stuff us in boxes that's where you want us
cardboard is boring, we brought our matches - look how it burns
That question to remove that halter was met with a resounding no, the stallion shaking his head, before turning his head to show her that golden plate attached to the supple leather of a recently oiled halter. Harley's gaze drawing to the plate that had his name engraved. "I suppose it is pretty. I cannot say I own a single thing with my name on it. I hope to keep it that way." The woman spoke still not quite understanding why a horse enjoyed being owned, she hardly wished to be anyone's pet. Didn't he long to be free? Didn't he relish in the moments where he could simply be? But then again.. there was a man somewhere within that equine... Perhaps he enjoyed being cared for, living that life predetermined for him.
All the while Ace seemed quite confident and brave in his examination of the horse, sniffing away of those potentially harmful hooves. Even her own toes seemed to curl in the thought of those hooves meeting her vulnerable feet. Harley nearly moved to move her brave dog out of the way before Darius swung his neck around to face the curious Shepherd, using the base of his long nose to nudge him away. Gentle and yet his desire was clear, Ace however dug his nails into the ground in manner that was all but futile and he dug into the wood. Stubborn pup.... A growl escaping him, he was not yet finished examining those possible chew toys. After all, what large dog had feet like that. Ace felt entirely cheated by this oversized dog. Not only did he not partake in play... he dared to move him! This time Harley intervened, hardly wanting matters to escalate. "Come on Ace....." Her words were cut off as the horse then shifted suddenly.. Both dog and woman forced to shift backwards at the sudden movement as if entirely unsure what it was doing. Ace seemed to peer out from behind Harley's protective legs determining if he should go back to his thorough investigation, after all, this was his house and this creature was inside of it. Ace all but glowered, staring intently from the safety of his human whom he thought should have been more distraught. Harley then reached her hand to scratch by those pointy ears... getting that spot that he could not help but nearly forget about life for a second. That's right.. His human. He nearly made that motion to scratch when she hit the best spots. But Harley's attention seemed to focused on that horse and honestly, who wouldn't? But to Ace, it was unacceptable!
It was clear that Darius had simply anticipated for Harley just to hop on his back. Like any of it was normal. Harley seemed to be taken aback by that offer, she had barely woken up, her sleep being disturbed by what she thought could have been one of those vampires deciding they wanted a last minute snack. Without Darius being able to speak the woman had no clue where he wished to go... She protested that she was not dressed for any kind of impromptu whisk away. She did however abandon Ace for a moment, pressing her hand to the horse's neck. It never ceased to amaze her... such a large impressive animal. She had been impressed the night she had met him and it was no different now. Even at the chance of losing toes she allowed herself just one touch.. as though partially to see if she was still dreaming... or perhaps satisfying some internal curiousity. She could swear she felt him all but press into that touch as if enjoying the feel of her fingers gliding over that soft equine fur. He was huge.. the horse practically towered over her. Ace viewed that moment, fuming... especially when his human uttered that praise.
He could hardly contain his jealousy. That was HIS human and those were HIS scratches.. and his praise. Darius hardly seemed to mind, the horse offering that equine sound.. what it meant Harley had the faintest idea. She didn't bother to explain she didn't speak horse.. surely the were had to have known that! Or had he simply been in this form he had forgotten that she was predominantly human. Was that what happened to you when you stayed in your animal form for too long.. The thought seemed to disturb her as she pulled her hand away.. a frown upon her face.. She quickly announced she had to get dressed which was honestly the last thing she wanted to do. She wanted nothing more than to return to the warm confines of her bed.. It was too damn early.
She moved to grab a few items from her closet before disappearing into the depths of her washroom, clothes slung over her arm. They could have been unmatching and she would have hardly known in that moment. She just barely turned her head just enough so a single eye could be seen from underneath her raven locks. Darius and Ace were offered a firm command. "Behave.. both of you.." That warning clear before closing the door behind her, the resounding click seeming to solidify those very words that in this she was not to be trifled with, especially not before the damn sun barely kissed the horizon.
