Written by: J.P.G.

{Regrets and Heartaches 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 a underage, (according to your state laws as 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 my expressed consent. I will like to give a shout out to a reader that has helped me with ideas where the story is, thank you!}

Story Written by: J.P.G.

Edited By: Kent

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/ Story Written by: J.P.G.

Chapter 34

Attorney Donald Murphy hasn't had to get up for an early court day for years. Not since he made senior partner of his law firm that is. However the case he is working on now has changed his normal routine that he and his family are used to. He's had many early mornings, but this is the earliest of them all since he will actually be in court with his client Beth Alvarez.

From day one of deciding to represent Beth, it has been a roller coaster ride of ups and downs, but the last week or so had been worse. The ride was on a complete downward spiral with no end in sight. His fellow attorney, Scott Marker, Dominic Alvarez's attorney, didn't make things better for his client. His performance in his last court date not only cost him money in fines, but any bargaining room they might have had at the start of this whole thing to work with the presiding judge along with the district attorney.

Donald wasn't fooling himself on where his client stood. After all the woman actually did have her son kidnapped, placed into a brain washing camp and tried to steal all his money. When she failed at all that, she hightailed it out of the US to Mexico, causing an international problem that got the Governor of Texas involved. A man that he has gotten to know, and you don't want to get on his bad side. He is the nicest guy out there, but once on his bad side that's it.

Every step of the way, Beth was making things worse for herself. It had gotten to the point where the public wanted her thrown in jail for the rest of her life or at least as long as the law permitted on the crimes she had committed. Some members of the public, in fact the majority want the judge in the case to go a step further than just throwing her and Dominic in jail. They want him to sentence them to a place like the one they sent their son and nephew to thus getting a taste of their own medicine. Medicine they know wouldn't taste good.

These things are rare for an attorney to come up against when he is trying to represent his client, but in this case it's all there. So Donald knows that he has a mountain to climb that looks impossible to get to the top, and today is the first step onto that mountain. He knows this battle is already lost, but he is going to try everything he can to get the best outcome for his client no matter how she comes out looking in the end.

Meanwhile as Donald made his way to the courthouse, back at the hotel the boys were barely getting up and starting their day. Garratt had a very restless night. He was lucky that he got a couple of hours sleep at the most. So when the alarm went off no one would have blamed him if he told Sally that he was sick, but he decided not to.

Slowly but surely he pulled himself out of his bed and made his way to the bathroom. When he leaned in to turn on the water to take his shower, he only turned on the cold water. Kicking off his boxer briefs and socks, he jumped in. The minute the cold water hit his body, he jumped back a couple of feet to get out of the cold water shooting at him, but didn't stay there long. Little by little he walked back under the showerhead. Once his entire body was submerged under the water, he came to life. It didn't take long after that for him to finish getting ready.

Once he was fully dressed, Garratt headed out. Just as he was shutting his door he realized that he didn't have his backpack. Quickly he opened his door, snatched up the bag from the floor before heading to the elevator. As he stepped onto the elevator, he heard Bobby and Bill calling out to him to hold on.

"Hey guys running late?" Garratt mocked Bobby. "What-- you stayed up all night partying or something?." This time Bobby shot Garratt a dirty look. "Okay, okay putting the teasing aside thank you Bobby for last night. I mean it, thank you!" Garratt patted his friend on the shoulder. "Not only would I have made a complete ass out of myself running up to Ray's room confessing my love for him, but would have got into a whole heap of trouble with Sally."

"Don't mention it!" Bobby spoke low. "But you need to get control of your ass because the next time you get a bug up there and go running to confess your undying love for Ray, I might not be there to stop you. There is no doubt in my mind if you went up there, you wouldn't have got close to Ray. On top of that dumb ass, you would have gotten in a shit load of trouble. Maybe even get revoked and sent back to prison. Nothing worse than going back to that hell hole of a place." Both Garratt and Bill were shaking their heads when the elevator doors started to open.

The boys went silent as they stepped off and made their way to the restaurant for breakfast. As they walked down the hallway, Joey's group were making their way out of the restaurant. This has become the norm. As the probationers walked in to eat, everyone else was walking out. They were not allowed to mingle with any one else except for those on their floor, which was weird since it was breaking their terms of probation because they are not allowed to be around others like themselves.

Laughing at how hypocritical the set up was at the hotel, Garratt kept looking forward. At least that was until he saw Ray walking towards him. He couldn't stop himself from stealing glances at the guy that he's the hot's for. That sounded weird to Garratt as he thought about it, but it was the truth that he was getting used to. He was without doubt gay and in love with another guy.

A couple feet before he reached Ray, he turned his face and tried to act casual, but he was caught. Garratt knew it and at the same time was hoping that Ray was not going to say anything. It looked like it was going his way until he reached the door of the restaurant. He felt someone tapping him on the shoulders, which he thought was either Bobby or Bill, but when he turned around he saw it wasn't either of them. It was Ray with a big smile on his face.

"I know you're not allowed to talk with us here, but I wanted to give you something." Ray handed Garratt a folded notebook paper. "Please read it before tossing it. After you're done and if I'm wrong please just toss it and don't kick my ass. If I'm right, which I'm hoping I am! Please read the p.s. on the bottom. I won't leave there until the first bell for the first period sounds."

Garratt didn't know what to say, so he just nodded as he watched Ray turn and run after Joey and the others. He stood there at the door of the restaurant until Ray was no longer in sight and then some. It wasn't until Bill pulling him back to earth to get him to budge from the spot that he froze in. Taking a few seconds to find his legs, Garratt started his way in to get his breakfast.

After getting his order from the kitchen, he joined Bobby and Bill at the table they have claimed as theirs. He didn't say a word to the guys, and even after they asked what was all that about between him and Ray, he didn't answer. His mind was on the folded sheet of paper in his hand and when he pulled it from his lap and above the table, Bobby and Bill stopped asking. Gently he unfolded the paper and once he had it all smoothed out, he started to read it.



