DISCLAIMER: "Legend of the Seeker", its characters, and the situations depicted are the property of ABC Studios, and Terry Goodkind. This piece of fan fiction was created for fun and not profit.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SEQUEL: To Perchance to Dream.
SPOILERS: Post 2x10
A Sentimental Fool
It's not home but she's with her sister, and that's as close to home as Kahlan will ever need. They're still on the trail for the Stone of Tears but they also need rest. They've been run ragged to the point where even Richard's well of bottomless enthusiasm had seemingly run dry. When the compass led them close to Dennee's home, Kahlan suggested the respite. Richard and Zedd agreed. Cara remained silent.
Kahlan stands in the open doorway of Dennee's cottage, leaning against the doorsill, arms gently folded across her chest. She can see Zedd dazzling Dennee's child with simple bits of magic. The D'Haran soldier Kahlan commanded to protect her sister and adopted child stands close by, trying not to smile.
She can also see Richard and Cara as they spar in the field, the clang of sword against Agiel echoing in her ears. Richard's smiling, wide and bright, smiling more than she's seen in months. He's enjoying himself. Cara's face is focused, intent. But the corners of her lips are pulled into an impish, almost childish grin. She's enjoying herself as well. But Kahlan can see the dark circles under Cara's eyes, circles that have become blacker in the past few weeks. Since being reunited with Richard and Zedd, Cara's stopped sleeping. Again.
"How can you still trust her?" Dennee asks. She's standing next to Kahlan, her eyes focused on the Mord'Sith she considers too near her home.
"She's the last of her kind."
"The last of the Mord'Sith?" Dennee snorts derisively. "You say that like it's a bad thing."
"No. That's not what I mean." Kahlan purses her lips, frowns. "She's alone."
"And that bothers you?"
"I know what it's like to be the last of your kind." She removes her gaze from the Mord'Sith, fixes it on her sister. "I know what it's like to be that alone."
There's silence as Dennee examines her sister's face. "You're worried about her," she says both aghast and achingly. Only Kahlan could find it in her heart to be sympathetic to a Mord'Sith.
"I told you, she's different now."
"She's no different than she was before. There is no respect, no loyalty. She only follows because she believes Richard is the true Lord Rahl."
"She saved my life numerous times." Kahlan inhales softly. This discussion will get her nowhere. And she wonders if she'd be as forgiving if she'd lost what Dennee had. "She'll die for me."
"Only because Lord Rahl commands it."
"No," Kahlan snaps and, for the first time, her eyes go dark with anger. She shakes her head guiltily for snapping at her sister, looks down at the floor. "Not because of that."
Dennee sighs. She once again turns her gaze to the Mord'Sith sparring with the Seeker. Then she turns her eyes back to the worried face of her sister. "You think she's in love with you."
The silence returns. Kahlan can feel her sister's hand on her shoulder. There's a gentle squeeze then nothing as Dennee retreats deeper into the cottage. Dennee doesn't have to be a Confessor to read her own sister.
And you're in love with her.
A half-hour's walk from the cabin is a small lake hidden within a thick grove of trees. Kahlan quickly strips, quietly slips into the dark, blue water. It's cool, not cold and Kahlan can feel herself truly relaxing for the first time in what feels like an eternity.
"You shouldn't be bathing alone." Kahlan opens her eyes to the sound of Cara's voice. "It's dangerous."
"I'm not alone." Kahlan smiles, turning in the water to face the blonde. "I have you to protect me."
Cara's standing on the shore, hips canted, one hand resting on the Agiel tucked in her belt. Her face is expressionless but Kahlan's gotten better at reading the Mord'Sith.
"Well?" Kahlan asks.
"Are you going to join me or go back and watch from the woods?" With that, Cara breaks the eye contact and Kahlan can see the slight flush forming on the blonde's cheeks. "The Mord'Sith might not need sleep," she adds. "But they do need to bathe."
