Written by J.P.G.

{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, 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.}

Story Written by: J.P.G.

Love Scenes Written By: Daddy Rick

Edited By: Daddy Rick

Chapter 36

Carlos' mother picked him up at the end of fifth period in order to get him to his probation officer's office in time for the appointment. All the way along she wouldn't leave Carlos alone. She kept asking him over and over again on what he did wrong to get his probation officer to call him in. No matter how many times Carlos said `nothing', she didn't believe him. By the time they got to the office, they both were yelling.

"If he revokes your probation today, don't depend on me or your grandparents getting you out. You know there is no money to even hire you an attorney let alone put up bail! So whatever you did, I hope it was worth you losing your freedom! I knew that friendship of yours with Alex was going to be the end of you."

Carlos got out of the car, slammed the door and walked into the lobby of his PO's office. Right away he went over and signed in. At this point he just wanted this to be over. If they are going to arrest him and send him back up, well just get it done. It's better to know the answer than to keep wondering why his PO needs to see him.

Before Carlos had a chance to sit down and read the magazine he picked up from the floor, his PO came out to get him. Putting the magazine down, Carlos got up and followed the PO to his office. Carlos sat down, and watched as the PO taking his sweet time grabbing the file from his cabinet.

"I need to know who you know high up in the government, Carlos." Carlos looked at his PO confused on the question that was just asked. "The reason I'm asking that is because I received a pardon signed by the Governor taking you completely off of probation. Not only taking you off of the anklet, but no longer reporting into me every month. In all my years as probation officer, I have never seen this sort of thing happen."

Surprised by what he was being told, Carlos couldn't answer his probation officer. He doesn't know anyone that has that kind of power. Then it dawned on him; Alex. Alex knows Jacob, and Jacob's grandfather works for the Governor. That is the only logical answer to what is going on here.

"Sir, I don't know anyone in the government. I hang out with the grandson of one of the Governor's staff members, but I don't think my friend's grandfather has that pull with the Governor. Anyways you said someone high up in the government, so it doesn't mean it was the Governor or my friend's grandfather."

The probation officer looked through the pardon to see who signed it. "Here shows the Governor's signature on the pardon. It looks like your little friend asked his grandfather to talk with the Governor to get you off of probation, which I don't agree with. There are a lot better candidates for this pardon than you. I truly believe that this is a waste of a good pardon and I will see you back here in less than a year."

"I am sorry to hear that you think that sir, but it really doesn't matter what you think since the Governor has signed the pardon. According to what you told me already, I am no longer on probation. So can you please take off the monitor so where I can leave this office and prove to you I will never come back here again."

Carlos's probation officer just looked at him with disgust. He really wants to just call in the police and have him revoked, but he can't. Since he has no other choice, the probation officer got up and walked around his desk, asking Carlos to lift up his leg that has the monitor on it. It didn't take him long to take the anklet off.

Grabbing Carlos' pardon, the probation officer handed it to him. "I need you to sign a few things and you can leave. I truly hope that I don't see you again, but if I do, you can count on me making your life a living hell!"

The probation officer pulled out the papers that he needed Carlos to sign. Once that was done, the probation officer had Carlos finger printed once again on the last page before giving him his copy of the paperwork. Not asking why he was finger printed again, he just thanked his PO and walked out. In Carlos mind there was no need to make a big deal on getting fingered printed since his finger prints were already on file.

As he got into his mother car, he handed her his pardon. "Now do you believe me that I didn't do anything wrong? Not only I am off the anklet, but I am off probation all together. Maybe now when I tell you that I didn't do anything wrong, you will believe me!" His mom just looked at the pardon, unable to find her tongue. "Oh one other thing, that friend you say was going to be the end of me? Well he is the reason I am totally free!"

All that Carlos' mother could do is hand him back his pardon and apologize to him. She realized that she was jumping to conclusions without really knowing what was going on. It was just her son's past has shown her that he was always getting into trouble. Nothing he has done in his past had given her any other reason to think he had gotten into trouble.

At the same time Steve and Robert went into their probation officer to report in. Just like Carlos, their probation officers called them and set up an appointment at three. Both of their parents got off of work and took them in to their appointment. Also like Carlos, their parents thought that they had screwed up and they were being called in to either get more community service hours or revoked altogether.

Although they put on an angry face, their parents were worried on the inside. They just were getting used to having them back home, and now they might be losing them again. If that becomes the case, they plan to do anything and everything to get them back on probation. Neither set of parents want their son locked back up again.

When Steve arrived, he sat across from Robert with his mother. Every so often he would steal a glance of Robert across the room when ever he knew neither of their parents was looking. Each time he did that, he caught Robert looking at him as well. They both smiled at each other and quickly turned away.

A little after three, both Steve and Robert were called, but not by their probation officers, it was their supervisor. As they walked to his office, both Steve and Robert got even more nervous than they were already. This meeting must be big since the head supervisor of the probation officers is taking the meeting.

"The reason I am seeing you boys instead of your probation officers is that we got a pardon sent to us by the Governor for each of you." Robert looked over at Steve with a surprised look in his face. "Basically how this pardon reads is that you guys have been given a full pardon on everything you are on probation for. You no longer have to wear the anklet nor do you have to report to the office.

You guys were free and clear as of this last Monday. I wanted to bring you guys in sooner than this, but my schedule didn't permit me to. So if you can, lift the pant legs where the monitors are, I can take them off."

Not having to be asked twice, Robert and Steve lifted their pant legs to make it easier for the supervisor to take them off. As their monitors were being taken off, they couldn't help but giggle in excitement. Neither Robert nor Steve could believe what is going on. They thought they were in trouble for something they didn't do. Instead they are getting pulled released from their probation altogether.

"I hope you guys learned from your past mistakes and not make them again." The supervisor started to talk as he got up from the floor. "I don't want to see you guys in here again for any reason. You were given a second chance when you got out of the detention facility. Now you guys are getting a clear slate altogether. You need to thank whoever did this for you, because it wasn't my office that put you in for this."

The supervisor had Robert and Steve sign the same paperwork that Carlo, Alex and Matt did. Just like Carlos, the supervisor took Steve's and Robert's fingerprints on the last page. Once they finished that, the supervisor handed them each their copy of the paper work and the pardon.

"Good luck out there you two. I truly hope once again that the Governor didn't waste these pardons on you two. But what I have been told by your probation officers, I don't think he did." The supervisor shook both Robert and Steve's hands before letting them leave.

