Drastic Changes of Heart

Eight

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A/N: Very many thanks you all of you who are still reading this and to those of you who took the time to review. Very, very, very many thanks to Luma, who, out of the kindest of her dear heart, beta-ed this for me. THANK YOU!!

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They had mutually decided to forego their daily sessions due to Drizzt Do'Urden's hang over. Even though the strange and foul tasting concoction that Entreri had made the kitchen staff mix for him had him feeling marginally better, he still wasn't one hundred percent. So the dark elf ranger found himself sitting in one of the many lounge areas of the inn listening to many of the tales of Jarlaxle. He smiled and gave a chuckle every now and then when it was due but he only was half listening to the other drow's recitation of his adventures.

He felt Cattie-brie shift beside him and gently lay a hand on his knee, momentarily giving the woman his undivided attention, he looked to her and offered a small smile. He laid his hand over hers, giving it a light squeeze to let her know that he was just fine, if only a little distracted.

She smiled brightly back at him and turned her hand over, lacing her fingers with his. He was suddenly caught off guard at the gesture. Her hand, rough and worn from years of battle felt nothing like the assassin's sword calloused ones. While Drizzt realized that his and Entreri's hands were very similar in size, Cattie-brie's was somewhat small. As many times as she had held his hand, just as she was doing now, it never felt more strange to him. He could feel the dryness of it and even though Entreri's hands were rough as well from battle, his was somehow smoother than the woman's who sat beside him. It seemed strange to him that the assassin would take better care of his skin than Cattie-brie.

Drizzt frowned, his thin arched eyebrows drawing close together in confusion. Only after just feeling the human male's finger tips barely brushing upon his temples and ears, he was already comparing them to that of his long time friend's.

He had once thought, not so long ago, that perhaps Cattie-brie could become more than a friend to him. So why now was he wishing that, instead of the red-haired woman's hand in his own, it was the moody assassin's.

Before he could process the rest of his thoughts, he picked up movement from the corner of his eye. Turning, his curiosity rose as someone he had never laid eyes on before walked up to Entreri and leaned over, invading his personal space as if he had every right to.

The assassin stiffened only slightly at something the man immediately whispered in his ear, words too quiet for even the drow's sensitive hearing. A small tightening of the jaw and shoulders was the only indication that Entreri was not happy. The man that held himself so confidently in the presence of the deadly human was slender, all angles and grace. His white hair, held in hundreds of small braids, fell around his shoulders and obscured most of his features from the drow. And through all those braids the point of one ear showed. Drizzt tried not to frown as he realized the nameless elf didn't even know how close to death he was.

Entreri turned his head to face the elf, reaching out and gripping a handful of those small, thin, braids, the black beads woven into them softly clicking together. His fist tightening as the other man tried to pull away, finally coming to notice that he had crossed an invisible line somewhere. He barely moved as Entreri's hand gripped him even harder. The elf hissed in pain and Entreri answered that hiss only with low words that once again were too soft for Drizzt to pick them up.

Then the assassin abruptly let him go, the elf taking quick steps back and glaring at the dark-haired man before turning on his heal and leaving.

The exchange couldn't have lasted more than a few seconds, yet it was enough to draw the attention of the room's other occupants.

Entreri sighed and stood up, hands burrowing into the folds of his cloak. "Don't worry about it," he said, his voice deep, steady, and very, very angry before he too left the room without even the slightest whisper of sound.

"Who's worried?" Cattie-brie nervously mumbled at his side, only just now noticing that her hand was holding his in a death grip and his fingers were going numb from the lack of blood flow.

S%S

"Entreri!" came the soft cry, and despite himself, the assassin found himself slowing his pace to let the ranger catch up to him.

And when he did, he reached out to lightly touch Entreri's elbow. If Artemis Entreri wasn't Artemis Entreri, he would have jerked at the shock of the small gesture. Even through a layer of cloth he still could feel the warmth of the dark elf's hand on his arm. And much to his growing annoyance at himself, he didn't completely hate it.

"What was--"

"How much do you love her?" the assassin interrupted and Do'Urden dropped his hand in confusion at the sudden question and the mood swings that the human was going through. He couldn't blame the elf. He was confused at them himself. "The woman that you travel with," he elaborated, "how much do you love her?"

"What does that have to do with anything?" the drow hissed, his face slightly flushing from rage but not before having a strange sense of deja vu. Somewhere in the back of his mind he could have sworn that they already had this conversation, or at least one similar like it.

"It doesn't," he snapped, wishing he could keep his calm persona around the beautiful elf. He knew he had asked the elf before, but like most things that had happened in the prior night, he couldn't recall what the drow had told him.

Do'Urden let out a frustrated sigh and gave into the stubborn assassin, "I love Cattie-brie very much. She is one of my very few dearest friends."

