Ok, I'm so sorry it took so long for this latest update, but my inner pedant and a handful of assignments were making finishing the chapter quite tricky. But I've threatened the inner pedant, and the assignments are all done now, so on with the story!

I'm sorry if a lot of this chapter is reiterating the various issues Drizzt was having, but I had to satisfy my own desire to make sure what was going on in his head was relatively clear…

Drizztlov1: Thank you for the review, and for your email :D I've tried to be a wee bit more detailed when we get to the steamy parts, as requested, but I have to be mindful of my M rating, so there might not be that big a difference. But I did try, I promise.

Zudinmulamshius: Thank you for your lovely, detailed review :D I just love reviews, and I'm so glad you've enjoyed the story so far XD

Disclaimer: I am less broke than usual (yay!) but unfortunately that still doesn't confer ownership of Drizzt, Cattie-brie, Bruenor, Alustriel, Wulfgar, Regis, Silverymoon or Mithril Hall onto me. Drat. Hopefully Mr. Salvatore will forgive me for playing with his toys without permission.

Cattie-brie lay back against the pillows, laughing softly as Drizzt nuzzled the crook of her neck. She slid her arms across sweat-slicked ebony shoulders, pulling her drow lover closer, leaning forward for a long, heated kiss.

The need for air finally forced the kiss to end, though they parted lips reluctantly, and Drizzt shifted to lay down snuggly against Cattie-brie's side and partly atop her, tucking his head under her chin.

"Well now," the young woman murmured, squeezing him close. "Aint ye glad we had this little talk?"

The dark elf chuckled softly, then suddenly turned serious. "Cattie?" he asked, lifting his head a little. "You will tell me, won't you, if ever I do anything wrong? Even after so many years on the surface, I can't always tell when people mean what they say, or I misread their expressions…you will let me know?"

"Aye," she said softly, cupping his face in her hand. "I'll let ye know if ever ye're about to make an arse o' yerself." She kissed him tenderly, dropping her own joking façade. "Was that it then? All these years when I was flirtin' with ye and getting' no response, it was 'cause ye didn't understand me? Didn't understand me not-so-subtle hints?"

"Aye," he responded, returning her kiss. "I thought sometimes that you were flirting with me, but I wasn't ever sure…and if I tried to respond you seemed oblivious, and I thought that I must have been mistaken. I- Cattie, drow aren't subtle when it comes to courtship. A female drow would order a male into her bed, not try to tempt or seduce him. I find myself confused by the intricacies of human flirting."

The young woman laughed, hugging him tight. "Don't ye fret, we humans get confused too. I'd ne'er considered that drow mightn't court the same as surface dwellers. I tried to signal to ye that I was willin' enough, waitin' for ye to make yer move. But ye needed me to do that, didn't ye? Ye needed me to take the lead- an' blatantly so."

Drizzt nodded, turning his head to kiss her palm. "I didn't dare do so myself- though I'll confess sometimes I thought about it, and exciting thoughts they were. But I was…afraid. Afraid of rejection; afraid of…of punishment, I suppose."

"Poor Drizzt," Cattie-brie crooned, rolling them over so that she could blanket his body with her own. "I love ye, darlin', an' I'll ne'er chastise ye fer expressin' yer desires. Ask o' me, an' I'll give ye whatever ye want."

The drow flushed, his previously sated body responding eagerly to her husky tone and the thousand fantasies, products of a thousand lonely nights, which flashed through his mind. Still, though, he was reluctant to tell any of them to his eager young lover. He dipped his head demurely, exposing a sensitive ear tip to the young woman's clever tongue. Cattie-brie didn't miss the opportunity, and soon had him squirming, even hotter and more anxious, beneath her.

"Tell me," she purred. "I want to please ye, Drizzt. Go on, ask me."

Her hands were running all over his body now, making it hard to think, but one vivid image caught in his mind- but no, he couldn't ever ask that of a female!