Kahlan knows she should turn her eyes away even though the Mord'Sith have no sense of decorum or modesty, maybe leave the water and assist. But her feet stay rooted to the silt floor, her eyes fixated on the golden skin slowly revealed. It's only when Cara's fingers begin pulling down the leathers around her legs that Kahlan's sense of propriety takes over and she turns around.
She hears Cara slip into the water, feels the current brush against her as Cara moves closer and Kahlan turns. She'd submerged herself, her hair already slickened back across her scalp.
"This feels good," Cara says flatly.
"I wasn't aware the Mord'Sith felt anything," Kahlan teases.
"The Mord'Sith feel many things," Cara's lips pull into a predatory grin. "Mostly pleasure.. or pain."
"Well I'm glad this gives you more of the former. Seeing as how your lack of bathing in recent weeks has given the rest of us much of the latter."
"The Mother Confessor jests," Cara says with a coy grin and a raised eyebrow.
"I have many skills. Now," Kahlan says, gesturing with her hands. "Turn around."
"Because it's easier to choke you to death. Just do it."
Cara does. Kahlan moves closer. She places her hands on Cara's shoulders and feels Cara tense. "Just relax," she whispers.
Cara relaxes, just a little. Kahlan gently digs in her thumbs, begins a slow circular motion, the muscles beneath her touch coiled and tense as tightly wound rope. "My Sisters would do this after a hard day's training."
Cara merely nods before tilting her head down, nose touching the water's surface. "My Sisters would often do something similar."
Kahlan's not sure what to say. Being around Cara has given her glimpses into life as a Mord'Sith and the many ways in which they are hauntingly familiar to that of a Confessor. She drifts her hands down, working on the muscles in the middle of Cara's back.
Cara breaks the silence, lifting her head and turning it slightly towards Kahlan. "What did you say to your sister, Dennee?"
"What do you mean?"
"She threatened to kill me. Again. She said if I hurt you, she'd string me up by the ankles and gut me like a pig."
"Don't apologize. I respect her for being so protective of you." She turns her head, lowers her voice. "I'd do the same of any who would cause you harm."
Kahlan pulls her hands away as if stung. "It's getting late," she manages. "We should go back."
On the shore, Kahlan dresses quickly despite the trembling of her fingers. She keeps her back to Cara, not out of propriety. She just can't look at the blonde. Not now. Not yet. In her rush, she misses the tiny rock in her boot until after she puts pressure on her foot. She winces, pulling her leg up, her balance wavering.
And Cara's right there.
Her body's pressed fully against Kahlan's, her arm around Kahlan's waist, a hand on the small of her back. The steady rock Kahlan's rudderless ship thrashes against. Because Cara's too close. Kahlan's chest refuses to either inhale or exhale. Her heart threatens to beat from her chest. She fixes her eyes on Cara's, as Cara's eyes - focus on Kahlan's lips.
"Please," Kahlan forces the word through her mouth. "Let me go."
The arm around her waist withdraws like a whip pulled back. Cara steps away, distancing herself. In the moment before she turns and heads back to the cottage, Kahlan sees a flicker of hurt in Cara's eyes.
It's just the four of them now, walking on a path within the hills towards Galea. Kahlan joins Richard at the front. She reaches out for him, clasps her hand around his. He tightens his grip, smiles at her. Kahlan smiles back.
She can feel eyes on her, so Kahlan turns her head to see behind her.
Cara refuses to meet her gaze.
Kahlan releases Richard's hand.
"Zedd," Kahlan closes the door to the healer's cottage. "What are you doing?"
He looks up from the vials and bottles and boiling pots before him, the room smelling of herbs and things Kahlan would rather not think about. It's been a month since they left Dennee. It feels like a year.
"A sleeping tonic," the Wizard says. "For Cara."
"Cara?" she can't contain her surprise. "She asked you to make a sleeping potion?"
"Mmm," he says, pouring liquid from one vial into another. "I could make enough for you as well."