The minute they walked into the lobby, their parents stood up. Steve walked over to his mother and showed her the paperwork and the pardon. At the same time Robert did the same thing. Both of their parents were happy for their sons, but asked how it happened. They both said Jacob, which their parents didn't understand.

Not only did Alex and Matt have their freedom to celebrate, they have Valentine's Day to celebrate also. They had scheduled everything they wanted to do early, so they could get in before ten. Now that they don't have any time constraints so they are not in much of a hurry getting ready. They will keep their dinner reservations, but everything they had planned before dinner has now been moved to after dinner.

They took their showers, got dressed and kissed Franseca good night on their way out. Alex was in such a good mood, he actually opened the passenger side door for Matt, which surprised Matt. After making sure Matt was in, Alex closed the door and ran to the driver's side and jumped in.

All the way to the restaurant the boys talked about how lucky they were. Both of them thought that their monitors were going to be removed, but be replaced with handcuffs. They owe a lot to Al and Jacob, but more Al because he did the legwork and got the Governor to sign off on the pardon.

"Do you think Al did what he did for us because of what you did for Jacob, Alex?"

"To be completely honest with you Matt, yes I think Al did this because what I did for Jacob. I clearly told both of them I didn't want any thing in return for what I did, but I know they did this because of that. Still I owe Jacob more than Jacob owes me, Matt. Giving a kidney doesn't make up for the hell I put him through for close to two years.

I don't think I would have done what Jacob did for me if I was in his shoes. More than likely I would I have told the guy that tried to kill me to rot in Hell. Thank God Jacob isn't like what I was back then. And thank God Jacob opened his door to me and my family and showed me what kindness can do instead of hate. Man, he has shown me what I was taught by my father was all wrong, which deep down inside I always knew."

"Alex, if Jacob didn't see a chance of you learning from your mistakes and becoming a better man, he wouldn't have given you the time of day. I truly believe he would have turned his back on you if he didn't see the real you. But he saw in your eyes that you truly weren't the person that WANTED to kill him. He saw you were driven by outside forces.

So yes Jacob opened his home to you and your family, but you showed him that he could trust you. Don't sell yourself short here. You had a lot to do with what happened. Let's stop talking about this bad stuff so we don't bum ourselves out. Not only it is Valentine's Day, but we are now free men; no different than every other teenager out there."

Alex took Matt's advice and dropped the subject of the anklets. They had a very romantic dinner, something they have never had together as a couple. Then they drove out to Scenic Drive. They parked, got out and walked over to the wall. At first they stood there, holding hands, looking down on the lights of El Paso. When it got cold, Alex went to the SUV and got a blanket. He and Matt sat on the wall, covered themselves with the blanket and cuddled. They didn't care who was watching them, they just wanted to show the love they have each other to the world.

Since it was their first night without the anklets, they got home early. If they had known they were getting off the anklets they would have planned the night differently. With their changed status they just throw things together at the last minute. They would have had their romantic dinner, then go to Scenic Drive, and then spent the night in a hotel together.

When they walked in a little after midnight, Franseca and Mario were surprised to see them back so soon. Before heading to the main house, to their room, Alex explained to them they hadn't planned to be off the anklets. Franseca simply replied to Alex that there is always next year to make up for this year.

Although they didn't rent a room, that didn't stop Alex and Matt from being together. They made the most passionate love that night. They were gentle with each other as they undressed one another. Once they were naked and lying on the bed, they explored every inch of the others body. Every muscle to every hair, they wanted to see it, feel it and touch it. They just wanted to crawl into each other and become one.

They made love for close to three hours, without a break. Not caring on how many times they got the other to explode, they kept going because they wanted to feel each other inside of them. They took turns with who was on top and who was on bottom.  All they cared about was making love like they have never done with each other before.

Neither of them stirred once they fell to sleep until midmorning. Even then, Matt pulled Alex into him and went back to sleep again. The next time Matt woke up, he found Alex looking at him with a look of complete love and devotion in his eyes. He leaned into Alex and their lips touched. Matt wrapped his hands around Alex's head and moved in even closer.

When they heard someone at their door knocking to get in, they broke the kiss. Quickly they got out of bed and threw on whatever was close to them to hide their raging hard cocks. Just as Alex got his shirt over his head, the door flew open and his brothers and cousins came running in, yelling that Al is about to leave.

Alex and Matt got dressed and followed Lorenzo and the other three up the stairs to the kitchen. When they stepped in, Franseca was hugging Al. She let go and Lorenzo and Ismail went running up to him and hugged him as well. The cousins just said goodbye because they really don't know him the way Alex's immediate family does.

Once Alex's little brothers let go of Al, Alex and Matt walked up to him. "Sir, I don't know what to say to you, except I won't let you down for what you have done for me and my family. I know you went out on the limb for me with the Governor, and I promise you I will work every day to show you that you are not wrong about me."

"You two listen to me and understand. What I am about to say will be the last time we speak about this. The only reason you both are no longer on probation is because of the work you have done. The changes you have already made in your life showed that you are not at all the same people that you were when you were arrested for the crimes you were on probation for. It comes down to that and that alone.

If you were still the same people that you were when you got in trouble, no one would have taken up your cause. No, you both did the work and you are the ones that deserve all the credit for getting off of probation."

Al extended his hand for Alex to shake. Alex brushed away Al's hand and hugged him, holding back the tears that are forming in his eyes. When he let go, Matt walked up and hugged Al as well, thanking him for everything. Once Matt let go, Al turned and walked towards the front door, with everyone following.

The immediate family got into the cars, and the extended family stood back watching as Al and the rest drove away. Until they turned off of their street, Alex and his family didn't stop waving or go inside. Once they did go inside, it felt different already knowing that Al won't be returning when Jacob and the others come home.

As they ate lunch, Alex talked with his grandfather about the bedroom set in the room they are sleeping in. It's not that he doesn't want to let his grandparents have the bed set, but that is the bed set they just bought from Josh, and both Alex ad Matt sleep like angels in it. So he talked his grandfather into going with him and Matt to the furniture store to get a new bedroom set for them and Alex and Matt will take their set back.

While Alex showered and got ready to go, Franseca went and got the money that Jacob gave her, that Alex gave him. She doesn't want Alex to spend his own money on a bedroom set that will more than likely stay in her house. This way he will spend the money he would not accept if he knew where it came from.

Alex went where Jacob bought his furniture, not because of a discount, but because he knows the furniture is good there. It didn't take long for Mario to find a bedroom set he liked. Alex and Matt didn't, and then when they saw the price, Alex told Mario to look for something else. The set wasn't   on clearance, but was under four hundred dollars. Alex thought that the only way it could be that cheap is that it isn't good quality.