First let me start out explaining that I didn't know how to start this letter. Dear, to whom it may concern or just with your name like I did. I went back and forth and didn't want to come off annoying at first. That is a turn off for me, and more than likely for you by the little I heard about you. Anyway here I am getting off what I'm trying to say, which I do a lot. I didn't even know your name when I decided to write you last night. I had to ask several of the guys on my floor your name and I hope I have it right. If I don't, please forgive me.


I've never done this before in my life. You know writing a letter to another guy who can kick my ass in the blink of an eye. You know who I am and my history. So there isn't any doubt regarding my sexuality, but for you I'm on the fence. I mean you're a hard cookie to crack.


I have heard bits and pieces of what you did that got you on that floor. In fact I have talked to Davey, but he really doesn't have a mean thing to say about you, which I found odd. If he can't say a mean thing about you, others shouldn't do it either. Come on who are we to look down at anyone else when we ourselves are bad in one way or another. Once again I'm going off base while I'm writing this letter. I will try and stick to the point and nothing more than that.


I don't know if you have heard that saying, gaydar. They say we have it and it goes off whenever we see another one of us. Well either mine is broken or I'm way off base that will more than likely get my ass kicked. I hope it is the former, not the latter in this case because I really don't want you to come up and kick my ass for any reason.


Every so often I think I see you staring at me from across the room or hallway, but I can be wrong. My mind could be playing tricks on me. And if you are, it could be for totally different reasons than I'm hoping for, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that you are looking at me for the reason I'm hoping for, you like me. Because if you do, I like you as well. I mean I would like to get to know you to see if we click or not. If we do, we can see where things go after that.


This is a strange letter which I knew when I wrote it. I can't tell you how many times I went back and forth on writing it. Once I got started, I then went back and forth on giving it to you. I still haven't made my mind up yet. So who knows? If I do, please let me again say if I'm way out there just toss the letter and forget I ever gave it to you. Please don't get mad and come after me. This was the hardest thing I have ever done on my little life so far.






P.S. If I am right on what I'm thinking I would like to actually talk to you in person. I know we can't be caught around each other at the hotel, but nothing was said about school. So if I'm right, keeping my fingers crossed that I am, meet me at the tennis courts after you eat breakfast in the cafeteria. In the morning it's almost always empty and we can talk privately. I'll be there until the first bell rings. But again if this has pissed you off, please forget about it. I'm taking a big chance that my heart is right, and not my mind.


Garratt laid the letter down on his lap and sat there staring at Bobby, well not really at him. Bobby was in his line of view, but he wasn't looking at him. He was in his mind trying to figure out what the note that Ray gave him actually meant. Well he knows what it meant, but he doesn't know where to go with it now that he knows that Ray feels the same way about him.

The snapping of fingers pulled Garratt out of his thoughts. "Man what the hell." Bobby snapped one last time to make sure he had Garratt's attention. "We have been calling your name and snapping our fingers for the last five or so minutes. What was in that note that has you all freaked out. I mean if the dude threatened you in any way you can take his ass. If he..."

"No he didn't threaten me at all!" Garratt interrupted Bobby. The little time he has known the guy he has learned that once he gets started there is no stopping him. His mind goes a million miles a minute and before he knows it he is in a fight that wasn't needed if he just settled down and thought through what allowed him to get angry. "Nothing like that! It is totally the opposite of what you guys are thinking. He wants to talk to me and in the good way."

A smile crept across Garratt's face when he said the last few words. There was no need for further explanation because Bobby and Bill knew what their friend meant not only by the creepy smile he has, but the tone in which he was talking in. Christmas has come early for him and Santa Clause had brought him the gift that he asked for.

As they ate their breakfast, Garratt read the note several times to them. Each time he read it, he asked them what they thought about it and got the same answer each time. By the time they were heading out to the vans that took them to school, Garratt had made up his mind to meet up with Ray at the tennis courts, but he was going to play it cool. He was now in control and like Bobby and Bill told him by being in control he can manage how things develop.

As the boys were making their way to school, downtown those that had a court appearance in front of Judge Garcia had made their way into the court room. This is the first time Beth has seen the inside of the courtroom since she was handed over. >From the bridge they took her right in front of a judge for bail, which of course she was denied. From there she was taken to county lock up and thrown into protective custody to rot, at least that is what she thought until she was told two days ago she finally had a court date.

She was nervous, and had plenty of reason to be. There wasn't a doubt in her mind that she was going to get the book thrown at her. Not just because of what she heard had happened to her brother in law in his last court appearance, but she has heard from her little cell about the public outcry for her head on a platter. The more she thought of what she did to her only son, the more she wanted her own head on a platter. That wasn't her that did those things.

As she made her way into the jury box, she looked around the courtroom that was a lot bigger than the court room in Alamogordo or the one that she was denied bail in. Plus it was pretty nice. It had plenty of seats for people to come and watch the proceedings, which were filling up quick with spectators and the media. The spectators quickly took any available seat they could without complaining or fighting and the press remained in the back of the room setting up. The defense and prosecution tables were a good size as well as the witness stand. As far as the judge's desk, well it took most of the front of the courtroom.

Bringing her attention back to why she was there in the first place was the bailiff walking in. Not even five minutes later, he called the court into session and announced the judge, but not the judge she was thought she was going to be in front of. The man walking out not only wasn't the one she expected to see, but an African American in his late thirties who looked very green. This might be his very first day as judge by the looks of it.

The poor guy looked scared of his own shadow as he made his way to the bench. He didn't make eye contact with any of the inmates in the jury box and barely made eye contact with those in the gallery the couple of times he looked their direction. When he took his seat, he fumbled around with the files in front of him before he called the court into order.

