Cleopatra always noticed the roving eye of others like it was a hidden talent to be far too aware. To be painfully aware of it all, all while not a single soul noticed. How she wove it to her advantage, knowledge was power after all. She had at least learned that valuable lesson at a young age. She found it to be true, especially for a woman. One she expanded upon as much as possible, she fought for it. She was an inquisitive young woman, wanting to study languages, the arts, history. It was not common for a woman to educate herself beyond what was expected of royalty... but fortunately for her father's soft spot for her was easily exploited. She was his favoured child after all while the rest hungered for more. Power. It was in their blood.. Some more so than others. Ah, what a complicated time then.. So long ago and yet it was peculiar how the past showed up in strange places, when you least expect it. But nothing in all her years walking this earth did she anticipate this.
This hunter that she welcomed into her home and said so very little. He was a mystery and yet somehow familiar. How she hardly knew what it was. It was rare when she couldn't put a finger on something. She had only met him once before within the dingy sewers.Yet... there was something about him that spoke to her... that reminded her of something. But what? How rare it was to find familiarity within a stranger? She said nothing of it... studying him silently with intelligent eyes while her mind attempted to make sense of the nonsensical. To make the mystery more potent... was that very ring that adorned his finger. The ring of a king.... If he were some zealous collector and she hadn't ruled that out.. He acted uncharacteristically. He found that ancient bangle... one that had been restored and cared for tenderly.. Yet why find her to return a relic he could have easily kept for himself? What a peculiar man. What was it from her that he wanted? If not from her.. What did he believe she possessed that he could want. Ah, human nature was predictable in most things. People could be read so simply.. But him... he was like a secret with skin. But all secrets were to become exposed eventually. Time.. He could not escape it nor her. Or so she thought.
Ah but she did have a weakness, like all creatures did. While her passion coloured everything, fueled her in ways when most would cower... she could be hung by it. She never quite lost that passionate nature. It was like the hunter could seek it out within her so easily, brushing up against it as if to better acquaint himself with it before he prodded. That mention of Caesar was a topic she had long lived with.. Had come to terms with and yet here and now got the best of her like it still was an open wound! There were very few men that could prompt such a reaction within her and even fewer beings now. Especially ones she wasn't familiar with. It should come as no surprise that her first love was one of them. There was a fierceness that roared inside of her as she spoke, every ounce of a queen weighted in those words. What did he know of him? He merely looked upon her, his own resolve as steeled as Caesar himself. However, even he had his tells. This man standing before her, this hunter, she knew nothing of, betrayed nothing. His face was something forged from steel... unmoving except for a perpetual smugness that tugged at the corners, a mocking look that clearly claimed he knew more than she did. Cleopatra hardly liked that. Especially when they refused to share that knowledge. She could not remember a time when she was on the opposite side of this... She was always the one who knew.. Or had the means to know. This man that stood before her... unsettled that. As if he could suddenly pull the rug right from beneath her polished feet. He spoke so little... as if he knew that by doing so she could pick apart the pieces. No.. He would share when he wanted to. That seemed to intrigue her and equally infuriorate her all at once.
She considered her own words as she spoke them. How much did he know about her? He was here, he probably knew enough. The mention of her lover and the return of her bangle was proof of that. The egyptian queen stood tall, proud even though she must tame those tempered emotions. She would not allow him to control her with them. The Egyptian queen spoke with a true vehemence of those cowards who stabbed an unarmed man to death, their better of all people. How they were animals! Brutal beasts! Caesar was not one and he made the grave mistake of not expecting it of his enemies. If only.. The men of her past could see what their beloved Rome had been reduced to. Perhaps it was for the better they had died when they had. Neither would survive as modern day men. It would have destroyed Cesear and... Antony... would be lost. Utterly lost.
She reached for the fresh, pale velveteen petals of her roses as they passed, her fingers delicate as a fond memory before pausing. She looked away for some time before turning toward the golden hunter. She honed upon him as if she had come to some great epiphany she had not seen before. The weight of her stare landed firmly to lock with his oceanic eyes that reminded her of Alexandria's harbour. The silence of that moment could have stretched for eternity when in reality it was far less time. Yet he didn't flinch, not that she expected him to, even when many would have. Perhaps his face could behold answers that truly she knew she would never find unless he willed it. It was far easier to coax such things from a lover's soft lips, too exhausted and well sated to guard themselves. She could obtain all she wanted then, she was sure.
