TITLE: Birthday Surprise

AUTHOR: Lord of Kavaka

CHARACTERS: Richard/Kahlan



STORY TYPE: Romance/Smut

SPOILERS: Anything from Season 1 & 2

DISCLAIMER: I do not own them, and I make no profit from this.

SUMMARY: It's Richard birthday and Kahlan wants to make it a memorable one.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: I wrote this as a birthday present for one of my most dedicated readers.

Birthday Surprise

Richard narrowed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose. He sighed, groaning in frustration. He was growing tired of all this reading. It seemed like all he did nowadays was read. If it wasn't reports on this or that, it was request forms for supplies and other such things. He did not know when it happened, but somewhere along the way he had become a bureaucrat; one, in many, that worked for the Council of the Midlands Alliance.

When they had first come back to Aydindril after defeating the Keeper of the Underworld and sealing the rift, Richard found himself with nothing to do. As the Seeker of Truth, his duty had been to protect the Midlands from harm. However, there was nothing to defended it from. Sure, Darken Rahl had returned, but he had no power anymore, having been brought back into Walter's body. And, at least for the moment, it seemed he had no ambition to his past goals of conquering the Midlands, but Richard was determined to remain vigilant.

He sighed. It had been easier when there was an enemy to fight, something to do other than sit here reading reports and approving request petitions. Well, maybe not easy, but less monotonous. At least it gave him something to do. Kahlan had insisted on it. She wanted the council give him a position, so they gave him one. At the time, he had liked the idea, because it meant they could be close whenever the council was in session, but soon it became clear that his duties actually kept them apart. Richard was spending longer hours in his office going over all the forms and papers, and less time with Kahlan.

When they did finally have time for one another, they were both exhausted from their long work days, and all they could manage was snuggling together in bed and going to sleep with their arms around one another. Richard had wanted to do more than just that, but they never found themselves in the mood. They would kiss good night, and snuggle close. He would wrap his arm around her waist and pull her close and nibble at her neck. But anymore than that had not happened yet.

Richard was growing frustrated over the lack of anything physical in their relationship. Sure, he enjoyed their short time together, kissing and fondling each other, but he was going to need more than just that. The only release he had ever gotten in the past two years was that time he had been with Kahlan… well, not really Kahlan, but the half of her that had stayed with him and Cara when she had been split in two. Now that he had the real Kahlan, and had the knowledge that he was immune to her confessor's touch, he wanted so desperately to make love to her.

Whenever they got close, Kahlan would push back and tell him that she was tired, or had a headache. He was beginning to become concerned that she no longer had those feelings for him. However, that went contrary to their snuggling. Their kisses had grown more intimate and longer. Kahlan had finally allowed him to let his hands linger in places that she had never allowed him to touch before. But still, he could tell that she was nervous about going any further. And Richard did not feel comfortable pressuring her. He wanted her to open up to him on her own accord, not because she felt compelled to, just to simply please him.

The sound of the door opening brought his thoughts back to the present. He blinked, staring at a request from a baker for more wheat. He quickly signed the document and stood to greet whoever it was. When he looked up, he was met with a pleasant surprise.

"Kahlan, what are you doing here?" he asked. "I thought that the council meeting was going late this evening."

Kahlan stood before him in her white dress, looking beautiful. Her long dark brown hair shone with a raven black sheen in the candlelight, and her brilliant blue eyes were looking at him with nothing but love. She smiled at him, her special smile, and raised her eyebrows. "Do I need a reason to come and visit the man I love?"

"No," Richard replied, stepping closer and wrapping his arms around her waist pulling her close. She eased into him and they kissed. "Now, what is it that the Seeker can do for the Mother Confessor?"

"He come with me," she said, grabbing his hand. "I have something I want to show you."

"What about the council meeting?" Richard questioned, as she began leading him out of his office.

Kahlan glanced over her shoulder with a smirk. "They can manage without me for one evening," she replied.

Richard gave a nod and allowed her to guide him through the Confessor's Palace and out one of the back doors. The sun had already set, and the stars were out. He arched his neck and looked up, seeing a bright big moon over it all, lighting their way. Kahlan took him through the gardens, walking around shrubs and bushes. Wildflowers surrounded the entire place, and Richard could not help but feel the stirrings of a romantic mood. The moonlight seemed to make the garden glow, and he wondered what Kahlan had in mind.

