{Beneath The Mask is pure fiction. As I am writing this story, I am above the age of 21. If you want a story with lots of sex, look elsewhere. This is a love story. Seeing as it's a love story, sex is in there, but it's in realistic balance in the characters' lives.

Any similarity to any real events, names, or life events is purely accidental. If you are underage, (according to your state laws as a minor), if this literature is offensive to you or to anyone around your viewing area, or it's illegal for you to view such content where you are reading it, stop reading the story.


This story can't be distributed in any way, shape or form without the author's expressed, written consent.}

Written by J.P.G.

Chapter 30

Nothing really happened during lunch. Alex kept looking to see if Shane and his gang were anywhere around, but they were nowhere to be seen. By the time they made their way out, Matt couldn't stand by as he is sees his boyfriend walking on egg shells. There isn'thing going on and he wants to know to see if he could help him.

"Hey what is going on with you Alex? You have been so preoccupied looking over your shoulders, you didn't eat much or get into the conversation we were having at the table. Tell me what is going on and maybe I can help you."

"Before I say anything, let's go and get Carlos. This involves him as well." Alex walked over to Carlos and pulled him to the side with him and Matt. "Look something happened this morning that kind of got me worried. It'sn't that I am afraid of what happened it's because I want to stay out of trouble. But I don't see any way out this without getting into trouble here at school and with the law."

"Now you really have my attention Alex. What in world happened this morning that's causing you to think that no matter how you react on it, it will get you trouble here at school and with the law? Maybe we three can put our heads together and find a way out of whatever has you worried."

Alex pulled Matt and Carlos even further away from the group. He doesn't want any of them to overhear what they are talking about. If they find out what he and Carlos did, no matter why they did it, they will look down at them. They are barely getting their respect and this for sure will set them back to when he first came down during the holidays.

"Okay we are the only ones that know about this and I want it to stay that way no matter what happens. If Jacob and the others find out, they won't trust us again. Maybe you Matt, but not me or Carlos." Matt and Carlos looked at Alex with a confused look on their faces as if Alex is speaking another language.

"Shane and his friends stopped me in the hall this morning to do two things. The first was to see if they could scare me into telling them it was me that jumped them in the park. The other is to send me a loud and clear message that they are gunning for me. There is no way I am going to let them make the first move. I won't be spending the rest of the school year looking over my shoulder to see when these guys are going to come at me."

Matt knew something was up, but not this. But after hearing Alex he knows that he can't let Alex make the first move. There has to be another way to get this to go away without fighting. Look how they handled the Dabria issue. They found a way to get the truth and get rid of the threat without raising a finger.

"Those sons-of-a-bitches! Who in the hell do they think they are? I want to find them right now and just knock the living shit out of them. They have no idea who they are screwing with. If they did, they wouldn't be pulling this shit on you!"

"Look, you guys can't keep settling your problems the same old way. If you go over to them and kick their asses, which we already know you can, you won't only get expelled but arrested as well. Nothing good would come out of that. They will heal and come back laughing at you guys because they are free and you two are behind bars.

Why do you think they approached Alex the way they did? Let me tell you the fact is they really don't know it was you guys that kicked their asses in the park that night. They have a pretty good idea that it was you guys, but can't prove it or be sure. They want you to react and all they more than likely going to do is sit back and let you two dig your own graves."

"Okay Mr. Knows It All, what should we do? The only thing those guys understand is one language and that language is me and Alex kicking their asses. This isn't like Dabria that we can just back them into a corner and have them say a few words to get arrested. If anyone would get arrested if we do that, it would be me and Alex here."

"Don't you think I know that? No, there is a way to deal with them without you two getting into any trouble. All we have to do is think how to do it. There is no way they are going to make their move anytime soon. They are waiting to see how you guys react and hope you do exactly what you were planning to do."

Carlos didn't respond to Matt, he stood there looking at Alex for guidance. Alex knows that his boyfriend is right and they have to find their way out this by using their brains not their fists. But he doesn't know how to get that done and until he does he will be looking over his shoulders wondering if Shane and his friends are going to strike.

"For now we just stay on the lookout. We will come up with a plan to deal with them and when we do there will be no way we will get in to trouble. Just like Matt said, they are hoping for us to act like we used to. There is no way we will give them that satisfaction. And let me tell you when this is over, they will be the ones being walked out of here being expelled for the rest of the year, not us."

Carlos agreed to lay back for now. He doesn't want to bring undue attention to him and Alex. They don't know if there is anyone around that knows people that know people in their old gang. If they fight, people will talk and that talk will reach back to their old side of town and then their old gang.

Fourth period was boring for Alex. He used the time to get some of his makeup work done. The teacher wouldn't even notice that he was sleeping because he never gets up from his desk. All period long he lectures sitting behind his desk and sometimes he repeats the lecture from the day before.

After roll call in fifth period, the new instructor instructed the students that they will be marching in formation. As it's Alex hates marching and now that he doesn't feel up to it he hates it even more. Lucky for him, he has a note from Dr. Whitmore excusing him from anything physical and that includes marching.

As the class made their way out of the large classroom, Alex walked over to the company commander. He handed him the doctor's note and waited to see what the captain wants him to do instead of marching. Immediately Alex knew something was up when he saw the company commander reading the note several times and not saying anything.

"Thisn'te has to be a fake note Mr. Garcia. First of all I believe you ditched last week and now you are trying to pass off thisn'te to get you out of marching. I won't be fooled by it so get out there and join the company."

"No sir I won't. Not when I have a note for my doctor telling you that I can't do anything physical for at least four weeks. I don't care if you believe me or not, that note is real and I won't march or do anything physical that might set me back."

"If you do not go out there and join the company and march, I will make sure you flunk this class. You know as well as I do if you flunk you won't get the PE credit you need in order to graduate. So you better not test me and just do what you are told." Alex shook his head in the negative and that did it.

"Get out of this building before I have you run the monument. You will go and stand outside in the lower parking lot and wait for me until I get there. You are going to regret the day you decided to test me. No one under in my company will get away with what you are trying to pull; no one!"

Alex didn't even attempt to try to talk with the kid; he just walked out of the building and headed down to the lower parking lot. He stood there watching as the two platoons marched in formation. Right away Alex spotted Matt and smiled at him as he passed.

After standing there for over ten minutes Alex decided to sit down. He let his legs dangle over the wall as he watched the new sergeant yell at several of the cadets. That is when he realized that there is a big difference between the instructors and it's as plain as day. Sergeant Haney only had to look at you and you knew you were in trouble. This new guy feels that he needs to be yelling at you in order to get his point across. Alex thought that this is going to be a problem if they ever hit heads.

