stuff us in boxes that's where you want us
cardboard is boring, we brought our matches - look how it burns
It was easy to get ensnared to the comforting sounds of the forest that ensnared both woman and horse, a most unlikely place to find herself this early in the morning. How baffling it was and yet... the raven haired woman seemed content to give into the concealed magic beneath that dense canopy, weaving throughout that fresh air. It should have been alarming and yet of all the unexpected shit she had grown to know so intimately a little jaunt in the wilderness didn't seem the worst thing to fall victim to. Her largest worries at least seemed far enough away that she could relax upon the trusted steeds back... Although... the woman hardly possessed any control as to where they were going. This felt precariously close to being hijacked.... She did suppose if that was the case... the feline could accept it at the very least. After all, she had chosen to climb onto the equine's back on her own accord. She soaked in the beauty of that ride, noticing the forest had been well cared for.. manicured like a magical forest should be. How far those very thoughts were from any semblance of concern as she questioned where they were, not that she expected an answer. After, it wasn't like Darius was the most chatty companion to have. She had tried... and nothing seemed to stir the were's words. How sure she was that she could and yet... the woman seemed hardly deterred in the slightest. She was certain there would come a moment where she got him to slip.. if only just one word. With each powerful stride, the woman grew more confident upon the back of the stallion. She felt smug even at the thought that she had mastered the art of horse backriding.. in such a short time, bareback no less! That ride eventually took them out of that forest and into one of the most lushest fields she had seen! How skin this very scene could have been in a gorgeous painting, as though painters could have done it any justice. A soft sigh escaped her lips as that sun pressed against her skin... That was until that dreadful trot came and she had to rely on balance alone.. Fuck. So maybe.. she hadn't mastered riding just yet.. this was... awful. Her body seemed tense at the sudden assault.. before she tried desperately to move with the movement. It seemed to help and yet... with little to cling to save for the jarring horse below her.. Even though he seemed to move in a solid line without any dips or sudden turns she feared for falling off and with no bed in sight she hadn't the faintest clue as to how she would scramble back on. The horse was freaking huge... and she truly didn't look forward to meeting that floor whatsoever. She called out his name... at the very least he seemed to respond to that and that ride was already coming to an end. Alright... she was fully awake now.. startled awake. Who needed coffee... when you have survived a trot bareback while Sacrosanct was just about waking up.
It was a strange sight to behold, that prepared.... Blanket and buckets. How puzzling.. and yet not once.. had Harley thought that this could have been the attempts of a date. And she had come up with various potential scenarios. This would be so much easier if the beast could simply speak a few words... While she could enjoy that peace.... There was something that ran the lines of too peaceful.
However, it would seem that it was quiet was destined to fail the moment that familiar French fae appeared within the safety of his tree in that brilliantly picturesque fashion. How she should have known he would have searched for his horse.. Darius' absence was obviously one that would be noticed. What a sight this would have been if anyone had seen it. Harley, a horse and a fae lounging comfortably from a tree branch. Not a soul would have believed her.. she hardly believed it herself as she whirled her head to face the sound of his voice, she was far too comfortable upon that blanket to rise to her feet. Her legs were hardly used to riding. Upon first glimpse, he seemed entirely happy up there... how long had he been lurking? Surely she would have noticed? Of course, he could somehow make sitting in a tree an entirely normal thing... The man could have made it his throne, yet Harley could not help that provoking that dialogue the pair so effortless found themselves within. How easy it was to provoke that laugh from him, although it was hard to tell if it were from the amusement of her own words... or some amusement of his own.
It was that teasing manner that he unveiled that they were at his home. Oh... she should have know Darius would bring her to a familiar place... after all those trails had been well worn with hoof prints. Yet, even though as unsurprising as it were.... It was still just as perplexing. She found herself peering around that field and that forest from which they came. This was his field? His home.. She peered around her and saw no home in sight! Was he messing with her? Her violet eyes found him once more, considering if he was somehow fooling her. But why would he... How easily he seemed to twist those very words, that look he gave her daring to argue with him. "Hey now...I didn't even..." She abandoned those words. "I don't see a doorbell... let alone a door. Besides.. when was the last time you used one?" Touche Matteo. Had he forgotten that she could too play this game? "I think we are a little beyond trespassing... don't you?"Doors, it would seem to be entirely overrated.. How certain she was that the day Matteo actually used a door himself would be the day that hell froze over. The corner of her mouth turned upward in that amused smirk.