"Good morning ladies and gentlemen!" His voice was nowhere near what his body language was showing. It was strong and in command. "I'm the Honorable Sunjata. I was asked to fill in for the Honorable Garcia today. A personal matter has come up in his life that is keeping him from being here. That doesn't mean that things are going to be run different in his absence.

The rules that he established for this courtroom are still in effect. I will not tolerate any of those rules to be broken." Judge Sunjata looked to the back of the courtroom at the press. "The members of the press will respect the proceedings in this courtroom and not make any noise as the cases are heard. If any of you as much as breathe too loud, I will have this courtroom cleared." The judge looked over at the bailiff. "Please call the first case on the docket."

The bailiff started to read off numbers before saying a name, which wasn't Beth. She breathed in a sigh of relief as she turned her attention to the gallery to look for her attorney. Just as she did, he walked through the doors quietly and made his way over to her. Not wanting to disturb the hearing that was going on, he didn't take off his coat or put down his briefcase. He just simply walked over to Beth and started to talk.

"Beth how are you this morning?" Mr. Murphy whispered as he pulled out her file from his briefcase. She whispered back fine, but stuttered every word. "I know you are nervous, and I don't blame you, but I think we caught a break." Mr. Murphy glanced over at the judge. "This guy isn't nowhere near Judge Garcia or Judge Evans. In fact he hated how it seemed that the whole world looked like it was ganging up on you and your brother in law. This can work in our favor."

"I'm sorry but how?" Beth whispered back. "I mean he is an elected official like the other judges in this city. If he wants to keep his position he will have to bend to public pressure to convict me and throw away the key. I don't see how we are lucky with this judge or any other judge in this state for that matter. They all are going to give me a couple of decades behind bars at the least."

"Beth you are wrong on so many counts I don't even know where to begin. So let me just say this before we are called up. He is an angry outgoing judge. He lost his courtroom to budget cuts and the only way he will get another courtroom is by running against those that currently have them. There is no way he will beat any of them and he knows that. So he is doing what he wanted to do when he first became a judge, rule more in favor of the defendant. There are no more elections for him, so he can do it without the worry of being thrown out on his butt."

The last part made Beth laugh. She didn't mean to, but it did. Just as she relaxed in her seat for the first time since she sat down, her case was called. Not knowing what to do, she followed the instructions of the guards. They helped her up from her seat and guided her out of the jury box and over next to her attorney. The whole walk over flash after flash came from the back of the courtroom, which she knew what they were. Everyone did, the media.

"The infamous Beth Alvarez standing right before me!" Judge Sunjata jokingly said. "What a treat for me to rule on matters dealing with your case as one of the last rulings I do before going back to private practice." The judge looked over at one of the court clerks who was holding Beth's file out to him. "Well enough with the small talk, let's get on with this." Judge Sunjata looked over at Mr. Murphy. "The floor is all yours since you called for this hearing."

"Yes your honor, thank you. I called for this hearing because my client has got one of her rights mandated by law. The right to a speedy trial. She has been already convicted by the jury of her peers from what she has been arrested for to kidnapping the Limburg baby. Because this court took way too long to give her day in court, I fear she won't get a fair trial."

"With all due respect sir shouldn't most of that blame fall on your client's shoulders?" The judge glanced over at Beth and then back over at her attorney. "I mean it was her decision to run to Mexico, wasn't it?" Mr. Murphy answered yes. "It was her that refused to own up for the wrong she had done that caused an international standoff between our governor and the president of Mexico as she hid in Mexico. I'm sorry, but I'm not moved by your argument that she won't get a fair trial since the jury pool is tainted. She was the one that did the tainting."

"Your honor can I speak..." The judge interrupted Beth. "Mrs. Alvarez for these proceedings you don't speak unless asked by me to do so. Anything you say can harm you. So it's best that you let your lawyer plead your case and you just stand there."

"Yes your honor I understand whatever I say can hurt me, but right now I don't care." Mr. Murphy tried to get his client to clam up, but she wouldn't listen. The judge warned her again, but once again she ignored his warnings. So he let her speak. "As my lawyer already stated those that are supposed to be the jury of my peers have already convicted me before I even get my day I court. And yes you are right, most of it, if not all of it, is my fault. I did some shady things that I'm not proud of and then tried to run and hide from them. But all the time I was in Mexico and here in the county jail gave me time to really look at myself and what I have done. Let me say I don't like what I have discovered about myself as I dismantled this last year, year and a half."

Beth stopped, took a deep breath and then continued. "I wasn't this horrible, witch of a woman that stands before you now. Two years ago I was the protector in the home. Whenever my late husband started going after our kids, I stood in the way and got the blunt of it all. I was the one that stood up for my son when he came out to us. My late husband hated that he had a gay son and did everything in his power to send out that message."

All choked up, Beth had a hard time continuing. "I'm not standing here trying to blame what I have done this last year on my late husband. I will never try and get out of the things I have done by saying I was a battered wife. No sir, I knew I could leave with the kids, go somewhere safe, but I didn't. I made the decision to stay and keep my kids in a hell they didn't deserve.

Then we get out of that hell and had a chance to make a better lives for ourselves, and I go and do what I did by becoming like the one person I despised and hated the most, my late husband. I let outside influences influence my decisions and how I ran my household. Instead of being me, I became a person I don't even recognize in the mirror anymore.

Through, I don't know, a haze, fog, really can't put it in words because I myself can't figure out what blinded me so quickly and made me hate who I love. Whatever changed me a year ago wasn't for the good. Through lies and using a son's love that he had for me, I made him believe the best course in his life was to break up with the most wonderful person he could have ever met. Then I wanted to make sure there was no way they could rekindle their love, so I moved our family into another state. That wasn't the worse though and I know you know that your honor!"

