Hello everyone! Thanks for giving my new LotS story a chance! I hope you all enjoy the first chapter & please feel free to leave any sort of constructive criticism in the reviews. Just so you know, this story is not related in any way to my previous two LotS stories and will not be focusing on an OC. The beginning is also (obviously) from episode Eternity in Season 2. I'll try to upload at least the first two or three chapters to hopefully procure some interest but I will be traveling tonight and all day tomorrow so I'll be unable to reply to any messages or upload until Sunday. Once again, thanks for clinking, enjoy, & please leave a review!
"If you're about to start crying, at least warn me first." The Mother Confessor looked up from the ground and into the eyes of her companion. The startling blue narrowed as Cara took in Kahlan's slightly slumped shoulders. It wasn't like the Mother Confessor to practice bad posture.
"I'm not going to cry, Cara." Kahlan assured the blonde. "I'm not that bad." The amused look on the Mord'Sith's face begged to differ but instead the shorter woman said,
"You won't be apart for long. A few days, a week at most." Cara assured her. "Before you know it, you and Richard will be back to making bedroom eyes at each other."
"I do not make bedroom eyes." A fierce blush took over Kahlan's cheeks and she could've sworn she saw the Mord'Sith grin as she shrugged. "Besides, this is important."
"Define 'important'." Cara grumbled, her eyes remaining fixed on the third member of their group. "Our efforts would be much better suited in finding the Stone of Tears and-"
"Cara," Kahlan put a hand on the woman's leather clad arm, "your son is important."
"I told you," Cara lowered her voice, "he means nothing to me." She inadvertently averted her gaze as she spoke and missed the unconvinced look Kahlan shot her way. The Mother Confessor wanted nothing more than to see Cara reunited with her long lost son even though the boy would not remember her. The thought of Cara even bearing a child was surreal but Kahlan knew that her hard exterior wouldn't stand a chance against the mirrored blue of her son's gaze or the shine of his golden hair in the sun. Regardless of how Cara felt, finding the boy was crucial. They couldn't let the Sisters of the Dark- or the Mord'Sith for that matter- get their hands on him. If the boy had the magic of his father's bloodline in his veins, he could grow to be an extremely powerful wizard. In addition to his powers, he obviously held a claim towards the throne of D'Hara- a claim that was decidedly stronger than Richard's. They needed to find the boy and ensure that he was raised by a good and caring family and not one that would twist his name and power to their purposes.
"How much further?" The Mother Confessor called out to the third, silent figure in the distance. Dahlia, a Mord'Sith and Cara's childhood friend, turned just as she reached the top of the hill in front of them. Cara frowned at the look on her sister's face, her instincts telling her something was suddenly off about the woman.
"Not far at all." Dahlia assured them, a slight grin making its way onto her lips. Cara and Kahlan exchanged glances, each noticing Dahlia's change in demeanor. The woman had barely spoken throughout their journey. She and Cara had said all they needed to on the first night and Kahlan simply had nothing to say to her. Instead, Dahlia had chosen the role of silent observer, listening and taking in the other woman's conversations as they trekked towards the temple. Now, the woman seemed almost smug as she looked down on them from the small hill.
"Dahlia, what have you-" Cara's question was cut short as a rustle of leaves from above caught her attention. She looked up into the trees to see five arrows aimed their heads. Each arrow was notched by a sister of the Agiel. Cara's first instinct was the protect Kahlan. She moved closer to the woman as Dahlia began to approach them.
"Oh, don't worry dear sister," Dahlia stopping in front of her, "we're not going to kill you or the Mother Confessor."
"You lied to me." Cara glared at her former friend, taking in the brunette's satisfied expression. "Betrayed me."
"You're the one who betrayed us, Cara." Dahlia snapped back. "Or did you so conveniently forget that?"
"You're a fool if you believe that." Cara pressed, nostrils flaring as Dahlia reached out and removed both Agiels from her belt.
"Drop the knives, Confessor." Dahlia ordered, her attentions turning towards the woman in white. "We both know you don't stand a chance." Unfortunately, she was right. Kahlan knew that, realistically, she would never be fast enough to confess Dahlia and avoid five arrows at once. Slowly, Kahlan reached down and removed both knives from her boots, dropping them on the floor in front of Dahlia's feet.
"Leave her out of this, Dahlia." Cara demanded. "We both know it's me you want." Kahlan shot the blonde a glare. They both knew Kahlan would rather die than simply let them take her friend.
"You've got it all wrong, sister." Dahlia toyed with the knives before she sheathed them in her own boot. "He wants both of you." At the mention of a "he", Kahlan felt her heart plummet. There was only one man they could be referring to and the thought of Darken Rahl made her stomach lurch. She could tell that Cara felt the same as her detestation towards the man was completely justified. Neither woman, however, showed the slightest sign of fear.
