Alice had been studying the abnormal psychology of the sociopath. Sometimes known as a malignant narcissist. She now knows all the signs, the motivation, what to watch out for. What she hadn’t considered was that she would encounter practically the same man- a decade younger.
This “new” Lief is shockingly similar to the one she had left…difference being he had yet to develop his looks to an advantage (or somewhat of one- Alice had noticed that Lief had been aging much more quickly than normal). She wondered if Lief and all those like him suffered from a Dorian Gray type problem. Once taking the image of themselves from the mirror, they shatter it, likewise shattering the lie that is their “ageless beauty”.
Lief had been youthful into his 30s. But once his wife left him after years of abuse, the deterioration did not take long to set it. For the first time, Lief saw himself. His real self. And it was terrifying. He was a horrendous monster. Lovable only to those who he could trick into believing his beauty.
Alice, still accepting that the man was not who he said or appeared to be- was shocked to find another almost identical man ten years his junior. Alice almost immediately recognized the poor social skills, the lack of friends, the poorly disguised attempts to get her into bed. But this time- Alice is not being so hasty.
Alice knows she cannot train another human to learn empathy or take self responsibility but she can’t help but be too curious about this new Lief. In fact, this one was far more handsome than the last. If only he dressed up a bit and cleaned up his manners. Alice is spellbound to have this clone professing his love for her.
She naturally runs from danger, but her curiosity has always been her downfall. She has, at times, been able to separate herself from the people she studies and she believes this to be one of the occasions. The same man…a decade younger….how would he behave?