KAHLAN'S BIG NEWS
"Are you sure?" Richard asked, staring at her almost in disbelief.
He had just returned from a hunt with Commander General Meiffert and some men of the First File, taking longer than expected. He had been anxious to return to the People's Palace and his Kahlan. When they arrived back, he found her with Cara in one of the devotion squares talking quietly to each other as Kahlan played her delicate fingers through the cool water of the reflecting pool.
Now sitting beside her on a stone bench, he could hardly believe what she had just told him.
Kahlan gave him her special smile, the one she reserved only for him. Her blue eyes sparkling with that ageless quality he had seen so many times in her and others; Adie, Verna, Nicci. They all had that ageless quality that flowed from their Han. Yet Kahlan's was something special, something wondrous. Uniquely her. It was almost as if it burned only for him.
She laughed softly as she placed a hand on his cheek. "Yes, Richard Rahl. I am sure. A Confessor knows." She smiled softly, then added, "A woman knows."
Everything he had ever wanted seemed to finally coming true. Since the day he first encountered Kahlan running from a quad of D'Harans in Westland to the day they opened the Boxes of Orden and defeating Darken Rahl, too sealing the Rift and discovering that their love was stronger than her magic, that he could not be confessed. All he ever wanted was to be with Kahlan, his wife, the woman he loved more than life itself.
"The Lord Rahl is speechless," smirked Cara mockingly, leaning against a pillar, her intense blue eyes betraying her true feelings, revealing how happy she was for her two friends.
Richard looked over his shoulder at her. "You knew?"
Cara raised an eyebrow and fiddled with her blonde braid, trying to look innocent, a hard thing for a Mord'Sith to do when clad in their red leather. "What the Mother Confessor and I discuss when our husbands are out hunting is none of your business."
Richard could not help but smile. Cara had grown so much since the first time Egan and Ulic pulled him off the streets of Aydindril, before he made a very big mistake in dealing with some Blood of the Fold, and took him to her and her Sisters of the Agiel.
She had been at his side ever since. From his dissolving of the Midlands Alliance and the formation of the D'Haran Empire to combat the Order, through Chainfire and his frantic search for the woman everyone told him was a phantom of his imagination. Though at the time she did not fully believe him, she never wavered in her loyalty. Out of all the Mord'Sith, he believed Cara had been the first to fully reclaim her lost humanity.
He turned back to Kahlan, his brown eyes filling with concern. "His everything all right, I mean... are you okay?"
"The Mother Confessor had trouble keeping down her breakfast," Cara scowled, speaking before Kahlan could even open her mouth.
Kahlan gave the Mord'Sith a look, then turned to Richard and smiled. "I'm fine, Richard," she reassured him. "Nicci checked me this morning. I'm fine. Everything is fine."
Slowly, Richard allowed the joy he felt to seep into his heart, a smile slowly began to spread across his lips. "We're going to have a baby," he murmured softly, then looked up at her blue eyes, and kissed her. "And she'll look just like her mother. Beautiful, smart—"
"If she's anything like the Mother Confessor," Cara chimed in. "She'll be a handful." She pointed an accusatory finger towards them. "And don't expect Benjamin and me to babysit when you two want some alone time. The wizard can handle that."
Richard laughed. "I'm sure her great-grandfather would be more than welcomed to babysit."
Cara smirked. "I'm sure he would. Beside, he'll have the Prelate and her Sisters to help him."
Richard turned back to Kahlan, suddenly missing Zedd and wishing his grandfather was here in the People's Palace instead of back at the Wizard's Keep. "We should go to Aydindril," he said firmly. "You should give birth in the Confessor's Palace." It just seemed right that the first new confessor, their first child, should be born there, where Kahlan had grown up, where all the Mother Confessors before her had reign.
Kahlan smiled softly. "I'll go wherever you go, Lord Rahl," she teased him, caressing his cheek, flashing him her special smile. Then her eyes suddenly became distance, as if lost in a dark cloud of worry. She trembled slightly and her hand moved to rest over her stomach.