By the third set they looked at, both Alex and his grandfather agreed. This set was little over a thousand, but after putting the money Franseca gave him, Alex didn't have to put much out of his own pocket. He felt bad using his mother's money and wanted to pay for it all with his own, but Mario made Alex use the money Franseca gave him. He promised his daughter that he will make sure Alex uses that money first when they pay.

They wanted the furniture delivered no later than the next day, but the salesman told Alex he didn't have an opening until Monday afternoon. Alex accepted that delivery date, but when the salesman returned he had the manager of the store. At first Alex thought that there was bad news about something with the furniture or the delivery, but he was wrong.

"Mr. Garcia, I am sorry about the mix up, but we will get the furniture delivered to you first thing tomorrow morning. Plus you get the furniture at wholesale price because of our deal with Jacob Hernandez. You should have asked for me when you came in, so you would get the best prices that we can offer Jacob and his family. So if you want, you can go back out on the floor and look some more at other better sets."

Alex looked over to Matt a little confused with what the store manager just said. He got the furniture that he and his grandfather likes, so there is no need for them to go back onto the sales floor and look at other furniture sets. Still, he will take the discount that the store manager is willing to offer him. It is always good to never pay full price if you can get it at a discounted price.

"Thank you very much for your offer, but we have looked at all your bedroom sets in decided on the one we are buying now. We did decide on this set because it was at a better price, but it suits my grandparents. Thank you again. And thank you for the discount and getting the furniture delivered to us first thing tomorrow morning."

The store manager gave Alex his business card and asked him to tell Jacob that he is abiding by their agreement. Alex promised, and thanked him again as they walked out of the store. All the way home Mario kept asking Alex what the deal was with the store manager given the discounts and overriding delivery times. Out of respect to Jacob, Alex simply told his grandfather that it is a deal that was set up between two local businesses.

When they go home and got settled in all that Alex and Matt wanted to do was to laze around the house.  As soon as they got out of their street clothes and put on warm-ups and a T-shirtsthey headed to the living room and plopped themselves in front of the TV. They didn't even know that Jacob was next door talking with their elderly neighbors until Jacob walked in their front door.

"Hey guys I'm glad to see you sitting here! I need to speak with you." Jacob walked around the couch and sits down in the chair. "I have a proposition to offer you guys. Before new give me your answers listen completely to what I'm offering you. So please don't say anything until I finish what I'm saying."

Alex is unsure of where this is going, yet he agrees to listen to Jacob. "A great deal has fallen into my lap that I couldn't in my right mind let it go. Your neighbor to the right the, elderly couple, is in financial difficulty right now. The guy got laid off of his job with just a couple years to go before he could actually retire and get full benefits. They have been living off of their savings, but now they have gone through most of that.

The reason I am telling you this is so that you know a little bit about what brought your neighbors to come and talk with me yesterday.   They have gone through most of all their savings and don't have the money to pay their mortgage. They are now in foreclosure and the bank is about to take the house. Yesterday evening they came to me an offered me to buy them out of their mortgage and get the house.

At first I thought it was a scam; someone trying to pull the wool over my eyes. So I asked my grandfather to see if this is on the up and up. He got the attorneys to look in on it and they came back quickly and told my grandfather that this is completely legit. I went over to talk with them and offer them a loan, which they didn't want. They simply want to sell the home and get out.

As you can see I have no need for another home, but at the same time, I feel for your neighbors, and I don't want them to lose everything they worked for all their lives. So I agreed to pay off the mortgage and give them a little bit of money as well. It's just the right thing to do.

What I want to do with this house is really simple. I would like to give it to you and Matt as a starter house for you guys." Alex leaned forward and was about to say something when Jacob places a finger over his lips. "You promised me that you were going to let me finish before you say anything, so let me finish!" Alex leaned back into the couch, reluctantly and nodded his head in agreement.

"As I was saying, I would like to give this house to you and Matt as a starter home, but I know how you are Alex about someone giving you something. This is what I want to do here. The amount I paid for the house is what you will pay me back in monthly payments with no interest or fees that banks normally put on a loan. You just simply pay back me the amount that I paid for the house, that's all."

Matt grabbed Alex's hand and looked straight into his eyes. "Alex this is a very good deal, and we can't get a better deal anywhere else. Jacob is not giving us anything he is just going to give us a loan for us to have our own home. It couldn't come at a better time since we are now off of probation, and with your grandparents moving in."

Before giving Jacob an answer, Alex and Matt discussed what he is offering them, weighing all the pros and cons of having their own home. It is not just only paying Jacob back the monthly mortgage, but everything else they would have to pay that comes with owning their own home. It's a big responsibility to take on the on top of all the other responsibilities they have already have.

"Just like you Jacob, the idea of walking away from a deal this good would be stupid. You couldn't walk away from buying our neighbors house because you are getting it at a good price at the same time we can't walk away from the deal that you are offering. It's just too good a deal to walk away from. Simply put, you are offering us a home without any bank fees that banks normally add to a loan. Draw up a contract and Matt and I will sign it."

Jacob agreed and promised to have the contract drawn up by no later than Wednesday of this coming week. After Jacob left, Alex and Matt couldn't help but dance around the living room. They walked out of the house and looked at their neighbor's house that will soon be their house.

That evening after dinner, Alex sat with Francesca and told her about the discussion they had with Jacob earlier in the afternoon. Her feelings were split down the middle about the offer that Jacob gave her son. On one hand, she likes the idea that her son will have his own home next to hers. She can simply look out her window and check to see that her son is okay. On the other hand, she doesn't want her son moving out just when she got him back. She feels that she lost way too many years of his growing up.

But she put her personal feelings aside and gave her blessing which she can see it made him very happy. After getting over that hard part, they discussed the idea of maybe joining the houses. Then they decided against it because it would make it part of Jacob's house, which would mean it wouldn't be her son's and Matt's house.

Once they finished talking about the new house, Alex went and spent some time with his little brothers and cousins. When they pretty much kicked him out of the game room, he headed upstairs to see what Jeremy is up to. He found him playing with Cupid in the corner of his room. Before entering, Alex knocked and waited to be invited in.

When Jeremy waved Alex in, Alex joined him on the floor playing with the little poodle. Alex couldn't believe how much the little dog has changed since the last time he has seen it. It a tea cup, so it hasn't grown much, but it has gotten very fluffy. Alex couldn't help himself and asked Jeremy how he got the little dog so fluffy.

