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 anyway, shape or form without authors' express written consent.}

Story Written by: J.P.G.

Editor: Ed

Editor: Trevor


Chapter 44


Steve and Robert felt naked to a point without Alex and the guys there. They were invited to go to the funeral with them, but they could not get permission from their parents to miss the afternoon classes so they ended up staying, while the others headed off to the funeral making it the first time being alone at school since they got out of the center.

As they talked, Robert found it funny that Steve was actually saying good things about Alex and Matt. The last time they had a deep conversation about either of the two, Steve was blaming Alex for everything that has gone wrong in the world. Now here he is missing the guy that to him was the only one to blame for what is wrong.

"Man do I wish that our parents gave us permission to go. It is so boring here at school without the guys, it is as if we are missing a leg or an arm. They always start the conversation and we just jump in." Steve looked over to Robert. "What do you think?"

"Well yeah they are the ones that normally start the conversation, but I believe we can hold our own. If we can't, we're in trouble." Robert noticed the minute he finished what he said Steve's facial expression changed. He now has a puzzled look instead of one of frustration. "What I mean by that is we are boyfriends and because of that we should be able to hold our own as far as talking to each other. If we have already run out of things to say to one another, how long will it take before we get altogether bored with each other and break up?"

"Let me clear up any misunderstandings you got on what I just said." Steve moved closer to Robert and grabbed his hand. "We will never run out of things to talk about because I love you and you love me. It's just the things we say in private we can't talk about here without someone wanting to kick our butts. I don't want that kind of trouble, especially now that we are off probation."

Robert could see where Steve was coming from as far as what they talk about in private. That sort of stuff cannot be discussed in public because those around them might take offense at what they are talking about instead of ruffling the feathers of others; they keep their private life just that, private.

Carefully picking their topics to talk about, Robert and Steve eventually started talking. At first it was general topics, but eventually it got around to coming out to their parents. Both of them are tired of hiding each other from their family. They actually want to be able to sit down together at each other's houses and be who they truly are in front of their families, lovers.

"Well I know for sure my parents will probably kill me!" Steve mumbled as he looked down at the ground. "But I love you so much I am willing to take that chance. All I want to do is be with you and that is not happening anymore."

"I know and that sucks! We are supposed to be able to spend more time with each other now that we are out of the detention facility, but it is the opposite. We are spending a lot less time together and need to find a way to fix that. Just like you I do not think my family will like the idea of me being gay, but fuck them." Steve looked up surprised at what Robert just said.

"If they don't like me for who I am, well then they can fuck off. No one will keep me away from you, and that includes my family. All I want to do is be with you and that includes being at each other homes. So let's plan on telling our families about our relationship on the same day. That way neither of us has to worry about the others parents calling up the others home and spilling the beans."

Just as they were deciding on the day, they were going to tell their parents about each other, the bell rang. Knowing that they only have five minutes to get from the stadium to the locker and then to their class, they had to put the conversation on the back burner for now but they both agreed that they are going to agree on a day before this day is over.

Meantime Bobby didn't have a good start on his first day at school. When he went in to get his schedule, the register clerk sent him to the principal's office. He waited well into first period before the principal called him into his office. As he followed the principal, Bobby could not stop his mind going a million miles an hour.

At first, he thought the principal was going to give him a stern warning, but Bobby soon found out how wrong he was. The principal was new and wasn't about to have any problem child like Bobby come into his school and disrupt things.

"The reason I asked the register clerk to send you to my office when your tried to register is because I needed to talk with you." The principal picked up Bobby's old school record as he sat down. "I have been going over you school record and let me say I wasn't surprised on what written in here.

There is no doubt in my mind that you are going to eventually return to your old life and make trouble here for all of my students, which I cannot have, so I have weighed my options and spoke with several people before coming to this decision. I am not going to allow you to enroll at my school."

Bobby couldn't believe what he was hearing. Before he even did anything wrong, he is being expelled. So much for second chances is all that Bobby could think. It seems that no matter what he does, he feels his old label will follow him all his life. No one is going to look at his past and give him a second chance.

"That leaves you with two choices." The principal pulled out another folder opening it up. "You could go to alternative school and graduate from there or El Paso High School. I spoke with Principal Michaels down there and he feels he can handle you since he was able to handle others like you. I tried to explain to him what kind of kid you are, and he is willing to take a chance, one that I am not. So which of these forms am I going to fill out, the one transferring you to El Paso High or Alternative High?"

For the first time Bobby was given a chance to speak up. "I guess the form for El Paso High School because I do not want to go to Alternative High." The principal looked up from his desk giving Bobby a dirty look. A look that would have gotten Bobby mad to the point he would have taken a swing at the principal if he was the old Bobby, but he isn't. He stayed calm ignoring the look he was getting.

"What do you mean you guess? Either you know or you don't know. This is the last time I am going to ask you so you had better answer me right. Which of the options do you want and don't give me an, I guess?"

Bobby could see in the principals face and by the tone of is voice that he is trying to provoke him into doing something stupid. He took a deep breath and answered the principal with respect, but at the same time with a voice of authority that he wants to go to El Paso High School. The principal kept giving Bobby a dirty look, but Bobby was determined not to let him get under his skin.

Finally, after a few minutes of staring at each other, the principal filled out the transfer paperwork for Bobby to attend El Paso High School. Once this was done, he handed Bobby his copy before calling in several school security guards. Bobby looked over at the security guards thinking the worse.

"These gentlemen are going to escort you off the school grounds. I had better not find you anywhere near my school from this moment on because if I do, I will have you arrested and thrown back into that place where you belong, do you understand?" Bobby answered in a clear voice, yes, as he got up. "Principal Michaels is expecting you this morning so you'd better get going."

Not saying another word to the principal, Bobby walked out of the office with the security guards following him. When they reached the row of public pay phones, Bobby tried to use one to call for a ride, but the school security wouldn't let him. They made it clear that he needed to get off school property immediately, so he did.

Since there was no one at the hotel that Bobby could call for a ride, he caught the city bus to the west side of town. It took almost two hours for him to get to El Paso High School by bus. As he walked in, he looked around the old school. He couldn't help be see how different this school is to Austin High right off the bat.

