TITLE: Picnic Surprise
AUTHOR: Lord of Kavaka
CHARACTERS: Richard/Kahlan
RATING: NC-17
TIMELINE: Sometime during Season 2
STORY TYPE: Romance/Fantasy
SPOILERS: Anything from Season 1 & 2, and the books.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own them, and I make no profit.
SUMMARY: Richard surprises Kahlan with a picnic on a day marked for lovers. Kahlan then surprises Richard.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This story is for ForeverRK and anyone else (members of BOTS or JAMA) who have been traumatized and are in need of some happy R/K fluff after reading The Fanfic That Shall Not Be Named (yes, I just went with an HP reference… deal with it. LOL). Oh, and this is also a tag/add-on to ForeverRK's "Valentine's Day Surprise" one-shot.

Picnic Surprise – Part 1

Kahlan waited all morning and all afternoon for Richard, and he hadn't shown up yet. She was beginning to think he had backed out of his little Valentine's Day surprise. Perhaps she had allowed her fantasies about what today was going to be like to get carried away. Just as she was about to turn in early for the night, Richard came into view, walking through the trees wearing a soft smile on his face.

"Kahlan…," he called after her, giving her an apologetic look. "I'm sorry I took so long, but now I'm ready to show you something."

Kahlan almost forgot to breathe; she hadn't thought that Richard would really do something for her. She had expected that maybe he was going to give her flowers or some tasty confectionary, but from the look in his eyes, it was like he had spent the entire day preparing something just for her and her alone. He extended his hand, silently pleading with her to come with him.

"Yes, of course," Kahlan said after a deep breath. "Lead the way."

Richard grinned as Kahlan accepted his offered hand, and then led her back through the forest to the waterfall beyond. She gave his hand a soft squeeze when she saw the tumbling water, letting him know that she was right behind him. The smile on his lips as he glanced back at her confirmed that he knew. As they got closer to the cascading water, Kahlan was in awe and wonder at how breathtakingly beautiful the view was. Kahlan thought they were going to stop here, but then Richard kept leading her on, their hands still clasped together, his fingers slowly intertwining with hers.

A small blush worked its way onto her cheeks. Richard had never held her hand like this for so long, and the growing intimacy of the hold was making her heart flutter in all the right ways, almost rendering her lightheaded. They proceeded to climb up the rocks to a small cliff right on top of the waterfalls. The noise of the water crashing down over the edge was almost deafening, but the pounding of her heart seemed to pulse even louder through her ears.

When they finally came to a stop, Kahlan blinked, unable to believe the sight before her eyes. Candlelight flickered all around a small gathering of rocks that were scattered around before them. In the middle of the rocks was a blanket—her green blanket, no less—spread out with a basket full of strawberries and chocolate cake, which was one of Kahlan's favorite deserts. And another one of Kahlan's favorites was there as well… a large bowl of Richard's spice soup.

Kahlan was so focused on the assortment of foods that Richard had arranged that, as he seated her down, she had almost missed that there were dozens of white rose petals littering the ground, covering the green blanket and forming a circle around their private picnic. Finally noticing all that he had done, Kahlan was left speechless, not knowing what she could possibly say to thank him for going through the obvious trouble that he had… and all of it just for her. She just couldn't find her voice. It was like it had vanished. She had never been so astonished or humbled in all her life with the depths of obvious care that had been dedicated just for her.

Out of the corner of her eye, Kahlan noticed that the edge of Richard's mouth had curved upward in a smile. His eyes were locked on her and she just knew he was memorizing her reaction.

"Do… do you like it?" Richard asked, sounding a little bit nervous, as if he was afraid he had gone overboard in his Valentine's Day surprise.

"Like it?" Kahlan breathed out, finally finding her voice. "Dear Spirits, Richard… I love it!" She threw her arms around his neck and squeezed him so tightly he literally expelled all the air from his lungs.

Kahlan backed away, blushing brightly at how tightly she had hugged him. "Sorry," she squeaked out.

Richard smiled back at her and gently caressed her cheek, his eyes lighting up at her obvious blushing. "Never apologize for hugging me, Kahlan… never," he murmured out, before gripping her head by her jaw and holding her steady as he surprised her with a kiss.

