The young woman's insistence that, in her youth, she had so desired to be a creature 'cooler' then a seal was quick to prompt a soft chuckle to the Frenchman's lips in turn. Ah, but how well he understood such wants as that! Had not every being, within childhood, so desired to be something that they were not? Such wants, such imagination, he was sure, were a part of that road to adulthood and that realization that- even if not always so terribly exciting- there was a pleasure of sorts to be found in what on was rather then wasn't. That very notion however that a tiger or a wolf would surely have been a more wondrous animal to become only furthered that look of amusement upon the Frenchmans features as his head shook ever so slightly. His silver gaze shifted to meet Arya's own once more, the warm simper upon his lips so hardly faltered.
"Ah, perhaps such creatures have their merits on land but both would pale terribly in comparison to a seal when it comes to an ability to swim- and the world has far more water then it does land."
There were merits, he was certain, to her otherwise unique species even if she sometimes wished to be something other- didn't they all? The Frenchman so momentarily content to muse silently upon that very notion before Arya sought to ask after the Ark and its fate. How very raw that loss still was. Matteo, despite that veritable facade of calm he wore so well, had hardly allowed the recent sinking to leave his mind. His own...misjudgement of that future had surely been at least partially to blame for them being unable to prevent the loss of the ship and yet, in the very least, each member of that pack and all the patrons on board that fateful night had made it out safe and alive. It was, perhaps, one of the few ship sinkings in history itself to result in no casualties. How...disappointed Risque would surely have been with that outcome. Matteo, in that moment, so hardly unable to prevent that satisfaction he took from having robbed the vampire woman of the pleasure of the loss of a life. Aiden too had managed to save the vast majority of his car collection. That pack, while scattered, had held together well and if the future was to be believed the sinking of the Ark would result in a rather....impressive new living space for the Nightshade Pack when those pieces had fallen into place. There was something....good to come from this. Even if Aiden had been reluctant to believe him. The loss of a home, after all, was not a wound inclined to heal well or easily. Time, as it so often was, would eventually help that pain to numb. Arya's consideration that they had surely lost a great deal of their possessions in that tragedy was met with a simple nod. The young woman so determinedly offering her own services in an effort to retrieve but some of them.
"Oui, they lost a great deal that night. I can see no harm in offering your assistance, Mon Amie. Tetradore would be grateful, I am sure."
There might yet still be something salvageable from that wreckage. Arya, if anyone, so surely possessed the skills to search it. It was the young woman's desire to track down his son however that prompted the near ancient fae to consider the locations the WereKing was most likely to frequent. Aiden was a difficult man to find at the best of times. Matteo, in that moment, content to allow but the faintest touch of his own affinity to extend. The flare of red that found his gaze was fleeting and momentary before that silver hue returned. The Frenchman, today, so hardly having bothered with those sunglasses he so often wore to conceal that very thing. Ah, but how he had so underestimated young Arya's keenness of eye! The young woman, it seemed, so having noticed that very shift. Swift though it had been as he offered her those exact times in which Aiden could be found. Matteo could so hardly help that near impish simper that found his lips. His insistence that his wearing of pastels and too, the shifting light, was surely to blame for anything she had seen was met with a near curious look from the young woman. That very realization that he was teasing at her seemed to dawn a moment later. Arya's words were laced with humour in turn as she insisted his explanation made sense. The silent acknowledgement between them further prompted the simper upon Matteo's own lips before the pair fell to a comfortable, companionable silence once more.
How very pleasant it was to sit beside the ocean. How long it had been since he had. Arya reached into her pocket then to retriever her phone and input those dates and times he had offered her. The young woman seemed inclined to stare at that screen for several long moments. Whatever she saw upon it seemed to rob her of the light-heartedness that had clung to her voice and figure but only moments before. Arya was quick to put her phone away, the young woman near bravely attempting to force a smile to her lips, as if she feared to ruin that moment of companionable peace. Yet it was so hardly her features that gave away her internal distress. Matteo's gaze shifted downward, that shake to her hands near undeniable. How easy it was to extend his own hand and allow it, for just a moment, to rest upon her own. As if that single touch might chase away whatever distress clung to her. His own words were little more than a gentle utterance then, a soft insistence that perhaps gloves might chase away the cold. How surely they both knew it was hardly a lack of gloves that had prompted such a response and yet Matteo so offered her that escape all the same. A perfectly reasonable excuse to allow her to keep her thoughts to herself. To remove that pressure of a need for explanation if she did not wish it so. That choice so firmly her own.
