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Kahlan woke up early in the evening, drowsy and confused as to why she had taken a nap in the first place. She sat up slowly in bed and pushed away the sheets—red silk sheets with gold trim—with a sigh. The extravagance of living as Lady Rahl in the People’s Palace was going to take getting used to. It seemed like not long ago she had been sleeping under stars and stacking blankets and bedrolls to keep out the chilled autumn air. She already missed it somehow.

But as she lowered her legs off the edge and her toes found a soft thick rug, she decided it wasn’t all that bad. There was always a fire going mere paces away, and her expansive personal chambers were kept comfortably warm. Kahlan gathered her robe about her shoulders and headed to the large double doors that led to the rest of her rooms.

The accident that left her with the magic, power, and position of Lady Rahl had been, she assured herself, just that. An accident. But she took in the council of everyone she held dear, and they had convinced her this was an opportunity. With Dennee in Aydindril and Richard and Zedd still off playing Seeker and Wizard, there weren’t many convincing reasons not to take the throne of D’Hara.

Truthfully, she was beginning to think they were right. Leading the proud nation of D’Hara in a time of relative peace was a rare chance to repair war-torn relations and temper the people’s minds with a justice that didn’t have death as its most common punishment. Kahlan was already making progress, and she had Cara to thank for most of it. She was an indispensable window into the workings of what seemed a strange nation to Kahlan.

She had barely raised her hands to push open the doors when a loud knock sounded on the other side. A muffled voice followed, loud and insistent. “Kahlan.”

There was only one person here who called her that, and as the blonde called her name again, Kahlan placed her forearm on the door and laid her head against it. She sighed, very much remembering why Cara had recommended that she rest before that evening.

**** Earlier that day…

“If the Mord-Sith are to serve you,” Cara explained, “we must know you and you must know us. It is tradition, but also more, and it’s even more important considering what you are. My Sisters need to be reassured—it wasn’t that long ago that you were their greatest enemy. Their most valued target.”

She began pacing in front of Kahlan, and Kahlan watched as the Mord-Sith chose her next words. “If they are to serve you,” Cara continued, “they must know you like I do. It’s also the first step toward securing your place as leader of D’Hara. Make no mistake—while the position is already yours, you must earn it in the minds of your people or this peace may not last.”

Kahlan blinked. Cara was being uncharacteristically careful with her words, and it was making her nervous. “Cara. What is it? What do I have to do?”

The blonde crossed her arms and stared at Kahlan, and Kahlan was tempted to step back and take a seat on her bed just to prepare. If Cara told her she had to torture them all, she was going to—“You must sleep with us,” Cara said quickly. “It is tradition that goes back thousands of years. When a new Lord Rahl assumes power, he forges a bond of magic with a select few Mord-Sith through—”

“Stop!” Kahlan all but shouted. “You said sleep with, Cara.”

“I did.” The corners of Cara’s mouth twitched, decidedly upward.

Kahlan crossed her own arms and took that step back, resting against the bedpost as relief battled with unease. “I don’t suppose you mean that in the innocent and chaste way I hope you do.”

“I don’t.” Cara was smirking now, and Kahlan sighed.

“If you are making this up,” Kahlan began, her voice low, “I promise you I will throw your Agiels from the highest window I can find in this place.”

“I’m not making it up,” the blonde huffed. “Besides, you should enjoy yourself. There are plenty of men and women who would pay their life’s earnings for a chance at what you’re going to experience.”

Kahlan swallowed. “What happens if I don’t?”

“The Mord-Sith will never truly be yours. Kahlan, the Lady Rahl must not show weakness. On top of tradition and necessity, there is your image. Also, the insult if you forego us.”

“Insult,” Kahlan repeated.

Cara shrugged. “You would be turning us down. We would bear it silently, as Mord-Sith do, but some might never forgive or respect you.”

A disturbing thought dawned on Kahlan. “How many, exactly, is ‘us’?”

“Well,” Cara mused. “Hardly all of the Mord-Sith. Though you could, you know. You could have any of us you wanted, however many, at any time,” she almost purred. Kahlan pursed her lips and stared at her. “But for now,” Cara continued, “just those who would serve you personally, here at the People’s Palace. Myself, Dahlia, Denna, Berdine, Raina, Hally, and Rikka.”

