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, 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 anyway, shape or form without author's express written consent.}

Story Written by: J.P.G.

Love Scenes Written By: Daddy Rick

Edited By: Daddy Rick

Edited By: Ed

Chapter 56

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday flew by fast. Before the boys knew it, they were sitting around the dinner table discussing what they did this week. None of them could believe that the week went by as fast as it did. They do not want their summer to be over at all, let alone this quickly. Their feelings are because they will not see their dad every day, as they have been able to do in the last month or so.

Josh has worked composing the music for the lyrics to the song he and Brandon wrote, with the help from Brandon. They work together like a well-oiled machine. Brandon offers up opinions and Josh decides if he likes them or not. If Josh shoots them down, Brandon does not get upset, he moves on and continues offering up more opinions.

When they were not writing the song, they were at the pool with their brothers, Patrick and Cesar. A couple of times throughout the week Josh and Cesar snuck off to an area that they thought they only knew to be alone but on Thursday when they snuck off, they found another couple doing what they normally were doing, making out!

Now Josh is the lucky one of the brothers when it came to being with his boyfriend. Daniel Jr. and Carlos could not bring their girlfriends to Austin over the summer as Josh did. It was not only because it would not look right, the girls' parents said no. They would not even let them come down for week.

As a result, they spent a lot time on the phone talking. Both Daniel and Carlos knew that the other wanted to talk with their girlfriend so they did not hog the phone, but by the end of the evening, between the two of them, they had spent several hours on the phone. When the first bill came in showing that, Daniel Sr. had a sit down talk with the older boys. At the end of that talk, they were limited to two hours a week each.

Back in El Paso Isaac kept a watchful eye on the building of the house. It appears that by the time his brother and family come back to El Paso to meet up with President Bush, the house will be almost done. He was told that most likely they will be able to start moving things in at that time, which made Daniel Sr. happy.

He was not going to use that trip to move, but he was happy that his house would be done for his family's return to El Paso. When he talked with his brother, he had him add another project for the builders, a modest four-bedroom one-story home next to his house.

At first, Isaac did not understand why and he asked Daniel. He wanted the small home built for Isabella and Jonathan to live in. It is not a servant's quarters, but a private house for those two to live in without the feeling they are guests. Although they do not feel that way, at least Daniel thinks that. He just wants them to have a little place to be their own to do whatever they want to with it.

After explanation, Isaac dropped the subject and assured his younger brother that he will get it done. He also promised that as soon as they could start moving things into the new house, he would start moving what they are going to take.

Down the street from the Governor's old house, Father Gomez and Bernice were preparing one of the spare rooms for Patrick. Neither of them really knows what Patrick likes but they started working on it anyway. Bernice was setting up the room thinking about the way Patrick had his room set up at his parents' house. The things that she could not remember or did not see, she left for Patrick to take care of when he comes back into town.

Wednesday while they were hard at work painting, Daniel Sr. called them. He needed Father Gomez to take care of something for him after he made sure Father Gomez was okay with it. He also needed to get his permission for Bernice and Patrick before anyone else, which the Father gave without any hesitation.

After getting off the phone with the Governor, the Father called Coach Montoya first since Chris was out of town. First, he needed to find out when Chris was coming back into town and then ask the question that the Governor needed him to.

Coach Montoya jumped at the idea and gave his permission since Chris was going to be back in town at the time. The main reason the coach jumped at the idea is because Chris's dad is still out there and he wants to keep Chris safe. The only way the coach knows how to do that is by keeping Chris busy through the summer as much as he possibly could.

Once he got the coach on his side, the Father went through the list the Governor gave him. By the end of the evening, he called everyone on the list and no one had any problem with what he was asking. Just like the coach, they all jumped at the idea. The Father could not help but think that the parents only said yes because they wanted, scratch that, needed a break from their kids.

When it was all said and done, the Father felt good that he was able to help the Governor when he called on him. As he was thinking that, Immanuel came walking up from the back room full of paint. He completely forgot about him and felt bad for doing so. Before saying a word, the Father picked up the phone and called the Governor.

Immediately after their greetings, the Father asked about Immanuel. Just like the Father, the Governor had forgotten completely about him since he is a new face in the group. He placed the Father on hold to talk with Lloyd to see if the young man was cleared, which he was. Quickly he got back on the phone and told the Father to talk with his parents as well and get permission. This would be a good surprise for Patrick, a surprise that both the Father and the Governor think that both of the boys will never forget.

After dinner on Thursday, Daniel Sr. asked Josh to stick around, He had already gotten up and placed his dishes in the dishwasher and was about to go to watch television when his Father intercepted him. Not saying a word, Josh sat back down at the table as the others left to sit them in front of the television for the rest of the evening.

Cesar was the last one to exit the dining room and before leaving, he stopped and tried to find out why Josh had to stay. He did not ask the Governor, instead he and Josh talked with their hands, or reading each other's lips. Cesar did not get an answer why Josh had to stay, because Josh did not have the answer.

"Cesar I know you are behind me talking to my son." The Governor spoke in a soft voice, letting both Josh and Cesar know that whatever it is, it is not bad. "Why don't you go join the others? Josh will be with you guys shortly." Throwing Josh a kiss, Cesar did as he was asked.

"Josh first let me tell you that I know about you and Cesar sneaking off to be alone at the pool. I know you two want to be together and do things that straight couples do in public, but you cannot. Please stop doing that because it is not safe. There are idiots out there that want to do you and Cesar harm because they were brought up to hate your way of life. It's not their fault since they didn't get taught right, but still they have the hate because they are stupid."

"Okay dad I promise to stay with my brothers and Patrick from now on."

"Good and I'm not mad with you or Cesar. It is just I do not know what I would do if anyone would hurt you or anyone I love. One thing for sure is if anyone does, I will be sending the entire military after them." Daniel started to laugh, which got Josh laughing. "Really though, I don't want to see you get hurt Josh. You are my son and supposed to outlive me. So don't make it easy for the bigots of this world to hurt you."

Reaching over to Josh, Daniel patted his son on the shoulder. "You know I wanted to mess up your hair, but you always keep your head shaved. You should grow it out a little because you have beautiful hair. Now I'm not saying grow it out all long, but do grow it out some so that I can mess it up sometimes." Josh smiled at his father.

"Now there are two things I called you in here for. The first is to let you know that I am going to talk with my old friend Johnny Walker tomorrow." Josh straightened up in his seat when he heard the name. "I'm going to offer him a job on my staff and I hope he accepts. If not, I will try behind the scenes to do what I can to help him. It is the least I can do since he did so much for me.

