we built this city on broken glass
There was a satisfaction to be found in those endless, open plains. Even despite the sheer distance that lingered before them Frost found himself inclined to look forward to that ride. How he relished that open space! The clean, crisp air carried with it a myriad of scents, the very sort the streets of Sacrosanct so often robbed him from exploring if only by way of the smoke of cars and the roar of traffic. Here, within that vast and largely untamed wilderness the stallion found himself far more inclined to embrace those truly equine aspects of his nature. The veritable animal within himself found a simple and pure joy in that initial gallop and too- a glorious peaceful contentment in that swift trot that followed after. Frost was inclined to enjoy the rhythm of his own hooves agianst the earth. Each breath of air through his nostrils was nothing but sharp and clean and cold. Alexander, in a true testament to his riding ability, rode so beautifully smoothly that Frost barely felt the man's presence at all. Even with that bridle in place the Hunter's hands remained soft and far more gentle than any other rider Frost had ever had before. The majority of those Hunter's after all, were inclined to tug at those reins and the bit between his teeth. Alexander rode as men were supposed to ride- with near no interference to his mount.
With each breath of that cold, clean air came to scent and promise of rain. Frost inclined to find himself equally as eager as his rider to ford that river before the downpour encouraged it to swell and make the crossing all the more challenging. The Mongols, after all, had never been particularly well known builders of solid bridges. The pair continued that trip in companionable silence, each left to his own thoughts before Frost so finally sought to inquire after Matteo. Alexander, for as long as he had known the man, having only ever mentioned having children in the occasional, vague moment or tale. It was unusual, at least to Frosts mind, that the Hunter so hardly sought to introduce his own son as just that when the other man stood before him and yet too- Frost was inclined to admit he understood exactly why both Hunter and Fae so hardly chose to disclose that relationship to the Mounted Unit at large. Alexanders insistence that Matteo hardly needed him as a Father any longer so readily coaxed that confusion more readily to the forefront of the equines mind. Alexander's very wording of that sentence was ...curious and yet his efforts to coax clarification from the Hunter revealed little beyond the notion Matteo was a father in turn. Making Alexander a grandfather. The idea, somehow, readily amusing to the warhorse.
"What do your grandchildren call you? Please tell me it is something ridiculous like Poppy. I would enjoy seeing you called that. Are they Fae as well? Your grandchildren?"
The idea that Alexander, as a Hunter, might have both a Fae son and Fae grandchildren was as amusing to that stallion as the idea that those children might yet refer to the man by some foolish name that seemed so distinctly common in America. Then again, with Matteo's age so near two thousand as Alexander had said- those grandchildren might yet be grown adults themselves. That talk of Alexander's once lacking patience seemed to prompt a chuckle from the Hunter in turn before the pair fell back into that comfortable silence as they climbed that first ridge before being afforded a view down and into the depths of the valley upon the other side. Such a view affording them the chance to spot several of the competitors ahead of them- along with that river within the distance they needed to cross before the black skies above released that downpour.
Frost had no sooner started that descent down and into the valley, his feathered hooves scraping at the loose shale beneath them, when a shout from behind saw both his ears turn backward in an effort to better capture that voice. Alexander's heels pressed firmly at his sides in that subtle reminder to continue onward as Alexander swiveled within the saddle. Frost, for now, content to let his rider examine whom was coming behind them as he continued on his own downward path lest they lose any ground. Those two women were quick to urge their mounts forward until those two horses flanked Frost on either side, the women quick to bring that news of an attack from base camp. One agianst Alexander's own son no less. The hunter, as Frost had anticipated, offered little outward display off his own irritation and yet how readily he felt the man's grip on those reins tighten. Alexander, he had come to discover of the years they had known one another- was not a man who liked to be trifled with. This, he knew, would displease his companion intensely. Even if he merely attempted to display little more than outward concern for his 'groom'. The women were quick to offer what details of the story they know. Matteo so apparently having made light work of his would-be assailant. The local authorities apparently involved.
Those two women continued to chatter. Jocelyn going so far as to query both Alexander and Matteo's marital status. Alexander, for once, seeming so wholly oblivious to the conversation that the woman's clear intrigue was nothing short of missed entirely. Much to her clear dissapoint. Alexanders own thoughts turned with such ferocity that Frost was quick to pull his own mind from them. The stallion, for now, far more intrigued in crossing that river and leaving those women behind as his own pace increased once more- only for Alexander to tug firmly back on thse reins as if daring him to set a pace faster then what the Hunter had decided upon. Fro several precarious moments the often irritable steed considered that very argument with the man upon his back and yet that bridle afforded the Hunter a newfound control. One Frost was unwilling to test lest Alexander win that battle far to easily and decide that bridles should become a regular part of their riding repertoire. Frost, this time, easing back to that pace Alexander had dictated. The Hunter assuring him, in the very least, that he did not intend to ride with the women for much longer. Those first few drops of rain began to fall as the trio finally arrived at the bridge- or what remained of it. Those missing planks clear for all to see. The last rider to have made it across that raging water no other than Khan himself. That dun stallion he rode just within sight as the rain began to fall harder.