Kahlan’s eyes darted to the side. Though it was only the two of them in her chamber, Kahlan couldn’t help lowering her voice. “Cara, I’ve only been with you. How can you expect me to just sleep with all these people I don’t know?”

“That’s the point,” Cara explained, clearly amused. “You’ll know them better afterward, right? You’ll be fine. Remember everything we’ve done since we left the Midlands?” Kahlan blushed and Cara smirked. “I’ve instructed them to take very good care of you,” the blonde assured her, “and they know to leave their Agiels outside the door.”

“I suppose you expect me to thank you,” Kahlan muttered. “Wait—you’ve already told them I’m doing this?”

“Like I’m telling you now,” Cara confirmed.

Kahlan moved to perch on the edge of the bed, and only spent a moment in thought before collapsing onto her back. Cara had a point—the Mord-Sith were masters of pleasure as well as pain. Sex was either a tool or recreation to these women. Cara had shown her as much.

Her gaze fell to the dark oak cabinet by the bed with Cara’s gift inside—a Radahan. She and Cara had made ample use of it on their journey from the Midlands to the People’s Palace together, and Kahlan had learned there was something to be said for sex without attachment. Release for its own sake. Cara had helped her come a long way in catching up from her chaste upbringing, but this was different. She knew Cara. She’d known Cara for long before she’d let the blonde bed her.

Cara noticed her hesitancy. “If it’s that terrifying,” she sighed, “we could wait I suppose. I’m not trying to force you into anything. Kahlan—” Cara waited until she looked at her before continuing. “This has to be your choice. You can tell me no. You are the Lady Rahl,” she reminded.

“You didn’t make it sound like I had a choice,” Kahlan grumbled, returning her gaze to the ceiling.

“There’s really no urgency,” Cara admitted. “I just think you might end up enjoying it. I know you, Kahlan, and I think you might surprise yourself. This bonding could be highly pleasurable if you let it.”

Kahlan stared at the ceiling, thoughts whirling as she realized there were far worse things she’d had to do as a Confessor than bed several strikingly beautiful women. Far worse things. “Alright,” Kahlan sighed, raising herself to face Cara. “Who first?”

Cara gave a satisfied grin. “Dahlia. She is a gentle lover as far as Mord-Sith are concerned, but still very passionate.”

“I see,” Kahlan said. It was a bit of a lie.

“Good. Now get some rest, you’re exhausted.”

“Cara.” Kahlan raised her brow. “You only said Dahlia.”

Cara shrugged. “I’ve told you how well I know Dahlia—she’s very thorough. You should rest.”

****

Kahlan finished toweling her body dry and slipped on a thin red nightshift. She looked around her washroom, steam from the bath still curling in the corner, and approached the door to her bedchamber. She paused with her hand on the handle.

When you enter the room, Cara had said, she will be waiting for you. She could almost see Cara, pacing in front of the fireplace and reciting instructions a mere hour ago.

She pushed the door open without a second thought. Her eyes flew to a figure wearing loosened Mord-Sith leather standing at attention before the foot of her bed. “Dahlia,” Kahlan said. Not a greeting and not a question. She kept her voice controlled; it was a statement of intent.

Dahlia bowed her head. “Lady Rahl.”

Kahlan let a slight smile curl her lips as she stepped into her chambers.

She will obey you, Cara had told her. It’s not unlike a test. Should the bond be formed, should she accept you as her Lady Rahl, she will obey you without question until death removes that ability. It’s not unlike the bond between Confessor and confessed, but your Mord-Sith will serve you by choice.

She stopped two paces from Dahlia’s side and spoke quietly. “Step forward.” Dahlia obeyed, and Kahlan began to walk around her slowly. “Undress.”

Dahlia shrugged the loosened leather from her shoulders to let it fall to her waist, and she canted her hips to push it down to the floor. Kahlan continued to circle, watching, and Dahlia returned to attention, bare and exposed to Kahlan’s gaze.

She will offer herself to you for your inspection and approval. Kahlan, it is important that you do not compliment her mindlessly.

Kahlan walked leisurely circles around the Mord-Sith, head slightly tilted. The Mord-Sith smelled lightly of scented oils, and Kahlan realized this was as much of ritual to her as it was to Kahlan. She let her gaze travel freely over Dahlia’s body; from her light brown hair braided behind her, to her full breasts topped with dark nipples that stood out against her pale skin. Kahlan let her gaze wander farther down, to the small patch of curls between her thighs, and she circled to make a show of appreciating the curve of her hips.

