Summary: Libraries are boring. Romance stories are boring. Unless there's a kickass heroine and some magic involved, in which case Cara might have to reconsider her opinions.
For the writerverse prompts 'library', 'horror' and 'romance genre'
"I don't see what's so interesting about all these books and scrolls," Cara pouted. She was on guard duty for Zedd, supposedly in the incredibly unlikely event that someone tried to attack the great wizard while he was in the safety of very boring library. The only danger here was that Zedd would lose himself in the abundance of knowledge.
Cara was fairly certain that the real reason for her presence was to keep both her and Zedd out of Richard and Kahlan's way. Ever since they'd closed the Veil, Richard and Kahlan couldn't keep their hands off each other and kept trying to get more and more alone time.
"Come, Cara," Zedd said, gesturing at the shelves. "Even Darken Rahl knows the value of reading. The library at the People's Palace is second only to those at the Wizard's Keep and the Great Library of Aydindril."
"He was never interested in encouraging Mord'Sith to spend their time with books rather than agiels in their hands. And Richard hardly ever reads. I heard he even burned the Book of Counted Shadows."
"Yes, well." Zedd frowned. "But all this knowledge is so stimulating."
"I can think of more stimulating things."
Zedd pulled a book from a shelf and waved it at her. "It's not all tax records and arcane spells. This is a book of legendary tales." He flicked through the yellowed pages.
"Once upon a time there was a woman named…Carys."
"You're making that up."
"Carys was very much in love with a young man from her village," Zedd went on.
"This is a romance story, isn't it?" Cara rolled her eyes. "Let me guess, Carys got kidnapped and her young man –"
"Zolan had to rescue her and they had a huge wedding and lots of babies and lived happily ever after."
Zedd shook his head and grinned. "Zolan was poisoned by a jealous woman who wanted him for herself. Carys went to the ends of the earth to find a cure, but Zolan died just as she got home with the antidote. Carys was so angry and heartbroken that she walked into the Underworld itself, beating off the guardians there, and rescued Zolan. The Creator was so moved by Carys's love that she restored Zolan to life and Carys and Zolan – well, you're probably not interested…"
Cara tipped her head. "She walked into the Underworld?"
Zedd stroked her hair and Cara found herself with waist length brunette locks and wearing a practical travelling dress rather than her leathers. She hitched up the split skirt to gaze at the thigh high boots.
"Carys looked like Kahlan?"
"But her eyes were green, like yours," Zedd assured her.
Zedd put the book aside and lifted his hands to his face, chanting softly. He became younger, with long dark hair tied back with a leather cord, and wearing a shirt and trousers combination that wouldn't have looked out of place on Richard.
"I'm sure Zolan had to win Carys over," Cara said, stalking around the library and glancing slyly over her shoulder.
"Fairest maiden," Zedd called. "Your eyes are the colour of the Underworld."
"That's hardly a compliment! You say my eyes remind you of death?"
Zedd followed her, stepped up close. "I would not fear death if you were with me, bold Carys. I love your strength as much as your beauty, and your bravery as much as your voice."
"Zedd? Cara?" Richard pushed open the door to the library, worried. It wasn't like Zedd to miss a meal, and it was well after supper time. "Zedd?"
He turned a corner around the shelves containing maps and sea charts, and stopped in horror. Some piles of books and open parchments were open on the large reading table, and amongst the papers, a half naked and brunette Cara sat atop a man who looked – oh, Creator, was that Zedd?
Richard paled. "What are you doing?"
"What does it look like?" Cara asked, resolutely unembarrassed.
"If you don't know, there are some useful books with illustrations in the back left corner," Zedd told him.
Richard turned on his heel and walked out of the library, staring straight ahead.
Cara rolled her eyes. "Wherever did he get such innocence from?"
"Not from my side of the family," Zedd said. "Now, where were we?"
Cara bent over and kissed him. "You were telling me how grateful you were that I saved your life."
He was, as it turned out, very grateful indeed.