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 any way, shape or form without author's express written consent.}

Story Written by: J.P.G.

Editor: Daddy Rick

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/

Chapter 55


As the gates to the main cell block opened, every prisoner looked out of their cells in fear as they watched the Mexican Mafia make their way in. They thought their days of living under their thumb were over when Falster pulled them out of population. However, now they see they were wrong. Under the new warden, he either doesn't care or he is just plain stupid.

The elder Garcia looked around and saw the staring faces of all the prisoners looking at him and the members of his gang. He just smiled at those that made eye contact. At the same time, he was thinking how much easier the new warden had made it for him and his gang to get back what they lost under Falster. The words Warden Guerrero said to him and the others in the cafeteria early that day kept going through his mind.

When they were asked to get out of their cells and move to the cafeteria, the elder Garcia thought things were going to get worse. Then when he saw who the new warden was, his fears were gone. He has never been in a prison that Warden Guerrero has run but he knows other that have. They told him his is the coolest warden out there when it comes to them running their business. He doesn't care, as long as everything in the prison runs smoothly and there are no killings, rapes or anyone getting hurt to the extent they can't treat the prisoner there at the prison.

Alex knew exactly what was going to be said before the warden said his first word, but he didn't tell anyone else what he knew. He just sat down and acted as surprised to what Warden Guerrero was saying as the rest of them. Several times through the warden's little talk, members of Alex's gang would look at him too see how he was reacting to the news. Not giving anything away, the elder Garcia kept a straight face, looking forward.

"Gentlemen the reason you are here is for me to introduce myself and make clear to you how things are going to be run here from this point on." Warden Guerrero began talking before reaching the podium, but everyone on the cafeteria was able to hear him loud and clear. "The way things were run in the past here will be different in the future. I don't believe in what Falster or even the wardens before believed in. I have my own way of dealing with prisoners like you, and it has worked in every single prison I have been in charge of."

Warden Guerrero walked off the stage and started walking around the prisoners, causing the guards to jump to attention. "I don't care about your personal issues with each other. Nothing I do or say will get all the gangs to work together. What I do care about is when things heat up between the gangs and my prison ends up like a war zone. Let me make it as clear as I can here and now that won't happen with me in charge. If any of you try and turn my prison into a war zone, you will have me to deal with. I'm sure you leaders have talked with other members of your gang in other prisons that I have run and know what I'm talking about. So don't try and test me or you will see what you have heard isn't fiction."

The warden looked the leaders of the gangs straight in their eyes. "You little shits better keep your gangs in line. If it falls to me, I will dismantle your gang, and I know none of you want that to happen." None of the leaders showed any kind of emotion. They just stared back at the warden, refusing to be the first to break eye contact with him.

"I don't care what the hell you sell, as long as you keep the peace. There better be no conflict among you all to the point there are deaths. If one prisoner is murdered, I'm coming after you guys, and not to put in solitary. I don't do that crap. I don't fill up my solitary with crap like you. No if I have to deal with you guys, you have a worse fate before you.

So keep the peace with each other, and we all will get along. Don't kill other inmates, rape or beat them to the point that I have to send them out to the county hospital. Whatever each of you run right now, you will keep running. If I see things are not being done right, you will lose it and I will hand it off to another gang to run. Is that all understood?"

All at the same time the leaders said yes. Warden Guerrero opened the file he was carrying and looked through the papers before continuing. The inmates wondered what he was looking at as well as the warden's officers. When he finally closed the folder and started talking again, they all were surprised that he knew what he knew.

"It looks like the Mexican Mafia pretty much runs everything here, which is no surprise to me since that's how it is in every prison in this state. That won't change now that I'm in charge Mr. Garcia, but you better make sure your people understand what the hell I just said here today. If they step out of line, you and I will have a talk you don't want.

However, if I find out that any of the other gangs here are trying to make it look like the other gang is falling apart, I will be talking to that gang." Warden Guerrero looked in each of the other gang leaders' eyes before continuing. "I have seen the reports that the major issue here between the gangs is control. Those issues are a thing of the past, understood?"

Once again the gang leaders said yes at the say time. "Don't test me on anything I have said here today. Things will run smoothly and I won't look bad in front of my bosses. If that ever happens, whoever causes that will wish he or they were never born."

The officers who never worked under the new warden were stunned by what they were hearing. First, the warden was giving his okay for the gangs to sell drugs, cigarettes and whatever else they sell as long as the warden doesn't see it! And secondly, the warden gave the gangs permission to hurt other inmates, as long as it isn't to the point that the inmate has to be taken to the county hospital. The guards knew by the warden giving his blessings, they won't have control of the prison, the inmates will.

As soon as the warden ended his meeting with the gang members and ordered them to be put back into general population, the guards that weren't assigned to the cell blocks where the gang members were located followed the warden to his office. As soon as they all walked in, they started talking at once. They realized they weren't getting anywhere by doing that, so they let a designated one of their own to talk for them.

"Warden what you do out there just ripped out every bit of control we had in the prison dealing with the inmates. Now they are running the show, and we are here to just watch them tear each other apart. Once they do, we have to go in and clean up the mess. That's not right, to us and it sure as hell isn't right to those inmates that don't want to have any dealings with the gangs. Now they will have no other choice but to join them because that's the only way they will survive in here."

"Let me make this loud and clear to you gentlemen. If you are unable to do your job under the way I do things, then put your badge on my desk and leave. I have no time to hold your hands when we have a prison out there filled with harden criminals." The warden slammed the folder he was carrying onto his desk.

"I don't care if they kill each other, as long as it doesn't reflect badly on me. As far as the other prisoners that don't want any dealings with the gangs, I don't care. They broke the law and that's why they are here. What did they think, this was going to be camp or something? The strong will survive and the weak, well they either become someone's girlfriend, or they perish. Either way I don't care as long as things are running smoothly."

"Warden you really don't believe the shit that's coming out of your mouth, do you?" The warden turned and looked at the guard that was chosen to speak on behalf of the others with daggers in his eyes. "Man, if you do, you are one screwed up person. Our job is to keep these inmates here, but to try to change them so they can reenter society. Your way on doings things only ensures everyone that walks through the gates of the prison are permanent residents."

"I don't like your tone sir. If you want to keep your job, you better change your tone faster than I can say the word change." The warden walked right up to the guard that was talking and stood toe to toe. "You are a pussy and because you being a pussy that's why the inmates have tried and taken control of this prison several times already. I don't want pussies on my staff, so grow a pair, or leave your badge on my desk."

The guard smiled at the warden as he took several steps back. He undid his belt, unbuttoned his pants and pulled them down along with his underwear. "As you can see sir, I have a pair. I have no doubt my pair are bigger than what you have between your legs because only a pussy like you would ever give control over to the prisoners like you just did."

All the guards just looked at the guard with his pants around his knees, stunned he did what he did. Even the warden was lost for words. He didn't think anyone would have ever done what this guard just did to him. Put side it is disrespect, it took a lot of balls.

