Written by: J.P.G.

{"Beneath the Mask" is pure fiction. As I am writing this story, I am above the age of 21. If you want a story with lots of sex, look elsewhere. This is a love story. Seeing, as it is a love story, sex is in there, but it is in realistic balance in the characters' lives.

Any similarity to any real events, names, or life events is purely accidental. If you are underage, (according to your state laws, a minor), if this literature is offensive to you or to anyone around your viewing area, or it is illegal for you to view such content where you are reading it, stop reading the story.

This story cannot be distributed in any way, shape or form without author's express written consent.}

Story Written by: J.P.G.

Editor: "Daddy" Rick

I have a home page for you to see what the characters look like or what the places look like. If you want to walk in their shoes, please go to: http://jacobmillertex.com/

Chapter 58


Franseca looked at Alex and then over at Stefano. "Alex can I talk with you alone please." Stefano started to get jumpy, but didn't show it. He walked to the door, but didn't leave while Franseca leaned in and whispered to her son. Every so often they would look his direction, which made him even more nervous. He knew he couldn't make a run for it because he won't get far with all the security. So that means if he was caught and needs to get out, he would have to take Alex and his mother hostage.

"Alex I don't know if Matt has been down here or not today..." Alex looked up at his mother and had an evil grin on his face. "I should have known that he was here. There is no way he would let a day go by without seeing you before he heads off to school." Alex nodded his head, keeping the evil grin. "You know he really misses you Alex, don't you?"

"Yes mom I know and I miss him a lot as well. I wish he could stay here while I'm stuck in this God forsaken place, but he can't. He has to go to school or he won't graduate with me and the others." Alex looked over at Stefano and back at his mother. "If that would happen, I would never forgive myself since he got held back because of me."

"Matt wouldn't let you blame yourself, and I know you know that." Alex nodded his head. "Any ways let me get back to what I was saying here. Matt's brother and sister showed up at the hotel. They can't go back home because their parents kicked them out for asking about Matt." Alex could see that his mother wasn't happy about that. "I don't understand how any parent could kick out one of their kids, let alone all three of them for any reason."

At the same time Alex and Franseca looked over at Stefano. They saw that he looked a little nervous, but didn't know why. They chalked up to being here with them, people that he has been told are family, but he doesn't know. At the same time they looked back at each other started talking. Not hearing what the other was saying, they stopped and Alex told his mother to go.

"Well as I was saying." Franseca switched over to Spanish. "Matt's brother and sister are now at the hotel, which is okay right now since we are at the hotel, but when the new house is finished, there won't be room for them. Please don't get me wrong here, they are welcome, but it's not right of us to bring them into a house that isn't ours."

"I agree mom it isn't right, but with that said I'm sure Jacob wouldn't have any problems with us doing that." Franseca agreed, but followed up that it wasn't right. "Yes, yes I know it isn't right, but if we have no other choice, I know Jacob wouldn't have any problem with it. There are those guest rooms on the bottom floor they could stay in."

Franseca forgot about those rooms. All she recalled is the rooms on the first and second floors that were already assigned to someone. And then Andy Jr. brought someone in after the rooms had already been assigned. She wondered where the young man was going to stay, and now she knows. The rooms she completely forgot about. The guest rooms on the bottom floor.

"Fine, there is room and we both agree that Jacob wouldn't have any problems with them staying, but I don't think there should have to be a problem." Alex was stunned to hear those words coming from his mother. "I know that sounds cold hearted, but they have family from what I understand. The grandparents, aunts and uncles are out there that I'm sure they would be more than willing to bring them into their homes and take care of them."

Alex looked up to the roof thinking about what his mother just said. "Yeah that is right, Matt's family is pretty big and they look like they are accepting who Matt is. That means if his brother and sister want to visit him, they won't hold them back." Looking straight in his mother's eyes, Alex continued. "When I see Matt again I will talk to him about that..." Stopping in mid thought, Alex remembered what was going on at school today.

"Wait I almost forgot that Matt is going to find out today if he won or not. We both know he is going to win since no one is running against him. I don't want to put a damper on his win, so I will wait to talk with him about this tomorrow. That also gives him another night to be with his brother and sister that he hasn't seen in a very long time."

Franseca agreed with her son and let it go at that. She talked about depositing the money he and Matt got from Ron's estate and handed him the deposit slips. He explained to his mother what he and Matt plans to do with some of the money, they dropped the subject and went over to how the things were running at the print shop.

"I feel bad that I haven't been able to get in there."

"Don't you beat yourself up for not being able to go to work. You didn't ask to be put in here and I know Matt understand also. Plus you have a day and night manager, let them do what they were hired to do. Let them earn their pay and you just relax here until tomorrow and at the hotel until you fully recover."

Alex agreed with his mother once again, but he didn't like feeling the way he was feeling. Collecting pay when he didn't work for it, but then he started to about something Jacob had told him just a couple weeks prior. He needs to start acting like an owner of business, which in Jacob's mind is leaving the grunt work of the everyday running of the company to the staff that is put into place. The big picture and making the company bigger is his job.