After a moment of arranging herself into something somewhat dressed and freshened up into a human that could actually leave the house she emerged from her bathroom. She flicked off the light with an easy gesture allowing that door to close behind her. The world could be faced with a pair of pants.... And coffee.. god she needed caffeine. At the very least she had the pants. Small blessings... She saw both horse and dog locked in an intent filled staring match, neither of them hardly paying her any heed as she walked further into that room. Harley hesitated at the humorous sight, shaking her head softly. "Boys.." That one word alone saying everything within those sarcastic laced words.
She didn't take long to walk toward her bed, stepping smoothly upon it. How was she going to get on that smooth back was beyond her. She walked to the edge where Darius shifted to align with the edge. With no saddle it seemed far more complex, her mind trying to figure it out like an intense match of tetris. One leg on either side... it wasn't that hard... The horse, however seemed almost put out with her indecisiveness as though, she should have innately have known what to do. Please.. he could chill out for a damn second while she.... Sorted this out. Without a Matteo to cling to.. or a saddle.. she could hardly figure out the best way to do this with self-preservation in mind.
That disapproving look on the stallion only earned himself a rather iconic glare. "Hey you came to me, remember? Give me a second." She rose a brow as if daring him to challenge just that which was probably not the wisest thing considering she was trusting her own wellbeing with a horse prone to biting, surely he would have no qualms watching her fall. Well.. now or never, she swallowed as her hand reached for the horses mane, her fingers entangling within that silken but strong locks to steady herself. She was grateful he actually stood still... as pulled herself up enough to sling a leg over. The height of the bed certainly helped. She hardly gave herself any time to question what the hell she was doing without a single clue where she was going. The raven haired spitfire allowed curiousity that could surely kill the cat to take her chances. The only thing she was focused upon was the challenge of simply getting on the horses back. The rest could make sense later...perhaps.
She was grateful the only two beings able to witness her potential doom couldn't speak to tell the tale. She gave it all she had, somehow ending up upon the warhorse's back She did it! Without falling. Points for her she was assured. See, nothing to worry about, riding a horse.. it was as simple as driving.... Or riding a bike... she was sure of it. A proud smile seemed to tug at the corners of her lips her fingers still clinging to that mane as if it were a holy shit handle. She sat up, legs draped on either side of that horse. "Easy." She stated confidently as if she hadn't questioned herself before. She shifted upon his back as if testing her own balance to make sure she was as secure, wiggling her legs on either side of that horse. This was suicide and yet.. when did that ever stop her? With her free hand she tickled his withers.. Ace determining what the hell he was going to do...but there was no time to react when suddenly, Harley having barely any time that she had messaged a dog walker in the bathroom to take him on his morning walk because in an instant the horse and his rider were simply no longer in that room anymore. How one could get used to teleporting Harley barely knew... one moment being in the confines of her room and the next appearing in the tangled depths of a forest right out of some brother's Grimm fairytale.
Now, where Harley had envisioned herself with her jailbreak companion was certainly not this, but certainly, she was not disappointed. There was a confused awe that seized the raven-haired woman, peered around. They looked like they climbed right out of the pages of a storybook.. the woman with obsidian hued hair that matched her steed. "What the..." She muttered more to herself. There was no sign of life besides a few forest creatures nestled in the trees, that stallion and herself. Even the air felt full of life, distinctly different from the pollution laden city air she was used to. She drew in a breath, toying with those scents as her body loosened to move with the horse's movements that seemed to rock steadily beneath her. She was getting the hang of it!