When he looked like the sergeant had enough, he ordered several of the cadets that weren't catching onto the drill to run the monument. They smiled at Alex as they ran past him. Just like them, if he was down there marching he'd rather run the monument than marching. At least running is doing something useful, unlike marching.

"Mr. Garcia stand up please and here is your doctor's note back." Alex stood up and grabbed hisn'te wondering why a change in demeanor. "I am sorry for not believing that thisn'te is real. You haven't given me any reason I can't trust you and I shouldn't assume the worst about you. Until you bring a note from you doctor letting us know that you can start back up again, you will sit out all physical activities."

Alex stood there not understanding what just happened. When he left the guy he was ready to have a stroke over the note and now he is apologizing for the way he dealt with the situation. What happened between the time he left his company commander and now Alex wondered. His question got answered as he turned and saw Jacob looking on.

Alex walked over to Jacob to see what he did. "Jacob what did you do to make that guy believe that my note isn't a fake? When I left the building, that guy really believed that I wasn't telling the truth and the note is a fake."

"The only ting I did is point out to him that fact that you haven't given him a reason not to trust you. If that ever happens, then and only then he can question you the way he was. No one deserves to be talked to or thought of the way your company commander did. That doesn't mean that you don't have to listen to him."

"Oh I know that Jacob. All I wanted is him to believe me that my note is real and I can't do anything physical right now. Don't get me wrong I really want to do some things with Matt that are physical, but I will hold off." Alex and Jacob started to laugh. "Anyways thank you for helping me out here."

"He was wrong and you were right, it's that simple." Jacob turned to walk back to the building ad turned back to Alex. "No matter what you say Alex, I owe you my life. What I did is the least I could do for what you did for me. Just when you and Matt have your physical time together, be careful. We can't be rushing you to the hospital with your dick pointing straight out for the world to see."

Alex was totally stunned with what Jacob just said! Ever since he's gotten to know Jacob, he has always been so serious. It's very rare that he cracks a joke or even laughs at the jokes that others make. Now here he is making jokes and that's a side of Jacob Alex would like to see more of!

It felt weird being home without Matt at his side. Dr. Whitmore ordered him not to return to work or he will place him back in the hospital. Still Alex feels bad that he is now out of commission on top of Tom being out. He promised Ron that he will cover for Tom on the days he is at football practice and now here he is sitting out home letting Ron down.

Since no one is around but Franseca, Alex decided to use the quiet time to do as much of his makeup work as possible before the house fills up again. Once the guys return, Alex knows he won't be able to concentrate on his homework.

In no time Alex got through all his homework, which not only surprised his mother but him as well. Since he finished his homework so quickly, Alex went looking for his little brothers to spend time with, but Lorenzo and Ismail weren't home. They are over at a friend's house as they are every day after school; something that Alex didn't know.

So Alex decided to go up and see what Jeremy is doing. The last time he hung with Jacob's older brother was the day they bought their new car. It wasn't that Alex didn't want to spend time with Jeremy; he just didn't have time to spare. When he wasn't in the hospital, the free time he did have he spent with his brothers and Matt.

Alex found Jeremy in his room playing with the little dog that belongs to Jacob. Not wanting to scare Jeremy, Alex knocked on the door of the bedroom and waited for Jeremy to invite him in. Jeremy just looked up at Alex for a few seconds before returning his attention back to the little dog.

Slowly Alex walked in and sat on floor next to Jeremy. He waited for Jeremy to look at him again before asking him the dog's name. Jeremy started to sign, but Alex had no idea what he is saying. He tried to figure out what Jeremy is saying, but just couldn't.

"Jeremy is saying the dogs name is Cupid." Alex looked over at the door to see Jacob standing there. "Sorry if I scared you, I heard voices and I came over to see who is in here with my brother. You know you have a way with Jeremy that very few people have. Normally Jeremy ignores anyone he doesn't trust or like, but you he enjoys having around. That means that he trusts you."

"I like being around Jeremy, he doesn't want anything in return except respect. Although he understands me, I don't understand him. I need to learn sign language so I can communicate with him. He looks like he has a lot to say but he has no one to say it to."

"If you are serious about learning sign language I have books you can borrow. I learned on my own when I agreed to take Jeremy in. You might be asking yourself why I would take him in and that answer is simple. He is my brother and belongs with us, his family. Not in some school in a state that we don't even live in anymore."

"I certainly understand what you are talking about Jacob." Alex got up ad walked over to Jacob at the door. "I am serious about learning how to sign. If you have books that I can learn, I would be grateful if you would loan them to me. I will take care of them and give them back as soon as learn how to talk with Jeremy."

They told Jeremy that they will be right back before heading over to Jacob's room. Jacob walked over to his book case and pulled down three books and handed them to Alex. They sat down and Jacob went through the simple things of sign language. Right when they started to get into it, they heard the guys talking down stairs.

Alex took the books and walked down with Jacob to the dinner table. Both of them didn't eat because they waited for the others to come home and eat with them. As soon as they walked in, Alex walked over to Matt and kissed him as they sat down. Like always the minute everyone sat down, you couldn't make heads or tails of what is being said since there are several conversations going on all at once.

Al walked in just as they finished eating dinner. He walked over to Alex and Matt and told them to join him in the study before he walked out. Alex and Matt got up at the same time and followed Al to the study. At first they walked over to the old study, but it dawned on them that they are walking into the wrong room. The old study no loner is there because it's part of the TV room. This will be the first time being in the study on Al's side of the house.

"I know you guys are probably tired, you Matt just getting home from work and Alex being that this is your first day back to school after a major surgery. So I won't take up a lot of your time." Al sat down and put out his hand. "I need the written checks that were given to you by Ron please." Alex and Matt pulled out their wallets and handed the written checks over to Al.

"We should have done this since the beginning, but it fell through the cracks. I have set up separate accounts under each of your names. Now on you will get direct deposit of your checks so you don't have to worry about cashing them. Until you get your Visa debit cards in the mail, the temp checks will have to do. As well you will get checks, but I recommend that you guys don't use them. It's hard to keep track of what you wrote out as far as checks and if you write one and it bounces, you will be in trouble."

"As far as the checks are concerned Al, we don't want them. So when they come in the mail, do whatever you want with them as long as no one else has the information to our accounts." Alex looked over to make sure he Matt agreed with him.

"I agree, don't worry about the checks. The only thing we need is the debit cards with the Visa logo and ability to walk into the bank whenever we want to pull money out of our accounts. Checks are too much of a hassle and right now we really don't need those to pay any bills because have no bills."

"That sounds good boys. I will give them to your mother as soon as they come in. That way if you find a time that you need the checks, you can go to your mother for them. Other than that, the only thing left is giving you the money you asked for Alex. It's a huge amount and I hope you don't spend it all at once."

