{"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 authors' express written consent. }}

Written by: J.P.G.

Editor: Trevor

Editor: Houdini

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 65

Ever since Sally assigned the probation kids to work in the kitchen to clean up after meals, Francesca has been able to have the evenings all to herself. Something she knows is going to end when the kids return from Disneyland. Not just because they will be back from their Spring Vacation, but also they will be living in the Governor's old house.

Jacob had been pushing to move out of the hotel and into the governor's house before they leave on their trip. There is no doubt in any one's mind that is going to happen now since the final moving is getting done at that moment. Everyone in the hotel, except the probation kids, are helping out, even Alex. Leaving Francesca really nothing to do but stand out of the way and watch the young men hard at work moving things from their rooms to the trucks.

It didn't take long for the trucks to get filled and the kids to head out, leaving Francesca alone in the lobby of the hotel. Knowing this was going to be one of the very last times she would be standing there, she decided to really look around the old hotel. It had a lot of history, which Joey has tried to keep even though it was no longer open to the public.

The furniture in the lobby was elegant, which still surprises Francesca. It's not a young man's taste, which means it came with the hotel when Joey bought it. She figured that they decided to keep it in place so they didn't have to spend any more money than they needed to in order to get the hotel up and running. At the same time though, she couldn't help but think that if they don't keep those that don't give a damn about anything away from the very old, but nice furniture it will be destroyed within a year. Something she knows Joey would hate.

As she moved from the lobby to the first ballroom, she couldn't step in. It was all cleaned up ready for another party or like Jacob's parents, a wedding. Everything in the room glitters from the roof to the tables. Although the tables weren't set up ready for an event of some kind, it still looked very nice.

Being lost in her own thoughts, Francesca didn't hear James walking up behind her. She didn't know that anyone, more so the guy she is starting to fall for every time she sees him, was behind her. It wasn't until he wrapped his arms around her that she snapped out of her thoughts. She jumped several feet from the ground. The only reason she didn't hit the roof was because James had his arms around her, holding tight.

Before she caught her breath, she turned and started hitting James on the chest. "You asshole! You scared the crap out of me." After an onslaught of light hits, Francesca stopped. "I thought I was a goner. The thoughts that started flashing through my mind I can't even begin to put them in words. All I can say is that they were not good thoughts."

Tightening his grip around Francesca, James pulled her in ever close. "I'm sorry! I never meant to scare you the way I did. It's just I saw you standing here in the doorway lost in thought looking so beautiful, I couldn't help myself. I needed to be close to you. I needed to feel your heart beat against my chest and feel your breath on my neck."

That did it, Francesca's anger melted away. She couldn't stay mad at the very guy she sees her future with. ""Sorry for hitting you as much as I did." As she looked down she started to swipe gently at James's chest. "I hope those light touches didn't hurt you!" That got a laugh out of him. "If it did I'd worry about you. The hits you get from your students from time to time..."

"You don't have to worry about me Fran!" James interrupted. "Your hits were love taps compared to hits I have got from students at school throughout my career." James let go of Francesca as he started to walk into the ballroom. "I had a very rough day! A day that I wish I can re-do in some areas because a couple of students got the short end of the stick that could destroy their lives."

Seeing the look on James's face worried Francesca. She joined him in the middle of the ballroom to try and console him. "Look I knew you are used to not having no one to talk to about your day at work, but I hope that will change now that we're together. I want to hear about the day you had so hopefully I can help you come to terms with the decisions you have no other choice than to make at times. You have a huge heart and you care about your students, but there are going to be times when things out of your control you have to do."

James loved the idea to have someone to have to talk about his day. It has been a while since he has had that in his life. He lost his wife a couple of years back to breast cancer, leaving him alone with a son Alex's age. Neither of them were ready for her to leave, but forced themselves to move on by drowning themselves in their work and school activities.

"Hearing you say what you just said has made my afternoon a little brighter." James whispered as he leaned in and kissed Francesca on the cheek. "I do need someone to talk with to help me get through days like today. My late wife was always there for me whenever I needed someone to talk to; one of many things I really miss about her."

Francesca didn't respond right away. She wanted to think through her response before saying it. She's getting the correct words in the right order so she didn't end up saying the wrong thing to James to make him clam up on her. Something she didn't want to do so early on in their relationship knowing it would be hard for her to get him to open up again if she does this wrong.

"I know we have not really had that talk. The one about if this goes where both of us want it to go what our standings are going to be in each of our lives. We both lost our partners that we thought we were going to spend the rest of our lives with. We both were left alone to bring up teenage kids. Me earlier than you, not by death, but by my late husband being sentenced to do prison time. From that moment I considered myself a widow since he would never return to me and the kids." By the look Francesca was getting from James she knew she was losing him.

"What I'm trying to get at is that we need to start trusting each other. Start leaning on each other whenever we need someone to lean on." Francesca got closer to James. "Even though I never had the honor to meet your late wife, I know she had to be a wonderful women by the way you talk about her and how your son is. There is no doubt in my mind she wants you to be happy and have someone to grow old with. I really hope that someone is me!"

James smiled at Francesca as he pulled her in to him. Just as she opened her mouth to speak, he leant in and kissed her on the lips. When they broke the kiss, she forgot what she was going to say and James knew it. Not wanting to embarrass her, he kissed her once more before taking over.

"At this moment there is no doubt in my mind we are going to spend the rest of our lives together, or, like you said, grow old together. I know a part of you might be asking how I'm certain of that since we haven't been going out for a long time. All I can say to that part of you is to believe in us. Believe in all the chaos of our lives, we found each other." Without hesitation Francesca agreed with him, putting a bigger smile on his face.

"Now I need to practice what I preach." James removed two chairs from the table and put them down for him and Francesca to sit in. "I don't know what to do anymore to move my staff in the right direction when dealing with our students. They don't understand that the way they are dealing with them is wrong. They can get a lot more done by listening to the students and trying to get to the root of the reason they did what they did to get them involved. Normally they just want attention.

Like for example today one of the kids that is in the new program Judge Evens has started ended up getting into trouble. This kid has had a hell of a life already." James stopped, looked down at his hands and back up at Francesca. "Don't get me wrong what this kid has gone through doesn't excuse him for what he did that got him in trouble, but it explains a lot.

