Three hours later they made camp in a small, cozy wayward pine a short distance off the road. Kahlan immediately began gathering wood. She set up a circle of stones in the dirt, dropping a few smaller sticks into the middle of it, and then set about taking care of other things. They hadn't spoken after the incident regarding Richard's name, and Kahlan was worried that her mistress was still angry with her. She did her best to be good, making sure their things were arranged nicely, and she folded her Confessor dress on the ground near the fire for Denna to sit on. She did a few things to make the place look homey, hoping it would make her mistress more comfortable.
The longer she waited, the hungrier she got, and she imagined her mistress would be hungry, too. She didn't venture far from camp - if there was no game nearby, she would wait for Denna to return and ask permission to hunt further off. As luck would have it, a rabbit darted by, and she prepared it out of the pine, not wanting to soil their living space with blood.
When she had the fire lit, she put the rabbit on a spit and rigged it to hang over the fire to cook, then sat on her knees beside the folded dress, head bowed, hoping that when Denna returned, her mistress would allow her to be close. She didn't know what Denna was doing, and she hadn't dared ask.
Denna was a short way from the pine, on her knees in the dirt, forehead pressed to the ground, nettles poking her bare arms as they lay stretched out in front of her. She recited the devotion, praying it would give her strength. She recited it for two hours, as if she were at the People's Palace in one of the lavish devotion squares, bound there by the tolling of the bells.
Finally she rose, her muscles aching, and stretched, then walked back toward the wayward pine, intending to give Kahlan two hours with the Agiel. She flicked it up to her fist and marched in, stopping in her tracks at the scene before her, a gasp leaving her lips. Inside the pine, it looked like a cozy little house. Kahlan had gathered soft leaves to make a bed in one corner. She had dragged in a tree stump for a table, and another, larger log, upon which were laid out Denna's leathers. Perfectly, with no creases.
Kahlan had even apparently carved the center from a smaller log to make a bowl, which rested on the table, filled to the brim with berries. A rabbit roasted on a spit over the crackling fire, and her pet had folded the Confessor dress for her to sit on. Kahlan was on her knees beside the dress, with her head bowed, hands folded in her lap.
Denna let the Agiel hang from her wrist once again, and walked slowly to Kahlan, standing behind her. Her hands came to rest on the sides of her pet's face, and she pulled her fingers backward, through the long, dark curls. Kahlan's hair was so beautiful. "What have you done to me?" she whispered, putting her face close to the Confessor's ear.
Kahlan moaned at the gentle touch. "I am sorry for displeasing you earlier, Mistress. I never meant to. You have been so kind to me; I wanted to show my appreciation, and my reverence for your position of authority over me."
"I have not always been kind," Denna said, a bit sadly.
"You have been a wonderful Mistress," Kahlan said softly. "I beg your forgiveness for my insensitivity, to mention another's name in your presence."
"I forgive you," Denna sighed, feeling Kahlan relax under her hands. She stroked her fingertips over the Confessor's bare shoulders and down her arms as she sat beside her, the dress a welcome cushion as she settled, cross-legged, staring into the flames.
"Thank you, Mistress." Kahlan laid her head on Denna's shoulder when she sat. "Mistress, do you still feel the world would be better off without you?"
Denna sighed again, leaning her cheek on top of Kahlan's head. "I feel it less than I did before," she admitted, her voice quiet.
It was an improvement, Kahlan thought, and while the answer wasn't what she wanted to hear, it was preferable to a black-and-white 'yes'. "I'll work harder to change your mind, then," she said, resting a hand on her mistress's knee, drawing little circles with a fingertip.
Denna shifted, bringing one of her hands to cover Kahlan's and slide it under her dress. Her eyes closed at the warmth of her pet's hand on her thigh.
Kahlan's mouth fell open, her eyes closing along with Denna's, and she turned her face to press a kiss to her mistress's neck. She felt Denna let go of her hand, and she stroked the smooth skin beneath her palm, smiling as Denna drew her knees up to part her thighs wider. The encouragement was unmistakable, and Kahlan slid her hand higher, teasing the crease between hip and thigh.
Denna murmured appreciation, placing her hands behind herself for support, her breath quickening when her pet lifted the hem of her dress and settled it at her waist, exposing her to view, in the flickering firelight.
Kahlan enjoyed the sight very much, her eyes drawn to it, to the glistening wetness reflecting off the flames, fueling her desire. "Mistress Denna," she breathed in reverence, sliding her hand up over Denna's left hip and then back down to her inner thigh, fingertips crawling closer to the wetness they sought. She paused to savor the moment, the suspense, the split second time freezes when you're about to touch someone for the first time, and then her fingers were buried in slick heat.
