Young muscular man with open jacket revealing muscular chest and abs.Forty-five minutes ago, he flashed his fake ID and chugged his last beer at the bar with his best friend.
Now, Jake lay face down on the dirt and gravel road with his face pummeled. The taste of his own blood seeped from his nose into his mouth. He’d never been in more pain in his life.
They’d never find his body out here in Forest Hills, not in the middle of nowhere. Only a half an hour from Portland, Oregon, but off the beaten path where no one ever came to. Everyone thought the state was liberal, they had no idea about its dirty underbelly.
Thick with evergreen trees, too hoarded by tree huggers to be cut down, too wild to tame. Ferns and bushes smothered the forest floor; the perfect place to hide a dead body. Even the wildlife seemed to be shocked into silence.
He rolled over to see the infinite stars glittered in the cloudless sky. Would have been breathtaking any other night. Any other night that he wasn’t bleeding from the inside.
Focus, dammit, focus.
Cold chills from the midnight air ran through Jake’s body. He couldn’t hold a thought; his mind spiraled like a never-ending twister, passing in and out of time.
Disassociated thoughts. Something, anything. Scrambling, trying to keep his mind focused.
He should have worn a jacket and for once, he wished he’d gotten the chance to say goodbye to his dad and sister. He hadn’t seen them in years. Maybe then there would be a chance at finding his body.
Now, Jake would never get to see his dad’s face. Never get to watch him stifle his tears of joy as he one day graduated from college, the first in the family, nor fulfill his dreams of becoming somebody. His dad would know then how much he missed out on Jake’s life by abandoning them.
That would never happen, neither would there be a family for Jake one day, not even a chance. He didn’t even get a chance at a career. Other than a few massage therapy courses, Jake had no idea what he wanted to do with his life and he’d never get a chance to figure that out.
He’d die tonight, just another growing statistic of gay bashing.
Grunts from the homophobic mob of rednecks muffled his best friend Alberto’s cries for help. Bones cracking, bats pummeling his almost lifeless body. He deserved so much better in his life.
Guilt burned through Jake. He wasn’t tough enough to defend Alberto though he’d tried. Wiry and pale, Jake didn’t have a prayer of a chance against that many guys.
“You’re going to make it through this. We’re both going to live a long life,” he mumbled to himself, though that was a lie.
There was a bone-cracking sound. Had they murdered Alberto? Jake wanted to kill them, if only he had the strength.
“Alberto,” Jake tried to scream out, but his throat was too dry, too strained, too coated with the dust he sucked in, his strength nearly depleted.
“Faggot,” he heard the men say. Faggot, that word stung and clung to him like a bad stench, an ugly reminder of why they’d kept being gay a secret for so long.
Now, the world would know; if they ever found his remains, spray-painted with the word Fag on it.
His stomach turned thinking about the shock and embarrassment his dad would endure, the stain to their family name.
What a fucked up night. Jake only wanted Alberto to have a good time for his birthday.
Not anymore.
The crunching sound of the gravel gave him a sense of relief. The men piled into the back of the pickup truck, whooping and cheering like they’d just won a football game as it began to back up, leaving them for dead. Maybe there was a way out of this, a way to still help Alberto.
He twisted his neck and grimaced in pain. That’s when he saw him — the attacker was returning. The leader of the mob.
Tall and over-sized, the monster of a young man came toward him, ready to finish him off.
Something about him seemed familiar. That voice; he’d heard it before and he remembered those emerald green eyes that glowed like a predator. The scent of Old Spice, cigarettes and beer.
Jake froze, what little blood remained in his body, drained from his pale face. The hair lifted on his arms, and the tendons of his neck strained.
He knew who the guy was.
He could see his silhouette backlit by the headlights of the rumbling, battered and mud-stained truck. The exhaust coughed and sputtered, filling his stinging nostrils with heavy pungent smog, the taste bitter.
The attacker gripped the baseball bat in his hand, ready to take another shot at Jake’s head.
Jake’s heart pounded so hard, it was deafening, ready to explode. Petrified, his eyes bulged, but his blood boiled with anger.
This motherfucker had just taken away the only somebody he ever loved, the only somebody who cared about him unconditionally. And there was nothing he could do about it. CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS NEXT – http://bit.ly/IGOTYOUBOOK

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