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 is 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: Jack

Editor: Trevor

Chapter 48

Lunch was as hectic as the morning was for Alex. Once he joined Matt in the cafeteria, he wasn't given a moments rest. Matt wanted to know what happened, and Alex tried to soften each blow, but no matter how he worded it, Matt was getting either worried or angrier. The mood changed on whatever Alex was saying.

"That son-of-a-bitch, who in the hell does he think he is?" Matt yelled, grabbing every one's attention at the table. He didn't realize he was that loud until he saw all the eyes on him and Alex. He smiled at everyone as he lowered his head to the table. "I am sorry, but I can't believe Henderson went that far. He has to know by doing that, what he did."

"He knows and that is why he did what he did. All he cares about is himself, but eventually that is going to backfire on him one way or another. I am hoping soon because what he is doing is going to kill me." Matt started to freak out. "Please Matt don't worry, I'll find a way out of this as I have always done in the past."

"You need to go to our mom's dad. He helped you once, he can help you again."

"I am afraid that is not going to work this time around. Once my grandfather gets word up to the big guy, which he will, he will come after me. If you think how things were when we first got out was rough, you haven't seen anything yet. My grandfather will do anything he has to do in order to get what he wants done."

"What if you grandfather doesn't talk to his bosses and just acts on his own. He has to know that you are preparing for the worse since he believes you betrayed them again. So he won't want to lose any chance that he thinks your guard is down."

"If my grandfather does what you think he might do, he is as dead as I am. No one, I mean no one goes against the big guys. If you need any proof of that, just look at what they did with Mr. Flores. They knew he was not going to listen, so they prepared for it. When it was confirmed, the order was carried out to kill Mr. Flores.

My grandfather is no higher up, or has any more power than Mr. Flores had. If he acts on his own and puts the green light on me, it will get back to the higher ups faster than he can get to them and explain what is going on. Once again, they won't listen to him. Instead they will kill him on the spot in order to save face."

Matt just looked at Alex, unable to understand what he was being told. When they talked about it in the past, he just wrote off the misunderstanding to not ever living that life. For some reason today though, he cannot write it off to that. It all sounds way out there and no matter how he looks at it or thinks about it, it does not come out to any common sense.

"The thing I don't understand is how your grandfather can believe a person like Henderson. Come on, he has to have some common sense and realize what was told to him was a ploy of some kind to get him talking. Even if he believed Henderson, he should give you the benefit of the doubt. Look into it and find out what was told to him was actually the truth, not the lie like it was."

"I agree with you, but that isn't how it works in the life of a gang member. You are always looking over your shoulders for everyone, more so your family. Everyone wants to be the leader of the gang, and will do whatever they need to do in order to get it. Therefore, you take everything to heart that is told to you, act on it, and then ask questions later. If you were wrong, well too bad, the deed was done."

"Okay let us leave that subject for now and move on to another Alex. What did you think Principal Michaels needs from you?" Confused Alex looked over at Matt. "You know he wants to talk with you again, what for? You have been in his office more this morning than you have been in class. Students are starting to think you two have something going on between each other. I know that isn't so, but come on."

"I don't know what Principal Michaels wants to talk to me about, but whatever it is, I need to find out. As far as our fellow classmates, I do not give a fuck what they think. You have my heart and soul, no one else does. That is all that matters and you know that. Plus come on, look at the guy, he is old and bald."

Both Alex and Matt cracked up laughing, grabbing the attention of the others at the table. They wanted to know what was so funny. Alex stopped laughing long enough to tell them it was an inside joke, which satisfied the others. They returned to their conversation and Alex and Matt just sat there listening, putting aside their conversation for now.

Losing track of time, Alex did not go and see the principal during lunch as he promised. When he remembered, it was when the first bell rang, which was too late. He decided to put it off until after school and told the guys that ride with him to work that he was going to be a little late. They asked why, but Alex did not give them a reason. He did not want any more rumors starting up about him and the principal.

The rest of the school day went without any additional problems. In fact, it went so well it made up for some of the mess from the morning. Alex thought since his morning started out so crappy, his afternoon would have been just as bad, or maybe even worse. That is just how his luck is, when it rains it storms.

When the final bell of the day rang, Alex and Matt went to their locker and put away the books they didn't need and got the books they needed for their homework that evening. Once they had everything they needed, they closed their locker and made their way to the principal's office. Neither of the boys said a word on the way, but they were thinking the same thing, what did Principal Michaels want?

As soon as they walked into the office, the secretary saw them and called back to Principal Michaels to inform him that Alex was here. Just as Alex walked up to the counter, the secretary got off the phone. She told Alex to take a seat; the principal will be right with him. Doing as he was asked, Alex joined Matt in the seats.

No sooner than he sat down, one of the kids that came with Joey walked in. He as well checked in before taking a seat next to Alex and Matt. Both Alex and Matt kept glancing over at the kid, but did not talk to him. They felt bad that they could not remember the kid's name and that is the main reason they did not strike up a conversation.

Trading stares, none of the boys noticed Principal Michaels walking up to them until he called for Alex. Quickly Alex jumped up from his seat and followed the principal to his office. On the way, Alex could not stop thinking that this should be his office since he has been spending more time in it than his own and his classes.

Seeing that he and the principal were not going to meet alone, Alex pulled out of his thoughts. There was a middle age men sitting there. Right away Alex knew this person was not a teacher here because of the suit he was wearing. At the same time, he knew he worked for the school board because of the suit. It was older and not a very expensive one.

"Alex thank you for coming in after the day you had. I know you have to get out of here in order to get to work. In addition, the roadblocks are going to slow you down as it is. So let me make this as quickly as possible, okay?" Alex shook his head.

"Before we go any further I would like you to meet the principal of Austin High School, Principal Haynes, Principal Haynes this is the young kid I was telling you about, Alex." Both of them got up and shook each other's hands.