Arya's assurance that she had surely kept him long enough was met with a simple wave of his hand. The near ancient Fae assured that he had held no plans for the day and that he so surely had time to lay upon that beach a little longer. His figure lay back upon the towel then, his head resting within the sand as his hands came to rest upon his chest. That position was near childlike, Matteo inclined to feel near boyish and yet it was undeniably comfortable and too- so distinctly...relaxed. One so designed to prompt Arya to feel at ease in turn. Perhaps she might desire to speak of what was on her mind, else she might simply wish to merely sit beside him and talk of anything else. There was surely time for either. A silence of sorts seemed to find them once more before Arya shifted upon that towel to lay beside him in turn. It was, sometimes, far easier to talk to the clouds and sky above rather than the eyes of another for fear of what those expressions might show. Ah, how many times had Alexander taken him riding when it was his Father had known he had something he wished to say? The buffer of those horses and the road ahead had so often coaxed those words from him. Alexander so never having needed to push.
The silver of the Frechmans gaze shifted slightly sideways once more. The near tense hold to the young woman's frame was hardly missed and yet for now he said little upon it. His eyes returned smoothly to that sky above. The bright blue, marked with the occasional cloud, was just as he had always recalled it. No matter from which country on earth he glanced upward, that sky so seemed the same every time. Hmmm. Perhaps there was something peaceful in that. Arya's soft voice interrupted that silence then, the woman posing a hypothetical question.
"Oui, I should like to hear it."
He responded softly, his gaze content to continue to stare upward and afford her that...privacy, of sorts as she spoke. Arya, so finally, unburdening those words that sat so heavily upon her chest and within her throat. How her words shuttered and broke! That emotion within her voice, despite her efforts, was distinctly clear as it threatened to choke her, to rob her of sound and yet she continued all the same. Arya nothing short of nearboldly determined to free herself of those words- no matter how painful. Matteo himself could hardly escape that near dull ache her words prompted within his own chest. How well he understood the suffering of a child entrapped within a world they could not escape and at the hands of someone more powerful than they. How many times had he struggled to piece Aiden back together after he been beaten and broken? Perhaps those situations were not quite the same and yet, the Frenchman was certain, it was a distinctly darkened form of evil that would betray the trust of a child and bring such pain to an innocent being. It was as Arya said. A child was an easy victim. A powerless victim. One who had been made to believe they could not trust. That very darkness Arya had so finally escaped, it seemed, had made something of a return. Those childhood fears, so unresolved, having returned with that man. I'm scared, Matteo. Ah, but how those very words so tugged at the depths of his heart. How surely there was a solution to her fears and yet....for him to do such a thing was surely to act agianst the will of fate. Matteo, as he so often had, inclined to consider once more just why it was so that being such as Aiden, as Dorian, as Arya.....were so inclined to suffer at fate's hands. Why was it that the good were so sorely tested over and over?
Arya's near feeble attempt at humour, even in the wake of that story, so managed to prompt the faintest simper to his lip once more as Matteo sat gently upward again, his silver gaze cast downward at the young woman with her tear-stained face. Her words prompted a shake of his head.
"No, Mon Cherie, it was not a question."
He offered simply, those accented words soft once more and so distinctly free of any hint of judgement for that tale she had offered. One he believed in its entirety. After all, to have another so believe them, sometimes, was of equal value to offering to listen. Matteo's left hand lifted then, that simple flick of his wrist so prompting a sudden appearance of a neatly pressed, white folded handkerchief, his own initials so neatly engraved into the corner with golden thread. That handkerchief so gently offered to Arya then to allow her to dry the tears from her cheeks.
"I think, young one, that it is quite alright to be scared. There are few crimes in this world so sinful as to bring harm and pain and fear to a child. The very kind that follows her into adulthood and still haunts her dreams and waking hours. Do not be ashamed to feel afraid. We all cry, Mon Ami."
How distinctly important it was to remove that very embarrassment from her over those tears. Surely, after what she had suffered, she so held the right to cry, did she not? Such tears, perhaps, had been held in for far too long.
"This man, Mademoiselle Arya, does not hold such power over you any longer. You are no longer a child in a world in which those around you do not believe you. You are so much stronger than you believe but this fear is a thing most potent, I know. I think you will find comfort in the protection of a pack. Yet too, when the time comes for you to confront this man- and indeed this time will come- if you should desire, I can.....assist you."
That simper once more tugged but gently at his lips. Matteo so hardly elaborating upon that very thing. That offer is merely given all the same. How difficult it was to balance his own desire with the will of fate and that veritable destiny that lay before her. How angry Fate would be with him if he upset that balance. Yet- that did not mean he could not...be useful still. Even in ways unexpected.
"I am sorry, Mon Cherie, that the world has not always been so kind to you. You did not deserve to have such things as that happen. That you still look upon the world with such kindness and joy is a testament to your own strength."
c'est dur d'être un dieu.