we built this city on broken glass
Matteo, Frost had decided, was an agreeable sort of person. The large, pale stallion inclined to accept the Frenchmans company as he did few others. Frost almost willing to admit he enjoyed attempting to outdo the other man and yet- he had learned early on- that Matteo was a distinctly difficult man to outsmart when it came to those equine matters. Alexander had assured him that the Fae had been responsible for the care of his horses for centuries and that he surely trusted no one else more and yet Frost remained determined to continue to test Matteo at every given opportunity prior to that race day. The stallion almost begrudgingly inclined to admit that his new French groom was.....far more apt than most. It was for that reason, alone, perhaps, that he stood politely enough to allow Fae to organise that saddle with its saddle bags, those chest and girth straps and albeit warily- that rope bridle with its steel bit. He had worn bridles before and yet never with Alexander, the Hunter suitably skilled enough to direct him with his heels and weight alone and yet Frost was, this time, willing to accept those rules of the race and allow that bridle to be fitted. Matteo's assurances that Alexander was nothing but skilled with his hands in- far more then just riding- readily coaxed that pinning of his ears. His attempt to nip at the Fae falling short as Matteo teleported away only to appear back at his side to begin to plait that long, thick mane into a single braid down hi neck.
It was a sharp, unusual scent of smoke, horse and something almost bitter that coaxed Frost's attention toward those two approaching men and the dun stallion they dragged along behind them. Their pointing and snickering so hardly irritated him, Frost merely allowing his tail to flick up at his flanks in a gesture almost dismissive. He had become strikingly used to being laughed at over that past week. That group Alexander had befriended were more inclined to that playful teasing and yet the rest of those competitors tended to view him with some mixture of surprise, disbelief, amusement or outright scorn. His sheer size, after all, was significantly different to that collection of Mongolian horses, Thoroughbreds, Arabians, Akel-Tekes and Stock Horses that seemed to make up the majority of the other animals present. Yet- Frost was determined those months upon months of training would not be wasted even if he could hardly claim he had been...thrilled about the idea of this 'race' to begin with. Alexander akin to a dog with a damn bone when he decided to do something. Frost, by way of pride alone, refusing to afford his Hunter companion any reason to choose a different horse. Alexander belong to him- of that much Frost was certain.
It was Matteo's sudden call for Alexander himself that prompted the equines head to turn back toward those Mongolaian men, the Fae having ceased to continue to finish that braid. Those men seemingly content to all stare at one another before Matteo called for Alex a second time. Why on earth he seemed so damn concerned Frost hardly knew. The stallion failing to see why it mattered if those men came towards them. The equine querying that very thing only to be told it was a story better left to Alexander and that Matteo intended to summon the Hunter. That sudden, singularly shouted word saw Frost's own eyes lift and seemed to halt that Mongolian man in his tracks. Dad. How very much that explained! And how it brought Alexander near running from that tent. Frost near certain in that moment that he could see a clear resemblance between the Fae and Hunter now. His violet gaze shifted then to glance between Alexander and that Mongolian man. His companion appearing more then...displeased at the sight of him and yet Alexanders mere presence, for now, seemed to be enough to see that Mongolian change his plans, snap at his groom, and march in the opposite direction.
The sound of Alexander's voice prompted Frost's ears forward once more as the man busied himself with his riding gloves before insisting the Mongolian was better known as Genghis Khan. That hard, almost bitter note to his companions voice was ...unusual. Alexander, after all, so rarely allowed any emotions to taint his words. That disdain he felt for this particular man- one of history's most famed generals- so evidently distinctly potent. His words, in that moment, directed toward Alexander and Matteo both.
"Genghis Khan? The Horse Lord in those statues they have everywhere? Why does he dislike you so much? He does not look much like a Lord."
He had looked, as far as Frost was concerned, stocky and heavy and yet beneath the amount of furs he had been wearing his true build had been difficult to discern. Frost, in truth, knowing little of the man beyond what vague knowledge he had gleaned from history books over the years and yet- if he was the rider those books made him out to be he might yet prove a true competitor. Alexander's sudden effort to reach for his bridle abruptly saw Frost lift his own head up and out of reach- a silent stare passing between the pair for several moments before Frost's head lowered once more to bump his muzzle agianst the man's pocket with a demand for that apple. A demand Alexander seemed unwilling to fulfil. Frost's own ears fell backward into his mane once more. An irritable snort released from his nostrils as the Hunter insisted he had already received that molasses yesterday. Frost content to shoot Matteo a judgemental look as if inclined to blame the Fae for having told the Hunter about that surgery treat.
"You expect me to go ten days without an apple? Did you starve all your horses?"
Starve was, perhaps, something of a strong term and yet that near deadpan fashion in which those words were offered seemed to amuse the Frenchman at the very least. Alexander reached up to take that bridle then, Frost allowing himself to be led along behind the Hunter and the Fae as they headed for that startline. Matteo's voice rising over the bustling sound of that activity then; 'I think, Mon Amie, he expects you to wait for only seven days.' Seven days? Frost's features frowned as much as they were able within that equine skin as his heavy hooves pressed into the hard earth with each stride.