"I heard a lot of good things about you from Principal Michaels here, which washes out all the bad things I heard about you from my teaching staff. Most of the teachers still teaching at Austin High were there the day the shooting happened. It seems they cannot stop talking about it. Me, I do not care about the past. All I care about is the present and the future. If Principal Michaels here says you are a good kid, than I believe it."

"Thank you sir, thank you Principal Michaels for the kind words." Alex looked at Principal Michaels as he sat back in his seat.

"I didn't say anything that was not true." Both principals smiled at Alex. "Let us get down to business so you can get going. First, I think Principal Haynes here should give you some background on what led us to this point and then I will ask you for the favor. Does that sound good to both of you?"

Both Alex and Principal Haynes nodded their heads and Principal Haynes went right into what brought him here today. As he told the story, Alex could not believe it. Then when he got to what happened just last week, it reminded him of the story Jacob told him about Joey, the summer before their freshman year. It was so close to being a rerun, it gave Alex goose pumps up and down his arms.

"Now that you know the back story to all this, you will understand what I am going to ask you for. However, before I do that, I need to say this. I know I do not, but I am going to do it anyways. What Principal Haynes told you, and what I am going to tell you, you do not tell another soul? What I mean is you can tell you parents, Matt and even Jacob, but don't go around gossiping about this conversation, okay."

Alex just shook his head. "Oh right then, let us get right down to it, shall we? Principal Haynes son is now attending El Paso High school for his safety. I agreed with Principal Haynes that his son is better off here, safe, and all, than at his school since what had happened in the last week or so. The young man does not deserve what happened to him nor does he deserve to be looking over his shoulders.

I need you to help me out with his young man. You have met him and he has even sat down with you and your friends during lunch." The principal saw that Alex was confused on what he was talking about. "He is the young man that was sitting by you and Matt." When he said that, bells started going off in Alex's mind.

"He is confused, trying to find his way in this world. There is no doubt that he is gay, but he is still too afraid of being gay. In return, his father and I are afraid if he does not get someone to help him along the way that has taken that journey already, he will land up one very confused adult. The young man has a very bright future ahead of him, just like you, but that will all disappear if he does not get a mentor.

That is where you come in. Not only have you been where he is right now and gotten through it, but also you came out the other end a lot stronger than you were when you went in. Alex let me make this as plain and simple as I can, you are a strong leader that has learned from your journey. He needs someone like you to be there showing him the way so that he can see he is not a bad person."

"Exactly and most of what is going on in my sons mind he got from me. I did not want to have a gay son and I made that clear as I could to him. That alone messed with his mind, then what happened last week, and now my turn around about him being gay. Well just let me say he is one very confused young man."

Alex sat there listening to both principals telling him why they are asking him what they are asking him to do. In his mind, there was no need for them to be doing that, but he did not stop them. It was not because he was waiting for them to give in and offer him something in return to help the kid. He let them speak because he could see it did some good for Principal Haynes to get out some of his demons.

"Okay since he is already hanging out with our group, it will be a lot easier for me to try and help him. I want to help him because I know if I had someone helping me when I went through what he is going through right now, I might not have done all the bad things I did. At the same time, I might have still done it because of who my father was.

With that said, your son needs to be the one that wants this sir." Alex looked over at Principal Haynes. "We can all agree that he needs this, but at the end of the day he is the one that needs to want it more than anything else. I will not force my friendship; I will not force my suggestions, comments, or thoughts on anyone that does not want it. So are we certain that he wants this?"

Principal Michaels looked at Haynes and then back Alex. "He wants this more than anything else Alex. He is scared out of his mind. Not only is he not safe going to Austin, but he is not safe at home as well."

"I spoke with Joey before speaking with you about having Aaron staying at the hotel with the others." Alex was stunned on hearing that Haynes is kicking out his son. "The last couple night the kids that hurt him at Austin have been going around the house. At first, it was just yelling out ugly words, but last night they went a lot further. For his own safety and no matter how much it hurts us on doing this, he has to be kept safe. That is why with a very heavy heart I asked Joey if Aaron could stay at the hotel."

Alex is able to see that Principal Haynes is telling the truth by the sad look on his face as he talked. He is hurting that he has to move one of his sons out is his home because he cannot keep him safe there as well. That has to be the hardest thing that any parent has to go through. No matter what their kids have done or said, losing them in the way Haynes is losing his son has to hurt.

"Let me bring in Aaron so you boys can talk." Principal Haynes got up and walked out. A few minutes later, he returned with Aaron. At first, Aaron stood there using his father as a shield, but after the introductions were done, he relaxed some and moved away from his father. The more they talked about what is going to happen, the more Aaron opened up to Alex and became himself. By the time they left Principal Michaels office, Alex and Aaron were talking to each other as if they knew each other for years.

Alex knows he has been given a lot of responsibility and trust from not only Principal Michaels, but as well from Haynes. He has no plans on letting either of those two down. Between him and the others, there is no way that anyone will get to Aaron again and hurt him. If they even try, they will have to go through everyone in the group.

Meanwhile back at the prison, Captain Falster was doing what he promised he was going to do with the elder Garcia. He tried one last time to try to get the elder Garcia to see common sense that his grandson did not do what Henderson said he did, but he was not listening. Before he could inform Mr. Garcia that he was going to be moved to a nice padded room, the radio went off with cries for help.


"The warden is being attacked! Get all the guards you can to corridor B now!"

The elder Garcia heard what Falster heard and smiled as the captain went running out of his cell, slamming the cell door behind him. Sitting there with an evil grin across his face, he knew exactly what was going on. His men were carrying out what he asked them to do. If everything goes as planned, the warden will be dead before the day is over.

