Richard was leaning against a large boulder playing with a few strands of grass. He was berating himself for his rage against Cara. He hadn't even had the Sword of Truth out to blame his actions. No, the rage was all him. He was fine with Cara chocking him. He was also fine with her hitting him with all her weight. He had expected that from the Mord'Sith.

But, what he hadn't expected from Cara was the use of her agiel. He never even had nightmares of Cara using her agiel against him when she switched loyalty's from Darken unto him. It was the agiel that broke him. It was the agiel that brought on the fear and rage. It was the agiel that made him forget it was Cara whom he was fighting with. The agiel brought back Deanne.

How dare Cara use the agiel on him. She knew what memories it bought back to him. If he had been testing her on anything else then Kahlan; then Cara would never ever use her agiel on him. He should be grateful that Cara thought of Kahlan that much to do that to him. He was grateful that Cara would go to the ends of earth to protect Kahlan. But, he had seen something in her eyes before she put the agiel on his chest the first time.

It was the look of ….

"Boy." His grandfather's voice broke through his thoughts. Lifting his head he met the anger in his grandfather's face. "How is Cara?"

"Do you even care, Richard?" Zedd asked folding his arms across his chest.

"Of course I care, Zedd." Richard said shocked that his grandfather thought he didn't care about his friend. Even through he was the sole cause of this friend's pain. "I know what I did was seriously wrong, Zedd." His tone returned to the young lad's tone – whenever Zedd caught him in a wrong deed. "How is Cara?"

Zedd sighed deeply, "I managed to heal her insides. But her outsides boy, needs much time to heal. You broke every single rib. You crushed her chest in, Richard, her chest. You punched her in the left breast – almost causing the bone to pierce her heart." His eyes glistened with rage. "Kahlan doesn't know the full extent of the damage."

Richard breathed swallow. "Is she going to live?"

"It's up to Cara, Richard. Only Cara can decided weather she wants to live or not." Zedd's jaw tightened. "You are not allowed to go anywhere near Cara."

"I have to protect them." Richard cried out.

"No one will be able to find the girls. I had woven a non existence spell around this place." Zedd replied. "You and I are going to trade the watches. Kahlan is too remain by Cara's side. She won't be any good on watch right now – all her concern is for Cara."

"I'm sorry." Richard whispered with tears rolling down his hot cheeks.

"I know that you are, Richard." Zedd sighed. His jaw tightened as he thought once more of Cara lying on the ground fighting for her life. All due to his grandson's jealously and anger. "Why did you do it?" He whispered.

"Cara is trying to steal Kahlan form me. Kahlan is mine. How dare Cara try to steal Kahlan from me." Richard felt his rage build inside him once more. His eyes felt fiery hot.

"Kahlan was never yous." Zedd said matter of factually.

Richard spun around and screamed at the top of his voice. In rage. In pain. His heart was breaking. Hot tears rolled down his cheeks. His right hand rose and drew the Sword of Truth from it's sheathed, he felt the blade met the air as he spun around. His hand stopped dead – the sword just an inch from Zedd's neck. The sword was glowing a hot white.

Zedd looked into his grandson's eyes and waited.

"You have known me the longest, Zedd. My entire life." Richard seethed through his clenched teeth. "You are my blood. My mother's father. My grandfather. Even if I never knew the truth until recently. As recent as last year. The fact remains, Zedd, that your true loyalties must lie with me."

Zedd remained silent.

"Why would you so willing tear my heart to shards – as if I didn't mean anything to you?" Richard demanded. "Answer me wizard!"

"Your soul mate is still out there Richard, I don't want you to stop searching for her." Zedd said in a calm voice. "The Mother Confessor isn't yours. The Mother Confessor was never yours."

"I'm the damn Seeker! The Midlands are in ruins. Nay, the whole world is in ruins. Whom better to heal it than the Seeker, and the Mother Confessor? Side by side. As man and wife." Richard's hand began to shake a little. "Don't you understand wizard? The world is counting on us. I can't allow a Mord'Sith to destroy all that." His anger rose once more. But the sword refused to follow his will.

"You don't have to be married to Kahlan, Richard, to save the world. You don't have to be Kahlan's lover to do good for the world. That's not required of you." Zedd sighed. "What's required is for the Mother Confessor, and the Seeker to bring peace to a hate filled world. You two can do that as close friends."