"I'm not going to give you what you want and that's my badge. If you want it, you will have to fire me. However, you and I know that's impossible since we all are union." The guard pulled up his pants. "No sir, I'm staying right here. Go ahead and make my life a living hell, but I'm going to make your life a living hell as well. Everything you do here, I'm going to take detail notes and report it to the higher ups. If they don't do anything about it, I'm going to go to the press. One way or another, you will be out of here and we will get a warden that isn't a big pussy like you; a warden like Falster who knew what we were here to do."

The guards started to applaud, making the warden madder than hell. Just as the warden was about to come back at them, they turned and walked out of his office. The captain of the guard was as stunned as the warden, so he didn't react either when the guards walked out. By the time he did, it was too late. The guards had already made it down the hall and were going through the gates that led to the cells in general population.

As the guards were making their way back to general population, the elder Alex was unpacking in his new cell. As he was finishing up, his lieutenants walked in. Alex plugged up his coffee pot, grabbed a honey bun and sat down on his bed as his lieutenants were getting settled in.

"Gentlemen, the reason I asked you all here is to ensure we all understand what we have been given." All of the lieutenants just looked at Alex, not saying a word for fear that they might say something wrong and they would get what the second in command got just the other day. "We have been given a chance to do our thing without having to hide doing it but there have been rules put in place in order for us to keep running things.

We will follow the rules that the new warden has put into place. Now that the other gangs have been put on notice that we keep control of everything we have, there is no need to get our hands dirty. However, if the day comes that we need to. We will do it like the warden wants, which is beat them enough that they can be taken care of here. Once they are well and back here in gen pop, we beat the person again and send them back to the infirmary. That will keep happening until the person understands we aren't going to take any crap from anyone."

All of the gang members nodded their heads. "So make it clear to all of our guys the rules that must be followed. If any of them step out of line, they don't have to worry about what would happen to them by the guards or warden. No, they will have to worry about what I will do to them once I get my hands on them. Make that very clear to them."

The guys nodded their heads as Alex got up and poured himself his coffee and grabbed his peanut butter. "Now I understand there was one piece of business that we were going to deal with this evening." Alex looked at his lieutenants. "Come on guys, we have someone getting out tomorrow that I need to talk with. Go and get him for me."

The lieutenant that knew what Alex was talking about turned and walked out of the cell. When he returned with the guy that Alex wanted to talk to, the cell was empty. Before entering into the cell, the lieutenant knocked first. Alex didn't bother to look up from what he was doing. He just waved the two guys into his cell. Neither said a word until Alex spoke first.

"I understand that you're going to be getting out tomorrow, is that correct?" Alex didn't hear anything, so he looked up at the young man standing before me. "Don't make me regret calling you in here. I was told you had a pair on you that you are a person no one wants to fuck with. So are you getting out tomorrow, yes or no?" The young guy answered yes. "I also understand you are going back to El Paso, is that correct?"

"Yes sir! That's where I'm from and that's where they are sending me back to." This time the young man didn't hesitate to answer Alex and he did with a commanding voice. Alex asked the guy his age and where he is going to live in El Paso. "I'm twenty two, and I plan to live where I've always lived, central side of town."

"Stefano I understand you were here on shock probation, is that correct?" Stefano nodded his head. "I also understand you were still locked up in county when my grandson went through there?" Once again Stefano nodded his head. "Did you ever get a chance to meet my grandson while you two were locked up in county?"

"Yes sir I did. I was up on the sun porch when he came out. I went over and introduced myself because I was told he was the man that was running things. Not to kiss his ass, but to let him know if he ever needed anything in the cell block I was in, just said the word and I will get it done. He and I hit off and I took care of a couple bits of business that he needed done."

"When my grandson was in the gang, he was a man no one wanted to fuck with. If anyone questioned him, well let's just say they regretted it." Alex patted his mattress for young Stefano to sit. "Although I hate that he quit, I can understand why. His mother didn't want him in the gang, but his father, my son, God rest his soul, wanted him in.

Anyways, I didn't call you in here to talk about my grandson. The reason I brought him up was to paint you a picture on what kind of leader I'm looking for to run things down there in El Paso. Ever since Mr. Flores was killed because he didn't obey orders, we haven't had a leader down there. We can't have that go on much longer.

I don't give this information I'm giving to you to just anyone that walks in. The reason I'm telling you all this is because I have been told you are the man I've been looking for. However, as I sit here and look at you, I think I have been lied to." Alex looked Stefano over. "What, you are maybe five eight, a hundred sixty pounds at the most? There is no way you can handle yourself if you have to defend yourself."

Stefano stood up and started taking off his clothes. To Alex's surprise, the young man standing before him was a lot more than he thought. He was hundred and seventy two pounds, but all muscle. This kid not only could take a punch, but will be able to give back a lot more than what is thrown at him before going down if the situation ever arises.

"Okay, put back on your clothes before someone walks by and gets the wrong idea." Stefano got dressed quickly and sat back down. "El Paso is really important to us because it lies on the border where we get a lot of our shit. We need to have someone there in charge that we not only can trust, but will keep the stuff coming. Once the stuff stops coming, we lose control of things in here. Plus we lose money, which I know you don't need to be told.

So this is where I'm going with this. I want you to go back to El Paso and run the gang down there. By the time you get there, the word will be out you are taking over. If any of them have a problem with that, they have me to deal with. But knowing them, they won't have any problems. They will follow the orders that are given to them."

"Sir I have no problem at all with what you want out of me. In fact, I'm honored and I promise you that I won't let you down." Stefano moved his body where he was looking straight into Alex's eyes. "But I do have a few questions for you. When I get down there do you want me to find your grandson and make him regret the day he decided to leave the gang he joined for life?"

"No, you don't touch him. Those are orders from my bosses and trust me when I say you don't want to disobey them or me for that matter. Obey the order if you don't want a short reign and end up right beside Mr. Flores." Stefano nodded his head. "My grandson is to not be touched. If you hear rumblings that's going to happen, you take care of those that want to hurt him. Is that understood?" Not leaving a second of dead air, Stefano answered yes.

"Good, now let me tell who you do need to be looking for and if you find him, you need to take him out, Ashton. He somehow escaped the police once again and is believed to be hiding out in Juarez, but no one is for sure. The only thing we do know for sure is that he was real sick, hurt and made it across the border after escaping from the cops for the third time.

So besides running the day to day operations down there in El Paso, you will be assigned to find Ashton and take care of him. We can't have him arrested because he knows way too much about how we do things. He can't get arrested because he will cop a plea for life in prison instead of going to death row in return for all the information about our gang."

"No matter where he is, we will find him first. More so since he made it across the border, where the police or any law enforcement agency of the United States can't go."

"That's exactly my thinking as well! When you get to El Paso, you will be given everything you need to search for Ashton in Mexico. We have people across the border that we can reach out to. They will stop at nothing to get what we need done. So reach out to them and let them know who you are and what you need done."

Stefano nodded his head in agreement before they moved onto other items that Alex felt he needed to go over with him. They talked for several more hours before Alex felt the young man knew exactly what was being asked of him. Before he let Stefano go, Alex asked him if he understood if he failed at anything he was being put in charge of, what would happen to him.