All of a sudden, the prison sirens went off, letting all the guards and inmates know that there is something going down somewhere in the prison. Not only did those in the prison hear the sirens, but also the citizens that live nearby knew there was trouble. Many of those citizens were family members of the guards that work at the prison, and when they heard the sirens, they stopped whatever they were doing and either turned on the television or walked out to their porch to get a glimpse of what might be going on.

The last time the sirens went off, it was an uprising at the prison. The community still has not gotten over that, and now here they are again. They hear the sirens going off and it brought the worse thoughts to the family members and the other citizens that live there. No matter what is going on, they know it cannot be anything good.

When the first request was radioed in for help, Caption Falster heard it clear as day and started running to where the warden was. By the time, the guards in the guard station understood what was happening; he had already gathered several men and had turned the corner of the hallway where everything was unfolding when the sirens sounded.

Not one of the officers could believe what they saw when they turned the corner. There right before their eyes was an inmate sinking in a shank into the warden's chest. The warden was trying to knock the inmate off him, but it was no use. The inmate had a grip around the neck and was not about to let go until he knew he got the job done.

Knowing that they had no time to spare, they ran up to Warden Henderson and pulled the inmate off him, tossing him to the floor. The warden looked over at his men fighting with the inmate. He was trying to get free to finish what he started, killing him. It took three officers to get the inmate under control. Even after they had the inmate down and in handcuffs, the officers kept kicking and hitting him. They did not stop until the inmate was knocked out.

Once the inmate was no longer a threat, the officers turned their attention to the warden. By then the doctors on duty and several nurses had arrived. They stood back until they were waved over and then they were they split up. Half of them went to the warden and the other half went over to the prisoner, which did not make any of the guards happy, and they made that clear.

The guards that were standing over the prisoner that attacked the warden refused to let the medical staff work on him. They tried to talk their way in, but the guards refused to let them lift a finger to help the prisoner until they worked on the warden.

"Even if you all do not believe this, that poor man has rights." One of the nurses yelled as he pointed to the prisoner unconscious on the floor. "I can see standing over here that he needs medical attention. You need to let us through to help him, or I will go through proper channels and report that you guys are refusing medical attention for him."

"Do what you think you need to do, but we are not moving an inch until you guys work on the warden. Moreover, keep in mind you need us more than we need you. If you choose to do what you are threatening, see if any of us are there to keep you safe when one of these animals decides to kill you when you are trying to give them medical attention."

The nurse was stunned on what he was told, but refused to budge. The others that were standing at his side reconsidered. They quickly turned around, went over to the warden, and started helping out, leaving the nurse that spoke up all by himself out there on the limb. When he realized he was alone, he reluctantly turned and joined the others, but swore to himself that he was not going to let this go.

Warden Henderson was losing a lot of blood and the medical staff knew they needed to get him out of the prison and to a hospital as soon as possible. They informed Captain Falster about their concerns and he cleared the way for them to get the warden out of the prison. As soon as they made it to the front door, the ambulance pulled up.

Not wasting any time, they opened the back door and got the warden in. Before the doors were shut, the ambulance started to pull away. The medical staff and the guards that rushed the warden just stood there watching as the ambulance sped off with the sirens blazing. As they looked on, they could not believe how many people had already gathered outside the prison gates. They tried to look into the ambulance when it passed them, but they could not get a clear view because it was going too fast.

Meanwhile back in the prison Captain Falster ordered for their alarms to be turned off. As soon as that happened, he ordered the entire prison to stay in lockdown. Since they followed procedures when the warning sirens went off, it was easy for them to get the prison into lockdown because they were already in their cells.

The captain knew he had to inform the board of wardens on what just happened, but he felt he needed to take care of the elder Garcia before that. As he made his way, back to lock down he started to hope that through the chaos the elder Garcia did not get his message sent out. Whenever an attack like this happens on one of their own, they leave the wings with the bare minimum of guards to keep a watch while they are dealing with the issue at hand. Before that happens, all prisoners are locked down, but anything could happen in the few minutes of chaos getting them locked down.

When Falster got to lockdown, he got onto the radio and asked for someone from the medical staff to be ready for him at the psych ward. Once he got confirmation that there will be staff standing by, he ordered the cell of the elder Garcia opened. He looked in and found Garcia sitting on his bed with a smug look on his face.

"You think you got away with ordering the killing of the warden. Well I am happy to be the one to tell you that your guy failed. Not only did he not kill the warden, he is now going to go down for attempted murder on the warden. Here in Texas that is an automatic needle in his arm. There is no doubt in my mind that he wants to live, even if it means the rest of his life behind these bars. That means he is going to give you guys up."

"Even if we are behind the attack on the warden, my guys will not rat on the higher ups. They know if they do, they will get far worse than a needle in their arms. Again, that is if we were behind the attack on the warden, which we were not. If one of my guys did the deed, he did it without the knowledge of myself or anyone else that talk with me."

Captain Falster walked completely into the cell and stood toe to toe with the elder Garcia. They both stared each other down, with the elder Garcia flinching first. He sat back down on his bed and looked up at the captain. As they looked at each other, a bulb went off in the captain's mind. He thinks he can use the mistake the warden made earlier in his favor.

"You have not been listening to a word we have been telling you all day long. You believed the warden when he said that your grandson gave us the key to unlock your Morris code. Since we have that key now, we don't need your confession because we already have it through your communications you had with your guys knocking on the pipes discussing your plans on killing the warden."

When Garcia's smug look disappeared, Falster knew he hit a nerve. "There is no need for a confession from you. As of now, you have a needle in your arm since we have it on record of you ordering the hit. By you ordering it, it is as if you carried it out yourself." Falster reached for his handcuffs, and when Garcia saw him do that, it freaked him out.

"Get your pussy ass up!" Falster yelled as dangled the handcuffs in front of Garcia. "You are going to be transferred to death row where you belong. I hope you did everything you wanted in life, because it is over now."

