Title: Torn
Fandom: Legend of the Seeker
Pairing: Cara/Kahlan
Rating: NC-17
Disclaimer: I do not own Legend of the Seeker in any way, shape, or form. It belongs to ABC Disney. This is strickly for creative purposes and not for profit.
Warnings: Uhm, femslash. That's about it
Summary: There is a deep dark desire within Kahlan that not even the Mother Confessor can escape.
Spoilers: Torn, kind of but not really
A/N: Ok so this has been in my head since I first saw Torn and Sir Kahlan was all like 'there's no way in hell you're going to rock my world but I appreciate the enthusiam' to Prince Fyren. It at first started out as a one shot but now it's part of an even grander scheme which I am working diligently on. So now it is a prequel. I also couldn't help noticing that I may be unintentionally fulfilling a few prompts throughout my whole 'grand scheme'. All I have to say to that is, Awesome. ^_^
A/N2: P.S., while I suck HORRIDLY at titling my stories, I did intentionally name this 'Torn' for reasons other than lack of creativity, :)


"That was foolish Cara, one touch from me could kill you!" The Mother Confessor said as her dagger blocked Cara's agiel. She grunted in pain when Cara kicked her leg out from under her. As Cara restricted her right hand, she reached her left up for Cara's neck. She caught movement out of the corner of her eyes as Cara tried to stop her with her agiel but it was too late.

Her hand firmly around Cara's throat, the Mother Confessor could feel her power surging at the possibility of being released. The magic was coursing through her entire body and pounded in her ears like a loud crack of thunder. She didn't release it though, just simply made Cara aware that one wrong move would be her last. They locked eyes as she got to her feet, Cara not moving an inch, to defend herself or to surrender her hold on the Mother Confessor.

"Cara!" Richard called out when he saw what was happening.

"Unless you want to watch your Mord'Sith die, you will drop your weapons. Both of you." The Mother Confessor said, her eyes never leaving Cara's.

"I would die for Richard, he knows that." Cara responded, meeting the Mother Confessor's challenge.

The Mother Confessor smirked knowingly.

"Yes, but will he let you?" She asked, finally breaking their gaze to look at Richard.

Richard looked from The Mother Confessor to the confessed Kahlan and then to Cara, who was ready to die for him with pride.

"Drop your weapons." He said finally.

Cara whipped her head around to stare at him in disbelief.

"Do it." He ordered, slowly placing his own sword on the ground.

Cara turned back to the Mother Confessor who was watching her intently, daring her to defy her or Richard. Instead Cara released her and dropped her agiels.

The Mother Confessor's smile was triumphant.

"Seize them." She said as she looked at her compassionate and now confessed self. "All of them."

"You should have let her kill me." Cara said impatiently as she paced their cell.

"And what would that have accomplished?" Richard asked as he watched her.

"You could have escaped." Cara stated as if it were fairly obvious.

"Leaving you dead, Zedd to be executed, and Kahlan," he paused to glance at 'Kahlan,' who had thought for no one else but her mistress since being confessed. "And leaving Kahlan incomplete."

"Yes but you would be free to find the stone of tears and defeat the Keeper." Cara argued.

"The seeker needs his wizard, his confessor, and his mord'sith." He responded, smiling confidently when Cara rolled her eyes in his direction. "We have a better chance if we stick together." He assured her.

"A better chance of what, seeing who the Mother Confessor will execute first between the three of us?" Cara asked curiously.

Before Richard could respond, Zedd spoke from the cell across from theirs.

"I fear Cara may be right Richard. With Kahlan as she is, it would be best if the Seeker was on his quest, far away from here instead of locked in a dungeon."

"We've been in bad situations before. We always manage to get out of them. We've even defeated a Mother Confessor." Richard said confidently.

"If I remember correctly," Zedd started. "that Mother Confessor was not without her compassion and she still had to be killed." Zedd walked up to the bars of his cell and gazed intently at Richard.

"Will you be able to do the same with Kahlan as she is now?"

"Richard, you can't!" Kahlan exclaimed, speaking for the first time since they'd been taken to the dungeon. She looked at him beseechingly. "If you truly love me, you won't harm my mistress."

Cara suppressed a sigh. This Kahlan had gotten increasingly unstable and annoying since being split from her other self, and now that she had been confessed, she was almost unbearable. She watched as Richard settled his gaze on Kahlan. He hadn't missed the irony of the situation, it being so similar to when he had been confessed.

"We'll figure something out." He said before turning to Cara. "We just need to have faith."

