Written by: J.P.G.

{The Shadow of My Father 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's 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 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 can't be distributed in anyway, shape or form without the author's expressed written consent.}

Story Written by: J.P.G.

Love Scenes Written By: Daddy Rick

Edited By: Daddy Rick

Chapter 46

Before Daniel Sr. could even get into his office, he was stopped by Rich and the Republican Chairman, Leonard James. They were waiting for the Governor at his office door. When Governor Lopez saw them, he knew this wasn't going to be a pleasant meeting. He really didn't get along with the chairman because he wanted Daniel to run a normal smear campaign for Governor.

Not saying a word to neither of them, Governor Lopez waved them in after unlocking the door to his office. Normally the doors are unlocked by the building staff, but the Governor gets in even earlier than they do so he has to unlock his office when he arrives in the morning.

As they settled into their seats, Governor Lopez put the coffee on to brew, took his jacket off and laid his briefcase on his desk. As he went back to pour himself a cup of coffee, he offered a cup to his guest. Once they got their coffee, they settled back into their seats.

"Well since I have no idea what this meeting is about, why don't one of you start and tell me what is so important that couldn't this meeting couldn't be scheduled. I have a busy day ahead of me and this meeting is just going to set me behind with a day that was already going to hard to stay on schedule."

Both Rich and Leonard looked at each, but it was Leonard that spoke first. "Governor, I am here to tell you the Republican Party isn't happy at all on what you are doing. None of us liked the way you ran for office, but we allowed it because you were winning. We had hoped that once you got into office, you would settle down and start being more traditional. Once again that isn't happening.

You went and angered the religious right with the speech you made at that luncheon. Then you go and pushed bills through the houses without talking with your own party for support; a party you will need if you plan to rerun for this office in three years. Like it or not, you need us to survive, so you need to stop what you are doing."

It was taking every ounce of power in the Governor's entire being not to get up and slap some sense into the Mr. James. He had forgotten that they went to him because the state party was in shambles after the mess their candidate got into. They needed someone far away from politics if they had a chance to win the Governor's office.

"The day you and the party approached me to be your candidate for this position I told you how I was going to be. Not once did I lie to you about how I was going to run and if I won how I was going to do things here in Austin. You told me that day you needed me in order to take back this office. So don't you dare come into my office and say that I need you more than you need me. If anything the history says otherwise!

Now as far as the bills I am passing, I will pass them anyway that I can. If my own party doesn't want to support my bills, I will get votes wherever I can to pass the bills. There is no way I am going to fold to or compromise with those that the people of this state don't even trust. Either my party jumps onboard, or they will get left behind. Everyone that stands against progress, I will help get them out of their seat; damn the party!"

The Governor got up to get more coffee, but stopped in the middle of the room. "As far as the religious right, I don't care what they say. If they come at me during my reelection, I will win in a land slide. The people of this state, forget the state, the nation, don't want the church involved in politics or governing.

I am a religious man, but I keep my religion apart from my job. That is how the nation was created and I will follow that ideal. I will follow that ideal because I really believe in that. No nation in history has survived the test of time when the church has a hand in making law or running the government."

Mr. James just sat there with his cup of coffee in mid air. The Governor could tell that Mr. James thought he could walk in here and just run right over him. Well he got a surprise. This Governor was elected by the people, not the special interest groups or the rich of the state. That is one of the things Mr. James and other didn't like, Daniel didn't fall into place the minute he got elected.

"Governor Lopez you can't keep doing things the way you have been. You are going to burn every bridge out there, including the one to my door. From now on you need to stop running this state the way you are. Whenever you have a bill, you need to bring it to the republican leadership of both houses. That way they can weigh in on the bills and the final bill that goes to the floor, the entire party can get behind it."

"I am going to say this once so you better listen. Put down you coffee and listen to what I am about to say because I want there to be no misunderstanding." Mr. James didn't like Daniel's tone, but did as he was asked. "I don't care if you or the party doesn't support me if I go for a second term. Right now I haven't even completed my first year in office. I am not looking at reelection right now.

Should I do decide to run again, you will want me on your side. The people didn't even know me when they elected me for my first term in a landslide victory. I just came off of a bad divorce and a son coming out to us that he is gay. A gay son in the state of Texas should have been the end of a political career before it even started. On top of that, a rough divorce and no political experience; many had me losing, but here I am.

Now the people know me and see that I am working for them and not the party or the special interest groups like those that came before me. So with all that said, I am going to keep doing what I am doing and that is working for those that put me here. If you have a problem with that, you can do what every regular citizen of this state does and that is to vote against me in my next election."

Daniel got up and walked Mr. James to the door. He thanked him for stopping in, but told in him in the future to set up an appointment like everyone else. Mr. James just looked at him as he walked out. Rich followed Mr. James out as the Governor made his way back to his desk. Ten minutes later, Rich walked back in to speak with Daniel.

"With all due respect Governor, you can't keep doing what you are doing. You are going to need the party to run again. By pissing off the state chair like you did is just making it harder for you to run in three years. They aren't afraid to put someone against you in order to get back their control. That is something you or I can't afford."

Governor Lopez stopped working on what he was working on and looked up. "Do I need a party affiliation to run?  Yes, but I won't fold at every corner to stay with this one. I thought that was one of the main things you liked about me; the fact I was unwilling to compromise to the lobbyists and the old ways of doing things."

"Don't get me wrong, I like that about you. But you need to keep the party happy or you will have a fight on your hands come reelection." Rich sat down in the chair across from the Governor's desk. "I don't agree with how Mr. James went about trying to rein you in like some kind of fish on a hook. But he is right; we need our own party behind us.

Plus to make things even worse sir, we can never stop campaigning. The minute you win, you need to start campaigning again. There you are falling short because you haven't even gone back out to speak with the voters, raised money or get your statement out on what had happened as far as the shooting involving your son. The press is still eating you alive on that. You need to get out of this office and fly around the state."

Governor Lopez started going through the paperwork on his desk. Once he found what he was looking for, he handed it to Rich. He allowed Rich to read the paper he handed him before speaking. Once Rich was done, he handed it back to the Governor. Just as he opened his mouth to say something, the Governor started speaking.

"I won't be one of those Governors that governs by the polls. When a person starts governing like that, that person should hang it up. The polls have me in the mid eighties as far as the people's approval of the way I am doing my job. That poll was taken just this last week. They asked the questions about the shooting. Ninety-four percent of Texans feel I did nothing wrong nor did my kids. Same with number from registered voters as far as how I handled the aftermath of the shooting.

So as you can see, the voters of this state, and the nation for that matter, are a lot smarter than the politicians give them credit for. I agree with you as far as always running, but I am not going to be that type of Governor. I want to get at least three good years, out of my four, just working for the people. Then I will worry about running again for this seat.

