Chapter 1: Bound by duty
With a new era of peace ushered in by the seeker and his allies all seemed to be as it should in the middle realm.
Yet, that was far from being the case .
Something within Cara Mason had changed .
The legend of her exploits in battle were now spreading far and wide across the land . As such she became Richard Rahls captain of the guard.
Protector to the seeker and now to his newly formed kingdom.
Though entrusted with the safety of lord rahls kingdom a restlessness grew within the young Warrior's heart as each day passed the secret she hid took its toll within her troubled soul.
Of late Cara had found solace in the arms of Young maidens and inflicting pain upon herself with her own Agiel.
Cara hoped that with every ounce of pain she inflicted upon herself she would somehow achieve the goal of breaking her own spirit ridding herself of her silent burden.
Her efforts were to no avail and worse of all her antics were drawing attention to her .
Zeddicus Zu'l Zorande Richard's grandfather and wizard of the first order reassured his grandson that he would speak to Cara in the hopes of resolving the issue .
In that moment Kahlan Amnell mother confessor and now Richards wife intervenes in Cara's behest and pleads with both zedd and Richard to allow her to speak with Cara first
Never one to deny his beloved's wishes Richard allows her to attempt to dissuade Cara away from her self destructive antics before he himself is forced to intervene.
Chapter 2: Burning Within
Queen Kahlan inadvertently finds that in her quest to help her "Friend " Cara she may have unearthed something that should have remained buried
In a lake near the far outreaches of town Cara had found a place to which to escape her pain.
Amongst those trees and in her solitude she lay unbridled not only her desire but her evergrowing sorrow upon the women she consorted with.
As Kahlan made her way into the forest she saw with her own eyes what had become of the woman she called friend.
Cara had a predilection, that predilection was made ever so clear to the confessor when her eyes focused upon the features of the young woman cara was currently having her way with.
It was as if kahlan were staring into a mirror when she regarded the young lady with long dark hair and piercing blue eyes .
In that moment Kalhan failed to see that Cara had by now noticed her presence .
As eyes met eyes for what seemed an eternity Kahlan felt drawn in by the intensity of Cara's stare .
Kahlan then averted her eyes and walked away as Cara continued with renewed fervor the ravaging of her willing young maiden.
The whole way back to lord Rahl's castle Kahlan could feel herself ablaze with a fire she could not explain. Something within her had been awoken .
Once at the castle Kahlan attempted to compose herself so as not to bring about unnecessary questions about her visit with Cara .
Kahlan only limited herself to convey to her husband that Cara's unbalanced actions of late were being helped by her amorous encounters.
Richard knew he had Cara's allegiance as a morde-sith trained to protect the Lorde Rahl yet he also knew he had her allegiance as a friend .
Richard assumed that this was Cara's way of dealing with the loss of Leo the temporary seeker who had occupied Richard's place in his absence and whom she had grown to love.
He admonished himself for being so blind to another's loss .
Richard promised himself that upon Cara's return from the forest he would do everything in his power to help her get through her pain in whatever way he could .
Chapter 3: Temptations Danger
Something was amiss and Richard is intent on making things right.
Meanwhile, the restlessness within Cara is beginning to reach a fever pitch
Upon Cara's return to the castle, she was immediately summoned to the throne room by Richard.
There she was met with the presence of Zeddicus and an unusually quiet Kalhan.
Feeling a silent tension fill the air she asked,
"Why was I summoned Richard ?
" I have been made aware that your .... Preoccupations have been taking away from your duties!
"Is there something I should know Cara?" Richard enquired genuinely concerned.
In the stoic manner in which she was accustomed to as a mord-sith Cara simply and responded,
"as a mord-sith, my allegiance is sworn to you, Richard .... But my idle time is my own to do with it as I see fit!"
Sensing the tensions elevated in the room Zedd stood from his sitting position beside Kahlan and walked to where Cara stood. He took her hands and held them and reassured her,
"Cara we are not your enemies, we are your family.... as such we are concerned about you !"
In that instant, the weight of Zeddicus words hurt Cara with an even mightier force than her Agiel ever had.
Cara could feel herself begin to shatter beneath the pain so much so that she abruptly pulled her hands away from Zedd.
Never showing her pain outwardly Cara simply bowed her head in reverence to Richard and requested his permission to excuse herself.