She spotted a scar on Dahlia’s left shoulder, and she made her first contact with Dahlia’s skin as she traced the length of it firmly. “Did you fail in battle, Dahlia?” she asked neutrally.

The Mord-Sith didn’t move a muscle. “I was outnumbered,” she answered calmly.

“What kind of odds are required to scar a Mord-Sith?” Kahlan wondered.

“The sufficient kind, Lady Rahl.”

Kahlan’s slight and graceful smile bloomed into something more real, and Dahlia ducked her head.

“She has a sense of humor,” Kahlan observed aloud. “But can she kiss?”

You must decide what sort of Lady Rahl you will be to your Mord-Sith. A cold iron grip, a heated and controlling backhand, or the dangerous neutrality.

Kahlan would have to play this by ear. She raised her hand to cup Dahlia’s jaw, and she raised Dahlia’s head until her eyes met her own. Dahlia’s were, of course, unreadable. She could either be aroused, bored, or angry—Kahlan couldn’t tell. Dahlia didn’t move, but when Kahlan pressed her own lips to Dahlia’s she found them soft, pliant, and very willing.

Kahlan raised her other hand to slip behind Dahlia’s neck, but she noticed that Dahlia’s hands didn’t touch her. When Kahlan pushed her tongue forward to part Dahlia’s lips, she reached for Dahlia’s arms and placed her hands on her sides. She felt Dahlia’s tentative grip through her shift and was struck by a very strange thought. Dahlia might be more nervous than she—not concerning the act itself, but who she was performing it with. A new Lord Rahl. A Confessor.

But as Kahlan found Dahlia’s tongue responding to her own, she realized it would be foolhardy to confuse nervousness with something else. The taste and heat of Dahlia’s mouth stole her thoughts regardless—it was so very different from Cara. Yet something else was similar, the way Dahlia moved her tongue, the rhythm they quickly found together. The way Dahlia’s hands tightened as she ventured into Kahlan’s own mouth, and the way Kahlan allowed her almost on instinct.

So much, in fact, was similar that Kahlan pulled back suddenly breathless. “You kiss like her,” she said quietly.

Dahlia gave a distinctly shy smile. “Cara taught me everything.”

Kahlan barely stopped the words—Me too. Instead she took a small step back and let her gaze travel down and back up Dahlia’s body once more. Dahlia waited silently, and Kahlan realized something she never quite expected. Kahlan wanted this, and as she looked back into Dahlia’s eyes and Dahlia let her in, she realized Dahlia did too. Kahlan wanted her, and Dahlia wanted Kahlan to take her. It was fascinating on one level, but completely and utterly arousing on another.

Assuming she meets with your approval, the first part of the bond will be formed when you bed her. She will stay mostly passive in submission to your will. During this time, her body is yours.

Kahlan’s will was very focused. She stepped forward, her hands fell and clutched Dahlia’s hips, and Dahlia let herself be shoved back against the bed. Kahlan only paused long enough to suck an open-mouthed kiss from Dahlia’s neck, leaving a mark of intent, before pushing her up and forward. Dahlia collapsed onto her back and shifted herself to lay on the expansive bed, and she raised her head slightly to look at Kahlan as if in invitation.

None was needed. Kahlan quickly moved on top of Dahlia, and Dahlia’s hands fisted the sheets beside her as Kahlan positioned herself. She looked at the body exposed below her, presented for her taking, and she swallowed at the sight. Kahlan allowed herself a small moment to appreciate Dahlia’s milky skin in sharp contrast to the crimson red sheets.

She leaned down to place her lips a hair’s breadth from Dahlia’s, and softly spoke her name. “Dahlia.”

Dahlia searched her eyes before responding. “Lady Rahl.”

It was an almost playful exchange, and Kahlan wondered if this might be the best way to get to know someone after all. She let her lips brush against Dahlia’s before moving them elsewhere. Kahlan began her journey at Dahlia’s neck, pressing slow but firm kisses down the length of her slender throat, her tongue soothing the redness from the mark she’d just made.

She moved to Dahlia’s breasts, to her nipples that had become far more erect than mere moments ago, and took one between her lips while she took the other between her fingers. She heard Dahlia take in sudden breath, and nipped repeatedly with her lips while she teased with her fingertips. Kahlan found herself wondering what other noises Dahlia might make.

