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Heroes, Whores And The Ones In Between

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I’m not in love with Cara Mason.

**

“I think I broke your vibrator.”

The words illicit nothing more than a half-smirk from Denna, though the emotions she masks with her placid face are much more tumultuous. The stench of sex - raw and rough and musky - hit her like a wave as she opened the door to her penthouse suite. The price she had to pay was sometimes too much, even for Denna.

Her eyes go to the unconscious and naked form on her brand new and already ruined couch. The new girl. What was her name again? Denna shakes her head. It doesn’t matter. What ever training the new girl needed to become one of ’Denna’s Girls’ has already been accomplished. That’s all that matters, Denna thinks to herself. By whom and where and what else has been broken can be discussed later.

“Looks like you broke more than that,” Denna says, setting down her purse, fingers working on the buttons of her coat.

“She screamed your name when she came.”

Denna lifts her eyes at that. Lifts her eyes towards Cara. The room is illuminated by the lights of a dozen dying candles, the flames illuminating Cara’s golden and still sweat-slicked skin. Cara wears her blood-red leather slacks, and nothing else. Bare feet padding across Denna’s gleaming white carpet, she tosses the broken sex toy by the couch. “I broke her of that particular habit,” Cara says with a smirk.

Denna watches as Cara’s eyes go to the new girl. It’s very rare that Cara bothers with the new girls. So, it doesn’t go unnoticed by Denna that when Cara does, it’s the new girl who looks hauntingly familiar to an old.. acquaintance. It’s why Denna hired her. Not because of the ‘feelings’ she might have stirred within Cara, but because of her looks. There are many games clients like to play. And the new girl might not have been the former Mother Confessor, just close enough to fulfill that particular kink.

There’s a look in Cara’s eyes as she gazes down at the unconscious woman. She feels Denna’s eyes on her and the look is gone. Her eyes both hard and blank.

“How’d the meeting go?” Cara asks.

“As expected.” Denna sits down, hand sliding down to work on the strap of a shoe.

“Leave’em on.”

Denna narrows her eyes. “I thought you’d had your fun for the evening.”

“Who says I’ve been here for just an evening?” Cara’s smirk widens, eyes raking wolfishly down Denna‘s legs. “Who says I’m done having my fun?”

Denna says nothing. There’s nothing more she can say. This is the price for doing business with Cara Mason, continuing the power play they’ve been playing since that first moment Cara entered the temple and Denna was assigned as Cara’s tutor.

Rising from her seat, Denna turns her back to Cara, sweeping her hair off her back and onto her shoulder. She waits patiently as Cara approaches. The shudder that runs down her spine as she feels Cara’s fingers on her back is both real and practiced.

“You should rethink your training methods, Denna,” Cara says, slowly pulling down the zipper. “Your new girls are.. soft.”

“Not all of my clients have the endurance or the appetites of a Mord’Sith.” Denna smiles as Cara stiffens at the word. They were both Mord’Sith once before Denna then Cara fell. Denna uses this as a tool to make profit. Cara also uses this as a tool to make profit and intimidate, she still wears her Mord’Sith leathers on occasion. But it’s Cara who hates being reminded of what is and isn’t. So it cuts when Denna reminds her, and Denna always loves to cut.

“True,” Cara finally says, fingers on Denna’s shoulders, pushing the dress off, the material pooling at Denna’s feet. Completely naked, Cara pushes Denna roughly, bending her over the back of the couch. “But then, there are no Mord’Sith like me.”

There’s a retort but it’s replaced quickly by a howl as Cara shoves three fingers hard and deep into Denna’s cunt. As the pleasure and pain ripples outward, Denna’s eyes flutter closed, rolling up like they’re trying to see into her skull.

Had she been able to speak, Denna would have agreed.

There is no Mord’Sith like Cara.

**

Kahlan’s been nursing her drink for the past half hour, taking gentle sips in between circling her fingertip around the lip of the glass. Her drink’s gone warm, not that it matters. It’s not very good anyway. The first drink was to calm her nerves, as was the second. The third? Kahlan didn’t want to think about why she ordered the third.

It’s not that she’s never been in a place like this before - a dive bar on the edge of nowhere. Its patrons a scattered mix of the lost, those not wanting to be found, and the ones in between. She’s been in places like this before. It’s just the stakes have never been so high.

She’s dressed casually, innocuously, in her black boots, black leather pants and forest green, leather coat.

And, of course, her black turtleneck. She always seems to be wearing turtlenecks these days.

Unconsciously, her fingers go to her neck, to the band of metal around it, conspicuously hidden beneath the collar of her sweater. A consequence from a run gone horribly wrong. Back when Kahlan wore white and people gazed upon her reverently. It’s been a long time since Kahlan’s worn her Confessor whites. Then again, these days, people don’t seem to need, no, people don’t seem to *want* Confessors these days, or Seekers. They have Rahl.

Even here in the Outer Territories, where Rahl’s influence is more intimation than actuality, on the outskirts of nowhere, Rahl’s presence is felt. It’s felt in the posters on the walls, aged and worn and scribbled with graffiti. Posters where Rahl stands tall, staring outwards with that irritating smirk on his face - ‘Trust In Rahl’. It’s in the coin the people use instead of credits, coins with Rahl’s face.

The thought is enough to turn Kahlan’s stomach sour like so much bile rising.

The door to the bar opens. The hot, dusty air is like a vacuum, sucking the barely cooled air out. Kahlan doesn’t have to turn in her seat to know who’s entered. She *feels* it. Like a missing piece of her soul, long since forgotten, Kahlan suddenly feels whole, complete.

The air in the bar stills, quiets. It thickens like the anticipation before a fight. Boots on stone floor, the creaking of leather and Kahlan feels a presence at her shoulder. She doesn’t lift her head to look, keeps circling her finger around the lip of her glass. Waiting.

The presence moves and Kahlan watches as Cara Mason sits in the booth seat across from her. The leather is as red as Kahlan remembers it, the cut not quite so Mord’Sith. Then again, Cara’s not really a Mord’Sith anymore. Just as Kahlan’s not quite a Confessor.

Cara lifts her arms, spreads them outwards and stretches them over the back of the seat. Her smile is anything but friendly.

“Of all the gin joints in all the backwater towns in the galaxy,” she says. “She walks into mine.”

Kahlan pinches her lips into a smile. “Long time, no see.”

Cara tilts her head. “What’s it been? Two and a half years?”

“Yeah,” Kahlan agrees. “Not since..” she pauses, swallowing. Her thumb surreptitiously rubs against the gold band around her ring finger. “The wedding.”

Cara nods her head calculatingly slow, her eyes going from Kahlan’s face to the ring around Kahlan’s finger. Then, the smile on her lips pulls into a half-smirk. “Enjoy my wedding gift?”

Head bowing to the mask the slight flush painting her cheeks and failing miserably, Kahlan finds something of interest at the bottom of her glass. “It was.. interesting.”

Cara snorts, almost derisively, like she knows she doesn’t have to ask whether or not Kahlan used her ‘gift’. She shifts in her seat, the polite smile fading completely. “How’d you find me?”

