TITLE: Silk and Sand
AUTHOR: Lord of Kavaka
CHARACTERS: Richard/Kahlan
STORY TYPE: Angst/Drama
SPOILERS: Anything from Season 1 and the books.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own them, and I make no profit.
SUMMARY: After discovering the inner storm of the Con Dar within, Kahlan Amnell, the Mother Confessor, is captured and separated from her Seeker. Alone, and without her powers, she must do whatever is necessary to survive.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Found this unfinished on my computer. Judging from the date, I wrote it after I saw Season 1 for the first time and had read Wizard's First Rule and started Stone of Tears. So, I went back to it, reworked it a bit and finished it. Hope you all enjoy.

Silk and Sand – Chapter 1

Kahlan opened her eyes with a start, wondering what had happened and where she was. The last thing she remembered was a band of marauders rushing into their campsite and attacking them. Richard had screamed her name, but then everything had gone black. Letting out a groan, she shifted, reaching up to put a hand on her aching head—she had, no doubt, been struck over the head and knocked out. But as she moved her hand, she felt something metallic around her wrist, chaffing against her skin. Blinking in the dim light, she looked down seeing her hands shackled. Her eyes grew wide and her heart immediately began to pound with anxiety and fear. Where was Richard? That was the first thing that popped into her mind.

She closed her eyes and tried to calm herself with deep breaths. They had been having such a good time. With Zedd away, looking for a place to hide the Box of Orden, she and Richard finally had some alone time, though she knew that that was just as dangerous as anything else. Having discovered the revelation of the awesome power that lurked beneath the surface, the Con Dar, Kahlan had to be even more vigilant in her dealings with Richard.

Added to that, having endured the Wizard Giller's experiment, which had brought the Blood Rage to the surface, Kahlan had to finally confront all the suppressed feelings that she had for Richard. It was an experience that was overwhelming, to say the least. But part of her felt better for having finally openly admitted them. Now that they knew how each other felt, they no longer had that cloud hanging over them. However, a new cloud had come, one that was a constant reminder of everything they could not do or have. Kahlan could never love Richard in the way she wished, in the way a normal woman could. She could never give herself to Richard as she longed to do.

Blinking, and regaining her focus on the present situation, Kahlan looked around, determined to survive and return to Richard. If anything, she would always be by his side. What she found both appalled and terrified her. She was in a dark cell. And she was not alone. There were other women here as well; all chained to the wall, just like her. The stone was cold and she felt a chill. She looked down at herself and gasped. She was wearing nothing but a ragged shift that did little to cover her body. Where was she? And where was Richard!

The clicking sounds of the metal tumblers from the cell door drifted across the room. Kahlan looked up, narrowing her eyes. The door opened and gruff guards came rushing in. Not all the women in the room resisted as the men unlocked their chains and took them out of the cell. It appeared the some were used to this sort of treatment. One of the men approached Kahlan and grabbed her wrists. He pulled her hands up and brought out a key. She watched as he undid the shackles around her wrists. As soon as her hands were free, Kahlan rammed her hand up to his throat and let loose with her powers.

But nothing happened. There was no thunder without sound. No confession. Kahlan's eyes grew wide with terror as she realized that something was wrong. Where she normally felt the churning of her powers in the pit of stomach, there was nothing. The man scowled at her and backhanded her across the face, sending her sprawling to the filthy floor. He bent down and grabbed her wrists in one beefy hand, pulling her up and tossing her over to another man, who hauled her out of the room along with the other women.

Her mind was reeling with what was going on. She did not feel a Rada'Han around her neck, so she shoved that possibility aside. Something else was going on, something that sapped her of her confessing powers. However, whatever it was that had caused this would have to wait. She needed to keep her attention on what was presently going on. The other guards were not as rough as she had anticipated, especially when she conformed to their instructions.

When she was ordered to line up with the other woman, she did as she was told. And when they were told to march, she obeyed, lowering her eyes and trying to wear her confessor's face to mask her fear. They were ushered into an opulent room with lush and lavish furniture. A reclining couch sat in the center of the room, it's frame a dark wood embedded with intricate and detailed ornamentations with gold and silver engraved into its carvings.

Reclining on the couch was a man dressed in a white and gold robe, his mannerism speaking of someone of high social standing. He stood when they entered, revealing himself to be tall and regal in his look. And he wore an expression that proclaimed superiority to all those around him. Kahlan could see slaves dressed in simple tunic hovering around in the background, staying out of the lights of the hanging braziers that lit the room. Placing his hands behind his back and straightening his shoulders, the man looked down his nose at them, as if they were worthless in comparison to himself.

Kahlan swallowed past the lump in her throat and took note of the other women. They all appeared to be around her age or younger. And only one amongst them would be considered homely. The majority of them were highly attractive and had beautiful features. She wondered what this place was, and were it was. But more importantly, her thoughts cried out for Richard, and her concern over his whereabouts.

The man in the white and gold robe stepped forward and smiled at them, lasciviously. His dark eyes darted towards the guards. "Remove their clothing," he ordered his men.