Cara tilted her head slightly in acceptance before turning to study the dungeon. She'd rather have her agiels and a way to get Richard and if need be, the wizard and the useless Kahlan out of here, but she would just have to settle for the Lord Rahl's suggestion and 'have faith', for now.

"Mistress!" Kahlan called excitedly, breaking Cara out of her thoughts.

She looked up to see the Mother Confessor enter the dungeon, flanked by two guards. She stopped in front of their cell to address Richard.

"Have you changed your mind about returning to your quest with only Cara and your Kahlan?" She asked without preamble.

"I'm not leaving here without Zedd or Kahlan, the real Kahlan." He responded matter-of -factly.

"Very well." She said before turning her gaze to Cara. Their gazes locked and stayed locked even as she turned her head slightly to speak to one of the guards. "Bring the mord'sith." She ordered before turning to leave the dungeon without so much as a backward glance.

Richard's confused look met Cara's surprise, surprised for her anyway, expression before the guards pulled her from the cell.

As the guards took her through the palace, Cara made sure to commit the way back to the dungeon to memory, just in case she got the opportunity to free the others. She didn't know what the Mother Confessor wanted, but she figured she would find out soon enough. She walked through a final doorway and the guards followed, bringing Cara into what had to be the Mother Confessor's bed chambers.

Down a set of stairs that led into the room, there was a desk laden with documents for the Mother Confessor to attend, a large four poster bed with white linens, and windows that overlooked all of Aydindril. What light the moon did not provide, candles made up for.

"You were foolish to attack me today." The Mother Confessor said, finally turning to look at Cara. "I understand though. That you were only trying to protect Richard. I imagine that if you'd succeeded, and Richard wished it of course, you would've killed me without a second thought."

Cara chose not to respond. They both knew the answer to that statement. Instead she asked,

"Are you going to confess me?"

The Mother Confessor smiled.

"If I wanted to kill you, I would have done so by now." She turned to the guards and said, "You may go."

Once the door was shut, Cara said, "If you're not going to kill me, why am I here?"

"You are here to please the Mother Confessor." She said as she passed Cara to lock the door.

"And how will I do that?"

She descended the steps again before turning to look at Cara. Her eyes traveled from her boots, and up her leather clad body before settling on her eyes.

"You can start by taking off your clothes." She said simply.

Cara's eyes widened slightly in shock. She watched the Mother Confessor look over a few parchments as if telling Cara to take off her clothes wasn't anything way out of the ordinary. Cara blinked and tilted her head with an uncertain smile.

"You love Richard." She said. It wasn't a question, it was a fact.

The Mother Confessor looked at her.

"You and I both know this isn't about love."

Cara's smile became a little more certain. She'd known that there was some part of Kahlan that wanted her. She could feel it like some sort of undercurrent flowing between them. Yet Kahlan had never acknowledged it. Had never once let it slip that she could feel it too, not one glance, not one touch, nothing. It had baffled Cara as to how that was possible but now it was starting to make sense. Without Kahlan's total and complete love for Richard obscuring her desire for Cara, it was manifesting in the Mother Confessor.

"What makes you think I won't just kill you and free the others?" Cara asked, even as she walked down the stairs and further into the room.

"You can try," The Mother Confessor started, not at all surprised by the question. "But I don't think you will. Without your agiels and my touch being deadly, you would just be throwing away your life, and neither of us want that." She finished, as she watched Cara, her eyes drifting to her full lips.

"And if I refuse?" Cara asked, still smiling.

"Then I will have you taken back to the dungeon to await judgment and you will miss out on a chance to get what you truly want."

Cara's smile faltered but before she could point out that no confessor could read a mord'sith, the Mother Confessor said,

"I don't have to read you to know that you want this, I can feel your desire, almost like a caress against my skin." Her eyes sliding closed as a shudder ran through her body, as if to prove her point.

Cara's eyes narrowed. For her to read and properly manipulate desire in others was a skill she possessed. It helped to determine how best to train someone. But for others to be able to read desire in her without her wanting to was unacceptable. Special circumstances or not, she was still Mord'Sith.

As if reading her thoughts, the Mother Confessor stepped into Cara's personal space, gaining her attention. Even though their bodies were barely touching, Cara could feel the heat of the confessor's body radiating out to her, even through her leather. Her eyes met bright blue ones, the tension so thick, she could feel it settle around them.

"Don't let your pride make this decision Cara, you may live to regret it."

"And you're just going to fulfill my desires before sending me to the Keeper, is that it?"

