Chapter 27:

Artemis woke up slowly, only to find himself alone. It's not to rare, Evelyn has a habit of waking way to early at times. She's normally somewhere in the house. Most likely in the tower tending her plants. Breezehome is quiet as he gets up, pulling his pants on. He makes his way downstairs to here the bath was, to see her there. She just smiles at him as she washes her hair. "Morning." Since he's more or less moved in, he brought in a looking glass for himself to use. He just gives her a quiet nod as he takes a moment to shave. It's become routine, so he hardly gives it a second thought. After he washes his face she moves behind him, now in a drying cloth. "Why do you always shave, you hardly need it half the time." He gives it some thought. "It's really the only thing I ever had control over. That and I look horrible in a beard." A part of her wants to laugh, but she feels bad at the same time. "Aye I have a hard time picturing you all gruff.." She wrinkles her nose at the idea. It's one of the few things she doesn't really have to worry about. They get dressed, eat breakfast, and make their way to Jorrvaskr. He watches her go downstairs to get to work. While she does that he wonders about, debating what to do with himself that day. He finds Drizzt, off to the side as he sits with Guenhwyvar. He takes a look around before he slowly makes his way over. The panther perks slightly as he comes near and lets out a warning growl. Drizzt just taps her nose. "Now now." Guenhwyvar licks her nose, but lowers her ears as Artemis takes a seat on some hay.

The two are still getting used to this new arrangement. After all Artemis had spent a good deal of his time trying to kill the Drow. Now he's here for a different reason all together. However he has no idea what to even say or even where to start. He's not one to talk about his emotions. It's not something he's really good at since most of the time all he normally feels is anger. But Drizzt is the only one he feels he can talk to who wont laugh in his face. Much like what Jarlaxle would do. He picks some of the hay, toying with a single straw between his fingers. Drizzt slowly turns his gaze to the rather quiet assassin. "Something on your mind?" Artemis takes a slow deep breath before letting it out. "To much at times.." He throws the piece of straw and turns turns more fully to Drizzt. "Did Jarlaxle tell you of our travels in the Bloodstone lands?" Drizzt nods slowly. "Bits and pieces through our journey." Artemis lets out a groan. "Right, during our travels, he gave me a flute. I used it, thinking it would calm my thoughts. It did the opposite. At any rate, during that time I met a woman who I thought I...fell in love with." Drizzt feels his eyes go wide at this, he would have never expected such a thing. "What happened?" Artemis looks down at the ground. "It's complicated, lets just say I threw her out a window for trying to kill me..." Drizzt is giving him a hard look. "As I said, it's complicated. It's hardly the the point..." He goes dead quiet as Drizzt rises his brow at the assassin. "What is the point?" He lets out a huff. "How the hell do I know what I feel is real? It's all been magic and lies." Drizzt lets out a low. "Ah." As he nods slightly.

"So you're confused as to what you feel is real or not." Artemis is looking the other way. Drizzt wonders what to really tell him to help him sort this out. Then again he never pictured himself really having this kind of chat with someone like Artemis. But he seems confused and it's not like he has a lot of people he can turn to. There's not many people Artemis can trust and Drizzt understands that well enough. Artemis lets out a low growl as he quickly stands up. "Forget I said anything!" Drizzt is quick to stop the now angry assassin and slowly sits him back down. "Relax.." He just crosses his arms as he sits back down. "Listen, I can understand this isn't something you're familiar with." Drizzt looks up, his eyes on the meadhall before him. He doesn't have to guess who Artemis is talking about. "It's clear she cares deeply for you. Have you even asked her if she loves you?" He grumbles for a small second. "No..." Drizzt rises his brow again at him. "Do you even say it?" "....No..." Drizzt lets out a deep sigh at this as Artemis turns, still rather angry. But Drizzt tries his best to keep him calm. "You're making this far harder then it needs to be." Artemis looks confused at this. "You care about her, that much is clear. Just be honest, that's what love is. You have to trust her, if you can't do that, then your relationship won't grow." Artemis shuffles at the idea. "I do trust her...more then most people that have entered my life..." His brows knit together. "Just how much did Jarlaxle tell you?" Drizzt lightly places his hand on his shoulder as the two of them go into a much deeper talk.

