There were few people in her long life that Cleopatra believed that could not be saved. Those that could not find salvation. There was always a breaking point. A point beyond no return when crossed. To kill that giant serpent had been a mercy to a beast that could find no peace in this world. It was not her place to judge him, no, that judgement would find him in the afterlife. A place she believed to exist, she had seen enough to find evidence in it. Regardless, if she had gotten to the magnificent creature sooner if... perhaps he had not lashed out like a cornered animal, perhaps he allowed her powers to soothe his angry soul, things could have been different. A notion she quickly dismissed for now. How close to her own death she had faced that night. How it rattled her more than she wished to admit. It was very rare when her confidence was shaken like it had, even though it hardly showed beyond that regal mask she wore. But that was not the conversation at hand. Nor her feelings on that night and what occurred. That remained firmly within her own mind, sealed within its crypt where it woud likely remain for a time.
However, the Macedonian conqueror remained eerily quiet, something that reminded her of someone that clearly was not the man who sat across from her. But there was something about him. Maybe it was who he was, or his disposition.. Or something else entirely that saw to her tongue having loosened. It was once his tongue she wanted to speak... not her own. She did not expect the way his features almost appeared as youthful as her own, as she allowed those seemingly impenetrable walls to slip. How she missed that feeling of connection with someone who knew the trials and tribulations of a ruler. She didn't even realize how much she missed the vacant hole he maker had left when she died even after the lifetimes of her passing. Cleopatra still felt the ache of her absence. The only single being that could understand, gone like caught in a riptide.
She spoke freely than she had before and it had little to do with the wine. That laughter, genuine as he asked after her secrets. Could he handle them all? Such secrets had very little meaning now, having long since burried. Never would her younger self think that she would be positioned opposite the inspiring king and not his corpse. Perhaps... she might.. But that required far more wine than what was flowing and even then, it required the right question. The egyptian queen could hardly help that slight knowing curl to her lips as a memory surfaced curiously within her mind. Yet it was never meant to surface, at least not just yet.
The conversation itself almost felt like flirtation, drawing in close only to flutter away. A tease, a glance, perhaps, a caress if he were closer. The boyish smile spread across his lips, his ocean eyes met the warm earthy hue of her own. It was far too easy a thing to summon that greek tongue to her, like the countless other languages she could still fluently speak.
His own greek words slipped forth and uttered in perfect dialect, not that she would expect anything less from the macedonian king. He did not disappoint. How she was unable to conceal that alluring grin that adds yet another layer to that suggestion. How she might like that, in a far more intimate setting. "Eán o synchronismós parousiázei ton eaftó tou, to elpízo." If the timing presents its self, I would hope so.
Cleopatra was completely aware of his oh so attentive gaze upon her, as if he memorized every expanding moment between them with intense scrutiny. Studied the way she moved, she spoke, an any number of minute deatils. But she had seen him study that snake the same way. She could only wonder what he deduced in his findings.
But the moments slid by leisurely as the wine faded and nor were they hurried or rushed. She no longer hid behind that rim of her glass that she placed upon that table. The hunter was difficult to read, but she was no stranger to that kind of man.. Nor was she an easy book to decipher herself.
One might call his gaze... far too intense. But the fae did not wither beneath the weight of his ocean eyes, nor did she lose that knowing air that lingered around her. She was forever aware of him in that very moment, just as he was her. Even though her gaze shifted slightly off beyond the pool as if searching for something she hardly found. Hm. Where was he? That large, boorish creature was far too large to simply vanish. It was almost odd how quiet it was besides the soft babbling of the fountain, or the crackling of the fire. Or the distant sound of horses that somehow managed to carry this far.. It was only the barest of moments before the exotic woman returned her dark whiskey hued eyes to him, not thinking much of the potential jailbreak on her hands.
She remained forever comfortable in her own surroundings, even amidst the company of an unlikely guest. How in the lull of that unique moment she could not rid herself of that reocurring thought spurred from his mention of wishing to know her secrets. Was it true? Or was it something to be said to appear charming? Now that would be a terribly long list, one that she wasn't opposed to sharing.. At least a few. But what exactly did he wish to know? The hunter across from her asked nothing of it. Perhaps he preferred the conversation upon himself? It would hardly be surprising even despite the unspoke intrigue between them. One that only rulers of the ancient past could share. It was at that very moment, that she voiced her inquiry. It prompted a frown. Oh, she had not expected that reaction. Did she reach a point of concern? Was he truly concerned of what that question might prompt? No, he didn't seem like the type to be shy of all things. Nor a man to be blindsighted. But at least, if nothing else, she had possessed his attention. Either of them had nothing to lose in the cusp of that moment.
For a moment he observed her as she allowed her fingers to dance upon the silken fabric in consideration and yet those eyes returned to her own.
"You said you wanted to know my secrets, Alexandros.. but perhaps we might share a secret today.. you and I. One I thought of, but knew it could not be possible." Even though they already had in their own ways simply by the influential choices they made. Significant beings such as themselves could always turn ripples into tsunamis.