Garcia got up and turned around to let Falster put the handcuffs on him. Before taking him out of the cell, the captain searched Garcia for weapons. He didn't want to land up in the bed next to the warden. Once he was confident that Garcia didn't have any weapons on him, he pulled him out of the cell.

As they started walking out of the solitary wing of the prison, Garcia started thinking. The more he thought, the more he realized he was fucked. In his mind, he believed the warden about his grandson giving up their code, and in return, they had it on record of him Okaying the order to kill the warden. Even though he has outlived his son, he still does not want to leave this world just yet.

"What kind of deal can I get if I cop to the order." Garcia mumbled.

"It all depends on what you are willing to say. If you are willing to sign a confession to what we already know, it will save us the cost of a trial. In return, the death penalty will be taken off the table and instead you will get life. The only questions that will remain after that is where are we going to put you. There is no way you can stay at this prison, not only from the safety of my staff, but from your men as well. Remember what you said, no one rats in your gang because they know what will happen to them if they do."

Garcia did not speak again for a few minutes. He was intentionally dragging his feet trying to buy himself more time to think. He was weighing his options. Realizing as he weighed his options no matter what he does, he is a dead man. The only question he has left to answer is when he wants to die. If he does not cop to his part in what happened here today, he might have ten years to live, with appeals and all. If he cops to what he did, he is dead in less than a year. His gang will get to him no matter where he is moved. There is no prison in the state or country where he will be safe.

"I want to live, and I will not live if I talk to you guys. There is no prison in this state or country that I can't be touched. So do whatever you need to do, but I am not going to say a word. If you have what you say, you have, and then use it, but I am, starting to think this is just a ploy on your part to get me to confess. My grandson did not give us up, did he?" Garcia looked over at Falster with a smug look back on his face.

Falster knew he was never going to get Garcia to confess. He is too deep into the gang and knows what will happen to him if he does. What he was going for is what he got. Garcia realizing what he was told by Warden Henderson was a lie and he did get that. Still he can't be too sure of that either.

"According to you, we got your grandson to give up the information needed to crack your little code. Since you believe that, we have you dead to rights on the attempted murder of a warden of a prison in the state of Texas. As I said before that is death penalty level and that is where you are going to go, death row."

Garcia's mind started to go a million miles a minute. He thought back to all the conversations he had using the code and concluded that the warden lied to him earlier in the morning. If his grandson did give him up, the warden would not have been roaming the halls without a guard detail around him. No, they don't have the code and this is nothing but a ploy to get him to confess to what they don't have proof of.

"I hate to tell you..." Garcia started to laugh an evil laugh. "You have stuck your own foot in your mouth here by coming down and telling me that my grandson didn't rat us out. The more I think about things, I see you are right and the warden was wrong. My grandson backed his grandfather up, not you guys. Therefore why don't you take me back to my cell instead of continuing to play this game?" Garcia stopped walking.

Seeing how confident the elder Garcia looked, Falster knew he got through to him. He knows that his grandson did not give him up, which made Falster happy, but at the same time cautious. Garcia now believes his grandson did not give him up, but he is going to want assurances that his grandson will not ever do it in the future. No matter what, the order will be sent out to make sure that Alex will never talk.

"Fine you got me on the part that we never broke your grandson. He refused and made it clear to us that if we contact him again, we will be sued. That does not mean that you are still in the clear yet. We have one of your guys that actually did do the stabbing. He is going to want to save his life and he is not blood like your grandson. Your blood refused to give you up, but this guy will have no problem."

Falster pushed Garcia to start walking again. When they reached the psyche ward, it confirmed to Garcia that they had nothing, but before he could celebrate, a needle was sunk into his arm. As he started to fade out, he saw several people in white coats walking up to him and putting on a straight jacket. He tried to fight them, but the drugs that he got took the fight out of him. The last thing he saw and heard was Falster.

"You better get use to wearing that jacket and living in a padded room, because that is how the rest of your life is going to be. I am putting you where you belong, with the nutty people. Because only a nut would do the things you have done in your life."

As soon as Garcia was out, they dragged him into a white padded cell and tossed him on the floor. As the medical staff walked out of the cell, Falster shut the door and enjoyed turning the key locking the door. Before leaving, he made it clear that at no time, can he be taken off the meds or out of the straight jacket. The medical staff did not like it, but went along with it since they knew whom they had in that room.

While Captain Falster was dealing with the prison, back in El Paso, Alex's little brothers and cousins had just finished their homework. All four of them were tired of playing inside the hotel, so decided to go outside and play cops and robbers. They were so into the game, Lorenzo and Ismail did not notice the guy that was watching them.

When they caught Ignacio and Morris, they sat down at side of the hotel to catch their breath. That is when the guy that was watching them walked up. None of them knew that the one standing before them was the guy the police were looking for, Ashton.

The very first place Ashton went looking for Alex was his house, but when he got there, he found it in ruins. He had no idea that Alex's house was burnt down to the ground. When he saw that, he thought he was screwed. He knew there was no way he was going to get close to the high school again, so that means he will never get to the guy he really wanted to kill.

He then remembered last weekend that he followed Alex and his new friends, the faggots to the hotel. Putting two and two together, he figured it wouldn't hurt to try. It took a lot of work to get to the hotel with the roadblocks and all the law enforcement out there, but he did get there. When he saw Alex's little brothers coming out, he knew his gamble paid off. He found Alex and his family.

"Hello there, is your brother Alex home?" Ashton spoke in a soft, reassuring voice. Lorenzo and the other three looked up at him, shaking their heads. "I'm Julian, an old friend of your brother and Carlos. I went by your old place, but it was burnt down and then I remembered your brother telling me that you guys are living here for now."