As far as reaching out to the people of this state, I will do that. I felt that the people preferred to have me primarily up here taking care of their business, instead of flying around the state giving speeches. That is one of the things I heard from the people. They want someone to work for them, not cut ribbons at every grand opening of a business."

The Governor and his Chief-Of-Staff talked a little longer about going out to visit with the people that elected him. They started to block off a few days each month to go out and talk with the public in different parts of the state. Both of them were satisfied with that idea and moved on to the scheduled meetings of their day.

On his way to the cafeteria, Carlos stopped at his locker to put his books away. He didn't notice his girlfriend had snuck up to him until he closed his locker door. When he saw his girlfriend standing there, he jumped several feet back. Not meaning to, Thelma started to laugh as she looked at her boyfriend trying to get his footing again.

Carlos tried to look cool as he regained his footing, but failed. He actually looked more like a clown than anything else. The other students looked on as they passed him in the hall. Some laughed, and some rooted him on to fall. When he did finally get his footing, he wasn't happy with Thelma for doing what she did.

All the way to the cafeteria, she apologized, but Carlos was steaming mad. Not so much that Thelma scared him, but is was the fact that he looked like an idiot as he tried to get his balance. He started to imagine what it looked like, and in his mind it didn't look good. If he saw another kid going through what he was, he would have laughed as well.

By the time Carlos and Thelma got through the line, he had settled down. On their way to their table, Carlos grabbed a hold of Thelma's hand and held as they walked. That told Thelma that he wasn't mad about what happened, which put a smile on her face.

Thelma isn't a girl you would picture any of the Lopez boys dating. Unlike Mercedes, Thelma was on the heavier side. She wasn't fat, but her body was no cheer leader type either. She stood five foot six, long hair, weighing a little close to one hundred and eighty pounds. Many have told her if she would lose the extra weight, she would be a cheerleader. But neither she nor Carlos were bothered by her weight, they were madly in love with each other.

Carlos met Thelma his freshman year at the library. She was assigned to tutor him in Algebra since he was getting low marks. He wasn't flunking the class, but he wasn't where his father wanted him to be. If he didn't raise his grade, his father was going to make him quit the football team. There was no way Carlos was going to do that so he signed up for a tutor and Thelma was assigned to him.

He never lied to her or anyone for that matter. When he first saw Thelma, it wasn't love at first sight. She grew on him over time. As they got to know each other, Carlos fell in love with her attitude and love for life, and forgot all about her body not being perfect. To his eyes she looked like a goddess. No matter what others said, Carlos wouldn't listen to them.

In fact at times Carlos was willing to come to blows with his friends when they made fun of Thelma. Even when they tried to tell Carlos that he could do better, he would shut them down. Over time Carlos' friends stopped talking bad about Thelma and telling Carlos that he could do better. They accepted her as Carlos accepted their girlfriends.

They are a match made in heaven and everyone can see that. Whenever they are together at school, or anywhere for that matter, you could see how much they love each other just by looking at them. It seemed they are always laughing as if they were telling each other a joke that only they heard. When they were asked what was so funny, they would both say at the same time that it is an inside joke. People dropped it and moved on.

Now enough with that, back to the present with these two love birds eating lunch. They finished eating and went out to join the upperclassmen on the field. Although Carlos hasn't been moved up to the varsity squad, the varsity squad is talking to him as if he has. Carlos figured they are treating him like that because of his brother Daniel.

As soon as Carlos started talking to the other football players, Thelma joined Mercedes, Heather and the other cheerleaders. They have accepted Thelma as one of their own even though she isn't on the squad. That made Carlos happy because if they didn't, he wouldn't be able to hang around his football friends as much.

Unlike Carlos and Thelma, Daniel Jr. hasn't been going out with Mercedes as long. Daniel had a girlfriend his freshman year, but they broke up since they ended up going in different directions. His sophomore year he dated several girls, but never got serious with any of them. But Mercedes is a different story.

He met Mercedes the last few weeks of school last year. No one thought it was going anywhere; boy were they wrong. All through the summer they got to know each other by spending all their free time together. By the time school started, they were an item. Basically they were the `it' couple at school; Daniel one of the top football players of the school football team and Mercedes one of the most popular cheerleaders!

They knew they were the `it' couple. Every freshman boy wanted to be in Daniel's shoes and every freshman girl wanted to be in Mercedes'. Even though they knew they were the `it' couple, they didn't let it go to their heads. They talked to anyone never making anyone feel small! That got the underclassmen wanting to be like them even more.

Anyone that didn't know the history between Daniel and Mercedes would assume that they have been going out ever since junior high school. They, just like Carlos and Thelma, are right for each other. Another match made in heaven.

As lunch started to wind down, everyone started to make their way back into the main building. None of them wanted to get pushed around as they made it up the narrow stairs on the side of the building. Daniel Jr., Carlos, their girlfriends and friends never used that entrance. Even before the shooting, their security detail had them use the teachers' entrance. That is the only way they could absolutely insure their safety.

Since the shooting, Josh's new detail started to use the teachers' entrance for Josh too. Whenever he was out in the stadium, they didn't allow Josh to go up the crowded staircase with the other students. It took a little while for Josh and his friends to stop heading to the stairs, but after a week, they did.

The other major change that was put in effect since the shooting was not allowing the boys to use the staircases in the building while they were packed with students. They would either get released from class five minutes early, or be held back until the hallways were clear and get to their next class late.

Lloyd and the boys' heads of security weighed the idea of using the elevator in the school but decided against it. All three boys had a different schedule and were never on the same floor. Plus the elevator was way too slow. As far as time was concerned, it was worse than what they put into place. The only time these procedures were not followed was breakfast, lunch and after school. They couldn't keep the crowd of students away from the boys, but they made sure they didn't get too close either.

Josh got a surprise during show Chorus practice. They are going to have a sing off against the Glee Club and any other singing club in the school next Friday. It isn't for a trophy or anything like that. The teachers got together to do this in order for the singing clubs to get more practice.

But the members of the Show Chorus believe it is more than practice; it's for bragging rights. There are several singing groups on campus, and they agree there has to be one of them that is on top. Right now the Glee Club holds that title, but only because they are the ones that are well known around campus. Hopefully after next Friday, everyone in the Show Chorus hopes that will change.

The only one that didn't talk about this opportunity of taking the title of the best singing club at school was Josh. It is not that his loyalties are split between Show Chorus and Glee Club, it just he feels it's not a good to talk about it. Josh believes when it is all said and done, the best group will come out on top. All the groups have an equal chance.

