Ah, but how that young woman so amused him with her wit and quick mind! Harley was quick to refute that claim that she had trespassed with a ready insistence that he himself had so hardly managed to use a door in several decades. A warm chuckle so easily rose from within the depths of his throat then. Matteo unable to deny the truth of that very claim as his arms folded behind his head within the branch of the tree as if he belonged in just that position, his silver gaze meeting Harley's own from while Darius looked on. The equine was still clearly outraged at his date having been interrupted and yet, for all the stallions good intentions, it would hardly be ...kind of Matteo in turn to allow that 'date' to continue to progress while the unfortunate Harley remained oblivious. The Frenchman, in that moment, assured he did them both a kindness even if such a thing was veiled beneath his own veneer of teasing amusement.
"In this I cannot argue with you, Mon Cherie. Doors ceased to hold meaning for me centuries ago and I think we have, indeed, gone beyond trespassing. You won that one."
Just what exactly Harley had won remained to be seen. The Frenchman so effortlessly falling into that game of near unrelenting tease the pair had found with one another. A game in which no true rules nor winners ever seemed to emerge and yet they both seemed to delight in. Matteo inclined to admit he enjoyed Harley's brand of wit, her spitfire nature and utter determination to outdo him in turn. It had been far, far to long since he had enjoyed such a spirited companion. Especially of the femanine kind. Darius had, surely, stepped outside his boundaries in so bringing the woman to his very home and yet- Matteo found himself fond of the raven-haired beauty. Enough so as to hardly mind her presence here. She had proven already that she was more than capable of keeping those secrets. His involvement in her life having been kept firmly between themselves thus far. The location of his home surely safe enough within the confines of her mind. After all, Risque would not speak his name to demand it from her. The vampiric Queen assured in her own belief that he had died so very long ago. A belief Matteo so no need to eliminate. That conversation shifted once more back to that 'date' Darius had so hoped to take Harley on, Matteo wholly content to goad both steed and woman all at once with that very suggestion of just those things the pair might partake in after that meal of apples and hay. Ah, such outrage that very suggestion coaxed to the stallions features!
Harley was quick to insist that Darius was, perhaps, not quite her type- if only for his lack of ability to whisper those sweet nothings within her ear, that very suggestion only further seeming to prompt the war horses look of irritation as that ever-present simper tugged at Matteo's own lips. The Frenchman near assured he might well; have paid to see just what Darius had planned for that very evening. Harley's sudden query on that tale he had told her last time was unanticipated. The near ancient was Fae so momentarily, fleetingly, caught off guard by that query and yet the Frenchman was quick to recover. Matteo assured he hardly remembered that story. His life, after all, was surely filled with no small amount of impossible stories. How could he be expected to remember one specific one! Those very words left his lips not a moment later in accented tones, his gaze surely giving away that notion he knew far more than he said as Harley, in turn, so hardly appeared to believe him. Ah, but he had hardly suspected she would. The young woman challenging the very idea of his memory as the grin upon his lips only widened in good humour.
"I remember many things of that last night we were together but I struggle to remember that story. I shall have to think on it a little. It is the old age I think. Although I do remember a bedroom quite well..."
One eye lifted just so. Matteo near curious as to whether or not he might be able to coax that rich blush to her cheeks once more as that ever-present amusement lingered upon his features. The Frenchman quite assured those moments within Risques bedroom were some of his more favoured to look back upon. His memory, it seemed, prone to selectiveness. It was Darius whom seemed eager to return that date to himself then, the stallion taking no small measure of pride in Harley's apparent praise before the Frenchman saw fit to remind the steed of those very duties he had failed to perform. How many hundreds of mares he kept at Chambord of both real and Were persuasion. Darius so having failed to father even one foal. Matteo near certain the stallion had not so much as tried. That outrage upon the animal was clear as he rose to his hooves. The Frenchman boldly meeting his steeds dark gaze. The pair momentarily merely inclined to stare at one another. Matteo near silently daring the creature to prove him wrong before Darius disappeared entirely. That sudden laughter from Harley drew the Frenchmans gaze back down to his companion once more as she complained at the loss of her ride, Matteo content to merely wave his hand loosely.
"Ah, let him be offended. I will speak to him later. Perhaps, in his offense, he will do something about it. As for quality or quantity I think both have their merits, it depends upon the mood."
That near sheepish look so managed to flicker briefly across his features then. The near ancient Fae abruptly disappearing from that tree only to reappear upon that blanket and opposite the raven haired woman. Matteo content to fold his legs beneath him to sit cross-legged in a pose near boyish before informing his guest of just where she had been brought too so unwillingly. How long it had been since he had enjoyed a picnic of any kind, the Frenchman so seeming to find an amusement of sorts in their current location before he moved to fish within that bucket of apples. The man selecting the very apple Harley herself had tossed back in moments ago only to take a bite from its other side. That flesh nothing short of pleasing in its sweetness. His silver gaze shifted back to his companion then, he apparent fears for how she would return home momentarily cast aside in clear...curiosity of that field and forest. The very idea that most guests so normally paid for that experience however seemed to draw her attention. The woman quick to claim it was hardly Disneyland as Matteo gently tossed that apple back towards her. Harley quick to catch it in return. Those feline reflexes so clearly intact as he lent back upon that rug with ease.