Circling, pressing, stroking, sliding up and down the length of her mistress's folds, before finally parting them and entering her with gentle insistence.
Nothing had ever felt so good to Kahlan. Denna welcomed her, drew her in, enveloped her with warmth, muscles squeezing her slowly thrusting fingers and trying to hold them inside.
Denna gasped, and threw back her head, braid brushing the ground as the Confesor penetrated her. It had been a very long time since she had shared this part of herself with another, and the sheer physical pleasure was overwhelming.
Kahlan crooked an arm behind Denna's neck and carefully lowered her to the ground, moving atop her and rolling her hips into the movement of her fingers. She loved the way Denna moaned for her. "Oh, Mistress," she whispered, "I want to taste you. May I use my mouth on you, please?"
"Of course," Denna rasped, fisting a hand in Kahlan's hair and urging her down, until her pet's head was settled between her thighs. The first touch of the Confessor's warm, wet tongue made her hips jerk, and she purred as Kahlan's strong hands held her down.
Kahlan let out an indecent noise of approval, digging her thumbs into Denna's lower belly as she pushed her tongue inside. She groaned, going as deep as she could, loving the taste and feel. What had felt so good on her fingers felt even better on her tongue.
Denna squirmed and writhed beneath her, pulling her hair desperately as the feelings began rocketing toward a crescendo. She knew she wouldn't be able to finish without the Agiel, but she was Mord-Sith. She didn't need completion.
Kahlan tried her best, massaging with her tongue, scraping her teeth over Denna's clitoris, but her efforts only seemed to frustrate her mistress, so she slowed back down, just trying to give pleasure instead of bring release. When Denna let go of her hair and slammed both fists into the ground, she lifted her head and kissed Denna's belly button gently. "It's all right, Mistress," she soothed.
"It's not all right!" Denna raged, clutching at her own hair and pressing her elbows together in front of her face to hide it from Kahlan. "I am nothing but what they made me! I can't escape, even if I wanted to! I'm not even human, I'm this... this shell filled with anger and hatred and the ability to destroy ANYTHING I TOUCH! There's no room for anything else, I'll never be anything else!" she screamed.
"Mistress!" Kahlan said, aghast. "Don't say that!"
"I'm a slave as much as you are, except I'm worthless," Denna snarled.
Kahlan sat up. "Stop it, Mistress."
Denna refused. "Even as a whore, I'm worthless!"
"Denna!" Kahlan shouted, reaching forward to grab Denna by the collar and haul her onto her side, then to her stomach. She pushed the dress up around her hips again and brought her palm down with such ferocity that Denna actually cried out.
"Don't you dare call me th-ahh!" Denna cried out again, fingertips pressing into the dirt on either side of her head as the cry turned to a moan, and she lifted her backside into Kahlan's hand for the third strike. "What are you--" she gasped, pressing her eyes shut tight as a tear leaked out the corner of one. She groaned as Kahlan's hand connected, pushing up onto her hands and knees, back arched as she allowed the tide to carry her.
Another strike and Denna was shuddering, thighs pressing tightly together. Kahlan realized what was happening, and instantly slipped two fingers into her mistress from behind as she spanked her again.
Denna realized what was about to happen as well, just as it hit her, tearing a scream from her throat as she came without an Agiel for the first time since she was captured. Her entire body trembled, pleasure coursing through her, lighting her nerves on fire and making her tense until it finally passed, and she slumped to the ground, boneless and panting.
Kahlan only gave her a moment to herself before she lay down beside her, an arm and leg draped protectively over her mistress's back. "I told you not to say that, Mistress," she said, dropping a kiss to the back of Denna's shoulder. "It wasn't true. It isn't true. You're more than what they made you. You can break free of anything... and you can come without an Agiel in your... you know," she said, finally blushing.
"In my asshole," Denna said wryly, having recovered somewhat in the scant few seconds of silence before Kahlan had lain beside her.
Kahlan, still flushed, nodded.
Denna wiggled closer, if possible, a wicked gleam in her eye that Kahlan couldn't see. "Say it. The whole thing."
"Mistress," Kahlan complained, eyes going slightly wide. But before Denna had a chance to be disappointed in her, she continued. "You can break free of anything... and you can come without an Agiel in your..." she cleared her throat, her cheeks burning, "...your asshole." She whispered the last word. She had never used the term before.