Kahlan's eyes find something of interest on the wall. "I'm not having trouble sleeping. Are you sure this is necessary?"
The Wizard grunts. "I see the same things you do, Kahlan." His face is blank, almost cold, his words heavy with meaning. "She's no good to Richard if she's too tired to even stand. If this will help suppress whatever's plaguing her, it's for the better."
They share a room above a tavern.
Cara sleeps soundly.
Kahlan does not.
She has to find Richard. That is her only thought. Her only concern. It's only been three days since Richard and Zedd failed to meet at the rendezvous point. But, it's been three weeks since they separated. Again.
And Kahlan was left with Cara. Again.
She knows something's shifted between them, something's changed within herself. Something intangible that she could name if she only stopped to reflect for a moment. Kahlan doesn't want to pause. She knows this thing is too big, too great. If she pauses, if she thinks, it might change her in ways she can't, no, doesn't want to.
She wants Richard. She needs Richard. His strength, his calm, his.. stability.
"Kahlan," Cara calls to her. Kahlan keeps walking.
"You have to stop," her voice is harsher, louder. "You haven't eaten or slept. It's the middle of the night for.."
"I have to find Richard."
"If anything's happened to Richard, we would know. I'd sense it in my Agiel's."
Kahlan snaps back, "Forgive me for not putting any faith in the Agiel's of a Mord'Sith!"
"KAHLAN!" Cara's hand snatches out, gripping Kahlan hard by the crook of her elbow.
It's instinct. Instinct fueled by fear and desperation mixed with exhaustion, and suddenly Kahlan's whipping around, the blade of her knife against Cara's throat. The backs of her knuckles barely touches the skin but the contact is enough. She can feel the magic surging within her as her eyes turn black and she teeters over the edge of control.
Through the blade, she can feel Cara swallow. It's not until she sees the moonlight reflected off the blade stain with red that Kahlan's calm returns. She pulls the blade from Cara's throat, her hand shaking as she does.
"We.." she pauses, swallows, wonders when she lost so much control. Her voice quakes as she speaks, "We have to find Richard."
Cara remains silent.
The fire is large, blazing and still it doesn't permeate the cold that's seeped into Kahlan's body. It was Kahlan's idea to take the path through the mountains, a quicker route. Cara's only protest, suggesting they wait until tomorrow. Now, Kahlan regrets not listening to her.
Kahlan pulls the thin blanket up to her chin, trying to still the chattering of her teeth. There's movement in the corner of her eye, Cara. She shivers instantly as the blanket is lifted, the cold ripping away the little warmth on her back. And then Kahlan feels Cara against her, her movements quick and rough as she drapes her own blanket over the two of them.
"Cara, what are you doing?"
"You may prefer to freeze to death," Cara says harshly. "I do not."
There's no point in disagreeing, Kahlan knows. If this was a test, to see how far Kahlan's judgment has lapsed in her need to find Richard, Kahlan knows she's failed. If she wants to stay alive, if she wants to find Richard, she'll need Cara's warmth.. just for one night.
Kahlan relaxes which seems to make Cara un-tense, just a little. She feels Cara's arm snaking over her waist. Her movements tense, almost hesitant. For once, it's not Kahlan who doesn't trust Cara, but Cara who doesn't trust Kahlan. There's a twitch in her heart, a stab of guilt at having caused Cara to feel this way. Kahlan gently wraps her fingers around Cara's wrist, pulls it down over her stomach. Cara relaxes further, pushing herself towards Kahlan until the entire length of her body is pressed against Kahlan's.
Cara's warm, warmer than Kahlan and it doesn't take long for the shivers wracking Kahlan's body to subside.
"I'm sorry," Kahlan says.
"For threatening you with my knife."
"You're worried about Richard," Cara answers.
"It's no excuse."
A moment of silence. "No," Cara finally says. "It's not."
