There are many lessons a Seeker must learn, and Zedd drives them in to Richard’s head one at a time. Focus. Stay alive. See what is not there.
Sometimes he's not tired enough that he doesn’t dream.
For a while, his dreams are mixed with elements of his new life – of battles, of what he could have done better, of Denna. Of Kahlan.
At first it’s just that one kiss, a sudden rush of heat replayed over and over by his mind, his hands on her waist, pulling her closer, her mouth hot and tangled with his, his breath coming short and blood rushing fast through his veins like they’ve just won a fight.
(And then, despite their best efforts, it happens again.)
It’s good in one respect; he now has something to clear his mind of during Zedd’s lessons. Practicing with the Sword of Truth, following the trail of bandits, engaging Darken Rahl’s men in battle – it takes all his attention and the satisfaction of fulfilling his destiny is tangible, even when it seems they’re no closer to actually defeating Darken Rahl. But after the battle, when adrenaline still pumps through his veins and he spots Kahlan across the field, it takes more effort than usual to clear his mind.
One day, after a particularly brutal kill, he looks up hoping to watch her unobserved, only to find her standing right in front of him, a smirk playing on her lips as she watches him watch her. It takes a moment for him to collect himself but he leans on his sword (it’s only the Sword of Truth, after all) and grins back at her.
“Good fight?” he asks, hoping for casual and Kahlan takes a step closer. He stumbles back, all cool factor lost as he finds himself between Kahlan and a tree.
“You really should pay more attention to your surroundings, Seeker,” she chastises and when Richard swallows hard, she tucks some hair behind her ear, assessing him. “You have a duty, after all,” she adds and he knows she’s about to remind him they can’t, they’re not supposed to, but he really doesn’t think she’s about to Confess him right this second.
So he lets the Sword of Truth fall at his feet and pulls her toward him, hand tucked behind her neck as she gives way just this once and he doesn’t care that he’s going to get an earful in a minute because he really is trapped now, Kahlan’s hands moving on their own down his chest toward his ass. Before he can stop himself he’s groaning her name mid-kiss and she pulls back, eyes dark but not black, breathing heavily. His hands seem to have wandered too and he blushes hard, grabs the sword off the ground for something to do.
“We – we need to find Zedd,” Kahlan stammers and Richard nods, lets her disappear as fast as he’s ever seen her go and takes a long breath to calm himself.
Focus. Stay alive. See what is not there.
He’ll have no trouble with the last one tonight, he’s sure.