For those who already read my story, I just wanna say thanks for the reviews and everything. It's a long time since I wanted to conclude this story with Kahlan's way of coping, psychologically speaking, so here it is. Hope it ends its sweetly as it did for me!
To all readers: thanks!
Lily was easy to love.
She was cute and kind and caring of what other people felt like because of her actions. She was sweet and had a pair of tender eyes that could break even a cold-hearted soldier's soul. She was a quick learner and she fought for what she believed in. She never backed down when she knew she would help even though all she could carry around for the moment was her teddy bear.
It was impossible not to love her.
It was impossible not to adore her.
She did love her. Very much. More than she had ever thought humanly possible.
More than her own existence. More than all the books of the Keep could say.
As much, and more than Richard.
She loved her hands and her smile and her eyes. And her strawberry smell and her little dresses and her bedtime stories and her first steps and her giggles embedded in the walls of the castle and the sound of her breathing.
How could you not love everything about her?
'I had always thought it would be different; the pregnancy and everything. It all happened so fast.' she sighed to herself.
'Well, at least you are safe and she is as well.' he replied planting a kiss on her brow as he embraced her.
'Yeah.' was all the answer she granted him.
She felt ashamed of it, that feeling that started eating into those empty moments between her thoughts. It was a violating feeling trying to convince her of a lie.
But was it really a lie?
'Kahlan?' he asked carefully looking out for little Lily who was dancing among the snowflakes in the roses garden spreading giggles that seemed to melt winter's cold heart.
'Huh?' she replied with her eyes fixed on Lily. Even though she wanted to avoid being hyper protective, she couldn't take her eyes off.
'I know what you're thinking and believe me, it's her.'
Kahlan froze. She had never thought he would guess. Maybe because he felt the same way? But… he was denying it, wasn't he? So, how come he knew?
'I… Richard…' no coherent words came to her lips so she just hoped he would fill in the emptiness.
He turned her towards him. She obeyed while making sure Lily was within earshot.
'She's the same, Kahlan. You can't keep doing this to yourself.' He said without wanting to voice the actual problem.
Kahlan was glad he didn't. It was shameful, she didn't want to feel that way, she didn't want to wonder.
But she did wonder.
She didn't reply to him, so he waited. He wanted her to be convinced, but … he couldn't do that. The only one that could was Lily… but, she was just four. Empathy or not, she was still a kid.
'I am so sorry.' Kahlan replied, her embarrassed eyes down as her shoulders started shaking under this hands while tears meandered down her face.
He embraced her trying to think of a way, of something Lily had said when first in the castle, of a kind of symbol, or sign, but nothing came.
And then his heart skipped a beat.
He couldn't hear Lily anymore.
'Kahlan, can you see her?' he asked panicky.
Her tears came to a halt and the world was on pause for the both of them. They cast a glance at the garden. She was gone.
'Lily? Lily come out sweetie! It's no time to play.' Kahlan shouted her name but only the deafening howl of the wind replied giving her the goosebumps.
Richard called for Cara and Berdine who were only a couple of meters away and they started searching the garden.
'She's gonna be okay. Don't worry sweetheart.' Richard told Kahlan while squeezing her hand. She didn't reply, but called Lily instead.
If she stopped to think, she's collapse on the floor crying.
It was her fault.
The spirits were punishing her for ever forming such monstrous thoughts. But it wasn't fair to take it out on her little girl. She shouldn't have wondered. Lily was her daughter, maybe not "her" but she was her daughter, the baby she carried for nine months in her womb, the one she talked to when she couldn't even listen.
How could she even think for one second that this Lily wasn't her Lily, the teenage Lily, the one that had saved her life?
How could she even think that?
The train of her thoughts was broken abruptly by a sudden cry.
She slipped out of Richards hand and ran towards the woods letting her feet guide her, or better to say her heart.
It was Lily who was crying near a little pond Kahlan didn't even know existed. Her hands had cuts all over and there was some blood on them. Kahlan sat by her side terrified. Her hands were dead cold.
'Sweetie, mama's here, okay? Don't worry! Ok, baby?' she tried to calm Lily down, but she wasn't screaming anymore. Her tears fell like pearls on her furry coat.
Richard appeared behind Kahlan while she tried to clean Lily's hand as she warmed them up with her own coat. Lily lifted her arms toward Richard feigning some other tears.
'Okay baby girl, let's take you inside and you're gonna be fine. Okay?' he said while Lily had embraced her arms around his neck putting her tired head on his shoulder.
Kahlan smiled at Richard with relief. He patted Lily's back, but suddenly she turned towards them and handed Kahlan a white rose and a water lily. The rose thongs had cut her hands; that was where the blood came from.
Kahlan's jaw dropped open as her eyes filled with tears.
Whereas Richard's eyes shone happily.
This was it.
The liaison. Everything about Lily from her conception to her years of life was connected to those two flowers.
He was sure by Kahlan's expression that she knew too; and by the color of her cheeks that there was some guilt on her soul in that moment.
'Who's that for, sweetheart?' he asked Lily while trying to get her long hair inside her hat.
'For mama.' She replied simply eyeing Kahlan as if scared she would shout.
Kahlan hadn't spoken yet or taken the flower for that matter.
'Why did you hurt your hands to get it?' Richard tried asking when Kahlan didn't move.
'Cos they're for mama.' Lily replied again showing her insistence by tapping her feet, but since she was suspended in mid-air in Richard's arms, the air was all she could hit.
Kahlan's eyes returned to her as she picked the flowers from Lily's hand murmuring enough syllables of the word "thank you" as to be heard, but carefully choosing the vowels so as for Lily not to realize she was crying.
Richard landed Lily on her arms planting a kiss of both theif foreheads and giving Kahlan a meaningful look of "I told you so."
She smiled and embraced her little baby tight.
'Tell me again, what I am Mama.' Lily asked as Kahlan brushed her long dark hair carefully.
'My little girl.' Kahlan replied having a look around to spot Richard.
'What else Mama?' she insisted tapping her little foot on the floor impatiently.
'Aydindril's Confessor.' Kahlan replied.
'My little Princess. And your Dad's little Princess, too.'
'C'mon Mama, what else?'
Kahlan grabbed her shoulders and whispered lovingly in her ear.
'You're the best part of me.'
Lily smiled satisfied throwing her little arms around Kahlan's neck.
'That's it, Mama. That's what I am. '