At first, he couldn't find the principal's office. He kept going around in circles on the first floor. Right when he was about to head up to the second floor, he passed the attendance office for the third time and saw the principal's office right next to it. As he walked in, he kept kicking himself in the butt for not seeing the office the first time he made his rounds.

The secretaries looked up from their desks as Bobby walked up to the counter. The older of the secretaries got up from her seat and walked over to the counter. "Mr. Bobby de Polo?" The secretary asked in a soft voice. Bobby nodded his head trying to figure out how she knew who he was. "Principal Michaels has been waiting for you. Please take a seat; I will let him know that you have arrived."

Bobby shook his head once more and walked over to the seats lined up against the wall. Barely had he sat down when Principal Michaels came out. Bobby got back up and followed him to his office. Making this the second trip for him in one day to a principal's office, because the first one didn't go so well he started to worry that this might not go any better than the first since the principal doesn't even know who he is.

The principal held the door open for Bobby and once they were in the office, he shut the door walking to his seat behind the desk. Just like the principal at Austin High, Principal Michaels pulled out a file and looked it over before he said a word to Bobby.

"Mr. De Polo I know you have been given another chance from the courts to a more regular life. Besides the monitor around your ankle, the constant reporting in to your probation officer and being required to be home at a certain time, your life is back to being somewhat regular." Principal Michaels chuckled at what he just said.

"I spoke with your judge and your old school principal before making the decision to offer you a chance to have a regular high school life. Your old principal believes you are not savable and will return to your old gang life. I tend to agree with him to a point. If you go back to your old school and get around your old neighborhood and friends, yes you chances of falling back into your old life will greatly increase. By you attending a different school, staying away from your old neighborhood and friends, your chances of returning to that life should decrease. At least that is my own opinion on that matter.

With that said let me say a few things before I even get into the rules. At this high school, there are all sorts of kids, but no gang members like you were. As well as a few students in the same situation as you, that came to me earlier this year we have rich kids, middle class kids and everything in-between. We also have something here that other high schools in this city do not have, the governor's boys, and multimillionaire kids.

With having those kinds of students here, the security is a lot tighter than any other high school in this city, if not the state. Put aside the security the district and the city has here, these kids come with their own security detail. The reason I am telling you this is if they see you as a threat, they will react and there is nothing I can do about it.

By you attending this school, there is going to be a lot more security here than you probably have ever seen. That is saying a lot since you were just released from detention. If you know, you are going to do wrong or fall back to your old life, walk away now. I will not allow that kind of stuff here. Even if these kids were attending another high school, I would not tolerate gangs or gang members in my school."

Bobby tried to swallow, but his throat was so dry it hurt. "Sir I am the first to be given another chance in the new program that has been started in this city. If I screw up, it will mess up the chances for others kids like me that deserve another chance at a regular life. It might even close the program down. So not only do I have to make sure I don't screw up for myself and go back to jail, but for other kids that are in my shoes, for them to get this same chance I got. So no, I will not go back to my old life or get in trouble here."

"Good that is what I needed to hear. Now with that out of the way, let me give you the same speech I gave the other students that came to me in your same shoes. I believe in second chances, but it is up to the person if they want that second chance to work. Let's not fool ourselves here Mr. De Polo, your record is bad, and I am going to keep a very close eye on you.

That does not mean that I am going to single you out from the crowd. As long as you do as you promised me, stay out of trouble and away from your old life, you and I will get along. If you get into trouble here, you and I will be having a very different conversation than the one we are having now. Do not test me to see what that conversation would be like because you will see I am a man of my word. To give you an example on how strict I am, just this morning I expelled a young lady for hitting someone."

Bobby saw the minute he walked in that Principal Michaels isn't a man you would want to fool around with. He didn't need to give an example to prove that but at the same time Bobby can see he is fair, unlike the principal at Austin High School.

"There is not going to be special rules for you. Just follow the rules at this school and you should graduate with a regular diploma." Principal Michaels picked up the file and looked at Bobby's transcripts. "I see you already have your PE credits, so there is no need to tell you that you cannot take PE since you have a monitor around your ankle."

Principal Michaels put the file down again and looked straight into Bobby's eyes.

"Let me be as clear as I can with this special rule for you. Do not show off your anklet to anyone. If I, a teacher or staff of this school catch you showing it to other students, you, and I will be talking about that." Bobby shook his head. "There is no need for you to be showing that off anyway. If I was in your shoes, I would want to hide it."

"You are right on that sir. I have no plans to showing it off to anyone here or back at the hotel. While it came with restrictions, the less people that know I am on this thing, the better for me!" Bobby hit the leg that the monitor is on. Principal Michaels went through the same story he gave Alex, Matt and the others when they first arrived. He made it clear that his door is always open if he runs into any problems. He also made it clear that Bobby had a clean slate here and it is up to him what he does with it. Either he takes advantage of it like Alex and the others that came with him, or land up going back and leading the life he says he wants to get away from.

Bobby thanked Principal Michaels as they walked out of the office and over to the registrar's office. They already had Bobby's schedule printed when they walked in. Principal Michaels left Bobby in the hands of the clerks as he headed out to take his spot to watch over the students during lunch.

As Bobby got his schedule and headed off to lunch, Alex, Matt, and the others were at Ron's funeral. They had finished the service, heading out to eat at the Texas Road House. This was the first time that Alex and Matt had sat down with Ron's family without it turning into a fight. Both sides were surprised, but enjoyed it.

Alex though thought this might be the calm before the storm. In his mind, there is no way Ron's brother is going to let go of his plan on fighting them over Ron's will. He made it clear to Alex several times he is going to get a judge to overturn it so this little meal is not going to change his mind, and Alex knows that.

As things wound down and people started to leave, Alex went over and paid the meal bill with the help from Jacob. He didn't ask for it, but Jacob wouldn't leave without helping out on the cost of the meal. Alex tried to fight Jacob, but folded. He thanked him for the help and everything else he did to make this day a better one for all of them.