Kahlan inhales, adjusts the arm under her head. She should sleep but can't, which just leads her to thoughts she'd rather not think about. So she stares at the fire, listening to the wood crackle and spit, trying desperately not to think of Richard.. or Cara, or how, lately, thoughts of one always bleeds into thoughts of the other.
So, she thinks about Dennee and her sister Confessor's. Then sighs, almost in frustration, as thinking about that leads her back to thoughts of Cara.
"Cara?" she asks quietly, hoping the Mord'Sith is asleep, knowing full well she's not.
"Yes," Cara answers.
"Do you miss them, your Sisters?"
"The Mord'Sith do not have time for such sentimentality."
"Of course they don't," Kahlan chuckles, probably for the first time in weeks. She realizes her hand is still around Cara's wrist. Notices the thumb lightly grazing over the small patch of skin between Cara's glove and sleeve.
"If.." Kahlan pauses, wishing she had the courage to roll over to see Cara's face when the words leave her lips. "If any of your Sisters asked, would you go back to them?"
She can feel Cara tense as she asks the question. Now, Kahlan wishes she had turned to face Cara, or been sitting across from her with the fire between them. Because, this close, Kahlan knows Cara can feel Kahlan's heart beating heavily in anticipation of the answer.
Kahlan exhales a breath she didn't realize she'd been holding. She opens her mouth to speak, only to feel the arm around her waist tighten slightly.
"You need to sleep," Cara speaks firmly in her ear. "Now."
Neither goes to sleep for a very long time.
Kahlan hasn't spoken more than ten words since that night in the mountains. Cara speaks even less. When Kahlan finally wants to end the silence, the Mord'Sith is gone and Kahlan feels the need to search for her.
She doesn't mean to watch, this moment of quiet intimacy Cara most certainly meant to spend in solitude. Kahlan just can't stop herself from watching.
Cara's sitting on the ground, her back to a tree. One ungloved hand between her legs, the other roughly groping her breast through the leather. Her head is bowed forward, face obscured by the curtain of blonde hair. But Kahlan can see enough to see that Cara's eyes are closed, lower lip clenched tight between her teeth to stifle the moans rumbling from her throat.
Beautiful. It's not a word she would ever think herself using to describe a Mord'Sith but it's the first that comes to her mind. The heat within Kahlan builds, watching this thing she knows she shouldn't. Her breathing becomes shallower, heartbeat heavier. Palms slick with sweat as she digs her nails into the bark of the tree she hides behind.
The hand between Cara's leg increases its pace, the red leather bobbing up and down. Cara throws back her head, smacking it against the tree as her body begins to climax.
Kahlan knows she shouldn't watch. She knows she shouldn't shiver at the sound of her own name whimpered off Cara's lips.
She feels pathetic, clinging desperately to Richard like a lost child, crying softly in his shoulder. But his arms are strong as they wrap around her, his embrace comforting.
They sit alone and talk for hours. Like the way it used to be, the way it's supposed to be. Kahlan's face hurts from all the smiling, her lips bruised from all the kissing.
It's dark when they return to the campsite. Cara's not there when they return.
Kahlan pretends not to notice.
More D'Haran soldiers. Another battle. It wasn't a killing blow just damn near close enough. And Cara, with mind, body and soul, stood in front of Kahlan and took it without pause.
They took her to a village where the Blacksmith offered a room despite reservations about offering a Mord'Sith comfort.
"She just needs rest and time," the Wizard said.
Cara's been asleep for five days.
Kahlan hasn't left her side.
She watches intently as Zedd changes Cara's bandages. Kahlan waits until he leaves then slips under the blankets, molding her body next to Cara's.
During the night, Cara's muscles begin to twitch and jerk. Eyes closed, her brows crinkle, lips pursed tight as her head jerkily moves back and forth.
Kahlan takes the hand draped over Cara's waist, gently cups her chin with her fingers as she moves her lips to Cara's ear.
"Shhh," she whispers quietly. "I'm here. I'm here."