Through sign language, Jeremy explained to Alex that he brushes the dog's hair throughout the day, everyday. Also Jacob takes him to the doggy groomer to get the dog washed and his hair and nails cut. Alex sat there listening and didn't know that Jacob made the time to take Jeremy's poodle in to get groomed.

He stayed with Jeremy for another hour or so playing with Cupid and then drawing before heading back down to Matt. The only reason Alex left him was because he had started to fall asleep. He helped Jeremy into bed and made sure Cupid was with him before he covered Jeremy up with his covers. Remembering that Jeremy couldn't sleep if the door was completely closed, Alex left it slightly open as he left.

Matt was watching TV with the other guys when Alex found him in the TV room. He walked in and joined Matt on the floor. They stayed up for another couple of hours before falling asleep themselves in front of the TV. Earlier in the day, they planned to be intimate again, but they were too tired to do anything.

They woke up the next morning and headed straight up to Jacob and Dewayne's room. As they reached the top of the stairs they found the other guys already heading to the same room. They quickly caught up with the others and busted through the door to find Dewayne on the floor with wrapping paper all around him. Joining the others, Alex helped pick up Dewayne and carried him out of the room.

Before they even made it to the staircase Jacob came out yelling to at least let Dewayne put on some clothes. He didn't want others to see the awesome body and package his boyfriend has. They let Dewayne get dressed. As he went back to the room to put on some clothes, Alex couldn't help but look at Dewayne's bubble butt and muscular back and legs as he walked into his room.

Once Dewayne got dressed, they re-picked him up and carried him down to the kitchen. As soon as they sat him down, Franseca walked with a plate of pancakes filled with real whipped cream and strawberries. He laughed as he looked over at Jacob and spoke up. He joked that this is Jacob's favorite plate and he didn't want to go into a diabetic coma. That cracked up the entire table, even Franseca started to laugh.

One at a time poked fun at Dewayne all through breakfast. The only time it was quiet in the kitchen was when Al called to speak with the birthday boy. But when Dewayne got off the phone, they picked right up where they left off. A couple of times Alex could see in Dewayne's face that he was thinking, about what he doesn't know, but he wasn't with them when they were teasing him.

The only one that gave Dewayne his birthday gifts before the party was Jacob and Al. Al was understandable and even Jacob because of what the gift was. The others though decided to wait till the party to give their gifts to him. They simply wanted this birthday to be unforgettable. Something about him not telling them about his birthday until a couple of days before is telling to them that he hasn't had many good ones in the past.

It was still too early when they finished breakfast, so they decided to go and kill time in front of the TV. When it got close to the time to leave, everyone took off to get ready. It didn't take long before everyone had taken their showers,   dressed and met back in the TV room. They decided to take the bigger vehicles so they didn't have to take so many cars to the same place. Once they decided that, they headed out.

On their way to the amusement park, Alex couldn't help but think what happened the last time Jacob was here. Jacob is completely afraid of heights, but yet he is willing to endure a day of Hell to give his boyfriend a day of fun. That's something that many boyfriends or girlfriends are unwilling to do for each other these days. It's something Alex hopes he will be able to do if he would ever be in Jacob's shoes.

The minute they drove up, they found Dewayne's family and friends already there waiting for them. Alex and the others joined them as Jacob talked with the park owner. After they finished talking, Jacob explained to everyone the rules of the park. Once every one understood and agreed to follow the rules, they went in.

Right away, he and Matt went for their favorite rides and got on. Every now and then they would go and look for Dewayne and ride with him on a few rides, but most of the time Alex wanted to be with Matt alone. Knowing that this isn't what the day was for, Alex wanted to give Jacob and Dewayne some time to spend by themselves.

When it was time to eat with the birthday boy, everyone regrouped at the restaurant. They were all talking and having fun when all of a sudden it got really quiet. Alex looked up at what every one was looking at. He saw a middle age couple standing there looking at Dewayne as he walked over to them. There was no doubt in Alex's mind that that couple is Dewayne's parents.

Trying not to stare, Alex looked over to Matt and started talking about whatever came to his mind, which confused Matt because Alex didn't make any sense. As he talked, he kept looking at Dewayne and his parents. It seems to Matt that Alex's mind is in two places at once and that is why he isn't making any sense.

Everything started to get back to normal once Dewayne introduced his parents to those that didn't know them. When Dewayne introduced Jacob to them, Alex, well pretty much everyone, half expected a fight, but didn't get one. They shook hands and sat down.

As they ate, there were several conversations gong on at once. Each table pretty much was in their own conversation. Every once in awhile someone from one table would lean over to another table and ask a person at that table to confirm what they were saying. But all in all, there was no big excitement until the cake was brought out.

Everyone had finished eating when the cake was brought out. They all gathered around the cake and sang happy birthday to Dewayne. When the song ended, Dewayne's friends from school smashed his face into the edge of the cake. As Dewayne cleaned the cake off of his face, everyone, adults and teenagers, started laughing at what his friends did.

The moment Dewayne could see, he gave chase to those that pushed his face into the cake. When he caught them, he pulled their underwear up giving them the wedgies from Hell, causing a few up them to scream like little girls. Once he felt he got his revenge, he sat back down and cut the cake, leaving the side of the cake that his face was pushed into alone.

This time everyone sat around talking and joking in one big group, unlike when they were eating. Before they went back out to the rides, they gave Dewayne the birthday gifts they had brought him. He sat there an unwrapped each of them and thanked whoever gave him the gift. Alex couldn't believe that Dewayne actually liked some of the gifts he got. They kind of sucked because they were clothes. Still he thanked even those that gave him clothes for a birthday present.

Mr. Flores walked into one of the condemned houses on the central side of town. Just days before his lawyers were able to get him bail and out of jail. The very first thing he did was call for a meeting with all his leadership to discuss their problem, Alex and Carlos. They had to make sure to have the meeting somewhere that Alex or Carlos never saw because if they did, the police already knew about it. That is why they picked a condemned house instead of their normal meeting places.

Before he was able to walk out of his house, Mr. Flores received a call from Ernesto's second in command. They weren't notified about this meeting, and needed to get in touch with Mr. Flores before he held it. The topic of the meeting had to be changed and that was the order from the higher ups, which didn't make Mr. Flores happy. Still he agreed to carry out the new orders and pass them down to the other leaders today.

As he made his way to his seat, he looked around the room to make sure all of his leadership, those not locked up, were there. Once he was certain that no one was missing, he took his seat. The first one to speak was Mr. Flores' second in command. He went through a whole list of items that needed to be taken care immediately before handing the meeting over to Mr. Flores.

