"Our child." Richard heard himself say. The words fell from his mouth without even thinking about it. He held his breath. He couldn't take them back now – didn't want to.
For a moment Kahlan looked like she would retreat from him, like she so often did. To his complete delight, a playful smile came over her, "Well our child would have to be a girl" she teased.
He almost laughed knowing that if their daughter were anything like her mother she could hold her own. He smiled back, "A girl who could take out a dozen D'Haran soldiers, just like her mother."
Richard saw her love for him reflected in deep blue eyes. "Well I would want her to have a good heart, like her father." Kahlan meant that more than anything she'd ever said. No one had a more noble heart than Richard and she loved him all the more for it.
He moved closer to her and caressed her cheek, taking in the beauty of her face. Their words were playful, but they both knew they were finally speaking what had long been in their hearts. His voice was soft, "Well, I would want her to have her mother's eyes."
Kahlan didn't agree…His eyes were one of the reasons she fell in love with him. "No, no," she smiled, "I'd want her to have your eyes."
He couldn't remember a time she looked more beautiful. The fire reflected in her eyes and off her hair, her words of love echoing in his mind. His warm brown eyes roamed her face. Too many times he had suppressed his urge to kiss her because of the prying eyes of Zedd and Cara. He was very aware they were alone now. He didn't want to let this moment slip away. Slowly, he leaned in to kiss her, gently drawing her to him with his fingertips. His kiss was soft. Gentle. Loving.
Kahlan didn't hide from her feelings, responding to his kiss with all the love she felt for him inside. When she touched a hand to his face, Richard found it hard to quell the passion rising inside him and deepened his kiss. For a brief moment, Kahlan surrendered, nearly forgetting who or what she was. She clutched at his collar, pulling him to her, wanting his kiss to go on forever. Richard's heart hammered in his chest. Dear Spirits, he loved the feel of her.
Reason washing over her, Kahlan pulled back before it went any further, "Richard, we can't."
He stayed close. He didn't want to ever stop kissing her. He ached to lay down with her and hold her, kissing her until morning. "It's alright," he whispered. "It's just a kiss…Zedd and Cara aren't here."
He moved to kiss her again but gentle fingers to his chest stayed him. "That's…the problem." She said quietly. "When they're with us it's easy for me not to grab you and kiss you." She was struggling to keep from doing it now. "But without them, there's nothing stopping us except…good judgment." His urge to kiss her was strong and he leaned toward her. She kept a sturdy hand to his chest. Still, she found him hard to resist. They were so close she could feel his warm breath on her face. She felt the heat of his skin under her fingers and struggled to remain firm. "When you kiss me like that...I feel that judgment slipping away." She kept her eyes on his, trying to convey the import of her words.
Richard looked at her a long moment. He didn't want to stop, but he knew she was right. He wasn't afraid of her powers, but he knew her despair. He fought the battle in his mind before slowly easing away from her.
Pain threatened to swallow him up. Knowing she needed him just as badly as he needed her threatened to tear his soul in two. Without her, he was only a shell of himself. He had to find a way for them to be together. He watched as Kahlan quietly retrieved her pack. She turned her back to him and lay down, resting her head on the sack. Watching her from across the fire, he somehow knew the tears she was trying to hide. In that instant, he silently swore an oath: One day…one day soon, he would find a way.