"Yeah someone burnt down our house the other day while we were gone." Lorenzo spoke up. "Now we have to live here where it is boring and we don't have our friends from school. Are you here to play with Alex because if you are you can wait for him inside until he gets home?" Lorenzo pointed to the front door of the hotel.

"What time again does Alex get home?" Ashton pretended to be confused by scratching his head and putting a dumb look on his face. "He told me he works after school downtown, but I forgot where exactly. Now I forgot what time he gets off."

"He gets home around ten, ten thirty every night, right guys?" Lorenzo looked at his brother and cousin to see if they agree, which they did. "It's okay if you want to wait for him inside. It might be a long time before he gets here, but he will be here. And I can't tell you where his job is since I've never been there."

"That's okay as far as where Alex works at. So what are you all playing? It looked like to me when I was walking up you was playing tag or something like that."

"No dummy we were playing police and bad guy. My brother and I were playing the police who were after the bad guy who is running away from the police. Our cousins were playing the guy that the police are looking for." Ismail spoke in a way only a young kid his age could speak, innocently. "We won by killing the bad guys just like the real police are going to do when they catch the real bad guy.

The last part sent chills down Ashton's spine. He is hoping that it does not end up the way Ismail says it will end up because he will be the dead person. He hopes that he can get to Alex in the next day or so. Once he takes care of Alex, he will run for the border and never look back once he crosses over.

As he sat there talking with Alex's little brothers and cousins, Ashton thought this was a good thing. If he could get the little ones to trust him and he can't get to Alex, he can get to them. He can tell them some lie to get them to follow him and then in return he will take out his revenge on them. One way or another he will be able to hurt Alex.

"Well you guys I have to go, but if it's okay can I come back?" Lorenzo and the others had a big smile in their faces as they nodded their heads. "I would like to play that game you guys were playing when I first walked up. Maybe the next time the bad guy will outsmart the good guys and get away."

"I don't think so. The bad guy never wins." Lorenzo started laughing. "But you can come back whenever you want and play with us since you are friends with my brother. We would like it if you would come back and play with us. It is boring here and the others that live here do not like playing the things we play."

"I promise I will be back tomorrow or the next day and play with you guys." As Ashton got up from the ground, he patted each of the boys in their shoulders. "But before I go I need you guys to promise not to tell your brother I was here. It has been a while since we have seen each other, so I want to surprise him, okay?"

All at once, Lorenzo, his brother and cousins agreed. They stood there watching Ashton walk to a car that he had stolen when he ditched the van. After Ashton was gone, Lorenzo and the others went inside to play video games. They wanted to tell Alex about his friend coming by, but since they promised that they would not, they are going to keep quiet.

As all this was unfolding, Alex was just beginning his workday. By having Ethan's father in place running the shift, he and Matt really don't need to do much at the office. Exactly like Jacob explained would happen when he talked them into hiring Ethan's father, did happen. Their jobs got a lot easier. In fact, now they are just dealing with the big picture stuff, none of the day-to-day little things that are involved running a shift.

Just as Alex was completing his paperwork, he heard a knock on his office door. He looked up and was surprised to see Al standing there. Stuttering, Alex invited Al in as he got up and met him halfway. They shook hands and before returning to his desk, Alex closed his office door to close out the noise the machines on the floor are making.

"I do not know how you can work with your office door open. Those machines out there drove me nuts just walking from the elevator to your office."

"It takes some getting used to sir, but eventually you do." Alex polity responded as he sat down behind his desk. As he looked over at Al, he felt out of place. Never has he been the one behind the desk when there is one in the room when he talks with Al. "Please forgive me, but what do I owe the honor of this visit. If you would have called down here and asked me to go up, I would have sir."

"I know you would have, but I needed to get away from my office after the events of the day." Alex heard about what had happened here, but was not going to push Al for any information he is not willing to give freely. "Anyways as I promised you last night that I was going to get back to you on what Jacob and I can do for the issue you brought to our attention yesterday.

Not only I promised to get back to you today, but this would be the last day I would be able to sit down and talk with you since I am going back to Austin in morning." After what has happened, Alex thought that Al would not leave the family right now. "Even though Jacob and I really have not had a chance to talk together about what we can do, I know he will agree with me on what we can do to help you out.

First, let me say what happened to that poor kid was wrong, and hopefully the law will see to it those that harmed him will not see the light of day again. We have to stay away from that part because it is in the hands of the law. I cannot be seen to be influencing the courts here in any way since I am now the governor's chief-of-staff.

Secondly what we can do is help him on the private side of all this. Right now, he is in a group home is what I understand. He needs to get moved out of that group home and into a place where he is with others like him. That means I will have my lawyers draw up the paperwork that is needed to get him moved into the shelter that Joey is running."

"I like that idea, but he might not go for it. David is scared of his own shadow and the only ones he trusts are Carlos and Ms. Hughes. If this idea doesn't come from their mouths, he won't go for it."

"I see where you are coming from. You should sit down with both of them and sell them on the shelter. It is a lot better place than any group home. Simply put, he is gay and the kids in those group homes will not only take advantage of him being gay, but also beat him up every single day while he lives there. He cannot take much more than he has already gotten in his short life.

So again, sell the idea to your friend and Ms. Hughes. Once you do that, he moves into the shelter where he is safe. If he wants us to look for a family to adopt him, we will, but it must be made clear to him that it will be hard to place him because of his background. No one will want to take a young man like him because of the fear of the baggage he has.

As soon as he is in the shelter, we get him all the help he needs to be passed these last several years of his life. The poor boy has to be the most confused kid out there right now. He has mistaken so much as love, which might have been, but under the law it was not." Alex knew what Al was referring to, the relationship with the older guy that is now in jail. "We have to help him get on the right track once and for all."