An unexpected moan escaped her throat as she parted her lips, letting his tongue in. It always surprised her how she so quickly submitted to Richard, and how much she enjoyed his touches. And he always managed to catch her off guard when he did so. Of course, she was the first to back out of the kiss once it had gone far enough. She loved him dearly, yet she wasn't willing to risk confessing him.

He smiled at her and rubbed her cheek tenderly, his warm brown eyes growing heavy with love. Her breath caught at the sight, and she averted her eyes as her cheeks warmed with another bright blush. Richard leaned back and turned to pick up the bowl. He held it in his hands and swirled the spoon, before capturing some of the spice soup. Kahlan turned and watched him with a wisp of a smile on her face. He winked at her and held up the filled spoon. She obligingly opened her mouth.

Closing her lips around the spoon, and savoring the flavors and aroma of the spice soup, Kahlan he closed her eyes and hummed with contentment as the warmth flowed down her throat and into her stomach as she swallowed. "Delicious," she mumbled, opening her eyes up to look back up at him, licking her lips. She had no idea being fed by someone else, especially when that someone else was her Seeker, could be so… so sensual.

Richard grinned, and held up another spoonful. "Would you like some more, Mother Confessor?" he asked.

"Oh, yes… please," Kahlan quipped back, opening her mouth.

XXX

As they finished enjoying eating the spice soup, each taking turns feeding the other, Kahlan started to feel a warmth in her core she had never felt before. Richard leaned over and held up a strawberry, slowly tracing it over the lines of her lips before she parted them. She slowly sucked on the fruit before taking a delicate bite and swallowing. Richard smiled and brought the fruit to his lips and slowly sucked on the juices before taking a bite out of it himself, his eyes locked on hers the entire time. Kahlan's heart seemed to skip a beat as he did so.

Afterwards they nibbled on some of the cake, but truth be told, they were both quite full from the spice soup, it was, after all, a very hearty meal and quite filling. But the warmth Kahlan felt in the pit of her stomach had nothing to do with the soup. Her cheeks flushed as Richard set down the half-finished slice of cake, his free hand absently coming to rest on her thigh as he shifted back to her.

The most adorable self-satisfied smirk formed on his lips. "I told you that this would be a night you would never forget," he murmured.

"That it is, Richard," Kahlan nodded in agreement, but then a sudden unexpected thought struck her. Perhaps Richard was right… perhaps his love was strong enough to withstand her confessor's magic. He had been trying to convince her for weeks. And she could tell by the way he looked at her that he was already devoted to her. Spirits, sometimes that look he gave her was so eerily similar to the look she saw in the eyes and faces of the men she had confessed. Yet with Richard, that look, that expression, that gaze—whatever you wanted to call it—was not artificial or generated by magic. With Richard it was real and genuine.

Taking a deep breath, having made her decision and feeling more confident about it, Kahlan scooted closer to Richard. "However… you know what would make this night more special?" she asked, her voice low and sultry.

"Um… no, what?" Richard inquired, his cheeks noticeably flushing a bit at her sudden new proximity.

Kahlan moved closer to Richard, all the doubt in her mind vanishing as she looked into his warm brown eyes. They could do this. She didn't have to fear confessing him, because she knew, deep down, that his heart—his soul—already belonged to her, just like hers belonged to him. She placed her hands on either side of his face, and without warning, surprising him like he had always surprised her, Kahlan captured his lips in a heated passionate kiss that took his breath away.

Richard's hands immediately wrapped around her and she felt his fingers make their way into her long hair. She closed her eyes, losing herself in the sweet taste that was their love for one another. Kahlan moaned into his mouth as she felt his hands move around to the front of her white confessor's dress. She did not protest or object when his fingers began tugging at the laces.

She wanted this, wanted him; she had wanted this so badly and for so long. Kahlan was done with it… done with the waiting and the longing, the pretending that it was something that could be fought or buried. Tonight was going to be special. Tonight would be the night she finally relented and gave in to her desires, her wants, and her needs. Tonight she would open herself up to her Seeker… her one true love. Her Richard.

Tonight they would finally become one.