"Yes," Entreri hissed through clenched teeth, "Of course the noble and goodly dark elf, Drizzt Do'Urden would love his dearest friend 'very much'. So, tell me elf," he looked directly into those wonderful purple orbs, "do you want to bed her?"

The elf flushed once more, this time with a mixture of embarrassment. "What!?" he exclaimed, shocked that Entreri would ask such a question.

"Do you want to bed her?" he asked again, his voice no longer raised, but somehow that was more frightening than him yelling for all of the Realms to hear. "I understand that, as of right now, you two aren't lovers. But do you want her to be?" he continued, "Do you want her to lie on her back and spread her legs for you like the whor-"

Drizzt's eyes became twin flames of violent lavender, "If you wish to keep your tongue, Artemis Entreri, then I suggest that you don't finish that sentence."

"Threatening me never works, drow," he glared right back at him.

"I am not threatening you, assassin. I am making a promise," Drizzt shot back at him, his voice low and dangerous, the tones of it going straight into Entreri's lower stomach.

"Even more of a reason to slit your throat," and the human believed his own words even though part of him pointed out that he had plenty of chances and plenty more reasons to do just that. It would be a blessing to be rid of the elf, to finally be free of this growing lust that he was facing when dealing with the dark elf ranger.

Drizzt stepped up to him, evading his space more so then his last night's fuck had, because Drizzt had no idea what Entreri thought of him.

"You despise me," the drow stated, "I know that. So why, when you have had more than a chance to kill me, didn't you take it?"

Entreri was lost for words, fighting himself to not reach out and pull the damned elf nearer to him.

The ranger leaned closer to him, not taking any more steps, but tilting his body so he was nearly flushed with the other man. "Why, on more than one occasion, have I thought that you were about to kiss —"

He once more interrupted the elf in mid sentence and he found it slightly humorous that most of their conversations were like that. His hands reached up and grabbed onto the elf's upper arms, taking quick steps forward to slam the drow into the hallway wall. "You're delusional," he hissed, his mouth inches away from the ranger's.

Drizzt's eyes were still flames of purple, growing darker, his pupils almost taking over completely, "Am I, Entreri?" He whispered, his tones still angry and deep, "I may be slightly naive, but I'm not an idiot." To prove his point, the ranger leaned forward and closed those few inches between them, not getting very far, only a small brush of lips, before Entreri once more slammed him into the unyielding brick of the inn's wall.

The drow gasped, his mouth falling open and that was all the assassin needed. With a growl of pure, unadulterated rage, Artemis Entreri brutally sealed his lips upon Drizzt Do'Urden's own, his tongue lashing inside to taste the entire elf.

He was not disappointed; Do'Urden's taste flowed into him. Honeysuckle and spice and oh so delicious and if Artemis Entreri was a lesser man, he would have moaned at the glory of it all. Hands of the darkest ebony reached up and tangled in the back of his shirt, tugging and gripping so much that the dark-haired human thought the fabric might tear. The assassin's own hands left the drow's shoulders, one coming up to entangle in long thin snow-white hair. The silk of it ran through his digits like pure water and the thickness of it surprised him.

His other hand went down, resting on the other man's hip to squeeze and pull closer, flushing their bodies so close together that it was hard to tell where one stopped and the other began.

The ranger moaned, a sound deep in his throat and kissed the human back with equal force. His knees wobbled, leaning more into the kiss before breaking it with a much needed gasp. Only one he got before Entreri's lips returned to his, biting and sucking; open mouthed and hungry and the dark elf thought he would pass out once again as the assassin stole his breath from his lungs and all thoughts from his mind.

"Breathe through your nose, elf," Entreri whispered between heated kisses, his voice low and husky.

The assassin's mouth moved lower, finding just a small space of flesh between his jaw and the high collar of his shirt and tasting it. The elf's skin tasted just as wonderful as his lips did. He licked and sucked before bringing teeth to bare to bite. Do'Urden tilted his head back with another moan, exposing more skin to Entreri's talented tongue, lavender eyes rolling up in the back of his skull and oh by Mielikki he couldn't remember, in all of his life, feeling this good.

Just as suddenly it started, it abruptly stopped leaving Drizzt's mind reeling and sinking to the floor on unsteady legs as he watched the assassin suddenly flee down the corridor, his booted feet not making a single sound.

"Drizzt?" came Cattie-brie's call from not too far away and he was grateful that Entreri was paying close attention to what was around them, when the ranger was not.

Then reality came crashing down on him and the desire that the deadly assassin awoke in him was turned to complete and utter shame. He hung his head, resting his elbows on his bent knees as he dug his fingers through his long hair, gripping it tightly at his scalp. He felt the woman's hand on his shoulder and he couldn't bring himself to look upon her. "I am well, Cattie-brie," he whispered, trying to keep his self loathing out of his voice.

