As Kahlan shook out her blanket and placed it on the ground she heard Richard start to talk.
"This isn't so bad." Turning towards him she smirked a bit, amused by his statement.
"Sleeping in a cold dark cave?" She could think of better places to sleep. She felt most comfortable sleeping in a small forest grove with Richard sleeping across the fire from her. That way when he fell asleep, she could watch the firelight dance across his handsome features. She was caught up in that thought that she almost missed his response.
"Being alone together, I can't remember the last time. It's nice." She turned to look at him fully. They locked eyes and smiled at each other. She glanced down at his lips and then turned away, the moment lost. She quickly changed the subject.
"I um, hope Cara's alright. And the boy." She was glad he just accepted the abrupt change of subject.
"If anyone can take on the Sisters of the Dark it's the son of Cara and Darken Rahl." He seemed unnerved by the idea of such a child. To be honest the idea that Cara had a son in general was shocking but then to hear it was Rahl's child? She couldn't help but wonder what that child would be like.
"Can you imagine what that child is going to be like?" She asked looking at him.
"Smart." She rolled her eyes and let out an aspirated sigh.
"Stubborn." He hesitated before his next answer.
"Powerful." She agreed.
"Enough to take over the world, who could stop him?"
"Our child." The second he answered her head shot up. She had been thinking it but to hear him say it. Spirits she loved the idea of their child. Smiling she played along.
"Well, our child would have to be a girl." His grin widened when he saw her playing along.
"A girl who could take out a dozen D'Haran soldiers, just like her mother." He said with pride. Leaning towards him she responded.
"Well I'd want her to have a good heart, like her father." Richard shifted closer to her and reached up a hand to move a strand of her hair to the side.
"Well I would want her to have her mother's eyes." As he gently stroked her cheek, she countered his answer. She wanted their children to have the warm chocolate brown eyes that she had fallen in love with. Those beautiful eyes that now shone in love.
"No, no, I'd want her to have your eyes." Richard smiled and glanced down at her lips. The tension that hung in the air could have been cut with the Sword of Truth. Finally, he leaned in a kissed her.
Oh, how she had missed this. She brought a hand up to his cheek and then grab at his collar pulling him closer. She had never been kissed by another man, but she was pretty sure Richard was the most talented kisser in the world. The feelings he elicited from her just by brushing her lips with his should be illegal. She began to image what he could do with his hand when she felt her power surging to the surface. She quickly pulled back.
"Richard we can't." She didn't want to stop and by the look in his eyes neither did he.
"It's alright it's just a kiss, Zedd and Cara aren't here." He remained agonizingly close and as their breathes mingled she struggled to compose herself.
"That's the problem. When they're with us it's easy for me not to grab you and kiss you but without them there is nothing stopping us but good judgment. When you kiss me like that, I feel that judgment slipping away." During her explanation his eyes had drifting from her eyes to her lips and back again. She knew she had done the same thing. She couldn't help herself. Looking into his eyes she saw the mix of emotions they held. She could see the understanding in his eyes and while she appreciated it, she had also noticed the next most prevalent emotion. Pure desire. As he slowly pulled away, he kept glancing down at her lips and she knew she had to turn away before she changed her mind. She turned and quickly lay down. He didn't say a word, but she could feel his eyes staring at her.
As Kahlan lay down on her blanket she couldn't help but squeeze her eyes shut tight as she tried to reign in the tears that threatened to fall. Why her? After all the sacrifices she had made to bring peace and justice to the Midlands didn't she deserve to have a happy ending? Why did all the other women at least have the chance to find and be with the love of their life? She brought her hand up to pinch the bridge of her nose, hoping that would stop the tears. She loved Richard, had for the last year and half and he loved her. Not five minutes ago they had been discussing their theoretical daughter. Spirits how she wanted that to happen. Kahlan smiled as she drifted asleep, thinking of their daughter.