“You forget,” Kahlan lifts her eyes and there’s a slight hardness there because she knows the polite formalities are over. “I have a wizard for a friend.”

“I didn’t forget anything,” Cara says with an edgy tone, her words weighted with multiple meanings. “What do you want?”

Kahlan inhales, leans back in her seat. “I want to hire you for a job.”

Cara laughs and this time it’s genuine. “Seriously? And what, in the Creator‘s name, makes you think I‘d ever *work* for you again?”

“Because,” Kahlan slams her fist hard on the table, pausing to collect herself because she can feel all the eyes in the room turning towards them. She leans forward, lowering her voice. “Because, you owe me. You owe Richard. If you’d been there performing your *duties*..”

“My duties?” Cara snaps back. Arms whipping off the seat, Cara practically lurches as she leans forward, hands curling into fists as she pounds them on the table. “This is so typical. Of all of you. ‘You’re not a Mord’Sith anymore, Cara’, ‘Richard’s the Seeker not Lord Rahl, Cara’, except you are, and he is, so shut up and do your duties like a good little girl.”

Kahlan grits her teeth, darts her eyes away from Cara‘s. This wasn‘t how it was supposed to go and, already, it has. “That’s not how it was. We were your friends.”

“No, Richard and Zedd were my friends. You and I were anything but friends. Yes, I would have been there,” she pauses, anger unable to mask the hurt in her eyes. “Had I been the one standing at the altar instead of asked to watch from the sidelines.”

“Cara,” Kahlan stops as she runs a hand through her hair. This is getting them nowhere other than reopening old wounds barely healed. She knew this wasn’t going to be easy. But, this was her last resort. She, at least, had to try. “Will you help me?”

Cara’s eyes narrow. She reaches across the table, sliding her hand for Kahlan’s glass, fingers grazing over Kahlan’s possessively and Kahlan can’t stifle her shiver fast enough. Downing the glass, Cara leans back, stretches her arms again over the seat. “What’s in it for me?”

“Three and a half million credits,” Kahlan answers.

Cara snorts. She brings the glass to her lips only to realize its empty. “Is that all?”

“There are plenty of people who wouldn’t scoff at that price?”

“True,” Cara shrugs. “But you didn’t go to them, did you?”

The air stills, like time itself is slowing to a stop, waiting for Kahlan to ask the question she doesn‘t want to ask. To ask the question Kahlan already knows the answer to. “What do you want, Cara?”

She leans forward, eyes dark and heated, tongue slowly running over her lips. “What I’ve always wanted. A little, okay, a big taste of what you freely gave Richard but always denied me.”

Kahlan stiffens, sucking a hard breath through her teeth. “I’m not a whore, Cara.”

“I haven’t seen or heard from you in two and a half years. So don’t insult me by pretending you’re here out of friendship. You use me. I use you. In the end, we both get what we want.” Placing the empty glass on the table, Cara slides out the booth, rising to her feet. “One way or another Kahlan, we’re all whores.”

Cara begins to walk away. Kahlan reaches out with her hand, clasping it onto Cara’s forearm. “Cara,” Kahlan whispers like she’s breaking, like her last resort is slipping through her fingers. “When’d you get so cold?”

Cara turns her head, gazes down at the hand clasping her arm. “How did you find me?”

“I told you, Zedd used a locator spell.”

Eyes still glued to Kahlan‘s fingers, Cara‘s brow furrows slightly, eyes losing a little of their intensity. “And how did he do that? What did you use to find me?”

Nodding in understanding, Kahlan releases her grip, cheeks tinting, not out of desire, but shame. “I used the ring you gave me.”

“That was my mother’s ring,” Cara says softly, almost whispering and Kahlan’s shoulders begin to slump. “The only thing of my family I had left.. and I gave it to you. When did I get so cold? When you said yes to me then married him.”

Kahlan says nothing, just listens as Cara, her last hope, walks away.

“If you want my help,” Cara stops at the door, calls back to Kahlan. “You know where to find me.”

And then she’s gone.

**

No matter how much Kahlan internally argues with herself, it’s not a hard decision at all. Even if it does take her almost two weeks to make it.

Goggles over her eyes, scarf over her nose and mouth to keep out the ever present and choking dust coloring the air, Kahlan speeds her gravity-cycle over the dust covered road.

In the distance, the city of Genaro rises like a leviathan out of the desert, silhouetted by the setting twin suns of Aurelia. A dense, claustrophobic city, with buildings almost a hundred stories high, thousands of makeshift skyway tunnels connecting them. The city was built over a hundred years ago. Back when there was the hint of money to be found in the caked and dry earth. Abandoned by the government ten years later when the people reached into the sand only to find dirt and tears.

Order came out of the chaos that followed, the city run by the various gangs that held a stranglehold on the various planets in the Outer Territories the government had abandoned. Genaro had become a haven for the criminal element. Criminals like Cara Mason.

Cara’s building is more high-end than Kahlan expects. Gleaming white with mirrored windows colored by the darkening skies. Kahlan ignores the stares of the people inside the lobby, in their tailored suits and fashionable dresses, as she pats and brushes the dust off her leathers.

The ride in the elevator is quick, quicker than Kahlan wants. Like she needed time to set her resolve, instead of quelling the increasing hammer of her heart, the sweat building on her palms, the sticky tendrils of a repressed anticipation coiling around her insides.

She arrives at Cara’s penthouse suite and before she can even think of knocking, the door swings open. And Kahlan’s face to face with red leather, soft and light brown hair, blue eyes seething with anger.

“Dahlia,” Kahlan nods, not backing down. Despite their shared history, they were never friends.

“Kahlan,” Dahlia sneers back. She slides one hand up the edge of the door, the other resting on the Agiel on her hip, like she’s expecting a fight. Like she *wants* a fight.

Kahlan has no intention of giving her one. “Is Cara here?”

Blue eyes narrow and, despite the anger, Dahlia’s not quite able to hide the pained look in her eyes. She points with her head. “Bedroom.”

Kahlan doesn’t wait for Dahlia to move out of the way before she enters, shouldering her way past the former Mord’Sith. And then Dahlia’s hand is whipping out snake-like, gripping Kahlan’s elbow tight.

She leans, pulls Kahlan towards her, whispering low and menacing in Kahlan’s ear, “Do you know how long it took me to put her back together after you tore her apart?”

The accusation stings but Kahlan doesn’t take the bait. She gazes down at the hand holding her, then back up, warning coloring her gaze. She might have a Rada’Han around her neck but Kahlan Amnell is not one to be pushed without pushing back.

Dahlia chuckles. “I don’t care what they say, you would have made a great Mord’Sith.” Her grip tightens even more. “Break her again and.. I will flay you alive.”

Dahlia releases her grip, holds Kahlan’s eyes for a second more before exiting the door and slamming it behind her.

And Kahlan’s alone in Cara’s penthouse suite.