Beth could hear whispering coming from the gallery, but she blocked it out. "Instead of being the parent, I made my sixteen year old son be the parent. He had money because of his relationship that he had with the one I made him breakup with. Once again I used the love my son had for me and turned it around and used it as a weapon against him. I had him spend his own money to buy us our home and everything new in it. Then I let his uncle move in with us and when he showed the kink in the Alvarez's men's armor, short tempers, I defended his uncle and not my son. That was wrong. I knew that then as I know now, but I didn't care.

Then when my son got smart and kicked me and his uncle out of his house in order to protect him and his sister, what do I go and do? Instead of trying to mend fences and be the mother that I used to be, I rob my own son. Seeing that my son let it go, I went even further by putting him in the ugliest place on this earth, that camp, that brain washing camp." Barely able to stay standing due to her trembling legs and unable to see clearly because of the tears now rolling down her face, Beth continued. Every now and then her voice would crack. "I had no right to do that and I knew it. I knew it was wrong, but it didn't stop me from doing it or trying to take my boys money."

Those in the gallery couldn't see how emotional Beth was when they started to boo her, if they did, they might not have. The booing got so bad, the judge had to slam his gavel down several times to get order in his courtroom. Once he did, he made it clear if there was another outburst like that again he will clear the court room. That got those in the gallery to be quiet.

"With everything I had done with my son and everything I did afterwards you have the right and should throw the book at me. Lock me up for the longest term you can give me. I deserve it. No parent should get away with what I did to my son. I wish I could go back in time and pull that foolish woman to the side and tell her to stop being such a bitch. Stop being a witch and be the parent that her kids need and deserve, but I can't. All I can do is try and get forgiveness from the man above and more importantly from my kids. With the time you are going to give me there will be plenty to get this done. At least I hope!"

Judge Sunjata wasn't expecting Beth to say what she said. He was ready to follow what Judge Garcia asked of him, like he had been doing so far, but after hearing what was just said he isn't sure now if he is going to. There wouldn't be a fallout if he went against what the presiding judge wanted since he was on his way out. So he could go with his gut instead of his want to keep his seat on the bench. Rule from the heart for the first time since he became a judge.

"Ms. Alvarez as I stated before you started talking that whatever you said could be used against you. You stood there and admitted on record to all the wrong doings you did. You pretty much changed your plea from not guilty to guilty by admitting your wrongs. I could now easily close the book on you here today and sentence you without my decision being over turned by the higher courts, but..." The judge looked up at the gallery giving them a look not to make peep.

"I won't do that. Yes we are judges elected by the people, but we also have a heart. At times we should rule from our hearts, but seldom do. We are always running for reelection from the moment we win. No judge elected by the people will ever rule by his or her heart for the fear that they won't get their position back in the next election. It's the sad ugly truth."

Judge Sunjata knew he was making enemies with every word he was saying, but he didn't care anymore. He wanted to rule from his heart just this once. "At the same time worrying about where the political wind is blowing on the case we are presiding on, we are being told that our prisons are overflowing. Whenever we can, give probation. And don't get me started with that. In my opinion it's a joke because more than half of them eventually end up going to prison anyway.

However I don't think you will be one of those people. Not by the way you spoke here today that is!" Several people in the gallery started to yell curse words at the judge and Beth, forcing him to have them removed in handcuffs. "I will not tolerate any more outbursts like that from anyone else. I don't care who it is, the next one that says a word during these proceedings will not only be leaving this courtroom in handcuffs, but will be spending several nights in our fine hotel across the street. Trust me it's not a five star resort."

No one in the gallery made eye contact with the judge. He didn't continue until he was certain that he got through to each and every one of them. "As I was saying! I don't think you will be one of those people who will squander a second chance if given one. I really believe you will take it and do well in your life, and I hope I'm right on that thinking."

Beth didn't say a word. She just looked straight ahead, never turning away breaking eye contact with the judge. "Plus again we are told day in and day out to sentence probation. We give it to the worst of the worse and you don't fall anywhere near them. What you did was bad, but if we give probation to thieves, rapist, child molesters the list goes on, why not you.

On top of that, our current governor himself has stepped in and given probation and gone as far as pardoning several that were sentenced by the courts of his state. One of my own cases he stepped in and said he knew better than me and overturned the sentence I handed down to a young juvenile offender Matthew Robinson. A young man that was given several second chances and threw them away, but he knew better. If he could give second chances on a case like that, then I can."

Not walking in there to especially get back at the governor, Judge Sunjata was given the opportunity. He hated it when Governor Lopez stepped in and overturned his sentence. It made it look like he didn't know what he was doing. Now he as the opportunity to hand down a sentence that the governor couldn't overturn unless he sentences Beth to prison.

"Ms. Alvarez would you please step forward." Beth and Mr. Murphy took a couple steps forward as requested. "Before I can sentence you I will need you to change your plea from not guilty to guilty." Beth nodded her head. "I need you to say it verbally so the court reporter can take it down." Beth cleared her throat and changed her plea. "Ms. Alvarez have you changed your plea by your own free will? You were not forced into doing so by anyone in or outside this court?" Beth answered," Yes to the first question and No to the second..." You understand by pleading guilty to these charges I can sentence you up to ninety nine years in prison?" Beth nervously looked at her attorney before answering yes.

"Since you understand what can happen by your change in plea and that you were not forced into changing your plea from not guilty to guilty, I hereby sentence you five years on each of your counts to run concurrent with one another." Not understanding what was going on, Beth just nodded her head trying not to give that away. "However, I'm going to defer your sentence and give you seven years probation."

Those in the gallery couldn't believe what they were hearing and were not going to sit there and not voice their disagreement. Almost all at once they all jumped to their feet yelling different things at the judge that he or anyone else in the courtroom couldn't understand since they were all yelling at once. It took several minutes for Judge Sunjata to get control of his courtroom and when he did, it was pretty much emptied. Most of those that that interrupted the proceedings were taken out in handcuffs with an attempted court charge to serve two days in county lock up.

