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 can't be distributed in anyway, shape or form without authors' express written consent.}

Story Written by: J.P.G.

Love Scenes Written By: Daddy Rick

Edited By: Daddy Rick

Chapter 57

Coach Montoya and his wife was preparing for Chris to come back home. Chris has spent most of the summer in California with family because of his father being around. Neither Coach nor his wife wanted to lose Chris for the summer, but felt it was best that Chris got away from El Paso for couple of months.

When they thought it was safe enough to bring Chris back home, Mr., and Mrs. Montoya learned how wrong they were. Chris' dad had only come by once after Chris left, and Coach Montoya thought he scared him off by threatening to call the police if he had ever come back around to bother his son.

The one thing that Coach Montoya was not thinking about is the fact that Chris' dad was not afraid of what would happen to him if the police were brought in. All that was running through his mind was getting his hands on his only son. Once he got his hands on Chris, he planned to move out of town and do what he needed to do to make his son the son he wanted and believed Chris was.

The first couple of weeks of the summer, Mr. Jimenez stalked Coach Montoya and his wife. At first, he thought that the Coach had lied to him about where his son was at but with in the first week he realized that his son was not in town. Once he realized that, his next objective was to find out where the Coach and his wife had hidden his son.

No matter how hard he tried to get that information, Mr. Jimenez could not get a thing. He went as far as stealing the Coach's mail in hopes that there was a letter in there from his son to the Montoya's but once again, his efforts were in vain since his son never wrote any letters. It was that way by design to keep his whereabouts unknown.

Coming to the only conclusion Mr. Jimenez could, the only other logical communication means for the Montoya's and Chris was the telephone. Since he does not know much about technology nor has the ability to listen and he had no chance to find out if his son was calling the Montoya's.

Not ready to give up just yet he retreated home to figure out another way to find out where his son was hidden. Days turned into weeks and then weeks turned into months, and Mr. Jimenez was no closer to finding where his son was than he was at the beginning of the summer. He was at the tail end of his patience and realized that there was only one way he is going to be able to get the information he is looking for.

He spent the last couple of weeks of June putting together a plan that he thought was going to work to get his son back. When he thought he had every `T' crossed and every `I' dotted, he was ready to put his plan into action. The only part of his plan that was in question was if Coach Montoya was going to put up a fight over a boy that is not his blood.

When Saturday, July 6 rolled around, Mr. Jimenez put his plan into action. He waited until it got dark before heading over to the Montoya's house. When he arrived, he hit the first snag as the Montoya's were out. Mr. Jimenez did not plan on them going out on the night he was ready to do what was needed to get his son back.

Having no other choice but to sit back and wait for their return, Mr. Jimenez turned off his car engine, headlights, and the lights in his car that way he would not be noticed. Somewhere within the second hour, Mr. Jimenez had fallen asleep. He didn't wake up again till a little after three in the morning.

Jumping up in his seat thinking that he missed his opportunity, Mr. Jimenez started to panic. He looked around for the Coach's car, and when he saw it in the driveway, he settled down. Once he knew the Coach and his wife had gotten home, he turned his attention to see if there were any lights on in the house.

Seeing there was only one light on, which was only the light that they always left on while they slept. Mr. Jimenez got out of his car as he normally does, just in case someone was looking. Not wanting to attract attention, he walked across the street as if he lived there. Once he made it to the house, he walked around to the back gate, opened it and went inside the back yard.

Before doing anything else, he looked at the house at the left, and then at the house on the right to make sure no one was watching. When he was positive that he was not spotted, he moved to the back door. Turning around, he pushed his left elbow through one of the panes of glass in order to break it. Because he was wearing a jacket, it did not make a loud noise nor did he cut himself.

He slipped his hand through the broken glass and then unlocked both of the locks. Slowly he opened the door not making a lot of noise but no matter how slow he opened the door, the hinges creaked. Mr. Jimenez thought he had opened the door slowly enough that it did not wake up anyone in the house, but he was wrong.

It was not the door opening that woke up Coach Montoya. It was the noise of the glass shattering on his kitchen floor. He gently shook his wife until she woke up. In any whisper, he told his wife to call 911 and ask the police to come because someone is breaking into their house.

As he made his way to the door, his wife tried to talk him out of leaving the room. She wanted her husband to stay up with her until the police arrive, but he refused to listen. He told her that everything would be okay as long as she stayed in the room. Not having any other choice but to agree, Mrs. Montoya picked up the phone and did as she was asked.

On his way down the hallway, Mr. Montoya stopped at the hallway closet to get his gun from a lockbox. Once he loaded it, he continued his way to the stairs. Seeing that whoever had broken into his house has not made his or her way to the staircase, Mr. Montoya, started his way down. Just as he made it to the bottom stair, he saw the flicker of a flashlight coming out on his kitchen.

Quickly, he moved to the living room and waited for whoever broke into this house to pass. He thought that once that person passes the living room entrance he would be able to jump out and get him or her by surprise. Nervously he waited and watched as the light of the flashlight got brighter and brighter.

When the person slowly walked past the entrance of the living room, Mr. Montoya walked into the hallway and cocked his gun. "Whoever you are turnaround slowly and drop whatever you have in your hands!" Mr. Montoya said in a commanding voice, but Mr. Jimenez was not ready to surrender.

He heard the cocking of the gun and knew that if he had a chance he had to act quickly so he turned around fast and sprung towards Mr. Montoya. Mr. Montoya was able to get off one shot before Chris' dad was on top of him fighting for the gun. They wrestled from the hallway into the living room, breaking anything in their path.

Jimenez had no idea that he was actually hit in the arm. He did not feel the pain because he was in the midst of fighting for his life. All he was thinking about was getting the gun out of Montoya's hands. Once he did that he would be able to turn the gun on him and get the information he came in to get.

"I just want to know where my son is. Where did you send my son? Just tell me and I will leave your house." Mr. Jimenez started yelling as they fell onto the floor and continued to wrestle for control of the gun. "Damn it! He is not even your blood, why are you fighting so hard on this. Just tell me where he is and I will leave your house!"

"He may not be my blood, but he is my son! I took him in when you refused to treat him like a human being let alone a son!" Mr. Montoya yelled into Mr. Jimenez's face as he looked up at him from the floor. "You're going to have to kill me, because I won't ever tell you where your son is. You don't deserve to call yourself his father with the way you treated your son when you had him!"