"You all know why I called this meeting, Alex Garcia and his right hand man Carlos Medina. They have been a problem now for a while, giving up key bits of information to the police and the district attorney. There has been a green light on them and their friends ever since Christmas, but no one has been successful carrying it out.

Then we had a set of idiots that found out about the whereabouts of Alex, but didn't tell anyone about what they found out. Instead they went over and tried and take Alex out, and they lost their lives, all except one. If they would have informed us, we would have been in and out of that place, taken care of business and no one would have been the wiser. Now Alex has disappeared again and we have no idea where he is."

Mr. Flores got up and stood in the middle of the room. "I want him and all his friends found and killed damn it! Because of that little shit, I am looking at doing time. There is no way I am going to do time! No way! So do whatever it takes, but find that little shit and take him out! Do you all understand what I am saying?"

Everyone nodded their heads in agreement, but one, Mr. Flores' second in command. "I am sorry, but hasn't there been different orders passed down from the higher ups sir? They have ordered us to stand down because the boss took  the green light off of   Alex and Carlos. Ever since we have tried to take them out, our business has suffered. It's not only because Alex gave up information, but the connections that he has made since leaving the gang. We can't afford the disruption any longer and that is why the green light has been removed from Alex and his friends."

Mr. Flores looked at his second command as if he wanted to kill him. "You or anyone else in this room doesn't have the right to be speaking with the higher ups. I am your boss and you report to me! I report to them and carry out what orders they send down. I won't allow these kids to stay alive and put me behind bars!"

Just as Mr. Flores started to walk towards his second in command, a single gun shot rang through the air, and Mr. Flores hit the floor. Everyone in the room stood up, looked down at Mr. Flores body to see blood leaking out of a bullet hole in his forehead. They looked up at the second of command, trying to figure out what was going on.

"Our boss felt when his second of command passed on the orders to Mr. Flores, he wasn't going to carry them out, and he was right on that. That is why I got a call from the boss, not his second in command, and he gave me specific orders. Those orders that needed to be carried out if Mr. Flores refused to carry out his own orders!

If this is not clear enough to any of you, let me make it as clear as we are standing here. The green light has been taken off of Alex, Carlos and his friends. They are not to be touched by anyone! If   we find out that you passed this on to another gang to touch Alex, Carlos or their friends, you will meet the same fate that Mr. Flores here just got. So I recommend the first thing you do when you leave here is inform all those under you that the green light has be removed."

No one spoke for a couple of minutes, then the one in charge of imports spoke. "Since you just shot Mr. Flores, who is in charge, you? Before you answer that question, we won't take your word for it. We will need to get confirmation that the boss is handing Mr. Flores' powers over to you."

"No I am not taking over Mr. Flores' position. I will be speaking to the boss again later today and I expect that is when I will find out who he is going to put in charge out here. He held out hope that Mr. Flores was going to carry out the orders that were given to him. Now because he felt he was above the boss, we are going to get a new boss."

"I am fine with that and I am sure everyone else is as well. The little bit I have been hearing, everyone was upset that Mr. Flores got the nod to take over when Mr. Garcia passed away. More than likely the new boss might be our old boss, Mr. Garcia's father, who was in charge before his son took over."

No one spoke, they just stood there listening to the two men go back and forth on who they think will be the new boss. As they talked, Mr. Flores second in command cleaned the gun of all his finger prints and dropped it on Mr. Flores's stomach as he walked out of the room. One at a time everyone left the house, trying not to attract any attention from the neighbors.

They cleared out of the house just before the police showed up. During the evening news, the death of Mr. Flores was reported as a power grab within the Mexican gang. Only if they knew that they were far off the truth. Mr. Flores is not among the living anymore because he wanted to kill several teenagers.

Mario is the only one that saw the evening news and knew exactly the reason that Mr. Flores got shot. Right after the guys got home, the police and several detectives showed up on Franseca's front steps. When she opened the door, she was about to slam the door shut on them, but when she heard that her son might be in danger, she let them in. Alex walked into the living room just as his mother closed the front door.

"Mom what is going on? What are these police officers and detectives doing here?" Alex stopped at the edge of the couch, waiting for his mother to answer.

"Alejandro Garcia, we have sent here by the District Attorney to make sure you are okay. Early this evening we found the body of the leader of your former gang. He was murdered in a condemned house on the central side of town. We are pretty sure it was his own gang that did it because a person like him wouldn't have trusted anyone else to get that close to him. Whoever killed him was standing no more then five feet away from him."

Mario walked into the living room just as the detective started to talk. "My grandson had nothing to do with the murder of that gentleman. He was out with his friends, celebrating a birthday party at the local amusement park. Why don't you guys stop looking at my grandson whenever something goes wrong and actually do police work."

"Sir we are sorry for any misunderstanding here, but we are not here because we think Alex was the shooter. There is no way Flores would have allowed Alex anywhere near him. No sir, we are here because if they are doing what we think they are doing, cleaning house, they will come after Alex."

"By the sounds of it, it is an internal cleaning of the gang, am I mistaken?" The officers just looked at each other, but didn't answer Mario. "I have never been part of the gang life myself, but my son-in-law was. Whenever he was around, the gang problems followed him.  He talked a lot when he was drunk and I can tell you by what I learned from him, this is an internal issue. That guy must have not followed orders or something like that."

One of the detectives walked over to Alex and Franseca. "My job in the EPPD is to know how the gangs think. This is not going to end with just the killing of Flores. They have been after you, Alex, for months and haven't had any success. We believe Flores was killed because of that. Now whoever they are putting in his place will have one objective and that objective is to kill you. I am not saying this to scare you, but to warn you.

We need to pull you out of here and put you and your family somewhere safe. Once we get you safe, you can help us take this gang down once and for all. The males of this family have always been in charge, running things. That means you are in a better position than any of us to take this gang down. You have already started, let's finish it."

"I have depended on you guys in the past to protect me, but yet they have found me and tried to kill me in the past. There is no more information I can give you, no matter what you think I know. Once you and the District Attorney finally realize that, you guys will turn your back on me because I am of no use to you.

Sorry, I can't put my family through that. Don't worry I have no plans to go back to the gang life either. I am out and I plan to stay out of that life. Let me and my family live the life we have always wanted, but could never have because of my father. If you really believe my life is in danger, put a protection detail on me for all I have done already for you and the District Attorney."

The detective isn't happy with what he is hearing. He knows Alex has more information than he has already given to them; good information that could finally destroy the gang here in El Paso and they know it, but yet he isn't willing to give it up. The detective can't help but wonder if the appearance of his grandfather is the reason why Alex is now unwilling to give them any more information.