Soon they were hiking up into the hills and the trees began to surround them. The forest floor was covered in growth. Large ferns, with lush looking leaves, brushed against their legs, as they continued onward up into the surround countryside. The wind picked up and it was warm against his face. Richard smiled as he saw it pick up Kahlan's hair, throwing it wildly around her beautiful features. Kahlan laughed when she noticed him staring.

"Where are we going?" he asked.

"You'll see," she winked.

They climbed up over a ridge and started down into a basin surrounded by lush and vibrant plant life. Richard looked around nervously, concerned about night predators like wolves. But Kahlan did not seemed to be worried at all. In fact, she seemed to be glowing. As they reached the base of the gully, the trees and foliage began to bunch in closer around them. Richard skipped closer to Kahlan and smiled, when he felt her hand tighten in his.

Kahlan led the way, brushing through the dense foliage. Richard followed behind her and stopped suddenly when they broke through into a large clearing. His eyes grew wide and his jaw dropped, as he took in the sight before him.

There was a vast pool of crystal clear—almost aqua blue—water before them, hemmed in by tall elegant trees, shading and shielding the edges of the pool. Vines hung down from the canopy above, creating a kind of curtain around the clearing. In the middle of the large pool, jutting up on a gray stone, roots tangled and crawling down it, arose a large willow tree, it's hanging branches swaying and weaving back and forth in the soft breeze.

Skipping along the surface of the water were specks of orange flickering lights. Richard narrowed his eyes, curious as to what they were. He knew they were not night wisps. Then it hit him: Fireflies. He had never seen so many since leaving Westland. He had always assumed that there were none in the Midlands, but he guess he had been wrong. Along with the fireflies, other insects could be heard, if not seen, as they chirped away happily, singing to one another. The entire sight was very enchanting, almost as if the whole place was touched with magic.

"What is this place?" Richard asked, stepping closer to Kahlan.

Kahlan leaned into him and placed her arm around his shoulder. "You like it?" she asked.

"Yes," he smiled. "It's beautiful."

Kahlan laughed and turned him around to face her. She leaned in closer to him and captured his lips with hers. Richard moaned in pleasure as her soft feminine body pressed against his. He ran his hands around her waist, and gripped her hips pulling her closer. Kahlan pushed back and smiled warmly.

"Happy Birthday, Richard," she murmured, wrapping her arms around his neck as she leaned in for another kiss.

Richard raised his eyebrows, stunned, but soon lost himself in Kahlan's deep kiss. He had forgotten that it was his birthday. It seemed so trivial compared to everything else that was going on. Her tongue pushed against his lips and he eagerly opened up for her. Their tongues collided in a fierce passionate battle that she easily one. They dropped to their knees, continuing to kiss. Richard ran his hands through her hair, loving the silky feel of it. Spirits, they had not been this close in months. Sure their snuggling was more intimate, but nothing like this. This was more passionate, more raw and real.

He groaned, feeling her fingers tickle down his back. Her hands moved back to his chest and she began dancing her fingers down towards his waist, teasing him. Richard blinked, startled. "Kahlan?"

"I wanted to give you a memorable birthday, Richard," Kahlan murmured, her eyes sparkling. She ran her fingers in circles around his chest, and looked up at him with big blue eyes. "Last year, the celebration was ruined. This year, I was not going to take any chances."

"And this is what you wanted to show me?" he said, looking out at the sparkling pool. "Let me guess, Zedd and Cara are organizing some big get together in the dining hall and you're job was to bring me out here and distract me." He smiled. "Should we head back now?"

Kahlan shook her head. "No. We're not yet done here, Richard," she purred into his ear. Her warm breath touched the flesh, and it sent a wave of pleasure trickling down his spine. "Tonight, it's just going to be me and you." She smiled mischievously.

Richard's eyes lit up. "Does that mean…?"

Kahlan reciprocated his smile and nodded. "Yes," she inched closer to him, resting her forehead against his. "I'm ready, Richard."

"Ready?" he echoed, smiling and wrapping his arms around her waist, looking into her eyes as she spoke.

"Yes," she smiled and laughed lightly, running her hands along his shoulders and gripping the flaps of his jacket, tugging at it. "My gift to you, my Richard… is to finally submit myself to you."

"Kahlan," Richard tenderly caressed her cheek. "I don't want you to submit to me. I want to be with you, not simply take you. I love you and want to make love to you. What I want is not just sex, but the pleasure that comes from being with the one I love. And that person is you. It's always been you."

