I don't know what to say, anymore.  I truly don't.

	I sit in my office, head in hands.  Merlin stands near the door,
looking uncomfortable, at best.  I thought it impossible for one's
emotions to go from so hopeful to so desperate in such a short time.  But
let me start at the beginning...

	Upon the exploration of my new Ways, I found myself impressed by
the spaciousness of it all.  I knew I had a few people left to talk to
still, and thus I brought my mother in.  Aelle seemed amused that I had
pulled this all off without her help, and I felt a little stupid
apologizing for not telling her.  We discussed recent events, as well as
my duties as Priestess of the Serpent, and Queen of the demon underworld. 
I let Aelle look around a bit, and returned to my office, where a mountain
of paperwork was there waiting for me, courtesy of Orrin.  He seems to
have changed in this short time, and I find myself relying more and more
on him.

	I found my mother again, and tried to broach the subject of her
being houseless in such a way as to not be insulting.  I should learn that
to be straightforward with her is probably the best way to talk with her,
as she guessed that was what I was getting at.  I work on the forms as we

	I later brought Benedict in, and he helped me out with my
defenses, and we talked about leadership.  I also found out that my father
is a jeweler, of sorts, in his spare time.  He reminded me that I can
still explore leisure, even though having such a position as my own.

	I worked on the forms, and then was told that Swayvill had to
cancel the dinner we had planned.  I Trumped Merlin then, to get his
reaction to things.  We had dinner at Sawallways.

	He was distracted, distant.  Friendly, yes, but not even a hint of
suggestion came from him.  Something was wrong, but I didn't want to start
questioning him there.  He kissed me afterward, but nothing more.

	The next day saw Claudio's troubles come to light.  He has become
aware of children of his, and he asked me about them.  Based on my gender,
I suppose, but I know little, if any, more than he does.  I did offer my
mentor's name as one for his son.

	That brings me to my current straits.  My jaw dropped, my heart
raced when Merlin said he had gotten Benedict's permission to court me,
until he said it was on behalf of Swayvill.  Apparently he hasn't the time
to do it himself.  I don't know if he even loves me or not.  I haven't
been around him enough to know if I even *like* him or not.  The political
advantage I can see.  But this...this takes away my *heart.*  I don't know
why I'm so upset.  It's not like Benedict would have even let Merlin and I
be together, anyway.

	I suppose...I'll just have to accept that I can't have any of the
things I want.  Osric's curse must still be in effect.

	I look up at Merlin.  I'm sorry.  I want it so bad, but I guess we
can never be.  Sadly, there's little I can do.

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