That mere acknowledgement of his name, despite the sheer surprise upon the young woman's face, seemed to delight the ebony stallion. Both neat, sharp ears pricked forward as that deep wicker of recognition seemed to reverberate within his chest. Harley recognised him! The stallion seemed pleased with that recognition as he continued to linger within the doorway, his head was tossed upward in a further display of his satisfaction. At least until that very gesture seemed to inspire that dog into play once more. Ace, in his enthusiasm, seemed to find a renewed exuberance as the near dour stallion merely watched on with a look of both mild intrigue and something akin to impartiality. He was used to dogs. He had fought beside more then one canine within his life and yet, while those creatures intrigued him, he had been trained to ignore them, on most occasions. Darius so doing as he had spent his life doing in that moment and merely eyeing the creature from a distance despite its sheer determination to play. Now, after all, was not the time for play. Now was the time for....
She was looking for the Faerie!
The realisation that Harley's bright gaze had shifted away from his own ebony form to glance near expectantly behind him so readily seemed to prompt the equines ears to pin backwards and into the thick length of his black mane. They always looked for Matteo. Men, women, it hardly seemed to matter. Their delight in seeing Darius himself was so often followed by their desire to reach his master that the ebony stallion was quickly forgotten. The Barb, this time, content to display his displeasure as one hoof lifted to stamp loudly agianst the floor and create that undeniable -thump- of authority that prompted Harley's own words to fall short mid-inquiry. Darius' own neck extended forward then, the stallion allowed his lips to part, his large teeth seized the end of the blanket before abruptly tugging it backward and off to expose the young woman's figure to the early morning chill of the air and, hopefully, prompt within her some good sense! He had come all this way to visit with her and she did not even appreciate it! She only wanted Matteo. They only ever wanted Matteo.
Darius' gaze lingered briefly upon Harley's tank top and short shorts and yet he cared little for her outfit in that moment as she shouted towards him. Her raised voice so momentarily prompted his ears forward once more before that veritable criticism saw them fall back again. How rude of her. Darius was content to fit her with a distinctly pointed look at her insistence he should merely have greeted her with words. The stallion long since having given up that verbal communication- the young woman entirely aware of it! A single, abrupt snort so easily left his nostrils then. The gesture almost dismissive as if brushing away her disdainful words before Harley seemed to notice that severed lead rope that hung from the fine leather halter about his head. This, if nothing else, seemed to amuse her. Darius' own dark gaze shifted to meet the vibrant violet of Harley's own as the woman congratulated him upon his jailbreak, the stallion inclined to lift his head with a distinct pride. Harley shifted from that bed then, the woman sliding from those bed sheets to pad barefoot towards him. Her fingers reached upward to toy with the frayed ends of the rope. It hardly took a moment for her hands to work that clip free, that tattered rope tumbling to the ground at their feet. How unafraid of him she was. Darius, in that moment, relishing in her company and closeness before she asked after 'that thing on your face'.
His own head tilted slightly in a look of curiosity ,his mind so attempting to piece together just what she meant before that realisation seemed to strike him. His head shook but slightly then from side to side in a distinct and clear 'no', one met with another turn of his head to display the other side of that halter with its golden name plate, his name so carefully engraved within it. The halter, clearly, something of a matter of pride for the Barb war horse and one he would be sore to lose. The sudden sound of sniffing drew the stallions gaze sharply downward, Darius eyeing the dog at his feet once more before his head lowered. That velvety soft black muzzle was pressed abruptly to the dogs shoulder before Ace was gently, if not forcefully, pushed away from his hooves. The canine afforded a clear look of annoyance. How dare it sniff at him! Darius shifted forward then, Harley and Ace both hurrying away from him as he moved to offer his back to the woman. She had ridden before, she could surely do it again. Darius so clearly expecting it. That insistence she was not dressed was met with little more than a blink from the stallion. Just what she intended for him to do about her lac of dress he hardly knew. Clothes had long since lost meaning to him. He no longer remembered the feel of them. He no longer remembered his human form. The sudden touch of Harley's hand to the fine, sleek fur of his neck so prompted his dark gaze to move back towards her, Darius inclined to lean into that touch. Those words of praise nothing short of satisfying even if the dog seemed to take offense at them. Let him be offended. Darius was sure he was by far prettier then the dog. That soft whicker of agreement rising within his throat.
That pleasing touch however was over all too soon, Harley insisting she would find clothes before disappearing into her bathroom with clothes in hand. Darius and Ace so momentarily left alone. The pair were inclined to stare at one another with an ever increasing judgement before Harley suddenly emerged from that bathroom once more to climb up and onto the bed in clear ...insecurity about the best way to climb onto his back. A soft sound very near akin to a sigh managed to find its way from the stallion then. Harley was offered a near reproachful look as if such knowledge of mounting a horse should have come readily to her, before Darius moved to align himself with the side of the bed. Harley, thereby, capable of easily swinging one leg over his back. A task that proved more difficult than he had apparently anticipated. That sleek, smooth fur more slippery than the girl had intended. Harley very nearly sliding right off the other side before grasping at his mane in an effort to keep herself in place. With Matteo there to balance her the young woman was rather more ...clumsy than he had been prepared for. No matter. He could surely work with it. It was only once Harley was seated relatively well upon his spine that Darius allowed his own gift for teleportation to ensnare them both. Horse and rider abruptly teleported out of Harley's bedroom, much to the horror of Ace, to appear within the depths of.....a forest.
