{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 is a love story, sex is in there, but it's in realistic balance in the characters' lives.

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

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

Written by J.P.G.

Chapter 32

It took every bit of strength for Franseca not to hit Gloria for what she was about to do to her son. Out of respect to Al, Jacob and the guests, Franseca held back. She allowed Andy Sr. to take Gloria into the TV room and talk some sense into her. If she comes back out and wants to pick up from where she left off when Andy took her away, well Franseca will knock sense into her, but with her fist, not by talking.

Trying to calm down, Franseca went back to preparing the sides for the kids to eat when the meat is done cooking on the grill. Through the corner of her eye Franseca saw Alex trying to listen in on the conversation that is happening in the TV room. She put her knife down and walked over to pull her son away from the door.

They walked into the kitchen not saying a word to each other. Franseca again picked up the knife and started cutting the tomatoes while Alex sat down on the stool on the other side of the island. By the way his mother is cutting away on the tomatoes, Alex knows that she is very angry right now.

"Alex I don't know what you were thinking you were doing listening to a private conversation. I didn't bring my sons up to nose in on other people's business. We aren't like that and I won't allow you start now. If you would have been caught by Gloria, it would give her justification for what she is doing and saying."

"Sorry mom I just wanted to make sure Jacob's dad doesn't tell her that I was the one that gave Jacob the kidney." Franseca stopped cutting the tomatoes and looked into her son's eyes. "He figured it out when he saw me sitting by the pool. Something about the placement of our stitches was the give away."

"Son, we know that some of them are going to put it together. What you need to do is trust Andy not to tell anyone if he gave you his word. Did he give you his word?" Alex nodded his head in agreement. "There you have it! He won't say a word. Now you need to trust him just as he trusts you.  You have worked so hard to get everyone's respect; don't ruin it now on doing something stupid. You've earned everything you have so don't you let anyone take that from you!"

Franseca walked around and pulled Alex into a hug. "You are my oldest and the man of the house Alex. I need you at my side to help with your brothers. They look up to you so much  they can't lose you again. I can't lose you again Alex. Please don't give anyone a reason to take you from us."

"I promise mom. I won't do anything that will cause me to go back." Through tears Alex continued. "You guys have been great even with everything from what I did and how I ended up. I always thought that you would hate me for being who I am and you don't. There is no way I am going to disappoint you now, mom."

"There is nothing you can do to make me hate you son. Nothing. Now you go to the bathroom and clean up before you go out and join that handsome guy of yours. Have fun and forget what happened here between you and Gloria. She is getting better; it is just taking time for her to change."

Alex wiped his face as he walked over to the bathroom. After washing his face and waiting until his normal color to return, Alex headed out to the back yard. The minute he sat down. Matt pulled himself out the pool and joined him. He leaned into Alex, dripping wet and started kissing him. Alex returned the kisses not minding that Matt is using him as a towel. He just loves having Matt at his side.

After telling Matt several times to join the others in the pool, he got tired of asking. He surprised Matt by picking him up and throwing him into the pool. Causing everyone to start cheering Alex on to jump in. Pretending he is going to jump in. right at the last minute he stopped at the edge laughing. Those close to the edge where Alex is at started splashing him with water as they swam away.

While Matt played volleyball with the others, he noticed Ethan sitting on the opposite side of the pool from the girls cheering the guys on. For some reason Ethan hasn't changed and then it dawned on him on what he saw earlier. Alex remembered that Ethan doesn't have swim trunks; he only has cut offs. He intended to swim in them, but it looks like he's changed his mind since he joined the others.

Feeling bad for Ethan, Alex walked over to him. He sat down and started talking to him, not rushing into the topic of why he isn't in the pool. Little by little Alex brought the conversation around to the topic of not swimming. Allowing Ethan to control it, or at least letting Ethan think that.

When they finally got to the topic of why he isn't swimming, Ethan tried to cover it up with a lie, which Alex saw through. Trying to let Ethan ask the question about borrowing some swim trunks, Alex gave up. As tactfully he could, Alex let Ethan know that he has several brand new swim trunks and he could have one if he wants. At first Ethan hesitated, but he finally asked Alex if he could use a pair.

"I hope you don't get mad with what I am about to say because I don't hit on straight guys. With that said you are one hot guy, but I don't want the swim trunks back. More so because your jewels will be free inside them." Changing all shorts of shades of red, Ethan chuckled to play off that he is embarrassed. "So the pair you wear you can have and I don't want to hear you say no. You are part of our group and we have told you we take care of each other and not wanting anything back in return from each other."

Ethan agreed with Alex as he walked into Alex's room. Alex walked over and pulled out the new pairs of swim trunks and put them on the bed for Ethan to choose from. Ethan grabbed the pair in the middle and started stripping off his clothes. Surprised that Ethan didn't ask to use the bathroom, Alex froze.

For the first time since he hooked up with Matt, he has looked at another guy. Alex has had his chances to view plenty of naked guys since he has been locked up, but he never looked. He didn't want anyone to figure out that he is gay. Now he has this white guy, stripping naked in front of him!

Trying not to get hard, Alex turned away, but it was too late. Alex had already sprung a hard on after seeing Ethan standing there in front of him in just his boxers and white socks. The clothes weren't lying about what kind of body lies beneath. This guy is very handsome and every girl would kill to have him on their arm.

"Thank you again Alex for this. Since I heard about this pool party, I have been looking forward to it. I miss hanging out with a group of friends. Ever since we moved, all I have been doing is staying at home when I'm not at school."

Alex forgot that he had a hard on when he turned around. That is the first thing Ethan noticed and Alex noticed that Ethan noticed. He tried to cover it up, but it was too late. The damage has been done. Now that Ethan has seen that he got hard over him, there might be a fight after all.

"Don't worry about that Alex. I know you and Matt are together and plus, it's just nature. To tell you the truth I kind feel good that you got like that looking at me. At least I know now that I am not this ugly guy. Everyone to this point that I have wanted to go out with has shunned me. I thought maybe I am this ugly farm boy people can't stand."

"Trust me Ethan you aren't an ugly farm boy. If wasn't with Matt and you are gay, I would try to go out with you. Those girls that have shunned you will regret it when they see what is under the roof. There is no way once they see you they would turn you away."

Ethan sat down on Alex's bed, debating if he should tell Alex the truth. "I want to tell you something, but you need to promise me that you won't tell anyone. That means Matt and everyone else in the group. I know after I tell you, you will want to tell at least Matt, but please don't even tell him."

"You are starting to freak me out Ethan. No matter what you have to say, I won't tell anyone and that includes my boyfriend. We are friends and friends don't betray each others trust. If you trust me enough to tell me, then I will hold the secret to keep that trust. So please tell me whatever it is and you don't have to worry that I am going to tell."

