One could so easily argue such a thing and yet it would do little to explain just what might seem like a mere temple upon outward appearances could hold so much meaning once upon a glimmering moment of the past. It was so terribly long ago, as ancient as the tombs and the many secrets she kept on par with the pyramids themselves. How she could see the hard lines of what seemed like concrete even despite his words were almost taut, deceptively youthful features of a healthy man, even in the bright grey filtered light, the sun that peeked through the light clouds almost cheekily in a game of hide-and-seek. It was when the sun just barely kissed his sandy locks that it appeared almost golden. He'd said it could be argued as if such a thing were worth arguing in the here and now. Had she stumbled upon a touchy subject. Although she had to agree, one's metamorphosis was an intimate thing, one that set forth a spiral of change, rippling out through the ages. How few people knew what happened to her in that room of her own change. Only she knew what she had felt, the exact way the moonlight trickled in through the sheer billowing fabric of her room. She could still smell it... as though it imprinted upon her mind, the sweet scent of this garden reminded her of it all the same. "As all things can." She concurred patiently, understanding mixed with well placed knowing within her eyes.
She could feel him behind her, a stolen glance of hers had caught him watch, taking in every last detail of their surroundings, her home with what seemed like a studious inquisitiveness. He hardly appeared wary as she led him further into her estate to a far more private local by the pool. She had wondered what and if he sensed the concealed magic woven within the earth, the air shimmering invisible to the naked eye? If he had, the once king said nothing of his silent findings, his strong presence taking up the space, cracking with energy she could feel like a magic onto itself. That gentle magic which belonged to her possessed a near-seamless transition, as they moved through the seemingly endless space. It was not a lie... and no mere illusion. How many minute little details he could learn from her home alone.
The hunter followed closely behind her as the wind disturbing the leaves that rustled. Along with the sound of the slight chiming of her bracelets that made a whispering clinking sound drowned out by the various other noises that surrounded them, like the faintest rustle of her diaphanous fabric of her dress that brushed against skin, or the footfalls upon the stone paved path. Or her voice that somehow seemed to echo amongst all of this. She led them to a private corner, beneath the protective cover a gazebo with pretty flowering vines that climbed its tall thick posts, still within view of much of her property next to the glimmering pool, with its mosaic tiling.The grand stables that threatened to overpower its surroundings if it were not a mere inlay upon the paddocks. Each part of that estate could be seen as a separate entity, all divided by meticulous landscaping and crafty architecture and yet flowed so meticulously neat, together as one.
Her gaze idly scanned by the pool, as if looking for something for the briefest of moments, not finding it, before the pair soon settled within their seat of choice. Cleopatra chose to sprawl out entirely upon what looked more like a daybed that they possessed in Egypt, that could easily at least two others. There were many creature comforts she chose to carry on through the millenia along with her. Her feminine body looked long, as it draped across the cushioned surface elegantly which made her resting space look nothing short of comfortable. And she was. It was like itself didn't quite exist the same way as the bustling city did. Being immortal, surrounded with the luxuries of the world certainly helped.
How it was an art to know how to sit, to lay... to hold one's self without some part of you appearing misplaced or awkward and it always seemed to come naturally to her. Alexander seemed to watch her in that same studious manner he observed the world around him, his thoughts were never to be betrayed by his handsome features. He looked equally comfortable within his choice of seat, the gas fireplace that had been switched on already began to emit a noninvasive heat. How it looked like the perfect enclosed little nook, embellished only by the sound of the moving water of a waterfall fountain and deliciously fragrant air. But then again, anywhere where Cleopatra went... there was a hint of sweetness within the air, an alluring scent of her choosing blended close to perfection with the chemistry of her skin.
He sipped that wine with a casualness he pulled off too well before he began his vague tale of how he'd fallen from his golden throne. It was certainly a better story than hearing how he contracted malaria of all things! There were many stories.. All equally as unworthy for a man of such greatness. At least her crafted death was one of her own choosing, how many times over had she died... when there was only one to take note of. She had made a spectacle of it, as she was so prone to... a grand display of her death that had inspired artists to further immortalize her than she already was. How suicide could be glorified, she hardly knew.. There certainly was nothing to be bragged about and yet as always, anything she could have done... the artists seemed to be inspired by her very presence. Her allure was both a blessing and curse of the gods. She had lost a great deal that day, so much that she'd wished she had died even though she never betrayed that to anyone, not even her most trusted. It was one of the worst days of her entire unnaturally long life.
Yet, the egyptian queen remained intent as she listened to that story she had sought, perhaps a commonly sought after one. A story he must have tired in its telling for how trained those words were. Just enough information to sate most minds and yet still barely scratching the surface.
It was only one man that toppled his empire.. Just as it had been just one man who'd done the same to hers. It still infuriated her that such a coward of a man could do so much damage.. Octavian, even thinking the name struck a bitter chord. 50% cowardice... 50% wits. What a lethal combination. With an army so quick to obey him, such a perfect storm concocted the mere moment and a lapse of judgement all because of Cesar's chosen.
Yet it was interesting how cautious the blond king appeared in what he shared which only spoke of a far greater pain she believed to exist. She recognized that very tactic within herself, skirting around the topic of her own death in a striking similar way. She searched his memorable face for a stitch of emotion that betrayed his true thoughts and yet he was bottled up as tight, like an impenetrable safe. The man before her... had gone from conqueror of the world... to monster hunter. How time could change so much... in more than one way. How it was often a rapid, abrupt shift that created a ripple effect that could be felt well after the actual event. How it could often be.. brutal, fast, deadly as a cobra strike. Her's had... even though it had been long since in the works. Such subtle choices most were oblivious too.. Often is what led to one's irreparable demise. Perhaps... in that it was merciful. How quick he was to dismiss the mention of that giant snake that he'd labelled as hers, that shrug equally dismissive of his victory against the serpent beast...How the people whose lives he saved inadvertently would certainly beg to differ. Yet she could understand it when you compare all victories to what once was.