"Once again as I was saying, I'm deferring your sentence to probation of seven years. Along with your probation, you will have to do one thousand hours of community service. As well I will be putting into effect a restraining order of one thousand feet that you must stay away from your son. Your daughter you can see if she wants to see you and those that have custody of her allow it. If you break any of these conditions or any of the general conditions of probation, you will be revoked and will have to serve out your full sentence. Do you understand?"

Beth somehow uttered the word yes, but didn't realize that she did. Her brain was trying to tell her mouth to say it, but she didn't realize she'd said anything until the judge nodded as he turned his attention to the paperwork in front of him. She stood there watching the judge sign paper after paper that gave her freedom. Stunned this was happening, she didn't want to believe it. She couldn't believe it. When she woke in the morning for her court date she was prepared to spend a good percentage of what was left of her life behind bars, but here she is to be a free woman in a couple of hours. A free woman, a concept that hasn't sunk in yet.

"Your honor!" Mr. Murphy spoke in a low voice, but loud enough to get the judges attention. "I was wondering if at all possible this court might entertain the idea of bringing down Dominic Alvarez and giving him the same sentence. After all he is as guilty as my client and shouldn't serve her time." Mr. Murphy looked at the DA who wasn't happy already and this request was about to send him overboard. "We all know when Judge Garcia returns he's going to take out his anger on him and sentence him to the fullest extent of the law when he might have been thinking of being more lenient on him."

Judge Sunjata leaned back, tapping his pen against his cheek thinking. He couldn't help but agree with Mr. Murphy's concerns, but he knew Mr. Murphy wasn't Dominic Alvarez's attorney. So he had no right to make that request. In order to do what he wanted to do, he was going to have to find a way around that, but nothing came to mind at that moment.

"Mr. Murphy even though I agree with the concerns you have, my hands are tied. The only one that can make that request before me is the inmate's attorney and you sir are not his attorney. I'm sorry that he is going to get the wrath of Judge Garcia, but there is simply nothing I can do."

"I understand your concerns sir, but you are wrong to a point." By the look he drew from the judge, Mr. Murphy knew he went a little too far. He had to ease it down some or he will lose this request and maybe even what he had for his client. "I didn't mean any disrespect sir. It's just I get a little outspoken on an issue that I can fix before they go really wrong and we are talking about one of these issues when it comes to this case."

Mr. Murphy knew he successfully walked back from the cliff edge he almost ended up being thrown off. "Even though I'm not the attorney on record for Dominic Alvarez, my law firm is. I'm the senior partner, which means my name is on all legal documents. Since one of my associates isn't here at this moment, I'm standing in for him and putting the request for the hearing before you on behalf of my client Dominic Alvarez."

Judge Sunjata couldn't be happier than he was at that very moment. He couldn't find a way around the law, but Mr. Murphy did. Being the senior partner of the law firm that Dominic's attorney is employed, he can make motions on behalf of his associates. That being so, he granted Mr. Murphy's motion and ordered the bailiff to get Dominic in front of him within the hour.

As Beth was signing her paperwork that gives her freedom, back at El Paso High School Joey, Caleb and the others had just finished breakfast and were heading out of the cafeteria. As Joey was making his way across the street to the ROTC building, he couldn't believe he had adopted the very routine that irritated him when he was with Jacob. A routine that caused several fights between him and his ex and now here he is doing the very same thing to Caleb who just like him a couple years ago wants to spend any and all available time with him, which wasn't much.

The more he thought about it, the more memories came rushing back from the time he was with Jacob. It was because of Jacob putting the ROTC program before their relationship that got him to wander. Got him to cheat on him. He knows it was a shitty reason now and he knew it then, but that is what he used to tell himself on why he cheated on his ex-boyfriend back then. Now he is wondering if the same outcome might happen to him and Caleb now that he is not paying enough attention to him and instead to the ROTC program.

Afraid that his past was going to come back to haunt him, Joey did an about face and quickly made his way to the stadium where he thought the guys were. When he got there, it was hard to see if they were there through the rest of the students standing there chatting. After his fifth glance up and down the stadium, Joey knew the guys weren't there.

His mind going a thousand miles a minute, it was hard for Joey to calm down and think. He started to shake, thinking about all the places he hid from Jacob to have his rendezvous with all the guys he cheated on Jacob with. Pushing those thoughts out of his mind and forcing himself to calm down, Joey was able to think where the guys might be. It took him a few minutes, but he got it.

Turning around, he started to walk towards the stairs that led up to the main building. Just as he walked in, he saw Principal Michaels coming toward him. He knew he wasn't in trouble or needed to talk with the principal, so he started to head up the stairs leading to the fourth floor. As he turned to begin the final staircase between the third and fourth floor, he ran into the guys coming down the stairs. Caleb was in front and when he saw Joey, a huge smile began to grow across his face.

Before they were able to say a word to each other, Joey heard his name being called out by an out of breath Principal Michaels. Joey turned around to find the Principal behind him, leaning over with his palms on his legs. No wanting to seem like he was making fun of the principal, he kept himself from laughing until he heard the others around him start to crack up. Not able to control himself any longer, he started to crack up, but turned away.

"Go ahead laugh!" Principal Michaels teased. "You won't be laughing when you are my age running up three flights of stairs after a teenager." A picture of what he must be looking like standing there out of breath with his head between his legs flashed in his mind, causing him to join in the laughter. "Just remember this moment you guys when you are in the same position. I will probably not be here anymore, but I surely will be here in spirit laughing."

Principle Michaels stood up straight as he started to walk towards Joey. "Didn't you hear me calling out for you when you walked into the building downstairs?" Joey shook his head. "Well I was. I went looking for you at the ROTC building, and when I didn't find you there I figured you were out in the stadium like you always are."

Joey looked at the principal with a confused look. He had no idea he and his friends were that predictable, but then he remembered how he found Caleb and the guys. Still, he had no idea why Principal Michaels had a need to talk to him, more so go looking for him and once he found him, go chasing after him. All this confused him and he hoped the principal would clear it all up soon.