His heart pounded deeply in his chest, as Kahlan gave him her special smile. Her hands drifted up to rest on his shoulders, and she gazed into his eyes with her wonderful blue eyes that sparkled like the stars.

"That's what I want, too, Richard," she cooed softly. "I want to make love to you… to feel you inside me as our bodies thrive and mingle together in the heights of passion."

Richard closed his eyes and his mouth dropped slightly as the images her words manifested in his mind caused him to shiver with anticipation of finally being able to become one with the woman he loved more than life itself. And to have the day be on his birthday only increased his joy.

He gasped as he felt himself being pushed to the ground. Richard blinked and looked up to find Kahlan climbing up on top of him, straddling his middle with her legs. Richard moaned, as she leaned down and pushed her lips to his. He danced his fingers through her long lush hair, running them down its length, and then allowing his hands to drift down her back until they came to rest on her hips. He held her to him as they continued to kiss.

Her lips were so soft and moist; Richard could hardly believe that this day had finally arrived. He'd been waiting so long, waiting to become one with her that he had begun to grow desperate. His need had been building up to the point where Richard was going to have to confront her about her apparent lack of interest in being intimate, but all those thoughts and doubts vanished from his mind as he felt Kahlan's soft and supple feminine form press against his.

After several minutes of intensely warm and passionate kissing, Richard was becoming extremely aroused. Kahlan leaned back and smiled, obviously feeling him pressing against her thigh. "I see you're responding nicely, Richard," she chuckled slightly, raising an eyebrow.

She sat up and slipped off his lap. Richard arched his neck back, groaning from the tease of feeling her legs around his pelvis, enticing his throbbing desire for her. He took a deep breath and looked up at her, watching as she began unlacing the front of her white dress. All the while, she looked at him with her gorgeous blue eyes, enticing him to join her. Slowly, a smile crept along his face as he watched the white fabric fall from around her shoulders, as she let it drop to the forest floor. Standing, she continued to remove her clothing. Her fingers tugged at the strings that held her corset in place.

Richard smiled, and practically jumped up to his feet, joining in on the effort, taking his jacket off in a hurry. Kahlan turned her back to him and looked over her shoulder, her eyes taking in the sight of him, as she removed her corset and let it fall away. Richard tugged at his shirt, pulling it up over his head and tossing it to the floor, disregarding it and not paying attention to where it landed. He looked down and began unbuckling his trousers. Right in the middle of his frantic movements, he felt water splash against him. Richard looked up and saw Kahlan swimming into the deep end of the pool.

Kahlan spun around and waded in the pool, looking up at him, giving him a big smile. "Aren't you going to join me?" she beamed.

Richard quickly removed his trousers, and kicked them away. Kahlan's gaze immediately drifted down to his groin and her eyes grew wide. He shook his head slightly, and laughed, as he stepped into the edge of the pool. Suddenly he stopped and gasped. Tingling sensations seemed to dance up his legs, sending waves of warmth seeping through out his body. He looked up at Kahlan, confused.

"Kahlan, what is this?" he asked, watching as she waded closer to him. For a moment he lost his breath when the top of her breasts broke the surface of the water. Kahlan stopped, obviously pleased at his reaction.

"Why don't you come closer and I'll tell you," she smirked.

Richard walked further until he was standing waist deep in the water. The tingling sensation continued to seep throughout his body and he let out a gasp as he found himself filled with a state of extreme euphoria. He closed his eyes and let out a groan. Hearing the sounds of water dripping and splashing about, Richard opened his eyes to find Kahlan standing fight in front of him. She took hold of his hand and brought it up, laying it on her shoulder.

"What's with this water?" Richard asked, staring into her eyes, as she took his other hand and pulled it around, placing it on her right hip.

Kahlan smirked. "The confessors call it the pool of passion," she said. "I spent a lot of time here in my teens."

Richard lowered his brow. "Really?" he had to let out a moan, as the rippling feeling of ecstasy the water seemed to induce spread through out his body again. "With whom?"

Kahlan smiled and laughed. "No one, well right, maybe some of us younger confessor came out her to get away from it all and have some fun," she said. "It's not what you're thinking," she continued when she noticed him frown. "Confessors don't have lovers, Richard. None of us could be with a man unless we'd confessed him, until you. If you're worried that your gift is spoiled, don't."

She wrapped her arms around him and pushed her body up against his. Richard flushed, feeling her breasts press against his chest. Kahlan lightly kissed his neck and began working her way up to his ear. "I still have my maidenhood, Richard," she whispered into his ear. "After what you said happen whilst I was split in two, I found a midwife and had her check. And that's what my gift is to you."