The reason I am telling you this is that you are the one that got the letter from his son. I would like it if you would come along, with your brothers, Cesar and Patrick. So what do you think, do you..." Josh did not let dad finish asking him. He jumped right in and said `YES!' repeatedly, almost jumping out of his seat.

"Okay, okay Josh, after we are done here tell your brothers and make sure if they are going that they are up and ready by six so that we leave on time." Still with a big smile on his face, and at the edge of his seat, Josh nodded his head. "Okay now there is one more thing I need to talk with you about, but before I even go there I need you to relax."

Sliding back in his seat, Josh tried to contain himself. Once Daniel Sr. felt that Josh had settled down, he started speaking again. "The last thing I need to talk with you about is the trip back to El Paso to meet up with the President." Josh looked at his dad with a concerned look on his face. "Don't worry there's no last minute concert to put together like last time although I would have liked that since we are from El Paso. Just a little thank you to the voters of our hometown, but the President did not want it.

No, what I have to tell you is a lot better. After you came and talked with me to see if your friends could spend some time here with you, I have given it more thought. I should have not given you an answer that night, but rather asked you to let me think about it. Now I still think them coming down here to Austin is a bad idea since there is really nothing they can do here except swim, but I have another idea.

I have spoken with Father Gomez and he has already made the calls on my behalf to get the ball rolling on this. We have invited your friends, and a couple of your brothers' friends to join us for the week that we are going to be with the President. Father Gomez talked with their parents and they all gave permission for them to go."

Josh jumped out of his seat and ran over to his dad to hug him. "Thank you, dad! Really thank you for being such a cool dad! I promise we won't get in the way and we will be good." Josh started in a whisper, but at the end, he was talking in his normal voice.

"I know you guys are going to behave and that's why I did it." Josh let go of his Father and sat back down. "The last time we were doing the tour of Texas, I could see your guys were bored out of your minds. It was many politics and work and you all are too young to want to be involved. I invited your friends so you guys won't be bored out your minds this time around."

"I can't speak for my brothers and Cesar, but I wasn't bored. In fact, I loved the trip and everything that we did. I am not just talking about Six Flags or South Padre Island, but the whole thing. I would love to work on your campaign when it comes time for you to run again, dad. It is going to be a lot easier than the President's campaign since you are going to win and he isn't if he doesn't change the way he is running."

Daniel chuckled but at the same time was astonished on how his son is already thinking. He already has a mind for politics, which is rare to see in kids his age. "I agree with you Josh and I have said as much to the President. Even his own son, George W. has been telling him the same thing, but he is listening to his advisors. There isn't a thing more that we can do if he doesn't take our suggestions."

"Give me a few minutes with the President and I will get him to see it the way he should, the right way." Josh tapped the side of his head several times.

Once again, Daniel started to laugh. "I know you probably would get him to change his mind Josh. You have a way with words and you can get anyone to do whatever you ask them to do. I would never want to run against you for an office because I would lose without a doubt.

Go join your brothers and give them the news about the trip and here, take this with you." Daniel handed Josh a list of names. "Those are the ones whose parents said yes. So go and show your brothers the list so they can do whatever they think they need to do in order to greet their friends." Daniel kept a smile on his face, but under that smile, he felt bad. He left off a name on the list, Immanuel, because he wanted it to be a surprise for Patrick when he sees Immanuel in the group at the airport in El Paso.

Not wasting a second, Josh almost ran to his brothers and told them about the trip. He handed Daniel Jr. the list to look at first and then he passed it to Carlos. After all the boys looked at the list, they started to makes plans for what they want to do with their friends. After making plans for quite some time, they finally turned their attention back to the TV.

Just before they went off to bed, Josh remembered the other piece of news. He had forgotten it because they were wrapped up on what they are going to so when they see their friends. Josh called out to Daniel Jr. and Brandon to come back into the room. They both walked in, but stayed at the entrance.

"I forgot to tell you guys about the trip tomorrow." Josh told his brothers about the letter and what their dad plans to do. Somewhere in the middle, Daniel Jr. and Brandon walked in and sat back down where they were before they left. When Josh finished talking, no one said a word. They just sat there looking pretty much at nothing. That started to get Josh too nervous, but Carlos finally broke the silence.

"I will be up and ready on time." Just as Carlos finished the others jumped in and repeated what Carlos said almost word for word. They talked a little longer before heading to bed so that they would wake up in the morning. None of them wants to hold up their dad because they could not get up.

After showering, Josh joined Cesar in bed. They did not go to sleep right away. Instead, they stayed up talking at first about anything that came to their minds. After about forty five minutes had passed with them talking about things that really didn't matter, Josh's voice turned from playful to serious, which told Cesar it was time to really listen.

"From the first time I spent the night in this old house I thought and felt there was someone always watching me or following me around. I did not know if it is my mind getting away from me, or what, but it seems to be getting worse. The old house is haunted. I know it is. What do you think? Have you felt anything weird?"

Trying to be there for his boyfriend, Cesar didn't laugh at what he thought was ridiculous to think let alone say out loud. "To tell you the truth Josh, I haven't felt, heard, or seen anything weird in this house. Now, of course I'm a sound sleeper so once I'm asleep I'm out for the count, but so are you." He pulled Josh over to him even closer so that he could console him. "There isn't anything that can really wake me up once I'm asleep.

What I think you should do is the next time you hear these noises or think you see something weird, wake me up. If I am not asleep, pull my attention to it. Maybe I can explain it away or maybe together we can figure out what it is. But until then, all I can say is what I have."

Although they have not been together for years, the boys already know each other well. Josh can see that Cesar really does not believe him. Not so much him, but about ghosts, and things like that. So he changed the subject and before they knew it, they were cuddling up to close to each other under the blankets going to sleep.

The next thing they heard was their alarm clock going off. Josh turned to hit the snooze button, unable to believe it was already time to get up. It felt like he just had his eyes closed for ten minute or maybe a little less. It didn't feel like they had slept for hours.

Cesar got out bed first. He did his bathroom routine and after getting dressed, Josh followed. Within thirty minutes, they were downstairs waiting at the front door with their brothers. The only ones that had not come down yet is Patrick, their dad and Barbara. Just as Daniel Jr. was about to go up to see what the hold up was, Patrick came down, followed by Daniel Sr. and Barbara. Not saying a word, they walked out of the mansion and left for the airport.

Just like the President of the United States, the Governor's plane is held in a secure location and when ever he or she is about to leave, all air traffic is cleared around them. That way there is no attempt on the Governor's life from the air. That is why the Governor likes to stay on schedule whenever he flies out. He does not want to hold up air traffic any longer than he has to.