She looks around. The décor is sparse, colored in shades of white and red. In her own home, similar to Genaro itself, how Cara makes her living isn’t hidden. Boxes of illegal goods, bought and sold, are stacked everywhere. Mostly guns, judging by the several already opened boxes, the guns strewn about like flotsam. Some of the crates are stamped - FR Inc. And Kahlan shivers at the thought of Cara having anything to do with Kahlan’s father.

On a wall is Kahlan’s ‘wanted’ poster, framed, probably a little joke shared between Dahlia and Cara at Kahlan’s expense.

Kahlan pulls off her coat, tosses it over a chair. A small dust cloud rises and Kahlan smiles thinking about Dahlia having to clean Kahlan‘s mess.

She makes her way to the bedroom, nudging open the cracked door. There’s nothing but a bed, a large screen monitor attached to the wall across from it and a chair facing the floor to ceiling windows, where Cara sits in her black boots, boy shorts and nothing else. There’s a half-empty bottle of whiskey held by the neck and sitting on her knee.

Kahlan pulls off her sweater, drops it haphazardly on the floor as she walks towards the chair.

“Nice place,” she says, standing next to Cara’s chair, folding her arms over her chest as she stares out the window.

“Should be,” Cara takes a swig from her bottle. “Pay fucking enough.”

Kahlan manages a chuckle. She turns, leaning her back to the glass, setting one ankle over the other. “I saw Dahlia. You two fighting?”

Cara snorts her laugh. “It’s not a fight until we’re fucking afterwards. We aren’t fucking. We’re not fighting.”

Which receives nothing more than a roll of the eyes from Kahlan. She might have a Rada’Han around her neck, she may be a Confessor and unable to read a Mord’Sith but, despite Cara’s boasting, she knows her words to be a lie. So she shifts, kneeling down, one foot tucked underneath her and begins working on the laces of her boots. “She doesn’t like me very much, does she?”

“I once suggested we have a threesome. To use an old phrase - ‘if looks could kill’. Then again,” Cara turns her eyes to Kahlan, finding a sudden interest in watching Kahlan undress. “It wouldn’t be the first time the two of you have drawn blood over me. It’s just too bad I wasn’t there to watch.”

“I’m glad,” Kahlan says, rising to her feet and unfastening her belt. “That you have someone who cares for you.”

Cara laughs, it’s hard and emotionless, like a sideshow barker before the curtain lifts and the real horror is revealed. “You think she cares for me? That’s so precious. How *has* your well of bottomless faith that there’s good in everyone not gotten you killed?” She takes another swig from her bottle before rising from the chair. “The only reason Dahlia is here is because she has no where else to go.

“That’s not true,” Kahlan sighs. “And you know it.”

“Do I?” Cara drops the bottle on the chair, the contents spilling onto the cushions. She steps towards Kahlan, swaggering, stalking. “Is that how you assuage your guilt, Kahlan? By thinking everything’s okay because Cara has ‘someone who cares for her’?” She presses her body against Kahlan’s. Brings her hand up, tracing a finger down the lace of Kahlan’s bra. “Do you think having someone who cares for me eased the burn, lessened the hurt of the fucking feelings *you* made me feel? Does it make it better that you chose and I live with the consequences?”

“That’s not true.” Kahlan swallows. She knew this was going to be hard as much as she wished it would be simple. Easy. Cara never did easy. And it’s hard because the words cut like a tiny blade while the temperature of her skin rises, and all she can do is stare at Cara’s lips. “I did what I thought was best. If I could have had you both..”

Cara’s eyes snap towards Kahlan’s. “You still would have chosen Richard.”

“I chose my duty. You, of all people, should understand that.”

“I understand.” Cara presses her body harder, thigh pressing against the apex of Kahlan‘s thighs, where Kahlan‘s already above-body-temperature warm and increasingly wet. She nuzzles her nose against Kahlan’s ear, lips silently whispering against the flesh as her fingers trace the collar around Kahlan’s neck.

It hurts, Cara’s fingers, her body against Kahlan’s. The old wounds seductively, playfully rendered open. This was the price Kahlan knew she’d have to pay - pain for pleasure. As much as she denied herself, lied to herself, deep down, this was always what she wanted. The blood pounds against her ears, Cara stoking her desires, enflaming her magic, only to have it dulled by the Rada’Han about her neck.

“I understand,” Cara whispers, lowering the fingers around Kahlan’s neck, down and down, and they’re sliding into leather pants. “No matter how many times you say the lie it will never become truth. You can lie to him. You can lie to yourself.”

“Cara..” Kahlan whimper-pants, eyes lazily sliding closed. Like an addict who’s been clean for years and her addiction’s been laid out before her, Kahlan can’t help but fight. She has to fight it. Even if she chose this. She didn’t choose Richard, Kahlan *ran* to Richard, ran from Cara. Because Cara scared the Hell out of Kahlan. Because loving Cara was like shining a light on all the dark places inside herself Kahlan tried desperately to keep hidden. She ran because of how much she *liked* the darkness exposed under Cara’s light.

Even now, as Cara taunts and teases, she can feel it inside her, building. Because Cara knows her so well, how to push all the right buttons Richard has no idea are there.

“You can lie to everyone in the entire galaxy, but,” Cara continues, teasing Kahlan’s clit with the pad of a fingertip. “You can never lie to me. Because it‘s not love or duty that makes you drop to your knees, gazing up at him reverently right before you take his cock into your mouth..”

The words hit their mark, cutting through the haze. And Kahlan‘s hand snakes between them, grasping around Cara‘s wrist. “Cara..”

The green eyes seem to brighten with a hard intensity. “What would he say if he knew what you were about to do to save him? Would he give his approval? Would he tell you there’s another way? Or would he finally realize you never really loved him to begin with?”

“Cara..” Kahlan growls. Her hand instinctively goes to Cara’s throat, and her head pounds from the brick wall her magic slams against.

“I told you, Kahlan,” Cara Cheshire-cat grins. “One way or another, we’re all whores. Even you.”

Kahlan strikes, pushing Cara away, then swings her fist hard against Cara’s jaw. Cara’s head whips to the side but she doesn’t stumble, merely braced herself like she anticipated the blow. Wanted, needed the blow.

Cara turns her head back towards Kahlan, her eyes wild and excited, bloodied lips spread into a feral grin. She wipes her bottom lip with the back of a hand. “You didn’t think I was going to make this easy for you?”

“No, I didn‘t,” Kahlan pants, eyes narrowing, blue eyes darkening. Her darkness exposed and laid bare. Kahlan never wanted their first time to be like this. She always knew it was going to be like this. It’s what made she and Cara compatible in ways Kahlan never could be with Richard. Kahlan lied, deluded herself into the thinking the darkness came from her gift. And while Richard accepted the darkness but only saw the good, Cara saw everything. She always understood Kahlan’s darkness wasn’t from her gift, but a part of Kahlan. Just as pieces of Kahlan’s mother are within her, so are pieces of her father. With Richard, all Kahlan does is give. With Cara, she can take.