Meanwhile Evelyn is doing her best to not fall asleep as she finishes all the paperwork. Vilkas enters, seeing her half asleep. "That boring?" She jerks a bit as she blinks her eyes a few times to wake herself off. "s**t, kind of.." She rubs her eyes a bit. "But hey it's all good news." She hands over what she's done as he looks it over. He smiles slightly as he nods. "I'll finish the rest...Evelyn?" She already half asleep again. She jerks again, her brows slowly moving down. "Sorry, I have no idea why I'm so tired. I've actually been getting some normal sleep for once..." Her normal sleep cycle is every once a week or so. If she's lucky. "Maybe you're coming down with something." Vilkas is aware if she's not feeling well she sleeps it off. She places her hand on her head. "I feel fine, just tired..." "Well, take the day off. Sometimes you have a habit of working far to hard." She gives him a slight smirk. "Aye because I get people calling me a slacker." He lets out a scoff at this. "I would hardly call you a slacker Evelyn. You work harder them most of us put together. Hell you make some of us look bad." She chuckles softly at this as she slowly rises. "I sure know how to raise the bar uh?" "It's hard to catch up to the Dragonborn." She waves her hand at this. "Oh come now, I think we've moved past all that. I'm more then just the Dragonborn." "Aye, but lets face it, it's the only name the guards know you by." She just shrugs helplessly. "I have a hard name to remember?" He barks out a laugh at this. "Hey for the longest time I was just 'new blood' to you." He gives her a sheepish look. "I was an arse to you at the start. But I apologized." She pats his arm and heads off as she makes her way upstairs.

She makes it to the training yard, feeling less sleepy now that she's walking about. She spots Artemis, in a rather deep conversation with Drizzt. She decides to leave those two where they are and wonders about. Lucia and Sofie both run up to her, wanting to play. Evelyn smirks and covers her eyes, counting slowly. The girls giggle and run off to go hide. One of them hiding behind the hay Artemis and Drizzt are sitting at. Sofie just giggles and places her finger against her lips. Evelyn reaches ten and slowly wonders the yard. Lucia is hiding behind a barrel. Drizzt can't help but watch. "She's good with children." Artemis just nods slowly. It doesn't take long for Evelyn to find Lucia. The girl lets out a scream when she's found as Evelyn wonders around to find the other one. She finds Sofie as the little girl holds onto Artemis. "Save me papa Artemis~" He blinks at this as Lucia giggles in Evelyn's arms. Evelyn just rises her brow at her girls. Artemis just rises, lifting the girl. He turns to Evelyn, making it look like he's ready for a fight. He's never played a 'fatherly' role, but it's hard to say no. Evelyn just smirks slightly, still holding Lucia. "I'll trade ya!" He looks down at Sofie and shakes his head. "No deal, run kid." Sofie giggles and makes a run for it, making Evelyn case after her. "Get back here!" Of course Evelyn is faster since she's much taller then the girls. But she still takes her time, giving the girl a head start before catching her as well.

It's not long before Alesan and Blaise join the fun. Alesan holding his pet Mudcrab. "Come on Blaise, just say hi to Pincer!" The poor kid just tries to keep away from the tiny creature and hides behind Artemis' leg. The assassin looks down, wondering what he's done for the kids to treat him like family. It's not something he's used to, but Drizzt is chuckling in the background at this. Artemis glares at him slightly. Alesan looks up at Artemis. "Hey pa." "Why are you calling me that?" Alesan just tilts his head. "Well you're always hanging around ma. Plus everyone says your together..." Blaise chimes in. "I bet they kiss and stuff!" "Gross!" Artemis pinches the bridge of his nose as Evelyn wonders up, holding both girls. "Are you bothering the poor man?" Alesan just gives her an innocent look, still holding his pet. "No ma. Hey wana play tag?" Artemis is just so lost as Evelyn shakes her head slightly. "Go do your chores boys." "Aww, do we have to pa?" He lets out a strange cough as Evelyn just smirks, wondering what he will do. "Yes, do what she says..." The boys shuffle off as Evelyn places the girls down so they could go join. Once the kids wonder off she gives Artemis a helpless shrug. "Not sure when they picked up the idea of calling you pop's. But if it makes you uncomfortable I can tell them to stop." He doesn't say anything at first. It's not like he really had much of a father figure in his own life he can reflect on. Just the man that beat the crap out of him and let his 'uncle' molest him.

