WARNING: Major sappy squee ahead!

Meant to Be (Epilogue)

Feeling a gentle hand enticingly making its way down his arm, Richard turned to see Kahlan crooking a finger at him to follow her back into their suite. Without hesitation, he eagerly moved to reenter her room, excitement mounting as his body began to respond to the anticipation of finally being able to make love with Kahlan.

After locking the door, Kahlan turned to find Richard's arms instantly around her, his warm mouth on hers. No longer able to contain himself, Richard swiftly pushed her back against the wall, pressing his aroused body firmly against hers. He was more than ready to pick up where they had left off when Zedd had so rudely interrupted them. His warm breath, already beginning to come out in exerted pulls for air, began to mingle with hers, her mouth opening to accept him. He loved the sweet taste that was uniquely his Kahlan.

Kahlan's mind was beginning to spin wildly with the escalating passion that Richard was already invoking within her, the feel of his hands frantically roaming over her body, the feel of his hips rolling against hers, the amazing expectation of what was about to occur between them. Her heart began to quicken, desire burning and swimming in the pit of her stomach as her body began to prepare for him to take her. She reveled in the intense pleasure of her response to him, the tingling sensations that shot down her spine, the exhilarating feeling that was settling into her pelvis.

Richard's hands began playing with the satiny ribbon ties of her robe, quickly releasing them before pushing the robe off her shoulders and down her arms. His mouth soon replaced his hands as he began planting hot wet kisses on her newly exposed clavicle as he made his way to her shoulder.

Kahlan gasped as his teeth grazed over the sensitive flesh before he licked the pain away. Her fingers dug into his shoulders, holding him close to her and urging him on. Closing her eyes, Kahlan tilted her head back against the wall, exposing more of her throat to him. She instinctively raised her leg to wrap around his thigh. Her chest began to heave with heated desire, throaty moans and gasps escaping her lips repeatedly now.

The feel of her under his mouth and the sounds of her pleasure were all combining to drive him insane with escalating need. If he didn't get her to the bed soon, he swore he would explode. This wasn't the way he had planned their first time together in his mind. It was missing the romantic elements that he had hoped for, but they had waited for far too long, been interrupted too many times. As his lips began to caress the creamy swell of her breasts, Richard readily decided that they could have candles and roses the next time he made love to his beautiful future wife.

Breathy moans and heated kisses were suddenly interrupted by an infuriating knock at the door. Richard growled angrily as he pressed his forehead against the wall beside Kahlan's ear, his breathing erratic, his heart thundering in his chest, his body trapping her to the wall.

"Yes?" Kahlan breathlessly yelled in frustration as she turned her head and began nibbling on his ear.

"Miss Kahlan? It's Mallory. Miss Aggie sent me to draw you a hot bath."

Unable to handle her tongue and lips teasing his ear any longer, Richard abruptly turned to capture her lips in a searing kiss, his hips bucking into her and causing her to moan against his mouth. Evidence of his arousal pressed firmly against her belly. She quickly buried her hands in his hair, holding him to her.

"Miss Kahlan?"

"La…later! Come back…later…" Kahlan anxiously called out, panting heavily as Richard began nipping and licking his way down her slender throat once more on a mission to find her breasts.

"Miss Kahlan? Are you alright?"

"Fine...I'm…fine! Come back…later…" she growled in frustration as Richard seductively played with the straps of her satin nightdress. Richard was doing amazing things to her; she was burning with excited expectation of what he would do to her next.

Her hands quickly pushed his vest off before tugging his shirt free from his pants. Slipping her hands up under his shirt, her fingers quickly found the chiseled planes of his chest. She lightly raked her nails down his chiseled muscles, finding his nipples and teasing them, his intense heated gaze never leaving hers. The mutual longing she saw there made her heart skip a beat. It was an intense longing for her and her alone.

Richard moaned huskily, pressing himself even more into her, desperate to melt his body into hers. No matter how much he kissed her, how much of her he touched, it was never enough. It was a deep-seated hunger for her that would never die, that could only be temporarily satisfied. At times, he could barely breathe for want of her.

Richard pulled back enough to allow Kahlan to lift his shirt over his head, quickly discarding it as she ran her hands over the smooth muscles of his arms. He kissed his way back up her neck and along her jaw, pausing to nuzzle his nose against hers.

Seeing tears shining in her eyes, Richard paused, lovingly cupping her face with his hands as he stared into her sapphire eyes. The look of desire that he saw for him there took his breath away. As desperately as they wanted each other at that moment, he didn't want to forget one moment, one look, one touch, one cry of pleasure of their first time together. Kahlan was the most powerful person in the entire Midlands, so startlingly beautiful to behold…and she was in love with him, a simple woods guide from Hartland.

He watched as her bottom lip began to quiver with the overwhelming emotion that flooded her soul. "I love you, Kahlan…with all my heart…" he softly whispered, repeatedly brushing his lips against her trembling ones.

"I love you…so much, Richard," she murmured between tender kisses. "I thought I'd never get to share this with you…"

Richard pulled her close to him as he moved her towards her big bed. He pulled back, releasing her long enough to remove his boots. Wrapping his strong arms around her, his hands roamed over her back as his lips sought her ear. She leaned her head against his, goose flesh appearing down her arms as his tongue and teeth enticingly played with her lobe. She turned slightly, brushing her cheek tenderly against his, his stubble tickling her skin as his hands began kneading the soft flesh of her back before finding his bottom.