Kahlan imagined a beautiful little girl with her father's warm brown eyes and mother's long dark brown hair. A little girl with a good heart who would bring her parents so much joy. She could see the three of them walking around the gardens of Aydindril at sunset, one little hand clasped in each of her parents' hands. A peaceful silence surrounded them as they soaked in the last of the sun's rays when Kahlan's hand suddenly flew to her stomach. Startled by the sudden movement Richard stopped and turned, bringing his other hand to rest against her stomach.
"Are you alright? Is the baby okay?" Concern clouded his handsome features and she smiled. "Everything's alright, here feel this." Grabbing his hand, she slowly moved it to where she had felt the kick. The look of absolute awe and love that crossed his face warmed her heart. His smile grew as he felt another kick and his laugh of pure joy brought tears to her eyes. Damn these hormones she thought to herself. Little Elsie was confused.
"Mama? You okay, is baby okay?"
"Yes, darling she's fine, would you like to feel her? She is moving around a lot." Richard bent down to pick up his little girl and helped her in front of her mother's stomach. Tentatively she placed her small hand on her mother's tummy and was confused when she didn't feel anything. Thinking she had done something wrong she was about to move her hand back when she felt a quick movement against her hand. She pulled it back it shock.
"Baby hit me!" This caused her parents to laugh and Richard slowly lowered her to the ground. Elsie looked hurt that her parents were laughing at her and Richard quickly knelt to the ground next to her.
"I'm sorry honey, we didn't mean to laugh. Your little sister is just restless, she hit me too if that makes you feel better." She nodded at looked at her mother.
"Does baby hurt you?"
"No, I'm okay. You used to move around a lot too."
"Yes, but not as much as you do now." With that Richard started tickling his daughter. She started squealing and ran away from her father's hands.
"Mama save me!" Kahlan just laughed as she watched her husband chase their little girl around the garden. She stopped walking for a moment and thought about her life. It was absolutely perfect. She and her Seeker had defeated both Darken Rahl and the Keeper. The Midlands were safe for the first time in decades and peace and justice prevailed. With Richard as Lord Rahl a treaty had been signed between D'Hara and the Midlands, ensuring peace and trade for centuries to come. The boundary had been taken down and all three territories were flourishing. They still had to deal with the periodic uprising of small bands of warriors still loyal to Darken Rahl but their numbers were growing fewer by the day. Everything turned out better than she had expected. Her magic couldn't harm Richard, they had gotten married, and now they had one beautiful daughter with another on the way. Nothing could make her life more idyllic.
Kahlan woke with a start. She sighed in disappoint that she had been pulled out of such a lovely dream. But what had woken her? Glancing around she noticed that she couldn't see a thing. The fire must have gone out. She realized she was shivering and that that was what woke her up. She heard her name and glanced towards the sound.
"Richard?" When he didn't respond she assumed she had just imagined it. She pulled her blanket tighter around herself and froze when she heard her name again. Was Richard sleep talking? Kahlan smiled, he was dreaming about her.
She didn't know why she made her next move, but she got up, picked up her blanket and moved in the direction that she knew Richard was sleeping in. What was she thinking? She turned to go back but then she heard the next words out of Richard's mouth.
"Kahlan, don't leave!". They were slightly slurred so Kahlan knew he was asleep, but they still affected her deeply. He was dreaming about her leaving him. She couldn't go back to the other side of the fire now. She slowly sank to the ground and snuggled up to Richard, laying her head on his chest and placing an arm over his side. In his sleep Richard sighed and pulled her even closer whispering her name. It brought tears to Kahlan's eyes. She knew in the morning she would have to explain to a very confused Richard as to why she was snuggled up with him despite the conversation they had had before she went to sleep but right now that didn't matter. At least for the night she could pretend they were just a normal couple, wrapped up in each other's arms while they slept, with not a care in the world. In this moment they weren't the Mother Confessor and the Seeker, there was no Stone of Tears to find and no rifts to close. They were just Kahlan and Richard, a couple madly in love and sleeping soundly through the night. Kahlan pressed a light kiss to Richard's neck and whispered
"I'm right here. I won't leave you again I promise. I love you Richard Cypher." And with that she fell into the best night's sleep she had had in months.