"It's....fine." She gives him a surprised look. "The only thing I can really promise is to not allow anything to happen to them. I won't raise my hand to them." He's already told her what he's been through, but it still breaks her heart. She pulls him close and holds him tightly. He finds himself leaning into her for a second, then remembers that they're aren't alone. He shuffles back as she chuckles slightly. "You'll do just fine, just take things at your own pace. You have every right to tell those monsters to back off." She's far more used to children then he was. She just runs her hand through his hair before heading off to go back to work. Break time was over. He just stands there, watching her walk away. Drizzt slowly rises as he walks up to the assassin. "I think you have your answer." He looks down, unsure of what to say. It's not something he's used to. "How do you get used to such a thing?" Drizzt struggles to answer that one. Put he places his hand on his shoulder. "As she said, take your time." He lets him go and wonders off to go join the other Companions. Somewhere around noon Evelyn makes her way back to Breezehome. She finished most of everything that needed taken care of. She's just so tired for some reason. She slowly makes her way into her home and makes her way up the stairs. She was still wearing her traveling clothes and flops onto her bed and quickly falls asleep. However Artemis has no idea where she wondered off to. It's not like he worries, but she rarely just wonders off without a word.

He wonders the town for a bit before making his way to the house. He makes his way inside, she wasn't on the main floor. He makes his way upstairs to find her sound asleep on her bed. She's just laying on top of all the blankets, her arms wrapped around her pillow. He rises his brow at this, but decides to just let her rest. He makes his way back to the main floor. There's plenty of food so he helps himself and sits himself down. As he sits there, he has time to think everything over. His talk with Drizzt help him out more then he thought it would. Of all the people he ever thought he would turn to, Drizzt would be the last person after everything that's happened. After eating, he makes his way back upstairs, sitting next to Evelyn. She's still sound asleep, still holding her pillow. He just shakes his head slightly as he touches her cheek. It's hard to put to words what he really feels about her. She finally wakes up some time later as she blinks and looks up at him. "Wha...what time is it?" He glances up. "Near nightfall." She quickly sits up, rubbing the side of her head. "s**t, I had no idea I was so tired..." She tries to shake it off before she turns to him. "Have you been here the whole time?" He shrugs at this. "Just keeping my eyes on you." She leans into him. "Aww thanks. I'm okay, just...tired. I feel like I've been on the move so much. Vilkas is right I work to hard..." She rubs her face for a few seconds. The last thing she needs is to go back to sleep after doing so for so long. It can't be healthy.

She may as well try to keep herself awake. But it's like she can't will herself to move at the moment. So she remains leaning on Artemis, as he just sits with her. "I want to ask you something." She blinks as she turns her head slightly. "Go ahead." He takes a minute, trying to put into words on what he wanted to say. "Do you love me?" She blinks at this as she quickly turns fully to the assassin. she's so caught off guard it takes her a minute to answer. "I...of course." She hadn't thought about it till now, but yes, she did love him. She places her hand on his cheek lightly. "I may not say it, I didn't want to chase you away or force you into anything you weren't ready for. I know what you went through couldn't have been easy." He slowly places his hand on hers. "I can't tell if this is real or not. Half the time I expect to just wake up and have this be some fever dream. Of worse just some grand joke like the rest of my life has been up to now.." His brows knit slightly. "I know what I am. I also know what I'm capable of. But love was not one of those things I pictured myself to be able to understand. Let alone feel wasn't something I had experience with. The way I saw it, it was a pointless emotion that just slowed people down. It got people killed, I believed that for the longest time until Jarlaxle came into the picture..." He lets out a deep sigh. "Maybe he did do me a favor giving that damn flute to me. Don't tell him I said that..." She chuckles slightly at this. "I won't say a word." He gives her a grateful look.

She leans in, kissing him lightly. "I know this can't be easy for you. Trust me I understand. I'm not your first lover. And I'm greatly inexperienced with this sort of thing. But I do care about you and I care about your well being." He's looking into her eyes and it's making her blush. She's not sure why but he leans into her, closing his eyes. It's a strange weight off his shoulders to know where she stands. She's not going to push him and he's thankful for that. He knows he loves her, in some way. But he still has a way to go to work it all out. He just wishes it wasn't so difficult, but his mind works differently now. He's not sure if it's the result of the flute, the shade, or Charon's Claw. Or a mix of all of them along with the trauma he went through. His mouth twitches at this. "Evelyn?" She lets out a tired hum. He lets out a low sigh as he shakes his head. "Never mind." She's already half way asleep against him. But she wraps her arms around him and holds him close to her. He just leans into her chest as she lays back with him. Her hand moves to his hair, her finger's running through it. It's a slow movement, up, then down as her other arm moves to his back to just hold him close to her. It's oddly relaxing as he just lays there with her. She has her own way of showing her affection and he's more then okay with it. It's more then what he got from Calihye. Then again their relationship was very complicated and he's still unsure how they even ended up together. He shakes the thought away and slowly finds himself falling asleep with his new lover.