"Let's forget all that since we can't correct it." Principal Michaels's voice all of a sudden dropped as he waved Joey over to the far corner of the staircase, away from the traffic. The guys had no idea what to do, but Caleb did. He walked up and stood next to his boyfriend. "I have something to tell you and I need you to let me finish before you say anything. If after I finish you and Caleb would like to go home and do whatever you think you need to do, I will understand and make sure you are marked here so the day doesn't go against your excused absences."

The more Michaels talked and beat around the bush started to get Joey nervous. He just wanted Michaels to say whatever he has to say so he can react to it. "I just got off the phone with one of the clerks to Judge Garcia's court." Joey breathed in a sigh of relief when he heard the judge's name. He has heard the name around the hotel and knew he was one of Judge Evans friends in the courthouse who had sentenced a couple people to the probation floor. If this has anything to do with Garcia or Evans, it has to deal with the probation program, nothing personal.

"Joey there is really no good way to say this than to just say it. Just keep calm and remember not to shoot the messenger." At this point Joey and Caleb were barely able to hear what Michaels was saying. "Your mother, Beth Alvarez, had her first hearing today. Judge Garcia wasn't able to be there. Something happened with his kids that kept him from going in. So instead of rescheduling his docket, they had another judge step in. This isn't normal because each judge has their own cases each day, but today there was a spare judge on the payroll.

Anyway this judge, don't know how to pronounce his name, Judge Sunjaaa, hell I don't know how say it and it really doesn't matter. He presided over the hearing today and settled some old scores. One was losing his judgeship and the other is something about the governor overturning one of his decisions and letting the guy go free. He used what the governor had done and what he and the other judges have been told about the overcrowded prisons to do what he did."

Michaels put his hand on Joey's left shoulder. "Joey, he released your mother with probation, no time in prison." As those words left Michaels mouth it felt to Joey like he was getting hit over and over again in the gut. He couldn't believe what he was hearing. Everyone was telling him that his mother was going to serve time and now this. It wasn't that he wished that she went to prison, but he felt that would have been the only way he and his sister were going to live a normal life.

"That's not all Joey. He ordered the County Sheriff's office to bring him your uncle, Dominic Alvarez. More than likely as we are speaking, he is being brought up in front of this judge and getting the same sentence. By the end of the day, your mother and uncle will be free." Joey couldn't keep standing on his own. He fell against the wall for support. "The only silver lining on this whole thing is that the judge issued a restraining order. Your mother has to stay one hundred or a thousand feet away from you. That part I didn't catch because I was thinking that is just a piece of paper. If she and your uncle want to get to you, they will. They have shown in the past their respect they have for the law—NOT!. And to make matters worse, they can see your sister. There is no restraining order issued to keep them away from her, which invites a whole lot of problems."

Besides being stunned and knocked off of his feet, Joey was confused on why it was Principal Michaels delivering him the news, not someone else from the courts or a uniformed officer. "Um, excuse me sir..." Joey finally was able to get his mouth to move. "Please don't get me wrong on this, but why is it you delivering me this news. I mean, there has to be others more suited for this than you, right?" Joey scratched his head.

"I would probably be asking the same question if I were in your shoes." Michaels looked Joey straight in the eye. "The information was given to the sergeant signed to this school to help with security. He contacted me asking what he should do. Since he didn't know you, I told him I would give you the information after checking with the court. I figured this kind of news was best delivered to you by a person that knows and cares how it will affect you."

Joey grabbed a hold of Caleb's hand, gathered himself as he stood up straight. "I think I will take you up on your offer on missing classes today. I need to get back to the hotel and talk to the head of security there about what can be done to make sure my mom or uncle can't get near me, my sister, the hotel or anyone I know and care about."

"Again as I said before you can do that. I will make sure you are not counted absent today so you can take care of whatever you need to ensure your sister's, your friends and of course your safety." Michaels looked down and saw the two boys holding hands. He knew there was no way he was going to get them to let go of one another. "I will let you Caleb out of school as well today with the same outcome. Just take care of whatever you need to today and be back in school tomorrow bright and early."

Both of the boys nodded their heads as they thanked Principal Michaels. They walked over to the guys and gave them the short version on what was going on. As they talked with them, the Principal headed back to his office to talk with his security about what might be coming. He wanted to make sure the school and all the students were safe. There was no way he was going to have another incident that might take another of his student's lives.

On the other side of the school, unaware of what was going on with Joey, Ray was making his way to the tennis courts. He was afraid and nervous at the same time because there was a big chance that he was walking into a heap of trouble, but hoping not. Hoping that he read the signs right and Garratt was looking at him to be more than friends, not cursing under his breath. Because if it is the latter, he knew he wasn't going to walk out without a butt kicking.

With his heart beating almost out of his chest, Ray started to walk faster, but as the tennis courts came into sight, he slowed down to almost a crawl. He looked around the tennis courts for any of Garratt's friends, but didn't see anyone. When he got close enough to the tennis courts, he stopped and looked around again. There was only one figure squatting down in the corner that looked like Garratt, but he wasn't certain. The only thing he was certain of is that there was no one else.

Once he was certain no one was hiding in the distance, ready to pounce on him once he got there, Ray started walking again. As he got to the gates of the courts, the figure that was squatting in the corner jumped up. The quickness of the person's movement caused Ray to jump back a couple of feet. It took a minute or two for him to calm down, but seeing that is was Garratt sitting in the corner, made it even harder for him to catch his breath.

As he stood there trying to calm himself down, Garratt began walking towards him. "Please don't be afraid." Garratt spoke in a low voice once he was a couple feet away from Ray. He could see how terrified Ray was and wanted to reassure him that he was in no danger. "I followed your note to the letter. No one else is here except me and I didn't come to hurt you."

