"Richard?" she stepped behind him as he stood in the doorway. "I should have protected her." she looked around him, taking in the sight. Blood splattered on the wall, soaking the sheets and floors, her mouth fell open as she moved in with him. "We didn't kill these." he turned towards her, "Kahlan did." she smiled at his words, happy that Kahlan had taken a few of her attackers down. Richard turned towards the bed; the sheets were ruffled and hanging over the bed. He was suddenly filled with heartache. "Memories flooding back?" They turned toward the door; Cara stepped towards her with her agiels. "Cara wait." she stopped at his word, inches from the other blonde. "We shared some memorable time in that bed." she said looking at Richard. Cara turned towards him, her mouth open in shock, an eyebrow cocked as she waited for him to say something.

"It's not what you think." "It's exactly what she thinks." he looked at her, his eyes hardening, "What? Didn't you enjoy it?" he was confused by her change, "I thought you were pleased." Cara stared at him, trying to understand what was happening. "I only did it to save Kahlan!" "You and this woman-" "It's not what you think, Cara." he tried to assure her."I did something. Something I can never take back." sliding his fingers through his hair, he let out a soft cry that shocked her. "I hurt her. I didn't think she would see. I never wanted her to see." "You were with another woman." she half laughed, he looked over to Abby and then back to Cara, "I thought I had to-" "I told you that your needs would become greater." she said with a smirk, "I didn't have a choice." she shook her head, looking past him to the bed, "You had a choice. She is unable to please you, so you found someone who could." he stared blankly at her, wishing she understood.

"I didn't think she would come in and-" "She walked in on you two?" He met her eyes; she was shocked by his words. "Cara, I never thought they would walk in." "Yes you did." they both turned towards the door, Abby, leaning against the door frame. "He told you, he was going to be sure we completed his order. How else could be possibly be sure?" Cara walked towards her, studying her, "This is the woman you had to fondle?" she asked, her agiels clenched tightly in her hands. "You could have stopped it. Stopped me." she stared at Richard, a small smile on her lips, "We could have sat quietly, but you didn't have a problem flipping me over." Cara's mouth fell open as she turned towards him, he stared at her, "I didn't mean to hurt her." "Of course not; you only did the one thing she's wanted to do with you with someone else. But you didn't want to hurt her." she retorted pushing past Abby and walking down the hall. "We need to find him."

"Cara, wait!" he called as he pushed past the blonde and ran after Cara. "It's not how it sounds." she shook her head, "It's exactly how it sounds." she turned towards him, "You probably shattered her heart, and she was already unbearable to be around and you just made it worse." he grabbed her arm, pulling her to a stop, "Listen to me!" she turned towards him, looking him in the eye "It doesn't concern me. You will have to deal with her." He sighed, running his fingers through his hair, "It was the only option I had to protect her." She could see the pain in his eyes as he spoke, finding herself feeling sorry for him.

"You know, if you want to save your Confessor, you should leave now." she was standing beside Cara, her eyes focused in him. "He really wants to keep her." Suppressing the growl that rose within him, he looked at the woman, "When did he leave?" she smiled widely "Right after you left. He and several of his men followed you." his heart stopped, the thought of him getting to Kahlan before Zedd had healed her, before she was able to defend herself, was terrifying. He gripped his sword tightly as he took off in a run, pushing himself as fast and hard as he could to get to her. "Where do you think you are going?" Cara asked grabbing Abby's arm and pulling her to a stop and keeping her from following after Richard. "I'm going with you and The Seeker." "No. You are not going anywhere with us. You are going to stay away from him and The Mother Confessor." her hold on her arm tightened, making her point. "I do not have anywhere else to go." she stated looking at the Mord-Sith. "You are not coming with us." her cold eyes pierced through Abby's sending a wave of fear throughout her body. "Very well." she watched as Cara ran after him, never turning back to be sure if she was followed.