She opened her mouth around Dahlia’s breast, encompassing as much as she could, tasting the skin and the warmth, and swirled her tongue around the rigid nub. She squeezed the other with her fingertips, harder than might be necessary, and Dahlia moaned in answer. Kahlan sucked gently while raising her head until Dahlia’s breast left her mouth with a distinctly wet sound. She gave the same attention to the other, but this time she used her to teeth to lightly scrape and bite at Dahlia’s nipple. Dahlia moaned that much louder.

Kahlan suddenly wanted to hear Dahlia panting, and she wanted to see her chest heaving. She raised her head to see Dahlia’s cheeks painted with the slightest flush, and the sight drove her sense of urgency to new heights. Kahlan lowered her face to Dahlia’s chest and pressed light kisses in a trail down her middle. She heard yet another delicious intake of breath as her lips reached the stiff curls above her thighs.

Kahlan paused there, torturously close, and reached her hands to part Dahlia’s legs. Dahlia quickly did so for her, and Kahlan rearranged herself. She brought her hands to Dahlia’s sex, spreading it open before her, and the glistening pink sent sudden and sharp waves of heat deep into her belly.

Her body is yours.

Kahlan closed her eyes and licked into Dahlia—just once. Dahlia’s arousal might not have been obvious, but it was very much present. It was slick on Kahlan’s tongue, and the taste of it overwhelmed her senses. She wanted more, and she wanted Dahlia to make more. For her. Her hands left Dahlia’s sex to clutch around her thighs, and Kahlan drove her tongue deep. She barely heard Dahlia loosing a shaky exhale above her.

Kahlan hummed as she repeatedly licked into Dahlia’s opening, drinking whatever arousal Dahlia could give her. Dahlia groaned above her, and as Kahlan swept her tongue through her folds, Dahlia’s hands left the sheets to find Kahlan’s at her thighs. Kahlan pulled back only long enough to let out a smile as she took and held Dahlia’s fierce grip.

She moved her attentions to the apex of her center, and at the first touch of Kahlan’s tongue Dahlia groaned her approval. Kahlan licked quick full strokes, using as much of her tongue as she could, then moved to smaller teasing licks. Her hands pulled free from Dahlia’s to reach in and spread her open once more. Kahlan played with her clit; she nibbled at it with her lips, she pushed at it with her tongue, and she finally took it into her mouth and sucked gently.

Dahlia tensed and shuddered above her, and Kahlan knew she could bring her to climax. But she wasn’t done yet. Kahlan released her prize and raised herself up slightly, extending her hand toward Dahlia’s face with two fingers forward. Dahlia’s eyes widened and she raised herself up enough to take Kahlan’s fingers into her mouth. She held Kahlan’s gaze while she did so, and as Dahlia sucked and her velvet tongue played around her fingers, Kahlan realized her own arousal would soon be less than discreet.

Kahlan pulled her hand away, and Dahlia fell back and pressed her head to the sheets. She started to tease her wet opening, and Dahlia’s chest begin to heave. Kahlan gave her just enough to feel, and she watched in fascination as Dahlia responded to every bit Kahlan teased in and out. It was mesmerizing. When she finally drove knuckle deep into Dahlia, the Mord-Sith was arching her neck up and head back, and Kahlan couldn’t take her eyes off of her slender throat.

She set a steady rhythm thrusting in Dahlia, working and twisting her fingers, and Dahlia’s breaths quickened to the point of pants. Dahlia was barely able to work out a pleading word—“Lady…”

Kahlan’s mouth closed around her clit, and her words ceased. Kahlan’s tongue found its mark, she sucked and flicked, and Dahlia’s thighs squeezed around Kahlan’s head. The body before her quaked, and Kahlan looked up and watched in rapture. Dahlia’s mouth opened to form silent words, her eyes closed, and she sucked a series of deep breaths as she shuddered and tensed against Kahlan. She broke beautifully, and Kahlan didn’t stop. She released her clit, but her hand kept its slowed motion as Dahlia’s sex clenched and the Mord-Sith rode out the waves of her release.

If you bring her to release, she will thank you. That is when you may command or request that she take you in return. The second half of the bond.

Kahlan finally removed her fingers from her heat, and Dahlia’s eyes reopened at the loss. Kahlan held her gaze as she brought her hand to her own mouth and licked possessively at the wetness. She nearly closed her eyes as she ran her fingers over her tongue before closing her lips around them and sucking. Dahlia’s eyes burned into her own, and Kahlan couldn’t break her gaze.