"To be honest with you Al, I am going to spend it all in one place." Al looked at Alex with a concern look on his face. "All of it's going to go to Jacob for what I owe him, at least for SOME of what I owe him. Five hundred of it's for the bedroom set and the other hundred and sixty is for the medicine he paid for the other day."

Al got up not happy at all with what he just heard. No matter what Alex thinks, Jacob doesn't want the money paid back to him. Not because of what Alex did for him, Jacob had never intended Alex to pay him back. Jacob feels that he needs to give back to as many people that he can and that include Alex.

"I know what you are going to say sir, but I am going to pay Jacob back. He loaned me money on good faith that I will pay him back. If I don't do that and I ever need his or your help again, you guys won't do it because I don't pay back my debts. Plus it's the right thing to do and there isn't a thing that can be said that will change my mind."

After hearing Alex out, Al knew not to try and talk Alex out of paying Jacob back. It would be as if he is talking to the wall in the end. Hopefully Jacob will put his foot down and not take the money. No matter what Alex does or says Al hopes Jacob will refuse to take the money.

On their way to their room, Alex separated from Matt and headed upstairs. Matt knew exactly where his boyfriend is going and doesn't want to be in the room when Jacob refuses to take the money. Those two are both hard headed and when they believe they are being tested they push even more to win.

Alex knocked on the door of Jacob's room and walked in when he heard Dewayne. "Hey I am sorry for bothering you guys so late, but I need to give you something, Jacob. I know it's not all of it, but it's some of what I owe." Alex handed Jacob the envelope from the bank. "It's six hundred and sixty dollars which pays for the bedroom set and the medicine you paid for the other day at Walgreens."

Jacob got up from the bed and walked over to Alex. Before he could even say a word, Alex bid them good night and walked out of the room. Jacob ran after Alex down the stairs trying to give him the money back, but Alex refused to take it. When they reached the kitchen, Jacob realized he isn't going to win this way, so he let Alex go.

The minute Alex disappeared down the hall to his side of the house, Jacob walked over to Franseca as she was doing the dishes. Jacob started to help Franseca by washing the pans and she dried them and put them away. Once they got the kitchen clean, Jacob asked Franseca to sit and talk with him for a few minutes.

"I don't mean any disrespect to you or Alex, but I can't accept his money." Franseca started to shake her head no as Jacob handed her the envelope. "Let me tell why I can't accept his money before you refuse to take it as well Franseca. Once you hear me out, you will see why I am being so hard headed about this.

Before you guys got to know me, my family was just like yours. We didn't have much. We lived in a three bedroom apartment; a cheap apartment to top it off, barely making it week to week. So when I got this money, I didn't want to spend it at first. It just felt bad, but my grandfather told me it wasn't. He invested the money for me and in return he made me a lot more money on top of the money I won in the lawsuit.

When I started to spend the money I made a promise to help out those that mean a lot to me. You and your family are part of my family. You guys have been part of my family even before Alex did what he did for me last week. A long time ago Alex saved my life when he shot me. If it wasn't for him, I would be dead today because I had no idea I had cancer. Something good came out of something bad that day.

Now Alex has saved my life twice and I can't sit here and accept or ask for money from him. At the same time I understand why he feels that he needs to pay me back so I will accept it, but I will give it you to put away for him for a rainy day. Get ahead on the truck payment or buy him something that he needs with this money. Whatever you do make sure the money is spent on him. After all the money is his from the beginning anyways."

Franseca took the envelope at the same time as she grabbed Jacob's hands. "Where did you come from Jacob? My family is so lucky that we met your and your family. Since that day you walked into my house, I haven't had another dark moment in my life. Thank you and I will make sure to follow your instructions on this money. It will only be used whenever my son needs it."

Franseca let go of Jacob's hands as she got up. She pulled Jacob into a hug and kissed him on the forehead whispering thank you and she loves him. At the same time Jacob held onto her as tight as he could. Every time Franseca hugs him, he feels safe like nothing in world will ever hurt him again.

Alex found Matt doing his homework when he walked in the room. "I have already caught up to the class so if you want to save time you can copy my homework." Alex walked up to Matt and wrapped his arms around him. "There are better things we can be doing with this time than sitting around doing homework."

"You're right there are better things we can be doing, but I need to do this myself in order to learn. I will try to hurry to get this done as fast as I can. While I am working on this why don't you go and find your brothers. They came in here looking for you when you were up in Jacob's room. I saw in their faces that they really want to spend time with their big brother."

Just as Alex left his room, he heard a knock on the door. He walked over, looked out the blinds to find several uniformed officers and a couple guys in suits. Alex looked around the room nervously, thinking that Shane had reported him. Now they are here to arrest him for assault or something like that.

Very slowly, Alex cracked the door and looked out. "Mr. Alejandro Garcia, my name is Detective Baker; can I come in and talk with you for a few minutes? It's very important that I talk with you because it does concern your safety."

"Are you here to arrest me for something? If so I need to go and get my mom so she knows what is going on. Also I wouldn't like you arresting me in my house in front of my little brothers. They have seen that too many times with my father. I am not going to put them through that again."

"Unless you did something that you shouldn't have and want to tell us about it, the answer is no. So far we haven't gotten any reports about wrong doing by you. We are here on a totally different matter tonight."

Alex opened the door to let the two detectives and the officers in. He asked them to follow him to the main house so his mother could be present. But of course Alex wanted to find either Al or Jacob to be present to make sure he isn't being taken advantage of. Up till now, the police have never given him a reason to trust them.

When they reached the main kitchen, Alex found his mother and Al sitting at the table drinking coffee and laughing. The minute the uniformed officers walked into the kitchen, both Al and Franseca's demeanor changed. They stopped laughing and got up from their seats. Before Alex could say a word, Al demanded to know what is going on.

"Sir is there a place where we can talk in private. Something has come up and we need to talk with this young man and his parents since he is under age."

"Yes we can go to the study and this young lady is his mother." Al pointed the direction in which they will be walking. "Plus I will be present to make sure that everything is on the up and up. This young man has been doing everything he has been asked to do and then some since he has been put on probation. I am not about to let anyone walk in here and say otherwise about this young man."

None of the officers answered Al; they just followed him to the study. As soon as they walked in, Al told them to take a seat as he closed the door. On his way to the desk in the middle of the study, Al made sure that Alex and Franseca are sitting as close to the desk as possible and the officers sitting in front of him.

"We just found out that we have a problem with one of our detectives. A detective I believe you have met already several times, Alejandro." Alex just sat there looking at the detective not able to figure out what he means by that. "There are several reports filed against him that he over stepped his authority recently with you. The last time he did that, a Mr. Alfred Serna made sure that the detective rode a desk until he retired."