Kahlan rushes towards Cara. Hand whipping out, clasping Cara by the back of the neck, she crashes their lips together. It’s hard, bruising and Kahlan tastes blood as their teeth clack against each other. Hands wrapping around Cara’s waist, lowering to cup her ass, Kahlan lifts and Cara’s legs are wrapping around her, both hands threading into Kahlan’s hair as she keeps their mouths connected.

Stepping forward until her shins hit the mattress, Kahlan lets gravity take over and just falls, crushing Cara as Cara’s back hits the mattress. Then, she’s all hands, growling into Cara’s mouth as she finds Cara’s wrists, pulls them up and over Cara’s head and, one-handedly, pins them to the mattress. Her other hand is between them, fisting boy shorts into her grip and just yanking and pulling until its ripping from Cara’s hips.

Three fingers thrust fast and hard and it’s Kahlan who growls throatily because Cara’s dripping wet, clenching tight around Kahlan’s fingers. Cara squirms and writhes beneath Kahlan, her entire body one coiled muscle. She clasps Kahlan’s lower lip between her teeth. Pressure. Pain. The breaking of skin. The taste of blood. Her message clear - this is yours, it’s always been yours but you’re still going to have to take it.

Harder, faster, Kahlan rocks her hips, jamming her crotch against the hand buried between Cara’s legs. Cara lifts her thighs, wrapping her legs around Kahlan’s waist, ankles hooking. Their eyes locked together, expressions blank and featureless, a duel where neither wants to admit how much they want the other.

Cara breathes hard through her nose. Every little flick and twitch of her face sends a tiny ripple of pleasure through Kahlan. So she thrusts harder, rolls her body deeper. A curl of a finger, another hard push and Cara’s brows crinkle, her lips part, a tiny gasp escaping her lips.

“It’s what you’ve always wanted,” Kahlan snarls. “The least you could do is enjoy it.”

“F..fuck..you.”

“Big, bad Mord’Sith,” Kahlan taunts. Her cheeks darkening from how the menacing tone of her own voice turns her on. “And that’s the best you got?”

Eyes narrowing, Cara growls. She fists Kahlan’s hair with one hand, the other gripping her shoulder, nails breaking the skin. She pushes, shoves, not to move Kahlan off her but lower. Kahlan understands but fights back anyway, refuses to make it easy for Cara. Pushed lower, her fingers still buried deep, she takes bites out of Cara breasts, her stomach. Between Cara’s legs, Cara yanking and pushing, trying to get Kahlan’s mouth on her pussy, Kahlan cleaves her teeth into Cara’s inner thigh.

Cara howls, her grip loosening even as she clenches tight around Kahlan’s fingers.

Kahlan’s never done this, tasted another woman’s sex, but there’s no nervousness or hesitation. She swipes her tongue once, Cara coating her tongue and she swallows quickly, shivers at the taste of her. Then, she clamps her mouth, sucks hard, finds Cara’s clit with her tongue and batters mercilessly, pumps her fingers mercilessly.

And both Cara’s hands are threading into Kahlan’s hair, scraping against the scalp. Cara whimpers and Kahlan tauntingly giggles into her sex because she knows Cara’s never made such a ~submissive~ sound with anyone else before.

It should scare her, how hurting Cara turns her on. Kahlan never wanted their first time to be like this. She’s always wanted their first time to be like this. Her head pounds from the magic thundering within her. It’s not all contained by the Rada’Han around her neck. It leaks out, finds those little cracks like fissures. She feels it in her aching nipples, the constant thrumming down her spine, the swollen throbbing of her pussy. She feels it the fingers pumping swiftly into Cara’s cunt.

Kahlan always knew their first time would be like this.

Kahlan knows she’s always wanted their first time to be like this.

She pulls at Cara’s clit harder, clasping it between her teeth. She jabs and punches at it with her tongue. And Cara can’t hold back anymore. She howls as the orgasm hits. Her entire body tensing, stomach curling, pulling her shoulders off the mattress before she loses all control, writhing and spasming. When it seems like it’s over, when Kahlan’s milked her for every twitch and shudder, Kahlan curls her fingers, presses against that spot hard and Cara’s bouncing off the walls, caterwauling like a cat in heat.

Spent, Cara collapses. Kahlan’s not quite done yet. She withdraws her fingers, replaces them with her tongue. Cara’s spent, body twitching, lips letting out these panting little whimpers because her body is on sensory overload. But she’s too proud, too well trained to beg for Kahlan to stop.

Kahlan doesn‘t stop, leisurely sliding her tongue in and out of Cara’s cunt, memorizing the feel, the taste, the way Cara clenches and unclenches around her. Because she knows this is a one time deal and Kahlan has no plans to stop until she’s had her fill.

But all good things must come to an end. Kahlan withdraws her tongue. Not because she’s had her fill but because Cara’s starting to get some of her strength back. Kahlan can feel it the way Cara’s rolling her hips, the fingers in her hair tightening. It’s a game. There are rules. Kahlan intends to make sure they both play by hers.

Rising to her knees, Kahlan swipes her soaked fingers on the sheets, wipes her mouth with her forearm. There’s a bit of shame and guilt there. She could brush her teeth a million times, gargle with battery acid, but from now on Cara’s taste will always be there on her tongue.

Cara cracks open her eyes, purring, lips stretching into a lascivious smile. She opens her mouth to speak.

Kahlan cuts her off. “My ship is docked at the Dune Edge Station..”

“Don’t you mean *my* ship?” Cara says, the look of pleasure gone from her face, replaced with irritation.

“You want it,” Kahlan slides off the bed, rising to her feet. “You know where it is.”

She steps back, turning her head to search for her turtleneck. This was the deal. Or so Kahlan thought.

Eyes finding it, Kahlan walks towards her discarded sweater. She leans to pick it up. Instantly, her feet are swept out from under her. Caught off guard, arms flailing, Kahlan lands hard on her back.

Cara’s on her, straddling Kahlan’s hips, eyes hot. Kahlan’s hands curl into fists, she’s ready to buck, crack her hand across Cara’s jaw when Cara’s hand whips forward. Kahlan sees it. She feels it, the tip of Cara’s Agiel millimeters from the bottom of her chin. Kahlan arches her neck to get away from the crackling heat, Cara moves with her.

Instinctually, Kahlan’s eyes dart towards Cara’s throat, fingers curling into a claw. Her magic swells, thrashes against the Rada’Han’s barrier.

“Uhuhuhhh,” Cara taunts, pressing Agiel to Kahlan’s flesh. Whispers like screams fill the air, mixing with Kahlan’s hiss. “We both know you’re Confessor powers are useless.”

“Cara..” Kahlan grits through her clenched teeth.

“Did you really think I’d let you taste me and leave,” Cara purrs seductively, threateningly as she lifts her hips an inch, freehand quickly sliding between them, working the button of Kahlan’s pants. “Without me tasting you?”

Kahlan doesn’t know what to say. There’s nothing she can say. The Agiel is starting to burn now, hot like the cherry of a cigarette. She grits her teeth harder as Cara’s hands work their way between her legs, at how easily they slide against her because she’s so fucking wet.