"Still doing Rahl's dirty work, then?" Cara asked sarcastically.
"You don't have to do this." Kahlan added. "Any of you. You're all free thanks to do what Cara did and even though Rahl's spirit is back, his control over-"
"Hold your tongue if you wish to keep it." Dahlia's hard gaze met Kahlan's and she knew the Mord'Sith wasn't bluffing. As the five sisters in the trees began to make their way down, Kahlan glanced at her friend and saw that the idea had already sparked in her mind. As if on cue, the moment the first two reached the ground, Kahlan and Cara threw their packs directly at them. Seeing as the remaining three sisters were still in the process of climbing down, they were unable to shoot them. By the time any of them realized, Kahlan and Cara were off, dashing towards the trees that would provide adequate cover from a volley of arrows. They could hear Dahlia shouting at her sisters to chase them down but they did not look back. They bobbed and weaved around thick tree trunks in order to elude the women in red. Running as fast their legs could carry them, the two headed west, back towards Richard and Zedd. However, it had taken them nearly three days to reach where they were and their friends were headed in the opposite direction. It would take at least five to catch up to them and that's assuming one of them didn't get injured in the process. Occasionally, they would glance at each other, making sure that they didn't get left behind, but they knew they couldn't stop. The Mord'Sith were undoubtedly on their heels and relished the opportunity to chase down worth prey. Unsure of how much time had passed, Kahlan eventually began to feel drained. They had slowed to a jog once the immediate threat had passed but there was no doubt that the need would arise again.
"We have to find shelter." Cara told her quietly. Although night was beginning to fall, she knew the wind would carry her voice. Kahlan nodded her agreement.
"That town we passed yesterday would gladly-"
"No." Cara shook her head. "If this is Rahl's doing then civilian causalities are not their priority. They'd kill them for harboring us now."
"We have no weapons, food, water, or supplies." Kahlan reminded her. "How long do you expect us to last without stopping somewhere."
"As long as it takes." Cara seemed determined and her concern for the wellbeing of the townspeople was touching but Kahlan frowned nonetheless. "We'll find a cave or an abandoned cabin to rest a while but then we have to keep moving."
"Why now?" Kahlan's question confused the blonde. "Why is he trying to kidnap us now?"
"Because he's a psychopath, Kahlan. What does it matter?" Cara's agitation was understandable. Not only had her childhood friend betrayed her but the news of her son had most likely been fabricated to lure her and Kahlan away from the others. What did that mean? Was her son even alive?
"We're going to get answers." Kahlan could sense her anxiety. "I'll confess one of them and she'll tell us everything." Cara turned her head slightly to glance at her friend. Offering her an appreciative nod, the two began their search for appropriate shelter.
"Here." Kahlan announced after over an hour of searching. As Cara approached, the look of skepticism in her eyes grew.
"This is a tree." The blonde felt the need to point out. Kahlan merely reached out and pushed the foliage aside, revealing an opening.
"It's a wayward pine. Richard and I slept in dozens of these on our journey through the Midlands." Kahlan demonstrated by sitting inside and making an effort to get comfortable. Cara did little to hide the look of disgust as Kahlan motioned for her to enter. Seeing no other viable option, the blonde squeezed inside, wary of stepping on Kahlan in the tight space, and sat.
"See, not so bad, right?" Kahlan shot her friend a smile. Cara was not so eager to respond in kind.
"Go to sleep." The blonde all but ordered. "We should be gone before the sun comes up." Kahlan took in the Mord'Sith's rigid body, poised and ready for the attack they both knew was coming.
"It's going to be alright, Cara." Kahlan felt the need to reassure her friend. Cara would never admit it aloud but Kahlan was sure that the thought of being in Darken Rahl's clutches was nothing short of terrifying. The man was a monster- a monster that had a growing fascination with both of them. They knew what being his prisoners would mean. Despite the attempt to ease her friend, Cara remained stoic, her eyes never leaving the entrance to their makeshift home for the night. Although it was dark, Kahlan could make out the tight, leathered grip as Cara clenched her fists. Without hesitation, the brunette reached out and took the fist into her own hand. Only then did Cara's gaze drift over to the Confessor.
"I'm scared too." Kahlan's admission was soft, not out of shame but regret. She was the one who had convinced Cara to trust Dahlia. She was the reason they were out here. Cara's frown deepened as she tried to make out Kahlan's features in the dark. She didn't rebuke the assumption. Instead she loosened the fist she had made and accepted Kahlan's small act of comfort. Cara was surprised when the woman in white offered her one last grin before settling in, all the while still holding onto her hand. She swallowed hard as she watched Kahlan drift off to sleep. Cara knew that Kahlan blamed herself but the truth was that this was her fault. She's known Dahlia for as long as she could remember and couldn't detect the deception until it was far too late. Now, Rahl's plans included Kahlan and Cara was sure she didn't want to know what they were. Anything that happened to her friend would be her fault and that was the only thought that kept her awake long enough for her watch to end.
