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 cannot 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

Edited By: Ed

Chapter 41


The minute they walked into the office, Alex and Matt knew their evening was not going to be anywhere near ordinary. Alex barely had walked into his office when the phone started ringing. Thinking the worst, he quickly picked it up to find that security was on the other end. They have several people up in the lobby asking to see him and Matt.

As the security was speaking, Alex was trying to figure who would be upstairs asking to speak with him and Matt. He concluded that it couldn't be bad since whoever they are, they are asking for both him and Matt. As soon as he had a chance to talk, Alex let the guard know that they will be right up to talk with the visitors.

Hanging up the phone, Alex yelled out for Matt, who within second came running into Alex's office. "There are some people upstairs asking to see us. Before you ask me who they are, I don't know. All security told me is that they are asking to speak with both of us. Let Adam know we are stepping out and meet me at the elevator."

Not saying a word, Matt turned around and went looking for Adam. It took him awhile to find him, but once he did, he let him know that he and Alex are stepping out, but will be in the building. Adam acknowledged without question or comment. He ran off the production floor and out to the hall.

When he reached the elevators, he found Alex holding the door for him. "Sorry it took me so long. Adam wasn't in his office, so I had to go looking for him on the floor. I found him at the far machines and let him know that we are still in building, but not on the floor. He didn't have a problem with us stepping out."

"I hope not!" Alex pushed the lobby button to get the elevator to start moving. "He needs to be able to run things on this shift without us around. I know he's still new and has a lot to learn, but watching over the floor and the employees should be second nature to him since it isn't any different than his previous jobs making sure his employees are doing what they should be doing."

Not meaning to, Matt chuckled. Alex looked over at him with a confused look on his face, as why he is laughing on what he just said. Matt saw the look on boyfriends face and knew he needed to tell him why he laughed, and it was what he said.

"I am sorry I don't mean to be rude, but you have to see why I am laughing. The only time Adam actually had employees was in his last job. Even then, he had maybe three or four employees, if even that. Before that his employees were his family and they do what their father tells them to do."

Alex's expression quickly changed and she started to laugh as he thought about the exchange. Matt was right and he couldn't help but laugh at himself. His boyfriend put him in his place when he miss spoke. That is what he wants, a boyfriend that isn't afraid to correct him whenever he says or does anything wrong without being condescending or demeaning about it.

They were still laughing when the elevator door opened, grabbing everyone's attention in the lobby. As they got off the elevator, they straightened themselves up and stopped laughing. Before even reaching the information desk where security is located, they recognized several people sitting in the lobby waiting for them as Ron's family.

The security guard that called Alex got up and pointed out the people that Alex and Matt had already recognized. Alex thanked him and went over to the group that was looking their direction. No one talked at first. After a few minutes of dead air, one of Ron's brothers spoke up. The boys hadn't met him yet and they were a little curious why he was the one that is speaking for the family.

"I understand that you are the boys that wiggled your way into my brother's will. Let me say first, don't spend any of the money my brother left you, because I am going to fight the will in court. You two only knew him a few months and he left you everything. I know that any judge will see that you guys did something to get him to sign everything he owned over to you."

"Sorry that you feel that way sir, but to be frank with you, I don't care what you think. Do what you feel you need to do. Matt and I know that we didn't do or say anything to get Ron to change his will. When he announced what he had done the day before he passed away, we were as surprised as the family that was there.

So go ahead and file anything you want in court, but while you are looking at why he changed his will, look in the mirror. Yes, Matt and I only knew him for the last few months he was alive, but in that time we didn't see any of you around. Maybe that's why he changed his will. The only times his family came around, according to Ron, was for money or for some kind of favor."

"That's bullshit and if you repeat those words again I will sue you for everything you're worth!" Ron's brother yelled so loud, the security jumped up from their seats and walked over to make sure there wasn't any trouble. "Sorry, I will keep it down." Ron's brother trying to back step as he talked to the building security.

"Let's just talk about why we came here and that is my brother's funeral. I know he already had taken care of everything, but we can't start working on the funeral since he left it that you two are the ones to make any decisions that need to be made. Can you please call up the funeral home and tell them you are giving us permission to deal with the funeral? It will work out for all concerned since you two are busy as it is."

Alex couldn't believe that he is now asking him for a favor after threatening him with several lawsuits. "Here you are opening the conversation informing me not to spend the money Ron left Matt and me because you plan to fight the will in court. Then you follow up asking me to do you a favor? I don't think so! Matt and I aren't too busy to take care of our friend's funeral, so we will do whatever needs to be done."

"You don't really know Ron, so how can you make the right decisions? Tell me how you plan to make a decision on a question about his military years if it comes up or who he wanted to attend his funeral and who he didn't if that comes up." Ron's brother voice started to get higher and higher as he spoke. By the time he finished, he was almost yelling again, which caused the guards walk back over.

"Sir if you raise your voice one more time, we will have no other choice but to detain you until the police arrive for disturbance. Are we clear on that sir?" Ron's brother nodded his head, but this time security didn't leave.

"That shouldn't be a problem since Ron had already set all that up before he passed away. We plan to honor and respect everything he put in place, without a single change. So I am telling you all right now, don't ask us to change any of Ron's plans, because the answer will be no. No matter what the reason is, the answer will be no."

That wasn't the answer Ron's brother was looking for. In return, it finished him off, he didn't hold back as he started yelling at Alex. Security wasn't going to warn him again. Moving quickly to defuse the situation, they slammed him against the wall, placed handcuffs on his wrists, and then dragged him to the security offices.

Alex looked at the guy that looks a lot like Ron, but had a totally different attitude than the man he grew to respect and feel he was a second father to him. He thought that he was glad that he didn't ever meet this guy. If he were the first Baird he met, he would have never given Ron a chance.

"We are sorry how my uncle is acting. He just lost his brother and you know when you lose someone close to you, you can't control your emotions. Between the hurt of losing my dad and the anger from not seeing his brother one last time, he is all over the place emotionally right now."

"I understand that, because I am feeling the same way. That does not, however, give him the permission to act like an ass. Somehow, he is going to have to get those emotions under control or he will be barred from his own brother's funeral. I know if that happens, he will hate himself for the rest of his life."

"Please don't do that. I promise that he will behave himself from this point forward." Taking a breath, Ron's son went on. "I know I don't have the right to ask this, but can you ask your security to release my uncle? We promise not to come back."