He and his mother talked for a few more minutes before they broke their private conversation and invited Stefano back. He was nervous as he walked back to Alex's bed, on his guard, but when he saw their faces, he knew he had nothing to be worried about. They had no idea that he wasn't family. In fact, they believed his lies by the looks of it.

"Look you two I have to step out for a few minutes." Franseca looked back and forth from Alex and Stefano. "You..." Pointing at Stefano. "Make sure not to do anything that will make my son strain himself. Even though he looks as if nothing happened to him, he still is recovering from what those..." Stopping mid-sentence, not wanting to sink to the polices level. "Well I'm not going to say what is on my mind because I'm going to be better than that. Just behave yourselves while I'm gone. Okay?"

The two boys nodded their heads as she started her way to the door. When she stepped out of the room, she looked back. There was something about Stefano that she couldn't put her finger on. A feeling she was getting from him, a feeling that she has gotten in the past that resulted in bad. Add to that, the way he was looking at her and her son, she didn't like it.

Before heading back downstairs to make the calls she needed to make, she asked Alex's security detail to keep a close eye on things. They asked what was troubling her, but she couldn't tell them. She just replied to their question that it was a feeling she was getting that she couldn't back up. She felt ok leaving Alex with Stefano since security was actually in the room with him.

Back at Alex's bedside, Stefano sat back down in the chair he was sitting in. "Your mother seems to be very nice." Alex nodded his head. "Is she normally snobbish with people that she doesn't know?" Alex looked at Stefano with a look like he was going to kill him. "Please don't take that wrong. It's just she didn't say much to me and then the way she looked at me."

"I don't really know you! And as far as you being part of our family, I'm taking your word for that, but don't take that as a weakness. If I find out that you are lying to me, the side of me that I have tried to change will come back to take care of you. As far as mother, don't you ever say anything like what you just said about her. She isn't snobbish and if you say another bad thing about her, or anyone that I care for, we are going to throw down, family or not."

Stefano spent a better side of ten minutes trying to talk himself out of the hole he dug calling Alex's mother snobbish. The minute the word left his mouth, he knew he made a huge mistake, a mistake that was going to cost him dearly. Now he has to back track and re-earn Alex's trust, and what he has been told about the young Garcia, that is going to be a challenge.

They talked close to another hour, but it was general talk. When Stefano finally gave up and decided to call it a day, he said his goodbyes and walked out of the room. All the way down to the lobby and to his car he kicked himself for saying what he had said about Franseca. He had hoped to have left the hospital with at least the general concept of how Alex planned to move the gang from a gang to a business.

Meanwhile, Franseca went down to the lobby to call Matt's grandparents about the two young Robinson's. At first she was hesitant to make the call, but she knew it had to be done. She felt that the two younger Robinsons were better off being brought up in the home of one of their family members, not in a home of strangers. Even if that home had their older brother, she didn't feel it was right to put that kind of reasonability on Matt at his age.

When the grandfather answered the phone, she started to rethink of the idea of calling them up. However, after introducing herself and telling him the reason why she was calling, the response she got put her at ease. Not only he was open on talking about it, but he wanted to talk to her in person at his home, something she didn't expect to hear.

After getting the directions to Matt's grandparents' house, she hung up and headed out. The whole drive over to their house, she went over in her mind how she wanted the conversation to unfold, but prepared herself that it might not happen that way. Since she really didn't know them, and couldn't take their initial phone conversation to mean anything, she had to be ready for anything that could be thrown at her on a variety of subjects.

It wasn't hard for her to find Maxwell and Eleanor's house. They lived in the older part of town. Not the run down part, but the upper middle class part of old El Paso. Their house wasn't a mansion, but it wasn't a shack either. It was a well-kept two story home with a nice green yawn and huge trees that cast shade over the entire front yard.

She parked on the street and got out of the car. Before starting her way to the front door, she made sure she was presentable. Just as she finished straightening out her blouse, the front door of the house opened and an older couple stepped out. There was no doubt in Franseca's mind that the older couple was Matt's grandparents. She could see a little of Matt in Maxwell.

Putting on a smile, she made her way to them. When she reached the front stoop, she extended her, but was surprised again when the other couple pulled her into a hug, one at a time. The hug threw her for a few seconds, but she quickly recovered.

"By our boys being together, we are family now." Maxwell said with a smile on his face as he stepped aside to let Franseca in. "Family don't shake hands, they hug, at least they do in our family." With a chuckle, Maxwell followed the ladies in the house, closing the front door behind them. "Please make yourself at home. Do you want anything to drink?"

Franseca said no, but the elder Robinsons wouldn't take no for an answer. Eleanor walked to the kitchen and returned with a pitcher of homemade lemonade and sweet bread. While she was pouring the lemonade, Franseca looked around the house. It was nothing like she expected. It matched the outside of the house, very clean and put together. The furniture looked maybe a couple years old, if even that. And everywhere she looked, there were pictures of someone. No doubt they were pictures of family since they were in most of them with a variety of others.

"You were telling us over the phone Mrs. Garcia that you wanted to talk about Matt's younger brother and sister," Maxwell said as he bit into his sweet bread. "If it is to ask if they can see Matt, we can't give that permission. You will have to talk to Matt's parents, but before you do let me warn you about one thing. You are not going to get anywhere with them. Once they decide on a course of action, they are not going to change course no matter who asks."

