There was, Matteo had decided, a simple and pleasing sensation to Harley's mere company alone. The young woman was intelligent, bright, more than capable of matching his own humour and indeed she was simply....good company. That conversation was easy- even if that very thing they chose to discuss was his own lack of humility and decided ego. Those very facets of temperament ones Matteo saw little need to deny. After all, to deny them would make him little more than a liar, he was certain. The Frenchman long ago having come to terms with himself as a being- at least in that regard. Why apologise for those veritable flaws? Was he not Fae? What Fae possessed humility? A small simper so found the man's lips at that very consideration and yet how content he was to blame his Father all the same. After all, perhaps a certain degree of ego was imbued within the Fae species yet no one upon this very earth so surely possessed more of such a thing then Alexander. Ah, perhaps Matteo had been doomed from the start! Harley seemed so decidedly quick to catch onto that near ludacris notion of over seventy cities named in his Father's honour (and by his Father for that matter). The dark-haired woman's laughter so furthered that simper upon his own lips as the Frenchman chuckled, the pair continuing that easy stroll through the grounds.
"I think, perhaps, that one was enough originally, but as he travelled, as he saw more of the world- he continued to find cities he liked better then the first. My Father, I think, is merely a connoisseur of cities."
That ready grin so danced upon his lips once more. The Frenchman distinctly aware of the humour within his own description as Harley queried why Alexander had not seen fit to share even one city with him. Ah, but how he wished his own Father were here to hear such conversation as this! Tomorrow, perhaps, he would relay that tale to the Macedonian if only to see him scowl . The young woman beside him was quick to piece together those mere tendrils of information he afforded her, however. Harley so readily made that assumption that a man with so many cities and indeed, so much ego- was surely a King. Ah, but surely he need not deny her that very truth when she had so discovered it for herself? Matteo's head nodded gently then, his silver gaze shifted to meet that vibrant violet of the young woman beside him.
"Oui, Mon Cherie, he was a King, yes. A rather great one, at that."
Ah, but how that very humour so found his gaze once more. Harley so afforded that further information, hidden though it was within those words. The Frenchman was curious to see whether or not she might unscramble that game of words any further then she so already had. Harley, in all things, so having proven to be surprisingly...astute. Her mind was equally as keen as her sarcasm in most instances. Matteo had so hardly anticipated those women on horseback whom paused but briefly to afford him that greeting in turn. Indeed, for today, his mind remained firmly within the present and his current company. Those use of his own titles, a thing distinctly rare outside his work and France itself, so readily seeming to ensnare Harley's attention once more as Matteo's eyes so merely rolled in gentle amusement at her assertion that Fancy Pants would surely have been a more fitting title. Perhaps she was right and yet- he saw little need not to explain those titles to her. Ah, but she so surely displayed more interest in such a thing then Aiden ever had! Matteo was content to lament that his youngest son, so destined to become the next Lord of that land, would look upon that title and all that came with it with distinct scorn. How very....ill-suited Aiden was to that life and yet he could so hardly deny he retained that very hope that, in time, Aiden's life would...change. That there would be a chance for him to live within France. To build something of a life for himself here. Such a future so surely existed. Indeed, it persisted on the edges of his visions and yet that path toward it remained unclear- even to himself. Such thoughts, for now, were pushed to the side of his mind. Matteo's attention so returned in full to Harley as she contemplated the notion that he possessed a last name. The woman seemed to take amusement in the notion that he was not as Cher or Madonna with their lack of such things. Rather, she queried how that title had come about at all, surely he had saved some Kings betrothed? Another chuckle rose smoothly within his throat then, Matteo so merely shaking his head.
"Ah, I fear I did not. I assisted in bringing France to victory in a war many, many years ago. That though, I fear, is a very long a boring tale of politics."
His hand so simply lifted to as if to brush away those notions of war and a life once lived so long ago. The Frenchman so hardly expanded upon justwat his role in that war had been. After all, Harley so surely did not desire some long-winded tale about the world as it had once been and no longer was. Nor the man he had once been, so long ago, and perhaps no longer was. That very mention of his son's reluctance to inherit that title however seemed to ensnare the young woman's attention. Harley content to insist that it might surely grow on him. That very notion prompted another chuckle from the good-natured Fae at even the image of Aiden so attempting to accept that title and land- let alone the farm that came with it.
