Title: Lie to Me
Author: pristineungift
Beta: nyx4
Fandom: Legend of the Seeker
Character/Pairing: Darken Rahl, Kahlan Amnell, Darken/Kahlan, Richard/Kahlan
Warnings: Mild sensuality.
Rating: T
Prompt: Any fandom, "the lie had a delicious taste."
Summary: Takes place in the Reckoning AU. A lie will set you free. Written for dark_fest.


Lie to Me

Darken opened his eyes, the skin on the back of his neck crawling.

His wife stood at the side of his bed, watching him.

Sitting up, he studied her. It was unusual for Kahlan to enter his bedroom of her own volition.

She had to be summoned.

"What brings you to my bed, Kahlan?" he purred, allowing the sheets bunched at his waist to slide a little further down, purposefully seeking to make her uncomfortable, a small punishment for catching him off guard. "Could it be that you missed your husband's touch?"

Her eyes glittered with the anger that always made his blood quicken, that bright spark of rage that made them seem to glow from within.

Blue fire.

Kahlan sat on the edge of the bed, the desire, the loneliness in her heart pulsing through her veins like poison. She was disgusted with herself. Tears blurred the edge of her vision, but she did not let them fall.

Shame.

She needed this, the warm touch of another. She needed something to thaw the icy shards of her spirit before it broke, brittle thing that it was. She needed to be loved, needed to be held, needed to pretend that she wasn't living an enormous, crushing lie.

Worse, she wanted it.

Darken leaned forward, pressing their lips into a kiss. It was hard, loveless, a passion fueled by rage, a burning desire that would consume them both, leaving only ashes behind.

Kahlan had never allowed him to be gentle with her. She needed him to be the beast that used her for pleasure, their congress a thing of sweat and sex.

Not love.

Never love.

But now she stroked the side of his face, gentling the kiss into something that would pass between lovers. The weight of her life of secret, of the mission she had to fulfill pressed down on her at all times, the pressure ever constant, ever present.

A hard world, a dark world, a cracking shard of ice.

"What is this, Kahlan?" Darken murmured against her mouth, his hands gentle on her back as he pulled her against his chest.

"Tell me you love me," she said in answer, blood rushing to her face as she choked on her disgrace.

He paused in shock, but said the words, his hands warm on her body, gently plucking at the ties of her gown, cradling her against his heart.

He felt a certain sense of triumph, a peace that he had not known he craved.

What do you know about love, except that you will never feel it?

Kahlan had said those words to him once, words that had cut deeper than he knew. But now here she was, finally in his arms.

Wanting him.

Loving him.

And he returned the sentiment, holding her softly, almost reverently.

Tranquil.

He showed her a side of himself she had never before wanted to see, saying with a caress here, a touch there, the things that she had never wanted from him.

Until this night.

The gentle touches, the soft quiet love making, the sighs of contentment in her ear filled Kahlan with contempt and hope.

She clung to her husband, trailing her nails over his skin, savoring the sweet, worshipful way he touched her.

She imagined he had another face.

Richard.

This was how she would survive, how she would keep the sands of time from crushing the air from her lungs. She would be with Richard every night, trading one life of lies for another.

It tasted of sun scorched air, the lie on her tongue.

The lie in her heart.

It tasted of salt, and it tasted of copper. It was the grit of ash, the howl of wind, a bittersweet, cloying venom. It was blood, it was tears, it was the sound of rock crushed underfoot. It was life, it was breath, it was an open sky.

It was betrayal.

It was the slide of a knife into flesh.

"I love you too," she lied.

And it was delicious.