As the school day ended, Josh was anxious to get home. The day before during swim practice, Coach Montoya told his team that there wasn't going to be any practice today. That means for the first time in weeks Josh is going to get home early and not be so tired on a Friday. He started looking forward to it the minute the Coach made the announcement.

Since football season is over, Daniel Jr. and Carlos only practice twice a week; Tuesdays and Thursdays. That lightens the load on the security details today since everyone will be going home at the same time. Normally after school they have to make several trips in the SUV when the boys had different schedules.

The minute the final bell rang; Josh jumped out of his seat and headed to his locker. Cesar tried to keep up with Josh, but got to the locker after Josh had gotten it open. Josh just smiled at Cesar when he reached in to get the books he needed to do his home work.

Josh started to kiss Cesar's arm as he reached into the locker. "I can see you are feeling a little frisky this afternoon." Cesar reached down and felt the growing bulge in front of Josh's jeans. "You need to tell that bad puppy to settle down. When we get home I will take care of that for you." Cesar leaned in and kissed Josh on the lips.

Just then they heard someone clear their throat behind them. Josh thought it was Russ, but when he heard the voice, he broke away from the kiss. He turned to see Principal Michaels standing there tapping his right foot on the floor. Cesar peeked over Josh's shoulder, not ready to step back with the obvious lump in the front of his jeans.

"Boys although I can't prove it one hundred percent, I know it was you and your group of friends that started the food fight in the cafeteria. You guys know by now I don't tolerate that kind of behavior. No matter if you guys were planning to start the food fight or not, you guys ended up doing do."

Principal Michaels got interrupted at that point by Russ. "Mr. Michaels let me ask you, what are the kids saying? I can guarantee they can't positively say that Josh and his friends started the food fight because the food just started to fly from all corners of the room. No one can accurately or honestly say with certainty that any one kid or group of kids started that food fight."

"You are right on that sir, but many of the kids I have spoken to have said that they saw the first pieces of food come flying out of Josh's group of friends. But again as you said, no one can say one hundred percent they saw any student or group of students start the food fight." Principal Michaels turned to Josh and Cesar with a smile on his face.

"With that said boys, I am going to drop it. There is no need to waste my time or the students' time to come to the same conclusion I have now." The principal laid his hand on Josh's shoulder. "I am glad to see you cheerful boys. With all that you guys have gone through, it is a good sight to see. You have a good weekend and have fun."

Principal Michaels patted Josh on the shoulder and walked away. Josh took his first breath since Principal Michaels walked up. He turned and pulled Cesar to his side and closed the locker. They started walking out to the SUV, but all of the sudden both Josh and Cesar broke out laughing. Then Russ and some of the other security detail agents joined in.

They knew why Josh and Cesar were laughing. They were lucky they got away with starting a food fight in the cafeteria. When they got to the SUV, the other agents just looked at Josh and Cesar as they got into the vehicle, still laughing. They turned to Russ, but all that Russ did was shrug his shoulders as he made his way to the car.

As soon as they got home, Josh and Cesar went straight up to their room to try and have some alone time. But they were not able to because the minute they shut the door, they heard Rose calling for them to come downstairs. Josh looked at Cesar, frustrated, but turned around and headed down as ordered.

Trying to hide the obvious tent in front, Josh stood behind Brandon as they stood there waiting for Daniel to arrive. Once Daniel joined the group, Rose told them that they are going out to eat. Josh went back upstairs wondering why she made it sound so important. All she needed to do is yell up the stairs to get ready because they are going out to eat. At least that was what Josh thought.

It was ten before eight when they walked back into the house. His brothers already knew what he and Cesar were about to do when their grandmother called them down. Wanting to be discrete and not to give away that they are going to make love, Josh and Cesar hung out with everyone in front of the TV for a couple hours before going upstairs.

When they did get upstairs, they couldn't keep their hands off of each other. They both kicked at the door to close it. Cesar reached around Josh and made sure that the door was locked before they made their way to the bed. The entire way, they had their lips locked and were leaving a trail of clothes.

They made love for two non-stop hours, only resting enough to catch their breath. Both of them took turns on being on top and on bottom. As they made love, they had to cover their mouths either with their free hands or a pillow to keep others from hearing them. That was fine with them. It didn't take away from the love making.

Every time they reached climax, they didn't have to have their hands on their dicks. They were so much in love making mode, they shot without touching their dicks. Even when they actually went at it for the third time, both Josh and Cesar shot full loads; at least six shots each. They wanted to go for it again, but decided to get some rest since Josh has a day before him that will be emotionally draining.

In the morning, Josh, Cesar and Josh's brothers got up, ate breakfast and went to do their chores. Although they have Isabella there, that doesn't give them permission not to do their assigned chores. If they were to even try to skip out, their grandmother would seek them out and make them do it. Then they would have to explain to their father why they felt they were above doing chores. That is one conversation none of the boys wants to have.

Once they got done, they cleaned up before plopping themselves in front of the TV. At first they took turns playing their new games. After an hour of playing video games, they agreed to watch a movie. None of them had their mind in it anyway since they all knew Josh was going to see Patrick for the first time since the shooting.

When it got closer and closer to the time for Josh to leave, he got nervous. He finally went upstairs and got ready. Cesar joined him. Even though he didn't need help, Cesar helped. Before heading back downstairs, Josh and Cesar sat together on the bed talking about what Josh should expect to see. All through the conversation, Cesar kept telling Josh that he needs to stay strong. Don't fall apart because that might do more harm than good.

As they left the room, Josh stopped at the top of the stairs and pulled Cesar into a kiss. When he broke the kiss, Josh whispered in Cesar's ear that he loves him. Cesar echoed the same words to Josh, but followed it up by saying he will be waiting for his return. That put a smile on Josh's face and he kissed Cesar one last time and left.

The entire way to the hospital, Josh went over the conversation he just had with Cesar. He didn't even realize that they had arrived at the hospital due to him being deep in his thoughts. Russ pulled Josh out of his mind when he opened the door. Josh got out of the SUV, looked around as he headed into the building quietly.

On his way down the hallway, people stopped and looked at him. There is no doubt they were looking at all the guys in suits, wires coming out of their shirts and up to their ears as well bulges on their sides, not really at Josh. Still, patients, with their families came out of their rooms and looked on as Josh and his detail walked by. That really didn't make Josh uncomfortable because he has gotten used to people always staring at him.

When they reached the elevators and the doors opened, the security detail cleared it out. That did bother Josh because he felt he was putting people out of their way, but he didn't complain. Josh stopped complaining about what his detail does since that fateful night. He came to the realization that they know what they are doing and he needs to go along with it for his detail to do their job right.