The moment they arrived on the tarmac, they quickly got on the plane wasting no time, and once the door was closed, the plane was speeding down the runway. The boys tried to stay awake by talking, but it didn't take long before they had fallen asleep. They slept the whole way to Lubbock, which by plane was not a long trip.

The plane touching down and the screeching wheels woke up the boys. Almost all at once, they jumped up, but since they never took off their seat belts, they were pulled back against their seats. Josh rubbed his side where the seat belt had caught him, as he looked around, trying to come back to the living.

When the plane came to a complete stop, no one moved an inch until their dad and Barbara did first. When they walked to the door, Brandon was the first to unbuckle his seatbelt and get out of his seat. Followed by Josh and the others, they met their dad at the door. As they waited for the door to open, they checked each other out to make sure there were no signs of them just waking up in case there were people or the press out there.

Since this was a last minute trip, the press was not given any notice so they did not broadcast it to the people of Lubbock. When they walked out of the plane, there was not a soul in sight, except the work crew of the airport.

The limousine was already waiting, which got Josh thinking. He knows the limousine that took them to the airport was left in Austin, but this limousine looks just like it, including the Governor's seal, but once they got in, Josh knew it wasn't the same one because he quickly noticed a few differences in the interior.

"Dad how many cars does the Governor of Texas have?" Josh asked, but did not look at his dad when he did. Instead, he kept looking around to see if he could find more subtle differences between the two cars, he has ridden in this morning.

"To honest with you Josh I really don't know. I think I have driven in three maybe four different ones so far. When we get back to Austin I will check on that and let you know the answer."

"No need to dad, I was just curious. I know this is not the same car we drove in this morning. That means it was brought here before we got here unless, you have a car in ever city in Texas for you to use!" Josh looked up as his dad this time, lifting his eyebrows at the end of his statement, causing Daniel Sr. to laugh.

"That I know is not the case! There is not a limousine for the Governor in every city of the state. Whenever I go somewhere, there is an advance team that arrives before me and they are the ones that bring the car and everything else I will need to get from point A to point B while I'm in the city."

The car got quiet, which opened the window for Daniel to set down some ground rules with his kids for this trip. "This is a business trip, not a vacation. You will need to act professionally and if the press catches wind that we are in town, do not talk with them. They love to twist your words into something you never said.

Finally, I do not want any of you mentioning the letter. I know this guy, and he is a very old and close friend of mind. If he even gets a hint that I am here because his son wrote to you Josh, he will not only reject the job offer, he will more than likely be angry with his son. He is an independent man that does not believe in hand outs. What I'm going to offer him he is more than qualified for, right Rich?" The Governor looked at his Chief-of-Staff with a big grin on his face.

"You're right on that Mr. Governor! Everyone we have on staff is there because they are qualified to hold that position. There is not a soul that is on staff that is there because of their personal connections to the Governor or me. Plus the people..."

"I'm sorry Rich, driver can you slow down please." The Governor yelled out as he rolled down his window. Even with the driver slowing down, it was not enough for the Governor to get a good look at the kid walking towards them pulling lawn equipment. "Can you stop please before we pass this young man that's walking on the street?"

The limousine came to stop, along with the rest of the convoy. Daniel Sr. finished rolling down the window to get a better look at the kid, maybe thirteen, coming towards them. Although he had only met Johnny Walker's family once, he saw plenty of pictures of them. Whenever they were overseas, they would pass the time showing off pictures of their kids to each other. By the time they got back to the states, it felt like they knew each other's kids and family as much as they knew their own.

"Young man, young man, good morning!" Johnny kept walking, not even looking up once from the ground. "Johnny Walker, am I correct?" That got Johnny's attention enough that he did look over at the Governor. He did not even have to look at the door or the SUV's in front and back of the limousine, he knew the Governor's face well because his dad keeps the television on the news channels whenever he is on.

"Um yes sir, I'm Johnny Walker the fourth." Johnny just starred at the Governor trying to figure out if he was dreaming because never imagined in his wilds dreams did he think the Governor was going to come down in person.

"Why don't you come on over here in get in the car with me and my family? My men will take care of your equipment." Johnny looked around to see several security agents walk up to him. It took a few seconds to digest what was going before he let go of his lawn mower and walked over to the limousine.

As he got in, the Governor officially introduced himself and the whole family. "You look just like the pictures you dad kept showing me. Besides that, you look like a carbon copy of your dad. If I didn't know any better, I would have thought I went back in time seeing your dad as a boy."

Daniel chuckled as Johnny sat next to Josh and Brandon. He was so nervous being in the Governor's car, he could not find his tongue. It still felt like a dream to him even though he knows it isn't. When they reached, his house is when he found his tongue.

"Sir, my father has no idea that I wrote Josh the letter. Please do not tell my dad I wrote because he won't be happy with me. He doesn't like it when we air our secrets or family problems in public." Daniel Sr. could see that Johnny was shaking, but not out of fear, but out of knowing he broke a rule in his house that he knew he should not have.

"Don't worry young man, I already have a prepared reason and speech why I came down. Do not forget I know your dad and how he thinks. I know he is just like me, do not talk about what is happening inside your house to others unless someone is harming someone in the house. Other than that, your family issues stay within the walls of your family home."

The door of the limousine opened, causing Johnny to jump. "Why don't you get out and run into your house to let your dad know that an old friend is here to see him. When he comes to the door, I will go into my spiel about why I came down this morning."

Johnny nodded his head and jumped out of the car, followed by everyone else. By the time everyone had gotten out of the limousine, Johnny had just unlocked his front door and stepped into his house. Daniel Sr. and Barbara walked up to the door, followed by his boys and the security detail.

A few minutes later, Johnny's dad came rolling up to the front door. At first, Daniel didn't even recognize his old friend. He was expecting the man that always took pride on the way he looks at all times. Even if he was just going out to throw the garbage, he made sure he was nicely dressed and combed out but not here today, he looks like he just rolled out of bed.

Finding his voice, Daniel Sr. extended his hand and spoke. "Old friend, it is great to see you." Daniel knelt down so that Mr. Walker could shake his hand. "Can you do me a big favor and let these men in suits into your house so that they could take a quick look around. I can't go in unless they are comfortable with the surroundings."

"Of course Mr. Governor, of course they can look around. Just ignore the mess! We haven't had a chance to straighten up this morning." Mr. Walker rolled his wheel chair out of the way so that the security detail could walk in and secure the area. As they waited for them to give the all the clear, they stood out on the porch not saying a word.

