Ah, but how right Harley was in her very assertion that for all Darius' skill upon the battlefield, his looks, his presence or even his veritable grace- his utter lack of communication would no doubt prove to be his downfall over and over again. At least if the Were chose to continue to attempt to endear himself those equine or other beings whom possessed a human side as well. Hmm. Perhaps Darius would be better off seeking companionship amongst true horses alone and yet Matteo hardly cared to consider the moral nor practical implications of such a union at that moment. Indeed, the Frenchman was far more taken with procuring that specific apple from the bucket that rested between Harley and himself. The very apple that harley had, moments ago, taken but a single bite from before returning. It would be a sin to waste such a fruit he was assured. Matteo so plucking that fruit from its place but a moment later before bringing it to his own lips with a simple satisfaction. The fruit was as sweet as he had anticipated. The near ancient Fae seemed to consider its flavour a moment before abruptly tossing it back towards his female companion. Harley, this time, readily seeking to catch it before the Frenchman gestured to those rolling fields. It was distinctly...rare, in every sense, that he might allow another being outside those very select few to view his home and yet she was already here- by way of Darius. Harley had proven already that she was more then capable of keeping his secrets. Matteo already assured that she would, in turn, keep that knowledge of his home entirely to herself. For all her spitfire nature and bold declarations Harley was a distinctly....loyal being. At least to those matters or beings she truly believed were worthy of that loyalty. Such a trait becoming all the more rare with each passing decade. Matteo once more inclined to find himself near struck with how very....unique that raven-haired woman was. Even if she so hardly knew it herself.
Harley's very insistence that a roller coaster would only ruin the ambiance of his home so prompted another soft chuckle to the Frenchmans lips before Matteo moved to rise smoothly to his feet, his hand held down and towards his companion then to help her to her own with that very promise of showing her the rest of his estate. Ah, but how warily she eyed his hand! As if he might lead her to some great misfortune. Matteo, in that moment, half inclined to consider that perhaps she was right to hold such reservations and yet- how well he had come to know her in turn. Harley so surely one of the last to turn down that chance to see what she had not seen before. The violet eyed beauty, just as he had suspected, placed her hand within his own barely a heartbeat later as he sought to draw her smoothly to her own feet. Harley quick to seize onto his own tease of that entry price. One she had failed to pay. The woman was so bold as to demand the VIP package with all its bells and whistles. Ah, but how long it had been since anyone had so dared to tease at him in turn! Harley so rarely ever seeking to back away from those challenges he offered. Indeed the young woman so seemed to embrace them again and again. How much she reminded him of....another he had known. So very long ago. When the world had been an entirely different place and he had been fool enough to believe it might last. Such memories, for now, were quickly displeased as a look of contemplation managed to find its way to his ever youthful features. The Fae so clearly considering this 'VIP" experience Harley had demanded of him. Those French lyrics parting his lips a moment later.
"Hmmm, my price, Mon Cherie? Let me see. I think, perhaps, my price is that you must stay for dinner tonight...."
Such a 'price' was, perhaps, so hardly a punishment. The Frenchman already having shared several of his favoured meals with the raven-haired Were. That food, he was assured, had been nothing short of delectable and yet- how little fun there was to be had in something so mundane. That very simper upon his lips so readily seeming to brighten all the more as he regarded Harley then. That very look near impishness beneath its feigned innocence.
"....but you must eat anything I cook. Oui. Are we agreed?"
One singular eye rose upward just so. Those teasing words a veritable dare and how assured he was that Harley most surely knew it in turn. That meal so holding a veritable degree of mystery and yet Matteo was near certain that Harley would hardly back down from it. No matter the consequence. That veritable game they played so seeming to find a new field to dance upon- if Harley found herself willing. Her hand lingered within his own in those moments, that very tease in regards to biting so seeming to prompt another simper to his lips then. Ah, but she gave her far too much opportunity! How easy it was to tug her softly agianst him then. Her femanine figure fit so neatly agianst his own. The very warmth of her body far more....appealing then he had anticipated and yet, for all he teased, he was so hardly....immune to that very feel of her agianst him. That raven-haired woman was undeniably appealing after all. Matteo entirely content to picture just how well she might fit agianst the hard plains of his chest without that clothing that existed between them now. Those very sounds he had managed to coax from her that night within Risque's bedroom so hardly forgotten in turn. Her body had been so gloriously responsive to even that light touch of his fingers. Hmmm. Surely his teeth could coax that same response. Those very words little more than a murmur agianst her. How easy it would be to taste her lips. That very thought turned within his mind before she managed her own words. Her want for biting so dependant upon her mood. How sure he was he had heard those words before. That realisation so prompted a simper to his lips even then as the silver of his gaze so boldly met her own. Ah, such a devilish creature she was! Yet.....he had promised to show her his home, had he not?
