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Structural Strain Theory

It's not like I didn't have anything to do.

It’s not like I didn’t have anything to do.

It’s not like I didn’t have anything to do. I did. I had plenty to do. Bran was on me about, I don’t know, something that needed my seal on it. And sooner or later I’m going to have to have that argument with Wulfrich about whether or not Fae Queens are allowed to have their own exits and entrances to their own treehouses. And even that might have been all right, if it weren’t for the seventy-seven demifae following me around for this or that or the other thing. And I was sick of all three. So I went to Mysthaven and planned to spend the afternoon just hanging out with whoever walked by.

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Dyisi happened to walk by first. Or rather, I walked by her.

Dyisi happened to walk by first. Or rather, I walked by her. Now, as somebody who can put together a sentence involving multisyllabic words, Dyisi is quite a breath of fresh air. But otherwise, as a conversational partner she leaves something to be desired. You ask her a question. She evades. You press. She starts putting off weird Satyr question-go-home vibes and then suddenly you find yourself changing the subject to avoid offending her. Except I’ve never really seen her get offended. We played conversational tennis for a while, and I finally thought I was making some headway until I realised she’d cornered me into talking about myself again.

Then Nathaniel emerged from the castle, and there was another kind of conversational tennis.

Then Nathaniel emerged from the castle, and there was another kind of conversational tennis.

Then Nathaniel emerged from the castle, and there was another kind of conversational tennis. It wasn’t really any more fun. Between his need to prove to me how much more multisyllabic he could be than anybody in the realm and Dyisi’s need to avoid all questions, ever, I began to wish for nothing so much as to be discussing dandelion seeds with Clutie. And Clutie? Can go on about dandelion seeds.

Then, Aoibheann appeared and things took a turn. For the worse.

After that, Aoibheann appeared and things took a turn. For the worse.

After that, Aoibheann appeared, and things took a turn. For the worse. At first, it was suggested that I’d missed Maric and Aoibheann announcing their engagement at my Spring Equinox party. Which got me pretty angry. But then it turned out that Nathaniel’s just a drooling imbecile and he assumed the announcement had been made at the party—even though he was there all night, with me, and is Maric’s Steward, and didn’t actually hear it himself. Because that would happen. Maric can barely shake his willy without Nathaniel’s assistance, it would seem, so I have some doubts as to whether either of them is capable of announcing anything without the other.

Aoibheann was going on about some pottery thing she’s making—why am I so cross with everyone?—and didn’t seem to realise that there was any difference between a Consort and a Fiancée, and you know what? Fuck it.

I was ready to leave. But Wren was there too, and I can't be mean to her: she's the only little kid I ever liked.

I was ready to leave. But Wren was there too, and I can’t be mean to her: she’s the only little kid I ever liked.

I was ready to leave. But Wren was there too, and I can’t be mean to her; she’s the only little kid I ever liked.

And then I wished I had left, because there was Aoibheann going on about Maric getting down on one knee after the Spring Equinox gathering at Ardan (not my party) and asking her to be his wife.

And I just could not take it any more. I pretended the (glamoured) bird on my (glamoured) couch had an urgent message for me about bumblebees, and I dissolved the whole couch and the demifae with it, and then I took myself back to the treehouse and locked myself in the bedroom and instructed Bran to call for an artist and a dressmaker. Because fuck them.

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