"While we wait, I would like you to meet my family." The Governor broke the awkward silence. "Hopefully you recognize my boys as I did yours from the pictures we used to show each other. Here is my oldest, Daniel, and right beside him is Carlos, Brandon, and Josh." The boys leaned down and shook their father's friend hand. "And the other two young men you haven't seen pictures of yet, but they are much as part of this family as anyone. This young man is Patrick and this one..."

"I know who this tall good looking kid is, Cesar" Cesar smiled as they shook hands. "The news seems to love pasting his picture and your son's picture all over the air since you decided to run for the Governorship. Sometimes good and sometimes bad reports, but let me tell you when it is bad, they get an angry call from me and a well worded letter."

Daniel patted his friends shoulder. "Thank you old friend I knew I could always count on you to put those bigots in their place whenever they step out of line. If they would only stop fueling the anger and giving the people that don't like or understand my son and people like him a place to air their one sidedness, this city, state, and country would be a better place for my son and his boyfriend to live in."

Johnny Sr. agreed and just before he was able to say another word, they heard the security agents give the all clear. Johnny III moved back and invited the Governor and his family into the house. As they made their way to the living room, the Governor was able to tell that there has not been a woman's hand in the cleaning of the house for a while. Too many small items were skipped that no homemaker would leave dirty.

"I want you to meet my wife Barbara." The Governor turned around to his old friend as he pulled Barbara into him. "I invited you to the wedding and you never came. We want an answer why old friend. Why didn't you come to my wedding as you did for my first one?" Just like the boys, Barbara bent down and shook Johnny's hand.

"I'm sorry for not going. I really wanted to go, but getting around in this thing." Johnny hit the side of his wheelchair several times. "It's just a lot of work and puts a lot of people out. I hardly go down and visit any of my friends here in town for the same reason. They have no wheelchair entrance and I feel bad that they have to put something together for me in order to get into their houses and it costs them money."

"Well you didn't have to worry about that with me. The mansion has doors for your dumb ass to get in so I do not want to ever hear that as excuse whenever I invite you and your family down to visit with me and my family. Heck we have been through a lot together. No matter where we are in life right now, we can't ever forget that."

Johnny agreed with the Governor and before they knew it, they were talking about the old times. Not just over seas, but back in El Paso. The boys heard about how their father was at work as they were talking. He was not the serious type they always thought he was. In fact, he was the opposite, the person that loved to play the jokes on his men.

"Okay, okay we need to stop talking about the old days because we are giving our kids ideas on what they can do. If they do what we did and get in trouble for it, how can we blame them if they got the idea from us?" Both Johnny Sr. and Daniel Sr. started laughing, confusing the boys. They wanted to hear more about their dad.

"Boys, why don't you go out and stretch your legs while I talk business with my old friend here?" Not needing to be asked twice, Josh, his brothers, Cesar and Patrick jumped out of their seats and headed outside. Johnny Sr. looked over at his son and daughter and did not have to say word, as they knew what was expected. They got up and followed the others.

"So what do I owe this visit from you today to? I know you are a very busy man running the state and really don't have time to waste."

"Old friend I will always make time to talk to you and any of the guys from the unit. I am not happy that you did not pick up the phone and call me when you got home. I had to hear about your being back and hurt through my briefings." Johnny Sr. looked at the Governor with a lost look on his face. "Come on Johnny, you know that I'm not out of the military and I still had time left on my tour when I ran for the Governorship."

"Yes I knew you had time left, but I figured they waived that time because they called on you to help. It was not as if you came out and asked to run for this position. I might have that wrong, but I don't think I do."

"No you don't! They came and asked me to run and yes, they gave me the option to retire, but I did not take it. It was not right to take that offer when I signed on to do a certain amount of time in the Army for this country. So I'm in the reserves at the same rank and get briefings everyday on almost everything including the status of the soldiers."

Johnny Sr. felt awkward at that moment. He thought that his friend would never have found out unless he or someone in his family would have told him, but he was wrong. Just then, it dawned on him that he has not offered anyone anything to drink or eat. Quickly he tried to make up for that and offered Daniel, Barbara and Rich something to drink. They accepted and helped him get the drinks from the refrigerator.

When they returned to the living room, Daniel Sr. got down to business. "Old friend I need to tell you why I'm actually here. I came down to ask you for a favor and I really hope you will say yes." Taking a drink of his can Coke, the Governor continued. "My Press Secretary up and quit on me because of family issues and his assistant cannot handle the press and asked not to be promoted.

You were my voice whenever I needed something to be said to the press when we were in the military. This is something you know really well and there is no doubt you can keep those people in Austin in line in that briefing room. In others words I'm calling you up once again to serve with me as my Press Secretary, will you take the call?"

Stunned with what the Governor is offering him, Johnny Sr. did not answer right away. He sat there in his chair trying to wrap his mind around the offer. It is a good offer and it will give him back control of his life and give him a real reason to wake up every morning. As thing are now, he cannot stand the reflection that is looking back at him in the mirror. He is not the person he once was before he ended up in the chair.

Meanwhile outside, the boys were just walking around the front yard, unable to do much more than that. Several of the neighbors that were not working had walked out of their houses to see what all the commotion was. When they saw the security and then the Governor's seal on the limousine, they knew.

They went back into their houses and grabbed either their still or video cameras to take pictures. When the boys walked out, the cameras went rolling and the flashes started to go off as the neighbors took pictures. It got to the point; the security detail moved the SUV'S to cover the boys from the neighbors. Not long after that, the local news channels started to show up, so the security detail was busy pushing them back and setting up roadblocks.

Josh and Cesar separated from the group. They headed to the back of the house to be alone, but that did not happen. Just as they went into the back gate, they found neighbors on their rooftops trying to get pictures of them. They turned to walk back to the front when they ran right into Johnny Jr.

"Hey if you guys want to be alone, I can either let you have the shed, but it will be hot in there since there are no windows or really any kind of ventilation." Josh looked at Cesar and back to Johnny Jr. He nodded his head and thanked him for the offer. "Well you can also have my room if you want. It isn't anything fancy, but I have a Nintendo in there."

"A Nintendo, what games do you have to play?" That perked up Josh and Cesar. Johnny went through his list of games, which many of them Josh and Cesar had played. Not to be rude, they took Johnny up on his offer, but with one exception. They asked if their brothers and Patrick could join them, and of course, Johnny had no problem with that.

Josh walked up front to the others and told them what Johnny had offered. Just like Josh, that perked the others up. They followed Josh back to the back yard and then into the house through the back door. They did not want to disturb their father as he spoke with Johnny's dad, but they did not want to be outside where all the cameras are either.

