The older boy was most certainly physically appealing, but his toned body, milky eyes, and distinct moles above his brow wasn't the cause of the blood flushing his cheeks, but the tension in his gaze, his spirit, like a thin coat of ice over dangerous waters where even the lightest of steps could shatter its delicate balance. The older boy's dread had invigorated the curious Giovanni and could not help but prod closer to the dozing beast with elegant, heavy steps. A smile stretched across Giovanni's sharp face, yet his eyes were narrowed and had an alluring glimmer within them. He looked at the passive boy, "I can't ignore a spectacle when I see one, and you shouldn't either. Why don't we start with introductions? Im--"
Suddenly, the boy's wavering gaze broke and fixed itself onto the brightly-dressed Giovanni, whose smiles reduced to frowns and soft countenance scrunched into a quizzical one. "Ahh. . . you don't get it, mister. . ."
the older boy interrupted with a drone, raising a single hand to restlessly scratch the nape of his neck. His droopy eyes suddenly became wearier, and what little light that had cast over the alley had now been swallowed in an otherworldly darkness, unlike the one that had veiled the group before. It was a darkness in which everything was as black as, maybe, the boy's eyes, and the structures and people that surrounded them before no longer seemed to exist. Giovanni could feel nothing, see nothing, and taste not even the dirty air that had filled his lungs. It was a strange, foreign plane in which nothing but his own heartbeat seemed to be real.
Giovanni looked about the scene with a piqued interest, but his somewhat solemn expression did not falter. He turned, he twisted and saw nothing. He, in turn, decided to say nothing as well.
Abruptly, a familiar thick and rich voice pressed against his eardrums, like hot breaths of someone who had been close enough to whisper, and yet he felt none's presence enter his own company. "You're awfully tired, aren't you? Aren't you? Why don't you sleep?"
the older boy told him with a disembodied voice. The brightly-colored man looked down at his loafers, feeling the tension in his body reduced to comfort as an otherworldly, invisible embrace captured him and nestled him. "Why don't you sleep?"
the older boy's voice urged again, in a soft, commanding tone.
Giovanni felt his body become close to gelatin, every nerve feeling less than before as the embrace consumed him and tempted him into a lethal slumber. "All of your sorrows, your pain, leave them. . . leave them, now, and sleep. . ."
the boy continued, hot breaths caressing his earlobes and the weight of his words making their fibers feel much like lead. But Giovanni's knees did not give in, and his eyes did not quiver under the weight of their lids and instead, cackled amusingly.
With a light, swift movement, a brilliant, golden lance materialized between the grip of Giovanni's gloved hand before he'd swipe it in front of him, a ferocious gust of wind blowing the darkness away as if it were tangible. In front of him sat the now defeated older boy, who looked up at the brightly-dressed Giovanni with wide, weary eyes. Awestruck, some would say. His face was moist with a thin layer of sweat, and his mouth did not dare move.
Giovanni looked from him to the two other boys who remained completely still in their eerie postures. It was clear that whatever it was that he just experienced those two must be at this very moment as well. But it was merely only a gaze of confirmation, not concern, and his attention would quickly return to the silent boy. Chipperly, Giovanni held the sharpest end of his weapon to the throat of the silent one's, who swallowed anxiously. "That wasn't at all necessary, but I appreciate your attempts. Let's start over, yes? What is your name?"
he chided, but the boy didn't respond and continued to look at him. But Giovanni's patience quickly became thin as his cheery smile reduced to a frown, and sharp gaze became sharper into a glare. "What is your name?"
he asked again, this time the boy's gaze with him breaking, tightening into the same glare before he began staring at the ground beneath him.". . . teo."
the boy answered almost inaudibly. Giovanni sighed peevishly."Speak up, won't you? Goodness!"
he demanded with an anger closer to frustration than rage. "Matteo. That's all."
Matteo answered again with a volume close to being inaudible, but loud enough for him to give a coherent response.
Giovanni looked at him closely, "That's all?""That's all."
Matteo answered again, just as effortlessly.
Giovanni paused for a moment as if to wonder about the answer he was just given, and quickly shrugged it off, a pleased sigh following that. The golden lance disappeared, shattering into impossibly tiny shards of light until it could be seen no more, and the brightly-dressed warrior looked closer to his original appearance. "Alright, Matteo, I can see you're busy but I can't ignore talent when I see it. My name's Giovanni Tesoro, and allow me to formally invite you to the Tesoro Family. How's that sound?"
he grinned mischievously. "No, thanks."
he answered abruptly, sharply.
Giovanni's brows would scrunch, perplexed, "And why's that?"
Matteo began to stand up to his full height, which easily towered over Giovanni's astonishing six feet by at least four inches. He looked down at the optimistic man with an acute gloominess, "Does it matter? Nothing you could offer is better than-""Matteo, you are gifted with a power many would commit the vilest of sins to obtain. A boy of your caliber is being given the opportunity for greatness and you'd be foolish to decline."
Giovanni interrupted with an equal sharpness, yet his smile did not waver. "Come with me, and I promise you will not regret it. Leave this place."
They both became quiet, and Matteo stared at the ground indignantly. Giovanni, noticing his silence, sighed once again. He began to turn away and walk out of the alley, "You come to the Tesoro Estate in Lavanitir Port City when you're ready for a change of scenery, and you tell them I sent you. Farewell, Matteo. It's been fun."
With cheery words, he smiled brightly at the boy, who could not see his warmth, and walked off.