Letting out a gasp at the sudden rush of cool air upon her skin, Kahlan realized that Richard had removed her top and had already freed her chest from the tight constraints of her corset. Spirits, when the Seeker wanted something, nothing appeared to stand in his way. Her cheeks flushed and she looked up into his darkening eyes.

"Richard…?"

His movements paused and he looked down at her, hesitation flashing into his eyes. "Kahlan… are you sure about this?" he asked, his hand slowly rubbing her shoulder. The way his palm and fingers were rubbing and kneading her bare shoulders left tantalizing promises of the caresses to come if she relented.

Biting her lower lip, Kahlan nodded. "Yes," she murmured out, barely in a whisper.

Once she had given her consent that she was willing to do this, Richard smiled down at her and moved his hand off her shoulder. He ran his hand over her breast, cupping it in his palm as he touched her flesh for the first time. Kahlan shivered, and her spine tingled, as his fingers kneaded into her as he leaned forward to kiss her. His other hand drifted around her waist pulling her closer to him. Kahlan shifted her neck, giving him access as he peppered kisses down her jaw and along her slender neck. His mouth found her pulse point and he latched on, sucking on her supple flesh. Her eyes rolled into the back of her head as a moan of pleasure escaped her lips.

He smirked against her neck, and shifted, moving his head to her breasts. His kisses were light, like butterflies dancing across her exposed skin. Kahlan arched her back and closed her eyes, relishing the feel of his lips upon her. A sudden gasp escaped her lips, and she moved her hands, tangling them in his messy hair. Gripping at the brown strands of his hair, Kahlan tugged him closer. His tongue flicked out and circled one of her nipples before his lips wrapped around it and he began to suckle, making her groan even more, pushing herself into him.

Holding him to her chest, Kahlan shook with feelings and sensations she had never felt before. Blinking, she encouraged him on, running her fingers through his hair and down his back, tickling his spine. He laughed into her chest, and his breath was moist and warm, which only seemed to excite her more. A pool of wetness was forming between her legs and Kahlan almost growled with animalistic need as she pushed him down onto his back and crawled over him, straddling his middle.

A surprised grunt escaped Richard's lips, but she soon silenced it as she bent over him, capturing his mouth in a searing kiss. Kahlan tugged the tails of his shirt out from under his trousers and worked her fingers down, unbuttoning the notches until she could run her hands along the hard planes of his chest. Richard groaned into her mouth as her fingers danced down his abdomen towards his hips.

She circled her finger around his navel, before moving past, shifting slightly in his lap as she gripped the buckle of his belt. Richard arched his neck up and watched as she unclasped his belt and slid it away, depositing the gleaming silver metal that was the Sword of Truth off to the side, next to the basket of chocolate confectionary. Leaning over him again, Kahlan captured his lips again, pouring everything she had into the kiss, ignoring the thrumming in her gut from her powers aching for release.

Long ago, when she was but a young confessor, blossoming into womanhood, an elder confessor had taken her aside and explained the mating process. Kahlan had been embarrassed and uncomfortable about hearing of such things, but, right at this moment, she vividly remembered the lecture. The senior confessor had told Kahlan that during the heights of physical pleasure, a confessor would lose control of her powers. Kahlan had not understood this. How could a confessor lose control of her powers? It seemed inconceivable to her.

Then the elder confessor explained that pleasure could dull the senses, and make you disoriented and blind to the world around you. Such things would cause lapses in concentration, resulting in the release of the confession powers, which a confessor always had to hold back with sheer will power alone. Kahlan had still been confused. So the elder confessor told her how to stimulate herself and reach physical release. The confessor told Kahlan that after she had done that, to then come back and they would finish their conversation.

So, Kahlan went back to her bedchambers with instructions. She was a little nervous and confused over how rubbing herself between her legs would cause her to lose control of her powers. But she did as she was told. She laid down on her bed, imagining a handsome man while hiking up her black skirts and sliding her hand underneath the waistband of her underthings. Her fingers sought out the nerve bundle the elder confessor had told her about.

She had gasped, loudly at that, when her fingers had first touched that sensitive place. And soon, she was moaning, imagining things she would blush if ever demanded to describe. Her cheeks flushed and her whole body warmed. She felt a strange warmth coalescing in her middle and then everything burst. Kahlan had felt her hold on her powers weaken and dissolve. It had happened exactly as the elder confessor had told her it would.