"Perhaps you are right, Mon Cherie. I hope that you are."
That warm simper returned to his lips. Matteo inclined to admit that he truly did hope, one day, that Aiden might be able to take on Chambord and the land and farm that came with it. One day. Yet how very much had to change for such a thing to happen. Still, such a vision of the future persisted- even if the path toward it were hardly clear. Matteo fell silent then as the pair continued up that path in comfortable companionship. Harley, after all, was the very sort of being it was decidedly easy to be comfortable with. For how freely she spoke her mind she was a distinctly agreeable person- at least in his opinion. That field and trees at last began to lessen, giving way to the lake that shone beneath the sunlight and the sight of chambord itself as it rose from the ground with its towering precipies, elaborate artictures and commanding presence. The very sight of that, it seemed, rendering the young woman far more speechless than before. Hmmm. Perhaps, sometimes, he was given to forget how...splendid his own home was. How intriguing it was to see it through theeyes of another, even if only for a moment. Harley readily insisted it was a castle and that, if anything, he surely had Alexander beaten for numbers of rooms. That, Matteo was inclined to admit, was surely true. At least for the moment. Alexander decidedly prone to changing his country of residence and too- the house he called him. Perhaps Chambord had more rooms then his Father's current residence and yet, given the chance, Alexander was likely to tire of the city and move on once more. Perhaps into something far grander. Matteo, like always, likely to follow in his wake to explore that new country even if the both of them had explored the world five times over.
It was Harley's distinct distraction with the view before her that prompted the Frenchman to toss that apple in a continuation of their game. Harley so managed to catch sight of it in the very last moment. The woman making a near lunging dive for the fruit before managing to snag it from the air. Hmmm. That was almost...impressive. His very humour with that situation was surely clear. That amusement readily finding his gaze as Harley declared no victory worth having if it possessed now challenge. Ah, but how right she surely was! Harley had no sooner taken a bite of that apple then the woman saw fit to take up his own earlier comment in regards to the very....size of things he owned. That innuendo so effortlessly exchanged between them with flawless ease. The silver of his gaze meeting the violet of her own as he offered that entirely new dare of sorts. The Frenchman seeing little need to suggest that Harley, perhaps, did not know her way around...castles- or at least, she so hardly knew her way around his. After all, unless she had experienced such things then surely she would hardly know whether they were compensation or not. That dark-haired woman, as always, was quick to pick up upon those near layered meanings within his own impish words. Harley, this time, making every effort to call him out upon that tease as his shoulders rose with a simple and yet further teasing shrug. That grin upon his features hardley lessning.
"I suggest both."
One eye simply raised once more. The Frenchman seeing little need to to suggest what he believed to be true to at least some extent. Ah, but he had seen how easily she came apart beneath his touch in Risques bedroom. His fingers having sought those very places upon her that had been ignored far to long or indeed, perhaps never truly properly explored at all. It was a veritable crime that such a woman might be left wanting. Matteo entirely inclined to allow such words to hang with precarious ease between them before gesturing for the young woman to follow. Matteo, today, seeing little need to wait in line to enter his own home. Rather, the Frenchman made his way around behind that chateau and into that rather less elaborate side entrance that wove upward in a near endlessly spiraling staircase through but one of the homes many elaborate towers. It was perhaps a little less grand then he intended for that first viewing of the inside of his home and yet, he suspected, Harley would hardly be given too much. His young companion so seemed to enjoy testing that echo. The passageway so at last led directly into his living room with its adjoining open plan kitchen. That entire space was dramatically large and open, those multiple windows and french doors left open to allow in that cool breeze and too- the shafts of sunlight that tangled in the lace curtains that caught gently in the wisps of wind and flooded the room with natural light. For all its grandeur that very room too was nothing short of well lived within. That distinctly white french furniture was intermingled with several bean bags sprawled in front of the fireplace and the large flat screen tv, the playstation and several controllers still scattered about it. Those bookshelves had been filled with a myriad of books and dvds alike. The entire room dotted with framed photographs of people and places and animals and moments in time that the Frenchman had, in one way or another deemed distinctly important. Several of his more favoured photos adorned the fridge. That room a veritable santrucy from the bustle of downstairs and the crowds and people. This space, indeed, was perhaps far more....Matteo in its bizarre contradiction of modern and ancient. The onl room perhaps more distinctly his own was surely his bedroom.