"I am Mr. Serna and I remember that detective. He should be retired by now if I got my dates right. We haven't heard from him for a while and I thought it was because he finally got it through his thick skull to leave Alex alone. You are here now telling us that I have that wrong and he is still trying to cause problems with Alex?"

"He has retired, but before he did he found out that Mr. Garcia here has what is called a `green light' on him from his former gang. The green light is like a death warrant to anyone to carry out if they see Mr. Garcia. We have been lucky so far that the gang had no idea where Alex is at or what school he is attending, but now we believe that has changed.

The detective let it leak out that Alex is attending Newman High School. He didn't leak Alex's address so as far as we know he is safe here, but not at school anymore. We don't have the resources to have a protective detail on Alex twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. So we are asking that you pull him from the school and either home school him or send him off to other family for now."

"You listen to me and listen good. You guys had a dirty detective and he let people know information that he shouldn't have leaked. You will put a protective detail on Alex as long as it takes to make sure he is no longer in danger. If you refuse to do so, I will sue you guys once again and I will win once again.

There is no way Alex's mom is going to pull Alex from school, home school him or send him off to a family member because you guys dropped the ball. First of all the family they have don't live in this country, so the state of Texas won't allow it since he is on probation. And secondly, you dropped the ball and why should he pay for that?"

"Mr. Serna we are here out of courtesy. You know that we didn't have to tell you what has happened. The school is really protected because the Governor's kids are attending it. The problem I see is him going to and coming from school. That is where the gang will try and get to him or follow him here and hurt others in this house to get to him."

Al sat down looking over at Franseca. He can see the worried look on her face. It doesn't do her any good for him to battle out who is right and who is wrong in front of her. No matter what is said, she will worry about her son. Plus the more they prolong this, the more things are going to be said to worry her even more.

"For now I am going to let this go. In the morning I will be making several calls which will include calls to the chief-of-police, district attorney and your commander. Something you may not know about me is that I am part of the Governor's staff. He signed off on Alex to get probation and trust me when I say when he hears what I have to report, it won't make him happy at all.

Forget the fact that you refuse to ensure the safety of Alex because of what one of your own did. You are allowing a threat to go answered that can jeopardize his own kids. You said it yourself; his kids attend Newman High School. When I call him up as soon as you leave here and let him know that you guys have no plans to do what it takes to keep his kids safe and he will be waking up everyone he can to get you to do your job."

Al got up and walked to the door. The detectives and the officers just looked at each other and didn't move from their seats. That caused Al to call out to them that their business is concluded. They had a chance to do what is right, now they are going to be forced to do their job. The officers got up and walked out of the house the way they came in.

Alex tried to put his mom at ease, but there wasn't a thing he could say to calm her down. When Al walked in and informed them that he called up Mr. Jackson to have a security detail at the house to ensure the safety of Alex to and from school, Franseca started to breathe again. She and Alex thanked Al and told him that they will pay for that, but Al refused to take payment. He simply replied that they need to earn the pay they are already getting for just sitting on their butts right now.

As soon as Alex walked into the room, he told Matt what had happened. Just like his mom, Matt wouldn't stop worrying. Both of them only saw what could happen instead of what actually can happen. They saw Alex after the four rogue gang members attacked him in the hospital. Knowing the gang the way he does, those the detective told will keep it to themselves to try and take care of him to get ahead in the gang. In return when they fail, and either caught or killed, no else will have the information. What Alex can't figure is how information keeps getting out. He understands how it happened with Dabria, but this time, just how wide spread is the information?

It was a very restless night for everyone. Franseca stayed up sitting in the living room worrying that those that want to hurt her son will actually get it done this time. Matt kept going over and over what if's keeping him and Alex awake most of the night. When they finally did fall asleep, the alarm clock went off. It seemed to Alex it was just minutes before he and Matt had actually went to sleep.

They pulled themselves out of bed, got ready for school before heading over to the kitchen to have breakfast. No one at the table had any idea on what is going on, and Alex wants to keep it that way. The more people that know what is going on, the more chances there can be a panic that will cause more problems than there are already.

Al pulled Alex to the side and explained to him how the security is going to work. He explained that Alex won't see the security or know who they are. The only time he will ever know they are there is if they have to come out and deal with a threat. Other than that, Al told Alex to go about his day as he normally would.

That is exactly what Alex had planned to do, go about his day without worrying about the threat out there. It's a threat he has had ever since he decided to leave the gang. The only thing new now is that they know what school he is attending and that would have happened in a matter of time. Alex knew there would have been no way he and Carlos would have been able to finish high school without the gang finding them.

Once Alex and the guys finished breakfast and started their way outside, he excused him and Matt and headed off the other direction. Carlos joined Alex and Matt to make sure that Shane and his guys won't jump Alex. Little does Carlos know that Alex made a decision to talk with Principal Michaels about what he did to Shane. That is the only way Alex can see to get himself out of this mess he created for himself.

"Matt, I hope I didn't say something I shouldn't have when I offered Ethan and his brothers a job at the print shop. It's just the guy and his family is having a hard time right now and I feel for the guy. If it wasn't for Jacob, I would be where Ethan is right now, looking for a job to help my mom support the family. I wouldn't want her working the three jobs that she was working before she started working for Jacob."

"You never have to explain yourself to me whenever you do something nice like that. We do have the openings in the evening shift, so you didn't lie there. I rather those positions to be filled by people that really need a job, not rich kids that need beer money for the weekend parties."

"Good, I just wanted to make sure I didn't do something I shouldn't when I offered Ethan the job on the way to school." Alex held open the door to the principal's office for Matt and Carlos to walk in. "You guys please sit down so I can talk with the principal about what had happened last night. It's just right to let him know what is going on so if anything does happen, he wouldn't be caught off guard."

Carlos looked at Matt with a confused look on his face when they sat down. It dawned on Matt that Carlos has no idea what had happened the night before. So while Alex talked with the secretary, Matt summed up what Alex got told by the officers the night before. By the middle of Matt explaining everything to Carlos, Carlos's expression went from confused to anger really quickly.

Principal Michaels came right out to pull Alex into his office. "If you are here to let me know about the threat yesterday, I am aware of it. In fact the city of El Paso doubled the police on campus and it will stay that way until the threat is gone. They have assigned a couple under covers to watch you here at school and at home."

"Wow that was fast to say the least. That is one of the reasons I came in here to talk with you about. I didn't want you to be caught off guard if anything did happen. After all this is your school and you need to know what is going on in it at all times. No matter if it's bad or good, you need to know and that brings me to the next thing I need to tell you.

I really don't know how to start but just throw it out there. When I am done, I will take any punishment you give me for doing what I did. You need to know before I begin I only did what I did because the kid jumped a very good friend of mine. He knew that he is bigger and he can hurt Jacob without breaking a sweat, but he didn't care. I just wanted to give him taste of his own medicine."

