we built this city on broken glass
It was rare, in every sense, for Alexanders voice to take on that particular tone of irritation. Frost had seen his rider angry before, he had seen Alexander take disdain in others and yet, for the most part, the Hunter was near unwaveringly....calm. This 'Khan' being, to provoke such genuine contempt in Alexander, had thereby managed to irritate the hunter significantly or thoroughly enough to deserve that emotion. Frost, by that same measure, had come to accept Alexander's judgement of most beings. After all, he was inclined to admit, Alexander was rarely wrong. Not when it came to people. For all the Hunter's frowning and muttering beneath his breath when it came to vampires or other supernatural species- any sort of true, personal dislike, was rare. What on earth this Khan had done to earn it was a point of curiosity. The mans name alone prompting Frost's violet gaze to shift away from Alexander and Matteo both and back in the direction of that capital city they had landed in. One that had been all but surrounded by statues of the very being whom only moments ago had been about to come towards them. His query on whether or not this was the same Khan was met with that same snap of irritation. For all Alexander's disdain of the man, Mongolia, and its people, seemed to adore him. Frost inclined to consider that those very statues made the man appear far more grand than he truly was in life- and significantly shorter. Alex moved to pull his second glove on with notable force before answering his query on just why there seemed to be such dislike between the pair. The Macedonian insisting his army had held off Khan's own for several weeks as Frost merely allowed one eye to raise in curiosity. The stallion momentarily forgetting the discomfort of that bridle.
"I think I would like to hear that story."
Whether or not Alexander intended to tell it remained to be seen and yet, with his near inability to forget, even Frost was inclined to admit the Macedonian made an excellent storyteller- for the most part. His own intrigue in those battles of the past only further prompting his curiosity. A curiosity that was forgotten in the wake of Alexander's hand suddenly reaching for that bridle. Frost's own head was swung upward and out of reach. That pointed look he was afforded was met with one of his own before that demand for an apple was pressed into his companions mind. Alexander always had an apple for him. Why should this time be any different? Did Alexander intend to starve him the entire trip? The macedonians near blunt insistence that Bucephalus had been lucky to get any apples in the months spent riding across Ariana so readily prompted that near roll of Frost's own violet gaze. How often did Alexander speak of that infernal black steed from his past!? Frost, perhaps, unwilling to admit at his own sheer determination to be better then that animal alexander had, once, valued so greatly as to name a city after. It was foolish, perhaps, to attempt to best an animal and yet, by way of his own Alpha blood or indeed, simple nature, Frost remained distinctly determined to be, eventually, declared the better horse. Even if, for now, he remained nothing short of content to argue that very point.
"It is hardly my fault your old horse did not have the ability to tell you what he wanted. He would have told you he desired apples too- if he had possessed the intelligence."
Alexander's hand reached upward to seize that bridle then, a singular, gentle tug prompting the heavy stallion to follow after the Macedonian and his French son (another great point of intrigue). Frost's heavy footfalls grew increasingly more rapid the closer and closer to that starting line they drew. The war horse hardly immune to that air of anticipation that seemed to exist all around them. His own usually stoic, calm demeanor giving way to something far more ...excitable and wholly determined in the wake of that adrenaline that seemed to fill everyone and everything around them. It was only Matteo's insistence that they need not only win that race- but beat the current record for doing so- that prompted Frost's gaze back down to his rider and away from the chaos of the starting line. Alexander bluntly insisting there was no point in competing in such a race unless they intend to win it thoroughly. At the very least, he was inclined to admit, Alexander did nothing half-heartedly. The mans words met with little more than a snort.
It took several reminders for Frost to remember to remain behind both Alexander and Matteo as they eventually reached that starting line. The stallion not uninclined to admit that his own competitiveness had readily began to rise within him. His near teasing insistence that Alexander's decidedly tight riding pants were 'sexy' so readily coaxing that laughter from the Frenchman and eye roll from Alexander in turn. Good. Such was well deserved for denying him that apple. Frost found himself inclined to impatience as Alexander moved to his side to check each strap and buckle on that saddle and chest plate, a habit, Frost had noted, that seemed to persist in his companion. Alexander inclined to check every part of that riding gear each time they rode. Frost, today, far more eager for the man to simply climb into that saddle before those more ideal places at the starting line were gone entirely. It was Matteo's mention of an app that seemed to seize the attention of both older men then. The pair apparently baffled as to both how the app worked, what it did and how to install it. Frost, for now, merely inclined to watch on in silence at this struggle. Hmmm. Two of history's greatest figures downed by an app. How very amusing. Assisting them, surely, would have given away his attempts to present as a regular horse. Frost assured this alone was sufficient enough excuse to watch the pair struggle before Matteo gave up entirely with the insistence he would ask someone named Sebastian or Aiden.
It was Matteo's knowledge of the start of that race, however, that seemed to ensnare both Frost and Alexander's attention as a whole, both men inclined to listen as the Fae insisted which horses would stumble or otherwise start poorly. The mention of Khan's stallion readily saw Frost's own violet gaze shift toward the dun before Matteo wished them both luck. Alexander insisting they would seem him at the finish line before finally seeing fit to swing up and into the saddle. He could near feel Alexander's hands on those reins, light as the mans touch was, Frost momentarily contemplating how much those realhorses surely suffered at the hands of riders who rode, well, heavy handedly on the reins. Alexander's own touch so near featherlight he could barely feel it at all. That anticipation seemed to grow all the more in those moments. Those anxious horses and equally anxious riders prompting even Frost to ner dance in place before striding eagerly to that painted starting line.