Ethan sat on Alex's bed in deep thought trying to figure out if he can trust Alex. He has already told Jacob his most darkest secret that his own family doesn't even know. Not only doesn't his own family know his secret, his childhood friends back home don't know. Yet he is here ready to unveil his secret to a complete stranger, someone he will he doesn't know from Adam.

Lucky for Ethan Matt walked in to see what's taking so long. Thankful for this break, Ethan thanked Alex and walked out of the room. Alex just stood there stunned on what just happened. He knows Ethan had something to say, but because of Matt coming in, Ethan clammed up and didn't say a word.

Instead of beating his head against the wall over something he can't figure out, Alex decided to go out and have fun. Although he can't swim, Alex won't let that stop him from enjoying himself with his boyfriend, family and friends.

This time Matt didn't get caught with his pants down. When Alex tried to pick him up and throw him back into the pool, he slipped through Alex's hands. In return, Alex started running after Matt around the pool. Right when he caught up to him, Matt jumped in the pool so Alex couldn't get him.

The rest of the afternoon Alex sat on the side of the pool talking with the ladies. They had no idea that Alex and Matt are a couple, but they were not surprised when they found out that Jacob and Dewayne are gay, they thought they were getting a joke played on them. At no time did Jacob or Dewayne show any indication that they are gay.

Before they finished their conversation, Al called out that the food is ready. Everyone jumped up and almost tripped over each other as they made their way to the tables where the food is. After serving himself, Alex sat next to Matt and joined the conversation. Just as the conversation started to get good, Franseca walked out with Andy Jr.!!

Not knowing what to do, Alex stood up and made his way to shake Jacob's older brother's hand. He got to know him a little bit before he left to basic training, but he got a feeling that Andy never trusted him. No matter what he did or said, Andy didn't give him the opportunity to earn his trust.

When he walked up and shook Andy's hand, Alex couldn't believe Andy actually smiled back at him. As soon as everyone greeted Andy he sat down and explained why he is there. It wasn't a surprise to Alex that Dr. Whitmore wrote the Army on Andy's behalf to get stationed here at Fort Bliss.

Andy and Jacob disappeared in the house, letting the others either jump back in the pool or talk amongst themselves. A little after seven, Carlos asked Alex for a ride home. He needs to be home and in his door of the house by eight or he will be revoked from his probation. Before leaving Alex informed Matt where he's going and that he will be right back after dropping Carlos off.

Once in the SUV, neither of them said a word to each other. It was so quiet in the SUV that you could actually hear the gears changing as Alex either slowed down or gained speed. Alex finally got tired of the silence and started speaking.

"It looked like you were enjoying yourself today. I wish you could stay over like we used to, because I miss my best friend. By getting out of the detention facility we lost some of our privileges we took for granted. Still, by losing those privileges I am glad that neither of us is still locked up right now. I know there is no way I could kept going with the lies. I knew it was just a matter of time before I would've been caught."

"To tell you the truth Alex. I don't think any of those guys would've figured it out. They are way too stupid to understand how to run the gang. Look right now they can't even figure out that we live on this side of town. Don't get me wrong I'm glad that they are this stupid and we are able to live the way we are living right now."

"Yeah, I agree with you on that, but it is just a matter of time before they put themselves back together. It seems that every time I turn around, there is someone ready to stab me in the back. This time it's just that stupid detective that told the guys of our gang where we are. Al is trying everything he can to protect us but there is going to come a time that he can't even help us out of the mess we have created."

"Right now we are safe and will stay safe as long as they keep the gang locked up. I know that they're not going to be able to do that. I just hope when that day comes, we are ready to defend ourselves. You and I know they're going to come at us with everything they have."

Just as Carlos finished talking. Alex drove into his driveway. Alex tried to reassure Carlos that day will never come. Simply put, they are going to have such a mess to clean up in their own house they won't have time to come after them. Once the foot is removed from their necks they will need to rebuild their organization and strength. If they don't they will completely lose control in all the prisons around the state.

Still after dropping Carlos off Alex couldn't get what Carlos said out of his mind. The gang is going to get out and when that happens. They can't defend themselves if they come after them. They will come after the family first to show they mean business, and then they will come after him and Carlos.

After getting home. Alex joined the others in the backyard and eventually they made their ways back into the TV room. All through the movies Alex couldn't stop thinking about the conversation he just had with Carlos. Several times Matt tried to get his attention, but it only worked for a few minutes, and his mind went right back to thinking about the safety of his family.

All through the night, Alex tossed and turned with nightmares of his former gang killing his brothers, raping and then killing his mother and finally, killing him. The nightmares got so bad that Alex couldn't sleep anymore. Trying not to wake Matt up, Alex crawled out of the bed and sat down in the corner on the floor.

It took awhile for him to stop thinking of the nightmares he was having and to start to figure out how to keep his nightmares from coming true. Alex knew that he has to decide soon whether or not he should stay here in El Paso. Then it dawned on him that no matter if he moved or not the gang will kill his family. Now he knows he needs to come up with another solution to keep his nightmares from coming true.

So he didn't worry Matt, Alex crawled back into bed and pretended to be asleep before Matt got up. As he lay there, another solution popped into his mind. The only problem with this solution is that it will take a lot of money; the kind of money that he doesn't have and, more than likely, would never have.

He felt Matt getting up from the bed and pretended that Matt had woken him up when he got up from the bed. Not thinking that anything is wrong, Matt leaned in and kissed Alex on the lips. Alex opened up his mouth to let Matt's tongue in. The only reason they broke the kiss is because Lorenzo knocked on the door and walked in to let them know that breakfast is ready.

As soon as Alex finished eating. He asked to speak with Al in private. When they headed off to the study, Gloria looked over at Andy worried that Alex is going to complain about what had happened yesterday. She couldn't be more off the point about why Alex needed to speak with Al in private.

The minute they walked into the study, Alex started to talk. "My friend Carlos mentioned something to me yesterday that kept me up all night. You have bent over backwards to ensure my safety and my family's safety.  You know as well as I do the members of the gang will eventually get out and still try to get to me."

"I thought of that Alex and trust me I will do everything I can to make sure it doesn't happen. Right now while you are in high school, the chances of the gang actually getting to you are very slim. I know that's not what you want to hear, but that's the only answer I can give you as far as the gang is concerned."

"I can't put this family in anymore danger than I have already. The first thing I thought of is moving away from here, but that's not the solution. They will still come after my family no matter if I live here or not." Al looked at Alex with a confused look on his face. "You may think you know this gang I was part of, but trust me you don't know what they are willing to do to get what they want. They don't care about the police or law. All they care about is getting what they want.