Franseca already knew that since Matt's younger sister and brother ended up at the door of the hotel. "Well I kind of already know that." Eleanor interrupted Franseca, asking her if she had already spoken with Matt's parents. "No ma'am I haven't spoken with them and to tell you the truth I really don't want to because if I were to, I will lay into them."

Maxwell leaned forward in his chair with his lemonade in his hand. "I know what they did with Matt was wrong and we have been trying to get them to see that, but they are still our family. No matter how wrong they are being, we have to defend them when someone comes along and calls their character into question."

Franseca was confused on that remark. She never said a word about their character, so she had no idea where Maxwell thought she was. She said a few simple words that if she would talk to them right now, she would say thing that she wouldn't be able to take back. That was all!

"Sir with all due respect I'm not calling Matt's parents character into question. Because I don't know them, I can't do that. Even though I don't agree with what they did with Matt, but I have no right to talk about their parenting methods. In their minds they feel that was their only option at the time. I wasn't there, so I can't say a word on it." Maxwell and Eleanor nodded their heads.

"However I am here now because I have seen firsthand how they treat their kids." Now it was Maxwell and Eleanor who now had a confused look on their faces. "Their two younger kids, Crystal and Reginald, are currently at the hotel with Matt because their parents kicked them out as well."

"What the hell!" Maxwell yelled as he got on from the chair. He slammed his cup on the coffee table as he made his way to the telephone. Eleanor tried to calm him down, but he wasn't hearing a word she was saying as he picked up the phone. Knowing her husband as she does, she knew he was going to say things that he would regret afterwards. So she grabbed the phone from him and made him go back to the living room and sit down.

"I think before we call our children we need to get more information." Eleanor looked at her husband, who refused to make eye contact with her. He was looking out the window trying to settle down. "Are you certain that they were kicked out? You know young kids, they say things to others that isn't the truth when they know they are in trouble. I think they did something and they are afraid to go home to face their parents."

"Come on Eleanor you know if that was what happened, our kids would have already called down here asking if we've seen Crystal and Reginald. Since we have gotten no such call or they haven't showed up yet, we can say for certain they kicked them out just like they kicked out Matt." Franseca could see anger and hate in Maxwell's eyes.

"Yes, yes you may be right there, but we need to give our kids the benefit of the doubt. Before jumping the gun, let's get our facts straight. Let's see what Franseca here knows and then let's talk to Crystal and Reginald and get their side of the story. Once we do that, we can decide what the best way to go about solving this.

"Mrs. Robinson I didn't come down here to make trouble for you and your family. I was there when Matt's brother and sister called home and heard what was being said. Before they called home, Matt and I sat down with them to see what was going on. After hearing their story, I didn't hesitate making them call home because as a parent I would want to know if the shoe was on the other foot. I wouldn't ever kick my kids out, but if I did, I would want to know where they were and if they were safe."

Maxwell asked Franseca to tell them everything that Crystal and Reginald told her and Matt. At first she thought about it. She didn't want to speak out of turn. After mulling it over, she decided it was the best thing to do. So she threw it all out there from what the two young Robinsons had said to what she heard them say to their parents. As she went further along on her recount of the events, she could see in Eleanor's face showing defeat.

"Tell me honey if that doesn't sound like our kids." Maxwell looked at his wife, who at first didn't respond to him, but after a few minutes she nodded her head. Turning his attention back to Franseca, he started to speak in a calm voice. "I don't understand why our kids think kicking their kids out of the house solves the problems that they are having. We never did that, which confuses us the most because if we didn't teach them that, where did they pick it up?"

Franseca shrugged her shoulders. "I know, I shouldn't be asking you these questions, but we are lost as far as finding the answers ourselves to the questions. Our son wasn't brought up this way, which means it has to be our daughter-in-law, at least we hope because if we are wrong, somewhere along the line we went really wrong with our son with his upbringing."

"Sir, ma'am I can't answer anything you are asking because again, I haven't met your son and daughter-in-law. All I know about them is how they treat their kids, which isn't good. First they kick Matt out because he is gay and got in trouble with the law. I think if he didn't get in trouble with the law, they might not have kicked him out, but we will never know that. He got in trouble and I really think that is what broke the camel's back.

And then there are the two young Robinsons. All they wanted was to see their older brother. They missed him and they wanted to see how he was doing. By the looks of it, they look up to him. They don't care that he is gay. All they care about is that he is their brother and they want their brother in their lives as much as possible.

Your son and daughter-in-law didn't want that to happen. I don't know if it was because they think being gay is contagious a like a cold and be passed on or they simply don't want anything to do with Matt. No matter what the reason, Matt's brother and sister are young and they will always do what they are told not to do. At least I did that when I was growing up and I see the same thing in my kids now. They are at an age right now they want to be an adult, but really don't know what being and adult entails."

"Mrs. Garcia we agree whole heartily with everything you are saying here today. But the question that is before us is what to do with Crystal and Reginald. They are family our family and should be brought up by one of us. You already have Matt. That's something none of us can change, but we can step in and do what we should have done with Matt, which is bringing them up.