"Okay all that sounds good so far, but I have a few concerns! I know I can sell the shelter to Ms. Hughes and Carlos and they will in return sell it to David, but what happens when we move out of the hotel back into our house? David will be left all alone and that will make him feel abandoned again. I don't want to do that to him, do you?" Alex looked at Al with a serious look on his face.

"That is something you will need to talk with Jacob about since he is the one that is putting together the new house. By the looks of it, the new house will have plenty of room for him, but it is not my place to say. Just sit down with Jacob and tell him what you have told me and I am sure he will offer him a room at the new house without you even having to ask him."

Alex had no problem with that at all. "Okay I don't see a problem with that. Now what about him going to back to school after he gets out of the hospital? You know as well as I do he is going to be terrified walking into that building. Can we pull him out of El Paso High School and send him to another high school?"

"Yes we can, but I don't recommend it at all. The reason I do not recommend it is that it goes back to what you were saying about leaving him at the hotel once you all move out. David will not have any friends at the new school to watch over him. At least at El Paso he has a huge group of guys that will make sure nothing happens to him."

Al got up from the seat and started walking around the office. "Look there is going to be a lot of things that need to be done before we even get involved. Who knows, what we are talking about may change. All I can say at this point is what I can do to help David, which is not much. We have to take it a day at a time and see where everything lands up. Ms. Hughes might just take him back with her since things fell apart here so quickly."

"I don't think so, but who knows. By the sounds of it, she is going to stay here a while and make sure before she leaves this time that David is safe. I do not think we got the complete story on what happened before he came down here. Whatever they left out is big enough that Ms. Hughes still thinks El Paso is a better place for him."

"Well I was not there last night and heard the story that was being told. You have a talent, like my grandson. Both of you are able to read a person by the way they talk and their body language. It is a rare talent to have and I say trust it. You would not be here today if you didn't trust that ability of reading people the way you do."

Al and Alex talked a few more minutes before Al left. They went over a few more things Al is able to do for David, which most of it made Alex very happy. So happy he could not wait to tell Carlos about the ideas. If at the end of the day everything goes as planned, David will have a normal life once again.

As soon as Al left, Alex went out to the floor and worked side by side with the others on a print job. Before he knew it, it was time to go home. He gathered what he brought in and headed out. Between him and Matt, they secured the building and set the alarm before they joined the others at the SUV.

All the way home, the conversation was about the shooting. It was a nice break to a point, from the conversation they were constantly having about what car they are going to buy this weekend. To another point Alex really did not want to be talking about the shooting since it was pretty much his fault. If he were not attending El Paso High, Ashton would have never gone there and shot up the place as he did.

Therefore, when they drove up to the hotel, Alex could not be any happier. Maybe another hour of this conversation and then he does not have to hear about it anymore this evening. He and Matt will be up in their room doing what he has wanted to do with him all day, make passionate love to him all night long.

Little did Alex and the others know across the parking lot, in a tree was Ashton looking at them. When he left earlier, he just went around the block so Alex's brothers and cousins would think he had left, but he never had any intension to leave. He wanted to scope out the place and find out all the vulnerable areas of the place. As well, he wanted to get Alex's schedule down so when he does make his move, Alex will be around.

Right after Alex drove up, Ashton noticed another vehicle driving up. Several guys got down from the vehicle and at first he thought they lived at the hotel until he saw one of them play with his holster. The light shining off the metal left no mistake that these people were carrying weapons and they were not kids that lived in the hotel. They were security that was there to make sure no harm comes to Alex.

On top of that, a few minutes after Alex and the others walked into the building, several guys walked out. These guys you can't mistake them as kids, they were security without a doubt. Another hiccup Ashton thought to himself. Now he sees it is going to be a lot harder to get to Alex than he originally thought, but not impossible.

He crawled out of the tree, went running across the parking lot to the hotel. Looking into the front door, he did not see anyone in the lobby so he went in. Hearing several voices coming from one area of the hotel, Ashton quickly made his way to the staircase, but found the door locked. He then quickly went to the elevator, but the buttons were not working. He saw a silver pad next to the buttons and realized that he needed a badge. Knowing that his time was limited, he ran back out the front door and across to the parking lot.

When he made it back to the tree that he climbed down from, Ashton turned around to see the guards turning the far right corner of the building. Putting one and one together, he figured the guards were doing their rounds and more than likely did the rounds at this time every day. He made note of that and headed back to the car he had stolen.

Sitting there in the car, Aston thought about what he just found out. There is no way he is going to be able to get around the hotel freely as he thought he would. Without a doubt, he has to get close to Alex's little brothers and get one their badges in order to get in and out of the hotel. Until then, he decided to get to know all the procedures of the guards, Alex, and everyone around him. Just in case plan A doesn't work, he will have several more plans to fall back on to carry out what he wanted to do, kill Alex.

Back in the hotel, Chase kept eyeing Marco in the kitchen all through dinner. He wanted to get to know more about him, but he had no idea how to get started. If Marco does not like him the way he likes Marco, he can be shot down ugly. Something he does not want to happen after the screw up he had with Ethan.

Finally, after finishing his dinner, Chase threw caution to the wind and headed to the kitchen. When he walked in, Marco was already doing the dishes. Chase looked around for Francesca, but did not see her anywhere. Seeing that it was just him and Marco in the kitchen, he walked over to Marco pretending that he was bringing his dirty dish to him.

Marco turned around, smiled, and took the dish from Chase. When he cracked the smile, Chase got weak in the knees. He almost lost his balance, but somehow caught himself. He stood there for what seemed like hours, but of course were only a few seconds. Losing his cool, Chase turned and started to leave when Marco spoke up.

"I know you didn't come in here to just give me your dirty dish. You know I would have gone out there and got it when you were done." Marco turned wiping his wet hands against the side of his legs. "You and I have talked already a lot. In fact, I have talked more to you than anyone else in this place. I think that is because we both see something there that can be, what do you think?"

