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I'll announce the winner Sunday.
People often say that the true perfection in the human form is in its imperfections. Scars are visceral reminders of a person's past, a sign of an event that can never fade. Whether it was gained in combat, a traumatic experience, or part of a ritual with a lover, scars are the ultimate labels. They leave a permanent mark on the body and spirit that, one way or another, change a person forever.
A near-fatal car accident leaves superstar model Ashley's face permanently scarred and his career into a tailspin. Only his lover, Will, can pull him out of his depression, provided his affection hasn't turned to Faded Love.
“Will?” Ashley’s hand was gently held and pulled down. Why did Will’s voice sound so funny, like he was hoarse? “Will? What’s going on? Where am I? What’s on my face?”
“Listen to me. You’re in the hospital.”
“Hospital? Why the hell am I in the hospital?” Straining, he was finally able to make out the pale walls, and smell a scent he had always associated with hospitals: cleaners and sickness.
“You don’t remember… anything?” Will bent over Ashley, still holding his hands. God, Will’s skin was so warm, and his was so cold. “Tell me what you remember.”
“Was on my way home from that shoot. You called. I was going to call you back… Will?” Ashley’s voice rose and cracked. “Then, nothing until now. What—what… Will?”
One of Will’s strong hands managed to loosen itself from Ashley’s death grip and brushed Ashley’s hair back from his face. “You’re in the hospital. There was an accident, a bad accident. You were hit on the way home two days ago.”
“Fuck me! Two days ago?” Ashley bit his lip as pain spiked in his ribs. “How bad? Who hit me?”
“It was pretty bad. You have bruised ribs from the impact with the steering wheel, your arm is bruised—not broken—and more bruises over your body. I forgot the driver’s name. They hit you on the passenger side, slammed you into a street light. Two people in the other car died.”
“Died? Jesus.” Every time Ashley tried to lift his hand to his face, Will stopped him. “What’s wrong with my vision? Why can I only see out of one side?”
Gripping his hand, Will hesitated. “You were struck so hard your head hit the driver side window.”
Ashley gripped Will’s hand. There was more, he just knew it. What little he could make out of Will’s concerned face told him that. “And? Tell me, dammit!”
“The window busted. There was glass everywhere. Oh God, Ashley, I’m so sorry. You were cut. On your face… and—and… there’s going to be a scar.”
“A scar?” Ashley whispered, and then his voice gained in strength as horror stabbed at him. “A scar, on my face? My face? No! Oh my God, no! How bad, Will? How fucking bad?”
Tears soaked Will’s voice. “From the hair line to under your chin. Jesus, Ashley. I’m so sorry.”The screams from Ashley’s room brought most of the nursing staff at a dead run.