His body was a patchwork of scars-a canvas of raised lines and white, taut skin. Andrew’s black bands helped, but nothing stopped the wide-eyed looks to the remnants of his cheek and the scars on his hands. He didn’t blame the onlookers, it was only natural to stare. You pay attention to the differences. Hell, it’s how he’d survived this long, so he could at least understand that. But in a heartbeat, what started out as a glance morphed into morbid curiosity and that made Neil’s throat clench tight.
It shouldn’t have bothered him and when he finally took a deep breath and slowed his racing thoughts, he realized it really didn’t. But in that instant, there was a slow, stretch of panic that turned his stomach upside down. It was the sharp inhale of surprise, the quiver of a hand, or the ever-apparent grimace on the stranger’s face that set his nerves aflame.
And in that moment Neil wanted to run. To avoid eye contact, turn on his heel and walk the other way, away from their curiosity and their roving eyes. Such things were threats, or had been at least, to his very existence.
And now he was living in a world where he had invited such speculation in.