stuff us in boxes that's where you want us
cardboard is boring, we brought our matches - look how it burns
This room, it seemed to tug and pull at the Frenchman and his usual sealed away emotions. She could all but see the holes in that hardened armour that he wore so well. How one painting and all its memories were enough to see him crumble. How she had come to see those subtle tells and her intuition on reading people was perhaps far too good at times. That sharp mind was quick to seize what it could, the woman if not determined to understand her companion in some regard far beyond what he merely gave the world. Perhaps she had pushed too far and yet.... Perhaps it was worth the risk. Matteo was hardly the type of man to give in unless he wished it. She knew how elusive he was, like a fist full of sand he was intangible if he wanted to be. How she knew her own ability for stubbornness and how once she made up her mind, she would likely never change it. Yet he allowed her glimpses of him, like a trail breadcrumbs she could follow. She would be lying if she didn't want to see more, to know more, to understand. All those fragments were like puzzle pieces and she hardly had all the parts to put it together. Yet nothing could really prepare for the depth that very conversation took and how its sadness was enough to bring up the topic of regret. What a loaded topic that was.
Yet somehow in the darkness of their exposed thoughts, they could somehow find a semblance of amusement within it. The topic at least somehow seemed far lighter than the one before it. How? Harley never knew. His reply held that familiar jest that tugged the corners of her own lips into a smirk. He peered at her with a look of curiosity and yet hardly voiced it. "I would like to know how we did this without it. We must really be feeling particularly masochistic today." She replied and just like that.. The darkness lifted like a receding veil of mist once more.
After all, to Harley, the greatest gift a single person could ever give is to share one's truth and self. She pressed her lips to his cheek, for once even despite the renewal of their flirtatious game that they were entirely too good at. How easy it was to relish in that banter, to push boundaries and challenge each other. That back and forth that pushed lines they.... Never seemed to cross. How they managed such a delicate balance while playing with such unpredictable fire was beyond her and yet it was far too fun to ignore. How speaking of the future would forever be a sobering topic, she wondered if it would ever hold less bite. It was meant to be inspiring and yet it was a dangerous thing to offer. To dangle that golden carrot of hope before her when there was truly no end in sight. It would have been deemed cruel.
Did he not realize what that could do? Hope didn't get her through those nights she had to navigate the complexities of their dominion over her. She knew deep down that there had to be a way out and yet that time was not now. To think of such things so prematurely would only serve as a hindrance. To dream of something so out of reach was only more crushing when it all fell into ruin. That's when one got cocky... that was when one got so engrossed with the thought of some magical unicorn they missed the strike... the attack they should have been prepared for. To fill her with hope only to send her to walk deep within the muddied trenches hardly felt like hope at all. How much more did she have to see, have to experience, have to give before she even possessed a semblance of what she wanted? What would there be left of her when it was all said and done? How she steeled herself then, placed those self-forged walls around herself in protection and yet how badly she wanted to believe those words! How much she found that she had believed him and yet to do so worried her. Had she not been in this exact position before? Nathaniel, Ryker... Risque... Darcy? Just when she thought she had overcome the greatest hurdle, there were more names to curse and added to that goddamn list. He remained entirely composed as he smiled at her gently. Of course he had to go and corner her with belief. Had she not walked into the flames when he asked? She scrunched her face as that composure slipped and she shook her head, her silken raven locks brushed around her. "Oh you don't play fair at all." She grumbled. Perhaps in that moment he actually had her, she had no logic except for mere stubbornness.
Yet she hardly allowed him to get away with simply telling her she would get what she wanted. What the hell did that even mean? She looked into his own silvery gaze, unflinching. Yet his resolve remained entirely unflappable. "You are exasperating with your riddles, Teo." She scoffed. That's all they were, riddles. Riddles to make her wonder of their meaning. He was the fucking cheshire cat.
He grinned, his face gleamed with that iconic impishness. How she glared at him. She was convinced she knew just about as much as he did at time when it came down to the real questions. Harley rolled her eyes and in an abrupt moment the man was gone. Like he had done so many times before and yet that gasp of surprise escaped her all the same, subtle as it was. It was startling to look at someone tangible, that you could feel their heat, interact, touch, only to have them disappear just like that. It was unnerving.
In the time it took to snap your fingers he appeared directly behind her, comfortably positioned as if he were simply there all along! His head cradled within his palm as he leaned into the back of that couch, invading her space like it were his own. How distracting he was! That mention of scandal seemed to amuse him all the same. His fingers just reached out to touch her, faint and yet no less teasing as he inquired what she looked for. Like he would merely offer her a glimpse of his scandalous past! She was all too aware, distracted of that touch upon the sensitive spot of her neck. How her body seemed to want to shudder beneath that touch to press into it.
Ah, this game.
How she didn't pull away even though she sought composure.