The Mother Confessor smiled as if she knew a secret that Cara didn't.

"As long as you do as I say," she whispered. "I see no reason for you to die this, or any other night."

The reality of what she was saying hit Cara like a bolt of lightning. She should have realized from the start that this wasn't just one night of fulfilled desire. Confessors weren't Mord'Sith, they didn't take many lovers, they took a mate and that was what the Mother Confessor wanted of her.

Cara reached up to brush her thumb over the Mother Confessor's bottom lip before moving her hand to cup her neck. When Cara began to pull her closer, she asked,

"What are you doing?"

It wasn't that she didn't know what Cara was doing. Prince Fyren had tried the same thing a few nights before. And while she'd simply brushed off his advances as unnecessary, she wouldn't or couldn't seem to bring herself to pull away from Cara's gentle grip. Her eyes met dark green ones before falling again to sinful lips where a seductive smile was forming.

"I'm pleasing the Mother Confessor." Came the low and husky reply, sending small shivers along her spine. And then Cara's lips were taking hers.

"I don't get it. Why would the Mother Confessor take Cara?" Richard asked, trying to figure out the motives behind Kahlan's actions.

"Perhaps she is going to confess Cara, to make a point." Zedd supplied. Richard shook his head as he thought about it.

"That doesn't make sense. Why not kill Cara here, where it would do the most damage? And if she wanted to make a point, she could simply condemn Cara to be executed in front of all of Aydindril, like she did with you." Richard frowned. He could see no reason for Kahlan to just take Cara.

Zedd watched Richard carefully. He had his own suspicions about why Kahlan took Cara but he would not voice them, not just yet. He believed that Kahlan had taken Cara to be her mate. It was the only explanation that made sense. At first he couldn't fathom why the Mother Confessor would do such an unreasonable thing but then a thought occurred to him. If Kahlan had had any feelings other than love and compassion for Cara, when she split in two, those feelings could have transferred to the Mother Confessor. Only Zedd had never gotten the indication that Kahlan had eyes for anyone but Richard.

If Kahlan knew about her feelings, he was sure he would notice some change in her. Kahlan loved Richard too much not to react outwardly to having feelings for Cara. That could only mean that Kahlan wasn't even aware of what she might feel. But if the Mother Confessor taking Cara was any indication, she was aware of those feelings and was acting on them. And where did that leave Cara in all of this? Did she have the same feelings? Would she become Kahlan's mate? He just didn't know. It was all just a theory and that's why he didn't say anything. For Richard's sake, he hoped he was completely wrong.

Their kiss was deep and primal, a hunger coursing through them, driving them to posses the other from the moment their lips met. Cara's gloveless hands moved over Kahlan's hips and up her back as their mouths fought for dominance, their tongues sliding together. Her fingers quickly worked at the laces on Kahlan's corset until she was able to take it off. Before the corset could hit the floor, their lips were meeting again. Cara's tongue slid into her mouth, seeking a way to quench the desire that was burning beneath her skin, but the more she got, the more she wanted of the confessor.

Kahlan, who was straddling Cara's lap, buried her hands in the mord'sith's hair. Using her leverage, she yanked Cara's head back to gain better access to her mouth. While her mouth devoured Cara's, her hands slid from her hair and brushed down her throat. They moved to Cara's exposed collarbone where her nails grazed the skin before moving under the red leather of Cara's suit. Without a moment's hesitation, Kahlan shoved the suit over Cara's shoulders and down her arms.

Cara grunted, more than a little annoyed at the interruption of exploring Kahlan's body. She pulled her arms free of her suit and quickly grabbed the Mother Confessor's hands, twisting them behind her back. Kahlan gasped in surprise, giving Cara the opportunity to taste more of her, her hands holding the confessor firmly in place. Cara quickly painted a wet hot trail across her skin with her tongue and when Kahlan began to struggle, Cara bent her arms further back in warning. This forced Kahlan's back to arch and she gasped again, this time in pain.

As Cara leaned down to sink her teeth into the top of a soft pre-offered breast, Kahlan managed to twist her left hand free and immediately wrapped it around Cara's throat. Cara looked up, her eyes flashing in response to the unspoken threat. At first she held her ground, meeting the Mother Confessor's stare until she tightened her hold on Cara's neck.

Cara sat back and released Kahlan's other hand. When the confessor only relaxed her grip instead of removing her hand, Cara arched her eyebrow. Instead of answering Cara's unspoken question, Kahlan leaned down to her and brushed their lips together. When Cara's lips parted in a sigh, the confessor proceeded to slowly and thoroughly explore the inside of her mouth.