We won't make that mistake twice. We want our grandkids here with us and we will do what their parents are unwilling to do. So if you can, tell us when the best time to go down and pick them up. I'm sure with everything that is going on right now the sooner we take Crystal and Reginald off your hands the better it will be for you."

That is what Franseca was hoping to hear, but at the same time she started to feel empty inside. She has never seen such a happy look as Matt had on his face when he saw his younger sister and brother. Yes, she has seen him happy with her son, but in this instance the look of happiness he had was different. Even if she wanted to, she couldn't explain it. It was one of those times that you needed to be there to understand.

"I agree with everything you just said, but I think taking Crystal and Reginald tonight is too soon for them and Matt. Why don't you let them spend the weekend at the hotel with their older brother? After all they haven't really seen one another for a long while and they want to spend as much time together as possible. So let's let them. You can pick Crystal and Reginald up Sunday evening after dinner. How does that sound to you?"

The two elder Robinsons looked at each other to see what the other was thinking before they looked back at Franseca to give her their answer. "As long as their being there doesn't interrupt your day to day life, we are fine with it." Franseca promised it was no trouble at all. "Okay we will let them stay the weekend with Matt. Make sure you tell Matt that his younger brother and sister are his reasonability, not yours. He has to look after them."

"I know there is no need for me to even tell him that because he knows, but if I see if it is needed, I will pass on the message."

Maxwell chuckled. He couldn't believe that Franseca knew his grandson as well as she did already. The only reason he said what he said was so where Franseca felt that she had some say to tell Matt what he needs to do. But like she said he doesn't need to be told to take care of his younger brother and sister. He does it instinctively.

They talked a little longer about what was the best time to pick up the younger Robinsons before Franseca started to get ready to leave. As she made her way to the door, Maxwell promised her that he was going to get to the bottom of what happened. At the same time he promised her that he was going to make sure that the young Robinsons won't be going to be to the streets and that they will be allowed to see their older brother when they want to.

Meanwhile back at the hospital Matt arrived. When he walked into the room, the look on his face confused Alex. He thought that Matt had lost the election, but couldn't figure out how since there no one was running against him. Then when Matt told him why he had a long face, Alex was stunned with the news.

Even though there were several kids running against Jacob, Alex thought that Jacob had the election in the bag. Now hearing that he had lost his bid for student council president, Alex felt for him. Everything his friend tried for, he got and showed everyone that he could do the job once he got it. Because he has always gotten everything he has went for, he knew Jacob wouldn't know how to deal with defeat.

Over time Alex felt he has gotten to know Jacob really well, like a brother even. So there was no doubt in his mind that Jacob wouldn't be a sore loser. However, he knew that Jacob wouldn't know how to handle losing because he has never failed to accomplish his goal. He would put on a happy face, and bury his true feelings deep down to never be heard from again.

Neither of them really knew what to say or do for Jacob. They talked about it for a while, but came to an agreement that if anyone could get Jacob through the loss it would be Dewayne and dropped the subject. They moved onto Matt winning his run and made plans to celebrate the win when Alex was out and able to be on his own two feet without the casts.

Since there was no school the next day, Matt decided to spend the night with Alex at the hospital. When Franseca stopped by to spend the couple of hours with her son, she brought Crystal and Reginald with her. Alex hadn't met his boyfriend's younger brother and sister, so when they came through the door he didn't know what to expect.

Before Matt was able to introduce them, Reginald walked straight up to Alex, presented his hand as he thanked him for making his older brother very happy. After shaking Reginald's hand, Crystal came up and repeated what her brother said, but instead of extending her had for a handshake, she leaned in and gave Alex a kiss on the check, which got her brothers whistling.

Once all the introductions were done and the craziness of meeting someone for the first time had gone away, everyone settled in. No one was afraid to show their true self as they talked about several different subjects. When it was time to eat, Franseca and Crystal left to go across the street at the Taco Bell and get food for everyone.

While they were gone, the guys talked about guy things. Mainly Matt and Alex were trying to get information out of Reginald about the girl he wants to ask out at school. When he finally opened up and told them about her, they tried to give him the best advice they could. Alex and Matt took turns trying to help and Reginald not only accepted all the advice, but soaked it all in.

By the time Franseca and Crystal got back, they had finished talking about the girl Reginald liked and moved onto another subject, which Crystal quickly jumped into. They sat there eating dinner from Taco Bell in Alex's room, talking as if they had known each other for years. Not one of them hiding who they are or their true feelings on any subject that was talked about.

As it got closer and closer to visiting hours ending, everyone kept looking up at the clock on the wall. So it was no surprise to Franseca when she got up and asked Crystal and Reginald to say goodbye to Alex and Matt and they refused. They weren't rude in their refusal. They were polite, which got Franseca feeling for them.

"I know you haven't seen your brother for a long time, but you have all weekend to be with him and Alex." That grabbed everyone's attention. Franseca had forgotten that she hadn't told them about her visit with Matt's grandparents. So she quickly told them what was said in her conversation she had with them since time was factor with visiting hours already over.