Cara rolls her hips, eyes going dark and hooded as she fingers Kahlan’s clit. Withdrawing her hand, Cara brings her soaked fingers to her lips, purrs lasciviously as she sucks them into her mouth, licks them clean. She pulls her fingers from her mouth, ending with a wet pop. “I can’t remember the last time a lie tasted so good.”

She pulls back on the Agiel at Kahlan’s chin, Kahlan gasping at the sudden loss of pain.

“Roll over,” Cara commands.

“Wha..”

Kahlan yelps in pain, Cara pressing the Agiel to her once again. Cara leans forward, skin glistening, accentuating every muscle in her body as she tenses.

“Do it!” she growls. “DO IT NOW!!”

It’s not that Kahlan doesn’t have options, they’re just few and very far between. No one knows she’s here, not even Zedd. Swallowing nervously, Kahlan does as she’s told, rolling over onto her stomach. She knows Cara would never really hurt her, not really. It’s just that little niggling of doubt, the fear of the unknown that sends a shiver down Kahlan’s spine. Cara would never hurt her. Kahlan wants Cara to hurt her.

Cara sets her weight back down on Kahlan’s hips. Fingers trailing up Kahlan’s spine, she finds the clasp of Kahlan’s bra and undoes it. Her fingers trail higher, sweeping the hair off Kahlan’s back. Higher, and Kahlan can feel Cara’s fingers grazing over the Rada’Han, like a heavy drum, the reverberations ripple across her.

“Cara..” Kahlan breathes.

A click, metal sliding across metal and Kahlan’s eyes widen in realization. The flick of a wrist, the metal snaps open. For fifteen months, Kahlan’s had the Rada’Han around her neck, the consequence of a deal gone horribly wrong. For fifteen months, her magic has been contained within her, building and building. When the band opens, the magic releases from her like an orgasm. She keens, body tensely writhing as the magic roars out of her. She feels it everywhere, skin, muscle and bone. More than anything, she feels it between her legs, wriggling tendrils of magic, squirming into her, pouring out of her. It pulses and glides over every nerve ending, every cell of her walls. Extends outwards, wrapping over, around and inside her clit.

Her scream finally ends as the blackness pools around her vision. Kahlan finds enough strength left to remain conscious. She’s aware of Cara again, still straddling her hips, fingers tracing along her spine.

“Remember this, Kahlan,” Cara drawls menacingly as she brings her lips to the shell of Kahlan’s ear. “That it wasn’t your precious Richard that freed you, but the one you threw away. Now,” she rises, standing on her feet. “Take off your clothes and get on the bed.”

**

Cara’s alone when she wakes. Not that she expected anything less, but she still reaches across the mattress, grunts her disappointment at finding the space empty.

The door to the bedroom opens and Cara winces at the sudden intrusion of light. There’s a moment, when a feminine shape eclipses the brightness, where Cara’s heart skips a beat, wondering whether Kahlan truly did stay, returning for a second, scratch that, third round. The door closes a little, Cara’s eyes adjust and she hides her disappointment as Dahlia stands by the door, arms folding across her chest.

Cara cocks an eyebrow, lips pulling into a half-smirk. Dahlia stands in her Mord’Sith leathers. The collar is gone and her hair flows freely instead of in a braid, but the sight is no less breathtaking. It’s been months since Dahlia’s worn her leathers, since she betrayed their Lord, turned her back on her Sisters by refusing to kill Cara when she had the opportunity, and Cara licks her lips at how much she’s missed the sight.

“What’s the opportunity?” Cara purrs, rising onto her elbows.

Dahlia shifts her hips, tightening the arms folded across her chest. “You’re going to help her, aren’t you?”

Growling, Cara lifts to a seated position, drawing up her legs to rest her elbows on her knees. “Richard is the true Lord Rahl..”

Dahlia laughs and Cara winces at the cruelty in her tone. “Your true Lord Rahl has spent the last two years rotting away in a prison built by the Sisters of the Dark. All because you would rather wait for her to beg you to save him than just do it yourself.”

There is no angry retort because Cara has none. She shudders at the unfamiliar feelings of guilt and shame crawling all over her like cold, dead hands rising from the grave.

“Dahlia..” she sighs. “I’m not in the mood to fight.”

Which seems like all they’ve been doing lately. Long before word spread that the Mother Confessor’s ship had entered the system.

“Was it worth it?” Dahlia snarls. “Is *she* worth it? She comes to you and yet you’re the one crawling on hands and knees..”

“DAHLIA!!” Cara snaps.

Dahlia flinches then quickly deflates, the fight in her gone. Stepping towards the bed, sitting down on the edge, Dahlia bows her head, features obscured by the curtain of hair. Dahlia was always different than their Sisters, more sensitive, heart not on but visible beneath her sleeve. It cuts Cara to know she’s done this to her, created the invisible wounds that cut deeper, burn longer.

Cara scoots closer, one leg dangling off the bed, the other leaning against Dahlia’s back. She reaches out with her hand, pulling the hair off Dahlia’s face, tucking it behind her ear.

“She’s breaking you, Cara. Again.” She turns her face to Cara’s, lips trembling. “And I’d admire her for it if I didn’t hate her so much. Because she does it so easily, without fist or Agiel, she’s breaking you. She’s breaking me..”

“Dahlia..” Cara presses her lips to Dahlia’s cheek, leaves her forehead against her temple. “Please don’t..”

“Gods help me for saying this but, just once, I’d wish you’d love me more than you love her.”

Cara doesn’t know what to say. She never knows what to say when Dahlia pours her heart out, asking for things they both know Cara can never give. Instead, Cara does as she always does, she kisses Dahlia again, lightly on the cheek, then the corner of her lips. Dahlia turns into her, their lips meeting fully.

It’s not a pity fuck, there’s too much desire and passion between, there’s too much of this thing called love for either one of them to deny. Cara doesn’t know if she’s capable of loving Dahlia more than Kahlan but, in these moments as her fingers find the buckles and straps of Dahlia‘s leathers, the two tumbling, tangling onto the bed, she does everything within her to try.

**

“What the FUCK did you do to my ship!!”

Kahlan stands on the debarking platform, digi-board in her hands as she supervises the workers loading the last of the supplies on her ship. She pulls down the kerchief covering her face because, even 6 miles above the surface, there’s no way to avoid the dust blowing in the air.

At the sight of Cara and Dahlia, both in their Mord’Sith leathers, Cara’s hair loose and whipping about her face from the strong winds, Dahlia’s in an unbraided ponytail, the workers become agitated. Cara and Dahlia aren’t the only Mord’Sith on Aurelia or even the Outer Territories, everyone just knows to give a Mord’Sith a wide berth because where there’s one, trouble is sure to follow.

Kahlan stands still, not intimidated in the least by red leather or the women wearing it. She doesn’t answer Cara’s question, instead focuses her gaze, icy cold, on Dahlia.

“What’s *she* doing here?”

Dahlia tips her head in mock deference. “Keeping *you* from getting her killed.”