Darius so hardly seemed alarmed by their new location, his head was turned back to eye Harley momentarily, the woman appearing nothing short of baffled and yet he had anticipated not less. Just wait until she saw the surprise he had for her! The stallion moved forward then, his pace an even walk, his hooves falling softly on the semi-damp ground of the forest floor as he followed that single trail that wound its way through the trees. The earth smelled rich this morning from earlier rain, the greens and browns nothing short of utterly vibrant and made all the more so by the shafts of sunlight that punctured through the canopy above to filter to the floor below. That very forest nothing short of near magical-looking in that contrast of light and shade and blooming green. The chatter of birds above and the distant sound of running water so further added to that atmosphere as girl and stallion marched onward. The trail continued to wind through the trees, Darius determined to press onward until they reached a small creek bed, the babbling sound of the water so prompted his ears forward and yet he hardly stopped to drink today. Darius waded smoothly into that crystal clear water before stepping up and out the other side and beginning to climb the small rising hill. The equine forced to halt by the sudden and abrupt presence of a wooden log fence, one that displayed several French signs declaring that they were entering private property.
Those very signs were given no more than a cursory glance. They were already within a private forest after all. Darius, once more, engaged that teleportation. The stallion and Harley abruptly appearing upon the other side of the fence as Darius climbed the very last part of that hill to step out of the forest and into a wide open sunlit field that seemed to go for miles in every direction! That tall green grass reached near halfway up Darius' own legs, that field filled to bursting with those blooming wild flowers that spread out and around them like a carpet of vibrant, beautiful colour. Green and gold and red and blue and violet seeming to explode in bursts all about that carpet of green. Darius' head turned once more to glance back at the woman upon his back if only to assure himself she thought that field as beautiful as it surely was before the stallion pressed forward and into that sea of green and colour as the warm breeze so gently began to brush agianst them. The soft sound of a bell was all that broke that silence, Darius momentaily paused to glance back and eye a young couple as the pedeled past upon a pair of bicycles on that track that ran around the field and further off toward a distant lake. That young couple both lifted their hands to wave, neither, it seemed, perturbed by the sight of a woman upon a tackless stallion in the middle of that field as they called out the French greeting before peddling on.
How very close they were to their destination! Darius' own pace increased then,the stallion momentarily forgetting his companions lack of riding experience as he broke into that trot- only for the unfortunate Harley to be bounced around in all directions before he abruptly slowed again, an apologetic whicker of sorts offered as he determinedly walked those last few feet toward the single and only tree within the center of that beautiful field. Someone, clearly, had gone to great effort to place a picnic rug beneath that tree allowing with several bowls and buckets. Darius, clearly, rather proud of his work as he paused. It took barely a moment for the stallion to fold his knees beneath himself and lower his impressively large, powerful frame to the ground to allow Harley to climb off. Darius' own head swung forward, gesturing to that place opposite him he clearly desired she should sit. The stallion proceeding to lean further forward and push that bucket of apples towards the woman to allow her to take her pick.
Why....did she look so confused? Didn't she understand what this was? Had no one ever taken her on a picnic date before!? This was how it was done wasn't it? Did she not realise she was on a date with him? Maybe she just didn't like apples. That bucket of hay was pressed towards harley then, as if this, somehow, might be better than the apples. Her inability to eat that hay clearly lost upon him as he merely glanced expectantly from the woman to the hay and back again.
"Ah, Mon Amie, I think the lucerne is not her favourite hay. I think she might prefer the oaten."
Oh no. That distinctly French voice so prompted Darius' ears to pin once more, the stallion turning to glance upward and into the tree he and Harley rested beneath only to find that Frenchman so lounging within its branches. Matteo, as always, appeared the very picture of relaxation as he lay back upon one of the lower boughs, his head propped up against the trunk, one leg hanging loosely as if he had always been there and not arrived mere seconds ago. A warm simper of amusement seemed to find the Frenchmans features as his silver gaze lingered upon Darius' efforts below, the man moving to sit a little more upright within that tree as his gaze returned to Harley. Matteo hardly seeming as ...put out as Darius had anticipated he might be at discovering he had brought the woman here and yet still ...still! This was his date and here Matteo was, ruining it! Harley, for her part, only looked more confused. That very look upon her features coaxing that further soft chuckle from the Frenchman who lingered above. His words, this time, offered toward the Raven-haired woman with a clear teasing amusement.
"Mon Cherie I think my companion here is trying very hard to date you. I think too that I should like to see how this goes when he cannot talk. Please, carry on, do not mind me."
c'est dur d'être un dieu.