A singular word uttered in greeting, like a dance of formality much more akin to a game of chess. Only the hunter seemed to hold the advantage. If only she knew it. She did, however, suspect it. How could he find out where she lived, tracked her down without a name. Without a trace of anything save for but a mere trinket! Only a vague description of a fae within the sewers. Had he followed her? She had been certain he hadn't. Already, her mind slid those pieces together, like any intricate and obscure puzzle in an attempt to figure out what he knew, a careful game that required a certain finesse. It was only a matter of time before she figured it out or he revealed his hand.
Her cognac hued gaze fluttered to the faint smile that graced his soft lips. That game where whatever hand the other held was pressed so closely to their own chest. Now was not the time to reveal. The Egyptian queen was content to bide her time, to uncover the seemingly impossible mystery before her. It was a trick she had expertly mastered in politics, one she had never once lost it would seem. After all, she was not a woman known to baulk.
That mask of hers regrettably slipped... for but a fraction of a second before she steeled it back in place. The exotic temptress allowed no indication as to if he had caught it. But there was something tugging.. Nagging within her that knew vaguely what he was capable of. She knew a formidable opponent when she saw them.
She watched his every move with large magnetizing eyes, as he so astutely took in his newfound surroundings, as she closed the heavy door closed with a click. Yet.. even then she hardly could tame the intrigue she possessed for that very hunter that stood before her like he were some trojan horse standing inside her foyer! Oh, how she enjoyed these games as much as she despised them!
How her home was nothing short of another clue as to who she was, the Mediterranean and Egyptian influence hardly disguised in any sense. The decor loudly represented the woman she was, in interest and roots if one were to already suspect. After all, it was unlikely that someone as old as her survived, especially when everyone had believed her to be dead.
Even her voice hardly lost that exotic lilt that alluded to the many languages she knew. That English was more out of a formality, simply because of the part of the world she was in. Sacrosanct of all places. Yet it was so very different than the tongue she chose to address her ladies. A habit if you will serving as a homage to nostalgia of the past.
She noticed the way his gaze so lingered upon the chiselled column where Iras hid so poorly. Foolish girl. Sure she was almost as old her and yet... she should have remained hidden. Truly. Her own curious nature would forever get the best of her. It wasn't long before the golden knight, or so she liked to consider him even though he looked far more.... Elegant now even though she could still see the warrior even behind his polished facade. Antony could not hide it either and Cesar wore it proudly as his armour, like a trophy.
She artfully and intentionally attempted to draw his attention back upon her, that compliment slid with ease, confident and yet as mysterious as she was. That subtle smile returned to his lips as he returned it with equal ease without a hint of hesitation. He played his hand far too well. Yet, she never rejected a compliment, even if she knew those words to be nothing short of accurate. Her lips curled just so into an expression both knowing and appreciative, after all, she was no stranger with using her womanly charms. "Flattery gets you everywhere." She slid forward, her rich lyrics swept toward him in equal unison, within reach and close enough to feel the heat signature of him. His scent lingered about him, one that she had not familiarized herself with before in that dingy sewer. How she was one to associate scents and objects to a certain memory of someone so well.. So vivid a painting in her mind.
The hunter's attention remained upon her, her movements meant to entrance, to lure, to disarm all at once. But she knew better than for him to simply fall for it, he was no mere man, she could deduce that much. The exotic woman intended to keep his attention rather than a curious eye upon the spying Iras. Now, what she hardly expected was for the hunter to spin those tables upon her. His hand dipped with ease within his pocket with a striking fluidity before he produced a small black box. That might as well have been her in his palm and yet she remained stoic. He didn't come all this way and go through all that trouble to track her down just to bestow a gift. But its size.. Was strikingly familiar with what she had lost. Could it be?
It was like he read her very thoughts, in so many words confirming that very thing. "You found it." She whispered incredulously. "That is how you found me." She continued knowingly as if to speak of her musings out loud. She rose her hand to reach for her slender wrist as if she could still feel it's familiar presence there.
She had known what to expect when he opened that very box, the man clearly went to lengths to at least treat it with care. She drew in closer like she was the one suddenly lured as he opened that very box, displaying what she already knew was inside of it. As if it possessed some dark forbidden secret. That's how she watched it. It glinted in the light showing that it was polished so that not a hint of grime from that sewer lingered upon its gleaming golden surface. How unexpected.
"Thank you. I thought. I would never see it again." It meant enough to her that she had gone back to retrace her steps even within that dark, musty sewer. Her lowered gaze now rose to peer into his pristine blue eyes.
He knew. He had to, or else he wouldn't be standing here. It was just flash of a mere look and yet she knew it all too well, the smugness of holding all the cards. Her intuition, forever strong like a queen should be. Yet she remained entirely unflappable as her hand simply rose to caress that sentimental bangle that sat nestled within that little black box. That unspoken offer to pluck it from that box to brush her slender fingers over the gold, polished until it gleamed bangle with tenderness before she removed it. She slipped it on with ease, the precious metal cool to touch before it warmed with her body heat as though it had always remained there.
Her eyes narrowed upon the hunter, studied him with a sceptical eye. "Most people would not return an old relic. Nor go through the trouble of finding its owner." Ah, a hint, so small it was barely there and yet... a hint that she was privy of his knowledge, just how deep did it go? Ah, but Cleopatra was a patient woman when she wished to be. She would navigate this very game. How long its been to find that formidable player.
"Wine? It's a lovely Grecian wine I acquired many years ago." If there was anything she knew better than how to get a man to talk. It was wine and a hint of gratitude. Or perhaps she simply needed the excuse to have some for herself. Knowledge of who she was leaking out would hardly be good for the once queen. That peace would be a thing of the past...
"Accompany me." There was something understated and yet no less dated about that very offer, perhaps alluding to her true age. This conversation would be better suited in the gardens so long as the weather remained pleasant. "After all, I am certain you must share with me the story and lengths you went to find me."