13. DUSK

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Adoration of the Kings, Dossi, 1527

     "I'm still surprised you invited someone," Dahlia said, hauling her two personal luggages. "To be honest, I've never pictured you as the type to have friends, let alone choose to travel with one."

     Josiah grimaced.

     "I'm serious. When you were a kid, you always refused to share your toys, remember? Dad got on your case about sharing until you were, like, twelve!"

     Oh, the wonders of youth. Defined as an early period of existence, growth, or development, youth meant the early stages of sculpting, the creation of a general shape and idea before the finer details were implemented. Before the masterpiece was completely perfected. If the foundation was obscured, the entire piece was ruined, forcing the artist to either make do with their mistakes or abandon it entirely. Youth was far more crucial than adulthood—after all, the softer the clay the more easily it's manipulated.

    "Josiah, give the plane to Johnny."

     "But Dad, it's mine! I saved up my own money so that I could buy this. He's only five! He'll...he'll break it!"

     "Then buy another one. Didn't you say that you wanted to be just like me?"

     "Yes...but..." The plastic Millennium Falcon trembled in his small hands.

     "You think you'll get far in life acting like a selfish brat? Here's a lesson, son. You won't get anywhere without learning how people work first. Make Johnny happy, then his father is happy. Understand?"


     "Give him the damn toy!" his father shouted, raising his hand. "Or so help me I will—"

     "Josiah?" interrupted Dahlia.

     He shook his head conscious. "Right. Always a generous man."

     She frowned at him.


     Dahlia opened her mouth as if to answer, but quickly shut it closed. He felt a hand on his shoulder.

     "Josiah, is that you?"

     "Isaac!" he smiled when he saw grey eyes. "I'm glad you made it."

     "Just repaying that 'favor'."

     "Dahlia, this is Isaac. Isaac, Dahlia."

     He watched as they shook hands.

     "If you don't mind, I'm going to buy a...blanket before we board," Isaac said, already walking away.

     Dahlia smacked him in the arm when Isaac was out of ears' reach. "You never told me he was freaking gorgeous."

     "I didn't?"


     "Guess I didn't think it was necessary. Keep your hands off, though," he said with a smirk, "I can share toys, but this one's mine."

✧・゚: *✧・゚:* ✦ *:・゚✧*:・゚✧

"Italy is lovely," said Isaac, as he and Josiah stepped onto the terrace of his villa. His eyes glistened with wonder and awe as he eagerly leaned over the railing. "And it's even better now that it's my favorite time of day."

Isaac must've been referring to the fact that it was dusk. As the sun set, the sky was a radiant blur of pink, purple and blue. The sun's rays made everything in its path gold. Reflections of light in the nearby ocean were gold. Isaac's disheveled hair was gold. His pale, smooth skin was gold, and the white cable-knit sweater consuming his body a similar shade. They must've been a peculiar sight for onlookers: a boy made of cold stone beside a blazing golden boy.

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