So I was thinking something early this morning that I want to run by you. What do you think about faking my own death?"

"Wait a minute Alex, if you do that, you're going to have to disappear. Yes, it solves one problem that they won't come after your family, but your family will lose you. In the small time that your mother has been here, I have gotten to know her. She was hurting really bad when you were locked up. If you have to move, it will kill her."

"No you didn't let me finish telling you what I'm thinking, Al. Either before or after faking my death I go in and have a few changes done so that I can't be recognized. I'm thinking if you think it's a good idea, I'll do it during the summer. That way I don't miss any school, and I can start out the new school year under a new name and face.

You know what I have been very lucky in the last month or so. My luck is going to play out, and when it does. I'm afraid on what's going to happen to me and my family. There is no way this gang is going to stop looking for me until they have me. I want to spend my life here, and the only way that's going to happen is to kill the person I was."

"Have you talked to your mother about these thoughts?" Alex mouthed `no' to Al. "Maybe what you should do before you do anything is talk to your mother. If she comes on board and agrees with you, then you should sit down and talk with your brothers. After you do all that and no one had any objections from your mother to your brothers and all the way to Matt. I will help you every which way shape or form to get it done."

"Okay, I promise to talk with my mother first and then Matt. After I get those two on board, I will go and talk with my brothers. Then I will come back and talk with you about how to break the news to everybody else. I hope you understand why I am thinking what I'm thinking. There is no way I can live with myself if anything with to happen to my mom, my brothers or anyone in this house."

Before Alex left the study. Al tried one more time to talk Alex out of even approaching his mother or anyone else about what he is thinking. Al could talk until his face turned blue; Alex's mind is set. So Al gave up with the promise from Alex that he won't do anything until he gets the approval from his mother and the rest of his family.

When Alex walked into the TV room. Matt tried to find out what he needed to speak with Al about. Alex felt bad that he needed to keep this a secret from Matt, but in time he will be able to tell Matt truth. For now, he lied to Matt and told him that she and Al talked about the changes of leadership in the print shop.

By midday Alex's thoughts change from the discussion he had with Al to the discussion that was interrupted between him and Ethan the day before. Whatever Ethan needed to tell him must not have been important because he seems to be at ease with himself. After leaving Alex's room, Ethan joined in on the fun. Even this morning Ethan sat back and enjoyed himself with everybody else.

Ever since Steve and Robert got out of the detention facility, they haven't spent any real time together. Since they have a curfew and haven't told their parents that they are going out together, it's causing them problems. So they decided on Friday to get together on Sunday at one to go to the mall and watch a movie and then eat something before going home. They want this to be their actual first date as a couple.

On his way out Steve's mother handed him money for the movies. As he walked to the bus stop he looked at what his mother gave him and couldn't believe it was more than he thought. He now has enough to not only watch a movie, but eat also. Before leaving his room he collected all of his change and barely had enough for a matinee ticket alone...and just ONE at that!

Just as Steve turned the corner Robert stood up and waved him over. When Steve reached Robert he noticed that there are several other people sitting there waiting for the bus. So he and Robert decided not to kiss. Instead they just shook each others hand and acted as if they are good friends meeting up.

Once the bus arrived, it took a little over forty minutes to get the mall. Steve and Robert got down and headed straight over to the movie theater. On their way down on the bus they discussed which movies they wanted to see so when they did get to the ticket counter they could get the tickets for the next showing.

After buying the tickets, a soda and popcorn to share, they walked over to the theater that the movie they picked showing. Both the guys saw that the theater is still empty, and they could choose where to sit. Not having to ask each other, they walked straight up to the top row and sat in the middle.

The light started to dim and the previews came on. Steve took the opportunity to lean in and give the kiss that he wanted to give Robert when he saw him at the bus stop. They kissed all through the previews and the beginning credits of the movie. Once the action started, they broke their kiss and started watching the movie.

Every now and then through the movie Steve would reach in the bucket of popcorn at the same time Robert did. A couple of those times they didn't remove their hands from the bucket; they just held each others hands. They even use the same straw to drink the soda that they bought to wash down the popcorn.

When the movie ended, they decided not to leave immediately. They didn't want to get pushed around as they exited out of the theater. Instead they just sat there and watched the others as they fought to get out. A couple of times they would point at someone and laugh at them as they looked like they were going to fall and get trampled.

Since they used the bus to get to the mall, Steve and Robert decided to eat at the mall. They found the few fancy restaurants that are actually in the mall are way too expensive so they ended up eating in the food court. The food court was just like at the bus stop. There are way too many people around them that they can't show that they are a couple. They did hold each other's hands under the table as they ate.

Due to time restraints and the buses only running every hour on the hour on Sundays, Steve and Robert had to make sure to catch the six o'clock bus to get home. That way they will have plenty of time to get home before eight.

On the ride home, Steve and Robert sat in the back of the bus away from prying eyes since everyone else that is riding the bus is sitting up front. They were able to kiss and hold hands. Without warning, Steve reached over and placed his hand on top of Robert's dick. Immediately Robert's dick got hard with Steve's touch. When he faced Steve, Robert had an evil grin on his face.

At first, Steve couldn't figure out why Robert is looking at him that way. Before Steve could figure it out Robert reached over and unzipped Steve's zipper. He put his right hand inside and started to fondle Steve's balls. Just like Robert, Steve got hard instantly. When his dick started to fight to get out, Robert surprised Steve again.

The lights in the bus were on the dim, night setting. Robert slid down off the seat, kneeling on the floor. He then opened Steve's pants fully undoing the belt and top button. Robert slid his hands into Steve's boxer waist band indicating he wanted to pull them down. Steve smiled and lifted his butt off the seat a bit and he felt his jeans and boxers slide down leaving him totally exposed to the world!

Steve felt Robert grasp and stroke his cock firmly yet lovingly. Without any warning, Robert took Steve's entire cock in his mouth. Steve felt the surge of passion rise as he felt Robert's nose pushed into his bush!
Robert wasted no time; he went into that natural rhythm sucking Steve's cock. At the same time he caressed Steve's balls adding to the pleasure he's giving. Pulling off Steve's cock, Robert licked Steve's balls and sack. Steve arched his back and growled lowly in pleasure. Steve's hand massaged that sweet spot just behind Robert's balls and slipped back just enough to brush over Steve's rosebud. That sent Steve even higher into passion! Robert knew it wouldn't be long so he went back down on Steve's cock and returned to sucking firmly. A bit of finger pressure on Steve's pucker sent him over the edge!  Steve grasped Robert's head, more to give a signal than to control.  Steve's back then arched, he emitted a long, low growl and pumped a massive hot load into Robert's mouth and throat! Robert didn't lose a drop! He kept his mouth on Steve's cock while he milked the last drop of Steve's love juices from his cock.