"If I fail at any of the tasks you have given me here today, or any in the future, I won't see another sunrise. I promise you that won't happen because I like to see sunrises. I have wanted this chance ever since I joined the gang. Now that I have been given the chance to show what I can do, I won't fail you sir, I promise, I won't!"

Alex could see in Stefano's eyes he means what he was saying. The young man will do whatever it takes to carry out his orders and that's what Alex has been looking for. He got up and walked with Stefano out of his cell. He introduced Stefano to the lieutenants as a captain, which made Stefano feel powerful. None of the lieutenants questioned the promotion. They gave Stefano the respect that all captains get, no matter their age.

Meantime back in El Paso, Alex had dozed off to sleep. Those that were in his room talking with him left to stretch their legs. Noah and Matt walked to one side of the hall, while Franseca took her two young boys and two nephews to the lobby. Lorenzo knew by the look in his mother's face that this wasn't going to be a pleasant talk. Even Ismail and their two cousins had a feeling that Franseca was going to use this time to sit them down and tell them how wrong they were for ditching school, which they knew, but wanted to see their brother and cousin.

"Why don't you guys take a seat, I need to talk with you about what you did to get here today." Boys gave each other a look that said `here we go' as they took their seats. "There isn't a doubt in my mind that you four know what you did today was wrong. No matter the reason, ditching school is wrong and I won't have it. Is that understood?"

Franseca looked at the four boys with her serious mother look. Whenever she had that look on her face, they knew she meant business. They knew not to try and contest anything she says because not only they will lose, but they will end up in more trouble than they were going to be when the conversation started. So to keep that from happening, they just keep their mouths shut and agreed with everything their mother said.

"Anything could have happened to you guys. To prove I'm right, just look at your brother. He was minding his own business when that kid who was trying to kill him walked in. When he saw the kid, he defended himself, but almost ended up dead by doing so. Not because the kid got the upper hand. No because this city is filled with bad police officers who were going to kill your brother because he saw too much. What's stopping these bad police officers on getting their revenge on you guys? If you are skipping school, I can't protect you."

At first none of the boys said a word. They went by what they have learned, which was let their mother talk and get whatever she had to say out of her system. However, the more she went on, the more she got carried away. They knew what they did was wrong, but they don't believe their lives were in any danger. They never were part of a gang, and that's what has been causing their brother all the troubles he has.

"Mom, please we know you worry about us whenever you don't see us. We also know what we did today was wrong and we didn't do it to worry you. All we wanted was to be here when our brother Alex woke up, that's all." Lorenzo took a breath. "We were worried about him and he was the only thing on our minds. Because of that, we knew we wouldn't be able to do anything at school except get yelled at by our teachers for not paying attention."

"As I have said, I understand why you did what you did, but I still don't like the fact that you skipped school. You skipping school today makes me wonder how many other times have you skipped school in the past." Franseca looked at the boys, and when they didn't make eye contact, she knew they had done it before. "I'm not going to even ask you how many times because I don't want you boys to lie to me.

What I am going to do is make it clear that I don't want you to skip school anymore. If you do it once more, you will be punished until you are fathers yourselves." The boys made eye contact with their mother then. "I mean it boys. Skip school once more, there will be no more television, no more video games, no more playing outside, no more nothing! Your lives will be nothing but school and your room doing homework. Don't even try and test me and see if I would do this."

"Come on mom don't you think you are going a little too far!" Everyone was surprised it was Ismael that spoke up, not Lorenzo. "We didn't go out and get into trouble today like some other kids would if they were in our shoes. All we did was catch the bus and come down here so we could be here for Alex. That's no reason for you to be getting like this."

The last part Ismail said didn't make Franseca happy at all. She took it as him talking back to her, which she would not have because that's how things got so out of control with Alex. She never put her foot down when Alex used to talk back to her when she was laying down the law because she didn't want to fight with her husband. Now she regrets that because if she would have done what she knew she should have done back then, maybe things would be different.

"You listen and listen good, all of you boys. I won't have you talking back to me. Whatever I say is it. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it! You will listen and follow what I say and if you don't, you will be punished. I don't care if the reason you broke the rule was for a good cause like being at your brother's side. You will get punished from this moment on if you break any of the rules of the house or talk back to me in anyway."

By their mother's tone, they knew Ismail hit a nerve. They didn't say a peep as their mother went through the rules. Each time she went over one, she would ask if they understood, and they said yes with no hesitation because they wanted this to be over with. It took almost twenty minutes, but once she was done, none of the boys spoke up. They just sat there waiting for her to say it was time for them to go home.

On the other side of the conversation, Franseca felt bad for the boys. She didn't plan this conversation to go in the direction it went but due to the way the boys were answering her, she needed to lay down the law. However, the more she went into the rules. She could see that she was scaring the boys. That wasn't what she wanted to do at all with this conversation.

"Okay boys there is no need for me to continue, you guys got the point." Franseca looked at the boys, but they didn't budge. They were staring at the floor, not making eye contact. "The reason I'm so angry is because I love you boys and I don't want anything to happen to you because if something would, I wouldn't be able to live with myself."

Finally the boys made eye contact with their mother and it was Lorenzo who spoke up. "Mom we love you too and promise to never ditch school again. The last thing we ever want to do is make you worry more than you already do about us."

As Franseca stood up, the boys did too. They walked over to each other, and the boys wrapped their arms around their mother, apologizing over and over again. Hearing her boys' voices saying they were sorry, brought tears to Franseca. She felt worse than she did when she stopped going over the rules because their apologies were sincere, not just words being thrown out to get her to not punish them or stay angry at them.

Franseca looked up at the clock on the wall and couldn't believe the time. It was already after eight, and the young boys hadn't eaten dinner. They also still need to get back to the hotel and get ready for school tomorrow. Only thing that was working in her favor was that the boys did whatever homework they didn't do over the weekend while they were waiting to hear how their older brother was doing. They also started to plan the surprise party they want to throw their older brother when he gets out of the hospital.

Realizing there was no time to waste, she instructed the four boys to quickly gather what they brought and say goodbye to Alex. They tried to object, but when they saw the look on her face, they did what they were told. Silently they walked down the hall back into Alex's room and started putting their stuff back in their backpacks.

When Franseca walked in, she saw that Alex was still asleep. She looked over at the boys, put her index finger of her right hand over her mouth and waved the boys to the door. On their way out, they stopped at Alex's bed and kissed him on the forehead. Once the boys were out of the room, Franseca did the same things and promised her son that she will be back.

As Franseca, Alex's brothers and cousins walked out of the room, they ran into Matt and Noah. They were about to open the door when it swung open. "Matt I'm going to be taking the boys home and getting them ready for school tomorrow. I won't be back until morning, so if you need to go back as well, you need to come with us because I am taking the SUV."

"No, I'm going to be staying here with Alex as long as they have him here. I don't want him to wake up to an empty room. So you go ahead and take the Lorenzo, Ismael and the little guys back to the hotel. I'm pretty sure they are tired, even though they don't want to admit it." Matt looked at the four young boys and smiled.

