Yeah, I know this isn't exactly the Vampire Prince, but, well, I am always going to be distracted by the things that just reach out and grab me. This promises to be fairly short... a few chapters at the most. And I promise, I am working on VP and Battered and Bewildered too. Thanks for reading, being patient, and reviewing :)
A Show of Submission
"How can you claim to be in love with a monster?"
The question made Kahlan, nearly asleep on her bedroll in front of the fire, roll over in an act of semi-sleepy auto-pilot to reach for the other woman in the dark. The Mord Sith and the Confessor were alone in the campsite tonight, as Zedd and Richard were in the nearest town looking for provisions. It had gotten so late by the time they left, Kahlan knew that they would simply spend the night in town rather than attempt to make it back in the dark, and with Cara with her, neither of the boys felt they had left her unprotected. Not that Kahlan needed the protection, that is.
Her hand fell short of any part of Cara's body, and the momentary alarm that she felt upon finding nothing but empty air forced her lethargic mind into wakeful alertness as she pushed off the ground slightly to look for her girlfriend. Her eyes found the red leather-clad form in the darkness easily; even at the edge of the firelight Cara's suit glinted dully and her blonde hair stood out from the dark foliage around her.
"What on earth do you mean?" Kahlan asked, voice laden with concern as she untangled herself from her bedroll and made to get closer to the other woman. Her motions were unhurried; experience with Cara had proven that the Mord Sith was cagier than a rabbit when it came to dealing with emotional issues and so she knew that rushing to the blonde's side would get her nowhere. Much better to take her time and not appear threatening, because her Mord Sith would bolt.
It had seemed absolutely crazy to her when she finally admitted to herself that she had feelings for the tough, rough-around-the-edges Mord Sith, and not for Richard. To be honest, it had been absolutely crazy sounding to all of them, Cara and Richard included. Luckily for her, Cara had returned the feelings, and Richard had taken it with his usual good grace, and wished them well. She somewhat suspected that Cara, as the only true follower of the new Lord Rahl, gained some sort of paternal feeling of care from Richard, and as disappointed as he was, he was glad to see her happy. Cara had just shrugged the whole ordeal off, as if she hadn't been expecting it to go any other way, and Kahlan hadn't known how to explain her theory to her. There were some things that were better left unexplained when it came to life, as far as the blonde was concerned.
Cara had been watching her move the entire time, but she had been casually ignoring her gaze as she fussed with her bedroll, her clothes, and her hair before turning her full attention to the Mord Sith. When she finally did look, the hollow, pained look in those beautiful green eyes felt almost like a blow to the Confessor's stomach. "I'm a monster." The words were devoid of any emotion, the tone dead.
"Hardly." The rebuttal was out of her mouth before she realized the flippancy of the response. "What makes you say that?" she probes, hoping the belated add-on will somewhat salvage the response. Situations involving Cara's emotions were already so fragile…
"It's what everyone thinks, Kahlan, there's no use in trying to shield me from whispers and mutterings that I've been hearing for years," the Mord Sith responded dully. Kahlan was somewhat encouraged to hear the smallest trace of Cara's dry humor under the self-deprecation. "I am a Mord Sith." Despite the situation, there is still a note of pride in the phrase, and Kahlan wonders if it is there based on habit, or legitimate feelings. "Mord Sith delight in the senseless and unprovoked torture of innocent people. Monsters."
Cara's position hasn't really changed the closer Kahlan has gotten, and so the Confessor feels comfortable with taking a seat near, but not close enough to be touching, the blonde. Her heart aches to take the woman in front of her in her arms, but her reason tells her this isn't worth the trouble it would cause.
"You are not like other Mord Sith, Cara, and you know it." Confident. Simple.
"A Mord Sith is a Mord Sith; we're not meant to be individuals."
"Yes, but you've changed. Evolved," Kahlan persists.
She can tell by the set of Cara's jaw that she disagrees, but has no basis Kahlan will accept as legitimate to support this fact. Giving a small sigh, she barely thinks as she voices the first thing that comes to mind.
