I am going to have to remember to lock my door.  This time, it was
just a five-year-old boy.  Next time, it could be a slavering demon.  Or
Eric.  God forbid.  Not that locks seem to do much to stop him, dammit! 
Or did he have the flowers delivered?  I'm about ready to forbid the
household staff entry into this room.  I'd rather do my own cleaning, than
have mysterious packages appear when my back is turned.

	The sword was far too pretty to refuse.  I mean, really.  There's
a limit to pride, you know, and mine comes somewhere before rejection of
good weapons.  I took my aggression out on the flowers, instead.  I didn't
realize that the battlements were the established rendezvous point for
oppressed, irritable women.  I had to share the flowers with Ariana.

	She is definitely a useful person to know.  I forgive her for
saving Eric's life - as long as she doesn't do it again.  The floor of the
proto-brothel was dusty and hard, but anything beats having another scene
with him.  Twice in one day!  I know I need to stop running away, but I'm
not quite ready to talk to him.  I just don't know what to think.  Having
a bloody vampire wake me up in the middle of the night didn't help my
thought processes at all.  No, he wasn't actually bloody, it's a figure of
speech.  But my hair still stood up for a half hour.  I'm going to have to
talk to Ariana about this.  She seems to be able to drive him off easily

	Do cleaners always start at dawn?  I never pictured myself dying
of chronic sleep deprivation.  It's just not glamorous.

	That child has gall.  Nerve.  After the way he squalled yesterday
morning, to come up and give me flowers.  Sweet, but so fucking male. 
Just send her flowers, she'll get over it.  OK - I'm not thinking about

	Eric.  He admits to being petty and vindictive.  Great.  Is that
going to be his sole justification?  What sort of response does he *think*
that admission is going to provoke?  Why does he even want to talk to me? 
This is ridiculous.  After the scene at dinner last night, perhaps he will
give it a rest.  Or perhaps I will have to actually hurt him.  Why does he

	I wish I could believe that he persists out of affection.  But he
couldn't possibly do this to a woman he cares about, however evil his
temper.  I could forgive rape or rejection...after all, I've got a rotten
temper myself.  But this was so calculated!  And what did he have planned
for the child??  What *does* he have planned?  How calculated was this? 
It's a chilling thought.  I can't trust him.  Maybe he just wants to get
under my guard so he can take the child away from me when it's born.  I'm
not vain enough to think he's just trying to get back in my bed.  I'm sure
he can find better sex elsewhere - or at least a woman who won't kick him

	I am going to try to concentrate on my work.  Thank God Benedict
has decided to move on establishing the brothel.  At last I have something
to do.  And when I'm done with the work here, there are recruiting trips
into Shadow to look forward to.  I expect I'll have to have a shepherd,
but at least I can get away from here for a while.  If only I could escape
into peace for a time, as Laughter and Ariana did, and give myself a
little time to breathe, and my baby a chance to grow some fangs before it
has to enter this bastard reality.  But I imagine quick trips are all I'll
be allowed, if even that.

	I never would have imagined becoming friendly with Ariana.  But
this suffering binds us together, although I have no idea what she is
suffering for.  I don't want to know.  I just hope the King doesn't get
desperate or angry enough to make it my business to find out.  That would
be just my luck - wind up demonstrating advancements in torture on one of
the few people who is decent to me.  I hope she regains her liberty...she
has some good ideas.  She volunteered to check out all my brothel recruits
for disease and cast infertility spells on them.  Excellent!  Wonder if I
can get one of those for myself.  I doubt Eric will be satisfied with just
one child.  Infertility would be a quiet revenge of my own, should he try
to trick me again.

	What the hell did I just say?  Is this sleep deprivation or
stupidity?  Like I'd even consider letting him get that close again.

	I hope the sword is from him.  I just thought of another

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