"You listen guys, Alex is going to be okay, and I'm going to make sure of that." Lorenzo gave Matt a look that could only mean one thing. He didn't believe a word that Matt said. Matt understood the distrust, and wanted to put it at rest. "I know I dropped the ball these last couple of days, but I promise I won't drop the ball again. If anyone tries to come near Alex, I will do everything that I can to make sure he stays safe."

"You better, or you and I are going to have a talk." Lorenzo said in a very serious voice. "He is our older brother, and we are not going to lose him, not after everything he has gone through and is still here with us. So please do whatever you can to keep my brother safe."

"I promise Lorenzo, I really do promise!" Matt knelt down. "But you got to promise me one thing." Lorenzo asked what. "Don't worry your mother anymore. Go to school and do what she asks, because if you don't, she will be worried. You know as well as I do, she already has too much to worry about with Alex and running things over there at the hotel."

Lorenzo agreed to what Matt was asking before he, his brothers and nephews said goodbye. Once they disappeared onto the elevator, Matt turned his attention to his cousin. They both stood there at Alex's door in silence looking down the hall. After a few minute of just staring at nothing, Noah broke the silence.

"I better be going before it gets any later than it already." Noah looked at his cousin. "I want to get that thing we talked about done tonight before heading back to the dorms. In order for that to happen, I need to get out of here now or it's going to have to wait until Wednesday at the earliest since I have classes all day tomorrow and after that I want to be here for you."

"No you go ahead and get out of here. But you better let me know how everything turns out once you take care of that thing we were talking about when you come tomorrow. I'm going to be on pins and needles until I hear from you."

Matt looked at his cousin with a serious look and didn't break eye contact until Noah agreed to tell him as soon as he could. Once Matt got him to promise, they walked together down the hall to the elevator where they said their goodbyes. Matt didn't leave until the doors shut, but once they did, he went as fast as he could back to Alex bedside.

Down in the lobby, Noah kept going over in his mind how he was going to handle the conversation he was about to have. He debated whether or not to go with the truth, or beat around the bush. He didn't come to a decision by the time he drove up to his grandparents' house. So as he drove into the driveway, he turned off his car and sat there for a few minutes.

Still unable to decide how he was going to go about telling his grandparents what he and Matt discussed, he decided to throw caution to the wind. He got out of his car, and walked up to the front door. Before knocking, he leaned in to see if he could hear any noise. Just as his ear got to the door, it opened, causing Noah to stumble in.

"Your grandmother and I were getting worried." Maxwell, Noah and Matt's grandfather said as he helped Noah up from the ground. "We saw you drive up, and wondered why you didn't come in right away. We kept looking out the window and saw you sitting in your car in deep thought, which means only one thing. You are here to deliver us bad news."

Noah brushed himself off as he nodded his head. "Not at all grandpa, I'm not here to deliver bad news. I was in deep thought trying to figure out how to deliver the news I have to tell you and grandma, but again it's not bad news." Noah stopped in midsentence so he could hug his grandmother. Once they hugged, they sat down in the living room.

"Whatever it is that you have to tell us, just give it to us straight, we can take it." Noah could see that his grandfather was serious.

"Well grandpa, I wasn't completely truthful with you the other night when you asked me to find Matt." The elder Robinsons looked at Noah with concerned looks. "When you told me to find Matt, I already knew where he was. The only reason I didn't say anything that night was because I didn't know if Matt wanted me to. I wanted to get with him first, but so much has been going on in his life right now, it has been hard for me to get with him."

"What do you mean you knew where Matt was when we asked you to find him?" If it wasn't for Eleanor, Matt's grandmother, Maxwell would have jumped out of his seat. "I'm sorry, but I don't understand why you felt a need to not tell us that you knew here he was. You saw we were serous wanting to find him, but yet you let us look like fools calling that place where he was and then several of his old friends. You should have just told us to save time."

"I'm sorry grandpa, but I couldn't tell you that night when you mentioned it at the dinner table, Matt's parents were there. They are dead set on not wanting to have nothing to do with one of their kids for something that isn't his fault. I know I was wrong and that's why I tried to stop you from calling that place and Matt's friends."

"He is right on that honey! He did try and stop you from calling that place and Matt's old friends several times." Eleanor rubbed Maxwell's hand. "So you really don't have the right to be angry with Noah. Plus he needed to talk with Matt to see where he stood as far as wanting to have anything to do with us. The last thing we told him was that we were washing our hands of him. Can you imagine how he felt when we told him that?"

Maxwell looked down at the ground. "No, and I don't want to try and imagine how that felt because I know I wouldn't like the feeling. When he needed his family the most that was when his family turned their backs on him. Partly because of what his parents said, and partly because we didn't want to get in the middle of their problems and both reasons were wrong."

"I know, and I'm sure Matt knows as well. We were there for him for a long time. When he first started to get in trouble, we were the ones that bailed him out. Even after our son told us to let him rot in jail. We couldn't do that to him then, and we can't keep him out in the cold now." Eleanor looked at Noah. "Tell us how Matt is doing. Is he alright and happy?"

"Grandma, he is very happy right now. I don't know how much detail you want me to tell you, so I'm going to stay..." Maxwell interrupted Noah and told him to tell them everything. "Okay you stop me when you don't want to hear anymore." Both of the elder Robinsons nodded their heads before Noah continued.

"Well as I was saying, he is very happy. He found someone when he was locked up in that place before he got out." Noah told his grandparents about Alex, and how Matt met him. He didn't leave anything out, including the stuff about Alex being in a gang when they first met. Their grandparents didn't believe that Matt would fall for someone like Alex, but when Noah pulled out a picture of Matt and Alex and showed his grandparents, they saw the love between the two.

"They look so good together. Are you sure this young man was in a gang?" Noah nodded his head as Maxwell looked at him. "I can't believe that handsome young man was part of a gang. All those guys we see on TV that are gang members have their heads shaved and all these tattoos all over their bodies, but not this young man. He has no tattoos, at least in plain sight and his hair is not shaved, but it's not long either. He is actually a very nice looking kid."

"Yes and he really loves Matt. He will do anything for him, and that included leaving his old life behind to make Matt happy. They now live together in a hotel." That got Maxwell and Eleanor to look up from the picture. Seeing the look on his grandparents face, he couldn't help himself, he started to laugh. "I'm sorry grandpa and grandma, but you should see how you two are looking at me. It's really funny!" Noah kept laughing. Once he stopped laughing, he continued.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to laugh. I understand why you guys looked at me the way you did. If I was told what I told you guys, I would have the same look on my face. Matt and Alex were living in a house with Alex's mother and brothers, but that was the house that caught on fire a couple weekends ago." Noah grandparents looked at each. "You know; the one that the old police chief is being charged with hiring someone to burn down."

"Yes that nice huge house on the Westside of town." Noah agreed. "How in the world could Alex's family afford a house like that? I mean, I thought I read somewhere or heard on the news the house belonged to the guy that's the right hand man of the Governor now since his old right hand man has been promoted."