It wasn’t until she pulled her fingers free and cleared her throat, raising herself up and sitting back, that Dahlia truly collapsed. Kahlan watched her muscles go weak and languid, and her voice was barely above a whisper. “Thank you, Lady Rahl.”

Kahlan absently wiped at her mouth and didn’t reply. She stared at Dahlia, at the body she had just watched shatter against her, and played it over and over again in her mind. Dahlia raised herself up on her arms, and Kahlan found a new place to lose herself—a circle of redness on her pale neck.

“Will that be all, Lady Rahl?” Dahlia asked quietly. Her eyes were averted, and Kahlan snapped from her reverie as Dahlia bowed her head. Kahlan shifted over and reached to the cabinet beside her bed. She pulled a small silver torc from a hidden drawer, and turned around to face Dahlia as she raised it to her neck. Dahlia watched in wonder as Kahlan drew her hair over one shoulder and snapped it closed around her throat, and Kahlan couldn’t help but close her eyes at the immediate feel of calm the Radahan brought. The sudden respite from constantly holding back her power always caught her off guard.

“No,” Kahlan answered at length, reopening her eyes to see Dahlia perched at the foot of the bed. “I want you to pleasure me, Dahlia.”

Dahlia swallowed, and she either forgot to or had no interest in hiding the excitement in her eyes. “As you command,” she almost whispered.

You are by no means bound to the same rules of submission. You can take her while she takes you, or you can merely enjoy whatever she can offer.

Kahlan raised herself to her knees and raised the hem of her shift over her head, pulling it free and discarding on the cabinet beside her. Were it not for Dahlia’s taste lingering in her mouth and the cold metal around her neck reminding her of the situation’s intent, Kahlan might have remembered to be nervous. Cara knew her body well, but no one else had seen her exposed as much as she.

“You are truly beautiful, Lady Rahl,” Dahlia told her reverently. Her gaze was traveling up and down Kahlan’s body from across the bed, and Kahlan licked her lips before offering a small smile and gesturing for Dahlia to come to her.

When Dahlia arrived at the head of the bed beside Kahlan, she reached for pillows and gathered them behind Kahlan’s back to prop her up. Kahlan relaxed into them, and stretched and crossed her legs before her. She realized how wet she’d grown bringing Dahlia to climax, and glanced down with some small dismay to see her inner thighs glistening. Dahlia noticed as well, and from the hungriness in her eyes Kahlan was sure she was going to dive straight for her lap.

But Dahlia showed restraint, and swung around to place herself in front of Kahlan. She watched Dahlia began the forging of her bond in thought first, then in action. She leaned in to kiss Kahlan, and this time her hands did not stay at her sides. One slipped behind Kahlan’s neck, and the other came to a place Kahlan did not expect—her cheek.

Kahlan wondered if she should be surprised by the intimacy of the touch, but Dahlia’s tongue touched her own and that familiar and delicious emptiness of thought began to take hold. It turned out that Dahlia’s restraint, while admirable, was limited; it didn’t take long for one of her hands to begin straying downward, completely skipping over her breasts. Kahlan pulled Dahlia against her and sucked a harsher kiss from her as she felt Dahlia’s fingers reach her sex. They traveled through Kahlan’s folds, gathering her wetness, and Kahlan pulled away from Dahlia’s mouth to suck in a sharp breath.

Dahlia sat back slightly and brought her hand up to taste Kahlan’s arousal on her fingers. Kahlan swallowed, knowing whatever Dahlia took would soon be replaced from the sight. Then Dahlia suddenly looked guilty, as if she’d not thought beyond that point, and glanced questioningly at Kahlan. “Dahlia,” Kahlan sighed. “Come here.” She was no stranger to the taste of her own arousal, and she gave Dahlia a kiss deep enough to prove it.

Satisfied, the Mord-Sith’s hand returned to her sex to begin rubbing slow but firm strokes. Kahlan felt just how wet she was as her slickness coated every inch between her thighs, and Dahlia soon questioned her with another glance.

Kahlan commanded her with her eyes in return, and promptly let her head fall back against the pillows when she felt Dahlia slip curled fingers into her sex. Dahlia set a steady pace immediately, thrusting deep and teasing Kahlan’s clit with her thumb on every stroke, and Kahlan felt a moan surface from deep in her chest. It was a sound of want, and it was a language Dahlia clearly understood.

