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Wrenched from a peaceful slumber, Richard jolted awake, the weight of his attackers keeping him pinned, stealing his breath. They had used cunning and stealth to slip into his room unnoticed, charging in unison. He instantly wondered where Kahlan was, unable to feel her lying beside him. And what of Cara? Why wasn't she standing guard to prevent such an attack? Once he dispatched his assailants he would have a word with her. He grunted under the weight of them and in one swift motion, curled an arm around each, rapidly tossing them aside and throwing himself on top of them. They easily surrendered, giggling and squealing as he tickled them mercilessly. "Mommy help!" Mia cried, "Daddy has us!" She could barely breathe through his torment, though she secretly loved it.

Standing next to Cara, Kahlan watched from the door, peeking around its frame.

Richard covered them in playful, menacing kisses. "No one can save you now," he growled, "you're mine!" His two daughters squealed with delight, dissolving into a giggling heap.

Taralyn, the eldest of the two, admonished her father through a fit of laughter, "You're late Daddy, you promised to take us tracking today!"

"Oh I did, did I?" he rumbled, nuzzling her neck with playful kisses, the fingers of one hand tickling her middle as his other hand tormented her sister. He had them both pinned on Kahlan's side of the bed as he kneeled over them. "Did your mother put you up to this?"

Mia, not quite five, saw no harm in tattling, "Miss Cara tried to stop us, but Mommy said it was time you were up. She let…us…come…in!" a frenzy of giggles drowning out the last of her words as Richard increased his onslaught.

Taralyn jumped at the chance of a swift reprieve from her father's torture, "Yes, Daddy! Mommy made us do it!"

Kahlan stepped into the room then at having been found out, and made her way toward the bed, her eyes alight with happiness. She smirked at her daughters, "Remind me to teach you two about the Code of Confessors."

Richard looked up at her from his place on the bed as he kneeled over their girls, a boyish grin on his face. Before Kahlan even knew what hit her he'd snatched her up and pulled her in, all four of them now wrestling and giggling with delight.

Cara rolled her eyes and wondered how long this nonsense would continue, but the family's laughter was infections and before she knew it, she was smiling too.

When the melee finally ended, Kahlan lay panting, her back pressed into the pillows. Taralyn was at her side, exhausted, and held tight to one of her arms, her dark hair so much like her mother's, a tangled mess. Richard hovered over them with little Mia on his back, her stubby arms clutched desperately around his neck. Their daughters, weary from battle, seemed content to just hang on them as they gulped for air.

The look of love Kahlan saw in Richard's eyes took what little breath she had away. She didn't think she'd ever seen him so happy and full of joy. His face was close to hers, their noses nearly touching and through his happiness she heard a hint of desire in his thick whisper, "What's this about a Code of Confessors?"

She smiled and pressed a quick kiss to his lips. Oh, how she loved this man. "Wouldn't you like to know?" she said impishly.

He held a devious glint in his eye, "I can make you talk" he said with a grin.

Cara wisely chose that moment to intrude, "Come on girls…let's go have some breakfast. Your father will take you tracking after you've eaten." Excited at the prospect of soon being on their way, both girls gave a quick kiss to their mother and father and jumped off the bed.

After they'd climbed down, Richard pulled Kahlan closer in his arms, gazing deep into her beautiful eyes. Once the door clicked closed behind them, he kissed her; long and slow, showing her all the love he felt for her inside. After it ended he stayed close, keeping her tight in his embrace, "So, are you ready to tell me about this Code yet?"

Kahlan's eyes smoldered with the heat of his kiss and she slowly shook her head, "You'll have to force it out of me."

She could see the muscles in Richard's jaw flex at the tempting prospect. "With pleasure" he replied, covering her mouth with his.

End