There was not a sign of civilization to be seen and in all honesty she was relied for that. There was something about the impressive enchanted forest that called to her, that seemed to appease not only her but that inner feline. Did he whisk her away to some otherworldly place? It sure as hell felt like it.. like some friendly dragon was going to appear in a clearing with unicorns frolicking around it while... tiny imps played flutes. They were so far away from home... it was clear and that youthful imagination could hardly help but seize the moment as she simply gave into this whimsical journey. She could hardly help that grin that touched her lips, her eyes scanning for movement beyond the birds. "What is this place?" Her voice possessing a touch of question not expecting much on an answer in turn. As anticipated, she was met with the soft babbling of a creek that seemed to appear before them.. She listened to its sound, listening to the soothing hoof falls of Darius.
They continued on in silence ... until... she was met with a sign and a fence... she could barely make out.. but she knew just enough to recognize that language. French.. Were they in Quebec... it certainly didn't feel like Quebec. She would have known. She frowned... surely.. they weren't...overseas. Harley had barely a moment for that frown to find her features before without warning Darius' teleportation took hold again. Next thing she knew, the pair were suddenly climbing up the last hump of a hill.. the woman forced to lean all the way forward as they moved up that incline. Both hands wrapped within that thickly groomed mane.. Once over that hill, she was hardly anticipating the endless fields that sprawled before her. They were in the middle of nowhere.. It was a horses dream... hell anyone could feel free with the vastness of that lushness. They were definitely far from home. The feline woman seemed to soak it all in. That field went for miles, those rolling hills and lush tall grasses looked soft like a bed she could climb into. Those striking wildflowers peppered the land adding a vivid, touchable splash of colour, their scent sweeter than any flower back home. It was stunning... it was... unreal. It seemed to envelop her entirely.. That warm fragrant breeze caressed her face and for a moment she simply allowed herself to bathe within it. She untangled on her hands from his mane to pet the horse's thick neck, he was surprisingly.... Very good.
It was suddenly the sound of a bell that ripped her away from her magical reverie. Woah people... normal people.. she seemed almost taken aback. Act cool... she seemed hardly phased and happy as they rode along. They even gave a happy, friendly French greeting. Harley gave a somewhat of a confused wave, Darius hardly unphased as he continued on. She was surprised they weren't more shocked by the sight of a wild-looking stallion and a random woman on his back.. As if this was some normal sight. Once more it fell quiet, birds swooping to catch an insect or two, singing a happy tune.
What she didn't expect was for that horse to suddenly sprint forward into a jarring trot. Harley once more clinging to him as she was all but jostled about. She could feel the excitement within his muscles... feel that power he could have used and didn't just beneath the sleek surface of that soft fur. Noo! Where were the breaks on this thing? She was tossed this way and that way.. up and down.. how could anyone sit through this when what she should have done was rode with that stead rhythm. "Woah....." she clung on tighter, her legs tightening around his sides as if that could somehow keep her from falling off the horse. "Woah.. hold your horses." He seemed content to ignore her. "Darius!" Alarm seemed to escape her as that speed increased.
Once her body and mind had been sufficiently jarred of all sense Darius seemed to fortunately slow, Harley nearly becoming a wet noodle upon the horses back. That apologetic sound that escaped the horse's lips met her ears and yet she could hardly comprehend it. How badly she wanted to slide to the ground, how she missed you ground.... Fortunately, that ride was over... in the middle of that field, a lone towering tree protruding like a picturesque painting. It was finally then that she noticed.. the blanket.. then the buckets. Darius without any warning then began to lower, it took a moment of clear distress to figure out what he was doing. Her feet were pleased to meet the floor then, stepping away to make sure she gave the equine space. To be truthful, she was quite impressed she managed to stay on his back and the horse seemed to be programmed for newbie riders. Her gaze wandered at the beautiful scene, one that seemed almost romantic, but certainly, that's not what this was. "Did you do this?" She questioned, her expression nothing short of puzzled.. what other explanation could it be? The war horse looked almost serene, and perhaps even smug with himself. Cocky bastard. Harley seemed content to allow her form to all but crumple to the ground, her legs folding neatly and tucked to the side, she could use a rest after that godawful trot. Her arm propped kept her torso propped up as she sat across the curled up horse who seemed to nudge one of those buckets in her direction, an expectant look in his chocolate eyes. Harley rose a curious brow, peering into the bucket filled with polished ruby-hued apples. Darius seemed to watch her with expectant eyes, that muzzle pushing hay toward her. "I am afraid this is not the kind of grass I am used to.." Harely teased, a laugh escaped her which was impressive for this early in the morning.
