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The Beauty and The Lord

Title: The Beauty and The Lord
Author: Valeria Anne
Rating: T
Genre: Drama/Romance
Pairings: Darken/OC.
Spoilers: After "Tears"
Summary: Rahl meets a girl who was kidnapped by one of his Mord-Siths. Will her fate be like all the other girls that Rahl met before or not? 

I DO NOT own "The legend of The Seeker" TV series or "The Sword of Truth" Novel Series. The novel series is owned by Terry Goodkind. GOD BLESS HIM :-)

Chapter 5: Lost Memories

24 years ago:

Panis Rahl -disguised as the young shepherd- was lying in bed with Taralyn who was sleeping in his arms. He was remembering how and why they first met. It was a plan to fulfill the prophecy that said that he would sire another son that would kill his elder son; Darken. When he reached that point, he felt a tear descending on his cheek. "Oh, Darken. Why did you make me do that?" he thought. He felt so sad that he was participating in a plan that would end in his son's murder, and what made things worse was that his younger son would be the one to kill the elder one. He knew that he had to fulfill that prophecy to save his kingdom from the monster that his son has turned to, but he couldn't help that sadness and despair that swept him; sadness for the coming death of his son, and despair for not being able to do anything to help his son escape his horrible fate. It was also killing him that his two sons would have to fight till death instead of being raised together as any two normal brothers.

He kept remembering all the efforts he did to help Darken discover his good side but in vain. Darken was always drifted by his dark side; dark magic, torturing and killing people, hunger for authority and power. He talked to him many times trying to figure out what was wrong with his son. He tried to share with him some of the kingdom's issues, perhaps that would distract him and made him feel that a he was a responsible person and one day he would be responsible for a kingdom. But, unfortunately, all those endless efforts showed nothing but that his son was no more human; he turned into a beast that was willing to destroy the whole world if it would help him achieve a certain purpose. He felt more tears running down his cheeks as he remembered Darken as a child; he was an innocent child, eager to learn everything, smart, quick-witted , generous and loving, and he loved his father so much and always looked up to him. That was Panis's was solace for the death of his beloved wife, giving birth to their son. At least she died after giving him such a beautiful child. "Where did all of that go? What changed you, Darken?" Panis kept asking these questions since he became sure that there was no way to undo the damages and help his son.

Then, he looked at Taralyn. She looked so beautiful. He couldn't deny that despite that their meeting was all planned, he had feelings for her over time. But he couldn't prevent himself from feeling guilty because he deceived her; he changed his looks, his identity, and his motives. It was all arranged; their meeting, their relationship, even her pregnancy. He thought about what she would do if she found out that he used her. She loved the shepherd, not Panis. That was another burden that he had to carry. He had to deceive a woman to make her carry his son who will kill his other son. The whole thing was killing him.

Panis looked again at her; she was putting one arm around his waist and her other arm was wrapped around her swollen belly. She was very happy when she knew she was with child, she was going to share a child with the man she loved. Panis was happy for her happiness but he knew that one day we would have to tell her the truth, he has been preparing himself for that moment since she told him about the child but he knew that no matter how hard he tried to prepare himself for that moment, it would still be the worst.

Panis felt a stream of tears running down his face. His whole life turned upside down since he found out about his son. For a moment, he felt it was his entire fault; maybe he shouldn't have asked Zedd to help him have a child in such an unnatural way, maybe that was the reason why Darken turned into that monster. Panis felt cursed, and that he passed it to his sons who would have to fight till death.

At the People's Palace:

Darken Rahl was walking in the garden, trying to find her. He tried many times to persuade her that they weren't children anymore, and they can't play "Hide and Seek", but she never listened. She loved having fun in every moment, day or night, and sometimes he had to admit to himself that he can't do anything but join her, it was all about being with her whatever they were doing. Maybe that's why he approved on playing "Hide and Seek" with her every time she asked him to. But this time was different; she sent him a message with a guard. The message was: "Find me", just two words. He knew she was going to hide in the garden, she loved to hide there. Actually, that was her favorite place in the palace. She once told him that she would sleep in the garden if she could because she loved it so much. "You are crazier than me", he told her once. He folded the paper and put it in his pocket and headed towards the garden. Once he reached the garden, he started walking slowly maybe he could notice her somewhere. He kept walking till he reached the middle of the garden where lilies were grown, and then he stopped; the grass was covered with a big pink blanket. On the blanket, there was a basket of food, a bottle of wine, two goblets and a lily. Darken smiled, and looked around but he couldn't see her. He was about to sit down on the blanket when a voice said, "So bad, Darken. I thought you were a gentleman. Shouldn't you wait for the lady to come?" she came from behind a tree, smiling, as always. He turned to face her, and he opened his arms for her. She ran into his arms and put her head on his chest.

"I missed you so much, Darken".

"I missed you too, Alma. I missed you so much", he said, holding her tight.

They stayed like that for a few moments before he touched her face with his hand and raised it to face his. "You weren't there when I came back", he said sadly. She looked at him and said, "I am sorry, but you were supposed to come back tomorrow. When I knew that you would be back today, I rushed to prepare that surprise for you. It took me some time to get it well done. That's why I couldn't be there when you arrived". He smiled and said, "Well, if I like the food...and the wine, then maybe I can forgive you. But if I don't like them......"

"What will you do?", She asked, twisting her lips.

"I will forgive you, too. I can't help it", he said, hugging her again.

"Now, let's go and eat before the food gets cold. I made it myself", she said.