"The race takes ten days, Matteo. Not Seven."
'Oi, but the record is seven and a half days.'
"You expect us to cross Mongolia in seven days?"
His words, this time, were directed toward Alexander. The Hunter hardly having made any mention that he intended to break that race record while he was at it. Frost near assured such a thing was almost impossible, especially with several days of forecast storms. Another, soft snort left his nose then, the trio momentarily falling silent as Alex attempted to steer them through that crowd of riders and horses alike. Even Frost willing to admit that anticipation had begun to prompt a fluttering of sorts within his own chest. That bustle of activity easily beginning to take hold of him- that eagerness to start readily seeing his own pace pick up until Alexander was forced, on several occasions, to remind him not to walk on top of him and Matteo in turn and stay behind.
"Your pants are very sexy from here."
That bark of laughter from Matteo hardly seemed to thrill Alexander. Frost momentarily satisfied in his mild revenge and yet Alexanders pants seemed to be distinctly common amongst most of those other riders. That tight fitting fabric having earned the hunter far more than one admiring look from those female riders- and at least one man as they approached that start line. Matteo easily came to stand at his head then, the Frenchman grasping that bridle to hold him and offer Alexander that final chance to inspect that saddle and spare equipment as Matteo fished his phone from his pocket. 'Maddie and Joclyn told me you have a tracking device and I can follow your progress on the, how you say? App? What is an app? How do I make it appear? It is on the phone, no?' Alexander, whom had struggled to work even the GPS would not, Frost suspected, have any idea how to work an app. The stallion content to watch that conversation in amusement. Alexander The Great and his equally as old son attempting to work a phone before Matteo merely threw up his arms. 'I will ask Aiden or Sebastian, they are good with the phones. We need to talk about the start. Stay away from the bay arabian mare and the piebald Mongolian horse- they will both trip and stumble once the gun fires. The chestnut Thoroughbred, Kahn's dun stallion, they grey Arabian gelding, Rob, Jack and Henry will all go forward the fastest- let them go. Your Frost is not made to sprint and there is no use wasting his energy that early on. Stay in the middle and to the side, the left is better. Stay clear of the other horses as much as you can. Once that initial gallop is over you can find your position then. They say the draft horse will work all day, you should, steadily, outlast most of the sprinters but do not let Kahn get too far ahead- that horse of his is Mongolian bred and born here- it is hard fit, it will go all day and it has some speed on it.Good luck to you both. I will see you at the end.'
Much of those things, Frost suspected, Alexander already knew and yet Matteo speaking that plan so offered himself that knowledge as well. Frost already spying those two horses the Frenchman had suggested thy should avoid and yet how he knew they would stumble the stallion hardly knew. Matteo shifted to his side then to keep that saddle in place, Frost himself lifting one leg to allow Alexander to use it as a step before swinging up and onto his back. The feel of the Hunter's hands on those reins distinctly...unusual. Frost wholly content to toss his head several times if only to get used to that feeling. Matteo, it seemed, had been right. Alexander's hands were far lighter on those reins then any he'd felt before. That excitement readily becoming more palpable then as more and more of those riders began to mount up, Frost near inclined to trot in place in some effort to alleviate that nervous energy that saw him shift and shuffle about until Alex sofinally seemed to point him towards a spot on that starting line he liked- one at least five horses way from Khan- the direction of the wind bringing the man's scent toward him again. That bitter scent almost...rotted.
"How long has Genghis Kahn been a day-walking vampire for?"
Those words were offered to Alexander's mind alone. Frost having identified that scent readily now as those horses spun and turned and danced upon that line in anticipation, several of them rearing back onto their hind legs amidst the shouts of those riders. Further down that line, two stallions had already gotten into a fight, those roaring squeals of outrage echoing across the plain. Frost's own ears flattened as the gelding beside him collided with his shoulder for the third time. Those horses jostling for position as much as their riders. Frost's size, in the least, seeming to have dettered most from standing to close lest he trample them entirely. He could feel Alexander tense a little more before knotting his fingers into his braided mane for a better grip, that starter finally having climbed into that rickety tower to raise his gun into the air as Frosts own muscles tensed. That gun exploded with a near deafening echo across that plain- the beginning of that race near akin to hell on hooves as every one of those horses and riders lunged forward at once. Those collisions were numerous, those horses Matteo had identified stumbling early, one rider thrown near immediately. Another horse, spooked by that gun threw itself onto its hind legs, going forward only after the others had already raced away. The dust thrown back by those leading horses readily clouded Frosts own nose and already limited vision, the stallion, in the least, managing to keep that pace Alexander asked for. Frost maneuvering them to the outside of the group and into that clear running space, the pair somewhere in the middle for positioning. Frost managing to keep up well with most of those horses as his legs extended further and further to keep that easy gallop in place. The man unable to deny he ...enjoyed that run and the open plain it presented them, the horses and riders beginning to spread out more and more across the plain, some already having dropped back to a slow canter in order to preserve that energy. Genghis khan, as Matteo had predicted- already leading that group ten horses ahead.