What Steve didn't realize as Robert was giving him a wonderful time, is that Robert had gotten his own cock out and was stroking with his free hand. Let's just say that the bus cleaning crew would find a bit of a mess to deal with when the bus was out of service and back in the bus yard!
Steve was a bit disappointed that Robert had wasted a good load of sweet nectar on a bus floor!  Robert reassured Steve that there was no waste at all and that there was plenty more where that came from anytime Steve wanted it and they could be in a place to get it going.  Steve smiled and they kissed deeply. Robert still had some of Steve's cum in his mouth and he shared it with Steve making this kiss very special and powerful.

Before Alex could have a chance to get back with Ethan on the conversation they were having the day before, he and Jacob left. Now Alex knows he would have to go another night trying to figure out what Ethan was trying to tell him the day before. He knows whatever it is has to be big because the kind of promise Ethan was trying to make Alex swear to. That kind of promise is only asked of someone when the topic is very personal.

Francesca made Lorenzo and Ismail go and take the showers before it got any later. In the meantime, Alex went up to see what Jeremy is up to. When he reached Jeremy's room, he didn't find him in there like he normally does. Alex started to freak because he can't remember when the last time was that he saw Jeremy.

In order not to alert the others of his worries, Alex walked from room to room acting like he is trying to find the little poodle. Once he looked in all the rooms upstairs, Alex headed back downstairs. He didn't find Jeremy in the den, living room or TV room, and that left only one more place that Jeremy might be; the game room.

Since he's always down there with his brothers no one really paid any attention to Alex as he walked into the basement. The lights were already on when he got to the bottom the staircase. He looked around the pool table and then made his way into the room where the game system is at and still didn't find Jeremy. As he walked out of the room, Alex noticed a light on in the far bedroom.

Slowly, Alex walked over and opened the door, trying not to scare Jeremy. When he popped his head in, Alex saw Jeremy pulling at his hair on the bed. This is the first time he has seen Jeremy like this so he doesn't know what to do. Alex knew one thing is for sure is that someone said or did something to get Jeremy all riled up.

In a low whisper, Alex called out for Jeremy. He waited a few moments and called out for Jeremy again. The third time Alex called Jeremy's name, Jeremy looked up with tears rolling down his cheeks. With sign language, Alex asked Jeremy what is going on. At first Jeremy started to move his hands faster then Alex could read him. Alex gave up trying to read Jeremy and just walked over to him.

In order not to startle Jeremy, Alex sat slowly on the bed. When Alex felt it was okay to move towards Jeremy, he did, but slowly. He reached out and pulled Jeremy towards him until they were into a hug. Immediately, Jeremy wrapped his arms around Alex and held onto him tight. They didn't move from their position until Jeremy was ready.

After getting Jeremy settled in for the night in his room with Cupid, Alex walked over to his room making a mental note to speak with Jacob about Jeremy in the morning. They are going to have to spend more time with him. They can't find a way to do that, they better get him some friends. That way he doesn't feel all alone. And finally they need to find out what caused Jeremy to hide out in the spare room downstairs in the basement.

The next morning, Alex and Matt met up with Donald in the library. They went over the strategy for today's mock trial. They are still on separate pages on how to handle the witnesses. Alex feels that he needs to go at them the same way as he went after them on Thursday, but Donald feels that he needs to ease up. It took Matt to get Donald to understand the way Alex is doing it is the right way.

Once they came to an agreement, they headed off to find the others. As they walked down to the doors that lead out to the stadium, they saw Shane and his friends coming towards them. Alex turned and asked Donald to head on out and join the others as he and Matt talk with the guys that are walking towards them.

Alex prepared himself for fight, but Shane surprised him. "There's really no place to start, but to say that I am very sorry for what I have done to you and your friend Jacob. I have been looking for you and your friend Jacob all morning to tell you this. There's no excuse for what I did and I won't even try to make one up.

Over the weekend I spoke with Lorraine and I couldn't believe I was so blinded. Like you said the other day, it's just a school program. It's certainly nothing to destroy my future over! Everything that happened to Lorraine she deserved and I made that clear to her when I was breaking up with her on Saturday."

Alex had no idea how to respond to what Shane said. One thing is for sure is that Shane is finally seeing the truth. Jacob does not go after people out of anger or hatred. In fact, Jacob, from what Alex can understand, was Lorraine's biggest backer when so many people wanted her out, Jacob stood behind her.

"I know that you know that we didn't want you guys as enemies. We have way too many enemies to add any more to the list! But when anybody comes at any of my friends, I will do what it takes to protect them. You and I are almost the same when it comes down to that. Look at what you were willing to do on the word of your girlfriend."

"Isn't that the truth! I was willing to destroy my future on a lie from my girlfriend. I hope down the line we can become friends. Who wouldn't want to have a friend like you in their corner whenever the chips are down?"

They shook hands before heading opposite directions. Neither Alex nor Matt said a word to each other about what just happened. They both know it had to be hard for Shane to admit that he was wrong and do it in front of his friends! Also he had to end a relationship that anyone could tell where they were deeply in love. Only love would make a person willing to do what Shane was willing to do.

During second period, Alex did the homework assignment from first period. At the same time he paid attention to what his teacher is going on about. By the end of second period, Alex was more nervous than he was on Thursday and Wednesday of last week. Matt noticed that Alex is nervous, so he pulled Alex into the bathroom.

Matt told Alex to splash cold water on his face and to breathe. After splashing cold water on his face, Matt wiped it off with a paper towel. As he finished wiping Alex's face, Matt told Alex he had nothing to worry about. He kissed Alex on the lips and slapped his butt as they walked out of the bathroom.

After going over what had happened on Wednesday and Thursday, Mr. Galey walked off the stage and let the court proceedings begin. The student playing the judge warned Alex that he can't do what he did on Thursday. If he does at one time, he will tell him to sit down and let the witness off the witness stand. Alex didn't say a word or agree in any way to what the student playing the judge said.

The head of the prosecution team called the next witness and went through the questions just as they rehearsed. When Alex got up and started to ask the witness questions the judge warned him. Not paying any attention to what the judge said Alex continued on the line of questioning which got the judge upset.

"I warned you at the beginning of the proceedings not to go down this road. Then I warned you again. You seem to not understand the rules of the courtroom. So I am going to let the witness step down and ask the prosecution to call the next witness. If you go with this line of questioning with the next witness, I will find you in contempt of court and excuse the witness again."