The sword, ready for battle, was clenched tightly in his hands as he pushed through the last of the brush, coming into the clearing. Prince Hayden held an unconscious Kahlan to him, her back against his chest, a knife to her throat and a hand sliding slowly over her stomach, Zedd's body laid lifeless on the ground before him. "Let her go!" Richard shouted, stepping closer, he watched Kahlan, waiting for her to look at him. She didn't move. "Stay there Seeker. Come any closer and I will kill your beautiful Confessor." he smiled, his hand moving to her breast, Richard gritted his teeth together. "Let her go." he took another step closer, Hayden pressed the knife closer to her neck, drawing blood. "I warn you Seeker." he froze, his heart pounding as he watched the blood drip down her neck, staining her shirt.

Cara stopped just short of the clearing, hearing Richard's straining voice, "I won't let you kill her." she moved quickly, moving towards the unfamiliar voice, she pushed through the trees, moving slowly, quietly, until they came into view. "You can't stop me. You make one move and she's dead, though it appears she will die without my help." Richard felt his heart stop as Cara was pushed through the brush behind the prince, "Found the Mord-Sith sir." a large man said as he stepped over her. "Where are the others?" Hayden asked, his eyes never leaving Richards. "She's killed them." the man replied softly. "Kill her."

"No!" Richard shouted as the large mans sword penetrated the red leather. The prince laughed as Richard walked forward "You should have stayed still." The Prince's knife slid slowly across her neck, cutting deeply. He watched as her body fell to the ground, "No!" Richard shouted as he moved towards him, "I will kill you!" "Not before we kill you." he cried out in pain as the large mans sword slid through his skin, he turned around, running the man through before falling to the ground beside Kahlan. Richard could hear the prince's laugh as he gripped her hand "I'm so sorry." he whispered as his eyes slid shut.

**********************************

His eyes flew open as he sprung forward, trying to catch his breath, the sun's rays beaming down on him. Immediately, he looked around, finding Kahlan staring at him. "Richard!" she half shouted as she threw her arms around him. "I was so afraid." she added into his neck. "I lost you." he whispered into her hair, "I'm right here. Richard." he shook his head quickly, his hold on her tightened as she tried to pull back, "What they did to you... I'm so sorry, Kahlan, I should have protected you." she pushed against his chest, pulling back enough to look at him.

"What are you talking about? I'm fine. See?" she paused for a moment as he looked over her, his breathing beginning to slow back to normal as she gently pressed her hands to his cheek, lifting his face to hers, "I'm fine." she said softly, her eyes penetrating his, trying to push the truth into him. She could see the fear in his eyes, the pain his dream had caused. Pulling him to her, she hugged him, trying to give him what comfort she could. "How long was I...?" "Three days." she said with some relief, "I was so afraid I had lost you." she whispered softly, a tear slowly rolling down her cheek. "I watched you die." he said as she looked up at him, "I couldn't protect you. I tried, Kahlan." she grabbed his face, "I'm fine. It wasn't real. I'm right here." he nodded slowly, looking down at the ground. "Tell me what happened?" she asked softly as Zedd stood and walked over to them.

He finished as the sun began to set, leaving Kahlan speechless from the details he provided. They sat in silence for a few moments as they all took in what he had dreamed. Cara had been disappointed to learn she had died so easily and Richard was sure that Kahlan hadn't heard much after their first capture. Her face was pale and he couldn't tell if she was breathing. "Kahlan?" she looked up, meeting his eyes, "I'm sorry." she smiled softly at his words, "It was just a dream. You have nothing to be sorry for." "She's right, it was just a dream." Zedd said squeezing his shoulder reassuringly. He couldn't take his eyes off of her; she stared at the ground as she clicked her fingernails together. "Kahlan?" she looked back up quickly, trying to smile, "I'm sorry. I was just thinking." Standing, Zedd rubbed his belly, "Cara, let's go find some food." he said walking off, knowing that she would be right behind him.

The look on her face changed as she turned her body towards him, "We all died." she said softly, "We didn't complete the quest, we didn't defeat The Keeper." he watched her as she spoke, she hid nothing from him "Richard, what if you are right. This is some sort of warning and we are all going to die." Shaking his head, he pulled her to him, "I am not going to let that happen. Kahlan, we will defeat The Keeper. And I will not lose you." "I am not worried for my life. I am worried about everyone else's." she replied softly, bringing a smile to his lips. "That's one of the many things I love about you." pulling back, she looked into his eyes, seeing the passion building within them. She wanted so badly to kiss him, push him to the ground and show him how much she longed for him. She hated how much she loved him. She could never have him. Never give him what he deserved. She wanted so badly to take him without hurting him.

