Kahlan Amnell approached the throne with her head bowed. She was vaguely aware of the lavishly jeweled courtiers parting before her. Perhaps she should have been embarrassed by her simple brown pants and well-worn traveling cloak, but fashion was far from her mind.
When Kahlan reached the steps that ascended to the great chair, she dropped to one knee. Dark hair hung in ringlets over her shoulders and scabbard -- ever since she’d been named, she had allowed it to grow as long and free as she pleased.
“Rise, Seeker,” an imperious voice said above her.
A private smile crossed Kahlan’s down-turned face. It was gone by the time she stood, and she let her eyes flick up to rest on the woman upon the throne. Princess Cara of Thryce.
“Your Highness,” Kahlan said deferentially, though she did not drop her gaze from the princess’s face.
Cara raised one eyebrow to challenge Kahlan’s boldness, but a flush rose on her cheeks. “What news do you bring, Seeker?”
“It’s a private matter, my lady,” Kahlan said smoothly, as she always did. “For you alone.”
The princess looked momentarily taken aback -- usually Kahlan exchanged pleasantries with the court before demanding her individual attention. But Cara nodded once, gesturing for her sentries to open the gilded doors of the private chamber at the left of the throne.
Kahlan followed Cara into the small, darkened room. The doors had barely shut behind them before her fingers were tangled in pink silk and delicate blonde hair. Kahlan pressed the princess against the wall, lips claiming every inch of tan neck she could reach.
“I was afraid you weren’t coming back this time,” Cara gasped, her chest heaving.
Kahlan paused to give her princess a grin. “I’m the Seeker, Cara. I’ll always find you.”