* * *
"If I had a child," Jarlaxle mused, "I would name him…Jarmaxil."
They sat alone on a grassy knoll. It was a temperate spring day.
Artemis' eye twitched. "You are not allowed to call your child Jarmaxil."
"Why not?" Jarlaxle sniffed. "I think it is a lovely name."
"Because it is your name, only with one letter changed!"
"It is not," Jarlaxle said. He waggled his index and middle finger at Artemis. "It is two letters changed. The 'l' is changed to an 'm', and instead of 'le' it is 'il'. Jarmaxil."
"I don't care," Artemis said. "You can't call him that. And anyway, who says it is a male child? You might have a little girl."
Jarlaxle immediately looked crestfallen and disgusted. "If I had a girl, I'd drown her before she reached one week of age."
"Why?" Artemis was offended by that response. He'd like a little girl over a boy.
Jarlaxle narrowed his eyes at Artemis murderously. "She would grow up to be a Lloth worshipping monster."
Artemis looked at him with raised eyebrows. "Not if you kidnapped her."
An expression of surprise came over Jarlaxle's face. It was swiftly followed by a smile. "I could take her to Bregan D'aerthe."
"You could take her with you," Artemis said.
"She could live like a princess," Jarlaxle said.
"Teach her to throw your knives," Artemis said.
A nostalgic smile stole over Jarlaxle's face. "I had a niece that I taught to throw daggers. She was an adventurous little thing. She liked to meet me in taverns and swagger with the rest of the rogues."
"Your daughter could be like her," Artemis suggested.
"A warrior," Artemis said.
"A conqueror," Jarlaxle declared, grinning.
"Massively power-hungry treasure hunter," Artemis said, imagining a female Jarlaxle standing on top of a pile of gold coins.
Jarlaxle laughed. "I can give her my legacy."
"She is your legacy," Artemis said seriously.
Jarlaxle's expression became serious too. "I don't have a daughter."
"It's never too late to have children, as long as you start sometime," Artemis suggested.
Jarlaxle smiled at him. He loved Artemis' non sequiturs. But he'd never tell the assassin that, because then Artemis would get self-conscious, and he wouldn't do them anymore. Jarlaxle would miss that too much.