"I have told you already there is no need for you to be thanking me when I am helping you out." Jacob pulled Alex out of the way from the cashier so other customers could pay for their meals. "Look many people never thought you and I would ever be able to build a friendship because of how we got to know each other, but look at us now. We proved them wrong! Not only did we build our friendship, I consider you more than a friend now. You are like a brother to me and there is nothing you or anyone can say to change that. There has been only one other person in my life I consider more a brother than a friend and that person is Chase." Alex didn't expect to hear this from Jacob today or any other day for that matter. "The reason I am bringing this up to you now is because you're not willing to accept help from me. We are brothers and brothers help each other out without wanting it repaid back." Jacob pulled Alex into him and whispered. "I love you and if you ever need anything, just ask and if I can do it I will."

Jacob kissed Alex on the forehead and walked over to Dewayne who was waiting at the door. Alex couldn't move. He stood there stunned not only by what Jacob said but what he did. Never in his wildest dreams did he think that Jacob would ever forgive him enough to call him his brother.

As he stood there lost in his own thoughts, he didn't hear Matt calling out for him the first time. The second time that Matt called his name, it sounded like he was under water. By the third time, Alex came back to reality and acknowledged his boyfriend. They walked out of the restaurant together and over to the SUV.

They waited for everyone to get into the truck before leaving. All the way to the hotel, they guessed what Jacob and Dewayne were doing by themselves. They all one way or another figured that Jacob and Dewayne were fooling around since they asked to be alone. Backing that assumption up by saying that is what they would be doing if they were alone with their significant other.

The more and more they talked about Jacob and Dewayne fooling around, it got Tom and David a little frisky in the truck. They tried to hide it from the others, but were not successful. Everyone saw it, but didn't say a word out of respect to them even though they really wanted to tease them for getting frisky in front of them.

It has been a while since they have been together and they are feeling well and truly in the mood, as soon as they got to the hotel, Tom and David snuck away from the group and made their way to their room. All the way up in the elevator, they couldn't keep their hands off each other. When the door opened, the walked off as if they were not making out at all.

They saw no one in the hallway, and ran to their room. The minute Tom closed the door, David was on top him. Their lips were locked onto each other's as they made their way to the bed. Even when they fell onto the bed, their lips never left each other's.

David kicked off his dress shoes as he started to undo Tom's tie. With the tie off, he quickly unbuttoned his dress shirt sliding it off Tom. Leaning in, David started to gently suck on one nipple and then the other, giving each nipple the exact same time and attention as the other, which made Tom even harder than he already was.

David could see Tom's dick fighting to get free. He wanted it in his mouth so bad, he started his way down to it, kissing every inch of bare skin from the chest to the waist. As he reached the top of Tom's dress pants, he started licking around the belly button, teasing him. At the same time, he fondled Tom's dick as he started kissing down to the bare skin above the waistband of the pants. That got Tom moaning even louder than he already was. Pulling him onto another plain, were he has never been before.

"Come on stop teasing me!" Tom whispered in-between his moans of lust. "Just undo my pants and take it into your mouth. You know how I love it when you take me and do what ever you want with me. Please, take..." Tom couldn't finish saying what was on his tongue. His dick was so hard it was hurting him and he wanted David to just take it out and put his nice warm mouth around it.

Tom and David thought that they were being quiet enough that no one could hear them, but they were wrong. The walls between the rooms were so thin that if anyone was on the other side of the wall they could hear what is going on in the room next door. That was just the case with Tony.

Tony had made his way up to his room shortly after Tom and David. At first, he did not hear them in their room, but when Tom started to moan, Tony knew what was going on. He tried at first to ignore it, but the moans of ecstasy were too loud. They got so loud that even having his headset on and playing music was not blocking it out.

Just as Tony was getting use to the moans, the headboard of Tom's and David's bed started hitting against the wall. Tony finally had enough and headed down to the lobby. When he got off the elevator, the guys that knew he headed up to his room to study for a couple of big exams for tomorrow, walked up to him to see why he came back down.

"Dude we thought you went upstairs to study." Matt said with a smirk on his face. "We know that you are smart, but come on a couple minutes of studying for several exams. Even geniuses like you have to study a little bit longer for several exams in one day."

"Trust me I do need more time to study for my exams, but I cannot study up there while

my neighbors are going at it. They are making so much noise that I can't concentrate on what I need to work on. No matter how hard I try to block them out, I can't."

Matt and the others broke into laughter. They were not laughing at Tony, but at what he was talking about. Everyone knew where Tom and David disappeared to and what they were doing. Their antics in the truck on the way home was a dead giveaway that they were going to have some alone time.

About forty-five minutes before it was time to leave, Tom and David made their way back down and rejoined the group freshly showered. By then everyone knew what they were up to and gave them a little grin as they passed them in the lobby. It didn't take long for Tom and David to figure out the guys knew that they were having sex.

Meanwhile back at the prison, Mr. Henderson was sitting down with his lieutenants for the evening meeting. Just as he did in his first prison as warden, Mr. Henderson restructured the entire staff. Most of the old regime of guards were released either under the suspicion of working with the gangs in the prison or were on their payroll.

"Boss I hate to tell you this, but this prison is a lot different then the one we came from. The gangs really have control of everything in here, which is making it very hard for us to get things under control. The other prisoners that are not part of the gangs actually fear them more than they fear us. So in return they won't help us out."

"That is fine Lieutenant and let me tell you why. We have successfully cut off not only the heads of the gangs, but the Lieutenant's and every other part of their leadership. Without having their leadership in place, one of two things is going to happen. One, those that are not locked up in solitary are going to fight it out to get control and land up killing each other off. On the other hand, two, they are just going to fall into place. Either way to me it doesn't matter because we will at the end of the day have control of this prison."

"I don't want to be the bearer of bad news, but you're wrong sir. Yes, we have successfully taken out the leadership from the general population, but they are still communicating. Orders are still going out and I am pretty sure that our names are on those orders to be terminated."

"You are wrong they are not communicating. We have successfully installed procedures to ensure that they do not communicate with each other. Because if we didn't put those procedures in to place, it would beat the purpose of having them locked down."

The head of the guards pulled out a file and handed it to Mr. Henderson.

"What I just handed you sir is some type of communication through Morris code."

