OK, so mindless ferocity is not always looked upon with a smile in
some quarters, but it was a very satisfying thing to rip Mara limb from

	Lessee.... what happened.  Golly.  I'm all tuckered out, and I
think a nice vacation on the beach, listening to the sound of the ocean
while sipping tropical drinks and sitting next to Gabriel sounds like a
very nice idea.  And that's probably what it is -- a nice idea.  Who knows
what Gabriel's notion of a vacation is like?  I know he's not as
straight-laced as he appears to be, but well, when it comes down to it, do
I know anything much about him at all?

	Fine time for second thoughts, kid...

	Well, I'm not having second thoughts, I'm having moments of
insight.  These things are nothing alike.  I'm realizing that I'm really
very young in comparison to Gabriel.  Lilith and Colin are much more near
my age -- well, Lilith, anyway.  I don't have a clue as to Colin's actual
age.  So, I'm worried, of course.  I'm not going to be very interesting
for him to be around for very long.  I'm Bleys' daughter, so I'm charming,
or at least I believe I am, but what else do I have to offer?  (Besides my
rather good physical attributes, not the least of which is that I can
shapeshift in places that, if I think about them, make me blush.) Yep.  My
conversation is not engrossing.  I'll admit it.  I *am* up on current
events, but that's because the Regent is my friend.  (At least, I think
we're friends.  I sure do a lot for her, and I like her, and I don't think
it's because she's paying me, 'cause she's not.  Nor because she's given
me a neat title, like Colin's, 'cause she hasn't.) But I'm not well-read,
at least, not outside of my home Shadow and Amber.

	So.  What is there to recommend me to Gabriel?  I think he finally
gave in somewhat because I'm so damned persistent, but not because of
anything else.  You can find a dozen girls who outshine me and will wear
considerably less than seven veils in your first Shadow shift if you want
to.  As I've been over, my conversation isn't particularly artful.  And
our past history isn't swell.  I've really done nothing but annoy him!

	Dammit.  This isn't going to get easier, is it?

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