Richard furrowed his brow, confused. "What do you mean?"

Kahlan backed away, pressing her lips against his, kissing him deeply, and grabbing his head in her hands. "What I'm giving to you," she said, "I can only give once. And there is no one else I would rather give my virtue to than you. I love you, Richard. And I want to be yours for all time." She kissed him again and pulled him to her. "Make love to me, my Richard."

Richard gripped her in his hands, and ran his fingers down her back, until he found the soft flesh of her rear. He leaned forward and began playfully nibbling the supple flesh between her neck and shoulder. He lifted her in his hands, cupping his hands on her bottom. Kahlan smiled and wrapped her legs around his middle, to help him hold her.

He moved them to a shallower end of the pool. They eased down, resting on their knees. Kahlan's cool hands ran down his chest, feeling his muscles. Richard closed his eyes and let out a groan of pleasure at her touch. Kahlan slowly pushed him down. Water splashed up around him, and he felt Kahlan running wet warm kisses down his chest. Her tongue darted out and he felt her tease his abs. He moaned and arched his neck to look down as her hand began to rub his thigh suggestively.

The tingling effect of the water seemed to enhance the sensations she stirred in him. He watched as her fingers danced up his leg, reaching for his growing arousal. She tickled him, teasing him with her fingertips, until she wrapped her fingers around him. He closed his eyes and moaned softly as she began stroking him with her hand, making him harder.

Then he felt a warm wetness surround him. He arched his head up and groaned, seeing her mouth opening wide and descending upon him. Her raven black hair cascaded around her face. He reached down with his hands and brushed it away, wanting to see her as she took him in her mouth and pleased him in ways he never thought she was capable of.

"Spirits, Kahlan!" he moaned, rolling his eyes back, losing himself in the pleasure he was deriving from Kahlan's ministrations.

Her tongue moved around and over his tip. Her hands teased his thighs, as she continued moving her head up and down over him. The ecstasy and bliss she was giving him rippled throughout his body, churning like a storm inside his very core. His cheeks flushed as his arousal grew in strength and intensity. He had to end this before he released in her mouth.

"Kahlan, please, you're going to make me release," he sat up and pulled her away from his arousal, rolling her on to her back. Kahlan laughed as he began tickling her. He ran his fingers under her arms and down her sides. He began kissing her in all the places he had always wanted to kiss her.

Kahlan moaned and murmured his name, as he began caressing her breasts in his hands, and teasing her nipples with his mouth, sucking at them and flicking his tongue out around them. His groin throbbed with need, and he moved over her, sending a hand down to her thigh, rubbing them as he asked her to open up for him.

She readily complied, spreading her legs wide. Richard adjusted himself, and brushed her wet hair away from her face, gazing into the brilliance that was her blue eyes. "Thank you, Kahlan," he said.

"For what?" she smiled.

"For this," he said. "For this evening where we can finally be together. When we can finally make love."

Kahlan rested her hands on his shoulders and returned his gaze, staring up at him with eyes filled with love and desire. "I wanted our first night to be special," she responded. "And I thought that waiting for your birthday and bringing you here would make it a memorable evening."

"Anywhere, anytime, would be memorable enough for me," Richard answered, kissing her cheeks.

She giggled lightly at his touch and smiled. "Well, I wanted it to be memorable for myself as well," Kahlan said. "After all, it's not everyday I'm able to give my maidenhood to the man I love."

Richard gave a nod and leaned down to seize her lips in a kiss. Her hands ran down his back, stopping around his waist. They backed away and shared a breath. "Are you ready?" he asked.

In answer to his question, Kahlan wiggled her hips around and pressed herself up against him. Richard groaned, feeling his hardness brush against the warm quivering flesh that lay between her legs. Spirits, she was dripping wet. No doubt, she was as highly aroused as he was. Richard cupped her face in his hands, and kissed her one last time before positioning himself for entry. His other hand darted down to guide himself in

Locking eyes with his beloved, Richard slowly moved his hips forward. He felt her folds against the tip of his firm manhood and removed his hand, bringing it back up to caress Kahlan's cheek. Her mouth dropped, as he pushed himself passed her folds and into her. She gasped and cried his name. Immediately, he grabbed her lips with his, giving her the most impassioned and deep kiss he had ever given her.