The elevator went straight to the floor Patrick is on. When it opened up, Josh froze for a few seconds, but he found his legs. He walked off the elevator and made his way to the nurse's station to sign in. The nurse was expecting him so she told him and his detail to go straight back. Josh thanked her and walked down the hall that the nurse pointed to. There is no way he can get lost since his detail is lining the hall he needs to go down.

The closer and closer Josh got to Patrick's therapist's office, with each step he started to shake. He finally couldn't take another step. Turning to Russ, Josh told him that he needed to go to the bathroom before going in to see Patrick. Russ nodded his head and walked over to clear the men's room.

"Do you think I could use the bathroom alone Russ?" Josh stood at the entrance of the bathroom looking in at the two agents standing there. "You guys made sure there is no one in here and there is no way anyone can climb up the wall and into the bathroom. Please let me have a few minutes of peace. That is all that I am asking for!"

Not certain why Josh is acting the way he is, Russ reluctantly agreed. He called the two agents out of the bathroom and placed them at the entrance. The last thing Russ saw before the door shut was Josh going into the stall. He looked at his agents to see if they knew what was up, but they just shrugged their shoulders.

Josh closed the door to the stall and sat down. He didn't need to use the bathroom. He just needed a place where he could hide and catch his breath. The closer and closer he got to the door of Patrick's therapist's office, the wall he has put up since the night of the shooting started to tumble down.

Josh started to hit his head with the palm of his hands. He started to think again that it was because of him that Frank is gone and he can't seem to forgive himself for that. All Josh could do is put up a barrier and pretend that everything was okay, but it wasn't. He was all twisted up inside. It seems as time went by for him, the memory of that night didn't fade away. Instead he started to remember more details of that night; details he wished would have stayed buried in the back of his mind.

As he sat there on the toilet, the events of that night came flooding back. He is remembering as if it just happened. Josh tried to block out the images of Frank running at him and yelling. He couldn't hear or understand what Frank was saying, but he knew Frank was saying something. At first he thought Frank was playing around, but when he got to Josh, he wrapped his arms around him, and that is when Josh saw Elizabeth.

He saw the anger in Elizabeth's eyes, the hatred she had for him. Josh got up from the toilet and started to hit the wall to try and stop the images in his mind, but he couldn't. Every thing just came flooding in as if a dam broke. Josh fell back into the wall and slid down until his butt hit the floor. He put his head between his legs, and started to sob as the memories of that night came flooding back.

When he and Frank headed to the ground, Elizabeth made her first contact with the bowling ball. Josh couldn't believe she was actually swinging the ball at him and his friend. Then, as if in slow motion, it hit Frank on the side of his head. The next thing Josh felt was Frank's blood splattering all over his face as they hit the floor.

Josh knew that Frank was still alive because he moved again to cover him completely. Then Frank spoke. At that time Josh didn't know he was going to be the last person Frank would have spoken to in his life. One sentence that has haunted him every day since that night, the night that Frank was taken from this world by the hatred of Elizabeth.

`Don't move, Jonathan is going to save us.'

The one that was doing the saving that night was Frank. Elizabeth landed another hit on Frank, and then another and then another. Then Josh heard a loud fire cracker sound in the room, and Elizabeth fell on top of him and Frank. With her falling as fast as she did, she hit Frank's head and Frank's head hit Josh's into the floor.

The hit was so hard, Josh was out. The last thing he saw was Frank looking down at him, eyes wide open, but blood coming out of his mouth in bubbles. Frank blinked a couple of times, and that was it, Josh was out.

Trying to put himself together, Josh got up from the floor and walked over to the sink. He turned on the cold water and put his hands under the running water. Josh just stood there looking in to the mirror, with his hands under the water. He didn't like the face looking back at him. One thought   crossed his mind; he should be the one dead, not Frank.

Just then the door to the bathroom opened and Russ walked in. Josh quickly started to splash water on his face trying to hide that he was crying. Russ saw Josh reflection in the mirror and knew something was up. Then he saw the red knuckles on Josh's left hand as he splashed water over his face.

Russ turned and told the other agents to not let anyone in before he turned and closed the door. Russ walked over to Josh and stood at his side. At first neither of them did anything. After a minute or so just standing there, Russ turned to face Josh and placed his hands on Josh's shoulders. He moved to look in Josh's face. Josh couldn't hide the hurt anymore from Russ.

He fell into Russ's chest, unable to hide behind the wall he put up several weeks ago and he started crying. Russ wrapped his arms around Josh and held him tight. He knew this coming because he never saw Josh really deal with the memories of that day. Yeah Russ walked into the den that morning and found Josh in front of the TV watching nothing. But Josh really hadn't dealt with this. He talked with his father, but Russ could see that Josh said he was okay because he thought that is what he thought his father wanted.

Russ kneeled down so he could be looking up at Josh as he speaks. "You need to let people in to help you   deal with all those emotions inside of you that you are going through right now. This thing you do for others, putting on a brave face, will come back and hurt you as you get older. You can't continue hiding and not dealing with what you are going through.

I know you want to be like your father, but you are still a teenager that is learning the hard knocks of life. While you are this age, take advantage of your parents and adults around you. Let us help you so you can enjoy your youth. There is going to be plenty of time for you to be an adult."

Josh tried to get control of his crying, but was unable to. "Why in the world did Elizabeth do that to Frank? She didn't need to hurt anyone for me being who I am." Josh started to say through sobs. "She took a friend of mine away and that shouldn't have happened. I should be the one that is dead, not him! I should be the one that is dead!"

Russ tried to hide the anger he is feeling over what Josh just said. "You never say that, I mean that Josh; NEVER say that again! You are taking away from what Frank did for you first of all. He saw Elizabeth coming at you with that bowling ball. He knew when he went running at you and covered you up what he was doing. I never had the honor to meet your friend, but he wanted to do what he did."

Russ reached up and placed his hand under Josh's chin so he could move Josh's face to look at him. "There is a reason for everything Josh. You were meant to survive that night for a good reason and I only can guess why. The man above has a mission for you and that mission isn't complete yet.

There are going to be ugly people out there like Elizabeth. A day won't pass by that you won't have one coming in and out of your life. Just ignore them because they don't know what is in here." Russ tapped over Josh's heart. "And in here..." Russ tapped lightly on Josh's head. "You are very smart and have a huge heart that is going to take you places that you can only dream of going.

So, those people that don't understand people like you and me, or are blinded to the truth; ignore them. Their own hatred will catch up to them. Hopefully not the way Elizabeth's did, but it will. You rise above their hatred and show them you aren't what they think you are. Show them what we all know, that you are a loving, caring, very smart individual that will bring joy into the lives you touch."