Like a smug cat he remained up within his tree, shrugging in response unflappable as always, a smile of his own lingering upon his lips. His words uttered toward her were nothing short of goading. She suddenly sat up, Darius' expression clearly expressing his own outrage with his laced back ears. Oh, she would have liked for that cheeky fae to say those words not within the safety of his tree. She afforded him a rather bored look. Really? Come on Matteo, he was a horse.. er.. or mainly horse... considering he didn't talk or even change into a human.. He was nice and all... but then again... she had dated worse.
"Contrary to popular belief... I'm not into the strong silent type... On second thought, I think that might be my problem.. Besides how is he going whisper in my ear and tell me I'm pretty?" Darius took the strong silent type to all-new levels.... besides being a horse. There were many disturbing things about his statement and yet all she could do was lose herself to the humour of it in spite of the blatant honesty in it. She could not help but crack into a smile, her brilliant violet eyes shifting to the horse once more.
How easily he acted as if he could not remember. What else had he conveniently forgotten in that elaborate mind of his? How... sad his history was proving to be and yet considering his age.... There was so much more. That barley touching the tip of that veritable iceberg, but it still said so much. She remembered his face.. as he spoke that story.. She remembered standing there stunned.. near speechless. How he went from igniting her in ways she hardly anticipating... to sharing such a sad history.. and then simply leave.. without even so much as allowing her to get in a goodbye! "I find it funny how you can recall stories from a millennia ago in perfect clarity.. I think out of everything... your memory is hardly a problem..." She challenged him to declare her wrong. That heart-wrenching story of how he lost not only his father but one of his sisters.. that responsibility coming to him far too soon.. How the ugliness of human nature and their inability to fear the things they could not understand. So quickly they are to raise arms in the name of fear alone. What would she have said to him then? It would have done little to erase that past, that pain. Just as talking about her own lack of justice would hardly do anything to serve her now. Perhaps there would be a time...they could but that time was hardly now. How...relatable that story was.. how quickly it had been a figurative icy shower in comparison to that spicy moment they shared in that vampire's bedroom. Of all fucking places... Yet... just how far back had he conveniently forgotten? She could not help but wonder because... she had not forgotten a single second of it. She tried... oh she tried.
It was then that the revelation of Darius' intentions had been drawn to the light and his charade had been all but burst wide open. The expression upon the stallion's own face... looked almost embarrassed, if that was possible! If he could blush, she was sure he would be beat red. Of course, there were always strings.. That beautiful ride in the forest was an attempt to woo her! That sarcasm escaped her all the same... and yet she could hardly help that distinct eye roll. The stallion seemed entirely pleased with himself... somehow taking her words as a compliment. Although, it perhaps showed how little effort the men in her life had ever shown her. She had decided that the fae had... become far too bold in his tree where she could not reach him. The suggestion that he should come down, evident within her next words. She plucked an apple from that very bucket then taking a decent-sized bite. What? She was hungry and just because she had no intention on leading on the stallion... she also had her own blood sugar she needed to worry about. "Matteo.. you need to teach your horse proper dating protocol."
He hardly made any motion to move whatsoever from the safety of his perch.. his next words goading... only not to her but the stallion. Matteo quick to reveal the stallion's lack of interest in his own species, his sexual prowess apparently lacking. Harley couldn't help that very laugh that was soon stifled by the stallion's squeal in blatant outrage. How offended he appeared in that moment! In an instant he rose to his hooves, the very action made Harley uneasy of her own positioning upon the blanket. After all, it was only and blanket... and those hooves and size alone seemed to prompt a wariness. How vulnerable she was to those hooves and yet, she hardly moved from her own comfortable spot on the blanket, her legs protesting the very thought of getting up. "Sounds me like he's waiting for the right one.. its about quality not quantity Matteo... come on you should know this." In all her relatively short, talking about a horses type... probably had to be one of those more peculiar conversations. Although nothing seemed to settle the stallion because mid-speech, Darius left. Harley could not prevent that wave of laughter escape her, unbidden.