"Yes and no grandpa! The new Chief of Staff of the Governor lives in that house, but he didn't own the house, his grandson did. His grandson is the young kid that was all over the news these last couple of days trying to get his friends out of that truck that the semi fell on." Noah scratched his head. "In fact, you guys saw Alex on TV that day as well. He is Jacob's best friend, and they were the ones working to get their friends out of the crushed truck."

Maxwell got up from the couch and walked over to the television. He looked through the tapes on the shelf next to the TV, and once he found what he was looking for, he popped it into the VCR and pressed play. Noah and Eleanor both turned their attention to the television and saw that Maxwell had recorded the news from that day. As he fast forward it, they were all looking closely to see if they could spot Alex.

It wasn't long before they did spot him. Whenever the camera went in close, Maxwell would pause the tape to get a better look. Every time he would do that, he would mumble something under his voice and then hit play again. When the camera went in when they got the first one out of the truck, it was the first time they saw Matt up close. Maxwell paused the VCR wondering to himself how he missed this the first time he watched the news.

"I can't believe that's my grandson down there doing what those worthless asses should be doing." Maxwell pointed to the police officers. "That poor kid and the other one would have died in that truck if it wasn't for their friends not giving up on them."

"I agree grandpa, and I am sure any court in this land would agree if they decide to take it to court." Noah glanced back at the screen and couldn't believe that his cousin was right there in the middle of all that mess. "Anyways, let me get back to what I was saying before getting sidetracked with all this talk about the house burning down and what happened this last weekend.

It took me a while to find where Matt and Alex were staying. When I did, I went straight down to the hotel this morning, but they weren't there. I ran into Jacob and Dewayne and they were the ones that told med that Matt and Alex were at the hospital." Noah put up his hands. "Before you go where I went when I heard that, Matt isn't the one in the hospital, it's Alex.

You guys saw on the news what happened to Alex, well he was still in surgery when I got to the hospital. So I stayed with Matt and Alex's family until late this evening. In that time, I talked with Matt and told him what you wanted me to tell him. To say he was surprised would be an understatement. He thought that his parents had turned everyone against him and I was pulling his leg. It took me a couple times telling him I wasn't before he believed me.

Once he believed me, he told me to tell whoever wants to know where he is and how he is doing. Right now he of course is hurting because his life partner is hurt, but other than that he is very happy. He is going to high school at El Paso High and is in with a good group of friends. He is running for a position on student council and it looks like he is going to win since no one is running against him. He and Alex are both on the baseball and basketball teams and considering football next fall."

Noah started to scratch his head, go over everything in his mind to see if he told his grandparents everything. "Oh yeah one more thing, he and Alex are part owners of a printing company." Once again that grabbed Noah's grandparent's full attention. "It started out small, but they are getting big. So big that they are now looking for a new building to move into to handle the business they are getting. Plus they are looking at buying another business, what, I can't say because they won't tell me. But what I understand, it's something big."

"I'm glad he is happy and doing well for himself, but you still haven't told us one thing that we have been waiting for. Does he want to have anything to do with us, or has he given up on his family? If he has, your grandfather and I would understand. The way we left things with Matt, if we were in his shoes, we would probably not want to ever talk to us again."

"Grandma, Matt isn't like that, and I know you know that. He was so happy to hear that everyone wants to see him again. He was sad that his parents still hate him, but happy that the rest of us want him still part of our family." Hearing that put a smile on Maxwell and Eleanor's faces. "Just let Alex get out of the hospital before we try and set up time and place to get together because I'm sure Matt would want the family to meet Alex. Just like you two, they come as a matched set."

"We want to meet this young man as well." Maxwell pointed to Alex in the picture that Noah had given him earlier. "By the sounds of it, Matt's boyfriend is a very good guy. They both need each other in order to enhance each other. That's what makes a great relationship. Each one in a relationship makes the other stronger, so their weaknesses don't show." Maxwell grabbed his wife's hand and held it tight.

"Grandpa, that picture Matt pulled out of his wallet for me to give to you and grandma." Noah handed the picture back to his grandparents. "He wanted you guys to have it so when you do meet Alex, you would at least know him by face. He is a very good guy! Like I said at the beginning, he really loves Matt and he is willing to do anything for him, I mean anything. So please, when you do meet him, remember that, not what I told you about him being in a gang."

"Noah we will never hold the past of a person against that person. If Matt is able to see past the past of his boyfriend, who are we to judge Alex? As long as he does what you says he does, and loves Matt and won't let anything happen to him we are going to accept Alex with open arms and welcome him into the family."

Noah not only could see, but feel that everything his grandparents are saying is coming from their heart either by their body expressions or the tone of their voices. They stayed up talking into the late hours of the night. Making plans when the day comes that they do get to see Matt again and meet Alex for the first time. By the time Noah left his grandparents' house, it was already after one in the morning. When it got to his dorm and went to bed, it was almost three.

The next morning, Franseca woke Lorenzo, Ismail, Ignacio and Morris for school. After the older boys left, she drove the younger boys school and didn't leave until she saw them walking into the building. There was no doubt in her mind if they were going to skip school again her sitting there wasn't going to stop them. They could easily wait until she left or simply walk out another door and she wouldn't even see them.

Believing in their word, Franseca headed back to the hotel. When she walked in, she found Marco sitting in the restaurant reading the newspaper. She asked on her way to the kitchen if Jacob and Dewayne had woken up yet and eaten, and was surprised to get the answer no. She couldn't remember the last time those two slept in past eight in the morning.

Knowing them the way she does, she knew they were going to be down any time now. She informed Marco that and they both went back to the kitchen and started to getting things ready to cook them breakfast. Just as they put the frying pans on the stove. Dewayne walked in to let them know they were awake. As Dewayne turned to walk out, Marco could see that Dewayne was surprised to see Franseca there, but he didn't say a word.

Marco knew that wasn't going to be the end of it and he was right. Not even a couple minutes later, Jacob walked in and started speaking with Franseca. Since it wasn't any of his business on what was being said between those two, Marco turned his attention back to the stove. The little he did hear, Jacob wasn't happy that Franseca was there instead of the hospital. Then he heard something he had no idea was in the works, another employee starting today.

Before he was able to hear any more information about who this new employee was, Jacob and Franseca moved on to another subject which didn't last long. Franseca walked out, leaving him with Jacob who surprised him by offering him more money to take on the more responsibilities of cooking for his group. He tried to say no, but Jacob wouldn't hear any of it.

Quickly Marco realized Jacob was the type you don't try to talk out of something he had already made up his mind on. So he accepted the money and went back to cooking breakfast for the two late birds. As he was cooking, he remembered the few things Chase had told him about his best friend. And one of the things was not to try and not accept something that Jacob was giving.

Back in the lobby, Franseca was all set to leave when middle age woman walked in. She knew by the look on her face who she was and what she was there for. Not wanting to over whelm her on her first day, Franseca just introduced herself. They talked for a few minutes, starting to get to know each other, but not much of substance was really said.

