Usually when Kahlan told Darken Rahl that she needed to rest, he would leave the room. Not this time, though. This time he had climbed in bed with her. He had done nothing but lay beside her, but it was still different from his usual behavior.

Rahl had placed a hand over her belly, over her child, over her daughter that would one day bring Richard back, so that he could defeat Rahl. Marrying Rahl, bearing his child, it was all for Richard.

It was only noon, but the day was warm. The heat must have gotten to Rahl because he had quickly fallen asleep, with his hand over Kahlan's baby. His hand was much bigger than Richard's, but Kahlan definitely preferred Richard's hand over Rahl's.

The day was warm, but Kahlan did not succumb to sleep. She heard the slight sounds of Rahl breathing beside her, but it was not loud enough to disturb her thoughts. Rahl never snored. Neither had Richard. The only person that Kahlan knew of that snored loudly was Zedd. Kahlan smiled slightly at the memory of that old man. Kahlan's smile quickly faded, however. Zedd was dead. But he could be brought back when Kahlan's daughter brought back Richard. Both Richard and Zedd were worth going through this ordeal with Rahl.

Kahlan had to admit to herself, though, that being married to Darken Rahl wasn't always bad. Oh, she didn't love Rahl, and she never would; but Rahl didn't make her life as miserable as she had thought he would. Rahl was surprisingly less forceful than Richard. Oh, Rahl had made sure that Kahlan had kept her end of their bargain, but Rahl was always a gentle lover towards her. That had definitely caught Kahlan by surprise. She would have never though that Rahl could be so tender towards a woman, especially towards a woman who had made it clear to him that she would always despise him.

And Rahl didn't violate Kahlan any more than what was necessary for his purposes. Whenever he had saw that she was not in the mood, he had left her alone. And he had not touched her intimately since she had become pregnant.

Kahlan remembered her and Richard's first kiss. She had not exactly been forced into the kiss as she had wanted it, but Richard had pushed her to admit that she had feelings for him. Richard didn't care that she was a Confessor. Richard didn't care that they could never be together. Richard loved her despite all this.

There had been times when Kahlan had thought that Rahl was about to kiss her. There had been a longing in his eyes that had painfully and surprisingly reminded Kahlan of Richard, but Rahl had never actually gone through with the kiss. He had not pressed the matter. Rahl had seen by the look on Kahlan's face that she didn't want him kissing her, and he had consented to her wishes.

Damn Darken Rahl for being so considerate towards her when she was never considerate towards him. Damn Darken Rahl for trying to make her like him.

But Kahlan didn't like Rahl, and she never would. She knew that he was a master manipulator, so she didn't fall for his kind and gentle act. Kahlan knew that Rahl would kill her as soon as he had her Confessor child to corrupt. Kahlan could only hope that her daughter would not be corrupted, that she would bring Richard back. Kahlan knew that had been making a gamble when she had agreed to Rahl, but Richard was worth it. If there was any chance that Richard could be brought back, Kahlan was willing to take that chance.

Seekers and Confessors shared a special bond. They both sought the truth. They both fought against evil. Kahlan was sleeping with evil in order to defeat it. Kahlan was sleeping with evil, so that she could fulfill her duty as a Confessor to her Seeker. It was a Confessor's duty to protect the Seeker, including giving her life if necessary.

But with Richard, it was not just duty; it was also love. Richard was the first person who had ever made Kahlan feel like a woman. Richard was the first person who had treated her as if she was normal. And Confessors were definitely not normal.

Richard truly loved Kahlan. He never tried to play any games with her. Not like Rahl was doing by treating her so nicely. Richard was good and noble. Rahl didn't have a noble bone in his body. Rahl took what he wanted. Rahl killed innocents without any thought. Richard fought to preserve life. Rahl was selfish, but Richard was not. Rahl only cared about himself, but Richard had always placed others before himself.

Richard was a special person. He was worth all the sacrifices that Kahlan had made.

On the day that Rahl and Kahlan had been married, they had come to an unspoken agreement that they would never again mention Richard in any shape or form. At least not while they were in each other's presence. Kahlan took comfort in the fact that she had Alice. Kahlan spoke of Richard all the time to Alice. But whenever Rahl was around, Kahlan had to act as if Richard had never existed in her life, as if Richard had never made her life matter.

Richard and Kahlan had sometimes had pointless but enjoyable conversations with each other. Rahl and Kahlan rarely talked. Rahl did most of the talking; Kahlan just glared at him. Surprisingly, Rahl never tried to force Kahlan into conversation. He would quickly get the message and leave Kahlan alone. Even though Kahlan knew it was all an act on Rahl's part, she still appreciated that he was so considerate towards her. It made being his wife more bearable.

Kahlan had felt comfortable with talking to Richard about her past, about how her father had abused and used her and her sister. Kahlan had felt comfortable with being vulnerable in front of Richard because she knew that Richard would never try to take advantage of her. Rahl, on the other hand, would take advantage of any vulnerability that Kahlan showed. She had to be cold and defiant in his presence, even though it was not always easy. It was really quite fortunate for Kahlan that Rahl left her alone as much as he did.