"Alex you do understand by you being on probation, you have to work with the police no matter if you like it or not. No matter if you believe the information you have can't help the police in their investigation it is up to us, not you, to decide if the information you have is any good. If you refuse to work with us, you will leave us with no other choice but to revoke your probation. Don't make us put you behind bars. Just come with us."

Not meaning to, Alex smiled at the detective. The detective looked at Alex with a confused look in his face. He doesn't understand why Alex is smiling, almost laughing at what he just said. He got up and pulled out his handcuffs figuring maybe if he puts the scare into Alex that he would actually arrest him, Alex will give up the information.

"Alex please turn around and put your hands behind your back. You are leaving me no other choice but to revoke your probation."

"Are you placing me under arrest purely on revocation of my probation?" The detective answered yes. "Well then sir I am afraid you can't arrest me. You need to have your facts right before you walk into someone's house and make an arrest. I was given a full pardon by the Governor of Texas last Monday. I am no longer on probation."

Alex lifted his pant leg and showed the detective that he is no longer wearing the anklet. Alex loved the look on the detective's face when he saw that. It looked like he was about to shit his pants! He looked over at his partner and then to the officers, all they did was shrug their shoulders. Not able to find his words, Franseca stepped in.

"You son-of-a-bitch! Who in the hell do you guys think you are? You thought because my son was on probation, you could do whatever you wanted with him. If he didn't follow your instructions, you threaten to throw him in jail. You, you, I..." Franseca at this point was fuming mad. She knew if she continued saying what was on her mind, she was the one that would be leaving in handcuffs.

"Let me, Franseca; get the hell out of my daughter's house. When Mr. Serna comes back into town, he will be speaking with your bosses. I truly hope he gets your badges for the stunt you just pulled here. I never thought I would say this in my life, but you are worse than the criminals that you are getting paid to protect us from."

"Sir please, hold on just a moment." The other detective walked up, pushing his partner to the side. "There was a misunderstanding here, and for that I am sorry. There is no need to bring Mr. Serna in or the Governor." Mario looked at the detective surprised on what he just said. "Everyone at the precinct knows who Mr. Serna is and who he works for. We can do without bringing in outside influences."

"You and your partner came into this house knowing exactly what you were going to do with my grandson. How did you think you were going to get away with it? Even if my grandson was still on probation, there is no way you would have gotten away with revoking his probation. Like you said, you guys knew who lived here."

The detective tried to explain, but Mario or Franseca wouldn't hear it. Franseca demanded for them to leave her house, or she will call their fellow officers to have them removed. They already look bad as it is, they didn't want any of their fellow officers coming in and removing them, so they left.

Once they left, Alex and Mario calmed Franseca down. She now sees the other side of the police; a side that she never believed existed. She has seen it on TV and heard Alex and his friends talk about it, but never gave into the belief that there was police officers like these detectives out there. Before she has only had to worry about the gang, now she has to worry about the police as well.

Neither Mario nor Alex left Franseca until they were certain that she was okay. When they saw her turn on the TV and she was able to sit there watching her shows, they knew she was fine. That was when Alex and Mario left Franseca and made their way to the main house. When they started down the hallway, Alex decided to talk with his grandfather outside so no one could over hear their conversation.

"Grandpa I won't lie to you, I am afraid. I put on a brave face for then detectives because I didn't want them to see they were getting to me, but I am afraid. If they killed Mr. Flores, it does look like what the detectives said. They weren't happy with him because he couldn't get to me and Carlos, so they got rid of him."

"Before you got home, I got a phone call from my long time friend. The one I went to in order to get the green light removed off of you and the others. I just finished watching the news and saw that Mr. Flores had been killed by his own guys, when the call came in. Just like you are thinking, I was thinking the same thing.

My friend knew I was going to think that and that is why he called me. What the detectives said was all wrong. That goes to show you how much they know about what actually is happening in the gangs. They did kill Mr. Flores because he refused to follow orders that were given to him. He was given the order that you, Carlos and your friends were off limits; the green light is no longer. They felt when they gave him that order, he wasn't going to follow it, and so they handed down orders to another in the leadership.

They didn't want to do what they did, but they couldn't have another person thinking he could decide what orders he will follow and what orders he won't follow. The green light is no longer on; you don't have to worry about that. As long as you do what we discussed the other day, you and Carlos will have no more problems with the gang."

Alex looked at his grandfather and could see he is telling him the truth. "Thank you grandpa. I promise you that I won't tell the police or anyone what I know about the gang. All I want is to be left alone, that's it. I am sorry that Mr. Flores had to die, but he knew what would have happen if he did what he did."

"I am not sorry that Mr. Flores is dead. That may sound mean, but that's the truth. The guy was going against orders and demanded that you and Carlos be killed. No sir, I am not sorry at all." Alex could tell his grandfather was serious by his voice level. "I also know you won't talk to the police or the District Attorney because you didn't do it when they pushed you into a corner earlier, those pricks."

Both Mario and Alex laughed as the headed back into the house. Mario went one direction and Alex headed to the main house. He popped his head in the TV room and didn't find Matt there. David told him that Matt is down in their room setting up the furniture. Alex had completely forgotten that the new furniture arrived today.

He went running down to the basement, said hi to his brothers and cousins as he passed them playing video games. When he walked into the room, he found Matt trying to move the big dresser all by himself. Alex quickly grabbed at hold of one side and help move against the wall where Matt wanted it.

"Hey, don't set up the room, because we will be moving out this furniture very soon. If everything goes the way Jacob says it is going to go, we should be in our house in a couple of weeks, at the most." Alex jumped on top of the dresser in order to sit.

"I know, but all I am doing is putting the furniture out of the way so we don't kill ourselves. I don't know about you, but I don't like running into things when I wake up in the morning or come in during the night."

Alex agreed with Matt and helped him move the other pieces of furniture out of the way. Once they were done, they showered and jumped into bed. Although they both wanted to have sex with each other very badly, they decided to just cuddle. They both agree that they don't want a relationship of nothing but sex. They want a relationship of love.

The next morning after breakfast, Alex and Matt left the group and headed to the principal's office. They wanted to inform the principal that they got off of probation and he has nothing to worry about with them. The other three tagged along with them as well after hearing what they were doing. They wanted to tell Principal Michaels that they are off of probation as well.

When they walked into the principal's office, his secretary asked them to take a seat. She grabbed her radio from the desk and told Principal Michaels that he has a few students waiting for him in his office. Alex heard the principal radio back that he was on his way. A few minutes later, he walked in and waved all four of them into his office.