Richard was by no means done speaking to Cara but a nod from Zedd served as a silent request for him to acquiesce,for the moment allowing for the continuation of the conversation to a later and less intrusive time.
Richard then turned to Cara and nodded his head as an affirmation that her request had been granted.
Cara simply nodded in return, turned , and walked away never once acknowledging Kahlan who had quietly been taking in the whole exchange.
Richard could see that his beloved's mind was wandering as he neared her and caressed her cheek softly with the palm of his hand.
Abruptly Kahlan regained her bearings and smiled at Richard who proceeded to lovingly ask if she was feeling well.
To which Kahlan replied,
"Yes my love, I'm fine just a bit weary from my travel to the forest."
Richard leaned forward and kissed his wife lovingly on her forehead and suggested that she take a few moments to rest in their chambers, while he finished attending to pending issues relevant to the daily management of their newly founded kingdom alongside his grandfather Zedd.
Richard reassured Kahlan that his duties would not occupy his day entirely but that until he returned she should attempt to rest because that very evening her presence would be needed at the kingdom's first annual ball in celebration of the defeat of The Keeper.
Kahlan leaned in and kissed her husband's lips smiling as she stood.
Kahlan then made her way to where Zedd was still standing and gave him a kiss on the cheek before making her way out of the throne room.
Stopping at the threshold of the door and Kahlan turned back to smile at Richard as she finally made her way out of the throne room door closing it behind her leaving her husband and his grandfather to their pending business at hand.
Chapter 4: Repudiation
Denial isn't just a river in Egypt.
Kahlan had just closed the throne room door and was slowly making her way down the palace corridor when something caught her eye.
Just a few paces ahead of her was Cara standing at the balcony staring at this newly founded kingdom that she had helped to bring to life alongside Richard ,Zedd,and Kahlan.
She stood there for what seemed like hours pondering the decision she needed to make . Cara was so deeply caught in her thoughts she failed to realize kahlan was now behind her.
It was only when she felt the warm breath against the back of her neck that her thoughts were abruptly cut short and for once Cara felt like the helpless prey caught in a lethal trap.
Cara turned around and eyes met eyes . Kahlan stood there intently regarding cara with her penetrating gaze . when cara had finally had enough she turned the tables and turned kahlan till she had her back to the balcony and cara was before her.
In that moment Cara took full advantage of the situation and stepped forward .
As kahlan backed away attempting to avoid physical contact with cara she found she was now trapped between the balconies rail and both of Cara's arms that were now on either side of her,effectively Eliminating any chance of her escape.
They were now face to face and a mere breath away from each others lips yet Cara could not make herself cross that line. Time and time again as a mord-sith Cara had,had no qualms about using her powers of seduction as a means to a tactical end but this time something felt different.
To Cara her loyalty to Richard and their friendship gave her a sense of purpose after the death of her mord-sith sisters .
Cara served Richard not because it was her duty but because she knew Richard was a good and just man that had managed to grow into his role of beloved leader and prophesized king.
Never taking her eyes away from kahlan Cara simply backed away and sternly uttered,
“ stay away from me !”
Just as kahlan was about to speak Cara turned and walked away silently.
Kahlan wanted to follow Cara but her body would not cooperate.
Like a tree she was firmly planted in place her love and duty to her husband Richard were enough to keep her from putting in jeopardy everything that had been achieved thus far.
Kahlan took a deep breath attempted to regain her composure .
Having managed some semblance of composure she then proceeded to make her way to her quarters to rest and ready herself for the evening's festivities which would prove to be one to go down in history
Chapter 5: Requite
The blessing of freedom would come at a price
In the confines of her quarters, Cara paced back and forth like a caged animal. Through her open window, she saw Richard and Zedd conversing with a few of the villagers.
Cara could only deduce that they were most probably going through the final orders and preparation prior to the commencement of the evening's festivities.
Cara stormed out of her quarters and without haste made her way to where Richard was now standing with Zedd, chatting about their hopes that this event would serve as a much-needed balm to soothe the wounds left within the people's spirits left by the keeper's evil hold upon the land.
Richard was momentarily sidetracked from his meanderings by what seemed like a very distressed Cara.
Richard aware of her current state simply enquired, “ Is everything alright cara?”
