I expected this, but not so soon.  Corwin lying dead, throat slit,
pool of blood slowly covering the now-defunct Rose.  I felt its passing,
and while it doesn't look totally destroyed, it is not clear that it can
ever be repaired.

	I note, before giving in to matter of such heart as I possess,
that if it can be repaired, I'm willing.  I told Dad once that my
allegiance was more to the Rose than Dworkin's patricidal abomination, and
I hold to that now.  Everyone dies once; I am willing to die to preserve
and restore the beauty that Corwin brought into this world, once.

	Actually, I'm willing to die for no reason at all.    Don't
tell anyone.

	Whoever has done this is my enemy.  Insert standard threat here,
etc.  There is no telling who may be involved, or how difficult a
reckoning may prove to obtain.  As per standard policy, I will move heaven
and earth to obtain vengeance, if vengeance proves feasible.

	I must act to put someone else in line behind me.  My death
matters little, but I will not have Nicholas in harm's way.

	Corwin, dead father, if this is truly you lying at my feet...  I
am unsure how much guilt I bear.  You were nearly ready to pass this gig
up, move on to greener pastures.  I walked in, arrogant and abusive, and I
told you to stop being worthless and accomplish something.  You did that,
for some days, and then they killed you.  Not the end either of us might
have chosen.

	Did we never hit it off because we are too different?  Too many
years of experience, too many facets of Deirdre, too many ambiguous
guilts, too many shades of gray between silver and black?  Or were we too
alike in our devotion, our manias, our determination to walk the walk, and
talk the talk, even if our throats were torn and our legs worn down to
stubs of thighs?  There will never be any telling, now.

	Never in my life did I have a male authority figure to look at. 
Role models, yes, but nobody to levy any influence at all in those places
where Deirdre has been in my heart.  Ever since I learned who I truly was,
I wondered who you should be to me.  I spoke to you now and again, Corwin,
without ever knowing what I had to say.  I merely wanted to see how you
would answer, how much of me came from you.  Perhaps I wanted to know what
you thought of me.  Did you regret never seeing me grow up?  Were you
thankful you missed the darker times?  If you had been there, would I
still feel this total inadequacy, this sense that the only thing I will
ever do right is die?

	I wanted answers, Corwin, but I never had the questions.  Now, in
a millisecond of contemplation of the patina of blood on a dead rose, I
see that I have lost them forever.  You took my answers with you to the
grave, and left instead the answer to one question I had never truly

	I wondered once why you brooded the way you do, that haunted stare
into infinity.

	Now I know.

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