But Cattie-brie was persistent, and eventually coaxed a murmured request out of Drizzt, who blushed furiously and tried to hide his face in the pillow.

"O' course, love," the young woman told him, rooting him out of hiding and kissing him soundly. "It would be me pleasure."

With one last passionate kiss Cattie began to lick and nibble her way down the drow's midnight-hued torso, playing with both pebbled nipples and thoroughly exploring every curve and plane of muscle. Her glossy auburn locks tickled across his stomach and thighs as she dipped her tongue into his navel, before closing her mouth over her ultimate goal.

Drizzt gave a strangled yelp as he was engulfed in that sweet little mouth, his lover's nimble fingers also at work. Oh, OH! It was too good. It wasn't long before the drow spent himself, staring, eyes impossibly wide, as the young woman's throat rippled as she swallowed. She pulled back, bestowing a gentle kiss to his tip, and then grinned cheekily up at him.

"Good, hmmm?"

The drow nodded dazedly. Cattie- brie moved back up the bed, arranging herself comfortably on her side, so that she could watch Drizzt. His face was relaxed, and his expression dreamy, as she leant down for a tender kiss. Stroking one hand down her lover's warm, soft cheek, she was about to whisper something truly naughty in his ear when a firm knock sounded on the door.

Drizzt started slightly, and Cattie quickly whisked a bed-sheet about herself, draping it 'round her body like a haphazard toga. "Come in," she called, glancing over her shoulder quickly to make sure Drizzt was likewise concealed. He smiled at her as he snuggled down under the covers, resting back against the plump pillows.

Bruenor shook his hairy head as he entered the room. "Ye're supposed to be lettin' the elf rest, girl!" he scolded, but his eyes twinkled approvingly. The kindly dwarf king had known of the pair's attraction for a long time, perhaps even before they were aware of it themselves.

"How're ye feelin', elf?" the gruff old fellow asked, coming to ruffle Drizzt's mussed and sweaty locks affectionately. "Think ye'll be ready ta come home soon?"

The drow ranger nodded. There were still gaps and holes in his memory, but he thought he could now recall most things of importance. Fael, the elven healer, had assured him that his memory should return in full, but it might be quite some time, months or even years, before his memories would have all come trickling back. Drizzt found he didn't mind. His injury, and subsequent memory loss, had brought him more than he had ever hoped for, in that he and Cattie-brie were finally able to communicate their desires to one another.

Bruenor explained that he, Wulfgar and Regis would be returning to Mithril Hall the day after next. "We'll go home and get the place ready fer yer return, elf," he said, ruffling Drizzt's hair again. "I'm thinkin' we'll be needin' a bigger room fer ye and the girl ta share, an' that could take a few days ta get together."

The young woman and the drow both assented happily, liking the idea of a bedroom to share. Cattie threw an arm 'round Drizzt's shoulders, happily starting to boss her adopted father about what she wanted in the new room, and though Bruenor growled and scowled at some of the more extravagant demands the drow caught his wink, and knew that Cattie-brie would get everything she asked for.

oOo

A soiree was to be held the evening before the three adventurers departed for Mithril Hall. It wasn't to be a big gathering, by the standards of the balls and functions often held in Silverymoon, but a cheerful farewell to the King of the dwarven realm, who hadn't ever really visited the city before.

Drizzt returned from the bathroom, wrapped in a linen towel and dressing gown, to find Cattie-brie staring wordlessly at a magnificent dress laid out on the bed. It was of a shimmering blue satin, which perfectly matched the hue of her lovely eyes, with a low-cut bodice, stitched with silver thread and small pearls, and a full, flowing skirt. Beside it lay a pile of fine, lacy petticoats, and perched on top exquisite silver slippers (just the right size), a hairbrush, a bottle of expensive perfume, and a little box, within which was a varied assortment of jewels and ornaments.