Cara proceeded to bow her head in reverence to Richard before responding in feigned calm,
“ yes Richard.... but, i need to request my my leave from the kingdom to where i could truly be of use!”
Richard replied, “ ....but Cara you're needed here! “ slightly exasperated Cara contested, “ no richard…... you don’t!” she continued
“you are the lorde sith and prophesized seeker and besides … you have both a wizard and a confessor at your side to offer more than enough protection to this kingdom!”
Feeling as if he had now solved some complex mystery Richard interjected. “ I think I know what this is about Cara” it took every fiber of her being for Cara not to let the dread show in her facial expression.
Cara feigned confusion in her response, “ what do you mean Richard?”
Richard then responded with a knowing smile,” I know this has to do with your loss of Leo & Dahlia!”
Richard then reached out ,wrapped his arms around Cara and gave her the most comforting hug he could muster. That simple hug was all it took to cement Cara’s determination to go as far away from Richard's kingdom and Kahlan as soon as she possibly could.
For now she played along and after taking a deep breath cara acknowledged that Richard was indeed correct in his assessment of the situation and that she was indeed asking to be transferred to give her time to mourn her losses privately.
Cara was a Mord-Sith and feelings were what she could not afford to allow herself, things such as guilt, sadness, and most of all love were things that weakened her resolve and caused her an anguish greater than the power of pain that her Agiel held.
Cara thought that she had full control as she had learned to dominate the pain inflicted by her Agiel to direct it towards her adversaries. Cara thought she could control these emotions as she had many times before yet it would prove quite the contrary .
Her emotions were betraying her at every turn to the point Cara was now feeling something she had not felt for a very long time ……. Fear.
Cara feared that all it would take was one false move and she would lose her unwavering friendship with richard and the family they had forged amongst them with zedd and kahlan.
Though Richard did not want to see his friend and sister at arms leave his side, he knew as a just king and loyal friend he must respect her wishes .
It was decided that cara would better serve her king by being his eyes outside of the castle. Cara would ride out to all the villages within the confines of the midlands and report back to richard her findings along with anything she deemed pertinent for him to know.
Cara’s only stipulation was that Kahlan not be told of this request. Cara made sure to convey her requests importance by sternly looking at Zedd, who feigned outrage that she would even think he would break her trust by revealing that the conversation had ever taken place.
Richard and Cara both knew that Zedd cared for Kahlan as a father and she would not have to resort to confessing him for Zedd to volunteer the information willingly were she to ask.
Though slightly insulted Zedd had to concede that both Cara and Richard were correct in their assessment but, he gave his word as a Wizard of the first order that if Kahlan were ever to find out about this conversation it would not be from his lips.
Richard then clarified to Cara, “ You do know Kahlan will be angry enough to confess me when she finds that you're gone and i knew about this all along?”
Cara then stated reassuringly. "You may be right Richard but it will pass”
she continued, “ I know this puts you between a rock and a hard place but please understand, if Kahlan were to know my plans she would most assuredly attempt to dissuade me from it”
Cara then looked into Richard’s eyes and earnestly stated, “ Richard, you have my allegiance and my friendship but I need time and distance to find my balance again”
Richard smiled in understanding of Cara's request but, asked of her only that she wait to leave once the night's festivities had ended when all the guests had retired for the evening as to not arouse suspicion.
Cara wanted nothing more than to be on the open road and away from the castle but, she realized she owed Richard that much for all he had done for her so she accepted his terms .
Richard, then donned his regal demeanor and said, “ ready yourself for your presence is required”
Cara simply smirked at Richard, nodding in acknowledgment as she turned and walked away making her way back to her quarters to pack her belongings, readying herself for her last formal act of duty within the confines of the kingdom.
Chapter 6: Passions Transgression
A passionate transgression has its price
The night's festivities had been well underway when Kahlan awoke from her momentary slumber.
Richard had noticed a sleeping Kahlan when he came into their room to ready himself . he asked the chambermaids to not disturb Kahlan but to leave her dress visible and ready for her upon her waking.
Meanwhile, cara had prepared for her departure accordingly and was now at Richards side completing what was to be her last official duty within the confines of Richards now prosperous kingdom.
The music filled the air as did the laughter and rejoicing of all who were in attendance at the event.