Cara awoke to a hand over her mouth and Kahlan's face an inch from her own. The brunette motioned for her to be silent as the sound of horses hooves approached rapidly. Dropping her hand from Cara's mouth, Kahlan retook the woman's hand as she had merely hours before. This time, Cara squeezed it back without hesitation. The two held their breathes as the horses closed in on their location and any doubt as to who their riders were dissipated.
"Spirits be damned, how in Rahl's name could they have gotten so far ahead of us?" One of the Mord'Sith cursed as the horses were pulled to a stop.
"Perhaps if you weren't as slow as an infant getting down from that tree, we wouldn't have this problem now, would we?" Another voice replied sarcastically. As far as Cara and Kahlan could tell, none of them had dismounted yet meaning that they did not plan on searching the immediate area.
"I'm not the one who was defeated by a backpack, now am I?" The two began bickering back and forth until Dahlia's voice rose above them.
"If you both don't shut it, I'm going to make sure that Lord Rahl knows exactly how the Mother Confessor and that traitorous bitch got away. I doubt you'll survive whatever punishment he deems worthy of your failures." Silence greeted her threat. "Do your jobs and he'll never have to know that we lost them at all, got it?"
"Mistress," a new voice said, "there's a town on the horizon. Perhaps they stopped to take refuge there."
"Perhaps." Dahlia thought it through. "They have no weapons or supplies. They'll need to restock eventually. Two of you will check the town. The rest of us will continue west. They'll try to head back towards the Seeker and Wizard. We'll meet at the crossroads outside of Kimorrah." Without another word, the six Mord'Sith were off, leaving Kahlan and Cara undetected.
"We should head back the way we came. They wouldn't expect that." Kahlan whispered after a minute or two. Cara mulled the idea over.
"I don't know." She frowned. "The closer we get to D'Hara, the more Mord'Sith temples and soldiers we'll find."
"Yes but at least those will be in front of us. We'd see them coming." Kahlan reasoned. Cara, unable to come up with a better alternative, nodded once. Slowly, she poked her head out of the brush that hid their tree and looked around. Seeing no sign of the Mord'Sith, she motioned for Kahlan to join her.
They walked for hours, purposely avoiding main roads and any signs of people. The last thing they needed was for word to reach the Mord'Sith that the Mother Confessor was spotted headed east. However, Dahlia was right. They would eventually need to stop for supplies and whether they stole them or asked the townspeople for them, it wouldn't go unnoticed. Kahlan thought hard on a solution to that problem while Cara worked on deciding where and when to ambush the group and if they even stood a chance. The odds were certainly not in their favor. Six to two was manageable if they were dealing with an ordinary battle. Unfortunately, these weren't everyday foot soldiers or peasants. They were Mord'Sith and one of them was equal to ten common warriors. Cara reasoned that by that logic, the odds weren't six to two but sixty to two. Even if Kahlan managed to confess one of them, they wouldn't be of much help long enough to make a difference before they died. All in all, they were screwed and the realization came to the both women almost instantaneously. They shared a look, each biting their tongues to keep from demoralizing the other. Soon enough, their thirst and hunger began to affect their progress. Eventually, Cara placed a hand on Kahlan's arm as her head perked up. She tugged the woman slightly and led her towards what she was hearing. Before long, the two found their way to a small stream.
"Thank the Spirits." Kahlan cried, dropping to her knees at the edge of the stream. Cara mimicked her and offered a raised eyebrow.
"The Spirits aren't the ones who found it." She jeered. Kahlan let out a chuckle as she tried- and failed- to take small sips of water at a time.
"How silly of me. Thank you, Cara." The brunette jokingly bowed in her friend's direction causing the Mord'Sith to scoff.
"You'd make a terrible princess." Cara mumbled under her breath and received a large splash of water directly to the face.
"Is that your professional, three days' worth of princess-ing, opinion or…"
"I'll have you know that I still have nightmares of that dress." Cara said in between gulps. "I was traumatized to save your life." Kahlan couldn't help but laugh wholeheartedly.
"Remind me to buy you a-" Kahlan was cut short as the sound of hooves suddenly reached their ears. Both women were quick to rise, eyes darting around in search of which direction they were coming from. Seconds of silence passed before six figures appeared barely fifty feet away. Cara could almost make out the self-satisfied look on Dahlia's face from where she stood.
"Run." Cara tugged on Kahlan's arm. "Run!" The two were off, forcing their tired bodies to obey as the sound of hooves got closer and closer.
