kahlan along.

Nicholas doesn't look much like either of them; he has golden hair, a few shades darker than Darken's own father's. Sometimes, Darken pretends he has Cara's hair.

Of course, he has Kahlan's eyes.

Darken doesn't see himself in the boy at all—thank the Creator, he says devoutly when no one is listening. The last thing he needs is a child with his own inexplicable, unwanted bond with the Keeper.

Kahlan is a joy. Matching wits with her makes Darken feel more alive than he would've dreamed possible.

And someday, Darken is sure, she will give in, and be his wife—in every way—again. How not, when she sees the fruit of their love, Nicholas, Master of his heart? With Kahlan, he would gladly give Nicholas brothers and sisters. Maybe they would be spared his own curse regarding siblings.

Nicholas runs ahead and then back again, clutching Darken's hand and a bundle of Kahlan's skirt. He'll wrinkle it, Darken notes absently, thinking Kahlan's wardrobe costs are quickly rivaling his own and feeling obscurely proud.

"We are the best family in the world!" Nicholas shouts.

Darken looks at Kahlan, thinking how right his son is. With the threat of Richard gone, his doom has been lifted. And Kahlan is his wife.

His eyes soften as he looks at her—she is so beautiful, and strong enough to match him—and, in that moment, he thinks he loves her.

He is resting on his bed of laurels, and what he wouldn't give for Kahlan to rest there with him.

Darken has everything. He's too happy even to gloat.