She huffed and sat down beside him, "You don't sound well at all," she stated, taking one of his hands in her own and untangling them from their death grip on his hair. "Come on," she coaxed, as if he was a frightened child, "let go. You'll go as bald as Jarlaxle if you keep doing that."

He turned his gaze to her, looking at her out from the corner of his eye, still unable to face her. He found her smiling at him, trying to lighten his mood and still not knowing what had upset him so.

She sighed again when her joke had no effect, "You shouldn't let him get under your skin like that," she said, her dwarven accent completely gone.

His heart stopped beating in his chest and the air was so thick he couldn't draw a single breath, "You saw?" he asked, glad that his voice didn't squeak in utter terror.

Confusion ran through her clear green eyes, "Saw what?" she questioned, "I knew you followed him, probably trying to be nice and ask if everything was all right." She let out a huff of breath as if to say to him that he was a fool for even trying. "He more than likely said something to upset you just so you would leave him alone."

Relief flowed through him and he released a great whoosh of air, his heart beat rapidly in his chest as if to make up for the long seconds it had refused to do its job. He leaned back again the wall and gave her a small smile.

"You are far too much of a goodly elf, my friend," she smiled back at him and rested her head on his shoulder.

He offered up a small chuckle, "You have been..." he paused as his brow drew down in thought.

"Hmm?" she encouraged him, taking up his hand once again and playing with his long slim fingers.

He turned to face her, to really look at her, his expression completely serious as he slipped his hand from hers, "You have been touching me more than you normally do."

She shrugged as if it didn't bother her, "Have I?" she reached up to playing with a strand of his hair, yet before she could get to her destination, he intercepted her and placed her hand back into her own lap.

"Yes," he stated, "You have."

"Oh," she smiled, "I didn't notice." Her voice held truth that supported her words, yet her eyes became fearful.

"What are you feeling guilty about?"

Panic took over her face as she bit her lip, trying with all of her might to find something to say to her friend. She knew that he cared for her, and she for him. Very deeply in fact, but how could she tell him what she had done the previous night.

She looked to the opposite wall, to the ceiling, to the floor. She averted her gaze to see anything but the curiosity that was shining through his eyes.

That's when she spotted it.

Lying not too far in front of, where Drizzt was sitting. A seemingly innocent piece of fabric, yet when she picked it up to inspect it and look to her friend it was her turn to see the fear in his eyes.

"Drizzt?" her eyes widened as his face drained of color as he too looked to what she held, "Is this Entreri's glove?"

S%S

Entreri fled down the hall as if Loth herself was on his heels, his head fuzzy and spinning. Oh gods and goddesses could Drizzt –fucking- Do'Urden knows how to kiss. It was hot and heavy, yet graceful. The goodly elf kissed just like he fought, with all of his being behind the act to make it unforgettable.

His hands were shaking as he fumbled for the latch of his door, arms coiled with so much tension that if anybody tried to stop him from reaching the inside of his rented room they surely would have met their demise.

His hand slipped once again from the brass latch, sweaty palms making the smooth metal difficult to grip properly before tearing the door open. He barely made it through, slamming his shoulder against the edge of the hard wood with enough force to leave a mark.

Maybe later he would remember where the mark had come from. Maybe later he would feel more than the fire boiling through his blood and the incredible tightness in his stomach. Maybe later he would feel foolish if anybody had seen him fall to his knees and reach for the ties on the front of his leather trousers before his chamber door even had time to close.

He heard himself panting; looking down at his still gloved hand wrapped around his ridged flesh; his mind screaming at him from different sides.

Oh, oh and oh.

Pathetic and oh gods and goddesses, so good and what are you doing?

Do'Urden's lips and Do'Urden's skin and gods and goddesses that tongue.

He came in seconds, with a hoarse cry and white stars dancing under eyelids that he didn't recall shutting. Breath heaving in his lungs as his mind finally caught up with him.

He sneered down at his hand, still griping himself in a loose hold, his black glove ruined with his release. Gloves that Jarlaxle had just bought him less than a ten-day ago and now one was ruined beyond repair.

Sure he could probably wash his essence off of it, but he would be reminded for all his time what he had done whenever he put them on. He would know that he had desperately stroked himself like a child due to one taste of a drow ranger's lips and ebony flesh. He had let go with such a force that he was still reeling from it, his throat slightly raw from his cry and his skin still damp with his sweat.

He reached up with his unsoiled hand and touched his forehead skin feeling hot beneath his fingers which brought him somewhat back to this plane. His hand was bare, missing its glove and that's when he remembered his hand slipping on the handle of his door, his palm too sweaty to get a proper hold.

He had discarded it somewhere in the hall, or outside his door, or, perhaps it was sometime before that.

He blinked and held back a curse as he recalled yanking the thick material off of his fingers so he could press his thumb against the soft skin of Drizzt Do'Urden's cheek.

TBC...