How little heed Matteo so often paid to the words of men like Pascal. They were, after all, little but words. Such vocalisations as those spouted by a fool of a vampire meant truly little to a man who had, in the course of his terribly long life, heard nearly every insult in every language. Indeed, he near tired of those ame empty threats and efforts to be cutting. Yet.....his son remained a veritable sore point perhaps. Aiden was one of precious few beings within the world whom Matteo so simply refused to hear a word spoken agianst- unless those words were from his own lips. How little Pascal knew of Aiden or what the Were had been through. How little he understood respect in its truest sense. Matteo's own response was nothing short of pointed. His accented lyrics held a distinct and notable edge. A warning of sorts that so very, very rarely ever found that ancient beings tongue and yet even Pascal seemed content to mind it. At least for today. Matteo had no sooner turned away from that verandah with Aiden in tow than the first of those visions so found its way to his mind. So many years of practice assured that vision played out within his mind's eye in such a way as to hardly see the Frenchman falter in his stride as he walked. Matteo saw fit to break that silence between them only briefly with those words fate had assured him he was all but destined to say and Aiden was all but destined to ignore. Ah, but what a stubborn son he had! Such a trait, over time, so having become one of those very things about Aiden that Matteo found rather endearing. Even if he was loath to mention it. The grunt his warning was rewarded with prompted the faintest roll of his eyes before the pair so at last made their way into the warmth of his chateau. Ah, but to be out of that blasted rain!
Matteo was quick to begin to peel those soaked clothes from his figure. His shirt and jeans were tossed in a sodden heap upon the floor- much to what would surely be Gregory's eternal dismay. The French Ambassador left in no more than his boxer shorts and yet with little but Aiden and a goat present the Frenchman so hardly saw any need for modesty. It was only once his own clothing had been thoroughly removed that Matteo gestured toward that linen closet and the towels within. Aiden and himself, after all, could surely shower. His son's new pet however would require far more diligent attention. The little creature was all but soaked through. Her tiny body still prone to shake any time Aiden moved her even but an inch away from the warmth of his own overheated figure. The WereKing moved toward that cupboard as instructed, Aiden's jeans all but sloshing agianst him with every step before he proceeded to rub that goat down and return some warmth to her little body. Matteo so took that moment to offer his son the news that his new pet was indeed his responsibility. After all, if Aiden insisted on keeping it then Matteo saw little reason not to enforce that very insistence. Aiden so hardly needed any lesson in responsibility, indeed there were few men who understood that concept more and yet- there was a difference between leading that WerePack, in guiding adults whom, to some extent, could care for themselves and tending to a creature that was all but entirely helpless without him. That goat kid, for several weeks, would be forced to rely upon the Alph for all her needs. Matteo, in turn, was assured he had raised enough orphaned creatures in his life to insist that this one was Aiden's alone.
That near baffled look upon his companions features so readily prompted a chuckle to the Frenchmans own. Any effort Aiden might have made to argue that point was all but dismissed with the Frenchmans insistence the goat required feeding every few hours for at least two weeks. Aiden, for the first time, perhaps truly beginning to process the consequences of his determination to speak to Pascal as a muttered curse fell from the man's lips. Matteo's hand reached out playfully, the Frenchman daring to do as so few ever did and ruffle Aiden's sodden dark hair- only to teleport out of reach quote before the other man could shove at him any further. A ready look of amusement lingered upon his features. How very....intriguing it would be to watch Aiden with his new companion. Matteo, for all the amusement he took from that very notion, was equally as inclined to admit that he had been proud of Aiden all the same for rescuing the small creature. Those acts of simple kindness, no matter how small, meant so....desperately much. Matteo, for so long, having fought so hard to keep that same...cruelty from Aiden that had afflicted that woman who tormented him. Aiden, agianst even those odds had, somehow, retained his heart no manner how battered it surely was beneath. That in itself was surely one of the grandest victories of all.
Aiden had no sooner finished drying that goat then he rose to his feet once more, the sodden towel tossed onto that pile of laundry before the WereKing began to make his way towards the stairs and his own bedroom and shower- with that tiny goat frantically attempting to keep up. Ah, but how he could hardly help that chuckle that found him once more! Matteo's voice, this time, near singsongy in teasing mirth as he called out to his son once more. Aiden's near deadpan reply only furthered the simper upon his own lips before he gestured toward that goat kid. Surely Aiden was not intending to leave the goat unsupervised was he? Oh, how little that Were King understood of what he had gotten himself into! Matteo, for the moment, entirely content to enjoy his son's newfound irritation as he insisted Aiden take the goat with him. Aiden's muttered displeasure was hardly missed as the man reached down to scoop up that goat before grumpily insisting he had the goat, only to show it toward Matteo as if he required proof. That very gesture coaxing one silver eye to lift upward.
"Are you taking a tone with me, Mon Fils?"
Ah, how very close Aiden was to throwing that goat at him. Matteo entirely content to chuckle once more as the younger man all but stormed up that stairway. Aiden had, long ago, become far too old for such discipline and yet how the Frenchman so enjoyed teasing him with it all the same. Matteo's head shook softly in good nature before the Fae turned back to that pile of sodden clothing and socks that rested upon the floor. He crouched down then, the man no sooner having gathered that wet fabric up and into his arms then the sound of another entering the room prompted him to turn. Gregory, in his eternal start of frazzled dismay, was quick to throw his arms within the air.
Sacrebleu! What Is this? Always it is something new with you, Matteo. Give those to me. I will wash them. Where is Aiden? Is he trailing mud across my clean floors?
"No, Aiden was kind enough to put his muddy shoes over there."
Pft, he is the same as you. He does not care for my floors. He just pretends-
"He is upstairs, showering with his goat."