"So as you guys can see, your family don't agree at all with what your mother and father did by kicking all three of you out." Franseca pointed her finger at Matt and then at his younger brother and sister. "Don't get me wrong on why I did the visit with your grandparents. I would love more than anything you guys being close to your brother, but right now everything in our household is in a lot of turmoil. Let us move into the new house and settle in before we visit the idea of you guys spending more than just the weekends with Matt."

At first the younger Robinsons thought that Alex's mother didn't want them around, but after hearing her explanation they knew they were wrong. She does want them around, but they agreed with her. None of them objected or questioned what she had done. However, the younger Robinsons did fight her on leaving. Since they only had the weekend to spend with their older brother and now their new other-older brother, they didn't want to lose any time.

"Mom why don't you go home and relax, I will take care of my brother and sister." Matt said as he got up and wrapped his arms around his younger brother and sister. "You deserve to relax and have some time to yourself, so let me take care of these guys and you have the evening to yourself." Alex quickly agreed with Matt.

Franseca looked at her boys and saw how sincere they were being. "Okay then, you guys take care of these young ones. Make sure they don't stay up too late and they do have a place to actually sleep besides the floor." Alex and Matt promised. "Well then there is really nothing more I need to do here, just make sure..."

"We know mom, make sure they go to bed at a decent hour and they sleep on something besides the floor, we got it." Alex and Matt said at the same time with big smiles across their faces.

Not needing to say another word, Franseca walked over to Alex and kissed him goodbye before doing the same thing with Matt and his brother and sister. She couldn't help but worry just a little, so when she left the room, she pulled the head of Alex's evening security to the side and made him promise to call her if the hospital staff gives her boys any problems.

Back in the room, Crystal and Reginald jumped on Alex's bed and picked up the conversation they were having before Franseca got up and said it was time to go. They talked for a little while before they turned on the TV to see what was on. When the evening news started, they turned off the television and started to play cards until after midnight when they fell asleep.

The very first person Alex saw the next morning when he opened his eyes was Dr. Whitmore standing over him. He looked over to his right to find Matt asleep snuggled up close to him. A little embarrassed, Alex tried to wake Matt, but he was out. Alex felt bad as he tried over and over again to wake him because he looked so cute snuggled against his side.

"Alex there is no need to wake Matt up." Dr. Whitmore whispered as he jotted down notes on Alex's record. "I just came in to take a look at the notes for the nurses took over the night before heading off with my family. I like what I see here." Dr. Whitmore skimmed through the pages of notes from the nurses. "Since you are getting better, I don't see any need to keep you in here another day. We need this bed for those that are actually sick."

Dr. Whitmore winked at Alex as he put the chart on the foot of the bed. While his attention was on that, Alex started to try and get out of bed to thank Dr. Whitmore. The nurses held Alex back and that caused Matt to come to life. He lifted his head, rubbing his eyes asking what was going on. Seeing Dr. Whitmore when he looked up he realized what was going on.

"Alex I'm releasing you, but not to do anything stupid. You need to follow my instructions or you are going to be right back in here." Little by little Dr. Whitmore's voice got louder and louder. "You will not stand and put weight on your legs. You will stay in that wheel chair until I say you can get out of it. You will follow up with me as I see fit. You will not do anything that puts pressure or weight on your legs. And you..."

"I know Dr. Whitmore I have the list right here." Alex reached over to his night stand and picked up the folder he was given a couple of days ago. "I plan to follow these instructions to the letter and if I don't I won't fight you on putting me back in here. But I don't see that happening since I have Matt here who will make sure I follow this to the T!"

Dr. Whitmore liked the answer he got out of Alex. He dropped the subject of what he can and can't do and moved on. By the time he was done, he had given Alex instructions on everything, including the meds he is going to take. As he was signing Alex's discharge papers, Franseca walked in with breakfast in her hand.

"Well good morning Mrs. Garcia!" Dr. Whitmore said as he handed Alex's discharge papers to the charge nurse. "Something about you has changed, what I don't know, but something about you has changed. You seem to be glowing!" Franseca turned all shades of red. "Well you have your son back. As soon as you guys eat and the IV is removed from his arm, he is free to go home." Looking over at Alex... "And hopefully he will not return here again."

"We are going to do everything we can to make sure that doesn't happen." Franseca placed the McDonald's bags on Alex's table. "He has been through enough already to last a life time. In fact every one of the guys in Jacob's house has been through enough to last a life time. These kids deserve a break from all the bad that has been following them around. It is high time that they actually have some good luck now."

Whitmore agreed with Franseca's every word. He said his goodbyes and left them to eat their breakfast in peace. As they all made their way around Alex's bed, Franseca asked how every slept, which every said great when that wasn't really the truth. Franseca knew they weren't telling her the truth by the way they were rubbing their backs and other body language, but she let it go. They looked happy and that is all that mattered to her.

Before Alex could finish his Big Breakfast, the charge nurse told him that he was free to go. The minute he was told, he and the rest inhaled what was left of their breakfasts without chewing. Once they cleared off their plastic trays, they all got up and helped Alex gather all of his stuff as he got dressed with the help from Matt and Franseca.