"I can't believe you were able to make me do it," Denna said after another long bout of silence. "I also can't believe your presumtion."
"It is quite presumtuous for a pet to strike her mistress, unless expressly invited to do so."
"I was trying to help, Mistress."
Denna rolled them over so she was on all fours over Kahlan, looking down into her eyes, her braid falling over her shoulder, the tip tickling Kahlan's. "You also called me Denna. A grave transgression."
"I..." Kahlan didn't have a ready answer for that one, and it took her a moment to find the words. "I needed something shocking to get your attention," she finally said, effectively cowed. "I meant no disrespect. I would never disrespect you, Mistress." She blushed, closing her eyes. "I deserve to be punished, don't I?"
"Yes," Denna sighed. "I'll have to."
Kahlan nodded, her lower lip quivering. "I understand, Mistress."
Denna's heart wasn't in it. "Fetch me a vine, and strip the leaves off."
"A vine, Mistress? You mean a branch?"
"No, I mean a vine." She moved away so Kahlan could get up, and watched as her pet ducked out of the wayward pine to do her bidding. When she was alone, she ran her hands over her face and glanced up to the boughs above her head. "Dear spirits, what is to become of a Mord-Sith who refuses to use her Agiel on her own pet? I can scarcely tolerate this weakness in myself, and I am certain others won't. Please, give me strength."
But perhaps she hadn't been specific enough in what she meant by strength, because when Kahlan re-entered their sanctuary with a stripped vine and knelt in front of her, she could no more raise her Agiel than raise the dead.
Denna took the vine and held it above the fire, heating it without burning it. "Remove your dress and kneel there," she said, pointing to a spot on the ground that would best suit her purpose.
"Yes, Mistress," Kahlan said compliantly, slipping out of the dress and kneeling as she was asked.
"Remain as upright as you can, but place your hands on the log to steady yourself," Denna instructed, running her fingers over the vine's tip to test its heat. It was sufficiently hot, enough to burn but not to scar, and she moved behind Kahlan, swinging the vine a few times to get a feel for its arc before she lashed it through the air, cutting a burning line across Kahlan's back.
Kahlan sucked in a gasping breath at the searing pain, fingers digging into Denna's leathers laid out on the log she was braced against. "Thank you, Mistress," she managed to wheeze.
"For what?" Denna asked, eyebrow lifted in amusement and curiosity as she swung the heated whip again.
Kahlan cried out, clenching her teeth against the sting. "Thank you, Mistress," she said again.
"For what?" Denna insisted, pausing in the delivery of the next blow to wait for an answer.
"I don't know, I'm just grateful," Kahlan confessed quietly. "Maybe for not using your Agiel, maybe for punishing me, maybe for taking us away from Tamarang. I don't know, Mistress."
Denna found that satisfactory, and resumed the whipping until the tenth lash fell, and she tossed the vine aside. Kahlan thanked her after every stroke, and she liked hearing it. Her pet's back was a mess of red lines; she found them exquisite. The stark contrast between the welts and Kahlan's pale skin was startling. It made her heart race. "Kahlan," she hummed almost reverently, lowering her mouth to one of the marks, tracing it with her tongue.
Kahlan was trembling, her body doing its best to stay upright under the strain of the punishment, but when Denna's tongue found its way to her wounds, her arms gave out and she collapsed over the log. She frantically tried to push back up, mumbling apology after apology, but Denna's weight on her kept her where she was, and the soothing voice in her ear calmed her.
"Shh, Pet," Denna crooned, kissing all over the criss-crossed pattern. "It's all right. The meat is finished cooking, why don't you prepare our meals?"
"Ours, Mistress?" Kahlan asked, not quite daring to hope.
"Do you think I'm going to let a perfectly good slave starve?" Denna purred, sucking a kiss on the back of Kahlan's neck.
Kahlan blushed. "I thought I'd make a blackberry sauce."
"Sounds delicious." She moved so Kahlan could get up.
Still blushing at being called a slave instead of Denna's pet, Kahlan rose to her feet and brushed her hands off on her thighs, then set about crushing the berries until the bowl was half filled with their juice. She took the meat from the fire and smeared the makeshift sauce all over it, then paused, looking to Denna as she sucked her fingers clean. "There are no plates, Mistress. How do you wish to...?"
Denna sat primly on the tree stump doubling as a table, its surface no longer occupied by the bowl of berries, and patted her lap. "Sit on my lap and feed me," she said. "When I'm finished, I will feed you."