When she went back to finish the discussion, Kahlan was finally able to understand what the senior confessor had been trying to tell her: When she took a mate, and lay with him, she would feel that pleasure explode throughout her body, and her powers would let loose and consume the soul of the man she was with. When Kahlan told her instructor her thoughts about it, the elder confessor had nodded, telling Kahlan that this was the reason why confessors did not have lovers, but rather mates. No confessor would wish to take away the soul of a man they loved, making him a shell of the man he had been before.

Along that line of reasoning, it had also become the habit of confessors not to take good and honest men as mates. According to Kahlan's instructor, doing so would deprive the Midlands of noble men that were so very lacking. And that was the reason Kahlan had tried to deny and bury her feelings for Richard. He was a strong, noble, and brave man... one whom the Midlands desperately needed. Yet here Kahlan presently was, feeling that tenuous grip on her powers slipping, while straddling and ready to willingly give herself to a good and honest man that the whole world could not live without.

Kahlan had never intended for this to happen. She had never expected to develop these romantic feelings for Richard in the first place, and they were all so new and foreign to her. She had recognized other men as attractive, even some of those vile fiends that she had had to confess, who one day might even be chosen as a mate. But with Richard… oh Spirits, with Richard everything was different.

He was the light of her life. With him there always seemed to be hope, not just for a future where the Underworld was once again sealed off from the land of the living, but a world in which she—a confessor condemned to a loveless life with a confessed mate—could actually bask in the love and affection of a man who truly loved her without the aid of magic.

And now, thinking back on her instructions in sexuality, Kahlan found that the man she had pictured that night, so long ago when she had first pleasured herself, oddly resembled the man she was currently with… the love of her life. That realization added further reinforcement to her decision to give in and allow this to happen. Perhaps their love had been fated. Surely the good spirits would not bring them together to then deny them that which everyone else had?

Breaking away from the kiss for air, with all these thoughts swirling her in her head, Kahlan heaved in a deep breath. "Do you love me?" she asked, needing to hear the words to fortify her resolve, to give her even more incentive to submit to him—to Richard—like she had never submitted to anyone or anything in her life.

"With all my heart… and more," Richard replied, his voice soft and loving. His hands moved up from her arms and his fingers became entangled in her long raven black hair. "I'd go to the ends of the world and beyond for you, Kahlan. I'd risk everything—everything—simply to be with you, even if it is just for one moment." He swallowed, his warm brown eyes seeming to drink in her features. "I'd rather live a chaste life with you than have a whole harem of women at my beck and call."

She paused and her breath hitched up as her heart seemed to forget to beat for a moment. "You… you really mean that, don't you?" she asked, staring deep into his eyes, shamelessly using her powers to read him.

"Yes," was his singular reply, leaving no room for doubt or misunderstanding.

Kahlan smiled slowly, giving him that special smile that she saved for him and him alone. "I love you, too, Richard," she answered his declaration with her own.

His arms wrapped around her middle and he spun them around, pinning her into the blanket. She let out a soft giggle as the world spun around her, then shivered with anticipation as she felt the warmth that radiated from his exposed chest as he loomed over her. Kahlan smiled up at him as he leaned down and kissed her lips softly, bringing one hand up to hold her face as he did so. She arched her back, pressing her chest against his, earning a moan from his mouth.

Grinning, Richard leaned back, breaking their kiss and hurriedly removed himself of his shirt, tossing it absently to the side. Kahlan leaned up slightly off the blanket and reached down to his trousers, quickly working the laces. Richard sat up on his knees, giving her more room to work with, letting her undress him, as he had undressed her. Kahlan sat halfway up, but had trouble stabilizing herself. A smile touched her lips when Richard's hands dropped down to her shoulders to steady her.

Suddenly it dawned on her what she was doing. Her cheeks went bright pink and she had to catch her breath. Kahlan's hands began to tremble. She believed she knew what to expect, but she was unsure. She'd only caught glimpses of Richard as he bathed, as he had with her… she knew he watched her, even if he thought he was being stealthy. He probably suspected her of spying on him as well. Richard's hands began to massage her shoulders, and she remembered how exposed she was too him. Richard had seen her chest… touched her breasts… Spirits, he'd even kissed and sucked her flesh.

