Stelios never felt more alive than in the summer months. The heat roiling through every pore, setting his synapses alight and making him feel head to toe alive. It invigorated him, a conflagration burning all the brighter as the end of a campaign gave chance for a hunting trip to Aetaea. Its forests would be teeming with deer, their green bowers riotous with the song of birds at riot time. And still tense as battle inevitably made him, he craved the blessed ache of a day chasing after quarry and the taste of the first conquest on his tongue.
So it was therefore an impatient man dressed in hunting leathers with a bow slung over one shoulder and a spear crossed over the other who waited, astride his horse, thick arms folded across his chest. There was no anger in him, the smile that bordered on boyish creasing his lips betrayed anything of that sort. Not that he'd let the person inside the tent he loomed over now.
"Iris! Get your ass out here," he roared like a lion through the tranquil late morning air. Somewhere off in the distance a squawk of alarm rose and birds fluttered over the treeline, escaping the boisterous source of that noise. "We'll be done with Artemis' month by the the time you're ready and all the deer will have mated, had children, and fucked off to gods know where." He wasn't the type to hold back coarse sentiments but even less so around the young woman he'd helped train not so long ago, and knew she could get the best of most men. Not that he'd give her the satisfaction of admitting it.
There was, however, pride glinting in Stelios' grey eyes, knowing what he was inciting and wanting the formidable huntress at her best. Today was to be a contest, one he needed to blow off the steam of battle, and in a way to sanctify victory in battle with the sacrifice of the hunt. There were no pursuits to life he considered worthwhile without an element of challenge. Anything easily won was soon forgotten and never appreciated. And he knew Iris understood that, it was key to the certain kinship they'd developed; the rare sort (for Stel) that endured his moods and mercurial passions. Camaraderie would make today's pursuit more exhilarating and the rare company kept even more enjoyable.
Yes, this was Stelios' idea of fun and there weren't many others he'd share it with. Solitary by nature he usually squirmed and cast about for the nearest exit when cloistered with someone for long. Solitude, he had conditioned his iron-clad stubborn mind, suited him. Even with Mateos and Vasia he had a tendency to disappear on them, stalk off on his own (sometimes for days at a time). There was a limit to how much he could stand to have other people intrude upon the carefully-maintained schedule of his life. Today, fortunately, he would not hunt alone ... but he would piss her off by every means possible for old time's sake.
Loosing his spear from the leather loop at his back he pounded its pole end against the ground. "Time's wasting and the wine I brought will be turning to vinegar. Let's give the goddess of the hunt something to marvel at, eh?" In afterthought he patted a skein at his side. "And if your aim isn't true, young one" (though he was only 4 years older), "a few drinks to Dionysus' health will fill our bellies instead."