Matteo's chuckle sent a shiver down her spine, that sound could fill an entire room. How she thought far more clearly without him so near! Without his delicious scent toying with her, without his presence all but consuming her. She spoke, doing her damn best not to give away how her body seemed to respond to those touches. How good he was at playing oblivious, even innocent. He gave her nothing more than some obscure admittance that he had them and yet no desire or inkling to share! Yet how there was something far more suggestive to those words, as if they were more of a promise rather than a reveal of her actual question. How easily he spun her words and yet... she had to admit the prospect seemed to make her all the more curious. Yet she seemed so determined to meet him with that iconic resolve. She allowed those vibrant light purple eyes to meet his own silvery depths that seemed to churn with the mischief that ran rampant within his veins. His face held that perfect mask once more, impossibly handsome and devilish all at once. "I have no doubt." Before she could even question him, he shifted that conversation to an unpredictable topic.
Dinner. How her mind was so far from dinner... it all but surprised her. It appeared as a subtle flash upon her feminine features. A look he undoubtedly noticed considering his own astute nature. He hardly lingered long before that oh so toying hand wrapped around her, clearly offering for the woman to take his hand. How it always seemed like something more than mere hand holding. With him, it always was. Oh these dangerous little games they played, so innocuous and first and yet how that was never the case. How she could still feel his fingers like ghosts upon her skin as he leaned in to allow his lyrics to seep in.
How she wished she were wearing a sweater rather than a tank top. Yet she knew he would affect her no less. It was a game, a flirtatious game where one made a move and the other responded in kind, each trying to outdo the first to see who would crumble first. How she could not help herself in indulging. It was easy to slide her hand in his own.. To smoothly lift herself to draw around the couch and close that distance between them. How easy it was to allow her body to brush against his own. Dessert held so many different meanings, especially when her mind lingered exactly where he intended it to. How easy it would have been to kiss him, to coax it from him and yet she leaned in just so, her own words continuing that cryptic flirtation. A language they seemed to speak all too fluently.
She knew she toyed with him too. Her words easily carried that outwardly innocent banter. The roll of his eyes drew an upward curl of her lush lips in a smile before she bit the bottom of her own lip, before she pulled away. He was like a magnet and yet... how they both had come to torment one another. She slid away as quickly as she appeared there, moving smoothly toward the door.
He uttered those questionable words, her dark brow rise. She could hardly help but grin. "Oh please, I know exactly where I am going. I'd find it.." She declared almost arrogantly, puffing her chest out a touch, admittedly too soon as she was about to go the wrong way as she exited that room. But she moved with such purpose! Matteo easily followed, at least outside that very room. The door softly closed behind them allowing the past to rest once more.
Matteo remained by the door before those soft words spoke softly. This way. Oops. Maybe it was for the better he led the way. She was certain she had memorized that route and yet how everything looked so similar. He reached out to find her hand that easily found her own as he led the way. Harley recognized that staircase! They seemed to move far more swiftly than before. How he seemed to move with purpose and her mind seemed to run rampant with the suggestive banter. Not much later, the pair slipped inside that familiar space. The sun had shifted considerably since when they first left, no longer did they hear the sound of guests wandering the grounds. They were for once... well and truly alone. She glanced at the pretty dancing sheer fabric. What time was it? How quickly time had passed.
That delicious breeze all but welcomed her with the distant sound of song birds just outside, it threatened to toy with a few strands of her hair. His hand released her own and how certain she was for him to face her! To renew that game he had started. Instead he swept into the kitchen with purpose. His announcement of cake seemed to baffle her! Yet she did request dessert. That game it would seem destined to pause and yet... she had thought of nothing else on the return walk back! She seemed nothing short of perplexed and yet how she had misread those signals. Cake? Now was the best time to finish baking a freaking cake.
He was already rummaging for supplies, plucking bowls. Harley approached confused, as she watched the frenchman deftly move though his kitchen. How well he knew every drawer and cabinet. It was then after being damn sure she was seeing this scene unfold correctly. "Of course, it is like... you read.. My mind.." How thick that sarcasm was! Which was hardly much of a lie but an attempt to save herself! Perhaps some cake wasn't the worst thing in the world. Matteo's cooking was enough to make her mouth water and yet... Fucking hell, pull yourself together woman. What was her problem? She seemed to shake her head then as if to rid herself of those thoughts. After all, it never amounted to much except for careful teasing.
Matteo moved with what appeared as single minded purpose. Matteo wasnothing short of determined to make his cake! She moved toward the kitchen countertop, her finger brushing against the cool surface before she turned to lean casually against it, folding her arms loosely under her chest. Matteo all but moved swiftly toward the fridge. He was joking... wasn't he? Yet there was no sign of it as he pulled out a large bowl of whipping cream. She eyed it curiously and yet hardly commented. What a baffling man. He kicked the door softly shut, placing the bowl upon the bench. He looked nothing short of proud with his bowl. Harley could not help but hold in the laughter that formed in her throat. The situation was nothing short of comical! She tipped her head so curiously, unable how utterly perplexed she was.