"Oh look, now you did it.. you have chased off my ride.. I think you really offended him too..." That easy sarcasm escaped her once more.
It would seem that finally, the disappearance of that horse had caused the appearance of Matteo, teleporting before her upon that blanket. The raven-haired spitfire little more than a glance... she had seen him use those gifts of teleportation enough. He suddenly lowered across from her, making that action seem practised, if not graceful as she tossed that partially eaten apple back into the bucket. She knew... she was far from home... but hearing it from Matteo himself seemed to renew a distinct shock. She was beyond far. It wasn't like she could catch an uber ride home. There was ocean's between here and home. She was in France? She followed the gesture toward that forest and field. There didn't seem to be an actual home in sight... France... magical new land... it might as well have been to her. The raven haired woman considered most of Europe one of those magical places she only wished to go. To suddenly be here... seemed surreal to say the least. With no wallet... phone.. or teleporting horse. She was at Matteo's very mercy. He hardly seemed at all that concerned considering her current predicament, but her features must have given her away because he seemed far too amused with this. Matteo fishing out one of those apples from that bucket as if hijacking the spoils of his war horse's efforts.... But not just any apple.. Oh no.. it was hers. Of all the apples! He had chosen that one, that action almost deliberate somehow. That state of bewilderment hardly seemed to dissipate. After all, the clues were there.. The signs and the French greeting.
He then casually seemed to determine her fate, as if she could merely walk home if he decided it! He then took a bite out of that apple, hardly caring that she had taken a bite out of it first. How devilish he looked just before he continued. Wait what? Entrance fee? Was his home a public attraction? What the hell was he talking about? She rose her brows in question meeting his gaze levelly, sitting straighter. Perhaps it should have worried her more that somehow he had ended up indebting her on a technicality of all things. Yet she seemed far more focused on the fact that there was an entry free on a field and forest. Surely he was joking. Yet his expression, while it wore its perfected mask... didn't let up on this particular rouse.
"What do you mean entry fee? This isn't Disneyland." Her words were all but silenced by that apple that was once more tossed to her. Harley quickly rose her hand to catch it one handed, her reflexes having improved it would seem. "I hope you know that this is extortion." She said simply, lacking any true conviction. That look she offered him was one in warning as she took a bite of that apple.. as if somehow.. this apple had become some unspoken challenge between them. He easily rose to his feet, offering his hand toward her. This felt a little like déjà vu. Oh she remembered the last time.. they had done this very thing and she would not forget how he looked on that horse... His expression alone made her feel like she was in a world of trouble... far worse than danger. It was the kind you didn't know you were in... until it was too late. Yet it was a mere hand he offered... and they had gone through hell and back. Yet why did this seem like more than just a help up... yet despite all that shameless bantering.... She trusted him in the lion's den and that said so much more. They had each others backs and that was damn more than most people had offered her.
"Tell me, what the hell do I need to be brave about? Do you intend to bite me?" she questioned with humour and narrowed eyes before placing her hand in his... That single breeze seemed to waft his delicious scent toward her... and somehow within the exotic French air it... seemed.. better.. God, how was that possible. Harley offered him a pointed look, their gaze locking for but a moment before he aided in her rising to her feet then... that appealing offer soon spoken afterward.
After a moment of consideration, she peered upwards her expression almost coy. "What vampires?" She emphasized the word quite deliberately, her shoulders rose in a questioning shrug, as though she truly had no idea what he talked about... after all.. they were in France. So far away from those worries and troubles... It would be easy to forget about them for a time. If only it worked that way. A moment free from the hellish shambles of Sacrosanct hardly seemed bad at all. Apparently, he was not the only one who could work selective memory to their favour. She rose a brow at him taking another bite of that apple before tossing it at him with haste as if to catch him off guard.
"Lead the way oh great tour guide.. but I swear if you take me to a random cabin in the woods.. I'm going to be both impressed and cheated. Although... you give off.... Strong bungalow vibes. Am I close?" She queried amusedly as that tease escaped her... knowing too well... that she doubted someone as colourful as Matteo ever living in a mere house on the hill in the country... She leaned easily forward then to pluck a single purple flower amongst the ocean of grass that nearly matched the hue of her eyes.. She rolled the stem within her fingers in slight contemplation, ready to follow him into the unknown yet again.