Her hands danced all over his back as he began to slowly stroke back and forth. The shallow water frothed up around them as they moved. Her legs spread even more, allowing him more room to push himself deeper. Their breathing grew heavy and warm as their bodies collided against one another as the pace increased. Her hips would bounce up to meet his when he pushed down, and within moments they were lost in the intense pleasure that each were receiving from the other.

Gasping in overwhelmed delight at the feel of her inner muscles grabbing at him, Richard let out a groan as he pulled back out of her. He wrapped his arms around her and spunned her around, telling her to hold herself up on all fours. Kahlan knitted her eyebrows together and pouted, telling him with a look that she did not like him removing himself from her so soon, but she did as she was told.

Richard sat up on his knees, and parted her legs. He ran his fingers across her rear, squeezing the flesh teasingly, before gripping her hips. Kahlan arched her neck to look over her shoulder. Her mouth dropped in a loud moan when he spread her folds apart and plunged himself back into the depths of her femininity. He bucked his hips back and forth, quickening the pace. He ran his hands over her back and slipped them around to cup her breasts in his palms.

Kahlan slowly eased up and he pulled her back to his chest as he continued to take her from behind. He continued kneading her breasts with his hands, as she arched her head around her shoulder, giving him access to her lips. Her eyes were clouded with pleasure and Richard grinned as he kissed her. They sucked on one another as Richard continued moving inside her. He released one of his hands and moved it down her body, tickling her flat stomach until his reached the curly hairs that singled the approached of her femininity.

"Oh, Richard," she moaned, as he ran his fingers down and clutched the flesh between her legs, adding them to his thrusting movements. He teased her folds and her special place, rubbing it with his thumb as he continued his ministrations, loving the feeling of her bottom's soft firm flesh pressing up against his waist as he shoved himself forward into her.

His other hand continued massaging her breast, as he kissed her shoulder and neck. Kahlan lowered her head and lost herself in the pleasure he was giving her. She moaned and whimpered in pleasure, and Richard could feel her entire being ripple with ecstasy as he pushed himself up against her back.

Kahlan backed away and spun around shoving him to the ground. They laughed as the shallow water sprayed up around them. Kahlan held his hardness in her hand as she positioned herself over him. Richard moved his head up and strained his neck to watch as his hardness pushed past her folds and penetrated her once more. Kahlan lowered her hips over him, taking him all the way in. She placed her hands on his chest for support as she began bucking her hips back and forth. Her drenched hair flung around, slapping soundly against her back as Kahlan quickened her movements over him, letting loose with a loud moan of exquisite rippling pleasure.

Richard groaned and his breath quickened as he began losing himself in the pure bliss of being with Kahlan. She moaned and her fingers latched on to him when he began to synchronize his own movements with hers. He would buck his hips up every time she moved hers. Her swaying increased and she arched her back, leaning forward to kiss him. He moved his hands to her hips and his fingers dug into the soft flesh of her rear, as he held her to him, not wanting to accidentally exit from her as he pulled her closer.

Holding on to her, he rolled them over, moving up on top of her. The move sent water flying into the air. He gripped her hips tightly as he squirmed his hips around to make sure he had not left her. Pleased, Richard moved his hands up her and descended back on her, moving slowly with attentive and deliberate movement, evoking cries of passion from the lips of his beloved. Kahlan gasped and her arms looped around his neck, as he intensified his thrusts.

"Spirits, Richard," she spoke through panting breaths. "I never knew the pleasure could be so… so intense!"

Richard smiled and pushed back the soaked hair that had matted itself to her face. "I think the long wait helped with that," he murmured, staring at her oh so inviting lips, so supple and moist, begging to be kissed.

Kahlan nodded and her eyes seemed to reflect his own desire, because he could sense she was staring at his lips. Richard rubbed his thumb across her cheek and stared deeply into her sky blue eyes. He leaned down and kissed her tenderly, moving his lips slowly over hers. Kahlan, always the touchy-feely type, brought her hand up and held his face, her fingers tickling the skin around his ear.

She closed her eyes as he deepened the kiss, at the same slowing his back and forth motions. He wanted to remember everything about this evening, and he wanted it to last. Kahlan's skin was moist and warm against his, and as they continued their slow intimate kiss, he let one hand freely wander her supple form without guidance.

Richard plunged himself as deep as he could inside her and paused. He wiggled his hips around and backed up, almost completely removing himself, before pushing back in. He could feel Kahlan squirm with delight beneath him and he felt her lips smile. He leaned back and gazed into her eyes, wondering just how much more intense he could take this and if he would even last that long. Richard blinked and smiled when he felt Kahlan's hips sway around him, her inner muscles pulling at him.