“What the FUCK did you do to my ship!!” Cara snarls again. She stands under a wing, fingers gently caressing the underside.

Even before she met Cara and the blonde became she and Richard’s companion, Kahlan always admired the beauty of the Mord’Sith gunship. Long, sleek, oblong shaped with a pointed nose and wings like daggers, able to slice through air, water and space with equal ease.

Once, there were thousands of Mord’Sith gun ships until the heroic final battle with the Gemini Sphere (the Destroyer of Planets), which occurred several centuries before either of them were born. The one time the Mord’Sith acted on behalf of the universe instead of the whims of Lord Rahl. Imbued with magic, sometimes Kahlan thought the ship was actually alive, the plans, along with the building stations were destroyed by the Wizards. In a galaxy where there were once thousands, only three Mord’Sith gun ships remain.

“You..” Cara shudders in revulsion. “Painted her *white*?”

“She is my ship,” Kahlan can’t help but tease.

“My ship,” Cara grits petulantly.

“You did give her to me.”

Which is both a lie and the truth. Trapped in a tomb, Cara thinking they were both going to die, she promised Kahlan her ship should Kahlan survive. It was Denna who revived them both with the Breath of Life. A twisting of the terms, Cara had died, Kahlan had survived, and Kahlan took Cara up on her offer. And Cara, honor bound by her word, begrudgingly obliged.

“I’m going inside,” Cara stomps away. “To see what other damage you’ve done.”

Kahlan chuckles then her eyes widen and she’s rushing up the ramp. She shoulders her way past Dahlia. Cara’s marching like a woman possessed, grumbling under her breath at every minute change of the gun ship’s interior, making it look less like a dungeon and more like a livable space.

They reach the main area, the center of the ship, turned makeshift living room. Cara stops in her tracks, Kahlan practically skidding into her. The anger roils off Cara, curling her hands into fists.

“What..” Cara hisses through her clenched teeth. “Is *she* doing here?”

“Me?” Denna laughs. She’s stretched out on the couch in her own Mord’Sith leathers, her hair done like a proper Mord’Sith, all tight braid hanging off her shoulders. Her leather creaks as she rises to a seated position, leaning back and stretching her arms across the couch. “A plan to free the Seeker from the Sisters of the Dark? You might turn down 3 and a half million credits in exchange for the opportunity to plant your face between the Mother Confessor’s legs, some of us are not so limited in our vision.”

Cara whips her head towards Kahlan. “You went to Denna for help?”

“No, my dear Sister,” her voice drips as she says the word. “I sought out Kahlan.”

Cara steps forward menacingly. “You’re not coming.”

“That’s not up to you, Cara,” her eyes flick towards Kahlan as she rises to her feet. “There needs to be someone on this bucket of bolts who thinks with something other than their cunt. Besides,” she flicks her braid over her shoulder, turning on her heel. “Someone needs to keep you bitches from killing each other.”

**

“Poor baby,” Cara sits in the pilot‘s seat, hands going over the controls. “What did she do to you?”

The door shushes open and Cara bristles, not caring who’s entering the cockpit, just wanting them to leave. Kahlan slumps down into the co-pilot’s seat, folding her arms over her chest as she turns in her seat to gaze at Cara.

“We need to talk,” she says.

“When don’t you want to talk?” Cara scoffs, flicking more switches, pressing buttons. “I have no intention of talking until I’ve undone this.. bullshit.”

“Cara,” Kahlan sighs. “Your ship’s fine.”

“Ha! You admit it, MY ship!”

“Fine. You help me rescue Richard and I’ll give her back to you.”

Cara goes silent, grunting as if getting her ship back is a foregone conclusion.

“But,” Kahlan inhales deeply. “We still need to talk, about what happened between us. It can’t..” she stammers. “It won’t happen again.”

The silence is deafening, Cara saying nothing, continuing with her survey of the controls. While Cara is not the most talkative of people, Kahlan knows it’s her silence that’s worse.

“Cara?” she shifts uncomfortably in her seat.

Hand reaching for another button, Cara stills, body not moving as if she’s frozen in time. Instantly, she’s back in motion, moving a little faster than before.

“I proposed to you here,” she finally says, voice barely above a whisper.

Shoulders slumping, Kahlan inhales deeply through her nose. “I know.”

“You said yes.”

“Cara..”

“Did you know I bought a house? Yeah, with plenty of rooms and a big backyard for the all children I imagined we’d have.” Cara twists her in seat and Kahlan winces at the rage directed towards her. “It’s not that you loved me that cuts deeper than any Agiel. It’s that you gave me hope, you made me dream,” her voice trails, she turns back, facing forward. “Then you took it all away.”

Now it’s Kahlan’s turn to go silent, not sure what to say. The guilt was hard before, it crushes her now. Their relationship, no, affair, Kahlan’s willing to admit that now. It was clandestine, the brushing of fingers as they walked, the hand on the small of her back, the hungry and urgent kisses in darkened corridors. Cara was the proverbial forbidden fruit, the more Kahlan denied it, the more she wanted her.

Then, Cara proposed, Kahlan said yes and, a day later when Cara was away on a side mission, a completely oblivious Richard proposed. What could Kahlan do? She hadn’t lied when she said she’d have them both if she could. But, Cara was right. Kahlan chose Richard so she could run from Cara.

The door to the cockpit opens, Kahlan says a silent prayer thankful for the distraction. Then she remembers she’s alone on a ship with not one but three Mord’Sith.

Dahlia enters first, immediately taking the seat behind Cara, firing a possessive glare at Kahlan. Kahlan notices the bruise on her cheek then notices, as she enters, the split in Denna’s lips. Kahlan doesn’t have to guess what or who they were fighting over.

“Are we there, yet?” Denna says, flopping into the seat behind Kahlan.

Dahlia shoots her head towards her, eyes firing daggers. “You are free to leave anytime you want.”

“And miss all this.. tension,” Denna fakes a shiver. “It’s almost enough to make me wanna do this for free.”

“This,” Kahlan sighs. “Is going to be a long trip.”

“Longer than you think,” Cara hits another switch, the engines roaring to life. “At least two months.”

“What!?!” Kahlan squeaks. “But..”

Cara smirks for the first time since stepping into the port. “At top speed, with no stops along the way, it would take us three weeks to reach the other side of the galaxy. If Denna found out you were here, I’m sure others were more than happy to sell that information to the Sisters of the Dark,” Cara pauses, letting the words sink in. “They know we’re coming. I’ve chosen a less direct route since I’m sure the element of surprise has been ruined.”

“Oooh,” Denna purrs, leaning forward in her seat. “Two months alone on ship with nothing but Mord’Sith. I hope you’re alive to rescue Richard or, at least, still able to walk.”

As Cara flicks a hard glance in her direction, Denna leans back in her seat, arms folding over her chest, self-satisfied grin on her face. There’s a threat in Denna’s words and Kahlan swallows hard at the implication. It’s not the first time the four of them have been together on a mission. But, back then, there was less baggage between them, less tension. Truths laid bare that had always been hidden before.