"Well Mrs. Walker you are going to enjoy working for Jacob and this group of young guys. There are a few girls in and out of the house, but it is mostly guys. Do you have a problem with that at all?" Mrs. Walker nodded her head. "Good these young men are my family, each and every one of them. I don't care who they fall in love with, as long as they are happy."

"I can't agree with you more Mrs. Garcia. My son is gay and I can't be more proud of him than the day he was born. He is smart, loves life and just a very good kid all away around. So as you can see I won't have any problems with the boys here, or the girls if they are like the guys. I am hoping that in time, I can be as close to them as you are."

"You are going to fit in here just fine Mrs. Walker, just fine. The boys are going to love you and you and I will become very good friends." Franseca had a grin on her face from ear to ear. "I hate to leave you alone on your first day, but I have to be getting back to the hospital to be with my son. But Jacob is in the there..." Franseca pointed to the restaurant. "If you have any questions he will be around to answer them. If you can't find him, you can ask Marco, he is the cook, but he doesn't work for Jacob."

Franseca could see that Mrs. Walker looked overwhelmed, something she didn't want to see on her face. "You are going to be fine Mrs. Walker, just fine. Don't worry about anything right now. No one is expecting that you will pick up anything right off the bat, and more so right now since everything is up in the air. This isn't our permanent home. After the events of this last weekend, well, let's just say everyone is still trying to get their feet back on level ground."

"I understand and will just shadow whoever is going to show me the ropes for the next couple of days. Then when Jacob and the rest of you do move into the new house, I will hopefully know the boys by then. You know, there likes and dislikes."

"Sounds like a very good plan to me." Franseca picked up her purse in one hand and the overnight bag on the floor in the other. "I really do hate leaving you like this, but I have to go. Just check in with Jacob and he will tell where you are needed the most. When I get back here tonight, I will make time to sit and we will talk more and get better acquainted."

Mrs. Walker agreed and moved aside to let Franseca walk past her. The two ladies nodded hands and went their different directions. Mrs. Walker went to the restaurant to check in with Jacob, while Franseca headed to the front door. Just as she put the bags in the back seat, she noticed a Lexus driving into the parking lot. She knew it couldn't be anyone to really worry about as far as making physical trouble, but at the same time with what has happened recently, she knew not to assume that about anything or anyone.

Closing the door to her SUV, she walked over to the Lexus and caught the guy as he was getting out. "May I help you sir?" The guy was in a three piece suit, which Franseca could tell was a very expensive suit. That told her he was an attorney or maybe worse, a politician. But whoever he was, Franseca needed him to state his business quickly so she could be on her way.

"Yes ma'am, my name is Lawrence Hayes. I am the attorney of record for Ron Baird's estate." Mr. Hayes ruffled through his briefcase before pulling out a file. "I understand Alejandro Garcia and a Mathew Robinson live at this address, is that correct." Franseca answered yes. "I need to speak with about an urgent matter. Are they available?"

"Yes and no Mr. Hayes. They are available, but they are not here." Franseca looked at the file and could see there were sealed envelopes in it. "I'm pretty sure you have read the newspaper or watched the news." Mr. Hayes nodded his head. "Well then you know about what happened in the freeway over the weekend and about the bad police officers." Once again Mr. Hayes nodded his head. "Well it was my son that was taken by those police officers and is now in the hospital because of what they did. He is resting, so I rather this wait if possible."

Mr. Hayes put two and two together. On the news and in the newspapers, they didn't give the name of the kid that was taken hostage by the bad the police, but they did say he was one of the ones that helped save the two kids trapped in the truck. When he read and heard that, he didn't piece it together that it was the same young man he has been working with since Ron died.

"Ma'am I wish it could wait, but I have time sensitive documents that need to be signed and filed with the courts. I lost a lot of time looking for Mr. Garcia and Robinson. So I am afraid what I need to have signed needs to be signed today so I can get it filed at the court house. I don't want Ron's wishes to not be carried out because I ran out of time to get forms signed."

Franseca understood what Mr. Hayes was saying and didn't question him anymore. She told him to follow her to the hospital, but prepared him that he might have wait for Alex to wake up. He was fine with that as long as he could get the forms signed before the end of the day. Once they agreed on that, they got into their own cars and drove off.

When they got to the hospital, Franseca thought she had lost Mr. Hayes somewhere along the way because he was no longer behind her. However, when she got to the entrance of the building, she found Mr. Hayes waiting for her. She wondered how he beat her there, but didn't ask. She walked in and headed up to Alex's room.

As they approached Alex's room, they could hear Alex and Matt laughing, which made Franseca feel a lot better. She poked her head in and saw the two boys on the bed in each other arms. If it was just her, she would have not disturbed them, but it wasn't. Lightly she tapped on the door and then opened it enough for her to walk in.

Both of the boys looked up at her and smiled. "Mom you didn't have to come down. I know you were here late last night, so you should have stayed at the hotel and rested."

"Alex you know better than to say that. There is no way I would ever rest when one of my sons is not sleeping in the same house." Franseca put the bag she prepared with Matt and Alex's stuff on the floor next to bed before leaning in and kissed her son on the forehead. She then turned and kissed Matt as well. "The day I rest is the day I'm six feet under. You boys are my life and I will never stop worrying about you."

Neither Alex nor Matt knew how to respond to what Franseca just said. They just stared up at their mother with watery eyes, which was enough for Franseca. She didn't need any words from them. Their facial expressions said it all. Mr. Hayes broke their moment when he walked in and started to clear his throat. All at the same time, everyone looked over at him.

"I'm sorry, I forgot all about Mr. Hayes here." Franseca walked over to him. "Mr. Hayes these are the two young gentlemen you are looking for. The young man in the hospital gown is my son Alejandro Garcia, and the handsome young man lying next to him is my other son Matthew Robinson." Matt quickly got off the bed. "Boys this well-dressed man has been looking for you both for a while, he is Mr. Lawrence Hayes, the attorney for Ron's estate."

Alex was a little confused when he heard his mother say Mr. Hayes was Ron's attorney. "I'm sorry, please don't take what I'm about to say wrong, but who in the hell are you?" Matt and Franseca were surprised by Alex's reaction. "I'm trying not to come off rude, but you are not the attorney for Mr. Ron Baird's estate, at least not the one we have been dealing with."

"You are right Mr. Garcia, you haven't been dealing with me. You have been dealing with another attorney at my law firm, who is currently out." Alex was unsure if he should trust Mr. Hayes or not. "I picked up several of his cases and yours is one of them. So where you know I'm telling you the truth, let me show you the paperwork you signed when you first started all this with Ron Baird's estate."

Mr. Hayes pulled out the file he pulled out earlier at the hotel as he walked over to the bed. He showed both Alex and Matt the original copies of all the forms they signed when they were told that their good friend had left everything to them. Seeing that, Alex relaxed a little and let Mr. Hayes explain why he was there.

