4. REBIRTH

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Palazzo Pitti, Brunelleschi, 1457
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"You're going where for the weekend?" Ash asked as if he couldn't believe his ears.

"Back home? It's not that big of a deal. It's just Oxford, not the U.S."

Ash rolled his eyes. "I know you don't live in the States. I'm just surprised they're letting you out. From what I understand, you've got every prefect and teacher watching you for reasons other than just wanting to dominate you in bed."

"And I can vouch for that."

"So how...?"

"Let's say I pulled some strings."

"Knowing you, 'pulling strings' has the literal meaning of pulling clothes off. You didn't sleep with somebody again, did you? Isaac, you're my best friend. When you engage in these activities, I'm scared for your well-being."

"I know, I know. I promise I didn't. Besides, this was a rare case in which that wouldn't have even been an option if you knew who I was dealing with. Perhaps God was in my favor yesterday—actually, I highly doubt that. It'll be more accurate to say God felt like someone else deserved punishment yesterday."

"I'm trusting you, Isaac, but just know that if I have to rescue you and your drunk arse from a pub in the middle of the night again I'm going to throw you into River Thames and pretend you never existed."

"Trust me, whatever happens this weekend, I don't believe I'll need a reason to get wasted at a bar this weekend. I've already accepted reality—nothing can hurt me at this point. See you soon, Ash."

✧・゚: *✧・゚:* ✦ *:・゚✧*:・゚✧

     Isaac, being the easily distracted person that he was, arrived at his train only five minutes before its departure. People stared as he scrambled into his first class seat. With nothing to entertain him, he merely stared outside the window for the entirety of the ride, observing nature. Not that he minded, for he loved the spring season. He loved the idea of renaissance—rebirth—of all things beautiful after a season of long nights and frigid temperatures.

     He loved the way flowers brought vibrant colors into his dull and tiresome life. His favorite flower was the white daisy, clean and pure, because it reminded him that not everything in life was tainted and corrupted by the cruel world he lived in.

     Spring gave him his achingly needed hope. It was the perfect time to begin a new period of his life; it was time for his own renaissance per se. From the moment he first arrived at Eton, he spent every night agonizing over his past and how he left things at home, and he was tired of having no control over his thoughts. His beautiful spring always became bombarded with thunderstorms when he remembered his dreaded past.

     "Did you get what you wanted, Isaac?" A stern voice greeted him when he returned via window in the middle of the night. "I don't understand you. I give you everything you could possibly need. If it's more money you want, you could just ask."

     He scoffed. "William, you always tell me this, but have you ever bothered to ask why I do this?"

     "I don't ask because I already know why, Isaac. There's endless ways to earn money, but what you do is unacceptable."

     "I'm many things, Will, but ignorant is one I try my best not to be. I'm well aware that I'm in no desperate need of money, have you ever considered that? You've taken into account reasons for my decisions that aren't money related. You're just a coward."

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