"Before you go any further on what you are about to tell me, I am aware of what you and your friend did to Shane and a couple of his friends. Although he didn't say it was you, I saw the scratches on your knuckles last Wednesday. I put one and one together and figured out that you were just being a friend to Jacob. A friend that Jacob does need some times because the poor kid seems to get picked on a lot from the bigger guys!

It happened off of school grounds and there isn't a thing I can do about it. I also know about him threatening you yesterday. One of his friends that were there got a scholarship to college and doesn't want anything to mess that up. He came to see me right after Shane and his buddies had a chat with you. That happened on school grounds so I can do something about that.

Without going into a lot of detail, he won't be bothering you anymore. I brought him in and made it very clear to him that if I hear of anything happening involving him besides school activities, he is gone. I will expel him, and as a result he will lose his scholarship. That is one thing he doesn't want to lose, so he won't bother you again."

Alex had no idea what to say to Principal Michaels. The first day he met him, he thought that Principal Michaels was going to be the person he will have to watch out for, but it's the opposite. Principal Michaels is treating him like an equal and not using his past against him. That is unexpected and something Alex needs to get used to, appreciate and enjoy.

"Thank you sir and I promise that I won't do anything that will bring me in here that will make you give me the same warning. I just want to get my diploma stay out of trouble. I have had enough trouble in my life already and I just want to stay as far away from trouble as I can. I need to be there for my brothers, unlike how my father wasn't for me."

Principal Michaels got up from his desk and walked around to sit next to Alex. "You have been doing a good job on staying out of trouble since you started attending my school. Just keep doing what you are doing and you will reach graduation. Just do me a favor and don't be fighting anymore on school grounds or off.

You got lucky with Shane that you won't get in trouble for doing what you did because he changed his story so many times. Even if he tries to go and press charges on you, the police won't believe him. Just don't think you will be lucky like that in the future. So if you ever feel the urge to fight or anything like that come see me and we will talk."

"I will do that sir, I will do that." Alex got up and shook Principal Michaels's hand as he walked out of the office.

Matt stood up when he saw Alex walking towards him. Although he wanted to know what happened in the office, Matt nor Carlos said a word until they got out into the hall and started to ask questions. Alex kept walking towards the lockers, listening to the guys, but not answering one of their questions.

After grabbing his books for the morning classes, Alex leaned against the wall and told them what had happened in the office. Not leaving a thing out, Alex told them about everything he discussed with Principal Michaels. When he told them that he confessed to beating up Shane and his friends to the principal, it surprised both Matt and Carlos.

"Look, I keep telling people that I have changed, but then I go and do that to Shane. I need to walk the talk or I need to shut up. Principal Michaels isn't going to do anything because it happened off of school grounds. He also believes that Shane can't press charges because he has changed his story so many times the police won't believe him. I needed to do this in order to walk tall whenever I am with those I love."

Alex grabbed a hold of Carlos and rubbed the top of his head. As soon as he let Carlos go, he pulled Matt into a quick kiss. He made sure that they were hidden enough that no one could see what they were doing. After breaking the kiss, Alex walked off walking taller then he has in a long time. Carlos looked over at Matt and smiled as they walked.

"The way you see Alex walking right now is the Alex I have known all my life, the confident guy that nothing can hurt him. The difference now is that he is walking tall and deserves it because he is doing the right thing. Unlike before he would have just finished beating someone up or stealing something. Whatever you and his family are doing, keep doing it because you can see the changes in him."

Before Matt could respond, Carlos broke off and headed own the hall where his locker is. Matt ran to catch up with Alex as they walked into their first period right when the first bell rang. That was another surprise for Matt because they have never been the first in the classroom. Normally they are one of the last to take their seats.

The morning went by fast until third period. The teacher let those that are involved in the mock trial to have the entire class period to get ready for opening arguments tomorrow. With everything going on right now, Alex forgot all about the mock trial. He hasn't even started thinking about his opening statement.

Not wanting to look like an idiot, Alex didn't let the others know that he doesn't have an opening statement yet. He quickly changed the subject from the opening statement to how they plan to go at the case. Opening statement is one thing, but the case will be won by how they handle the witnesses on the stand.

Alex explained his theory to the guys that the prosecution team is under estimating them. They took one look at them the day they walked in to ask for all the evidence and proclaimed themselves the winners before it even begun. They need to keep them believing that in order to slap them down to win the case.

Matt agreed with Alex and they decided to hit them hard at the beginning. Throw them into a tailspin that will cause them to rethink what they are doing. In return they will make changes on the fly, which will harm them more than help them. Once they fall, they will have a very hard time getting up again.

When the bell rang, the plans were made on how they plan to proceed on the defense. After putting away their books in their locker, Alex and Matt headed over to the cafeteria and ran right into Shane and his friends. Unlike Alex, Matt moved to the side to let the guys pass. Alex on the other hand stood his ground.

"I never took you as a nark until yesterday. You might have me here at school, but I will get you when you least expect it. One day you will be having a great old time and bam, you get hit on the back of the head. Before you figure out what happened, I will be on top of you knocking the living shit out of you."

"Just like you, I got called in to the principal's office this morning. I think you are the nark, not me because your fists can't back up what your mouth is spilling out. So before you say another word, you'd better check yourself and realize you are playing in my playground with those threats. It's a place you or you friends don't want to play. Once you step in, you or your friends won't be able to step out. I will defend myself if you choose to follow through with your threats."

Alex pushed passed Shane and walked into the cafeteria. While Mat stood there waiting for Shane and his buddies to pass. He overheard everything they were saying while waiting. All of Shane's friends begged Shane to stop playing with Alex because he will lose. They don't want an enemy like Alex and they keep telling Shane neither does he.

Alex right away noticed that Matt isn't at his side and walked back out to the hall to get him. Relieved that Matt is okay, Alex walked up and got Matt's attention. They walked into the cafeteria together, not saying anything at first.

"Look Matt, there's nothing to worry about with those guys. Shane is just angry right now that he lost and can't do shit about what me and Carlos did to him. He is blowing off steam trying to look good in front of his friends, but when it boils down to it, Shane won't make a move even if he has a chance to."

"You are right on that Alex. I overheard Shane's friends telling Shane to stop screwing around with you. If Shane does continue, he is going to be alone on it and Shane isn't the type of guy that goes at things alone. More so fighting someone like you he needs the back up of his friends. That is why I know there isn't anything to worry about because he doesn't have the back up of his friends."

Alex grabbed a hold of Matt's hand and squeezed before letting it go to get his tray. They got their lunch and met the guys at the table. The entire time as Alex and Matt ate, they held hands under the table where no one could see. This is one of the few places they can hold each others hands at school without others noticing.