The guards stepped forward and quickly stripped all the women of the rags that they had been wearing. Kahlan shivered and tried to cover herself up, but hesitated when she noticed the threatening look from the guard who had backhanded her earlier. She lowered her arms to her sides and tried not to allow her emotions to show. Never in her entire life had she been so exposed before anyone other than attendants and maidservants, though she had dreamt of standing like this in front of Richard. That had been a dream, and this was not. And this man, who was looking at her, was not Richard.

The man, holding his hands firmly behind his back, began strolling up and down the line of women, his eyes scanning them like they were nothing but merchandise. That was when Kahlan realized what this place was. And who this man was. Upon realizing this, Kahlan could not help but glare at him with all the hate she could muster. This, it turned out, was not a wise thing to do, because it called his attention to her. He paused before her, and his eyes roamed her body. He reached out and touched her, allowing his fingers to slide down between the crease of her breast past her stomach and down to her femininity.

Kahlan shuddered and averted her eyes, looking away as the man felt her down there, spreading her folds and fingering her. He smiled and moved her around to take a look at her backside. His hand slide along her side and he touched her bottom, squeezing her flesh like she was a piece of produce he was inspecting at a food stall. When he spun her back around he groped her breast and ran his fingers along her nipple. Kahlan gritted her teeth and looked back at him, filling her eyes with rage, vowing to herself that she would make him pay for touching her like this. The only man she had ever wished to touch her in the places this man was touching her was Richard, and he was nowhere to be seen. The man laughed at her reaction, then stepped back and continued on down the line.

Pausing, he looked back at her and smirked. "This one might need some breaking in before she services my clients," he said, pointing a finger at her.

"We could send her to the Pit, sir," suggested a fair-haired guard, who, unlike the rest, had nicer armor. He was pacing the floor behind his employer, looking at the merchandise, mainly her. "Perhaps as a reward for one of the fighters." Though he had spoken in a cruel manner, with a pinch of mirth, Kahlan could tell that he was only joking.

However, his employer took it seriously and nodded, looking back at her, his dark eyes scheming. "Excellent suggestion, Necor," he grinned wickedly, then stepped back to look upon the rest of his property.

Necor, now identified, furrowed his brow and cast a sorrowful look towards Kahlan as if to apology. Before he could be caught, though, he hardened his expression and followed behind his master.

"Lovely ladies," the master of the house spoke up, smiling like a politician, opening his arms wide. "Welcome to the House of Betto, home of fantasies and dreams. You will all serve this House with honor and respect. When you are purchased for the night, you shall obey the wishes of the client, as long as their commands do not go against the rules I will lay out. After all, I am a businessman, and my property must be protected. If you do not obey the rules of this House, then you will find that I can be very, very unpleasant." He smirked. "Now, wash your minds of freedom, lovely girls. There is no longer such a thing. You will live to obey and fulfill my wishes. You are no longer individuals, but things. Property of the House of Betto."

Betto paused and his eyes scanned them, stopping on Kahlan.

"However, to show you that I can be a kind master," he said, folding his arms across his chest. "I shall grant you a period of three days of peace before you begin working." Betto paused and looked directly at Kahlan. "For those amongst you who are virgins, you should take this time to prepare yourself, because you shall not be able to claim that much longer." He then turned to Necor and snapped his fingers. "Take them to the baths, I shall want them cleaned and fresh for when their work begins."

Necor pounded his fist to his chest in salute and issued out orders to his subordinates. The men tossed the rags back to them and the women covered up as best they could as they were led out of the room. Kahlan clutched the ragged cloth up to her chest, trying not to breakdown. She had been captured and somehow sold as a whore. And to make matters worse, she did not have her powers, so there was no way she could defend herself. She had never known how must she had relied on that abilities until she no longer had them to protect herself. Yet, despite how awful the situation was, she thanked the spirits that she had not been sold to a pimp in one of the uglier parts of the Midlands. At least here she would be treated with some kindness, at least until she was rented out for the sick entertainment of one of Betto's clients.

As they walked past the cells, Kahlan noticed that she was not the only woman who was sighing with relief that this was not a seedy whorehouse. In such places, they would never have been given anytime to adapt to the situation and would have been thrown in with the selections almost immediately. The guards directed them to a room with a large marble pool that sunk into the floor, filled with warm water, evident by the steam that rose from the surface. The entire place was opulent and rich, leading Kahlan to conclude that this Betto was a provider of flesh to the upper echelons of society.

The bath was the largest one Kahlan had ever seen, and it was filled with women, all gossiping and chatting amongst themselves as they bathed and cleaned themselves. Her and the others were obviously the latest acquisitions. There were men stationed around the room, and they did not hide the fact that they were enjoying their guard duty, openly leering at the women as they bathed. All, except one, the fair-haired guard named Necor, that is. He stood by the door with a morose expression.

There were maidservants, dressed in simple white dresses, standing by the steps leading down into the pool. They were obviously slaves as well, but were not as comely as Kahlan and the rest and had thus been selected as servants instead of pleasure toys. The maidservants took their rags as they walked single-file into the room. Kahlan hugged her arms as she followed the other women down the marble steps and into the warm pool, allowing the heat to seep into her body, desperately trying to think of a way out of this place and back to Richard.