"Kahlan never had a real friend." Richard seethed. "Before you say anything, wizard, I know about the Confessors. But come one, the Confessors all were in the same lake here. No one outside of them would be brave enough to come close too them. They only had one and another. The Confessors were family rather than friends."

Tears rolled down his cheeks. He tried his hardest to force the sword forward – but finally gave up. His arms falling to his side. Not one part of the sword touched his grandfather. "Leave me." Richard whispered. "I'll take the first watch."

"I'll be back for my watch." Zedd stepped away from his grandson. "Richard …."

Richard turned firmly away from him. Zedd sighed softly and turned back from where he had come. He needed to check on the young women. His grandson would be all right. He just needed to be alone to nurse his deep wound. Richard will be back too being his Richard in time.

Richard turned his head and watched his grandfather walk back through the trees. "Take better care of them than I ever had, grandfather." He whispered.


Zedd knelt down Cara's left side, the side that Kahlan only claimed with her fingers. He carefully touched her neck checking her pulse. He was all together pleased with what he heard – but he knew it was normal for injuries that her body had taken. His hand gently moved downward to her shoulder blade to the smoothness of her heart.

"Why didn't you tell me the truth, wizard." Kahlan said in a soft steel voice.

Zedd looked deeply into her angry eyes. "Dear One, I didn't want to cause you any more anger. I needed you to remain here by Cara's side. I couldn't have you go after Richard – and take out your anger on him. That wouldn't have helped Cara at all. It won't help Cara even now. She needs you by her side. She needs to actually feel you by her side. She needs your essence as close to her as it can be."

"Don't ever attempt to lie to me ever again." Kahlan breathed as she tried to control her anger. "I need to know that you will tell me the truth, Zedd, no matter how painful it is." Tears rolled down her cheeks, and landed against Cara's bare right shoulder blade. "I need to know that I can trust you with my life."

"You can trust me, Dear One." Zedd softly said as he finished his check on Cara. "The Sword glowed white when I was with Richard."

Kahlan gasped. "Oh Zedd." She whispered. Her fingers left Cara's side and touched Zedd's hand. "I'm sorry."

"Richard will come back too his true self soon enough. I'm sure by the time Cara is healed and ready to move – Richard will be fine." Zedd replied.

"Perhaps this is the true Richard?" Kahlan worried her bottom lip.

"This is Richard's rage speaking, Kahlan. This isn't Richard. The Richard that you first met is the true Richard. He just has to deal with this rage and then he'll be able to be the Seeker that the world needs." Zedd smiled softly. "I'm just sorry that Cara had to be hurt in order for Richard to face his fear of his rage."

"She was protecting me. All she was doing was protecting me." Kahlan whimpered.

"She used her Agiels." Zedd sighed deeply.

Kahlan closed her eyes. "She was protecting me with the only tools that she could actually count on." She opened them and met Zedd's hard but gentle stare. "She should never have used her Agiels against Richard."

"Richard was trying to kill Denna – not Cara. It wasn't until he realized how badly injured Cara was that he was brought back to himself." Zedd replied.

"Next time I met that bitch; I'm going to kill her." Kahlan swore lowly. "I feel that confessing her is too easy."

"It's the only way to make Denna pay for her evilness." Zedd said. "Any other death wouldn't give you, Richard or Cara any peace."

"K-k-ka-hl-an ..." Kahlan and Zedd quickly look down at the blond.

"Cara, I'm here." Kahlan hand left Zedd's and moved to Cara's right cheek. "I'm not going anywhere."

"N-not s-s-sa-f-fe." Tears rolled down Cara's close eye lids.

"I'm safe, Cara. You protected me." Kahlan's head leaned down to met Cara's.

"P-p-prom-ised L-lord R-r-ra-hl to p-p-pro-tect K-k-ka-hl-an. I c-can-'t f-f-fa-il. R-r-r-ich-ard is c-cou-nt-ing o-on m-me." Cara suddenly breathed in sharply and passed out once more.

"Oh Creator." Kahlan cried. Her tears rolling down Cara's right cheek. Her arm around Cara's waist tighten even more. She scooted even closer to Cara to try to protect the fallen Mord'Sith even more than she all ready had.