Anyway as I was saying! Between classes the student was with another student walking to their next class. They did something to get the attention of the group that hate the students in the school that are gay. Every chance they get, they make their lives a living hell. Well not all the gay students. They know better than to try to say or do anything to Jacob and his group, or Josh and his group because they will stand up to them. The others outside those two groups normally just take it and walk away not saying a word because they don't want undue attention in their direction.

These students thought that these two students in question were easy targets like the others they like to pick on. So they stepped up to them not realizing who one of the students was. Instead of doing what they thought they were going to do, one of the students stood up to them and took them on. It took five of my school security to stop the fight, and two to drag the student away.

Instead of bringing the student to me like they should have, they took him to one of my vice principals who they thought would have expelled the student. The only problem with that theory was that they didn't know my vice principals have to get me to sign off on expelling a student. He followed procedure and came to me, but once I got the facts of what happened I overturned his decision. Something I rarely do because it makes them look weak with the students."

"Well it looks like at the end you were able to stop the injustice that was being done to Garratt and Ray." James had no idea that she knew who he was talking about. "Even though this place is big, everyone knows what is happening. I was here when Garratt walked through the doors scared out of his mind. He thought he was going to go back to jail when he was asked to go to Sally's office. It was your second phone call that kept that from happening. Sally had already called the police and was ready to send him back because that was part of the process."

James knew Garratt was close to getting sent back to jail, but he had no idea the poor kid was that close. "Garratt didn't deserve what happened to him today. Even though he shouldn't have fought, he wasn't the one that started the physical conflict. It was the other students. He wasn't about to back down because it wasn't what he was taught to do. I wish he would have walked away, but again I know there was just no way could he have done that. Not if he ever wanted to show his face to his friends again.

I just wish my staff would understand that stuff." James slammed his fist against the table. "I wish they would take the time and listen to the students that are brought before them. After hearing them out, look at who they are talking to. Try and get into their minds and see through their eyes. I know if they do that, they would handle situations a lot differently than they do."

Francesca knew exactly where James was coming from. A lot of people looked at her son and saw his father instead. Because of that, they right away thought wrong of her son. At one time those thoughts were right, but she knew better. She knew what kind of man her son was, but that man was never given a chance to come out and show his face until her late husband was finally gone.

"There is really nothing anyone can do to get another person to think differently once they are used to thinking the way they think. It's sad that a lot of our generation, the generation before us and maybe most of the generation after us has the wrong teachings. It's hard to change what a person has been taught since they were kids, but there are some that do change. You might get a few of your staff to finally change, but don't get your hopes on getting all of them to change. Just make sure you are there like you were today for Garratt."

"You're right!" James spoke in a calmly way as he rubbed the hand that he used to hit the table. "It's just there's going to be times I'm not going to be there when one of my staff passes unequal justice down to students like Garratt. When that happens, what's going to happen to that student? I will tell you what will happen. What almost happened to Garratt today and that's not fair!"

"We both know that isn't fair, and more than likely the staff member that does pass down that unequal punishment knows that as well. All you can do is put in safeguards in case a day like that arises. Talk with Sally and tell her what you have told me. She's an understanding and fair woman. Just like you, she doesn't want any of these kids in Judge Evan's program to get sent back up because a staff member on your staff can't see through the hate they have.

Not having to think that much about what Francesca just said, James was on the same page. He didn't know Sally that well, but the little that he does know about her is positive. So sitting down with her to see what they can do to help the kids on the probation floor wouldn't be a waste of his time since she seems to think the same way he does about giving them the benefit of the doubt.

"I'll have my secretary place a call tomorrow to Sally's office and get me an appointment." James smiled as he leaned in and gave Francesca a kiss on the cheek. "I truly believe once we sit down and put in guidelines on how to deal with the young kids here in Judge Evans program they'll have a real shot at a second chance. A few may screw up, but I believe the majority of them won't. They will take this second chance and change their lives for good."

James looked around the room and then out to the hallway. "I didn't notice until now how quiet it is here today. That's very unusual because there's usually kids running around these halls the few times I have been here and today I haven't seen one. We haven't been disturbed even once, which is surprising." James had a confused look on his face. "Where is everyone babe?"

Not meaning to, Francesca started to laugh. She knew it was rude, but couldn't help herself because of the way James was looking at her. It was a look between confusion and lost. A look that she has never seen on his face before and a look she knows she will never see again. It took a few seconds for her to stop laughing, but once she did she explained to him where everyone was at.

"I thought Jacob and those that lived with him were okay living here at the hotel?" Francesca responded that she thought so too. "So why go through this move just to move again in a couple months in the house that he is having built. That just don't make any sense at all."

"Don't ask me what is going through these kids' minds. More than half the time I don't know what is going through my son's minds, more so the other kids. The only thing that is certain when it comes down to these kids at any time they will change their minds on a number of things. All I can do is be ready when they do and try to help them if they need it."

This time James started to laugh. "That's no lie. My son changes his position on everything several times before he finishes eating dinner. I have learned to just sit there and listen, go along with his ideas and then when it looks like he has decided on what side he wants to be on, I'll be there to guide him if he wants my help. I won't assume he wants it because whenever I do that we always end up fighting that normally lasts for a couple of days."

Francesca knew exactly where James was coming from. When her late husband first got sentenced to life in prison, Alex tested her constantly. Whenever she tried to help, it blew up in her face. Forcing her to learn the best thing to do concerning her son in moments like that was to step back and let him work through whatever it was he needed to work through. If she saw him going the wrong way, she would ever so lightly nudge him back in the right direction.

Then when her husband passed away, the younger boys started to test how far they could push her on getting away with things. There were a few differences between the two times, which were major differences. It was only one son the first time versus the second when there were two trying to get away with murder. And the most important difference was she had help the second time around in her son Alex. He set his brothers right and ended the rebelling quickly.

The two of them sat there in silence looking into each other eyes. As each passing minute went by, they moved closer and closer to each other. Before they knew it, they were in each other's arms looking around the room. Francesca had turned her chair to the side so the back of the chair wasn't in her way for her to be against James's chest. Once she settled in, James wrapped his arms around her and held as tight as he could not wanting to let her go.