Mr. Henderson started looking through what was handed to him, and could not make heads or tails of what he was reading. "As you can see that type of Morris code that they are using isn't the one that you and I learned in the Army."

"How sure are you that this is some type of Morris code and it is them communicating and not just the old pipes making noise?"

"I am one hundred percent positive this is them speaking with each other and not the old pipes in this building. Every time these taps start, something happens in population. For example, look at the first communication on the page. Note the time in which we intercepted communication and remember what happened last night."

"We found what happened last night was a left over order that was carried out. That makes more sense than communicating using their own made up Morris code. There is just no one smart enough in their gang to create something like this. Simply put none of them have the brainpower to come up with this."

The captain of the guards pulled out another file and handed it to Mr. Henderson.

"No one here in this prison has the smarts to create something this good, but there is someone in their gang that is. I believe you have had the honor to not only have met this person, but to have worked alongside of him back in El Paso."

Mr. Henderson could not believe that this name from his past is coming back to haunt him. He thought that once he was promoted to warden, he would never hear the name Alejandra Garcia IV again, more so now that Alex is no longer in the system, and promised not to get involved with his old life again!

"Please do not tell me that the grandson is in communication with his grandfather now. If he is in touch, he is breaking the conditions of his release. Trust me when I say this, if that is true, I will have him picked up and thrown back into juvenile detention to serve out the remainder of his time."

"Sir you are not looking at the paperwork correctly. Mr. Garcia's grandson is not talking with his grandfather. They have not talked since he worked with you and got caught. So there is no need to be jumping the gun and calling anyone to get anyone arrested and more so a person that hasn't done anything wrong."

"A person that has not done anything wrong, boy do you have your facts wrong. If we are talking about the same teenager, he has done very wrong. He just has gotten lucky with the people he has met recently. If he hadn't met Jacob Hernandez or Mr. Hernandez and they didn't forgive him for what he did, Alex would still be locked up with the rest of his misfits that he calls a gang."

"What I understand Sir, without that misfit you would not be sitting where you are sitting today!" Mr. Henderson shot his captain a dirty look. "So let's stop bashing the ones that have turned their lives around and turn our attention to those that we have to deal with now. They are our concern and if we do not fix this issue, we will never get control of this prison.

They are communicating with each other through Morris code and that code was created by the young man that kick started your career again. The suggestion I have is that you put aside whatever dislike you have of this kid and go to him for help again. We need to know what they are saying through this unique way of communicating."

"Captain you keep saying over and over again that Alex IV was the one that created this new code, but we are not certain it is a Morris code. In addition, if we ever get to that point when we are certain, we do not know who made this up. So we might be wasting our time asking him for help."

"Mr. Henderson, I am certain what I'm telling you. These guys are communicating with each other and the one that created this is the grandson of the man that is running the Mexican Mafia. We can either sit here and debate this for days and weeks or act now and try to find out what they are saying."

The captain of the guards went on to tell Mr. Henderson how he found out about this new way of communicating. It was the left over staff that informed the captain. They told him everything from how the torch was passed on from father to son as far as leading the gang and how they communicated while they had the heads of each gang locked up in solitary.

By the time the captain of the guards finished, there was nothing left to doubt that the Mexican Mafia is communicating through their own Morris code. Leaving them with one option and that is to figure out the code. That means Mr. Henderson will have to go to Alex and ask for help once again.

"I know Mr. Garcia's grandson will not give up that information. Not now, that he does not need to help us out. So the only way we are going to be able to decode this code is find one of the gangs members in here to turn on their own. Until we are able to do that, we need to get them to stop pounding on the pipes."

"How do you suggest we do that Mr. Henderson? It's not like we have the staff to keep a guard stationed at Mr. Garcia's door twenty four hours a day. Eventually he is going to figure out when there is a guard at his door and when there isn't. Our best option here is crack their Morris code without them knowing about it. And not by getting one of the gang members in here to flip, because they won't"

"Why not, I got Mr. Garcia's son to flip? How hard will it be to get another gang member to do that same thing?"

"Hard sir, very hard, because these guys in here are just that, they would rather die before becoming a snitch, plus they are not teenagers like Mr. Garcia's grandson. Unlike the grandson, these guys in here are lifers and don't want to turn their lives around. You got very lucky with Mr. Garcia's grandson and that won't happen again."

Mr. Henderson really listened to the captain of the guards. He realized how right he was about being lucky with Alex. Things would be a lot different if Alex wanted to change the direction on where his life was going. One thing is for sure to Mr. Henderson is that he would not be here if it wasn't for Alex helping him with the information.

Before ending the afternoon meeting, they agreed to work out a way to figure the Morris code that Mr. Garcia and his gang are using to talk. In the meantime, so no one will get hurt, they are going to put the entire prison on lock down. That way the inmates are not roaming around with shanks in their hands ready to kill guards and prisoners.

Meanwhile while he was being talked about, Mr. Garcia was talking with the leaders he put in charge in population. They were discussing their plans on how they would like to get rid of the new warden. As they talked, the one thing that Mr. Garcia knew is once they went down the road on killing a warden, which has never been done in this state; there is no coming back from it.

The plan sounded good, with a few exceptions which Mr. Garcia made note of. Once they finished talking about the plans of killing the warden, they moved onto the trade within the prison. They are having a problem with not only taking back over everything they once had, but also keeping control of what they had before everyone was thrown into lock down and the bosses into solitary.

Mr. Garcia started to type on the pipes. `We cannot lose anything we already have in our control. If that happens, we will never get that back. As well we need to get everything we once have back. So I need to know who is standing in our way and making trouble.'

`Right now it is only two gangs, the African American's, and the Asian gangs. They have joined forces in hope that with numbers they can push us to the side. The other gangs are fighting each other for power so I believe they will not be a threat at the end of the day. They are going to kill each other off before someone comes out on top.'

`We need to send a loud and clear message that it doesn't matter who joins forces with whom, we still control everything in here, so this is what you are going to do, a blood bath. Everyone that has stepped up to you or anyone in the gang, are dead. Have this done by the end of the day in order to show anyone else if they are thinking about standing up to us that it is not a good idea.'

