You would think that Chaos would have learned to leave us alone by
now.  We try to be nice and help them, and what do they do?  They go and
attack us as soon as we turn out backs.  The siege broke a night back, and
we spent several hours cleaning up.  All we have to show for our trouble
is a whole bunch of dead Chaosites, and a huge scorch mark on the chest of
my armor.

	Took a prisoner, though.  I'm not sure why...well, that's not
true.  I couldn't kill her, so what else was I supposed to do?  It's not
like it was her choice to be in battle; her house's lord probably told her
to fight.  I mean, the battlefield is no place for a woman - most of them
are not at all suited for it.  I do admit, there are exceptions (and I
seem to be related to most of them) - but in general, women are simply not
suited for fighting - they are called the gentle sex for a reason.  I know
she was doing her darnedest to kill me, and when it came down to it, I
couldn't kill her.  Benedict sent the prisoners back to Chaos after the
battle was finally finished.  There are two lessons she could have walked
away with.  First - Amberites can, and do, show mercy, even on invaders
from Chaos.  Second - the Amberites were stupid not to kill them, thus
leaving ample opportunity for them to rally their forces and invade again. 
I hope she learned lesson one.

	Mum seemed really sad when I left to help Julian.  It's like she
didn't expect me to come back.  I wish she had more confidence in me.  For
one thing, my grandson was just born, and I'm not about to miss out on
this one's childhood.  Not again.  So...of course I had to make it.  It
makes perfect sense to me.

	After the battle, Tamaryn and Foster took off.  To prepare, I
think.  Tamaryn won Foster's freedom (and her own as well) early this
morning.  I'm not sure how or what happened.  I slept through all of it,
and apparently I wasn't thought enough of a player to be worth waking up. 
From what Tamaryn said, it took several hours and Foster came very close
to death...but he didn't die.  So I guess it was worth it.  Or was it?  I
had a long conversation with Tamaryn this morning.  I feel sorry for her. 
I really do.  She said that her and Vetch's relationship used to be quite
similar to me and m' Da's.  I find that hard to believe...I just can't see
Vetch loving someone - not in that way - not unconditionally.  His life is
one big hidden agenda; it's one of the many problems I have with the man. 
She seems truly troubled by what she had to do last night, and she says
that she's committed to turning her father into the man he was.  I don't
envy her that task.  If he was like she said he was, it's going to be a
long, difficult job.  I wish her luck.  She gained my son's freedom, I owe
her for that.

	Meanwhile, what about me?  I had an even longer talk with m' Mum
regarding my "little problem."  She said that she and Da would always be
there for me if I need help.  It's nice to hear that sort of thing, but I
think this is something that I have to handle by myself.  I've got a plan,
with any luck, I'll keep to it.  And, I'll prove to Laughter that I'm
worthy to be around my grandson - that I'm not the bad example that she
perceives me as.  I know that I'm reacting too strongly, but I have to act
on this now, even if it's only a slight chance that she would act on her
feelings.  It pisses me off that she felt that she had to mention it, but
at the same time it shows she cares.  All of these mixed signals.

	Talk about confusing emotions...  Shit.  Try getting used to being
a grandparent.  My mum didn't react very well to it, but I...

	I mean...well...I feel old because of it...but...  Meanwhile, my
parents still treat me as a child, as do most of my relatives, and then, I
feel like a child compared to my son, who sees me as...well, I'm not sure
how he views me, and his mother, my former lover, is thirty times my age,
yet his wife, my cousin, is less than five years younger than me.  I feel
like a middle child.  While I don't hate it, I do dislike it immensely.  I
mean, Foster's friends are my age, but when I come around, it may as well
be, "And how are you today, Mister Barimen?" or "How's your back, Mister
Barimen?  It's too bad that they abolished social security, isn't it
Mister Barimen?"  People my own age, treating my like their parent's
friends, simply because I'm their friend's parent.  It makes it very hard
to be a single nobleman at court when you have a seventy-five-year-old son
who has a wife and child.  Yet another reason to avoid court, I suppose. 
Mind you, I am in no hurry to get married off, but it would be nice if I
had someone - like Mum and Da have each other...or like Foster and
Laughter.  But, I'm not ready for "forever," and the most likely candidate
for "being involved with but not forever" is a woman whom I'm desperately
trying to avoid getting romantically involved with again.  What was
between me and Tamaryn is over.  That book is closed.

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