After their run-in with Shane, the rest of the afternoon seemed boring by comparison. Even in ROTC class, the dick company commander actually gave Alex the time of day when they walked into the building. That surprised both Alex and Matt. Alex believed that he was going to be flunked out of ROTC after what had happened yesterday.

Alex and the guys got another surprise when they walked out of the building to find Jacob talking with Ethan. They were chatting up a storm, which got their attention. Alex started to think is Ethan gay and trying to move in on Jacob or is Jacob thinking that Ethan is gay and trying to get some tail on the side. Then, common sense hit Alex as he approached them. There is no way Jacob would ever cheat on Dewayne no matter how cute the guy is. Dewayne is everything Jacob wants and will never jeopardize it in any way.

Jacob and Alex threw a few verbal jabs at each other before walking to the truck. Since they are already running a little behind schedule, Jacob offered them a ride home to pick up the SUV. Still under doctor's orders, Alex and Jacob are still not going into work. This is really making Al happy because it's keeping Jacob away from the office.

Just when Alex started his way to the stairs to call for Ethan, Jacob and Ethan already were coming down with boxes in their hands. Alex couldn't believe how hot Ethan looked out of his overalls and into a pair of jeans! Not only do the jeans look good on him, they fit his body style just right accenting all the good points without getting too revealing.

With the help from the guys, the boxes got loaded into the truck and they were set to go. Tom and David headed over to their car and the rest of the guys hitched a ride with Alex and Matt in the SUV. After Alex gets Ethan and his brothers set, he is going to head straight home in Tom's car. Matt made it clear to him if he walks on the floor once or doesn't leave after taking care of Ethan and his brothers, he will pull him out of the building and bring him straight home no matter how it looks.

On the way to work, the car was so quiet everyone could hear the others thinking. Chase kept stealing glances at Ethan whenever he felt no one is looking. One of the times when Chase looked over at Ethan, he didn't know that Ethan caught him. He just couldn't believe how clothes could change a person's appearance. Ethan was already hot, but now in jeans and a t-shirt he looks even hotter.

Due to Alex not staying that long, Tom parked on the street and fed the meter before walking into the building. The others parked in the same spot they have been ever since they started working at the shop. So when they walked in, Tom and David were already clocked in and on the floor already.

Alex and Matt are the only two that don't need to clock in, so they headed straight over to Ron's office. When they walked in they found Ethan's brothers sitting there looking out of place. Just like Ethan, they are wearing overalls and work boots. They stood up when Alex and Matt walked in.

"Good to see you Alex, I have been meaning to stop by, but my old bones can only do so much now-a-days." Every introduced themselves before taking their seats. "To say I was surprised when these young men walked in and said that you offered them a job is an understatement. I am glad that I didn't put the job openings in the newspaper or fill them before they arrived this evening."

"Sorry about that Ron, it's my fault. I told Ethan about the openings this morning and completely forgot to call you up to let you know that we have them filled. Don't worry, Ethan is the only one under age, these two are above the age of eighteen so they can run the machines and do the other things that we can't do."

"That sounds really good Alex. We need more machine operators in this shift. The other employees are doing a great job, but they can't do a lot that needs to be done because of their age. With these two of age, we can now run to more machines during the evening once they are fully trained on them."

Ron looked at Ethan's brothers. "You were telling me before the owners walked in that you only have worked on a farm. I know that is a lot of physical work, but it's nowhere like what is done in here. What has me worried right now is the fact that you have never worked machines like these before. I can train you, but the question is can you pick it up fast enough. Let me speak with my bosses and they will be right with you."

Ethan and his two brothers walked out of Ron's office. As they walked out, Alex couldn't believe the way Ron made them all look in front of Ethan and his brothers. Alex believes if there is a problem with any decision making he or Matt does without him present, he needs to talk with them in private and not voice his opinion in front of the employees.

"I am trying to hold my tongue here boys, but I need to speak my mind. You guys are running a business, not a place for you and your friends to hang out at after school. Look out on the floor and you will see the entire staff out there is your friends except those running the machines. We can't have a staff of nothing but teens that can't do anything here because of their age.

Then when you do bring possible employees here to hire that are the legal age, they have never worked with these kinds of machines. If you continue hiring in this manner, you will go out of business. There is no way you can be boss and friends at the same time. Prime example Alex is Tom. He is taking three days off through the week, but you are paying him his full check. We are not getting his production hours on the floor."

"Fine I understand where you are coming from with Tom. From now on he will get paid only for the hours he is working. I will make up the rest of his check with my own money. That will settle that problem where you can't complain about that anymore.

Now as far as my friends working here isn't causing our company to run out of business as you say. In fact because of them wanting to show they are not getting special treatment, they are working harder than those you hired to work the machines. Look at the day crew and compare the production between the two shifts. They are the ones that are always behind schedule. This shift not only picks up their slack but gets ahead.

The day that my friendship with my workers starts to interfere with production is the day I will sell my half of the company. For now, they are doing a great job and I won't change a thing on this shift. I hope this will be the last we need to talk about this. If you have a problem in the future on who I hire, you talk with me in private about it. Don't voice your opinion like you did earlier in front of new hires."

Alex got up and walked out of Ron's office. Both Ron and Matt looked at Alex as he walked passed Ethan and his brothers. They looked into the office before they followed Alex down to his office. Matt didn't know what to do at this point. He felt bad the way thing unfolded, but he doesn't blame Alex for the way he responded.

"Matt I didn't mean to come off as trying to belittle Alex and you in front of those three young men. Everything Alex said about this crew is right. I need to keep that in mind before I ever compare this crew to another. The problem in production isn't in this crew; it's in the day shift. That is where I need to start looking to fix things."

"Ron, Alex and I respect you and need you here for your experience you have running a print shop. Trust me, Alex listened to you and understands where you are coming from. He won't admit it, he is in pain right now and you got the bad end of the stick today. You keep doing what you are doing and when Alex is back to himself, he will apologize."

"No there is no need for that; he was right with everything he said. There are very few people out there that know how to work these machines and those that do demand a lot higher pay than we are able to pay out. If Alex believes that the two older guys can learn to work the machines, I will teach them. Let's not try and fix what ain't broke!"

Matt agreed with Ron and they moved on. Ron picked up where he left off yesterday when he and Matt were working together. The faster Ron teaches Alex and Matt how to do everything with the business, the faster he will be working only one shift. The minute Alex and Matt walk in he will be able to go home.

Spending a couple of hours with Ron, Matt went to see if everything is going okay with Alex and Ethan. Walking over to Alex's office, Matt noticed Ethan and his brothers were already on the floor. Ethan is working alongside Chase and the others and his brothers are watching the employees that are running the machines. That threw Matt for a loop and when he walked into Alex's office and not finding Alex there, it threw him into even a bigger loop. He didn't even know Alex left, because he didn't see him leave.

