Disclaimer: The characters of Jarlaxle, Entreri, the Underdark, Faerûn, the drow, and other aspects of Forgotten Realms are the creations of R.A. Salvatore, Ed Greenwood, etc. I seek not to steal from their creations, only to humbly expand. The character of Jarian and a few other originals however are my creations.
The soft glow of faerie fire illuminated a piece of parchment, resting quietly above an obsidian-laden desk. A dark elf thoughtfully tapped a quill against his chin, wondering how best to pen his letter. However, his thoughts were immediately distracted as he regarded the feather he held. He playfully smiled as his mind concocted various scenarios to implement the writing utensil.
The tailor turned his head to the door. "Yes, Shytolin?"
"Are you done yet?"
"No, not yet," Jarian replied
"You've been at it for a while, is there anything I can do to help?"
"Perhaps." Jarian watched his servant fondly as he motioned him into the room.
Tazolg yawned from his plush pillow and then squeaked excitedly at the entrance of the other drow. He fluttered over to the servant to fondly nibble on his ear. Shytolin laughed and nuzzled the fairie-like mouse with his cheek, lightly tickling its fur to make it turn a vibrant turquoise.
"Where are Maskah and Kaifas?"
"Oh you know them," Shytolin said playfully. "They are keeping each other busy."
"Doing their daily exercises then?"
Shytolin nodded. "They are keeping quite limber, Master Jarian. I was watching them, until I got distracted." He paused as if remembering something, "I know you said you wanted some privacy for a little while, but sometimes you say that and that is not so."
"It's all right," Jarian said. "I'm nearly finished. Be a dear and play with Tazolg for a bit. He's been rather mischievous of late." He surveyed the paw prints lining the edges of the parchment, justifying their presence as additional stationary.
Several moments of writing passed, with the sound of the quill scratching, Tazolg's squeaks, and Shytolin's giggles. When Jarian finished scribing his letter, he rested the quill beside the Everdark ink Jarlaxle gifted to him and delicately folded the message. He pressed the letter against his bare chest, having some of the scented oil absorb into the parchment before pressing it to his lips and pouring wax to make the seal.
He slid the paper into his pocket and turned to Shytolin. "Let us go join the others. I am in need of some exercise."
The Calimport streets simmered with the aroma of incense and profit. Artemis Entreri paused in his surveillance as he felt an increased weight in one of his pockets.
Jarlaxle sensed the surge of magic and reached swiftly into the assassin's vest pocket. He withdrew a letter and smiled. "It appears there is a message for you, Entreri."
The assassin pushed the drow away from him, annoyed at the invasion into his personal space and clothing. He stared at his elegantly penned name on the folded parchment. "Who's it from?"
Jarlaxle showed him the seal and smirked as he noticed Entreri's jaw stiffen. "Well, aren't you going to open it?"
Entreri took the letter from Jarlaxle's extended hand, giving it one final look before breaking the suggestively shaped seal with his dagger. A flow of energy rushed out from the parchment and Entreri staggered back, swearing profusely.
"It…it kissed me!" He rubbed his lips with the back of his hand.
"Oh? What do you mean 'oh?'"
"He sealed it with a kiss," Jarlaxle said with a shrug. "Many drow of his caliber imbue a message with sealed lips so that only certain beings can glimpse the writing." With a smile, "aren't you going to read it?"
Entreri sighed and proceeded to read.
To my dearest Artemis-
I hope you enjoyed the kiss. May we always remember our moments together.
Though it has been merely days since we last parted, I miss your brooding presence dearly. We did not have the chance to talk on our journey back to the Underdark, then again I was busy with keeping track of the commissions thrust our way and you were busy with ensuring out security.
Tazolg misses you too. I think he sensed that I was writing to you. He tried to compose a message, as you can see by his tracks along the edge of this letter.
Artemis, you truly are the shadow in the darkness that makes my heart brighter. I sincerely hope that this message sees you and Master Jarlaxle doing well.
Maskah, Kaifas, and Shytolin wish you both well. They are keeping me company and are looking forward to any future fashion events. They rather fancied being models. I shall have to oblige them their roles more often. Shytolin is of the opinion that you should stop being an assassin and be a model, but I told him that your physical skills could be used elsewhere. Maskah and Kaifas agree with me.
I have been taking various commissions from the Surface, with Raelos as my liaison to an assortment of buyers. Many races are enamored with the idea of dark elven fashion and my style especially. I have also been the talk of Menzoberranzan fashion circles. I am determined to maintain a certain degree of quality for Bregan D'aerthe so that all may be known as a mercenary with style. I have been inspired to create discretely practical modifications for outfits and do hope that you will test them out. I have many in the making that are modeled after your taste. I shall send them to you and Master Jarlaxle once they are complete.
Well, it is time for me to stimulate other parts of my body and not just my hand. I am starting to cramp. I shall try to write to you when I can. Please reply if you are able.
May your travels be safe and successful.
Entreri finished the letter, conscious of Jarlaxle casually reading it over his shoulder. He was tempted to dispose of the letter, but placed it in another pocket. He was not in the mood for a lecture from the drow. Then again, maybe the letter touched a small part of him. Where that small part may lie, well, that's best left to the imagination.
Author's Note: I finished! I actually finished the story! (despite a snowstorm that knocked out power for a week) Then again, I've finished it in such a way so that if little one-shots of Jarian and his servants' further adventures beg to be written, then so be it. Or if that lemon certain muses of mine have been begging for arises…:just trails off:
Thank you to everyone who has traveled on this literary journey. I've enjoyed writing the characters, working with my muses, and reading the wonderful reviews that have come my way. I wish you all happiness and laughter to the end of your days…and of course a unique sense of style. :wink:MASSIVE HUGS:
Authoress: "I can't believe…it's ended."
Entreri: "Thank the gods."
Jarian: "It's okay Lady Authoress, we'll still be around."
Raelos: "Yes, it's been quite an enjoyable experience."
Maskah, Kaifas, and Shytolin: "That's right! We'll keep you company!"
Jarlaxle: "Of course my dear, we've made ourselves quite comfortable."
Jarian: "Even Artemis is sticking around!"
Entreri: "Don't remind me."