All right, I admit it, I actually had "fun."  Why is it that
sometimes Kaedric does not seem to understand anything at all about me,
and yet other times he obviously knows me far too well?  I may never
understand that.  Still, the week was a pleasant diversion, even if it was
all simply fantasy.  I find myself almost wishing that we did not have to
return so soon.  Silly nonsense, of course.  This is reality, after all. 
Why should I wish to be anywhere else?

	Well, that was a far more enlightening conversation than I had
expected.  Claudio seems to have tracked down Sky, along with a son she
had by him.  How interesting.  I had not realized they were involved.  I
wonder why Sky kept the child?  Perhaps she ran into the same difficulties
that I did.  Unsurprisingly, Claudio seems content to leave the child in
Corwin's universe.  I somehow doubt this will be the end of the matter,
though.  The child will come seeking his father at some point.  That
should be fascinating.

	If it was not for Sand, killing Abigail would be a relatively
simple task.  The difficulty lies in doing so without Sand realizing I was
involved.  I doubt that she will remain without her suspicions, of course,
but there must be a certain amount of plausible denial.  The plan Claudio
and I have concocted could work, but I have my doubts.  The most difficult
part lies in Claudio's role.  Finding the Shadow and creating the Trump
will not be a problem.  Claudio convincing Abigail that he can instruct
her in Trump, on the other hand...  Well, I would certainly have my
doubts, which means she will as well.  On the other hand, it is a power
she does not possess, and there are few things I find more appealing.  If
Claudio is careful, he could pull it off.  Since this is Claudio, however,
I somehow doubt this will be the case.  I just hope he remembers not to
mention his relationship to Kaedric.  Abigail despises Kaedric so
intensely, that she would immediately be on her guard against any of his
kin.  Well, we shall see if Claudio can pull this off.  If not, I will
have to think of something else.  Sand cannot remain in Ixaxis forever,
after all.

	I think the most amusing part of the conversation was Claudio's
request that I kill the Jezetti he defeated during the Tournament.  As if
I would become his assassin, when he offered nothing in return.  If he
wanted her dead so badly, why did he not kill her during the Tournament? 
It was his right, and would have been far less complicated.  Well, if he
truly desires her death, he is free to challenge her again.  Either he
will win, and accomplish his goal, or he will die, and it will no longer
concern him.  I do not think the latter is likely to happen, however.  If
nothing else, Claudio is a capable fighter.

			*	*	*

	I am glad I came to Ivory.  My continued studies have proven most
helpful in taking my mind off of... other matters.  And it has given me
time to view what transpired in a rational matter.  In retrospect, I admit
that Kaedric's action alone did not provoke the entirety of my response. 
It was merely the catalyst, the proverbial last straw, as it were.  I
should thank Kaedric, I suppose.  I was starting to indulge in some
terribly foolish notions, and I shudder to think what might have happened
had this not straightened me out.  I feel much freer now, actually.  It is
as Father always said: emotions weaken you.  They hold you back.  My love
for Kaedric was doing this to me.  Why did I allow this?  Foolishness. 
Loneliness.  I thought perhaps I could find something that I felt was
lacking in my life, something I saw when Archimedes and Laughter look at
each other.  Something I thought I saw when I looked at Kaedric.  What did
I know?

	Ever since our fight, I have asked myself why he married me, when
he continued to act as if nothing had changed.  To be certain, I had no
illusions about my nature, or his.  I expected no great sharing of secrets
and confidences.  But none of the endeavors I keep secret from him involve
him, to any great extent.  I expected at least that much from him. 
Apparently, I was mistaken.  This business with the Serpent, with him
being named the Heir, and then fostering Claudio's child...  How could he
possibly think that bringing Claudio's child into our household would not
affect me?  As his wife, I had a right to know ahead of time, not after
the fact.  He has apologized in the past quite nicely, but this latest
incident is ample evidence that his behavior will not change.  Obviously,
our marriage was simply a matter of convenience.  A way to legitimize our
relationship and our child, so he could alleviate whatever guilt he felt
about either.  The fact that it conveniently enabled him to solidify his
lock on the position of Heir, as well, simply made it more appealing. 
Perhaps he even saw it as some sort of victory over Abigail, since he
could never have her.  I no longer care.  The deed is done, the cause
irrelevant, except as an example of Father's rightness.

	So, what lies in the future, then?  Perhaps I will see what the
cards have to say.  It is a bit of a family tradition, after all, and a
common practice here, as well.  I doubt they will tell me much that I do
not already know, however.  I will have to return to Chaos eventually.  I
have no intention of divorcing Kaedric, after all.  It would be foolish to
walk away from that much power.  Our marriage can be a traditional one. 
Love is not required.  Only an heir, and that has already been taken care
of.  Or will be, in another seven months.  Perhaps I should finish that
before I return.  Then Kaedric can have another child to keep his precious
fosterling company.  And I will be rid of any further obligation.  Which
is as it should be.

	Damn him, anyway.

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