Josh thanked Russ for talking with him and making him feel better. As Russ got up from the floor, he told Josh that he will be there for him whenever he needs someone to talk to. That made Josh feel even better. He knows he has his father, well his entire family and Cesar to talk to, but for some reason Russ and Jonathan are different. Josh feels that they look at him differently, like they don't expect a lot from him except being a kid.

He walked back up to the sink, washed his face and hands again. On his way out of the bathroom, he looked once more in the mirror before heading out. As soon as he walked out of the bathroom, he put back up the wall that he built to protect himself from the outside world. No one in Josh's detail was the wiser. All that they knew is that Josh was actually only using the bathroom, nothing more than that.

When they reached the office, the door was open. Josh stepped in and saw a middle age white man with glasses halfway down his nose standing there. He presented his hand to Josh and thanked him for coming.  Josh shook Mr. Quane's hand and followed him into the inner office where his security detail wasn't allowed to go.

Mr. Quane allowed Josh to pick the place where he wanted to sit and then sat across from him. At first the two men sat there measuring each other up. Josh only knows this guy as Patrick's therapist. Mr. Quane knows more about Josh through his sessions with Patrick; an advantage he has on Josh.

"Once again Josh, thank you for coming. I know it was a short notice, but Patrick needs all the family and friends around him right now. He needs to see that he is not alone and that he isn't the only one that is hurting and asking questions.

With that said, before Patrick comes in I want to cover a few ground rules. First don't bring up a subject unless Patrick brings it up. There are still a lot of things I know he hasn't opened up about yet. I don't want this session to back fire and it will if you bring up a subject that is an explosive one.

Second, both of you have to let each other finish their thoughts. If you interrupt him or he interrupts you, it could cause problems. You know as well as I do if a person doesn't let you finish talking, it can get under your skin." Josh nodded his head.

"And finally, talk in a low voice. If you raise your voice, it could put Patrick on the defensive and that is where we don't want him. As long as you follow these few rules, this session will be very productive, I believe, for both of you."

Josh agreed to Mr. Quane's requests, but couldn't help but wonder if Patrick has to follow the same rules. He put that aside as the door opened and Patrick walked in. Josh got up and just stood there looking at Patrick. Patrick didn't budge either. He just stood there looking at Josh, not afraid, but lost.

Without warning, Patrick broke down and started to cry. Josh quickly walked over to Patrick and caught him as he started to fall to the ground. They wrapped their arms around each other and held on as if they are each other's life preserver. Not wanting to, but unable to fight it, Josh started to cry along with Patrick. They stood there near the door, holding each other until they were able to get control of themselves.

"I am so sorry, I am sorry Josh..." Patrick started to speak in between sobs. "I couldn't move that night. Right there before me my love of my life was being taken away from me and I couldn't move. If I only had moved! If I only had got up to Elizabeth and pushed her away from Frank, maybe Frank would be alive today!"

Patrick wiped away tears from his face as he released Josh. Still not moving, the boys stood there looking at each other, composing themselves. Once they felt they were not going to break down again, they made their way to the sofa. Along the way, Patrick repeated once again to Josh how he felt he let Frank down.

Josh gathered his thoughts, trying to make sure he didn't say the wrong thing. "You can't blame yourself for what you didn't do that night. All of us are second guessing ourselves, but it won't bring Frank back. I miss Frank so much, and I was just his friend. I know you have to be missing him a hell of a lot more than me.

But if you would have tried to stop Elizabeth that night, we might have lost you too. She could have turned around and hit you with that bowling ball. I am barely keeping it together with the loss of Frank. If I would have lost you as well, there is no way I would be sane. I can't believe Frank is gone, I just can't!"

As Josh talked, Patrick sat there looking straight into his eyes. The emotion and hurt in Josh's face matched how he sounded and what he was saying. He now is seeing that he is not the only one hurting. In one way or another, Frank touched everyone he was around. By the looks of it, no one has one thing bad to say about Frank.

"I felt so ashamed for not helping Frank that night. I couldn't go to his funeral. I thought by me being there would have been a disgrace to Frank's memory and what he did that night. He was able to react and give his life to save yours. I was unable. I didn't do anything to try and save Frank that night."

Automatically Josh's barrier went up and he went into consolation mode. Forgetting about himself, he wanted to make Patrick feel better. At the moment it is Patrick's time and he is the reason why they are there. He is the one that needs the help to get through this part of his life, and Josh is willing to do whatever it takes to help Patrick through it.

"You should have gone to Frank's funeral and let me tell you why. There wasn't a person in that church that would have thought badly of you. Really no one could say what they would have done unless they were in your shoes. Hopefully no one in this world will ever witness or go through what we went through that night. I don't even wish what I saw or am feeling now on my worst enemy."

The boys sat there talking about what ever Patrick brought up. Mr. Quane throwing in his two cents every now and then, but let the boys talk. He wasn't about to stop the most productive session yet he has had with Patrick since Patrick became his patient. With the boys talking, Patrick is opening up and Mr. Quane is seeing where he can help him.

After an hour of talking, it seemed the boys started to run out of things to talk about. "I really miss being with you and the guys Josh. Although I do need the help I am getting here, you guys are probably the best medicine for me. Somehow you bring things into the light that was in the dark. And once you do that we all can understand in our own way what was being discussed. Nothing against you Mr. Quane!" Patrick looked over to his therapist and smiled for the first time since he has gotten there.

"I completely understand what you are saying Patrick. So don't worry, there is nothing you can say that will hurt my feelings."

"Um, I was wondering Josh, what the others at school are saying about me. You know what is the gossip going around the school?"

"Patrick I am not going to let Josh answer that question. Remember what we have been discussing. You can't worry about what others think or say about you. The only one that should matter to you about what they think is you. Before you can get better, you need to be okay with yourself and what you did the night in question that brought you here."

Patrick nodded his head in agreement and moved on even though he really wanted the answer to that question. He and Josh talked for another thirty minutes before Mr. Quane called it quits. Neither Josh nor Patrick wanted to say goodbye, but they were left with no other choice if they wanted to have another session together that is.

So as the boys said goodbye, Josh promised to come down again next weekend. They both asked Mr. Quane if it is possible next weekend Josh can bring the gang down. Mr. Quane didn't say no, but he didn't say yes either. He told the boys that he will get with Josh by Thursday and let him know about bringing the others. It will all depend on how things go in their sessions during the week.

The walk back to the SUV didn't feel as long to Josh as the walk to the office when he first arrived. He is still shaking, maybe a little worse, but he got through it. He was able to see Patrick and saw with his own two eyes that his friend is doing pretty well under the circumstances. There is still with a lot of work ahead of him, but he is okay and that is what he is going to report back to the group.

All the way home, Josh stared out the window thinking to himself how much his life has changed in such a short period of time. As he went over the events of the past months, he couldn't help but think that all of what has happened could have been avoided if he simply would have stayed in the closet. No one would have been hurt, much less, killed.