“Gods..” Resting her head against her seat, Kahlan lets out a long ragged sigh. “This is going to be a long trip.”

Cara chuckles. “Definitely.”

**

It’s not night, because it’s always dark in space, but the ship is quiet and that’s enough for Kahlan. She wanders the corridors aimlessly, giving her restless legs something to do. The gunship was built for stealth and attack, with barely two separate floors, it’s not big but it feels smaller today than it did yesterday. She wanders to the back of the ship where the quarters are. The ship holds 17 and there are five rooms, one for each quad of Mord’Sith and a slightly larger room for the Lord Rahl should he need transport. Kahlan arrives in the hall that connects all five rooms, and is quickly reminded why she needed to stretch her legs to begin with.

She makes her way to the cockpit, the one place where she knows she’ll be alone. The doors slide open and Kahlan’s practically assaulted by music blaring at an ear-splitting level. Her hands flail towards the panel, finding the right button and turning the music off.

“HEY!” Denna snaps, twisting her head back towards the entrance. She immediately relaxes, sniffs derisively. “I thought you were Dahlia.”

She almost says ‘I wish’ then realizes how loaded a statement that would have been. “Happy to see you, too.”

Denna sits in the pilots seat, feet up on the console for no other reason than it would piss Cara off if she were there. She’s no longer in her Mord’Sith leathers, she hasn’t worn those since that first day and Kahlan begins to think it was merely for show.

They’ve been in orbit around a small moon for hours, a temporary respite from the constant travel though it doesn’t feel any different. Kahlan takes the co-pilot’s seat and, like Denna, gazes blankly out at the view.

“What are you doing here?” Kahlan finally asks when the silence becomes too much.

“Same as you,” Denna chuckles. “Tired of listening to them fuck. At least Zedd’s blessed with the option of turning himself off.”

Kahlan snorts at that, no one but Denna would call Zedd’s current state a ‘blessing’. They picked him up two weeks ago. He’s more metal than man now. But he’s still a Wizard of the First Order and a friend. Kahlan needs that more than anything.

“There is another option..” Denna turns her gaze towards Kahlan, eyes twinkling devilishly. “We could fuck and irritate them.”

With narrowed eyes, Kahlan pulls her lips into a twisted smile. “No thank you.”

“Your loss,” Denna sighs, disappointed, turning her gaze back to the stars. “For the record, there isn’t a thing Cara knows that I haven’t taught her.”

Something in Denna’s voice, the way she says the words, catches Kahlan’s attention. “Why are you here?”

“Like I said, saving the Seeker, the ‘true Lord Rahl’,” she says almost mockingly. “If there isn’t profit to be made in that..”

“You have enough money.”

“Honey, there is no such thing as too much money.”

“Why are you here?”

Denna’s face softens then hardens just as quickly, disappointed at Kahlan’s refusal to play her game. “Richard saved my life once,” she finally explains. “I‘ve been waiting a long time to replay that debt.”

It’s an answer, but it feel incomplete to Kahlan. Not just the things unsaid but Denna’s manner towards Kahlan since Denna arrived at Kahlan’s hotel doorstep, politely subservient, willing to please. Kahlan narrows her eyes. She’s always been good at reading people, but the Rada’Han dulled her powers. Now, the answer is clear and plain, easily read on Denna’s face and Kahlan wonders how she could have ever missed it at all.

“You’re in love with her,” Kahlan says flatly and Denna flinches as the words strike their mark.

Just as quickly, the look is gone, replaced with an impish curiosity. Denna brings a curled hand to her chin, eyes darting all over Kahlan’s face like she’s drinking her in. “By the Creator,” Denna marvels. “No wonder she’s so obsessed with you. You use love like a weapon.. and you have absolutely no idea that you’re doing it.” She chuckles. “And they say Mord’Sith are cruel.”

“I..” Kahlan stammers, flush warming her cheeks under Denna’s playful gaze. She turns her eyes forward again. There is truth to Denna’s words, although Kahlan’s never heard it put that way before. Confessor’s are love, that was taught to her from the moment she could remember. She had to learn the hard way that a Confessor’s love could also be cruel, heartless and cold. She’d had to learn the hard way that *she* could be cruel, heartless and cold. That she did it in the name of love..

“Don’t worry, Kahlan,” Denna smiles as she rises from her seat. “I’ll keep that little secret between the two of us.

Denna walks towards the door, hits the button. The sound is soft and faint like an echo, immediately recognizable. “Oh, for fuck’s sake!” Denna growls beneath her breath then shouts down the corridor, “WE GET IT!! YOU LIKE FUCKING!! YOU’RE THE FUCK MASTERS OF FUCKTOWN!! NOW GET OVER YOURSELVES AND GO TO SLEEP!!”

Kahlan chuckles, sharing Denna’s annoyance. It’s been like this since their journey started, Cara and Dahlia having raucous sex at any opportunity and any room they find themselves alone in. Including the galley, a moment Kahlan stumbled upon by accident and will take a long time to get the image out of her brain. And Kahlan knows they’re both doing it to make a point, for opposite reasons. Dahlia does it to prove her love to Cara, that she’s better than Kahlan. Cara does it to prove, no, not prove. Cara does it to taunt, in the only ways she knows how, that Kahlan still wants her. Kahlan can hear it in every grunt and groan, every fist slammed against wall.

Cara might be right. Kahlan’s never denied she wants her. But, her resolve is stronger than her desires. She will not falter. She can’t.

“Kahlan..”

She turns towards the still open door, startled at the sound of her name, having forgotten Denna was still there. Denna stands in the doorway, her back to Kahlan.

“If it helps, you’re right, I do love her,” she turns her head a little, just the tiniest hint of a profile and Kahlan can see the anger coloring her features. “As much as you love her, for whatever that’s worth.”

**

The door to the Infirmary opens, Kahlan on her way in, a very and visibly angry Dahlia on her way out. There’s a moment, where the two stop and they’re staring directly into each other’s eyes. There’s anger but something else, understanding.

Dahlia blinks first, nodding her head slightly before brushing past Kahlan. “She’s all yours.”

Kahlan’s not sure what to make of the comment, decides to leave it alone. When they’re not having sex, Cara and Dahlia are always fighting. Like they need that anger between them to stoke the dying flame neither is willing to admit.

They both blink in their own way, breaking the moment. Dahlia leaves, Kahlan enters and Cara growls in annoyance at another intrusion.

She sits straight up on a gurney, legs dangling over the side. She’s in her boots, leather pants and nothing else. Miles of bandages have been wrapped around her middle, from the waist of her pants to the bottoms of her breasts. There are bruises on her arms and face, a nasty gash that runs from the top of her skull down to the middle of her forehead. The bleeding’s stopped, mostly thank to the medical arm above her head, laser sizzling as it closes the wound.

“Wouldn’t the Breath of Life be faster?” she asks, shifting uncomfortably on her feet. The guilt weighs heavily on her, all this because Cara put her body before Kahlan’s, saving her life.

“It would,” Cara snarls, trying to move as the machine heals her. “If it were offered.”

