The bar was dark, dingy, tired in every sense of the word and yet- it was entirely unapologetic about that very thing. It was almost...refreshing to be in a place that felt far more real than the often high end restaurants of Denmark or Belgium or Germany or wherever NATO saw fit to hold its latest gathering of world leaders. There was, Matteo was certain, utterly nothing wrong with luxury in any sense. Indeed the near ancient Fae all but relished the finer things in life and yet- those restaurants so often served food they deemed...suitable for dignitaries. Politicians, Advisors, Governor Generals, Presidents. Food that Matteo was certain was safe and yet....terribly boring in every sense. Ah, but how it assaulted his fine tastes when those restaurants withheld their traditional or cultural dishes in an effort to appease a broad audience! Such a sacrifice of flavor! It was a veritable crime. One, perhaps, that paled in comparison to the veritable crimes of the world of late. The matter of Russia and Ukraine all but plunging Matteo's own beloved France into political furore. It had been years since he had truly been forced to play his very role of 'conseiller' within the French government and now it had all been thrust upon him. The world in a fit of panic- as if this was the first, or last war it would ever see. Matteo's head shook ever so softly, the Frenchman, perhaps, having seen far too many wars in his time as he continued to recline within the window of the Cull & Pistol. One long limb, clad in dress pants far too fine for this side of the city, hung loosely out of that large window, the toe of his shoe scraping at the cobblestone of the alleyway below. The rest of Matteo's figure was content to lounge almost nonchalantly. As if that window was terribly comfortable and he was perfectly content within it. His loosened tie hanging about his neck, that suit jacket draped over the nearest chair. Those sunglasses, as always, firmly nestled over his eyes despite the lateness of the hour.
This had been an unpleasant day and yet- perhaps it might yet be salvaged. Matteo reached easily for that craft bar that the barman had insisted was something of a local delicacy. That taste near instantly struck his tongue, its bitterness almost alarming as his silver gaze widened readily beneath his glasses. Sacrebleu! It was as if they intended to murder him! That soft sound of alarm seemed to prompt no small amount of sniggering from a trio of decidedly gruff men surrounding the worn, smoked infused pool table they gathered around. Not to your liking, Pretty Boy? The man who spoke was aged, his features worn and nestled behind a beard that desperately sought a trim. Matteo's own features softened, his lips quirking ever so slightly as he turned to face his companion, a soft snort echoing from within. Ah, but there was always one who took disdain in his presence.
"Oui, it is a little, how you say....unpleasant."
"You think you're European or something, Faerie?"
"Non, I do not think I am European, I am French and I am most certain of it."
"Well oh la la".
That comment seemed to earn that riotous laughter of the man's two companions- as if such a jest was truly of a level worthy of humor and yet, Matteo's own lips so merely turned upward once more, that simper hardly faltering. This, perhaps, was the perfect distraction from the thoughts that turned restlessly within his mind or indeed those visions that, at any moment, so prompted to invade his mind. The...terror of war seemed inclined to find him, no matter how oldhe became not how far he travelled.
"Shall, I make you a deal, Mon Amie?"
Those subtle, accented words seemed to prompt a pause within the trio of men, their leader eyed him expectantly as matteo shifted just so as to pull his wallet from his pocket, a small wad of case taken from it and tossed unceremoniously onto the pool table between those men.
"I will make you a French drink, using any ingredients you choose- but you must drink it. If it is better than your most beloved beer of a thousand crafted bitters that assaulted my tongue, I win and you owe me five hundred american dollars. If you try it and dislike it- you may keep the five hundred dollars I just threw on the table. Do we have a deal?"
How readily the men's gazes drifted to that wad of cash resting upon the pool table. That leader, confident in himself, smirked readily. Matteo, in that moment, distinctly aware of the thoughts that turned within his mind. It would be easy, after all, no matter how good that drink was- to simply claim it was terrible and keep that money. It was a game that, seemingly, Matteo was destined to lose and yet- ah, how foolish a man to make a deal with a Fae. A true fae. Those men fumbled within their pockets, a collection of crumbled bills thrown atop that table until that required amount was amassed, Matteo's head nodded in simple agreement before he reached for that glass of crafted beer- only to tip it unceremoniously out of the window he reclined within and into the alleyway below. The empty glass held out toward the trio.
"Go on then, Mes Aimes. Choose your ingredients."
How readily that simper from the Frenchman's features hardly faded as the trio spread out around that bar, grasping a collection ranging from tap water to beer to salt and sugar packets, mustard, ash from an ashtray and what Matteo was certain was dirt from a potted plant atop the bar. Those ingredients were readily amassed within the glass. None of them lethal by any means and yet certain to taste terrible, that man sure to bring it to his lips only to declare it undrinkable. 'Alright then, Frenchy, let's see it. No more stalling. Make me a fucking good drink.". Matteo's head dipped readily, that bow a distinct display of showmanship that had not failed to attract the attention of the barman, a waitress and several other patrons.
"As you wish."
That glass was swirled easily about, those ingredients combining into a distinctly...vile looking gray liquid- the cigarette ash floating to the top- before the entire contents of the glass abruptly disappeared. Only to be replaced with a perfectly frothed, golden beer. Those gasps of surprise echoed easily within that room as the glass was passed neatly to the white-beared man, his surprise evident enough for him to raise that drink to his lips. Only for his own gaze to widen. "Well fuck me- what is this? I've never had a beer like this!"That beer was passed amongst his companions, each of them exclaiming that similar surprise and yet- why should they not? That beer was Dutch, unavailable outside the Netherlands and widely regarded as one of the finest beers within the world. "Take your money, Pretty Boy. I dunno how the fuck you did it but Im a man of my word" That cash was all but tossed towards the Frenchman, Matteo folding those bills with ease before that distinct sensation of being watched prompted his silver gaze to peer neatly over the lenses of his glasses- meeting the eyes of a very pretty, femanine bartender. One whose very future danced behind his gaze in that singular moment and yet- once more, an easy simper so merely found his lips. Matteo lifted a singular finger to his lips in that universal suggestion for silence before nodding toward a small, shadowed barstool behind him and nestled beneath the nearest table. That glass of rather....vile ingredients resting neatly upon it. That entire 'bet' so clearly no more than an elaborate ruse. Ah, but Raylin could keep a secret. How assured of that he was. Her future already having played out behind his eyes and oh- how distinctively fascinating it was.
c'est dur d'être un dieu.