"You won't hurt me." he said as though she had written her thoughts out for him. She attempted a smile, "I wish that were true." his hand gently cupped her cheek, his thumb wiping the tears she hadn't realized were falling. She blinked quickly, trying to hide them; his hand on her face was making her control dissipate. "I know it to be true. I already love you more than anything. There is nothing your power can take from me, that I wouldn't give to you willingly." he smiled widely, "I know you won't confess me." she smiled, her heart pounding as he leaned forward, his lips lightly touching hers. That was all it took, she wrapped her arms around his neck, her fingers entangled themselves in his hair, pulling him closer. All of her fears melting into his embrace; freeing her to make love to the man she loved more than anything.

**********************************

Her eyes opened slowly, her head rested on his chest, her arm draped over his chest. His left arm wrapped tightly around her, his fingers slowly tracing circles on her side. "Good morning." he said with a smile, "How'd you know I was awake?" she asked softly, her hand sliding over his chest, her leg moving over his, exciting a moan from him. "I can feel your heart pounding." she closed her eyes, "You were afraid I was gone." he said with a smile, "I told you, you couldn't confess me." her laugh sent his heart into a frenzy. "I don't know how it's possible." moving over him, she pressed her lips against his.

"We left you alone all night. Now get up!" Kahlan laughed at the Mord-Sith's tone before lifting herself from him and reaching for her clothes. "Dress quickly and stay away from each other until you are dressed. We don't have time to waste." she added as she walked off through the brush. "Do you see my corset?" she asked softly looking around. "Here." she turned towards him, reaching out for it, "It would be easier if you didn't wear it." he said with a seductive smile, making her laugh. "It would be easier." she smiled widely, "I'd feel naked without it." his smile widened as he moved behind her, helping her tie up her corset. "Zedd should alter it. Make it easier to remove..." turning her head, she pressed her lips to his neck. "You should get dressed before Cara comes back and makes you walk through the town like that." he laughed lightly, running his hands across her stomach, "I'll take my chances."

"The Mother Confessor is right!" Cara shouted through the trees. "I am sure all the woman of the town would be more than pleased to see you walking through town naked." The smile on Kahlan's face widened as Richard took a deep breath and began to dress himself. "Tonight, we ask Zedd to keep her busy." he said as he laced his pants, "I'm sure even Zedd would find that to be difficult." she replied, taking the hand he offered and walking through the trees. "We will have to make dinner for weeks too, just to get him to go along with it." they laughed loudly as they caught up to their friends.

"We shouldn't stay here long. It isn't safe." Richard said as they entered the town. He took everything in, observing his surroundings. It was exactly the way it was in his dream, only Cara and Zedd were there as well. Kahlan had begun to protest when he insisted she say between him and Cara, but realized it was useless to argue. Every person that walked by was a threat; he memorized every face, searching for the ones that would harm her.

"Kahlan, do you see that man?" he asked softly, leaning closer to her, "The one by the fruit?" he nodded, gripping her hand tightly in his. "He was there. He was one of the ones who..." he lost his words, filled with anger, he pushed Kahlan towards Cara, "Protect her." he said sternly as he pulled away and walked towards the man. "Get the Confessor!" he heard someone shout as he pushed the other man into the wall. He turned slightly, allowing himself to see what was happening. Cara had pushed Kahlan against a wall and stood before her, attacking anyone that came too close to her. Richard recognized them all, his heart pounded as his hold on the man before him tightened. "What do you want with her?" he shouted, his fist slamming into the man's stomach when he didn't answer. "We need her." the man finally replied after Richard had slammed his head into the wall. "Why!" the man laughed at his question "He does not tell us. We are nothing but slaves." He fell to the ground as Richard released his hold.

He turned towards Kahlan, to his shock, the Prince Hayden was walking towards her, a smile on his face, "Kahlan!" he shouted trying to get her to realize she was in danger. She turned just as his arms wrapped around her waist, shocking her for a moment. "You are coming with me, Confessor." he said coldly into her ear. "Never." She replied just as cold as her hand gripped her dagger tightly. She felt like she knew him, knew what he was going to do. Her mind filled with images from Richard's dream, she had to stop him.