"Don't stop, Richard," she pleaded, smiling. Richard kissed her and ran a hand down her side, caressing her thigh as he began to pick up his movements. Kahlan laid her head back against the soft bottom beneath the shallow water and her lips trembled and parted, issuing a light moan.

Richard closed his eyes and lost himself in his movements. The amount of pleasure he got from moving inside Kahlan was indescribable. And he knew that his love for her only heightened those sensations. Not to mention the strange magical elements that seemed to be endowed in the waters of this secluded pool.

Kahlan would gasp and groan, arching her back into him, every time he moved back and forth inside her. Richard continued to touch her supple body, wanting to memorize everything about her. This was his Kahlan, the real and complete one, and he found himself completely devoted to not just deriving as much pleasure as he could, but to deliver even more back to her. He always wanted to please her and give her the same rapture that she brought him. In many ways, it was more important to him than his own pleasure. Sure, this was his birthday gift, but this was Kahlan's first time. He wanted it to be special and memorable to her, a fond memory that she would always look back on with a lazy half-smile of secret joy. So, to help ensure that, Richard leaned forward and kissed her neck, sucking at the flesh there.

He began directing his movements more deliberately to heighten her pleasure; he could feel her grow warm and even wetter down between her legs. Kahlan had been extremely tight at first, and he had been concerned he was going to hurt her, but as he began to move back and forth inside her and his movements were only answered with moans of pleasure, he shook his mind of those fears and concentrated on the lovemaking, instead of the worrying.

Now, Kahlan was still tight, but Richard's ministrations had increased her to such a state of arousal that she was becoming so slick that it was easier for him to push even deeper. He took full advantage of this and increased his thrusts, stroking back and forth with new found energy that came from knowing he was pleasing his love.

At some point, Kahlan seemed to be overwhelmed with the amount of sensory input his lovemaking was giving her, because her hands dropped limply to her sides as she continued to moan and gasp in ecstasy at his ministrations. Her eyes turned a deep black and she let out a loud piercing scream of pure unadulterated pleasure, as she soared towards climax. Nothing touched him; no amount of magical confessing power was capable of making him love her anymore than he already did. She was his complete world and he loved her more than life itself.

Richard felt her inner muscles tighten around him as her climax reached its threshold, intensifying before the denouement. He quickened his movements, wanting to release at the same time as his beloved. But his concentration had been more focused on giving her pleasure rather than himself, so he was not yet there. He stared into the inky blackness of her eyes and watched in amazement as Kahlan's eyes slowly returned to normal. She stared up at him with rapture-fogged eyes, her lips still trembling from the sheer amount of pleasure that he had given her. Just knowing how much he had pleased her brought Richard untold amounts of joy.

"Oh, Richard," she murmured through pants. "That was… that was pure rapture."

Kahlan's control over her limbs returned and she ran her fingers through his hair as she pulled him to her, opening her mouth for him as their tongues danced around each other, as they deeply kissed. Richard pushed himself into her with greater force than before, bucking his hips back and forth at swifter speeds, causing the water to froth and jump up around them. Richard hugged Kahlan, pulling her flush against his chest, shivering with delight at the feel of her soft breasts pressing up against him, as she moved herself to help him penetrate deeper into her quivering flesh.

She whispered his name each time he plunged down into her wetness, and begged him to continue. Then it came, the surge tightening his stomach muscles at first, the forewarning of the release to come. Richard turned his attention back to her and brought a hand up to hold her face to him. He kissed her tenderly as he shoved himself as deep as possible, feeling his muscles tense as he spilled his seed deep inside his love. His release was so great and intense that Richard strained to retain focus least he lose himself in the sheer euphoria that roared through his body.

He groaned loudly and pushed all his weight against the flesh between Kahlan's legs, wanting his release to be as deep as possible. He moaned and gasped her name. And then it was over. He slumped forward and rested his head on her shoulder. Slowly, as his senses came back to him, he eased some of his weight off her and captured her lips in a passionate kiss of gratitude and love.

"I love you, Kahlan," he murmured. "I could not have asked for a better gift in all this world than you."

Kahlan smiled and ran her hands down to grip his backside. She held him to her, rubbing her hands along his firm muscles. "And I love you, Richard," she purred. She batted her eyelashes at him and grinned. "Happy Birthday."