"I wish I could do you that favor, but I have no authority over the security in this building. We have our office here, but anything dealing with the way the building is run and security are out of our control. The owner of the building is the only one that can step in, and sadly he is in a meeting on the other one is out of town."

No one in the group said another word. They walked passed Alex and Matt as they made their way to the information desk to see what they needed to do to get Ron's brother released. Matt leaned over and whispered to Alex that they should head back to their offices, Alex agreed. On their way to the elevators, Alex told Ron's son to call him if he or anyone in the family have any questions concerning the funeral.

Ron's son nodded and shook Alex's hand and thanked him, which surprised him. He really didn't do anything to help them. In fact, they are leaving one person short because his uncle will more than likely will have a night in the county jail at the cost of the taxpayers. That is something he would never thank a person that was involved on that happening. Even though it wasn't his fault, he knows Ron's family believes it is.

As soon as the boys got back down to the print shop, they went into Alex's office to talk about the name of the print shop. They agreed that they were going to name it after Ron, but the question they had not answered yet is if they are going to use his full name or just his first or last name.

"Look I think we should call the print shop The Ron Baird Print Shop. I know it isn't catchy, but it does what we want it to do." Alex looked at Matt as if he was out of his mind. It wasn't that he was changing his mind on the name, but he wants the name of the shop to be catchy so people to remember it, not have to go looking for the phone book or their notes for the name.

"That's okay if you just want to settle, which I don't. What do you think about R.A.M. Printing? It's catchy and it does what we want, giving Ron the honor he deserves."

Matt set back in the seat and tried to figure out the initials of the title. The first initial of course is Ron's name, but the other two letters aren't part of Ron's name. At least not his first letters of his last name and as far as Matt knows Ron doesn't have a middle name. "I give up, what do the initials stand for?"

"Ron, Alex, and Matt's Print Shop is what R.A.M. stands for. I was also thinking Colonel Baird's Print Shop, but I don't want us sounding like a fast food joint like Colonel Sander's." Matt how no idea what fast food restaurant Alex was talking about and Alex saw the confusion on his face. "Man you must be ready to go to bed because every thing is flying over your head. You know Colonel Sander's, the dude with the white hair and funny beard at Kentucky Fried Chicken?"

Once Alex said KFC, Matt felt stupid. He started laughing at himself for not catching that. They talked a little more, but at the end, they agreed on R.A.M. Printing for the name. It gives Ron the honor he deserves by putting his name first and then their names. Something they were not going to do at the beginning and now they are.

As Alex was moving into a normal life, his grandfather was not. He took over the gang once again and he is really tightening the ropes. Those that thought they could do what they wanted when there wasn't a leader in charge, were given swift justice. Their kind of justice, which no one wants!

Several of them ended up in the infirmary, and those they didn't, well let's just say they went out the back door in a black bag. Once word got around what happens to the other members that step out of place, they quickly did whatever they could to correct what they did in order not to end up in the black bag. When the dust settled though, everyone that did step out of place was dealt with no matter how they tried to do to fix their mistake.

Several hours before lights out on Friday, Alex the second, Alex's grandfather called a meeting of all the leaders of the different gangs in the prison system. Since he had juice with the guards, he was able to have those he needed pulled out of their cells and brought down to the library to attend.

Even if one of the leaders didn't want to go to the meeting, they had no choice but to go. They were not even given an option to send their second in command. None of them even tried to ask that because many of the leaders were around when Alex II was in charge before. They knew that when he calls, you go. Those that were not around when he was in charge were told what happens to those that refuse to go to his meetings.

Once all the leaders were in the library, it was closed off from other inmates. They gathered at the table in the middle of the room so everyone could see everyone and could see all the entrances to the room. None of them wanted any surprises.

"In the last several months there has been a vacuum within the walls of the prison system here in Texas. Let me make it clear to everyone here that ends now." Alex II slammed his fist on the table. "If we were in another state, things might be different, but we aren't. We are in Texas, which means we control things in the prisons in this state because we have the majority of the inmates here.

So, those who pushed their way into the drug trade, numbers game and everything else we were running, give it up. My people will be back in charge of those things and everything else. If you need something or want to run something, you come to me and I will think about giving you permission."

None of the leaders liked the way Alex II was talking to them. Put it plainly they were not used to being talked down to. No one has ever talked to them that way, even Alex III when he was in charge. If he wanted something, he would ask, and normally would get it without having to resort to violence.

"I feel that your gang was the one that was responsible for starting the uprising. In return, it put us all in lock down for a while. I think we are going to keep what we are running. If you have a problem with that, you will have to take it from us by force. I don't think you have the power to do that, old man. You talk a good game, but when it comes down for you to call your men into action, they go running. That gives us the upper hand with numbers."

Alex II was not about to be talked to this way. He might be old, but he can still take care of business. Slowly he got up from his chair and walked over to the Asian gang leader. He didn't feel that Alex II was a threat, so he didn't even bother keeping an eye on him. Bad mistake and several others at the table knew that.

When Alex reached the Asian leader, he quickly slammed his face into the table. Not once, not twice, but four times. He kept going until the Asian leader was out cold and bleeding all over the table. Even then, Alex kept slamming his face into the table. When he felt he made his point, he stopped and pushed the limp body off the chair. As the body hit the ground, you heard a loud thump.

"Si no me he expresado con claridad con el hijo de puta, déjame hacerlo ahora. N tipo en esta prisión se levantará para mí la forma en que lo pendejo. ¿Tengo claro que mi auto al respecto?" No one understood a word that Alex said since he was speaking in Spanish. One of Alex's men stepped forward and translated what he just said. `If I didn't make myself clear with the son of a bitch, let me do it now. No one in this prison will stand up to me the way that asshole did. Do I make my self clear on that?'

As soon as he translated what was said, Alex pulled his man over to him. "Estos chicos piensan que soy tonto. Lo que necesito hacer es matar a varios de sus hombres para enviar un mensaje fuerte y claro. Varios de sus hombres de cada uno de sus gangs.So conseguir un par de chicos y que esto se haga pronto." Alex gave his order in Spanish so none of the leaders at the table would catch on to what he was ordering his men to do in the next day or so.

`These guys think I am fooling around. What I need you to do is kill several of their men to send a loud and clear message, several of their men from each of their gangs! So get a couple of guys and get this done soon.'

Patting his man on his shoulder after relaying his order, Alex returned to his seat. "Now are we going to have a problem? Are you all going to give me back what was mine before you felt you could do a better job, or will I have to use force to get it back?" Everyone at the table in one way or another gave Alex the answer he wanted and nothing else.