Swallowing hard, Kahlan finished the last of the strings lacing up the front of his trousers. Breathing in heavily, she tucked her fingers under the waistband and pulled down. Richard's arousal sprang forth in all it's glory, making her lose her breath and forgetting where she was. She was simply stunned. Suddenly, his hands were on her, easing her back down, as he completely removed himself of his trousers. Kahlan submitted to his guidance, lying back down on the blanket, feeling her cheeks warm, the image of his firm erect arousal flooding every corner of her mind.

Kahlan was vaguely aware of the fingers working their way around the fastenings around the lower half of her confessor's dress, her thoughts still firmly fixated on what she had seen spring to life before her eyes. It startled her that she aroused him to such… such a degree. A chill rippled over her legs and Kahlan blinked, coming back to herself. She arched her neck and looked down, seeing Richard free her of her dress. Unlike his shirt and trousers, he tenderly folded it up and placed it off to the side, making sure to keep it safe.

She smiled at the gesture. Kahlan had known that he would have willingly ripped the dress off her to get at what was underneath. But he understood the important of that white dress, not just to her, but also to the Midlands. As the last confessor, Kahlan was the only hope for the Midlands to have more. And now… now she was finally allowing herself to believe in the possibility that Richard would be the father of those future confessors.

Richard leaned down over her, his hands running up her now bare legs. Gooseflesh followed his fingertips, and she was unsure whether it was from the cold breeze or his gentle touch. A soft hum manifested itself in her lips as his hands moved further up her legs, to her thighs and then her hips. That's when she realized he had yet to remove her underthings. She gulped and looked up, gazing at his strong chest as he hovered over her. One hand left her hip and came up to her face.

He gently grabbed her jaw and directed her eyes to his. "Kahlan… are you absolutely sure about this?"

"Why… why do you ask?" Kahlan stammered out, growing worried. "Do… do you have doubts?"

"None," he declared, smiling down at her with a countenance of pure and utter love that simply made her heart melt, rendering all her fears mute. "I just wanted to make sure that you had no doubts or uncertainties, because…" he swallowed hard before continuing, "because once we do this, there is no going back. Once… once I… you'll never be the same. And… and I will never be able to let go… of you."

"Richard… what are you trying to tell me?" she asked.

"You know that I love you with all my being… all that I am?" he asked earnestly, bending down so that his face was inches from hers. She shivered, feeling his desire brush against her thigh.

"Yes, Richard… I know," Kahlan replied with a nod, her eyes watering with the depths of love she saw reflecting out of his eyes. "I feel the same. Words cannot begin to describe how I feel about you."

Richard's hand tightened around her face. "Be mine… forever."

"Yes," was her reply.

His lips were soft and tender against hers, and she felt his hand slide down her throat as he touched her chest again, kneading her breasts and teasing her nipples, making her grow warm and mushy all over. She trembled under his touch, not from fear or worry, but from pleasure. His touch felt so wonderful, beyond anything she had imagined. And if his hand on her breast felt like this, then what would he feel like once he was between her legs!

Backing out of the kiss, Richard rested his forehead against hers and smiled softly. "When this is all over, and the rifts are sealed and the Keeper defeated… will you be my wife?"

"Of course I'll be your wife, Richard," Kahlan smiled back up at him, feeling more joy in this moment than she had in her entire life. She raised her hands and rested them on his shoulders, loving the firmness and strong decisiveness of his muscles. "Nothing in this world would give me greater joy than to be your wife… except maybe giving you a child."

Richard smiled. "A beautiful daughter that looks just like her mother," he said.

"Oh, no, no… just like her father," Kahlan quipped back, beaming.

Richard shook his head, taking a slow breath. "No," he drawled out long and easy. "Not like me… or you… but like us. Both me… and you. Combined. In one form. That child… that child would be a breathtaking sight."

A tear manifested itself and rolled down Kahlan's cheek. "Oh yes, Richard… she would," Kahlan agreed in a breathy voice, feeling all tingling in her middle, as he leaned down to kiss her once more. She recognized the feeling strumming up through her chest and, without fear, she let go.