At this point they start rolling around on the floor still neither of them had control of the gun. They were both yelling at each other the same thing, but neither of them was listening to the other. Finally, after what seemed to be eternity, but really only a few minutes of them rolling around on the floor, the gun went off a second time.

Both bodies laid there limp for a few seconds. Mrs. Montoya ran to her husband, but could not see him underneath Mr. Jimenez. She kicked the intruder a couple of times, and when he did not respond, she pushed him off her husband. Once Mr. Jimenez was off the Coach, his wife was able to see that he was okay.

She fell down to her knees and started yelling at her husband to wake up. Just as he opened his eyes, the police came crashing through their door yelling for everyone to lie down on the ground. Not understanding what was going on the police threw Mrs. Montoya onto her chest on top of her husband.

"What the hell!" Mr. Montoya yelled out as his wife lay on top of him trembling. "We live here and that man broke into our house. So don't be treating my wife as if she is the criminal here." Mr. Montoya tried to console his wife by rubbing her back and whispering that everything was going to be okay.

The police swept the house, and once they finished, they checked on Mr. Jimenez, but did not find a pulse. Still not knowing what occurred here, they handcuffed the Coach and his wife before sitting them down on the couch. Once they had the Montoya's secure, they let the EMT'S in to work on Mr. Jimenez.

After checking Mr. Jimenez's vitals several times, they informed the police that he was dead. Since they could not do anything else, the police escorted the EMT'S back out of the house for their safety. As they walked out several detectives walked in, they looked at the scene and immediately walked over to the Montoya's.

"Are you the ones that live in this house and placed the 911 call?" Both the Coach and his wife nodded their heads, but did not say a word. "I need to see some form of identification to prove that you do live in this house. Tell my officers, where we can find your driver's licenses. That way we can get you out of these handcuffs."

"My driver's license is in my wallet on my nightstand in the master bedroom." Mr. Montoya spoke up in a soft voice. "My wives drivers' license is in her purse and I believe her purse is in the kitchen." Mr. Montoya looked over at his wife. "Am I correct on that honey?" Mrs. Montoya nodded her head.

Not saying a word, the detective nodded to a several officers and they headed out a living room. A few minutes later, they came back with the purse and wallet in question. They handed the items to detective and took several steps back. The detective opened the purse and found her license. The detective then pulled out Mr. Montoya's driver's license.

Once he got both of the drivers license he called them in to make sure there was no open wants or warrants on neither of the two residents. When he got his answer back, he asked the officers to take off the handcuffs. When they got free, the detective handed them back their licenses and started asking questions.

"What happened here tonight?" The detective looked over at the body that has now been covered with a white sheet. "You better have a good reason on why there is a dead man in your living room and you having his blood all over you." The detective pulled out his note pad to take down notes that he thinks is important this investigation.

"My wife and I were asleep in our bedroom when I heard a glass break downstairs. I got up and told my wife to call 911 while I go on find out what the noise was all about. On my way down, I stopped at my hallway closet where I keep my gun in a lockbox and got it. I had hoped that I didn't need to use it but as you can see, I had no other choice."

"I don't know that for sure, if you had a choice or not in a matter of killing this man. All I know is that one man is dead and another is standing here claiming self-defense. You need to tell in complete detail from the moment you woke up to the moment you saw this person in your house. Was there a way that you could have handled this where he didn't end up dead on your living room floor?"

Mr. Montoya could not believe this detective was actually asking him this question. He broke into his house in the middle of the night to do him and his wife harm. With what he believes in understands he has the right to defend himself, his wife and his home from any intruder. That included the father of the young man he adopted.

"That guy broke into my house and was here to hurt me and my wife. I wasn't about to stop and ask him to sit down and have coffee before he had the chance to do what he came in here to do. Just running his driver's license, you will see he has a record. That guy should not have been out in the free."

"You are telling me that you know the victim here!" Mr. Montoya nodded his head. "That doesn't bode well for you Sir. All I know is you could have killed him because he was here to collect on a debt you may owe him or something like that. Since he is dead, I only have your version of what happened here tonight."

Before the detective could continue, an officer walked up and whispered in his ear. The coach can tell whatever the officer was telling the detective it was not making the detective happy at all. When the officer was done talking, he stepped back and detective turned his attention back to the Montoya's.

"Mr. and Mrs. Montoya, the officer just informed me that you had put in a restraining order against this gentleman right here. I understand you are the foster parents to his son and what we can get from the reports and said he has been stalking you and your family since he got out of jail. Do I have all this correct so far?"

Mr. Montoya and a detective talked a little bit more about Chris and his father before the detective had enough information in hand to conclude that Mr. Montoya had no other choice but to do what he did. He apologized for the way he was talking at first and asked the Montoya's if they needed anything from him. The only requests the Montoya's hand was the removal of Mr. Jimenez's body as quickly as possible.

Since the investigation was going to take several more hours, the coach sent his wife to Father Gomez's house. At first she argued, but eventually agreed and left. When she arrived at the Father's house, she found all the lights were off. Not wanting to wake up the father or anyone in his house, Mrs. Montoya started her car to leave.

Just as she put her car into drive, she saw the porch light turn on. She thought at first that it might have been a light turned on by a sensor, but when the light in the living room turned on seconds later, she knew she had woken up someone in the house. She turned off her car and got out.

As she made her way to the front door, it opened and the Father came walking out. He was half-asleep, but he recognized Mrs. Montoya. "What is going on, Mrs. Montoya? Is everyone okay in your house? Is Chris okay?" Father Gomez sounded concerned and worried at the same time.

"Chris is fine, he still is up with family in California, but we had a problem at the house this evening." Mrs. Montoya is barely holding it together. Anything that is said to her small or big could make her cry. "Chris' dad broke into the house this morning and tried to kill me and my husband."

Stunned on what he was hearing he quickly got Mrs. Montoya, into the house and over to the living room. Before saying anything else, Father Gomez went to his kitchen and put on a pot of coffee. He knows out of experience, this is going to be a very long morning. When he returned to the living room, he had two cups of coffee, cream, and sugar.

"Now start from the beginning, and talk slowly so I can understand everything that you are saying." Father Gomez handed his guest a cup of coffee before picking up his and adding in his sugar and cream.

By the time they finished their first cup of coffee, Mrs. Montoya had told Father Gomez everything that happened at her house earlier. Father Gomez did not interrupt her once as she went through what had happened to her and her husband. He knew by the cracking of her voice and the way she was looking this was going to be the only chance he was going to get anything from her before she fell apart.