Stuttering, Chase agreed. Marco continued, "Look I am not blind I know you are either new at this or you are scared because things have not gone well for you in the past when it comes to something like this. Therefore, let me clear up any misunderstanding, you might have here and now so we can move forward?

"As you can see, I am a very blunt person. I think life is too short to hide from what we truly are, believe, and love. With that said, I am gay and I am proud of that. If anyone has a problem with me being in love with guys, well they just all can go to hell. Out of all the guys here, I think you are the hottest of the bunch, but there is a but in that.

"I can see that you are confused on what you are. Either you are straight or you are gay. Maybe bi, but I do not think so. I like you and I hope you can figure out what you are very soon because I want to go out with you on a date to see where that takes us." Marco turned back around and picked up what he was doing when Chase walked in.

Standing there not saying a word, Chase looked at Marco. The more he looked at him, the more he noticed he was looking at him as he does other girls. He was actually checking him out. Looking at every inch of the back of his head, his shoulders, down to his back, lower back and then to his waist and butt. He stayed staring at Marco's butt longer than any other part of the body. He just loved the shape of his butt, nice, round, and just perfectly shaped for his body.

Snapping out of it, Chase worked his way down to Marco's thighs and then his calves. By the time Chase got down to the calves, he was sporting a huge erection. So huge he could not do anything to hide it. Turning all shades of red, Chase turned and started to leave when Marco started to speak again. Chase did not turn around, he stood there looking at the door, thinking of everything under the stars he could think of to get his erection to go down before he turned around.

Just as Marco walked up to Chase, he turned around. Right there inches away from him are the lips of he has been daydreaming about kissing ever since he saw Marco. Without warning, Marco leaned in and pressed his lips against Chase's. At first, Chase tried to fight it, but a few seconds into the kiss, he gave in.

Marco opened his mouth letting Chase's tongue in. Never before has Chase felt the way he is feeling right now kissing Marco, weak at the knees, seeing stars. No girl he has ever kissed has made him melt like this and that is saying something. He has had several beautiful girls since he started dating and out of all them, Marco is the best kisser.

Coming up for air, Marco broke the kiss. "I'll leave you with that to think about, but don't take too long. I will not wait forever for an answer from you because what I am asking you is simple. Do you find me as attractive as I find you? If so, are you willing to go out on a date with me? Please think about it and let me know, hopefully we can go out tomorrow to the movies or something like that."

Not saying another word, Marco leaned in and gave Chase a peck on the lips before heading back to the sink to finish the dishes. Chase turned around and walked out of the kitchen seeing stars. He felt like he was floating in the air as he made his way to the elevator. All the way to his room, all he could think about is the kiss he just had with Marco, what a kiss that was.

The minute Al got back to the hotel he was on the phone with members of the governor's staff. When he thought that he had covered everything, he found out how wrong he was. The governor needed to talk with him, so before hanging up, Al was transferred to the governor's office.

"Al I know you have been very busy down there between the man hunt for the fugitive at large to what happened at your office building. I am glad you were able to clear all that up as fast as you did. I need you back down here in Austin ASAP, so once again thank you for getting all that handled.

With that said I need you to make an unscheduled stop on your way to Austin tomorrow. I know you want to get in and I want you in here as soon as possible, but I need you to make this stop." The governor went into detail what happened earlier between Warden Henderson and Alex, not leaving anything else out. Then he informed Al about what happened to the warden hours after he did what he did.

"Not to sound mean, but he got what he dished out. The guy played with fire way too many times and this time he got burnt. I know the stabbing was not because of what he did earlier, but that is life. One way or another all the bad you do in life, you get it back in spades as they say."

"How is Warden Henderson doing?" Al asked with a worried voice. Just like the governor, he did not like him, but he did not want him dead either. He just wanted him out of running the prison since he never earned the position. "I mean I hope the guy did not die over something an inmate down there did."

"The guy is like a cat, always landing on his feet. I spoke with the doctor and he informed me that Henderson got through surgery with no problem and is resting well. He should be out of the hospital in a week or so. That is why I need you to stop in on your way tomorrow and speak with him. I don't want him back in the prison where he feels safe from me.

I need you to let him know, due to what occurred at the prison he was in charge of; he is going to be transferred out. When he is well, he will get a position on the warden's board and there he will stay until he retires. Make that very clear to him. I don't want you leaving there with him thinking that he has a chance on running another prison in the future because while I am governor he will never get that chance again."

"Okay what about the prison then, who are you going to put in charge of it."

"For right now I have temporarily put Captain Falster in charge of the prison. If he does well and cleans it up, I will give him the position permanently. That decision though I will not make until months down the line. For now I am happy that I was able to remove Henderson from the position of warden of a prison without firing him."

"I understand what you are doing and I agree with you. I think for positions like that, the person that runs a prison should first show they can do the job before he or she is handed over the keys. Henderson was sent over there to clean it up and less than a month the guy gets attacked. That tells me he has no control over there and no respect from the guard staff that reports to him."

"Exactly and that is one of the things I would like you to tell him if he asks why he is getting removed from his position. If he does not ask, do not tell him. Hopefully by you telling him that due to his injury he can no longer run a prison." Al jotted down some notes and was about to hang up when the governor started talking again.

"One more thing, I am sending in the head of the Texas Rangers to look into the chief-of-police down there. I know he is an elected official, but he does have a chain of command to follow. Contrary to popular belief, he does not report to the mayor. No sir, he reports to the head of the Texas Rangers who in return reports to me. That is his chain of command and it is high time that it was followed.

So the first thing the head of the Texas Rangers is going to do when he gets down there is suspend Chief Carnes with pay until the investigation is complete. I believe when that is done, the chief will be out of not only a job, but also going to prison for many years. The only reason I'm telling you this is because I feel you deserve to know since the hell the chief of police has been putting you and your family through."