Finally after what seemed like eternity, James broke the silence. "You know the boys are leaving tomorrow night for Disneyland?" Francesca nodded her head. "You're going with them?" She nodded again. "We talked once before about me and my son maybe heading down there as well, but we never finished that conversation. I was wondering what you think about..."

Francesca interrupted James as she looked up into his eyes. "What about your job? I mean I always thought that during Spring Break you and your teachers take advantage of that week without the students to take care of things that you can't when they're around. Don't get me wrong I'd love you and your son to join us, but I don't want to take you away from your work." Francesca could see she hit a nerve and tried to back step a little. "Plus I would like to meet your son finally and I know my sons would love to meet him as well."

That got a smile out of James. "Fran you know you're right to a point about us using that week to get things done, but it's not mandatory. It's voluntary and more and more the teachers and my staff have opted to take the week and enjoy it with their family. This year is no different."

James slowly and gently moved Francesca's head up until he could see her eyes. "The last time I took the week off was when I and my late wife were first married. Back then I was a teacher not the principal and we were first starting out. All I wanted to do was spend as much time with her as humanly possible. Then as the years went on I buried myself into my work and spent less and less time at home. When she got sick and passed away I hated myself for doing what I did. I wish I could have done that and many other things differently with her.

The reason I'm telling you this is because I never thought I would fall in love again after she passed away, but boy was I wrong. The moment I saw you my heart came to life once again. Then we started talking that led to spending time together and eventually this." James moved his hands up and down motioning them being together. "I never thought I would have this again. Now that I do I don't plan on making the same mistakes I did with my late wife."

Francesca turned all shades of red. Just likes James, she never thought she would fall in love again. Not after the rocky marriage she was in with her son's father. A marriage that fell apart almost from the beginning, but they stayed together for all the wrong reasons. As the years went by, she learned to live without the love only a partner, a husband can give. However, all that changed when she met James Michaels. At that moment she knew she could love again.

"James you know what I would love it if you and your son could come up and join me and my kids in Disneyland during Spring Break." Francesca bent her neck as far back as she could as she wrapped her arms around James's neck and pulled his head towards hers. When their lips met both of their hearts skipped a beat. After holding the kiss for almost a minute, they broke it. "The only question is when? I mean we're leaving tomorrow, when do you think you and your son will arrive?" Francesca batted her eyes as she grinned up at James.

Looking off to the distance James thought long and hard before answering the question. "I don't see why we can't leave here on Sunday and be there sometime late Sunday afternoon." That put a smile on Francesca's face. "But I do see a problem though. Once we are there how in the world will we be able to get on your floor with Jacob's security and all in place?"

"That's easy since you and your son have already been cleared through the security. I will make sure they know you two will be arriving Sunday and you guys will be staying in one of the rooms on the floor that Jacob rented out." James pushed away from Francesca, which alarmed her. "What, I don't see a problem with that? What do you see is wrong with that plan?"

"I'm Jacob's principal and it will look, it will look..." James started to pace back and forth. "It will just look wrong. It looks shady and anyone that sees it will think the same thing. So if at all possible can we just get rooms on another floor of the hotel?"

"Yes and no!" Francesca got up and walked over to James. "I understand what's going through your mind right now. If it gets around that Jacob paid for your hotel room and you do anything for him it will look like you were paid to do it with that hotel room. We will know differently but by the time you get your side of the story out and people start to believe it will be too late. Your career will not only be over but you will be lucky to keep teaching.

So let's do this to make sure that doesn't happen. I will talk to Jacob and ask him to leave one room unpaid for on the floor he rents for you. You come in and pay for that room to the hotel not to Jacob so you have proof that he didn't pay one red cent. This is a win, win solution because if you get a room on another floor it will be hard for you to join us because of the security."

James agreed with Francesca on everything she said. They kept talking as they walked out of the ballroom all the way to the restaurant. Once they knocked out all the details of the Disney trip they dropped the subject. They knew it was a matter of time before the boys got back from moving the final bit of stuff to the Governor's old house and they didn't want to lose a second of it.

Meanwhile in the lower valley area of El Paso Stefano had just finished up with his conference call with the elder Garcia and his captains. Most of the meeting favored him, but the two parts that didn't had him worried. He was tired of his position being threatened because of Ashton. There was no way he was going to lose what he has earned because of one guy. At the same time he was tired of being in the elder Garcia's grandson's shadow. These two topics has worn him out.

One of the issues he knew he could take care of and the other he had to wait to hear from his boss before making a move. So since he couldn't do anything about the grandson of the elder Garcia, or wanted to, he decided to deal with what he could take care of. Calling his leadership back into the room he was set on not leaving that house until they had a plan in place that got them Ashton and not in two weeks, two months or year from now. A plan that will get the guy in days.

"All enough with all the bullshit let's get serious!" Stefano yelled at his guys as he made his way to the table in the abandoned home they were in. "There is no need I hope for me to tell you guys who I was just talking to." Stefano paused to see if any of his guys were going to be smart asses and ask him who he was talking to. After giving them a few moments and getting nothing, he continued.

"Overall the boss is happy with a lot of what we have got done since we last met, but he's still very unhappy that we haven't gotten our hands on Ashton. That son-of-a-bitch is going to be the only thing the bosses are going to be talking about until we get him. Until that day he is going to over shadow all the shit we do right. The boss is only going to grade us not getting him. So I know I don't have to tell anyone how badly we need to get that fucker than I already have. Any ideas."

No one jumped in with an idea right away, which got Stefano climbing the walls. "Damn you shits we need to come up with something to get this guy. I don't care what is going through your minds, throw it out there. Right now a bad idea is better than no ideas at all on how we're going to catch that mother fucker. So enough of this silence bullshit and let me have it."

All at once everyone started talking, putting a smile on Stefano's face. Even though none of what is being said will get them closer on them getting their hands on Ashton, at least they are talking. Stefano listened to every idea that was being thrown out and when a very bad idea was thrown into the mix, he didn't jump down the throat of the person that put it out there.