Fearing something was wrong, Richard inched closer and placed his arms around her, wanting nothing more than to comfort his beloved. "Kahlan, what is it?"
She tried to wave off his concern with a smile, but he could tell it was forced.
"Kahlan, tell me," he commanded, more sternly.
"I was just thinking about Shota's promise," Kahlan replied, the worry in her voice evident.
Richard remembered that promise all too well. Shota had interrupted their wedding, freezing time in the Mud People's village, and spoken to them. The witch woman had promised that if they conceived a child, no matter how she felt about Richard and Kahlan, she would destroy it before it became the monster her visions told her it would become.
He did not believe in her visions for one second, but he knew the Shota would keep her word. She was devious like that.
"Don't worry about that witch woman," Cara spoke up loudly. "The Mord'Sith can handle her. And if we need help, not saying that we will, but if we did I am sure Nicci, with her subtractive magic, can assist. Nicci did, after all, make her own promise to Shota." The Mord'Sith smirked, remembering Nicci's encounter with the witch woman in Aydindril.
"Cara," Richard called to quiet her.
Cara gave a shrug, but remained quiet.
"Kahlan," Richard returned his attention to the Mother Confessor. "Don't worry about Shota. I'll protect you and our baby. I will not allow any harm to come to either of you."
"What if our child becomes a monster, like she warned us?" Kahlan asked him, fear rippling through her voice.
"You know I don't believe that," Richard replied, trying to calm her. "How can our child ever become a monster, Kahlan? She'll be surround by those who love and care for her. She'll be guided and nurtured by us and our friends. We will teach her our values and ideals. And if Shota tries to interfere, well, I am a War Wizard, I'm sure I can figure out someway to stop her." He smirked, allowing himself a small bit of pride at all he had accomplished in the past. "I did after all figure out how to open and close the Boxes of Orden."
Much to his dismay and horror, before he had used the Sword of Truth on the boxes, Kahlan had told him that she loved him. He had been both heartened and devastated when she had said that. Richard feared that she was no longer protected in a sterile field and that the emotions would contaminate her chances of regaining her memory once he repaired the damages caused by Chainfire.
However, when he pulled his sword from the boxes, Kahlan had miraculously been brought back. Somehow, the fact that she had fallen in love with him all over again, and for the same reasons, had protected her memories and brought them back to her.
Blinking his eyes, coming back to the present, Richard saw Kahlan smiling at him. By the look in her eye, he knew she was remembering that day as well.
"You are a rare person, Richard Rahl," she echoed the very same words she had said to him when he had closed the Boxes of Orden and they had found out that her memories were restored.
Smiling, he leaned in and kissed her, much like he had on that day. It was a kiss of longing and joy at having your loved one returned to you when you had thought them lost. Now, more than ever, he wanted nothing more than to take her to Aydindril and spend nights on end with her in that big bed of hers in the Confessor's Palace.
After breaking from their kiss, Kahlan gave a nod. "To Aydindril it is then," she spoke, breathlessly, the wisps of a smile still on her lips. "And my big bed."
Out of the corner of his eye, Richard could tell that Cara was aching to say something. With a nod of his head, he gave her his consent.
"What is it, Cara?"
Her eyes looked worried, as if she had just thought of something that tore down her whole world. "Lord Rahl, I… I was just thinking... if Confessor's only give birth to daughters, then who will inherit the title of Lord Rahl?"
Richard raised his eyebrows. He had not thought of that. Kahlan looked up, terrified. "Richard," she said, terror gripping her voice. "I… I…! Oh, Richard… I'm so sorry, I cannot give you a son."
He reached over to sooth her, but she would not have it. She had a desperate look in her eyes, as if she was fighting with all her might to contain her raging emotions.
"I can never give you a son," Kahlan repeated, her emotions raw. "Never… never," she shook her head despondently. "A male confessor would be worse than the Order. You… you… oh, Richard," she was near tears. She sucked them back and tried to put on her confessor's face, but she was unable to. "You have to pass on your gift to a male heir… for the good of the D'Haran people, for the Midlands… there will need to be a Lord Rahl."
