TITLE: Unexpected Company

AUTHOR: LOTSlove®

CHARACTERS: Richard / Kahlan

RATING: PG-16 / T

TIMELINE: Anything up through S2 season finale (Tears)

STORY TYPE: Humor / Romance

SPOILERS: Anything from Seasons 1 & 2

DISCLAIMER: I love them and love to write about them even though I don't own them or make a dime.

SUMMARY: An unexpected visitor helps things along for Richard and Kahlan.

A/N: Ok, this is my first attempt at a fic with humor/romance and that is angst free. Not real sure how this is going to go, but I'm giving it a shot. I am not completely happy with how this turned out, but there it is...

UNEXPECTED COMPANY

Unloading an armful of firewood in their campsite, Richard was feeling anxious with anticipation of what the future held. The Keeper was finally safely sealed away in the Underworld, his quest was over, and prophecies were fulfilled. But best of all, he and Kahlan had discovered that he was untouched by her magic. He could not be confessed because he had already given her his heart.

A goofy grin spread across his face as he thought about his beautiful Confessor. He was so happy that he felt as if he were floating with the clouds. He didn't think his boots had touched the ground yet since leaving the Pillars of Creation.

Richard could hardly wait to make love with Kahlan. Since sealing the rift three days ago, they had not acted on their feelings despite the irresistible urges that flared in their veins. Even though the knowledge drew them that much closer together, it had also somehow made it a little awkward between them. Despite how badly they wanted each other, neither wanted to push the other too soon.

Richard had decided that he would bide his time, giving Kahlan a chance to adjust to the sudden change in their relationship. He loved her so much it was overwhelming at times; the depths of his love for her amazed even him. He had been completely content just being near her for the rest of their lives. Now, knowing they could consummate their love, have children together like they had dreamed, Richard found his hunger for her unexpectedly stronger than ever before.

He was worried that if he pushed Kahlan to make love too soon that she would believe that was what he had wanted all along. In reality, being granted the freedom to love each other was just an added gift. On the other hand, he was worried that Kahlan might fear that he didn't want her after all. If she only knew that was the furthest from the truth. Richard was sure he would go mad or explode if he didn't act on his feelings for her soon.

It didn't help that Zedd and Cara were constantly around either. He also wanted their first time together to be absolutely perfect. Of course, any time he spent with Kahlan was perfect. He was trying his best to not be too overly eager or excited. He had decided to act as nonchalantly as possible despite the fact that his deepest desires were now within reach, that his greatest wish had come true. He could finally make Kahlan his for all eternity.

Grumbling under his breath, he heaved a heavy sigh, his frustration intensifying. He knew he was over thinking this whole thing. He attempted to reassure himself that things would happen in their own time and place. Why rush it? They had their entire lives to spend together.

Trying to shove aside the longing that was wreaking havoc on his mind as well as his body, Richard busied himself with finishing the dinner that he had started. Zedd and Cara had gone into town for some much needed supplies. They would catch up with them in the next day or so and continue on their way to Aydindril. Cara had left Richard with a knowing smirk on her face at which Richard just blushed brightly and rolled his eyes.

Try as he might, though, thoughts of Kahlan crept back into his mind. He was aching to feel her under him, his lips tasting her. He could barely breath at the very thought of Kahlan touching him, her sweet breath warm and tempting against his skin, her hands exploring him. He could not wait until they were finally together, his hardened flesh melding with her soft silky skin…

"Richard?"

Startled from his thoughts, Richard looked up at the sound of his name to see Kahlan standing on the other side of the fire, her hands on her hips and a strange look on her face. "Kahlan?"

"Richard, are you alright?"

"Yes…why?" he asked, slightly embarrassed for where his thoughts had taken him.

"You look sort of flushed and you're breathing hard," Kahlan replied, eyeing him with concern.

Richard did his best to keep his embarrassment from reaching his face. "I…I'm fine," he stammered. "Did you find any berries?"

"No. I was just coming back to camp to tell you that I was going to head over by the lake to see if I could find some."

"Ok, don't take too long. The stew should be ready soon."

"You're sure you're alright?" Kahlan continued to study him, her brow furrowed with concern.