The hardest part on getting Alex dressed was getting his pants over the casts he had on both of his legs. It took them several tries before they agreed that Alex couldn't wear pants unless they cut them down the middle, which they weren't. Lucky for them, Franseca planned for just that brought a pair of baggy sweat pants of Alex's.

Once they finally got the Alex dressed and in the wheel chair, they headed to the elevator. Matt wanted to push Alex, but the nurse wouldn't allow him to. It was hospital policy that one of them saw him all the way out of the hospital and bring the wheel chair back into the building. Matt was thinking the same thing Alex was. It wasn't so much they wanted to see the patient to their car than it was to make sure they didn't get their wheelchairs stolen!

With no objection, the nurse pushed the wheelchair and the rest of the family either walked along the side or behind. When they got down to the lobby, Franseca broke away to get the SUV. When she drove around to where Alex and the others were, it dawned on her that her SUV might be a little too high for Alex. She kicked herself on not thinking about that sooner.

Quickly she put the SUV in park, jumped out and ran to the other side apologizing. Alex laughed as he told his mother that there was nothing for her to apologize for. With help from Matt, Reginald and a male nurse, Alex was able to get into the front passenger seat of the SUV. Once everyone climbed in and settled in their seats, Franseca drove off.

Alex looked back at the hospital and promised himself that he will never find himself back there as the hospital disappeared behind him. Once he couldn't see the hospital any longer, he turned his attention everyone in the truck and joined into the conversation that was going on. All the way back to the hotel, the SUV was full of life, something Franseca loved and enjoyed.

When they drove up, they were met by Chase, Carlos, Kimberly and several others that lived in the hotel. Matt tried to get Alex out on his own, but he was unable to. With the help from Carlos, Chase and Reginald, they had Alex out and in his new wheelchair in no time. Alex enjoyed all the attention, which surprised Carlos. The old Alex he knew would have objected to the help because he felt it made him look weak, but not the new Alex.

The rest of the day, Alex and Matt sat in the lobby talking with whoever came by. Every now and then, Matt would leave Alex to spend time with his brother and sister, which Alex didn't mind at all. In fact, he told Matt to spend as much time with them as possible. He didn't want Matt to ever blame him that he was unable to spend the time with he wanted to spend with his brother and sister.

Every chance Matt and Alex got to spend with Crystal and Reginald on Saturday and Sunday, they did. The only time they were unable to, at least Alex, was when the pain in his legs was unbearable. When he was hit with the pain, Matt wheeled him up to their room and a couple of hours later Matt helped him back into the chair to rejoin whatever was going on.

Sunday afternoon Alex found his way to Jeremy's room. At first Jeremy refused to even look at him. He crawled into the corner with his drawing paper and pencils and ignored Alex. Cupid was the only one that gave Alex the time of day, but Alex didn't give up and leave. He sat in his wheelchair at the door and waited for Jeremy to invite him in, which took a while.

Alex's patience paid off and Jeremy finally gave in. Alex had been at the door for almost thirty minutes before Jeremy jumped up from the floor and ran over to Alex. He wrapped his arms around him and pulled him in tight as if doing so he would never lose Alex again. They were there in the door way like that for almost five minutes before Jeremy let go and invited Alex in.

Alex wheeled his way in next to Jeremy's bed. His legs were aching because he was getting close to time for his pain medication, but he didn't let Jeremy know. He rubbed them as best he could with the casts there while he watched Jeremy's hands going a mile a minute. Jeremy was so excited to have Alex back Alex couldn't understand a word he was signing.

Not wanting to be rude, Alex reached out and placed his hands over Jeremy's. When he saw a smile across Jeremy's face, Alex let go of his hands and started to sign himself. `Sorry Jeremy, but you were going too fast and I didn't understand what you were saying.' Jeremy just stared at Alex with a grin from one ear to the other. `It is good to see you to Jeremy and I missed you a lot while I was away. A day didn't go by I wished I was here to spend our usual time together."

Jeremy got up and ran to his dresser. He opened the drawer where he kept all his finished drawings and pulled out several of them before closing the drawer and returning to Alex. When he reached Alex, he handed him the drawings before sitting back down on the floor, picked up Cupid and started petting her.

Alex started to go through the drawings he was handed and couldn't believe what he was seeing. A quarter of the way through, he had tears in his eyes. Jeremy drew several drawings of him, Alex and Cupid outside doing the things they normally do. One had them sitting on the ground just talking by the looks of it. Another had them playing tossing a ball back and forth. The drawings went like this for several copies until Alex reached the last one that got him all choked up. He had no idea that Jeremy actually felt that way about him.

The picture had what Alex believed was him in a bed with both of his legs up in the air like in traction. He had a frown as the stick figure looked out the window. Around the bed were several other stick figures that Alex assumed were Matt, Franseca and others. The very last one he knew it was Jeremy because the stick figure was holding a stick figure dog, which was cupid. On top was written in color pencil `Get well to come home and play with me'.

Alex really wanted to hug Jeremy, but he knew that if he moved to quickly, that he would scare him. So he laid down the drawings and asked Jeremy if it was okay if he hugged him. Jeremy got up from the floor and walked over to Alex. He leaned in and pulled Alex to him as he did when he finally gave in and acknowledged him at the door.