He moved towards her, killing any man that got in his way, his eyes strained to remain focused on her. She turned gracefully in his arms, shocking him, her blade sliced smoothly through his skin. She watched as the prince fell to the ground. Stepping away quickly, she moved over to the Mord-Sith. Richard was turned around, the men were coming from all sides, he looked quickly towards Kahlan, she had her back against Cara's as they were surrounded. A man on the roof near them was waiting, his bow pointed for Kahlan, his heart stopped. Quickly, he ran forward, cutting down everyone he could, he pulled her to the ground, using his body to shield hers. He felt it pierce through his back, heard her cry his name, feel fists and legs slam into him, he felt her grip him tightly as they tried to pull her away, then silence.

**********************************

She wouldn't move, her hold on his hand never lessened as she waited. "Isn't there anything more you can do?" she half shouted, half cried. Cara stopped pacing, turned towards the wizard, "I have done all that I can." he replied with deep sadness. "It is up to him now." With a sigh, Kahlan returned her attention to Richard. "You were right." she said softly, brushing the hair from his forehead. "We should never have gone into town." her tears pooled to the ground as she starred at the man she loved. Her heart pounded with the sight of his shirt stained from the blood, his blood. "Stay with me. Please Richard, I can't lose you." her breath warmed his neck as she laid herself next to him, trying to fill the distance between them.

Cara and Zedd watched them in silence for what seemed like days, the sun set and Kahlan never left his side, her arm wrapped under his shoulder, holding herself to him, her head nuzzled into the crook of his neck. Her heart pounded against her chest in fear of losing him, her mind played and replayed the last moments they had shared. Her grip on him tightened as time passed, her fear of losing him growing within her.

"You need to eat something. You're no good to him if you starve to death." Zedd said kneeling down next to Kahlan. "I'm not hungry." she replied softly, her eyes, red from crying, staring out at nothing in particular. "He needs you. Eat." setting a bowl down, he turned and walked away. She could hear him speaking with Cara, hear his concern, feel their eyes on her. She waited a moment before reaching over Richard for the bowl. "Kahlan?" her heart stopped, her body froze, slowly, she looked down, he stared up at her, a small smile across his face. "Richard!" immediately, she wrapped her arms around him, relieved. "Thank the spirits." she whispered into his neck. "What happened?" he asked as she pulled back. Zedd and Cara were now standing next to them. "You saved The Mother Confessor's life." Cara stated as she sat down.

He smiled for a moment, looking at Kahlan, "What happened to the rest of them?" "Cara and Zedd killed most of them." she replied helping him sit forward. "Did they follow you?" he asked looking around quickly, Kahlan grabbed his arm just as he stood, "There was no one left to follow us." Cara said proudly. "It would appear your dream was a warning." Zedd said softly, "I'm not sure what to make of it." he looked down at his confused grandson "How did I dream it? Why?" The wizard sighed as he sat down in front of the others. "I do not know, but you did. And you saved our and Kahlan's life." Richard nodded, turning towards Kahlan, "I don't know what I would do without you." she smiled warmly, taking his hand. "I thought I had lost you." leaning forward, he pressed his forehead to hers, "I would never leave you without a fight." they both looked up as Cara sighed loudly, "Come on Wizard, I can see where this is heading. I do not wish to be within hearing distance." Kahlan couldn't help the laugh that escaped her lips as she watched them head through the trees.

His eyes never left her as she watched Zedd and Cara disappear through the trees, "Are they far enough away?" he asked with a laugh, "Not quite…" her words trailed off as she leaned forward, straining to see if she could still see them. She smiled widely as she turned towards him, reaching up, he pushed the hair from her face as he cupped her cheek. Closing her eyes, she leaned into his touch, "I love you." He whispered, bringing her eyes open "And, I love you." She replied leaning forward and connecting their lips. Pulling her to him, he wrapped his arms around her, needing to feel her against him. She pulled at his shirt, desperately trying to remove it without breaking their kiss. "We'll ask Zedd to alter this too." She laughed as he pulled his shirt over his head. The moment he was free of his shirt, she pressed her lips to his and pushed him back to the ground.