Cara inhales deeply, releases the air through her nose. It ends with a pained whimper before she finally relaxes and drifts deeper into sleep.
"When do we leave?"
Kahlan stops at the sound of Cara's voice. She's outside the blacksmith's cottage, carrying more bandages, ointments made by Zedd and a basin of fresh, hot water.
"We.." It's Richard's voice and, just by the sound, Kahlan can tell he's smiling. "Are not going anywhere. Not until you get better."
"Like I said, I'm fine." It's followed with a wet and hacking cough that says Cara is anything but fine. "We should be looking for the Stone of Tears. Not wasting time on me."
"Don't make me order you." His voice is serious now. Concerned.
Kahlan takes the opportunity to enter the room. "How's our patient?"
Richard looks relieved. "Ornery as ever."
"The Mord'Sith are not ornery," Cara says, almost petulantly. Richard and Kahlan share a look that does not go unnoticed by Cara. "We're not."
"I'll leave you two alone," Richard says before exiting the room.
Kahlan turns her attentions fully towards Cara. She's wearing nothing but a sleeping gown, previously owned by the blacksmith's wife who hadn't bothered to pack when she disappeared with the butcher. It's old, threadbare, the white yellowed with age and leaving nothing to the imagination but it's better than letting Cara wander around naked.
She stands, leaning one hand palm flat on the table. The other is curled and placed against her chest bone, to prevent her from inhaling too deeply. Her skin is still deathly pale and there are dark circles under her eyes. For once, not from lack of sleep but her body's internal battle to keep her alive.
"I need to change your bandages." Kahlan sets the basin on the table as Cara gingerly removes her gown with no protest. She's used to the four-times daily routine now. Kahlan pulls the other chair to Cara's side of the table. Cara sits in her chair, her back facing Kahlan, draping her elbow over the back to keep her arm elevated.
'A million in one wound' Zedd calls it. Kahlan's not sure what to call it. Cara should be dead and by luck or fate or the Creator, she isn't. The sword pierced her through the chest, just above her left breast, sliced muscle, broke bone, punctured her lung and exited out the other side and, somehow, Cara survived. Barely.
The bandages removed, Kahlan cleans the wound on Cara's back. The stitches have held and, though there'll be an angry scar when it heals, infection hasn't set in.
Kahlan takes her time cleaning the wound. Perhaps too long because Cara's starting to squirm.
"What ever it is you wish to say," she says. "Say it."
Kahlan lifts her eyes to the back of Cara's head, her lips pulling into a soft smile. "What makes you think I wish to talk?"
"You always wish to talk," Cara huffs. "You haven't talked for a very long time. It's only inevitable before you start again."
Kahlan chuckles. Quiets. Then she gently runs her fingers around the edges of the wound. "Why'd you do it? Risk your life to save mine when your duty is to Richard?"
"Richard would be lost without you," she pauses, her voice lowering to barely above a whisper as she speaks again. "As would I."
There's flicker of anger inside Kahlan but it's quickly snuffed by melancholy. An ache for things desired, and things which can never be. She leans forward, places her forehead onto the base of Cara's neck.
"Your duty is to Richard," Kahlan whispers and feels Cara shiver from the breath exhaled onto Cara's neck.
"I know," is all Cara can manage to say.
Kahlan's body reacts before her mind can stop her. But she's tired of thinking all the time and the ache such thoughts cause, so she allows her body to scoot forward, allows her arms to wrap around Cara's waist.
"Promise me," Kahlan says into Cara's neck, her arms tightening. "Promise me if it comes to a choice between my life and Richard's, you'll choose his."
"The Mord'Sith do not lie because we have no need to. If I promise such a thing," she pauses, turning her head slightly towards Kahlan. "Know that it will be a lie."