Still a little hesitant, Ray started to move, meeting Garratt halfway. As he walked he started kicking himself for the way he was acting because there was no need. Garratt came alone and wasn't threatening him in anyway. By words or body language, Garratt wasn't being a threat. He was in fact showing and talking the opposite. Trying his best to get Ray to settle down.

"I know you've heard rumors about me and more than likely most of what you heard is true. But I'm not that person." Garratt was as nervous as Ray was, but hid it a lot better than he did. "I'm not going to stand here and tell you I'm a changed man because that would be a lie. I'm the same person I was when I did that dumb ass thing to Davey. But I'll tell you the person that did that dumb ass thing to Davey wasn't me."

Ray's head was spinning. He had no idea what was up and what was down with Garratt and he could see the confusion in his face. "I know what I'm saying is out there. I mean hell, I hurt a kid so bad that he ended up in the hospital and I went to jail. Through dumb luck I got a second chance and got my life back. And the kicker in all this is I'm exactly what I was fighting, or should say hurting. What I'm trying to say is that I saw who I truly was in Davey and I hated it because of what I was told about it. So I thought by doing what I did would cure me."

"I'm sorry but I'm so confused on what you are trying to say." Ray spoke even lower than Garratt was speaking, but Garratt was able to hear. "I mean to a point I understand what you are beating the bush about, but to another point I'm lost. The things I heard about you are ugly, but I also heard about your mother. If I lived with a parent like that, who knows I might have done the same thing." Ray stopped to gather his thoughts. He knew he was starting to sound like Garratt and he wanted to be clear about what he was trying to get across. Not come off like some crazy kid that was tripping all over himself.

"I guess what I'm really trying to get at is that I don't care about what you did. I mean, um, I'm scared that you could flip out again and do what you did to Davey to me here, but I'm hoping that won't happen. The influence, bad or good that took you to do what you did to Davey isn't in your life anymore. Now you are able to live your life free and the way you want to live it, which I hope I wasn't wrong in my letter to you."

Garratt shook his head. "Good! I thought I went too far on what I wrote to you." Ray started to walk to the corner where Garratt was when he approached the tennis courts. Garratt followed him, not saying a word. "I went through several drafts before settling on the one I gave you this morning and even that I wasn't comfortable with. I don't know you and you don't me. That reason I had no idea if I was wrong." Ray stopped in his tracks and looked over at Garratt. "Was I wrong on what I saw? Are you like me, Davey and the others on my floor?"

Garratt didn't notice that he took a couple steps back when Ray asked the question. Even though he was stunned on how blunt Ray was, he didn't think he hid it well, but he was wrong. The expression on his face, body movement and lack of not answering right away told Ray that he might have gone too far. Realizing that, Ray tried to walk back off, but he was having no success. They were there and it looks like there was no coming back from it.

"I'm sorry for just throwing a question like that out there the way I did. I didn't mean anything from it. I just wanted..." Garratt finally was able to move his lips and interrupt Ray. "No you meant to do what you did and I don't blame you. You want to know. No forget that! You need to know where I stand so you know where you stand with me. I'll be as blunt as I can."

Not only did Garratt finally find his tongue, but his legs as well. He started to walk over to the corner of the tennis courts where he was when Ray first walked up. There he felt more comfortable and out of ear shot of anyone that might walk by. Even though what he's about to say was the truth, he wasn't about to broadcast it for the entire school to hear.

"You are wanting to know if I'm gay, right?" Ray at first didn't move a muscle or say a word, causing Garratt to ask the question again. The second time that he did ask, he got an answer in the form of a head shake. "Well to tell you the truth I'm not sure. All I have ever dated were girls, but lately I have found guys more to my liking. Not all guys! Only certain ones like you." That put a smile on Ray's face. "I'm not mixed up on my sex life and I'm not going to stand here and say I like both woman and guys because that is the biggest load of bullshit I've ever heard.

No I'm sure I like guys I just never had a chance to allow my true feelings to come through. I mean come on I don't care who you are, if you lived in my house and went through what I went through you would know where I'm coming from." Garratt showing a little frustration about his past, he kicked the fence several times as he talked. "But I won't now or in the future use what happened to me as an excuse for what I have done or might do. Yeah it sucked, but I know the difference between what I should and shouldn't do." Taking a deep breath, Garratt turned and looked at Ray.

"Anyway, I went way off on my rant of where I wanted to go. Your question was to find out if I'm gay and to be more direct on answering it is yes. I have never had a relationship with a guy, but I have had sex with a guy. Not on my own free will, but I have. And when I got over the fact that I was being raped at times, I can stand here and tell you I did like it. Well except the part of, you know..." Garratt grabbed at his midsection. "This going up where the sun don't shine I really didn't enjoy all the time. If maybe it was done differently, like gently and I wanted it, I might like it, but not the way it was done."

Ray turned all shades of red. "I certainly understand where you are coming from on that. I wouldn't want to be forced to have sex by anyone." Ray was having a hard time finding the right words he wanted to day. "Um, as, um, I think you know that I'm gay." Garratt started to chuckle, He didn't mean to laugh and wasn't laughing to make fun of Ray in anyway.

"I'm sorry Ray-Ray..." Hearing Garratt say his name the way he did made him once again turn all shades of red as well feeling tingly all over. "I'm not laughing at you. It's just I find it cute the way you are talking. I know you're gay because just like you I have heard the rumors about you. I have decided not to believe them all because I want to get to know you and find out for myself who you truly are. Not the guy in the rumors."

Garratt and Ray didn't get into anything heavy in their conversation. There was really no time for it. Before they knew it, their time had run out by the ringing of the first warning bell to start the school day. Neither of them wanted to say goodbye to one another because they wanted to get to know each other even more and at the same time they had no idea when they were going to get another chance to be alone, but reluctantly they did bid each other goodbye.