Not knowing what instructions Alex left with Ethan and his brothers, Matt walked over to see what Alex assigned them to do. With Ethan, Alex told him to shadow Chase for the rest of the evening. For his older brothers Alex told them to learn how to use the machines and try to get on the machines for at least an hour during the shift with the other trained machine operators looking on and guiding them.

When Ron walked out to give the call to shut down the machines, he saw that not only they reached their quota, they surpassed it. The print job they are working will be done at least a day ahead of schedule the way this shift is going. Ron couldn't help but laugh to himself that they just proved Alex right once again. They are working their butts off to prove they are not getting special treatment in anyway.

By the time Matt locked up the offices and met the guys in front of the building, he didn't find Ethan or his brothers with the group. When he asked where they are at, Tom spoke up letting Matt know that they went walking to the square. That confused Matt because most of the buses have already stopped running. If they are lucky to get a bus, it won't get them anywhere near their house.

They quickly got into the SUV and drove down to the square to find Ethan with his brothers sitting on a bench waiting for the bus like Matt thought. He drove up to the curve, honked at them and waved them over. Before saying a word, Chase opened the door and yelled out for them to get in so they could go home.

After dropping Ethan and his brothers off, Matt drove as fast as he could home without breaking the speed limit or running red lights. He wants to see why Alex took off without letting him know that he is leaving. Ever since he found out that Alex had left, Matt couldn't think straight for the rest of the evening. All he could do is worry about Alex and how things were left.

Instead of walking straight over to the kitchen for dinner when he got home, Matt walked straight to their room hoping to find Alex. When Matt didn't find Alex in their room, he started his way over to the main house to look in the game room. As he walked out of the room, the bathroom door opened and Alex walked out. Because Matt was in his own mind and not thinking about anything but finding Alex, he got spooked when the door opened because he wasn't prepared for anyone walking out of any of the rooms.

"Damn! You scared the living daylights out of me Alex!" Matt started to laugh, but not the laugh of being happy. "I thought since you weren't in the room you were down with Lorenzo and Ismail in the game room. I needed to find out why you didn't tell me when you left. I felt like an idiot when I walked out of Ron's office to find Ethan and his brothers on the floor and you gone already."

"Sorry but when I walked past Ron's office you guys were into whatever you were doing I didn't want to interrupt. I promised you that I would only stay as long as it took to get Ethan and his brothers settled in. Once they filled out all the paperwork and I assigned them their work stations and then I left just as I promised you I would."

"Thank you for not working and keeping your word." Matt grabbed Alex's hand as they started to walk to the kitchen. "You know Ron didn't mean how things came out today? He felt really bad after you left on how things were left between you two."

"He shouldn't feel bad, it's me that should be feeling like crap and I do. This guy has done so much for us and he deserves a break. You and I know he didn't sign on to work two shifts like he is doing. It's taking a toll on him and it's showing. We need to learn as much as we can as fast as we can so he can leave once we get there."

"I agree with you Alex and that is why I am spending so much time with him in the office right now. Right now I think we are at the point he can leave when we walk in. The things that you or I don't know he can show us on a Saturday or Sunday shift. There is no need for him to be staying over into the evening shift after running the day shift."

"Good, what needs to be done starting tomorrow is let Ron go home as soon as you get there. But don't be blunt about it because we don't want him to leave thinking that he has done something wrong. If you get a feeling that he might take it the wrong way, then don't do anything. Run everything like we have been doing since we opened the shop. He needs and deserves the evening off to rest up for the next day."

Matt agreed with Alex and they dropped the subject when they reached the kitchen. After dinner, Alex went down to spend time with his brothers, while Matt went to get his homework done. After putting his brothers to bed, Alex was beat. He wanted to cuddle with Matt, but he didn't even have the strength to do that. The meds he is taking have knocked him off his feet and all he wants to do is go to sleep.

Even when the alarm clock went off, Alex slept right through it. Matt had to reach over him in order to turn it off. It took Matt to almost roll Alex off the bed to wake him up. Matt knows that Alex is a hard sleeper, but not this hard of a sleeper. The guy would normally wake up after a couple of light tugs on his shoulders, but nothing like what Matt had to do this morning to get him up.

After splashing cold water on his face, Alex completely woke up. He got ready for school and joined the others. During his first two periods, Alex couldn't stop thinking about what he has to do in third period class. He is over the fact that he has to do it in front of so many people. The thing that is bothering him now is that fact that the teacher really believes in him and is counting on him to win this for her.

Just as they were instructed, instead of going to their classrooms, they headed over to the auditorium. As they walked in, the teachers marked off their students present that way they don't have to use time to take roll call once the bell rang. Alex and Matt just looked at the stage and couldn't believe how it really looks like a courtroom. Since they didn't see anyone on the stage, Alex and Matt sat in the seats down in front of the stage.

A soon as the final bell rang, Mr. Galey and Mrs. Linscott walked onto the stage. They welcomed all the students from the other classes and explained to them what they are about to unfold in the next week. Just as they finished explaining everything, they asked for all the students that are playing a role in the mock trial to come on the stage and take their seats where they belong.

Alex got up and walked onto the stage to take his seat at the defense table. He looked around to see the auditorium half filled. By the amount of students in there, it can't be just the classes that Mr. Galey said he invited. It looks like there are a lot more students than that.

Once everyone settled in their seats, the student playing the judge hit the desk with the gavel to bring the mock trial in order. After reading off the charges, the judge asked the prosecution to open up the proceedings by giving their opening statement.

Just like Alex thought, they didn't think much of him or Matt. Their opening statement was short and really didn't have much in it. They think they have this case already won since they are going up against him and Matt. That is going to hurt them in the long run Alex thought. The judge hit his gavel to quite the auditorium and asked the defense to give their opening statement.

Alex got up and walked to the middle of the stage. "Good morning ladies and gentlemen of the jury. Let me first say thank you for giving some of your time to be here and being part of this jury. Every citizen of this country is innocent until they are proven guilty in a court of law. They deserve a jury trial of their peers so the jury can weigh the evidence and see if the prosecution has proven their case beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case they need to do that because they are asking if you find my client guilty of the crime he is be accused of to ask you to sentence him to death for the crime. If they don't prove the case and you find my client guilty for a crime he didn't commit, you will be sending an innocent person to death row. That is something we can't have happen in this country.

In the next couple of days the prosecution is going to put on a show for you. They are going to build a case on a faulty foundation and when I get up and start to take apart their case you will see they have the wrong person. They will drag witness after witness in front of you but, when you really look at what they have to say on the stand you will see that they really don't know what happened on the day in question. Then the prosecution will put on experts that will say things to confuse you. Again I will show you they are wrong as well. They are only telling you one side of the story, the prosecution side.