"Well as you know, my law firm has been dealing with Mr. Baird's affairs. He left everything to you two, which is quite a bit. His savings is now at eighty four thousand, one hundred six dollars and fourteen cents with interest as of yesterday, plus his two insurance policies total two hundred and seventy five thousand dollars. There is also the stock he owned, which at your request we have cashed out, totaled out to three hundred, seventy six thousand, eight hundred fifty four dollars and seventy nine cents. Adding all of that together brings the grand total to seven hundred, thirty five thousand, nine hundred, sixty dollars and ninety three cents to be split two ways between you and Mr. Robison here."

Alex and Matt just looked at each other trying to do the math, but gave up when Mr. Hayes handed them each an envelope. "Inside the envelopes is a check cut to each of you on the amount of three hundred, sixty seven thousand, nine hundred, eighty dollars and forty five cents. All I need from you two is for you to sign a couple of things so I can file it with the courts and close out this matter." Mr. Hayes handed Alex and Matt their forms so sign and showed them where they needed to sign.

"Wait a minute Mr. Hayes! I thought this was all held up because of Ron's brother, He was trying to stop this from happening because he believed we just befriended Ron for his money. Where does he stand now on all this?" Matt pushed the paper back to Mr. Haynes. "I don't want to sign these forms and then go and cash the check just for Ron's brother to come back in a week or two with an attorney and ask for the money back."

"Well I don't know what happened, but Mr. Baird's brother had a change of heart. He dropped his protest, which fast tracked the proceedings. If he didn't drop his protest, we wouldn't be here today. We would still be fighting it out in court, costing you guys money. Thankfully he dropped it and we are able to deliver what we promised our client that we would."

Mr. Hayes pulled out another form from the folder and handed it to Matt. Matt looked at it and then handed it to Alex. It was a form that Ron's brother signed dropping his protest. It was also notarized, which made it a legal document. After both of the boys read it, they handed the form back to Mr. Hayes and started to sign where he directed them to sign.

"I have made you copies of everything in this file, including what you are signing and the form that Mr. Baird's brother signed dropping the protest. You two don't owe us anything since we have already taken our share our of Mr. Baird's estate. The checks in your hands are all yours to do what you wish. I hope you invest it wisely."

Franseca jumped in. "Trust me I will make sure my boys invest that money wisely. In fact, I'm going to make them save it all if I can." Alex and Matt looked at their mother with puppy dog eyes. "Put those away, you are going to save that money or invest it into something that will make you a lot more than you have in your hands. But before you do that, we will talk to Mr. Serna about what is the best thing to invest in."

Reluctantly the boys handed their mother their checks for safe keeping. "Well my work is done here." Mr. Hayes said as he looked over the forms that Alex and Matt signed to make sure everything was in order. "I need to get these forms to my office, make copies and then get them filed at the courthouse. Gentlemen, thank you for being patient with us. Because you didn't constantly call us, we were able to move your case pretty fast."

Mr. Hayes shook Matt's hand and then Alex's, but he held their handshake a little longer. "I wanted to tell you if I ever got a chance how great you were last Saturday helping out your friend. I wish things would have turned out differently than they did, but I'm glad that you are still alive and will be back on your feet in no time."

"Thank you sir, it was nothing really." Alex chuckled. "I'm sure if you were in my shoes, you would have done the same thing. Those guys were not my friends stuck in that truck. No they were my family and there was no way I was going to leave them there."

Before Mr. Hayes could respond there was a knock on the door and then it flew open. Several guys in black suits walked in and started looking around the room. Once they checked an area, they raised their hands to their face and said all clear. After they finished checking the restroom and the other parts of the room where Alex, Matt, Franseca and Mr. Hayes were not at, they walked over and checked their area, bags, under the bed and everywhere else.

"Sorry for all this, but the Mayor and the Chief of Police are on their way up. You are Alejandro Garcia and Matthew Robinson?" One of the guys in the black suit asked as he looked down at the pictures in his hand and over to Alex and Matt who were shaking their heads. "And we know you are Franseca Garcia, but you sir, we don't know who you are."

"Um, I'm, um, these gentlemen's attorney." Mr. Hayes nervously answered.

"I don't see a need to have you present for this meet and greet, unless these two boys want you here." The same guy asked as he looked at Alex and Matt. "If you want him to stay, he can, but again I don't see any need for an attorney to be present for this. The Mayor and the Chief of Police just want to meet you Alex, thank you for what you did and see how you are doing."

Alex looked at his mother for guidance. "Well I think this is what should happen." Franseca spoke for the boys. "Mr. Hayes here should stay just in case the Mayor or the Chief of Police tries to talk about a settlement. If nothing legal is brought up, Mr. Hayes will just stay in the background, not saying a word. Will that work for the Mayor and Chief of Police?"

"I don't see why not." Something came across the radio taking the guys that was talking attention away from Franseca and over to the door for a few seconds. "The Mayor and Chief of Police are on the floor and are on their way here. There is a camera crew with them, would it be okay if that camera crew came in." Immediately Franseca, Alex and Matt said no. "No problem, they will stay outside in the hall, but the still photographers will come in and take a few pictures if that is okay with you guys?"

None of the four had a problem with that. Once they gave their okay, the guy that was doing all the talking walked over to the door and ordered the men he came in with to leave. Just as they were exiting out of the room, the Mayor and Chief of Police walked up. The Mayor talked with the guy that looked like was in charge of his security before walking in with the Chief Falster.

"Good morning, I'm sorry for showing up unannounced like this, but I have been trying to get in here to see you young man, since you were brought to the hospital." Mayor Richardson extended his hand to Mr. Hayes, Franseca and then Matt. When he reached Alex, just like Mr. Hayes, he held the handshake a little longer. "I'm Jarrett Richardson, the Mayor of El Paso, but you can call me Jarrett. This gentleman standing behind me is the new Chief of Police, Chief Falster."

"I don't know if you remember or not, but you and I met already, my first day on the job." Chief Falster shook Alex's hand. "I'm glad to see that you are well and I hear you are going to be going home in the next day or so. That is good news." Alex looked at Matt with a smile on his face. "One of our city heroes doesn't belong here in the hospital."

"Exactly, I agree with Chief Falster here, you don't belong in the hospital. You need to get home and get well really soon so I can throw you and Jacob a parade. You guys didn't hesitate, unlike some others, when your friends were in trouble. You two just jumped right in there and did what many of us wish we could do without a second thought.

On top of that, you put your life on the line another time to save who knows how many more lives from being taken from the young man that was shooting up your school. I know he was there for you, but that doesn't discount what you did. Principal Michaels has been on my office to do something for you. I finally got a hold of him and told him we are."

Sir I really don't know what to say. As far as what Jacob and I did this past weekend, we did it because as you said, our friends were trapped in the truck." Alex hid his hands under the blanket to hide that he was shaking. "They are more than friends to me and Jacob, they are family. But even if they were just friends, we would have done the same thing we did the other day."

"You know that friendship you have with Jacob is a weird one if I do say so myself." Mayor Richardson looked at Falster and then back at Alex. "After all that you two went through a couple of years ago, you guys came out of it at the other end best friends, or like you just said family. I have never seen anything like that before in my life, never!"