"Back to the road!" Kahlan yelled, knowing that if anyone saw the Mother Confessor being chased down by six Mord'Sith, news would spread and eventually reach Zedd and Richard. Cara was the first to reach the dirt path and she skidded to a stop, unsure of which way to go. Kahlan barreled in behind her and grabbed her hand, pulling her back the way they came. She turned and saw their pursuers maneuvering their horses onto the road, four them already notching arrows into their bows.
"Don't kill them!" They heard Dahlia shout as arrows whizzed over their heads and by their sides, landing in nearby trees with a thud.
"Faster, Kahlan!" Cara cried, knowing that they wouldn't stay ahead of them for long. Kahlan's legs and lungs burned but the fear of being caught forced her to speed up. Just as Kahlan was sure they would be tackled to the ground, she heard Cara let out a groan and felt herself falling off the side of the road. The road had been paved besides a small drop on either side and Kahlan knew that the tumble could cause both of them serious harm. Her hand still held tightly inside Cara's, the two landed hard amongst the roots and bushes at the base of the hill. Kahlan was quick to right herself, checking for any major injuries and finding none. When she felt Cara's hand release hers, however, she knew something was wrong. Looking down at where the blonde landed, Kahlan's heart almost stopped completely in her chest. Cara's hands were pressing hard against what remained of an arrow embedded deep in the back of her thigh.
"Oh Cara, no." Kahlan breathed, kneeling at her friend's side as she inspected the wound. Cara would have none of it.
"You have to keep going, Kahlan." She insisted. "Go get help."
"I'm not leaving you here!" Kahlan cried, her hands going to apply pressure to the wound only to be swatted away.
"We don't have time to argue!" Cara grabbed her hands tightly, pulling her close. "I'll slow you down. You have to go."
"No, no." Kahlan frowned as tears made their way into green orbs. "Cara, they'll find you."
"I'll hide." They both knew how unlike Cara that was. "Please, you have to go." Kahlan shook her head briefly, dropping it as she closed her eyes. "Kahlan, now."
"I'll find you, Cara." The brunette promised, squeezing her friend's hands. "I swear on all the Sprits, I will come back."
"I know. Now go." Cara released the woman and gave her a small push, offering her a tightlipped smile. Kahlan backed away slowly, tears streaming down her face as she watched Cara make an effort to hide herself amongst the foliage. Cara watched as her friend eventually turned and resumed her fast pace away from her and the women hunting them. It didn't take long for said women to run down the hill, their footsteps merely inches from where Cara lay. The blonde held her breath and closed her eyes as the leaves they tracked down showered onto her.
"We got one of them, didn't we?" One Mord'Sith asked. "It looked like Cara."
"Then they can't have gotten far." Dahlia's voice was low and menacing, sick of chasing the two women down. "Search the area." Cara risked opening her eyes slightly and could see just how close her former friend was. If Dahlia took half a step to her left, she would be standing directly on her. The other Mord'Sith spread out, checking trees and bushes, and Cara knew it was only a matter of time. She steeled herself for what was coming.
"What if the Mother Confessor went ahead?" Another voice asked. "Should we-"
"The Confessor wouldn't just leave a wounded Cara alone." Dahlia's mistake gave Cara hope that Kahlan could actually escape. "She doesn't have the stomach for it."
"Yes, Mistress." Cara could see Dahlia tapping her foot in anticipation as she watched the others search. Who died and made her Queen? Cara recalled her own, brief reign as ruler of the Mord'Sith and forced the thought away.
"Where are you, Cara?" She heard Dahlia sing to herself. "Come out, come out, wherever you are." Cara closed her eyes, remembering the childhood they shared where that phrase was nothing more than a game. She's not the Dahlia you remember. She saw the dark haired woman turn in her direction and stop. Cara couldn't see what she was looking at but she doubted it was good. "Ahh. There you are." Before Cara could react, a pair of gloved hands reached down and grabbed her by the collar. Dahlia yanked her out of her hiding spot, the leaves she had used to obscure herself raining down around them. The two women locked eyes as Dahlia held her upright.
"Hiding, Cara?" One of the Mord'Sith mocked. "How pathetic." Dahlia, ignoring the others, drew her in close, their noses almost touching.
"Tell me where the Mother Confessor went." The order was drawled out slowly, the woman's breath hot on Cara's face.
"The Mother-who?" Cara's sarcastic response was rewarded with a hard backhand to the face as Dahlia let her fall unceremoniously to the ground. Cara's hand pressed over her wound as she looked up at her old friend from her knees.
"Your wit won't save you now, Cara." Dahlia slowly removed her Agiel from her belt. "Nothing will." Cara's last thought before unconsciousness invaded was that she hoped Kahlan could run faster than a horse.