As Cara's eyes blink open slowly and squint at the harsh mid-morning light filtering through her half opened curtains, her hand falls on the pillow beside her, searching for something she's not sure she'll find. Finding the space empty, she forces her eyes to focus and checks that the small piece of paper she's looking for hasn't slipped underneath the pillow or covers, and when she still finds nothing, she throws the covers back and tumbles sleepily out of bed. She wanders out of the bedroom, and as she heads down the hall towards the small apartment's living area she smells the fresh coffee that Kahlan makes sure will be ready for her when she wakes. As she enters the kitchen, the assorted pastries Kahlan knows she adores are on the counter waiting for her, along with the folded square piece of paper she was looking for resting against the plate.
As she perches on one of the stools beside the counter, Cara's aware of the small smile stretching her lips, and with no one there to witness her rare show of happiness, she allows her smile to grow as she opens the note and reads aloud, "Where true love burns desire is love's pure flame; it is the reflex of our earthly frame, that takes its meaning from the nobler part, and but translates the language of the heart."
She reads once, twice to fully absorb the words, and her smile widens. As she pours her coffee and grabs a croissant, Cara wonders how Kahlan managed to turn her into such a girl; the kind of girl whose heart beats faster as she reads the newest note Kahlan has left for her. Cara rolls her eyes; if Richard could see her now, she thinks, he wouldn't stop teasing her until she punched him in the throat, just like she had to when he wouldn't stop teasing her about how whipped Kahlan had her. Shrugging, she picks up the poem and reads it a few more times as she slowly makes her way through the delicious goodies Kahlan left for her before heading to the bathroom to shower.
"I swear, we need a new car," Richard says as fiddles with the broken A/C for what he thinks must be the thousandth time. He and Cara have been stuck in their patrol car for the last two hours and, as much as he hates sitting around doing nothing, he knows that soon enough they'll be called into action; its quiet now but when the bars of the city start letting out, that's when they'll be needed. But until then, his only problems are sitting in a car with no air conditioning - in the height of summer - while watching his partner hunch over her notepad while scribbling and muttering to herself under her breath. "Cara," he says, "what the hell are you writing?"
"Nothing," Cara mutters distractedly. She scoffs, apparently unhappy with whatever she wrote and tears the paper from her pad, throwing it onto the dash, along with the other half-dozen pieces of balled-up paper. He reaches for one of the discarded paper balls, only to freeze as Cara says, "Touch that and I'll cut your hand off."
"Oh, come on!" Richard exclaims, chuckling softly as he withdraws his hand. "You can't expect me to just sit here and watch you scribble and frown like that, without telling me what you're writing."
"I'm just…" she says, sighing heavily as she looks up from her notepad. "Kahlan leaves me little poems every morning," she says. "She leaves them somewhere different every day; sometimes on her pillow, sometimes in the kitchen, and sometimes in the bathroom, stuck to the mirror so I'll see it as I brush my teeth."
"Oh, my god," Richard says with a grin, "could you two be any cuter?"
"Richard," Cara warns with a tone so sharp Richard's fairly certain it could cut through stone.
"OK," he chuckles softly, heeding Cara's warning. "And what? You're trying to write something for her in return?" he asks, glancing at the pile of paper cluttering up his dash.
Cara shrugs half-heartedly, clearly not comfortable talking about this with Richard. "I just want…" she trails off uncertainly as she refuses to look directly at him.
"You want what?" he asks softly, leaning towards Cara and offering an encouraging smile.
She takes a deep breath, bolstering her confidence. "I want her to know, to see, that I'm making an effort," Cara mutters quietly. "And I swear to God, Cypher," she says, turning to glare at him, "if you utter even one mocking word, I will remove your man-parts with my pocket knife," she threatens darkly.
Richard swallows, entirely sure Cara's not joking. "So, what's the problem?" he asks.
"Words, Richard!" she snaps. "Words are the problem."
Richard shakes his head in confusion. "I don't-" he begins.
"I'm not good with them," Cara says, frustration lacing her words.
Richard smiles softly; it wasn't so long ago that Cara wouldn't have cared about making an effort and, given the usual self-assurance she normally exudes he can't help but be a little amused by her sudden frustration and lack of confidence. "Then don't use words," he says. "Show her how you feel."