He seemed so proud of his cream! That he had produced ALL those ingredients from his farm. It was impressive, truly. Any other fucking day she would given him a gold star. Yet how far her mind was from local food sources and baking. She was not some fanciful chef. Yet she was utterly fascinated by this man and his sudden display, she fought back that laughter with a formidable stick, refusing to have to admit what she had thought earlier out loud. She should have anticipated this!
His passionate response for his farm fresh ingredients! "It's impressive. Although, I can't picture you milking a cow." Her tone hardly possessed the same... banter in the hesitation of her own confusion. How could she be so... wrong? His attention was clearly not on her at all but in the act of his over finger dipping into the whipped cream before tasting it himself. A frown formed on his features as he seemed to consider how it tasted. Now he was just toying with her. She unfolded her arms to place a hand on her hip.
Perhaps she was imagining things. Maybe it was his scent alone that affected her inner feline. How she refused to believe that after everything she had lost that game before it began! She suddenly shook her head as if to rid herself of the thought. Was there something wrong with it? He seemed to consider it for quite some time. It was then that he offered her a taste. Finally. She thought his mere existence was just to tease her! Maybe if she simply ate something she wouldn't have to torture herself with confusion. She refused to give him the satisfaction of asking it out loud. She knew he would gloat far too much.
Food. Yes that seemed safe. Maybe it was better than testing those clouded waters as much as she had. Yet, was she not designed for the deepend? "I am.... curious." It was then that Matteo's gaze met her own. She was just about to move forward toward the bowl when suddenly the french fae disappeared. How quickly he appeared right before her that she startled in the abruptness of it. Fucking hell. Didn't he see she had finally regained her own resolve?
How off guard he had caught her in that moment and yet she barely had a moment to speak before he closed that distance between them, his lips brushed against her own, softly and yet there was something more behind it that caused her own lips to soften and part as her body seemed nothing short of trained for this very game he invoked. This was certainly an interesting way to taste cream, she was sure and yet she allowed her tongue to draw along his lower lip as if she searched for that sweet flavour. How her mind reeled, her heart beat a traitorous thing she all but cursed underneath her breath. Her eyelids remained shut for a few seconds longer as if she were truly tasting that whipped cream.
"I was not prepared. I would like to try some more, though. To be sure. I was.... Too distracted." She admitted, her words nearly failing her before her dark thick lashes flickered open, that strikining gaze found his own. Oh she was being impossible and yet nothing short of devious as she slipped away from his body and how she managed the strength she hardly knew. Yet she moved toward the bowl of whipped cream but her fingers found his own. "Try it with me." She said so innocently and yet her hand had already dipped inside the bowl.
She tugged him closer to face him, positioning him just so and upon first glance it appeared she wanted to feed him more of that whipped cream. Instead, she raised her finger with quite the ample helping piled high, to bring it toward his lips but suddenly smearing it along his cheek all the way down his neck playfully. She could not help that amused chuckle expecting quite a perturbed fae, her expression remained entirely playful and yet dreadfully daring. Harley saw it, the handsome Frenchman was about to say something and in that moment she boldly closed that distance, to press her lips with fervor upon his own in an attempt to silence his words and steal one more kiss simply because she could. She raised a hand to press into his chest and the other at his shoulder to guide and push him lightly to sit on that bench she had positioned him by. She lowered her body to perch upon his lap. A smirk formed as she allowed those kisses to trail downward, her tongue flicked out to help clean up the mess she made while enjoying that unique and yet no less appetizing version of dessert. Beneath it all she could taste him, his skin a familiar flavour she could not forget. She took her time, diligently leaving nothing behind save for her lingering presence. One hand gently rested upon his shoulder, her fingers toying with the fabric of his shirt.
She pulled back to see the look upon his face, relishing in that moment to maybe be the cause the slip of Matteo's so careful composure in an entirely new way. How she looked like the feline that got the cream then. "That's better. I can confirm that it's way better than store bought. But I can't tell if that's because I have you as after taste." How innocently spoken, that sarcasm full of jest and yet, she could not help but consider that there was one other room she had not yet seen. How careful they had been not to tread too far passed that point of no return even if they played so close to the ledge. Yet that game was far from over.
"Did that satisfy your craving for dessert?" She goaded, a brow raised in that way that mirrored her very words. She insinuated, her finger toyed with the collar of his shirt, her fingers daring to brush his skin. That wicked little game it seemed reluctant to end. It would seem that Matteo was keen on taking back his crown and yet she could not help but wonder what game they were even playing anymore.