A sudden shift in that wind however readily saw the equines head turn sideways to eye Genghis Khan once more. That potent vampiric scent near overwhelming. How long had the man been a vampire for? That very query was pressed to Alexander's mind. The hunter, it seemed, equally as surprised by that discovery. Khan so apparently having been human some eight hundred years ago. It was, however, hardly the man's vampire status that so intrigued Frost the most.
"No vampire can go seven days, comfortably, without eating. What does he intend to feed on in the middle of nowhere?"
Each of those other competitors would carry that same GPS signal. Each of them could be tracked at any time, anywhere and each of them had been attended by at least one groom. Someone to raise that alarm if they weren't missing. It would be near....impossible for Khan to hunt his fellow competitors. Frost momentarily left wondering whether or not the vampire had simply packed....blood with him for the journey in place of water and yet he could hardly have packed enough. It would be better, perhaps, if Khan was avoided entirely. The horse beside him suddenly shifted, the animal colliding with Frosts own shoulders as the snow colured stallion allowed his ears to pin back in disdain. Alexander's hand suddenly find his neck. He hardly understood that uttered word and yet he had always found Alexanders native language oddly....soothing in some fashion. Frost, for now, stilling beneath that touch and fixating his attention on that starter, each muscle content to tense in readiness. Alexander, atop his back, seemed to do the same before that gun suddenly fired.
Those very horses that Matteo had suggested would falter stumbled near as soon as that gun fired. Several more, terrified by the sound of the gun, spooked sideways- their screams nearly as loud as that gun itself. Frost leapt leapt readily forward and into the fray, his ears flattening agianst the sound, the stallion eagerly attempting to find that more outside track to free Alexander and himself from the dust and debris kicked up by those faster horses that had charged near instantly forward to fight for the lead. Alexanders urging prompted the WereHorse to increase his own pace, Frost settling mid field as those horses and riders began to spread further out across that vast, wide open plain. It hardly took long before that gap between competitors began to grow wider and wider, several horses, urged by their riders, slowed back to a canter or a fast paced trot. Frost, for now, content with that comfortable gallop as they passed another rider atop a bay mare. The stallion counting seven more horses ahead of them, Khan and his stallion hardly more than a dun coloured spot upon the horizon. That flat, open plan, afforded each rider a significant view in every direction all the same. It was several moments still before Frost, at last, began to slow from that gallop and back to a sweeping, fast-paced trot. The sound off his hooves atop that earth seeming t echo for near miles. Those competitors ahead and behind far enough away to make them appear almost entirely alone.
Alexander, as he had anticipated, fell smoothly into the trot, the Hunters position hardly shifting. How vastly more ...capable Alexander was then Nadya. His mate had, admittedly, been forced to learn to ride in near a week as opposed to Alexander's 2000 years and yet that difference was nothing short of extreme. Alexander simply moved effortlessly with him. Frost's ears slid forward then, the war horse attempting to capture those sounds of the horses still ahead of them as his hooves beat that contunited pattern atop the long grass and soft earth. How hard could it be to simply trot along like this for a few days? One ear swivelled loosely back to Alexander then in a clear display of his attention shifting from that wide open space and the gathering dark clouds ahead to the man atop his back.
"You never told me Matteo was your son."
Those words were pressed easily to his companions mind, his tone hardly accusing. Rather, Frost found himself curious as to why Alexander had never seen fit to mention that Frenchman was his own child on any of those occasions the Fae had been present for training nights. That silence persisted for several seconds before the simple admittance was offered softly to the Hunter in turn.
"He has your ...talent, for working with horses. He moves the same way as you do. He is very patient. I don't dislike him."
Frost, after all, was inclined to dislike most beings based upon the fact of their existence alone. Such praise for another being was rare in any sense and yet Alexander had done well in raising his son. Frost, in the least, content to offer that praise of sorts before falling silent once more. The stallion oblivious to any notion that the Fae might have been anything less than Alexander's biological child. Frosts own head turned upward briefly to eye the sky above, that drop in temperature a near sure sign of imminent rain. The sooner they crossed that first stream the better. The waterway likely to become swollen with water in the downpour making that crossing far wider and deeper than it might otherwise have been. That map had indicated the first water crossing was no more than a few miles from the start. Surely they could hardly be far. That ride became pleasantly silent then. Frost, for now, wholly content with his own thoughts as they simply trotted onward. That stallion not unwilling to admit he enjoyed that open space and the coldtouch to the air, the space between those riders seemed to grow and yet the hoof prints in the ground ahead of them assured they were still travelling well in the right direction and hardly too far behind those horses ahead even after several hours of travel. Those open fields soon began to give way to more mountainous, rocky country. That trail beginning to, slowly, dip into a valley of sorts as those snow-covered peaks in the distance drew ever closer.
"Alexander!" The sudden shout of someone else approaching saw Frost's own head turn to glance backward. The stallion assuring his good eye was turned towards that approaching rider. His pace hardly faltering. Maddie, with Jocleyln in tow, urged their own mounts faster to bring their pair of geldings in line with Frost until those horses footfalls fell in time. Both women, their cheeks flushed with cold, seemed delighted to have caught up to the draft stallion. The sweat that stained their horses flanks gave some indication that the pair had surely pushed their mounts to some degree to achieve that feat. "Did you hear Alexander? News has just come through via radio. There was an argument back at base camp between a few of the grooms. Your friend was apparently involved. Knocked some Mongol groom out cold with a tent peg. Someone said they got into an argument before hand, someone else said the Mongol guy came at him out of nowhere." Frost's own eyes rose ever so slightly at that tale. The stallions words offered to Alexander alone then.
"I think Genghis Khan just tried to have your Faerie son killed."