Kahlan frowns as she enters hers and Cara's apartment; she thought the other woman was working that night, but as she hears the soft music playing and the smell of the food Cara's cooking fill her nostrils, it's clear that Cara's somewhere around.
She drops her briefcase and coat on the leather sofa and slowly takes in the scene around her; the candles scattered around the living room and on the dining table, their flames licking shadows across the darkened room; the bottle of red wine, that she knows Cara hates, waiting to be poured; a small, folded square of paper placed on one of the china plates that sits atop the table, a plate from the dining set that was a gift from her sister, Dennee, when she and Cara married. The set that Cara scoffed at and said they'd never find use for.
"You're home early," Kahlan hears from behind her. She turns to see Cara leaning against the doorframe of their bedroom, her white button-down shirt ironed to perfection, her form-fitting black slacks moulding themselves to her hips and legs, and her black boots rounding off the understated, yet surprisingly dressy outfit.
"Less traffic than normal," she says, her eyes bouncing around the room restlessly. A small frown creases her brow as she asks, "Did I forget something? It's not our anniversary, right?"
Cara chuckles and shakes her head, "No, it's not."
"Oh, thank God," Kahlan says, breathing a small chuckle.
"The food isn't ready just yet," Cara says as she walks towards Kahlan slowly. "You wanna shower and change before we eat?" she asks as she wraps her arms around Kahlan's waist and pulls her against her own body tightly.
Raising an eyebrow as she circles Cara's neck loosely, Kahlan asks, "You cooked?"
"Oh, hell no!" Cara chuckles. The last time Cara cooked for them, they ended up ill for three days and Kahlan made her promise to never, ever attempt even the simplest of dishes ever again. "I had Zedd prepare it for me, it just needs reheating."
"Thank God," Kahlan says, smiling teasingly as she presses her lips to Cara's. Cara deepens the kiss slightly, and Kahlan presses herself closer as she feels Cara's hands roam up her back slowly. "Cara," she whispers as she breaks their kiss, "you wanna join me in the shower?" she asks.
"Maybe later," Cara answers as she pulls away slowly. She kisses Kahlan's cheek and says, "You go shower and change, the food should be ready when you're done."
"OK," Kahlan nods as she removes her arms from Cara's neck and makes her way to their bedroom to do as her wife suggested.
After her shower, Kahlan wanted to follow Cara's lead, and as she emerges from the bedroom and Cara turns to greet her, she's glad she did; Cara eyes widen and her jaw slackens as she takes in Kahlan's strapless little black dress and the skin it leaves exposed.
"You look…beautiful," she breathes quietly while walking towards Kahlan. As she reaches her, Cara places her hands on Kahlan's shoulders and tenderly runs them down her arms, entwining their fingers when she reaches Kahlan's hands.
Smiling shyly as she squeezes Cara's hands, Kahlan says softly, "So do you, Cara."
Cara lifts their joined hands and kisses first one set of knuckles, then the other before smiling. "The food's taking longer than I thought it would," she says as she releases one hand and guides Kahlan towards the table with the other. As Kahlan sits on the chair Cara pulls out for her, she feels Cara's lips ghost across her cheek and as the other woman sits opposite her, she sees her cheeks redden slightly at the adoring smile aimed her way.
As Cara fills their glasses, she desperately tries to stop the slight tremble of her hand, and when she glances at Kahlan, she knows she's been caught.
"Cara, is everything OK?" Kahlan asks softly, a touch of worry in her voice. She reaches out for Cara's hand and takes the bottle, placing it down softly and watches as Cara lifts her glass to her lips, taking a large gulp.
"I-" Cara starts, cutting herself off abruptly. She sighs loudly and rolls her eyes at herself, at her inability to get the words out. Trying again, she forces out, "The poems you leave me in the morning…why do you do that?"
Tilting her head, Kahlan's lips curve up slightly; clearly, this was not what she was expecting. "Because I love you," she says, "and it's my way of showing you."
Averting her eyes, Cara murmurs, "And this is me showing you that…that I love you, too."
Her eyes shining, Kahlan whispers, "Cara…"
"I can't write poetry like you, and God knows I tried, but I can do this to show you I care," Cara says, slowly finding her usual confidence as her voice gets stronger and she meets Kahlan's eyes.
Kahlan wants to tell Cara that she knows the other woman loves her, that she doesn't need to do anything to show her, but her mind is stuck on one thing. "You wrote me poetry?" she asks as she picks up the folded piece of paper in front of her.