Cara felt as if she were in the grasp of a powerful spell, her eyes glued to the bright blue, hooded eyes of the Mother Confessor. But when she tried to take control, Kahlan pinched her nipple tightly, breaking Cara out of her trance and causing her to hiss in pain, even as her back arched, seeking more of Kahlan's touch. Kahlan pulled out of the kiss to take Cara's bottom lip between her teeth, her finger circling Cara's nipple without touching it. She bit into Cara's lip, slowly applying more and more pressure until a rough groan was pulled from the mord'sith's throat. Kahlan raised an elegant eyebrow. She was sending a message that Cara received loud and clear. Cara closed her eyes in concession. She would allow the confessor to have her way for now.

Satisfied with Cara's reaction, Kahlan used the hand holding Cara's throat to push her back onto the bed. She descended on her, their lips meeting in a steady kiss brimming with passion. When air was absolutely necessary, Kahlan brought the fingers of her free hand to still Cara's eager lips. Instead of being still, Cara's lips parted under Kahlan's fingers, taking two into her mouth. Cara looked at her through her eyelashes as her tongue caressed the pads of her fingers.

Kahlan's eyes darkened in pleasure before she ducked her head, swiftly taking one of Cara's nipples between her teeth as her thigh pressed tight between her thighs. Not expecting the sudden jolt of pleasure that ripped though her, Cara's back arched tightly, her voice ringing out in a low moan as she bit Kahlan's fingers gently. Kahlan sharply bit her nipple before soothing the pain over with her tongue and then blowing cool air on it, making it tighten even more. She switched nipples and repeated the process as her thigh rubbed against Cara slowly and with no certain rhythm, causing Cara to pant and writhe beneath her.

Even as Kahlan played her body like a finely tuned instrument Cara was still aware of the confessor's hand at her throat. However, she knew it wasn't there to ensure control anymore. By the way Kahlan's thumb was continuously stroking her pulse, she knew the confessor was requesting something else of her. Her trust. Kahlan wanted her to trust that she wouldn't hurt her and Cara was surprised to realize that she already trusted her. Kahlan's hand on her was simultaneously freeing and more binding than any rope could ever be. Her body was Kahlan's to do with as she pleased. Cara shuddered as she came to the realization that she liked it, her hips bucking against Kahlan's.

Kahlan moved back up Cara's body, her lips replacing her fingers. As they kissed, she trailed her hand down Cara's body, stopping short of the opening of her suit, her nails teasing the flesh there. Cara growled her impatience and Kahlan smiled against lips. And then Kahlan's hand was inside her leather, sliding over her slick heat before slipping smoothly into her.

Cara gasped in pleasure, her hips already setting a pace which Kahlan followed. After all the tension and teasing mixed with Kahlan's relentless tongue and fingers, Cara wasn't surprised to find herself quickly approaching orgasm. And then she was right on the edge, her world narrowing to the sensations her body was experiencing. She felt Kahlan's fingers deep within her, smelt her skin which was a mixture of sweat, sex, and something purely Kahlan. She felt the heat of Kahlan's hand on her throat and listened to her panting breaths. But when she paid closer attention, she realized that she wasn't panting, she was trying to control her breathing. That meant one thing to Cara, that the confessor was trying to keep her powers under control.

Kahlan was experiencing enough pleasure from just touching Cara, being inside her, that she actually had to focus to prevent herself from confessing Cara. This thought made Cara's heart pound, her hips moving at a faster pace. Kahlan followed her lead and she moaned loudly, the confessor's controlled breathing settling over her mind like a hazy fog.

And just before Cara fell over the edge into oblivion, one thought shined through her mind. The only thing protecting her from confession was Kahlan's sheer force of will, her desire to keep Cara safe, and that's what she felt, safe. A notion far more distressing to Cara than confession. Kahlan was power and strength.

She was safe.

Cara gasped sharply, her mind consumed by a fission of hot white light. Her hips arched into the Mother Confessor's and Kahlan pressed her body close as her fingers slowly drew out everything Cara's body had to give. When Cara's breathing started to slow, Kahlan pressed a soft possessive kiss to the pulse throbbing in her neck. She grazed her teeth over the sensitive skin and Cara shuddered. But before she could think of what she would do next, Cara flipped them over, her mouth attacking Kahlan's with renewed passion.

