"Are you okay?" Pete asked me later that night as we lay in his bunk. I nodded solemnly intertwining our fingers. "You don't seem okay." I sighed and looked him in the eye. Smiling slightly I leaned in and kissed him.
"I'm better than I ever have been before." I told him with partial honesty. I was happy when I was with him but I was still upset because of Joe. He smiled but he wasn’t reassured. We were silent for a moment.
"Did you love her?" He asked me suddenly. His voice was quiet and his head down.
"No," I answered without hesitation. I could barely stand her let alone love her.
"Could you ever," I was confused by his question for a moment but then realized he wasn’t finished. "Love me?" I thought for a long moment before saying in whisper what my heart was screaming.
"I already do."
The next day
There was a renewed bounce in my step as I made my way to sound check, guitar in hand. I was smiling too which was new. As corny and cliché as it sounds he made me happier than I have ever been. And the thing is I had only known him for a few days. I wanted to just drop my guitar and run back to the bus to be with him. I had never felt that way before and honestly…I loved it.
Stepping on stage my good mood immediately turned sour. Something seemed off. Joe was laughing and joking with some guy I'd never seen before and Nick sat off to the side looking extremely upset. Joe didn’t seem to notice Nick's distress or me. I quickly rushed over to my younger brother.
"What is wrong Nick?" I asked him kneeling down next to him.
"J-Joe..heh-he…" He managed out between sobs.
"What did Joe do?" I asked him noticing that Joe was staring at us. Nick stared up at Joe. He was afraid; I could see it in his eyes. He was scared of Joe. "What did you do?" I asked him become more upset by the minute. Joe smirked and looked to the other guy.
"You've been replace Kevin." He stated almost sadistically. I stared at him in disbelief.
"You did what?" I asked him standing up.
"I replaced you. I gave you your choice." The smirk never dropping from his face.
"You have got to be f*ing kidding me!" I yelled at him.
"Nope no joke." I glared at him.
"How could you do this to your own brother?" I asked still yelling. At this point I didn’t care who heard.
"It's for the band Kevin. Nobody liked you that much anyway." Suddenly Nick let out a long choked sob. I turned back around to him. I squatted next to him.
"Don't d-don't let hi-him d-do this!" Nick cried hugging me. "Y-you c-can't go!"
"You can joint him Nicky." Joe told him. "I can always replace you too."
"What the hell happened to you?" I asked him harshly. "You've changed Joe and not for the better. You used to be fun loving and now your uptight. You used to accept people for who they were but then…" His smirk disappeared his eyes clouded with old memories. I almost wanted to apologize but he had taken it too far. "Look Joe just because you f**ed it up doesn’t mean I will."
"Go away Kevin." He told me looking away.
"Go away Kevin! Go to your stupid f*et boyfriend!" He yelled at me. I felt my anger bubbling up. I pushed Nick away and stood up.
"Never say that again." I told him before punching him in the face. I stormed off the stage grabbing my discarded guitar in the process. When I descended onto the grassy ground I felt someone tug at my shirt. I carefully turned around afraid that Joe was going to punch me back but who I saw was Nick. Tears were still falling from his eyes and he didn’t bother to wipe them.
"You're not r-really leaving are you Kevin?" The look on his face broke my heart.
"Nick, I really don't have a choice." I told him trying to hold in my own tears. He looked down momentarily then back up at me.
"Then I'm leaving too." He told me. I shook my head and pulled him into a hug.
"You can't do that to yourself. You love this music; no, you live this music." I said holding him tightly as he cried.
"No buts Nick. You are not leaving the band." I told him firmly.
"But Joe has gone psycho!" He yelled pushing away from me. "Ever since you know what happened we has been extremely hateful toward gay people. He kicked you out of the band what makes you think he won't do the same to me?"
"Why would he kick you out of the band?" I asked confused. Nick's gaze fell to the ground. "Nick why would…" Oh dear lord. He looked back up at me and choked abit on his tears.
"Please don't tell anyone." He asked with pleading eyes.
"I won't." I promised hugging him again. "I promise."