Hay!? Was this some kind of horse picnic? Harley seemed far more puzzled than ever before as she all but gawked at the dried grass and then back to her equine companion. He knew she wasn't a horse right? She looked at the other buckets one containing what looked like a bushel of apples. This picnic... certainly looked like it was planned... by well.. a horse. From that haphazardly strewn out blanket and those horse-friendly foods. Surely someone had to be tricking her.. or did a horse really go through the effort of planning a meal. There had to be a punchline.... Somewhere. Her mouth opened to speak that question she was assured would only go unanswered as she reached forward to pluck a single apple from that pile. It was at that specific moment that a familiar voice cut through that once private quiet. Matteo's voice caused the woman to shift, whirling to find where it had come from. Her senses confirmed it had come from above.. Darius' displeasure was impossible to ignore. Did she just get horse-napped?
" I think 'she' would prefer no hay at all." Harley piped up, emphasizing on the word.. she. Ah there that sneaky fae was. Somehow, she knew he was bound to make an appearance, that he may have had some part in this. Her head tilted to catch him in his casual glory as if he made the art of perching in trees not just for birds. He looked just as he remembered, youthful, carefree, with that mask of amusement plastered across his face. Her mind still dwelled on those final words he imparted her with, along with the memories of Syn and that brief moment they shared in Risque's bedroom, that thought alone almost bringing a healthy rose to her cheeks. Oh hell no.. She narrowed her eyes upon the fae forcing those thoughts far down. No, she needed her wits around him, for that, her mind and body could be in agreement of.
"Someone has to tie a bell around you." Harley replied that easy sarcasm ready at her disposal, her narrowed eyes entirely focused upon him. He looked more feline-like in that moment than even her. How did he do that? Make that tree look like it was the most comfortable thing in the world. One thing for certain was the man knew how to make an entrance.. and... quite an impressionable exit. "Have you come to retrieve your horse or to finish our last conversation?" There was a hint of challenge lingering within her words before... his next words sunk in. She could hardly stop that perplexed look upon her face. "What do you mean date? Wait.. is that.. what.. all of this.." Harleys gaze moved from Matteo to the horse. Darius seemed entirely perturbed those ears wearing his emotion with distinct ease. So it was true. Well, this was a first.
"Darius.. is this true?" She could barely believe the words that formed from her own lips. Her life had gotten really strange.. sure there had to be weirder things right? Although this was pretty damn up there. "Well, this has to be the nicest date I didn't know I was on. Minus the trotting..." She leaned forward and plucked a single apple from that bucket. Hey she was hungry.. and while an apple was hardly her first choice it was more appetizing than hay.
She peered up at the fae, she could make out his features from here.. The French man could make anything seem normal.. Even tree lounging. "You know its rude to watch and not contribute. You're going to give the poor guy performance anxiety. Although, I am curious... what was supposed to follow the meal?" Harley had absolutely no qualms with that suggestive humour that the pair so easily partook in, even shameless including Darius within the mix. With no warning she drew that polished apple to her lips, sinking her teeth into that crunchy, crisp, juicy apple. Damn was juicer than she thought. She had to give it to him, it was a damn good apple as far as apples were concerned. "So we are not in Kansas anymore.." She knew it the moment they teleported here.. those scents, that forest, and even that French from the couple prior seemed to betray that much. "You aren't planning on deporting me are you? I think I have enough apples to keep me from going hungry for at least a few days.." She rose a brow, throwing that half-eaten apple back into the bucket, the woman leaning back to get a better look at the fae and equine.