Satisfied with the answer, he got up and left the library. As he passed the guards, he informed them that an inmate had fallen several times on the table, hitting his face hard. The guards informed Alex that they will clean it up and started walking over to the library, but stopped in their tracks when they heard the other leaders talking.

"Who in the hell does that old man think he is?" The guards were able to place the inmate's voice to the African American gang leader. "His son was weak and then there was no leadership when he passed away. We took what we deserved and no one is going to tell me that I have to give it back, no one."

"Unless you plan to go to war with the Mexican Mafia, you better just give back what was theirs." This voice was the leader of the skinheads. "I have been in here most of my life and I am telling you that you don't want to mess with that hombre. He might be old, but he will do whatever it takes to take back what was theirs. That includes killing you, me and anyone that stands in his way to get what he wants."

"Fuck that. I agree, we aren't going to give up what they lost because they couldn't handle the action." At first, the guards could not place the voice, but the more the guy spoke, they were able to, it was the Japanese leader. "If we all stick together, our numbers out number his. That means even if none of his men run, we can beat him."

"Count me out on what ever you guys are thinking. Like I said, I've been here too long and know when to step back. There is no doubt in my mind that he gave his guy an order to do something to us or members of our gang." The other leaders looked at the skinhead leader trying to place what he was talking about. "You know when he was whispering in Spanish to the guy that translated what he said to us."

One by one, the light bulbs in their minds went off. "If he gave an order to take us out or anyone in our gangs, he better bring all his men. There is no way I am going to let him or his men close to me, and there is no way I am going to give up what my gang is running. And if you are too chicken shit to stand with us, then maybe your skin head brothers should take you out or they will become the punks of this prison."

The skinhead leader was not about to let the leader of the African American gang talk to him that way. He got up and quickly jumped across the table. They landed on the floor punching at each other, throwing punch after punch at each other's mid section and face. By the time they were pulled apart, both of the leaders were bleeding from most everywhere.

Not a word was spoken between the leaders. They headed out of the library and back to their cells. They were split on what to do and because of that, those that didn't want to give back what they took, will have no other choice but to. Each of them knew that they needed all the gangs to come together in order to take out the Mexican Mafia.

Once they got to their cells, they relaxed a little. They figured if the Skin Head leader was right about Alex giving his men marching orders to take them out, it wouldn't happen tonight. They have to put together a plan and that is going to take several days. By then they will have had enough time to inform their men to keep a watchful eye.

Unknowing to the leaders, Alex's men were already springing into action. They hit the first gang, the Asian gang as they were in line waiting to use the phone. Four members of the Mexican Mafia walked up to four members of the Asian gang and plunged in shanks into their bellies. As they walked away, the Asian gang members fell to the floor dead.

Another four members of the Mexican Mafia found three members of the African American gang in the laundry room doing their laundry. They quickly ran in and slammed their heads against a machine, a wall, or the floor. While they were trying to shake off the attack, the Mexicans grabbed the bleach and forced it down their throats. When they left the laundry room, not one of the African American members were alive to tell the tale of what happened.

By the time they were done, they sent a clear and loud message that the Mexican Mafia was in charge. There was only one thing left to do. Alex was informed about what was said in the library after he had left, which left him no other choice than to react and react with brutal force. Instead of sending one of his men to carry out the order, he decided to do it himself. There were several reasons he wanted to do it, but mainly he wanted to make it clear that he is not over the hill to everyone, including his own gang.

Twenty minutes before lights out, Alex grabbed his shower stuff and headed to the showers. He knew he was going to find the leader of the African American gang showering because he always takes his shower at the same time every night, which is a no-no for gang leaders or members for that matter. You should never fall into a routine so others can find you to do you harm.

As he stepped in the shower, the African American leader did not pay Alex any attention. That got him mad because it was disrespectful. Taking every bit of his energy, he didn't react on his anger. He turned on the water and waited for it to get warm. As he was getting under the shower head, his men took out the three men that were standing guard for their leader.

When Alex heard the whistle that he was clear to go, he reached over to his towel and pulled out a shank. Once again, the African American leader was not giving Alex the time of day, which played in his favor. Slowly he moved behind his prey and before his prey could react. Alex had one of his arms around his forehead, pulling back over his head. With the free hand, he slit his throat from ear to ear.

Not worrying about the guards since he made sure they stepped away, Alex stepped away from the gang leader and let his body drop to the shower floor. The water immediately turned red as the African American gang leader bled out.

After washing off the shank, Alex dropped it on the floor next to the leader that was breathing in his last breaths. "I warned you pinche puto not to mess with me" Alex grabbed the top of the leaders head so the last thing he saw before he died was the face of the man that took his life. "All you had to do is give me back what was mine, but no you chose to try and take me on. Go to hell you fucking asshole."

Alex slammed the guys head against the floor as he got back up. To add insult to injury, before leaving, Alex not only spit on the guy, he peed on him too. The last thing the African American gang leader tasted before he died was Alex's piss since it landed directly into his mouth as he looked up to the ceiling, breathing in his last breath.

It didn't faze Alex at all that he just killed someone. He finished taking his shower and dried off as if there wasn't a body on the floor bleeding out. After he was completely dried, Alex stepped over the dead leader's body, grabbed his shower supplies, and made his way to his cell, followed by members of his gang.

Being brought out of his dreams by the loud music coming from the alarm clock, Alex IV slammed his hand on the snooze button. He turned to look at the only sight he wanted to see first thing in the morning, but Matt wasn't there. Just as he was about to crawl out of bed to find his boyfriend, Matt walked in.

"You're awake! Good! I thought I was going to have to toss you out of bed this morning." Matt walked over to the side of bed and leaned in to plant a kiss on Alex's lips. A kiss that finished waking Alex up. "Breakfast is ready so get out of bed, get dressed, and meet me up in the kitchen."

"Why don't you stay while I get dressed? You know how much I love you around all the time." Alex got out of bed and wrapped his arms around Matt. He started to move down Matt's chest, but Matt stopped him right when he reached his belt buckle.

"This is why I can't stay here with you. We'll never get upstairs because we can't seem to keep our hands off of each other." Matt turned around and saw that Alex actually looked sad. He leaned in and gave him several kisses on the lips. "You know I want to be with you, but not for just a quickie. I want to be with you every minute of everyday. Let us set some time aside this weekend just for you and me. I will rock your world, I promise you that." That put the smile back on Alex's face.