Yes he would be living a lie, going out with Elizabeth, but she would be alive and so would Frank. His parents wouldn't have gotten divorced. The fights he has had with his brothers wouldn't have happened. And on and on, but then reality hit Josh.

If he would have lived the lie of being straight he would not be happy. He would maybe be friends with Chris, but he would never have met Cesar. That is one thing Josh can't imagine now is not having Cesar in his life. It is because him that Josh is able to stay strong and stable after everything that has happened recently.

Then there are his parents. Josh truly can't remember a time that his mother and father were truly happy. They looked like they were barely tolerating each other for the sake of their kids the last couple years of their marriage. His father wasn't happy but now he is with Barbara. In fact Josh has never seen his father this happy.

When they turned onto their street, Josh came to the conclusion that he did make the right decision coming out. After lining up all the pros and cons, the pros barely won, but they won. And the only reason they barely won is because on the con side is that he lost a very good friend. A loss that he knows is going to take him a long time to get over, if he ever does get over it.

To no big surprise to Josh, he saw Cesar standing outside in the yard waiting for him. Cesar opened Josh's door and helped Josh out of the truck. They walked into the house holding hands, not saying a word. But when they got upstairs, Josh did report to Cesar what he had planned to report to the guys, Patrick is doing really well.

Cesar didn't go anywhere that Josh didn't go first. He knows Josh and all of his facial expressions. No matter how hard Josh tries to put on a happy face, Cesar is able to see right through it. That includes now and he sees that Josh is hurting. Again Josh is trying to sell that he is doing just fine, but he isn't.

The rest of the weekend was uneventful for the boys. They pretty much lazed around the house. Josh and Cesar were not seen apart the rest of the weekend. Even Daniel Jr. and Carlos' girlfriends came down for a couple of hours on Sunday. Neither Mercedes nor Thelma thought any less of Josh or Cesar. In fact they loved talking to Josh and Cesar because they kind of consider Josh and Cesar their only male best friends.

All day Monday was non-stop for the Governor. He was going in and out of meetings, by the end of the day his head was spinning. But before he could call it a day, the Governor had one more meeting with Rich. He gave a lot of thought about what Rich told him and thinks he has come up with a solution to their differences about talking to the voters.

As Daniel started to throw things into his briefcase to take to the mansion, Rich knocked on the door. Daniel looked up and invited Rich in and went back to putting the work he plans to do in the evening into his briefcase. While the Governor cleared his desk, Rich got something to drink and sat down.

"Rich I have been meaning to talk with you throughout the day, but it has just been one crazy day. That is why I asked you to come down before you head home." Daniel walked over and sat in the chair across from Rich. "Last week you brought up a lot of very good concerns and I really gave it a lot of thought over the weekend.

Before I forget, let me say,from now on   I don't want to meet with anyone dealing with the party. You meet with them first and if you feel I need to get involved, then set up a meeting. I don't want another morning like the one the other morning when I walked in to find you and the State Republican Chairman waiting for me."

"Yes sir I understand. What happened last Friday won't happen again. I promise you in the future to screen the people a lot better. I never thought he was going to come at you the way he did. Don't get me wrong, I knew he was angry and wanted answers, but I thought he would have respected you since you are the Governor."

"Well there is no need to beat a dead horse. It is over and done and I said my peace that day. Now back to the reason I wanted to speak with you. You feel that I am not getting out to the voters enough. I felt I don't need to because I am doing the job the people elected me to do, and that is to govern.

Over the weekend I gave it a lot of thought and came to a conclusion that we are both right. As I said on Friday, I am not going to be one of those Governors that fly around the state and grab every headline I can. The work I am doing here should be enough, but sometimes it won't be. Sometimes I will need to go out to the people and see what their concerns are. Things might be different and that might change my course here.

So this is what I am thinking we should do. On top of going out there a couple of times a month to do town hall meetings. I should do something like the President does on Sundays. Not a recorded radio address because that really doesn't do anything and the people won't tune into that anyways. I don't tune into the President's Sunday morning address, do you?"

Rich chuckled as he moved in his seat. "No sir I find them boring. They get to choose the topic they want to speak about and many of times it isn't a topic the American people want to hear. The address has moved to information to selling the agenda the current president wants to push through."

"Exactly and that is why the address is not being really watched or listened to. Now I'm thinking about having my own one hour address to the people of Texas, but it won't be me just reading words from a page. I am thinking that it could be a set up that let  people from around the state call in their questions and I answer them live on the air."

"I like the idea, except the phone part." Rich got up from his seat and started pacing around the room. "What you should do instead  is take  to the studio all the letters you receive and   answer any questions that are asked in the letters on the air. We don't go through and screen the letters, but at the same time you don't give voice to hate mail either."

Governor Lopez and Rich sat there putting together how this one hour TV show should go. They both agreed that it shouldn't be phone calls, but letters. They also agreed to open the letters live, not before the show.  The only disagreement they had, but came to an agreement on, was hosts. Daniel wanted two hosts, one republican and one democrat, but Rich wanted only one. They finally agreed on a neutral host to run the show.

"Okay Rich I like what we have so far for the show. Why don't you take what we put together and see if we can get it to work. You decide what station should have it and who the host is. I am thinking CSPAN for the station. Because NBC, ABC and CBS won't be willing to put an hour long show like this on their air for free. I won't pay for it or bill it to the tax payers either. It has to be done all for free."

Rich agreed with the Governor about how it should be run free. Before leaving the Governor's office, he confirmed with the Governor that he still plans to keep the couple town hall meetings a month as they agreed on last Friday. The Governor laughed and made it clear he will keep those so he could get out in person to the people. He felt that nothing can replace a one and one in person chat with the voters.

Before Josh could even sit down, he was jumped by his friends with question after question about how is Patrick. Just as he planned to say, he told them that Patrick looks great and is in good spirits. But he didn't go into any more detail than that because he felt what happened in that meeting was between him and Patrick only. Not getting more than that, the guys and Bernice got upset.

"Hey guys please understand why I am doing what I am doing. It isn't fair if I blab all over the place about what was said in that office. Patrick is doing great and really does miss all of you. In fact he asked Mr. Quane, his therapist, if you guys could come down this weekend." Before Josh could complete his thought, they all started asking what the therapist's answer was.

"Okay settle down, settle down you guys! Mr. Quane said he will get back to me on Thursday with the answer. He wants to see first how the week goes with Patrick. He is still in a vulnerable stage. One day he might be doing okay and he next day he might not be. If he does say yes, there are going to be a few rules we have to follow while there."