Then out of nowhere one of their new lieutenants stunned them. "Everything that is being said is all well and good." The lieutenant looked around. "Well almost everything that is none of it gets us where we need to go. I have an idea that not only can do that, but a lot faster than you want it to happen Stefano." Stefano stared at the young lieutenant.

"Like many of you, I have family and connections in Juarez. A couple of my cousins told me this morning that they have seen Ashton in their neighborhood. One of the families there are hiding him from the law and those you guys met with the other day in Juarez know all about it. In fact they sent out word that no harm is to come to the family or Ashton."

That got Stefano's attention. Not only his attention but it got his blood boiling. He can't do a thing to those that are protecting him because they are the bosses of the gang in Juarez, but there is no way he's going to let them screw him the way they are. In his eyes that is not only showing him disrespect but it's a slap in the face to the Elder Garcia and the higher ups from him.

"Okay tell me where in Juarez this neighborhood is at." The lieutenant had a concerned look on his face. He wasn't so much worried about Ashton or the family that was hiding him, but his family he was worried about. He knew if it was ever found out that his cousins were the ones that spoke out of turn they'll be killed. "Come on I understand your hesitation on this, but we need to get our hands on Ashton. Tell me where he is and I promise I won't tell anyone where I got the information." The lieutenant still wouldn't speak, not making Stefano happy at all.

"Look this guy killed several of our own besides all the cops he took out to escape. He has made our lives a living hell. Because of his stunts, the fucking police are all up in our shit. They are so far up our asses we can't do shit without having to worry if this is the time those fucking pigs are going to be busting down our doors." Stefano looked around. "Look where we have to meet. This shit hole of all places because we can't meet anywhere else because of that shit. If we want things to get back to normal that bitch either needs to turn up dead or captured by them. So tell me what I want to know and I'm not asking again."

Stefano's second and third in command stood up and started walking over to the lieutenant that spoke up. "Okay, okay he is in my old neighborhood hiding..." For fear what would have happened to him if he didn't tell Stefano what he wanted to know, he spilt the beans. Stefano and his leadership were hanging onto every word that was being said. When he was done, they knew exactly where Ashton was at because almost all of them had family that lived in the area.

"Good, thank you I will keep my promise that I made that no one will find out where we got this information from." Stefano slowly looked around the room at each of his lieutenants. "In order for this to work we need to keep our mouths shut. No matter how much you want to impress your bitch, and if some of you go the other way, your ass, you can't. You can't speak a word of what we've just found out if we have any chance of getting our hands on that bitch."

All at once everyone agreed. "Okay now that we all agree on that, we need to make a plan on how we are going to get our hands on Ashton and get him across the border. Not only do we have to worry about the fucking pigs and border patrol, but our own guys in Juarez. This shit is bad and some may say impossible, but we've got to get it done."

"Don't we have to go to Garcia before we do anything?" Stefano's second in command finally spoke. "What you have told me us we have to present Ashton alive and the only way I see that happening is by you going to Garcia and he goes to the bosses in Juarez. Other than that, the only other way on getting the ass is by killing him, for which we need Garcia's permission."

"No we don't need Garcia's permission to kill Ashton. He has made it clear that he would like Ashton alive so he can take care of him, but he also made it clear if that can't happen he wants the prick to die at our hands. Not get arrested and taken up to prison where we might be able to get our hands on him. The pigs most of the time are dumb asses, but they want Ashton as badly as we do. If they get their hands on him, he will never make it to jail. Somewhere along the way the ass will lose his life and the pigs are going to say he tried to escape again."

"Isn't it better that Ashton is killed by them than us? I mean no one will look twice if he is killed as you said in attempting to escape. In fact the pig that does it will more than likely get an award for taking him down like a the dog that he is. They get their justice and so do we by Ashton not walking among the living. Plus our hands are clean on this whole thing."

Stefano isn't too happy on the way his second in command is stepping up to him in this manner. He's getting the feeling that the guy is trying to show the others that he is stronger than him and because of that should be the one in command. Sadly though his second in command is misjudging his lay back way of command as a weakness.

Stefano wasn't going to mix words with him anymore. He had enough and wasn't going to give him another chance to try and make him look inferior. Not in the group of guys they are with at that moment. If he succeeds on what he is trying to do, he not only has to worry about looking bad, but he knows his days of not only leading this branch of the gang are numbered but his life as well.

Dante had no idea what hit him when Stefano stepped up. He had no chance to react because he didn't see it coming. He thought Stefano was weak and was going to take the verbal jabs he was giving, but boy was he wrong. Before he knew it, he was knocked off of his feet and Stefano was on top of him landing punch after punch in his midsection, face and stomach.

Each time he tried to push Stefano off, Stefano got even a stronger grip, which confused him. His back was against the floor and Stefano was on top of him. Therefore he couldn't understand how the guy was able to stay on top of him each time he tried to buck him off, but that didn't last for long. Finally on the fourth try on trying to knock Stefano off, Dante was successful. Stefano went flying across the room, smashing through several folded chairs.

Knowing if he didn't get up immediately the roles were going to be reversed. Being that Dante was one of their enforcers, making him one of their bigger guys, Stefano didn't want that to happen. Quickly jumping to his feet he barely made it when Dante reached him. However he wasn't able to fend off the punch that Dante threw. It connected and threw Stefano into a daze.

A little light on his feet somehow Stefano was able to escape Dante's path and get back into a position that he could defend himself. Dante went right at him, which was a mistake. Stefano knew how Dante fought and by knowing that he knew what was going to be his first move. So when Dante was true to his form and charged, Stefano stepped out of the way and tripped him up. As he stumbled around the room and tried to get his balance back, Stefano saw a weakness that he wasn't about to miss because he knew his chances of getting that chance again are slim to none.

He charged and Dante was not able to recover. He was knocked off of his feet and the last thing he saw before being knocked out was the punch coming at him. Once Stefano saw that his second in command was out, he let up on the punches and stepped back from the motionless body lying on the floor before him. The rest of the leadership looked on stunned that Stefano was able to take down such a big guy. A guy that has never lost a fight until now.

