Richard is always going on about all there is to live for. And he obviously believes it, too.

Nicci sees that—it's impossible not to. How he wants to save those random old people, not realizing that it hardly matters what he does—when the Keeper wills, they'll die anyway. It's not like he knows them well, either.

Nicci doesn't get it. Why he cares—what he gets out of it. She doesn't believe in goodness for goodness' sake—not anymore.

Kahlan. There's no getting away from her. True, that was the point of the maternity spell, but Nicci hates it anyway. She didn't realize how much sharing everything with the perfect Mother Confessor would get under her skin. Literally.

It's not supposed to be this way—but sometimes, Nicci can feel Kahlan's perfect goodness humming through her veins. She can feel Kahlan's love for Richard.

And his love for her. Nicci can't quite believe in it. They're both so—so good and pure and perfect. The kind of people who don't—can't—exist.

She sets out to prove it.

It's not hard, finding the guy, convincing him to hurt her—ludicrously easy, actually. Perversely, Nicci finds this reassuring. It restores her lack of faith in humanity.

When Richard saves her (typical), she knows he's only doing it for Kahlan. She hates that.

"We could make her feel better," she says slyly.

Richard just stares at her with those ridiculously trusting eyes of his, and says, "What kind of monster are you?" So maybe she's finally reached the edge of his patient, almost-patronizing understanding after all.

It's only when he's kissing her all over her face on the off-chance that Kahlan will feel it—that Nicci realizes.

Richard is always going on about how much there is to live for. And he's right.

If only for the chance to prove she can do 'good-and-pure-and-perfect' at least as well as the Mother Confessor.

The truth is, the Keeper has never done anything for her. Neither has the Creator.

But she doesn't need them. "Tell your Master I no longer serve him."

Rahl sighs long-sufferingly. "Don't tell me the Seeker has gotten to you…"

His shade disappears with a puff of Han-laced breath. If only all her troubles vanished so easily.

From now on I serve only myself. I just wish I knew who that is.