In no time at all, Alex got dressed and was up in the kitchen eating breakfast. The conversation that was going on was not out of the ordinary. It wasn't hard for Alex to jump right in, but his attention was taken away from the conversation to the phone call that was going on behind him.

The phone had rung a few minutes before and Franseca answered. The minute whoever was on the other end started talking, Alex could tell his mother didn't want to talk to them. Then he heard his grandfather's name, and that said it all. He quickly got up and walked over to his mother to see if he could do anything to help.

She hung up the phone right when he walked up. She turned and saw the concern look on her son's face. Placing her fingers on her lips with one hand and with the other, she pulled Alex into the hall where no one could hear what she was saying. Before talking, she popped her head in the kitchen to make sure no one was suspicious and none of them even looked their direction

"That was the prison where you grandfather is locked up at. It seems that he is back in charge of running things in there." Franseca took a deep breath as she tried to come to terms of how her husband's side of the family dealt with things when it did not go their way. "The warden believes that your grandfather ordered the killing of several inmates and had a hand in actually killing another gang rival leader."

Alex knew that Mr. Flores was killed, but he never thought that his grandfather was going to get the reins back. He figured because of him and what he did as far as giving information of the gang's procedures to the police, they would not trust his grandfather because they would always think he would give information to him through their talks. However, by the sounds of it, they do not think that way.

"I told them not to be calling me about him anymore. There is no need for anyone in this family to be part of that life anymore since your father is gone. Even when your father was around, I didn't want you being part of that life, but I couldn't stop it. Now I can, and I will. They ensured that I would be removed from the list to be contacted in case of an emergency.

"So what are they doing to him mom? Are they locking him up somewhere so he can't cause anymore trouble for them and for us?" Alex could not help but worry that if his grandfather is in charge again, he will send out the order once again to kill him. Knowing his grandfather the way he does, he cannot assume he won't give out the order to kill his own grandson.

"I didn't ask and the warden didn't tell me. There is no doubt that your grandfather will still be able to run things even if they toss him into a hole somewhere. He may not get his hands dirty, but he will still be able to give out the orders."

"Okay but mom you know grandpa as good as I do. Don't you think he is going to try to have me hurt if not killed for what I did? He doesn't care if I am family, his own blood. In his eyes, I messed with the only family he knows, and for that I must die. I am finally getting a regular life and now here he is ready to destroy it."

"No Alex, there is nothing he can do to override his boss's orders." Mario walked over to Franseca and Alex. "Honey, can you let Alex and I talk for a few moments before he heads out to school?" Mario spoke in his broken English. Franseca nodded her head and walked back into the kitchen to make sure everyone had enough to eat.

"There is nothing for you to ever worry about as far as your old life Alex. As long as you don't go back on your promise, you don't have to be looking over your shoulders all the time. Just go on with your life and leave the gang thing to me"

Not allowing his grandson say a word, Mario patted him on the shoulder and walked back into the kitchen. Just as Alex was about to follow his grandfather, everyone was walking out. He quickly ran in and inhaled what was left with his breakfast before running out to catch up with them.

As he ran out, Alex had no idea three cars down was Ashton sitting in his mother's car watching him. He had called a few of the gang members find out where Alex lived and as soon as he woke up in the morning, he came to lay in wait to see Alex. He wanted to start to get to know his routine in order to strike him when he was at his weakest.

Waiting until the truck was halfway down the block. Ashton started his own car and pulled out to the street. Making sure that the one that was driving didn't spot him. Ashton stayed three cars behind the truck. He had no idea who the other people were in the truck, but if they got in the way when he makes his move on Alex, he knows he will have no problem taking them out as well.

All of a sudden, Jacob came to stop, causing Ashton to panic. He thought that he was spotted, but he saw a white guy walking towards the truck. He took his first breath since Jacob pulled off the road. As soon as Jacob pulled back onto the street and got far enough that Ashton was comfortable that he was not going to be spotted, he pulled out.

There were no other stops along the way to El Paso High. Ashton pulled into the parking lot, but didn't go up to the higher parking lot where Jacob went to park. He went to the lower parking lot and stayed in the car as Alex and everyone walked across the street to the main building. Once they were in the building, Ashton got out of the car.

As he made his way across the street, Principal Michaels stopped him. "Son, I know every kid's face that attends this school, and I don't know you, plus you look like trouble. Let me see your school ID." Ashton could not believe he was being held up by a teacher with a radio who thinks he is Terminator.

"Um, let me see, um..." Ashton pretended to be looking for the school ID, patting his side and back pockets. "I must have left it at home sir. I am sorry! I will make sure I don't so that again." Ashton tried to walk pass Principal Michaels, but he wasn't allowed.

"As I said I know every student's face that attends my high school and I haven't seen your face before. The tattoos showing on your neck and arms tell me that you are here to make trouble. I am going to give you one chance and once chance only to walk back to your car and leave. Once you leave, I'd better not see you around here again."

Ashton wanted to take the radio that Principal Michaels was holding and shove it up his ass, but he didn't. He decided not to fight something he knows he isn't going to win. Shaking his head, Ashton turned around and walked back across the street to his car.

As he drove off, he saw the guy that stopped him writing down something in his notebook. He knows without a doubt it is his plates. Not able to help himself, he smiled as he drove down Schuster, thinking to himself that when that stupid guy turns in the plate number, he won't find him since he stole the plates in morning from a car in a parking lot.

Meanwhile Lorenzo, Ismail and their two cousins, Ignacio and Morris were just arriving at Moorhead Middle School. Unlike at the high school, the cafeteria hadn't opened up yet. They had to get in line outside and wait for a teacher to come around and open the door once the cafeteria was open, which is normally no later than seven ten.

As they waited in the line, they started playing. At first, it was just teasing each other verbally, but it didn't take much for the playing to get physical. They settled down when the doors opened and they headed in. It didn't last because after they finished eating, they went outside and picked up right where they left off.

It was all in good fun, no malice in the way they were teasing each other. Finally, after ten minutes of pretending to punch each other, Ismail tapped Morris and the shoulder and yelled out the words "you're it!" before he started running. The other three boys just looked each other for a few seconds before taking off as well.

Morris went running as fast as he could to catch the bigger boys, but his small legs could not make gain on them. When they reached halfway down the building, he gave up the chase and sat down on the planters. The others didn't know that Morris had given up on the chase. They kept running as fast as they could.