Kahlan sits by the fire, surreptitiously poking the coals with a stick as she listens to Zedd snore. She hasn't been sleeping, again. Not since Cara recovered enough from her injuries so they could all renew their search for the Stone of Tears. And Kahlan had begun to wonder if she, too, should ask the Wizard for a sleeping tonic. She never asked Cara if it worked and Kahlan wonders if maybe she didn't want it to.
Branches rustle in the woods, Richard being not so quiet as he returns, his arms filled with more kindling for the fire. He sets his load down quietly, then stands to his full height.
Kahlan continues poking the fire with her stick. "I don't know."
She can sense him tensing. Hears his soft intake of breath and knows his brows are creasing with worry. She thinks about looking up at him, but he's already walking around the fire, walking towards her and sitting down on the log beside her. He takes her free hand between both his own, bringing it to his lips and kissing the knuckles.
"I know," he finally says.
"About Cara," he pauses. His brows furrow like he's trying to find the right words to say. "About your feelings for her."
"Do you know why I love you? It's because you have a heart so big it could swallow the Midlands whole. A heart big enough to even forgive and love a Mord'Sith." Kahlan's lips open to speak but no words come out. Richard chuckles softly, kisses her knuckles once more. "I know one day we will truly be together. I can wait. I will wait until the end of time for you Kahlan Amnell. But right now? Cara needs you. And you need her because the denial is killing you both. I will wait for you, Kahlan, but I can't live without you."
"I.." Her voice trails. She closes her eyes, the tears burning hot down her cheeks. His arms circle around her and she holds him tight. "I love you."
"I love you, too."
The air is warm, still. The sun a bright spot high in a sea of blue. Kahlan walks a path leading her to the edge of the forest, where she's met by a sea of green. In the distance, she sees a dot of yellow and a dash of red. She takes her time approaching Cara, letting her fingers drift over the blades of tall grass, feeling the sun on her face, the warmth in her body. She knows days like these come few and far between and she plans to relish every moment she has.
Cara sits on the top of a small hill, leaning back on her hands, her legs stretched out before her. Kahlan sits next to her without speaking, mimicking her pose.
"What are you doing?" Kahlan finally asks.
"Richard says there are always choices in life. I had three. Kill the Wizard. Continue to listen to him chatter or watch grass grow. I chose to watch the grass grow."
Kahlan nudges Cara's leg with her knee. "The Mord'Sith jests. Who knew?"
"I've been told I have many skills," Cara says, her lips curling up into the tiniest of smiles.
The two quiet, doing nothing but watching the grass, the sky and the occasional cloud drifting by. It's comfortable, this time they spend with each other. Where the air is not heavy or weighted with tension. Kahlan can't remember such a time with Cara.
Eventually, Cara leans forward. Brushes her knees with her hands then begins to rise.
"Where are you going?" Kahlan asks.
"Back to camp."
"Don't." Kahlan reaches out with her hand, clasps it around Cara's wrist. "Stay. Please."
Cara stares down at Kahlan's hand, staring at it like some strange new creature, wondering whether it is pet or predator. Her eyes lift to Kahlan's face, brows still furrowed as she examines the brunette's features. "You wish to talk?"
"No." Kahlan's smile is weak. Her eyes filled with a question she has no idea how to ask. "Just.. stay with me."
Kahlan rises to a sitting position as Cara sits on her knees. Her eyes still fixated on Kahlan, still examining her as if she can sense the change in Kahlan but uncertain as to what that change is.
Kahlan looks down at the hand still clasped around Cara's wrist. She places her free hand on top, drifts it over the gloved fingers, then begins pulling at the tips.
"What are you doing?" Cara asks, her eyes now focused on the fingers pulling off her glove.
For once, Kahlan doesn't want to talk. She wants to do and does. She presses their palms together, brings their joined hands to her mouth. Gently, she presses her lips to one of Cara's knuckles. Cara tenses but doesn't pull away. So Kahlan keeps kissing, slowly pressing her lips to each of Cara's knuckles, draws her lips across the fingers. She turns Cara's hand, exposing the palm, kissing it gently. Kahlan lifts her eyes to Cara's as she places Cara's palm against her cheek.
