Author's Note: Set in the Silent Blade/ early Servant of the Shard era. At the end of Servant of the Shard Jarlaxle revealed some kind of an ability to spy on Artemis. The implication was that Jarlaxle could do this whenever he wished. An inevitable but unwritten scene results from this knowledge, in which Jarlaxle witnesses something immensely personal.


Voyeurism


Three drow sat clustered near a scrying crystal. The immense, two-foot tall crystal was set into a stone pedestal that merged with the floor as if grown there. The basically round room was warm and empty except for the crystal, the drow, and the seats they sat on. The drow on the right wore somber indigo robes, and the one on the left wore bright red and purple stitched with silver spider webs. In the middle sat a drow wearing a vest with no shirt, low-slung breeches with a wide belt, knee high boots and a wide-brimmed purple hat.

An image of a man with light brown skin, long, dark hair, and brooding eyes played inside the crystal.

Jarlaxle brought them together several times a month to watch Artemis Entreri ever since he'd made the deal that brought Entreri into Bregan D'aerthe's fold. Jarlaxle never seemed to tire of this activity. The mercenary leader named this scrying room a gift for their loyal service to him. They both knew Jarlaxle really just wanted to make them watch it with him.

Inside the crystal, Entreri came to a room. They all recognized it as the assassin's bedroom. The assassin glanced over his shoulder, presumably at the hallway. He disarmed a row of traps on the door and entered the darkened room. Entreri reset them, then flopped down on the bed as if exhausted. Alone, in this dark, silent room, his face was a mask of misery.

The three drow knew he should be happy. Kimmuriel and Rai-guy thought this because they felt any human who was given more than merely the chance to live in a dark elf's presence was privileged. Jarlaxle, of course, thought Entreri should be happy because he'd given the assassin what he would want: more power.

Instead, Artemis Entreri played along at meetings, hardly doing more than nod and offer occasional observations, and collapsed every night on his bed.

The three drow watched as Entreri lifted a tired, callused hand and fumbled at the buckle of his belt. Jarlaxle leaned forward, rapt. The mercenary leader's nose was inches away from the facet of the scrying crystal.

Entreri got the belt loose from its buckle and lay back on the bed, sighing. His head shifted against the pillow, his eyes directed at the wall. A furtive, guilty look crossed his face. Without looking, his hand moved to his belt again, loosening the laced up front of his breeches.

The three drow stared at the image in the crystal. Kimmuriel's usually stoic face bore a look of incredulity. "What is he doing?"

"His body works very similar to ours." Jarlaxle was smiling. "He is masturbating."

Kimmuriel and Rai-guy exchanged a glance of discomfort and disgust and almost simultaneously looked away from the scrying crystal.

Jarlaxle raised an eyebrow at them and smirked. He didn't have to say he thought they were ridiculous and weak for looking away, or threaten them. They stifled sighs and returned their gazes to the crystal.

Artemis Entreri stared at the wall as if desperate to deny what his hand was doing. He twitched several times, flinching, but he didn't stop. A gasp escaped his parted lips, followed by a bead of sweat running down his cheek.

Jarlaxle looked fascinated. "What is he so ashamed of?" he wondered aloud, never taking his eyes off the image in the crystal.

It was several more minutes before the assassin climaxed and lay still on the bed. Long strands of dark hair clung to his forehead. He moved his hand away, looking at the room aimlessly. Artemis Entreri's expression was a mixture of peace, pleasure, and guilt.

Jarlaxle tapped his lower lip with his pointer finger, thinking.

"May we go now?" Kimmuriel asked.

Jarlaxle waved them off. They retreated with ill-concealed relief. Jarlaxle stayed sitting in front of the scrying crystal, leaning forward with his below propped on his thigh, rubbing his chin.

Artemis curled up on his side and shut his eyes. Jarlaxle watched his breath even out.