How rare it was that he had guests and yet how enjoyable in turn it was to have someone to share that space with, even if only for the evening. Matteo moved to gesture toward that catch then, his words so hardly managing to leave his lips before the distinct sound of claws skittering along a polished surface announced the impending entry of another being. That near dramatic sigh so left the ancient Fae in near the same moment as that small hurricane of a dog so flew into the room with a joyous exuberance. Matteo's return, at any time of the day, no matter for how little or how long he had been gone- so seemed to produce a near rapturous delight in that canine. A delight made even more notable by the sheer and exciting notion that Matteo had brought a guest. Such joy so seemed to result in that small corgi running several laps of the room before at last collapsing in a panting, wiggling heap at Harley's feet with not but an ounce of decorum. Matteo, in that moment, inclined to afford the animal a near dubious look before making some effort to...explain his existence. One that seemed to only encourage Harley's laughter as it did so many.
"I believe his legs were longer once, but, alas, he ran so much he wore them down to those mere stubs he has now."
Another soft chuckle rose within the Frenchman's throat then as Matteo moved to lean back agianst the sofa, one leg folding easily over the other as he did, his arms crossing loosely over his chest as his head simply shock in simple disappointment at the creature he called his own. Harley's laughter subsided only long enough to insist that he had lied about owning nothing small. Ah, that devil of a woman! That very surprise upon his own features lasted for only a moment before his eyes so simply rolled once more. His good nature so hardly faltering.
"He is not small, Mon Cherie, he is....compact. These are different things."
His head nodded then, as if such an argument was surely foolproof. Harley reached down to that small dog then in an effort to greet him. Herbert's body only seeming to wriggle more in even an anticipation of her touch. The Were's sudden question prompted the Frenchman to turn and glance behind him in search of what it was that had seemingly caught her attention. Matteo, this time, hardly anticipating that apple to so suddenly be launched towards him- much less collided with his chest.
That veritable yelp was followed by the mans sincere efforts to capture that fruit before it hit the ground. His lap somewhat assisting with that very effort before he grasped it triumphantly. Harley so afforded a near dubious look from his silvered gaze.
"Ah, that was a good one, Mon Cherie. I give you that, but I still caught it. Tell me, would you like to know something intriguing about apples?"
How terribly innocent those words seemed and yet how readily his silver gaze seemed inclined dto that hidden laughter once more. Matteo so eternally seeming to find an amusement of sorts within the world even if it so often remained veiled. Harley, he was certain, was a truly rare being in the manner in which she so effortlessly...shared in that humour. What remained of that apple was lifted easily to the Frenchmans lips then. Matteo taking what appeared to be that final bite before contemplating that new question Harley presented him in regards to dogs and their owners.
"I think it says I have boundless energy, a good temperament and will roll over if asked very nicely."
That very grin was flashed towards the young woman once more. Matteo chuckling softly as Harley rose to begin her slow walk around the room. The near ancient Fae seeing little need not to prevent her wandering as she saw fit. There was nothing in this room, after all, that he so saw any need to hide from her. Harley continued they easy stroll about the room then only to declare she had discovered nothing incriminating- not that she had suspected it. Skeletons, she was sure would be far harder to find. Ah! But if only she knew. Matteo, as always, so meeting that humour with his own. The man so readily concealing but any notion of that veritable mountain of bones so concealed within the depth of his home. Such things were perhaps better left in peace. Matteo near masterful in leading his companions amongst those metaphorical ruins with hardly a falter in his simper.
"Perhaps then I better show you some more of my house- so you can search for skeletons, hmm? Herbet can come."