"Gentlemen how may I help you this morning?"

"Sir we are here to let you know that we have been taken off of probation. None of us are on probation anymore or have the monitors. The Governor gave us full pardons last Monday, but we weren't told until Friday."

Principal Michaels got up from his desk and walked around. "Let me see the leg that the monitor was on." Principal Michaels looked down at the boys legs as they lifted up their pant legs. "Wow, I am happy for you boys! I won't lie to you, I thought you were going to be trouble for me, but I was wrong. You guys didn't even cause an attendance problem, let alone the problems I thought I would have with you guys.

I know I don't need to say this, but I will; now that you are off of your probation, don't make the Governor regret the decision he made. Just like me, he believes in you guys, or he wouldn't have given you the pardons. You have proven yourselves. Don't go around thinking that you haven't.

Great job boys, now with all due respect get out of my office! There are actual students waiting to see me that have broken the rules. They are the ones that need to be sitting across from me so I can do what I do." Alex and the others stood up, laughing at what Principal Michaels said.

Principal Michaels reached across his desk and shook each of their hands. Every time Alex walks out of Principal Michael's office, he feels like a million dollars. The other teachers took one look at him and didn't want to give him a chance to prove to them that he has changed. Not Principal Michaels. He did lay down the law when he first got there, but he also let him know that he believes in him that he can change.

The morning classes went like they normally went on a Monday. Very boring, long and never seemed like they were going to end. Alex often wondered if the teachers got together and made plans to make Mondays a living hell for their students. They all seem to be on the same mission, to bore the students to death with long lectures.

When the lunch bell rang, Alex couldn't wait to get out of third period. The last couple weeks, he couldn't wait for third period to begin or wanted it to end too fast because he was enjoying the mock trial, but now that is over. Now his teacher went back to her boring lesson plans, which made Alex and many other students want to jump out the window.

Alex felt someone tapping him on his shoulder while he and Matt were waiting in the lunch line. He turned, but didn't recognize the kid, so he turned back around. The kid tapped on Alex's shoulder again, but this time when Alex turned, the kid introduced himself and the guy standing next to him.

"Hello, my name is Zach and this is my friend Mitchell. Jacob spoke with us this morning to help run your campaign Matt." Alex looked at him and then over to Matt before he cracked up laughing. "I am sorry! I don't see what is so funny. We are the ones that are running Jacob's campaign and he asked us to help you out on yours."

"You have us mixed up, my name is Matt and this is Alex." Matt shook Zach and Mitchell's hands. "You mixed us up and that is what Alex is laughing about. Look at us; it is hard to mix us up once you know who we are."

Zach smiled, now understanding why Alex is laughing. Seeing that they mixed the two up, they feel a little better about running Matt with Jacob. When they thought Alex was Matt, they were trying to figure out how to get around his past, but now that won't be a problem. The reason for that is when they were asking around they pointed out Alex.  Everyone knew him, which was all bad stuff. But when they asked about the real Matt, no one knew anything about him, which will work in their favor.

"Sorry about the mix up you guys. When Jacob talked about you, we misunderstood which one of you is Matt. Now that we got that corrected, I would like to get with you as soon as you can to go over your campaign. Have you had a chance to sit down with Jacob since this morning and talk about the platform he is running on?"

"No, the last time we talked to him was about running. We asked him to see if he could find someone to help us run the campaign. Neither Alex nor I know a thing about running a campaign. Plus we don't know much about the school. That is where you or whoever he got for us comes in."

Mitchell pulled out another set of folders and handed them to Matt. "This is how we would go about running your campaign if you bring us on. You will run on the same platform as Jacob, pretty much do the same events and almost the same speeches. Before I go into anymore detail, take the folders, read what's in them. If you can run on the platform and can live with the way we would run your campaign, come and find us."

Matt took the folders from Mitchell and put them in his backpack. "I will read them while I eat, but if Jacob doesn't have a problem with the platform, I won't either. Jacob is a very smart guy and knows what it will take to win. That is one of the first things I learned about Jacob, he knows how to win."

"Good then if you have no problem, we will start working on your posters. They should be going up in the next couple of days. Follow the schedule as written, and hope fully you won't have any questions. If you do have questions, come and find me or Zach and we will try and answer them for you.  If by some chance we don't have the answers, we will get it and have it for you on our weekly strategy meetings."

They continued to talk as they went through the lunch line. Once they got their food, they headed off in their own directions. As Alex and Matt walked to their table, they couldn't believe that Jacob had gotten them someone to run the campaign as quickly as he did. They thought that Jacob was going to have a problem finding someone since he himself is new at this campaigning stuff like them, but he came through with flying colors.

Just as they were about to thank Jacob for what he had done, Alex saw Ethan walking over with a hunk of a guy! Man, the guy is hot! He is as tall as Ethan, white like Ethan, blond hair, but cut a little shorter than Ethan's, but he is older than Ethan. The thing that Alex couldn't stop looking at was the piercing blue eyes. Put aside the muscles, the great smile, but those eyes Alex can't get over them. It's like they are drawing him in.

At first it looked like Ethan wasn't going to introduce the older guy, but then it looked to Alex that it clicked in Ethan's mind that no one at the table knows his friend. He started to introduce Derrick to everyone. When Alex shook his hand, he could tell he hasn't had things handed to him. His hands are not soft, but they aren't covered with calluses either. They are hands that have worked physical jobs already.

When Ethan introduced Chase and Patricia, Alex noticed that they had hate in their eyes for the new guy. He quickly looked away so Chase didn't see him starring, but he saw the hate he had in his eyes. Alex didn't understand that because they just met the guy today with the rest of them. He then thought there has to be something else. A person normally just doesn't hate a person that they barely met.

Alex dropped it and joined in asking Ethan and Derrick questions. Before Ethan or Derrick could answer the questions, Jacob got up and left the table. He made Ethan promise to give him the low down later, which Ethan agreed. After Jacob left, everyone started asking question after question.

Ethan finally stopped the questions and explained how he and Derrick met. When Alex heard how they met, he thought it was cool. He knew that Derrick was older, and he also knew that Derrick wasn't from El Paso, or even Texas. But to have two farm boys move to El Paso and meet, they have to have someone looking after them.

Although Alex hasn't really hung out with Ethan, he can see Ethan feels out of place. The poor guy got uprooted and moved to a town that has majority Hispanics and no students in the high school that have ever lived on a farm like he did. Alex knows the poor guy has to be feeling as if he is an alien here among this group of mostly Hispanics and gays. How Ethan does it, Alex can't figure it out, but in some ways can see where he is coming from. After all he is also an outcast here because of how he grew up.