Drizzt nuzzled the back of his lover's neck, pressing butterfly kisses to her creamy skin. "Alustriel sent it up," the young woman said meekly, leaning back against him. "But surely…I mean, this dress is for a fine lady, and I'm not…"

"A fine lady? Oh, but you are the finest, my love." The drow murmured in her ear. "I should very much like to see you in it. Will you not try it on? You can always put on something else for the party if you don't like it…"

The young woman could deny her handsome elven lover nothing, and so she let him help her into the petticoats and the gown. It was a complicated process, involving much tying of laces and adjusting of this bit and that, not dissimilar to putting on armour. Cattie had worried the outfit would be uncomfortable, but her worries proved unfounded. She twirled in front of the mirror, smiling shyly at the handsome drow as he offered her a slipper on bended knee. Cattie, balancing carefully, lifted her dainty foot and slid it in, feeling a blush beginning in her cheeks.

Drizzt helped his lover put on her other shoe, then led her across the room to sit down on the edge of the bed. Sitting cross-legged on the mattress behind her he took up the hairbrush and a handful of hairpins. "Let me do your hair for you, love," he asked gently, lovingly brushing out her burnished auburn curls.

"Do you know how?" the young woman asked him doubtfully. The idea of a male proficient in hair care seemed very strange to her, but Drizzt merely smiled.

"Of course I do. I'm a drow. We're very vain, you know. I've worn more elaborate hairstyles than the snobbiest lady in Silverymoon." He kissed the nape of her neck gently. "I looked far better in them too."

Cattie laughed, feeling some of her anxiety ease away. She could bring down orcs and orogs and all manner of dreadful monsters without so much as a shadow of a doubt wrinkling her pretty brow, but she felt strangely inept when asked to behave in a more feminine manner- something which often bothered her. It would have been nice to be able to be both rugged adventurer and a lady.

The drow did prove a very skilled hairdresser. He brushed her hair until it shone like polished copper, then pulled it back into an elegant knot at the nape of her neck, fastened with silver and pearl hairpins shaped like tiny flowers. Matching earrings, necklace, rings and a bracelet were all nestled in the satin-lined little box, and Cattie occupied herself putting them on, and dabbing perfume behind her ears, at the hollow of her throat, and on the backs of her knees (as all adventurous ladies should know to do) while Drizzt dressed and did his own hair.

Hearing his light step behind her, Cattie turned, and her eyes lit up appreciatively as she beheld her handsome lover, dressed in a silvery-white satin shirt with belled, silver-embroidered sleeves, grey dress tunic and tight-fitting black pants. The young woman laughed as he turned about, giving her an opportunity to pat his black-clad rump. It really was rather nice after all.

"No, silly!" the drow laughed. "You're meant to be looking at my hair."

"Oh," she answered primly, not removing her hand. "But I like yer backside best."

Drizzt snickered softly, shaking out his snowy mane. He'd braided his locks with little crystal beads, which twinkled and flashed as he moved. Cattie smiled, pulling him into a tight hug.

"Yer hair is nice, though."

The drow smiled contentedly.

oOo

The soiree was wonderful. A smaller, more intimate hall than that used on grander occasions had been lovingly decorated, a veritable banquet had been prepared, and the city's greatest bards took it in turns to charm the small crowd.

Cattie-brie and Drizzt entered arm-in-arm, both visions of loveliness. Regis, his plump little figure swathed in a suit of purple velvet, met them just inside the door. Bruenor and Wulfgar, Alustriel and Fael, all were there in their party finery. Drizzt smiled to see his surface cousin, Fael, on the Lady Alustriel's arm much as he was on Cattie-brie's, and the evening passed all too quickly.

If Cattie-brie had had any worries before she entered they were all forgotten, and like any courtly young lady she enjoyed being admired in her pretty dress, with her pretty hairdo, and her handsome lover at her side.

My inner pedant is screaming in a padded room somewhere, and any mistakes are therefore due to me having locked her up- but I'm sure you'll forgive me, yes?

BTW: The next chapter will conclude the story- I'll do my utmost to make it good, I promise!