They sat on the blanket and she got the food out of the basket and he poured some wine in the goblets. He handed her a goblet then he raised his and said, smiling, "I would like to make a toast.......for one year of pure happiness with you, and always with you." She looked at him and smiled back. She loved him very much. She was sure about her feelings towards him as well as his feeling towards her. She knew he wasn't lying to her and that he really loved her. Darken looked at her and said, "Alma? What? Won't you join me?" Alma said, "Of course I will join you, till the end of the world".

They drank, ate and laughed. Darken told Alma about everything that happened since he left the palace to "Laven" till he came back. When he finished, he looked at her for a moment then he said, "What's wrong, Alma? Is there a problem?"

"No, there is no problem. I am totally fine", she said.

"Don't lie to me. I can see it in your eyes. Something is bothering you", he said.

"Well.....You're right. Something is bothering me. It's Demmin. How long will we keep it from him?" she asked.

"Look, Alma.....You know that I want to tell him about us, he is my best friend, but I am afraid that he won't believe me. I am afraid that he will think that I am deceiving you and that my feelings for you aren't real. You are different, Alma. You are not like any other woman I have met. I love you, it is the truth, so I am waiting for the right moment to tell him. Besides.... I don't think you can get married without telling your brother".

"Get married? What are......", she asked, surprised.

Darken put his hand in his pocket and pulled out a red velvet box. He looked at Alma, opened the box and said, "Alma Nass, will you marry me?"

Alma was speechless. She couldn't say anything. She looked at the box; there was a ring, with a red diamond in the middle. "Darken....how could..... Are you serious?" she asked, breathless. Darken laughed and said, "Of course I'm serious". He took her in his arms and placed the ring in her finger. "Wait", she shouted. Darken looked at her, surprised, "What?" Alma looked at him, she raised her eyebrow and said, "Shouldn't you wait for my approval?" Darken smiled and said, "Why? Is there any chance that you will say 'No'?". Alma punched him slightly on his chest, "Don't be so sure of yourself". Darken looked into her eyes and said, "I am not so sure of myself. I am sure of your feelings". Alma suddenly shouted, "Oh, no!" Darken looked at her, worried, "What happened?" Alma said, "What about Demmin? How will you......?" Darken interrupted her saying, "Don't worry. I will tell him. Give me some time. Just don't tell him, okay? I will". Alma nodded. Darken smiled again and said, "Now, let's not worry about anything and celebrate our engagement. He gently pushed her to the ground and they started kissing.

"Master Rahl?",

Darken raised his head. A guard was standing near them. Darken looked at Alma who was so embarrassed that the guard saw them kissing.
Darken stood up and helped Alma stand up before asking harshly, "What do you want?" The guard swallowed then he said, "Lord Rahl wants to see you now". Darken looked at Alma then at the guard, "Fine", he looked again at Alma, "Wait for me here. I won't be late". Alma nodded while he walked away.

Darken entered the meeting hall where his father was waiting for him. Once he entered the room, Panis turned to face him. He was so furious. "What have you done in Laven, Darken? Who gave you the right to wander around killing innocent people? Who do you think you are?", Panis screamed. Darken looked at his father coldly for a few moments, then he said, "I am master Rahl, son of Panis Rahl, and I have the right to.....". Panis inturrupyed him, screaming, "You have the right to what? killing people?". Darken said calmly, "I have the right to make a decison in critical situations. The man wouldn't confess where he hid the stolen wheat, so I had to.....". Panis inturrupted him again, "So you had to kill his family, one by one, in front of his eyes to make him confess?". Darken started getting angry, "He is a theif, father". Panis shouted, "But his famiy members aren't, and even if he is a theif, he still doesn't deserve that. Why didn't you hand him to the judge? Why did you interfere in the first place?". Darken raised his eyebrow and said, "It was a big theft. It happened that I was there. Besides, he stole that wheat from battalion's store located there".

Panis was in a shock. He couldn't stand it anymore. He stood speechless for a while, then he finally said, "It was right. I regretted it every moment but it was right. Every time I feel guilty you give me a reason not to. It is over, Darken......NO....You are not Darken. My son is dead. You are a monster who looks like him, and you will be punished for what you did to my son". Darken narrowed his eyes, "What are you saying?". Panis looked into his eyes, screaming, "Your end is near, monster. My son will kill you. He will avenge me, he will avenge every innocent person you murdered, as well as Darken who you buried deep inside you. Prepare yourself for your end, monster". Darken looked at his father, trying to understand, but he couldn't, "What are you talking about?". Panis was more than furious, he felt the anger overwhelming him, "My expected son, the one who will kill you, just like the prophecy said; I will sire another son who will kill my first son. It is over. There is no way out of your fate. My son will be born in a few months, and you should start counting your remaining days".

Darken stood speechless for a while, while panis walked to the window, took a deep breath and said, "You don't deserve that kingdom. You don't deserve to be Lord Rahl. You have disgraced the Rahl's family. You have.......". Panis stopped when he felt pain in his back running to his chest. It was Darken's sword that penetrated his father's body. Panis turned to face his son, his eyes were full of pain, emotional pain more than physical pain. He looked at Darken, but he swa no remorse, he saw hatred. He said in a very low voice, "How could........", he couldn't complete his question. He fell at Darken's feet, dead. Darken kept staring at his father's body for a while. He felt he couldn't breathe. He waited till he could breathe normally, then he opened the door and called a guard.

"Master Rahl. How can I serve you?".

"Send for General Trimack", he said.

As Darken was talking to the guard, a pair of scared eyes were watching from behind the other door that led to the meeting hall.

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