Al thanked the governor for helping him out with the Chief Carnes. They went over a few more items before calling it a night. Slowly Al hung up the phone thinking about what his day has been like. To say it was a roller coaster ride is an understatement. By accepting the job of chief–of-staff for the governor, all his days are going to be like this. Start early and end late, with no time to rest at all. Al chuckled and thought to himself what his father used to always tell him.

`He will have plenty of time to rest when he is dead, but for now, live for the moment.'


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 one and all to another great chapter of "Beneath the Mask". I know many of you are probably surprised that there is no cliffhanger, don't get used to it. I decided to give you all a break and let you relax until the next posting of this chapter. There is so much going on right now I know you are going to return for the next installment.

The chapter did not start up where I left off in the last chapter. For those readers that skipped over the beginning and went over to where I picked up from the last chapter, I hope you went back to the beginning and read that part. A few things happened that you need to know about.

First let me start with Matt, boy is he growing into his own. He is very protective of Alex and did not like hearing what Warden Henderson did. I am glad that Alex found Matt when he did because they just balance each other out. Matt made it very clear he did not like it, and Alex understood. He said his piece and moved on without ruffling feathers.

Several characters from "Regrets and Heartaches" did a guest appearance in this chapter. Principal Haynes of Austin High you will see more in this story than you will see in the story where he was introduced, "Regrets". As well, Aaron will become a major player in this story and eventually in "Shadow of My Father". Without giving anything away, I will like to say if you guys are reading all the stories, I think you will be able to see where I am going to go with the character Aaron in "Shadow".

In the last chapter, we found out that Alex is very smart. Now in this chapter we found out that Principal Michaels really has come to like Alex. He recommended Alex to be the person to help Aaron through what he is going through. I really think that was the right choice and cannot wait to see Alex take on that task.

I know, I know all of you wanted the warden dead, just like you want Martha from "Shadow of My Father" dead, but I couldn't do it. We found out at the end of the chapter he is no longer going to be in charge of the prison anymore, so to a point he is being taken out of service. He has lost the thing he has always wanted, running a prison. That is going to hurt him so much when Al delivers the news.

Captain Falster played mind games with the elder Garcia, and to a point, it worked. He got the elder Garcia to see the truth that his grandson did not give him up, but he was still worried that the order to kill the younger Garcia was going to be delivered. Therefore, he put him in a straight jacket and locked him up in the wing with all the crazy people. Now that he is going to be running the prison, the elder Garcia will never get out of the padded room, at least I hope not!

When we returned to El Paso, we found Ashton, or should I say Ashton found Alex's family. Seeing that Aston was able to get to Alex's family the way he did, I am scared on what he is going to do. After all, the guy is crazy and is not afraid of anyone right now. He has nothing to lose, which means everyone around Alex is in danger.

Not only is Alex smart, but Ashton is as well. He is staking out the hotel and getting all his ducks in a row to strike. The guy was able to get in and out of the hotel without anyone catching him. That is scary and what is more is what he plans to do. He knows he needs a key card and he knows the only ones he is going to get it from is Alex's little brothers. I really hope no one gets hurt at the end of the day.

You all learned a little more about what the plans are going to be for David from "Rebirth". Now those plans can change and more than likely will change. I know many of you have been emailing me about the posting of that story and all I can say is what the author of that story has been telling me, it is coming soon. Keep an eye out on the story page of "Rebirth" for announcements of that story. When I find out information about the story, I will post it on my main page as well for you all to keep informed on.

It looks to me that Chase is really falling for Marco, what do you think? He got hard just looking at him and then let Marco kiss him. That is something new to him. I only wonder if he is going to react on his feelings or make the same mistake he made with Ethan again. If he has any brains in his head, he will jump at the chance to go out on a date with him. Heck if a guy like that would walk up to me and kiss me as he did Chase, I would drag the guy to the nearest room and have my way with him, LOL!

The ending of the chapter was with Al. Please do not get used to having Al in this story because it will be rare as well as Chase and Marco. It is just that I have a lot going on in "Jacob Finding His Way" right now. I needed to put these two plots here. We all know that Al is leaving on Friday, which means Jacob is in charge once again. I wonder with Al leaving, who is going to try to be him and tell Jacob what to do. I do not think anyone in the family will be that stupid, but only time will tell.

I know a lot more happened in this chapter and if I missed any of it, Trevor will cover it in his editor's corner. In addition, there are many open plots still dangling out there in the air that will come back and as well a whole lot of new ones. So please stick around as I have said and keep on reading. I hope that you all enjoyed what you have read and will keep coming back week after week to this saga.

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!}

Editors Corner:

Welcome back to another busy chapter. Well I had a funny feeling that Ashton wasn't going to give in that easy and there he was waiting up a tree like a cat ready to pounce at any time. I love Alex's younger brothers, so young and innocent and I would hate anything to happen to them.

Moving on I reckon Alex has a good friend and mentor in the form of Principal Michaels, he now believes in Alex, realizes just how smart he is, but by the same token he has a big task ahead of him with Aaron, although he will have help from all the gang I think. Moreover, we got a little hint about Aaron's future in `Shadow'. Have you figured it out?

Chase is gay, the more I hear about this guy the more I think he is one of the guys and as Jacob pointed out if he doesn't go out with Marco, well get behind Jacob and me in the queue.

The Governor and Al are certainly on the police chief's case and he should be in the right place soon, and that is prison. While speaking about prisons, Mr. Henderson must be like a cat and have nine lives. Let's hope he's never put in charge of a prison again.

With young David from `Rebirth' living in the hotel surrounded by many friendly and likeminded faces, he may be able to settle down and get over some of his fears.

Please keep the comments coming folks, we like to know how were going and don't forget one of my stories gets published every Wednesday at the moment and I too like hearing from you all.

Till next time