She began to tremble as tears rolled down her cheeks. "Oh, Richard," she sobbed. Kahlan's eyes turned to Cara. "Cara…?"
"Yes, Mother Confessor?" Cara stepped forward, looking confused and a little anxious at the tone Kahlan's voice carried.
"Cara…," Kahlan stammered, taking a deep breath, finally masking her emotions with her confessor's face. "You… You'll need to provide Richard with a male heir." She could not stop herself. "Or maybe Nicci… she loves you, Richard. She'll be willing to bear you a son."
"Kahlan, no," Richard took her head in her hands. "No. You are the only woman who I ever want, Kahlan. You, no one else, will be the mother of my children."
"But you need a son," she began to protest.
"If I can only have daughters with you, then I want daughters!" Richard declared adamantly, leaving no room for doubt in Kahlan's mind. "Besides, D'Hara has no need for the bond anymore. Jagang is defeated. There are no more dreamwalkers. He was the last of his kind."
"Are you so sure?" Kahlan questioned, almost sounding distraught, as if she was right and he was wrong. "He took so many women to his bed, Richard. So many. Dear spirits, believe me, I know. When he held me captive… Oh, Richard, the things he did to those poor women—the things he did to Nicci!—Oh spirits, what if he planted his seed in one of them? Somewhere out there… there might be an infant destined to become a dreamwalker."
"Shh," Richard soothed. "Don't worry, Kahlan. I do not think that there is another dreamwalker. Jagang would not have wanted any competition. He would not have sired another."
"Our child will be more than a match if ever another dreamwalker shall arise," Richard said. "And besides… Nathan's not that old. I'm sure he can provide us with a male Rahl if need be."
Cara narrowed her eyes behind him and scoffed. "Are you seriously suggesting we allow that mad prophet to be the forefather of the next Lord Rahl?"
Richard gave a shrug. "Its either that or the D'Haran people learn to except a Confessor and an Amnell as their leader."
"An Amnell?" Kahlan looked up questioningly.
He turned back to her and held her hands to his chest, placing them just above his heart. "I took the title and name of Rahl only because I had to," he answered. "I want our children to have the Amnell name. Your name. Not a name that I associate too much with Darken Rahl and his crimes. The Rahl name has brought nothing but trouble."
"It brought me you," Kahlan objected. "It brought me my Richard."
Richard smiled, and caressed her cheek. She closed her eyes and eased into his touch.
"We'll have a daughter, Kahlan, I know it. I feel it in my bones. And she'll be just as beautiful, as strong, and as smart as her mother," he said. "She'll be our little confessor. And she'll be the one who can fully unite both D'Hara and the Midlands."
"Oh, Richard," Kahlan inched closer and kissed him.
Cara rolled her eyes and grumbled. "If you two are heading towards where I think your heading, then you better get back to your bedchambers. It would not do for all of D'Hara to her the Mother Confessor's cries of ecstasy for the Lord Rahl echoing throughout the People's Palace."
She fiddled with her braid, annoyed that they appeared not to have heard her. "Though," Cara continued, but mainly speaking out loud to herself, acting like she was oblivious to the passionate lip locking that was going on right in front of her. "I suppose it does not matter where the Lord Rahl takes the Mother Confessor, because her cries will be so loud it is sure to wake the dead. Spirits know you two keep me up all night with your constant cries of passion."
Richard and Kahlan backed out of their embraced and laughed, no longer able to contain their amusement at their friend's ramblings.
"Laugh if you must," Cara said rolling her eyes at them. "Maybe Benjamin and I will keep you up tonight instead! It's been a while since I've had my husband in my bed. Lord Rahl is always taking him off on some hunt or some diplomatic mission to Nicobarese or Tamarang or wherever."
As Cara continued to rant, Richard and Kahlan hugged each other tightly, smiling and thinking about the future that lay ahead of them; a future filled with promise, hope, and love.