Stefano looked at his lieutenants as they stared down at the motionless body on the floor. "Do any of you care to test your luck either verbally or physically with me?" Stefano yelled, getting his guys attention. Almost all at once they shook their heads no. "The next son-of-a-bitch that questions me in any way the ending result is going to be a lot worse than just an ass kicking like Dante just got. I'm the leader of this branch and you guys better get used to it. If you can't, you know you can always opt to get out, but you know what you have to go through on that."

Again Stefano's lieutenants shook their heads all at once. "I will never again beg for one of you to give me information you have. If you have something that we need you need to stand up and give up like a man. No more of this bullshit like today." Stefano looked at the lieutenant that made him look weak by not giving up where Ashton was. "I'm a man of my word. If I say something you better believe it's going to happen." Breaking eye contact with the lieutenant that started it all, Stefano turned his attention back to Dante who was coming through. "Help my captain to his feet. Make sure he gets home and when he completely wakes up let him know I want him to come and find me tomorrow. There are a few things that still need to be settled between us."

With that Stefano turned and walked out, not looking back once. When he got to his mother's car and started driving off, he breathed his first sigh of relief. He couldn't stop himself from shaking, but was glad it started after he had left the guys. If they saw him shaking like he was all that he just did would have been for nothing. One by one, or maybe a couple at a time would come for him and eventually they would win, but not without him giving them a hell of a fight.

Back at the hotel the guys had just walked in from moving what was left of their stuff to the home they are going to stay in until the new one is ready to move into. The moment they walked into the doors of the hotel, everyone went in their own direction. Some of them stayed downstairs and went to the restaurant to get something to eat. Others headed up to their rooms to get some rest before their final day of school before Spring Break.

Alex didn't have a choice on where he was going to go. When he got out of the cab of the truck Carlos was there waiting for him. It's been a while since Carlos had been asked to stop by from Alex, which got him nervous. Even though neither of them are no longer in the gang life, he still feared the man that once ran this branch of the gang. The hardest branch of them all.

"Carlos my friend how's it hanging?" Alex greeted his oldest friend with a smile and hug. Carlos a little stunned answered fine as he hugged his friend back. "We haven't been able to hang as we used to! After Spring Break that has to change." With a chuckle Carlos agreed. "But sadly that isn't the reason why I asked you to come by. Something has come to my attention that is leaving me with no other choice than to go back to the life you or I don't want to ever go back to."

Alex asked his friend to push him to the far corner of the hotel. "What I'm about to tell you is going to knock you off your feet as it did me!" That grabbed Carlos's attention. "Early today I was told by my cousins and little brothers that our old gang have been visiting them at their school and trying to get them to join the gang." Carlos was going to interject, but Alex wasn't finished. "Hold on that isn't all of it. They were asking about me and where I was and things like that. I don't know what is going on, but I can't turn a blind eye to what I'm hearing from my own family."

"Damn it!" Carlos yelled as he hit the side of the hotel. "I thought what I was hearing was either old talk or just rumors, but now I don't think so." Carlos knelt down so he could look his old leader in the face. "They were not the only ones approached by our old gang." Carlos pulled out of his pocket a bag and handed it to Alex. "I was approached several days ago by them and given an offer that they thought I wouldn't refuse. When I did, they were surprised, but were not willing to give up on the idea. The next morning after that conversation I found this on my porch."

Carlos pointed to the bag he just handed Alex. Being around the block as many times as he has, Alex didn't need to open the bag to see what was in side of it. He knew it was a gun. The only thing he didn't know is why his friend took as long as he did to tell him about the gun. All he could come up with was his friend was thinking about whatever the offer was.

"I know what's going through your mind. Fuck if I was in your shoes I'd be thinking the same thing." Alex pulled back slowly from his friend. He wasn't certain if he was on his side anymore and that hurt him. "Come on Alex you know me. We have been friends since we were fucking kids. Both of us didn't want the life we landed up in and we were given a chance to leave that life behind for good. There's no way I'm going to screw all this up to return to a life I not only never wanted, but my days are counted. The moment I would let my guard down a bullet will find me. Fuck I don't even have to worry about my guard being down. They will kill me the moment they don't need me anymore. The moment I deliver on you."

"What do you mean deliver on me?" For the first time in the conversation Alex rose his voice. He was no longer comfortable sitting there in his wheelchair, in a position of weakness. With all his strength he pulled himself out of his chair and stood tall. "Don't tell me these asses approached you and asked you to kill me. Please don't tell me my best friend... No scratch that, my brother was thinking about that offer before you felt you needed to come clean."

"Fuck that and fuck you Alex if you think I would ever turn on you." Carlos yelled, but didn't show any aggressive motions towards Alex, which got Alex to relax a little. "I found the damn gun on my porch this morning. You're not at school where I would have been able to tell you the moment I found the damn thing. And don't forget it was me who called and asked if I could stop by tonight. In that call you told me that you were going to call me and ask me to stop by. So don't sit there and think I was even thinking about taking you out."

Alex could see in his friends face the devotion he has towards him. The devotion that so many have tried to destroy but never succeeded. "Okay you are right and I'm sorry for going off the fucking deep end." Alex fell back into his wheelchair. "Between what I was told by my cousins and little brothers and now you I can see my past is still haunting me."

"Well we always knew that our past will always be there and pop up when we least expect it, but this we never imagined would have happened." Carlos slid down the wall to sit down on the sidewalk next to Alex's wheelchair. "To be completely honest with you Alex it was a great plan if you ask me. If I would have said yes to their offer, you would never have seen it coming. So whoever is now leading our old gang is smart, very smart."

"That's no lie and I can tell you that out of experience because I met the guy." Carlos looked up at his friend with a confused look on his face. "When I was still in the hospital the guy stopped by and visited me. I had no idea he is the guy my grandfather chose to take over down here. I knew the one that took over after me was found dead, but I didn't think my grandfather would have chosen someone as young as he was, but now I can see why."

"How in the world didn't you know you were sitting down with the new leader of our old gang? I mean the guy had to have tattoos all over his body. Had to be dressed like we used to dress and talk like we used to talk. How didn't you know you were meeting with a guy that was more than likely there to kill you, but never got a chance to do so?"

