I returned to Laughter after I had emptied Foil of Fey. Damn
creature. Laughter didn't believe me when I told her the damage to the
flower beds was minimal. It might have been. I'm sure I'm not the best
judge. She said I would have to make it up to her, so I conjured her some
flower bulbs; at least I think I did. She said that certainly wouldn't be
good enough and looked pointedly at her empty bed. There are certain
things that we have much more time for now that I am no longer king. I'm
sure I smiled as I climbed into bed next to her.
Afterwards, as Laughter lay sleeping beside me, I thought of the
conversation I'd had with Melanie earlier that day. She had asked me to
be her liege-lord. Since Brand obviously didn't want to give her away for
her wedding, Melanie had asked me to fill in. Curious. I wondered what I
had done to earn the honor, other than being her future king, a position I
didn't recall her having a lot of respect for. Technically, Random is her
liege- lord. Certainly she could have asked someone else if the idea of
me escorting her down the aisle hadn't appealed to her on a certain level.
I wondered when she and I had started to become less than annoyances to
It was the ceremony itself that bothered me, not Melanie. She had
said that at the end, the wedding party walks to the edge of the Abyss.
There, the bride and bridegroom toss offerings into the Abyss for the
Serpent. Rumor has it that the Serpent has actually shown up to accept
the gifts once or twice. I'm not afraid to admit to myself that that
thought makes me more than a little nervous. I have got to have shards of
the Jewel from my time still lodged in my chest. How else can I explain
my awareness of whenever anyone puts on or takes off the rings Dworkin
made from the shards that Ulysses and I gave back to him? That being the
case, I wondered aloud to Melanie what the Serpent might think of that.
She reminded me that she has attunement to an eye that the Serpent still
wears. So, we'll go down in flames together? Not exactly comforting. I
almost excused myself for that reason, until she told me that Kaedric did
not foresee any problems with it. I hope this doesn't prove to be the
first time Kaedric is really wrong. I think Laughter would be a bit cross
if the Serpent ate me.
The next day I spent with my family. The twins are growing so
fast. I wish I could have seen Flynn and Vain at this age. I know I'd be
more attached to them now if I had. Laughter also talked me into sparring
with her. She has great potential, and doesn't do so poorly right now,
although I think that has a lot to do with letting her distract me too
much. We were still engaged in this when Laughter had me leave off
because she was getting a Trump call. I sort of guessed that she was
talking to Melanie when Laughter said, "Why no, he hasn't." Their Trump
conversation continued for a bit before I realized that Laugher was going
to be going through to Melanie, and I was going to be playing baby- sitter
for the rest of the day. Ah well, there are certain things that are
definitely not worth arguing over.
I think Laughter's battles of wills are beginning to have an
effect on Beatrice. I swear she was saying "die, die, die" this
afternoon. Alaric is walking a safer path with "mama." I still think
it's impossible, at this point, to tell which of the children takes after
us. Hopefully Laugher will never ask me my opinion.
Laughter eventually came home. I filled her in on everything she
missed with the children that day because she had chose to run off and
leave us. She informed me that she had gone to see nude dancing with
Melanie. All of these years, and I can still get instantly jealous. I
explained to her the role that Melanie wished me to play in her nuptials.
She complained that I was keeping things from her. Actually, in all
honesty, I had simply forgot, but I told her that wasn't a can of worms
she wanted to open; the hypocrisy meter was going off the scale.
Kaedric arrived that afternoon. He wanted Laughter's help with
'something' and she consented. They both got up and left the dining room.
I heard some soft chanting and they both returned to the dining room with
a soft flush adorning their cheeks. I did my best to look menacing, I'm
sure. Kaedric thanked her and departed. I brought up that can of worms
we had talked about earlier. I think Laughter got the point, but even if
she didn't, I learned how she had made our wedding bands. Kaedric had
helped her craft them, and she was merely returning the favor for him and
Melanie. All right, sometimes I do worry too much, but she had to agree
when I mentioned she'd be upset if I didn't get jealous about these
We returned to the Tournament the next day. I received a note
from Sky saying that she was withdrawing from the Tournament. I guess the
Claudio-Jezetti thing had really gotten to her. We could forfeit the
archery tournament or offer a replacement. I decided to try my hand.
What the hell? If I hadn't heard from Sky by the time the Tournament had
ended, I'd have to make sure she was going to be all right.
Laughter won her sorcery match and I treated her to dinner at a
fancy restaurant in the Courts of Chaos. A little irony with a meal often
aids in digestion.
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