He barges in unannounced, as he is so wont to do these days, and collapses on her couch. He is so silent in his movements that Dwahvel does not even notice his presence until she hears the loud whomp of his full weight falling against the sofa. The sudden noise in the quiet room nearly makes her jump out of her chair and throw things at the intruder.
When she turns around, she sees Artemis Entreri, his cloak and sword belt thrown haphazardly on an adjacent chair, lounging on the couch in a position that cannot be comfortable for him; one arm thrown over his eyes, one foot resting on the floor bouncing his leg in agitation. He lets out a long breath through clenched teeth.
Dwahvel says nothing as she rises, heads to a cabinet and selects one of her strongest selections; an elven liquor she cannot remember the exact name of. She pours the dark amber liquid into a pair of glasses. Carefully, she crosses the room and nudges the recumbent man with her hip. She places the glass in the outstretched hand he responds with. He downs the drink quickly and throws the glass to the ground with an angry noise unfitting the disciplined assassin. She hands him the second, still intact, glass before returning to the cabinet to make herself a drink, doubly full since she knows that he'll have finished his current glass by the time she returns and takes a seat in a chair beside him.
She is right.
He rises to face her as she pours half of the contents of her glass into his. He rubs a hand over his face, and she notices his color is off; flushed a bit green around his eyes, and slightly pinker on his cheeks and ears than she's seen him before, his tan skin stained ashen. She wonders if he's sick and leans back a little in case his willpower fails him and he vomits on her floor, which it looks as though he is but heartbeats away from doing. Further inspection and his eyes are dark and unfocused, his hair wet around his temples and neck where beads of sweat still cling to his skin.
"You look terrible," she says, tilting her head curiously, "Are you sick?"
He snorts in response and knocks back another drink, "What is this?"
"Elven," she says with a shrug. She looks into her glass and, realizing that she isn't going to drink it, offers it to him.
Artemis balks her with a raised hand, "I drink any more of that and I will be sick," there is no humor in his voice, only deadly seriousness. She retracts her hand and watches him run another hand over his face again.
"What happened?" She asks, "Jarlaxle do something-" the glare he shoots her causes the question to die in her throat.
He groans loudly and buries his face in his hands, "Yes. It has something to do with that damned elf, but it's my own fault." Dwahvel makes a curious noise and he continues, "I was looking for the map of the oases he took from the guild, and I found…a book." He shudders at the last word and makes a sickened noise.
"What manner of book," she asks, trying to add some mirth to her friend's situation, "A seedy romance? A children's book? A manual of gainful exercise?"
He glares at her again and spits, "A diary."
"Oh really now?" Dwahvel laughs, interested in whatever dark secrets he may have discovered about the drow.
"A sex diary," he clarifies.
And, suddenly, Dwahvel knows why the assassin looks so ill. She wants to comfort him, or at the very least pump him full of liquor until he cannot remember the things he's seen. Instead, she chooses to poke the sleeping bear, "Was it illustrated?" she asks with a grin, only to get a pillow to the face in response.
"No, thank the gods," He says, turning his glass over in his hands. "It was very…detailed however." Dwahvel raises an eyebrow and he glares at her. "No. I do not want to share."
"Oh come now," she laughs, swatting his knee and earning herself another icy glare, "it's obviously some crazy stuff, or else you wouldn't look so ill."
"He had sex with a centaur once."
"Made her call him 'jockey'" He breaks eye contact with her and tries to find something in the room to focus on, when nothing suits his needs, he just lets his eyes wander. "He wrote, and I quote, 'I've ridden a horse naked before, but never a centaur. She was a magnificent creature, with a lyrical voice as she called me her jockey well into the late night hours. Nearly bucked me off a few times in the middle, but nothing too severe. She let me brush her down afterwards, before kicking me in the chest and running off into the forest. My men found me naked in the glade the next morning before sunrise. Must remember the temperament of centaurs should I ever try again.'"
It takes every shred of willpower Dwahvel Tiggerwillies has in her tiny frame to keep from bursting out in fits of obnoxious, ugly laughter at the passage. She hears herself ask the question "just how much did you read?" laced with giggles before she can stop herself.
"Too much," he groans, either not hearing her laughter or choosing to ignore it, "far too much."
This time her giggles overtake her, and the more she tries to stop, the louder she laughs and snorts at the idea of Artemis Entreri, master assassin, reading Jarlaxle's diary of sexual escapades, wide-eyed and flushed faced. She can feel him staring daggers at her so intensely that, if he'd been inclined to magic, she would be dead at his feet. She manages to squeeze out an apology for her laughter and asks "why?" a bit louder than she probably should have.
"It was like watching someone be set on fire in the middle of a street!" he argues "You can't tear your eyes away, even though the sight is absolutely horrific!"
Dwahvel does not stop laughing, not for several moments anyway. "Any other gems?" she asks, and Artemis throws his glass at her. She ducks and it shatters against the wall. She glares at him "Are you going to break all of my glasses?"
"If I feel it necessary," he says, almost pouting childishly.
She rolls her eyes at him and leans back in her chair.
"I swear," he sighs, leaning back as well, even going so far as to throw his head back and stare at the ceiling. "I swear to you that man has had, or fantasized about having sex with someone of every viable race."
"Don't you mean 'some woman'?"
"I wish I did, Dwahvel," he says with a choked noise, "I wish I did." He groans, "And I'm almost certain he's still adding to it."
She tilts her head, "How so?"
"I saw dwarves in the harem when I went in this afternoon. Dwarves!" He throws his hands up and then lets them fall to his sides with a shudder, "bearded women are strange."
"Are you sure they were women?"
He screams and Dwahvel tries to stifle her laughter. "Why?! Why would you say that!?" he pats about the couch looking for something to throw at her, but comes up empty, and can only stare at her with a sad, bitter look.
She giggles, "Do you really expect any less of me?"
"Not anymore," he grumbles, resuming his position of defeat. "You want to know what the scariest thing I saw in that book was?"
Dwahvel leans forward and places a hand on his knee in an attempt to comfort him. It doesn't work and all he does is shudder. "What?" she asks softly, half dreadful, half eager for the answer.
She stares at him, wide-eyed and slack jawed, "No…" she says in humorous disbelief, "No!"
"I saw it, but I didn't read the passage. I already felt like I was going to vomit by the time I got to…" he shivers again, "I don't even remember where it was, or what it came after. It all started melting together after a point."
"I want this book." She says abruptly. "I want it, or a transcript of it, or something."
"Of all the demons in the hells, why?!"
"Because it sounds like the single greatest piece of information you have ever stumbled across."
"You do not know Jarlaxle," he replies, shaking his head, "He is proud of that sort of thing. Blackmail wouldn't work."
"Who said I planned to blackmail Jarlaxle with it?"
Entreri raised an eyebrow at her; she offered him a smirk in return.
"There are women out there who would pay no small sum of money for that sort of thing."
"What would you call it," he laughs helplessly, " '1001 Lovers of the Drow'? 'Fifty Shades of Jarlaxle'? 'Oh, For the Love of All That is Good and Innocent in This World, Do Not Read'?"
She chuckles, "I would just call it 'profit' and," she paused until she was sure she had his attention, "I'd share some of that profit with you…"
"I can get you the book, but you'll have to write the transcript yourself in time for me to get it back unnoticed. And I want a decent cut, not a finder's fee."
She offered her hand, "Consider it done."
He took her hand, and they were in business.