"No I don't think he came to see me to kill me because if that was it he had several chances to do so and get away with it. No I think killing me is new. Something that has just come down the pike in the last week or so." Alex stared off to the distance with a concerned look on his face. "I have several concerns now about rather or not I will make it to graduation, but my main concern is this order to kill me sanctioned. Even though I left the gang, it needs to be sanctioned."

Carlos didn't have an answer for Alex. "As far back as I can remember Carlos I never thought I would see my eighteenth birthday. When I met Matt and Jacob gave me a helping hand to get out of the life that was going to kill me, I thought maybe, just maybe I have a shot to grow old. Now I'm being brought back to earth into a life I may never escape. I'll be very lucky to see my eighteenth birthday, but I'm surer than ever I won't grow old."

"Fuck that shit Alex!" Carlos jumped back to his feet. "Look, we did what no one else has ever been able to do. We got out of the gang life. We were so deep into that life the only way out of it was in an unmarked grave out in the desert, but that didn't happen. We're sitting here with a person on our side that we want to grow old with and I'm sure in hell not going to lose now.

If these guys want to come after us they better come with more than they have already come at us with. There is no way either of us will turn on each other. No matter what they come up and offer us, we're going to stick together and defend each other to the death. But if we end up going down, we are going to take a shit load of them down with us."

"Fuck yeah!" Alex finally showed some life. "They came after my blood and lost. They came after you, my brother and again they lost. Now the only way they can get to me is by coming straight at me and I would like to see them try. None of those pricks have it in them to take me down and I will like to see them try because the minute they come after me they'll be dead."

Carlos was liking what he was hearing. He knelt down in front of Alex and together they started to put together a plan on how they were going to go forward. Knowing that they were not going to be together twenty four hours a day that is more than likely when their old gang was going to hit them. At those times they are at their weakest and around those they love and didn't want hurt.

"This is what I think we should do." Light bulbs started going off in Alex's head. "We are law abiding citizens now. Because of that we can't take the law into our own hands. Plus I came into a little bit of money. I have put security around my brothers, cousins and mother until this shit dies down. I don't see why I shouldn't add security to you as well. Let them defend off our old gang so we can live our lives the way we have always wanted to."

"That's not a bad idea, but are you sure you can afford all that." Alex quickly answered yes. "If you're sure I say let's go for it. By going that route we don't get blood on our hands that can send us back to prison no matter if it was self-defense. Because of our past we will be sent where your grandfather can get his hands on us a lot easier. Even if we are in protective custody."

The two of them went over how having security around them would change their lives before parting ways. When they finally called it a night and bid each other goodnight, they had a plan in place. Carlos pushed Alex to the front doors of the hotel before heading to his mother's car and headed home. Alex didn't go in until he no longer was able to see the lights of his friend's car.

When he finally laid his head down on his pillow, he was drained. Even though in his mind a lot of things were not solved, he was drained emotionally and physically. The last thing he remembered was cuddling up against Matt and pulling him as close as he could to himself. Once he felt Matt's heartbeat, he felt safe and dozed off to sleep.

As the early hours of morning rolled around Falster was making his way to a private strip on the far side of the El Paso Airport. He was stunned when he received the call before leaving his office the day before that the Texas Rangers were on their way and will arrive early Friday morning. Not wanting to alert those that he wants investigated, he kept the news of the arrival of the men to only those he trusted. His two newly appointed assistant police chiefs.

When he parked and got out of his car, he found Alvarez and Luke waiting for him. They greeted one another as they made their way to the private air strip. Right when they got through the gates the doors to the plane opened. It wasn't long after that before they got a glimpse of the ones that were given to them to help clean up their department.

The first to step out of the plane was a young Texas Ranger. He looked like he was in his early thirties, Hispanic, which will play well here in El Paso, brown eyes and what looked like black hair. He had it buzzed all away around the sides about a half an inch and on top like a flat top about an inch, maybe an inch and a half. He had a dress shirt on that fitted his youth, jeans that were snug but not to snug and boots, which didn't surprise Falster at all.

The second and third person that stepped out of the plane were a little older. They looked like they were for sure in the forties. Both had western shirts on, jeans and just like the first young man they had cowboy boots on. They were as well Hispanic and had black hair, but they didn't have their hair as short as the first. It wasn't long either. Just right for a law enforcement officer.

The fourth that stepped off the plane was a woman, which caught Falster by surprise. He knew there had to be females in the Rangers, but he didn't realize any of them were field officers. Putting that aside, she was dressed right for a field agent with a dress suit and yes cowboy boots. She wore her dark brown hair down to her shoulders and barely wore any makeup. All in all Falster couldn't help but think to himself he wouldn't want to go up against this officer.

At that point Falster's was distracted by the first Ranger who walked off the plane. He was introducing himself to his second in commands. When he reached Falster, the others that had already gotten off the plane had already reached them and were introducing themselves. Falster didn't want to be rude by not giving them his attention.

By the time the introductions were made the Governor was able to get Falster a total of sixteen Texas Rangers, which made him a very happy guy. He was expecting maybe four or six, but not sixteen. Now that he got what he had hoped for his mind started to go wild on how he could use them in his police force. For the first time since he became chief-of-police he felt he had a chance on actually getting things cleaned up in his ranks.

"First let me welcome you all to El Paso!" Falster broke the silence. "I'm Chief-of-police James Falster and the two men standing at my side are my two assistant-chief's Alvarez and Hughes." All at once the Texas Rangers looked over to where Falster was pointing at. "These men are my left and right arm. They are the only ones besides me that you guys can go to and ask any questions that you might have and no one else except these two and myself."

Falster saw nothing but confused stares looking back at him. Just as he was about to try and clear the air, the Texas Ranger that seemed to be in charge of the team standing before him walked up and started whispering in his ear. What he had to tell Falster not only stunned him, but knocked him through a loop. He thought things were done and said before they arrived or at least during the flight, but after being informed that they didn't get briefed on why they are there. He now sees that he has a longer speech to give than planned.

"Chief Falster I'm sorry but the reason my guys are looking at you the way they are is because they haven't been briefed at all on why they are here. They were told to pack a suitcase with clothes and whatever else needed for an assignment that will take months if not longer." Falster saw the same confused look on the Texas Ranger who was talking to him as he saw in the others, which is confusing him. "So no one gets the wiser I suggest you take this time to brief us on why we're here and what you need from each us and we'll get it done."