"My estate is very large, people pay to spend the day here and enjoy the gardens and fields or the forest and lake or farm. It does, perhaps, lack the, how you say ...adrenaline, of disneyland though. Perhaps I need build a roller coaster but I fear it might not be in keeping with the style of my home."
Another soft chuckle rose within the depths of his throat then. Matteo quick to insist he would find some way for Harley to pay that very few she had skipped out on before he moved to rise to his feet- his hand held out towards her to help her to her own even as she claimed this was surely a manner of extortion.
"You are welcome to stay here and not be extorted, Mon Cherie- but there is so little fun in that."
Harley's hand reached for his own then, Matteo's fingers gently closed over her own as she placed her hand in his, the man softly helping her rise to her own feet. The warmth and softness of her touch to hardly...unnoticed as Harley demanded to know what it was she needed to be brave about and whether or not he desired to bite her. Matteo quick to afford her that near innocent look in return as she eyed him with narrowed eye suspicion.
"Oui, I can bite you if you desire. I cater to all things. Would you desire that I do?"
How easy it was to tug that woman gently forward then, her hand still nestled in the warmth of his own, her figure flush agianst him with that single, smooth gesture. Ah, but how many times had they found themselves in just this very position! Matteo still adoring that quickened beat of her heart as much as he had done that first time. That ever-present batner between them so never ceasing even if that very feel of the warmth of her figure agianst him was far, far more tempting than he so cared to admit. Such a lovely creature she was.
"....but I think, first, I should show you my home. As I promised."
His hand so smoothly released her own, the Frenchman stepping neatly back from her then only to step away from that blanket and onto the small, worn trail that lead through that field. Matteo inclined to pause to wait for Harley to come to his side then as his hands tucked neatly into his pockets. His shoulder content to brush agianst her own with the occasional stride. Today, surely, they might forget about that city she called him- even if only for one day. Matteo, for once, so prepared to cast aside even his own....obejective within that very future that was surely to come if only to spend that day in the company of someone he enjoyed. Harley, it seemed, was equally as keen to forget those vampires, the woman insisting she knew nothing of them as she met his gaze with a near pointed look of her own. Whatever words he had so been about to offer were cut abruptly short by the apple suddenly tossed back towards him. That decidedly rare look of surprised alarm finding his features then as his hands were hurriedly forced from his pockets to catch that fruit before it hit the ground. The man succeding in that very goal- if only just. Matteo offered Harley a near triumphant look before lifting that apple back to his own lips to take another bite. Ah! How she would need to better then that! His head shaking softly as she queried just what sort of house they were going to see. That amusement upon his features once more.
"I do not enjoy cabins or bungalows- they are both very small. Do you truly think any part of me would possess anything small?"
How loaded that very question! Matteo wholly content to tease at his companion all the more as they strode through that field of wildflowers, those colors spreading about and before them in a vast array as Harley reached to pluck at a single, purple flower, that stem rolled neatly between her fingers as she did. That very colour so strikingly similar to her own eyes. How very...pretty she looked. How very at ease. In that singular moment so far away from that city and that ...woman whom had caused such distress to them both. The Frenchman moved to lead the way out of that field then and onto that far wider, more worn path that circled it. Hoofprints and the tyre marks of those bicycles alike having marred that soft earth. The pair wandering in slow steadiness along it, the sun gloriously warm agianst his bare arms. That field and forest that boarded it both strikingly...peaceful. His home, after all, had so long ago become a veritable...sanctuary of sorts. Those most private places within it kept for himself alone. Matteo willing to share those gardens in the least with others. After all- he hardly minded the company and the sounds of others inclined to enjoy themselves.
"These trails lead all around my estate. People come to walk or ride along them. The forest is also a game reserve for red deer and other animals, it is 13,000 acres or so. People enjoy hiking within it. There are two WerePacks living within it as well. Their Alpha's are both pleasant enough although I wish they would-"
The sudden sound of hooves once more prompted the Frenchman to pause, Matteo turning back to spot that pair of riders coming along behind them. Both young women slowed their horses from a trot and back to a walk, each dipping their heads politely to both Harley and himself as they passed."Lord Devereux". Matteo returned that simple gesture, his own head nodded politely as the pair passed. His attention returned to Harley once more as those fields, slowly, began to give way to more manicured lawn and the gentle sounds of water lapping against the banks of the lake began to fill the air. The pair rounded the final turn, Matteo stepping off that track and onto the grass. That vast blue lake spreading before them in all directions. His home, upon the opposite bank, now free of the obstruction of trees, was finally visible. Chambord, in its grey stone and white, rose from the manicured gardens around it like a veritable castle. Those spires and towers offering it a near medieval look that contrasted agianst those neat hedges and modern boats that bobbed leasuriesly within the lake. Shrieks of laughter from several children across that bank was all that broke that otherwise peaceful chorus of birdsong and gentle breeze. Matteo, for several moments, merely allowed his companion to eye that Chateau.
"This is Chateau De Chambord. It is my home. It has 440 rooms, 282 fireplaces and 84 ungodly staircases that I am thankful each day I need not climb. Still, I am fond of it all the same even if, sometimes I think the staircases are a little ...much."
How readily that amusement tugged at his features once more, those staircases, after all, were the least of concerns among those 440 rooms. The simper upon his lips so hardly faltering as his gaze turned to harley once more.
"Tell me, what do you think?"
That apple was suddenly and abruptly tossed towards her then. Matteo seeing no reason not to use the distraction of that home to catch his companion off guard.
c'est dur d'être un dieu.