Just as he figured as she finished up what had happened Mrs. Montoya broke down in tears. When Father Gomez got her to settle down, he moved her to one of the spare rooms in the house. After putting her to bed, he made his way back to the living room to clean up the mess that he made in the kitchen making the coffee.

As he dried the last dish, he heard a tapping on his front door. The only one that will be knocking on his door and his early the morning could only be Mr. Montoya, the Father thought. He walked over to his door and as he looked out the window in his living room. He was right, it was Mr. Montoya.

When the coach walked in, he immediately asked for his wife. "She is in one of the spare rooms asleep. I understand you two had a little excitement this morning dealing with Chris' dad. Are you okay, and are the police going to drop this investigation since it was Chris' dad that broke into your house?"

"According to the detective that has been assigned this case, they are going to go ahead and do their investigation but he doesn't believe the case is going to stay open. With the broken glass from the window on my floor and the restraining order we had in place against Mr. Jimenez, the detective does not believe the case is going to go anywhere. Still, you never know Father, stranger things have happened."

"You are right there coach, stranger things have happened. Look at me. I am now the Father for not just one teenager, but two so there is no need for you to tell me that weird things can happen. I will pray for you and your family, and hopefully God will see to it that the detective is true to his word."

The coach walked over to the couch where his wife was sitting in at about an hour earlier and sat down. He and the Father talked a little while before the coach went up to get his wife to go home. Father Gomez offered him the room for the night, but the coach politely declined, and thanked him for everything he had done for him and his wife this morning.

As they walked to the cars, Father Gomez informed the coach that he was going to place a call to the Governor first thing in the morning. At first, the coach didn't understand why there was a need to inform the Governor about something that didn't involve his family. When the father explained why he felt he needed to place the call, the coach understood.

The next morning when the Father woke up and wanted a place to call, but thought it was too early so he went and celebrated his morning Mass. When he returned to his home, he did the math and figured it was around noon in Austin. That made it not too early or too late.

When the Governor answered the phone, he seemed happy and the Father did not want to destroy his mood. Hesitantly Father Gomez started explaining what had happened to the Montoya family earlier in the morning. At first, he beat around the bush by talking about what happened to Elizabeth and that did not make the Governor happy at all.

The reason he brought up the Elizabeth issue is that he got a lot of backlash with that one and he did not want the Governor to get backlash for something he or his security detail were not involved in. However, the Governor made it clear that either he tells him what happened or he will turn on the TV and find out that way. One way or another, he plans to find out what had happened to the Montoya family.

"There has been a shooting at Coach Montoya's house this morning. One dead and one person hurt badly. The person that was killed was Chris' dad and Mr. Montoya was beaten up pretty good before he was able to take down Mr. Jimenez. The injuries are not to the point that Mr. Montoya was rushed to the emergency room, but he has several scratches, bruises and a broken wrist."

"How in the world did all of this get started? I thought that Mr. Montoya had a restraining order against Chris' dad. That should've been enough to keep something like this from happening to a good family like the Montoya's."

"Sir, you would figure that would've been enough but not for Chris' dad. A piece of paper was not going to keep him away from his son. He was so blinded by his obsession to get his son he was willing to do whatever it took to get that done. The result was his losing his life, because he broke into the Coach's house.

The two reasons that I am calling you and let you know is because eventually, the press is going to find out that Mr. Montoya is Josh's swim coach. Then they are going to dig even deeper and find out the foster child they have is your son's first boyfriend. You know the press as well as I do, they are going try and somehow tie this to you."

"I would like to see them try and if they even succeed, there is no way the citizens of this state are going to believe I had anything to do with the killing of Mr. Jimenez. They are going to try, but they are going to fail. It is that plain and simple in my books."

"Once again, Mr. Governor, I agree with you on that. I just wanted to let you know ahead of time so you are not blindsided with the news when the press starts asking your Press Secretary about what had happened in El Paso. The other reason I felt that I needed to tell you the news is because of your invitation to Chris in a couple weeks."

"Chris does not deserve to be penalized for something his father did. That poor kid has already had to pay for lot of what his dad has done. Now that his dad is gone hopefully, Chris can move on to a better life that he deserves. The little bit I know about that situation and that family, Chris has had a hell of a life when he lived with his father."

Father Gomez and the Governor talked little bit more before the Governor had to hang up because his guests had arrived. After hanging up the phone, he sat there thinking about the news. He started thinking about Chris coming on the trip with him, his family, and the President. The more he thinks about it, he feels he might have jumped the gun telling Father Gomez that Chris is still invited on the trip.

The Governor got up and headed to his private office to rethink the invitation for Chris joining the group on the President's tour. While he was going over the ramifications of what just happened in El Paso, the rest of the family kept the Walker's entertained. The grown-ups went into the green room, and Johnny and his sister went with Josh, Patrick, Cesar and his brothers to play video games.

Not even an hour after the Walker's arrival, the Governor joined the adults in the green room. They did not talk about the job offer. That is something Mr. Walker and the Governor will discuss in private later on in the evening. For now, they are just going to enjoy each other's company, like the old days.

By the time dinner was ready, Daniel senior and Johnny senior had already caught up with what they had missed in each other's lives since the last they saw each other. There was not much that Daniel could say that Johnny did not know since everything he has done since he left the military has been public knowledge but Johnny's life was a very different story, since most of his life has been turned upside down since the last Daniel spoke to him. This is something Daniel regrets and plans to correct with Johnny and his other friends he had in the military.

All through dinner, it was light talk, with nothing important discussed. Mainly the grown-ups wanted to keep the mood at the dinner table light, so they allowed the kids to control the tenor of the discussion. Due to that most of the time, the table was even laughing at jokes or at what one of the teenagers did.

As soon as they finished their meal, everyone pitched in to clean up before heading back to what they were doing before dinner. The only difference was that Daniel senior and Johnny senior went to the Governor's office to get down to business. The Governor felt that he needed to know if Johnny was going to take the job because, if not he needed to call Rich and let him know that they have not found the press secretary.

"I'm not going to lie to you Johnny or fool myself about the short notice that I had given you about this job. If you are unable or do not feel this is a job for you, I will not hold a grudge if you turn it down. It is just I need someone that I can trust to talk to the press not only about my administration, but also about my family. Trust me; you will be getting a lot of questions dealing with my family."