Quietly they walked over to Johnny's room and once they were in there and shut the door, they got loud. Johnny Sr. and the others in the living room heard the noise. Daniel Sr. waived over Lloyd to find out why his kids were inside instead of being outside where he asked them to be.

"Sir you haven't looked out the window since you got here. The neighbors have made their way outside with cameras and video cameras and the local press is already here. It is a lot safer to have the kids inside than to have them outside with all those eyeballs on them."

"Okay just make sure they don't make a mess of things. Let them know whatever they dirty up or move, they have to clean and put back."

"Sir I know your kids don't need to be told that since they already know. They are great kids and won't do anything that will embarrass you."

"Don't worry about anything Mr. Governor." Johnny Sr. interrupted. "There is not a thing in there that they can break that can't be replaced. Let the kids have fun. I know they weren't having any fun being outside just standing around like animals in the zoo for the neighbors to gawk at."

That made a lot of sense to the Governor and so he dropped the subject. "Anyways as I was saying that you would make a perfect fit on my staff. My Chief-of-Staff, who would be your boss, agrees with me. He looked over your experience and gave the green light. Without him doing that, I wouldn't be here today offering this position."

"Of course you don't want someone in a key position like a Press Secretary without any experience. You want someone that will get the job done the right way and as far as your Chief-of-Staff being my boss, if I accept the position, I have no problem with that. I will never take our friendship for granted or go directly to you on anything."

Back in the room, the boys took turns playing the Nintendo. When one of them died, they would hand over the control to the next one in line. Even Johnny's sister joined in, which was rare since she didn't like playing with her brother's Nintendo. If the truth were known, she would have been embarrassed because she liked Brandon, but did not think he even noticed her.

Josh, Cesar, and Johnny Jr. were waiting their turn to play when Johnny Jr. gathered enough guts to ask Josh the question that has been on his mind since he first saw him on television. "Um, can I ask you something Josh?" Josh looked over at little Johnny and told him to go ahead. Whispering so that no one else could hear, he asked. "Was it as hard as I heard it when you came out to your family being gay?"

Kind of taken by surprise by the question, Josh didn't answer right away. "It was and it wasn't. What I mean by that is that my dad took the news very well and I thought he was the one that was going to murder me for being gay. Now on the other hand my mom, well let us just say she was worse than I thought my dad would have been. There were times I had wished I never came out, but my little brother Brandon was there for me. That is something I will never forget but he got me through those days. May I ask, are you thinking of coming out"?

"The problem I'm having is what thoughts you were having when you were thinking about coming out. I am afraid that my dad is going to get mad having a gay son. Now as far as my mom, I don't think she will get mad. In fact I think she will accept me for who I am."

"You might be surprised to see who is in your corner and who isn't when you come out. I am not saying that your mother is going to be like mine, man I hope not, but from what you wrote to me in your letter, I really don't think your dad is going to get mad with you. I really think he is going to accept you for who you are because he loves you. Heck you wrote that he was screaming at the TV whenever they talked bad about me. That should tell you a lot about your dad and that he will accept you."

Johnny Jr. thought for a few minutes and came to the same conclusion that Josh did about his dad that he would accept him. Johnny asked a few more question about the day when Josh came out. When he saw that he was touching on a touchy subject, he dropped it. He changed to subject to how he should handle coming out to his family and parents, which surprised Josh once again. He never thought that anyone would come up and ask him how to come out to their family since his did not go well at all.

"Johnny to be completely truthful with you the only thing I can really tell you is that you come out when you are ready. Don't let anyone push into doing it because you will regret that. Just as sex, and anything that comes along that line, do not do anything until you are ready to do it. Trust me, when you are ready, you will know it.

When that day comes for you to come out, you will decide how to do it. Some people I know told their entire family all at once and it went over well, and some told each person individually and got the same result. That is all up to you on how you want to do it. You are the only one that really knows your family and how to deal with them as far as news like this."

"But don't you think it is a lot better to just blurt it out at the dinner table one night with everyone around? That way if not anyone takes the news that well, they won't react on their feelings because there are others around. They don't want to look wrong so they hold it in. By the time they do get a chance to say something, they have settled down."

"Again Johnny that's all up to you, if you feel blurting it out over dinner one night is the way you should go, and then do it. No one can or should tell you how to handle you coming out. Again, keep in mind how your father is. I really don't think you have anything to fear from him when you do come out. By the sounds of it, he is as cool as my dad is. I didn't know that until I gave my dad a chance. You need to do the same thing."

Meanwhile in the living room, the adults were still talking about the offer. Rich jumped in as far as what the position's pay and the benefit since the Governor has no idea about all that. Once Rich finished going through the numbers, he turned it back over to the Governor to close the deal with his old friend.

"Look Johnny, I need you and I hope you answer the call. You have never let me down in the past and I do not think you will now. I know you need to talk this over with your wife and family, but I hope at the end of the day you will accept. But let me make it clear if you do accept this job, you will need to clean yourself up before reporting to work on Monday."

Daniel Sr. got up from his seat and walked over to Johnny Sr. "Come on Johnny, this isn't you and I don't want to ever see you looking like this again. Even if you do not answer the call to duty, I will be checking up on you. If I see you letting yourself go like this again, screw the wheel chair, you and I will be going at it."

Not letting Johnny Sr. respond, Daniel took off the brakes and wheeled him to the back of the house. They did not stop until he found the master bedroom and then the master bathroom. Once they go in, Daniel put on the brakes of the wheel chair, turned on the water to the tub, and started barking out orders as he did in the military.

"You get yourself out of that seat and into that shower soldier. You won't ever let yourself get to the point where you are today." Daniel helped his friend out of the chair, placed him on the seat in the shower, and then closed the shower curtain. As Johnny undressed, the Governor looked for his shaving equipment. Once he found it, he handed it to Johnny. "You will shave that mess off your face and look presentable to your wife and kids. You will keep it that way until the day you leave this world. Do you understand?"

Falling back into the routine of being in the military, Johnny Sr. just said `yes Sir'. Twenty minutes later, Johnny Sr. looked like his old self except the long hair, which he promised to have cut before the end of the day. Before heading back to the living room, Johnny stopped Daniel midway through his room. He looked up at his old commander.

"Thank you for doing that sir, I needed that." Tears started to roll down his eyes. "I had given up on myself and you came in and helped me see that there is still a lot to life after the military. That I will never forget. Thank you sir, thank you!"

Daniel turned his face because he was tearing up as well. As soon as they got control of themselves emotionally, they went back to the living room. Barbara was stilled stunned on how fast her husband got up and started barking orders to a person in their own home. This was part of his life she was never part of. Yes, at the office, she saw him get on his soldiers, but she thought he was just doing it because it was his job, not because he actually cares for them. Not like he just showed here today with Johnny Sr.

