I sighed and rubbed my eyes. “I was different then.”
Again he got that look on his face like he wanted to share but was afraid to. He clenched his jaw and looked to the ceiling. At that angle the line of his scar was very obvious. It ran from under his chin all along his jaw. My stomach hurt looking at it. He looked down and caught me staring. His face flushed red, and he slapped his hand to his jaw like he often did when he seemed to feel insecure.
I didn’t speak. I just held his surly gaze.
“Yeah, I know it’s ugly.” His voice was hard, and it trembled slightly. “Why are you always fucking staring at it?”
“I’m not staring.”
“Bullshit.” He curled his lip. “Everyone stares.”
I sat up and leaned toward him. “Do you want me to pretend you don’t have a scar? Wouldn’t that be even weirder?”
He looked taken aback. “What?”
I waved toward his chin. “It’s a big scar. It’s noticeable. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with noticing it.”
I scowled. “Why?”
He opened his mouth, but nothing came out.
“So you have a scar. So fucking what?” I huffed. “You know, when I look at it I’m not think how disgusting it is. I’m thinking I wonder what happened. And if someone hurt you, I’d like to kick their ass. Okay?” I shook my head and lay flat again. “You’re too damn sensitive about it.”
I could literally feel his shock hanging in the air. He shifted impatiently, and I thought for a minute maybe he was going to get up and leave. But he didn’t. He sat in silence for a moment, and then he touched my leg.
I glanced up and his expression was soft and confused. “It doesn’t repulse you?”
I scowled. “No. Of course not.”
He exhaled a big puff of air. “I find it disgusting,” he growled. “And I can never escape it. I get tired of people gawking at me.”
“Scottie, if I had a scar on my face, you’d look too. It’s just how it is.” His hand was still on my leg, and it was getting hard to ignore how nice his touch felt. I was embarrassed because I could feel my cock swelling in my briefs and I didn’t want him to notice.
When he scooted closer, I was surprised but certainly not displeased. “You’re very blunt.”
“I don’t see why I shouldn’t be honest.” He stared at me in silence until I finally had to say something. “Are you mad at me?”
“No,” he whispered. He swallowed hard, his Adam’s apple bobbing in his throat. He moved his hand slowly from my calf to my knee, as he continued to watch me.
His touch felt so good, and I had to work hard not to show how much I liked his hand on me. Something told me he’d pull back if I showed that I enjoyed his touch. “I can’t tell what you’re thinking,” I said softly.
“I don’t even know what I’m thinking.” He slipped his palm over my knee to my thigh. “You have a nice body.” He tensed his jaw. “I noticed that the first time you came in the clinic.”
My heart began to bang in my chest. What was he doing? Was he flirting with me? I was afraid to do anything in case I scared him off, or misread what was happening. “Scottie, I don’t understand.”
He licked his lips. “Did you bring me here to have sex?”
I shook my head. “No. I told you I wouldn’t do anything.”
“People say all kinds of shit they don’t mean.” His voice was hard.
“I’m not like that.”
“How would I know?” He sounded almost lost.
“You can’t.” I thought about how thoroughly Paul had tricked me. “But in the long run, it doesn’t really matter if you get deceived. My ex made a fool of me. But I survived.” I’d acted like a self-centered infant afterward, but I’d survived.
He cocked his head.
“I know somebody wounded you, and I think that’s why you avoid people.” He didn’t argue with me so I kept talking. “But just because someone hurts you, that doesn’t mean your life ends. You pick up the pieces and you move on.”
He didn’t look convinced. “That’s like something a shrink would say.”
“Doesn’t make it wrong.”
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