"Mr. Governor, I know what your press secretary has gone through since you became Governor. The press cannot seem to stay on topic in that briefing room. They seemed to love to switch to topic back to your family and stay there for the entire briefing, which doesn't do the voters of this state any good."

"I agree with you on that Johnny, but there isn't anything we can do to change that. What I want out of my press secretary is whenever a question about my family comes up that my man is able to think quickly on his feet and decide if that question should be answered. There is always a place and time for questions to be asked and answered. For example, if you are briefing the press about education, and they come at you with a question about my ex-wife, don't answer it."

"Once again Mr. Governor, I understand where you are coming from. If the job offer is still on the table, I will be honored to serve as your press secretary. I just want to say one thing here and now that I will run the press room a lot stricter than your former press secretary did. Just like you said moments ago, there is a right time and a wrong time to ask a question and I will make that clear in the briefing my first day."

"Welcome aboard Johnny and thank you for accepting the job offer is such a short notice. Now I feel before we go any further that I better let you know about something I just found out this morning. There is no doubt you will be getting questions about this on your very first day and for that I am sorry."

The Governor went into detail on what Father Gomez told him earlier in the afternoon. He did not leave one thing out on what he was told. Mainly because he did not want his new press secretary to get blindsided with a question that he could have helped him be prepared for.

"Mr. Governor you are right that the press is going to have a field day with this come tomorrow but I feel we need to get in front of it before we get into the regular briefing. I think we should scan the national news channels and find out if it has already hit them. If it has, we need to get in front of the story before it grows legs. In fact, I think we need to get out of this story, even if it's not on a national news channel yet."

"Do you really think that if we stay quiet on this story it will do more harm than good? I feel if we give it a voice it is going to grow. If we don't give this a voice, it will die before every national news channels gets a chance to talk about it."

"You see Mr. Governor; you have been getting the wrong advice when it comes to the press. There are some stories you just leave alone and they die by themselves but there are other stories if you do not get in front of, they have a chance of taking over an entire term of a Governor, Senator, Congressman, or President.

The reason this story has that chance of happening is because it involves several factors. One of which is that it involves a friend of one of your kids. The second factor is that person that actually shot the gun is the swim coach to one of your sons. Finally, the person that was killed has had run-ins with one of your son's security detail. You know as well as I do they are waiting for something like this to pull your son down."

The more than Johnny talked, the more Daniel came to believe that they needed to get in front of the story so Johnny went and turned on the TV to see if the news has started to hit the national channels like CNN, while Daniel called up Rich to give him heads up as well. He wanted to make sure that his Chief of Staff was not caught off guard either.

Just as the Governor finished up with his Chief of Staff, Johnny found CNN. They were already talking about what had happened in El Paso and had tied it in to the Governor. The way they did it does not make any sense, but the viewers are going to buy what they are selling. Not because the viewers are dumb, but because they still believe, the press stays neutral when reporting the news.

"As you can see Mister Governor they have started talking about the shooting in El Paso. To prove the point even more that this can grow legs, they have already named it, and that is not good. Let us get out there and stop this runaway train before it gets out of control. You know if they get out of control there isn't a thing that we can say or do that can stop it."

The Governor agreed with his new press secretary, but asked to give him some time to talk with his family before they go out to the press. Johnny had no problem with the Governor talking with his family first because if he were in the Governor's shoes he would do the same.

While the Governor spoke with his family, Johnny's wife helped him get ready for his first press conference. Lucky for them they came dressed casually, not in Levi's and T-shirts. Although Johnny did not have a tie, he still looked presentable. Once he and his wife felt that he was ready, he rolled back into the main hallway.

The Governor joined Johnny a few minutes later and they headed out to where the press had already gathered. Normally there are always a few members of the press corps in front of the Governor's mansion, but today was different. When the Governor and his new press secretary walked up to the press, they could barely hear themselves think due to all the press that had gathered.

Neither the Governor nor Johnny said a word. They just stood there and waited for the press to settle down and stop throwing out questions. Once things started to simmer down, the Governor started to speak.

"Good evening ladies and gentlemen of the press, I hope you all are having a good Sunday and at least spent some of the day was spent with your families. There are a couple announcements I need to make and then I'm going to hand over this briefing to my press secretary." Several of the members of the press started shouting out questions interrupting the Governor, which did not make the Governor happy, but he was able to hide it so no one could see his anger.

"First and most importantly, my Chief of Staff and I have hired a new press secretary. I was going to wait until tomorrow to introduce him to you all in the scheduled briefing, but things have come up to change those plans. That left no other choice, but to come out here today and do the introduction.

My new press secretary I have known for well over a decade. We joined the Army together and went up in ranks together. He served as the second in command and my Press Secretary whenever I needed one in the military. He is not a newbie at this job and knows how to deal professionally with the members of the press. It is my great honor and privilege to introduce to you my new Press Secretary, Johnny Walker the third." The Governor stepped back and started clapping as Johnny took his place in front of the microphones.

When the applause stopped, Johnny cleared his throat and started talking. "Thank you for that warm welcome ladies and gentlemen. I am honored to once again serve, such a great man as his press secretary. Our military lost a great general when he went to the Reserves, but the state of Texas gained a great Governor. I hope to serve him well and with honor as his press secretary, as I did in the military.

I know there is something going on right now in the Governor's hometown and you want answers but I'm going to ask you to hold off for a few more moments and allow the Governor speak on a different topic before we get to that. I promise you I will address questions you may have dealing with what's happening in El Paso."

Johnny rolled back and the Governor walked back up to the podium. "Something you the press have forgotten and pretty much the citizens of this state of Texas have forgotten and that is I am still the military. I was offered an early retirement, but I politely declined because I felt it was not right to accept it.

With that said, I have been called up to do my three-day weekend this coming weekend. I could defer it, but I will not because once again it would not be right for me to do that. I am collecting a military paycheck and it is just right for me to do my job when I am being called to do it so I will be doing my reserve time this coming weekend.

While I am gone, the Lieutenant Governor will be acting as Governor according to the laws of our state. Although we do not see eye to eye on many issues, I hope he will respect that this is my term and does not sign anything into law while he is acting Governor. I truly believe I do not need to worry about that because the people of this state will keep him honest. Now I will be handing over the podium back to my press secretary so he can brief you and answer any questions you may have."

As the Governor stepped away from the podium, the press went wild us throwing out question after question at him. The Governor did not answer one of the questions that were being asked. When Johnny got to the podium, he did not say a word until the press settled down again. This time it took a little bit longer and then the time before, but they did finally calm down.