"I would take you down to get your haircut, but the press is out there and I don't want them to see you before you are completely presentable." Johnny Sr. looked at Daniel as if he was out of his mind. "I know you are going to answer the call to duty. You are just like me, you never say no when you are called upon to serve. So talk with your wife and family and I will be waiting for you call."

Daniel turned to Lloyd and asked him to get the boys. "In fact I'm so sure you are going to say yes, I'm going to have plane tickets for you, your wife, and children waiting for you at the airport to leave Sunday afternoon. That way you can get in early to have dinner with my family Sunday evening."

Once again, Johnny Sr. did not have a chance to answer the Governor. This time it was because the boys walked into the living room. They all stopped in their tracks to take a double look at Johnny Sr. He looked like a different man than he did when they first arrived. When they saw him sitting there, they thought that it was a different person.

"Boys say goodbye to Mr. Walker and his family. Thank them for their hospitality."

One by one shook Mr. Walker's hand and thanked him and his kids for everything. Once they all said thank you, they walked over to the front door. Daniel Sr. and Barbara stayed back and talked a few more minutes with Johnny Sr.

While they talked, Josh made sure Johnny Jr. was okay with the talk they had. "Whatever you do, make sure it is because you want to do it. It is the right thing and the right time for you to do it. I know how you are feeling because I was in the spot you are in now, but I did not come out until I was ready. Because of that I was better off."

Johnny promised not to do anything until he is ready to do it. Before they could say anything else, the grownups made their way to them. Johnny walked behind his father as they said goodbye to each other once more. When the door opened, the flashes started to go off and voices started screaming out questions. Up above were news helicopters trying to get whatever they can from above of the Governor and his family.

The Governor waved at the news cameras and the neighbors that made their way out of their houses to get a glimpse of their Governor. Feeling bad that they had waited to see him, Daniel walked over to the make shift rope line and shook as many hands as he could and signed autographs. He still not used to the last part, because he does not consider himself any more important than any other person on the street or in his state.

Before leaving Lubbock, the Lopez family stopped in at What-A-Burger for lunch, which stunned the press. They thought they would have stopped in at a fancy restaurant, not a hamburger joint but the citizens that were interviewed were not surprised. One after another said that the Governor is one of them and will always be one of them. He is a regular middle class citizen that does not blow fifty dollars on a hamburger when he can get an entire meal for five dollars.

The other thing that made the citizens feel that their Governor is still down to earth is the fact he did not close off the restaurant. They know the owner of the place would not have minded, but the Governor did so as they ate, anyone that wanted to get something to eat could walk in and eat with the first family of Texas.

After finishing with their meal, the Governor and his family thanked those that were there as they departed. There was no big speech, just a handshake and thank you is all that was done and said. That made those that were there feel even more special. It confirmed to them that the Governor was not trying to get a photo op. It was just a day out with the family.

All the way to the airport, the streets were lined with people wanting to get a glimpse of the first family of Texas. At one point, against the advice of his security detail, the Governor rolled down his window and waved at those that were waving at him. Once the limousine came to the craw as they entered the airport, the Governor rolled his window back up, not worried about himself, but for his family.

It took almost triple the time to get to the Governor's convoy from the entrance of the airport to the gate. The road was crowded with citizens of Lubbock wanting a glimpse of the Governor and his family. They even took pictures of the window in hopes that maybe with the flash they would get a picture of someone inside the limousine, which of course they didn't. They just got a reflection of them taking the picture.

When they finally got to the plane, the Governor and his family got out, waved at those that came out to see them as they made their way up the steep staircase. The crowd did not leave when the door of the airplane closed. They stayed and kept waving at the plane as it made its way down the runway. Even after it left, the crowd did not start to break up until thirty or so minutes after the plane was far out of sight.

Meanwhile as all this was happening, Johnny Sr. and his kids headed out to get their haircuts since the press had left when the Governor left. The neighbors that had made their way out of their homes had already either gone back into their houses or followed the Governor to What-A-Burger. Either way, the streets were clear and Walker's were able to leave to do their errands.

When they returned home, Mrs. Walker had already started cooking dinner. When she saw her husband come rolling into the kitchen, she dropped the frying pan. She has not seen her husband looking like his old self in quite a while, but here he is the man she had married. Then when he started to talk and she saw the light in his eyes had returned, she broke down crying. Her husband not only looks like the person she married, but sounds like him, full of life.

After few minutes consoling his wife, Johnny Sr. picked up right where he left off. "I'm sorry for how I have been since I returned from Iraq." Johnny Sr. pulled his wife into him and held her even tighter. "I don't know how you put up with me, but thank you. Thank you for not giving up and staying at my side. I know it has been hard, but things are going to get a lot better."

Mrs. Walker pulled away from her husband, wiping the tears from her face she looked at her husband and started speaking. "How do you mean things are going to be getting better? Has the VA started paying you and scheduled..."

"Things are going to get a lot better because an old friend came to see me today and offered me a job." Johnny interrupted his wife. "I'm pretty sure you already know that the Governor was here today." Mrs. Walker nodded her head. "Well he came into town to ask me to serve in his administration."

He went and explained everything that was discussed between him and the Governor. Mrs. Walker got up from the floor and sat down at the kitchen table hanging onto every word. The more her husband talked about the job offer, the more his face would light up. At times, it actually glowed as it did when he used to talk about his men before taking on a mission or a training exercise.

"What does all this mean John? Did you accept the job and if so when do you have to leave", Mrs. Walker looking at her husband with a concerned look on her face?

"I haven't accepted the job! I would not accept anything without first talking to you about it. Once we agree on it, we then will talk with the kids." Johnny Sr. rolled over to the stove and turned off the burner. "Look if we decide that's what we want, things are going to change, and I mean in a big way.

First, we will move to Austin so that we can stay together as a family. No matter what the job is, I will not be away from my family for a long period anymore. More so, with Jr. and Kelly being at the ages they are at now. They are both at the age they need both parents. It is not fair for you to handle everything in the house."

"Okay I will agree with you on that, but there is going to be times that you won't be in Austin. Come on, he is the Governor of the state of Texas and I suspect he will be President one day. Those that say that is not going to be true are wrong. We need someone like that in the highest office in the land to do things that he cannot do as Governor.

When that happens you will follow him, and we both know that. What are we supposed to up route ourselves again when that happens. We did that for too many years while you were in the military, I do not want to do that again. Your kids deserve to go to the high school for all four years, not different ones every six months."