She lowered her head to Kahlan’s neglected breasts, and wasted no time in sucking a sensitive nipple between her lips and teeth. Kahlan loosed a small moan and gazed up at the ceiling, quickly getting lost in the Mord-Sith’s attentions. She discovered what Cara had meant by “thorough”; Dahlia was outright worshipping every part of Kahlan she could get to. Her mouth moved from place to place; her neck, lightly kissing her throat, her shoulders, her breasts, her sides, even her inner arm.

Dahlia’s hand was still working steadily; Kahlan raised her head and reached for the back of the Mord-Sith’s neck when she realized her skin was becoming more than flushed from being driven so close. “Soon,” Dahlia promised. It was the answer to her unspoken question, and Kahlan licked her lips and nodded once.

It wasn’t much longer that Dahlia pressed two last wet and sucking kisses to her breasts before whispering in her ear. “Use me to finish, Lady Rahl.”

Kahlan’s thoughts were severely impaired. “Use you?” she repeated numbly.

Dahlia nodded and dropped to stretch out between Kahlan’s legs. She removed her skilled and ever-thrusting fingers, flexing her wrist, and began using her lips and tongue instead. Kahlan’s release was achingly hot deep in her belly, and she desperately needed contact where Dahlia wasn’t giving it. She bucked her hips up slightly to try to hint Dahlia, but the Mord-Sith seemed content ignoring her desperate want. Yet she gazed at Kahlan, seemingly waiting for something even as she licked into her sex.

Kahlan tried again, harder, and Dahlia purred approval. The vibration drove her impossibly closer, and Kahlan finally understood. She reached both hands to the sides of Dahlia’s face and pressed her harder into her sex. Dahlia nuzzled her face into Kahlan’s wetness as best she could from the tight hold Kahlan had on her, and Kahlan finally got the contact she needed. She only paused for a heartbeat before her need stole Kahlan’s movements from her; she arched her back, raising herself off the bed, and she bucked her hips up and down, clenching her jaw and sucking quick breaths as she held the Mord-Sith’s head and rubbed her sex between Dahlia’s nose and chin.

Kahlan’s thighs were burning; she could feel it coming, and she savored the long moment of inevitability. She loosed a deep moan and pulled Dahlia forward, pressing the Mord-Sith’s face to her center as her release broke free and snapped within her. She shuddered and tensed, and her muscles went warm. Her magic burst and recoiled against the Radahan, no longer cold around her neck, and she felt it settle back inside her. Kahlan stayed frozen, gazing into Dahlia’s eyes and trying to catch her breath, and finally collapsed into the bank of pillows behind her. Dahlia, finally freed as well, revealed shy satisfaction as she sat back.

Kahlan caught her breath long enough to toss Dahlia her shift, gesturing at her face. She tried to hide her wonder; Cara had never shown her such submission. But Dahlia, she reminded herself, was not Cara. Dahlia quickly wiped at her mouth and chin and they looked at each other; Kahlan wondered if she was the only one who simply wanted to relax in the other’s arms. But that wasn’t possible.

When it is complete, and the bond is forged, she will dress herself. Then you will ask her to serve you, and she will give you her answer.

Kahlan moved to leave her nest of pillows and messed sheets and Dahlia tumbled off the bed before her. She quickly moved to the puddle of red leather at the foot of Kahlan’s bed and began dressing while Kahlan unlocked the Radahan and placed it in the cabinet. Kahlan found and dressed herself in a clean shift, then stood before Dahlia while she finished tightening laces.

When she was done, Dahlia stood at attention, and there was a glint of eagerness revealed in her otherwise resolute countenance.

You will ask her…

“Dahlia. Mord-Sith. The People of D’Hara, the House of Rahl, and Lady Rahl demand your service. Do you give it?”

Dahlia dropped to one knee before her and bowed her head, pressing her fist to her chest.

She will answer…

“I will serve you, my Lady Rahl, until the True Death prevents me. You have my loyalty, my respect, my devotion, and my life.”

When the words are spoken, the bond that was forged is accepted and made real.

Kahlan looked into Dahlia’s eyes as the Mord-Sith raised them, and she felt Dahlia’s loyalty. She felt her respect, her devotion; they ran hot in her veins, and she knew that Dahlia’s life was hers by her own choice.