"With all due respect, your honor, you're the one that doesn't know court procedure. Any attorney is allowed to go down any line of questioning as long as it's with in the parameters of what the prosecution called this witness up to testify on. This witness and the prosecution opened the doors for the line of questioning. If you don't allow me to continue to defend my client I will ask you to step down. That way we can get another judge that is impartial to this case."

The students in the auditorium started to clap in support of what Alex just said. No matter how much the student playing the judge slammed the gavel down; it didn't get the students to quiet down. It took all the instructors to get on the stage and asked the students to settle down, and let the proceedings continue.

As the students sat back down, the judge started to speak. "This is what I am talking about, and it must end! This is not a place to put on a show; it is a court proceeding, and you must treat it as such. I won't recuse myself and you must follow my instructions."

"If you don't want to be fair and impartial, I must ask you to step down and allow another judge to be seated. You can't stop a prosecution or a defense attorney pursuing a road of questioning when one or the other side opens the door to those questions. If you continue to ask me to follow the instructions you just gave, you must step down."

Once again, the students stood up clapping and cheering. This time after the teacher settled the students down, Mr. Galey and Mrs. Linscott pulled the defense, the prosecution and the judge to the side so where no one else could hear what they are talking about. Alex could see that Mr. Galey isn't happy with him.

"Mrs. Linscott, you need to get control of your students or put somebody else on the defense team. We can't keep having these issues coming up with the defense team. Whenever a judge gives an order, an attorney must follow that order. If that attorney does not follow the order a judge can remove him as an attorney in the court proceedings."

"At the same time, Mr. Galey, either side can ask a judge to recuse if they feel the judge isn't impartial. What I can see from where I'm sitting at the student playing the judge is not being fair to both sides. A judge can't limit a side to a certain line of questioning. Just like my student said, the prosecution opened the door to the questions he is asking. Once that happens, the prosecution can't object and the judge can't stop the defense to continue asking about something the prosecution opened the door to."

Mr. Galey walked over and picked up a book that explains court proceedings. He stood there going through several pages before saying anything. With what he read he realized that Mrs. Linscott and her student are right. The prosecution did open the doors to the line of questioning in which the defense team is continuing asking.

He walked over to the student who is playing the judge and explained to him that he is wrong ordering the defense to stop asking the questions they are asking. Showing him in the book, where it does allow the defense team to ask the questions, he agreed with Mr. Galey. After everyone took their seats again, the judge started to speak.

"It just got pointed out to me that my order was wrong. The prosecution did open the door and defense is allowed to ask the questions they are asking. Since none of us really know procedure expertly, were going to make mistakes, and I just made one. I won't recuse myself, but I will reverse my original order. The defense team may continue their line of questioning with this witness and any other witness. As long as the prosecution opens the door to those questions, I will allow it."

The rest of the period, Alex went hard at each witness. The students playing the role of prosecution continued to make the same mistakes over and over again. They continued to open the door to let Alex crush their witnesses. By the end of class, the prosecution's case was completely unraveling and they were grasping at straws.

When Alex, Matt and Donald left the auditorium they felt good about where they are at at this point. Donald hopes that tomorrow the prosecution will rest their case and allow Alex to put on their defense. That way by Wednesday or Thursday, they should have the case in the hands of the jury and by Friday, they should have a verdict.

During lunch, Jacob, surprised everyone when he told them that several kids approached him to run for senior class president! Not to be mean to Jacob, several of the guys tried to talk him out of even thinking about running. They tried to explain to him that the one that gets elected to senior class president is normally the most popular person in the class. It's not a position that the one that can do the best job is elected.

Jacob didn't like what he heard and left. When he got up from the table everyone looked at each other surprised that he got upset. Alex wasn't surprised, because he needed his friends to support him. Instead several of them tried to talk Jacob out of running. If the shoe was on the other foot, Alex knows that anyone at this table would have reacted the same way Jacob just did.

Not to steal from Jacob's idea, Alex thought of Matt running for student council for next year. Not student Council President, senior class president, just a position on student council. He knows that Matt would be good on student council.

Instead of staying with the group, Alex pulled Matt a couple feet away. "Before you say anything hear me out. You and I were one of the few at the table that supported Jacob. I really do believe it is a good idea not only for Jacob to run, but for you as well."

Matt started to shake his head no as he stepped several feet back from Alex. "Wait before you dismiss this idea. You are smart, you can lead, you're able to find solutions to problems that others can't, and most importantly you voice an opinion no matter what others may think of it. I'm not saying for you to run for high office like student council president or senior class president. But run for a position on the student council.

Can you imagine you and Jacob working side-by-side get things done? I'm not saying that you guys should go up there and start making new rules for gays at the school. What I am saying is that both you guys can work together to make REAL change! Change that matters for our class and the future classes of this school! You know as well as I do, no one usually really does anything once they get elected."

"Let's say, I say yes to run for a position on the student council. It wouldn't matter if Jacob doesn't run for a position. If I go up there alone, without anybody else willing to work just as hard as I will, it would be for nothing. Those that are on a student council normally run for the positions to make their applications for college look good. They really don't want to work and make the kind of change that matters."

"What I think we should do first Matt is go up to Jacob and support him to run for student council president, not senior class president. Senior class president is just a puppet position that really has no authority to do anything. Student Council President can actually make changes that make a difference at the school.

Once we get him onboard to run for student council president, then you can run for student council. There is no doubt in my mind that both of you will win. Then next year when you guys take over, you can actually do something good for the school. You know that I mean what I'm saying because I rarely talk about anything dealing with school. My normal attitude is I don't care, just let me graduate."

For the remainder of lunch period, Alex and Matt started making plans to run for student council. They know they're going to need to get help and they know the person they can go to for that help. They also know that they need to get other students that know how to run for these kinds of positions to help them out. Matt thought that maybe the guys that approached Jacob could help them as well.

Alex agreed, but again, they both know it will come down to Jacob. If he decides against running, Matt won't run. Just like Matt said earlier, it doesn't do him any good to go up there when everyone else ran for the position for their college applications. If he is to run for a position he will want to actually do something with it.

Leaving the idea of running for any position up in the air, Alex and Matt headed to class. The rest of the day, they passed notes to each other. In fifth period, their squad leader caught them and tore up the note. But in sixth period, Alex and Matt picked up where they left off before the note was torn up.

Most of the conversation on the note was how they are going to talk Jacob into running. Some of it though was Alex and Matt telling each other how much they love each other. Each was trying to outdo the other! By the end of sixth period, Matt and Alex had formulated a plan to get Jacob talked into running. It is going to take everyone to support Jacob, because they know that is the only way he will run.

They didn't waste any time when they got home. The minute they walked in, they put their books away, washed up and headed out for work. On the drive to work, Alex and Matt put their first step into action to get Jacob to run by talking to the guys. By the time they drove into the parking lot, they had all the guys behind them.