How reluctant he was to release her from his grasp and yet Matteo was nothing if not determined to keep that very promise. That ever present game between them once more seeming to exist so precariously thin. How long it had been since anyone else had played it nearly so well as Harley. Well enough to prompt that....want from within him in turn. Even if he strove to act otherwise, allowing the woman to step neatly away from him as he turned upon that path to lead the way toward that estate. Harley, determined to remain unflustered despite that hitch within the beat of her heart, so readily seemed to find her place at his side then. The pair content in each others company once more as if such a friendship between them had persisted for years. Matteo's hands tucked neatly into the pockets of his jeans then, his own dress decidedly casual as he strode along that dirt path, the light breeze content to brush over those wildflowers and stir their stems like a grassy ocean stretched out before them. His home, so long ago, having became a veritable haven of...peace from the outside world. Even if those visions continued to persist within his minds eye- robbing the near ancient Fae of any true peace all the same. His home, in the very least, provided a surely convincing illusion. One he could near convince himself off.
The sudden launch of that apple into the air readily prompted the Fae into action once more. Matteo well land truly caught off guard by that falling fruit, the man forced to near scramble to catch it before it struck the floor. That fruit snatched from the air just in time before it was lifted effortlessly to his lips with the single lift of a brow again. Ha! But she would surely need to try harder then that. That ever good-natured grin found its way to his lips again, Matteo taking another bite of that fruit then. The pair of them,slowly, beginning to wear that fruit down. Harley's very musing of just what she anticipated his home might be so readily coaxed that chuckle from his lips once more, Matteo's head simply shook before the man sought to insist that he so hardly possessed anything......small. The very innuendo of those words, it seemed, not lost upon his companion as she snorted, her hand reaching out to swat at him as that ready laughter fell from his lips then.
"I fear, Mon Amie, that I do not own a humble bone. It is sad, but true. Do you know, I blame my own father for that? Not my biological Father, but the man whom raised me. He named more than seventy cities after himself and I fear I have inherited that lack of humility- although- I am yet to name a city in my own honour. Perhaps my affliction is less than his own."
That ready grin was flashed towards harley once more. Matteo, as always, so affording little more than a tidbit of curious information that seemed to lack but all those intriguing details all at once. The Frenchman, despite himself, distinctly aware of his own habit to do just that. Dorian, more than once, so having lamented upon his Fathers near infuriating ability to speak without giving away any tru information at all. Aiden, in turn, forever seemed to find disdain for it. Matteo continually finding an endless amusement in that very game. Harley shifted upon that path then, as they walked, her fingers reaching out to pluck a singular, purple flower from amongst a bed of white and yellow. That colour very much the same as her eyes. The woman, he suspected, was near oblivious to such a notion as her fingers idly rolled that stem between them. Matteo, in turn, so attempting to offer at least some information on that estate and its size even if he ha, long ago, ceased to keep any true track of his own boundary fences. That conversation of the other Were Packs whom called that land home was interrupted by the sound of hooves. The approach of a pair of riders, enjoying but one of those trails, readily prompted the Frenchman to step neatly to the side, his head nodded in simple greeting as they passed and exchanged those pleasantries- his title among them. Matteo, for the moment, entirely content to ignore that exchange- at least until harley near whirled upon him to ask whether or not his preferred title had been taken. Her words prompted a roll of his eyes and the return of that good-natured grin.
"King Fancy Pants of France was, I fear, indeed taken. Glorious though such a title is. Devereux, however, is my last name. Lord is my title. I was made a Lord by the King of France many centuries ago. My youngest son, when he inherits my home from me, will be the next Lord- much to his utter horror."
That simper of amusement soon found his lips once more at the very idea of Aiden so much as even attempting to run that property. Matteo so hardly having seen any need, just yet, to explain the true implications of Aiden's title to him. After all, Aiden had never handled....titles very well to begin with. Such things surely better dealt with later on. The grass around them began to grow thinner as that walk continued, the trees so at last giving way to that open space before the ground fell away toward that glorious lake that emerged as they crested that last small rise. Chambord, in all its glory, rested upon the opposite side of that river. That near ancient stately home- with all its towers and arches and carved iron windows rose up agianst the blue sky. Its pale bricks catching the light of the sun. The true size of that home hardly easy to grasp. Matteo, for several moments, merely allowed Harley to view it as she stood beside him. The Frenchman offering her some knowledge of those rooms and staircases ithin before inquiring whether or not she felt over two hundred staircases was, perhaps, too many. As if it were the staircases alone that were too much on a home that stretched for miles and held more rooms then days of the year. Even Matteo inclined to admit he so hardly knew what to do with half of them. Harley's near sarcastic response coaxed that chuckle to his lips once more, the woman claiming that home to be an actual castle.
"It is, I think fortunately, smaller than most castles- but I am pleased you find it so grand.'