Rahl suddenly moaned softly in his sleep. Kahlan glanced over at him. She had to admit that Darken Rahl looked peaceful when he was asleep, just like she remembered Richard looking when he had been sleeping.

Kahlan looked at Rahl's hand on her belly. Kahlan had been woken up by her daughter this morning. Her daughter had kicked for the first time. Before she could help herself, Kahlan had smiled. She could think fondly of her daughter as long as she remembered that Rahl was not her father. Kahlan liked to imagine that Richard was her daughter's father. Kahlan wished so desperately that she and Richard could be together. It wasn't fair that Rahl could safely be with her, while Richard could not.

Kahlan had not been up for long when Rahl had come in to greet her "good morning," like he always did. Like she always did, Kahlan had merely nodded at him in return. Like he always did, Rahl did not press the matter. He had then asked Kahlan how she had slept, and she had replied, "Fine." It was the same routine every day.

But like he did every day since Kahlan had become pregnant, Rahl had then placed his hand over her belly, over her daughter. And Rahl had felt Kahlan's daughter kicking. Kahlan had noticed Rahl's bright smile. Then, Rahl had felt Kahlan's daughter kicking again. Rahl had suddenly laughed in a childlike fashion. Kahlan could not help but smile slightly at Rahl's reaction, but she had quickly resumed her cold face by the time that he had looked up happily at her.

But Kahlan had not been fooled by Rahl. She knew that he was only happy because he would soon have his Confessor child to bend to his will, to use for his own dark purposes. Rahl was not happy because he was about to be a father. He was happy because he was about to have a source of power. Richard would not have seen their daughter as a source of power. Richard would have seen their daughter as a person, as a person with emotions and feelings. Kahlan couldn't have emotions and feelings around Rahl. He would only use those things to mock her.

"Does it hurt you when the baby kicks?" Rahl had suddenly asked her. The look in his eyes indicated that he was genuinely concerned.

But Kahlan had not been fooled by Rahl. He didn't really care about her. He only cared about himself.

Besides, all Kahlan had to do to remind herself that Rahl didn't care about her beside being the vessel for his heir was to look at the dress that she was wearing. She was wearing a red dress. She was wearing Rahl's color. Kahlan had not worn her white Mother Confessor dress since the day that she had married Rahl. As far as Rahl was concerned, she was no longer the Mother Confessor. The fact that she was the Mother Confessor was one of the things that Richard had loved about her. He had loved every part of her, including her Confessor part.

Kahlan was a person to Richard, but she was a prize and a piece of property to Rahl. Darken Rahl always kept the Rada'Han around her neck. Kahlan was not Rahl's queen. She was his prisoner. Rahl had taken away her freedom. Richard would have never done such a thing to her. Richard had respected her. Rahl had no respect for her. Rahl only respected himself.

Suddenly disgusted by Rahl's hand, Kahlan threw it off her belly, off her daughter. Her daughter would never be Rahl's. In Kahlan's mind, her daughter would be Richard's.

Kahlan, who had been laying on her back, turned so that her back was facing Rahl. She didn't want to look at him anymore. Damn Darken Rahl for looking so peaceful when he was asleep. Damn Darken Rahl for looking so innocent when he was asleep. In his waking state, he was anything but peaceful and innocent.

Kahlan suddenly heard the sound of Rahl sighing impatiently. She must have woke him when she had thrown his hand off her belly, off her daughter, not his daughter, never his daughter.

Kahlan didn't understand the impulse that suddenly seized her, but she turned her head to look at Rahl, expecting to see an angry face. Rahl had never spoken to her angrily. Rahl had never looked at her angrily. Kahlan had always treated Rahl with nothing but cold anger, but he had never returned any anger. Most of the time, he had looked at her with emotionless eyes. Sometimes, Kahlan could have sworn that she had seen sadness in Rahl's eyes whenever she rejected him with her coldness, but that look of sadness had always disappeared quickly, to be replaced by a look of indifference. Just like she often looked at him with a look of indifference.

But Kahlan knew that Rahl was not a merciful man, and that sooner or later he was bound to unleash his anger on her. Kahlan didn't care. As long as Richard was brought back, she could endure whatever violence Rahl imposed on her.

Kahlan was not met by an angry Rahl. Instead, she was met by his back. He had turned his back to her, just like she had turned her back to him. Like he always did whenever Kahlan was cold towards him, Rahl did not press the matter. Oh, his impatient sigh definitely indicated that he was not pleased with Kahlan, but he kept his rage contained inside, like he always did around her.

Kahlan had made it clear that she hated Rahl, but he had accepted that. Once again, he was leaving her alone, even though he could have easily taken advantage of her if he had wanted to.

Damn Darken Rahl for being so considerate towards her when she was never considerate towards him. Damn Darken Rahl for trying to make her like him.

Damn Darken Rahl for being as sweet as Richard, even if it was just an act.