Richard slowly began pulling the straps of her gown from her body, peppering the bare skin of her shoulders with butterfly kisses. Kahlan apprehensively pulled back, suddenly nervous about him taking away the last piece of clothing that prevented their upper bodies from being flesh against flesh. He tenderly took her hands away from the gown, his eyes still locked on hers.

Sensing her sudden nervousness, Richard buried his hands in her thick hair. "Hey, it's going to be alright…I promise. I love you…it's going to be amazing…you are going to be amazing…"

Drawing strength from the love permeating his eyes, Kahlan felt a wave of tranquility wash over her as she allowed her nightgown to slide down her body, pooling on the floor at her feet. Reaching down, she began unlacing his pants. She had never felt more certain about anything in her entire life. His hands quickly found her shoulders, gripping her soft flesh to steadying himself as she made quick work of his laces, pushing his pants down over his hips.

Standing nude before each other, Richard softly murmured, "I just want to look at you first."

Kahlan stood still, nervously chewing on her lower lip as Richard's dark brown eyes, slowly moved from her face, down her neck to her chest. His breath hitched, his body already responding to her as his gaze drifted over her perfect breasts. His chest began heaving with desire as his eyes continued to drink her in, following down her flat abdomen that would someday carry his daughters. His eyes grazed over the feminine swell and curve of her hips down to her gorgeous long legs.

Having never seen a grown man before, Kahlan anxiously allowed her eyes to wander over Richard's muscular form as well. Following his jaw line, she let her gaze drop down his neck to his enticingly distinct chest to the hard planes of his abdominals. She felt such an irresistible need to touch him with her mouth as well as her hands. She felt her chest constrict with longing as she gazed upon the well-defined line that started below his abdominals then angled in. Her eyes continued down his muscular thighs before returning to his dark brown orbs. The intense smoldering passion she saw there made her forget how to breathe.

As his eyes gradually made their way back up to hers, Richard drew near her once more, taking her face in his hands again. "Kahlan, you are so beautiful…even more beautiful than my dreams," he whispered lovingly as he brushed his nose softly against hers, his lips searching for hers. His eyes suddenly grew moist with the overwhelming depths of his love for this woman before him now. He had never in his entire life experienced such intense love for another person until her.

Mouths blindly searching for each other, their lips finally connected, her hands roaming over his back as she conformed to his body, her breasts pressed firmly against his smooth hard chest. His hands immediately found her thighs, bringing them up to wrap around his waist as he lifted her up onto her bed. Settling himself on top of her, the slow steady burn of desire quickly erupted into the passionate flames that had consumed them just moments earlier.

Sweet, tender kisses of reassurance quickly became frenzied open-mouthed kisses of powerful desire, tongues battling each other for dominance. He swiftly began to make his descent down the column of her neck, his lips ghosting over her warm skin, needing to touch every part of her with his mouth.

Kahlan arched her back into his mouth as he found her breasts, her head falling back as she moaned his name. Her hands quickly found his hair, wrapping her fingers in the long strands as she held him to her chest. "Spirits…Richard…"

Her voice was breathless and husky, her warm moist flesh so soft and sensual, swiftly urging him on and further building his already intense longing for her. He was rapidly losing control, desperate for the intimate connection with her, needing to completely lose himself in her.

Kahlan gasped loudly at the sensation of him slowly filling her, tears suddenly stinging her eyes. It was uncomfortable at first and yet marvelous beyond anything she had ever dreamed of. His mouth immediately captured hers, his tongue tenderly stroking hers as he attempted to comfort her, allowing her a moment to get used to the feel of him. "Are you alright?" he murmured anxiously as he lightly brushed his lips over her nose, worried that he was hurting her.

Kahlan nodded, panting for air. "I love you…with all my heart." She swiftly leaned up, capturing his lips, wrapping her legs even tighter around his waist as he began to move over her.

"I love you…forever…" he murmured into her hair.

Leaning his head into the crook of her neck, Richard whispered his love for her again as she kissed his shoulder. He moaned breathlessly as her teeth nipped at his flesh, causing him to increase the tempo. Kahlan's vision began to tunnel, narrowing into pinpoints as her magic awoke like a sleeping beast rearing its head to claim the soul of whoever dared come near.

Richard could feel the vibrating thrum of her magic as it began to rumble from deep within her soul. Sensing that she was still trying to keep a firm grasp on it, Richard lovingly began to reassure her. "It's alright, Kahlan…let go…please…come to me…"

With his final words of love, Kahlan released the fierce hold that she had kept on her magic for so long. Despite Zedd's words of reassurance that Richard could not be confessed because of his infinite love for her, there was a very small part of her that was still scared of letting go, terrified that they were wrong somehow.

The shockwave that instantly coursed through him was like being in the midst of a powerful thunderstorm. The magic that swept over them amplified the intensity of their climax and rivaled the powerful magic they'd felt through the Ta'all Ruk'tan.

With a final cry of her name, Richard weakly collapsed on top of her, their moist bodies melded together. Kahlan lovingly wrapped her limbs around him, holding him close to her as she feathered kisses along his neck and shoulder. The bed in Kahlan's room was now their bed. It's no one else's and would never be. It would always be theirs.

Richard swallowed the lump that suddenly burned in his throat. The love of this woman so overwhelmed him at times, but now experiencing it with her was beyond anything he could have ever imagined. He had come so close to losing her forever, this precious love that he held so tenderly in his arms. He vowed he would die before that ever happened again.

Kahlan thought that she had never known true happiness or love until this man now lying in her bed had come into her life. Finally being able to touch him again, to finally be able to make love with him only made the joy and love that resided in her heart to burn that much brighter. And she swore she would do whatever it took to protect him and the love they shared…

THE END (for now…)