Even Zedd was now caught in the joyousness of the festivities serving as a simple magician to the local children in attendance.
All was going accordingly as planned.
Kahlan awoke a bit more refreshed if not a little less distressed and seeing the lavished gown before her she hurriedly readied herself hoping she had not slept through the festivities.
The festivities had reached their zenith as Kahlan crossed the threshold of the door of the castle and into the courtyard filled with the joyous laughter and regalement of the guests.
Being the kind and simple man he was, Richard had made it a point to invite his whole kingdom to the festivities not just those of wealthy lineage.
Richard was deep into conversation with a few of his guests and had yet to see Kahlan making her way in his direction.
cara on the other hand had seen Kahlan as she made her way out of the door and was now trying her hardest to feign disinterest and indifference.
Kahlan enjoyed this feeling of having the upper hand and knew all too well that though cara's eyes conveyed stoicism her clenched fist conveyed otherwise.
Stunned silence put an abrupt end to the conversation as everyone was now transfixed by the beauty which was Kahlan mesmerizing them all with the smile on her face along with the way her silken blue dress seemed to flow with her every movement as if a mere extension of Kahlan herself.
Cara could no longer contain herself and sternly excused herself conveying that albeit a festive gathering she as captain of the guard needed to survey the perimeter just in case.
Though disheartened by cara's abrupt departure Kahlan kissed Richard as the group's conversation resumed again.
The night was a big hit amongst the villagers so far which made Richard contemplate making this event a yearly one not just to celebrate but as a means of maintaining the bonds with his subjects.
Richard took a moment to excuse himself from the group and Kahlan for a moment to share his thoughts on the matter with his grandfather Zedd.
richard kissed Kahlan on the cheek and went in search of his grandfather .
as Richards silhouette faded into the crowd. Kahlan's eyes began to scan the immediate area.
She too excused herself and began her own search for an elusive Cara that was now nowhere to be found.
After a few minutes of walking through the courtyard, kahlan had all but given up until a familiar silhouette caught her attention.
out of the corner of her eye, she saw cara in lieu of what seemed like yet another conquest. Kahlan could feel her irritation grow at seeing this doe-eyed young girl tracing her fingers along cara's hair.
the lascivious smiles being exchanged between them was beginning to infuriate her and she could not understand why.
Kahlan made her way to where cara was and the first to notice her presence was cara's young conquest, who upon noticing the angry scowl etched upon Kahlan's face quickly made her exit leaving a perplexed cara wondering what had just happened.
When cara turned in the direction facing where her young companion had just looked that is when eyes met eyes yet again and a now exasperated cara reminded Kahlan of their earlier conversation on the balcony.
In usual cara fashion she rolled her eyes and said to Kahlan in feigned annoyance, “ was i not clear when i asked the great confessor and queen to stay away from me ? ”.
At that moment instinctively Kahlan reached out and grabbed cara's wrist as she was about to walk away.
To cara, it was as if a fire had been lit in the exact location of that touch which made her pull her arm away from Kahlans touch and walk away.
In the distance, richard had seen the exchange but only assumed that cara had changed her mind and told Kahlan of her plans and that they would talk things over.
Seeing as Kahlan was walking away from the festivities in the same direction cara had gone.
Cara quickened her step as she walked she hoped that she would lose Kahlan among the crowd of people heading in the opposite direction towards the courtyard.
Ahead of her, she saw an empty stable a little rundown but far enough away for her to go unnoticed.
She made her way into one of the empty stalls and waited deeming the darkness her perfect disguise.
Meanwhile, Kahlan looked throughout the crowd of faces passing her by unable to pinpoint which way she had seen cara go.
She stopped for a moment contemplating turning around and returning to the celebration but something within her told her to keep going and lo and behold at the moment she had reached the outskirts of the courtyard.
she too saw the same run-down stable and seeing the situation from caras strategist point of view she knew cara would be there and smirked in pride of her accomplishment.
As Kahlan crossed the threshold of the stables unhinged door she saw cara's shadow as she stood staring out of the barns lowly window.
everything disappeared as Kahlan made her way toward cara as stealthily she possibly could.
she did not want to give cara the opportunity to avoid her again .
yet, little did she know that cara had heard her footsteps as soon as she walked into the barn . just as Kahlan was about to reach out and touch caras shoulder when cara turned towards her abruptly ,pushing Kahlan forcefully against the barn wall .