Kahlan made soft pleased noises in her throat as Cara's hands worked swiftly and efficiently to remove the rest of Kahlan's clothes. Soon Cara was straddling a completely naked Mother Confessor. She sat for a moment, admiring how alluring Kahlan was with mussed hair, lidded eyes and kiss-bruised lips. She buried her hands in long black tresses and cradled her skull, lifting Kahlan's head even as Cara's descended, their lips meeting in a soft caress.

Rather than lingering, Cara continued moving her soft kisses along Kahlan's jaw and over her throat, Cara's tongue peeking out to taste the Mother Confessor's flesh with each press of her lips. Cara lowered her back to the bed as she continued following a path known only to her. Kahlan moaned softly as Cara's path led her to both breasts, only stopping long enough to induct both nipples into a warm wet mouth before moving on.

Disappointed by the brief moments of pleasure, Kahlan was about to voice her thoughts when it became abundantly clear what Cara was truly after. She buried her hand in Cara's hair but nothing could prepare her for the long bold stroke of Cara's tongue over her center before pushing into her. Kahlan gasped, her breath releasing in a moan as her hips arched into Cara's mouth.

Cara gripped her hips as her tongue pushed into Kahlan a second time before sliding back to where she knew Kahlan wanted her the most. Kahlan was panting, her eyes shut in concentration, her power pulsing in waves against it's barrier as her blood pounded in her ears. Cara's tongue seemed to be nowhere and everywhere all at once. She lavished Kahlan's entire center with licking and sucking but never stayed in one spot long enough for Kahlan to fully enjoy it.

It was absolutely maddening and so very good that Kahlan was having trouble remembering to keep a firm grip on her powers. And then Cara switched focus, her tongue working Kahlan's clit in firm, certain strokes. Kahlan cried out, her back arching as both her hands held Cara's mouth to her. She couldn't help the moans that fell from her lips as Cara's sure tongue kept a steady rhythm. It wasn't long before her powers were crashing against the wall she kept up and she knew she needed to stop before it was too late.

"Cara, you have to stop." She gasped, even as her hands tightened in Cara's hair. When it became clear that Cara had no intention of stopping, She tried again.

"Cara," she said, her voice hitching as Cara sucked her clit into her mouth. "Enough."

Cara continued to ignore the warning tugs on her hair until Kahlan was forcefully pulling her mouth away. Cara followed the painful pulling of her hair until she was face to face with the Mother Confessor. Kahlan ignored the annoyed look Cara was giving her and said,

"If you do not stop, I will kill you."

Cara's annoyed expression melted into a thoughtful one as she settled between Kahlan's legs. Kahlan sighed, her eyes sliding closed at the feel of Cara's leather against her sensitive skin as she tried to control her breathing. Cara's hands began caressing her thighs and hips in a slow soothing manner. When she opened her eyes, Cara was staring at her with a confident smile, her eyes shining with mischief.

"What?" Kahlan asked, her eyes narrowing in suspicion as she noticed Cara shifting her weight, one hand resting on her hip while the other continued to caress her upper thigh.

Cara shrugged nonchalantly as her eyes dropped to Kahlan's lips.

"I was just thinking that if you were able to form and express such coherent thoughts," her eyes flicked back to Kahlan's. "then you're not quite ready to kill me yet."

And then two of Cara's fingers were buried within Kahlan, thrusting deeply even as a scream lodged in Kahlan's throat.

Cara kept her rhythm erratic, first slow then fast, as deep as her fingers would go then barely inside of Kahlan at all, all in an attempt to keep Kahlan from reaching the brink too soon. But from the way her nails bit into her back and the way her teeth gripped her ear, Cara knew it was all she could do to keep Kahlan from tumbling over the edge. When Kahlan tried to wrap her legs around her, she grabbed one of them by the ankle to stop her.

"Now now, you don't want to trap me when the time comes do you?" Cara breathed into her ear. Kahlan only moaned and arched in response, her nails raking down Cara's arms.

Cara kept hold of Kahlan's ankle, pushing her leg closer to her body and gaining better leverage. The next time she thrust into Kahlan, it was with three fingers. They pushed further than before, brushing that special spot inside of Kahlan that made her whimper.

Cara's entire mind was saturated with Kahlan and as she licked the salt from her neck, she became highly aware that Kahlan's trembling body wasn't completely due to what Cara was doing. The knowledge that Kahlan's power was tightly coiled just beneath the surface made Cara pant and her blood rush fiery hot. Rather than pulling away, her lips and teeth joined her tongue on Kahlan's neck.