Josh went on to explain the rules that Mr. Quane gave him to follow when he visited with Patrick on Saturday. No one at the table had a problem with the rules. The only thing they wanted is to see their friend to make sure their friend is doing well and maybe find out when he is going to come back to school.

Nothing more was said about the subject of the visit this coming weekend. They all understood that Josh couldn't say anymore since he doesn't know anything more than he has already said. So they moved onto another subject, but in the back of their minds they were thinking about Patrick and even Frank.

"Oh another thing you guys." Josh started to laugh thinking about what he is about to tell them. "Friday as Cesar and I were at our locker, kissing to make matters worse, Principal Michaels came up and talked with us."

"What did he say? Does he know it was us that started the food fight on Friday?" Chris nervously asked. "Is he going to suspend us for starting the food fight? I can't go to the Coach and tell him I was suspended from school because of a food fight."

"Chris you need to settle down and let me finish what I was about to say. Principal Michaels came up and told me and Cesar that several students told him that they first saw the food coming flying out from our group first. When he said that, I thought just like you Chris, I am suspended, but thanks to Russ here," Josh turned and smiled at Russ, "he kind put the Principal on the spot and asked him if he knew one hundred percent it was us, and of course he said no."

Everyone turned to Russ and either gave him thumbs-up or said thank you. "And to tell you the truth, I don't think Principal Michaels came over to suspend me or Cesar. I think he wanted to let us know that he knows it was us, but he is cool and going to let it go."

"Why do you say that Josh, If he took the time and go over to you and Cesar, he probably wanted to see if he could get you two to confess it was us. If you did that, he could then suspend us with that confession. The teachers here are very tricky people."

"Yeah I agree the teachers here are very tricky Eric, but not Principal Michaels. I see in that guy that you get what you see. He is a blunt no nonsense kid of guy. So when I got that feeling that he just wanted to let us know, that is what he wanted. If he wanted to suspend us, he would have called us into his office."

Everyone started to laugh as they agreed with Josh. BJ actually got the table laughing when he mentioned that he could only imagine what Josh and Cesar's face must have looked like when the Principal walked up to them. He could imagine Josh and Cesar actually leaving a dump on the floor when they got approached.

Both Josh and Cesar threw something from their tray at BJ, but Russ stepped in before it got out of control like Friday. Once everyone stopped laughing, they moved on. They started talking about the sing off this Friday, which surprised Josh. He had no idea that the others already knew about it and by the sounds of it, they know more.

Just like the last couple of weeks, this week went by pretty fast. A few hiccups, but nothing major. Daniel Sr. approved the blue prints and sent them back to Barbara to start the bidding and construction. That is when the first hiccup of the week happened. The bid that Barbara and Isaac accepted fell apart. The construction company didn't pass the background check; too many workers on their crew had backgrounds they couldn't overlook.

That left Barbara and Isaac no other choice than to go to the next bid, but they wouldn't have it done in the time frame they needed it done. They had to finish the project they were working on now, which would take them into the first month of summer. By the time they broke ground, the house wouldn't be done until the end of the first month the boys are back to school.

So once again Barbara and Isaac had to move on to the third bid. They lucked out on that one because they had nothing scheduled or in progress and everyone passed the background checks. That means they can start working on it immediately, which they are.

The second hiccup of the week was when Josh got a phone call from Patrick on Tuesday night. First he wasn't allowed to use the phone, but he did. And secondly he couldn't stop crying. It got to the point Josh wanted to hang up and go down to the hospital and console his friend, but before he could   Patrick's nurse got on the phone. She made it clear to Josh that he couldn't be on the phone and not to come down.

On Wednesday evening, Josh got a call from Mr. Quane. He thought at first that Mr. Quane was going to tell him that he did wrong, but that didn't happen. In fact Mr. Quane told him that he did the right thing talking with Patrick on the phone. Patrick had a bad dream and he needed his friend to talk to.

Josh wanted to confirm this won't mess up their plans for the weekend. All that he got out of Mr. Quane is that he will let Josh know. It will all depend on how Patrick is for the next couple of days. When Josh heard that, he couldn't help but think that Patrick might get better, faster, if he could see his friends. But again Josh knows he is no therapist and needs to leave those decisions to Mr. Quane.

At the same time Josh took Russ up on his offer and spoke with him several times throughout the week. By Wednesday night, Josh had spoken privately with Russ three times since Saturday. He felt better each time he spoke with Russ. Not only did Russ listen, but he understood where Josh was coming from. That's something his family couldn't do because they aren't gay.

And the final hiccup was Mercedes father. He didn't filter his thoughts and just spoke his mind in front of Daniel Jr.'s security detail. Jeter heard and made it clear to Mr. Santiago the way he talks can't continue. Any threats made towards the Governor's family will be taken seriously, even if the person comes back and says he or she was joking.

For sure Mercedes thought that was it and wasn't going to go down without a fight. She told her father that she got permission from her aunt to move in with her. That woke up Mr. Santiago when his daughter told him that she had already spoken with a family member with plans to move out. That made him look bad with his family, he doesn't like looking bad to anyone, even more so to his family.

To make matters, before he could recover from the news his daughter told him, his wife served him with divorce papers. Although they aren't signed, she has them. She made it clear to him that if he makes one more remark that could cause their daughter to lose her boyfriend, she will make him sign the divorce papers and she will file them.

With those to whammies, Mr. Santiago knew he had to change or he will lose  everything he has worked for all his life;  a loving wife, daughter, home and pretty good job. He doesn't plan to lose all that, so he is going to change no matter how hard it is for him.

By Thursday, all the hiccups were dealt with and things moved along. No major drama was created out of the hiccups. At least in the Lopez home that is. The construction crew broke ground that morning and that made everyone happy. When they heard that the work has started, they get even more impatient to have their new home done.

The singing groups at school started talking trash to each other as it got closer to their competition. It was on in good humor as they talked trash. Each group had their own following that went around telling the other group's fans that their group is going wipe the floor with theirs on Friday. But deep down inside, they knew the Show Chorus was going to win since they had the best solo artist of all the groups.

Josh also had to attend swim practice even though they were not going to compete until the following week. Coach Montoya worked his students as if they were competing this week. He felt if he let them slack off just a little, they won't give it all the day of the meet. That's a lesson he learned the hard way.

Although Coach Montoya gave the swim team off Friday, the swim team captain told them they had to attend the Sing Off. He didn't tell them which group they had to support, but they all put their support behind their fellow swim team member Josh and his group. That made Josh happy that he is finally in a way, being accepted. He and Chris worked so hard to show the others on the team they have nothing to fear from them.

By Thursday morning everything looked good for the weekend. Josh is really looking forward to the Sing Off and then hopefully Saturday he can go and see his friend Patrick. For the first time in a long time there is no big drama going on in Josh's life. This is a position Josh forgot how it feels to be in, but was enjoying it.



