'No!' Bitsy said. 'It's too risky.'
'We've dabbled enough,' Magdalena said. 'Anyway, I've seen the way Rowena looks at Clive. Leave them be. Let dwarves be with dwarves.'
'Then Joe ...' Margaret mused.
'No!' Alice said sharply. 'I know he loves Vi, but I won't let him be destroyed, not like all of us.'
That night before she set off for McGilligans, Alice held her son close, knowing she had little time left with him. It was the only way to keep him safe. She thought of his beauty, the way men and women were drawn to him. She had seen the way Randy looked at him sometimes, always goading him into Greco Roman wrestling on the beach ...
Only little Clive understood what it meant to have a face that stopped traffic. When she saw them laughing together, she wished she could tell Joe Clive was his big brother. But Joe could never know.
He had to leave before he too fell prey to the black mask, the desire to keep that beautiful face just the way it was. People would do anything for eternal beauty. Why, they'd sell their soul. He'd be fine, Alice told herself. His unnatural strength and circus skills would come in handy in any number of jobs ...