New Enemies Preview

“You can’t go, Bas. We need you.” Judith whined as four-year-old Jordan clung to her leg while peeking around the corner of the kitchen island.

“I have to go, Mom.” Bas dropped his head into his hands, elbows planted on the tabletop. “It’s a draft, they’ll come get me if I don’t show up.”

“No!” She slapped her hand down on the laminate countertop. “You will not leave us, Sebastian David Roberts! Jordy and I need you. He’s only four, he needs his brother.”

Bas stood, taking two halting steps towards his only family. “I’m sorry, Mom. I’ve got no choice.”

“Your father would’ve never left us!”

As if he’d been smacked on the cheek, Bas balked, his face flushed with anger. “Do you mean Jordy’s asshole father who left before he was born, or my father, who died in a bar brawl?” He scoffed.  “He left us too, Mom. He practically lived at that bar!”

Jordan’s squalling cries were muffled as he buried his face in his mother’s long, patchwork skirt, his scruff of jet-black hair sticking up in ten different directions. Bas scrubbed his hand through his own shaggy, out-of-control black mop, squeezing his indigo eyes closed and biting his tongue. Nothing I can say will make this better…

Large, bright blue eyes pinned him in place as his haggard mother sniffled, pulling herself back together. “Fine. Go. We don’t need you. Jim will be here.”

With a sigh, Bas grabbed his backpack from the table, tossing it over his shoulder. “Whatever, Mom. Run to another useless jackass. I hope, for Jordy’s sake, this guy sticks around for a while.”

“He’ll stay with us. We can count on him to take care of us, even with his bad heart.”

“Yeah, well, he better live until I get back.”

“You come back to us, Bas.” Judith left her spot behind the island, dragging Jordan along beside her. “We love you, baby. Please, don’t die out there.”

“Wuv joo, Bas,” little Jordy muttered around a drool-covered finger.