`It will be done', is all that was said. By the end of the day Mr. Garcia will know if they are able to carry out his orders without joining him in solitary, or worse, be killed themselves, and then he will have found his new group of leaders.

When the boys finally walked back into the hotel after work, they were beat, which confused them since they didn't do much throughout the afternoon. The morning wasn't that hard at school and the afternoon was spent at the funeral and fooling around at the hotel. The only time they worked through out the day was at work, which was only four hours. That is why they were confused that they were tired.

They all put that in the back of their heads and had fun at the dinner table talking up a storm and playing jokes on each other. Everyone noticed also that the old Jacob had returned. In fact, a very different Jacob than they have seen before was at the table. He was actually laughing something that is rare to see him doing.

At the same time, they saw another thing they all thought was gone from Jacob. Between what just happened with the house and everything in the last couple of years, it looked like life was actually beating Jacob down. At first Jacob wouldn't let it happen, but no matter what he did, life was winning. Now though, he looks refreshed and has a new spirit, which a blind man can see is all because of Dewayne.

They sat there looking at each other as if there was no one else in the room. At first, they were in their own little world, holding hands, and eating, but soon joined the others in their conversations. There was something that Dewayne had done or said, or both, that just made Jacob the happiest man in the world.

With Jacob in a good mood, it spread around the table. By the time everyone was done eating, they felt refreshed and in good spirits. As they started to leave to get ready for school the next day, Jacob asked everyone to stay for a few minutes. Alex looked at Matt and thought here is comes, but when Jacob started talking, he saw how wrong he was on assuming that.

Jacob actually apologized for being in the mood he has been in the last couple of days. He went on to try to explain why he was in a bad mood. When he reminded everyone where each of them came from, Alex could see in their faces that they realized they did wrong the day before when they went shopping.

It wasn't something said straight out to the guys by Jacob, that he knew the majority of items they owned were not bought at the mall. Just like him, they came from middle class families that shopped and bought the majority of their stuff like clothes at Wal-Mart and K-Mart. Jacob was not angry with them, but in a tactful way said what he needed to say to the guys without ruffling feathers.

Then he said something that stunned everyone at the table, he offered them a new car from any of his dealerships except the Jaguar dealership. That got everyone asking why and Jacob answered them, quite simply. He never had a chance to celebrate what was given to him and what better way to celebrate it than to give a little of what he has to his family and close friends.

At that point, no one left the table. They all stayed there talking about what car they are going to get. It didn't take long for the conversation to go from what car they are going to get to they are going to get a better car than the other. By the end of the conversation, everyone had pretty much picked out the car they wanted before even going to the car lots to look at them.

Finally, some of the guys started to make their way up to their room. Alex and Matt stayed behind as they normally do and help their mother with the dishes, which she almost had done by the time they walked into the kitchen. Once the kitchen and the dishes were clean, Alex and Matt made their way up stairs.

Even though they were at a hotel, Alex had no plans to betray the trust he has built with Jeremy. He stopped by his room and spent almost an hour with him. They first colored and eventually started playing with Cupid since she wouldn't stop licking Alex's face. When Alex noticed Jeremy dozing off, he helped him put everything away before helping him to bed. As he walked out, he picked up Cupid and put her on the bed with Jeremy.

Alex signed good night to Jeremy and headed out of the room and over to his and Matt's room. When he walked into the room, he didn't expect to find Bobby sitting there on his and Matt's bed. Bobby got up when he saw Alex walk in, waiting for Alex to sit down before he sat back down on the bed.

"I know you are probably tired and want to shower and go to bed, so I will only take a few minutes of your time." Bobby started to speak in a low voice. "Something happened today that was beyond my control." That grabbed Alex's attention and got him worried. "I was not allowed to register at Austin High School. The principal down there was being a prick about my past."

"What did you expect Bobby? When I first got out and started attending El Paso High I was not accepted with open arms. In fact, the teachers were waiting for me to screw up so they could send me out the door packing, but I didn't. Don't get me wrong, there were times when I almost did screw up."

"I know what you are saying Alex and I don't disagree with you but at least Principal Michaels didn't pre-judge you and not even give you a chance like the principal at Austin did to me. He flatly refused to let me register and gave me two options. I go either to Alternative High School or to El Paso High School. Of course I chose El Paso."

"Wait a minute you are going to be going to my high school." Matt walked over to Alex and sat next to him to calm him down. Alex looked at his boyfriend and saw the concern in his eyes. "I have no say where you go, but you need to understand a few things if you are going to attend El Paso.

First and most importantly do not make Principal Michaels your enemy. He is very cool and he will be there on your side as long as you are not in the wrong. If you turn him against you, you are gone. He runs the school with an iron fist, but at the same time, he is fair, and will listen to you, no matter what your past.

Secondly, the gang does not exist in that high school. As far as our old life, it is gone. So don't think you can go in there and run things like we did before. Everyone gets along with everyone there." Bobby looked at Alex confused on what he just said. "Don't get me wrong, there are fights and things like that there, but nothing like we did in our gang when we went to high school."

"That is exactly why I am here now, to see how everything is. I see where you are coming from in regard to Principal Michaels; he was cool with me today. Totally the opposite of the principal at Austin! At least he is willing to give a person another chance and forget the past. We all deserve that, don't you think?" Alex shook his head in agreement.

"Since you already answered pretty much all my questions before I was able to ask them, I only have one more. I don't have a ride to school. I can take the city bus, but since you are living here now, I was wondering if you had room for one more?"

Alex looked at Matt and then back to Bobby. "Of course we have room." He explained to Bobby what time they left in the morning. If he were not ready by then, he would be taking the bus to school. Bobby had no problems with the time. Before he left Alex's and Matt's room, Alex invited him to join the group, which Bobby accepted.

Being that this is only their second day in the hotel, they already had things running like a well-oiled machine. Alex and Matt got up and since they didn't take a shower the night before, they took it together before heading down for breakfast. They fooled around a bit in the shower, but quit before they got really into it so far that they wouldn't be able to quit.

When they joined the others at the table, the conversation was the same one from last night, the cars. Those that were not there last night, Joey and his group, were confused about the conversation that was going on. After a while of talking about what cars they are going to get, Jacob stopped the conversation and explained what they were talking about to Joey.