Kahlan couldn't focus her thoughts between the pleasure flowing through her body, wave after warm liquid wave, and the pressure of her control splintering under the push of her impending orgasm. She knew she should tell Cara to stop but she couldn't grasp why she would want to do that. She wanted to push Cara away but more than that she wanted to come just like this. With Cara's body tight against her, with Cara deep inside her.

The walls holding back her powers shuddered with impact and started to crack and Kahlan suddenly remembered why she needed to push Cara away.

"Stop!" Kahlan gasped, shoving Cara almost halfway across the bed.

Cara stared at Kahlan, noting the way her chest rose and fell rapidly, as if she couldn't get enough oxygen and the way her body shook with orgasm so close at hand. Cara figured she could probably blow on one of her nipples and Kahlan would explode, but she had something much better in mind.

Kahlan watched as Cara knelt just out of reach and brought the hand soaked with her essence to her mouth. Her body still shaking, she watched as Cara licked one finger clean before moving the still wet hand down her body and into her leathers. Kahlan could clearly see that Cara's fingers were poised at her own entrance before letting her eyes travel back up to meet Cara's hooded ones. Cara bit the corner of her bottom lip before whispering in a breathy plea,

"Command me, Confessor."

Kahlan's vision went black and there was thunder without sound.

Cara grunted, annoyed at the pain in her joints from being so close when Kahlan's power was released but she never took her eyes off of her. Kahlan's back was in a perfect arch, her neck exposed, lips parted as she panted and eyes closed. Cara caught movement out of the corner of her eye and watched as Kahlan moved one of her hands between her legs to draw out her orgasm. Cara's own insides clenched at the sight and she was considering following Kahlan's lead when a noise stopped her.

She looked back at Kahlan's face when the sound was heard again. It was coming from Kahlan and Cara leaned closer, hoping to hear it again. Kahlan did it again, a sort of soft keening moan and it drove shudders up Cara's spine. She knew she shouldn't be so close while Kahlan was still in the throes of passion but she was pretty sure the sound Kahlan was making was the most sweetest sound she'd ever heard and she couldn't help wanting to kiss Kahlan's throat for allowing such a sound to come into existence. Kahlan probably had no idea that she even did it.

Finally the tension melted away from Kahlan's body and she relaxed back onto the bed. Cara watched as Kahlan's eyes slowly opened to reveal bright blue like nothing she had ever seen. She had to forcefully ignore the way her heart stuttered at the way Kahlan was looking at her, into her. Seeing her. Then Kahlan blinked and the sharp intelligence of the Mother Confessor was back.

"That was very reckless." She said with a satisfied smile. "I could've killed you."

Cara gave a confident smile of her own.

"And yet, here I am. All in one piece."

"Good." Kahlan said, her eyes flashing challengingly as she curved her hand around Cara's neck. Her eyes fell to Cara's full lips and as she pulled Cara closer she whispered,

"I'm not done with you just yet.

Cara was leaning up on her left elbow as she watched the Mother Confessor sleep, her body leaning against Cara even as she lay on her back. She had held out much longer than Cara would've thought, especially after Cara's agiels had been brought to the bed. Kahlan's stamina was nothing short of impressive. It had been fun to see what she did when she gained control. Almost as fun as it had been to strip Cara's name from her lips over and over. Cara smiled at the memory. Almost.

Cara grazed the back of her fingers over Kahlan's arm. As enjoyable as the night had been, there was still the important matter of freeing Richard. Her smile dissolved into a frown. She wasn't sure she would be able to do that without killing the Mother Confessor.

Kahlan stirred beneath her and she watched as her eyes blinked open. When her gaze fell upon Cara, she gave a pleased smile but Cara only continued to openly watch her. When Cara remained silent, Kahlan sat up. She watched the sheet fall to Kahlan's lap, waiting patiently for her to gather her thoughts.

"I can never love you."

Cara blinked in surprise. It wasn't the words themselves that had taken her off guard but rather that they were the first thing the Mother Confessor had chosen to say. She looked up at her from her leaning position and waited for her to continue. Kahlan met her gaze.

"Even so, I want you to stay here, as my mate."

"I'm not exactly equipped to be you mate." Cara said after a moment.

Kahlan smiled.

"No but that's only the bare basics to taking a mate. They should also be strong, fearless, smart. And as a mord'sith, you would be loyal, and immune to the forces of magic and man alike. I could think of no one better to be my mate, to protect my children."

"Children I cant give you."

Kahlan shrugged dismissively.

"That's what I have Prince Fyren for."