"No, not quite," Cara grumbles. "I wrote you something," she says, "but I'm not sure if you could call it poetry."
"Cara, you know I didn't write those poems, right?" Kahlan asks slowly, raising her eyebrows and fiddling the edges of what she hopes is Cara's poem.
Her eyebrows knitting together, Cara asks incredulously, "You didn't?" At Kahlan's amused smile and head shake, she reaches forward and snatches the paper from between Kahlan's fingertips, then leans forward and tucks it into her back pocket. "Well," she says, "you won't be needing that."
She stares dumbly at Cara, trying to figure out the best way to get the other woman to hand over the note. Suddenly, she remembers how Cara looked at her when she emerged from the bedroom. Smirking slowly as she rises from her seat, Kahlan rakes her eyes over Cara's body as she moves closer to the other woman. "Baby," she starts as she lifts one long leg over Cara's and straddles her lap. "Is there anything I can do to convince you to let me see that poem?"
"No," Cara says firmly.
Kahlan leans forward, pressing her breasts to Cara's and whispering in her ear, "Not even if I…" She flattens her palm against Cara's abs and slowly moves her hand lower until she's nudging Cara's thighs apart and cupping the other woman's sex. Kahlan nips at the hinge of Cara's jaw before lowering her voice in the way she knows drives Cara wild. "Not even if I promise to let you have your wicked, wicked way with me, any way you want?"
Struggling to control her breathing, and her desire, Cara stubbornly says, "Not even then."
Squeezing Cara's sex, Kahlan kisses her roughly, biting and pulling on her bottom lip as she pulls back. She grabs a handful of hair at the back of Cara's head and yanks, pulling her head back and licking up the column of her throat. She whispers hotly against her lips, "How about if I promise to have my wicked way with you?"
Cara bites back a moan as her fingernails sink into Kahlan's thighs. "You really want to read the poem that badly?" she asks breathlessly.
Kahlan brings their lips together again, slowly and lovingly this time, and mutters between kisses, "I really do."
Cara sighs in defeat. She knows she would have ended up showing the thing to Kahlan anyway, but she's a little disappointed at how quickly she gave in to the other woman. "Fine," she says with a pout, "you can see the damn poem." She pushes up from the chair a little and reaches behind her, pulling the small note from her pocket.
As the paper appears in front of Kahlan, she can't help bounce like a small child at Christmas. Cara rolls her eyes as she holds it out for Kahlan, and as she sees the other woman's sparkling eyes and triumphant smile, she's torn between wishing she'd held out longer and being thankful she didn't.
Kahlan takes the poem and unfolds in quickly. She reaches up to play with the ends of Cara's hair as she reads aloud, "Roses are red, violets are blue, your ass is perfect, your breasts are too." She blinks once, twice, three times before reading it again, and then again, and then again. She feels Cara shifting nervously underneath her and lifts her eyes to see the blush colouring the other woman's cheeks, she sees the apprehension in her eyes, and she doesn't want to laugh, but she can't stop the hysterical laughter that bubbles up from deep in her chest.
"I knew you wouldn't like it," Cara mutters dejectedly.
"No, Cara," Kahlan says, her laughter turning into soft giggles. She cups Cara's jaw and strokes her thumb across her cheek affectionately as she tilts Cara's head and seeks out her eyes. "I laughed because…well, because it's just so you," she explains. She presses a soft kiss to Cara's lips and whispers, "The poem is perfect, my love, just like you."
Cara ducks her head, trying to hide the shy smile she couldn't hold back, and when she meets Kahlan's eyes again there's a smug smirk curling her lips. "Of course it's perfect," she says, "I wrote it."
Laughing once again, Kahlan hugs Cara tightly and says, "I love you so much, you know that?"
Turning shy again, Cara circles Kahlan's waist with her arms and mutters, "I know, and I love you too."
"I know," Kahlan says with a grin as she glances behind Cara, towards the kitchen. "Cara," she says, looking back to the other woman, "go put our food out." She climbs off Cara's lap, returns to her own seat, takes a slow sip of her wine, and smiles suggestively. "We're gonna need all the energy we can get tonight."
Cara grins, already anticipating what the night will bring. "Yes, ma'am," she says as she stands and turns to head to the kitchen.
"Ma'am is fine for now," she hears called softly from behind her, "but you'll be in trouble if it's anything other than Mistress tonight."