Wednesday, September 14th, 1870 (post-dated)

Dear Diary:

Captain White Dana continues to submit overtures of friendship, which I find very kind – and also disconcerting. I cannot help it. Ever since my involuntary confinement in Hanzai, I feel mistrustful of everyone’s motivations. I suppose that is my own “baggage,” as Jacqui would say. Or will say. Would have said? Damn time travel! One never knows in which tense to write. At any rate, I fear I’ve painted myself the fool as well as the harlot in my new friend’s eyes.

The evening began pleasantly enough. Despite my very strong inclination to wrap myself in my bedclothes and hide until a solution can be found, I thought it wise to continue my social engagements as though nothing were the matter. After all, if a husband can be found quickly, I can always claim an eight month babe. With this in mind, I thought to invite my sprightly Russian friend to attend alongside me.

She has a new dining set, by the by. But that is neither here nor there. Where was I? Ah, yes!

I yawned my way through the invitation, at which point Dana suggested a friendly evening in. A spot of “girl time,” I think she called it. So we sat upon her large, comfortable sofa. She then proceeded to kindly, yet with surprising firmness, put forth a few concerns for my well-being. Hers is a Temperance household, it would appear. She cautioned most vociferously against my fondness for strong spirits. She also inquired, curiously enough, as to whether or not my baby’s father is a dragon.

“That is one possibility,” I owned, my shame nearly palpable as I hemmed and hawed my way through an honest reply. In a whisper, I added, “but the odds favor another.”

To Dana’s credit, she chose not to berate me on that score. Instead, she merely raised one pert eyebrow.

In what seems likely to have been a ritual of female companionship – the exchange of one secret for another – she then revealed to me a shameful truth of her own. In Dee, she had loved another. Arturos was his name. He was human, a fact that caused Danyell and the others to disapprove of the union. Eventually, she felt compelled to break with the man in order to pursue her place as the pack’s Beta. This, it seems, is her greatest regret: she has loved and lost, only to find love again in a more suitable partner.

I hardly think the two rate comparison.

What is wrong with me, Diary, that actual monsters should know the gift of love time and time again while I should not?

I went to bed early and Dana remained at home. I hope she felt some gratification. All I felt was tired – and strangely irked at Danyell. Who is he to interfere in the most intimate and personal of all of Dana’s concerns? This is why I do not mention the name of the man who probably fathered my child. The less Danyell knows about what I do when I am not at home, the less he can interfere.

Yours,

–Miss Palabra Puddlegum–

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