Kahlan thought that only Denna could make something like that sound so alluring. "Yes, Mistress," she said, a bit breathless. She carefully staked the spit in the dirt and sat down, enjoying the velvet of her mistress's dress on her naked backside. She pulled a piece of meat from the carcass and held it up to Denna's lips, watching with a shiver as a wet tongue snaked out to snatch the morsel. Then she found her fingertip enveloped and sucked on, and she groaned. She quickly took her hand away and tore off another piece of meat.
Denna tortured her after every bite, sucking and licking her finger in so many suggestive ways that she was soaking wet by the time her mistress had had enough to eat.
Denna plucked a piece of rabbit and held it to Kahlan's lips, whispering into her pet's ear as she chewed. "I can feel you through my dress, you know... you'll have to wash it later."
Kahlan groaned again. "Yes, Mistress," she mumbled after she swallowed. The meat was amazing. It was a good thing Denna was feeding her, or she would have been eating like a starving animal and getting herself into trouble.
When it was gone, Denna shoved her fingers into Kahlan's mouth and told her to clean them. She sucked eagerly, swiping her tongue across each one in turn, swallowing the traces of blackberry sauce.
"My pet is a good cook," Denna said idly when they were finished, stroking her fingertips up and down Kahlan's face. "And a good huntress. Are you ready for bed?"
"Yes, Mistress. I brought in leaves for you to have something soft to sleep on."
"We will share them," Denna said, rubbing her palm down the side of Kahlan's neck. "Put your dress on, and your boots. Even with the fire, it's going to be freezing tonight." She patted Kahlan's thigh to urge her up, then stood herself and stripped off the dress, beginning the laborious process of getting into her leathers. They would be much warmer, and she had been in a dress for too long, regardless.
She turned to find Kahlan dressed and watching her, and smirked. "Cinch the laces for me, Pet," she offered, turning away to allow Kahlan access.
"Yes, Mistress," Kahlan said eagerly, grateful that Denna wanted to share a bed with her. She pulled the laces tight and tied them all off, then rested her arms around her mistress's waist. "Done," she announced softly.
Denna rested her hands over Kahlan's for a silent moment, just enjoying the peaceful atmosphere, and then pulled away to head for the bed of leaves. "Bring the other dresses," she said as an afterthought, remembering Kahlan's suggestion about using them as blankets.
Denna woke in the middle of the night to thrashing and moaning beside her. It took her a moment to become alert, while she lay listening to the sounds of the forest and watched her surroundings become clear. Another moan to her right and she was fully awake, turning to see what was bothering her pet. She gasped at the sight of Kahlan.
The Confessor was drenched in sweat, writhing and gripping the white dress on top of her, eyes glassy and unfocused.
"Confessor," she said, hurrying to throw another stick into the dying fire, to give her more light to see by. "Confessor!" she said again, shaking her, but Kahlan just moaned and twisted away from the touch. "Spirits, what..." Denna asked herself, scanning her mind for a possible cause of such a fever, especially brought on so quickly. Her eyes widened when a thought struck her, and she forced her pet to her stomach, tearing the back of the dress in two, her suspicion confirmed when she looked at the angry, open, oozing welts covering Kahlan's back. "Kahlan, did you bring me a snake vine?" Her voice pitched in disbelief.
The Mord-Sith forced herself to sit back and take a breath, and think. She had no way to heal a fever. She would find a lake or a stream, and lay Kahlan in it for a few moments to get the fever as low as possible, and then she would have to carry her pet to Kelton. But Kelton was at least another day's walk, and through mountains. She was strong, but she didn't like those odds. She would have to go back to Tamarang. That was only three hours walk. Less if she moved at a quicker pace than they had last night, plus she could get a horse there. And they had crossed a stream on the way here.
Decision made, she slipped her Agiel into the holster at her belt and lifted Kahlan into her arms, over one shoulder so that the infected wounds on her back would have fresh air.
Denna kept up a grueling pace, sweating in the warm leathers despite the cool of the pre-dawn air. After an hour, she spotted the stream and carefully crouched, laying the unconscious Confessor in the icy cold water.
Kahlan gasped awake, arms flailing out for purchase on something to keep her from drowning. She was not lucid enough to realize the water was three inches deep.
"You're all right, you're going to be fine," Denna soothed her, brushing the matted hair back from her forehead and pressing a lingering kiss there instead. She had to hold Kahlan down with one arm, and cover her mouth with a hand, because her pet wouldn't stop struggling and screaming. Denna didn't even want to imagine what nightmare she was in the grips of. "You're in a fever," she tried to explain. "The cold water might help. I'm taking you to get help. Just relax."