My co-counsel and I will put on witnesses, but we really won't need to. Let me tell you why I say that. It is because we will show you the holes in the prosecution case with their own witnesses. Still, we will put on the stand witnesses to prove that our client is innocent of the charges that the state has accused him of.

All I am asking of you here today is to keep an open mind. Wait to hear all the testimony in the case before you make your decision. I promise you if you do that, you will vote not guilty and set my client free. Thank you once again for serving and keeping an open mind throughout this trial."

Alex sat back down as the auditorium broke into applause. Both Alex and Matt looked over at the prosecution and knew they just threw them off their game plan by the expressions on their faces. That is exactly what they discussed the day before and wanted to go for here today. They won the first battle, but now they need to get ready to win the war and the only way to do that is to keep the prosecution jumping through hoops.



{Welcome back one and all to another chapter of this saga. I know I keep saying this over and over gain, but I will say it again, this story has life in it. If you are not reading "Jacob Finding His Way", you will be lost in some plots of this story. Some of the plots started in "Jacob" chapter sixty and continued in this chapter. So if some of the plots are not in a lot of detail or don't make sense to the time line, it must have gotten started in "Jacob", so you need to go and catch up with Jacob.

Now let's start with the plot from the beginning of the chapter, Shane. Alex handled that issue very well when he finally decided to take the hit and tell Principal Michaels what he did. He doesn't want to get into anymore fights because he doesn't want to go back to jail. The only way out of the mess is to come clean and take whatever consequences come along.

Principal Michaels was right when he said he couldn't do a thing about the fight because it happened off of school grounds. He also already knew about the threats from the day before. Shane has a real big problem when one of his own friends are running to the principal and telling on him. Right now Shane thinks it's Alex, but he has a mole in his own ranks and doesn't even know about it.

Talking about Shane, I don't think we have seen the last of him. He isn't going to be stupid to do anything at school to will take away his scholarship. That doesn't mean that he won't try to do something to Alex if he sees him out in the streets. But let's not forget that the security detail is watching over Alex.

I know you all thought that the detective that was after Alex was gone once Al dealt with him. Well Al and Alex thought the same thing until Monday evening when the police showed up to deliver the bad news. What they should do is pick up that detective and throw him into a cell of all the people he had put away. Let's see how fast he changes and stops acting like a jerk.

Poor Al, he never gets any rest. If it's not one thing it's another with all the kids in the house. Whenever anything goes wrong, everyone turns to him to help them get out of whatever they got themselves into. I am glad that Al is able to do it all the time, but there is going to become a time that Al won't be able to help one of them when they do get into trouble. They need to start thinking on their own and solving their own problems.

I like the way Jacob handled the issue with the money. He knows there is no way he is going to win with Alex. In Alex's mind if he doesn't pay Jacob back, he loses his manhood and credibility. In all Hispanic households, that's two things you never give up. So by Jacob taking the money from Alex, Alex keeps his integrity. At the same time Jacob is giving the money back to Alex through his mother. So both win after everything is said and done!

I see where Ron is coming from when he talked with Alex and Matt about loading the evening shift up with nothing but their underage friends. Take it from a manger it's hard to manage friends because you don't want to lose a friendship by telling them what to do at work. At the same time if that friend is a true friend they shouldn't ask or think they will get special treatment because the manager or owner is their friend.

I also see where Alex is coming from as well. The evening shift is working like a well oiled machine. If Alex wants to pay an employee for hours that he or she didn't work, it comes out of his profits. It really doesn't hurt the company by him doing that. Still it's good he told Ron not to pay Tom for the hours that he isn't working. That way it's one less thing that Ron has to worry about. Alex and Matt are worried about the pressure Ron is under. They want to pull Ron back so he doesn't overwork himself.

There are still a lot of plots I didn't even touch in this chapter. We didn't hear much from Franseca, Lorenzo and Ismail. That will change in the chapters to come. We didn't hear anything from Robert and Steve. What are they up to? You will find out in the next chapter about those two. Also in the next chapter Carlos' parents will move to the west side and Carlos will move in with them. So as you can see a lot is still to come.

I know there are so many open plots out there. Along with Lorenzo and Ismail we will see more and more of them. Plus the love scenes will be there between Alex and Matt as well as Steve and Robert. So don't worry, the story is just beginning.

I do not want to say too much more and spoil the future chapters to come, so I won't. I warn you though! Do not skip a chapter, or you will be lost. There is a so much to answer in the chapters to come. Keep reading the future chapters, and enjoy! Please email me and let me know how I am doing at jacobmillertex@aol.com, Thanks!}


The tentacles of the gang seem to be far reaching. Al needs to find a police ranking officer that will take the gang issue on and break the back of the gang. Yes, it will come back, but it will have lost its focus on Alex.

Alex may have seemed to be popping off at Ron about the hiring issues, but he actually was being an astute owner. He knows what's going on in his business operation. He was totally aware of the disparity in production between the day shift and the evening. If Ethan's brothers blossom and prove themselves to be capable and productive assets, perhaps they should be moved to the day shift and the slackers there given their freedom to offer their services elsewhere. Alex's perspective on Ron's reaction was measured and proper. He listened to what Ron had to say fully before he carefully crafted his response. Ron wasn't so much wrong in his perceptions and concerns, but he was out of line with how he spoke out inappropriately in front of perspective employees rather than excusing them to a private setting.

I sense with certainty that all Jacob and Alex are doing to help Ethan's family will pay back handsomely. Ethan's family comes from a background of a good work ethic and moral values center. I expect that any all support that family gets will have been wisely placed and will come back to those that offered the support.

Let's see if now that Ethan is showing how sexy his form is for all the world to see in new, in-style clothes, if Chase will be impacted and start to realize that he has feelings for Ethan. I know Chase is going to have a struggle with it. I hope that nobody, including Chase, gets hurt along the way. Chase is going to have to explore his new feelings. A guy just can't ignore what his sexuality is yelling at him.

Jacob did the right thing backing off on the money issue with Alex. He is wise way beyond his years giving the money to Franseca to hold for Alex's benefit.

Alex is so lucky to have Matt in his life. Matt is the unwavering support close enough to Alex that he needs. Yes, Alex gets support all the way around, but with his personality and past, he has to have someone close that can get through to him when he's on an unwise path. Alex's drive to take care of things for Matt is keeping him from taking the easy way out. Yes, doing things the right way is sometimes harder but the results will be better in the long haul.

Let Jacob know your thoughts and ideas for plotlines for the characters. Many ideas sent in by the readers have made their way into the stories. Also, just a reminder, the e-mails from readers are the only pay the author <and the editor> get "paid". It only takes a few minutes to give support and encouragement for the work to continue. Let us hear from you !

Until next time,

"Daddy" Rick