There is no misinterpreting 'this'. But Cara's still staring, her face still creased in confusion, as if her brain is still processing the sensations on her hand and their implications. So Kahlan guides Cara's thumb, the one touching Kahlan's face, and moves it to Kahlan's lips. Her message clear - I am yours.
Cara finally hears. Both hands are on Kahlan's face, pulling until their lips crash together. It's hungry, urgent. Cara whimpers like something's shattered within her. She's on her knees, pulling Kahlan up with her. Kahlan grasps Cara's face with a hand, the other grips her by the hip. Connected at the lips, chest against chest, hips against hips.
They continue to kiss, almost frenzied in its intensity. Kahlan weaves her fingers into Cara's hair, rakes her fingers across the scalp. And Cara growls into Kahlan's mouth, jutting her tongue between Kahlan's lips, and Kahlan shivers at the sensation.
Kahlan breaks first, not daring to be more than an inch away. And they're nose to nose, panting into the other's mouth. Cara dips her head about to dive in for another kiss. Kahlan tightens the grip of Cara's head, holding her back.
"I watched you.." Kahlan husks, still unable to say the words.
"I know," Cara purrs her reply.
Kahlan tightens her grip even harder, eyes hooded and glazed, focused intently on Cara's. She drifts the hand on Cara's hip over, resting her fingers on the top of Cara's belt. "Show me."
The belt comes off quickly. The laces on Cara's pants, not so quickly. Due to the trembling of Cara's fingers, her movements border on fumbling. But soon, they're loose enough. And Cara's pulling Kahlan on top of her as she lies, back flat, on the grass.
They kiss. It's slower, still feverish. Kahlan's hand wanders, grazes over smooth lines and supple curves. Cara moans into her mouth as Kahlan's hand finds a breast, the flesh warm even through her leather. She places her hand over Kahlan's and guides it down, where she needs Kahlan to be.
Kahlan breaks the kiss to watch her fingers. She watches as they meet the break between Cara's top and pants, at the feel of smooth and warm skin beneath her touch. She brings her eyes back up to Cara's, like she's asking for permission. Cara grabs Kahlan's hand by the wrist and pushes it down.
Despite the insistence of her Sisters, Kahlan was never able to familiarize herself with this part of her anatomy. She gasps in wonderment at the feel of Cara against her fingers - incredibly soft, slick, hot and wet. The way her fingers slip and slide as Cara rolls her hips. She begins to move her hand the way Cara's did that day in the woods.
Cara's panting now, with little moans and whimpers. Her hands are wrapped around the back of Kahlan's neck, the fingertips digging into the scalp at the base of Kahlan's hairline. Her brows are still furrowed, eyes still disbelieving, as if this is all just another of her feverish dreams.
"Your fingers.. Inside me.. Please." Only Cara can make a request sound like a demand. Kahlan does as instructed, slipping in one finger, only to hear 'more' groaned from Cara's lips. Another. More. Another. And Cara's eyes close and her mouth goes slack, nails digging into Kahlan's scalp as her body tenses. Her expression a mixture of pleasure and pain and, what Kahlan's never seen before, vulnerability. One more layer of her impenetrable mask washed away.
Kahlan kisses the open mouth, increases the pressure with her palm, the pace with her fingers. She feels Cara tense, clenching around her fingers.
"Cara," Kahlan breathes, knowing how close Cara is to release. "Open your eyes."
Green eyes slowly reveal, features pinched as if the very act of opening her eyes pains Cara deeply. Kahlan pushes her fingers a little harder, a little deeper, brings her lips to Cara's opened mouth.
"Say it," she pants heavily. "Say my name."
She feels Cara quivering and trembling beneath her, the fingers in her hair tensing, like saying Kahlan's name is an act of submission and, even now, Cara can't help but fight back. The thought sends a shiver down Kahlan's spine that reverberates deep in the pit of her stomach, sending a hard twitch between her legs.