Falster thanked the Ranger as he walked back to his spot in formation. "I was just informed that you all don't know why you are here. You were told to pack a bag and catch a plane heading here to El Paso." All the Texas Rangers nodded their heads. "Okay I will go through in detail what you guys are stepping into and what I would like to happen. After I brief you on what is going on not a word of this can be spoken afterwards and you will understand why after I'm finished."

Not one of the Rangers said a word as they stood there in formation listening to Falster go into detail why they were called in to assist him. At first the Rangers didn't show any response, but the minute Falster said the Mexican Mafia was involved, he had their attention. From that point on, every Ranger hung onto every word that the chief of police said.

"As you can see I have inherited a mess here in El Paso. That is why I went outside and hired one of your own to help me clean up this department." They all looked at Hughes. "I didn't know how bad it was and how deep the problem was until I actually started digging. Even then I thought it was just in my high ranks, but never in my wilds dreams did I think the Mexican Mafia had their hands in my police force. The moment I found out, I reached out and asked for your help."

Still no one said a word. They stayed their standing, hanging on to every word Falster was saying to them. "I will be placing you in different departments and precincts around the city. There you will take on the role of whatever position you are given and at the same time investigate and bring to me who is dirty and who is clean. Again I know I don't have to keep saying this, but I will. You can't trust a soul in my department except for us standing before you. Even if you clear the person they can be got to if word gets out on why you guys are really here."

"Speaking on behalf of every Ranger here..." The first Ranger that walked off the plane, the younger one, stepped forward. "There is no way we will be found out. None of your officers will ever know the real reason why we were brought in until it's too late. Till you unveil the largest cleaning project this or any police department has ever gone through."

All at once the rest of the Rangers agreed with the young Ranger, putting a smile on not only Falster's face, but Hughes and Alvarez's as well. Since there were no questions, Falster took aside each Ranger and gave them their assignment. Once they all knew what their jobs were, Falster walked them to parking lot where several rental cars were waiting.

Since he had no idea that there were sixteen Rangers coming in there were not enough rental cars. A problem that was fixed quickly by going down to Enterprise to rent a car for each of the remaining Rangers that didn't get a car. Once that was all settled, Falster had them follow him to the hotel where he got them rooms and left once they were settled and knew how to get to where they needed to be in a couple of hours.

Meanwhile as Falster was taking care of the Rangers, Alvarez and Hughes were heading home to get ready for work. Both of them got lost in their thoughts and didn't notice the figures walking up to their vehicles when they drove up in to their driveways. It wasn't until they got out of their cars that they realized they were not alone and by then it was too late.

Back at the hotel Alex and Matt were barely opening their eyes as all the things were going down in the city to keep them and every citizen of El Paso safe. Alex was the first to come to life and when he saw that Matt still hadn't he decided to do what has been doing the last couple of mornings. To try and make sure his boyfriend woke up with a smile.

Not wanting to wake him up, he slowly moved closer to him. That was hard for Alex since he had casts on both legs, but he didn't let that stop him. Like the mornings before, he got up to Matt without Matt waking up. And like the mornings before he slowly and as softly as he could, Alex reached over his boyfriend's waist and wrapped his hands around him. Once he had a firm grip around Matt's waist, he pulled him gently towards him and didn't stop until his hard member was pressing against the fabric of Matt's boxer briefs.

Before doing anything else, Alex looked over to see if had woken Matt up. When he saw that he hadn't, he turned his attention back to Matt's mid-section. Not wanting to wake Matt up just yet, Alex slowly moved his hand down Matt's trail leading into his boxer briefs. Once he hit the waistband, he lightly moved down over the fabric until he reached the already hardened member of Matt's, which put a big smile on Alex's face. His boyfriend was as hard as he was.

Once again he looked over to see if he had woken Matt up, and again he saw he didn't. Since he already knew Matt was hard and knowing his boyfriend the way that he does he decided not to go down and touch the hardened member. Simply he didn't want Matt to reach his climax just yet. He wanted this to last as long as he could. Hopefully until he woke up and joined in so they both could climax at the same time.

Lightly Alex started to kiss Matt's arm, making his way up and onto his chest. When he reached his chest. Matt moved a little, but didn't wake up. Not letting the movement stop him, Alex continued to kiss every inch of open skin on Matt's chest. Once he felt that he got every bit of it, he turned his attention to Matt's neck and started to kiss his way up.

Just as he reached Matt's chin, Matt came to life. When his eyes fluttered open, it took him a few seconds to realize exactly what was going on. Once he did, he laid back to enjoy what his gorgeous boyfriend was doing. When his lips touched his, he opened his mouth just enough to allow Alex's tongue to enter. At that moment, Alex knew he had woken his sleeping beauty.

Breaking the kiss, Alex looked up and saw the most beautiful sparkling blue eyes looking back at him. "Good morning I was starting to wonder if you would ever wake up." Alex winked as he spoke in a whisper. "If you didn't wake up when you did, I was going to accidently hit you ever so lightly on your body that you would have woken up.

That got a giggle out of Matt as he reached down and pulled Alex over to him. He didn't want to kiss to be broken and didn't want what he woke up to become a snooze fest. Alex knew what the look on his boyfriends face meant and didn't fight it. He stopped speaking and leaned in until their lips touched for the second time. However, this time they held their kiss a lot longer than they did the first time. Each of them taking turns playing tongue hockey before breaking it.

When they did break the kiss, Matt took control. Gently he rolled Alex onto his back as he ripped off his wife beater. Once he had the t-shirt off, he went to work returning the same thing that Alex had done to him while he was asleep. Kissing every inch of Alex's nicely tanned brown skin until he reached the waist band of Alex's boxers. Unlike Alex when he reached the waist band, he didn't go over it and trace the formation of his boyfriend's dick. No he jumped to his knees and pulled the boxers as far as he could down. The cast on Alex's legs kept him from taking them completely off.