Although Jacob did not offer Joey's group a car each, he offered him several vans to be used as the official vehicles for his shelter. Joey liked the idea and accepted the offer. He was surprised on getting it since he and Jacob were still on the foggy side of where their friendship is going. They pretty much are at the beginning of a new friendship right now and being offered such a generous gift was lot for a friendship barely beginning.

When it was time to go, the group separated into two. Half of them went in Alex's vehicle and the other half with Jacob. The only question that was out there is who was going to pick up Ethan. With no debate, Jacob volunteered and walked out with his security detail following right behind him.

When they got to school, Alex was surprised that he beat Jacob. He parked his SUV in the parking spot next to the one Jacob always parked in. As he got out of his truck, for some reason, Alex had a weird feeling in his gut that something has gone wrong or is going to go wrong. Not wanting to think about bad things, Alex pushed the thoughts to the back of his head and made his way into the cafeteria with Matt and the others.

After grabbing their breakfast, they sat down at their usual table. When Jacob and the other guys walked in and sat down Alex breathed a sigh of relief. He still had that feeling in his gut that something is about to go wrong, but at least he knows it isn't Jacob and the others. Again, he pushed those thoughts to the back of his mind and joined in the conversation that was going on.

Just like every morning, Jacob left first and headed off to the ROTC building. Alex couldn't help but wonder how things are working out with the colonel and Jacob with him having a security detail. Colonel Pigeon cannot be too happy with people in his program that are not actual kids, but again he has had that already for over a year with the governor's sons enrolled into his program.

Soon after Jacob left, they all got up and headed out to the stadium as they normally do to continue talking. As he stood there on the steps of the stadium, the weird feeling Alex has had for the last hour or so came back and nothing he was doing got rid of the wicked feeling he was having. He knew for sure that something was definitely going to happen and it was going to be bad.

When the first bell rang, Alex walked with Matt over to their locker. Still with the weird feeling, he felt a little better that they were already heading to class and nothing happened. As each bell rang, Alex breathed a little easier. When he sat down and the final bell rang, the teacher started taking roll call, which calmed Alex down even more.

As the morning announcements started and the students either listened to them or talked to their neighbor, outside in the parking lot Alex's feelings were about to become reality. Patricia was getting down from her mother's car. She made her way into the building determined on getting back into school.

Knowing the ins and outs of the security, she was able to sneak past the school security guards and get into the building. As she started making her way down to the principal's office, one of Jacob's new security detail saw her. He walked up and stopped her in the middle of the hallway. Before he could get a word out, the hall echoed with gunfire.

The classrooms that were on the first floor all heard the gun fire. The teachers quickly locked the doors to their classrooms and ordered the students to get against the wall. While the teachers were securing their classrooms, Principal Michaels got on the radio and gave out the code that there is a person on the premises that is shooting.

The security guards on each floor flew into action. They immediately locked down the rooms that didn't have a class in there at the time and the restrooms once they cleared them out. The students that were caught outside of their first period were searched and then taken down to the gym to be out of arms way.

Josh's security didn't wait to see what the school security was going to do; they already had a plan in place for just this occasion. Once the gunshot was heard, Russ and his detail surrounded Josh and quickly got him out of his classroom and down the hall. As Patrick and Cesar were with Josh, the detail took them too. When they got to the staircase, a couple security agents broke off from the group and made sure there was no one coming up or down the staircase.

As they moved Josh and the boys out of the building, they had their weapons drawn and ready to fire if they needed to. When they reached the private exit only used by teachers and staff, Carlos, Daniel Jr., and Brandon arrived with their security detail. Not a word was said. They all worked together in order to get the governor's kids out of the building.

It took them eight minutes from the time the gunshots were fired to getting the governor's kids into the SUV'S racing away from the school. It was two minutes slower than their best practice time, but they got the job done. The governor's kids are out of the building, safe, unharmed and on the way to their house.

Meanwhile back at the school, Alex and Matt sat against the wall wondering what in the world was going on. Alex knew something was going to go wrong, he just had a feeling in his gut all morning long. He started kicking himself for not paying attention to that feeling and keep him, Matt and the guys' home. Over and over again he asked himself why he didn't listen to his gut; it has never lied to him in the past.

Just when they thought the shooter had left their floor, they heard gunshots echoing in the hallway and then shouting. Alex was able to make out the voice, yelling at the shooter, it was Principal Michaels. He thought that Principal Michaels would have high tailed it out of the school and allowed the police to take care of the shooter.

Principal Michaels tried to talk to the shooter, but it did no good. One more shot was fired at his direction, causing him and his guards to get behind the wall for safety but a student running out of the restroom was not so lucky. He was struck in the head and was dead when he hit the ground.

Principal Michaels reached out and tugged at the kids legs pulling the student over to him not knowing that the student was dead. As he held the dead student in his arms, he tried to do mouth to mouth, but after a few minutes of trying, Principal Michaels knew it was too late. He gently laid the student on the floor and closed his eyes.

"You guys told me that all the restrooms and classrooms that are not in use were cleared out already." The head of the school security tried to answer Principal Michaels, but he didn't allow him to get a word in edge wise. "Because you guys didn't do your job, we now have a dead student, all because you guys didn't do your DAMN JOBS!"

"Sir with all due respect we couldn't clear this floor as we did with the second, third and fourth floors. We have been chasing the shooter on this floor ever since the gunfire started. You have seen that we have been clearing the rooms as we have been passing them, but with the shooter on this floor it is making it difficult to do our job."

"Fine I understand that, but we cannot have anymore students getting hurt or worse killed. We already have one student shot and being rushed to the hospital and now one dead. Do what you can to clear the rooms on this floor. You people are military trained and were hired just for something like this. You do not need me to remind you who attends this school, do you?" The head of the school security shook his head and went to work.

They had no idea were in the school the shooter is at, but they are sure the shooter is no longer on the first floor. As the school security started to check the rooms that aren't in use and restrooms on the first floor, the El Paso Police began making their way. They started to take over the security of the school, which Principal Michaels didn't mind.