Matteo rose easily from his space upon the couch then to gesture for Harley to follow, the Frenchman waiting for the woman to find place at his side before leading the way from that kitchen and into another hallway. This one decorated with art from centuries so terribly long past. Many of those painting or works originals so gifted to the Fae over the years and yet Harley, he was certain, was not the same as Dorian. Those artworks would surely not captivate her as they did his elder son. The fae moving instead to lead the way up another large marble staircase. The pair headed to another floor entirely then. Those hallway so lined with door, after white door, each appearing near identical.
"I should tell you, Mon Cherie, people have gotten lost in my home before. If you ever do get lost merely shout for Gregory. He is my head of household staff, a warlock, he will find you. It will annoy him terribly, but he will aid you."
Matteo stepped onto that landing then. The Frenchman leading them down that new hall then. Matteo, this time, so hardly bothering to open each one of those doors, after all, they would surely be here for but a lifetime if they did such a thing. Rather, the Fae so merely allowed several of them to open as they passed, affording Harley every chance to glance inside as they did. That soft, simple wave of his hand so seeming to prompt those doors to open.
"Most of these are spare bedrooms or simply storage, there is a music room, a ball room, a library. It seems I have collected a great deal of....things over my lifetime. It annoys Gregory endlessly and yes, before you ask, i truly do not know what I have in some of these rooms."
Ah, but how many boxes upon boxes of things he had so gathered over the years! So many of them forgotten and yet how terribly....awful he was at casting things aside or throwing them out. Gregory, indeed, was so often content to insist that Matteo simply did not want to confront the past. The Frenchman so often disregarding that statement entirely. It was at but one of those final doors on this floor that Matteo paused, the man reaching forward this time to open that door and hold it aside, his hand gesturing forward to allow Harley to step within. That room was entirely carpeted, several lounge chairs seated within it and yet those very walls were all but covered in layer upon layer of shelves. Each of those shelves holding volume after volume after volume of photos albums, the year written upon the spines. A near...lifetime...Matteo's own lifetime....so collected within those shelves upon shelves of pictures so neatly stored and ordered. Those photo albums, like the photos within them, becoming more and more aged until they seemed to fade entirely to painted portraits.
"You can look here, if you like. It is here you might surely find skeletons. This room helps me....remember."
How very...ironic those words perhaps. When near every being in near all those photos had long since passed. Matteo moved to wander into that room then, the door left ajar for Harley to follow. This, perhaps, a distinctly...personal aspect of his life and yet....it was still so hardly the sanctuary of his bedroom or indeed but one other room so eternally kept closed. The Frenchman moved to wander along one of those rows of albums in turn, the man inclined to smile at a picture of Alexander and himself in those airforce uniforms before his gaze so shifted to Harley once more. The woman paused beside the single and only large painting that had been hung within the room. The woman pictured within it stood beside a window, her hair, tinted faintly with red, flowed down to very near the end of her back. Her blue eyes as striking as they had always been.
"She was my eldest sons Mother."
It was a strikingly simply explanation for a matter that held....more complexity then even Matteo cared to attempt to acknowledge. A if Harley might surely be content with that explanation alone. The man reached but smoothly to pluck a single small, painted picture from one shelf and tuck it within his back pocket before Harley might be given the chance to turn around. Some things, perhaps, were better not yet revealed to Harley. Not before it was time. Matteo himself so hardly truly even sure why he kept that singular small portrait of Lisetter, as she had once been...so long and yet, for now, he was determined to see it remain concealed. Matteo, in turn, so careful to assure Harley hardly reached for but any album containing those pictures of Aiden. It was better if that knowledge of his son, in turn, remained equally his own for now. At least for a little while longer.
"I suggest that shelf over there, at least if you desire to see pictures of me during the seventies when flare pants were a popular thing."
Herbert trotted easily into that room then to flop down at the foot of the sofa. The corgi still attempting to recover from his earlier run and yet determined not to be left out.
The womans name had barely left his lips before what remained of that apple was suddenly tossed towards her. That warning so designed to assure the woman caught it. Those teasing words so finding his accented tones then.
"I promised you I would tell you about apples, oui? In my time, catching an apple a man threw to you was considered an acceptance of his marriage proposal. I think it is so, Mon Cherie, that you just agreed to marry me. How lucky for you."
c'est dur d'être un dieu.