"Well I can say honestly I'm sitting here today because of Jacob's big heart. Not only was he able to forgive me for what I tried to do, but he accepted me and my family into his home. That I can tell you has never been done before. Jacob doesn't have a vindictive bone in his body, and sometimes because he doesn't, I'm afraid someone is going to take advantage of him."

"I don't think that day will ever come with you at his side." Chief Falster jumped in. "I don't remember if I told you or not, but before coming here I was at the prison that has your grandfather and had your father before he passed away. I got to know both of them, and let me tell you, you are not your father's son." Falster looked at Franseca. "Ma'am you did a great job with this young man and you should be proud. Somehow you were able to get him out of his father's life and set him on the right path. For that my hat's off to you. It had to be a hard job."

"Thank you sir, but I don't deserve all the credit here. When it came time for Alex to decide what fork in the road he was going to take, he took the right path. Yes I was there to help encourage him the right direction, but most of it was on him. Plus this young man, Matt, came into his life at the right time. I really believe the love they have for each other finished off what I was unable to do. He realized he wanted a better life than grandfather and his father before him had. Not just for him, but for us and for Matt here."

"Well for all the reasons that got him to go down the right path, I'm thankful. I surely didn't want to see another generation of the Garcia's behind bars. It is time for that family tradition to end, and Alex you were the one that ended it." Falster patted Alex on the shoulder.

"When the Governor gave you and your friends a pardon, I didn't like it. I didn't like it because I believed that once a person is goes bad the person can't reform and become good. Well, you sir, surely showed me on that backwoods thinking. I'm thankful the Governor saw you were good, because our city has benefited from it." The Mayor looked over at his assistant who walked up and gave him a sheet.

"The day we have the parade for you and Jacob, I'm going to officially present this to you, but here in this room with your mother and family here, I want to give you heads up what it is." Mayor Richardson handed Alex a plaque. "You should have gotten this for what you did on the day of the shooting. Now that you showed us once again how you value other life above yours, I am going to make sure you get what Principal Michaels has been asking me to do."

Alex looked down at the plaque and back up at the Mayor. He couldn't believe this happening. He thought he was still asleep dreaming, but when Matt slugged him softly and whispered how awesome this was, he knew he was a wake. Then when he saw his mother holding the plaque and the tears rolling down her face, he knew without a doubt all this was completely for real.




{Welcome back to another long awaited chapter of `Beneath the Mask'. For the first time in a long time in this story, the good outdid the bad. Poor Alex and all those around him have had a rough couple of weeks. Since the house burned down, they seem to be on a roller coaster ride of nothing but bad things happening. I truly hope this chapter is a start of a better future.

It picked up with the elder Alex and his gang going back to general population. You were able to hear how the meeting went, and let me tell you that I agree with those officers who stood up to the new warden. He is a chicken shit. He is willing to give up control of his prison to the inmates so he doesn't look bad in front of his bosses. I really hope it fails and he is fired.

Then we found out that the elder Alex had plans for El Paso. In the next couple of days, the El Paso wing of the gang is going to get a new leader. I wonder what kind of leader he is going to be. Will he be a Mr. Flores type leader who ruled by fear, or will he be an Alex leader, the younger Alex that is, and rule the gang like a business. I also wonder if he will be able to get Ashton. Between us, I don't think so. Also is he going to listen and stay away from the younger Alex?

The younger boys kind of got in trouble for skipping school. I think the only reason Franseca didn't punish them was because of what has been going on in their lives lately. They have been through enough for right now, she didn't need to add a punishment on top of everything else. However, she did make herself clear what would happen if they ditched again.

What do you all think about the conversation between Noah and his grandparents about Matt? It really looks like Matt's family is going to be back in the picture and they are not going to cause any trouble, at least everyone except his mother and father. I wonder what they will do once they find out things are moving along toward getting Matt back into the family. If you are wondering the same thing, you will have to tune in and find out in the chapters ahead.

You got to see a little bit of a plot that happened in "Jacob Finding His Way" dealing with Franseca and Jacob in the morning. If you didn't read the last chapter of `Jacob', chapter 85, go on over to that story catch up with it because if you don't, you will be lost in that plot. If you have read that chapter, you know what is going on.

Franseca couldn't seem to get out of the hotel when she wanted to leave. First she ran into Mrs. Walker and talked a little while. Then when she thought she was in the clear to get out of there, she ran into Mr. Hayes. Man have I been in her shoes and hated it when I needed to get somewhere but the phone kept ringing or people keep showing up.

Well anyways, back to the chapter. I bet you guys had forgotten about Ron and his money that he left Alex and Matt. Well if you did, it is back. They now have the money that was left to them; the only question is what they are going to do with it. I hope they listen to Franseca and invest it like Jacob and Joey did. That way it turns into millions. However at the same time, Alex is going to get getting millions very soon with the lawsuits Al is starting.

Finally the ending of the chapter; how many of you were surprised how it ended? What do you think the plaque is and what the Mayor is going to give Alex and Jacob the day of the parade? I agree with Falster and the Mayor, Alex deserves an award for what he did the day of the school shooting, but never got it. Thankfully Principal Michaels stayed on top of all that.

There are a lot of open plots still dangling out there 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 and the other three I write.

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 jacobmillertex@aol.com, Thanks!}



The new warden at the prison has really screwed up as I see it. He's given full license to Alex Sr. to get back to business and for the Mexican gang to run the inside of the prison in essence. I also have a suspicion that he will be fully part of the corruption. He will probably want financial stakes for allowing the gang to run their lucrative business. This one stinks real bad!

Stefano, Alex's appointee to be the gang leader in El Paso sounds like an interesting character. I'm very interested to see what tactics he takes to lead the gang. I hope he's smart and leads more like a business man than a terroristic thug. It sounds like he respects Alex even though Alex has left gang life. I don't expect that Stefano will make the same mistakes Mr. Flores and Ashton made, taking it upon themselves to go against orders and try to eliminate Alex.

Matt's grandparents reaching out in Matt's direction through Noah is encouraging. I hope that it works out that Matt can have at least some of his family back in his life. The grandparents sound sincere. If they weren't being sincere, I think Noah would have caught on. Noah seems to be pretty savvy when it comes to knowing people. I'd like to get to know Noah better.

Franseca has her hands full with the four younger boys. She put her foot down and let them know who the boss is! I think she got her point across and kept her authority in place. I wonder if Alex might be able to step in a bit and help with raising the boys. Of course that's after he's back to good health.

I had nearly forgotten about the inheritance from Ron's estate. It will be most interesting to see what Alex and Matt do with their windfall. I hope that they will ask Al to manage their inheritance and grow it for them. If I recall correctly, they still have some debt on the print shop. I noted that Noah reported that they need larger quarters since the business is growing.

I'm really curious about the plaque from the city. I think the visit from the Mayor and Chief of Police is interesting...and Principal Michaels being the catalyst. More interesting stuff to come, looks like to me.

Until Next Time,

"Daddy" Rick