The single curse word was uttered to Alexander's mind alone. Frost commenting near sarcastically on the chances of that bridge having fallen down after Khan had ridden across it. Alexander's own response was equally as dry. The hunters suspicions clearly aligning with his own as the women, oblivious to that subterfuge, bemoaned having to ride the extra miles all the way around to the next bridge. The idea of adding an extra half a day to that ride readily prompting Frost to turn along that bank in search of an entry point into that water- quote without Alexanders direction. That uttered warning with his name prompted the vaguest of pauses from the equine. Frost momentarily considering how far he was willing to push his companion and yet with those women still watching them it was largely unlikely Alexander would seek to enact any true discipline. Frost, for now, content to take the manner into his own hooves. The stallion stepped abruptly into that raging river, the water near instantly tugging harshly at his legs with the promise to sweep him under were he any lighter. That significantly bulky, draft build however- the very thing that had prompted laughter from the majority of those competitors- was the very thing that allowed him to do what no other mount in that race was capable off. Fording that river on power alone.
Alexander scrambled to lift his feet upward, Frost offering little more than a snort of amusement at his riders clear irritation with him before he paused within the center of that rioting river- much to the great concern of Maddie and Jocelyn, both women eyein Alexander with a mixture of fear and genuine awe at such bold riding. Really, Frost was assured those looks were better offered toward him and yet the stallion remained content to play the horse for now as Alexander sent those women around to the far bridge. The pair reluctantly swinging their mounts around to hurry onward as the rain began to come down in torrents and Alexander all but demanded he remove them from the river.
"I don't know why your worried about getting your shoes wet. It's pouring now. Everything is wet."
That near dry response, he knew, was unlikely to impress his companion. Frost, for now, wading onwards and towards the other side of the bank as that cold water bit at his skin. Those large, heavy hooves readily found the soft mud of the other side as the war horse climbed upward and out of that stream. Frost pausing only so long as to shake himself in a fashion near dog-like, forcing Alexander to grip at his mane to stay aboard before. That rain was all but pounding down now, Frosts mane had readily become stringy in that damp, those tendrils of forelock sticking to his face and head as the water ran from them. Alexander had surely packed a rain jacket for himself hadn't he? That urging of the man's heels to continue readily prompted Frost forward once more, the equine easily picking up that canter this time, his long legs eating smoothly away at that ground as he near determinedly picked up that faint and rapidly disappearing scent of Kahn's own horse. That trail wove between the base of the mountains then, those towering cliffs on either side seeing that water run down them and into that small valley the pair rode along. This was hardly an ideal place to pause too long. Frost more then willing to canter through it, his hooves thudding heavily on that damp earth.
"That Joclyen was interested in you, you know? You and your son. I could see it within her mind. She had quite a lot of thoughts on what she would like to do with either of you- or both. She had a vivid imagination. You missed an opportunity there. If your into that sort of woman."
Jocelyn, after all, was so far from his own 'type' that Frost found the idea almost displeasing and yet at the very least, unlike Alexander, he had been aware of the woman's interest. That trail ahead of them abruptly forked, Frost forced to slow back to that loping trot as his hooves paused at that very join. The vast majority of the competitors ahead of them had gone to the left, the hooves of their horses having worn a thick track in the earth- one rapidly filling with water and yet at least three others had gone to the right. That left track looked far more open, breaking out of the mountains and back across the fields, that track to the right wound only deeper into that valley with those towering cliffs on either side making that track narrow and, Frost suspected, slippery once it began to climb up the mountain as it surely did. Going through that mountain pass however was surely far faster than going around it. The press of Alexander's heel agianst his left side readily saw Frost turn to the right as he had suspected of the Hunter, the stallion breaking back into that trot to take up the far less travelled path deeper into the valley.
Those cliffs that rose either side of them seemed to grow taller and taller, that path more and more narrow as the rain continued its relentless stream, soaking both Hunter and horse until Frost was forced to slow to a determined walk as the ground underfoot became all the more slippery. A snort was forced from his nose, Frost expelling that water as he pressed onward and around that next corner, his ears pricking forward with curiosity at a distant...rumbling sound.
"What is that?"
It sounded far off and yet drawing closer all at once. His own sharp hearing perhaps picking up that sound before Alexander had and yet it grew louder as it drew closer. Was someone ...galloping up that path ahead of them? How suddenly ...unwilling Frost found himself to go any further forward, even at that touch of Alexander's heels. The stallion abruptly striding backwards several paces before pausing. A long moment of silence seeming to stretch before them before that rock slide abruptly brought down a near avalanche of stone and boulders atop that place the pair had been standing only moments ago. Frost's hooves scrambled even further backward to avoid those flying stones- that path ahead so firmly blocked by that pile of collapsed boulder and rubble. That way so seemingly...impassable.
"Fucking hell. The rain must have...."
Those very words were near halted within his mind as the sound of another set of hooves, Frost's gaze drawn readily upward to the cliffs above to eye that dun stallion who nimbly picked his way across the top. Khan, seated upon its back, merely glanced downward with a look nothing short of satisfaction as he simply rode past without an uttered word. How the man and horse had even gotten up there Frost hardly knew as his own violet gaze turned back to the pile of wet rock and rubble blocking the path before them.
"I intensely dislike that man."