Mercifully, Kahlan passed out again after a few more seconds, and Denna sagged with relief.
They reached Tamarang in another hour and a half, and Denna was nearly ready to pass out herself. She set Kahlan out of sight, and snuck toward the stables, Agiel drawn just in case.
She only had to take out one stable boy, and she had a horse. A beast of a stallion, black as night, looking like he could run forever.
She tacked him in under five minutes and rode back to Kahlan, hopping down to lift her pet and drape her over the saddle. Kahlan didn't wake, but she groaned in her sleep, and as Denna climbed into the saddle behind her, she noticed the wounds beginning to fester again.
One hand on Kahlan's lower back to hold her steady, the Mord-Sith called the horse to a gallop, and she was grateful to find that he was as fast as she'd thought he would be.
Denna stopped once to let the horse rest and drink some water, and they reached Kelton in just over five hours. Kahlan seemed to be getting worse - her unconsciousness was fitful and she screamed in her sleep.
Leaving the stallion with the first person she saw, and asking only for directions to a healer in return, she was told where to go. She carried Kahlan, refusing the man's help, and kicked open the door, startling everyone in the small room into inaction. They stared at her as she laid Kahlan on her stomach on an empty cot, and she addressed them furiously. "Well! Can't you see she needs help! Which one of you is the healer! Start helping her!"
A short, frail elderly man came rushing through a curtain at the back of the room. "I'm the healer, what's all this fuss?" he asked sternly, stopping in his tracks to see a Mord-Sith in his establishment. The color left his face, but to his credit, he was still able to speak. "What's the problem, Miss?"
Denna's nostrils flared with the effort to keep her temper. "If that isn't obvious, then you're no healer," she hissed.
The man's eyes fell upon Kahlan, and he gasped, putting a hand to his forehead as he approached the cot she lay on. "Dear spirits," he whispered, clearly flustered and thinking too fast. "Gamlin!" he called into the back. "Bring me my herbs! And a basin of water! And some rags! Quickly!"
Denna stormed into the back to see that it was done quickly indeed. The healer cried out for her to stop, but wasn't fool enough to make a move against her. "Herbs!" she snapped at the apprentice, suddenly clumsy in her presence. "Where are they!"
He pointed with a shaking finger, but shook his head. "Y-y-you get the basin and rags, y-you don't know what herbs to bring." He pointed elsewhere, toward the basins, then to a pile of rags. "I-I-I'll get the herbs."
"Be quick about it!" She strode to the pile of rags and gathered up a handful, tucking them under her arm, then lifted one of the heavy basins without complaint and took it to the healer, wild eyes trained on the curtain in case the apprentice decided to dally.
The healer turned to Denna. "I'll also need a mortar and pestle, Miss." Despite his fear of the Mord-Sith, he was committed to his craft, and genuinely desired to help all those in need.
As the apprentice stumbled out with a tray of jars and pouches, Denna grabbed it. "Now go get a mortar and pestle," she snapped, and he hurried off again.
While he waited, the healer doused several rags and spread them out over the wounds on Kahlan's back. "I need to know in order to properly tend her. You whipped her with a snake vine?" he asked carefully.
"I didn't know it was a snake vine!" Denna shouted defensively, making everyone in the room shrink away from her as well as they could.
"I am a healer; you will find no judgment here, only a need for facts in order to do my job," he said calmly. "How long ago was this?"
Denna scrubbed her hands over her face, trying to count the hours. "I don't know. Last night, before bed... she woke me in the middle of the night with her thrashing, and I found her in a fever."
"Oh, dear," the healer murmured to himself, glancing up as his apprentice appeared beside him. "Thank you, Gamlin." He took the requested items and set them on the tray, then poured the contents of two of the pouches and a pinch from one of the jars into the stone bowl. He addressed Denna. "Crush the herbs into dust, then add a spoonful of water and mix it to a paste."
Without speaking, she set to her task, accomplishing it in mere minutes. Only then did she ask what she wanted. "What did you mean, 'oh dear'?"
The healer removed the rags from Kahlan's back and dipped his fingers into the paste, smearing it carefully over every inch of each wound, rinsing his hands frequently in the water basin. "I would have liked to have gotten to her sooner," he finally answered the Mord-Sith's question.
Denna shot to her feet and began pacing, in order to avoid strangling the man. "I got here as fast as I could! Now fix her!"