They held the hug longer than they did at the door. As they hugged, Alex whispered to Jeremy thanking him for the pictures and the kind words he said. He wasn't one hundred percent sure that Jeremy understood what he said, but he was ninety nine percent sure because when he said it, Jeremy tightened his grip around him a little tighter.

Once they broke their hug, Alex stayed with Jeremy up till dinner time and went back up to Jeremy's room after dinner close to another hour. They drew, talked and even tossed a tennis ball back and forth, which Cupid tried to get. Alex wanted to spend more time with Jeremy, but he couldn't. The pain in his legs was getting to the point that his pain meds weren't working.

Reluctantly he left, feeling like crap because the way Jeremy looked at him. He promised to see him tomorrow, but he knew by the look on Jeremy's face that he didn't believe him. Knowing that action speaks louder than words to Jeremy, Alex didn't spend much time trying to get Jeremy to understand that he was not lying. Instead he figured by doing what he said he would, Jeremy will start trusting him once again.

The beginning of the week started out almost as usual with a few differences. Alex woke up when the alarm clock went off on Monday, but he didn't get up and get ready for school. He watched as Matt did, trying to put a smile on his boyfriend's face. Ever since he said goodbye to his brother and sister the night before he was moping around.

Trying everything he could think of to get Matt to smile, Alex didn't succeed. Not giving up, he kept trying all the way down the elevator and right before the door opened, he got Matt to smile. Once he did that, it was easy for him to get Matt to keep the smile on his face and to add a little laughing with it. By the time they sat down for breakfast with the other guys, Matt was back to his normal self.

Once the guys left for school, Alex went up and hung out with Jeremy until his teacher arrived. He tried to stay with Jeremy, but the teacher wouldn't allow it. Having nowhere else to go or no one else to talk to, Alex went back to his room and maneuvered himself from his wheelchair to his bed without any help from anyone.

Shortly after getting himself from his wheel chair to the bed, Franseca walked in. She wasn't happy seeing what he had done. She scolded him for a few minutes, but eventually settled down. After a few minutes of dead silence, she spoke again, but this time with a calmer voice. She apologized for scolding, but made it clear to Alex that he couldn't be doing things like that when he's alone because anything could happen. Alex understood where his mother was coming from and promised that he won't ever do anything like what he did earlier again. Taking her son at his word, she dropped the subject and moved on to why she went up there in the first place.

"Alex I need to talk to you about something, but before I do, I need you to promise me that you will hear me out before you react." Alex didn't move or say a word. "Come on Alex, promise me that you will listen to what I have to say before you say anything." Franseca didn't say another word until she got Alex's promise. It took a few seconds, but he finally promised.

"I know no matter what had happened in the past between you and your father, he will always be your father. I will never take that away from you or bring anyone else in to be your father. You only have one father and no matter what type of person that person was, he was your father." Taking a deep breath, Franseca put her thoughts together.

"Between all you boys, you will probably be the only one that will ever remember your father as a father figure. Your brothers weren't even born when your father was out in the free, you were. You were the only one that met him and had a chance to get to know him. Ismail and Lorenzo will never have the memories of their real father that you do. No matter if they are bad or good, you have one thing they don't have, memories of being with your father.

With that said, you are my eldest and I feel I need to tell you what is going on in my life right now. There is a man that has come into my life I really like and would like to see if anything could develop between us. But before that even happens, there are a few problems that I want to talk to you about before I even go out on my first date with him."

Alex didn't keep his promise, he interrupted his mother and asked her who this guy is. Before she was able to answer, he threw question after question at her. Does he know the guy she wants to go out with? If not, has he seen him around or is it someone new? Question after question like that he asked, and Franseca didn't answer any of them until Alex stopped asking them.

"Son, you know the guy I like and want to see if he likes me. You see him almost every day and I think you like him. At least I know you respect him." Alex looked at his mom with a look of utter confusion on his face. He tried to think who she was talking about, but no man came to mind. "The guy I want to go out with is..."



{Welcome back one and all to another chapter of `Beneath the Mask'. First let me say how sorry I am about changing the posting of this chapter. I have a lot going on right now that is cutting into my writing time. So much is going on right now in my life, I don't even have half the time I used to have when I was putting out three chapters a week. I keep promising you that is going to change, and I still hope that it will in a short period of time. Until then, I am thankful you guys are putting up with my changing postings or even not posting at all.

Also I would like to talk a little but about what you guys probably know by now if you have visited my home page of my site. As you know I host several authors on my site. They are free to remove their stories from my site whenever they want to. Trevor decided that it was time to leave my site and just post on Nifty. They are his stories and he can do as he wishes with them.

As of April 12, he is no longer posting on my site. All the links to his stories have been removed, but they are not gone. If you saved the links in your favorites, you can still get to the stories for a while longer. Once that doesn't work anymore or you don't have the links saved to your favorites, you can still catch up with his sagas on Nifty, where he will continue posting.