"Yes, I'm fine. Hurry back," he replied with a wide grin, desperately trying to dispel her worry for fear she would detect what he had been thinking about.

Returning his smile, Kahlan left camp, still not entirely convinced. Something had definitely been going on when she had returned to camp, something he was not admitting to her. He should know better than to ever try to hide anything from a Confessor.

As Kahlan made her way through the woods towards the lake, her thoughts continued to be preoccupied with Richard. Since the Pillars of Creation, they had not been together intimately yet. She was thrilled that they could finally share their love with one another and she was certain that Richard was too.

She wasn't sure why Richard hadn't made a move yet. She thought that he would have whisked her away for some private time, far away from Zedd and Cara by now. She had hoped that he would have at least talked to her about it, but he hadn't said anything yet. She wasn't that experienced in matters of the heart; maybe this was normal.

Sighing to herself, Kahlan wondered if he was just taking it slow, not wanting to rush into anything. Any theory she came up with just didn't feel right, though. They had waited for so long, avoiding situations that would tempt them beyond their limits, anxious for a chance to be together once and for all.

She was beginning to wonder if maybe Richard had changed his mind about wanting to be with her. The thought alone rattled her to her core; it was something she couldn't bear to think about. Maybe he was afraid of her, afraid that he might still be confessed if he made love with her.

Kahlan wandered past countless trees and shapeless bushes, continuing to ponder what could be wrong with Richard. Had he lost interest in her? Or could it just be fear? She lightly began chewing her lower lip as she approached the lake. There had to be some logical reason as to why he hadn't tried to be with her yet.

She could hardly wait to be with him, to feel his lips on her, tasting her, teasing her. She longed for the feel of his strong hands removing her clothes, roaming over her flesh, and exploring her body. Coming to a stop before a large berry bush, Kahlan began to dream of her body pressed firmly against Richard's, their love being poured into each other. She just wished he would do something about it soon.

XXX

Taking the stew from the fire, Richard stood to his feet, his brow furrowing with concern. Looking up at the sky, he noticed that the sun was beginning its descent over the horizon. Kahlan had been gone a long time; she should have been back by now.

With growing worry, Richard decided to go look for her. It would be getting dark soon and he was worried about her getting lost in the woods. Richard quickened his pace through the woods towards the lake, needing to find Kahlan soon. Besides the fact that he so desperately wanted to make love to her, Richard didn't like the idea of being apart any longer than they absolutely had to. Their hearts and their spirits were connected, existing as one; he could not wait until they were physically as well.

Richard was suddenly torn from his thoughts when he heard Kahlan cry out. Breathing her name, Richard took off in a dead run, tearing through the woods towards his Confessor's cry. Racing through a thick patch of brush, he came to an abrupt stop when he spotted Kahlan standing still as stone several meters before him.

"Kahlan! What is it? Are you alright?" he heatedly cried as he began to make his way towards her.

Kahlan stood frozen, her eyes wide with horror, a stunned look fixed on her face. Before Richard could even make it half-way to her, he stopped as he saw something moving from under the bush. He was immediately hit with a horrendous smell. Wrinkling his nose in disgust, Richard suddenly realized what had happened.

"Richard, don't!" Kahlan exclaimed, her face creased with revulsion. She watched as the unexpected visitor waddled its way from under the bush, the distinct black and white fur of the animal now completely visible.

Richard bit his upper lip, desperately attempting to stifle the laugh that was about to erupt. "Kahlan…" he cautiously ventured, unsure if he could keep the amusement from his voice. "…are you alright?"

Seeing the smirk on her Seeker's face, Kahlan closed her eyes against her rising anger. There was nothing funny about this. While looking for berries, she had been lost in thought, in a complete quandary over Richard. Now, she reeked, a horrific stench permeating her clothes, her hair, her skin. How appealing was that going to be?

"It is not funny," Kahlan bit out in frustration, still standing frozen, her arms stretched out at her sides. It appeared as if she were afraid to move for fear of being sprayed again.

"What happened?" he warily asked, not wantingtoanger her any further. He slowly made his way closer to her despite the horrible odor that assaulted him. The smell was so strong that it made his eyes water and his nose burn.