Perhaps she should have been offended that the man so boldly had the audacity to wear that ring as if he were a king himself. The gaul of a mere man. Nothing was sacred anymore. While powerful and perhaps certainly had the unflappable nerve of a king... There was a hint in Cleopatra's mind that such a thing would be impossible. Perhaps she was blinded by what could so plainly be seen? He says so little... still. Offering only the barest of answers. Still nothing? What was he playing at? Did he merely seek to come here to... toy with her? She could feel her temper rise like a king cobra ready to strike. This shouldn't have upset her. It normally would not. She had dealt with far more infuriating men before. Why was it this man that seemed to needle his way beneath her skin? A bemused chuckle rumbled within his chest.
He rose his sandy hued brow, his voice reaching to her, no hint of any betraying emotion. There were not many who could stand before a queen and not at least let some emotion betray him. She allowed him to speak even though she is entirely ruffled. Yet it took barely a moment.. For his words to sink and settle within her mind. Her gaze flicked toward his hands and upwards to his face once more. Impossible.
He casually continued as if what he revealed was no more than a detail. He apologized for her loss.. That she had long since come to terms with... mostly. Even though there were days where her scorn could scorch cities.
Could this truly be him? A man... who was supposedly dead lost to the sands of time.. One of the most prolific men known in all the world. A man she had once idolized. How many times had she visited his tomb? Or what she believed it to be. Had known of it? Visited it? If not he who was inside of it... who or what was? It was a temple of lies apparently and yet how it seemed to amuse her that people would come from all over just to witness a simple illusion! "He would have wanted to meet you too." Those words paled in comparison to how much he would have. That she would have. If this hunder's insinuations were true. He left impossible footprints to fill, leaving many rulers desiring to come close,or to fulfill Alexander's dream.
No one had accomplished what he had in his lifetime as king.. Even though many had tried. So many wished to aspire to be anything like the man that stood before her. How could the actual man in the flesh stand here and she hadn't the faintest of clues? She was certain she would have known. Statues did not do the person justice. They never did. Nor did the coins. She should have known.
She had steeled her own features.... That were slipping. If it were true, that meant that Alexander the Great... had found her. His death was no way for a warrior to go.. Nor was suicide, even though her means of death were tragically poetic. When she staged her own death she almost wished she did die! She had lost so much and she was going to hand over it all to the most undeserving sham of a man. So much loss in such a short life time, her children her loves. Why would anyone want to carry on? Pride perhaps? Or something else she would not have said out loud.
"It is like I know you.. Even though I never met you." She said finally, her words softer and yet how many questions she could assault him with. She faced him entirely.. It was like Aphrodite meeting Zeus without knowing it. Shouldn't she have known?
How strange... life was.. In Sacrosanct in all places.
Not even Nefertti knew and she knew more than most. Or if she had it was a closely guarded secret. Why simply disappear without a trace? After all... she was all but forced to. Not a single soul appeared to know to know his truth. Ah but if Alexander had struck when she was queen, that would have placed them as enemies. But the thought of him crushing Octavian as allies now what a pretty picture that would be.. "It doesn't feel any less strange to be a king or a queen without a kingdom." But like everything... nothing was ever meant to be static. Just like this reality wasn't always intended to be the same. How different the world would be, could be.
"I have found the story I wished to hear... Alexander.. Why become a ghost when you had the world in your grasp? Will you humour me this. I had always thought I knew where you rested.. In a temple well kept, one I knew by heart." How strange it was to say his name to the face. She could hardly help but not find the hilarity in it. Her lips curled into a smile, a passing thought at how many people wished to be him, practically asked his empty temple if they could be his vessel. A laugh trapped in her throat as she brought her glass to her lips, her eyes glistened with amusement as she watched him like he was the most interesting subject. Studied his face as she drew him further into her garden toward a patio that lingered by the pool. One could see the stables from here, stocked with her breeding projects. It matched the same style as the house did. One could not tell how far back the land sprawled from behind her home. Yet nothing could prepare for the true vastness of the desert. She drew to a cushioned lounge protected under an overhang by a large marble fountain that trickled water, it was carved in ancient-style with serpents and ornate designs. She drew toward the oversized cushioned lounge more like a bed with countless pillows, much like the luxurious ones she adored only far more comfortable. She lowered to sit, allowing the hunter king chose his own perch. There was no reason why they couldn't at least get a little comfortable. The wall of it seemed to offer them privacy even though they were far from prying eyes.. Well.. almost.