{What a bumpy roller coaster ride of a chapter you all just read. Welcome back to another chapter of "Shadow of My Father". This story keeps me going and I just can't seem to find a place to break off on when I am ready to end the chapter. So many plots and so much drama, there is not enough space in one chapter to put it all in.

Before I start my summation of the chapter, I want to say a few words on the Patrick and Frank issue. I have been getting a lot of email  asking me what is going on with Patrick. He wasn't at the funeral and his friends aren't talking about him. I spent a large amount of this chapter hopefully clearing that up.

I would also like to say a few thoughts of why things unfolded the way they did in this plot. Keep in mind these are teens and teens don't want to deal with the sadness of life. No matter if it is right in front of them, they don't want to deal with it. Just like Josh did, they put on a happy face and move on burying their feelings deep in themselves. Yes eventually it comes out. That is why they didn't talk much about Frank or Patrick; they just didn't want to face those ugly realities.

Now on with the summation of the story. It started out pretty good with the Governor having to lay down the law. I can't understand why people haven't gotten the point yet that Daniel isn't for sale or the normal politician. He was voted in by the people and no one else can come in and tell him how to run things. That includes the Republican State Chairman or anyone in the Republican leadership ranks.

I am glad that Daniel sent the chairman packing the way he did. Now I can promise you the chairman will think twice before going to the Governor and demanding anything like he tried Friday morning. Just like the Governor told him, if he doesn't like the way he is doing the job, use his vote come election day and vote for the other guy.

I like it when my characters in the story have fun when they seem to always show they are so grown up. The food fight that was started by Josh and his group showed that there is still a little kid inside Josh wanting to get out. I also like the fact the Russ backed him up and stood by his side when Principal Michaels approached Josh and Cesar.

Josh and Cesar can't keep their hands off of each other, even at school. They are really in love with each other. No one should blame them for acting the way they do with each other. I am glad they were able to spend time with each other after they got home for dinner, (wink, wink). They are teenagers that need to always be doing something with those raging hormones they are always feeling.

You got to learn more about Carlos and Daniel Jr. in this chapter. Now we know Carlos isn't after body type when he got with his girlfriend. He fell in love with her heart and soul, which is very rare with teens. Since they fell in love that way, I truly believe that these two are going to pass the test of time.

You met Thelma and learned a little bit about her and also learned a little more about Mercedes. You learned how each of the boys met their girlfriends and how long they have been with them. How they got together and the hoops they had to jump through. In the chapters to come you will see a lot more of Daniel, Carlos and their girlfriends.

I already spoke about Patrick and that plot at the beginning of this corner. I just want to touch on one other thing from that scene. Josh starting to deal with his own demons wasn't something he had planned for that day. It just hit him and he came to the realization that he should be the one that is dead. Hopefully, thanks to Russ, Josh sees that he's wrong thinking and feeling as he has been.

No one should have lost their lives, but there is a reason Josh was left standing and not Frank or Elizabeth. I hope Josh stops putting up these barriers and keep letting Russ and Cesar in. Josh needs to let it all out and deal with all the ugliness of that day.

The meeting in the therapist's office was very emotional. It seems that once Josh put himself together, he got hit again in the therapist's office with Patrick. I hope Josh and his friends are able to see Patrick on Saturday. Mr. Quane got more from Patrick with Josh there than he did the entire time prior with Patrick as his patient.

And finally the end of the chapter. Things are going good as far as the house getting built, at school, with relationships and all of the teams Josh is part of. The Governor seems to have found a solution to his problem about reaching out to the people that vote for him. Right now things are starting to run smoothly, but you guys know me. I am evil and I will throw something in there to turn their world upside down.

So many open plots and so many more plots to come in this story. I love the political scenes a lot and I hope I am not offending anyone with them. Keep in mind it is only a story and I am trying my best not to preach my beliefs. Please stay tuned and I promise that you guys won't regret opening every new chapter.

I could stay here all day long, with all the open plots already in this story, but I won't. I warn you though! Don't 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!}

Where is a man like the Governor in our current political universe? Every elected politician should have his values. He sees he was elected to the office to SERVE the voters. What a concept! He's not intimidated by anyone. Even Rich, being a veteran in politics, gets scared here and there, but Daniel just forges ahead and Rich is often left a bit in his dust. He ultimately catches up, but has a struggle when he's dragged his heels.

I totally agree that the Governor needs to be more in touch with the voters. Since he has no solid alliances with the political machine, the voters will be his powerbase. He has to be visible and vocal to ensure that the voters know, in detail, what he's doing to keep them solidly behind him. I'll be very interested to see the dynamics of the town hall meetings and how he responds to the letters. He's very real and will do well going unscripted, unlike certain political figures we have today, not mentioning any names.

I really enjoyed finding out more about Carlos and Daniel Jr. and their relationships with their girl friends. I am impressed with Carlos in particular that, at such an early age, has discovered the value of seeing the heart and love within over the outward appearance of a person. That is a trait that, if ever embraced, is reserved for those much older and wiser. It is also a testament to his true depth of character.  The two senior siblings amaze me even more looking at how they have formed good quality, deep relationships after having been raised primarily by Martha.

I'm glad to see Josh is learning that he can't bottle up emotions and feelings. So many people don't learn that and it makes for miserable lives. I'm glad he has taken Russ into his confidence and that they are establishing trust and communication between them. It does, however, concern me that Josh isn't able to be totally open and honest with Cesar. I wonder why that is. Is it just that Josh hasn't learned that he can and should be totally forthcoming with his life partner? Does Cesar have the maturity to respond in the right manner when presented with deeply troubling matters?  Josh did make a major step in the healing process by his walls tumbling down, even if only temporarily. He was able to purge some of the pent up guilt and emotions. I suspect that there is a whole lot of work left to be done on this issue for Josh. He's made a start, but it's far from being resolved in my estimation.

Josh's visit with Patrick seemed to be good for both of them. It may have been ostensibly for Patrick's benefit, but it also allowed Josh to bring the dreadful events out and talk about them. Perhaps Josh should pay some professional fees to Mr. Quane for the help HE got!

Josh and Cesar had quite a romp in this chapter!  Just for the record, I can't take credit for this "love scene"; JPG tossed this one in on his own.  It seems that it was more about dealing with a ton of pent up hormones than being a hugely romantic and loving scene. Hey, a good, fun, intense, impromptu romp is a good thing too. It doesn't always have to be passionate and deeply loving and romantic.  I think there's good balance here.

Like JPG, I could ramble on and on, but I will let you up off the mat and just say;

Until Next Time,

"Daddy" Rick