How decidedly priceless that look upon his manservants face was. Gregory's features shifted from shock, to disbelief, to outright irritation once more as the aged warlock all but stormed down that hallway once more. The man muttering in distinctly irritated French as he went. Hmmm. He would need to get the man a decent Christmas present this year. Gregory, for all e complained, had been nothing but loyal to the Frenchman for centuries. The decidedly aged warlock, even though he pretended otherwise, was equally as fond of Matteo and his family in turn. The faint sound of that running water drew the Fae's mind back to the moment at hand and his own need for new clothing- along with supplies for that goat. His own affinity for teleportation readily embraced his near-naked figure then. Matteo content to reappear within his own room then as he began that search for dry clothing. It hardly took long to find a dry shirt and coat, along with a new pair of dry jeans, socks and shoes before he sw to teleporting once more. Matteo, this time, appearing within one of those many barns upon his property. There was, he was certain, milk replacement formula....somewhere within and yet whether or not he had any that might suit a goat so remained to be seen. It took several long minutes of rummaging within the depths of that barn and its bags of feed, straw, hay and gardening supplies before the Frenchman found a bag of milk replacer and the baby's bottle he required. Another rush of teleportation saw the Frenchman reappear within that chateau then, Matteo making his way to the kitchen as the water from upstairs finally shut off.
"Come down to the kitchen when you're ready, Aidun!"
Those words were all but shouted up the stairs. Aiden, with his superior hearing, sure to have heard them as Matteo set about washing that bottle while he waited for his son to find new clothes and make his way down the stairs. It had been....years since he had hand-reared any of his stock. Orphaned lambs and calves were hardly uncommon and yet his own staff so often took care of such things themselves and without any need for his own guidance or assistance. The sound of footsteps upon the stairs drew his silver gaze upward onve more. Aiden, fully dressed once more and with goat in hand, had returned from that shower. That distinct look of displeasure upon the Alpha's face readily indicated that the goat kid had surely found her own fun while her new master attempted to have those few moments to himself. Ah, but she was the delight of children.
"Bring her over here and i will show you what to do. As I said you will need to feed her four times a day and once at night before you go to bed for the first two weeks. This is a milk replacer, it is...Aidun! Are you evening listening!?"
Aiden's attention, he was certain, had already wandered away from that task at hand. The Alpha seemed far more intrigued in playing with his new pet then learning how to feed it as that kid began to bleat. Matteo entirely content to allow both eyes to raise in that moment until he was certain his son's attention had returned to him entirely. Matteo began to make that bottle up as he spoke.
"Cieux! But you remind me far too much of myself sometimes. Now I know how Alexander felt when he tried to teach me things and I did not listen. You need one cup of milk powder and three cups of warm water, put them in the bottle, attach the lid and shake it until all the powder is dissolved. Test the temperature and then offer it to the goat. I will keep the powder here in the cupboard beneath the sink. Set alarms in your phone so you know when to feed her. Bring her over here to the couch."
The Frenchman nodded towards the living room then before grasping that newly made bottle of milk and heading toward the couch, taking a seat one one end and gesturing for Aiden to take that place beside him with his pet in hand.
"Take your left hand and hold her under the chest, like this..."
Matteo's hand reached forward then to take his son's own and position it agianst the small creature's chest. That hold acted to both restrain and direct that goat whom had already smelled that milk and begun to flail in anticipation of a meal she so desperately desired.
"Now take the bottle in your right hand, she will take hold of it, yes, just like that, now hold the bottle slightly up so that the milk runs down readily. There, that is it, that wagging tail is always a good sign."
Matteo's hands gently released Aiden's own then, the Frenchman leaving his son to feed that goat alone as she drank greedily from that bottle, her tail wagging it utterly excited delight. The mere sight prompted a simper to the Fae's features. A distinctly distant and yet decidedly potent memory so stirring within the confines of his mind. His voice, this time, entirely soft as he spoke, his gaze lingering on the small creature before shifting to Aiden once more.
"Alexander taught me how to feed orphaned stock. Lambs, goats, foals- anything that needed it. The army kept a large herd of animals, we needed to eat as we marched after all. Alex thought it would teach me responsibility to care for those orphaned animals. I was young and I had some experience already from when I was a child on my family's farm. I resented it at first but....Alexander knew me well. Better then I knew myself back then. I had been rather.....let us say....unattentive to several of my other jobs. Those lambs needed me though, I could not ignore them the way I ignored gear that needed repair or swords and boots that needed polishing. I never lost a single lamb, I cared about them too much. I found out later that Alexander had won a bet with a general that he could find a job I could do."
Matteo's own head shook at that memory. A simper inclined to find his lips all the same at the very thought of it. One hand extended then to stroke the fur of that baby goat, the action near absentminded as his features frowned ever so slightly. It was rare, in every sense, for the Fae to speak of those days so long past and yet tonight those memories seemed far more potent then they had been in so many centuries.
"Alexander was always a...serious man. Praise from him was rare. Affection was even rarer. Though that is the way of war. He is a little softer now, I think, then he was back then. I saw him feeding an orphaned foal once. He always had a weak spot for horses. It was one of the first times I ever saw him be truly gentle with anything. I thought even more of him for that- foolish though it might sound."
Whether or not Aiden so understood the meaning behind those very words the Frenchman offered he hardly knew. Such things, he suspected, were more then likely lost upon his younger son in that moment and yet, on occasion, those insights seemed to find the young Were all the same. Kindness in a world filled with so many...cruelties- was difficult. Far more difficult then most ever truly realised. Indeed, it took far more courage to be kind then it ever did to be otherwise. How few men were truly capable of it.
"What are you going to name her? And don't you dare say 'goat'."
c'est dur d'être un dieu.