"Hon, you are getting way too far ahead of everything. Even if the Governor runs for the presidency and gets it, it is still way off in the future. He is going to do two terms as Governor before even thinking of running for a different office. That is just the kind of person I know he is. By then our kids will be through high school when that happens."

"Okay again I see your point but while he is Governor what about all his trips. Not only does he go over the state, but also he goes home to El Paso during the holidays or any chance he can to be with his kids. His old Press Secretary was always with him. That means you are going to have to always be with him as well if you take the job."

"What do you want me to say? What do you want me to do? It is the job that is being offered to me and I really want to take it. He came to me honey, he came to me. He asked me to be his voice to the press and I can't let him down."

"I know you can't let him down. The minute you mentioned that, he came and offered you a job, I knew we were moving. All I want us to do is sit down and really discuss what is best for our family and what I mean by that is Austin the best place for us to live or is El Paso the best place for us to live? I know here is out of the question."

Johnny Sr. called out for Jr. and Kelly to join them in the kitchen. In the meantime, while they gathered around the kitchen table, Mrs. Walker ordered several pizzas for dinner. Once she hung up, she joined her family at the table. At first, no one talked. They all knew what this meeting was about, but no one got the conversation started.

After eight minutes of dead silence, Johnny Sr. had enough and broke the silence. "Okay you all know what happened here today, so there is no need for me to go over that part with you all. There are really only two things your mother and I would like to talk about. We want your opinion and input, but in the end, we will make the final decision." Johnny Sr. pointed back and forth from him and his wife.

"The first thing is the job I was offered by the Governor. If I take it, that means we will be moving again. Something I know you hated when I was in the military, but hopefully it will be only once. The question I guess that's on the table is what you guys think about the job offer."

Kelly shrugged her shoulders when her parents looked her direction. They had not been living in Lubbock that long that she has made many friends so if they move now, it wouldn't matter to her. She knows that she is not going to leave something behind that she is going to miss.

Now Jr. did speak up when his father looked at him. "If we move, will be living close to Josh and his brothers so that we are going to go to the same school?"

"If your mother and I decide to move to Austin, no since they go to school in El Paso, but if we move to El Paso, there is a chance. You need to understand that it is a big maybe either way, as the Governor is having a house built in El Paso for his family. When they return from summer vacation, they are not going to be living on a regular block like they have been."

"Oh so no matter where we move, we need to start all over again on getting friends and learning our way around a new school." Jr. slumped down in his seat disappointed that they are not going to be able to hang out with Josh and his brothers even if they move to El Paso. He was really looking forward to it ever since he and Josh talked this morning.

Johnny Sr. looked at his wife and back over to his son trying to figure out what he is trying to get at. "Son I'm sorry but no matter where we move, you won't be able to be with the boys since they are the Governor's sons. There is too much security around them. Plus those that do get to be around them have to be cleared, which I don't think we have been completely cleared yet."

"If we weren't completely cleared then why did they let Josh and his brothers join me and Kelly in my room. If we were a threat, and they had no idea if we were or not, they wouldn't have allowed that. Dad please let us move to El Paso so that we at least know someone that will show us around."

"Son, I promise that I will look into what you are saying, but let's get back to the question I had asked and that's if you guys think it is a good idea. Somehow we went to the second question before it was even thrown out there." Everyone at once said yes to Johnny Sr. taking the job and quickly changed the subject back to the move.

Just as they were getting into the conversation, the doorbell rang. Mrs. Walker pulled out her purse and gave Jr. the money to pay for the pizza. He got up and ran to the door. When he opened it, he handed the delivery guy the twenty, told him to keep the change as he took the pizzas from him. When he returned to the kitchen, he didn't have a chance to put the pizzas on the table before his little sister opened the top one and pulled out a slice.

They really did not talk much as they ate. It was mostly quiet as they ate. Somewhere in the middle of their dinner, Jr. found enough guts to come out to his family. They had just started in on where to they are going to move when he asked for everyone's attention.

"Mom, Dad, Kelly, um there is something I think I should tell you that will explain why I, um, really, um, want to move near by Josh and his brothers." Jr. took a deep breath as he looked in each of his family members' faces. "Um I really don't know how to say this, but to just say it, so here is goes..." He stopped in mid sentence and looked over at his father. "Please dad, don't get mad at me for what I'm about to say, I'm, um..." He started shaking bad, so Kelly reached over and placed her hand over her older brother's arm. "...GAY!"

Johnny Sr. looked at his wife and at the same time, they both looked over at their son and locked eye contact with him. Almost at the same time, they both spoke. "We have known that for awhile now son." Johnny Sr. kept talking as his wife just looked on. "It feels good that you can trust us enough to tell us this because many kids don't tell their parents for the fear of how they will react."

Wheeling himself over to his son, Johnny Sr. pulled out his son's seat so that they are looking face to face. "You you don't ever apologize for being who you are or think that we are ashamed of you. You are our son and there isn'thing you can say or do that will make us love you any less." Tears started rolling down Jr.'s cheeks. "I will always love you no matter who you love, okay?"

Pulling his son into his arms, Mrs. Walker and Kelly got up and joined them. They stayed there at the table in family hug until the tears stopped flowing. Once everyone got control of their emotions, they broke the hug and went right back to talking about, where to live. Not one of them looked at Jr. any differently than they had in the past.

"I guess I'm taking the job?" Everyone yelled `YES!' to Johnny Sr. and threw their napkins at him. "Okay than since I'm going to take the job, I will talk with the Governor about places to live in El Paso. When we talk about that, I will make sure to inform him that we want our families to live close together."

There was no more need to talk about the job or moving at that time. They all chipped in to clean up the mess they had made before heading off to their own little worlds in the house. The last thing Johnny Sr. did before heading to bed was to call the Governor to let him know that he has his new Press Secretary.

Saturday flew by for both families. They were both anxious to see each other on Sunday so they were climbing the walls. When Sunday morning rolled around, the Lopez family was getting everything ready for the Walker's. It did not take much since the house was clean and Daniel Sr. knew his friend was going to take the job offer.

When the phone rang around noon, everyone thought it was the Walker's calling to inform them that they have been delayed or not coming at all. The Governor walked over to the phone slowly and when he picked it up, he breathed in a sigh of relief when he heard Father Gomez's voice on the other end, but the relief did not last long.

"Mr. Governor I'm sorry to be bothering you on this Sunday afternoon, but something really bad happened this morning involving the Montoya family and Chris."

"What is it Father? Just spit it out, what happened?" The Governor not liking the feeling he is getting in his gut.