As Ethan went on telling the guys about his grades and why he ended up at the community college, Alex grabbed Matt's hand under the table. They both looked at each other and once again Alex knew he got here with the help of his boyfriend, family and friends. Without them behind him, Alex tells himself everyday he wouldn't be here.

Matt got him through the days in that center that he would most likely have returned to his old life to handle what he faced there. But Matt kept him on the right track, and here they are, out, off of probation and closer than ever as a couple. He looks at other guys, but his heart and body belongs to only one guy, the one that got him through the ugly days of his life, Matt.


I have a home page for you to see what the characters look like or what the places look like. If you want to walk in their shoes, please go to: http://jacobmillertex.wordpress.com/




{Hello and welcome back to another chapter of "Beneath the Mask". A lot was covered in this chapter. Plots that were opened in "Jacob Finding His Way" continued here. If you are not at least at chapter sixty six of "Jacob Finding His Way", you need to go and read up to that chapter in order to understand certain plots in this story, like the one at the end with Ethan and Derrick, the one dealing with the house next to Franseca's and the birthday party at Western Play Land.

Now, to the summation of the chapter: Let's start where we should, the beginning. You got to see the other three getting their monitors taken off and getting the pardons. I felt you as readers should see how they were feeling, thinking and was going through the day they got their monitors taken off.

Carlos and his mother; what can I say there except poor Carlos. His mother can't get it through his head that Carlos has changed. He is trying his hardest to stay out of trouble, but she isn't helping with always thinking that he is getting into trouble. In human nature if you are being blamed for something you are not doing, eventually certain people just give in and do it since they are being blamed for doing it anyway.

Steve; this guy freaks me out to tell you the truth. He goes around hating on Alex and Carlos, but yet when he should thank them, he doesn't. It was because of Alex that they all got out of the center and then got off of their probation. Yes it was Al that did the asking, but Al said it best to Alex. He could have asked, but if Alex didn't change, no one would have given him the pardon. It was Alex that earned and deserved the pardon. I hope that Steve either gets that broom pulled out of his ass, or stops being Alex's friend.

Valentine's Day is a great holiday if you have someone at your side. Alex and Matt really enjoyed their day together. You can see that they did by what they did. From the romantic dinner to the cuddling on the top of Scenic Drive, which does exist here! Then they got home and made love for hours. I hope you guys didn't mind it wasn't written in detail, but I wanted to leave it in your imagination how the actual love making happened. Next time I'll turn Daddy Rick loose on the love scene.

Two things happened the next day, one bad and good. The bad was that Alex and his family said their goodbyes to Al. Everyone in the house has learned to depend on Al so much, they can't fathom a day without them having him when ever they need him. Al pretty much has become the grandfather of all the families, which I love.

The good thing was the deal Jacob offered Alex and Matt. Jacob got a really good deal on the house, but he shared his great fortune with Alex and Matt. He had no need for another house, but knew that Alex and Matt might like to have their own place. I like how Jacob went about it. He has gotten used to Alex and how to talk with him. For more detail of this plot you need to go and read chapter sixty-six of "Jacob Finding His Way".

Dewayne's birthday party I touched a little in this chapter, but again for more detail on that you need to go and read sixty-six of "Jacob". There are things that happened at that party that has opened new plots for the "Jacob" story. After all, Jacob's mother is turning over a new leaf. We need fresh drama in the story.

I love throwing in twist and turns and the Mr. Flores twist was a good one I know you all didn't see coming. The little I know about gang life, orders must be followed no matter who you are. Mr. Flores didn't follow his orders and paid for that with his life. He knew what he was doing, so why didn't he think his boss had covered all the bases?

What to say about the detectives except they are total asses. They first come in under the pretence of protecting Alex. But when they were seen for what the truly were, they got what they deserved from Franseca. I have never heard Franseca go off the way she did with those detectives. Trying to revoke Alex's probation because he was unwilling to do their job, it just wasn't right. I truly hope there are no cops like that, but you guys know as well as I do there are some like that in every city.

I like how the grandfather took care of the police as well and calmed Alex and Franseca down. Mario is making sure his grandson is safe. If he sees something that doesn't make sense that might threaten his family, he will get to the bottom of it.

Let's talk about Jacob coming through for Matt getting him help on running his campaign. I love that they are going to run on the same platform. Let's see how Zach and Mitchell pull this off. They seem to be bright kids in regards to high school politics. Hopefully with them in Jacob's and Matt's corner, they will win.

Finally Ethan and Derrick, what can I say there. Alex is starting to see that there is something up with Chase and Patricia, but he hasn't put his finger on exactly what yet. Once he does, I wonder what he will do with that information. Knowing Alex, he will talk with Chase, but not mention it to anyone else out of respect to Chase and Ethan.

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!}

All of the guys getting pardoned, unshackled from their anklets and released from probation is wonderful; more than mere words can convey. I'm not sure how Al got the Governor to see the value in pardoning all five of them, I'm just glad he was able to get it to happen. I have absolute confidence in Alex, Matt and Carlos. They will keep it together. I don't know about Robert and Steve. They don't seem as solid. Time will tell.

Alex has a lot to get his head around. He's still not accustomed to doing the right things and them coming back to reward him. He has Matt in his life, totally dedicated and a moral compass that he follows. That alone is amazing since Alex was always the leader, yet now, he follows Matt's example and guidance without any resistance. He's continually being shown that people believe in him and that they are developing trust.

Jacob and Matt's trusts were given somewhat blindly; without the need for tangible proof of his being worthy or having earned the trusts.  Of course his mother loved him unconditionally and that translated into trust.  Others Alex came into contact with had to be shown and their trust earned. Earning Principal Michael's trust was highly significant. He is a fair man, but has the safety and welfare of an entire school that was potentially threatened by Alex and his cohorts' presence. Alex stayed the course and now has Principal Michaels as a staunch ally.

I'm still adding things up...

There's the print shop...a business set up ready to go and all Alex and Matt have to do is learn to run it and pay back the note.

There's now the prospect of the new house...a house of their own with a note on it but nothing like the rest of us mere mortals have to deal with in a mortgage.

The green light is off Alex and all his associates due to his grandfather taking matters in hand and calling in what had to be a huge favor.

All in all, Alex would be the epitome of stupidity if he didn't see all the good that comes from doing the right things and walking the right path.

Late is still much better than never when it comes to making one's life right and doing the right things, the right way. That includes loving and caring for those around you, both those close to you and even those that aren't.

Until next time,

"Daddy" Rick