Once the bell rang, Lorenzo and Ismail headed home from school. As they started walking through the playground of Morehead junior high several of their classmates ran up to them. At first neither of the boys paid much attention to them until they heard them calling their older brother Alex a `fudge packer'. Ismail ignored them, but Lorenzo didn't.

As he walked up to them he dared them to say it again in his face. They couldn't believe that Lorenzo is willing to take on four of them. So not only did they repeat the words `fudge packer', they added a few more. That is all it took for Lorenzo to throw his books to the ground and charged at them.

Before any of the boys could react, Lorenzo was on top of them. With one punch each, Lorenzo took out two of the boys right off the bat. One of the other two ran and the other one stood his ground. It didn't take long for Lorenzo to attack. Because he wasn't paying attention to the other two boys that he had hit first, he got jumped from behind.

They pulled Lorenzo off of the boy that stood his ground and dragged him a couple feet away. As they held him the other boy got up from the ground and started to hit Lorenzo. The kid got in a couple good punches before Ismail threw him back to the ground. Just as Lorenzo broke free from the two guys that were holding him several of the schools security guards started running towards them.

Just like cockroaches when the light gets turned on, everyone grabbed their books and ran off in different directions. By the time the school security guards got where the boys were, they were gone. Lorenzo and Ismail went running to a friend's house next door to their house in order to clean up. They don't want to walk in and have their mother see that they had just gotten into a fight.

When Alex and Matt walked onto the production floor, they found Sergio waiting for them at the time clock. They greeted each other and walked up to Ron's office to see what is being worked on for the day. Once Ron briefs them, he can go home if he wants or stay and work with Sergio.

"Hey guys, we started a new printing project about an hour before the day shift ended. This job is a pretty big job and should take most of the week. But knowing this crew, we can probably get it done by Thursday." Ron handed Alex, Matt and Sergio the printing requests from the client.

"Talking about production, this is an area that needs to be fixed in the day crew Sergio. I have done what I can, but these guys seem to not give a damn. What I was going to do is hire a couple new workers and fire several of the old workers to send a clear message to the others. The message should be laziness won't be tolerated. That is a major problem I'm having right now with my day crew."

"Well I think I can help there since I can start working with you as of tomorrow." Ron looked at Sergio with a surprised look on his face. "When I arrived at work today I got stopped in the hallway by the school principal. He told me I have almost three weeks of saved vacation time that I have to use before I retire. They don't pay for vacation time once a person leaves their job. So instead of losing that time, I decided to take the three weeks off, and I can work here during the day."

"I know you would like to go up to the day shift to meet those that you are going to be in charge of, but what about me and Matt? We don't want to wear out a second floor manager, because we can't work the day shift. At the same time, though, we have to learn how to run this company on our own. They know the paperwork already but where we need help on is working the machines."

"I see where you're coming from Alex, but right now, you and Matt can't use the machines because of your age. For now it is best that I can introduce Sergio to the day shift crew. So when he takes over they know he is the boss. The meantime, I can continue working with you guys as far as the paperwork of running the business."

That didn't sit well with Alex and Ron and Sergio could see that. Instead of get into a big argument about something that he more than likely won't win, Alex walked out. He headed to his office and slammed the door when he walked in. Just as he sat behind his desk, Matt walked in and closed the door.

"What the hell does he think he is doing?" Alex slammed his fist against the desk. "We are the owners and that means we make those decisions and not the ones that report to us. They are over there making up their own plans without even clearing it with us. If we don't put a stop to this now, Sergio is going to think he can run right over us."

"Alex. I really don't think Sergio is that type of a person. We need to do for now is just to let Sergio go up to the day shift in straighten that out. While he is doing that, we finish learning everything about the paperwork of the business. Ron is right about our age, so we can't work the machines."

"I have no problem with what Ron said about our age, because he is right. What I have a problem is these guys are deciding it on their own what to do. They're not even bothering to ask if Sergio could come up and work the day shift. They are undercutting us as the owners and the bosses of this company by doing what they are doing. We are ready having enough problems as it is getting the respect we deserve because of our age. With our upper management cutting off our legs every chance they get is not helping!"

Knowing that there is nothing he could say to settle Alex down, Matt just sat there and agreed with him. At the same time he does understand where Alex is coming from. He knows that if they can't even get their upper management to respect them. How are they going to get the employees to respect them? Matt got pulled out of thought with a knock on the door. The door opened and Sergio walked in.

"Sorry to bother you, but I got the feeling you guys aren't happy with what's going on. Ron and I are just trying to get all of our ducks in a row before he leaves. Once he's gone and I haven't yet been introduced to the day crew it's going to be even a harder transition. As you guys know that crew right now is having problems that need to be dealt with."

Alex got up from his seat and walked around the desk. "Let me ask you a question, who owns this company? What I mean is, who are yours and Ron's bosses right now?"

"You two are!"

"Exactly and that is something you need to get used to. If you have a problem with our age, let us know so where we can find someone else that doesn't have that problem.  That isn't the problem. What IS the problem is that you might used to making all the decisions about what to do without asking. That is not going to happen here. Before you, Ron or anyone for that matter decides a course of action, you clear it with me or Matt. Don't take it upon yourself to make these decisions. If again you have a problem with that, we need to part ways here and now. That way you can take back your retirement papers."

"I never meant to upset you or Matt. You are right I am used to making decisions without clearing it with anybody. From now on, I will make sure to go to either you or Matt before moving on any of my ideas. I should have mentioned it first to you guys that I have my days free and that I would like to be able to work the day shift."

At first Alex, Matt and Sergio discussed the idea before Ron joined in a few minutes later. They came to an agreement to let Sergio go up to the day shift and meet everyone. Ron and Sergio will open together Tuesday and Wednesday together, but starting on Thursday Ron will start working mid shifts. That way he spends half of his time with Sergio and the other half teaching Alex and Matt the rest of the paperwork.

After Ron left, Sergio went to the floor to work alongside the workers leaving Alex and Matt alone in Alex's office. For a few minutes they sat in silence as Alex gathered his thoughts. He wants to make sure that when he talks with Matt no anger shows.

"Matt, the first thing I saw the day I met you is your inability to get angry. Don't get me wrong, I fell in love with that part of you, but it won't work here. You need to stop letting people run over you. We make the final decisions on everything that goes on inside this business. You need to help me out and stop making me be the bad guy all the time."

"Alex, both of us have a different idea how we should run this company. By the looks of it you think a hard hand is the right thing to do whereas I think we can accomplish the same thing by just sitting down and talking things out. The way you talked with Sergio earlier, if I was talked to that way, I would have quit."