“Is that why you two were arguing, this time?” Kahlan can’t help but tease just a little.

“Something like that,” Cara grits. The machine finished, she shifts on the gurney, attempting to slide off. Kahlan’s there, hips bumping the gurney between Cara’s opened legs, hands on both her shoulders.

“Stop!” Kahlan commands. There’s an angry glint in Cara’s eye, the anger at being commanded. But she stills, her training as a Mord’Sith, her acquiescence, the training that beat such submission into her to true dominance greater than her anger.

“Your lip is still bleeding,” Kahlan says, softening.

“It’ll heal.”

“It’ll heal faster with a little help.” She reaches for a small medical tray next to the gurney, picking up the bottle anesthetic and pieces of gauze. She dabs the liquid into the gauze, then brings it to Cara’s busted lip. Cara minutely twists her head away before, again, submitting to Kahlan.

“Do you always have to be so difficult?” Kahlan chuckles.

“Do you always have to be so damn nice?” Cara fires back with an empty snarl. Inhaling deeply, she closes her eyes, allowing Kahlan to continue the indignity.

Up close, the bruises look worse and Kahlan thinks about ordering Dahlia or Denna to perform the Breath of Life to make them heal faster. To make Kahlan feel better, the guilt settling deep into her bones. There was always Richard and Kahlan always used his presence like a barrier. She misses that wall now even as she hates herself for using him as such. There’s no barrier now, no place for Kahlan to flee. Now, there’s just Kahlan, Cara and dozen bruises incomparable to the ones underneath.

“That was stupid, you know?” she says after several long moments, applying the anesthetic as best she can with Cara flinching and wriggling from her touch like a petulant child. She places her fingertips to Cara’s brow, pushing her head back so she can tend to the scratches on her neck. “You can’t keep risking your life to save mine.”

“Dahlia said the same thing,” Cara snorts. “I’m beginning to think the same thing.”

Kahlan stills. Something in the air has changed between them. Where there was once antagonism, Kahlan senses something else. Then she feels it, Cara’s hands on her hips, the hand sliding around to the front.

“Cara..” Kahlan gasps as Cara lowers her head, no doubt to her intentions as her fingers move towards the button of Kahlan’s pants. “We had a deal.”

“I paid too low.” With just a flick, like she’s done it a million times, the button pops open.

Kahlan reaches between them, clamping her hand around Cara’s wrist. “And I paid too high.”

“Then, consider this me renegotiating the terms of our agreement.”

Her hand moves lightning fast, sliding between skin and leather. In an instant, she’s right there, fingers on Kahlan’s pussy, middle finger between the lips, pressing against Kahlan’s clit. Kahlan jolts at the contact, cheeks blushing at how her mouth goes slack, how quickly Cara’s touch makes her wet.

“Cara..” she says again, but it’s an empty threat. Cara’s hand is already.. moving, sliding back and forth.

“I saved your life today,” Cara purrs, eyes gone predatory. She set her trap and Kahlan fell right into it. “Did you think I wouldn’t make you repay that debt?”

“Maybe..” Kahlan pants through clenched teeth. “Not like this.”

Cara lifts her other hand, tangles her fingers on the back of Kahlan’s head. She tightens her grip, pressing their foreheads together. “I’ll help you..” she tightens her grip on Kahlan’s hair, pumps her hand faster. “But don’t you dare delude yourself into thinking I’m doing this for him. For you, I will take any punch, any bullet, any Agiel. But, I won’t do so without something in return. Not anymore. And this is how I will take my pound of flesh. Your sighs and whimpers, your dripping cunt clenching around my fingers, your nails digging in my flesh as you come.”

Kahlan could stop this, they both know it. That Kahlan doesn’t, says more than anything. Hands on Cara’s shoulders, she drops her face into the crook of Cara’s neck, breathing heavily through her nose. She can no longer lie to herself, say that she doesn’t want this. Cara almost died for her today and there was that moment when Kahlan thought she had, and her heart screamed at the loss.

It’s why she waited so long to finally ask for Cara’s help. Cara’s help came with strings, a truth she can no longer deny. No matter how hard she tries.

Cara tilts her head, plants kisses to Kahlan’s cheek, her ear, her neck. “I still have that house, the one I bought for you, for us,” she breathes solemnly and Kahlan whimpers at the tenderness in her voice. “I still go there sometimes, wake in a bed too large for one person, listen to the silence that should be the echoes of our children. Have you ever imagined what our children would look like, Kahlan? I have..”

Her Achille’s Heel, and Cara’s words slash at it like a blade, slash until it cuts right up to her heart. Cara’s not the only one who hoped, who dreamed and Kahlan shuts her eyes at the sudden stinging salt welling in the corners.

“Cara..” she whimpers and Cara pushes her fingers deep. Kahlan wails as her orgasm hits her, as her magic bursts forth and everything implodes and explodes. She’s always known Cara was immune to Confession. It’s part of what attracted her, pushed her away. Kahlan’s extended far beyond her reach, she’s no longer able to push.

Blackness pooling around the edges of her vision, Kahlan’s knees go weak. Cara wraps her arm around Kahlan’s waist, pulling close. Cara withdraws her fingers, Kahlan mewling at the loss, shivering. Then, her eyes snap open as she feels Cara’s fingers pushed into her mouth, the taste of her own desire, her shame, her guilt, suddenly on her tongue.

Cara removes her fingers, replaces them with her mouth. Her kiss is hungry, open mouthed and sloppy. Kahlan doesn’t have the strength to fight her. She never did. Her eyes flutter close, tongue dancing against Cara’s and they exchange moans.

It’s over too quickly and not quick enough. Cara slides off the gurney, turning the two so Kahlan can lean against it. Kahlan dares her eyes open, heart twisting as Cara gazes at her with a sadness and longing Kahlan’s never seen before. The one she recognizes as the look she’s worn these past two years, a sadness and longing for someone other than Richard.

You use love like a weapon.

Grabbing her shirt, Cara puts it on quickly as she walks towards the door. She stops, gazing down at her hand, the one that had been buried between Kahlan’s legs mere moments ago. Hand to her mouth, she slides her fingers between her lips. There’s no lasciviousness or taunting, she pulls her fingers between her lips, closes her eyes, tasting like this might be the last time. Maybe it is. Cara did almost die today. Who knew what tomorrow would bring.

Cara removes her hand, wiping her fingers on a corner of her shirt. She turns slightly, features obscured by her curtain of hair, though Kahlan has no doubts to her expression.

“Hero, whore, something in between, I don’t care how you see me or how you see yourself. You’re mine, Kahlan Amnell. Maybe one day, you’ll see our love as something worth fighting for.. instead of finding ways to sacrifice it.”

With that, Cara is gone. Kahlan finds herself alone once again with nothing but her thoughts.

She closes her eyes and begins whispering, “I’m not in love with Cara Mason, I’m not in love with Cara Mason.”

Over and over, Kahlan repeats the words like a mantra. Over and over, Kahlan prays that this time..

She can wish they were true.

END