Harley's gaze shifted back to that home once more, the womans violet eyes lingering upon those spires and rooftops. Matteo taking that opportunity to abruptly toss that apple back towards her. That distraction,surely, enough to see him secure victory this time. Harley was quick to lunge for that fruit as it struck her, her arms sending it flying once more before she near dove to catch it just before it struck the ground. That catch, he was certain, nothing short of lucky. Harley was forced to discard the flower in favour of the fruit and yet- somehow- she managed to catch all the same. Matteo, this time, unable to hide that look of surprise from his features. The Frenchman near....impressed with that very effort. His distraction by castle, as harley proclaimed it, so evidently having failed. Even if it did surpass Disney.
"Clearly I need to try harder if even the castle so failed to distract you."
The simper upon his lips hardly faltered, that tease nothing short of good natured before Harley queried after just what he did with so many rooms. Those very words of reply had no sooner risen to his throat than Harley so chose to ask whether or not those rooms were, in fact, mere compensation for something. Ah, but she was the devil! Matteo's gaze so readily turned to his companion then, both eyes given to lift in cler intrigue at such bold words. His gaze, this time so hardly shifting from her own as that near impish look so seemed to linger upon his features once more. His shoulders lifting in a near nonchalant shrug- or what so surely masqueraded as one.
"I think,perhaps, you need.....experience my home before you can decide where it is, how you say, compensation, no? Indeed I think there are several things you need experience first."
Those accented words were offered with near that same tease as always, matteo gestured for Harley to follow then, the Frenchman content to lead the way along that grassy bank and to that nearest footbridge that allowed the pair to cross over the sparkling blue of the lake so adorned with ducks and the occasional boat rowed lazily along by those enjoying the afternoon sun. It was a simple thing to lead Harley around that home and towards but one of those many side doors kept locked and away from the public eye. Matteo, after all, so hardly desired to share that afternoon with the public, nor show his guest those public rooms that held little of intrigue beyond art and architecture. That side door was opened neatly then, Matteo holding it open to allow harley to step within before leading the raven-haired woman smoothly up a small, spiral staircase and through yet another plain, wooden door- this one leading directly into the heart of that home. The large, open plan living room and kitchen. Those polished, white marble surfaces near shone in the ready light from the sun that spilled through those open french doors that led onto the nearest balcony that peered out and over the grounds. The faintest breeze toyed with the lace curtains that fell around it.That furniture, lavish and white though it was, was nothing short of undeniably comfortable and decidedly well lived in. That room, despite its myriad of period window trimmings and decorated ceilings was equally touched with modernity. The wall adorned with that near giant flat screen tv and row upon row of DVD, game noles and games. Aiden's favourite beanbag lay sprawled across the deep red rug on the floor, the coffee table littered with several magazines- matteo, seemingly, unable to decide which he would rather read. The kitchen, and by far his most favoured room, was equally as lived in despite its near ancient grandeur in turn. That fridge, perhaps, by far the most telling. Its surface littered with drawings so clearly done by children along with several photographs stuck haphazardly with magnets. Alexander and Matteo himself holding that pride of place, along with a photograph of a Corgi, one of a horse and another that appeared to be a photograph of someone whom desperately attempted to shield themselves from the camera providing little more then a close up shot of their hand. The Frenchman paused within the center of the room then, his hand gesturing toward the sofa.
Whatever words Matteo had so been about to offer were readily halted by the sound of claws upon marble and a veritable crash from the dining room beyond. That sound followed by that near jet propelled brown and white body that all but flew into the room with supreme force. Herbert- with all the force of a small hurricane- had already deduced the presence of a guest and yet the small Corgi so hardly seemed to pause to greet harley at all. Rather, the sheer excitement of her presence seemed to result in the dog gathering only more speed before herbert began to race around and around that coffee table. The dog far too overcome by joy at the return of his Master and a guest, to be able to prevent that release of energy as it raced excitedly around and around again. Its tiny legs so frantically flailing. Matteo, this time, unable to prevent little more than a sigh falling from his lips. Harley, he already suspected- would not allow him to hear the end of this one.
"That is Herbert. Yes. I own a Corgi. He has a very small brain so you must be patient with him. Herbert- please."
The utterance of the dog's name so at last seemed to break its near rampant run. The small animal, utterly exhausted by its own efforts so finally came to a stop, only to waddle excitedly toward both his Master and Harley before proceeding to flop like, as Aiden so insistent, a cinnamon roll onto his side before pushing himself onto his back to lay upside down at harleys feet in the sheer hope she might afford him her attention. Matteo, despite himself, unable to prevent that near loving roll of his eyes as his arms folded across his chest, the Frenchman leaning casually back agianst his sofa then. One arm gesturing loosely to the panting, upside down dog at Harleys feet.
"I promise- he was a gift. I did not buy him. Although I regret to say I am fond of him all the same ...."
c'est dur d'être un dieu.