Coincidentally, I'm working on book 2 in the I.O.N, tentatively titled "Werewolf's Tail & A Druid Sword". This is about Beck's younger brother, Jude. When their parents found out that Jude was gay, they called Beck to come and get his brother. Diego and Beck take Jude in. This is some insight on the heartbreak Jude has been dealing with since his move to San Diego.
This is the unedited first draft which is always crappy but I hope you enjoy it anyway. Cheers!!
© 2012, Lexi Ander
The day after graduation everything had come crashing down. Jude had arranged to spend the night with Levi. They were lying on the floor, playing Xbox, and eating chips out of the bag. Jude had noticed Levi had been quiet the whole evening. They'd been friends for long enough he'd known Levi had something on his mind.
"Ienlistedwiththemarines," Levi said it so fast that all the words ran together and it took Jude a second to decipher what had been said.
Jude's character was in the middle of an epic battle died in a chorus of explosions, but none if it had mattered. He hadn't known Levi had enlisted. The last several days he'd believed they would still be together after Levi graduated. All of his hopes had been dashed with one simple sentence.
He'd gazed at Levi with wide wounded eyes. "What do you mean you joined the marines? I thought you were staying here, going to college." Jude's stomach had cramped when he thought about not seeing Levi every day.
"My parents can't afford college and the marines will help pay for school. I signed up with the recruiter almost a month ago." Levi wouldn't meet his gaze. With a sickening feeling in his stomach, he knew Levi hadn't finished. "Besides Jude, you're only sixteen and I will be nineteen soon. Your parents will skin me alive and probably try to have me arrested if they found out about us. I can put my four years in with the marines, you'll be twenty, then we can do whatever we want."
"I can't believe you didn't tell me. Why didn't you say anything? A month? Seriously? What the hell! What does my age have to do with anything?" Jude tried to listen but he was so upset his stomach churned. The perfect world he'd constructed fell down around him. He didn't want Levi to go away. He knew it was self of him. Levi was being responsible. He was always the responsible one, and at that moment, Jude had despised it.
Levi finally glanced at Jude, his eyes were red rimmed and filled with sorrow. The expression on his face was one of barely controlled agony. "Do you think I did this is for me? I have loved you since…"
Levi choked back tears and scrubbed at his eyes. Jude threw himself at his best friend, straddled Levi's lap, face buried in Levi's neck. They clutched each other, holding on tight as they sobbed.
"I want—need—to be more for you. I want it all, a relationship, a house, sharing our lives. I want to be someone you'll be proud of. If I do this then we'll have a good start."
Jude had snuffled into Levi's shoulder. "Did you mean it?" Drudging up his courage, Jude sat up and gazed at Levi, taking in his straight nose and the curve of his lips. "Did you mean what you said?"
Taking Jude's face between his palms, Levi leaned in and brushed a soft kiss over Jude's plump lips. "Yes, I love you," Levi breathed. "For so very long. I don't know that I could ever stop."
That night they had made out until their lips were stinging and raw. Jude had been afraid of the dawn and held tight to Levi. He whispered some of the sappiest things but it had felt right as he had lain in Levi's strong arms. He had run his fingers through his friend's dark brown hair, memorizing the silky texture, and gazed soulfully into those huge green eyes surrounded by long sooty lashes. It was sappy and sweet and everything he had needed at the time.
In the morning, Levi had kissed him one final time before they left the bedroom. At the station, Levi boarded the bus that would take him to basic training. Before climbing the steps, he slipped an envelope into Jude's hand. Jude had sworn he wouldn't cry. So he smiled, and yelled, and waved like a lunatic until the bus turned the corner. Spinning on his heal he had run to the first secluded spot he could find and read the letter with shaking hands.
No matter what happens, I will always come for you. Love, Levi
All of the talk about his parents, how he felt about Beck and Diego, and his feelings for Levi had left him emotionally exhausted. Jude thought he might be able deal with Levi moving on as long as he knew Levi was safe and sound. Alive. Sometimes it felt like Levi had died and Jude struggled with the sorrow that swamped him at those odd, sudden thoughts. The not knowing was worse because his mind was constantly supplying horrific scenarios. Jude knew that he needed to break this cycle or he would lose himself to depression. No, that wasn't right, he was already losing himself to that dark downward spiral. To pull out, he would have to resolve to move on.
Sighing heavily at his morose thoughts, he reread the note one more time before carefully folding it backup. To start over he'd have to put Levi in the past. He opened the nightstand drawer to drop the note in but he couldn't ignore how wrong it felt. Closing the drawer he placed the slip of paper carefully back into this wallet. Flipping off the light, he crawled under the covers. He hadn't known that the thought of starting over would hurt so much.
"I should have told him that I only ever wanted him to love me," Jude sighed into the shadows.