Principal Michaels briefed the sergeant that was in command what had happened. Once he was done, the sergeant tried to have Principal Michaels removed from the school, but was unsuccessful. He refused to leave and did not leave the sergeant any other choice but to let him stay. Figuring that he might need the principal's help, he agreed to let him stay. As long as the principal let them do their job.

The police set up their command post in the principal's office. Once everyone got briefed on what was going on, the search for the shooter began. The sergeant created four search teams, one for each floor, made up of two squads of six to start from each side of the halls. That way if the shooter runs down the hall, he or she will be cornered.

"Principal Michaels the thing I do not understand is that you guys do not have any idea who is doing the shooting. You have been chasing this shooter around the first floor for the last ten to fifteen minutes and you haven't seen the shooters face, come on? I need to know what we are dealing with. Such as is this a lone gunman or there are others. Also we need to know if it is a student or an adult. So what do you think?"

"First sergeant I do not like your tone or the way you are talking to me. This school is the most secured school in this city, probably in this state and possibly in this country due to whom we have attending here. You haven't even asked if the governor's kids are out of the building or where they are so you can get them out. Or the other kids that this shooter could be after because of how rich they are."

"With all due respect Principal Michaels, no kid is more important than another in this school. If the governor's kids and the rich kids are still in this building they will be brought out of here along with the others. If this school is as secure as you claim, a gunman would have never have got onto the premises. So stop refusing to answer my questions. Plain and simple you screwed up and I am here to fix your screw up."

Principal Michaels didn't like being talked down to. He doesn't feel that he screwed up. A lone gunman was able to get through his security, which says it all, the gunman is a student, not an adult. He was able to figure that out the minute the first shot was fired in the building. That raises the question to Principal Michaels why hasn't the sergeant figured out the same thing.

"It has to be a student that is running around this school shooting at my staff. That..."

"How do you come to that conclusion Principal Michaels? Are you guessing or did you see the face of the gunman?" The sergeant pulled out the most recent yearbook. "And if you saw the face, you are holding out. I want to know who the person is that way we know who we are dealing with."

"No I haven't seen the person's face, but there is no way an adult could have gotten through my school security without being seen and sent to the office. Only a student would have been able to walk right by the security without raising a red flag."

Just as the sergeant was about to reply, the precinct commander and the chief-of-police walked in. "Gentleman what is going on here?" The watch commander spoke as he made his way to the counter where Principal Michaels and the sergeant were standing. "We need to get this shooter in custody before he or she harms another student, or worse, kills another student. So where are we on the search?"

"Well the search would be going a lot faster if the principal here was not keeping things from me." Principal Michaels jumped in and explained what he and the sergeant was just talking about. It wasn't that he is keeping things from the sergeant; he was just letting the sergeant know who he thinks the shooter is.

"Sergeant I do agree with Principal Michaels here on who the shooter is." The sergeant looked at his watch commander in disbelief. "He and I set up the security at this school once we learned that the governor's sons were going to be still attending school here. The school security is not the rent a cops you see at the other schools. These are highly trained retired military soldiers that were put here for one thing and one thing only; to keep the governor's sons safe."

The chief-of-police jumped in. "Since we are on the subject of the governor's kids, where are they? Are they still in this building?"

"Sir the governor's kids are not our main concern. Our main concern is the entire student body and the staff that works here."

"Sergeant you have no idea what you are doing, do you?" The sergeant looked at his boss with anger and frustration in his face. "It this was any other high school in this city, you are right on what you are saying, but it isn't. The very first thing you should have done when you got on the scene is secure the governor's sons and a couple of the other students that are attending here. We cannot afford to have any of the students on this list..." The watch commander handed his sergeant a list. "Kidnapped or worse, killed."

"The governor's kids are already out of the building and more than likely at home as we speak. They had a plan that they practiced over and over again just in case something like this happened. The minute the first shot rang out, the governor son's security reacted as they were supposed to. It is the other names on the list I am worried about. They are still in the building."

"Good to hear that the governor's kids are out of harm's way Principal Michaels. Now we need the classrooms where these others kids are out." The chief-of-police looked over at the precinct commander. "And you sir will send in as many officers as needed to get them out of this building. I cannot have them killed or kidnapped by a crazy shooter."

The precinct commander got with Principal Michaels and his sergeant. They went over the best way to get to each classroom and out of the building. They all agreed to use the route that the governor's security agents used to get out his sons. It was the safest and shortest route out of such a huge high school.

Mean time the officers were searching for the gunman. Eighteen minutes had passed since the gunman was last seen and shot at someone. That is worrying the officers because they knew that the gunman could be anywhere hiding and laying in wait to shoot again. This high school is huge, old and has a lot of hiding places. It will take days to search the entire building correctly.

The officers on the fourth floor walked into the old auditorium. It was so dark they couldn't see their hands before their faces. They had no idea what they were running into a seat or a gunman. To make matters worse they couldn't turn on their flash lights because if the gunman was in the room he or she could pick them off easily. Right now, they can't see each other, so if the gunman starts to shoot, they will not have a clean shot.

Row by row they searched, and didn't have anyone. When they made it to the stage, one by one got on it. Just as the last officer got on the stage, they heard something fall on the ground underneath the stage. They turned to see what it was, but before they could make it out, there was someone running towards the exit, several shots were fired in their direction, causing them to hit the ground.

Immediately the radios went live asking where the shots were coming from. One of the officers in the auditorium told them what had just happened as the other officers were checking each other out. They called out each other's name, and when one of the officers didn't answer, the others went looking for him.

As they scrambled around the stage, one of the officers tripped over something. At first he thought it was a prop or something like that, but when his left hand touched something wet, he knew it wasn't a prop. He felt around and found the body of the officer they were looking for, lying in a pool of his own blood.

Over and over again the officer that found the body said through the radio that an officer is down. That caused other officers in the building to scramble and make their way up to the auditorium. Within minutes, the auditorium was flooded with a sea of blue uniforms securing the room.

When they had the room secured, they turned on the lights and saw the slain officer for the very first time. One of the shots that were fired their direction actually hit the slain officer in the forehead, killing him instantly. The precinct commander and the chief-of-police walked in and didn't like what they were seeing.