Not letting the cast stop him, Matt. Returned his attention to the hardened member that was sticking straight up into the sky right before his eyes. With a great big smile on his face, he took Alex's dick into his hands and gently started to go up and down it. He didn't stop until he saw a steady stream of pre-cum oozing out of his boyfriend's dick head.

With a big smile on his face, Matt leaned down and slowly licked around the most sensitive part of Alex's dick, making Alex go crazy. Every time Alex was ready to shoot, Matt released his dick and didn't make another move until Alex came down. Each time he did that, it drove Alex mad. He was at the point that if his boyfriend didn't let him shoot, he was going to scream so loud that not only he would become the alarm clock for everyone on their floor, but for everyone in the hotel. Something neither of them wanted.

So when Matt went down again and came up just as Alex was about to shoot, Alex had enough and took over. A little harder than Matt did, Alex rolled him over onto his back and took control. He pulled off Matt's boxer briefs, throwing them on the floor. Not wasting any time, Alex went down on his boyfriend and didn't let up until he heard heavy breathing coming from him. Just seconds away from blowing his load, Alex let Matt's dick slip out of his mouth with a grin on his face.

"See you don't like it do you?" Alex asked as he playfully toyed with Matt's head. Instead of answering his boyfriend, he moved his body around until he had got them into the sixty nine position. Not needing instructions, Alex went right to work where he left off. It didn't take long before both of the boys reached their climax and dropped their loads into each other's mouths.

Neither of them wanting their love making session to end, they didn't release each other's dicks from their mouths. Once they were spent, they went back to work on each other. Since they didn't have a chance to get soft, it didn't take them long before they reached their second climax in less than thirty minutes. Exploding another load in each other's mouth's as big as the first.

Once they had unloaded everything they had into each other's wanting mouths, they let the other's softening dick slip from their lips. Laying there on their backs, they stared up at the ceiling trying to catch their breath, savoring what they had just done. Both of them had wanted this, but neither made a move until that morning worried that it was too soon for Alex to do anything like that since his surgery.

"I guess there was no better way to spend our last morning in this room then the way we did." Alex broke the silence as he lifted his head to look at Matt. "No other couple will ever have as much and as good of sex in here than we did. And if anyone ever says they can, I would like them to prove it because I know for certain there is no way."

Matt shook his head as he slowly moved his body around until he was laying right beside Alex. As soon as he settled in, he turned his body until he was looking directly into Alex's eyes. Neither of them broke eye contact. Even when the alarm went off, they didn't break eye contact. Matt reached over to turn off the alarm before grabbing a hold of Alex's hand and held it tight. Both of them held on to each other as tightly as they could in hope the moment wouldn't end.



{Welcome back everyone to another filled chapter of `Beneath the Mask'. I know it has been a while since an installment of this saga has been written and put out there. Thank you guys for being patient and waiting for it. I hope as you read this chapter you were not too displeased about the chapter and it did get a lot more exciting as it unfolded.

Like any good plot, it has to be nurtured in order for it to develop correctly. In the last couple of chapters it was mentioned that Francesca and Principal Michaels are dating, but until this chapter there was no detailed plot written about it. I hope as you read the plot it didn't bore you too much, but it had to be written in order for me to move on with their relationship.

Now that the boring part is over, the future chapters will hold a lot more excitement for these two. Where to start, I don't even know. First we know they are going to be together in Disneyland. So how are the boys going to react when they see their principal there? Forget the whole group. What about the kids that are directly affected by this relationship. Will Alex, Matt, Alex's younger brothers get along with Principal Michaels's son? Before we even answer that question, we need to meet the principal's kid. Is this guy going to be a good or a bad guy? Who knows, not even me until I write out the plot line. So tune in and find out.

It looked like Stefano was put to the test by his underlings and won. I'm glad he didn't do what the former leader did when he was questioned and kill his second in command for doing what he did. Yes his second in command got an ass kicking, but at least he's alive to talk and get teased about it. Hopefully now no one will try and test the waters to see if Stefano is weak.

Put aside the fight between Stefano and his second in command, it looks like Ashton's days are finally counted, or are they. Like Trevor said in the last chapter this guy seems to have nine lives, but has he used them all? I don't know if he has. By the looks of it he has a couple more in reserve with the bosses in Juarez protecting him. In order for them to get to him they are going to have to go through a lot to just get their hands on Ashton and then they have to get him across the border.

Talking about across the border the Texas Rangers have arrived. They have been briefed and it looks like a lot of the bad cops are going to be getting a wakeup call very soon. The only problem I see right now is who are those figures that approached Hughes and Alvarez at their homes. It could be anyone, bad good or neutral. Come back to find out who they are.

Finally the ending you all could be happy about, a love session. I know it's not an all out there love scene, but its boys being horny boys. Hell I'm not a teenager anymore and I'm still a horny son-of-a-bitch, LOL. I hope you guys enjoyed this love scene. It has been a while since I wrote one out, so I'm a little rusty. Plus it's three thirty in the morning.

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 four 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! Don't skip a chapter, or you'll be lost. There is a so much to answer in the chapters to come. Keep reading, and enjoy! Please email me and let me know how I am doing at jacobmillertex@aol.com, Thanks!}


Hi maybe you did find the first few pages a bit boring as Jacob hinted but it was needed to set the scene for the future romance between Francesca and Principal Michaels. It demonstrated that a loving bond was being created between these two. Not too sure what my reaction would have been if my dear departed mom had entered into a relationship with my school principal.

Next we had the scary part regarding Alex and his family and how the young kids were being pushed into becoming gang members, plus we heard from Carlos and the scary bit about him finding a gun in a paper bag on his doorstep. Surely the gang members behind this should have known there is no way Carlos would do anything to hurt Alex after all they have gone through in their lives together.

So sixteen Texas Rangers have arrived to help out Falster and his two understudies sort out the corruption in the EP police force and who are those mysterious people waiting for Luke and Paul when they arrive in their driveways?

Finally we got a bit of a sex scene from Jacob which has been a long time cumming (sic). At least he got the horny-son-of-a-bitch right LOL.

A lot of new plots opened up in this chapter some of which I for one didn't expect but then nothing this author does is to be expected which is what makes his stories so good.

Don't forget to let him know what you think of this and other chapters he writes. He also enjoys and looks forward to your comments.