"What do you think happened?" she yelled, failing to control her anger any longer. "I was sprayed by a skunk!"

"Well, I figured that part out. I meant what were you doing that you got sprayed?" He could no longer hold in the smile that broke across his face. He couldn't help it. She was just so beautiful when she was angry. The look on her face and the way she was standing like she had just been drenched with a bucket of water was hilarious.

"Richard Cypher, it is not funny!" She was already beginning to feel so unappealing with Richard's restrained behavior and now she smelled anything but beautiful.

"Kahlan, I'm sorry," he said as he drew near her, once again stifling the laugh that kept seeking release. "I'm not really laughing at you…it's just that…well, you look so adorable standing there like that."

"There is nothing cute about this, Richard!" she snapped. "I'm going to smell like this for days!" She angrily huffed as she turned towards the lake in an effort to try to rid herself of as much of the appalling stench as possible.

"Kahlan, wait! Let me help you."

"No, thank you. I think you've helped enough," she replied, turning to face him once more. Her lips were pursed and she looked none too pleased with her Seeker at that moment.

"I'm serious, Kahlan. I can get rid of the smell. I was a wood's guide, remember? I had to learn how to deal with all sorts of things like this." His dark brown eyes pleaded with her to allow him to help her, the smile gone from his face.

Staring at him, Kahlan knew deep down that he really wanted to help, but she still had her doubts. "You'll just end up getting it on you and then we'll both stink. There's no sense in both of us smelling this horrible," Kahlan finally replied with a sigh of resignation as she turned back towards the lake. Now, nothing was going to happen tonight between them or for the next several days for that matter.

Kahlan was brought to an unexpected stop by a hand on her arm. Looking back, she found herself staring into the dark brown eyes that made her head spin with longing. He was standing so close to her now, his fingers wrapped securely around her elbow, keeping her from moving away from him.

"Please, Kahlan…I want to help you."

"Fine…you win. What's the remedy for stupidity?"

Releasing his hold on her, Richard gave her a soft smile. Reaching for her, he lightly ran his fingers across her cheek and along her jaw. His touch was electric, sending chills down her spine. Her breath caught in her chest, causing her to softly gasp.

As he gazed into her eyes, Richard swallowed hard before finally speaking. "Go to the lake and remove your clothes. I'll meet you over there in a minute. I have to go find something."

"Richard, I…"

"Kahlan, just trust me."

The corner of her mouth turned up into a lopsided grin. "I think you're just trying to get me out of my clothes," she flirted as she turned and headed toward the lake.

Richard stood in stunned silence for several moments as he watched her walk towards the nearby lake. He watched as she moved, her hips swaying gracefully with every step she took, her hair bouncing lightly with her footfall. She never ceased to completely fascinate him with every single thing she did.

Releasing his breath, Richard finally recovered enough of his senses to make his feet work. He had never wanted Kahlan so much in his entire life as he wanted her right now. He needed to find the necessary flower that would counter that horrible stench that enveloped his Confessor, though. Maybe tonight would be the night. Richard's heart began to race at the thought as he reentered the woods.

XXX

Kahlan couldn't stop the smile that had crept to her lips as she began unclasping her jacket. Despite the fact that she smelled worse than any woodland creature at that moment, the look of desire she saw dancing in Richard's eyes caused longing to burn in the pit of her stomach. She swore that if something didn't happen soon she would burst.

Unlacing her corset, Kahlan felt a little guilty for being so angry with Richard when he had first appeared. It wasn't his fault that she had been attacked by a skunk. Well, it was, but indirectly. It was her fault for allowing her thoughts to become so wrapped up in him. If she had been paying better attention, she could have averted the humiliating assault by the furry little creature. She and Richard could be eating their dinner right now. Maybe tonight would have been their first night together.

Slipping her boots and skirt off, Kahlan cautiously waded into the water. Though the air was still a little warm, the water was cool, causing gooseflesh to suddenly appear all over her body. Standing in water that only came to her knees, Kahlan shivered as she attempted to let her body grow accustomed to the temperature.

Even with her clothes off, Kahlan felt she smelled just as bad as she had with her clothes on. She had hoped that removing her clothes would have at least helped some. She didn't think she could take the odor much longer. She hoped Richard's remedy worked quickly.