"Tell you what, if I can prove to you how you're different from them by the end of the day, will you accept the fact that you are not a monster?"
Something sparks in dead green eyes at the idea of a challenge, but the expression on the Mord Sith's face remained impassive. "There's nothing you could do to change my mind," Cara said, perhaps a touch smugly.
"Yes, well odds like that haven't stopped me before," Kahlan quipped. "You are my girlfriend, after all, thank the Creator, but let me tell you, it wasn't easy to make it happen." The look Cara gave her told the Confessor that she wasn't in the mood for such jokes. She sighed. "So, you accept this idea, then?"
"I'm telling you it won't work."
"I think it will, and I think you'll agree with me about this later."
"Fine, what's your grand plan?"
Kahlan took a deep breath, and shifted her gaze so that it was no longer focused on the blonde. "My plan is for me to act as your slave for a full 24 hours."
The silence forced her to chance a look at the Mord Sith, who was looking at her with an intense look that mingled with incredulity. Okay, maybe this hadn't been the best idea…
"Have you lost your ever-loving mind?" Cara exclaimed suddenly. "What is that supposed to prove? That hardly sounds like a plan; it's a half-baked idea at best," she stubbornly maintained. "We're not doing it." Leather-clad arms crossed in front of her, Cara looked almost defensive about the topic, something that Kahlan's mind instantly seized upon and sought to use in her argument.
"So you're saying that you would turn down the opportunity to have me as your willing slave for a full day?" she said flatly.
"Haven't you been listening?" came the snippy response, which Kahlan ignored.
"A Mord Sith, refusing a slave? That's an almost unheard of anomaly," Kahlan mused pointedly. "To think that a woman could walk up to a Mord Sith and offer herself up as a slave and get turned down... I suppose the roads are safer now, at least."
"You're not a woman, you're a Confessor."
"And?" Kahlan's voice took on an air of impatience.
"And you're not just a Confessor; you're the Mother Confessor." Kahlan thought that Cara was starting to sound a touch desperate.
"What does my being a Confessor have to do with you not taking me as your slave? You're a Mord Sith, and Mord Sith hate Confessors. I would think you'd hate the Mother Confessor most of all. It's not like you can argue that Mord Sith respect the rule of the Mother Confessor over the Midlands; as we speak every other Mord Sith out there is searching for me in hopes of capturing me to break me as their slave. What I have just proposed to you is something that millions of Mord Sith," Kahlan didn't know if there even were that many, "would kill to have a chance at being offered. I bet Dahlia…" She didn't need to elaborate any further, as Cara's low, possessive growl reached her ears.
"It's not right," Cara insisted weakly, after a short pause. So stubborn…
Kahlan's face lit up in triumph. "Then you admit that you're nothing like your other Sisters of the Agiel?"
"Of course not," Cara protested.
"You either are a Mord Sith, or you aren't. Which is it?" Kahlan taunted, knowing that the blonde would snap at any moment.
The moment of absolute, deadly stillness was the only warning she had before Cara stood, a bristling, menacing presence in front of her. In response, Kahlan pushed herself to her feet, trying not to flinch as she met the flinty gaze of her girlfriend.
"Your terms?" Cara inquired in a deadly voice, smooth as silk.
Kahlan searched for that place within her for the calm confidence of a Confessor and managed to summon a serene expression with which to meet Cara's question. "I am yours for a full twenty-four hours. There are no limits, provided you don't kill me irreparably. We will worry about explaining it to Zedd and Richard later."
"You're sure?" Kahlan was sure this was going to be the last warning Cara gave her.
Cara's arm moved so fast that Kahlan had no time to avoid it. Pain exploded along the side of her face as a blow hard enough to turn her head came her direction. The Mord Sith looked calm and undisturbed when Kahlan cautiously turned her head back to face her, probing the inside of her mouth with her tongue to ensure there had been no damage.
"Absolutely, what?" Cara prompted, sounding deceptively indifferent.
Kahlan knew the answer to this one. "Absolutely, Mistress."