"That is good then that I am not your boss. There is no way I would have been able to get my point across to Sergio with sugar and spice. Sergio would have left this office knowing that he can run over us when ever he wants to. Now he knows that we won't let that happen. Now on he will come to us and ask us permission to do something before he puts his plan into action.

When we brought Ron onboard, we lost that control. Don't get me wrong, I am thankful he came onboard and did the hard work to get this company going. But with that said, there would not have been a way we could get back control of him reporting to us. He got that control the day he walked in here. We were wet behind the ears and now we aren't. Like it or not, we are the bosses and we have to put our foot down when it comes to keeping everyone in their spot. The top of the food chain here is us, the owners. We are also the ones with the financial risk hanging over our heads."

Matt leaned back in his seat and thought about what Alex just said. Not wanting to agree with him, but Matt had no choice because everything Alex said rang true and had logic behind it. By agreeing with Alex, Matt knows he has to change his way on dealing with things. Certain issues will need to be handled forcefully and others can be handled with kid gloves. Those decisions will need to be made with each situation.

On the way home, Alex and Matt didn't talk about what had occurred in the office since they have regular employees with them. Instead they picked up the subject they were talking about before work. Both of them wanted to make sure they had the full backing of everyone in the vehicle about Jacob running for a position next year. They don't want to approach Jacob and have the same thing happen again that happened earlier at lunch.

As always, after dinner, Matt headed over to his in Alex's room to do his homework while Alex helped his mother do the dishes. The other guys either went to watch TV, do their homework or just go up to their rooms. Unless something major happens, the routine in the evening or the morning rarely changes.

Alex kept looking over at his mother to try to figure out what kind of mood that she is in. If she is tired or angry, he doesn't want to bring up the subject that he talked with Al about the day before. In order for him to figure out if his mom is willing to listen, Alex throughout general questions. By the way she answered the questions Alex knew he could talk with her and get her opinion.

"What is going on Alex? You normally do this kind of feeling out when you need to talk something over with me that is very serious. So let's just go to the table, and you tell me what is on your mind and maybe together we can figure out an answer."

"For the last several nights I have up thinking about my past. It's not fair for Al, Jacob or anybody in this house to be at risk for what I have done in my past. Poor Al keeps fighting for me, and I know eventually he is going to run into a brick wall. If the gang doesn't find me first and harm people I love and care for that is. If anybody in this house gets hurt by the gang because they are looking for me, I couldn't live with myself.

So I thought of two ways to put this issue to bed. The first is that I move and the gang knows that I the moved. The problem with that is if they are dead set on getting me, they will hurt you guys no matter if I'm here or not. As you know, I know how this gang works, and they use family in order to get the person they want. So this idea of me moving is not a very good idea at all if you look at the way I just explained.

Now the other idea I had is going to sound weird, but hear me out. Somehow, we fake my death over the summer, and I go into the hospital to get some changes to my face that no one can recognize me. I change my name with the new appearance and the only ones that know about this are the ones that we trust."

Franseca couldn't believe what is coming out of her son's mouth. She of all people wants her son to be safe, but not at this cost. There is no way she can see this working with so many people living in this house. One of them, not meaning to, will accidentally say something, or call Alex by his actual name while they're at school, at an event or just out shopping. Secrets like this can never be kept when there is too many people involved.

"Put aside the expense it will take to make this happen, are you crazy?" Franseca got up from her seat and walked over to put away the dishes. "There is no way you will be able to pull this off. Besides trying to get everybody in this house on the same track, it will be leaked out somehow. When that happens Alex, the gang will come back for you."

"Mom, this is the only way I know how to keep you, my brothers, Matt and everyone else in this house safe. I know it sounds weird and I know it's going to cost money. I also know that if I can't get everyone in this house to go along with it, it would be worthless to do it. Trust me, mom, I thought about all this before coming to you."

"Son, you have your heart in the right place, but this is not the way to go about it. You have over a year left before you go off to college. When that happens things will get a lot better for you and for us! In the meantime, trust in Al and everyone else in this house to keep you and themselves safe."

Not wanting to give up on the idea so fast. Alex stood his ground and continued trying to sell his mother on the idea of what he presented. No matter what Alex said, or how he tried to explain his mother wouldn't give him the go-ahead. After going around in circles for over an hour, Franseca had enough.

"I will make you this promise, Alex if by the end of the school year, if things are the same as they are now or worse, we will talk about it again. I believe in Al and him getting things done legally. Still, you know the gang and what they are willing to did in order to get you or Carlos. So that is why I'm willing to make this deal with you, but I don't want to hear a thing about this again until the end of the school year."

Alex agreed with his mother and headed to his room. Halfway down the hallway he remembered that he hasn't looked in on his brothers yet this evening. So he turned around and walked to the game room. When he walked down the stairs, Lorenzo and Ismail quickly turned off the lights and the TV, causing Alex to wonder what are his little brothers hiding.

He turned the lights back on and saw Ismail standing in front of Lorenzo. When Alex pushed Ismail out of the way, he couldn't believe his eyes. Trying not to let his anger get to him, Alex gently pulled Lorenzo towards him. He brushed his hand across his little brother's face and that did it for him.

"Who in the hell did this to you? Tell me who did this to you so I can go and kill them. No one, I mean NO ONE hurts my brothers in anyway and gets away with it!" Alex dropped to his knees with a hand on each of Lorenzo's arms. "I am not mad at you, just tell me who did this to you so I can deal with them correctly."

"There is no need for that, because I gave them even worse!"

That didn't calm Alex down at all. In fact, it made him angrier than he already was. Since he got back home, Alex has tried his best to teach his little brother's that fighting is not the answer. Over and over again he used himself as an example of what could happen if they use their fists instead of their minds. Now he can see nothing that he has told his little brothers has sunk in.

Before Alex could say another word, Lorenzo explained to him what had happened. As Lorenzo told the story, Alex went from angry to hurt. He never wanted his private life to affect his brother's lives. Now he can see not only his private life has entered into his brothers' lives but it is causing them problems.

"Thank you for defending my honor with those little shits. I never thought that my private life would have caused this. You guys don't deserve to be teased in any way about the way I live my life. I know that is easier said than done, but if this happens again, just walk away. Don't give them what they want. They wanted you to get mad and fight them. When you give in like that, you have lost even if you did win the fight! A person is bigger when they ignore stupid kids like that and walk away.

With that said, both of you know that who I fell in love with isn't wrong. Right?" Lorenzo and Ismail nodded their heads `yes'. "You will see when you fall in love with a beautiful girl; you won't be able to help it. Your heart overrules your brain and there is no fighting that." Lorenzo and Ismail put their fingers in their mouth as if they were gagging when Alex said girls.