"Miss, please, your agitation will not help her," the healer said gently, his hands trembling at speaking to a Mord-Sith in such a manner. He finished spreading the paste and rinsed his hands again, then dried them on a fresh cloth. "I'm doing what I can. The infection rages in her body; there's no way to tell if it's already reached her blood."
Denna felt herself becoming unhinged. "What do you mean? What does that mean! Fix her!" She drew her Agiel.
Terrified, the man scrambled around to the other side of the bed, holding his hands up. "Miss! I'm trying to help her! I've done all I can!"
With a howling scream of rage, Denna slammed her Agiel into the wooden floor, panic rising up through her, overwhelming her senses. "Fix her!" she wailed. She didn't know what else to do. She turned away when she realized her face was wet with tears.
"Without magic, there is nothing else I can do," the man said, honest even though he feared for his life at the statement.
"Then use magic," Denna said, angrily swiping the back of her arm over her cheeks to dry the tears, still facing away from everyone in the room.
"I have no magic myself," the healer continued, shocked that she would allow magic to touch her slave. Mord-Sith reputedly abhorred magic, and could command it against its user. "There is a wizard just out of town to the west, before the Callisidrin river."
"I'll need a horse."
"The stables are two doors down, Miss. You can also find a guide there."
"You stay by her side until I return," she demanded flatly.
"I have other patients to tend to as well, Miss."
"Not if I kill them," she said, still without turning around, but the threat was issued and received with just as much sincerity as if she were facing him.
"I understand, Miss. I will not leave her side."
Denna did not need to voice the fact that if Kahlan were to die before she returned, the healer, his apprentice, and all the other patients would die as well.
The idea of Kahlan dying sent such a pain through her gut that she almost faltered on her feet. She left before she showed any further weakness.
Denna tried to refuse the offer of a guide, but the man was a good man, and insisted upon escorting her, despite her threats to kill him. He told her she'd never find the wizard's house without his help. She said she had no money, and he waved her off. "The Mother Confessor has always taken care of my people," he said, surprising her.
"How did you..." she asked as they took off at a run to the west.
"Word travels fast. My son saw you ridin' in. Even without that white dress of hers, she's recognizable. No one else in the Midlands has hair like that."
They rode in silence for the next half hour, and the man finally broke it as they approached a bend in the road.
"Mind if I ask... why are you goin' so far out of your way to help the Mother Confessor? The Mord-Sith aren't exactly known for their fondness of Confessors. Is she a friend?"
"A friend?" Denna spat as they turned right, heading off the trail. "She is not my friend, she is my slave!"
Her guide, for his part, didn't even flinch. "Must be a good slave, for you to go to all this trouble."
"I do mind if you ask!" Denna thundered, drawing her Agiel as she kicked her horse to keep up with the man. "Keep your mouth shut, you filthy peasant."
"You whipped her with a snake vine?" the man pressed anyway.
Denna's fingers curled tighter around the hilt of her Agiel. "You would do well to listen when I tell you to keep your mouth shut," she said darkly, pulling her horse up beside him and threatening to graze him with her weapon.
"Little girl," he said lazily with a chuckle, "if you presume to think that Agiel will scare me into submission, you'd best think again. Threaten me one more time and when we get back to town with your wizard, mark my words, I will take you across my knee and tan your stubborn hide."
Eyes wide, Denna jabbed the Agiel into his gut, but to her utter horror, he didn't even react. Not a flinch, not a yell, even his tunic didn't give way to the magic. He simply rode faster, so they would have less time to interact.
She would dwell on it later. Right now her only concern was Kahlan.
It turned out her guide was right. She would never have found the house without someone who'd been there before. She was surprised when she saw the wizard - she'd expected an old man, but lounging on a cot in the front garden was the opposite of that - a man younger than she herself. Hardly more than a boy.
"This is your wizard?" she hissed at the guide. "He's barely out of diapers!"
The guide chucked and extended an arm as he bowed his head. "Wizard Klaven," he introduced the reclining young man.
"We've no time for pleasantries," Denna snapped. "Come with us, wizard."
Klaven raised an eyebrow, folding his arms across his chest. "I do not bow to the Mord-Sith."
Before Denna had a chance to get off her horse, her guide spoke. "The Mother Confessor needs your help. She's very sick with fever."
The wizard was on his feet before the other man had finished speaking, and Denna watched with mild fascination as he swung up into the other man's saddle behind him.
And without another word, they were off.