"I know you have a lot of questions concerning what the Governor just said and once again I plan to answer them, but let me say a few words before I do. Something has occurred in El Paso that involves people the Governor's family knows. You have learned about this and pretty much somehow tied it to the Governor, which is confusing since the Governor had nothing to do with what happened in El Paso.

There was a shooting early this morning at the home of the head swim coach of El Paso High School. The individual that was shot and killed is the father of a friend of the Governor's son's. When the dust settled, the man that broke into the coach's house laid dead on the living room floor by a gunshot from the owner of the home.

In this state as well as many others in the country if someone breaks into a home and the homeowner is there and has no other alternative to defend his home, the homeowner has that right to use deadly force. The man in question broke into the house. He was asked to leave, but he refused. That left the homeowner no other choice but to defend what is his.

With that said none of this had anything to do with neither the Governor nor his family, I will take this time and answer any questions you may have on the subject, but when I am done here, I will not talk about this issue again in any future briefings. If you bring up the question after today, you won't get an answer."

Johnny opened up the floor for questions and he got them. One after another was thrown at him and he knocked them down as if he was doing this job all his life. Some of the questions that were asked made sense, but some of them did not and Johnny made it clear to those who asked stupid questions not to ask them again.

"Mr. Walker, do you believe that Mr. Montoya had no other choice but to kill the father of foster son he currently is taking care of? You got to see it from our point of view how all this looks since it involved a minor child."

"The minor child should not come into play at all on what happened this morning in the home of Mister Montoya. The only thing you people should be concentrating on is the fact that Mr. Jimenez broke into the house. He was asked to leave and he refused. Mr. Montoya had the right at that point to do what he did in order to defend his home."

"Still Sir, this does not bode well for the Governor since he knows the people involved in the shooting. The Governor has had already had one shooting, resulting in two teenagers' deaths, and he has not even been in a year yet. How are the people of this state supposed to believe that he can handle the state's affairs when he cannot even handle his own personal affairs? The body count is climbing with this Governor and we don't trust him."

"What happened with the shooting of the two teenagers is totally different to what happened this morning. The shooting and the loss of life of two teenagers was sad for the Governor and wishes it did not happen. He and the security detail tried everything they possibly could have to prevent it but the young woman in question was set on doing harm to the Governor's son and none of you can say otherwise.

We all have seen the police report and all the evidence of that shooting. At the end of the day, the only conclusion you can get from that evidence is that the security agent had no other choice, but to shoot. If he had not shot the young woman, the Governor would have been burying his son.

The Governor is handling his personal affairs. His four children are well cared for, they all have high marks in school and are part of an after school program. His two older sons are part of the football team, and as well as his youngest son. Now there is no need to start to tell you what his middle son Josh, is involved in as we all have seen it and have taken great pride watching him perform for us repeatedly.

For you sir to tell your viewers that the Governor is not handling his personal affairs is just a straight out lie. Lies like that will no longer be tolerated in my briefings. If you come in without your facts straight, you will no longer be allowed in my briefing room. Trash talk for ratings will not be addressed from this podium anymore."

The press went quiet, but that did not last for long. They continued asking Johnny questions about the shooting and about the Governor doing his reserve time. Just like before he knocked them out of the park by answering every single question and not leaving anything for the press to twist around.

Johnny did something different than the other press secretaries have done in the past. He stood there, or should say sat there, and wore out the press. He did not leave until every single question was answered and the press had nothing more to say. They gave up before Johnny gave up. The Governor enjoyed seeing the press beaten at their game.

When they returned to the mansion, Johnny's family congratulated him on his first press conference. The Governor's family were little less in the mood to celebrate because they are about to lose their father for several days in the next week. They thought that those days of worries were over, but they now see they were wrong on that.

By the time Johnny and his family headed to their hotel rooms, the shooting in El Paso fell to the third story. They did not even spend a full minute on the story before going to the next one, which proved Johnny's theory correct.

Pretty much when they returned to work on Monday, it was business as usual. The press briefing was short because they tried to see if Johnny was true to his word. They tried to ask follow-up questions from the briefing the night before, but Johnny refused the answer the questions. When the third person asked, he kicked that reporter out of the briefing room, not permanently, but for the rest of the briefing for that day. That stopped the others from asking questions about the shooting.

The press also learned the rules that the new press secretary has. They were simple, but they were to the point. They will not talk until they are called upon. They will only ask questions about the briefing that they were just received. They only have one question and one follow-up. If they attempt to break any of these simple rules, they will be asked to leave the briefing room for the rest of the briefing that day. That is something their editors will not like.

Meantime back at the mansion, Johnny Junior and his sister joined Josh, his brothers, Patrick and Cesar at the pool. When they finally left the pool, they did it because they had no other choice but to. Russ and the other heads of security pulled them out of the pool and got them home in time for dinner.

When the boys walked into the dining room, the Governor looked up and they could tell their father was not happy. They figured the only reason he did not say a word to them is because Johnny and his sister were there. Once they are gone, the boys know that their father is going to pull them to the side for little one on one.

As the evening wore on, the boys were getting more nervous. When Johnny senior stopped in to pick up his kids, they tried to delay it as long as they could but eventually they left. The boys stayed in front of the TV and hoped that their father would get involved in a meeting that lasted until they had gone to bed.

Once again, they were wrong. The Governor poked his head into the room and saw his sons sit in front of the TV pretending they did not see him. "I can see it in your face as you guys know you did wrong and that is enough for me. You know what time you need to be home and I expect you won't break that rule again."

Josh and the other boys turned around and just nodded to their father. The Governor smiled and walked to his room. On his way could not help but think how intelligent his kids are. They knew they did wrong and they were punishing themselves for the wrong they did through the worrying they were doing.

He does not want to like the majority of the fathers out there and punish his kids every time they do wrong. Most the time the punishment backfires and in time the kid's rebel. That is something he does not want to happen. At the same time though he does not want to be his kids' best friend. They have plenty of friends, but only one father.

Tuesday and Wednesday flew by fast and before anyone knew it, it was Thursday morning. The top story that started the week has completely fallen off and replaced by the Governor of Texas reporting for duty. The only news channels that were still covering the shooting in El Paso were the local news channels there but even they did not spend a lot of time on a story that had no legs.

They were running the majority of their first fifteen minutes about the Governor reporting for active duty. None of the news stations local and national could believe that the Governor was actually reporting in. The majority of the politicians that are in the Reserves use their office as an excuse not to do their time when they are called up.