Kahlan was caught off guard as her back made contact with the wall. Cara held Kahlan's arms at her side against the wall and now angrily asked Kahlan, “ why can't you let me be ?” …….she continued,
“ as a friend and my queen I’m asking you to let me be”
to which Kahlan responded earnestly, “ do you think I'm doing this on purpose ?”
…… looking intently into cara's eyes she responded,
"I can't help this ...i should hate you but..”
Curious at this point cara asks,
“ but what Kahlan?
you just revel in torturing me too much?”
at this point caras grip had loosened on Kahlan's arms but Kahlan had no interest in escaping cara's touch.
quite the contrary she wanted to lose herself in it but she feared losing control as did cara. yet their fear was no match for the love and desire that had grown between them.
Kahlan leaned in closer to cara and caressed her cheek with her own leaning over a bit to run her nose softly against her neck. which caused cara to shudder and immediately reciprocate.
Cara wondered how this woman destined to be her mortal enemy had weakened her defenses in such a way that the once deadly mord- sith had now been conquered and disarmed by a confessor.
Both cara and Kahlan cared about Richard and neither ever intended to hurt him but they could no longer contain the feelings that were overtaking them .
as their lips grazed one another the sparks were enough to ignite their long-hidden passion and for a moment they forgot where they were as they kissed each other hungrily .devouring each other with every intense kiss .
cara pushed her body against Kahlans as Kahlan attempted to contain a moan.
kahlan reached out sliding her hands towards the back of caras neck, forcefully grasping her hair; pulling it back while tenderly kissing her chin only to pull her back in for a languid kiss that left them both out of breath.
Cara knew if she did not stop now regardless of the consequences she would be unable to stop herself .
in between catching her breath she gave Kahlan one last kiss then she tenderly leaned her forehead against Kahlan's and without opening her eyes she turned and walked away .this time with the intent of retrieving her belongings and leaving immediately.
As cara's hand slipped out of hers Kahlan felt an emptiness seep in but she knew they could not consummate their actions for the sake of Richard and one another .
kahlan could not live with herself were she to hurt cara even if unintentionally.
As cara walked away Kahlan wanted nothing more than to hold her and make her stay but she knew she couldn't and as much as cara wanted to throw caution to the wind and just hold Kahlan in her arms she too knew they could not .
cara walked away never looking back as Kahlan began to make her way back to the party which by now was dying down .
richard and Zedd were intently in conversation about projects for the betterment of the city when Kahlan walked up to Richard who leaned over to kiss his beloved which in turn only served to accentuate the guilt Kahlan was already feeling .
suddenly out of nowhere, Richard inquired,
“ so did you and cara work things out? i told her you would be angry to hear she was leaving!”
to which Kahlan in confusion responded,
“ leaving? What do you mean richard?”
richard then asked,
“ didn’t cara tell you she was leaving the kingdom ?”
to which kahlan responded ,
“ no she never mentioned that to me?”
richard then asked confused,
“ then what were you guys arguing about when i saw you both storm off in the same direction?”
to which kahlan retorted amid atempts to contain her now frantic emotions,
” i was just trying to talk to her about the recent events in the hopes she would rethink her actions”
kahlan felt soo bad about what she had done but she didn’t want to hurt richard with the truth.
At that moment cara rode past them at full speed on her horse never taking the time to say goodbye nor looking back.
richard looked on disappointed and said to Kahlan,
“I thought she would at least say goodbye .”
...but that wouldn't be like cara, now would it”
to which Kahlan responded while attempting to hold back her tears,
“no, i guess your right Richard, it would not “
As both horse and rider faded off into the distance Richard kissed Kahlan on the forehead and made his way towards his grandfather Zedd to help him to his room after a night of revelry and drinking.
It was in that moment that moment of solitude that Kahlan's facade fell along with the tears she had been holding back.
richard believed one day cara would return but Kahlan now knew the price for their transgression.
the second she saw cara ride off Kahlan knew she would never return.
no matter what driving force forged their love it would never allow cara to hurt and betray Richard.
Kahlan only hoped time would erase the memory of that languid kiss along with any trace of their love for one another ….but only time would tell