"That is the price to pay to have the taste of true triumph. It never leaves the tongue." She considered her own words for a moment and yet there was a niggling sensation in her mind. He called the beast hers. That was something she felt compelled to correct. Unwilling to allow it to linger as if it were fact. "But the beast you called mine.. Was never mine to keep. He refused salvation and made his own choices that made him beyond help." She never wished to control him truly.... Merely coerce. She did not seek mindless slaves there was no fulfillment for her in that as it provided for some. "There is a time and place for brutal savagery in battle.. Not on innocents.. It's what separates us from the animals.. He clearly missed the distinction." She dipped her head, she didn't mourn the creature that nearly costed the fae queen her life if not for the man before her. How strange it was to look back on that night knowing the man she owed her life to was the very man she had once idolized. One simple fact could change one's entire existence. Knowledge was everything. Who knew that one truth could change so much?
However, that topic shifted from the battleworn king that seemed far more interested in the topic of that temple. How she knew it would appeal to him.. Far more than anything else.
Why speak of one's downfall when one could speak of one's triumphs and honours that were bestowed upon them? Death so often provided to be a sour subject to most. How it so often disturbed many people. Not her. She oddly never felt that fear. Fear for others, yes, and perhaps a list of various things but never death. In fact she planned for her own... far earlier than most.. And yet she wished for her final resting place to be magnificent. How her roman lovers had called her morbid and quickly shied away from such a topic... thinking of it as bad luck... and yet she never felt that way at all. It was odd how the men that had a fear of death were the ones that had embraced it. How did Alexander feel about it? Ah, such questions that burned in her mind were not suited for here and now... but probably more suited for lover's after hours of heated love making and yet... those thoughts were pushed far from her mind as she spoke of the topic he'd wanted to hear. How in her tellings, it was easy to allow that regal mask to slip.
Cleopatra spoke of that temple like she could picture it in her mind's eye with perfect clarity. She was vague like him, at first. Strictly... upon appearance and simple facts alone. However it was a look of disbelief of her companions features that amused her most, her own lips lifted into a betraying grin. He didn't know his supposed body's resting place was once within Egypt? What also seemed to draw her in was his...seemingly impressive amount of patience as she spoke. As if he listened to every single uttered word, every nuance. His chuckle was not at all as she imagined it to be and yet warm and rich in flavour like honey wine. Had she meant to admit that one part... maybe only to gauge his reaction. The hunter admitted that he would like to hear those secrets.
How charming that smile that crossed his features, the kind of look that could make heart erupt into a flutter. The kind that could have when she was in her youth, unblemished by circumstance. He started to look like a king that had peeled off his armour before her. "I am sure you would." There was a knowing gleam within dark whiskey hued eyes... yet a hint of something else, infinitesimal yet there all the same. It certainly would do no harm.. In asking that question now. How she could already think of more than a few secrets that she would have once been so terribly embarrassed by such a thought. How the fae was so difficult to embarrass now.. The woman was nothing if not...forward when she wished to be. She hardly held shame for her previous desires. After all.. It was so many lifetimes ago.
He looked almost boyish for a hint of a moment, resting his face upon his fist, a smile had brushed across his lips, she was certain he looked so youthful this way. How even from here she could pick out the unique blend of hues of his eyes that were illuminated in the natural light. A disarming smile returned over the rim of her glass of wine, her warm gaze peered at him, locked in a lingering glimpse after she uttered that perfect greek. It was soon met with his own fluent tongue, in that perfect greek like he'd never lost a day of it. How it seemed to delight her all the same.. It was not every day she met someone she could speak the many languages she had learned. Yet... that was far from her thoughts at the simple enjoyment to hear how appealing her name sounded in those richly accented tones. His voice was so soft and smooth as the Grecian wine they sipped. How slyly he changed that tense of her words to its present tense. How quick she was to catch it. She wondered if that made him presumptuous or just plain perceptive. The fact that she did not correct him said all that was needed. He'd been glad. How much he betrayed with that sentiment.
"Chaíromai pou akoúo to ónomá mou na légetai apó ta cheíli sou, Aléxandros." (I'm glad to hear my name spoken from your lips.) There was an assured warm quality to her voice, her words tinged with an ancient lilt of a once far thicker accent. Yet perhaps it was the way her eyes lingered or the faint amusement within that very statement that so hinted to the accuracy of that statement he has assumed of her immunity to the fallen king's charms. Was he truly presumptuous? Hardly. One simply knew... felt things far before the mind registered it. Unless one trained themselves over many years to recognize such things. As she had... as undoubtedly, he had too. A veil of mystery still lingered between them even though one could clearly see through that gossamer fabric. Or the fact that he wasn't exactly wrong. That question linked to those sweetly uttered words before drew like the evening tide within her mind. That comment that it was not a good idea that she hadn't known he was alive then. She sipped another sip of that fine wine before placing it on the side table that matched the tiled mosaic of the pool floor.
"I've never been one to spend much time wondering what could have been. I very much prefer to consider my options now." Like gods they shaped history. Still could, Cleopatra was certain, those thoughts reserved for another time. The world was not ready for either of them yet. But there would be a time. She was certain it would come. It was far safer to wonder what could have been.. but what if there was a time they could have ruled them all? A time before she knew the man she committed herself to as a young queen with so much to lose. She shifted then, her hand softly tracing the fabric of the silken dress she wore.
"Maybe you might humour me with... a hypothetical scenario if you will. It would please me greatly to hear your answer."