Cara looked at the sheets, nodding in understanding for a moment before asking,

"What about Richard?" Her eyes met Kahlan's again.

"Richard will be confessed and forced to return to his quest. I will even pardon Zedd to go with him since he no longer has a confessor. And with him under confession, the prophecy of him giving the stone to the 'enemy of the light' can be avoided. Everyone gets what they want."

"Richard wants you back to the way your were. What's to stop the wizard from trying even with Richard confessed?"

"What Richard wants is an ideal. If he truly wanted 'Kahlan', he would've taken the one that was devoted to him. He could have finished his quest and be with her the way he always wanted to but never could before. He could have started a family and shared a life with her. Instead, he chose not to.

"As for Zedd, I could confess him or order Richard to prevent him from trying to reunite me with my more emotionally driven self. Should he even attempt to do so, his pardon will be revoked and he will be returned to Aydindril to be executed. Either way, the other Kahlan and myself will remain separated." She paused for a moment, watching closely as Cara digested what she'd said.

"Even if Zedd managed to put us back together somehow, you must know that things would go back to the way they were. Though her reasons would be different from mine, she could never love you. After tonight, is that what you really want? To go back to being a part of her life yet apart from it?"

Cara looked away from Kahlan's penetrating stare. Her wants were irrelevant. Richard was her lord and master, whether he accepted it or not and she was sworn to protect him, at all costs. Her expression must have betrayed her thoughts because Kahlan swiftly grabbed her by the throat.

"Of course I could just kill you now and save you the trouble of attempting to rescue Richard if you prefer." She said, her eyes boring into Cara.

Cara met her gaze and finally moved from her current positing to sit before her. She was completely unphazed by the hand that could bring death as swiftly as the blink of an eye. She moved her finger along Kahlan's skin to cup the side of her neck gently and leaned in to brush their lips in a soft caress. She did this over and over, kissing Kahlan again and again until she finally sighed and relaxed her hold on Cara. As they stayed close enough to share the same breath, she stared into Cara's clear and open eyes, seeing all the things Cara allowed her to see.

"I know you want to save your Lord Rahl, but-"

Cara pulled her into another kiss, this one not like the others or like any kiss Cara had ever given before. She let this kiss draw from an emotion she dare not name, for fear of never being able to lock it away again. With this single kiss, she showed Kahlan all of her hopes, her fears. Her dreams. For one brief moment, she let Kahlan into her world.

And then she shut it away and pulled her lips from Kahlan's, leaving her breathless.

"I don't want to save the Lord Rahl." She whispered, watching as Kahlan opened her eyes, her gaze slightly unfocused.

"I will save him."

And before Kahlan had a chance to comprehend what she had said, Cara pressed the forgotten, to Kahlan anyway, agiel to a specific cluster of nerves in the back of her neck. Kahlan gasped sharply, all the muscles in her body tensing in response to the unexpected stab of agony. Cara closed her eyes, feeling the pain not just from the agiel in her hand but through their barely touching lips, before Kahlan finally passed out. And as her eyes slid closed and she fell away from Cara, so too did the door to Cara's deepest longings and desires.

Richard sighed in frustration. He was starting to really get worried. It was just an hour until dawn and they still hadn't heard anything about what happened to Cara. What if Kahlan had killed her to prove a point, would he continue to defy her? He wasn't sure. He'd tried everything short of gnawing on the bars with his teeth, to get out of his cell but nothing worked. Zedd was of no help. He seemed to be lost in his own world and whenever Richard tried to talk to him, his responses were distracted. The Kahlan he was sharing his cell with, never so much as looked at him the entire time and was now sleeping on a pile of straw in the corner.

Richard was almost to the point of giving up hope of ever seeing the real Kahlan again, his Kahlan. Almost. He was about to sigh and begin pacing his cell again when a strange noise caught his attention. He quickly realized that there was some sort of commotion going on outside the dungeon door. As soon as the noises of fighting had started, it stopped and a moment later Cara walked in through the door, carrying the other, and very unconscious Kahlan over her shoulder. She seemed a little out of breath but other than that, no different than when she'd left.

"Cara!" He said with a relieved smile.

"Cara?" Zedd asked, as if he were surprised to see her.

"The one and only." She replied as she carelessly cleared off a table in the center of the room that the guards had been using earlier. She laid Kahlan's body on the table gently, refusing to acknowledge that she had done it for her own sake as much as Richard's.

Richard's gaze left Kahlan to follow Cara as she went back out the door before returning shortly with the keys.