Lorenzo was the first to see that his cousin had given up, but he regretted ever looking back. He had jumped up on a planter that stood about five feet off the ground. The concrete part of it was wide enough for only on foot at the time. If you would to try to put your feet together, on one side it would not having but air and the other side the foot would fall into the wet dirt of the planter that either had huge green trees or bushes of some kind.

Just as Lorenzo jumped on the planter, he looked back and saw that his cousin had given up the chase. He yelled back at him to see if he could get Morris back into the game. Paying more attention to his cousin than where he was stepping, Lorenzo lost his balance and fell off the planter straight down to the ground, crushing his left shoulder and arm with his body weight against the concrete sidewalk.

Yelling out in pain, Lorenzo rolled onto his back, clutching his left arm. He had no idea where the shooting pain was coming from. All he knew was that his entire left side was in pain and had no idea what he did. The pain kept getting worse the more he moved, so he stopped moving all together.

The first of the boys to get to Lorenzo was Morris, who tried to help Lorenzo up. However, each time he tried to pull his cousin up to his feet, he yelled out in pain. When Ismail and Ignacio came running up, they tried the same thing, but got the same reaction. After trying to help his brother up several times, Ismail gave up because his older brother yelled aloud each time they touched him.

"What do you want us to do Lorenzo? Where does it hurt so we don't touch it as we try to help you get up?"

"It hurts everywhere! Just leave me alone!" Yelling out in pain, Lorenzo held his left arm even tighter than before in hopes that will get rid of the pain. "I think I broke my arm it hurts so much. Go and get the nurse or someone!"

Ismail looked up at Ignacio and he nodded his head as he got up and started running to the main building. Leaving Morris to help Ismail to make Lorenzo comfortable until the nurse arrives. They tried talking to him to get his mind off his pain, but it didn't work. In fact, it seemed to be making it worse, so they stopped talking all together.

Maybe a minute or so of silence past before the nurse and several teachers came running up. As they came running up, students started to crowd around, making it hard for the nurse to work on Lorenzo. She finally asked the teachers to push the kids away so she could talk with the student on the ground.

"Tell me what happened young man. How did you hurt yourself?"

At this point Lorenzo was in so much pain, he didn't want to talk because it made the pain worse. After asking Lorenzo the same question several more times and not getting any reaction from him, she turned to Ismail for the answer. He really didn't have an answer since he didn't see his older brother fall.

"I don't know Miss how he fell. All that I know is that we were playing tag and he was running on top of that." Ismail pointed to the planter. "All of a sudden I heard screaming and I turned around to see my brother on the ground and my cousin trying to help him."

"Boys how many times do we have to tell you not to be running on those planters? You guys shouldn't even be standing on them because you might fall." The nurse looked back down at Lorenzo and tried to help him up, but just he did before, he started to yell. The nurse gently put Lorenzo back on the ground to get him to stop yelling.

"Young man I need to know where you are hurting in order to help you. I need to know where the pain is shooting from in order to figure out if you broke your arm, a rib, or something else." Lorenzo took in several deep breaths and tried to ignore the pain so he could tell the nurse where the pain was the worse.

"It is around my shoulder Miss. The pain is really bad there as if my arm is falling off."

The nurse gently touched Lorenzo's shoulder and he started to scream out in pain. Since he was wearing a t-shirt, she could not really see his shoulder without cutting the shirt off since he seems to be in a lot of pain. After a few minutes feeling around the shoulder area and up and down Lorenzo's left arm, she knew what he had done.

"By the looks of it, you fell off the planter right onto your shoulder. Since your entire body weight was put on that one arm, it knocked it out of its socket. Until we put it back in its socket, you are going to be in a lot of pain. As I attempt to put your arm back in its socket, it is going to hurt. In fact, as I am popping your arm back into its socket the pain is going to be even worse, as if I am trying to pull your arm off. Do you understand what I am saying and what I need to do?"

Lorenzo nodded his head. Mustering as much strength as he could, he moved himself off his back onto his butt, leaning against the wall of the planter. The nurse grabbed a male teacher standing there to help her. She instructed him to stand in front of Lorenzo, and lift his wrist of the arm that is out of its socket and not to stop until she says stop.

Once he got Lorenzo's arm horizontally, the nurse told the teacher to grab Lorenzo's other hand and place it on the collar bone of his bad arm. She looked down at Lorenzo and warned him that he is about to hurt a lot worse, but as soon as his arm is back in place, the pain he is feeling right now will die down. Lorenzo nodded his head as he closed his eyes trying to think about anything except what is about to happen.

She placed her thumb on Lorenzo's shoulder blade and started applying pressure as she instructed the teacher to pull Lorenzo's arm towards him. Within seconds, she heard Lorenzo's arm pop back into place over his screams. Once his arm was back in place, the pain did die down as she said and Lorenzo stopped yelling.

Quickly she pulled the sling that she prepared and put Lorenzo's arm in it. "Your arm is back in place, but you will need to go to the hospital to make sure it was done right and no other damage was done. Is there anyone at home right now that can come down and pick you up and take you to the hospital?"

"Yes ma'am, my mother is there." The nurse helped Lorenzo up from the ground. As soon as he was on his feet, the students that gathered around started to clap and cheer as he started to walk towards the building. Ismail and the two cousins grabbed their backpacks and ran to catch up with the nurse and Lorenzo.

Wiping away the tears of pain, Lorenzo looked back to his little brother to make sure he was okay. When he saw he was fine, he felt better. When they reached the nurse's office, he told Ismail he was okay because he could see that he was still worried. The bell rang for first period, but Ismail didn't budge from his brother's side.

"Go to class Ismail! I don't want you to get into trouble with mom when so comes to get me and sees that you aren't in class." Ismail shook his head, refusing to leave. "Come on, please do it for me. You need to stay to make sure Morris and Ignacio are safe. They need one of us around all the time." Lorenzo smiled at his little brother and that did it.

"Okay but you make sure you do whatever the doctor says to do. I will see you as soon as school is over. Be ready for me to kick your butt in the video games." Both boys laughed as they hugged. As soon as Ismail, Ignacio, and Morris left, the nurse asked Lorenzo for his home number. Getting up from the seat, he walked over to the nurse slowly as if he was walking to his death.

The morning classes went fast for Alex. He found himself getting his lunch before he knew it. When he and Matt sat down, they noticed that Jacob seemed nervous. Everyone knew why he was nervous. It is because of the speech he is going to make in front of the student body in a few minutes.

