Author's Note: Based on speculation that Jarlaxle did live out his childhood among the Baenres, and that Triel is older than Jarlaxle. If you believe either to be untrue, then take this as AU. If you can accept those two things as possibly canon, then this is merely speculative.

Proper Obedience

--------------------------------

"Triel!"

She froze at the call, then almost fell forward as her younger brother jumped on her back and wrapped his arms around her neck in an impulsive hug.

"Get off of me! Right now!"

He let go and slid back to the ground, a hand on her cape for support.

When she whirled around, his eyes were already trained on the floor, a properly contrite expression on his face.

Confused, but nonetheless irritated, she raised an eyebrow at this odd behavior and kept one hand on her whip. "What was that for?"

Jarlaxle knelt down and took off his shirt. "I was overwhelmed, wean mother. I am not allowed to look at you, but before I knew, I saw how beautiful you are. Now I cannot keep myself from knowing what it is your face looks like, every time you are here. In addition to your beauty, you keep me and you teach me. I was…I enjoyed…your return."

He enjoyed her return? She'd never heard of such a thing. "Are you lying? Under Lloth's scrutiny, tell the truth." Among other things, his large vocabulary at such a young age put her off. It spoke of an unnaturally quick mind, something that was more dangerous to mismanage than any other trait in a male.

"I am not lying, wean mother. I want you to come back every day. During the night I feel…disappointed to be alone."

But for him to feel genuine appreciation for her? That equally rare trait promised to give her leverage to deal with his other quirk. She had a rare hold over him, if she managed to preserve that kind of devotion.

She knew some lesser minds, females with different ideologies, who would claim the best thing in the situation right now would be to break every bone in Jarlaxle's body to prove his devotion wasn't wanted or needed.

However, she saw no logic to that approach, for then she would lose a valuable tool. Let him become attached to her. That meant that she could keep a handle on his fast growing intellect.

She considered what to do with him while he waited, back bared. She toyed with her whip. Then she smiled. Yes… let him think her generous. "Very well. You may rise and put your shirt back on. I will let you go with a warning. Never come up behind me and lay hands on me again."

"No, priestess. I won't." Her younger brother's face was a shining example of innocence as he got to his feet and put his shirt back on. It made her wonder how much of what she said really got through to him.

"If you continue to be good you may spend the hours of reverie with me."

Jarlaxle instantly looked as though he were trying to think of ways to be extra-charmingly good.

Triel hid a smile. That was easy. Now all she had to do was think of a few dozen other meaningless rewards, and she would have the easiest wean mother job in history. She briefly wondered why no one had ever mentioned the malleability of small males, and then decided that it was probably because this was a test for her set by her Matron Mother and older sisters.

-------------------

Sos'Umptu entered the room, scowling, following in Triel's footsteps. Then she stopped and looked around the chapel. The statues, the floor, and the walls all gleamed. "It's so…clean." She tried to hide her amazement and failed. "How did you motivate him to this?"

Triel smiled innocently. "I am learning how to inspire the proper amount of obedience in a male."