"The gloves are now off!" The precinct commander looked at his officer. "One of our own was just killed by this gunman and I will not allow that to stand. I don't care what you have to do, get me this gunman NOW!" Slamming his foot on the stage, this echoed throughout the room. "No more will die here today except the gunman if he or she refuses to surrender."

The chief-of-police got on the radio and ordered all available officers to El Paso High School. Then he called up his office ordering his staff to call up all off duty officers to help with the search here in the building and keeping the streets secure. He didn't care what it would cost, he wanted this gunman caught and caught now.

The radio started buzzing that they spotted the shooter. The sergeant radioed back to them to be careful the shooter has already killed one of their own. Just as the one of the officers that was in pursuit of the shooter started to radio back, gunshots were heard. "Who is firing, who is firing?" The sergeant asked several times, but the radio went dead.




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". This was another exciting chapter from the beginning to the end. I know, I know another cliffhanger, it sucks, but it gets you guys wanting to see what happens next. At least you do not have to wait more than a week to see what happens, I hope! LOL!

Before I get into the summation of the chapter, I have sad news for you readers. Daddy Rick has left as an editor for personal reasons. He has been with me almost since the beginning and I am going to miss him a great deal. He jumped on board when at was barely on chapter eight of "Jacob Finding His Way" and stayed editing three of my four stories. I learned a lot from him and again I am going to miss him.

Kent who is my editor for "Regrets and Heartaches stepped in and helped me with several chapters until I got a new editor, thank you Kent for that. As well, Ed jumped in and took on more editing duties and I am thankful for his help in this and everything else. Thank you guys for jumping in and helping. Finally, I would like to welcome a board Trevor Johnson as my new editor to these three stories. He is a writer of two stories; you can get to on my main page, and is now working with me on mine, thank you Trevor.

Now let's get to the summation of the chapter. As always, it picked up where it left off at in the last chapter, the funeral. I didn't talk much about the meal in this chapter because it was in detail in "Jacob Finding His Way", chapter seventy three. So if you haven't read that chapter go on over and catch up.

Alex is really becoming a different person and we are seeing him grow into that person in each chapter. I like how he handled the funeral and everything else in his life so far. He spends time with Jeremy as he promised to do. As well, the guys are going to him for his opinion and that says a lot.

I like what he said about Principal Michaels to Bobby. Wait I am getting ahead of myself here. What in the world is up with the principal at Austin High School? I guess there are some good principals and some bad ones. We have one of each in this story and I hope the one at Austin High we do not have to see again, but that is doubtful.

Back over to the conversation that Bobby had with Alex Monday evening. I really like what Alex said from the principal to the gang, he was right. I really hope that Bobby is a changed man and deserved this second chance. If he falls back into his old ways, it is going to affect so many people.

Mr. Henderson, Mr. Henderson, Mr. Henderson what I can I say about him except he is a fool. I am glad the captain of the guards spoke up and told Mr. Henderson what he didn't want to hear. He wouldn't be where he is if it wasn't for Alex. He shouldn't talk bad about Alex when it was Alex that got him his promotion.

What ever they do, they need to do it fast in that prison. It looks like Mr. Garcia and the gang is ready to move on the warden plus they are moving on other members from the other gangs. They are wasting too much time debating instead of reacting. If Mr. Henderson doesn't watch it, he is going to have a blood bath on his hands.

Before I continue my editor, Ed brought to my attention Mr. Henderson and his promotion to warden. He thought since Mr. Henderson goofed that he never got his promotion, which is untrue. By the time all of what happened became known, the promotion was signed, but left a very bad taste in the governor's mouth. I figured to throw this in here just in case some of you thought the same thing.

I almost forgot several of the old characters have come back. Steve and Robert have finally made an appearance at the beginning of the chapter. I know it is about time! We are starting to get to know a little more about these two. They do need to let their families know about them going out with each other. That is the only way they are going to be able to be with each other. I wonder which family, if not both of them, will freak out about finding out their son has a boyfriend they had no idea about.

Also in the chapter Tom and David finally were seen. I know they are not part of this story, but "Jacob Finding His Way" is over packed right now and I needed to bring them back in. I also know you all hate me with a half love scene, but it was written that way to get you guys wanting to punch your computers, LOL! There is going to be a lot more of these two in the chapters to come.

Finally, the ending, I love it. A high school shooting is happening at El Paso High School, something that has been happening way to often these days. The question I have is who the one is shooting up the high school. I know it started out with Patricia walking in, but you all know me, I am evil and it could be someone else. On the other hand, it could be Patricia because of what I wrote with Elizabeth. I am planting a doubt of seed here to get you guys thinking until the next chapter. Who knows it might be who we all read that walked in.

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


Firstly Hi guys, I have been reading Jacob's stories from day one and have laughed, cried and cursed him on the journey. Let me say I hate cliffhangers and judging by what Jacob has told me a lot of you guys out there do too.

When I was invited to come on board as editor of Jacob's three stories, I spoke a lot with Ed and came to really wanting to join the team. Meanwhile I'm sure my association with Jacob and Ed will be a long and happy one, I have already discovered they are great to work with. Meanwhile somewhere I have to find time to write my own stories.

This episode of Beneath the Mask covered a fair bit and as Jacob pointed out a few half-forgotten characters have come back. There are so many people in so many stories that sometimes I get a bit confused which I think makes the stories more interesting because you have to concentrate so hard. Steve and Robert need to come out to their families and speaking from experience even though it was a long time ago, they would be better off going to each family together and support each other.

High school shootings are always sad and traumatic events as either fact or fiction, and to have a police officer down as well, is a worry. However, I'm getting ahead of myself here. If he's not careful Mr. Henderson is heading towards big trouble and I'm not sure if he can get out of it this time.

I also hope that Bobby heeds Alex' and Principal Michael's advice and behaves himself.

On a personal note if I had been Tony listening to Tom and David doing what they were doing in the next room I would have stayed listening and abused my own body if you get my drift LOL

As Jacob keeps saying, you have to keep reading every single chapter he writes and not miss a thing.

If you would like to write to me about anything regarding Jacob's stories then please

Email me through Jacob.

Till next time happy reading