XXX

Walking only several meters back into the woods, Richard was surprised to have found what he was looking for so quickly. He thought for sure it would have taken a lot longer, but there it lay, staring back up at him. Lismara. Its delicate purplish-pink flowers with white centers, its distinct chartreuse leaves lined with flecks of gold lay waiting for him to come by and pick it. It was huddled in clumps in the protective roots of an enormous tree. It was normally used to cure various aches and pains, but Richard's adopted father, George Cypher, had discovered long ago that it was an amazing remedy for ridding the stench of skunks.

Richard knelt down, quickly collecting the dainty, fragrant flowers as well as the leaves. When crushed together, they combined to form a potent antidote that could eliminate the vilest odor. Richard was very thankful for his upbringing as a woods guide, for his adopted parents. If it weren't for them, who knows how his life would have turned out.

The thought of never meeting Kahlan snuck into his mind, causing his heart to constrict with grief. He couldn't imagine a life that didn't include Kahlan. He didn't ever want to experience that. Quickening his pace, he finished gathering up the flowers before heading back to the lake.

Coming through the brush, Richard came to an abrupt halt when he saw Kahlan standing nude in the lake, the water only coming up to mid-thigh. Richard suddenly lost the ability to breath, to think, to move. He stood frozen in his steps, completely mesmerized by her beauty.

His heart began to pound in his chest, his mouth instantly going dry. His knees felt weak, his desire exploding inside of him. He silently berated himself for not making love to her the minute they had discovered they could. What in the world had possessed him to wait this long?

Kahlan turned then, catching him staring at her. Her eyes widened in surprise, the site of him standing there staring at her catching her off guard. Her initial instinct was to cover her nakedness, hiding herself from him. But instead of being embarrassed, Kahlan felt an overwhelming sense of peace. This is what was supposed to be. They were supposed to be. It was no longer him and her with a chasm separating them, stretching as far as the eye could see. The barrier had been removed at last.

With a sudden courage that even startled her, Kahlan slowly turned to face the man that she loved, her exposed flesh revealed in its entirety to him. She stood in the water just staring at him, their eyes locked on each other's for several moments before she finally spoke.

"Are you coming or do I have to come to you?" A seductive smile slowly spread across her lips, her eyes turning a darker shade of blue with the desire that now burned there.

Richard felt his breathing quicken, his heart thundering in his chest. His gaze slowly wandered from her sapphire eyes, down her neck to her beautiful perfect breasts. His eyes continued their descent down her luscious body, taking in her slender waist, the feminine curve of her hips and thighs.

A low moan escaped his throat as he approached her, his eyes never leaving hers. Bending over, Richard gently laid the flowers down before taking off his boots. Removing his vest, Richard lifted his shirt over his head, his gaze immediately locking with Kahlan's again as he tossed it aside. He stared at Kahlan who was watching intently as he began unlacing his pants.

Richard felt his arousal course like searing flames through his body as Kahlan's tongue slipped out to wet her lips, her eyes staring at his hands as they worked the laces of his pants. Richard began pushing his pants past his hips, her eyes drinking him in.

Leaning over, he quickly gathered up the flowers and leaves before wading into the water. As they stood before each other, their eyes conveyed so much meaning, so much emotion in that moment.

Giving her a soft smile, Richard reached out, tucking a stray strand of hair behind her ear. "You really smell terrible," he softly chuckled, his eyes twinkling with amusement as well as heated desire.

"I know," she lightly laughed, her face suddenly growing serious with her desperate need for him. "I was hoping you could help me with that."

"I have never wanted anything more," he murmured as he leaned in, pressing his lips to hers, his hand grasping the back of her neck.

His tongue quickly snuck out, teasing her lips, prodding for entrance. Kahlan readily welcomed him, parting her lips and drawing him closer to her. Richard finally pulled away, his breathing ragged, his body desperate to have her.

Richard quickly began smashing the flowers and leaves together, creating a heavenly scented mixture. Taking her hand in his, he led her a little deeper into the lake. Diving under the water, Kahlan came up next to him again, beads of water rolling off her porcelain skin.

