It all started when I Trumped Random.  I had thought it best to
let him know that Cymnea was dead, Caitlin was now Head of House Halybard,
and that Claudio had gotten fireballed and I had gotten killed in the
process.  I think what I said was, "Hello, Dad.  Just calling to tell you
something I thought you should know.  Caitlin is now Head of House
Halybard, Queen of the demon underworld, and High Priestess of the
Serpent.  It went relatively well.  Claudio is getting better, and I came
back to life," or something like that.

	Needless to say, this prompted Random to ask for a more thorough
retelling, which, him being King and all, I was obliged to provide. 
Personally, I'd rather not get into it again, so I won't.

	The rest of the day and the next I spent lying around Foil and
watching the kids.  I have to remember to not stop doing that.  All in
all, it's much less stressful.

	Laughter somehow got roped into baby-sitting Oriana, which I
really didn't mind.  Although, I wonder sometimes what the two-year-old
Beauty is going to think of her older twin, when the two-year-old is old
enough to wonder about it, too. Anyway, the sweet little girl threw her
arms around Laughter in a hug, spied me, grinned, and said, "poo-poo." 
Now, naturally, I was curious as to what had inspired the child to say
such a thing, and shared my thoughts with Laughter.  Laughter tried to
smile innocently, heh, and announced that it was my name to Oriana.  I
asked Laughter how she knew this.  She said that Oriana's parents had told
her so.  Ah-hah.  Yep.  I always get the respect I deserve in the end, I
guess, but this time it wasn't going to go unanswered, dammit.  I took the
child, and Ulysses' Trump, into a quiet room, and spent a little quality
time with both of them.

	The next two days were bliss.  I'm really enjoying this fatherhood
thing.  Who would have guessed?  Oh, and apparently Caitt had a little
talk with my second son about why Grass wasn't exactly the best of names. 
He was currently looking for a new one.  I wished him luck and told him to
let me know what to call him, once he'd made up his mind, of course.  I
guessed I should go find his brother.

	Random Trumped in the afternoon.  He looked serious.  I hate that. 
He pulled me through to Amber, and Claudio was in his office.  Apparently
Claudio had managed to track down my wayward, and slightly pissed,
granddaughter.  I now have two great- grandsons, one of them by Claudio,
and one by Corwin.  Guess I won't have a problem telling who's who, if and
when I ever see them.  I sighed and shrugged and offered that Sky was
certainly old enough to make her own decisions.  We didn't have to agree
or like them, but we did have to live with them.  Corwin is currently
living in his own universe with his new family, and about seven years have
passed for them.  And Claudio's day gets better.  The Jezetti woman he had
to nail gave birth to a son.  The Jezetti don't raise sons, so Claudio got
stuck with the child, until he talked Kaedric into fostering it for him. 
Old Kaedric's bed is going to resemble a Montana winter, once Melanie
finds out about that one.  I do not envy my Chaos counterpart's position,
or wife.

	About the time Ulysses was supposed to pick up Oriana, Alaric and
Beatrice were Trumped away from me.  I hate losing convenient shields. 
Two seconds later I had a quarterstaff in my hand and a second after that
Laughter was Trumped into the room.  She took one look at the quarterstaff
and drew Sequence.  Fuck that.  I called Song to my hand.  She shook her
head at me and informed me that I was very, very bad.  I told her that
Ulysses started it.

	I must remember that Ulysses is a flaming bastard who believes in
overkill.  He got even at dinner.  Laughter received a Trump call, and the
look on her face made me very uneasy.  I got up to leave, just in case,
but when I did so, Ulysses Trumped a present into my pants that, I must
admit, was a bit more disturbing than the Jewel's usual appearance.  I was
prepared to accept this as my punishment.  I had, after all, rather picked
the subject matter of his attack myself.  But then the fucker wouldn't let
me Trump out, and then the fucker wouldn't even let me leave the room. 
That pissed me straight off.  He did finally let me go, after some unknown
appropriate amount of time had passed.

	As soon as I finished cleaning myself off, I got a Trump call. 
Now, just having cleaned baby shit off my ass, I wasn't exactly in the
mood to accept incoming calls, and began to apply this opinion in refusing
the contact.  That's when Ulysses put the call through for her.  I tried
to control my features as I told my wife, as sweetly as I could at the
time, that she had better tell him to shut the contact down.  She decided
to humor me.

	I spent the rest of the afternoon in the cool depths of Rebma
until my temper had been soothed.  I hate to have Laughter see me mad. 
She was in bed when I returned.  I crawled in quietly next to her.  I
should have guessed she wasn't asleep.  She crawled on top of my chest, a
situation I find less than ideal, so I tickled her until she jumped off,
then rolled back over to go to sleep.  She was apparently expecting more
than this.  I offered that now wasn't the best of times.  Humiliation does
nothing for the male ego, not to mention the male libido.

	She reached for her Trump deck then, and I rolled back over,
figuring that now she was pissed and intending to give me a taste of my
own medicine.  Oh no, I surely wasn't that lucky.  She had Trumped Ulysses
and was complaining to him that now I didn't want to have sex with her,
and it was all his fault.  Good, I thought.  Let her be mad at him, and
not me.  And then I felt the tingling of a Trump contact.

	I certainly hope she enjoyed that.  I have, on a few rare
occasions, been that angry before.  I left as soon as it was over, making
a short detour to borrow the Jewel of Judgment from Random.  There was no
way in hell I was going to be taking Trump calls for a while, from anyone. 
Period.  I sat the whole night on the reef, then went back into Rebma to
Trump Random, to let him know that I'd be gone for a while longer.  I tend
to do stupid things when I'm mad, and really didn't want to run the risk
of interaction just yet.  He informed me that I should Trump my wife.

	I did.  She was wandering the streets of Rebma, in Rebman attire,
looking for me.  I know she loves me, but there are times when I have to
remind myself firmly that she loves me for more than one reason.  I
informed her that where I was in Rebma, she couldn't follow.  That piece
of information didn't appear to make her happy.  I suggested she return to
Foil.  I'd return there as soon as I'd cooled off, so to speak.  She
refused on the grounds that now she was mad at me, of all the fucking
nerve.  I cut the contact.

	I spent the next day or so trying to convince myself that there
were one or two areas where I could really stand to grow up.  It's just so
hard sometimes.  I often wonder what Laughter's feelings for Ulysses
really are.  It really hurt when she went to him for comfort after the
raid on Halybard.  It hurt a fucking lot.  Maybe I should have told her

	Anyway, I did eventually cool off, so I went home, but Laughter
wasn't in Foil.  Caitt told me that the children were in Amber, so I went
there.  I stayed with them until Laughter returned with Vain, the son I
had been planning to find and speak to myself.  I reminded myself of my
new resolve not to overreact and lose my temper.  I just wish I hadn't had
to put it to the test so damn fast.

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