Not wanting what they both hoped was a start of a relationship found out already, they agreed to leave separately. Garratt was the first to leave the tennis courts, followed by Ray. Both of the boys were in the clouds as they walked to their lockers. All they had on their minds were each other and what they were going to say and do when they do finally get to see each other again.

As the students at El Paso High were heading to their first period classes, downtown in the courtroom Dominic Alvarez had just finished signing his probation paperwork. His head was still swimming with all of what just happened. One moment he was cleaning his cell and the next he was being pulled out to appear in court when he had no idea he had a court appearance.

When they came up and got him, not giving him any time to get ready, he thought he was in trouble. He thought for sure this was the day he was going to be sentenced or at the least new charges were going to be added. So many things were going through his mind as he made that long walk through the underground tunnel to the courtroom, when he did go in front of the judge and was given his sentence, he didn't hear it right. It wasn't until he was signing the paperwork that he asked and understood what just unfolded.

Once he got his bearings back, he asked about Beth. At first, Mr. Murphy wouldn't answer him, but after the third time asking he was told that she was given the save sentence that he was given. With a big smile on his face, he held out his hand so the clerk could take his finger prints. As his fingers were being dipped in ink, all he thought about was being with Beth.

Since he wasn't a scheduled case, he had his own guards who needed to get back to their floor that they were assigned. By them having to escort Dominic, it put the already short staffed floor at even a worse disadvantage. With them on the floor they barely were able to get their assigned duties done. So they quickly rushed him out of the courtroom once he signed all the paperwork and down the tunnel back to the county jail. Along the way they talked to each other about how wrong the ruling was and knew this was not going to be the last they saw of Dominic. They went as far as putting down a wager between them on how long Dominic was going to last as a free man.

Dominic badly wanted to tell them they were wrong, but kept his mouth shut. He decided to prove to them that they were wrong by his actions. By never stepping foot again in the place they work. A place he hated with a passion. The place he never thought he would have ever seen the inside of in his life. He swore right there and then on his long walk down the tunnel that he was never going to break the law that would get him thrown back in jail.



{Welcome back one and all to another change- filled chapter of `Regrets and Heartaches'. It has been a while, nothing knew, since I posted a chapter of this saga. I lot happened in this chapter in such a short period of time. New characters were still being developed and old characters that were forgotten have come back and made a surprise visit. I hope you liked this chapter as much as I like writing it out for you all's reading enjoyment.

Before I go to the summation of this chapter let me do a couple of house keeping things. If you all have read my letter on the main page of the site you already know what I'm about to say, but there are a few out there that might not have seen the main page yet. There have been a few changes on how the chapters are getting out to you in staff. Daddy Rick, my editor who has been with me from the beginning has left the project. His life has gotten really busy and he really dosen't have the time to do the editing. I wish him luck and if things change I hope he comes back. As well Ed has temporally left the project due to personal issues arising in his life. Hopefully things turn around quickly for him and he comes back to work with me on this project.

With their departures, I have brought on board a few faces you know and one you might not know. Kent has taken over the editing of this story, which he has done before. I welcome him on board and hope he is here to stay for the long haul. As well Trevor is back and he does the first read and edit of the chapter. Again I welcome him back to the Jacob world. And finally, but not least, Houdini has taken over in the running of the site and some editing duties. He is a great writer and person and I'm glad he is on board with me through this journey.

With that let's get back to what this corner is all about. I will not take too much of your time here on the summation. For the first time I'm going to make it short and sweet. So let's get going. The chapter didn't exactly start off where the last one ended. It started off the next morning with a character that you all don't know, but has been mentioned before, Beth's lawyer.

I know as this plot unfolded through the chapter some of you guys wanted to reach through your screen and strangle me. Boy am I glad that you guys are not able to do that. Beth and Dominic are now back in the free that leaves so many questions out there. Will they be good and stay away from Joey and Fran? OR will they try and figure out new ways on how to get to Joey, his sister and more importantly the money Joey has? You need to come back and see how all that unfolds.

What do you guys think about the judge that let them go? What do you think about the reasons he did what he did? Some of them made sense, some didn't. He had a personal stake in all this and showed it. Because of that, he should have excused himself and left it alone, but by the already pissed off judge on losing his court due to budget cuts, there was no way he was going to do that. These two cases gave him a way to have the final word about losing his court and flipping off Governor Lopez for stepping on his feet. Let's see how many of you know who Matthew Robinson is. When I asked Trevor, he had no idea. Do you without going out looking?

Garratt and Ray-- what can I say there. Garratt came to his senses the night before and didn't go up to Ray's floor, which paid off. On his way to breakfast Ray gave him a note that knocked him off his feet. They met alone at the tennis courts and began to get to know each other outside the rumors, but I wonder will it last. What do you guys think? Will these two be able to get together? Or will their past and their present predicaments stop them from forming a relationship.

What about Joey? He and Caleb were given the bad news about Beth being released from jail from Principal Michaels. We know he started to hire security, but was it personal security or security for the hotel? If it was just for the hotel, he has his hands full. He needs to protect not only himself, his sister, Caleb, his friends, but everyone that lives in the hotel if things do turn to shit.

There is so much going on in this saga. I can keep writing, but I will not. You guys are going to need to tune in to the next chapter to see what is going on. More plots are going to open and old ones will be closed. This story, like my others, will keep you on your toes. Do not miss what is coming up in the chapters to come.

I do not want to say too much more and spoil the future chapters to come, so I will not. 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!}


I am glad to be back with the team and again editing for them. I am now fully retired and now have a bit more time to devote to this effort.

My main surprise in this chapter was that the judge made his "sentencing" decisions without ever hearing from the victims in the case. Almost all courts that I follow have this type of process so that the victims have a chance to present their own desires as to the nature of the punishment to be handed down. Perhaps the prosecutors can use this lack of victim participation as a way of changing the sentences given. Just like you, dear reader, I am anxious to see how all this is resolved.

--Kent D. (editor)