Trying to lighten up the mood, they all tried to get Jacob's mind off what he is about to do, but it didn't work. Finally, after a couple of tries to get him to laugh, they threw in the towel and no one said anything for a few minutes, they just ate their lunch. Finally, Alex broke the silence.

"Matt and I have chosen a name finally for our print shop last night. Now it is no longer going to be called the print shop, it is going to be called R.A.M. Printing. What do you guys think about the new name?"

They looked at each other at first in silence before they broke out into conversation on what they think the initials of the name stand for. Each of them was wrong and not even close, but Alex and Matt enjoyed seeing them trying to guess at the name. They let them guess for a few minutes before they broke their silence.

"You are thinking too much about the initials in the name." Alex chuckled at the looks he was getting from them. "Look when people read too much into things, they never get it. It is simple as one, two, and three."

Once again, they looked at each other and started guessing. Matt didn't want them carrying on, so he finally told them what the initials were in order to take them out of their misery. When Matt told them the answer, they felt stupid. Just as Alex said, they were thinking too much into it, so they didn't get the answer.

Before they could talk about anything else, Jacob got up and headed out to the stadium. They all followed and when they reached the bottom of the staircase, they found Josh Lopez standing there waiting for Jacob. Each of then wished Jacob good luck, said high to Josh and headed out to the stadium to get a standing position close to where Jacob is going to talk.

As Josh and Jacob made their way to the middle of the stadium, Josh took the microphone first. To Alex's surprise, Josh spoke very well. Alex could not help but think that Matt and Jacob are very lucky that they are not trying to run against this kid. He would win in a landslide victory because it seems that he was born to perform.

He made it clear to everyone what the others have been saying about Jacob was wrong and they should know the truth and he had no problem clearing it all up. Once he was done, he introduced Jacob and he continued where Josh left off, pounding away on what was said about him, and brought the speech home. At least Alex thought it was the end.

Jacob stepped to the side and Josh and The Show Chorus took center stage. The minute the music started playing, everyone in the stadium knew exactly what Josh was going to sing, "We're Not Gonna Take It", by Twisted Sister. It didn't take long for the entire stadium to join in and before anyone knew it, they were singing along.

No one paid Principal Michaels any attention when he walked up to where Jacob and Josh were. They were just to into the song. By the time the song was over, the students were chanting both Jacob and Josh's name as if they were running for president and vice president of the Untied States.

Staying only a few moments, they headed back towards the side staircase they normally use to go in and out of the building during lunch. Once they reached the staircase, Jacob stopped at the bottom stair when he saw Josh and his group head another direction. Alex and the guys didn't stick around to see what was going on. They figured it wasn't any of their business.

Alex heard his name being called out. At first, he had no idea who was calling him over the crowd. Then the voice got closer and he was able to recognize who it was. He turned and found Principal Michaels behind him. He didn't look mad, but at the same time he didn't look happy. "Alex I need you and Matt to come to my office please."

Nodding his head, Alex leaned over and whispered to Matt what Principal Michaels said. They both followed the Principal wondering what was going on. When they got to his office, they went straight to the back, not the conference room. That made Alex's stomach go into knots because he know knows for sure whatever it is, it is not good.

When they walked into Principal Michaels's office, they saw their sixth period teacher standing there and both Alex and Matt knew what this was all about. "Please boys take a seat, we have a problem, and I need to solve it immediately." Principal Michaels pointed to his chairs in front of his desk as he sat down in his seat behind the desk.

"Mrs. Larsen has come to me with some disturbing information. Someone in this room is in the wrong and whoever it is will not be leaving my office with the right to come back on school grounds. So I want to, scratch that, I need to get to the bottom of what I was just told by Mrs. Larsen."

"Sir we have no idea what she night have said, but..."

"Let me finish talking before any of you say a word. First let me ask you boys did you blackmail Mrs. Larsen yesterday with a lie." Alex and Matt looked at each other confused by the question. "Did you or did you not get in trouble in class yesterday and blackmail your way out of it with a lie?"

"Principal Michaels, Matt, and I were in the wrong yesterday talking about money issues of our business during class. Mrs. Larsen was about to read the note that we were passing to each other. We asked her nicely not to do so because of the information that was on the paper, but she refused, so Matt ripped it up and she got mad.

She wanted to send Matt to his Assistant Principal's office for doing that. I tried once again to explain to her what was going on, and she refused to hear me out. Then I tried to tell her that it was me and I should be the one being sent to the office. Again, she refused and I got mad so I told her I saw something a couple weeks ago and if she did not want me to tell, let Matt go, which she did. If I was wrong, why did she let Matt go?"

"What was it that you saw Mrs. Larsen doing couple weeks ago?"

"It was after class and we were heading out. On our way out of the building, we passed her classroom and saw her kissing another student from our class. We did not say anything because we figured others saw as well. I was wrong yesterday on doing what I did, but she wouldn't listen to reason and send the right person to the office."

"There is no excuse to be blackmailing a teacher. No matter if you are right, you don't blackmail a teacher on anything but the way you are explaining what happened yesterday, Mrs. Larsen should have sent you, not Matt to the office. That is something I will speak with her about in private." Principal Michaels got up from his desk and walked over to his door, but did not open it.

"You boys are doing great here! Do not do anything to mess things up. You have proven to me and every one of your teachers that you aren't the boys we thought you were when we first found out that you were coming to this school." Principal Michaels opened the door. "I am letting you boys off with a warning, but if something like this happens again in the future, we are going to have a different conversation."

Alex and Matt got up from their seats and started walking out. Principal Michaels stopped Alex at the door, leaned and whispered in his ear. "You are great student Alex and what happened here today has not changed my mind or how I feel about you. You just brought something to light that I have been hearing complaints about. Don't tell anyone what I just said because I will deny it." Alex looked up at the Principal with a smile on his face. "Get out here and take valedictorian of your senior class away from the student that thinks she has it in the bag."

Whispering thank you, Alex shook the Principal's hand and left. Principal Michaels closed the door and headed back to his seat. "Sir you needed to suspend those boys for what they did. You just gave them the okay to do what they want to do in this school. Heck, forget the school; they are not going to listen at all in my classroom. You just chopped my legs from right beneath me. I no longer have any standing in authority with those boys." Mrs. Larsen kept going on, and Principal let her.