Now with that said, as you know he writes "Rebirth", which is tied into my stories. Originally Roland and I started that story together, but Trevor took it over on the second chapter. He understood that the characters that are from my stories are mine and if something like what happened, happens, they will come back to my stories.

Since he wants to continue writing "Rebirth" and I can't stop him from doing so, he will continue doing so. However, as of chapter thirteen of that story, it is no longer part of my sagas. He will use my characters, but they are no longer my characters. So as he goes on with his story, they have nothing to do with my stories at all.

The characters he borrowed from me will be folded back into my stories like Carlos and Kimberly, Gloria and Andy Sr., and Johnny Walker IV. Also the other characters that were developed in his story like David, Sally and the others will be folded into my story since they have become major players in my stories. More than likely all those characters will be folded into this saga or `Regrets and Heartaches'. My editors and I will try to keep you up dated on where all the characters are going on either on the main page or the story page of `Rebirth', which has been moved up to my stories.

Now I am done with all that, let's get to the summation of the chapter. A lot happened in this chapter. It is only a day off of `Jacob Finding His Way' when it ended. Hopefully by the next chapter it will be right with Jacob since we are quickly approaching Spring Break.

The chapter picked right up where it left off with Stefano at the hospital with Alex and Franseca. All you guys thought there was going to be a full out fight of one kind or another, but I'm evil and took the story down a different path that you guys didn't even see. Not only didn't they see through Stefano, they let him stay.

With that said about that plot, I wonder how long Stefano thinks he is going to be able to fool Alex and Franseca. Both of them have a weird feeling about him already. It is only going to take one thing to get them to see him for what he really is. I wonder when that happens, what is going to happen. Is it going to be a full out fight, or even worse, someone being killed?

I like how Franseca took care of the issue with Matt's younger brother and sister. She went to the grandparents and told them what had happened. I am glad that the grandparents are going to take their grandchildren. As they said, it's best for family to bring up family. I just wonder what is going to happen with Matt's family. By what I can see, they are not going to go off into the night quietly. They are probably going to stick around and make trouble. I really hope not!

Alex got out of the hospital finally in this chapter. It is great to see these boys getting out and going back home after what they been through. The only one left in the hospital is Thomas and Tom. Tom will be there for quite a while. Alex needs to obey Dr. Whitmore, or he might end back up in the hospital right beside Tom and Thomas.

Jeremy came back in this chapter. It was great to see him and Cupid again because this guy is so innocent. He has no idea about all the bad in the world. And most importantly, he sees the true Alex and wants to be around him. I don't see that relationship going anywhere except up.

The ending what can I say, I needed to cliff hanger and hadn't had one for a while. We all know who Franseca wants to date, that wasn't the cliffhanger. The cliffhanger was how Alex was going to react when he was told it was Principal Michaels. Shoot me emails and tell me how you want him to react. Who knows I might use one of your ideas to move that plot line along.

There are a lot of open plots still dangling out there in the air that will come back and as well a whole lot of new ones. So please stick around as I have said and keep on reading. I hope that you all enjoyed what you have read and will keep coming back week after week to this saga and the other three I write.

I do not want to say too much more and spoil the future chapters to come, so I won't. I warn you though! Do not skip a chapter, or you will be lost. There is a so much to answer in the chapters to come. Keep reading the future chapters, and enjoy! Please email me and let me know how I am doing at jacobmillertex@aol.com, Thanks!}


It's great to find Alex out of the hospital. He has some bit of time yet to be casted and then there's that process of getting the deteriorated leg muscles to go back to work and tone up. I hope that when they packed up Alex's belongings at the hospital that they thought to bring the bedside urinal! Hey, it's part of life and Alex can't be standing up...soooooooo... I hope that Matt will have the time to take care of helping Alex with his sponge baths too. There's no showering or bathing for Alex until the casts are off.

I enjoyed the reunion between Jeremy and Alex. Alex has it down pat how to deal with Jeremy and not upset him. Alex is beginning to see how deeply Jeremy feels about him. I think he's beginning to sense that he has unwittingly taken on a real responsibility. How could he ever not have Jeremy in his life now? Not the new Alex, for sure.

Alex and Franseca will catch onto Stefano. Stefano isn't going to be able to keep up the ruse for long. Those two are too perceptive and always on the watch for anything that could endanger their family or friends. I have no clue as to how Alex will react, but I'm not expecting it to be a warm and fuzzy reaction. Stefano is coming in with a pack of lies and is being manipulative. He has no ill intent toward Alex that I can sense, but his playing mind games will put Alex on the defensive and he will, at the least, push him away.

I had every confidence that Matt's grandparents would step up and do the right thing with Crystal and Reginald. They reacted exactly as I expected they would. They have shown to be solid, loving, caring family. They reached back out to Matt and now they are stepping up with Matt's siblings. I'm sure the scene where the grandparents confront the parents is going to be a real barnburner!

OK, so just how will Alex react to finding out his mother wants to date his principal? Alex still is a hot blooded Latino, very protective of his mother. I predict his initial reaction is going to not be positive, but I think that his love for his mother and his wanting her to be happy will overcome his initial objections. It's just that it's going to be complicated. I'm sure it will be a colorful scene!

Until Next Time,

"Daddy" Rick