Blue eyes misting over with black, Kahlan juts her fingers harder. "Cara," she growls, commands. "Say it."
"Kahlan.." Cara keens, writhing beneath Kahlan. And Kahlan watches Cara's face, at the number of expressions the Mord'Sith normally keeps hidden. Expressions made by and only for Kahlan.
The moments ticked into minutes, maybe hours as Cara came down, Kahlan content to do nothing more than watch her.
"You are," Cara pauses, groaning contentedly as she shifts. "Very good at that."
Cara dares her eyes open, peering up at Kahlan through narrowed slits, her look bordering on suspicion. "Kahlan," Cara finally speaks, her voice tinged with her own uncertainty. "Are you sure?"
Kahlan's smile broadens and she answers by pressing her lips to Cara's.
They return to camp hours later, hands clasp, fingers intertwined. Kahlan leads, Cara almost hesitantly following, the novice to Kahlan's journeyman in this strange new world Cara has found herself in.
Richard's by the fire, tending to the rabbit he's caught for supper. Kahlan, releasing Cara's hand, walks over to him, leans and brushes her lips against his temple as her fingers graze the back of his neck. Zedd sits across the fire. If he notices the change in all three of their temperaments, he wisely keeps his thoughts to himself.
Cara stays outside the invisible circle, eyes cast down but watching the intimate moment between Kahlan and Richard. Things are different, but they're also the same. In moments of uncertainty, Cara falls back on what she knows and she knows her duty to the Lord Rahl. Waits for the consequences of having taken something that is rightfully his.
The only thing that happens is Kahlan rises to her feet, walks over to Cara and intertwines their fingers once more as she pulls Cara to the fire to join the rest of them for supper.
Long after the fire dies down to burning and crackling embers, the sound mixed with Zedd's snoring, Cara shifts on her bedroll. She's vaguely aware of the warmth against her from shoulder to boot. She soon becomes aware of the arm over her stomach and the hand lazily painting patterns. It's the sensation of being watched that causes Cara's eyes to open. She sees lips curled into a soft smile, pale blue eyes twinkling with moonlight and gazing down at her.
Cara shifts again, rolling onto her side, unable to stop the corners of her own lips from curling upwards. "Have you been watching me sleep?"
Kahlan nods, drawing up the hand on Cara's stomach to graze the backs of her fingers against Cara's cheek. "You look so peaceful."
Cara chuckles, though on any other day she would bristle at the idea of being described as 'peaceful'. Tonight, she accepts the word as easily as she has accepted this sensation thrumming through her body. "If I had known all it would take was this for me to get a good night's rest, I would have allowed you to take me months ago."
"Is that what you think this is?" Kahlan asks, features tensing with concern.
Cara brings her fingertips to her lips, teeth clamping around the tips of leather to remove her glove. Gently, because despite what people may think about Mord'Sith, Cara is capable of gentleness, she draws her fingertips over Kahlan's lips. Watches Kahlan's features soften, melting under her touch. Cara may view emotions as weakness but, on Kahlan, all she sees is strength.
"I know exactly what this is," she whispers.
"Does this.." Kahlan asks, almost shyly, knowing how Cara feels about such discussions but needing to ask anyway. "Make you happy?"
Another chuckle and, fingertips to Kahlan's chin, Cara leans in and, with lips tender and soft, breathes into Kahlan's mouth. "You are, if nothing, a sentimental fool. But," she pauses, draping her arm over Kahlan and drawing her closer as she rolls onto her back. "You are my sentimental fool. And it's my turn to watch you sleep."
Kahlan snuggles her face against Cara's shoulder, immediately feeling Cara's hand drifting into her hair and playing gently. She's different now, changed, she can feel it all the way down into her soul. If that change is as sentimental fool, she thinks as her eyes drift closed to the beat of Cara's heart..
Kahlan will not argue the point.
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