"Did you take out all the guards while carrying Kahlan?" He asked in astonishment. She looked up from unlocking his cell and in Cara fashion, answered,

"Only the ones I came across."

Richard just laughed and shook his head as she let him out. Once Zedd was free and his hands unbound, Richard asked,

"What happened? What did Kahlan want with you?"

Cara shrugged.

"She wanted me to convince you to return to your quest and forget about putting them," she gestured to the two Kahlans, both thankfully unconscious, "back together."

"The whole time?" Zedd asked almost immediately.

Richard looked from Cara to Zedd before turning back to Cara again.

"You were gone a long time." He said.

Cara stared at Zedd, her eyes squinting slightly at his tone.

"I had to gain the Mother Confessor's trust before she would return my agiels." She put her hands on her hips, looked at Richard and said, "Why? What did you two do?"

Richard smiled warmly.

"I'm glad you're all right." He said.

Cara nodded in acceptance. She hadn't missed the suspicious way the wizard looked at her but before he could say anything else she cut in.

"You should probably put those two back together before either of them wake up." She said, nodding in the Kahlans general direction.

Cara watched Richard and Kahlan from across the courtyard. For the most part she was back to normal except for having no memory of being split in two. Cara sighed. It was just as well. She wasn't sure she could take Kahlan fumbling and fidgeting and blushing as she told Cara that she was a mistake. That she wasn't in her right mind when she chose Cara over Richard. Cara could see herself in that moment either laughing hysterically, punching Kahlan in the face, or starting to cry. Sometimes she saw all three, a vision that caused her no end of great displeasure and torment. So things were better this way.

She'd even mentioned that the Mother Confessor had had sex with Prince Fyren, probably on multiple occasions, before Zedd put the two halves back together, just to be on the safe side. Richard had also stumbled through telling them that he and emotionally inclined Kahlan had been together in 'that way' too. Cara couldn't help rolling her eyes at the memory, something she had successfully managed not to do at the time. And even though he performed the necessary 'tests', Zedd explained that under such conditions, both not Kahlans wouldn't have been able to conceive. So the real Kahlan was as good as new. Sort of.

Cara felt a presence walk up beside her and knew it was the wizard without having to look away from Richard and Kahlan. He'd been watching her like a hawk since she entered the dungeon a few days ago. No doubt he had been waiting for her to slip up and somehow betray what she'd told them as a lie but she had given him nothing. Now it would seem he was going to use the more direct approach. She'd been patiently waiting for it.

"So are you going to tell me what really happened between you and Kahlan?" He asked conversationally.

Cara tilted her head, her eyes straight ahead.

"Why don't you tell me what you want to hear so that I don't have to play at being a listener?"

"I simply want to know the truth child."

Cara's eyes narrowed at being called 'child'.

"I told you the truth."

"So Kahlan didn't take you to her bed that night? To be her mate?" He quickly asked.

Cara looked at him, her disbelief that he would ask outright momentarily overshadowing her annoyance at his persistence.

"If the Mother Confessor had taken me to be her mate," Cara started carefully. "At her highest point of ecstasy, she would have lost control of her powers and confessed me, resulting in a horrible, agonizing death. So unless you believe I'm a baneling, I think it's safe to say that didn't happen."

Zedd smiled indulgently.

"There is more than one way to skin a rabbit Cara."

"Meaning?" Cara asked, her eyebrow arching.

"Meaning that if two people, say a confessor and a mord'sith, really wanted to be together, they would find a way without it resulting in a 'horrible, agonizing death', as you put it."

Cara looked away from Zedd, her eyes landing on Kahlan as she smiled at something Richard said. Her eyes were only for him, always for him.

"You're right. They probably could be together if they wanted. But there is no such confessor." She said before looking him right in the eye. "And there is no such mord'sith."

She stared into his eyes for a long moment, making sure he understood what she meant. When she turned back, Kahlan was looking at her, her eyebrows furrowed in uncertainty. Richard had probably told her about what happened that last night. No doubt like Zedd, Kahlan wasn't completely buying the whole 'we just talked' story. It didn't matter. She couldn't remember and Cara wasn't going to tell them what really happened.

"I'm going to get the horses." She said, walking away without a backwards glance at Zedd or Kahlan.

There was no point in telling them the truth. It would only create unnecessary tension in the group and take focus away from their quest. Cara rolled her eyes again. Richard was distracted enough as it was with all the small children with skinned knees and all the lost sheep in the world. No. Cara decided that it was best if they all just forgot about the whole ordeal, even as Kahlan's gaze burned into her retreating back.