"Okay, okay, you will soon see what I am talking about. You two will fall in love very soon and when that happens you won't be gagging. But for now, do me a favor, please don't fight anymore. I don't care if they call me all the names in the book, don't fight. I want you guys to stay out of trouble and become president."

Lorenzo started laughing and tackled Alex. Ismail joined and as they wrestled around on the floor of the game room. When they pinned Alex, they got off of him and went back to the TV to play the game they were playing before Alex walked in. Alex just stood there looking at them, hoping that he can help them make the right decisions. He doesn't want to see them going down the same road that he went down.

After watching his little brothers playing the game for ten minutes or so, Alex walked over to them, kissed them on the foreheads and told them goodnight. They looked up at Alex, with their young, innocent eyes, big smile and told Alex they love him also.

On his way to his room, he couldn't stop thinking about his little brothers. There is no way he could do what he planned on doing. He can't put his little brothers through that, not after losing their dad. They are too young and they won't be able to keep the lie going. Plus Alex doesn't want to put his brothers in that position.

As he reached his room, he started thinking about their safety. If the gang still thinks he is alive, they will keep coming for him. He doesn't want his little brothers to be killed because of what he has done. So maybe asking them to lie now, could save them in the future. Alex's mind is pulling him in two different directions right now and he doesn't know which fork in this road he wants or needs to take.



{Welcome back everyone and I hope you enjoyed this chapter as much as I enjoyed writing it. In this chapter I threw in so many curve balls at you, you don't even know where I am going to go in certain plots. I love the fact I left the ending the way I left it. It is a big decision and it will take time for Alex to figure it out.

Now I picked up from where I left off in the last chapter. Some details of what happened around the pool you will find in "Jacob Finding His Way" chapter sixty two. I split the scene in both stories so that you will need to read both chapters. At least in this plot so of the conversation and what had happened is in "Jacob" sixty two.

With that said I like how the whole thing got handled. As far as we know Jacob didn't find out what his mother did. It doesn't look like Franseca, Al, Alex or Gloria are going to tell Jacob. We know for sure it won't be Gloria because of what she thought later in the chapter when Alex asked to speak with Al alone. If she's afraid, she needs to stop doing stupid things like she did that day to Alex. It's that simple.

Man oh man, did the student that is playing the judge got put in his place by Alex and so did Mr. Galey! Mr. Galey should know the procedures of the courtroom if he puts on these mock trials. He should be more embarrassed over what had happened than the kid that is playing the judge. Come on, a student that is not even in his class knows more about courtroom procedure than he does! There is a problem there.

By the looks of it, Alex this case won already. Let's me use that old saying that it is now his to lose. Alex has the audience on his side; I hope he has the jury as well. If at the end Alex doesn't drop the ball and the jury votes guilty, we all will know that something isn't right there. I hope these kids that are playing the jury actually vote with the way the evidence was presented; not for their class or their friends.

What do you think is up with Shane? Is this some kind of trick to get Alex off guard? I hope not and Shane was telling the truth about breaking it off with Loraine, but knowing her, she plays dirty. This could be just a way to get Alex to think he is safe and when he least suspects it they strike at him and Jacob.

When you read chapter sixty two of "Jacob...", you will know about him being asked to run for student council and the way the group reacted when Josh told them. But through all that Alex got an idea to have Matt run as well. I wonder if Matt runs, will he win? If he wins what will he and Jacob, if Jacob runs and wins, do? Will they make changes for the school for all or just for a few? Will they make movements for gays to be treated right? This plot has a lot of life and can't wait to see how it unfolds.

To a point I understand why Lorenzo did what he did. At the same time he seems to be slowly going down the road that Alex went down. Alex is right; Lorenzo and Ismail need to be the bigger person and turn the other cheek. Don't lower themselves to their level and fight. No one wins except the kids that started teasing Lorenzo and Ismail.

Do you guys think that Alex was wrong with how he handled the issue with Sergio and Ron? Also do you think Alex was wrong on how he talked to Matt about being more forceful? I see where Alex is coming from and why he felt he needed to do what he did, but I wonder if he could have handled it better. No matter now because it is done and Sergio got the message loud and clear! Let's hope nothing like this comes up again.

Finally let's talk about the middle and the ending of this chapter. Alex wanting to fake his own death and have reconstructive surgery done to his face to change his identity. He cares a lot for his family and he knows how far his former gang will go to get to him. What I wonder is if he does do what he told Al and his mother, will it end the issue with the gang. Like his mother said, a secret like that will get out when there are a lot of people that knows about the secret. I really hope Alex does think long and hard before making a decision that he can't take back.

Oh one last thing I need to mention to you. If you like the love scene in this chapter, send the emails to my editor Rick. From this date forward he will be writing out the love scenes in the stories he edits. I will set it up for the scene, but he will do the actual writing. I am not that good on writing love scenes and that is why there hasn't been that many. That doesn't mean the future chapters are going to be filled with love scenes.

I don't want to say too much more and spoil the future chapters to come, so 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!}

Well, there's never a dull moment in Alex's life or those around him!
If the print shop doesn't net a good living for Alex, with a proper education he sure could be a solid and effective defense attorney!  Wow, he did his homework (or watched a lot of "Law & Order") to know some of the details of courtroom rules and procedure!

Steve and Robert seemed to have a good time on the bus! How much more could one say about the way they passed the otherwise boring time on the long ride home? It appears that if they had the time and privacy of a bedroom that there lovemaking would be incredible! I wonder if they will find time and good places to develop their love life more.

Alex handled the situation with Sergio as needed, but he could have been equally as effective with a slightly softer touch. Matt is right about Alex's tone in the situation. It could have resulted in Sergio quitting and where would that have left them. Yes, Alex and Matt have to assert their positions as the owners of the shop, but it would be better accomplished by engendering and building respect rather than by intimidation.

I know Alex is grasping at straws trying to protect his close and extended families from the gang. I agree with Franseca; let Al do what he can and keep watchful eyes out and see how things play out.  Alex is smart enough to see signs of the gang getting close.

Shane...hmmmm...I can see this going either way.  We know how persuasive Loraine can be, yet, on the surface, Shane got his head in control.  I honestly hope that Shane is on the level and that there can be a friendship coming out of the adversity. It would be great if Loraine finally has to face the results of her behaviors and has to come to grips with it. Perhaps if the facts and truth get through, she can change and become a likeable and valued human being.

I am curious to know what had Jeremy upset. I'm glad that he allowed Alex to be his friend and calm him down. Yet, Alex's question is still there; what caused Jeremy to be upset?

Until next time !
"Daddy" Rick