England, London, 1461.

England, London, 1461.

Richard looked up at his brother Edward, who smiled as he laid the flat of the sword on his shoulder.

“Thus, I dub thee Richard duke of Gloucester, Knight of the Garter, and Knight of the Order of the Bath. You may rise, Duke of Gloucester.”

Richard, careful not to let any of his nervousness show, rose to his feet. He did so gracefully, despite the new sword that hung on his hip. His exhaustion from spending all night kneeling seemed to evaporate in an instant before the radiant figure of his king, his brother.

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France, Paris, 1775.

France, Paris, 1775.

In the darkened dormitory, Maximilien watched the droplets on the window pane race each other to the bottom. Thunder crashed overhead and made the lamps flicker slightly.

Across from him, Camille shivered, nose nearly pressed to his own book. He looked up at Max, and his mouth quirked slightly.

“D-done a-a-already?”

Max shrugged. “Oui.”

Camille mouthed the word back at him, shaking his head, before bending back over his book. Max looked down at his own, fingers gently tracing over the lines.

Men, be kind to your fellow-men; this is your first duty, kind to every age and station, kind to all that is not foreign to humanity. What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness? 

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Italy, Florence, 1500.

Italy, Florence, 1500

Leonardo considered the composition, leaning back and frowning.

Behind him there was a loud sigh.

Leonardo ignored it, trying to focus on the shapes and shadows in front of him. If he focused carefully, he could nearly see the bone structure that made up the women’s face, neck and shoulders. Something bothered him about the proportions of the neck to her shoulders.

There was another sigh.

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