"I'm not sure it is wise to involve you in this since you are still trying to get yourself separated from the shooting of Elizabeth. You got a lot of backlash on that one and the press is just waiting for something else to beat you over the head. And let me tell you, this is going to be headline news no matter what we try to do to keep it quiet."

"Either you tell me Father what happened or I will go and turn on the TV and find out for myself since you feel it is going to be headline news. I'd rather hear it from you, but I don't have all day to get the news." The Governor is not liking at all how Father Gomez is beating around the bush and refusing to say why he called!

"There has been a shooting at Coach Montoya's houses this morning. One dead and one person hurt badly. The person that was killed is..."


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/



{Welcome back everyone to "Shadow of My Father". I hope you enjoyed this chapter as much as I did writing it. I know I say that a lot, but I really do mean it since I enjoy writing every chapter I put out there. A lot of time and sweat goes into these chapters from my editors and me for you all to enjoy a good read, which I hope you do.

This chapter covered a week in the time line of this story. There is three weeks left in the boy's summer vacation, which means it is not that far behind the time line of "Jacob Finding His Way" and the other two stories. We are about six months behind those three, but we will be catching up to them quickly.

With that said, let us get down to the summation of the chapter. What is the song that Josh and Brandon wrote together? Are we going to hear it anytime soon? There has not been any song in the last couple of chapters, which means we are overdue for one. If we are not going to hear about the song anytime soon, when will we? I do not know about you, but I want to know what this song is and how it sounds.

If any of you wondered where Josh got his heart from, I think this chapter gave us the answer. The Governor is tough when he needs to be, but he is soft and caring to those he holds dear to him. That includes his friends, not just his family. In this chapter, we saw the heart of the Governor and the General side at the same time.

Let us talk about the heart first. He knew how to talk with his old friend and he did. He went down with his family to Lubbock to offer his friend the Press Secretary position. Just as Rich said in the last chapter, the Governor knows how to speak military. He put it in a way that it looked like he was asking for a favor instead of helping an old friend out.

He offered the job to his old friend after they caught up on old times. I am glad that Johnny Sr. did not give the Governor an answer right away. He waited to speak with his family about it, since it is going to involve a big change in everyone's life in the Walker family. I really love how that was done.

Then at the end, the Governor took off his Governor's hat and put back on his General's hat. He made his old soldier friend see how he has been acting was not right by not only taking to take a shower and shave, but also realize he has a lot more to live for besides the Army. People come back from war like Johnny Sr. and they need the support of their family and friends to get through the rough patches and adjusting to civilian life. If they fail, is not just their fault, but ours as well since we did not give a helping hand.

The talk went well as far as moving. The Walkers still do not know where they are going to move to, but do not be surprised if they move to El Paso since Johnny Jr. and Josh hit it off. Talking about Johnny Jr., it took a lot of courage to do what he did that night at the dinner table. Hats off to him, and how he came out to his family! To those that are reading my stories and have not come out to your family, do not do the same thing that Jr. did. Just as Josh said, everyone is different. You will know when your time is right and how to do it.

Johnny's family surprised him with how they reacted to the news. The way he saw his father yelling at the TV whenever they talked bad about Josh should have told Johnny everything. I can understand why he still was scared. Sometimes family members and friends act differently about something when it really does not involve their every day life.

I skipped something at the beginning of the story so let me cover it now. That was cool what Daniel Sr. did for his sons when he invited their friends to join them on the last leg of the President's tour around Texas. When that week comes, it is going to be a lot more exciting than the first time they toured Texas, I promise you.

Finally the end of the chapter, what can I say but send your hate mail to my editor's at kentohio@jacobmillertex.com or ed@jacobmillertex.com. They volunteered to take those emails on this chapter, LOL. (Hey!) I know you going to hate that cliffhanger, but I am evil and had to do it. Now you will have no other choice but to pop in a week from now and see who was shot and killed. Was it Chris or was it the coach? Who was it?

I could stay here all day long, with all the open plots already in this story, but 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 jacob@jacobmillertex.com, Thanks!}



Ok, starting at the end of JPG's corner; DO NOT blame Ed or me for these agonizing cliffhangers! We have nothing to do with them. Now, as far as hearing from each of you, we most definitely want that! As JPG mentioned, it takes a lot of concerted effort to bring you the stories. I am sure most of you have read stories on the net that were hard to read, where the story lacked good continuity and flow. JPG is an incredible weaver of tales. I could never come up with the plot lines and character development he does. I admire him more than I could ever convey in words. I will tell you however, what comes fresh off his fingers is not nearly ready for your eyes! That is not to criticize in any way, shape or form. As anything that comes to a reader's eyes in print, be it a book, magazine article, newspaper article or whatever, the writing goes through at least one editor and proofreader. JPG's stories are no different. It is not the responsibility of the author to make it readable. It is the job of the editors and/or proofreaders. What I do applaud in JPG is that he recognized that early on and got the right team to massage his work into the good quality work you read.

So, please, feel free to write the editors! We would love to hear from you, but don't dare flame US for the author's evil deeds!

This was a very involved chapter and was a great read. We saw that Daniel Sr. is a complex and multi-faceted man. We have had examples here and there, but this chapter really showed many aspects of his personality; some that the casual observer would not see. He's a good governor rightly focused on his job working for his constituents without being sucked into the political games and losing focus on his job. He's a totally focused family man. That was demonstrated by his handling and concerns for everyone in his immediate family. It was extended to the careful handling of his old friend Johnny. It takes a man with special insights to be able to recognize the dynamics of a situation like he had and to handle it with such tact. He also showed how in tune with his sons and their friends he is by making plans for the boys and their friends to join him on the tour with the President. He also handled Josh and Cesar sneaking off very gently, correcting the problem without upsetting anyone or hurting feelings. What a great dad.

It seems that Johnny Sr. is like Daniel. He laid out the proposal that Daniel made him and gave everyone their input. He did the right thing talking to his wife first and ensured the parents were on the same frequency before taking the matter to the kids. It is great that they involved their kids, getting their thoughts and feelings and not just acting and then informing.

I'm sure Johnny Sr.'s situation isn't unique with our returning, disabled veterans even today. I would hope that their disability pay would kick in faster than Johnny's seems to have. JPG is right when he writes that the responsibility belongs to us all to help our veterans, disabled or not, reintegrate into society. I believe it is a moral imperative.

Enough of my musings. It's time to go "on hold" and wait to see the next chapter so that we all can find out who's been hurt, or worse, at Coach Montoya's house. Trust me, when I speak with JPG, we are going to discuss this cliffhanger thing!

Until next time,

"Daddy" Rick