No matter what news channel you were watching, they brought up expert after expert on how the Governor could have gotten out of this. Again, depending on what station you were watching you would hear different reasons why he did not try to get out of doing his duty.

If you are watching CNN and stations life that, they were reporting that this was nothing but a hoax by the Governor of Texas to keep them from talking about what had happened in El Paso. As the week wore on they added that the Governor was doing this to get higher approval ratings in his State, which confused not only every person now in the Governor's administration, but the Governor himself.

Simply put, the Governor is still riding high on his approval ratings. Right now, his approval rating is still above eighty percent and has not fallen below that number so for the press to be saying that he is reporting in for better numbers, they need to go back and look at the numbers. If they did that, they would see they are reporting incorrectly as usual.

Meantime back in El Paso, Chris arrived back home a few days early. He was not scheduled to come back home until the following Monday, but that changed because his father was being buried on Friday.

Chris really did not want to attend his father's funeral because he cannot remember a time he was ever happy living at home with his father. Every memory he had of him was a bad memory. The memories were of beatings and his father saying things to him that no father should ever say to his son. To top it all off, he broke in to the home of the two people that took him in and loved him as their own in order to kill them. That among many other things Chris cannot forgive his father.

However, Mister Montoya talked Chris into coming back. Not for his father, but for himself because if he does not attend his father's funeral, the coach believes that Chris will always hate himself for not saying his final goodbyes to his father. That he talked to Chris repeatedly about since the passing of his father and finally Chris agreed to come home.

The thing that coach did not know was that Chris did not come home because of what he said, but because Chris did not want to let him down. He tried to explain to the coach that in his mind his father has been dead since the day they got that car accident. The things his father was saying before he crashed were so hurtful and vindictive that Chris could not forget those words.

Neither Chris nor the Montoya's knew what the other was going to say when they saw each other. The minute Chris got off the plane and made his way into the waiting area of the terminal, their fears went away. The Montoya's hugged Chris as if their son was returning home and Chris returned the hug as though they are his actual parents.

On their way to the car, they talked about general items. Nothing about what happened Sunday morning. Chris did not care to find out about the details and the coach and his wife did not want to relive that morning so they had a silent understanding that neither wanted to talk about it.

After getting home and resting for a while, the coach took Chris down to the funeral home to deal with his father's funeral. No other family has stepped up and even if they had, they could not make any decisions regarding his funeral since he has a living son.

When they arrived at the funeral home, Chris walked into the funeral home while the coach stayed out in the car. He looked around trying to stay calm, but the more time he was left alone, the more nervous he got. Finally, after what seemed to be a lifetime to Chris, the funeral director greeted him.

"I have been waiting for a family member that come in and tell me how they would like Mr. Jimenez's funeral handled. I know you are his son and it is a lot for such a young man to deal with so if you want I can handle all the details and after the funeral we can sit and talk about the cost."

Looking at the casket room, Chris saw a simple wooden box at the far side of the room. It was not anything fancy, but in his mind, it suited his father. "No that is okay I can go ahead and make decisions regarding my father's funeral." Chris walked into the casket room and pointed to the simple wooden box. "That casket is just fine for my father. There is no need to have a fancy casket for him or service. He didn't care about life when he was alive, so why should anyone care on how he is buried."

"Sir you do understand that casket is the bottom of the line of all caskets." The funeral director started pounding softly on the cheap casket. "This casket isn't waterproof or it won't preserve your father's body. So why don't you look around a little at the other caskets before making up your mind."

"No, this casket will do. My father is very lucky that I am even giving him a casket. Because if I would react on the feelings I am feeling right now, I would tell you to put him in a bag and throw him in a hole without a tombstone. However, I am not going to do that, because I am better than my father was.

So once again, the wooden casket is fine and no fancy service. I do not believe anyone will show up tomorrow except for me. All I would like is that we take the box to the hole and toss the dirt on it. It is time to bury this man so I can move on with my life without looking over my shoulder every second of every day."

The funeral director just shook his head as he filled out the paperwork on his clipboard. When he was done, he handed the clipboard to Chris to go over it and make sure he got everything right. Chris took a quick glance at the paperwork and handed it back to the funeral director telling him everything was correct.

"You know that your father's insurance policy is willing to pay more than you have here. What I'm trying to say is don't let your father's insurance get away with paying the bottom amount after your father paid them a huge amount, month after month." The funeral director handed Chris back the clipboard.

As he looked at the clipboard, he thought about what the funeral director said. Although he despises his father with every ounce in his body, he cannot let the insurance company get away with robbery. At the same time though he does not want to give the funeral director a chance to bill him something he cannot pay.

"Sir to tell you the truth I don't want the insurance company get away with robbing my father even though I couldn't stand him. Go ahead and do whatever you need to do to get everything that policy will pay out for my father's funeral. Do it honestly, but at the end of the day the total can't be more than what the policy is willing to pay."

Chris handed back the clipboard to the funeral director, thanked him, and walked out. All the way home, no one talked. When they drove into the driveway, Chris saw Rusty sitting there on the front porch. He has not spoken to Rusty since the night that the Governor got married.

He got out of the car and as he was walking up to Rusty, he got up. "Hello coach, how are you doing Sir?" The coach said fine as he walked past the boys into the house. Once the coach disappeared into the house, the two young teenagers just stood there looking at each other. Both of them tried to wait the other out to see who would speak first.

Finally, Rusty gave in and spoke. "I am sorry to hear about your father, but I know you weren't close at all to him. But still I wanted to come down and be here for you just in case you needed someone to be with besides the coach and his wife."

"Thanks for coming down Rusty, I really appreciate it." Chris walked onto the porch and sat down. Rusty immediately sat down next to him. "You are right when you said that I was not close to my father. Funny thing is I was thinking earlier today about the past and I cannot remember the last time I was ever happy with my father. He was mean, he was a drunk, and he hated me for so many reasons."

"The little I know about your relationship with your dad it was not good. Before I even got with you, I knew about the car crash. I think the entire school knew about the car crash and your father. There were rumors going around the school at the end of this school year that your father tried to kidnap you. I don't know how true that was because again I heard it second hand from someone who heard it from someone. You know how rumors are at school."

"Yeah know how rumors are at school, but I don't know about that rumor. I can tell you that it is untrue as far as I know. If my father was there and tried to kidnap me, I never was told. But I wouldn't be surprised to find out that is true."