How aware she was of the weight of his heavy blue stare as he drew his drink to his lips. She was aware of how he watched her, his expression giving nothing. The man the epitome of absolute composure. Not even an ounce of curiosity as all things boyish had once again fled him. He urged her to continue with a simple nod of his head.
"There was a time.. I almost had my thone stolen from me.When my greedy brother attempted to steal my throne with his scheming advisors pulling his strings. They wanted to rule Egypt through him. I had to leave, to tend to unrest in my country, the parts that didn't know me. As you know, it is impossible to be everywhere at once and I would have gladly given what I could for my people to thrive. " She offered a little back story and yet... it wouldn't take much to pin point the exact time in history.
It was a volatile time and aid was needed when drought struck with a resilience. She remembered that year, the nile had never been so depleted and in turn, their food stock had been dangerously depleted. They were rumblings their displeasure that rippled all their way back to her. They needed aid.. They needed their queen that they hardly knew besides the statues and word of mouth. They needed her to make the impossible choices they could not. They needed to know her. She had earned the love of the places closest to her as she earned the love of most of Egypt. She was a hard working queen. She was a generous, informative, decisive and resilient pharoh. She would not tolerate to see her people suffer. However, her absense had set up the perfect moment... for her brother and his advisors to strike. To steal as her sisters had once over thrown her father. It came as a shock to hear the news from one of her cherished advisors who did not rest until he found her. Not to mention the terrible timing with the plundering Romans visiting as well, undoubtedly to discuss business with the crown, only to find her missing! It was the world's worst timing if there was any. How it was all her greatest fears come to rise all at once! A nightmare. She was prohibited from entering her Alexandria. Forbidden from entering her castle, her home. To take the throne what was rightfully hers was nothing short of disgraceful and spurred such wrath... and motivation within her heart. Don't get mad, she remembered herself soothing herself.... Find a way. How her brother's advisors were threatened by the beauty of her, the smarts of her. Knew that she was no mere puppet. No, they wanted a man, a boy they could pull his strings and corrupt.. An easily manipulated little man to run her domain only as a figure head alone. She could rally only so many numbers without the access of her throne, her chosen devoted people. Out there... in that luxurious tent.. But a tent no less she was with nothing except her cunning mind to find a way out of that mess. She had thought of countless scenarios. But none of them were without risk. She was a queen deposed and yet Cleopatra hardly acted as such. She had hope and bold enough to risk it all when it came down to the line. That was when the idea came to her, one hot restless night.
It was then that she had to conceal herself, to sneak in her own city, her own kingdom! All to meet with the roman general Caesar for the first time. To enlist his aid as a queen. To convince him to return her throne to her. After all, she was the far better choice. It was clear. She just needed to endear him and endear him she did. How she remembered the iconic and innovative way she made that meeting happened and the rest seemingly was fated but in reality it was all her.
But what if there was another route? Another man that could have rallied far more forces than even Cesear. A man whose reputation that nearly unified the world under a single impressive rule. A man...who had once been believed dead... A man whose crown was stolen from him far too soon. But what if it could have been returned to him then.. Or at least a chance to gain it again, in an unlikely form? A place at her side... A place coveted by so many suitors desiring a young, rich, beautiful and powerful queen. The only problem was, she wanted none of them. For Cleopatra, it would seem had a type and so very few filled it.
"Its a thought I never uttered out loud.. Not even to your imposter who lay within your tomb. I don't regret the choices I've made in this life.. But what if I knew there was another path.." What little did the past have to do with now? Yet how curiously she burned for his answer. For all his cool calm like night.. She was like the Egyptian sun. She remained poised, sitting far straighter than before. She looked almost regal as if she were still a queen in her own right. Perhaps something far grander on a celestial scale. Like a goddess.
There were very few that would have admitted such a thing. Very few that would look this once great ruler of many... and ask him that very question."If I had known you were alive then.. When my brother and his advisors held my throne hostage. If I had come to you for aid back then to reclaim my throne.." She paused but only for a hair of a second. To think of that army they would have inspired together... It was hardly her brother's fault he was only an unruly child that didn't know better, if anything that he was guilty of.. It was being spoiled and wanting false promises that could never be fullfilled... As his advisors were the only true nefarious creatures. "Would you have seized the chance to be a pharaoh again? Would it have been enough to have resurrect you from.. That newfound life that was thrust on you? Would you have given it up just to rule once more." The romans would have been the only thing in his way to almost reclaim it all. She knew exactly what she asked, the temptation in those words. How different history could have been.
Perhaps it was far too late, even then... perhaps he would have wished to remain a ghost of a king.. Possibly she would have failed to move him... Maybe her beguiling charm only worked on Romans. Or perhaps... he would have conquered her as he had everything else.
What would have been if it were he who possessed her fate and not another as she allowed her words to sink in. She seemed far too calm speaking of events that would have changed the course of history itself.
"Or perhaps it's better we met on equal ground." Or was it?