"Are you done, because if you aren't, I have the rest of the afternoon?" Mrs. Larsen shut up and sat down in then chair that Alex was sitting in. "What Alex said was not the first time I heard about you having inappropriate contact with a student. Before I acted on it I wanted to get my ducks in a row."

Principal Michaels pulled out a huge file from his bottom drawer and opened it. One by one, he showed Mrs. Larsen the filed complaints lodged against her. Some were from her fellow teachers, some were from the students she had relations with, but most of them were from concerned parents. Of course, Mrs. Larsen could not see the name of the person lodging the complaint against her since Principal Michaels whited out their names.

"As you can see, this is not the first time I heard about what you have been doing. I should have suspended you months ago, but I wanted to give you the benefit of the doubt, which is gone now. As of this moment, you are suspended with pay, pending investigation by the school district.

If they find that these complaints are true, then you will be fired. With what I have here, you career as a teacher is over. More than likely you will be going to prison for a period if I have anything to say about it. I cannot stand teachers like you doing the things you did with the students that were in your care! The parents trust us to not to harm their children, but you did. You rank up there with the priest that touches little kids."

Principal Michaels did not even ask for a response from Mrs. Larsen. He started to fill out the suspension paperwork and within minutes, he had her sign it and she was escorted off the school grounds by security. As she was making her way to the teacher's parking lot, the bell rang for the students to switch classes.

When they passed her, they knew something was up because she was between two school security guards. Wanting this walk of shame to be over, Mrs. Larsen started to walk a little faster. Once she got to the parking lot, she tossed her stuff in the back seat before getting into the drivers seat. Not looking back to see if there was anyone in her way, she backed out and sped off.

By the end of fifth period, the rumor of Mrs. Larsen being escorted out of the building by security had spread like wild fire. Every student knew about it and as the rumor spread, they story changed several times. By the time it got to Alex and Matt, there were three versions on what she did to be fired.

The first was that she killed someone. Even the dumb students did not buy that rumor because she would have been leaving in handcuffs if it were true. The second rumor was that she and another teacher were caught having sex in her classroom and the final rumor was half-true. It was that she was caught having sex with several of her students.

The only thing that was going through Alex's mind was who was going to be teaching her class today. She had started the day and there could not have been enough time for the Principal to call in a sub for the rest of her classes. That means it has to be another teacher or person in the office that knows what she teaches.

He got his answer when the bell rang and he walked into sixth period. Alex could not believe his eyes. It was not another teacher or person in the office that took over Mrs. Larsen's class but it was Principal Michaels! Matt and he quickly took their seats and looked forward as the rest of the students made their way to their desks.

Once the bell rang, Principal Michaels took roll before doing anything else. "Ladies and gentlemen I will be your teacher for today. Tomorrow there is going to be a sub that will be taking Mrs. Larsen's place for awhile." Principal Michaels closed the classroom door before making his way to the front of the class.

"I forget that you can hear everything that is going on in the classes next door with the door open. It has been a while since I have been in the classroom." Principal Michaels chuckled, but no one else did. Seeing that no one else laughed, he got right down to business of shutting down the rumors that have been going around.

"Let me clear a few things up. First, I need to clear up the rumors that are circling around the school already on why Mrs. Larsen is not here. She had leave school because of personal issues. At this point, we do not know when she is going to return, if she is going to return at all. I would like it if you all show her respect and not repeat the rumors that are going around and not true. I will be making this announcement again in the morning announcements Monday. I just want your help to try and stop the rumors please!"

All the students nodded their heads almost at the same time. With that, Principal Michaels picked up where Mrs. Larsen left off yesterday without a problem. The class was fun and exciting, so it went fast. The bell rang in what seemed like minutes to the students from the last bell, not an hour. Principal Michaels excused the class and wished them a safe weekend as they walked out.

Since everything that needed to be said on the subject between the Principal, Alex, and Matt had been said, they did not stick around after the bell. The wished Principal Michaels a good weekend as they walked out and never looked back. It was the weekend finally and they plan to recuperate from everything they went through this last week.

As they were getting the books they needed for the weekend to do their assignments, Alex and Matt discussed whether to take the night off or not. They decided since the others depend on them for a ride to and from work, that they would go in. They did not want to leave them out in the cold without a ride. It wouldn't be right even if they could get one.

Most of the shift the boys worked in their offices, letting Adam run the floor. It wasn't until about an hour before end of shift that Alex made his way onto the floor. He pulled several workers off what they were doing to start working on the stationery and business cards with the new company name and logo.

They were able to get the stationery finished and Sergio and Adam's business cards done in that hour. On their way out, Alex left Sergio's cards on his desk and handed Adam his. The stationery was put where they each could get it whenever they needed it.

Glad that the day is pretty much over, Alex could not wait to get home. Although he and Matt's plans to be together were not until tomorrow, he didn't care. He was mentally and physically tired and just didn't want to think about anything for the rest of the evening. All he wanted to do was cuddle up with his boyfriend in front of the television for the rest of the evening and become a vegetable.

The minute they finished eating, everyone took off their separate directions. Being true to his word, Alex went up to spend time with Jeremy as he promised. Before he was able to knock even once, the door came flying open and Jeremy came walking out with his little dog in his hand.

`I knew you'd come and be with me and Cupid. Thank you! Let's go outside and let Cupid play in the grass for awhile.' Jeremy started signing so fast that Alex had to ask him to repeat several times before catching it all.

Walking down the stairs, Alex didn't even attempt to change Jeremy's mind. He learned already that since Jeremy had his mind made up, it cannot be changed so he followed the older Hernandez brother out the front door, grabbing his jacket along the way. When they got outside, he noticed Jeremy wasn't wearing his jacket, so Alex went back in and quickly grabbed it for Jeremy.

At first, Jeremy didn't want to put it on, but Alex put his foot down and told him that he either put the jacket on or they go back inside. Reluctantly Jeremy took the jacket and put it on before sitting down on the ground to play with Cupid. Alex stood back and just watched Jeremy at awe on how alike he and Jacob are.

If Jeremy would not open his mouth or would not move his body much he could be mistaken as Jacob or the other way around. Jeremy in fact actually looks like the younger brother, but Alex knows why that is. Heck anyone that would have gone through what Jacob has gone through in the last couple of years would probably look a lot older than he actually is. Somehow, through it all, Jacob keeps a positive outlook on things.