Once again, the boys did not say a word to each other. They just stared out to the street, thinking to themselves. As they sat there, Chris started to think about the last time he was with Rusty. As he went over the scene of that night, he couldn't believe that Rusty is actually here today talking to him.

"I know I've not said this it to you, but I am sorry for that night. There is no excuse for what I did and I'm not about to try to make one up." Chris started to shake as he continued to stare out into the street. "I don't know if you've ever had a relationship like the one I had with Josh, but if you did you would know where I was coming from. Again, I am not trying to make any excuses for my behavior that night. It's just..."

Rusty reached over and took Chris' hand into his. "We both acted wrong that night. I overreacted to what you said and just like you; I won't make any excuses for me doing that. The more I think about it, and trust me I have been thinking about that night a lot, I should not have kicked you out like that. Instead we should have talked it out." Rusty started to rub his hands across Chris' hand.

"To tell you the truth I knew what I was getting into when I started dating you. I knew about the relationship you had with Josh and that you were still in love with him. It's just I thought that maybe, just maybe, you would love me as half as much as you love Josh." Rusty started fighting back tears.

"I really believe that I loved you and still love you as much as I love Josh but the love I have for Josh is totally different than the love I have for you. He and I helped each other come to terms to who we are. At the time I met Josh, I was more comfortable in my own skin than he was, but he was actually stronger than I was.

Because we were there for each other when we were coming out to not only ourselves, but to our families, we will always love each other. Not the way we did when we were going out with each other, but there will always be a certain part of my heart that will belong to him. As more time passes, the more I am able to move on."

"Do you think that Josh feels the same way about you?"

"I really do believe he feels much the same way about me as I do about him. With that said though there is no way we are ever going to get back together. He has moved on and found Cesar who makes him stronger. The more I watch those two together, the more I know Cesar is the right person for Josh. They just complete each other."

"You and I are seeing the same thing with those two. In fact after that concert he had with George Strait, Dolly Parton, and Kenny Rogers, the entire country sees what you and I see. I would never have thought Josh would have done what he did on national TV. There are just way too many crazy people out there wanting to do harm to him."

Chris agreed with Rusty as he thought back to that concert and what that crazy man said afterwards. He understands that Josh loves Cesar and he wants the entire world know, but the entire world is not ready to see two boys together in a relationship. Since that night, Chris has been worried that the nuts are going to come out of the woodwork now.

Rusty stayed for dinner and spent the evening with Chris. They did not talk about the funeral; instead, they talked about Patrick, Bernice and the others. By the time Rusty went home, he had caught up with all the gossip in the group. When they were saying their goodbyes, they made plans to go to the funeral together in the morning.

As the sunrays started to penetrate the curtains of Chris' room, it brought him back to life. Little by little, he woke up from his slumber. He tried to cover his head with the blankets to try to block out the sun in order to get more sleep, but it did not work. The sun was just too bright and it was making his room too hot.

Giving up on getting a few more minutes of sleep, Chris tossed the blankets to the side and got out of bed. He rubbed his toes through the fabric of the carpet before he got up from bed. With one arm stretching any other one rubbing his butt, Chris looked at himself in the mirror and did not like what was looking back at him.

The older he got the more he started looking like the person he never wanted to be, his father. As he looked in the mirror, he saw his father looking back at him. Although it is a younger version of his father, it is still his father's face without the miles on it. Life was not to kind to his father, Chris stood there in the mirror thinking as he rubbed his face.

After a few minutes more in front of the mirror, Chris turned and walked over to his closet pulling out a pair of dress slacks. Once he put together everything he was going to wear for his father's funeral, he headed across to the bathroom. It did not take him long to shower and get back into his room, get dressed and head downstairs for breakfast.

Right when they finished eating, the doorbell rang. Chris quickly jumped up from his seat, walked over to the door, and opened it without checking who it was. He already knew it was Rusty at the door. Since his father is gone, the fear he was living with was gone. Just like he said yesterday, he was always looking over his shoulders, but not anymore. That weight has been lifted off his shoulders.

When Chris saw Rusty, he could not believe how hot he looked in a suit. Well, he always thought Rusty looked hot no matter what he was dressed in, but today he looked even hotter than normal. After picking up his tongue from the floor, Chris invited Rusty in and shut the door behind him.

As they headed to his room, Chris yelled out to the coach to call him when they are ready to go. Not waiting for his response, he closed the door and joined Rusty on the bed. "I don't know if I ever told you this when we were going out, but if I didn't let me correct that now. You are one very handsome guy and I wish I respected you a lot more than I did. You deserve someone that not only treats you right, but spoils you."

Stunned by hearing those words coming out of Chris' mouth, Rusty had no idea how to respond. He always knew the Chris that is sitting beside him here today was always there underneath it all. It is just that Chris never opened up when they were together. He always kept his distance and kept his armor up.

"Thanks for saying that to me Chris." Rusty words finally making it to his tongue from his mind. "I always knew you felt that way about me and I never needed you to say it out loud. I love you and still love you a lot. It took me time to realize that no matter what, I still love you. I can't seem to stop thinking about you every day."

Chris placed his hands on top of Rusty's and pulled them over to his lap. As they held on to each other's hands tight, they looked deep into each other's eyes. They could see that not only the love that they had for each other was still there, but also it was burning even brighter than ever before. Both boys leaned in at the same time in hopes to steal a kiss.

Back in Austin, everything was very quiet. The Governor and Barbara were packing the few things the Governor needed to take with him to the base. The boys were in the other room trying to get their mind off what is happening by watching TV, but they were unsuccessful. Then when their father walked into the room with his uniform on, they pretty much fell apart.

The Governor walked over to his boys and knelt in front of them. "I know you guys are really worried about me, but there is no need for that. There is not a thing that is going to keep me from you boys, nothing. You understand me on that don't you?" Not one of the Lopez boys said a word. "I mean it you guys. There is nothing that anyone can say, do, or put in front of me, that will keep me from coming home to you all on Monday. I got my boys back and there isn't anything that will take that from me again."

Daniel Sr. leaned in and pulled all four of his sons into a hug with him. They stood there in the middle of the room holding onto each other as if it was going to be the last time. None of them wanted to break the hug, but eventually they had to. Daniel Sr. got up, looked away from his boys so they did not see his watery eyes.