Turning her around, Richard gently began massaging her scalp and hair with the mixture, the fragrance washing over them both, driving the foul odor from their nostrils. Kahlan slowly closed her eyes, the feel of his fingers working the flowers into her hair relieving the stress from her body as well as further intensifying her need for him.

Desire surged through her veins, blazing a path straight through to her core, threatening to consume her if Richard didn't satisfy her need for him soon. A low throaty moan escaped her lips, causing Richard to halt his motions. Pressing himself against her back, Richard leaned in, inhaling the enticing scent that was replacing the horrible smell that had been there just moments ago.

Reaching around, his nose nuzzled her ear, his lips eagerly planting kisses on the lobe before taking it into his mouth. His breath was warm and sensual against her skin, the feel of his teeth and tongue nibbling on her ear driving her mad with desire.

His hands left her hair as he began massaging the sweet mixture into her shoulders and down her arms. Reaching under her arms, he hands immediately found her breasts. Taking them in his hands, he slowly began kneading them, his mouth blazing a trail from her ear and down her neck. Tilting her head back against his shoulder, she arched her back, pressing more of herself into his hands, silently begging him not to stop.

As one hand continued to massage her breast, his other hand began rubbing over her flat smooth stomach. The lingering offensive smell was finally washed away as he began cupping water with his hand, rinsing the mixture from her body.

Kahlan swiftly turned around, capturing his lips in a heated kiss. His hands immediately began roaming frantically over her back, pulling her unbelievably closer, desperate to feel every inch of her. Burying her hands in his hair, Kahlan held him to her as her lips left his and began planting hot wet kisses along his jaw and down his neck.

Tilting his head back, Richard's eyes fell closed, moaning as she nipped her way down his neck, her hands raking gently over the chiseled planes of his back. Her name escaped his lips in a breathy release of simmering passion.

Richard began stroking her thighs under the water before grasping them tightly and lifting them to wrap around his waist. Kahlan readily accepted the new position, settling herself against him as she recaptured his lips. Moaning his name into his mouth, Kahlan began moving in perfect unison with her lover.

Kahlan could feel her power surging exponentially with her burning passion, both seeking release. For the first time in her life, Kahlan could ignore the power coursing up from her core. Reveling in the passion flowing from Richard into her, Kahlan gave herself over to the sensations, falling over the precipice of ecstasy, taking Richard along with her.

The intense cries of their names echoed over the lake as Kahlan collapsed against him. She began planting soft kisses along his collarbone and up his neck, seeking his lips once more. Reconnecting their lips, Richard held her closely against him as he carried her out of the water. Lying her down in the tall grasses beside the lake, Richard lowered himself over her.

"You are so beautiful," he murmured as he stared into her eyes before brushing his nose against hers. "I love you, Kahlan, always and forever."

"I love you too," she whispered, tears of joy reflecting in her eyes. "I've never been so happy in all my life, never believed that this was possible until you. What took you so long to make love with me?"

"I don't know," he reluctantly admitted as he saw hurt pass through her eyes. "I didn't want to push you or for you to think that making love with you was all that mattered to me. It does matter to me, but if we could never have this, I still would have been content to just hold you for the rest of my life. I love you no matter what, Kahlan."

Reaching up, Kahlan took his face in her hands. "I don't know what I ever did to deserve you Richard Cypher, but I'm never letting you go."

"I'm the one who doesn't deserve you, Kahlan, and I don't plan on letting you go either."

"Even if I smell like a skunk?" she teased.

"There is absolutely nothing that could ever keep me from you. I'm just glad our unexpected visitor came when he did. I was just waiting for the right opportunity to make you mine and he brought it to us."

"Thank the spirits! I didn't think I was going to last much longer."

"I thought I was going to go crazy, too."

"Is that why you were acting so funny when I came back to camp?"

"Yes…I was thinking of what it would be like making love with you," he sheepishly admitted.

"Well, I was thinking of you too. That's how I surprised that skunk."

"I guess we both were having problems dealing with our need for each other."

"I don't think that will be an issue any longer," she seductively replied as she leaned up, pressing her lips to his, anxious to feel his love for her all over again.

THE END