After standing back watching Jeremy for a while, Alex decided to join him. He was getting cold and bored standing there. He figured that if he moves around, he would warm up. As he sat down, he was putting together the signs to say sorry to Jeremy for making him put on the jacket, but he didn't need to.

Jeremy looked at Alex as he sat down with a big smile on his face and started signing to him as if they did not have that little fight when they first came out. That is another thing he loves about Jeremy that he wished he had; the ability to just forgive someone within in seconds of a fighting, and then act as if nothing ever happened! There is no doubt in Alex's mind that Jeremy would forgive those kids that were beating him up.

Headlights pulling up into the driveway pulled Alex's attention away from Jeremy. At first, he didn't place the car because the lights were shining right in his face. With one hand over his eyes and the other waving as he yelled for whoever is in the car to turn off the lights. The driver's side door opened and someone stepped out.

With the blinding lights in his eyes, Alex still couldn't see who it was. All he could see is a figure and he made out to be a guy because of how he was standing. Then he saw something shiny glaring back at him. "Alex I have been..."


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


{Welcome back to another exciting chapter of "Beneath the Mask". I really love this chapter because I brought in characters that I haven't really written much about recently. It was not that I didn't want to. It was because of the plots that were going on in the story I couldn't bring them back in. Now there are still a few characters that were not brought back into this chapter, but they will be in the next couple of chapters in order to keep the story exciting.

Now what in the world is going on with Ron's brother? I don't know about you, but I don't think he had any right to do what he did since he barely came into town. Besides that, the thing I hated the most about this guy is first he rips Alex and Matt's heads off and then goes and asks them for a favor. I don't think so and I am glad that Alex answered the way he did, no way. I think there is going to be more problems there with Ron's brother.

I really love writing about the gangs and the prison system. I stayed away from the violence in this story for a very long time, but here it is, back again. I will give fair warning; it is just the beginning as far as violence. If you don't like stories with violence or can't stomach it, then skip over any scene with Alex II is in.

The Mexican Mafia lost control over many areas during the vacuum of who is going to lead the gang after the death of Mr. Flores. As you all already knew Alex II was given that position and boy did he show us in this chapter why he got it back. He went all Scarface on the other gangs in this chapter. A shank instead of a machine gun, he got the job done. I can't wait to see what is next in that plot.

Talking about exciting plots, what about the plot with Ashton wanting his revenge! You all should have known that the minute that Ashton was released he was going to go after Alex. The only thing that might have been a surprise is how fast he did it. I am glad that Principal Michaels is the way he is. He knows his students and knew that Ashton wasn't one of his. I don't think that is going to be the last time we are going to see Ashton at the high or is it. The ending of the chapter we will get into later.

Poor Lorenzo I brought him back into the story to just hurt him. That plot I wrote about actually happened to me one year when I was eleven going to summer school. Exactly how it was written is how it happened, except the nurse. I went home and my stepfather is the one that popped my arm back into its socket. Man did it hurt and I never ran on the planters again.

Anyways Lorenzo will be okay, sore, but okay. He, Ismail, and their two cousins will be more in this story as the time goes on. I brought them into the story prominently once before and I plan to do it again. This time though I won't fade them out again.

I touched a little on the plots from "Jacob" sixty-nine and seventy, but didn't go into detail. If you haven't read those two chapters of "Jacob Finding His Way" and are lost or want more detail about Jacob and Josh's speeches, go on over and read them. If you did, I hope you enjoyed the song that Josh sang at the end of the speeches.

What was up with Mrs. Larsen? She tried to outsmart Alex and Matt by going to Principal Michaels and lying about what happened. She should have known the truth was going to come out and she was the one to lose just as she did. Although she is gone from the school right now, the plot is not over. I have an evil mind and you all know I have brought back in characters that you all thought were gone to do something bad.

The print shop looks like it is running smooth. Adam looks like he is also catching to his duties there. The boys came up with the name for the print shop, R.A.M. Printing. What do you think about the name? I think Alex and Matt are going to be able to take needed rest from work in the very near future. Let us see what they do with the free time they have now that Adam is on board and running the shift.

Let us talk a little about the ending. First, I am glad to see that Alex is keeping up with his promise he made Jeremy. Normally people do it for a couple of days and then stop, but not Alex. Now, what about the car that drove up with their highlights on high. I wonder who it could be in the car. In this chapter alone, I gave you two people who it could be, Mrs. Larsen and Ashton. Let us not forget about all the other people it could be from the other chapters. Whoever it is, it looks like there aren't there to have tea. Alex saw a shiny object, which could be bad for him.

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 jacob@jacobmillertex.com, Thanks!}



Alex and Matt sure have a lot going on in their lives right now, with little chance for relief in sight.

Ron's family, particularly his brother, will be a pain in the butt, but more of an aggravation than anything of real or serious consequence. I have no doubt that Ron has his will set up airtight. That man was not only smart, but also wise. I'm sure he left nothing to chance. I honestly expect that the brother won't even find a credible lawyer that, when presented with the facts, will touch it.

It appears that Alex and Matt have the print shop properly staffed and running smoothly. It seems that Sergio and Adam are managing the shop very well. Work is being done on time and all Alex and Matt have to do is manage the front office aspects, which it seems they have a good grasp. I like the name they chose for the shop. It does, in fact, pay tribute to Ron and promotes his legacy. I wonder if the name would have more marketing punch without the periods.

Principal Michaels is what every principal of a school should be. He is in touch with his faculty and staff and very in tune with the student body. He is always focused and fair. He never jumps to conclusions. He was fully aware of Mrs. Larsen's inappropriate contact with students. He instantly saw through her preemptive strike to cover her back by throwing Alex and Matt under the bus. He had been aware of allegations, but was waiting for things to solidify to the point that he could take decisive action. Mrs. Larsen is, in fact done with teaching as a career. Michaels is also a staunch ally for Alex and Matt. His faith in them will be part of the forces that will mold Alex into a solid citizen.

The battle for control in the prison system by the rival gangs is going to be over fast. Alex II sprang into action as soon as he realized that there was no negotiating for what he wants. The man is ruthless and will take out anyone that looks at him crosswise, let alone challenges him. I'm sure he will have the prison business as he wants it in short order. I still question if he will obey the orders about his grandson being hands off. I hope that Mario is right!

Ashton is getting too close and Alex is unaware. He has no way of knowing Ashton is in the free. The cliffhanger at the end of the chapter sure sounds ominous! Like you, I am anxious for the next chapter to find out who is approaching Alex!

Until next time,

"Daddy" Rick