He walked over to Patrick, and pulled him into a hug. Softly he whispered in his ear to be good before letting him go. Patrick promised he would, and that is all Daniel needed to hear. He turned his attention to Cesar and pulled him into a hug. Instead of telling him to be good, he asked him to keep an eye on Josh, which he promised to do so. As soon as he let go of Cesar, he turned to his boys and spoke.

"You boys be good while I am gone and listen to your grandmother and stepmother. They are in charge while I am gone. So if they ask you to do something, take it as if I am asking you to do it. I know when I get home I won't get any complaints that you guys refused to listen to them and acted out."

Walking over to the door, the Governor turned and looked at his boys. "I love you guys very much and I will be back on Monday." The Governor turned and walked out. Josh, his brothers, Cesar and Patrick all ran to the window to watch as the Governor left.

They were seeing everything that the American people were seeing on their televisions at home since the press went live the moment the Governor walked out of the mansion. The Governor waved at the press as he got into his limousine. The press tried to get video and pictures of the Governor in the limousine as it drove past them, but they could not. The windows were tinted to dark for them to see anything.

Once the limousine was no longer in sight, Josh and the others sat back down and just stared at nothing. Josh felt empty inside. The only other time he has ever felt this feeling before was when he and Chris broke up. Never did he feel this way when his father left the times before, but this time is different. He knows there will be no way his father is going to get hurt, but still he is worried and feels empty inside.


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 one and all to another chapter of "Shadow of My Father". This chapter looks we have several of the characters appear in it, not just Josh, and his family. He covered a long time, and at the same time, he covered many subject lines. I hope you enjoyed this chapter is much as I did writing it. I had a very hard time finding a stopping point for this chapter.

Let us go back to the beginning of the chapter and talk a little bit about that. I went back several hours in this chapter from where I left off from in the last chapter. I kind of picked up where the cliffhanger was, but I have to go back so more hours in order to explain exactly what had happened plus I needed to give little bit of background again of Chris' dad in order to remind all of us what was going on.

The thing I can't believe is that Chris' dad's went as far as he did in order to get his son back; a son that didn't want anything to do with him. A son that he wanted to put into one of those places as Joey was in. The question I have is why he really wanted his son back if he was going to put him through hell again.

No matter how bad a character of my stories is, I don't want to see them die. Just like Elizabeth, Chris' dad made the wrong choices. Not only did he break into the house,

but also he refused to walk away when he had the chance. The only choice the coach had was the choice he took, killing Chris' dad.

You know the funny thing is the press and how they tried to push this on to the Governor. Before you go there and let us talk about Johnny senior. I am glad that he took the press secretary position and gave the Governor good advice. The Governor needs to surround himself with people like Johnny, Al, and Rich. People that are not ambitious, and only there for one thing, and that is taking care of the Governor.

From the very first moment Johnny stepped up to the podium, he laid down the law with the press corps. He talked about how he plans to run the pressroom and I like it. He also wore out the press on the very first briefing he had Sunday night. Normally the press is left standing asking questions, but not this time around.

I love seeing an old character coming back into the story that everyone thought was written off. When Rusty appeared in this story, I hoped it surprise everyone. It looks like he and Chris are going to become an item once again, but who knows. Once again, you know how I love to twist things around. One of the cliffhangers in this chapter are these two going to get back together? The answer to that question will be in the chapters to come.

One of the other cliffhangers I had in this chapter is the funeral. We know there is going to be a funeral, but what we do not know is if anyone is going to show up. What you also do not know is if Chris is going to finally break down and forgive his father. If he doesn't do it at the funeral, will he ever do it? Eventually in order for Chris to have a truly happy life, he is going to have to forgive his father.

I know this is not much of a cliffhanger, but I want to plant to seed anyway. You all know how the detective acted when he first arrived on the scene of the shooting. Eventually he let up, but I don't think that will be the last we are going to hear about this detective and investigation. The reasons I say this is because keep in mind on what is going on in "Jacob Finding his Way".

Now let me talk a little bit about the Governor and his reserve time. Many of you have forgotten that the Governor did not retire from the military when he ran for the Governorship. He didn't feel it was right for him to do that since he signed on the dotted line to give the military certain amount of years so instead of taking early retirement from the military, he transferred into the Reserves.

His time came up to do a weekend in the Reserves. Throughout history the good majority of the politicians that were in the Reserves and holding political office, deferred their reserve time. They always used the office as an excuse on why they could not do their time, but the Governor refused to do that.

Another open plot is the Governor leaving to do his time in the Reserves. It was a very emotional moment for the family and the kids really did not want their father to leave. This is a plot that you are going to be blown away within the next chapter. I don't want to give too much away on but I'm going to say this you need to read the next chapter.

One last thing I almost forgot about was the Lieutenant Governor. By law whenever a Governor is unable to execute their office, the Lieutenant Governor steps in. I only hope that this Lieutenant Governor does not take this opportunity to sign anything into law or change anything the Governor enacted. If he does any of that, there is going to be a mess to clean up and an all out war between the Governor and the Lieutenant Governor.

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!}

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/


I am very glad that no innocent person was hurt by Chris' dad. I am also glad for Chris' sake that the man is dead. I am a dad myself and anyone that would abuse their own child the way he did deserves to be dead in my mind.

When it comes to the funeral arrangements, had I been Chris, I would have opted for cremation and a tin box to bury. Cremation would be symbolic of the fires of Hell his soul should have to endure.

The Montoya's are good and loving people to the core. They are more truly parents to Chris than his father ever was. This brings to mind an adage I heard somewhere: "It takes a mere man to be a father; it takes an incredible man to be a Dad". Coach is a `dad' where as Jimenez was nothing more than an abusive sperm donor. I know. I need to quit keeping my thoughts and feelings inside so much!

Fr. Gomez is what a good parish priest should be. He's not only a spiritual leader but he's also a counselor and advisor. He has a wonderful insight into the human condition and he is willing to step up and be there for anyone who is in need or crisis. There are some people in this saga that are carrying heavy burdens and I hope that they seek out Fr. Gomez for counsel. I think he's better at counseling than any shrink!

Perhaps Chris and Rusty have gotten some maturity going. I hope that they can actually get it together enough to give themselves another chance. Both of them screwed up badly in the first try. They both have had their tough pasts. They have seen how good a warm, loving, committed relationship can be. If they are smart, they will take what they have seen and learned along with their growing maturity and join forces. I sense that they could be as solid as any gay couple if they do it right. I hope that both of them can step out of themselves and be there totally for the other. Out of that unconditional giving can come unconditional love.

Until next time,

"Daddy" Rick